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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 21 May 2020

Coronavirus: Contact tracing promised 'by June 1'

Child welfare

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said a "world beating" test and trace system will be ready by June 1, the date primary schools are expected to reopen. By Gordon Rayner, Camilla Turner and Mike Wright, The Telegraph.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said the Government intends to reopen schools "as a whole nation", but if "micro hotspots" of the virus are identified, different measures may be put in place. By Dave Speck, Tes. Justice secretary Robert Buckland has described school reopenings as a "mixed picture", adding there is a need to "listen very carefully to the concerns of employers and staff". By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

Mark Langhammer of the National Education Union has said the reopening of schools is "likely to be staged and difficult". ITV News.

The Telegraph reports local councils could prevent up to 250,000 pupils from returning to school on June 1. By Tony Diver and Camilla Turner. The chair of the Local Government Association has said councils need access to local coronavirus testing data "to help enable greater confidence for teachers and parents around school openings". By Sally Weale, Richard Adams and Kate Proctor, The Guardian. According to a survey of 151 local education authorities, 47 are leaving it up to individual schools and headteachers to decide whether to reopen on June 1. By Rosemary Bennett, Tom Ball, George Greenwood and Anna Lombardi, The Times. The article quotes Christopher King, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools.

In a letter addressed to Boris Johnson, Professor Dame Alison Peacock, chief executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, has called on the Government to provide "clear and timely" guidance for schools on how to reopen safely. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

An article in The Sun considers when independent schools might reopen. By Justin Lawrence. The article quotes Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association.

John Swinney, Scotland's education secretary, has said teachers are expected to use their own professional judgement to estimate pupils' final grades as part of new guidance developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. By Emma O'Neill, The Times. Clare Jonas, a researcher in AQA's research and development team, offers advice for teachers on how to avoid unconscious bias when generating pupils' grades this year. Tes.

The Government has been urged to consider opening school sport facilities during the summer break to boost children's physical and mental wellbeing. By Jeremy Wilson, The Telegraph.

Jennifer Kay, an English teacher and pastoral leader in a school in Oldham, writes in Tes arguing schools and teachers must "empower parents with the confidence to detect, intervene and access further support for their child's mental health" during the lockdown.

The Guardian reports British universities could lose £760m in funding, after survey findings suggested 20 per cent of applicants are willing to defer their courses if universities are not operating as normal due to the pandemic. By Richard Adams.

ISC blog: ‘How we came together through exercise to support a good cause during lockdown’

ISC blog

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Holly Burke, a Year 12 pupil at King's Ely, describes a fundraising initiative she took part in which has so far raised almost £800 for a suicide prevention charity.

Children of parents with a degree 'a year ahead in maths by age 11'

Teaching and learning

Findings suggest children of higher-educated parents are almost a year ahead in maths by age 11 than their peers whose parents just have GCSEs. By Dave Speck, Tes.

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