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 teaching, Uncategorized

Beating funding cuts: decreasing workload and boosting morale

There is so much work and preparation that goes into being a teacher – as a school leader, you see what your teachers have to offer on a daily basis – their relationships with pupils and families, their commitments toward improving their practice, and the teamwork they demonstrate with their colleagues.

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, the suicide rate of primary school teachers in England is nearly double the national average. Figures reveal that, between 2011 and 2015, the risk of suicide among primary and nursery school teachers was 42 percent higher than that of the broader population of England.

The startling figures have been published amid warnings that increasing pressures in the profession have made teaching “one of the most highly stressed occupations in the country today”, with a number of former and current teachers reporting that unmanageable workloads have impacted negatively on their mental health.

It is vital that you have a comprehensive, whole-school approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing, to ensure that staff and pupils are happy and safe. The link between low morale and poor teacher retention is well documented, and can severely impact on pupil behaviour and attainment.

You may not be able to shield staff from the uncertainty created by continual government reforms and budget restraints, but you can introduce low-cost and easy-to-implement strategies. Continue reading “Beating funding cuts: decreasing workload and boosting morale”

Posted in mental health, suicide, Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why – shocked? So were we.

Netflix’s controversial suicide drama has sparked debate following its arrival on the streaming service in March.

The debate surrounding 13 Reasons Why, and whether it deals with the subject of teen suicide tactfully, is continuing as schools in the USA are now issuing letters to parents warning them about the drama.


The adaptation of Jay Asher’s 2007 novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, follows a group of 12 high-school pupils as they piece together a story described on a series of tapes left for them from their classmate, Hannah Baker, who has committed suicide. Continue reading “13 Reasons Why – shocked? So were we.”

Posted in Funding, Uncategorized

A fairer funding formula?

Funding for schools is an issue at the forefront of education sector reforms – having first been announced in March 2016 in the White Paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’, on 13 December 2016 the government announced stage two of its consultation plans to design and implement a new way of funding for schools.

If you have ever attempted to unpick and understand the formula used by LAs to fund schools, you will have no doubt been left just as confused and confounded as you were when you started. Many have argued that the allocation of funding to schools is based on a formula that is too historic and outdated to meet the needs of any pupils in our schools today. Continue reading “A fairer funding formula?”

Posted in "eating disorder", Uncategorized

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2017 takes place this year from 27 February to 5 March, and focusses on the importance of early intervention.

It’s common sense that the earlier an illness – be it physical or mental – is detected and treated, the sooner things are likely to improve. The challenge when it comes to eating disorders, is that individuals may not even realise they are at risk of developing a problem until it’s too late. So, how do we help people ask for support when they may not even know they need it? Continue reading “Eating Disorder Awareness Week”

Posted in Brexit, politics, Uncategorized

How to teach Brexit

Teaching and politics have an uneasy relationship – the way educators work is heavily influenced by the decisions of politicians, yet expressing our views in the classroom remains controversial.

In the grand ranking of topics that excite pupils, the EU referendum is probably not residing in the top spot. Yet, if you’ve been anywhere near a newspaper, social media site or TV, the ongoing Brexit debacle is clearly at the forefront of the public’s mind.

One difficulty, particularly in subjects like citizenship and politics, is trying to maintain an objective view of the conflicting perspectives that are taught in class. Continue reading “How to teach Brexit”

Posted in physical education, Uncategorized

A Multi Axis Approach to Sport


A solution for Physical Education: a menu based on a compass?

 The recent All-Party Parliamentary Group Report on PE[1] highlighted the issues facing PE in schools today.

Probably the most crucial challenge facing PE (and the one that is hardest to resolve) is that it inherently contains a clash of values.  That clash can be summed up as the conflict between excellence and universality, succinctly summarised as:

“the elitist outcome of sport and the universalist orientation of physical education[2] 

This conflict goes to the heart of what PE is trying to achieve – is it sporting excellence or health and fitness for all? Continue reading “A Multi Axis Approach to Sport”