Academy backers of 1 June plan break ranks

Two prominent multi-academy trusts are breaking ranks on the government’s plan for a wider reopening of schools from 1 June.

The Elliot Foundation and Dixons Academies Trust, which have a combined total of 40 primary, infant and all-through schools, say they will not be opening to more children until 8 June at the earliest – a week after the government’s current reopening target.

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1 June ‘too soon’ to open schools, say top scientists

A group of leading scientists has warned that a 1 June reopening of schools would be too early for pupils to return to classrooms safely.

The ‘Independent Sage’ committee, chaired by former chief scientific adviser Sir David King, has carried out new modelling showing that the risk to children would be halved if ministers delayed their planned school opening date by two weeks.

The committee says the later reopening date would allow for more time for an effective “test, trace and isolate” programme to be established.

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Collapsed free school’s lack of records ‘hampered’ child abuse probe

A lack of records from a collapsed free school hampered an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of a child with learning difficulties, a damning review has found.

A Manchester Safeguarding Partnership report into allegations that the child was abused by their step-grandfather also said that an inability to contact former staff – alongside a lack of forensic evidence – contributed to not being able to secure a conviction.

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Revealed: the school leaders advising DfE on coronavirus plans

The CEOs, the academisers, the privatisers.

These people need to be isolated and kept at a distance from our public services.

Revealed: the school leaders advising DfE on coronavirus plans

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Anger at ‘arrogant’ academy email on coronavirus risks

A multi-academy trust has come under fire for sending an email about reopening schools that focuses on its risk of legal action rather than safety.

In the message, the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership chief executive tells his heads about two pieces of news that “should give us all comfort”.

Alun Williams writes that lawyers have said that the schools and trust “would not be liable for prosecution if someone contracted the virus while schools were open”.

“Additionally,” he continues, “it would be hard to prove that you had picked the virus up on a school site!!”

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