What’s been in the news this week?
- Around one in five children and young people in the UK experience emotional and behavioural problems according to the annual HeadStart survey, a major five-year programme set up and funded by Big Lottery Fund. The findings reveal that:
* Pupils in Year 9 are more likely to report mental health problems than those in Year 7.
* Girls are more likely to say they had experienced emotional problems (with 25% of girls saying they had a problem compared to 11% of boys) but in contrast, boys are more likely to say they have experienced behavioural problems (with 23% of boys saying they had experienced them compared with 15% of girls).
* Pupils from Asian, Black, Mixed, and other ethnic groups were less likely to indicate they were experiencing emotional problems than young people in the White ethnic group.
* Pupils with special educational needs, those eligible for free school meals, and those classified as children in need were also more likely to say they were experiencing both emotional and behavioural problems.
- Check the Place2Be website for some great resources, thinking and news around mental health and wellbeing for young people.
- The Prince of Wales has warned the “creative arts” are in danger of being “forgotten and left out” within the school system.
- Under a new strategy being released shortly by the government, schools with pupils from a single cultural, racial or religious background are to be required to ensure they are taught “pluralistic British values“
- It’s incredible to think that we don’t teach British Sign Language in schools. There are currently 11 million people within the United Kingdom with hearing loss. Some of these profoundly deaf – yet British Sign Language has still not been made a part of the national curriculum. There are lots of children who are born deaf, and we need to give them a better chance at a more integrated future. The National Deaf Children’s Society have researched the attainment of deaf children and have found that they continue to underachieve throughout their education, compared with other children. This is why BSL needs to be taught in schools and put on the curriculum. In fact, most young people think there should be a GCSE in sign language. Sign the petition here.
- The whole ‘handwriting is a waste of time in a digital age’ pops up again and the debate is unbalanced as ever.
- According to Labour Force Survey, secondary school staff are three times more likely to be physically attacked at work than the average UK employee.
- University tuition fees make going to university almost impossible for many people. The University of London will offer an undergraduate science degree course completely taught online for £5,650 per year over three years. Cheaper yes but still massively out of reach for many.
- “Using technology to drive audience engagement, boosting the digital capability of cultural organisations and unleashing the creative potential of technology” – the new Culture is Digital report has been published.
- Paul Drechsler, president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), says that “It is time for a national, rational debate on how we help our young people succeed. And then let’s reform the curriculum to deliver the results we need.”
- Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman says that she is “very concerned” about a huge rise in home education which she says can be partly blamed on schools under pressure “shovelling” children back to parents.
- According to the the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane, economics should become a core part of the school curriculum to raise financial literacy and help the public to engage better as citizens. Perhaps he should tell the government how to fund schools too.
- Funding cuts in UK schools means that class sizes are increasing.