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.

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


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

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.

January Prayer Diary.

Prayer Diary Jan 2019

Tue  1st

Thank God for a new year of opportunities, and for His presence and   leading

Wed  2nd

For those who have faced difficulties during the Christmas holiday

Thu  3rd

For the staff and pupils of your local primary school

Fri  4th

For Clive Ireson Director of ACT and Press Spokesperson

Sat  5th

For the work of ACT in resourcing members

Sun  6th

For ACT’s support of Christian teachers in Malawi

Mon  7th

For School Chaplains and their ministry

Tue  8th

For Christians on governing bodies

Wed  9th

For Education Secretary Damian Hinds

Thu  10th

For the staff and pupils of your local secondary school

Fri  11th

For Dawn Williams, Admin Assistant for ACT

Sat  12th

Give thanks for ACT’s faithful members, and pray for new ones

Sun  13th

For ACT’s representation to the RE Council of England and Wales

Mon  14th

For Christian visitors to schools leading Assemblies

Tue  15th

For those applying for, and allocating, primary school places for   September

Wed  16th

For Christians in school leadership

Thu  17th

For the staff and pupils of your local nursery

Fri  18th

For doors to remain open to the sharing of God’s word in schools

Sat  19th

For the development of ACT’s regional support for members

Sun  20th

That ACT will continue to have opportunities to speak out in the   media

Mon  21st

For Pray for Schools – that every school becomes a prayed for school

Tue  22nd

For Christian staff supporting young people through difficult issues

Wed  23rd

For Angela Rayner MP – Shadow Education Secretary

Thu  24th

For the staff and pupils of your nearest college/university

Fri  25th

For Barbara Bell, Chair of ACT

Sat  26th

For the ACT Board of Trustees meeting today

Sun  27th

For ACT’s representation to government

Mon  28th

For Christian Unions in schools and colleges

Tue  29th

For RE teachers

Wed  30th

For teachers struggling to be true to their Christian faith in their schools

Thu  31st

For those delivering and receiving home education


Northern Ireland online applications for primary places is launched.

The Education Authority (EA) says it received more about 6,000 applications on its new online school admissions process in its "first number of hours".

All parents or guardians of pupils due to start pre-school or primary school in Northern Ireland in 2019 can now apply for a place online.

The new system went live on Tuesday and people can apply via the EA website until 31 January.

EA said a small number of users had experienced some difficulties.

In a tweet the Education Authority apologised for "any inconvenience caused".

Read more.


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