ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The life
A Christian perspective on society and the education industry for the Christian professional in education.

Pupils and staff taught to deal with stress.

A school in one of Glasgow's most deprived areas is training parents, pupils and staff in how to cope with stress.

As part of the pilot, all S4 pupils at St Paul's High School in Pollok were assessed before the programme began.

About 40% showed high levels of anxiety and depression, well above the national average .

This dropped to about 20% by the end of the programme which aims to intervene early to prevent longer-term problems.

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Free Uni course for refugee and asylum seekers.

Refugee and asylum seekers in the UK are being invited to study at a London university free of charge as part of a radical new scheme.

The University of East London is to launch a new short course known as the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) that will give refugees and asylum seekers the educational grounding to progress to a foundation course and ultimately a full bachelor degree.

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University vice-chancellors salary packages.

University vice-chancellors received an average salary package of £277,834 in the last academic year – more than six times the average pay of their staff – according to a new survey by the universities union.

The report, released on Thursday by the University and College Union (UCU), revealed that 23 British universities had increased packages to their vice-chancellors by 10% or more in 2015-16. Fifty-five universities paid their heads more than £300,000, 11 vice-chancellors now have a package worth more than £400,000 a year.

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Reading age of just 13 for GCSE students.

Pupils sitting their GCSEs this summer are likely to have a reading age of just 13, an academic warns today.

A comprehensive study of the reading habits of almost one million children found 11-16-year-olds were not pushed to read more challenging books.

Professor Keith Topping, of Dundee University, found in the final year of primary school , pupils’ ages typically match their reading age.

But when they start secondary school they start falling behind and when they reach 16 their reading age is three years behind.

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Essay 'mills' used by Uni students to be pursued.

The universities watchdog is being asked to pursue websites advertising essay-writing services for students.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said he wanted "tough action" against the spread of plagiarism and the commercial industry it has spawned.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) said hundreds of "essay mills" were charging up to £6,750 for writing a PhD dissertation.

Mr Johnson said it could "undermine" the reputation of degrees from the UK.

"Essay mills are a major challenge for universities and colleges," said the QAA's Ian Kimber. 

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German parents told to destroy dolls.

An official watchdog in Germany has told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla because its smart technology can reveal personal data.

The warning was issued by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications.

Researchers say hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it.

But the UK Toy Retailers Association said Cayla "offers no special risk".

Read the detail.


Montreal best city for students.

Montreal has been named as the best city in the world for students.

This international ranking of university cities has seen Paris slip from first place - a position the French capital has held for four years.

The Canadian city has come top of the QS Best Student Cities, a spin-off from the annual QS World University Rankings.

It will add to suggestions that Canada will attract a bigger slice of the lucrative international student market, particularly if there are concerns about changes to entry rules under President Trump.

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"Inadequate income" for a third of families.

Nearly a third of the population of Britain is living on an "inadequate" income, according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

In 2014-15, it said that 19 million people were living on less than the Minimum Income Standard (MIS).

It said the problem was that household costs have been rising, while incomes have stagnated.

The government has already promised to tackle the issue, after Theresa May identified those "just about managing".

It said it was taking "targeted action" to raise incomes.

 

The MIS is set by experts at Loughborough University, and is based on what members of the public think is a reasonable income to live on.

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App for mums to build friendships.

A new app aimed at mothers has launched in London and New York, aimed at helping mums build friendships.

Peanut adopts the format of dating apps such as Tinder where mothers upload profiles and pictures and "swipe" to register their interest in each other.

Co-founder Michelle Kennedy was deputy CEO of European dating app Badoo and was also on the board at Bumble.

Read the detail.


Care leavers die early.

Young people who have grown up in care are far more likely to die in early adulthood than other young people, Freedom of Information figures reveal.

They show 90 people who left care in England between 2012 and 2016 died in the years when they would have turned 19, 20 or 21.

Care leavers make up 1% of the population at these ages, but make up around 7% of the deaths.

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