Reading is most important life skill

National Literacy Trust

A new poll has revealed that two thirds (74 per cent) of people believe that reading is the most important life skill a child can learn. 

The survey of 2,000 people ranked learning to read as more important than learning basic maths (52 per cent), how to manage finances (43 per cent), playing sport (nine per cent), and using electrical devices (seven per cent). 

However, although learning to read is deemed the most important thing we’ll ever do, thousands of children still do not have any books at home. Recent research conducted by revealed that one in 11 children in the UK have never owned a book. 

"Behaviour management starts from understanding the needs of the child"

Aspire Behaviour Management - Gill Bullock

Gill Bullock, Director and one of the founders of Burnley-based Aspire Behaviour Management Ltd, talks to Education For Everybody editor Victoria Galligan about working with children who are at risk of exclusion…

Can you describe what happens during the placements at Aspire, and during the transition period?

Children aged between three and nine can access placements at The Aspire Hub. All those children who come to us have exhibited Social and Emotional Mental Health and are at high risk of exclusion. 

National Autistic Society and Rough Guides team up to encourage more inclusive days out

Accessible Britain

The study by the National Autistic Society was carried out ahead of the publication of the new, seventh edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain and demonstrated some simple things that venues and attractions can do to make days out more accessible for autistic people and their families.

The revamped edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain follows advice from the National Autistic Society and includes information for visitors with more hidden conditions, such as autism or mental illness.

The Parks Trust Education Ranger Achieves National Accreditation

Outdoor Learning

A member of The Parks Trust’s Outdoor Learning Team, which works with around 6,000 adults and school children across Milton Keynes every year, has been recognised as an Accredited Practitioner by national body the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

James Walsh, who has worked for The Parks Trust for three years, received the accreditation after completing a comprehensive portfolio of work and passing an interview panel with two independent assessors.

The work in his portfolio included published articles in industry magazines, personal reflections on practice and the issues facing the outdoor learning industry, detail around his experience and an ongoing professional development plan.

New Play Kit Designed for Children’s Development


Kitcamp, founded by Anna Saunt and Jonathan Lord, have introduced a new build-and-play modular kit as an alternative to, or to complement, fixed play equipment. The innovative kit is more versatile than traditional fixed play furniture and the advantage is that children build structures themselves, which helps with learning and social development.

The product is unique, comprising of interlocking panels which fit together in different configurations, so children can assemble large objects like castles, dens and spaceships to their own design and limited only by their imagination. It’s ideal for primary schools but can be used in various ways by different age groups, even as a useful storage system or as classroom dividers.

Explore and Learn

Children's charity launches first hospital-based pre-school

Piggles Trust

A charity set up by a family in memory of their late daughter has launched the first hospital-based pre-school, Piggles Trust,  in the country at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Piggles Trust, founded by Caroline and Edward Martin from Andover, aims to provide early years education to young patients nationwide.

In partnership with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s workplace nursery provider Taplins, the charity has funded the first nursery nurse in the NHS.

Prior to the development of Piggles Trust, there was no provision for delivering pre-school education for children aged two to five while in hospital – despite being a crucial age for learning and development.

Adopting Adaptive Learning: A teacher's Guide

Adaptive Learning

Part of the thriving edtech industry, Adaptive Learning fuses education with IT using computers as interactive learning devices. It presents educational content and resources to the user according to their unique needs.

It’s also veiled in mystery, jargon and scepticism. Hasty investments by Venture Capitalists into half-baked solutions have seen many a school stuck with a learning product rushed to market that ultimately does little to add value to the classroom.

A buzzword and a black hole

Enticingly, adaptive learning promises to feed the technical appetites of the digitally native youth; to deliver incrementally better learning experiences and outcomes; and to relieve busy teachers of the paper work and reporting that cloud their evenings and weekends.

KidZania launches search for City Mayor in celebration of annual pass scheme


Some of you may have seen the ads in the local paper but KidZania, the indoor city run by kids, has launched a call to find the city’s first ever Mayor.

KidZania has launched the nationwide search to celebrate their annual pass scheme, which gives young explorers aged between 4 and 14 completely unlimited access to the city for 12 months. The lucky child crowned Mayor of the city will receive their very own free annual pass as well as the key to the city, so they can come and go whenever they like. Their job? Well, all the things you might expect from a Mayor – from opening new attractions within the city, to communicating all the latest and greatest things taking place.

Stylish celebration for Mason Trust 10th Anniversary

Mason Trust

The Mason Trust Charity has reached a significant milestone - it is 10 years old this year!  To celebrate this milestone anniversary, Founder, Yvonne Mason is personally funding and hosting an Anniversary Ball on the evening of 14 September 2018 at Sprowston Manor Marriot Hotel and Country Club, Wroxham Road, Norwich NR7 8RP.  Tickets for the Ball, destined to be one of Norfolk's social events of the year, cost £50 per head, and can be purchased through the Eventbrite website.  Booking a table for 10 people qualifies for two free bottles of wine.

The Mason Trust is a charity founded in 2008 with the mission of inspiring the young people of East Anglia to fulfil their potential. 

Children with learning disabilities missing out on eye tests, while NHS England "drags its heels"


New research by SeeAbility, the national learning disability and sight loss charity, suggests that thousands of children with learning disabilities in England's special schools are missing out on vital eye tests and eye care despite being 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children.

Around 100,000 children attend special schools in England, including the majority of children with severe learning disabilities or autism. SeeAbility's study indicates that up to half of these children are likely to have a problem with their vision, yet alarmingly an estimated 40,000 children will have never received any eye care.

The National Marine Aquarium partners with local special schools

National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) has partnered with two local Plymouth schools for students with complex needs to offer tailored visits to assist with their learning and development.   

Students from Mount Tamar Special School (aged 5-16) and Longcause Community Special School (aged 8-16) will visit the NMA via a series of scheduled sessions. Led by the NMA's Discovery and Learning team, the students will have the opportunity to discover more about art, science and technology, as well as learn about the many marine animals that reside at the Aquarium and the marine environment.

 Room makeover is just the ticket for Sean

Regard Group

Kingsdown House care service in Strood, run by the Regard Group, is going the extra mile to support a young man with autism who is fascinated by trains.

Staff have transformed part of Sean Kelly’s bedroom into a ‘railway carriage’’ along with brick-effect wall paper and station signs on the wall. To complete the scene the 18-strong team installed two pairs of genuine train seats to create a scenario that gives the illusion of traveling by train.

“Sean is completely fascinated by trains,” said Andy Jupp, manager of Kingsdown House, a residential home run by the Regard Group.

We speak to the founder of the Neurokinex Kids spinal cord rehab facility

Jasper at Neurokinex

Harvey Sihota, the founder of Neurokinex, and his team have opened a brand new, ground-breaking children's facility which treats patients with paralysis. Among the guests at the launch were the families and clients of Neurokinex, who are making great gains with this innovative treatment, and also Matthew Reeve, elder son of the late Christopher Reeve and supporter of spinal cord injury research and development. Here, Harvey describes to Education for Everybody how the paediatric facility near Gatwick came to be...

What is the background of Neurokinex: where and when did the concept begin?

Neurokinex was conceived in 2013, following my own injury in 2009 which left me paralysed.

Specialist college launches regional photography competition

Photography competition

Bridge College run by the Together Trust, a specialist further education college based in Openshaw, has launched its annual photography competition, open to all special schools and colleges in the North West.

The college, which is run by the Together Trust, supports young people aged 16 – 25 years with learning and/or physical disabilities, complex health needs, communication disorders and autism. Every year they accept entries from specialist schools and colleges across the region.

After shortlisting, the public can then vote for their favourite photograph on the Together Trust’s website, with the winner attending a ceremony at the college in July to accept their prize.

Explore Learning Hillsborough nominated for Sparkle Sheffield Business Award

Autism Awareness

The Explore Learning Hillsborough team have been recognised for their excellent work for children with autism. The popular provider of extra tuition for children, has been nominated for a Sparkle Sheffield Business Award for Excellence in Autism Awareness and Customer Service.

The Explore Learning Hillsborough centre has been selected by Sparkle Sheffield as having gone above and beyond to embrace autism awareness and all while excelling in customer service for those affected.

The centre were nominated for their specialist training and community workshops. In addition to completing Sparkle Sheffield Autism Awareness Training the team have dedicated resources for staff so they can tailor their approach to support children of all backgrounds and abilities.

Mobile workstation offers greater mobility options for SEND classrooms

mobile workstation STSCART

A mobile sit-stand workstation which brings a mobilised solution to the classroom has been developed by Canadian brand – which produces a range of sit-stand products. The mobile workstation STSCART (pictured) offers a large surface area and easy sit-to-stand height adjustment, providing a workspace that’s both versatile and practical.

The mobile workstation enables students to reduce sedentary time and increase focus and allows teachers to create a more dynamic and interactive learning environment. Its heavy-duty cart design means it’s ideal for classrooms and its large, stable surface area makes it easy for users to position their laptop or writing surface comfortably, or attach a compatible monitor arm to use the cart as an aid for training or presentations.