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Leaders urged to keep overseas aid promise

by Chris Parr

Senior educationalists, including the general secretaries of three teaching unions, have written to David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg, urging whoever becomes prime minister after May 6 to maintain the amount of money spent on helping overseas children to access a good education. In 2006, the UK promised to

Inside this issue

Are your students happy?

Happiness is a hot topic at the moment. This week we look at the idea of “happiness lessons”, and also hear from Professor Srikumar Rao about how you can inspire a passion for life

See pages 7, 8 and 9

It’s decision time

Are you making the right choices about your CPD? Our fortnightly CPD page offers guidance on choosing the right option for you. We also look this week at working with difficult people

Page 13

Meet the mentors

spend £8.5 billion on overseas education over 10 years, and is committed to allocating £1 billion per year between now and 2015, in order to hit this target. The open letter, which is signed

A ground-breaking pilot scheme is discovering the wide range of benefits that peer mentoring can have in schools

Page 19

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The ONLY weekly voice for secondary education

The 72 million children who need our help

by Chris Parr

Schools are being asked to join the fight to ensure that world leaders meet their target of an education for all children by 2015. A staggering 72 million children

are still missing out on a primary education. The Global Campaign for Education will launch Send My Friend to School on Friday, March 14, urging all UK schools to get involved. The campaign is summed up

by the story of children like Divya (right), aged 10, who works at a slag heap beside the Kiroskar Steel Works in Yeshwantpur, a suburb of Bangalore. She occa- sionally goes to school but must work to supplement her parents’ wages by collecting scrap and working on a construction site carrying sand. Eduardo (below), 12, was una-

ble to go to school at all because of the war in Angola. After fleeing

military attack for two years, he now studies maths and Portuguese. Owain James from the Global

Campaign for Education told SecEd: “Possibly one of the great- est injustices of all is that where we live and who we are makes all the difference to whether we get a quality education. “Fifty-seven per cent of children

out of school are girls, 33 per cent have a disability, and 50 per cent of children who don’t go to school live in war zones,” he added. There are two projects that schools

can get involved with this year. They can take part in the world’s biggest lesson record attempt on April 23, and there is also an art project where students are asked to persuade MPs to contribute a montage and a pledge explaining what they will personally be doing to help reach the global education target. The content from the art projects

is to be sent to prime minister Gordon Brown before he flies to the G8 summit in Japan in July.

There are free resources for

schools, including materials for the art project and photos and stories from children around the world. The campaign’s launch comes

the same week as an Amnesty International study revealed that thousands of girls across the world refuse to attend school because of sexual harassment and fear for their own safety. It said that half of schoolgirls in

Malawi say they had been touched in a sexual manner “without per- mission by both teachers or fellow schoolboys”. In Zimbabwe, half of junior sec-

ondary girls reported unsolicited contact from strangers while trav- elling to and from school, while 14,000 schoolgirls in Tanzania were expelled in 2006 because they were pregnant. Heather Harvey from Amnesty

said: “Every day, girls face being assaulted on their way to school or inside school premises. Some are threatened with sexual assault by other students, offered higher marks by teachers in exchange for sexual favours, even raped in the staff- room. The result is that countless girls are kept out of school, drop out, or do not fully participate.” Also this week, a Teachers’

TV documentary shows that many teachers around the world are facing persecution and have been targets of brutal treatment and even murdered by repressive governments and mil- itant groups. Persecuted Teachers airs at 9.30pm on March 24 and is repeated on March 25. For the free Send My Friend

School for all: War in Angola stopped Eduardo going to class, while Divya is forced to work on a slag heap in Bangalore

packs, visit www.sendmyfriend. org or call ActionAid on 01460 238000.


Institute of Physics, London Monday, April 28 2008


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by the National Union of Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and the NASUWT, has been sent to the three main party leaders and calls on them to pub- licly commit to keeping the £8.5 billion promise. It says: “Despite some progress,

72 million children are still out of school: the majority are girls, one third have a disability, many are without parental care, and more than half live in fragile conflict-affected

states. An estimated 300 million children drop out or achieve little at school, and 760 million adults, two thirds of whom are women, still lack basic literacy skills.” Joseph O’Reilly, a senior fig-

4/3/08 12:16:06

ure at the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) – the group that is running the campaign to hold ministers to account for the 2006 promise – said: “Within the UK’s overall aid budget – the size of which all three parties agree on – it is essential that we continue to set and meet specific education spend- ing commitments.” The GCE is also calling for

School for all: Eduardo returned to school in Angola after the end of the Angolan war. The Global Campaign for Education is something SecEd strongly supports (inset)

teachers to get involved in 1GOAL, which will see schools holding World Cup-themed assemblies to teach pupils about the impor- tance of global education, and to and make giant football scarves

Youngsters give online help to bullying victims

An online anti-bullying programme has trained more than 4,000 young mentors since it was launched a year ago. Beatbullying, the anti-bullying

charity, set up CyberMentors in March 2009 to provide advice and support for youngsters who have been bullied or cyber-bullied. So far, nearly 500,000 young

people have used the website, either looking for information and resources or to talk online to a men- tor of their own age about how to cope with bullying. Around 2,500 unique users a day are now access- ing the site. Schools minister Vernon

Coaker recently announced that the Department for Children, Schools and Families, which funded the pilot, is to invest a further £1 million in the CyberMentors programme. The trained mentors fall into

two groups. The younger men- tors, still at secondary school, are

aged between 11 and 16, while the senior mentors are between 16 and 25. They all receive training – some undergo two days’ training in their schools, while other courses have been held at Google’s London headquarters. When young people visit the

site they can post a summary of their problem on a public message board or talk to a CyberMentor in the chatroom. The site is

secure and chats can be kept pri- vate but a team of professional counsellors are on hand to step in if a youngster’s problems are too serious for school-age mentors to address. “We are really proud

of what the CyberMentors have done,” Richard Piggin,

Beatbullying’s deputy chief execu- tive, told SecEd. “Some of our flagship schools

have taken the programme on to a whole new level. They have devel- oped their own websites, run events and given presentations about the programme to their MPs. In one school, the mentors go out to their feeder schools and talk to year 6s about CyberMentors, so they know there will be a support network for them when they start secondary school. “When you look at this site,

the notion of young people today not helping each other is completely false. Many young people tell us ‘CyberMentors helped me, now I want to help others too’.” To find out

more, go to www.

Step Up scheme brought to England

St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road Herne Hill, London SE24 0PB

An innovative programme aimed at paving the way for hundreds of Northern Ireland secondary school pupils to study at university is being replicated in England. The University of Ulster’s Step

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Diplomas, Headteacher Update, Fundraising for Schools, Early Years Educator and 5to7 Educator.

© All rights reserved. No part of SecEd may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of MA Education The publisher accepts no responsibility for any views or opinions expressed in SecEd.

ISSN 1479-7704

Up is a science-based programme that provides opportunities for tal- ented young people who would not have traditionally thought about university. Now, the City of London

Academy in Islington is pilot- ing Step Up to the City, which is targeted at students from socially deprived backgrounds in inner city London. It is being piloted with a select

group of year 10 pupils who have shown outstanding academic ability but who have been identified as giv-


ing little or no thought to entering higher education. The programme is to help raise

their aspirations and academic per- formance by ensuring they view university as a viable option. Step Up was designed and

developed by Dr Damian O’Kane, and has proved a success in second- ary schools in Derry and Belfast. A total of 16 post-primary

schools – five in Derry and 11 in Belfast – are currently taking part. Step Up involves the University

of Ulster working with schools, companies, hospitals and govern- ment agencies in the delivery of the applied GCSE science qualifica- tion within a highly structured pro- gramme of academic and vocational activities.

“For the past 10 years, Step Up

has successfully raised the aspira- tions, motivation and performance of students who might otherwise have never ventured near a univer- sity,” Dr O’Kane said. Of the 1,000 pupils who have

participated in Step Up in Northern Ireland, 97 per cent have subse- quently gone on to university. Dr O’Kane says that while the

City of London Academy is the first school outside of Northern Ireland to introduce the programme, others are looking at the model. He added: “We have been contacted by schools and universities throughout the UK and the USA who are interested in developing links with us to help widen access to higher and further education for their students.”

to be sent to Downing Street. So far, more than 4,000 schools have signed up. Rio Ferdinand, the England

football captain, is supporting the campaign. He said: “I believe

every child has the right to an education.” A free 1GOAL schools pack

with a range of classroom resourc- es is available at www.sendmy

Expert looks to boost numbers of female engineers

Female pupils are shunning courses in engineering because they do not realise the range of jobs they could pursue if they studied the subject to a higher level, an expert has claimed. Paul Jackson, chief executive

of the professional organisation Engineering UK, told SecEd that better links to industry, better career guidance, and a re-assessment of when pupils choose which subjects they want to drop could help to boost the number of girls studying engineering. Mr Jackson’s organisation

is launching a major research project after a poll revealed that only nine per cent of UK engi- neering professionals are women compared to 18 per cent in Spain, 26 per cent in Sweden, and 20 per cent in Italy. He said: “The fact that the

proportion of female engineer- ing professionals in the UK is the lowest in Europe is shocking. It’s essential we get behind these figures and understand why; what is it that our European neighbours are doing differently; what can we learn from them?” One area that needs atten-

tion, he says, are pupil “decision points” – the times when young- sters decide which courses they want to study longer term. Mr Jackson continued: “At the

moment, we don’t have a thor- ough understanding of students’ decision points, so it is difficult to take any action. “We need to look at what dif-

ferent countries are doing, when they are discussing career and subject choices, because it is clear

Issue 169 • March 6 2008 Price £1.00

that other European countries are doing better than us.” Since September 2008, many

secondary pupils have had the opportunity to study a Diploma in engineering – something that Mr Jackson described as a “huge step forward”. He continued: “There are many

good things about the engineering Diploma, but unfortunately it has not yet succeeded in closing the gender divide. “One thing that could improve

female participation would be a better idea of the careers that engi- neering can lead to. It isn’t just the traditional engineering careers, but things like energy conserva- tion, or providing water to sub- Saharan Africa. All of these jobs need qualified engineers.” Visit

for more information.

SecEd • April 29 2010

Photo: Adrian Arbib/Christian Aid

Photo: Tom Pietrasik/ActionAid

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