When the Covid-19 crisis finally ends, UK schools must never return to normal | Education

From goodness knows where, in the last few weeks school and college leaders have pulled out all the stops. Despite 10 years of real-term funding cuts and ongoing fears of redundancies, the education profession has risen to the Covid-19 challenge. From nursery schools to further education colleges, colleagues have entrenched themselves in their communities, caring for the children of key workers and those at risk of harm while becoming distributors of food and providers of essential social care services. Hundreds…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.…

Read More

‘A weird time’: students tell of a future snatched away | Education

It might seem like a holiday for some, but the school closures, cancelled exams and university shutdowns are wreaking havoc with many students’ lives. Sixth formers have lost the chance to improve their grades through last-minute revision, and university students have been left hanging, unable to sit their final exams, say goodbye to friends, or invite their families to graduation ceremonies. Students from different stages in their education tell how their plans for the future are being shaped by the…

Read More

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,…

Read More

Councillor’s ‘oven-ready’ scheme to force private schools to pay their bit | Education

When councillor Libby Lisgo visits one of the most deprived estates in Taunton, in her ward of Priorswood, she can see the fence of Taunton school, one of the area’s famous independent schools. “While we are struggling to raise funds to take local residents on rare day trips, I can see a fleet of minibuses on the other side of that fence, sitting idle,” she says. “And I can’t help thinking: ‘Gosh, if only we could access those from time…

Read More

Christine Mayhew obituary | Education

My friend Christine Mayhew, who has died aged 77, made a success of three careers across her working life – as a midwife, sociology lecturer and counsellor. Each of them she pursued in Harlow in Essex, a town to which she had moved as a young woman in the 1960s and to which she made a great contribution over subsequent years. Christine was born in Newton-Le-Willows in Lancashire to Wilfred Conway, a railway fitter, and his wife, Eleanor (nee Parson),…

Read More

‘I am deeply scared for so many children’: diary of a headteacher in lockdown | Education

This is my tenth year as a headteacher, mostly in challenging schools, and I have seen a lot of things. Staff and student deaths. Fires, floods, students with weapons. I’ve had threats from the English Defence League. But there have always been support teams behind me with advice. This crisis is different. In the past week we have had to tell distraught and fearful year 11 and year 13 students that there will be no exams this summer – without…

Read More

Schools asked to donate science goggles for NHS to use as face shields | Education

Schools across England are being asked to donate science goggles and other apparatus to the NHS due to a shortage of protective equipment for doctors dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. The Guardian has heard from a number of schools and teachers who are responding to urgent messages from NHS trusts that need face shields as they deal with a growing number of cases. NHS England and the government have made a major effort since the weekend to address concerns about…

Read More

Testing times for students: food banks open at universities | Education

Gemma Peacock has little money left over after she has paid her rent. She worked all summer to save up funds to supplement her university maintenance loan, but near the end of term she has a battle to make ends meet. “It can be stressful,” says Peacock, a 20-year-old psychology student at Leeds Beckett University. “If I’m struggling I will walk every day instead of paying for the bus, and some days I have to walk for over two hours…

Read More

‘I’m full of dread’: Doctors, nurses and cleaners on risking their lives for their job | World news

The accident and emergency doctor Gus Khan, Greater LondonI have been treating coronavirus patients for the past month. A few weeks ago, when we were seeing the odd patient who had come back from China or Italy, we were being very cautious. We put on aprons and gowns and took all the right precautions. Then all of a sudden that stopped. We have been given flimsy aprons and were told surgical masks were OK rather than the N95 masks we…

Read More

Teachers: how has the first day of school general closures gone? | Education

Only the children of those considered key workers by the British government are now attending schools after general closures began on Monday because of the coronavirus. The majority of children will remain at home after the UK became the latest country to close its schools for the foreseeable future, with all exams cancelled, in the first countrywide school shutdown in modern British history. But children still need to be educated, entertained and reassured. Share your experiences Are you a teacher…

Read More

Covid-19 reveals the alarming truth that many children can’t wash their hands at school | Laura McInerney | Education

Global crises often bring surprises for schools. The first world war flagged up the high number of young soldiers who couldn’t read or write. In the second world war, middle-class country families despaired when evacuated children showed up malnourished and riven with lice. In the aftermath of both, politicians determined to make life better: focusing schools more on literacy and introducing daily milk and school nurses. Pandemics, like wars, temporarily change our way of life. Change happens fast. Schools may…

Read More

The Guardian view on life without school: not a level playing field | Opinion

What was, just a few days ago, the object of excited speculation among British children has become a reality. Schools are shut. For an unspecified period, learning will take place at home, except for a minority of pupils who are deemed to be vulnerable, or whose parents are key workers. Closing schools was a necessary step that should have been taken sooner, as it was in other countries. But the change in our national life that will begin on Monday…

Read More

The expert in social mobility who says education cannot make it happen | Education

‘I want to see social mobility rising once again,” said prime minister Tony Blair in 2004. “We can unleash the biggest wave of social mobility since the second world war,” said prime minister Gordon Brown in 2010. “I want to see a more socially mobile Britain,” said David Cameron in 2013. “I want Britain to be the world’s great meritocracy,” said Theresa May in 2016. The politicians’ message has been consistent. But so too has been the message from Britain’s…

Read More