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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 point finger at adults over bullying.

Children want adults to show each other more respect, with four out of 10 (41%) seeing grown-ups bullying each other in the past six months, a survey says.

Research among 1,001 children aged 11 to 16 by the Anti-Bullying Alliance suggests worrying numbers of children see adults setting a bad example.

Children in that age group highlighted adults who behaved poorly to each other face-to-face, online or in the media.

Some 97% said they would like to see more respect shown between grown-ups.

The survey is published ahead of the annual charity push against bullying, Anti-Bullying Week, which begins on Monday, November 12.

It comes after many reports of a bullying culture in numerous high-profile workplaces in England, including the Palace of Westminster

Read more.

Too many students left with debts for 'too little payback'

Too many graduates in England are being left with big debts for too little payback, MPs are warning.

Nearly half of recent graduates were not working in graduate roles in 2017, the Commons education committee says.

Its chairman Robert Halfon also highlights the excessive pay of some university vice-chancellors, saying that is not value for money.

The government is reviewing post-18 education and funding to see how it can ensure that value.

The Augur Review, which is due to report early next year, is looking at the system under which students take out tuition fee loans to fund courses costing £9,000 a year.

Read more.

Home schooling on the rise.

Every morning Ben Mumford starts his school day with maths. At the age of 10 he is already working at GCSE level, but he doesn’t always bother to get out of his pyjamas in time for the class. He reads more books than most of his friends, studies science on the beach, and recently built a go-kart in a technology lesson. Ben is happy and fulfilled. All, his mother Claire Mumford believes, thanks to home-schooling. “It’s not that I’m anti-establishment,” says Mumford, who has been home-schooling Ben and her other children, Sam, 11, and Amelia, eight, for the last year. “It’s just that schools haven’t got the time to nurture and teach children the way I think they should. School is very oppressive for young people. It’s not natural to be sat at a desk all day, with fluorescent lights, computer screens, barely able to see outside.” Her children get “time to relax and to be kids – to go to the woods, build dens and to learn what they’re excited about.”

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Some children are consistently bullied.

One child in every classroom has been bullied every single day over past six months, survey suggests.   

Almost half (45 per cent) of 11 to 16-year-olds questioned said they had been bullied face-to-face, and more than a third (34 per cent) have been bullied online, at least once in the last six months.


A survey, from the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), suggests that 4 per cent of pupils are being bullied face-to-face or online every day – which it says is the equivalent of one child in every classroom.


Read more

Data being collected on children from birth.

The children's commissioner for England is calling on internet giants and toy-makers to be more transparent about the data they are collecting on children.

Today's children are the first to be "datafied" from birth and little thought has been given to the consequences, a report for her says.

Who Knows What about Me? calls for a statutory duty of care between social media giants and their younger users.

And it urges the government to consider strengthening data protection laws.

'Canary in mine'

The report also highlights how very young children are now using toys that are connected to the internet.

These gather personal messages and information that may be insecure and open to attack from hackers, it says.

The report quotes research led by Sonia Livingstone, who describes children as the "canary in the coal mine for wider society" - the first to encounter new technology and its risks before many adults are even aware of them.

Read more.

Home Office - School - Assylum seeker.

A secondary school pupil is being investigated after parents and classmates claimed he was as old as 30.

It is thought he is an asylum seeker who joined Stoke High School, Ipswich, as a new pupil at the start of term.

The school said it had contacted the Home Office in relation to the concerns but it was not prepared to comment further.

Another pupil shared an image on social media with the message: "How's there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?"

But some classmates from the school said they did not think he was as old as 30 and suggested he had been a victim of bullying.


The Home Office said it does not routinely comment on individual cases.

In a statement the school said: "This is a matter for the Home Office. They are looking into this after we contacted them.

Read more.

United Learning to take on Silver Birch chain.

financial management including a £12,000 trip abroad for senior leaders is to rebroker all of its schools to a leading chain.

United Learning, one of England’s largest trusts, has been chosen to take on Chingford Hall Primary Academy, Whittingham Primary Academy, Longshaw Primary Academy and Winston Way Academy from the ailing Silver Birch chain.

It follows an announcement earlier this week that Patricia Davies, Silver Birch’s chief executive, has resigned from the trust citing ill health. She had been on sick leave for several months. Mirella Lombardo, Davies’s deputy, also resigned this week.

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Scottish teachers hopes of large pay rise dashed.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has dealt a blow to Scottish teachers’ hopes of winning an inflation-busting 10 per cent pay rise, insisting that the profession has been made a “fair and affordable” offer.

Thousands of teachers from across the country staged a rally in Glasgow at the weekend, but Mr Mackay insists that he can’t agree to a deal which could jeopardise spending on other public services.

Employers, including local councils, have tabled a “final” offer of 3 per cent for all but the most highly-paid teachers, with some grades receiving bigger rises.


“We’ve set out a proposal to teachers as part of the tripartite negotiations,” Mr Mackay told BBC Politics Scotland yesterday. “I think it fits with the deals that we’ve come to so far, stepping away from the pay cut – the 1 per cent pay cut – and I think it’s fair and affordable to ensure we can keep investing in our public services.

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White working class being failed in schools?

“I really don’t care – do you?” That was the slogan printed on Melania Trump’s jacket (from Zara, fashion watchers) that made headlines back in the summer when she visited detention camps for migrant children.

It also happens to be a neat summary of a malaise in our schools which Ofsted boss, Amanda Spielman, and her predecessor, Michael Wilshaw, are laying squarely at the feet of non-migrant families, ie white working-class Brits.

“I’m working in parts of England with white British populations where the parents don’t care. Less than 50% turn up to parents’ evening. Now that’s outrageous.” said Wilshaw.

I hope he’s doing something about it other than complaining to the press. White working-class underperformance has been a problem in schools since Oliver Twist asked for seconds. But in this case, ‘white working class’ is simply a euphemism for ‘poor’.

Read more.

More students seek help for mental health.

The number of students seeking mental health support while studying at university has increased by more than 50% in five years, analysis suggests.

The BBC asked universities across the UK for the numbers of students seeking some form of support.

The National Union of Students said young people were under increasing pressure to perform

The Department for Education said universities needed to provide pastoral care for students.

Read more.


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