Teachers

Dear Gavin Williamson: teachers like me can no longer look to you for leadership | Gary Collins | Opinion

Dear Gavin Williamson, Ten years ago I was a soldier serving as an intelligence analyst in Helmand province in Afghanistan. The coalition government had just come to power, and we were visited by a delegation of ministers including Liam Fox, the new Defence secretary. With hundreds of eyes staring him down, he stood there, in the heart of a land where so many British servicemen and women were still losing their lives, and told us that life was going to…

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Reopening schools on 1 June will be logistical nightmare, say teachers | World news

Teachers have warned that the UK government’s push to reopen primary schools in England on 1 June will be a logistical nightmare. Under the plans, schools have been told to prepare to resume reception, year 1 and year 6 classes, as well as any early years education they provide. But a growing number of councils have said they will not comply, and Welsh and Scottish schools will not reopen until later. In accounts submitted by hundreds of teachers to the…

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Only 5% of teachers think it safe to reopen English schools, poll shows | World news

A leading teaching union has warned the government it will have to do more to win the trust of teachers, after a poll of almost 30,000 members found just 5% believed it was safe for more children to return to schools in England from 1 June. The NASUWT’s snapshot survey revealed soaring levels of anxiety among teachers, with the overwhelming majority describing government plans for reopening primary schools as confusing and unsafe. Ninety-five per cent of those polled said they…

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‘I had two separate lives’: LGBT teachers learn to speak up and get promotion | Education

Like many LGBT teachers, Bradley Saunders learned to live a double life. To his close friends and family he was a young gay man in a steady relationship, while at the primary school where he worked his home life was a secret. He avoided questions about weekends, pretended to go on holiday with his family, and did not take his partner to school social events. So when after four years he moved to a job as director of learning for…

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Marking books not safe suggests new coronavirus guidance for teachers | Education

A growing number of councils in England are warning parents not to expect schools to open on 1 June, as new union guidance for teachers suggests it will not be safe to mark children’s books. Bury council in Greater Manchester is the latest to confirm that primary schools will not reopen for some pupils on the government’s target date at the start of next month, pointing out that Covid-19 infections in the area are still too high. Tamoor Tariq, lead…

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Patient, amusing, inspirational… teachers have always made a difference | World news

I was eavesdropping on my son’s remote A-level history lesson, and liked what I heard. It was all about Henry VII, who ruthlessly sought new ways to pay for a heavily indebted state (sound familiar, Rishi Sunak?). Actually I wasn’t listening to the detail so much as to the teacher himself – patient, amusing, bringing everyone into the game, even the naughty ones who were almost certainly painting their nails or watching silly videos of Matt Lucas pretending to be…

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Teachers can legally refuse to return over health risk, says union | Schools

Teachers can legally refuse to return when schools reopen unless they get the same protections against coronavirus as other frontline staff, one of the UK’s leading teaching unions has warned. In a letter to local authorities seen by the Guardian, the 300,000-strong NASUWT threatens to invoke legal action to defend teachers against being forced back into schools on 1 June because of the risk to their health. The union’s letter marks a significant hardening against the government’s push to reopen…

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‘It’s OK for teachers to cry’: how to handle bereavement in school | Education

It was a Friday afternoon. With lessons over for another week, Jill Evans, a deputy headteacher in Herefordshire, set off for a weekend away, telling the school’s head, Julie Rees, her friend and colleague, that she would see her on Monday. She didn’t. Over the weekend Evans, 58, was killed in a car accident. By Monday morning, Rees was not only having to process her own grief but also putting structures in place to help Ledbury primary’s 440 pupils, plus…

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Teachers and parents: how do you feel about schools reopening? | Education

Prime minister Boris Johnson is due to announce on Sunday that children aged 10 and 11 will be the first cohort allowed back into schools from 1 June. Schools would have been closed for a period of 10 weeks, coinciding with the Easter holidays, due to fears over coronavirus transmission. We would like to hear from teachers and parents about how they feel about the expected return to school. Share your views How is your school preparing for children to…

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Teachers urge changes to 2021 exams as schools plan pupils’ return | Education

From one-way systems through corridors to meals on playing fields, schools across Britain are trying to plan ahead to help them reopen. Yet as they prepare for a phased return of pupils, many are still wrestling with the most basic practicalities. “I would struggle to get a third of the school back,” said Robin Bevan, headteacher at Southend High School for Boys, having made some rough calculations about how the current social distancing rules would work in his 1,300-pupil secondary.…

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Teachers in England condemn speculation over school reopenings | Education

School leaders have called for an end to “irresponsible speculation” over dates for schools in England to reopen, as ministers were forced to reject suggestions that many pupils would be back in classrooms next month. The Sunday Times claimed that “senior ministers” had backed a plan for schools to partially reopen on three possible dates: immediately after the current lockdown is scheduled to end on 11 May; after the half-term holiday on 1 June; or at the start of the…

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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…

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‘Let your kids get bored’: emergency advice from teachers on schooling at home | Education

School may have closed for the foreseeable future, and all exams cancelled, but children still need to be educated and entertained – as well as reassured. Many schools plan to send work home and there are lots of free resources available via online platforms such as BBC Teach. But meanwhile, how do you even start home learning when this is all so new? We asked teachers for their emergency advice. Parents of primary children Prioritise your child’s wellbeing “Great learning…

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After just half a day of home-schooling, I am officially in awe of all teachers | Emma Brockes | Opinion

We are doing a writing exercise at the kitchen table, about 90 minutes into home-schooling. So far, it’s gone quite well. I’ve drawn a grid with alphabetised headers and I’m dictating words for my five-year-old to write down. There was a brief dispute about which pen to use – she picked up a permanent marker, then wouldn’t accept, in spite of my reasoning, that it was 100% the wrong pen – but now we’re on track. I’ve totally got this,…

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Teachers: share your tips for working at home | World news

Most pupils in the UK will remain at home from Friday with schools in England only staying open to supervise vulnerable children and those of key workers. If you are a teacher we would like to hear your suggestions and advice for how parents and carers should teach children at home. Share your tips What apps and platforms are you using to teach from home? How have you set up your workspace? Do you have any advice for those who…

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Schools in England could close when teachers self-isolate | Education

Growing numbers of schools in England could be forced to close and send children home as a result of staff shortages, as teachers with symptoms follow government guidance to self-isolate, teaching unions have warned. The government confirmed on Monday schools should remain open in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak for the time being but school leaders fear this may not be possible if there are too few staff available to teach and supervise pupils. Mary Bousted, joint general secretary…

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