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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 12 January 2021

Coronavirus: Schools outline plan to establish vaccination hubs in letter to PM

Education policy

A number of school groups and academy trusts have signed a letter to Boris Johnson outlining their plan to use their facilities as COVID-19 vaccination centres for teachers, childcare workers and support staff. By Catherine Lough, Tes. The article mentions Sally-Anne Huang, chair of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and Chris Jansen, chief executive of the Cognita schools group.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Government's minister for COVID-19 vaccine deployment, has said "there is no evidence that teachers, schools or childcare workers are at higher risk of mortality" from the virus. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Three early years groups have called on the Government to prioritise staff working in nurseries and pre-school settings for the vaccine. BBC News.

According to survey findings from the National Association of Head Teachers, 74 per cent of school leaders say demand for places has "greatly increased" compared to last spring's lockdown. By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

An anonymous parent writes in The Telegraph saying they are not telling anyone they have applied for key worker status because there is "a shame and a stigma" around sending children back to school.

According to a poll carried out for the Sutton Trust, just two per cent of state schools in the most deprived areas say all their pupils have access to the equipment needed for online learning. ITV News.

From the end of January, EE, BT Mobile and Plusnet Mobile users will be able to watch BBC Bitesize content without using up their data allowance. By Adam Smith, The Independent.

The Times reports thousands of children in Scotland were unable to access virtual lessons yesterday due to technical issues with the national online learning system. By Marc Horne.

Ofsted has published a short guide for schools on what works well in remote learning. By James Carr, Schools Week.

The Telegraph explores the increase in demand for online, paid-for tutoring during the pandemic. By Luke Mintz.

According to Schools Week, Ofsted has deployed extra staff to sort through more than 10,000 emails reporting schools for their good work, amid concerns the influx of messages could mean a "genuine safeguarding risk takes longer to be resolved". By James Carr.

Tes reports Ofsted inspectors who are members of the FDA union have voted "overwhelmingly" against plans to carry out on-side visits during lockdown. By John Roberts.

Marcus Rashford MBE has criticised free school meal packages being sent to some children learning from home, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer describing the provision as "woefully inadequate". By Lucy Campbell, The Guardian.

The Telegraph reports issues raised by the paper's 'Keep Kids Active' campaign are to be formally debated in parliament, amid growing concerns over the impact of lockdown on children's wellbeing. By Jeremy Wilson.

Exams 2021: "We should give this year's exams new names"

Examinations

David James, deputy head of an independent school in London, writes in Tes stating this year's GCSEs and A-levels should be renamed "so that they accurately describe what they are: key stage 4 and key stage 5 school-assessed qualifications".

Phil Sayles, principal and chief executive of Selby College, writes in Tes arguing the recent announcements on BTEC qualifications are one example of the college sector being "forgotten" during the pandemic.

Schools 'missing out' on traffic bans designed to protect pupils from air pollution

Education policy

The Times reports only a fraction of schools in towns and cities suitable for "school streets" have them, as local councils are not able to use cameras to enforce traffic bans. By Ben Webster.

A closer look at the rise in international schools hiring local staff

International education

Tes explores the potential factors driving international schools to increase their recruitment of local staff. By Dan Worth. The article quotes Colin Bell, CEO of the Council of British International Schools.

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