ZINIO logo

Tes 21 May 2021

Tes is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.

United Kingdom
Tes Global Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min

This is my 15th attempt at writing the opening of this leader. I have, for the past two hours, moved through my repertoire of opening moves and not liked any of them. Some just felt clunky; others felt forced. One was just awful. I thought I had it right with an attempt that ruminated upon the perceived role of “writer” but I couldn’t get it to go anywhere; it drifted into a dead end and I went off to scroll Twitter for five minutes in a sulk. Writing is, of course, a large part of my job. But I still find it hopelessly hard. A misconception about those in writing professions is that it comes easily; that our fingers dance across the keyboard, tapping out seminal sentences and grammatical sleights of hand.…

3 min
is the government masking covid data?

To mask or not to mask? After a year in which there hasn’t been much of a choice in our day-to-day lives but to wear a face mask in public, asking this question with regards to schools may seem a bit pointless: the pandemic is still upon us, so a mask seems sensible, right? Well, the Scottish government certainly thinks so. It has mandated that, despite infection rates being low, face coverings should still be worn in schools this week. While scientists are looking at how long mask wearing may be needed, first minister Nicola Sturgeon is opting to stick with the status quo until she is advised otherwise. In England, though, the message is very different. Last week, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that “we will no longer require face coverings…

2 min
what are schools planning for their summer holiday catch-up sessions?

As soon as people started talking about “catch-up”, everyone knew the summer holidays were going to become an issue. If you repeatedly talk about lost learning time and not having enough room in the school year to make up for it, those six weeks across July and August will inevitably come under scrutiny. And so it proved: the government quickly offered funding for schools that committed to run initiatives over the holiday period, while Sir Kevan Collins, the education recovery commissioner, has repeatedly mentioned using the holidays as a potential option, too. It’s becoming increasingly clear that to do nothing catch-up related during those months would be a brave decision. But if you do decide to do something, what exactly should that something be? The government has published extensive guidance on the key…

2 min
miptors and earthships: the good old days of sats

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, goes the old saying. Well, two years after we last saw Sats undertaken in earnest, nobody seems to have grown that fond. Indeed, social media was full of teachers celebrating the absence of the tests from the first full week of May. In fact, Year 2 teachers must be finding themselves with hours of time to spare, given the usual burden of administering paper-based tests to groups of seven-year-olds. But maybe there are a few glimmers of fond memories to reminisce about? English tests I think it’s safe to say that no one looks back on 2016 with rose-tinted spectacles. Plenty are still scarred by the “warthogs milling around in bewilderment”. But, before that, there were happier times. Just the year before, we were treated to guide dogs and…

6 min
covid rules have been relaxed, so what does this mean for schools?

Since 17 May, some of the restrictions that have become part of school life over the past 16 months have been lifted – from the requirement to wear face coverings in class to the ban on overnight residential trips. However, as often seems to be the case, the latest update has left teachers with plenty of questions, and there have been calls for more clarity about what the new guidance expects of schools and when other precautions may be dropped. These are some aspects of school life whose restrictions remain in place, about which teachers and school leaders should be aware – and about which more information would be useful. 1. When can equipment be shared between bubbles? Currently, the guidance stipulates that individual items cannot be shared and classroom-based resources cannot be passed…

7 min
10 questions with… david hughes

David Hughes is the chief executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC). It’s a role that has historically required frequent shouting of “and what about colleges?” when announcements about schools and universities are made by the government. Finally, it seems that the message has got through. Earlier this month, the Queen’s Speech included an announcement that there will be a post-16 education and skills bill, signalling a sea change for the further education sector. Undoubtedly, Hughes has been a prominent figure leading that charge for change. Tes got to know a little bit more about him and his vision for the future. 1. Who was your most memorable teacher and why? This is easy: my Year 6 teacher, Harry Mycock. He became a really close friend as I grew older: he came to my…