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Special Olympics & Play Unified Help 30,000 Young People Fight Intolerance in First Two Years

Special Olympics & Play Unified Help 30,000 Young People Fight Intolerance in First Two Years

Play Unified, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is celebrating a second successful year fighting intolerance in schools across the UK - reaching almost 30,000 young people nationwide, enough to fill a football stadium!

The campaign aims to change perceptions of and end intolerance towards young people with intellectual disabilities (ID), such as the fact 8 in 10 experience bullying.  It aims to strengthen leadership and sport participation pathways for young people with intellectual disabilities and develop inclusive environments in schools through sport.

Catering Beyond the Classroom

classroom

Principals and Prue Leith take school catering ‘Beyond the Classroom’

Prue Leith CBE joined forces with Principals, one of the UK’s longest established school caterers and part of CH&Co Group, to offer school leaders new perspectives on the future of school catering and their role in ensuring children and families understand food and nutrition and enjoy healthy and sustainable eating at school and at home.

Charity places 10,000 governors in schools

school governor Alastair Cowen

With schools struggling to attract volunteers to join their governing board, one charity has recruited 10,000 governors – many of whom are professionals with links to global businesses.

And one finance manager has spoken of his pride at helping to turn around a school which teaches children with medical and special needs.

The national education charity Governors for Schools (formerly School Governors’ One Stop Shop) recruits skilled and committed people to be highly effective governors and trustees of schools all over England. It aims to raise public awareness of governor opportunities for the benefit of schools and businesses. 

Person Centred Care Is The Key To Fulfilling Lives

Person Centred Care

Care Management Group’s Chief Executive, Peter Kinsey, spent some hands-on time over the holiday period at one of the organisations care services – highlighting what really is at the centre of high-quality care provision.

CMG supports individuals with particularly complex needs, including those with autistic spectrum conditions, mental health needs, and profound and multiple learning difficulties, across over 120 services. Through its commitment to ensuring that service users are given the opportunity to lead the most fulfilling and enriched lives as possible – tailoring care provision has been key.

Boost to special needs and disability funding has been welcomed

disability funding apprentice working

A multi-million pound boost to special needs and disability funding has been welcomed by two leading charities.

The Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill said the additional £45million funding for councils and organisations would help to continue transforming SEND provision.

The reforms, which began in 2014, introduced Education, Health and Care plans which are tailored to the individual needs of the child or young person.

£9.7million of the special needs and disability funding will go towards supported internships

Included in the funding is a £9.7million fund set up to create supported internships, helping some of the most vulnerable young people bride the gap between education and employment. 

Teacher training recruitment levels drop by a third with 'low pay to blame'

teacher training with children

Low pay, confusing training routes and poor staff morale have been blamed for a fall in teacher training applications.

Figures from UCAS recently showed that teacher recruitment numbers have dropped by a third. In December 2017, 12,820 people had applied to begin ITT – down from 19,330 the year before. 

The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, said, “It’s alarming, I think, particularly as we know there are going to be another half a million children coming through the system over the next nine years.

East Anglian coding competition set to reduce skills gap and drive social mobility

East Anglian coding competition set to reduce skills gap and drive social mobility

FXP Festival, a STEM initiative based on a computer and mobile game design and development competition, is now open to entries from secondary schools and colleges across East Anglia. The initiative, which is linked to the computer science curriculum, uses computer games to increase interest and uptake of STEM subjects, build young people’s digital skills and provide an insight into what careers in the technology, creative digital and related industries might offer. 

The power of colour in early development

The power of colour in early development

Young children are excited by bright colour — it grabs their attention and ignites curiosity. A baby is born with monochrome vision and is unable to distinguish the difference between colours, it is not until around 8 months when their colour vision is fully developed. By 3-4 years, a child can begin to recognise and name basic colours as frequent exposure can help strengthen this skill.

As well as being visually appealing to a child, what other benefits does colour have in early development? Infinite Playgrounds, educational play area designers, has provided us with more of an insight.

The advantages of colour

It depends on how old a child is as to what benefits they can gain from colour exposure.

Link between child mental health problems and unemployment

child mental health

Experts say that mental health problems in childhood and young adulthood can influence workforce participation in later life.

Two reports have highlighted the link between behaviour, depression and trauma in children as young as seven, and unemployment by the age of 55.

The reports highlight the fact that flexible working, which could help to alleviate some of the issues faced by those suffering from mental health problems, is far from common practice and for some workers it is impractical.

Both reports, published by the International Longevity Centre, found physical and mental illness at younger ages can have a significant impact on employment trajectories in later life.

Teacher manifesto on how to avoid burnout

editors of teaching manifesto

Amid a climate of low staff morale and a decrease in training applications, a new teacher manifesto is asking the question, “How did we let teacher burn-out happen, and what can we do about it – before it’s too late?”

Flip The System UK: A Teachers’ Manifesto, edited by Lucy Rycroft-Smith and Jean-Louis Dutaut, challenges current practice and urges educators to pull together to tackle the problems of low staff morale. It offers systemic, future-proof and realistic solutions to bringing hope, energy and joy back to the profession. 

SEND pupils develop growth mindset

SEND pupils develop growth mindset

Pupils with SEND are being encouraged by a leading educational psychologist to adopt a growth mindset.

Thousands are missing out on the educational workshops designed to provide pupils of all abilities with the skills they need to adopt a growth mindset, say experts.

In the UK, 14.4% of pupils have specific learning difficulties (SLD), 25% of which also have moderate learning difficulties (MLD). These pupils face huge barriers in mastering numeracy and literacy skills. 

Despite indication of the Government moving in a positive direction to help pupils with SEND, school budget cuts have inevitably meant that there has been a loss of staff and a decrease in extra-curricular activities and resources.

Working together for a Bett-er education

Bett show resources

This year’s Bett Show is taking place in January at the ExCeL in London. With 850 leading companies attending, Bett – the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape – promises to showcase 103 exciting new edtech start-ups and bring together over 34,700 attendees from the global education community.

They come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.

Here, we take a look at just a handful of the exciting products and services on show at Bett, to help you decide how to plan your day.

Music and Drama Expo is sure to hit the right note

Music drama expo

The Music & Drama Education Expo has an array of workshops on offer for special needs teachers, with sessions on accessible orchestras, inclusive ensembles and healing through music. 

The London Olympia show takes place in February and promises to deliver over 80 workshops and seminars, a comprehensive exhibition showcasing products and services from over 150 performing arts organisations, and the chance to network with 2,500 music and drama teachers from over 40 countries.

Inclusivity Festivals Inspire Over 2,500 Children

Allianz

More than 30,960 boccia balls have been thrown and 200 seated volleyball games taken place in a bid to get primary school children across the UK thinking about how they can be more inclusive at school.

There are around 770,000 children in the UK living with disabilities - equal to around one in 20 children. National children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and Allianz Insurance are celebrating a successful partnership which brought together 2,580 young people with and without Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND).

Since June 2017, a national series of 20 mixed-ability, inclusive, multi-sport festivals have been held in the UK to build on the legacy of the Paralympics and ensure all children have access to sport and physical activity.

Alderman White School is now Autism Friendly

Alderman White School

Alderman White School in Nottingham signs Autism Alliance Charter in partnership with Autism East Midlands and celebrates the unveil of The Haven (student space)

Alderman White School in Nottingham signs Autism Alliance Charter in partnership with Autism East Midlands and celebrates the unveil of The Haven (student space).  Since the summer of 2017 the learning and development team at Autism East Midlands working in partnership with the Autism Alliance have provided autism awareness training for all the staff at the school and have also produced an autism friendly environmental audit.  The school have worked closely and swiftly to ensure suitable changes have been made to improve their school and to ensure an autism friendly environment.

SoapBox Labs

SoapBox Labs

SoapBox Labs, the leading company in kid’s speech recognition technology, announces its cloud-based API, which accurately recognizes children’s voices and easily integrates with smart devices and applications for kids. Device manufacturers and application developers can now voice-enable children’s products easily and effectively, by taking advantage of the new Soapbox API technology. Soapbox Labs is quickly solving one of the most frustrating issues in the technology space, by recognizing and responding to children’s unique vocal and behavioral characteristics. Soapbox provides a high performance voice-interface for kids everywhere, on all devices and environments.

Every day feels like christmas at Regard

christmas at Regard

For individuals who live at a group of residential care and supported living services for people with learning disabilities and mental health in Wales and the North West, the run-up to Christmas is proving to be a more exciting than ever this year.

Since December 1, the services run by the Regard Group, have been taking part in a ‘24-days to Christmas’ project where people they support undertake a different festive activity each day. 

“It means every day there is something new to look forward to.” said Ann Peebles, manager of The Uplands in Newbridge, Gwent, one of 28 services taking part. 

Regard MD Carole Edmond is ‘one to watch’

Carole Edmond

Carole Edmond, managing director of the Regard Group - the UK’s fourth biggest private provider of supported living and specialist residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury - has been included in the 2017 list of ‘100 Women To Watch,’ Cranfield School of Management’s annual showcase for top female achievers in the UK.

The Education Sector Needs to Get to Grips with GDPR

GDPR

On the 25th of May 2018 the Data Protection Act will be replaced by The General Data Protection Regulation, commonly referred to as GDPR. GDPR will place increased responsibilities upon every education establishment, regardless of the age group for which they cater, regarding management of personal data. Failure to comply with GDPR could result in fines of €20 million or 4% of a business’s global revenue, whichever is greater, and the impact upon OFSTED inspections and ratings would be severe. 

The Background to GDPR