KNOWLEDGE – Christians in Education


Running away to join the circus used to be a romantic way of escaping the family and leaving behind conventional society. Now circus skills are being used not as a way of running away, but as a way of preventing marginalised young people from dropping out. Read more Clowning, however, is already an established form of Christian ministry read more as the work of Roly Bain also demonstrates. Read about Roly

Barrowford School has been sanction-free for four years. Instead of punishment, pupils are encouraged to talk through their actions. ‘Ninety-nine per cent of the time, all the children need is an apology,’ head Rachel Tomlinson told Schools Week. Barrowford has since also gone ‘reward-free’, with all stickers, certificates and house points scrapped. ‘We used to reward positive behaviour,’ Ms Tomlinson added. ‘But quite quickly the children told us that it was unnecessary. They learn and behave because it’s the right thing to do – it became intrinsic. It’s celebrated now, but not rewarded.’ Read more

Teaching is consistently among the top three most stressful professions, according to a respected academic who has studied well-being in 80 occupations. Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at the University of Manchester’s business school and a former government adviser on well-being, told TES that the profession regularly ranked among the most stressful jobs. Read more

As the university year draws to a close, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what appears to be a disastrous 12 months for free speech on campus. In February of this year the online magazine spiked published its first ever Free Speech University Rankings. After conducting extensive research across all corners of the UK they showed that 80% of universities, as a result of their official policies and actions, have either restricted or actively censored free speech and expression on campus beyond the requirements of the law. Read more

A Demos report Learning by Doing published this week considers the role of non-formal learning in building character and closing the attainment gap. Commissioned by The Scout Association, it features new polling of school children from a diverse range of backgrounds, asking them to rate their existing social and emotional skills, and their attitudes towards and participation in extra-curricular activities both in and outside school. Read more

Schools take a variety of creative approaches to involve parents in their child’s learning, from parent-student cooking classes to sending tweets about lesson activities. Guardian Education recently ran a live chat for teachers, heads, academics and parents to share their ideas on how to break down barriers, reach those who were reluctant to engage and ensure parents and carers feel that their voices are heard. Here’s a roundup of their suggestions.

More than three-quarters of schools are at risk of ‘diluting’ the benefits of the pupil premium by using the cash to help all children rather than the most disadvantaged, the National Audit Office has said. A report published today by the government spending watchdog concludes that 77 per cent of schools are spending the money on all pupils, meaning that some of the poorest children miss out on the ‘full benefit’ of the cash. Read more

Extra support in classrooms can help children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) do better without the need for drugs, a new study has found. But so many different strategies have been tried in order to help these children, who are typically restless and struggle to concentrate, that researchers cannot clearly identify which ones work best. Read more