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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 30 November 2021

Coronavirus: JCVI recommends children aged 12-15 should be invited for second jab

General education

Booster jabs will be offered to all over 18s and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that children aged 12-15 should be invited for a second jab. By Alex Kleiderman and Jen Meierhans, BBC News.

School leaders have raised concerns that the Omicron COVID variant could push learning back online. Julie McCulloch, from the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said that managing remote learning for groups self-isolating as well as teaching students in school will become "unsustainable and may necessitate moving year groups to remote education for short periods of time". By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

The education secretary has said that he would not support the return of learning bubbles or school closures yet, adding that "the best place for children to be is in a classroom, learning”. By Emma Yeomans, The Times.

June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has said it is “very likely” that an assessment of whether to approve the Pfizer jab for children as young as five would be concluded before Christmas. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Nadhim Zahawi has said that school nativity plays should go ahead despite concerns over the Omicron COVID variant. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Tes outlines the major changes in the Government's latest guidance for schools. By Dan Worth.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland’s education secretary, has said that schools should relax uniform policies to allow pupils to stay warm if classroom windows and doors need to be opened for ventilation. By Tom Eden, The Times.

Bridget Phillipson appointed shadow education secretary

Education policy

In a Labour Party shadow cabinet reshuffle, Bridget Phillipson has been appointed shadow education secretary. By John Dickens, Schools Week.

Parents want personalised information about their child’s learning, report finds

General education

A report from Firefly Learning, an online platform for school engagement, has found that parents want schools to give them more personalised information about their child’s learning. Jo Mason, head of communications at South Hampstead High School, said: "The challenge of communication in general is to provide information that’s timely and relevant, and not to overwhelm already busy parents."

'Introduce one universal definition of international mindedness in order to improve international education'

Independent sector

A report from ISC Research has suggested that there should be one universal definition of international mindedness in order to improve international education. The report said 'the voices of international school students and alumni should be heard and valued by the entire international education sector when identifying improvements to international education'. By Jo Golding, Independent Education Today.

45 per cent of parents asked to contribute to school funds in the past year, survey finds


A survey from the charity Parentkind has found that in the past year 45 per cent of parents were asked to contribute to school funds, with 38 per cent doing so. The report also found that more than half of parents said they were concerned that financial pressures at school were harming their children’s education. By Emma Yeomans, The Times.

Cuts to education spending have hit the most deprived schools hardest, analysis reveals


According to an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, cuts to education spending in England over the last decade are “effectively without precedent in postwar UK history” and have hit the most deprived schools hardest. By Sally Weale, The Guardian.

Inspections: Ofsted confirms school inspections will go ahead despite Omicron variant


Ofsted has confirmed that school inspections will go ahead as normal despite the discovery of the new Omicron COVID variant. An Ofsted spokesperson said: “Currently our inspections are carrying on as usual and in line with public health guidance." By James Carr, Schools Week.

In letters to The Guardian, headteachers share pressures caused by Ofsted inspections. Rachel Hornsey, head of Sutton Courtenay C of E primary school, claims "Ofsted is forcing talented leaders and their teams into chronic stress".

"The ukulele is more likely to oust the guitar from early instrumental tuition than the recorder"

General education

Graham Wade, former head of guitar teaching at Leeds College of Music, has said the popularity of the ukulele is not only a threat to the number of schoolchildren learning to play the recorder but also warns that classical guitar playing could see a decline in interest. By Emma Yeomans, The Times.

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