School

‘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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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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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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Outcry over decision to end free school meals voucher scheme in July | Education

Campaigners have threatened to take the government to court over its decision not to extend its free school meals voucher system for low-income families over the summer holiday period. The national voucher scheme, which is worth £15 a week to recipients, was introduced in March to help poorer families feed their children when schools were closed under lockdown measures. But ministers announced on Thursday that it would not run during the summer holidays, adding that the government had “always been…

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Tell us about your young child’s experiences of going back to school | Education

After months at home during lockdown, many toddlers or early years children have returned to school in England. In Wales, schools reopen on 29 June and in Scotland teachers can return to prepare for the start of the new school year on 11 August. Having remained with family or carers for so long, and taught to avoid those outside their household, the return to school might be confusing for some young children. We’d like to hear from parents or carers about…

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From apple chips to pasta pots – how to pack a delicious school lunch box every day of the week | Education

After more than two months of shutdown, schools are starting to reopen their gates to children without key-worker parents. However, some schools have not yet reopened their kitchens. If you have made the choice to return your kids to school, it means it could be time to start thinking about lunchboxes. Perhaps you’re just a little rusty. Perhaps your children have always had school dinners and this will be their first taste of packed lunches. Either way, here’s a quick…

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‘There’s been a few tears’: England’s teachers on the return to school | Education

T here were nerves, excitement, laughter – and some tears – as children, who have been stuck at home since schools were closed as part of a national lockdown to contain the coronavirus, returned to their classrooms for the first time in 10 weeks. For staff, who have had to work flat out to adapt their schools and timetables to ensure safe social distancing in the Covid era, it was a happy – though anxious – moment to see children…

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England school reopening stalls as Welsh pupils set for late June return | Education

The scale of the reopening of primary schools in England appears to have fallen far short of ministers’ expectations, with more than two in five schools failing to admit more pupils, according to the UK’s biggest education union. A poll of members of the National Education Union (NEU) found 44% of schools did not admit more pupils in any of the year groups chosen by the government to be the first to return from 1 June as part of a…

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Coronavirus closes prep school attended by Boris Johnson | Education

A prep school once attended by Boris Johnson is to shut down as a result of the impact of the coronavirus. Ashdown House preparatory school in East Sussex, established 180 years ago, will close its doors at the end of the academic year after a ruinous downturn in pupil numbers. The independent schools sector in the UK has been severely affected by the coronavirus, which has seen many parents lose income and a significant drop in interest from overseas pupils. As a result,…

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Home school in Dagenham: three children, no tablet, no computer | Education

When Kelly Rivers left school at 15 she never dreamt she would one day be thrown into the role of teacher to three of her six children, and with no access to a computer, tablet or printer. But that is the challenge she has been facing under lockdown – and she has been finding it tough. “I have to message a friend whose child goes to the same school and ask what their children have been asked to do,” she…

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Thousands return to school in England but many parents still wary | Education

Thousands of children returned to schools across England for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, but many others remained at home because of parental concerns and warnings from some councils that it is still too early to reopen more widely. This week marks the start of the government’s phased reopening of schools in England, with pupils in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 returning to classes from 1 June, but a survey of school leaders…

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The vision for a national Open School is a good one. The BBC is ready to make it happen | Tony Hall | Education

The Covid-19 crisis has transformed all our lives in ways we could barely have imagined just a few weeks ago. In so many areas, we will be desperate to go back to “normal life” as soon as safely possible. But in others, however, what we have learned in this crisis will – and should – reshape our thinking for ever. Educating the nation’s children is one of those areas. All of us have had to adapt to play our part…

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TikTok and a shoulder to cry on: why pupils in Gloucestershire wish lockdown school would never end | Education

“We call it ‘strange school’,” says Caitlin, 15, slightly raising her voice across the the open space of the school hall where the pupils are carefully observing physical distancing. “Literally everything here is different now.” Since lockdown, Caitlin has been coming to school five days a week, as she is among those whose schooling is considered a priority. With three younger siblings at home, she has to take on “a lot of responsibility for helping out”. Even in normal times,…

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Poll reveals half of parents unconvinced that school is safe for their children’s return | Education

Parents are divided over the prospect of sending their children back to school, a new poll has revealed, as parent groups warned that mixed messages and poor communication had caused widespread anxiety about returning. With school leaders still grappling with the practicalities of reopening primary schools for some year groups in just a week’s time in England, an Opinium poll for the Observer found that 43 per cent of primary school parents and 54 per cent of secondary school parents…

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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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Distanced drop-offs and protective bubbles: England’s new school rules | Education

Going to school The journeyChildren in nursery, reception, year one and year six in primary schools in England, who are due to start a phased return to school from 1 June, will be asked to get to school by foot, bike or car, avoiding public transport as much as possible, accompanied by just one parent or carer. The drop-offThe new school day may start slightly earlier for some, because there will be a staggered drop-off time to avoid large numbers…

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