[Skip to Content]

Search from
-,--- schools

ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 22 February 2021

Coronavirus: PM set to announce school reopening plan

General education

Nine education unions have released a joint statement urging the Government to pursue a "cautious" and "phased" return to classrooms, amid reports Boris Johnson is to announce the full reopening of schools on 8 March. By Jeanette Long, BBC News.

The Education Policy Institute has said it would be "highly desirable" for all pupils to return to school before Easter, but reopening plans "must meet key tests of safety and practicality". Tes.

Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has warned: "There will continue to be major disruption in schools until we have vaccinated our children." By Bill Gardner, The Telegraph.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said there is not "strong evidence" to show that teachers are more likely to catch coronavirus than any other group, suggesting they will not be prioritised in the vaccination rollout. By Joanna Whitehead, iNews.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has warned asking parents to test their children regularly for COVID-19 would be "fraught with difficulty". By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

New survey findings suggest just 16 per cent of school staff in England believe rapid testing will keep schools COVID safe. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

According to The Sunday Times, the Government is to provide funding for schools to help them set up catch-up classes during the summer holidays. By Tim Shipman and Sian Griffiths.

Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, writes in The Telegraph proposing measures the Government could take to support children affected by the pandemic.

The British Psychological Society has said the notion that pupils need to catch up on their learning is placing "huge and unnecessary pressure on children who have been through an extraordinary and potentially stressful time". BBC News.

According to a survey by the Office for National Statistics, 67 per cent of women have been homeschooling their children during the pandemic, compared to 52 per cent of men. By George Martin, iNews.

The Telegraph reports children's sport and physical activity will be prioritised as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions. By Jeremy Wilson and Ben Rumsby.

The Government has been urged to prioritise the reopening of pools, amid concerns that disruption to children's swimming lessons could lead to increase in deaths by drowning. By Jeremy Wilson, The Telegraph.

The Observer reports 19,562 under-18s with eating disorders were referred for NHS treatment in 2020, an increase of 46 per cent on the previous year. By Chaminda Jayanetti.

John Swinney, the education secretary for Scotland, has said it is "critical" that parents follow social distancing and mask-wearing requirements at the school gates when pupils return to class. By Neil Pooran, The Times.

Jason Leitch, Scotland's national clinical director, has written to parents saying children who are returning to Scottish classrooms from today must not mix with others outside of school. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times.

Exams 2021: Teachers could use "mini-exams" to inform grading decisions


The Times reports GCSE and A-level pupils could be asked to sit "mini-exams" marked by their teachers. By Emma Yeomans and Oliver Wright.

According to a Tes survey, just 8 per cent of teachers in England are confident that plans for this year's GCSEs and A-levels will produce fair results for all. By Catherine Lough.

'State schools can learn a lot from independent schools about Oxbridge admissions'

Higher education

Will Yates, deputy raising standards leader (sixth form) at Barnhill Community High School, outlines five things state schools can learn from independent schools about preparing pupils for Oxbridge applications. Tes.

'We need to encourage more young women to pursue careers in science'

Teaching and learning

Amber Rudd, a former home secretary, writes in The Times arguing more girls should be encouraged to pursue STEM careers to ensure they are not "locked out of the new economy" after the pandemic.

Is your school involved in a partnership project designed to encourage young girls to get involved in STEM subjects? If you would like to write a blog on this topic, email emily.roberts@isc.co.uk for further details.

Number of independent schools bought by Chinese investors 'expected to rise'

Independent sector

The Mail on Sunday reports on concerns over the implications of a potential rise in the number of struggling independent schools taken over by Chinese investors. By Jake Ryan, Glen Owen and Jonathan Bucks.

'Sport should be the third most important subject on the curriculum'

Teaching and learning

Gary Lineker, the broadcaster and former footballer, has suggested sport should be prioritised in the curriculum after English and maths, arguing "PE has been long overlooked by government policy". By Camilla Tominey, The Telegraph.

More than 7 per cent of children have attempted suicide by the age of 17, survey finds

Child welfare

Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study show 7.4 per cent of British children have attempted to end their lives by the age of 17. By Kat Lay, The Times.

The Sunday Times' Scottish Independent Schools Review

Independent sector

A number of independent schools are featured in The Sunday Times' Scottish Independent Schools Review. Articles explore how pupils are staying positive during lockdown, efforts to bridge the COVID-19 learning gap, the rise of virtual extracurricular activities and preparing for online university interviews. By Gabriella Bennett.

Search archive