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.

EU law and school uniforms.

EU law prevents the government from cutting VAT on all school uniforms, Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb has said.

But that could change when the UK left the EU, he suggested to MPs.

He was responding to a call from Birkenhead MP Frank Field, who said some families were going short of food to pay for uniforms.

Some of his constituents faced bills of £300 "plus the devastating cost of games kits", he added.

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NEU gives Lighthouse Group contract for members investment advice.

Lighthouse Group has won a new three-year agreement with the National Education Union (NEU) as the preferred provider of retirement planning and investment advice to its 450,000 members.

The NEU was formed on 1 September 2017 by the amalgamation of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and, while Lighthouse was the preferred supplier of financial advice to the ATL's 126,000 members, it did not previously act for the 336,000 members of the NUT.

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Referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services up 26%.

The number of referrals to child and adolescent mental health services in England has increased by 26% over the past five years, Education Policy Institute (EPI) research suggests.

Its report also reveals one in four referrals was either rejected or deemed inappropriate for treatment.

Out of 60 providers questioned, 54 gave a response.

The Department of Health said it was investing an additional £1.4bn into mental health services for children.

Read the detail.

The figures, shared with BBC Radio 5 live Investigates, were compiled using Freedom of Information (FOI) requests submitted to child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) and local authorities in England.

Some providers in England were unable to give the full information requested - 33 supplied data about numbers of referrals over five years.

1 in 3 girls harrassed in school uniform.

One in three girls in the UK has been sexually harassed in public when wearing school uniform, a new report has suggested.

And two-thirds of girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual attention in public, it adds.

The figures come from a report by children's charity Plan International UK, which said many girls feel street harassment is "all part of growing up".

It is calling on bystanders to challenge harassment when they see it.

The charity commissioned an opinion poll by Opinium of 1,000 teenagers and young women aged 14 to 21 across the UK in June 2018, and also carried out interviews with girls and academics.

It found:

  • 66% of girls in the UK said they had experienced unwanted sexual attention or sexual or physical contact in a public place
  • 35% of girls reported receiving unwanted sexual contact such as being touched, groped or grabbed
  • Girls as young as eight years old described witnessing or experiencing harassment
  • More than one in three girls received unwanted sexual attention such as being groped, stared at, catcalled and wolf-whistled while wearing school uniform
  • One-quarter of girls said they had been filmed or photographed by a stranger without permission

Read more.

Coverage of terror attacks leave young people anxious.

Media coverage of terror attacks and extremism can leave young people anxious and with an exaggerated fear of becoming victims, say researchers.

A study of the attitudes of 11 to 16-year-olds found that terrorism was seen as a bigger worry than issues such as bullying, racism, cruelty to children or worries about getting a job.

More than two-thirds expressed fears about the threat of terrorism.

The report suggests that children can have a "skewed" view of levels of risk.

The report, from marketing research firm Childwise, which studies media use among children and young people, found high levels of anxiety about the threat of violence from terror, extremism or warfare.

Read more.

Teachers consider moving abroad.

Teachers in core subjects including English (43%), maths (37%) and science (32%) teachers all say they would consider moving abroad within a term

The findings come at a time when pupil numbers in secondary schools are rising, which is already projected to mean an extra 47,000 teachers will be needed by 2024.

Work-life balance was the biggest reason for teachers in most subjects, maths teachers revealed their biggest frustration is a lack of respect for the profession (60%).

A lack of respect for teachers also peaked in importance among those reaching five years’ experience - a point at which official data shows many qualified teachers exit the profession for good.

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The benefits of nursery.

Children who go to nursery 'have better social skills and behaviour than those cared for at home by family or a childminder'

  • Children who go to nursery better behaved and have fewer emotional problems 
  • Also find it easier to make friends and have better social skills, says the study 
  • French study of 1,428 children up to the age of three compared the two groups



Read more.

Best friends get better results.

Best friends forever? Well, maybe not - but schoolchildren who keep the same best mate as they move to secondary have been found to get better results.

A study of 593 found "substantial instability" in their friendships as they changed schools, with only 27% keeping the same best friend.

But the ones who did achieved better results and had fewer behaviour issues.

The researchers compared what they said about their friendships with how they performed in end of Year 7 assessments.

Read more.

Gay teacher in Zimbabwe resigns.

A gay teacher at a top Zimbabwean boys' school has resigned after death threats and pressure from parents.

Neal Hovelmeier, deputy head for St John's College's sixth form, came out to his students last week. 

He was encouraged to do so as a Zimbabwean newspaper was planning on outing Mr Hovelmeier, the school's chairman wrote in a letter.

Some parents threatened legal action against him in a country where homosexual acts are illegal.

Read more.

Career dreams.

When young people were asked in 2011 about the careers they wanted, the most popular ambitions were for jobs such as doctors, vets, firefighters, police officers, nurses, teachers and actors.

But the Office for National Statistics has gone back and found a reality gap with what really happened to their lives six years later.

Apart from those who aimed to go into teaching, less than one in 50 were in the career they had wanted - with most working as sales assistants, carers or in sales and marketing.

They were also earning less than they had expected and fewer of them had gone to university than they had hoped.

Read more.


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