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.

Boy attends Church of England school in a dress.

A Christian family is preparing to sue their sons’ Church of England school after boys were allowed to come to class wearing dresses.

Nigel Rowe, 44, and his wife Sally, 42, removed their six-year-old son from the unnamed school after a male classmate was allowed to attend the primary school in a dress.

They intend to educate him at home on the Isle of Wight alongside his eight-year-old brother. The older boy was pulled from the same school - which has a uniform - a year ago when a boy in his class also started wearing dresses.

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Self harm on the rise.

Self-harm among young people is on the rise, with potentially devastating consequences. Karen Sullivan looks at the statistics and suggests what role schools can play to tackle this danger

There can be few acts perpetrated by adolescents (or, indeed, anyone else) that are as distressing as self-harm, and yet, fed by an increasing sense of isolation and desperation and the wealth of inflammatory material on the internet (leading, of course, to it seeming almost “trendy”), it is becoming a serious, growing problem that shows no signs of abating.

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Will studying abroad become more attractive post Brexit?

Studying abroad has long seemed like an attractive option for many UK students, and it’s not hard to see why. Along with cheaper fees, and the opportunity to learn a new language, it is the chance to experience a new culture, and leave behind the notoriously rubbish British weather.

But of course with Brexit on the horizon, this could soon be about to change. UK higher education made no secret of its desire for the country to remain in the EU – and during the campaign, vice chancellors from across the sector highlighted the importance of a remain vote – with EU funding and student recruitment implications the main concerns.

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Students run up gambling debts.

Some students have run up gambling debts of £10,000 or more, a Gambling Commission director has told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

Ben Haden said his organisation was concerned about the impact gambling was having on undergraduates.

Former student Matt Zarb-Cousin told the BBC: "One day I lost about £2,500 just on [gambling] machines. I came very close to taking my own life."

The National Union of Students said action was needed to minimise risks.

Mr Haden added: "Clearly with the raft of new students heading to uni at this time of year we should do more for the student population."

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The Gambling Commission is calling for more advice and guidance to help prevent students from becoming hooked.

Brexit fears for young people.

More than two-thirds of young people in the UK have an "international outlook" and many fear for their prospects once the UK leaves the EU, says a report.

Ipsos Mori questioned a representative group of almost 2,000 18 to 30-year-olds for a study by cross-party think tank Demos, for the British Council.

Overall, young people said they feel "overburdened" by responsibility and "multiple barriers", says the report.

Ministers said schools worked hard to prepare pupils for life in a modern UK.

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400 pupils in detention over school uniform.

More than 400 pupils at a comprehensive school in Aberystwyth were given detention on their first day back for breaking school uniform rules.

The uniform was changed at Ysgol Penglais over the summer, following a consultation.

But a number of parents have complained to the school and some 250 have signed a petition saying the punished pupils were "treated unfairly".

Ceredigion council said a large number of pupils were kept in at break times.

The new uniform was brought in for the start of the new academic year, with the old navy blue pullover and white polo shirt replaced by a grey v-neck jumper, white shirt and a tie. Sixth formers have a similar outfit.

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Wrong shade of grey trousers.

Pupils were lined up at the gates of a secondary school while their trousers were checked to see if they were the right shade of grey - with some failing the inspection and being sent home.

Kepier School in Houghton-le-Spring has defended the move, which it said was because it valued "consistency".

Parents have been told that only clothes of a particular colour and bought from one supplier are allowed.

Several pupils were sent home, with others barred from classes.

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Gender neutral uniform.

A school which is making all new joiners wear trousers is bowing to "gender neutral nonsense", former pupil Piers Morgan says.

Priory School in Lewes said it made the change after concerns were raised over the length of skirts worn by pupils.

The East Sussex school also said the new uniform rules were catering for a handful of transgender pupils.

Commenting on Facebook, Joanne Pearson said: "Gender neutral? What about being proud to be a girl?"

TV presenter Piers Morgan tweeted that he was sad to see his former school "bow to this gender neutral nonsense".

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Number of children reported to prosecuters for sexual offences rises.

The number of children reported to prosecutors for sexual offences has risen by 21% in four years, new figures have revealed.

There was also a 34% rise in the number of children being reported as the perpetrators of sexual offences where the victim was another child.

Sexting - sharing intimate images - is one reason for the increase.

Leading prosecutors said the figures show the need for better education of young people.

Alison Di Rollo, the solicitor general, is to host a summit in Glasgow on Friday, to help professionals prevent future sexual offending by children.


She said: "Too many children and young people are coming to the attention of the police and the prosecution service in relation to sexual offending.

"There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that the most significant factor in determining whether a child will commit criminal offences in the future is contact with the criminal justice system at a young age. 

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Children fear being victim of crime.

British children's biggest fear is becoming a victim of crime, a survey has found.

Among 10 to 17-year-olds, almost 40% worry about crime and are particularly fearful of theft, being followed by a stranger or being assaulted.

The Children's Society's annual report, which surveyed 3,000 children and their parents, found that overall, levels of happiness continue to fall each year.

It wants the government to increase funding for vulnerable children.

After their safety, parental debt and money struggles damage children's happiness the most, the charity's annual Good Childhood Report found.

Read more.


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