ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The week
News items from the week’s daily and education press, covering the major education news stories of the week.

University of Liverpool apologises.

The University of Liverpool have apologised after a "racist" email about exam rules only provided a Chinese translation of the word "cheating", saying Chinese students are usually unfamiliar with it.

The email read: "We find that our Chinese students are usually unfamiliar with the word 'cheating' in English and we therefore provide this translation: 舞弊".

With January exams looming, the University of Liverpool sent out this email to remind students of exam regulations and rules, addressing the punishments for students who get caught cheating. However, the University only translated "cheating" into Chinese despite this email being sent to every international student.

Read more.


Should more school leavers get jobs rather than uni?

More school leavers should get jobs and work their way up instead of leaving university with £50,000 debts, Education Secretary warns

  • Damian Hinds wants more school leavers to go straight into work not university
  • They earn while they learn rather than being saddled with up to £50,000 of debt 
  • Apprenticeships are now being brought back due to need for white collar roles

Read more


Schools facing 'education isolation'.

Schools are facing an ‘educational isolation’ that goes beyond just being based in remote areas, a new report is set to warn.

Researchers say that coastal and rural schools can also be isolated professionally, economically and culturally meaning they lack the resources they need to improve.

The report warns that geographic remoteness can have a negative impact on teacher recruitment and retention and on parental engagement.

But the authors of the report, Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope and Dr Rowena Passy, want policymakers to think beyond the idea of schools being simply geographically isolated.

Read more.


New higher quality apprenticeships

Leading employers have woken up to the benefits apprenticeships bring to their workplaces, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said today, with top firms including Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group taking on thousands of apprentices on the Government’s new, higher quality apprenticeship programmes.

At a time when many young people will be considering their futures, the Education Secretary wants parents, schools and colleges to make sure apprenticeships are being promoted alongside more traditional academic routes.

So today (Thursday 17 January) the Government is launching a new campaign to promote apprenticeships among young people, parents and employers, whilst confirming that it will write to the largest school trusts who have not published information on their website about how they will ensure providers of vocational education are able talk to pupils in their schools.

Read more.


Pass rate for resit students in GCSE English and Maths exams.

The pass rate for students resitting GCSE English and maths exams in November has fallen compared with last year.

This means thousands of students picking up their GCSE English and maths results this morning will be forced to resit their exams again in the summer.

Candidates who do not manage to achieve at least a grade 4 in GCSE English or maths when they leave school are required to resit the qualifications at a college or sixth form until they achieve that grade, under the condition of funding rules. Those with a grade 2 or below in GCSE maths and/or English at school will have to continue to study the subjects at college, but they can take either a GCSE or an approved stepping-stone qualification to meet the condition of funding.

Read more.


Culham St Gabriel’s is looking for a new CEO.

Our news

We are recruiting – Culham St Gabriel’s is looking for a new CEO

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

1st May 2019 or by arrangement

Culham St Gabriel’s is an endowed charitable Trust supporting broad-based Religious Education in UK schools. We are seeking a dynamic, knowledgeable and efficient CEO to implement our vision for change in RE through the strategic plan, report to Trustees and manage staff and consultants.

Oxford-based, with extensive travel

Salary range £60,000 to £70,000, full time with defined contribution pension scheme

For an information pack please see below. If candidates wish to discuss the role with a trustee, they should contact the Office and Operations Manager on  deborah@cstg.org.uk.

Information Pack

Please click on the following links:

Intoduction to Culham St Gabriel’s Trust and CEO post

CEO Job description and person specification

Culham St Gabriel’s Trust Strategic Plan


Culham St Gabriels comments on Commission on RE.

The Commission on RE and RE policy issues

The Commission on RE and RE policy issues

Culham St Gabriel’s Trust fully endorses the vision of Religion and Worldviews, and welcomes the direction of travel in the eleven recommendations. We believe that the subject currently called RE urgently needs to be rejuvenated. This should happen in ways that reflect the social, cultural, religious and secular realities of our nation. The subject should be defined by a statutory statement of entitlement. The DfE should make a significant investment in initial and continuing training, modernising the legal structures that support Religion and Worldviews.

As a Trust we are committed to investing in immediate change and improvement for Religion and Worldviews. We will continue to promote high standards of CPD and research, and continue to enable advocacy for better recognition and policy change. We will be pleased to work with partners and grantees who share our vision and work constructively to promote it. We congratulate the Commission on RE for an excellent, visionary report, which recognises the need for urgent action; and we look forward to a better future for Religion and Worldviews.


Chair of the Commission on RE has written to Secretary of State.

The Chair of the Commission on Religious Education, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, has written to the Secretary of State following his response to the Commission’s Final Report.

In his letter, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall expresses disappointment in the Secretary of State’s response but looks forward to an opportunity to discuss the steps that can be taken to ensure high quality RE for all school children, and suggests that the Secretary of State includes the RE Council in such discussion.

The letter from the Very Reverend Dr John Hall is available in full on the Commission Website.


Brexit protests bad lesson for pupils.

Young people are being taught "dreadful lessons" about behaviour by the angry rows over Brexit, says the principal of Gordonstoun - the private school in Moray attended by the Prince of Wales.

Lisa Kerr warns that scenes such as the protests against MP Anna Soubry are undermining efforts in schools to teach tolerance and respect for other views.

"It seems that simply taking part in a topical and important debate now makes you a target for abuse," says Ms Kerr.

She called for a more positive example.

"As well as being deeply depressing for us adults, this is teaching dreadful lessons to our children," said Ms Kerr, principal of the school that taught Prince Charles, his brother the Duke of York and their father, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Read more.


Seven week summer holiday for Catholic Academy Trust schools.

Parents were left furious after a school trust announced pupils would be getting a seven week summer holiday instead of six.

The decision will see thousands of children enjoy a longer summer break throughout the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust in Teesside.

While the news will be welcomed by pupils, parents were said to be "up in arms" about the decision, which they say will amount of higher childcare costs.

However, the trust has explained that no extra holidays have actually been added to the school year- rather a week from the usual two week Easter break has been removed and added to the summer holidays.


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