'Final year like no other' PM tells school leavers

Boris Johnson
Image caption Boris Johnson recorded a video message to those who had missed out on school leaving events

"This is a final year like no other," said Boris Johnson, in a video message to those who left school during the lockdown.

In a rallying cry to those stepping out of school, without any of the usual leavers' rites of passage, the prime minister told them to "rugby tackle that opportunity to the floor".

And whether it was reflecting on their lives or his own, he warned school leavers: "There are always going to be people who want to pour a bucket of cold water on your ideas."

Teenagers had missed out on much fun this summer, but their "sacrifice" had saved lives, he said, in a recorded YouTube and Facebook video, framed by Downing Street chandeliers and flags.

And what a strange last year it's been.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption There have been no GCSEs or A-levels this year - with results to be based on estimated grades

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School catch up: No such thing as a free launch

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Image caption Parents will be waiting to find out if schools will have all pupils back in September

The billion pound school catch-up plan for England aims to drag the return-to-school policy out of a quagmire of indecision.

Parents have been increasingly baffled by how few pupils have returned to school this term, confused by what would be offered over the summer and downright horrified at the idea that schools might not even go back full-time in September.

Read full article School catch up: No such thing as a free launch

How did going back to school lose the plot?

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What is happening with the great majority of children who are missing out on school in England?

That's not a random question - and, more puzzlingly, it's not one with an answer - because at the moment no-one really knows.

Read full article How did going back to school lose the plot?

Coronavirus: Can schools double classes with no extra rooms?

Children of key worker's at a school in Altrincham Image copyright Getty Images

Here's a practical maths conundrum, rather than a political question, about the plan to reopen schools in England.

And as a spoiler - the Department for Education says it will need to issue new guidance to sort it out.

Read full article Coronavirus: Can schools double classes with no extra rooms?

Coronavirus: Justin Welby gives biggest school assembly

Justin Welby
Image caption Justin Welby gave the first assembly for the online school created for the lockdown

Even for an archbishop this must have been a tough gig.

The Archbishop of Canterbury had to deliver a sermon to what was claimed to be the UK's biggest ever school assembly.

Read full article Coronavirus: Justin Welby gives biggest school assembly

Last survivor of transatlantic slave trade discovered

Matilda McCrear
Image caption Matilda McCrear lived until 1940 - the last survivor of the transatlantic slave trade

The transatlantic slave trade might seem like something from a distant and barbaric era - but a historian has found evidence its last survivor was alive in living memory.

Hannah Durkin, at Newcastle University, had previously identified the last surviving slave captured in Africa in the 19th Century and brought to United States as a woman called Redoshi Smith, who died in 1937.

Read full article Last survivor of transatlantic slave trade discovered

Reaching 130 million girls with no access to school

Learning in Niger Image copyright GPE/Kelley Lynch
Image caption A project to keep more girls in school in Niger - when in many poor countries girls are likely to miss out

In the time it takes to read this story, about eight girls under the age of 15 will have given birth - mostly in the world's poorest countries - and many will never go back to school.

Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister, is campaigning for the right of girls to stay in education - and wants to stress the sense of urgency.

Read full article Reaching 130 million girls with no access to school

Bad local transport linked to failing schools

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Image caption The study takes a look at school achievement in terms of transport connections

There is a striking overlap between places in England with slow public transport and places with struggling secondary schools, say researchers.

Instead of only looking at education data, researchers compared schools using journey times from the Department for Transport.

Read full article Bad local transport linked to failing schools

Universities need to lose 'sense of entitlement'

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Universities need to lose their "sense of entitlement", says Charles Clarke, former Labour education secretary.

Mr Clarke says universities can appear ready to take public funding, without doing enough to serve the public interest.

Read full article Universities need to lose 'sense of entitlement'

Would student vote go missing in December election?

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If a general election is held on 9 December, most students in the UK will still be at university - but by the end of that week, most would be heading off for the Christmas holidays.

With potential election dates being debated by MPs, close attention is being paid to the student vote - which is likely to influence the outcome of a number of parliamentary seats with a university population.

Read full article Would student vote go missing in December election?