• NAHT: 4 in 5 schools have pupils isolating because of lack of tests

    Headteachers have reported that pupils at more than four in five schools are isolating because they can’t get access to a Covid test. A survey of 736 school leaders by the leadership union NAHT found that 82 per cent of schools have children currently not attending because they cannot access a test to rule out

    11.29 Sep. 18th, 2020 | News

  • Anger as government admits test and trace website coding error

    A coding glitch caused by the government’s “failure” to carry out proper software testing is preventing people from booking Covid tests. There have been widespread reports of people – including school staff and pupils – not being able to book tests via the government’s website, despite claims that local centres still have appointments available. In

    19.56 Sep. 17th, 2020 | News

  • Williamson's education committee exams hearing: 5 things we learned

    The education secretary faced questions about this year’s exams fiasco and the reopening of schools when he appeared in front of the Parliamentary education committee this morning. Gavin Williamson’s appearance in front of MPs follows a hearing last week with leaders from exams regulator Ofqual. Here’s what we learned from him.   1. DfE looking

    13.16 Sep. 16th, 2020 | News

  • Attendance: 8% of schools not 'fully open' last week, says DfE

    Around 92 per cent of state-funded schools were “fully open” as of last Thursday, the Department for Education has said. Analysis of attendance figures by the DfE shows that although almost all state schools (99.1 per cent) were open on September 10, around 8 per cent were not “fully open” – meaning they did not

    12.12 Sep. 15th, 2020 | News

  • It's official: DfE doesn't know how many schools have covid cases

    The Department for Education does not hold information on the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in schools, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. The return to school has been disrupted with reports hundreds of schools have sent children home after suspected covid-19 cases, or a struggle to get those with symptoms tested. An

    10.36 Sep. 15th, 2020 | News

  • Williamson: Covid is an 'opportunity' to drive education reforms

    Innovations in education seen during the coronavirus pandemic such as blended learning should have a “lasting impact” beyond the next two years, the education secretary has said. Gavin Williamson told a webinar organised by the Foundation for Education Development this morning that the pandemic had presented an “opportunity to make the changes that need to

    11.10 Sep. 14th, 2020 | News

  • Exam board ‘proposed algorithm – then raised concerns about it’

    An exam board which revealed that it warned ministers of flaws with the ill-fated algorithm had actually proposed the approach adopted by the regulator in the first place. Cambridge Assessment, which runs exam board OCR, had originally submitted the direct centre performance (DCP) model that was chosen and then developed by Ofqual as its algorithm

    7.00 Sep. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Ofqual cancels £80k media recovery plan

    Ofqual has abandoned plans to spend £80,000 on media strategists to lead its “recovery plan” following the exams fiasco. The exams regulator had run a tender to recruit a “senior press office service to provide media advice and strategy”. The contract for the 15-week project, worth up to £80,000, was due to start this week.

    19.00 Sep. 11th, 2020 | News

  • Use existing Covid cash for educational psychologist boost, councils told

    Councils will have to use existing funding to pay for extra educational psychologists to help pupils readjust to school. The Department for Education this week called for recently retired educational psychologists, or those still working but with capacity, to make themselves known to councils to assist with pupil wellbeing as schooling resumes. However, when pressed

    5.00 Sep. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Ofsted's autumn SEND 'visits' could prompt school inspections

    Inspections of local area SEND provision could prompt emergency visits to individual schools if “serious concerns” emerge, Ofsted has said. In July it was announced that full SEND inspections, normally conducted across whole council areas by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, would not go ahead in the autumn. Interim visits would be carried out

    5.00 Sep. 12th, 2020 | News

  • Council wants schools to 'prepare' for Ofsted visits

    A council in the south of England is insisting schools consider “adequate preparation plans” ahead of Ofsted’s autumn “visits”, despite reassurances from the inspectorate that no preparation is needed. Unions say the action by West Sussex confirms school leaders’ fears that the “visits” will create extra pressure and work for staff trying to get back

    17.00 Sep. 11th, 2020 | News