Coronavirus daily round-up: Thursday 3 December

Fiona Simpson
Thursday, December 3, 2020

More generous grading, advance notice of exam topics and “back-up” papers will be among measures introduced to “boost fairness and support students” taking GCSE and A-level exams next year, the Department for Education has said.

The government has announced a package of measures to support next year's exam students. Picture: Adobe Stock
The government has announced a package of measures to support next year's exam students. Picture: Adobe Stock
  • Each day, CYP Now will summarise the key issues affecting the children and families sector as it tackles the effects of the pandemic. The daily update signposts children’s services practitioners and leaders to the latest developments, expert views, advice and resources.

DfE announces exam changes for 2021

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a package of measures to “boost fairness” for students sitting GCSE and A-level exams next year.

Students will have exams graded in line with 2020 results to ensure fairness for those impacted by the pandemic and will receive advance notice of exam topics by the end of January, DfE said. 

Some exams will also come with aids, such as formula sheets, to reduce the need for revision while “back-up” papers will be offered in July.

One million children ‘not eligible for free school meals despite living in poverty’

More than a million children in the UK who live below the poverty line are not eligible for free school meals, new analysis from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found.

The group estimates that 100,000 UK school children in Year 3 and above are not covered by universal infant free school meals because they are in families with no recourse to public funds due to their immigration status.

These children join 1.3million school-aged children who did not qualify for free school meals because their parents were in low-paid work before the pandemic, the analysis found.

Ofsted announces return to full inspections

Ofsted has announced a phased return to full inspections across the board from spring 2021.

Local authority children’s social care departments will return to graded inspections from April next year while early years provision, schools, colleges and prisons will be graded from the start of the summer term, the inspectorate said.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: “We want to return to our usual work in a measured, sensitive and practical way.”

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