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Daily News Summary
6 May 2022

image Hundreds of schools held INSET days to host polling stations for local elections
image 'Hard working grammar school pupils should continue being admitted to Oxbridge based on merit'
image Universities offer places to disadvantaged pupils with three grades lower than middle-class applicants
image Oxford University to launch new scholarship for Ukrainian refugees
image St Paul’s Cathedral choir to admit girls for first time in 900 years
image Secondary schools receiving better Ofsted judgements since the return of routine inspections
image DfE does not collect data on whether targets in EHCP documents are being met, says government advisor
image DfE asks state schools to fill out survey about energy and gas bills

Hundreds of schools held INSET days to host polling stations for local elections

 

Schools Week reports that hundreds of schools across England held INSET days, closed off rooms or turned to remote education to host polling stations for local elections despite pressure to use fewer schools since 2019. By Freddie Whittaker.

 
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Schools Week

'Hard working grammar school pupils should continue being admitted to Oxbridge based on merit'

 

Mark Fenton, chief executive of the Grammar School Heads Association, has criticised warnings made by Professor Stephen Toope, the vice-chancellor of Cambridge, that universities would be reducing their intake of grammar school pupils in order to take in more applicants from state schools. Mr Fenton said: "For the university to impose targets to reduce admissions from grammar schools would not help widen access; in fact, it would run the risk of doing the exact opposite." By Kieran Gair, The Times.

Journalist Emma Duncan writes for The Times suggesting that reducing the number of grammar and independent school students at Oxbridge is not a fair outcome for all young people. Ms Duncan argues: "Discriminating against parents who save or borrow to pay for education in favour of those who send their children to state schools and spend their money on luxuries is not a good signal."

In a letter to The Times, Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, suggests that every university should have a "target to admit 15 per cent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds", scrap entirely the UCAS reference, personal statement and interviews and replace them with an anonymous application form to create a more fair system for all.

 

Universities offer places to disadvantaged pupils with three grades lower than middle-class applicants

 

According to The Telegraph, some leading universities are offering places to disadvantaged students with A-level results up to three grades lower than middle-class teenagers, which could mean a reduction from AAA to BBB. By Charles Hymas.

 
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The Telegraph

Oxford University to launch new scholarship for Ukrainian refugees

 

Oxford University is to launch the Graduate Scholarship Scheme for Ukraine Refugees from this September to give Ukrainian students “a chance to rebuild their lives” and support those students and academics "whose lives have been badly impacted by war”. By Will Hazell, iNews.

 
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iNews

St Paul’s Cathedral choir to admit girls for first time in 900 years

 

St Paul’s Cathedral, which is closely linked to St Paul's Cathedral School, has announced it will admit girls to its internationally renowned choir, breaking a tradition stretching back 900 years. The first girls will join the choir in 2025 after boarding school facilities have been expanded and funds raised for scholarships. By Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian.

 
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The Guardian

Secondary schools receiving better Ofsted judgements since the return of routine inspections

 

Schools Week reports that secondary schools have been getting better Ofsted ratings since the return of routine inspections, although judgements in special schools have worsened. By James Carr.

 
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Schools Week

DfE does not collect data on whether targets in EHCP documents are being met, says government advisor

 

David Thomas, an advisor to the Department for Education (DfE), has said the Government is unable to evaluate the special educational needs and disabilities system because it does not collect data on whether the aims and targets set out in education, health and care plan (EHCP) documents are being met. By John Roberts, Tes.

 
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Tes

DfE asks state schools to fill out survey about energy and gas bills

 

State schools have been invited to complete a survey setting out how much they are paying for gas and electricity and whether their contracts are coming to an end, so that the DfE can look at how schools are being affected by energy price increases and consider what "additional support" it can provide. By John Roberts, Tes.

 
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Tes

 

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