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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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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‘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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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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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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New UK teachers’ union chief: ‘Institutional racism in schools has got to be addressed’ | Education

As the son of immigrant workers new to the UK, and growing up in the West Midlands, Patrick Roach never imagined he would one day be a trade union leader on first-name terms with government ministers. His parents, however, who arrived from Jamaica in the 1960s, believed in the power of education to change lives and were ambitious for him. So the new general secretary of the NASUWT, the 300,000-member teachers’ union, who took up his post in April, went…

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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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Universities face £460m loss from expected drop in east Asian students | International students

UK universities have been told to expect a sharp fall in the number of new international students coming next year, including a loss of up to £460m in income from students from east Asia. A new survey of international students by the British Council has found that nearly 14,000 fewer students from eight countries – including China, Singapore and Malaysia – are likely to come to the UK in 2020/21 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The decline of…

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Oxford students to get anti-bias training after George Floyd ‘joke’ at hustings | University of Oxford

An Oxford college has ordered staff and students to undergo training to combat racial bias after an undergraduate made a “joke” drawing a comparison between protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and flour shortages. The comments, described as racist and trivialising by witnesses, were made during a virtual hustings event by a candidate for the position of “cake rep” – a welfare position on the junior common room committee at Christ Church college. The student, who has…

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