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.

Children who can't catch.

Clumsy children who struggle to catch a ball are less likely to perform well in reading,  writing and maths exams, a study has found.

The research raises the possibility that schools could provide extra support to children who lack hand-eye coordination, psychologists said.

More than 300 children aged between four and 11 took part in various computer tasks for the study, led by researchers at the University of Leeds.

Their co-ordination and interceptive timing was tested by their ability to interact with a moving object.

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Gender divide in university applications.

The gulf between the numbers of men and women applying to university has widened, official figures show.

New Ucas statistics reveal almost 98,000 more women than men had applied by the end of last month to start degree courses this autumn.


The figures are likely to spark fresh debate about why there is a gender divide.

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A mothers place 'in the home'?

A woman's place may no longer be in the home - but if she has pre-school children, it should be, according to an annual survey of social attitudes.

Only 7% of British Social Attitudes survey interviewees felt mothers of under-5s should have full-time jobs.

Part-time work was judged acceptable by 38% - but one in three felt those with under-5s should be stay-at-home mums.

Meanwhile, 72% disagreed that "a man's job is to earn money - a woman's job is to look after home and family".

Older people, unqualified people and those on lower incomes were more likely to support a traditional view of women as homemakers and men as breadwinners.


A representative random sample of 3,988 adults were interviewed between July and October 2017.

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University entry should look at background too.

The university access watchdog says students' backgrounds should be taken into account when awarding places, to improve "equality of opportunity".

A-level grades are a "robust measure" only if the applicants' "context" is also considered, Chris Millward says.

Many universities give extra help to disadvantaged applicants - but a report warns of a lack of openness about how this operates.

All Russell Group universities use some form of "contextual admissions".

Top universities have faced accusations of being socially exclusive and recruiting too few applicants from ethnic minorities.

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Mother challenges uniform policy.

The mother of a seven-year-old girl who cried every day because she was forced to wear a skirt to school is hoping to bring a legal challenge against the government’s uniform guidance, which she says is leading to discrimination.                    

Every morning for nearly three years Roberta Borsotti wiped the tears from her daughter’s face as she railed against her school’s strict no-trousers policy for girls, asking repeatedly: “If boys and teachers can wear trousers, why can’t I?”

After threatening legal action, Borsotti finally convinced her daughter’s school, a Catholic primary in south-west London, to alter its uniform policy. Now she’s taking legal action against the Department for Education because she says she does not want other children to suffer in the way her daughter has.

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Growing up neglected - the report.


This report is about the third joint targeted area inspection programme, which began in May 2017 and examined ‘the multi-agency response to older children who are living with neglect’.

This report considers the most significant learning from six inspections of local authority areas with a focus on the neglect of older children. The inspections reviewed practice in children’s social care, education, health services, the police, youth offending services and probation services. The report recognises that much has been done by agencies to address neglect of younger children but it calls for a greater awareness of the neglect of older children and a focus on trauma-based approaches to tackling it. It also calls for a greater awareness among professionals in adult services of the risks of neglect of older children who are living with parents with complex needs.

Read the report.

New Child Protection Regulations.

Children at risk of abuse or neglect will now be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services.

Strengthened guidance published today (4 July) sets new legal requirements for the three safeguarding partners, who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of local children and families.

Senior police, council and health leaders will jointly be responsible for setting out local plans to keep children safe and will be accountable for how well agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect.

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1 in 6 children are vulnerable.

An estimated 2.1 million of England’s 11.8 million children – one in six – are living in families where there are risks so serious that some level of intervention or help is necessary.         

However, 1.6 million children are thought to be “invisible” to the system – living in vulnerable situations but not receiving any help.

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Troubled children.

Child L is the kind of 15-year-old that police, education and social services might consider a problem.

He goes out every evening and often does not come home at night.

He regularly misses school. His teachers find him disruptive and struggle with his behaviour.

He has started hanging out in a park with a group of older men. The police suspect he is dealing drugs. But his social workers call him "resilient".

Read more.

Healthy meals for children.

Biryani, lamb tagine, pasta primavera and cod curry are on the menu at nurseries to help young children maintain a healthy weight.

The new recipes have been prompted by concern that around a quarter of four and five-year-olds are classed as overweight or obese.

Children in full-time care may be getting 90% of their food intake there.

Wales Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said nutritious food would set the foundation for their future wellbeing.

The guidance - aimed at regulated childcare settings which include nurseries and some childminders - proposes a range of meals aimed to "develop good eating habits".


It recommends age-appropriate portion sizes and snacks with little or no sugar and salt.

Read more.


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