Education Policy

English schools to get £1bn to help pupils catch up after lockdown | Education

The government is to give an extra £650m to schools in England to help pupils catch up on teaching missed during the coronavirus lockdown since March, as part of a £1bn package. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, will announce the funding on Friday, which will also include a separate £350m in subsidies for a one-year national tutoring programme – as revealed by the Guardian – to help the most disadvantaged children in their education by offering low-cost tuition for schools…

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Ofsted chief calls for a more can-do approach to primaries reopening | Education

The chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, has expressed her disappointment that primary schools will not be reopening before the summer, amid continuing concern about the government’s failure to prioritise children’s education in the coronavirus crisis. The head of Ofsted said she was saddened that people are “perhaps more frightened than they actually need to be” and called for as much preparation to be done for September reopening as possible before the summer holidays, which start next next month. Giving…

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School reopening plans in tatters as only 25% of pupils in England return | Education

Only one in four children returned to schools in England last week, wrecking Boris Johnson’s ambitions for a phased reopening of schools to allow parents back to work to boost the economy. According to official statistics published by the government, just over half of primary schools in England reopened to more pupils last week. Only a quarter of pupils who were eligible to return from 1 June, the first week that schools in England began admitting more children in reception,…

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Plans to reopen English primary schools before summer in disarray | Education

Plans to push ahead with reopening schools in England are in disarray, after the government admitted that not all primary school pupils will be able to return to the classroom before the end of summer. Boris Johnson last month said his aim was “to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages,” as he announced the opening of primary schools to pupils in reception, year one and year six from 1 June. But government sources now acknowledge that – with…

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Calls grow for black history to be taught to all English school pupils | Education

Pressure is mounting on the government to review the national curriculum and make the teaching of black history mandatory for all pupils in schools in England. Campaigners are collecting signatures for an open letter to be sent this week to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, calling on him to make the teaching of black history compulsory in primary and secondary school and across a range of different subject areas. The campaign, led by a group called the Black Curriculum, has attracted…

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Outcry over decision to end free school meals voucher scheme in July | Education

Campaigners have threatened to take the government to court over its decision not to extend its free school meals voucher system for low-income families over the summer holiday period. The national voucher scheme, which is worth £15 a week to recipients, was introduced in March to help poorer families feed their children when schools were closed under lockdown measures. But ministers announced on Thursday that it would not run during the summer holidays, adding that the government had “always been…

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England school reopening stalls as Welsh pupils set for late June return | Education

The scale of the reopening of primary schools in England appears to have fallen far short of ministers’ expectations, with more than two in five schools failing to admit more pupils, according to the UK’s biggest education union. A poll of members of the National Education Union (NEU) found 44% of schools did not admit more pupils in any of the year groups chosen by the government to be the first to return from 1 June as part of a…

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Decade of progress in tackling pupil disadvantage ‘wiped out’ | Education

Nearly 10 years of progress in narrowing the attainment gap in England between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates has probably been “wiped in a few months” due to the coronavirus pandemic, a study has found. Analysis by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) charity said the closure of schools to most pupils 10 weeks ago was likely to reverse all progress made to close the gap since 2011. Responding to the findings, Russell Hobby, the chief executive of Teach First, a…

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Home school in Dagenham: three children, no tablet, no computer | Education

When Kelly Rivers left school at 15 she never dreamt she would one day be thrown into the role of teacher to three of her six children, and with no access to a computer, tablet or printer. But that is the challenge she has been facing under lockdown – and she has been finding it tough. “I have to message a friend whose child goes to the same school and ask what their children have been asked to do,” she…

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The vision for a national Open School is a good one. The BBC is ready to make it happen | Tony Hall | Education

The Covid-19 crisis has transformed all our lives in ways we could barely have imagined just a few weeks ago. In so many areas, we will be desperate to go back to “normal life” as soon as safely possible. But in others, however, what we have learned in this crisis will – and should – reshape our thinking for ever. Educating the nation’s children is one of those areas. All of us have had to adapt to play our part…

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School Custodians Are Essential Frontline Workers For Our Students – Education Article

School custodian Juan Ramos Juan Ramos has been a school custodian and union member for nearly 30 years. His father was a custodian before him, and Ramos spent summers helping his dad starting out when he was just fourteen-year-old. With that much experience under his utility belt, Ramos definitely has the know-how to protect students and educators from coronavirus, but only if he and his colleagues have the equipment and staff-power necessary to fight the deadly virus. “Custodians are on…

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‘Rich, thick kids’ achieve much more than poor clever ones, says Gove | Academies

Inequality in Britain is so entrenched that “rich, thick kids” achieve more than their “poor, clever” peers even before they start school, the education secretary said today. Michael Gove told MPs on the cross-party Commons education committee that a “yawning gap” had formed between the attainment of poor children and their richer peers. Gove has come under criticism for using parliamentary procedures usually reserved for national emergencies to rush through his academies bill. The bill, which became law today, will…

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Let the Pandemic be the Mother of Innovation in Schools – Education Article

The school year is winding down and the states are opening up. Some people are wondering how this summer is going to shape up. Will we be traveling? Having backyard barbecues? Going to the beach? Will we see a resurgence of COVID 19? Educators (and parents), however, are looking toward the fall. Will schools reopen? Will we be teaching remotely again? Will there be a mixture of the two?  I assert that we must not return to the same educational…

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Poll reveals half of parents unconvinced that school is safe for their children’s return | Education

Parents are divided over the prospect of sending their children back to school, a new poll has revealed, as parent groups warned that mixed messages and poor communication had caused widespread anxiety about returning. With school leaders still grappling with the practicalities of reopening primary schools for some year groups in just a week’s time in England, an Opinium poll for the Observer found that 43 per cent of primary school parents and 54 per cent of secondary school parents…

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Thousands of A-level students could lose their unconditional university offers | Education

Thousands of A-level students could have their unconditional university offers withdrawn this summer, as ministers and the higher education regulator try to crack down on panic offers made during the pandemic. Sources at Westminster say the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, is determined to constrain universities, after private government data showed that 30,000 offers that had been dependent on A-level grades were suddenly switched to “unconditional” when the pandemic struck in March. The competition to recruit UK students will be more…

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Ministers rejected school reopening plan recommended by Sage experts | Education

School leaders said the government’s publication of scientific advice failed to make a convincing case for the early reopening of schools in England, as the government’s chief scientific adviser said an effective testing and tracking system was necessary for more pupils to return to the classroom. After pressure from teaching unions, the government published 12 documents presented to its Sage committee of scientific advisers looking at the effect of coronavirus on children and how schools could safely reopen to more…

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