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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UK language students prepare for virtual year abroad in their bedrooms | Higher education

What is a virtual year abroad – and is there any point in it? That is the question Reece Jack, of Troon, South Ayrshire, is asking, along with thousands of other languages students whose year abroad has been cancelled or is in doubt. Jack, a second-year student of business and French at Strathclyde University, thinks the idea of shared “virtual year abroad” resources across universities, being offered as a partial replacement for the real experience, is “delusional”. “Students will not…

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Headteachers berate non-stop guidance changes for England’s schools | Education

At Huntington secondary school in York this week, the headteacher, John Tomsett, thought he was just about ready for the return of year 10s. He’d spent £20,000 making the school Covid-19 secure for the wider reopening, buying 16 mobile handwashing units and 15 extra walkie-talkies to ease a complex one-in-one-out toilet system. Paul Mussell, the school premises manager, was about to be dispatched to an industrial estate in Keighley to buy up Yorkshire’s remaining supply of hazard tape to mark…

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Act now to minimise the damage to education | Letter | Education

Following the decision to slow down the return to school for most pupils, it is time for the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, and the government to admit to the critical nature of the situation and embark on a national campaign to be ready for the start of the new school year in September (Boris Johnson urged to set out recovery plan for schools in England, 9 June). I am a governor of a primary school and from the start, as…

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Blam! Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger to teach British pupils about money | Business

Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids could soon be teaching primary children how to manage their pocket money, thanks to an educational tie-up involving the Bank of England and Beano comics. A 12-lesson course on financial literacy, called Money and Me, will be introduced to English, Scottish and Welsh school curriculums from July, teaching children between the ages of five and 11 the basics of money and how the economy works. The lessons, a collaboration between the Beano,…

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Disillusioned black Oxford students unwilling to help attract others | Education

Some black students at Oxford University say they are so disillusioned by its failure to tackle racism that they no longer feel comfortable working on outreach programmes to attract others to follow in their footsteps, a leading BAME society has said. The Oxford African and Caribbean Society (ACS), the university’s main group representing black students, said it remained committed to widening access, but more needed to be done to foster an inclusive and anti-racist environment. “I cannot in good conscience…

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Reopening schools: what is happening in England? | Education

What is the latest on primary schools reopening in England? The government has done a U-turn. It began a phased reopening of schools in England last week, with primary schools opening to children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June, after all schools were closed from 23 March to curb the spread of coronavirus. Boris Johnson’s goal, however, was that all primary school children in England should be back in class for a month before the…

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‘I don’t feel I can say no’: parents torn on sending children back to school | Schools

A fter the government’s U-turn over the full reopening of schools before September in England, parents remain divided about whether to send their children back. The Guardian spoke to some parents about their decision. ‘Obviously there is a worry, but he wants to go’ My son is supposed to be sitting his A-levels next year. I’ve got a friend whose son is at private school, and our children don’t get nearly the same experience. There are subject areas where we…

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If universities struggle financially, BAME academics will lose their jobs first | Winston Morgan | Education

One of universities’ chief successes over the past 20 years has been the increase in black, Asian and minority ethnic students (BAME) enrolling. Yet with university budgets tightening as a result of projected declines in student numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a risk this progress could be reversed. The same structural racism which has generated the inequalities that have resulted in the disproportionate number of BAME people suffering and dying from the impact of Covid-19 are at…

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‘I can’t afford my student housing during lockdown, so I’m striking’ | Education

I was working in a pub before the coronavirus outbreak, which was enough to cover my rent at Dinwiddy House in King’s Cross during my first year studying social anthropology at Soas University of London. I was also getting some money from my family back in Poland, to help with food and other basics. But I was put on furlough when the coronavirus lockdown started at the end of March, and I returned home. I rented from the student housing…

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‘White guilt on its own won’t fix racism’: decolonising Britain’s schools | Education

The medley of jubilant black, brown and white faces cheering the destruction of Edward Colston’s statue has had many rethinking. Discussing even. Britain, a nation not keen on making much of a fuss, is having to talk about slavery. For too long we would rather have dunked our digestives into mugs of tea and not bothered with dredging up our past. But what if we had all learned at school that the history of our great British brew is inseparable…

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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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Ex-Ofsted chief: failure to plan for reopening of schools is ‘astonishing’ | Education

The government’s failure to plan to get children back to school safely is “absolutely astonishing” and must be remedied before September, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector of schools in England, has said. Wilshaw, who led Ofsted from 2012 until 2016, said schools will need to put in place recovery programmes, appeal to teachers to run catch-up classes over the summer and even allow some of the most affected to repeat their school year. The government has been criticised…

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Schools angered by holiday firm’s failure to refund cancelled trips | Education

An adventure holiday firm is facing a furious backlash and the threat of a boycott for failing to refund thousands of cancelled school trips. Teachers, parents and those representing education providers have lined up in recent days to condemn PGL, which has provided a host of school trips both in the UK and abroad since 1957. But with overnight stays and all foreign travel banned in the UK, and many schools still closed to large numbers of pupils, all trips…

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UK universities suffer worst-ever rankings in world league table | Education

A triple threat of Brexit, tightening budgets and unchecked expansion has seen the rankings of UK universities in an international league table slump for the fourth year in a row. Nearly three-quarters of the country’s universities slipped down the rankings in the UK’s worst-ever performance in the table compiled by data and research group QS.  Imperial College London climbed one spot to reach eighth, making it the only UK university in the top 20 to improve. Oxford University slipped from…

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Boris Johnson urged to set out recovery plan for schools in England | Education

Boris Johnson needs an urgent national plan to get all pupils back to school in England from September, with an army of support staff, the requisitioning of public buildings and extra help for disadvantaged students, unions and cross-party MPs have said. As the government admitted that most primary pupils in England would not get back to the classroom before summer, ministers were urged to set out a comprehensive strategy or risk an “epidemic of educational poverty”. Gavin Williamson, the education…

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