Education News

31st August 2020

School reopening support climbs as government’s approval rating plunges


A new opinion poll by YouGov suggests that public confidence in the full-time return to school is growing. The survey finds that support for pupils returning to schools on a full-time basis has grown from 57% three weeks ago to 65% now. Some doubt remains, however, among the adults polled,
28th August 2020

Labour calls for independent investigation into Jonathan Slater’s dismissal


Following angry reactions to the sacking of the Department for Education’s (DfE) top civil servant, Jonathan Slater, a senior Labour MP has called for an investigation into his forced departure. Helen Hayes MP, who became Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office in April after Sir Keir Starmer’s election as Labour
28th August 2020

Universities financially stricken by A-level fiasco lobby for bailouts


Universities in England are pressing the government for an urgent bailout package for higher education institutions suffering acute financial hardship due to the A-level results chaos. The higher education advocacy organisation Universities UK has collaborated with the MillionPlus association of modern universities to lobby the government. Both organisations want it
27th August 2020

PM accuses and blames ‘mutant algorithm’ for this year’s exam chaos


Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s authority and stewardship of the exam results crisis has come under further attack following a speech he delivered to teenagers at a Leicestershire secondary school. Johnson had visited Castle Rock High School in Coalville, Leicestershire, on Wednesday as part of his continuing efforts to persuade parents
27th August 2020

Top DfE official sacked amid exam results chaos


The head civil servant in the Department for Education (DfE), Jonathan Slater, has been sacked in the ongoing fallout from this year’s exam results chaos. The decision to sack Slater, who was appointed permanent secretary at the DfE in 2016, has already prompted furious condemnations from unions and the Labour
26th August 2020

Government announces face mask U-turn for secondary schools


Teaching unions appear to have succeeded in forcing another government U-turn, this time in relation to face masks in secondary schools. The government yielded to pressure on Tuesday evening and ditched earlier guidance against using face masks in secondary schools after hundreds of head teachers pushed for their adoption. Areas
26th August 2020

Ofqual’s head resigns as head teachers demand independent results review


The ongoing post-mortem into this year’s exam results debacle has claimed its first scalp, with the chief executive of England’s exam regulator Ofqual resigning. Sally Collier’s departure was made public a few hours after the Education Select Committee revealed that she had been called to appear before it next Wednesday
25th August 2020

Regent’s University London’s planned acquisition by private firm sparks dissent


Regent’s University London, one of Britain’s largest non-profit higher education institutions, is poised to be purchased by a for-profit education company. The university’s former vice-chancellor, Professor Aldwyn Cooper, has condemned the move unreservedly, describing it as “devastating”. Regent’s announced on 12th August that it would be joining a commercially run
25th August 2020

Row between Ofqual and Royal Statistical Society deepens


Following accusations from England’s exam regulator that the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) was fomenting “misunderstanding and suspicion” over Ofqual’s work, the latter has hit back, demanding that Ofqual “cease defending the indefensible”. The row began as the furious public backlash over Ofqual’s algorithmically moderated results gathered momentum. The exam regulator
24th August 2020

Prime Minister urges parents to return children to school


Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be seeking to reassert his authority after the exam results turmoil of the last two weeks by publicly appealing to parents to return their children to schools in England from September. Johnson had come under fire for deciding to proceed with his holiday in

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