Weekly highlights: GCSE grading woes and teacher pay

This week's round-up of news and features includes summer school plans, warnings of long Covid and an end to worksheets

Tes Reporter

Covid catch-up: How teacher CPD could be the answer for schools to tackle learning gaps

News

The awarding of exam grades and the work teachers are being expected to carry out in order to achieve this has dominated the headlines this week. The NEU teaching union has called for teachers to be paid extra for what it describes as the “absolutely horrendous” additional workload in producing grades following the cancellation of GCSE and A-level exams.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the union, said schools needed to give teachers extra time to complete the grading work; for example, by drafting in cover. And she said teachers "absolutely deserved" a £400 bonus for the extra workload like their counterparts in Scotland

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said it was “anxious about how onerous” the grade appeals process could be for schools, and concerned that this extra work will fall during the summer holidays.

Tes has also given schools more insight into what Ofqual is expecting of them in the weeks ahead. The regulator has warned teachers not to use additional time with students before they submit GCSE and A-level grades in late June to do "tests and tests and more tests".

Away from exams, concerns have been raised about the quality of catch-up resources that will be available to teachers. Ministers have been warned that the tendering process that has been created may discriminate against some suppliers in the sector. The Department for Education expects resources to be "freely available", "accessible on demand" and provided and maintained by the chosen supplier. But Caroline Wright, director-general of the British Educational Suppliers' Association, has warned that some organisations may be barred from bidding because the government has set "unrealistic deadlines" for them to meet the terms of the contract.

Features

Are teachers paid enough for the work they do? The profession may appear to offer above-average salaries but the long hours mean school staff are often earning less per hour than those in other careers, finds Chris Eyre.

Printed worksheets are clearly not great for the environment and can also affect students' literacy skills, says science teacher Emily Buckle. So could it be time to ban them once and for all?

Despite increased funding for EYFS, the sector is now on the edge of financial collapse, warns headteacher Julian Grenier, who argues that we need to act sooner rather than later to make sure it isn’t lost altogether. 

After seeing teaching job candidates make the same basic mistakes in their approach to online interviews, this teacher offers some first-hand advice on how to make sure you ace them.

In writing a book about lessons in leadership from football managers, headteacher Phil Denton spoke to some of the top coaches in the Premier League – and found that managing a team to win matches isn’t so different from leading a school to success.

Catch-up funding is now available for summer schools, but how will school leaders be organising these sessions? Grainne Hallahan spoke to a selection of headteachers to find out how they’re approaching the planning.  

Students who go on to develop persistent symptoms following a coronavirus infection will need considerable support from teaching staff – especially as their condition may result in an ongoing drop in attendance and an inability to access education in the usual way. Yet there is a real danger that some schools may not take post-Covid-19 syndrome seriously, says Dan Worth.

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