At a glance headlines: Thursday, October 2

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Wi-fi access in schools, a mental and emotional health CPD event, and SRE policy advice are among the SecEd At a glance headlines for Thursday, October 2.

Trojan Horse

Former chief inspector Sir Michael Tomlinson has been appointed Birmingham Schools Commissioner in wake of Trojan Horse scandal. The post has been created after evidence emerged of an “aggressive Islamist agenda” in some of the city’s schools. Sir Mike is to work with the city council. Russell Hobby, general secretary of National Association of Head Teachers, welcomed the appointment. He said: “We trust that the appointment of such a highly regarded former chief inspector of schools to the post will give school leaders an effective reporting mechanism should they have concerns in the future.”

Wi-fi problems

Pupils in more than half of all UK secondary schools have poor online access. Research by the British Educational Suppliers Association has found that 54 per cent of secondary schools consider themselves under-resourced when it comes to wi-fi provision. Also, 31 per cent of secondaries said they are under-resourced in broadband provision. The study is based on survey questionnaires completed by 498 secondary schools. Elsewhere, the survey found that ICT budgets are expected to grow during 2014/15 by nine per cent, to £64,400, in a typical secondary school.

Mental health

SecEd editor Pete Henshaw is to chair a one-day CPD event focusing on social, mental and emotional health. Taking place on October 16 in Birmingham, the event is entitled Positivity in a Time of Change and is being run by CPA, an educational psychology company. The event will offer school case studies, describing techniques that have proved successful in improving the emotional wellbeing of pupils. There will also be a number of “theory to practice” presentations, offering practical advice in areas such as parental communication, self-harm and conflict resolution. Visit: http://bit.ly/1opphhb

SRE policy advice

New guidance advising schools on how they can involve parents, teachers and pupils in the process of reviewing and updating their sex and relationships education (SRE) policy has been published. All schools must have an up-to-date SRE policy that describes how SRE is taught, but data from the Sex Education Forum shows that only half of schools have updated their SRE policy within the last two years. The new guidance has been compiled by the SEF with funding from Leicestershire County Council (See page 12: Moral support). Visit: http://bit.ly/1xtsSD3

Filming resource

A free crash course in filming and editing has been made available for teachers to use with their students via the Young Film Academy. Designed for use with iMovie for iPad, the course is aimed at teachers without any prior knowledge or experience to help them introduce film-making into their lesson activities. A range of resources is available for download. Visit: http://bit.ly/1Buh2Gl


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