Education News & Resource Round-Up: 11/1/2018

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

An escape room mathematics-themed schools competition, a cyber-security challenge, the call for evidence for RSE, the relaunch of the Equality and Diversity Leadership Fund, and the launch of the Voices writing competition for children in care

Cracking the Code

Building on the growth in popularity of “escape rooms”, a new competition is asking key stage 3 students to create their own in a bid to win £2,000 to support maths programmes in their school.

Escape rooms are a physical adventure game in which players solve puzzles and riddles using clues in order to find their way out of a room – similar to the Crystal Maze concept.

The Cracking the Code challenge, which is predominantly aimed at year 7 pupils, is aimed at promoting mathematical and problem-solving skills. It is being organised by innovation charity Nesta and Tata Group.

Those who sign up will be asked to both solve and create mathematically based puzzles, games and riddles which could be used in escape room scenarios. Students’ escape room concepts must contain at least four mathematical puzzle questions to reach a four-digit code to unlock a padlock.

Resources are available to help teachers delivering the competition and the deadline for entries is March 15:

RSE: Evidence call

The Department for Education has issued a call for evidence as it prepares to update guidance relating to the teaching of statutory relationships and sex education (RSE).

RSE is to become compulsory in all schools from September 2019 (relationships education in primary schools).

A government policy statement last year said that RSE will likely focus on topics including how to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships, how to build healthy relationships, how relationships may affect health and wellbeing, and safety online.

The call for evidence wants views about what age-appropriate content the curriculum at both primary and secondary level should include.

Digital and online safety is a key theme within the consultation as well as how schools should engage with parents and carers, especially over the right to withdraw, which is to be maintained.

The call for evidence also includes questions about PSHE. The government has suggested that it could make PSHE a statutory requirement once the RSE curriculum has been agreed.

The call for evidence closes on February 12:

Cyber Discovery

A cyber-security training programme aimed at students in years 10 to 13 has been launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Cyber Discovery, a free extra-curricular programme, challenges students via an initial assessment stage which has to be completed by January 21. If this is passed, then students progress to three further stages and could go on to take part in face-to-face events with industry experts and three regional “Capture the Flag” events:

Voices: Children in care

A national writing competition for children in care is being run by Coram Voice, a charity that offers services for young people in the care system. Entitled Voices, the theme of the competition is “Who or what makes you proud” and entries can be submitted online in any written form including poems, short stories, raps and newspaper articles. There is a 500-word limit. The age categories are primary, 11 to 14, 15 to 18, and care-leavers. The deadline for entries is February 8:

Equality & Diversity Fund

Applications have opened for schools to bid for a share of the next round of the Leadership Equality and Diversity Fund, worth more than £1.8 million over the next two years.

This fund will support teachers from under-represented backgrounds – including women and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds – to progress into leadership roles.

It can be used to help teachers progress into leadership who are covered by at least one of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010, including age, disability, race, sex, and sexual orientation.
The Department for Education is inviting lead schools to apply for grant funding in 2018/19 and 2019/20.

Funding will be awarded to one lead school in each of the regional school commissioner areas. Lead schools will be responsible for allocating funding to individual school-led projects.

All projects must be designed and delivered by schools offering tailored leadership development activity to aspiring leaders from under-represented groups, based on an audit of local needs:


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