Health

Plans to reopen English schools ‘fail to address risk to BAME staff’ | Education

A leading teaching union has warned the prime minister that plans to reopen schools more widely next month fail to address that coronavirus poses a greater risk to black and minority ethnic pupils and staff. Patrick Roach, the general secretary of the NASUWT, called on Boris Johnson to ensure that the government’s approach to reopening state education will address the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME people. In his letter, the union leader requested urgent clarification from ministers that they…

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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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‘We’re being fobbed off’: why disabled students are losing out in lockdown | Education

When Harrie Larrington-Spencer was knocked off her bike at the end of the first year of her PhD, she was left with a brachial plexus injury. “My left arm and hand barely work and I have chronic pain,” she says. She knew her injury would affect many aspects of her life, but was surprised to learn just how hard it would be to do her university work as a disabled person. “No reasonable adjustment would make me not at a…

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How student anxiety evolved: from nuclear war to sexual violence | Higher education

As a first-year maths student at the University of Manchester in 2014, Josh Fogg went through a mental health crisis. “I was having a really bad case of depression and anxiety,” Fogg says. One night, when things came to a head, Fogg remembered a card from a friend with a phone number on it. “I’d not really thought much about it, but the number was on the back of our student cards and I gave them a ring.” That call…

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When will UK schools reopen – and how will they keep children safe? | Education

In just over a fortnight, the first pupils in England should start returning to school for the first time since 20 March. But a lot remains unclear. Who will be be returning first and when? According to a plan for English schools unveiled by Boris Johnson, from 1 June primary schools will bring back reception, year one and year six classes, as well as nursery children, if they have them. Also, nurseries and other early years providers would open. In…

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Teaching unions vow to work towards reopening English schools | Education

Teaching unions say they are willing to work with the government to begin reopening schools in England as long as it can be done safely, amid concerns about a renewed coronavirus outbreak. The debate over Boris Johnson’s decision to return some primary pupils to classrooms on 1 June has grown increasingly acrimonious after the British Medical Association (BMA) backed teaching unions who said the government was moving too quickly. Pressure on the unions increased after the children’s commissioner for England…

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England plans to send the wrong children back to school at the wrong time | Laura McInerney | Education

We have built a world where parents need the childcare provided by the school system. In some families parents are working at night, or rising at 5am to sustain a struggling business before their children wake up. They may more urgently feel the need for schools to reopen than those who can happily juggle a few hours of homeschooling with working from home. But think about what primary teachers are facing with the prospect of suddenly going back to school…

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Prolonged school closures risk damaging children’s education, No 10 warns | Schools

Downing Street has warned of the risks to children’s education of prolonging school closures, as the government doubles down on plans for a phased reopening from 1 June. Education unions have reacted angrily to the plan, which would see reception and years 1 and 6 return first, calling it “reckless”, and warning that schools have not been given enough time to prepare. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, wrote in the Daily Mail that teachers should be ready to “do their…

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It’s time to junk the junk food | Education

School meals are a scandal. Discuss. Actually, let’s not, because nearly everyone now agrees that they are, even the private catering contractors who provide so many of them. Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners series on Channel 4 has touched a national nerve in the past two weeks because when he says we are feeding our children “scrotum-burger shite” and making them ill, we know it’s true. Every viewer seems to have their own worst moment from Oliver’s series. For some it…

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UK councils to enforce temporary road closures for safer school runs | Education

Roads are to be temporarily closed near schools when parents drop off and pick up their children, in order to deter people from driving on the school run – and to encourage more walking, cycling and scooting. The plans to shut off roads at school rush hours, using barriers, cones and other measures, are already far advanced in London and Manchester and are expected to be followed in other cities and towns. Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, told…

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Prioritise play when schools reopen, say mental health experts | Education

Child mental health experts have urged the government to prioritise children’s play and socialising with friends over formal lessons and academic progress when schools in England reopen and lockdown restrictions are eased. They say they are “extremely concerned” about the impact of the lockdown and more than six weeks without face-to-face play with peers on child mental health. They are calling on ministers to ensure that play is at the top of newly permitted activities. The UK government has said…

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Dana Milbank: Our “Wartime” President Declares Victory After Two Months and Gives Up – Education Article

During the Vietnam War, some critics used to say, “Why don’t we just declare victory and go home.” That’s what Trump is doing after declaring himself a “wartime president.” Two months of battle was enough for him. Dana Milbank writes that the United States has decided to abandon the war on COVID-19. Now is the spring of our disgrace. Around the world, countries are winning the battle against the coronavirus and beginning a responsible return to work, school and leisure,…

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Not yet safe for UK schools to reopen amid coronavirus crisis, unions warn | Education

Schools must not reopen until a UK-wide “test, trace and isolate” scheme is under way and families believe it is safe for children to return to the classroom, a coalition of unions representing school leaders and staff has told the government. The joint statement by the Trades Union Congress says there should be “no increase in pupil numbers until full rollout of a national test and trace scheme”. It calls for funds to provide staff with personal protective equipment (PPE)…

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Many key workers fear pay falling below Home Office income requirement | UK news

More than 100,000 NHS staff in England, about half the women working as full-time carers, and 25% of the teaching force are putting their lives at risk during the crisis despite not earning enough to have the right to a family life in the UK, a report has found. The same immigration rule on income requirements also means that many key workers feel forced to work in dangerous conditions for fear of losing their jobs, which would cause their income…

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To thank our key workers, the government should write off their student loans | Rama Thirunamachandran | Education

Since the Covid-19 crisis erupted, universities have supplied equipment, research expertise, training and, by releasing our healthcare students into the workforce early, even NHS workers. Universities have supported the national effort, but now they need a funding boost to help rebuild Britain through strong public services. This crisis has thrown a spotlight on our vital public service workers – particularly those in medicine, nursing, teaching, the allied health professions and social work. Caught up in an emergency almost too large…

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AFT Releases Guidelines to Reopen Schools – Education Article

For Immediate ReleaseApril 29, 2020 Contact:Andrew Crook607-280-6603acrook@aft.orghttp://www.aft.org AFT Launches Landmark Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities Union issues blueprint for imagining a new normal for public education, public healthand our economy in the age of COVID-19 WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers has released a detailed road map that, in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, charts a path to safely and responsibly reopen school buildings and other institutions crucial to the well-being and economic vitality of our communities.…

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