Education Policy

School closures have little impact on spread of coronavirus – study | Education

School closures are likely to have a relatively small impact on the spread of Covid-19 and should be weighed against their profound economic and social consequences, particularly for the most vulnerable children, according to a UK study. The research, led by University College London (UCL), is the first to look at evidence behind many governments’ decision to shut schools and keep pupils at home. According to the UN’s education body, Unesco, more than 90% of the world’s pupils have been…

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UK councils face lawsuits over access to education in lockdown | Education

The UK government must ensure pupils from poor backgrounds have computers and internet connections during the coronavirus lockdown or face legal action for depriving children of their education, according to a group of legal activists. The Good Law Project argues that the widespread reliance on online learning during the lockdown is illegally disadvantaging state school pupils who lack access to tablets, laptops or adequate broadband. It says it will sue local authorities to try to push the government into action.…

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Council leaders call for funding for free school meals over Easter | Education

City leaders have said some of England’s most vulnerable children could go hungry over the Easter holidays because the UK government is refusing to fund free meals. Councils have been told they can continue to provide free school meals during the break if they want to but will have to find the money themselves. The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, and the leaders of Birmingham and Leeds city councils, Ian Ward and Judith Blake, have written to the education secretary,…

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COVID-19 Stimulus Package Helps Students and Educators – Education Article

America’s public schools are the economic engines of tens of thousands of communities across the country, providing not only quality education for students, but also jobs and community-sustaining economic benefits for millions of professionals. As lawmakers pressed forward in drafting a stimulus package to address the COVID-19 crisis, it was clear they heard educators’ warning that school closures forced by the epidemic could bring terrible consequences for students, families and local economies. Last night, the Senate by a 96-0 vote…

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Virtual Learning Through Quarantine Will Leave Poor and Disabled Students Behind – Education Article

    In the wake of the coronavirus crisis with most people self quarantined at home, schools across the country are shut down.   Some offer (or are considering offering) distance learning over the Internet.   However, this poses problems.   Not all student services can be provided via computer.   And not all students even have a computer, online compatible device or Internet access.   Should our nation’s public schools soldier on anyway and provide some kind of learning…

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Parents-Turned-Homeschoolers Agree: Teachers Are Amazing! – Education Article

As parents everywhere in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak are trying to keep instruction going at home with their children, they’re realizing something: Teaching is very hard work! Though it comes as no surprise to educators, it feels good to be acknowledged by so many, even in these dire circumstances. It’s been a stressful time for everyone, so we thought we could lighten the mood a bit with a round-up of shout outs from the twittersphere that say it…

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School closures could wipe 3% from UK GDP, ministers warned | Education

School closures lasting four weeks could cut 3% from the UK’s GDP, costing the economy billions of pounds, according to research being considered by the government as it weighs up the benefits and risks of shutting down classrooms. Advisers at the Department for Education and No 10 are examining a range of options from complete closure of all schools and colleges in England, which would affect around 7 million children, to more nuanced policies. Measures being looked at include those…

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Lawmakers Get Serious About Teen Vaping, But Politics May Derail Progress – Education Article

Kentucky high school student Abby Hefner speaks to the press after the House of Representatives passed the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act on Feb. 28, 2020. Lauren Williams, a teacher in Paducah, Kentucky, said the epidemic of teen vaping at her school “just seemed to come out of nowhere.” Last year, Williams and her colleagues at McCracken High School conducted an informal survey of the student body and found that at least 50% of their students had used vaping…

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Before society can ‘level up’, the ruling Eton-Winchester clique needs levelling down | Fiona Millar | Education

It is hard to know what is most disheartening at this time of global insecurity: the prime minister’s lackadaisical insouciance, his showy advisers, smug ministers, or the invisible opposition? This week’s budget should root us back in the domestic arena, so I am going to add my own bete noire: the overused but underscrutinised phrase “levelling up”. We know more about what Dominic Cummings wears and reads than what he and the prime minister mean by it. In the recent…

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Quitting EU Erasmus scheme would ‘blow a hole’ in UK economy | Education

Quitting the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme would “blow a hole” in the UK’s economy, taking away income of £243m a year and depriving 17,000 British young people of valuable work experience, according to a group of education and business leaders. The group – including further education colleges and universities – is calling for the British government to make clear that continued Erasmus membership is a high priority in its talks with the EU. Britain’s membership of the EU-wide exchange…

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The true value of higher education | Letter | Education

Hot on the heels of a report by the rightwing thinktank Policy Exchange arguing that “universities have lost the trust of the nation” comes research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that says “One in five students would be financially better off if they skipped higher education” (Report, 29 February). Putting aside the IFS’s focus – and that of your article – on the fact that one-fifth of students don’t benefit financially from earning a degree, rather than on the…

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Heads and councils press for extra £5.5bn for ‘struggling’ schools | Education

An alliance of headteachers, school governors, councils and unions are to lobby the chancellor for a further £5.5bn a year to help schools in England to avoid financial difficulties and cuts. The coalition, involving almost every significant organisation involved in state schools – including the National Governors Association and a bipartisan group representing both Conservative and Labour-led councils – is writing to Rishi Sunak before next week’s budget seeking additional funds, with a focus on “woefully underfunded” provision for pupils…

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Radioactive Materials Close Ohio School for Nearly a Year – Education Article

It has been almost a year since Zahn’s Corner Middle School in Piketon, Ohio, abruptly shut its doors last May, soon after environmental tests showed the presence of enriched uranium on desks and other surfaces, and neptunium-237 in the air outside. Located about four miles downwind of a Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant, the school still sits empty as worried—and frustrated—parents and educators attempt to ensure their community’s safety. State officials haven’t been any help, they say, while federal Department…

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Back-door cuts to university places could provoke ‘clash of the classes’ | Education

Government plans to cap student numbers just as the UK faces an explosion in the number of 18-year-olds would be the “death knell” for social mobility, academic experts warn. More than half of young people are now going into higher education, but senior academics believe that with the Treasury anxious to rein in spiralling student loan debt, universities will face a cap on numbers by the back door, with the government cutting support for what it calls “low-quality” courses. Lee…

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‘It’s scandalous’: when free schools shut for want of a permanent home | Education

Louise Grace’s two children, aged 13 and 11, spent more than a week off school last term suffering from anxiety. Their school, the International Academy of Greenwich (IAG), is earmarked for closure and the worry of watching it happen – friends taking up places elsewhere, teachers leaving – is affecting both children badly, their mother says. “My daughter is so upset by it all: she is losing her friends and she is worried about going to a new school, with…

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Educators and Students Have Privatizers on the Run, Says Ravitch – Education Article

Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education in President George H.W. Bush’s administration and NEA Friend of Education in 2010, has written a new book that she wants every public school educator to read. In “Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools,” [Knopf: 2020] Ravitch explores how profit-minded billionaires like Sam Walton or Eli Broad—she calls them “disrupters,” never “reformers”—are behind large-scale efforts to squeeze public money out of public schools through…

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