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Daily News Summary
24 February 2022

image Coronavirus: Scrapping COVID restrictions could pose extra risks for vulnerable school staff and pupils, warns HMC
image Graduates to pay back students loans for 40 years under new changes
image Government criticised for proposals to reduce access to student loans
image House of Lords debate: Partnerships to support less advantaged students
image Findings suggest sexual harassment has become ‘normalised’ in Scottish schools
image 'Shocking disparities' in support for deaf children, research finds

Coronavirus: Scrapping COVID restrictions could pose extra risks for vulnerable school staff and pupils, warns HMC

 

Dr Simon Hyde, general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), has warned that removing all COVID restrictions "could pose additional risks for children and staff that are clinically vulnerable, or have a family member who is vulnerable". By Serena Haththotuwa, Independent Education Today.

Schools Week reports that as a result of the transition to online learning during the pandemic 'snow days' could be coming to an end as two-thirds of schools forced to close amid storms kept pupils learning with remote lessons. By James Carr.

 

Graduates to pay back students loans for 40 years under new changes

 

The Government has announced changes to the graduate loan system from September next year. The starting salary threshold for repayments will be reduced to £25,000 and the loan term will be stretched from 30 to 40 years, meaning many will be repaying the funds as they approach retirement. By Nicola Woolcock and James Coney, The Times.

Discussing the changes to the loan system, Martin Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert founder, said: “It effectively completes the transformation of student ‘loans’ for most, into a working-life-long graduate tax.” By Will Hazell, iNews.

 

Government criticised for proposals to reduce access to student loans

 

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, has criticised the Government's proposals to bar pupils who fail GCSE English and maths from taking out student loans, saying: “[It is] madness to shrink universities and place a cap on aspiration by reducing the number of places for people to study at university." By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has said that the decision to change access to student loans "seems more like a case of removing the ladder up rather than levelling up". By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

 

House of Lords debate: Partnerships to support less advantaged students

 

During a House of Lords debate on ‘COVID-19: Effect on Education in Deprived Communities’, Baroness Bull requested an update on discussions taking place with independent schools about partnerships to support less advantaged students, and suggested that online programmes could provide targeted support to areas most in need. In response, Baroness Barran, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the school system, acknowledged the potential for online collaboration, adding: “The department really supports partnerships with independent schools, and there is some fantastic work going on, from local collaboration to very specific support for children in the care system being offered places at independent schools.” Hansard.

 
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Hansard

Findings suggest sexual harassment has become ‘normalised’ in Scottish schools

 

A report on sexual harassment in Scottish schools by the University of Glasgow, has found that “sexual harassment is common and often seen as ‘normal’ among teenagers at school". By Mark Waghorn, The Times.

 
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The Times

'Shocking disparities' in support for deaf children, research finds

 

New research by the National Deaf Children's Society has found "shocking" disparities in support for deaf pupils across England, with 40 out of 150 councils having no specialist teaching units for deaf children. Tes.

 
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Tes

 

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