Coronavirus: U-turn exams and social distancing salsa


Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday night. We will have another update for you on Tuesday morning.

1. U-turn examination

After days of angry pupils and teachers alike over how grade A scores were calculated, students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will now be able to receive estimated grades from their teachers rather than by an algorithm. The GCSE results, which will be released on Thursday, will be awarded in the same way. It comes after about 40% of A-level results were downgraded by exam regulator Ofqual, which used a formula based on schools’ previous grades – with exams being canceled due to the pandemic. The U-turn means some students won’t lose their college spots – but for others it’s too late.

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Media legendA-level student Nina welcomes government turn-around meaning she can train to be a vet

2. Poor students face “catching up”

With most students out of school for months, the lockdown has widened the learning gap between the richest and poorest children in primary school, suggests an analysis of thousands of families in England. Children from poorer families learned at least an hour less a day compared to those from richer families, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. A principal said it could take up to two years for some children to return to their correct level of achievement.

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Media legendParents and children at a school in St Helens told the BBC about their educational difficulties during the lockdown

3. Voluntary vaccines

More than 100,000 people have signed up to participate in future NHS trials of a coronavirus vaccine – but researchers say more volunteers are needed. They want as many people as possible to sign up, to speed up their efforts to find a safe and effective jab. In particular, they are looking for more volunteers from “high priority groups” disproportionately affected by the virus – those belonging to ethnic minorities or over the age of 65. Our health correspondent James Gallagher took a look at how close we are to getting vaccinated here.

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4. Ryanair is reducing its flights

Ryanair has announced that it will reduce its capacity by 20% in September and October following “noticeably weak” reservations in recent days. The airline said the drop was due to “uncertainty over recent rates of Covid cases in some EU countries.” He said the cuts will primarily be in the number of flights as opposed to road closures and will be “heavily focused” on countries where virus rates have led the UK and Ireland to reimpose travel restrictions. trip.

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5. Social distancing salsa

The fiery dance of salsa isn’t necessarily something that could be compatible with social distancing. But a dance teacher in Peterborough is attempting to do so – with participants being asked to stay in self-contained boxes rather than holding their partner. Jessica Guastella admitted it wasn’t ideal, but said it was better than having to run classes entirely over video calls.

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Media legendCoronavirus: social distancing salsa “stretches the imagination”

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And do not forget …

Find more information, tips and guides on our coronavirus page and get all the latest information on our live page.

Plus, find out how to get 50% off your dinner tonight by reading our explanation of the government’s “Eat Out to Help” program.

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