News

New Music Centres to Open in Bristol

Two new Music Centres open their doors this week as part of a city-wide education programme to support 10,000 young people learn, play and perform music. Bristol Plays Music, the city’s music education hub based at Colston Hall, set-up the new facilities in response to demand for more places to join a choir, band, ensemble or orchestra. They are at Bristol Music Centre South, based at Merchants’ Academy covering the south of the city, and the Bristol Centre for Young Musicians at Bristol Cathedral Choir School based in the city centre.

National deafblind charity Sense is offering free yoga, swimming and football

National deafblind charity Sense is running accessible, free exercise sessions for young people and adults aged 16 and over with sight and hearing impairments. Participants will have the chance to try yoga, swimming or football and have fun in a friendly environment. All activities take place at accessible venues and parents, carers and support workers are welcome to join in as well.

Half of Parents Will Take Their Kids Out of School for Holidays Over Next 12 Months

New research by an online travel agency in the UK has revealed that half of parents with children aged between 4 and 16 plan to take them out of school during term time for a holiday; with 82% saying that they would be prepared to pay a fine. The majority stated that they didn't think time out of school would affect their youngster's education in the long run.

Half of parents with children aged between 4 and 16 years old in the UK are prepared to face potential fines over the next year, after admitting that they plan to take their children out of school for a holiday during term time. The majority of these, 91%, will do so in order to save money on their family trip; whilst 24% admitted to doing the same during the last school year.

New Schools Network wants parents to have the right to sack failing heads 

The New Schools Network is calling for greater power to be put into the hands of parents when their local school is failing to perform. A new ‘parental trigger’ would allow parents to voice their dissatisfaction and set in motion change, ranging from an immediate action plan through to a change in leadership.

The charity that sets up free schools is to put forward the idea in a submission to the Parliamentary Education Select Committee. Nick Timothy, director of the New Schools Network said: “Free schools are putting parents in charge, because they’re giving parents more choice about where to send their children to school.

“But there needs to be more accountability in the system so parents can get the change they want when a local school is failing.

New Vision Screening Programme for Primary Schools

A ground-breaking New Vision Screening Programme for primary schools has been launched to help the one million children who have undiagnosed eye conditions in the UK.

The programme is a completely free and quick online assessment system and accompanying toolkit that school personnel, such as teachers, school nurses or administrators, can use to vision screen children.

The Boots Opticians Schools Vision Screening system checks visual acuity to help identify vision defects including amblyopia, refractive error and strabismus.

Once the screening is complete, at the press of a button a letter is produced that advises parents whether their child needs a referral to an opticians or not.

Schools sign up for online safety tool to help parents

A new online tool for schools across the country aims to give parents the best advice and tips on preparing their children for adult life.

Parent Info, offers a wealth of information – from help to understand teenage text messages, to spotting the warning signs of self-harm, having a healthy body image and managing money in a digital world.

As well as giving parents the confidence and support to speak to their children on such sensitive issues, the department for education say it will also provide parents with pathways for where they can go for more hands on support on specific issues.

Up to 550 schools are already hosting the new government-funded site and the site itself has had 48,000 page views in the past month.

Ravensbourne Special School Honoured by Jeans for Genes Day Charity

SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOLS AND SENCOS URGED TO TAKE PART IN THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JEANS FOR GENES DAY THIS SEPTEMBER

Ravensbourne School, which teaches pupils with severe and multiple learning difficulties, has been awarded the Gene Hero Award to honour their remarkable fundraising efforts over the last twenty years for the charity, Jeans for Genes Day.


Latest wave of free schools include centre for pupils with autism

Eighteen new free schools have been announced today in the first wave of free schools for this Parliament, providing 9,000 new school places.

The new schools to be created include a Vocational Learning Free School, in Cheshire, which will help children with severe learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorder.

Announcing the latest pioneering free schools the prime minister David Cameron pledged “not waver” in his commitment to open 500 new free schools over the next 5 years, creating 270,000 school places across the country.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan also called on more groups to “step forward, invest in the next generation and reap the rewards” that opening a free school can bring.

‘No such thing as empty space’ - an immersive audio installation by deafblind charity Sense at MK Gallery

‘No such thing as empty space’ a sound project by Matt Lewis and Sense, the national deafblind charity is on at MK Gallery in Milton Keynes over the weekend of 5-6 September.

Sound artist Matt Lewis collaborated for six months with people with sensory impairments to create an immersive audio installation. As part of the project, over eighty people from around the country took part in creative sessions involving music making, improvisation, field recordings and composing.

Field recordings drawn from airports and stations to cathedrals and swimming pools as well as experimental music produced by the participants during the project were used for the installation.

Matt Lewis said:

Charities urge radical re-think of youth mental health services and support

Today sees the launch of a series of articles about new approaches to young people’s mental health, drawing on the evaluation and experiences of the pioneering five-year Right Here project funded by Mental Health Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.  The programme focused on youth-led, youth work approaches to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 16 – 25.

The reasons our schools need teaching assistants

Have you ever stopped and thought about who is supporting your child in the classroom, besides their teacher, who has to manage 30 or so children at once and doesn’t have enough time to work one to one with everyone?

That person is a teaching assistant and as schools become more strained financially they are picking up the slack when teachers simply can’t manage their workload and are very often teaching children themselves.

THOUSANDS OF SCHOOLS SET TO JOIN THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COFFEE MORNING ON FRIDAY 25 SEPTEMBER

Schools from across the UK will be baking up a storm this September by helping Macmillan Cancer Support’s flagship fundraiser, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, celebrate its 25th anniversary by helping to raise over £25 million for people affected by cancer.

Last year over £2million was raised through schools alone, with the number of schools involved growing each year. Last year saw over 16,000 schools take part and Macmillan is hoping that this year will be bigger than ever with over 10,000 schools already registered to take part.

Sense hosts UK’s first ever workshop on sports accessibility for deafblind people

A workshop to educate coaches in delivering sport sessions to people with both sight and hearing impairments organised by national deafblind charity Sense took place last week in Birmingham. The specialist training - the first of its kind in the UK – aimed to equip local sports organisations and practitioners with the knowledge and understanding required to make sport accessible.

Coaches with expertise in yoga, swimming and multi-sport activities were introduced to methods of communication with people with sensory impairments, as well as the importance of choosing accessible venues and adapting sessions based on the needs of each individual.

MUM WINS NEW CAR IN COMPETITION THAT RAISES £85,000 FOR DEAFBLIND CHARITY SENSE

A lucky mum-of-two has won a new Mitsubishi Mirage in a raffle that raised more than £85,000 for national deafblind charity, Sense.

Sandra Paul, from Uckfield, won the supermini after entering the competition organised by Sense to raise vital funds to support children and adults with multi-sensory impairments. She bought her winning ticket for £1 at the Sense shop in Uckfield High Street, East Sussex - one of 90 shops the charity operates across the UK.

School nurses essential to solve child health crisis – RCN

The RCN is warning of an escalating health crisis among children and young people because of insufficient investment in school nursing.

A recent report found that five more children die per day in the UK than in Sweden[1] <#_ftn1> . At the annual RCN School Nurses Conferences today, experts from across the UK will emphasise the critical importance of school nurses in improving the health of children in this country.

Half of people with learning disabilities suffer eye problems

Over half the people with learning disabilities seen in specialist sight tests suffered an eye health issue.

And almost two thirds required spectacles, new results from the initiative in London have revealed.

52% of those seen had an eye health problem which could have led to sight loss says the report authors national charity SeeAbility and the leading eye health organisation, Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU).

Experts claim it could lead to reduced independence, poorer quality of life and higher health and social care costs for these individuals.

How a throw-away paper cup can save the life of a child with asthma

Ingenious device from leading medical manufacturer could reduce the risk from dangerous asthma attacks in children

A disposable cup – favoured by many of the high street’s well known coffee shops – is the inspiration behind a new and scientifically reviewed device for the safe and prompt treatment of school age children suffering acute asthma, which often presents as an emergency situation.

The new, single use DispozABLE Spacer (a valve-less holding chamber to help with the optimal delivery of salbutamol sulphate, a drug most commonly known as Ventolin has been developed by the technical team at UK-based medical device manufacturers, Clement Clarke International and has received wide recognition via publications in leading journals and at major conferences.

A positive step forward for Autism East Midlands as they align with PR expert to manage media liaison and promotion of campaigns.

Autism East Midlands is the largest specialist autism charity in the East Midlands and has been providing support to people affected by autism for over 47 years. Formally known as NORSACA (Nottingham Regional Society for Adults and Children with Autism) the charity rebranded to Autism East Midlands in 2014.
To support the charities growth and positive future planning Leicester based PR expert Cristie Herbert of CiCi PR has been appointed to manage media liaison and the promotion of campaigns, and news stories of the charities work with families and businesses.