What happened in education this week?

Tes presents a round-up of the big news and research from the education world this week
17th January 2021, 6:05am
Joshua Lowe


What happened in education this week?

Coronavirus Schools

What did we learn in the education world in the past week? And what new information is out there to help you manage in these restricted times?

Here is an overview of what Tes has published in the past seven days. 


  • At last, the consultation on the proposals for this summer's exams was revealed - get all the details here
  • The exam regulator Ofqual's new chief told education secretary Gavin Williamson that grades will be less valid without exams.
  • The education secretary was questioned by MPs on the coronavirus situation in schools this week. Here are the six things we learnt.
  1. Gavin Williamson says he is fighting for school staff to get Covid vaccines.
  2. The Department for Education wants primary school pupils to get Covid tests at home. 
  3. Edenred will run another school meals voucher scheme (but schools don't have to use it).
  4. The DfE says it did not know about the new variant of Covid when it issued legal threats to keep schools open
  5. Gavin Williamson wants schools to deliver live lessons during lockdown.
  6. He offered no apology for the disruption to schools caused by last-minute changes of policy.


  • The leader of the London borough that was at the heart of the legal row over schools switching to online learning before Christmas says the government knew about the new virus variant when it issued a legal threat over school closures.
  • Local public health directors are advising schools not to follow the government's plan to use rapid Covid tests to keep close contacts of coronavirus cases in the classroom.
  • Ofsted has U-turned on in-person school visits - but why was it planning them in the first place, asks our news editor William Stewart.

Guides and features to help teachers

  • There has been some debate over whether or not live lessons are better than prerecorded ones, says Tes columnist Mark Enser - as he weighs in with his defence of prerecorded lessons.
  • Can we talk ourselves out of despair this term, asks Patrick Moriarty - who explores the power of a positive attitude
  • Stuck for an effective plenary to round off your remote lesson? Here are some ideas that might help.
  • Getting your students back into remote learning might have been a challenge for many of you this week - here are some top tips to get you going.
  • Are you a teacher with your own children learning from home and are you wondering what do you do? We asked Voice the union questions that teacher-parents might have about their rights.
  • Here are five quick and easy lessons that will help you with remote teaching.
  • We've compiled a list of 141 free resources that are available online right now to hopefully make planning remote lessons easier.
  • Research into best practice for remote teaching can help us stop pupils falling behind, says the Education Endowment Foundation's Becky Francis. Read more here.
  • This primary school teacher says having dyslexia has made her a better teacher for all of her pupils.
  • To help with online learning, we've rounded up the best tips for making Microsoft Teams work for you and your students.
  • With the switch back to video teaching, here are the safeguarding responsibilities that teachers should bear in mind.


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