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Daily News Summary
4 January 2022

Coronavirus: Education secretary says masks will not be required in classrooms any longer than necessary
School trust updates gender identity policy guidance to include position on admissions
AQA trials online A-level and GCSE exams

Coronavirus: Education secretary says masks will not be required in classrooms any longer than necessary


Nadhim Zahawi has said that secondary school students in England will wear masks in classrooms "not for a day longer than necessary", adding that there is no data to suggest that any further restrictions in schools are necessary. By Adam Durbin, BBC News.

Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke on Trent North, writes for The Times arguing that face masks are a price worth paying to keep children in school.

MPs have urged the Government to cut isolation for schoolchildren to five days to minimise lost learning for asymptomatic pupils as long as they have tested negative with lateral flows. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

According to The Times, heads have warned that pupils could be sent home again from school within weeks due to staffing crises. By Emma Yeomans and Matt Dathan.

Ofqual chair Ian Bauckham has said that suspending "specialist" subjects like PSHE and music may be needed to help schools facing soaring staff absences this term. By Charlotte Santry, Tes.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has warned that said staff absences in schools could force some to “send home classes or year groups for short periods of time to learn remotely". By Sally Weale, The Guardian.

Tes outlines all the new COVID guidelines for schools during the spring term. By John Roberts.

iNews takes a closer look the likelihood of schools closing in January 2022. By David Hughes.

The Department for Education has added new categories to its list of “vulnerable” pupils who would be eligible for a place in the classroom in the event of another national lockdown. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Official figures from the NHS have revealed that the number of children being admitted to hospital with an eating disorder has risen almost 70 per cent since the pandemic, with psychiatrists warning they are unable to keep up with the numbers needing help. By Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph.

Zoe Williams writes for The Guardian praising the adaptability of young people throughout the pandemic, saying: "They don’t complain, yet it is visible in their demeanours that it saps their life force when they have to attend school from home."

Linda Bauld, who chairs the Scottish Government’s COVID advisory sub-group on education, has said that fully vaccinated retired teachers should consider returning to the classroom as they could make “a huge contribution” to keeping schools open this winter. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times.


School trust updates gender identity policy guidance to include position on admissions


The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), which represents 25 girls' schools across England, has said that it will not accept applications from pupils who are legally male, even if they identify as female. The GDST said it had drawn up the guidance “in collaboration with experts, teachers and students”, stating that having an admissions policy based on “gender identity rather than the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate would jeopardise the status of GDST schools as single-sex schools” under the Equality Act. By Camilla Turner and Ewan Somerville, The Telegraph.

The Telegraph

AQA trials online A-level and GCSE exams


The AQA exam board has begun the “radical” process of digitising exams by piloting online GCSE and A-level papers in a number of English schools. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

The Times


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