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SecEd: On Your Side
We are here for you
Highlighting a
IT SEEMS to have been a long
time coming, but Easter and
the end of term is finally upon
us. I hope you all have a well
earned break and that you stop
hidden killer
thinking about your school and
its students for a while!
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading
SecEd this term. SecEd is the teachers’ newspaper – we are
here for you and our aim is to support you and offer you
ideas and advice to help you succeed in the tough modern
school environment. That is why SecEd goes free to every
school. I feel strongly that no-one in a secondary school
should have to pay for this newspaper.
Also, I want to take this chance to tell you about the
exciting plans we have lined up for the year ahead, and to
highlight some of the work we do to support schools.
Delivering Diplomas
For the first time in SecEd I am delighted to announce that
our publishing house, Mark Allen Education, is expanding
A HIDDEN “horror story” is was not in the list of the top 20
its already impressive portfolio of education titles this year.
unfolding in UK schools as asbestos With SecEd’s ongoing focus on the at-risk occupations. He countered
threatens the lives of teachers and
After the success and great feedback from the coverage
problem of asbestos in UK schools, our
criticism that the HSE was not
doing enough.
in SecEd that we have given to the new Diplomas, and That stark warning was
the popularity of our one-day Delivering Diplomas
revealed at a conference in Cardiff
Wales reporter Greg Lewis attended
His colleague Steve Coldrick,
director of the HSE’s Disease
conferences, we have decided to launch a new free
which heard claims that rates of
a conference in Cardiff which revealed
Reduction Programme, who called
magazine entirely dedicated to Diploma deliverers.
mesothelioma – a cancer caused asbestos “an absolute horror story”,
by exposure to asbestos – might
some disturbing research into the issue
said the HSE was looking to work
Delivering Diplomas will launch in September and will
be “a factor of 10 higher” in male with “people who had influence
feature all manner of case studies and practical guidance teachers than in other people who in education” and, in particular, to
to all those involved in Diploma consortia. We are moving
do not work with asbestos. As well as causing two forms expect of a person not exposed to “thoroughly embed” understanding
at full steam in preparation for the launch and I am keen
The conference, held at the of mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos. In the case of the females of the duty to manage asbestos.
National Assembly for Wales, also asbestos is also linked to lung it’s higher to a factor of two-and- Whose duty it is, though, depends
to hear from you if your school is delivering already, or
heard that rates of mesothelioma in cancer, asbestosis (in which the a-half.” on the school structure, he said, and
gearing up for delivery – please get in touch (email below).
female teachers were “higher to a lungs develop scarring) and an The gender difference, he responsibility could rest with heads,
SecEd will continue, of course, to focus on Diplomas, factor of two-and-a-half”. inflammation of the lung called suggested, could relate to female governors or local authorities.
but this new magazine will cater for all Diploma deliverers
“These are significantly higher pleural thickening. teachers taking time out to start a Rex Phillips, the NASUWT
– secondary, further and higher education, employers, and
figures than we expect,” said While there are no specific family or to the fact that the data union’s Wales organiser, told SecEd:
occupational hygienist Robin Howie. figures available for schools, Mr recorded deaths up to the age 75: as “Heads would hold their hands up in
the Diploma Delivery Partnerships.
“And if the teachers are showing Howie said that between 1945 and women generally live longer their horror if they thought they had to be
significantly high on the statistics 1974 the UK built at least 13,000 cause of death was less likely to be experts in asbestos management, so
PA of the Year
then what about the children? schools. Many have been stripped among the data. we would look to local authorities
“I think the teaching statistics of asbestos, but some had been Mr Howie stated: “We need to to provide that expertise.”
As well as offering support, we also celebrate all that is
are the tip of the iceberg. For every “badly stripped”, he stated. know who has been exposed or we He called on the Welsh Assembly
great about our schools, and nothing sums this up more
teacher exposed, then we have 20 to Figures for rates of mesothelioma are adding up risk unnecessarily. We government and local authorities
beautifully than our wonderful and glitzy annual ceremony 30 children. were often “smeared”, he said, cannot remove asbestos fibres from to provide more guidance, and
for the SecEd Headteacher’s PA of the Year Award.
“In about two-thirds of as teachers were compared with the body but we can stop any more suggested tying funding for major
The 2009 awards, in association with the DCSF
mesothelioma we cannot identify asbestos strippers and laggers, and fibres from getting into the body.” capital projects to a commitment from
where the exposure to asbestos railway and construction workers. At the moment, he claimed, it is schools to “appropriately exercise
International School Award, which is managed by the
occurred. What we do know is that But when adjusted to take a problem which “neither the HSE their duty to manage asbestos”.
British Council, are now open and it is really easy for you most of those people would have account of occupations which in nor the local authorities seem to be Nick Ramsey, the Assembly
to nominate your PA. All I need from you is a 700-word
been in school. I think there is a theory should have no exposure addressing”. member who hosted the conference,
nomination. All the details are on the awards section of our
significant risk of mesothelioma in to asbestos, the picture was very Asbestos analyst Emma Corfield, said he would be questioning the
website – or you can email me (details below).
schools containing asbestos.” different, showing that rates of of Core Surveys, explained: “There Assembly about what support local
Between the 1960s and 1980s mesothelioma were “far higher than is no known safe level of asbestos authorities received in dealing with
asbestos was widely used in the should be expected”. exposure. The more you breathe in asbestos in schools.
SecEddigital construction industry, in particular Mr Howie continued: “I the more you are likely to develop An Assembly spokeswoman
The new virtual edition of SecEd launched in January and
for roofing, spray coating, pipe- am not interested in whether a an asbestos-related disease. said: “Locating and dealing with
lagging, insulation boards, and teacher has higher or lower rates “It’s not a case of scaremongering, asbestos in schools, including
is free to any secondary teacher or education professional
asbestos cement. Anywhere built or of mesothelioma than asbestos but making people aware that there removal if appropriate, is a health
via email. Like SecEd, it is sent out every Thursday and
refurbished before 2000 is likely to strippers. I want to find comparisons is asbestos in the building.” and safety matter for schools and
thousands of you have already signed up. It is interactive,
contain asbestos. with other people who are not Dr John Osman, chief medical local authorities. When undertaking
meaning you can bookmark pages, forward to colleagues,
The Health and Safety Executive exposed to asbestos. advisor of the HSE, said 90,000 capital projects there are already
click directly through to weblinks and much more.
(HSE) estimates that half a million “When I looked at this I found were expected to die by 2050 regulations in place which local
non-domestic buildings in the UK that mesothelioma in male teachers in the asbestos-related disease authorities must comply with in
You can also reply to the weekly SecEddigital email
feature asbestos. is a factor of 10 higher than you’d “epidemic”, but added that teaching terms of managing asbestos.” SecEd
with your views and news of best practice and innovation
in your school, or letters to the paper. These emails come
directly to me and I promise to always respond.
Dear sir, practice in a large but very and should be a spur to that good fostered, in a “compliance” model
SecEd supplements
diverse group of schools. And his practice, but stupid regulation can of regulation where the ticked box
SecEd’s increasing range of informative and practical
Sir Roger Singleton’s report conclusion is almost as unusual as be a disincentive to it. is all that is sought and all that need
supplements has become a jewel in our crown.
Keeping Our School Safe is the source of the title of his report. Sir Roger gives the example be provided.
perhaps the only government Whereas too many reports of regulations on Criminal Record Independent and state
We work with a wide range of educational organisations
report in history to have been respond to the chant of Bureau (CRB) checks. Boarding boarding schools will be pleased
to produce supplements focusing on everything from NQTs, given its title by a child. “something must be done” with schools are subject to two with what Sir Roger has said and
14 to 19 reform, health and safety, equality in schools,
As the foreword to the 70- the cry “regulate”, Sir Roger’s conflicting regulations concerning with Ed Balls’ response. And if
GCSE reform, Diplomas, Building Schools for the Future
page report explains, Sir Roger’s report responds more sanely CRB checks and several otherwise it means that we spend less time
and much more. More recently, we published supplements
five-year-old grandson, recently with less headline-grabbing good schools appear to have been trying to interpret conflicting or
appointed to his school council, recommendations. Schools are judged “inadequate” by Ofsted in counterproductive regulations and
on Assessing Pupils’ Progress and controlled assessment
gave this explanation of what he pretty safe and if we simplify and their boarding provision simply more time actually keeping our
and on April 23, our next supplement comes out, focusing had been talking about at his first reduce the regulatory burden on because they have failed to second schools safe, it won’t just be the
on special educational needs. All of these publications can
meeting of the council. Sir Roger schools, we can help to keep them guess which regulation their title of the report that will have
be downloaded from our website (see below).
comments: “It seemed timely.” that way. A low-key conclusion inspector would be applying. broken new ground.
Timely, too, is Sir Roger’s that is probably the reason that Sir In truth, CRB checks are a
report. Timely and wise. Given Roger’s report has merited little necessary part of safeguarding Melvyn Roffe
So, as you can see, we try to offer as much as we can to
but a few months by Ed Balls comment in the media. procedures, but they are not Principal of Wymondham
help teachers and school staff. I hope we are helping to to cast a forensic eye over the But his conclusion must be sufficient. Good practice in College, Norfolk and chairman of
make your daily working lives that little bit easier. SecEd
application of current regulations right. Regulations do not, in recruitment, training, monitoring and the Boarding Schools’ Association
and procedures in independent themselves, make children safe. mentoring staff is also required, as is
• Do you have a view on any aspect of education? Contact
schools, non-maintained special Good practice in schools, which developing an open and accountable Send your letters to pete.h@
the editor of SecEd, Pete Henshaw, on 020 7501 6771,
schools, and boarding schools, Sir Roger found in abundance ethos in the school that has child or SecEd,
Sir Roger has nevertheless cut during his investigation, can make welfare and safety as paramount. St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, or via
quickly to the chase in reviewing children safer. Regulation can None of this is captured, let alone Herne Hill, London, SE24 0PB.
6 SecEd • April 2 2009
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