NEWS – Christians in Education


Beyond Beans on Toast has been published this week. Written by Festive and Scripture Union,  the book is designed to give to every leaver at your local school or Sixth Form College. Containing manageable recipes, financial advice, tips for student life and stories of students for whom faith has transformed their lives, it would be a great read for any young person embarking on student life this year. Read more

Speaking at the character awards this week, Nicky Morgan revealed the exclusive purpose of her education policy. Lessons in character are essential  to a well-rounded education, while a narrow focus on passing exams won’t equip pupils with life skills.  This isn’t though, about building a strong society. This is, she said ‘all about building a strong economy’. Read more Bear Grylls, writing in The Guardian, says that character is what makes us successful in life. He suggests that scouting builds character by helping children to embrace adventure. Read more

Angry parents have signed a petition in a bid to stop pupils being taught about homosexuality at a Birmingham primary school. Concerned parents of pupils at Clifton Primary School in Balsall Heath are lobbying the school to put a stop to plans to teach their children the CHIPS (Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools) programme which they say is age inappropriate and also conflicts with the religious beliefs of many of the parents. Read more Staff in more than 90 schools across Birmingham are being trained to ‘change hearts and minds’ through delivery of the programme Read more

The Chancellor has announced further details of how the £1.25bn of extra investment in mental health services for children and young people planned over the next five years will be spent. The Budget 2015 report says that £1bn will be spent on improving access to treatment for 110,000 extra children and young people from 2015/16. A further £118m has also been earmarked for completing the expansion of the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme across the rest of England by 2018/19. This will ensure every local area has mental health workers trained in talking therapy techniques. Read more

Conflicting views exist about the new testing of four and five year olds, which are going to be voluntary. Are they a welcome tool for improving primary education still further, with teachers confusing the concept of ‘formal’ with the concept of ‘systematic’  (read more) or just a means of implementing more testing as a measure of teacher performance? Read more

It is crucial that experienced and knowledgeable school governors are appointed to help schools improve and hold head teachers to account, but many schools still find it hard to recruit governors with the particular expertise they need.  To assist, more than £1 million to help schools across England recruit highly-skilled governors has been announced this week by Schools Minister Lord Nash. Read more

Jewish schools and synagogues will get £10million a year for guards to protect against anti-Semitic attacks, David Cameron announced last night. In a speech to Jewish leaders, he promised not turn ‘a blind eye’ both to physical attacks and to ‘non-violent extremism’. The Prime Minister said new money had been found in the Budget to protect the community following the terrorist attacks in Paris and at a synagogue in Denmark. Read more  However, the Jewish Chronicle is reporting concern that the government response to Trojan Horse masks non-violent extremist teaching, including anti-Semitic attitudes. Read more

A new survey of 1,310 secondary pupils finds that 89 per cent have a clear idea of what career they want to pursue when they are older. Only 13.8 per cent of respondents say that earning large sums of money will be their primary career goal. By contrast, 45.1 per cent want to do something that interests them and 17.3 per cent say they want to help other people. Read more