New Covid plan for England could confine university students to halls | Higher education

University students in England could be confined to their halls of residence and barred from going to their family homes in the event of local coronavirus outbreaks, according to new guidance issued by the Department for Education.

The DfE’s guidelines call for universities to take a host of measures to combat the spread of the virus, but warns that institutions must “have the right plans in place to control and manage any local outbreaks” while also encouraging safe social interaction.

University administrators were scrambling to understand how the new policies would affect plans they have already drawn up, with some students and staff having arrived on campus this week, and lectures started at some institutions.

Students with coronavirus symptoms are told to “self-isolate in their current accommodation” such as halls of residence. All other residents in the same household must also isolate for 14 days, and be provided with support

Read More

Pay rise for teachers will halve school funding boost in England | School funding

School budgets will be less than 2% better off next year after it was revealed that the government’s pay increases for teachers will absorb more than half of the extra funding promised for state schools in England.

Analysis by the House of Commons library for the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran calculated that the pay award announced by the government last month would come entirely from school budgets, eating into the funding boost announced for 2020-21 onwards.

The extra billions for school funding promised in the pre-election spending round will shrink to just £1.7bn in 2020-21 after accounting for the pay rise. Compared with 2019-20, that means the school budget increase from the Department for Education (DfE) will slow from 5.1% to just 1.9% in real terms.

The Commons researchers said the funding figures also do not include the additional costs that schools face as a result of Covid-19, such

Read More