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.

The government announced that to keep children and teachers safe there should be no more than 15 pupils per class - so in effect, every class of 30 would have to be spread over two classrooms.

This might work for the phased return of the first few year groups. But the government is also aiming, if the safety advice permits, for all primary year groups to be back in school for a month before the end of term.

The complication is that if each class is occupying two or more classrooms, how could all the year groups be back full time at the same time? There wouldn't be enough classrooms or teachers.

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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.

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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.

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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

Waiting for transport Image copyright Getty Images
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'

Universities Image copyright Getty Images

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.

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Would student vote go missing in December election?

seminar Image copyright Getty Images

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.

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Could Labour really ban private schools?

Eton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Is Eton College going to have its assets taken by a future Labour government?

Could Labour really abolish private schools? That's the big question after the party's conference voted to "integrate" private schools into the state sector.

The plan would see the assets of private schools "redistributed".

Read full article Could Labour really ban private schools?

Labour would replace 'unfit for purpose' Ofsted

Classroom Image copyright Getty Images

Labour says it would scrap England's education watchdog Ofsted, accusing it of being "unfit for purpose".

It would mean the end of grades for schools such as outstanding, good or inadequate.

Read full article Labour would replace 'unfit for purpose' Ofsted

?4bn school funding boost set to be confirmed

School Image copyright Getty Images

A leaked government document appears to confirm an expected ?4bn boost in funding for schools in England.

Details of the cash injection for education, revealed by the BBC at the weekend, have been published by the Guardian newspaper.

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