Coronavirus: A-level anger, fears of homelessness and help for the self-employed


Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday morning. We will have another update for you at 6:00 PM BST.

1. The continuous review line

The anger over assigning A-level ratings shows no signs of abating. Sixth-year colleges say their analysis shows their institutions’ grades were 20% lower than their historical counterparts. School leaders claim that a “great injustice” has been committed. Hundreds of thousands of students in England are expected to receive GCSE scores calculated using a similar system on Thursday – explained in detail here.

2. Fears of homelessness

There could be “a new wave of homelessness” in England when the ban on evictions ends later this month, a group of MPs warn. The ban was introduced in March to protect those affected by the pandemic. MEPs want ministers to ensure that all local authorities can fund the accommodation of street sleepers for at least a year. The protections for tenants have already been extended to Wales and Scotland.

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3. Locking in with an attacker

Victoria Derbyshire, of the BBC, uncovered the reality of domestic violence during lockdown, meeting some of the women trapped in extremely difficult circumstances and support workers trying to help them. She also reflects on her own childhood and grows up with an abusive father.

4. Election postponed

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has postponed the country’s general elections scheduled for September amid a surge in coronavirus cases. Earlier this week, the largest city, Auckland, returned to lockdown. New Zealand’s response to the virus has been widely hailed, with strict border restrictions, effective health messages and an aggressive testing and traceability program to reduce deaths.

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5. Assistance to the self-employed

Self-employed people who are eligible for government assistance during the pandemic can from today apply for a second and final grant of up to £ 6,500. The first grant, launched in May, saw £ 7.8 billion claimed by 2.7 million people. HM Revenue and Customs will contact those who qualify, but critics say millions more will fall through the cracks again. Learn more about who can claim.

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