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.

Anti-Semitism puts off Jewish students.

Jewish students are being put off from applying to certain universities because of claims of anti-Semitism.

The outgoing National Chair of Labour Students, Melantha Chittenden has told Newsbeat that her own party's leadership is to blame.

She claims there'd be less anti-Semitism on campuses if the party leadership had been tougher. 

Labour says it is "committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms."

Anti-Semitism is prejudice against Jewish people.

Read more.

London sixth former plays Pogbas double.

A sixth-former from south London has been used as a body double for France's World Cup star Paul Pogba.

Efeme Temienor had previously been told by his friends and family how much he looked like the footballer.

But the resemblance proved to be unexpectedly valuable, with Efeme being paid to stand in for Pogba in an Adidas advert.

The 17-year-old is going to use his fee to help fund his ambition to go to university.

Efeme, a keen footballer himself, is studying at Christ the King Sixth Form, a Catholic college with several campuses across south London.

Read more.

Why do children self-harm?

Saturday’s Times featured the headline "Schools buckle under 70,000 self-harm cases". The article went on to detail how, owing to inconsistencies in the way self-harm is recorded and dealt with across different schools, this figure probably only gave a small indication of the true scale of the problem. Surveying 28 schools that had been able to provide six years' worth of data, the Times found that teachers blamed social media as one of the largest contributors to self-harming behaviours.

Anecdotally, I’d say that self-harm is one of the fastest growing mental health issues in young people. However, I do not think if the Times’ survey had asked pupils themselves, rather than their teachers, that the top answer for why they were self-harming would have been the internet.

Read more.

Adoption and care rates vary by region.

For a child born in England in 2011-2012, the chances of being placed for adoption by the age of five varies starkly by local authority, research suggests.

For a child in Southampton, which had the highest rate, almost one in 50 children was put up for adoption.

For a child in Greenwich, an authority with similar socioeconomic profile, it was less than one in 600.

The findings come from Freedom of Information inquiries carried out by Professor Andy Bilson of the University of Central Lancashire, and shared with the BBC and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

He focussed on two year groups of children, those born in 2011-12 and those born 2006-7, asking detailed questions about child protection.

Adoption is intended to take children out of care, because their chances of stability and success in education, and life, are better. But in the 20 authorities where adoption rose over five years, the number of children in care had risen as well.

Read more.

Modern students prefer work to drugs.

Students are more likely to want universities to take a tougher line against drugs on campus, rather than a more liberal response, say researchers.

The study - from the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) and the University of Buckingham - found 71% of students had not taken illegal drugs.

But almost 40% thought their university had a "problem" with drug use.

Hepi's director, Nick Hillman, said students were "more hardworking and less hedonistic" than was realised.

The study, which surveyed more than a thousand undergraduate students, rejects the image of students being sympathetic to drug use, and suggests a more clean-living generation.

Read more.

Children living in B&B.

"I lived in a B&B with my mum for over two months, I was the same age I am now, 12," says Ellen.

"It was always cold. I don't think there was heating. There were a lot of strangers around. I didn't feel safe.

"You didn't know who was living there or what they might be capable of."

Ellen was interviewed about her experiences of homelessness as part of a child-led campaign, calling for more to be done to stop children in England being placed in unsuitable accommodation.

Read more.

Should parents take phones off teens?

Schools and parents should not be scared to take smartphones and other electronic devices away from teenagers, the headmaster of Eton has said.

Simon Henderson, head of the private school since 2015, says it is sometimes appropriate to take devices away.

Speaking at a Girls' Day School Trust conference in London, Mr Henderson said Eton now requires its Year 9 boys to hand in their devices at night-time.

He said the boys liked the move, as it removed the pressure from them.

Asked how schools could help teenagers navigate social media, Mr Henderson told the conference: "It's a 24/7 culture, but there's a place for taking phones and things off them.


"Sometimes parents and schools are reluctant to do that.

Read more.

Air quality study on 3000 children.

A new £2.5m study to assess the effectiveness of air quality control measures is to check the lungs of 3,000 children.

Researchers will compare the health of two 1,500-strong groups of primary school pupils; one based in central London and the other in Luton.

While the London schools will be within a new Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), Luton is subject to a range of anti-congestion measures.

The study will last four years.

Read more.

Cloud Pets withdrawn overt cyber security concerns.

Amazon and eBay are among retailers pulling a brand of cuddly smart toys from sale after warnings they pose a cyber-security threat.

Concerns were raised about CloudPets products in February 2017 after it was discovered that millions of owners' voice recordings were being stored online unprotected.

Manufacturer Spiral Toys claimed to have taken "swift action".

But subsequent research commissioned by Mozilla found other vulnerabilities.

The devices' California-based maker has not responded to requests for comment

Read the detail.

Cambridge needs help enrolling black students.

Cambridge University says it needs the "support of schools and parents" to help increase the number of black British students it enrols.

A freedom of information request by the Financial Times showed some Cambridge colleges admitted no black British students between 2012 and 2016.

The university told the newspaper it would not be able to improve diversity "on its own".

The figures follow criticism of Oxford University for similar failings.

Of Cambridge's 29 undergraduate colleges, six admitted fewer than 10 black British or mixed-race students between 2012 and 2016.

Read more.


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