In the news this week 12.03.21


With schools in England returning to school this week, we’ve not been short of news. Every Friday, we bring you a curated summary of the week’s most relevant and important happenings across the sector; and share with you our opinion on the topics that matter.

School returns and learning catch-up

Children across England returned to school this week. The Guardian reported a mix of jubilation from students as they were reunited with friends, and trepidation due to continuing uncertainties around testing and mask-wearing.

Government ministers are considering catch up plans for missed learning, with ongoing talks about extra terms and longer school days. This has sparked lots of debate: Sky News reports division among parents over the plans, and Nursery World has covered calls from academics to protect children’s mental health and allow them a summer of play. Peter Hyman, co-director of Big Education, wrote an inspiring piece about reframing the ‘lost generation’ to the ‘bounce-back generation’.

Increasing nursery costs

 Childcare costs in England have risen by 5% since the start of the pandemic and spaces for the government’s free childcare scheme are disappearing. Nurseries are being forced to increase rates due to a shortfall in government funding, and pressure placed on them by the pandemic. Read more in Daily Mirror.

The Montessori Group and Montessori Centre International have repeatedly backed calls for the Government to provide greater support and funding to the early years sector. Read a letter to editor from Maccs Pescatore, CEO of MCI, in Southern Daily Echo, calling for the Government to introduce targeted funding to protect the future sustainability of the sector.

International Women’s Day

 Monday 8th March marked International Women’s Day and celebrations took place in schools and communities around the world.

CEO of the Montessori Group, Leonor Stjepic, and CEO of MCI, Maccs Pescatore, moderated panels at the Athena40 Global Conversation: Female Leadership in Times of Crises.

Maccs’ panel brought together female leaders from across the UK’s education sector for a rich discussion of their experiences. The day’s conversation highlighted the need for a coordinated response to issues over leadership, for workplaces to provide safe spaces for women to learn and grow, for structures to be put in place that value their ideas and allow them to flourish, and to ensure leadership training is accessible for all.

The full event is available to watch here.