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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 25 March 2020

Coronavirus: Headteachers call for "better" safety guidance for schools

Child welfare

The Department for Education last night published updated guidance for schools still open, advising them to stagger break times, keep class sizes small, and discourage parents from gathering at school gates as part of social distancing measures. Tes. Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, has said: "We expect further and better advice to be issued throughout the day today." By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week. Mr Whiteman had previously warned some school staff may stop turning up to work unless the Government provided them with practical information on how to operate safely amid the coronavirus pandemic. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph. Seamus Searson, the general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, has suggested staff and pupils in Scotland's schools should wear protective clothing. By Emma Seith, Tes.

Tes reports Cambridge International has cancelled all IGCSE and Pre-U exams this year. By Catherine Lough. Fiona Robertson, chief executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, has confirmed schools and colleges are not required to submit coursework for marking, though completed coursework can still be used to help teachers award grades. By Daniel Harkins, The Times. Yvonne Williams, a secondary school head of English and drama, writes in Tes about the implications of the approach taken to estimate GCSE grades this year.

Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, has warned the majority of independent schools do not have "huge reserves", and many face financial collapse if parents refuse to continue to pay school fees. By Will Hazell, iNews. The article quotes Ed Mason, deputy head of Bedales. Diana Young writes in The Telegraph arguing independent schools should consider offering partial refunds while schools are closed, or offer an improved timetable with virtual classes and daily activities for families who continue to pay school fees.

Children's minister Vicky Ford has said proposals to relax councils' requirements to provide support for SEND pupils "strike the right balance in difficult times". By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

The Independent reports families of children eligible for free school meals have been targeted by a scam email offering support in return for bank details. By Eleanor Busby.

Michael Gove has said children of parents who are separated have permission to move between households during the coronavirus restrictions. By Cherry Wilson, BBC News.

The debate surrounding single-sex schools

General education

The Telegraph features several articles exploring the debate surrounding single-sex schools. Sally Peck explores whether they help pupils to progress or perpetuate gender stereotypes. The article features a number of links to other pieces on this topic, written by staff members at schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations.

'The rigorous process of secondary school assessments'

Teaching and learning

An article in The Telegraph highlights the variety of tests and activities secondary schools have in place as part of their admissions processes. By Lucy Higginson. The article quotes Chris Stevens, head of Bradfield College, and references several other schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations.

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