John Dickens

  • Free school meal vouchers WILL now be available over Easter

    The government has today made a U-turn on its refusal to pay for free school meal vouchers over Easter – saying they will now be available to “support household income”. Former education secretary Michael Gove, speaking at today’s coronavirus briefing, also said the government is “conscious more must be done”, particularly over holidays, to help

    16.52 Apr. 4th, 2020 | News

  • Chief regulator offers 'reassurance' over this summer's GCSE and A-level grades

    Ofqual’s chief regulator Sally Collier has “reassured” GCSE and A-level students that the grades they get this summer will look “exactly the same as in previous years”. She has also made clear that they will have “equal status” with universities, colleges and employers. Here is her letter in full:   I understand how unsettling the

    11.00 Apr. 3rd, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Schools need 'priority access' to testing and protective equipment

    Teachers should get “priority access” to protective equipment, MPs have demanded, as staff are still waiting for further guidance on how to stay safe in school. The education committee has also urged education secretary Gavin Williamson to prioritise teachers and school staff for COVID-19 testing “as it comes available”. It comes as the government is

    9.53 Apr. 2nd, 2020 | News

  • Williamson: 'I'm asking schools to go to exceptional lengths in coronavirus fight'

    Education secretary Gavin Williamson has written to schools today to thank them for the “incredible resilience and flexibility they have shown in the face of unprecedented challenges”. He added that schools are “central to this country’s fight against coronavirus”. The letter comes amid criticism from school leaders that the government isn’t doing enough to keep

    19.29 Mar. 25th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: FSM vouchers to provide '£3 per meal', as caterers criticised for 'shameful' hampers

    Pupils are set to get weekly supermarket vouchers totalling £15 to replace their free school meal entitlements under a new national scheme, Schools Week understands. But heads have been told the scheme won’t be rolled out until next week. The voucher payments work out at £3 per day – an increase of 70p on the

    15.50 Mar. 25th, 2020 | News

  • Ofqual admits teacher assessment not possible for all vocational qualifications 

    Ofqual is “urgently” working out how to calculate grades for students studying vocational and technical qualifications this year, but the “complex landscape” means there is not a “one size fits all” solution. Last week the government announced that the upcoming summer exams series has been scrapped amid the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday it was revealed

    14.38 Mar. 25th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: No change for schools as country enters lockdown

    Schools will continue to open for vulnerable and key workers’ children, the government has confirmed, after the U.K. was put into lockdown. Prime minister Boris Johnson this evening announced police will be ordered to enforce a strict coronavirus lockdown – including a ban on gatherings of more than two people, all non-essential shops to close

    21.24 Mar. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Ofsted pauses publication of inspection reports

    Ofsted has paused the publication of all inspection reports during the coronavirus crisis and promised that it will have “do the right thing” as its mantra going forward. Deputy director for further education and skills Paul Joyce told a webinar on Saturday run by sister title FE Week that the inspectorate had taken the decision

    15.27 Mar. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • DfE reveals how it will provide grades for pupils this summer

    The government has confirmed it will use teacher assessments to provide calculated grades for pupils this year. The aim is to provide grades to students before the end of July. They will be “indistinguishable from those provided in other years”, and pupils will have a chance to resit an exam if they don’t think the

    14.30 Mar. 20th, 2020 | News

  • Governors: New Ofsted inspections 'rushed' and reports 'patronising'

    Ofsted’s new framework is diminishing the role of governance in schools, patronising staff and leading to rushed inspections, a new report has claimed. The National Governance Association has today released ‘A view from the board’ – its evaluation of Ofsted’s new inspection framework. While 65 per cent of governors and trustees at over 800 schools

    5.01 Mar. 20th, 2020 | News

  • T-level assessment organisations call for 12 month delay

    The awarding bodies designing the first three T-levels have called on the government to delay their rollout by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pearson, City & Guilds and NCFE have agreed with the Federation of Awarding Bodies that their launch should be combined with wave two and begin in September 2021 instead of

    13.44 Mar. 19th, 2020 | News