Back to school is well and truly upon us, and while COVID has made the return to the classroom rocky for some and caused others to re-close the school gates again, the education landscape is continuing to develop with new updates and announcements. See below for our round up of this week’s education news.
'I paid for my student house, now all my lectures are online'
University students have been speaking to the BBC about how they were only told after paying hundreds of pounds for accommodation far from home that most of their courses will be taught online. Sara is a third-year student from Leeds, studying international development at King's College London, at a cost of £9,250 for the year. She says she was told her course would be completely online this term on 1 September - the day she began paying almost £3,000 for her accommodation. We can totally understand her frustration with this, "If I knew that we were going to be online for the first semester I wouldn't have got accommodation for this term at all," she says.
Employers encouraged to sign up for apprentice cash boost
Employers of all sizes are being invited to apply for generous cash incentives to help them take on new apprentices and get more people into work. We think this new initiative could be key to creating and protect jobs in light of the huge impact coronavirus has had not only on the existing UK workforce, but those looking to start their careers. Apprenticeships are a great way to get ahead in a wide range of industries and play a vital role in learning new skills.
Back to School Guide: Education technology & remote education
SecEd have released a free 12-page download featuring a range of contributions from teachers, school leaders and other experts offering practical reflections, advice, and ideas for delivering successful remote learning. With lockdown and school closures providing a huge learning curve for the education sector, the download emphasises the technological legacy the pandemic will leave behind in schools. This guide is definitely worth a read as the new school year begins!
Blended learning remains necessary
Scotland’s education secretary, John Swinney, has vowed that no pupils will be ‘left behind’ in terms of digital access and contingency plans will be put in place should a second national lockdown occur. Swinney said blended learning – learning at home and at school – remained a necessary part of planning for future disruption caused by the coronavirus. Resources, such as project-based work that can be carried out both at home in the classroom, are a great example of a successful blended learning approach.
‘I do not see a single student wash their hands'
An English secondary school teacher has recounted the first week back to school to the Guardian, highlighting that extra measures put in place are going to be hard to follow. “There is a noticeable absence of face coverings. We’ve been told staff and students can wear them if they want to. It means we have to buy our own masks. I choose to wear one but feel self-conscious as I’m one of the only ones to do so, so it ends up scrunched in a plastic bag in my trouser pocket.”