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for Christians working in education

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

Students to declare mental health problems?

Students should declare their mental health problems on their applications, the Universities UK lead on wellbeing has said.

Universities will be better able to support students if they have a full understanding of their needs, according to Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England.

Speaking at the Westminster Higher Education Forum, he said that universities are heading towards a mental health crisis and simply hiring more councillors will not solve the problem.

Prof West urged students to inform their prospective university of any mental health issues the suffer from, adding: “It won’t affect their application. We want to be able to support them through their studies. 

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Children banned from giving teachers presents.

Children have been banned from giving their teachers Christmas gifts as council chiefs said it could be seen as a bribe.

Schools have been advised by Falkirk Council to instruct parents and pupils not to make financial contributions to any presents for staff.

The move appears to follow general guidelines from by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to ensure staff adhere to the highest standards of public service.

Council employees have been subject to the ban for a number of years but it is believed that this is the first year that it has applied to teachers.

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Where do pupils get their career advice from?

Survey findings come as the government pledges £4 million to appoint a careers leader in every school 

 

The vast majority of pupils consult parents, carers, teachers and friends before making decisions about higher education or careers, rather than turning to a careers consultant, new government research shows.

The finding has been published on the same day that the government announced it will be providing £4 million to fund a careers leader in every school by the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Freelance careers researcher Deirdre Hughes surveyed more than 2,000 young people, including school pupils, further education students and those at university, on their careers decisions.

She found that, when making decisions about what to do after Year 11 or Year 13, three-quarters of pupils asked parents, carers or relatives for help and advice. Family members were by far the most popular source of advice.

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Is Eton leading the way on Social Mobility?

Social mobility – or the lack of it – is under the spotlight following the resignation of the entire board of the government’s Social Mobility Commission. If Justine Greening, the Education Secretary under whose remit the Commission falls, is searching for some evidence that progress is actually being made to narrow the attainment gap between rich and poor, she might take a look at what, for many at first glance, might seem an unlikely place: Eton College.

In 2014, when Britain’s most famous public school announced it was to be educational sponsor to a new state-funded free school for boys and girls, the plans were roundly attacked as a gimmick to offer “Eton on the cheap”, rather than a genuine boost to social mobility.

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Online streaming a problem to children.

Sex offenders are increasingly using live online streaming platforms to exploit children, police have warned.

Children need to be educated on the risks associated with streaming sites, the National Crime Agency said.

It said offenders were learning how young people communicated online and "using this knowledge to abuse them".

In one week, authorities identified 345 vulnerable children and arrested 192 people, 30% involving streaming, blackmail and grooming.

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Teachers at risk of homelessness doubles.

Number of teachers threatened by homelessness set to more than double, figures show 

 

A growing number of teachers are on the verge of homelessness, figures shared with Tesreveal.

As well as causing hardship for teachers, unaffordable housing has also been blamed for fuelling the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.

The situation has become so serious that senior figures in politics and education are pressing the government to intervene to secure affordable housing for teachers.

According to figures shared with Tes by the Education Support Partnership (ESP), a charity that provides mental health and wellbeing support to education staff in the UK, the number of teachers it has helped who are threatened by homelessness is on track to more than double this year.

Last year, the charity helped 300 people experiencing a financial crisis relating to housing. Halfway through this financial year, the figure had already reached 350. “We’ve seen a real surge in teachers applying to our grants scheme in the major cities and areas where pressure on housing and living costs are high,” an ESP spokeswoman said.

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How do children with autism feel about school?

As many parents who have children with autism will know, school can be a tough place. Maybe it’s not surprising then that 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on.

The same study also found that 63% of children on the autism spectrum are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them – with a high percentage of these children ending up expelled or excluded.

The latest series of the BBC’s drama The A Word, tells the story of Joe Hughes and his family as they adapt and come to terms with Joe’s autism diagnosis.

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Lefthanders.

The news that left-handers excel at some sports but not others confirmed my thoughts that the 10% of people that make up us southpaws are used to punching above our weight. A study published in the journal Biology Letters concludes that being left-handed is an advantage in sports where time pressures are particularly severe – such as table tennis, or cricket, or squash.

I am the exception to the rule – I manage to be equally rubbish at any sport regardless of whether it be fast or slow. My PE teacher told me at least I had one good tennis shot in me, but I felt that was a backhanded compliment. But if we left-handers lead at sports such as cricket or tennis, it is yet to make up for the inequality we face in everyday life.

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Parenting and mental health.

Mothers say they suffer from "mum guilt" and are too ashamed to ask for help for fear of looking like a failure.

This was the shared experience voiced by mums and dads at BBC 5 live's #mumtakeover which aimed to be an honest and intimate conversation about parenting and mental health.

Celeb mums Stacey Solomon, Rochelle Humes, Giovanna Fletcher and Neev Spencer joined 5 live's Anna Foster with a panel of experts and an audience of mums at Blackpool Tower.

Solomon, mum to Zachary, nine and Leighton five, says she carries guilt around all day.

She says: "I'm a working mum - that's why I feel guilty but a lot of my friends who are stay at home parents have the same guilt but for different reasons.

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The worst places to grow up in Britain.

West Somerset sits at the bottom of the league table, with average wages less than half those in the best performing parts of London.

There are some surprises, with wealthy areas such as West Berkshire, Cotswold and Crawley performing badly for their most vulnerable residents.

The report explains that wealthy areas can see high levels of low pay, with poorer young people at risk of being "somewhat neglected", particularly if they are scattered around isolated rural schools 

Conversely, some of the most deprived areas are "hotspots", providing good education, employment opportunities and housing for their most disadvantaged residents.

These include London boroughs with big deprived populations such as Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham.

In Kensington and Chelsea half of disadvantaged teenagers make it to university, but the figure for the same group in Barnsley, Hastings and Eastbourne is just 10%.

"London and its hinterland are increasingly looking like a different country from the rest of Britain," says Alan Milburn, who chairs the Social Mobility Commission.

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