At a glance headlines: June 19, 2014

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Discrimination faced by disabled teachers, a new resource to help support mental health and a toolkit for sex and relationships education are among the SecEd At a glance headlines for June 19, 2014.

Disabled teachers 

A majority of disabled teachers have faced discrimination in the workplace, a snapshot poll has revealed. Teachers quizzed at the NASUWT’s annual Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference, held in Birmingham last week, blamed government policy for relaxing the regulatory frameworks that protected their rights. More than three quarters of the conference attendees (77 per cent) reported having been discriminated on the basis of their disability while 73 per cent said they had not been given fair and equal opportunities when applying for teaching jobs or promotion. Furthermore, 81 per cent said they had been bullied at some point in their teaching career, while 53 per cent said their school have not taken seriously requests for reasonable adjustments for disabled staff.

Texts and literacy

The use of “textisms” including shortening words and missing out punctuation and capital letters do not hinder the development of children’s grammar and spelling skills, researchers have said. A study by Coventry University and the University of Tasmania, found no relationship between a tendency to make grammatical mistakes while texting and children’s understanding of written and spoken grammar, and no negatively influence on performance in grammar and spelling tests.

Mental health

The first of a new series of guides has been launched to help youth workers better support the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 16 to 25. The launch came alongside research showing that more than 75 per cent of youth workers have dealt with issues such as eating disorders, self-harm or depression in the last six months, while 90 per cent have dealt with stress or anxiety-related problems. The first of the guides, from the Right Here programme, is entitled How to Promote Mental Wellbeing in Youth Work Practice. Visit: http://bit.ly/1lytLDq

SRE toolkits

A Quality Review Framework for sex and relationships education (SRE) has been unveiled. Backed by the PSHE Association, the resource is available for a nominal fee from advisory group RSE Hub after being piloted in two South West schools. Three toolkits are available as part of the package, two covering the core and quality standards, and one offering a more in-depth review. All the reviews can be completed as a self-review or as a peer review process in partnership with another school. Visit: www.rsehub.org.uk

Mandarin target

The Confucius Institute at the world-renowned Institute of Education (IoE) in London has set out plans to train enough teachers of Mandarin Chinese to ensure one for every three secondary schools. It comes as prime minister David Cameron said he wants to see the number of Chinese learners in the UK double by 2020.


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