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…

Read More

Since when did teacher-shaming become Britain’s national sport? | Shami Chakrabarti | Opinion

Ever since Boris Johnson announced that he wanted England’s schools to reopen at the start of June – just over two weeks away – the government has been on a collision course with teachers. In deciding to bring back reception and year 1 children first, aged just four to six years, he has chosen the group of pupils who will find social distancing most difficult. Of course, after seven weeks of lockdown, it’s understandable that Britain needs a roadmap to…

Read More

Office life is not over – but the way we work must surely change | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion

“Don’t bother coming back to the office.” It’s the kind of message everyone dreads receiving, but for Twitter’s employees it was benign. The tech company announced this week that home-working arrangements made for the pandemic would stay for good: nobody need ever commute in again, unless they particularly wanted to. In Britain, the telecoms giant BT also declared that staff could choose whether to come back to call centres or just carry on from home. The idea that office life…

Read More

Unions warn of ‘lack of understanding’ over English school reopenings | Education

A coalition of nine unions representing hundreds of thousands of teachers, school leaders and support staff have accused the government of a “lack of understanding” about the dangers of coronavirus spreading within schools and to the wider community. In a joint statement they called on ministers to step back from plans for a phased reopening schools in England beginning on 1 June and said classrooms of four- and five-year-olds could become sources of Covid-19 transmission. However, the education secretary, Gavin…

Read More

Opening schools could fuel coronavirus spread, DfE adviser admits | Schools

Reopening primary schools in England from the start of next month could fuel the spread of coronavirus, one of the government’s scientific advisers has admitted. Osama Rahman, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Education (DfE), appeared to undermine the government’s case for reopening schools when he gave evidence to the Commons science and technology committee on Wednesday. Questioned by MPs, he admitted that a wider reopening of schools could bring together “hundreds of potential vectors” that could lead to…

Read More

Unions tell staff ‘not to engage’ with plan for 1 June school openings | Education

Government plans to reopen schools in England face a mounting backlash from education unions, who say the proposals are not feasible and have advised teachers and support staff not to “engage with” preparations for a 1 June return. The Department for Education (DfE) wants children back in primary schools in a phased reopening starting next month, with class sizes limited to 15 and a staggered timetable to limit the number of pupils and risk of transmission. The education secretary, Gavin…

Read More

Headteachers raise concerns over reopening of English primaries | Education

Primary school headteachers in England have expressed concern at the government’s announcement on schools reopening next month, warning that it is too soon, it covers the wrong year groups and that many parents will elect to keep their children at home. Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that pupils in reception, year one and year six would begin a phased return to primary schools from 1 June, to be followed soon after by the rest of primary years. The government hopes…

Read More

Most UK pupils unlikely to return until new school year | Education

Boris Johnson has said he wants to press ahead with a rapid reopening of primary schools in England on 1 June while older pupils remain at home, despite safety concerns from parents, school leaders and unions. The announcement would mean that school will remain shut to the majority of children for the remainder of the school year, with most secondary school pupils in England and most pupils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland unlikely to return before the end of…

Read More

The Internet is NOT the Best Place for Kids to Learn After the Coronavirus Pandemic – Education Article

 If the Coronavirus quarantine has taught educators one thing, it’s this.   Online learning is not better than in-person schooling.   After all these years of corporations throwing apps at us and well-meaning administrators providing us with devices and philanthrocapitalists pumping billions of dollars into ed tech first academic schemes, we can all see now that the emperor has no clothes.   When schools nationwide are closed to stop the spread of a global pandemic and learning is restricted to…

Read More

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…

Read More

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)…

Read More

Families sue UK government over ‘little or no education’ for their children | Education

Four families who say their children have received “little or no” education since schools in England were closed to most pupils have started legal action against the government. Lawyers acting for the families say their intention is to sue the government over its failure to ensure access to the online learning that has largely replaced classroom teaching since March, because the four are unable to afford laptops or internet connections. Clare Jennings, a solicitor at the law firm Matthew Gold,…

Read More

Government refuses multi-billion pound bailout for universities | Education

Universities’ hopes of a long-term government bailout in England have been dashed, though £2.6bn in tuition fees will be paid early and ministers pledged to allow full fees to be charged even if students were unable to return to lecture theatres. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said institutions could continue to charge the full £9,250 annual tuition fee for undergraduates while campuses remained closed and face-to-face classes were suspended as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as long high standards…

Read More

Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy – Education Article

 Mike Turzai says he’s furious with Pedro Rivera.   Why is the highest ranking Republican in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives so angry with the state Secretary of Education?   Rivera said the Commonwealth’s public schools, which have been closed since mid March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, would not reopen until it was safe to do so.   If that means schools don’t reopen on time in the Fall, so be it.   Specifically, on Wednesday, Rivera said:   “At…

Read More

‘The human stuff matters’: heads call for a kinder school system post Covid-19 | Education

Schools closed, exams cancelled, a halt to Ofsted inspections and performance tables. Even the weirdest misfit futurologist employed by the prime minister’s adviser, Dominic Cummings, couldn’t have envisaged that, 10 years on from the start of the coalition government, the UK would be locked down with a partially functioning school system. Normal politics seems a distant memory. It could be 100 years, rather than 10, since Michael Gove, now a minister at the heart of the Covid-19 battle, was trumpeting…

Read More

Revealed: year six primary school pupils may return on 1 June | Education

Government scientific advisers are examining the impact of letting children in their final year of primary school return to classrooms from 1 June, the Guardian has learned. Boris Johnson is due to announce next Sunday that year six children, aged 10 and 11, will be the first cohort allowed back into schools since he announced their closure on 18 March, to be closely followed by years 10 and 12. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is said to be…

Read More