NEWS Military cadet’s garden party date with the Queen

A Solihull School military cadet has enjoyed a truly regal honour after being invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace where she was presented to Her Majesty the Queen. Cadet Sergeant Major Olivia Tennant was

chosen to attend the event after being nominated by the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree, for her service as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet and her fundraising efforts for the Shirley-based Troop Aid charity. Both Olivia and her mum, Samantha, were

able to talk to the Queen for several minutes at the prestigious event at Buckingham Palace on May 29. Olivia, who was one of very few people

selected to be presented to the Queen at the event, said: “She asked about my five years in the

cadets and whether I had enjoyed it and I said it had been fabulous. “We also talked about how there are so many

more opportunities for women in the Armed Forces than there used to be. “It was an amazing experience.” Headmaster David EJJ Lloyd said: “We are

extremely proud of Olivia and everything she has achieved. “She is a credit to Solihull School’s Combined

Cadet Force and she thoroughly deserved this once in a lifetime experience. I am sure it is one she will never forget and we are delighted for her.”


Schools set for “game-changing” fundraising platform to deliver greater opportunities for pupils

FundStar, a not-for-personal-profit enterprise set up by serial entrepreneur David Evans MBE, has been formally launched after successful trials to offer schools a strategic and co- ordinated approach to their fundraising activity. As schools experience a reduction in real- terms funding and increased costs, the pressure

to raise money by alternative means is growing. Whilst campaigns for more central government funding continue, schools must consider every route to pay for both the ‘bare essentials’ and the added-value opportunities which will help children to thrive in their education, and many are inviting parents to contribute to the cause. Step forward FundStar – which makes school

fundraising “easy, effective and smart”. Mr Evans said: “Every school we speak to reports a unique experience of the effects of funding pressures, but what unites headteachers, teachers, governors, trustees and parents are concerns about immediate and long-term damage caused to children’s education. Initiatives to press for more government funding should not stop but it is time for schools to take a more focused approach to

raising funds for particular projects they wish to generate funding for that will help them deliver more opportunities for pupils.” One of the first schools to sign up to

FundStar is Tring School, a secondary school with academy status, with approximately 1,500 pupils aged between 11 and 18. “The ever- shrinking pool of money for education is a real concern and it is short-sighted on the part of those making the decisions,” said Rod Gibberd, the School’s Business Director. “Initiatives such as FundStar can do nothing but help. I was delighted that 24 hours after launching our first fundraising project, a number of parents signed up to FundStar. Donations are already being made to our dining-room furniture project.”


500 London schools join Maths Week London to combat children switching off from maths

Thousands of London schoolchildren will take time out from their lessons to take part in a series of fun activities designed to dispel maths anxiety. Around 500 primary and secondary school

pupils across key stage 1-3 are involved in Maths Week London, supported by children’s learning platform Sumdog and the Mayor’s Fund for London, and designed to spark curiosity in the subject. Maths Week London launches against a

background of acute shortages in maths teachers across the city. According to the Education Policy Institute, only 80% of placement targets for maths teachers were filled in 2018 and in London only 56% of maths teaching hours were taught by a maths specialist.

As Maths Week London kicks off, two

celebrated TV mathematicians have endorsed its aims. Veteran children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball,

loved by millions of youngsters in the 70s and 80s for shows like Think of a Number and Think Again, said: “We need to inspire children with maths and teach them to apply it to the world around them. Maths teachers are tied by what the national curriculum tells them to teach and can’t use their expertise and love of the subject to show how maths can be fun and engaging.” TV presenter and maths teacher Bobby Seagull

added: “After people leave school, many adults find that their numeracy skills decline, and we are in a situation nationally where nearly half of all


adults have the numeracy skills we would expect from an 11 year old. Particularly in our capital city, adults need competent numerical skills to help them navigate the complexities of life. Maths Week London is hopefully the first step in the right direction for our capital's approach to numbers.”

u June 2019

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