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Daily News Summary
31 January 2022

image Coronavirus: Over 200,000 pupils still being told to wear masks at school
image ‘It’s time to address the educational divide’
image Barring students with lower grades from university is "regressive", says former tsar
image ‘British schools with branches abroad should not abandon their principles’
image Judge schools on exclusion rates not just on pupils’ progress, says EPI
image DfE to appoint finance professionals to visit councils with deficits in SEND funding

Coronavirus: Over 200,000 pupils still being told to wear masks at school

 

The Telegraph, reports that over 200,000 children are still being told to wear face masks at school despite official government guidance stating that it is no longer necessary. The article quotes Dorothy MacGinty, head at Kilgraston School. By Camilla Turner, Sam Hall and Daniel Sanderson.

According to an analysis of figures by the education research group FFT Education Datalab, up to 10,000 pupils in England missed an entire term of school last autumn. By Richard Adams, The Guardian.

A study from Liverpool John Moores University, Edge Hill University and the University of Liverpool has found that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. By Aasma Day, iNews.

Official data from the Department for Education (DfE) has revealed that special schools have been hit the hardest by the Omicron variant, recording the lowest overall school attendance of 78.4 per cent. By James Carr, Schools Week.

Teachers working in classrooms where windows don't open have reportedly criticised the Government's failure to protect them from catching COVID, describing the “open a window” guidance as pointless. By Aasma Day, iNews.

Public health expert Professor John Watkins, has said Welsh ministers should take more of a lead in making the decisions for children in Wales, after it emerged that face mask rules would be left to schools and councils after the February half-term. By Bethan Lewis and Rhiannon Wilkins, BBC News.

 

‘It’s time to address the educational divide’

 

Writing in The Times, Rachel Sylvester reflects on her role as chair of the Times Education Commission, and shares what concerns her the most about the education system in England.

 
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The Times

Barring students with lower grades from university is "regressive", says former tsar

 

Chris Millward, the former director for fair access and participation at the Office for Students, has criticised the Government’s reported proposals to bar entry to university for students with lower school grades. He said: “You shouldn’t stop certain students accessing student loans because that penalises the individual in a pretty crude, regressive way." By Anna Fazackerley, The Guardian.

 
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The Guardian

‘British schools with branches abroad should not abandon their principles’

 

Writing in The Guardian, David Mitchell questions the reasons behind British independent schools opening branches abroad.

 
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The Guardian

Judge schools on exclusion rates not just on pupils’ progress, says EPI

 

A new paper from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has suggested that multi-academy trusts and other groups of schools should be measured on whether they exclude vulnerable pupils, amid concern over “off-rolling”, a practice where pupils have “unexplained exits” from school rolls, sometimes shortly before they are due to sit GCSEs. The Telegraph.

 
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The Telegraph

DfE to appoint finance professionals to visit councils with deficits in SEND funding

 

According to Schools Week, the Department for Education is looking to appoint 15 finance professionals to visit local authorities with multi-million-pound shortfalls in special educational needs and disability (SEND) funding, as ministers “lay the foundations” for new reforms under the SEND review. By Samantha Booth.

 
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Schools Week

 

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