News Briefing

Sunday Papers: Controversial algorithms to set 97% of GCSE results, as parents turn to legal action

Controversial algorithms to set 97% of GCSE result

In today’s briefing update, the Sunday Papers lead with the controversial algorithms to set 97% of GCSE results – more than 280,000 A level students had their results downgraded on Thursday, and experts believe GCSE students will be downgraded further. 

 In our special feature, we look at global coronavirus updates. 

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Controversial algorithms to set 97% of GCSE result

The Observer says ahead of nearly five million GCSEs being awarded this week using a controversial model, the Observer reports – more than 4.6 million grades – will be assigned in England solely by the algorithm drawn up by the exam regulator Ofqual. More than 280,000 students had A-level results downgraded on Thursday prompting widespread anger. Experts fear GCSE students could be downgraded more than A-levels. 

Read the full story on the Guardian

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Exam results chaos to end in court battles

The Sunday Times says teenagers and their parents are turning to the courts as the row in which grades were awarded to A-level students in England intensifies. Students and parents are taking legal action after almost 40% of grades were downgraded. Pupils from large state schools and colleges were hit hardest by the emergency marking system, but private schools benefited from it. 

Read the full story on the Times

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Sack our biggest failure

The Sunday Mirror says “sack our biggest failure” is the headline on the front page as “furious” MPs call for Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to resign in the wake of the A-levels “fiasco.” Labour has now joined the Lib Dems in demanding Mr Williamson stands down. Two million grades recommended by teachers are expected to be slashed, the paper adds. 

Read the full story on the Daily Mirror

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Children must come first

The Sunday Express says Mr Williamson has vowed to get children back to the classroom, saying it is “morally, socially and economically necessary” for them to return in September. On Monday, a new campaign will be launched in England to persuade parents it is safe for children to return next month. The leading image on the front page is of Prince Charles laying a wreath on the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day. 

Read the full story on the Daily Express

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Hancock axes ‘failing’ public health body

The Sunday Telegraph says the government plans to scrap Public Health England and replace it with a new body early next month. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce a merger of the pandemic response work of PHE with NHS Test and Trace into a new body called the National Institute for Health Protection, the paper adds. The new institute will have tens of thousands of staff and its model is based on Germany’s independent agency the Robert Koch Institute. 

Read the full story on The Telegraph

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Priti in racist French storm 

The Mail on Sunday says “Priti in racist French storm.” The home secretary has sparked a “diplomatic row” by claiming in a private meeting with Tory MPs that migrants were crossing the Channel to escape prejudice in France. French politicians are said to be angry at the comments. The row comes after Europe’s top judges condemned Paris for “degrading and inhumane” treatment of asylum seekers, the paper adds. 

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GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

Global coronavirus updates

GLOBAL COVID-19 TODAY

CORONAVIRUS CASES: 21,623,304

DEATHS: 769,078

RECOVERED: 14,337,906

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End of UK furlough scheme ‘means needless loss of 2 million jobs’

The Guardian says two million viable jobs will be needlessly lost under the government’s plan to end its flagship jobs support scheme, Boris Johnson is being warned on Sunday, amid cross-party demands for further emergency help. 

After confirmation that Britain has entered the deepest recession since records began, new analysis seen by the Observer finds that as many as 3 million jobs will still be reliant on the government’s furlough scheme by the time it is closed at the end of October. 

Read the full story on The Guardian

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Algerians pack beaches after lifting of five-month Covid-19 lockdown

France24 says Algerians hit the beaches on Saturday after authorities lifted some restrictions imposed five months ago to stem the spread of the coronavirus, as cafes, restaurants and large mosques also reopened.

The third worst affected country in Africa after Egypt and South Africa, Algeria has officially reported a total of more than 38,000 cases of the Covid-19, including 1,360 deaths.

Read the full story on France24

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UAE firms look into ways to pay staff’s increased work from home costs during pandemic

Arab News says employers in the UAE are looking into ways to help staff with the increased costs caused by working from home during the pandemic, national daily The Khaleej Times said. 

“One of our clients recently raised a point where employees are asking extra allowance because they are working from home and there [are] greater expenses. Employees are using more electricity, Wi-Fi, drinking their own coffee, printing more and using more ink when working from home,” legal director and co-head of employment at DWF Middle East Thenji Moyo was quoted as saying.

Read the full story on Arab News

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South Africa crime rate falls 40 per cent in coronavirus lockdown

Aljazeera says crime-plagued South Africa posted a drastic drop in criminal offences, including sexual assaults, during the first three months of its coronavirus lockdown. 

Crime rates dropped by up to 40 per cent between April and June when the country was placed under strict stay-home restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the virus, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Friday. 

Read the full story on Aljazeera

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New Zealand reports 13 new cases, as the country’s most popular city stays under lockdown

CNN says New Zealand has recorded 13 new cases of coronavirus in the past day, health officials said Sunday, as the country maintains new restrictions amid a sudden Covid-19 outbreak. 

Of the new cases, 12 were in the Auckland community, with none having travelled outside the region recently. All had close links to the existing outbreak; two of the new cases belonged to the same household as a previously confirmed patient.

Read the full story on CNN

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ARTS & ENT

R Kelly manager charged with cinema shooting threat that halted documentary screening

Sky News says R Kelly’s manager has been charged with threatening to open fire on a New York cinema – forcing an evacuation and police to cancel the screening of a documentary alleging the singer sexually abused women and girls. 

Donnell Russell was arrested before being charged with conspiracy and threatening physical harm by interstate communications over the incident.

Read the full story on Sky News

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SPORT

‘European exit reaffirms faults in this Man City team’

BBC Sport says Manchester City have had Champions League disappointments before but few will have hurt as much as this – arguably their best chance to finally claim the prize they covet most, cast aside amid controversy but even more by self-inflicted wounds.

Read the full story on BBC Sport

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