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.

Staff and students walk on Westminster.

In his tailored navy suit and tortoiseshell spectacles, Gerry McDonald looks an unlikely rebel. Yet on Wednesday this well-mannered college principal will make history when he shuts the college doors and heads for Westminster.

He is urging staff and as many of the 25,000 students as possible to accompany him on a march from Pall Mall to Westminster to mark Colleges Week, a campaign organised by the Association of Colleges to raise the profile of further education (FE) and persuade the government to redress eight years of underfunding.

Read more.

Arts leaders call for more school funding.

The Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are calling for a premium to fund arts classes in England's schools.

The major arts institutions say league tables and pressures on time and budgets are squeezing out important creative subjects.

Six thousand 11 to 18-year-olds have described how the subjects help build their confidence, in new research.

The government says it is investing almost £500m in arts and music.

Creative subjects have been under pressure for a number of years, as many schools in England have devoted more time to core academic subjects.


The Tate and the RSC want steps taken to redress that decline.

Read more.

Education Conference and ACT AGM Saturday 24th November.

“Identity, Sexuality and the Gospel: A better story for our schools”


A day conference for all Christians involved and interested in Education



Aim of the conference:  To provide a collegial forum for Christians involved in education (Heads, Teachers, TAs, Governors, parents and others) to develop a view of education which is authentically Christian and to be equipped to face the social and political challenges in the UK today., especially as they affect views on identity, sexuality, marriage and the family.


Date:  Saturday 24 November 2018


Venue:  St. Ebbe’s Church, Oxford (central Oxford: easily reached from Oxford Station or Park & Ride buses)


Cost: Delegates are asked to contribute £10 towards the costs of the conference.


Principal speakers: Dr. Stanton Jones, Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College, Illinois, USA; Rev. Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St. Ebbe’s; Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester. We shall also be hearing from a variety of politicians and seminar leaders. 

Dr. Stanton Jones writes that he hopes to cover the following topics during the course of the day:

  • Understand the “spirit of the times” that is eroding the traditional stance of Christians globally on sexuality and sexual ethics;
  • Strengthen the ability to articulate persuasively and positively a Christian understanding of sexuality that is comprehensive and compelling;
  • Deepen your appreciation for the contributions to and limitations of science in enhancing our understandings of persons and their sexuality
  • Understand a model of character development that will foster effective teacher-student-parent collaboration and communication and set a redemptive context for effective child discipline;
  • Cast a vision for family, school and church collaboration in enhancing the internalization of Christian morality by our students



Programme for the day:


 9.45 -   Coffee and register

10:00 – Introduction – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

10:20 – Devotional – Rev. Vaughan Roberts

10:50 – Introducing Dr. Stanton Jones

11:00 – Keynote Address: Stanton Jones

12:00 – Q & A

12:30 – Lunch

13:15 – Seminar Options – moving to rooms

13:30 – Seminars

14:30 – Politician 1

14:45 – Politician 2

15:00 – Politician 3

15:15 – Panel Discussion (Q & A) with all speakers

15:45 – Round-Up – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

16:00 – Finish  


Seminar Topics will be announced shortly, as will the names of the Politicians attending. One seminar will be led by Dr. Stanton Jones, developing the ideas he will have set out in his main talk. Another seminar will be led by Guy Hordern and Ron Skelton on Religious Education and Collective Worship. A third seminar will deal with legal issues which affect Christian teachers in schools.


Refreshments and lunch: we suggest that people bring their own lunch: tea and coffee will be provided. 


All are most welcome: How to Register -

Please send an email saying who will be coming to Hugh Bradby

If you wish to send your £10 now, cheques may be made out to TISCA and mailed to Box 4462, Leamington Spa CV31 9EG. Otherwise please pay on the door.

Alternatively, you may book for the conference on Eventbritehere:


Britains newest University opens its doors.

World Mental Health Day 10th October.

World Mental Health Day

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year.

The day provides an opportunity "for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide". This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world.

Read about a new campaign for schools.

Pupils being turned away from mental health services.

Pupils referred to mental health services by their schools are being turned away if they don’t exhibit the same problems at home, a think tank has warned.

In a new report by the Education Policy Institute, researchers found that as many as 1 in 4 children referred to CAMHS in England are rejected, and that school staff are required to respond to children who self-harm, despite cuts to school support services.

The number of referrals of young people to child and adolescent mental health services has increased by 26 per cent in the last five years, placing increasing pressure on the government to improve access to such services.

Read more.

University asks students to pledge not to take drugs.

A university plans to take the unprecedented step of asking incoming students to sign a contract pledging that they will not take drugs on campus, a vice-chancellor has announced.

Buckingham University, which already allows police sniffer dogs on campus to deter drug use, wants to introduce the rule in an attempt to become Britain’s first “drug-free” campus.

The institution’s vice-chancellor, Sir Anthony Seldon, announced the plans in a column in the Daily Mail, saying it is “insane” to allow drug-taking in universities to continue.

Read more.

Private primaries allowed to drop lessons on being gay.

Children in private junior schools will no longer have to be explicitly taught about gay marriage, cohabiting couples or same-sex families, according to guidance that critics have described as a government U-turn.

Read more detail.

Britain's highest paying degrees, according to graduate salary

Asked which degree you should take for the highest graduate salary, you may well think of Oxbridge excellence in law or economics.

With the Oxbridge deadline, as well as that for courses in medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, approaching on 15 October, such courses might be tempting to make the most money in later life.

It is certainly true that some courses at top universities can give you some of the highest paying degrees, adding tens of thousands to the average starting salary.

Read more.

School pupils and their characteristics from the January 2018 census.

Between January 2017 and January 2018 the
number of pupils across all school types rose by
Although some of this increase was still in
primary schools, with 26,600 more pupils in
January 2018 than in 2017, most of the rise is
now seen in secondary schools. Numbers
increased by 35,400 between 2018 and 2017
(compared to a 29,700 increase between 2016
and 2017). In addition there are 5,300 more
pupils in special schools.

Read the detail.


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