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for Christians working in education

The life
A Christian perspective on society and the education industry for the Christian professional in education.

Children who dread PE.

For some school children, PE is the best lesson of the week – a chance to leave the desk behind, get outside, and enjoy a run around with friends. For others, it is a frequently miserable experience – a time when they feel degraded, embarrassed, and may even experience physical pain.

Studies have shown that for girls in particular, PE can be a source of distress which leads to them skipping lessons, or missing out on school altogether.

In my own research, I spoke to secondary pupils who both liked and disliked PE, and found that the notion of competitive sport was a clear source of contention. Those who were good at it did not want those less able to “get in the way”, while those less skilled resented being made to compete. They also felt less “liked” by their PE teachers and their more sporty class mates.

Another concern, for boys and girls, was ill fitting and inappropriate clothing and a lack of privacy when changing.

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Pupils should be banned from wearing watches in exams?

Pupils should be banned from wearing all types of watches in exam halls to reduce cheating, an inquiry into exam malpractice has said.

Exam invigilators are often unable to distinguish between smartwatches and analogue watches that students wear in exam rooms, according to a commission set up by the exam boards. 


Exam boards must take the lead in monitoring “the dark web” for exam malpractice and should make better use of technology - such as tracking packs of papers - to combat cheating, the report says. 


It comes after questions from an A-level maths paper from Pearson, which runs Edexcel, were leaked online for the third year in a row despite microchipping being introduced this summer.


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Serious violence having a devastating impact on children and young people's safety.

Serious violence is having a devastating impact on children and young people’s safety, wellbeing and future life chances, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has told TUC Congress.

The Union has told Congress in Brighton that the Government is failing to respond appropriately to preventing and addressing serious violence involving children and young people. The NASUWT also recognised the work of teachers and headteachers who every day seek to ensure schools are safe sanctuaries for all children and young people.

The NASUWT has called on the TUC to press the Government to support schools and colleges in dealing with violence and disruption, underpinned by a commitment to substantially increase the levels of investment in welfare and support services for children, young people and families.

The NASUWT also wants to see an end to the culture of blaming teachers for pupil indiscipline.  

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, moving the motion, said:

“No one should go to work with the expectation that they will be verbally or physically abused. 

“Across the UK, teachers increasingly are reporting pupil indiscipline as one of the top concerns about their job. In the most recent evidence, 82% of teachers believe there is a widespread problem across schools with pupil indiscipline.

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Going to University still a good investment.

Going to university in England is still a good investment for young people, says an annual international report, which rejected claims there were too many graduates.

The study from the OECD economics think tank says despite facing among the highest tuition fees in the world, the increased earning power of graduates would still "greatly exceed the cost".

"Educated people throughout history have always argued there are too many other educated people," said the OECD's education director Andreas Schleicher.

But he argued that universities needed to face much more scrutiny over the quality of courses and qualifications.

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Special Needs children not getting the help they need.

Many children in England with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) are not getting the help they need, the National Audit Office warns.

The NAO says those children without an education, health and care plan (EHCP) are "particularly exposed" and are more likely to be excluded from school.

It also says councils are under growing financial pressure to meet demand.

The warning comes after the government announced £700m extra for special needs - as well as a major review of support.

Launching the review last Friday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he wanted parents to know the government was "committed to boosting outcomes and ensuring the right support is in place for children with special educational needs".

But the NAO report says that, while some of the 1.3 million children in England with Send receive "high-quality support that meets their needs", many others are not getting the help they need.

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Children living in poverty are being severely disadvantaged in the British school system.

Children living in poverty are being severely disadvantaged in the British school system, according to a new survey which warns crime is a consequence of inadequate support for such disadvantaged youth.

Problems in areas such as nutrition, the ability to gain adequate rest and the cost of school uniforms and transport were among issues hindering the education of poverty-stricken children, the poll by national children’s charity Buttle UK found.

Buttle UK polled 1,200 child support workers across the UK to gain their insights into how poverty affected a child’s education.

It found 88% of frontline workers had seen parents unable to afford basics such as food, fuel and other household items at least once a week, with 77% seeing children who had to be fed either breakfast or dinner at school.

A total of 55% of respondents had worked with children who did not have an appropriate bed of their own at least once a week.

“Not having regular nutritious meals at home or not having an appropriate bed to sleep in means that children do not have the basic foundations for healthy growth or the energy to concentrate at school and learn,” the report said.

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Call for HPV vaccine to be offered to older boys

The Teenage Cancer Trust wants the HPV vaccine programme to be extended to older boys and young men.

Strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) are linked to the majority of cervical cancer cases as well as oral, throat and anal cancers.

Teenage girls have been able to get the HPV jab in the UK since 2008 but now boys aged 11-13 will be offered it too.

The government said that vaccinating older boys would only have "limited benefit".

From this term, boys aged 12 and 13 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will be offered the vaccine in secondary schools, along with boys aged 11 and 12 in high schools in Scotland.

Two doses are needed to be fully protected and the protection lasts for at least 10 years. If the first dose of HPV vaccine has not been given before the age of 15, three doses will be needed to be fully protected.

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Pupils' satisfaction declines in secondary school.

A study has revealed that pupils’ life satisfaction declines in secondary school, with girls’ satisfaction declining faster than boys’ when they leave primary school.

The research, by education data website SchoolDash and school survey website Edukit, found that while pupils’ life satisfaction is relatively high in Year 3 – with pupils reporting an average score of 7.8 out of 10 – by Year 7 the average score had fallen to 7.2.

Read the detail.

Over half pf parents prefer Apprenticeship route to Uni route for their children.

Just over half of parents would prefer their child to get an apprenticeship rather than go to university, saying it offers a better chance of securing a good job.

A survey commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute found that 51% would encourage their child to apply for an apprenticeship instead of university and 59% of parents thought an apprenticeship provided better job prospects than a university degree.


But less than half of those polled said that vocational qualifications were better than academic qualifications.

The survey also found few people were aware of T-levels, the equivalent to A-levels, which will be launched in England next year.

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More food banks being set up in schools.

More schools in England are setting up food banks to help feed their pupils' families, according to the biggest school governors' organisation.

The National Governance Association's annual survey found 8% of governors were in schools which had food banks - up from 7% last year.

The highest proportion were in the north east - where 13% of governors were in schools with a food bank.

Heads' leader Geoff Barton said schools faced "rising levels of poverty".

"It is a shameful situation in a country which is among the wealthiest in the world," said Mr Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union.

Read more.


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