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Education insights: Schools play catch up and #BLM challenges the curriculum

Each week we’ll be bringing you the best and brightest news from the education landscape. Whether it’s policy updates, teacher insights, or inspiration brought to us by young people, you’ll find the latest updates here.

Comprehensive ‘catch up operation’ promised to students losing out on final term of school year

Next week the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, will reveal a “huge amount” of catch-up activities for students to sink their teeth into throughout the summer holidays. This follows an abandonment of plans for all primary school students to return to school before the end of the academic year. Nevertheless, a summer of learning presents an immense opportunity (and a responsibility!) to those who work in the education sector.  More support, more resources, and more solutions will be needed than ever before if we are to help young people make up for time lost in the classroom.

Cross-party group of MPs demand review of national curriculum in light of Black Lives Matter protests

The Black Lives Matter protests have put the spotlight on some important, long-overdue debates, not least on how best to educate our young people about the history of Britain. In a week where many have questioned the significance of statues and begun to challenge centuries-old narratives, a cross-party group of more than 30 politicians have written to Gavin Williamson, demanding a review of the current history syllabus so that Britain’s colonial and imperial past might be better understood by generations to come.

Department for Education announces new mental health support for teachers and students

The Department for Education has announced new measures to support teacher and student wellbeing. The commitments, laid out by schools minister Nick Gibb in a letter to the expert group on education staff wellbeing, include a new wellbeing charter for schools; online videos, webinars and teaching materials for students; and a pilot programme with the Education Support Partnership to support teacher wellbeing. It is encouraging to see the Government introduce measures that have the potential to significantly accelerate conversations around whole-school wellbeing.

Top insights from Teacher Tapp reveal what the new world looks like

Teacher Tapp’s weekly research has been a steady source of fascinating insights into the reality of the pandemic for teachers across England. It’s interesting to learn that at the beginning of June, more classroom teachers and middle leaders felt happy at work than at this time last year. What’s more, 33% of female teachers and 37% of male teachers reported feeling healthier as a result of the lockdown period, which is a welcome positive.

Watch: Teenager creates two life-changing inventions for great-aunt with dementia

We loved this story about 14-year-old Freddie, a coding enthusiast who engineered two award-winning inventions for his great-aunt Pat. Through a combination of curiosity, compassion and sheer ingenuity, Freddie designed both a facial recognition door entry system for the elderly and a wearable sensor that dispatches a robot if it senses a fall. He hopes one day to take both his projects to the market; we wish him the very best of luck!

About the author

Eleanor Johnston

Before joining Hopscotch, Eleanor taught English in Germany, worked as a Widening Participation ambassador at Bristol University and interned at the Young Westminster Foundation. Since securing a first class honours degree in History, Eleanor has enjoyed bringing her passion for education to projects including Bupa and LifeSkills created with Barclays.

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