Posted in pupil wellbeing, Uncategorized

Supporting Pupils with Anxiety

Mental health in schools is a hot topic at the minute – the government has announced funding towards teacher mental health training.

We have become the first country in the world to roll out mental health first aid training to every secondary school – but is it too little too late?

Why are we suddenly fixating with mental health in schools? 1 in 10 children has a diagnosable mental health condition, equates to roughly three in every classroom! Even more shockingly, half of all cases of mental health illness takes root before the age of 14.

We know early intervention massively increases the chances of making a good recovery – but only if we become much better at spotting and dealing with problems earlier. Continue reading “Supporting Pupils with Anxiety”

Posted in safeguarding, Uncategorized

Bringing safeguarding into the digital era

In the digital era that we live in, we can no longer think of internet or e-safety as a separate entity when safeguarding children and young people.

In fact, if anyone starts talking about e-safety in the traditional sense, you should just hush them up – this is 2017 and there is absolutely nothing ‘traditional’ about the internet and how children and young people are using it.

Generally, safeguarding within schools deals with e-safety in the context of children’s access to technology and their use of social media; however, it is crucial to consider the more hidden dangers that are away from the mainstream face of the internet.

The “dark web” has created a world in which perpetrators can hide behind a cloak and conceal their identity – making it difficult to track and identify.

Apps like Snapchat and Musical.ly, alongside social media sites such as Twitter, allow trolls a platform to target and groom children and young people. Continue reading “Bringing safeguarding into the digital era”

Posted in Uncategorized

Trimming the fat: tackling obesity despite funding cuts

The UK has the highest rate of childhood obesity in Europe. A quarter of children are overweight or obese, and research by the government’s Foresight programme suggests that some 40 percent of Britons will be obese by 2025, if current trends continue.

Until recently, school food was part of the problem – deficient in some of the nutrients essential for healthy growth, but high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat.

In 2005, pioneering chef, and intransigent healthy school food advocate, Jamie Oliver, alongside the School Food Plan, helped to galvanise a change in approach that has since revolutionised school food provisions.

Additional funding from the DfE gave schools more scope to invest in better-quality ingredients and to improve kitchen facilities, while new mandatory nutritional standards were introduced across England’s primary and secondary schools.

But, mounting financial pressures on school budgets are putting the brakes on the school food revolution. Continue reading “Trimming the fat: tackling obesity despite funding cuts”

Posted in safeguarding, sex and relationship education, Uncategorized

‘Three Girls’ – spotting the signs of CSE

In May, over three consecutive nights, the BBC aired Three Girls – an unflinching drama based on the 2012 Rochdale grooming case, which exposed and prosecuted nine men for the trafficking, prostitution and rape of children.

It was an uncomfortable programme to watch from start to finish ─ to see the girls being groomed, abused and then ignored for so long was one of the most difficult things I have ever seen committed to film.

I will be the first to say that the programme was extremely hard to watch, but this should not mean that people need shy away from it. It showed how, with a few missteps, people can be led into a never-ending cycle of abuse – a cycle that will impact their whole lives and the lives of the people around them.

Three Girls exposed wide-scale child abuse and, until the end, chronic failings among parents, councils, health services and the police. Continue reading “‘Three Girls’ – spotting the signs of CSE”

Posted in governors, Uncategorized

Should governors be striking a deal?

Last week, governors in West Sussex went on strike in protest of the lack of funding for schools. This is the first action of its kind, as governor volunteers withdrew their support to schools for the day.

We contacted governors at Upper Beeding Primary School after they released a statement to parents outlining the funding issue.

We asked what measures the governing board had put in place to try and avoid getting to strike action. Continue reading “Should governors be striking a deal?”