News

Abbot’s Lea School achieves International School Award

Abbot’s Lea School students with International School Award

Woolton-based Abbot’s Lea School has been honoured with an international school award from the British Council.
 
The Foundation International School Award was bestowed to Abbot’s Lea for showing a commitment to embedding international awareness and understanding within the specialist school. 
 
The foundation level recognises schools that are embarking on an international journey and are introducing the concept of internationalism, embarking on an international partnership and have conducted at least one international classroom activity.
 
This recognition supports the school’s vision of becoming an International Centre of Excellence for Autism education, research and professional development.

One in ten children leave primary school unable to brush their teeth

Primary school girl brushing her teeth

Surprising numbers of children in the UK are leaving primary school without basic life skills such as being able to brush their own teeth, dress themselves without assistance and tell the time. 

According to a new study, one in ten (10%) children are leaving primary school unable to brush their own teeth, dress themselves or tell the time.

The research by watch and sunglasses specialist, Tic Watches, also revealed that almost one in six (16%) primary school leavers are unable to swim, despite the national curriculum stating that all children should be able to swim 25 metres by this time, and 13% are unable to ride a bike.

The most common basic skills that UK children leave primary school without are: 

Liverpool headteacher up for National Autistic Society Award

Liverpool headteacher - Ania Hildrey - up for National Autistic Society Award

Mrs Ania Hildrey, headteacher of Abbot’s Lea School in Woolton, has been shortlisted for the National Autistic Society's prestigious Autism Professionals Awards, in the Achievement by an Individual Education Professional category.
 
The annual awards recognise people, services and schools across the UK who are making a difference to autistic people and their families. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on 27 February 2020 at Birmingham Town Hall, following the first day of the National Autistic Society’s Professionals Conference.
 

Blind media student inspires others in National Braille Week

Cambridge College logo - Blind media student inspires others in National Braille Week

A teenager is proving that people can do anything, if they put their mind to it, by going into his second year as a media student at Cambridge Regional College.

Budding sports radio presenter and Spurs fan, Matthew O’Leary, says the support he has received has been beyond his expectations and is urging anyone else with disabilities to take on the challenge to follow their dreams.

Among the supportive additions to his learning package have been braille stickers, which tutors put on the radio equipment, to help Matthew in his dream of becoming a sports radio presenter.

“One of the most important additions has been the braille on the radio studio controls. It means I feel confident in what I am doing,” said Matthew, deputy president of the college’s Student Union. 

Teachers Revealed as the Original Influencers

Maxine celebrating teachers being revealed as original influencers

They may not boast millions of Instagram followers like YouTuber, Joe Suggs, and are unlikely to be as famous as the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, Kylie, but new research out today (7 October) has found that teachers are the ultimate, Original Influencers.

Two fifths (40%) of Scottish adults[1], said that, excluding family and friends, teachers have the greatest opportunity to inspire and shape future minds. With just 21% saying social media influencers and only 7% saying celebrities.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) said that between one and five teachers helped to positively influence them or inspired them to become the person they are today. While the majority (68%) said they could still remember the name of their favourite teacher.

Autism with Attitude scoops bronze at UDO World Championships!

Autism with Attitude at the UDO World Championships!

Autism with Attitude street dance group from Hillingdon Manor School, Uxbridge, has taken its success to a new level and is thrilled to have won the bronze medal at the United Dance Organisation (UDO) World Championships in Blackpool on 25 August. The troupe, which has previously made history by becoming the first special needs team to compete at national and international mainstream competitions, now ranks third globally in the Over 18 category, and is a shining example of what young people with autism can accomplish. 

Wilsden Primary School receives certification for online safety

Wilsden Primary School students receiving certification for online safety

Wilsden Primary School in Bradford, West Yorkshire – part of the Focus Trust – has become a Certified School Community 2019 after implementing and effectively delivering online safeguarding measures set out by National Online Safety, an independent online safety provider. 

This recognition from National Online Safety follows the school’s commitment to going above and beyond their statutory requirements in terms of online safeguarding outlined in the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), which was published in September 2018.

Two school teachers launch free app to tackle bad behaviour

School girl in trouble because of bad behaviour

Two teachers have launched LifeGames, a free app designed to address increasing behavioural issues in UK and Irish schools. It comes after exclusive research revealed an urgent call by teachers for more development of social skills within the current education system.

The free app teaches key life and social skills such as empathy, respect, responsibility and effective communication through a collection of over 40 activities and games for three age groups (3-5, 6-9, 10-12). A further 250+ activities and games are also available in a variety of modestly-priced premium packs.

Success For Schools Collaborating On Trial Of New Assessment Solution

School classroom trialling new assessment service

New digital technology for formative assessment and moderation has proven its ability to improve the quality of writing and overall attainment of students, whilst aiding Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and helping to reduce teacher workload.

Fourteen schools in Oxfordshire took part in the research project using RM Compare, a new digital assessment solution from e-assessment technology experts, RM Results. 

Gratnells Maker family featured in UK’s first Mega Maker Lab London

School children using Gratnells Maker trolley

Gratnells, best known for Britain’s most widely used range of storage systems and iconic trays, has sponsored a major Maker event in London.

The Institute of Imagination, a charity that helps create spaces for children to re-imagine the world through the eyes of a Maker and STEM, opened its doors at the beginning of August to host a Mega Maker Lab.  Every day in August, children from all over London enjoyed exploring the five creative zones, with performances and mini-workshops in the Social Space.

Council for Disabled Children statement on the new Government review of SEND support

Disabled little girl

The Government has announced a major new review into support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Five years on from the launch of the Children and Families Act 2014, the review is designed to improve services for disabled children and young people and their families. 

The Children and Families Act, also referred to as the SEND reforms, drastically changed provision for disabled children and young people.

New Education Leadership Academy set to transform inclusive leadership in Schools

Staff from The Education leadership Academy

The Education leadership Academy (ELA) at the University of Birmingham was officially launched on Monday 9th September. 

The Academy will combine academic-led education and values-driven leadership and be the first of its kind to focus on social inclusion and developing the very best school leaders to help transform the lives of children from different backgrounds.  

Schools Pushing Too Much Sugar at Children According to Survey

Little girl eating lolly full of sugar

A new survey conducted by the charity, Rewards Project, has found that schools are offering too much sugar to children.

Four hundred and eighty-seven (487) schools and nurseries from across the UK participated in the survey which found that 66% of breakfast clubs drinks have added sugar, 94% of schools offer desserts with added sugar and 84% of schools with a tuck shop sold snacks with added sugar.

UK education charity warns PM outdoor learning at ‘risk’ 

Mark Castle from Field Studies Council education charity

The leader of one of the UK’s most prominent outdoor education charities has urged the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to improve funding to schools as a matter of urgency.

Mark Castle, chief executive of the Field Studies Council, which operates a network of field centres across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, warned that children and young people were at ‘risk’ of losing out on valuable outdoor learning experiences because of current funding pressures on primary and secondary schools.

In an open letter, Mr Castle congratulated the new PM on his appointment and welcomed his vision for better education but urged him to make it a matter of ‘greater urgency’.

Hillingdon Manor School celebrates 20 years of educating children with autism

Hillingdon Manor School celebrates 20 years of educating children with autism

Uxbridge-based Hillingdon Manor School celebrates 20 years of educating children with autism

Excitement filled the air on Saturday when Hillingdon Manor School in Uxbridge, West London welcomed past and present staff, pupils and their families to a fundraising Summer Market Day celebration to mark its 20th Anniversary of providing specialist education and support to pupils with autism in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas. Raising over £600 for three charities - Anna Kennedy Online, HACS (Hillingdon Autistic Care & Support) and Dogs Trust - the event was a chance for all to celebrate and reflect on the successes and experiences gained at the school.

‘Slanglish’ - the main culprit for students failing English GCSE

English GCSE Teacher at chalk board

The UK’s leading online tutoring agency has revealed that the use of ‘Slanglish’ is now the number one reason why students are failing their English GCSE. The site surveyed more than 2,000 tutors, and discovered that students using slang terminology in exams is the most commonly cited reason for students failing the subject, a 282% increase compared to data from 2015.

Students in the UK are failing their English GCSE because they’re using slang terminology in exams, according to the UK’s leading online tutoring agency.

TutorHouse.co.uk surveyed 2,103 of its tutors and found that the number of tutors citing ‘Slanglish’ as the main reason students are failing the subject has increased by 282% since 2015.

One Year On: Five-Point Checklist

GDPR - One Year On: Five-Point Checklist

Dr Richard Harrold (Data Protection Officer at ACS International Schools) outlines the most effective methods to meet GDPR regulations

One year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), compliance remains one of the greatest challenges for schools in the UK. An ongoing task at ACS International Schools, data protection brings its own set of challenges for international school administrators. 

Schools set for “game-changing” fundraising platform

David Evans owner of fundraising platform FundStar

FundStar, a not-for-personal-profit enterprise set up by serial entrepreneur David Evans MBE, has been formally launched today after successful trials to offer schools a strategic and co-ordinated approach to their fundraising activity.

As schools experience a reduction in real-terms funding and increased costs, the pressure to raise money by alternative means is growing. Whilst campaigns for more central government funding continue, schools must consider every route to pay for both the ‘bare essentials’ and the added-value opportunities which will help children to thrive in their education, and many are inviting parents to contribute to the cause.

Gratnells Science Technician of the Year winner 2018/2019 announced

Gratnells Science Technician of the Year winner with award

The Gratnells sponsored Science Technician of the Year award 2018/2019 has been awarded to Razika Berboucha from Lampton School Academy in Hounslow, Middlesex.
Now in its eleventh year, the competition is open to Science Technicians in secondary schools, colleges and academies across the world.  Entrants much be 18 years old, with at least two-years’ experience in full or part time employment. The judging panel, consisting of esteemed industry professionals, look for evidence of individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ in their daily work - Science Technicians who embrace their work, enjoy the challenges and look to offer continuous improvement in the services they deliver.