How are exam grades being decided in England this year?

What happened with exams this year? The government cancelled GCSE and A-level exams in England in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland did the same with their exams. How will grades be decided this year? Grades in England will be “standardised”, taking into account teachers’ assessments and class rankings, a student’s prior […]

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‘Improved’ schools in England can challenge grades

Schools in England can appeal if they can show this year’s GCSE and A-level results do not reflect recent improvements, the exams watchdog says. Ofqual’s announcement comes after concern that the way grades are calculated in the absence of exams could penalise some pupils. In Scotland there were claims that a similar system marked poorer pupils down more heavily. Individual […]

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Pay rise for teachers will halve school funding boost in England

School budgets will be less than 2% better off next year after it was revealed that the government’s pay increases for teachers will absorb more than half of the extra funding promised for state schools in England. Analysis by the House of Commons library for the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran calculated that the pay award announced by the government […]

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Annie Stewart obituary

My mother, Annie “Nan” Stewart, who has died aged 101, was a teacher, a pacifist, and a committed Quaker. She was born in Dewsbury during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Her parents, Thomas Fawkes, and his wife, Jane (nee Cornfoot), were millworkers who were frequently unemployed, and Annie was sent to live with an aunt in Dundee when, she […]

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In-person or remote learning? Colorado parents agonize over decision

Guilt awaits Ruth Barnett-Alvarez at the end of every path as she traverses the rocky terrain of figuring out how her family of five kids — with two working parents — will head back to school during the ongoing pandemic. The Colorado Springs mom feels guilty for wanting to send her 8-year-old and 9-year-old to in-person learning in Harrison School […]

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Kids and COVID-19: What experts do (and do not) know about how the virus affects children

As the debate about reopening schools rages at the local, state and national levels, infectious disease and engineering experts are trying to keep up with the ever-evolving situation with the coronavirus pandemic so they can advise administrators considering — and reconsidering — whether and when to open facilities for the year. On Friday, Denver Public Schools rolled back its plan […]

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Malcolm Brynin obituary

My former colleague Malcolm Brynin, the influential sociologist and leading expert on labour market inequalities, has died aged 70 of cancer. He was the longest serving member of staff at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex, joining the team in 1989 to work on the development of the world-leading British Household Panel Study. […]

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Could lockdown be freeing up Asian single parents?

“Once the children have gone to bed, the parents can have a bit of me time.” The Asian Single Parents Network has moved its sessions online during lockdown, doubling the attendance. Aruna Bansal is organising the sessions every week, with life coaches and other experts, on everything from money management to mindfulness and even dating advice. “Normally we do day […]

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