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Unions cautious over
In brief
A safe Christmas
A campaign urging safer sex
practices among young people
over the festive period has been
launched. The Have Fun. Be
call to tighten finances
Careful campaign, run by the
charities Drinkaware and Brook,
aims to educate young people
that heavy drinking can lead to
excessive risk-taking, including
not wearing condoms. A pack,
which includes phone credit and
by Chris Parr
Mr Balls confirmed that “smart” they could access for free, or at low He said: “At a time of tight schools should ensure effective a condom, will be distributed
electricity meters, which give real- cost, from local authorities. public expenditure, it is imperative financial planning to get the best to 16 and 17-year-olds in
time information on how much “These include legal and per- that the government maximises value for money, but urged min- Brixton, Liverpool, the Wirral,
Government calls for secondary energy a school is using, are to be sonnel services, staff training and the proportion of education fund- isters to remember that the prime Birmingham, Manchester, the
schools to tighten financial installed in thousands of schools from preparation for inspection. The ing that goes directly to front- purpose of schools is education. Highlands, Stockton-on-Tees,
management and cut down on January, at a cost of £12 million. quality and expertise of these pri- line school budgets and resists the “It is right that schools should and Belfast, via local Brook
fuel bills have received a cautious He also said that some schools vate providers has often been found temptation to introduce expensive play their part in reducing carbon centres. Visit
welcome from teachers’ unions. could make better use of money to be poor,” she said. new initiatives. emissions and helping to minimise
Ed Balls, secretary of state for that was currently held in school Dr John Dunford, general sec- “Significant savings could be the impact of climate change on the
children, schools and families, last balances, and that further savings retary of the Association of School made even by halving the number environment, and children should
ethical competition
week called for schools to work could be made by federating with and College Leaders, agreed that of new policies coming from the be aware of the importance of con- A new competition is urging
in partnership when buying equip- other schools and sharing leader- there were a number of “useful sav- Department for Children, Schools serving natural resources. But we young people to come up with
ment and services to increase their ship teams. ings” to be made through more effi- and Families each year.” would be seriously worried if future an idea for a branded ethical
bargaining power and claimed Chris Keates, general secretary cient procurement, but questioned Martin Freedman, head of investment in schools depends upon product, with the winning
that secondary schools could save of the NASUWT, said that schools whether they would make up for the pay, pensions and conditions at schools cutting their energy use design to be sold in selected
around £3,000 a year by monitoring were regularly paying thousands of cuts in real-term funding expected the Association of Teachers and through untested schemes,” he Co-operative stores. To enter the
fuel usage. pounds for services and information in the wake of the recession. Lecturers, said it was right that said. One Big Idea contest, youngsters
must provide judges with a brief
SSAT publishes top tips
summary outlining how their idea
will benefit Malawians, along
with a picture of the product.
Proceeds will help to fund
humanitarian projects in Malawi.
for language success
The closing date for entries
is February 12. Visit www.
Links with overseas employers
and teaching subjects like history
University pressure
and geography in a foreign lan- Teachers feel that young people
guage are two of the secrets to are under too much pressure to
languages success, according to go to university, according to
England’s 390 specialist language Edge, the vocational education
colleges. foundation. According to a
New advice drawing on the survey of 1,000 teachers and
experience of these schools was lecturers, two thirds think there
issued by the Specialist Schools and is too much emphasis on pupils
Academies Trust (SSAT) during its getting a degree from a traditional
national conference in Birmingham university, while four in 10 feel
last week. their institutions offer too little
Other tips include encouraging practical and vocational learning.
gifted and talented children to act Visit:
as language mentors, introducing
a broader range of languages, such
as Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and
education film
Arabic, and closer working with A free film that explores the UK
primary schools. education system, and debates
High flyer: Jane Brown, winner of the Secondary Modern foreign languages was whether it provides young
Headteacher of the Year Award for the East Midlands, made optional at key stage 4 in people with the opportunity
prepares to take to the skies with squadron leader 2004, sparking a fall in the numbers to develop their talents, is
Christopher Parkinson at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton taking language GCSEs. now available. We Are The
However, while only 45 per cent People We’ve Been Waiting
High flying heads
of students took a language GCSE For, a full-length feature film,
in the state sector last year, this follows the experiences of five
figure was 83 per cent for the 390 Swindon-based teenagers. It also
specialist language colleges. features the views of celebrities
take to the skies
The SSAT quotes a number of including Sir Richard Branson
case studies including that of Tile inextricably linked to the success of Museum to translate its historic sites and Germaine Greer. Visit: www.
Hill Wood School in Coventry and the college. brochure into French and German.
Hockerill Anglo-European College “The bilingual work has attract- Principal Andrew Birkett said:
Eleven award-winning headteach- said: “Jane was able to gain a in Bishop’s Stortford, both of which ed a large amount of outside inter- “Increasingly, 6th form students want
ers from across the UK have been valuable insight into pilot training use bilingual teaching. est and today an ever-increasing a language qualification because
workplace safety
taking to the skies with the RAF with the RAF and experienced Tile Hill teaches year 7 PSHE, number of families quote the bilin- they know they have a part to play Kettlethorpe High School in
this term. aerobatics during her hour-long maths, science and music in French, gual section as a major reason for in the wider world. Reality-based Wakefield and Abbot Beyne
The 11 heads were all winners flight with the squadron.” while Hockerill has been teaching wishing to send their children to learning brings languages alive.” School in Burton-on-Trent have
of the Secondary Headteacher of The next winner due up in bilingually since the mid-1990s, Hockerill.” Elizabeth Reid, chief execu- been named joint winners of a
the Year category in the region- the skies is Liz Quinn, head at with most year 9 students learning Another example quoted in the tive of the SSAT, added: “The 21st national competition for their short
al finals of this year’s Teaching Stourport High School and Sixth history and geography in French or guidance is the students at Hele’s century world is shrinking rapidly. films aimed at alerting students to
Awards. Form Centre in the West Midlands, German. School in Plymouth, who are regu- This means that young people are the dangers facing young people
As the category is sponsored who was set to take her flight yes- Mike Ullmann, director of lan- larly challenged to work with com- increasingly being exposed to dif- in the workplace. The British
by the RAF, each of the winners terday (Wednesday, December 2) guage college and assistant princi- panies across the Channel. This ferent cultures, making the ability to Safety Council competition
was offered the chance to be guest as SecEd was going to press. pal at Hockerill, explained: “The has included selling locally pro- communicate in foreign languages attracted more than 100 entries
of honour at their local RAF base Ms Quinn is also due at RAF success of teaching humanities duced ice cream to Tesco in France, more and more important.” from schools around the UK. Its
and to experience the flight of a Cosford and is planning to take through French and German is and working with Plymouth City Visit aim was to highlight the fact that a
lifetime. along 15 of her students for the young person is seriously injured
The flights have been taking day. She will be taking part in in a UK workplace every 40
place throughout this term, and a tutor flight with the squadron, minutes. Visit:
many of the headteachers have which will include a pass over
Blogs boost interest in writing
taken students with them on the her school.
day, with some even getting the And it does not stop there for Using blogs and social networking the Role of Technology, will also the findings of this report demon-
work experience
chance to fly over their schools. Ms Quinn. As she also won the sites can give children a more posi- say that although nearly half of strate that social networking sites and Around 1,200 16 to 19-year-olds
Recent flights included that overall UK Teaching Award in tive attitude towards writing, accord- those asked viewed writing as “bor- blogs are linked to young people’s from schools across the UK
of Jane Brown, who won the the category this year, she will get ing to research to be published ing”, almost 60 per cent of those more positive attitudes to writing. descended on London on Monday
Secondary Headteacher of the a second invitation, this time to tomorrow (Friday, December 4). who keep a blog express a general “Confidence and enjoyment (November 30) to get a behind-
Year Award in the East Midlands. RAF Coningsby in Lincoln, when A National Literacy Trust sur- enjoyment of writing. are closely linked to the develop- the-scenes look at 50 of Britain’s
Ms Brown, principal of New she will visit a Typhoon Squadron, vey of more than 3,000 young peo- According to the findings, ment of skills. Therefore, in order most influential employers. A
College in Leicester, visited RAF enjoy a VIP lunch in the officers’ ple will claim that those who keep around one in four young people to improve standards, we need to Capital Experience, organised by
Cosford near Wolverhampton mess, and then take off again on a a blog, or who are active on social keep a blog, while 13 per cent have encourage children to write more the business education programme
and enjoyed her flight with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight networking sites, are more likely to their own website. More than one in and to enjoy writing, which could Career Academies UK, took the
University of Birmingham Air in a Dakota aircraft. engage in traditional forms of writ- 10 say they do not consider writing be supported by celebrating forms youngsters to employers including
Squadron. Nominations are now open for ing – such as short stories, letters an important life skill. of writing they enjoy.” BP, Channel 4, JP Morgan, and
Christopher Parkinson, the the 2010 Teaching Awards. Visit and song lyrics. Jonathan Douglas, director of the To read the report, visit www. Marks and Spencer. Visit: www.
squadron’s commanding officer, The report, called Young People’s National Literacy Trust, said: “The
Writing: Attitudes, Behaviour and digital age often gets a bad press, but _survey_2009.html
SecEd • December 3 2009 
02-03 news.indd 3 1/12/09 11:45:51
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