At a glance headlines: January 15, 2015


Updates to DfE exclusion guidance, preparations for STEM Clubs Week and applications open for the new Character Awards. SecEd's at a glance headlines for January 15, 2015.

Exclusion guidance

Updated guidance on school exclusions has come into force. Overall, the rules on exclusions remain unchanged, but the guidance seeks to give “greater confidence to headteachers on their use of exclusion and greater clarity to independent review panels and governing bodies”. Brian Lightman of the Association of School and College Leaders said: “Schools look at a range of factors when considering an exclusion, and one of these is whether they can give the child the support to cope in a mainstream school. Children displaying disruptive behaviour often have more serious issues which require support from specialist mental health and social service agencies. This is often very difficult for schools to access in the context of continuing cutbacks.” The guidance is at

Online safety fund

The government has given an extra £500,000 to the Safer Internet Centre to help schools and teachers educate children about online safety. The money is to go towards regional events, multimedia resources for schools, the continuation of a helpline for reporting online criminal content, and a series of online safety events for teachers across the country. The Safer Internet Centre works to offer cyber-bullying guidance to schools and provide resources for PSHE lessons. Visit:

STEM Clubs Week

Around 3,000 schools across the UK will be holding events to mark the first ever STEM Clubs Week, which runs from February 2 to 6. It is a chance to showcase activities to promote the skills that STEM subjects can offer. The week-long showcase is being organised by the charity STEMNET and resources are available online. Schools can also enter a national competition. Visit:

Character awards

Applications are now open for the new Character Awards, which will see 27 regional organisations scoop a prize of £15,000 and a further £20,000 on offer for the national winner. Set up by the Department for Education, the awards are open to programmes that develop “character traits that underpin success in school and work”. These include resilience, grit, confidence, motivation, community spirit, tolerance and integrity. Visit:

SEND guides

Two “easy read” guides to the SEND reforms have been produced to help parents and young people with learning disabilities. The reforms give much more control to children and their parents over SEND provision and the guides have been created by Mencap and the Department for Education. They use simple words, short sentences and bullet points and images designed to help those with learning disabilities understand the changes better. Visit:


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