Young people seven times more likely to self-harm if their sense of belonging to school is low

Young people in England who have a low sense of belonging to their school are nearly seven times more likely to self-harm than those who feel attached to it, according to University of Hertfordshire research based on data from a collaborative World Health Organisation study. Research by the University’s Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) England team,

published in a recent issue of the International Journal of Public Health, has revealed the extent to which young people’s experiences of school, their local community and relationships with their parents can help decrease self-harming behaviour.

Data shows that 15-year-olds who feel a weak connection to the neighbourhoods in which they live are around three times more likely to self- harm than those who feel a sense of belonging. Strong parental relationships play an important protective role in young people’s mental health. The odds of self-harm among those that struggle

to communicate with their mothers are two-and- a-half times higher compared with those communicate easily - and with their fathers the odds are twice as high. However, friendships with other young people were not found to have a significant bearing on the likelihood of self-harm, the research found.

The results highlight the need for new school and community initiatives to prevent young people from self-harming, researchers said. s00038-016-0900-2

Derby Museums Employer Academy

West Kidlington Primary School starts the new academic year as part of The White Horse Federation

Derby College has teamed up with Derby Museums to provide additional opportunities for Travel and Tourism and Creative Arts students based at the Roundhouse and the Joseph Wright Centre.

The Derby Museum Employer Academy joins more than 20 other partnerships with local and regional businesses and organisations with students applying to be part of a year-long programme including guest speakers, special projects, work placements and mentoring support. Many employers also offer interviews at the end of the year for any job vacancies, apprenticeships or internship opportunities available to the students and provide references for the young people’s future job searches. One of the first activities will be tours of Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House and to learn more about the future re-development plans for the Silk Mill which will be completed in 2020.

And the projects already in discussion include a drama piece involving Performing Arts students and inspired by the different galleries at the museum.

April Hayhurst, Derby College’s Deputy Principal – Employer and Economic Affairs, commented: “Developing skills in the visitor economy is a key objective for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

“The insight and employability skills that our students will gain through their involvement with Derby Museums will be a fantastic way of developing these individuals and also feeding new ideas into the curriculum for a wider cohort of young people.

“We are very grateful to Derby Museums and indeed all of the businesses and organisations involved in our pioneering Employer Academy programme who recognise that inspiring and engaging with young people and their potential future workforce makes good business sense.” 10 September 2017

An Oxfordshire school that was rated as “inadequate” by Ofsted in Dec 2015 and placed into a ‘category of concern’ has had its fortunes reversed in less than 12 months thanks to the work of the multi- academy trust which was appointed to manage it. In April 2016, West Kidlington Primary School was issued with an Academy Order by The Secretary of State, leading to The Regional Schools Commissioner and Oxfordshire County Council asking The White Horse Federation (TWHF) to take over the school. Thanks to TWHF’s track record in turning around failing schools across the region, they had been identified as the best choice to improve the standard of teaching at West Kidlington, and to create an environment where every child would be supported to thrive and achieve more than they thought was possible.

Simon Isherwood joined the school as new Principal in September 2016. He says he was determined to give all pupils relentless encouragement and support from the start, and support parents to engage in their children’s learning, from the outset. “When we first met with the community here, I could feel that there was some apprehension and scepticism in the room, but by the time we had finished sharing our plans with the parents and others, and I shared with them my vision for their school, they were fully behind us. “On my second day I had to send every child home and was without an office, so it was quite a tough start, but the Principal of neighbouring Gosford Hill School, Nigel Sellars, was superb, and immediately offered me their language block for the years 5 and 6 to use. “From then on, the roof was rebuilt and the new entrance hall is vibrant and sends out the message to pupils, staff, parents and visitors that the school is a place that is professional, smart, and has high standards for everyone. Like all TWHF interiors it is purposeful, well- signed, tidy and sets the tone of high expectations for learning and for children.

“I want the absolute best for children, and I want them going home and volunteering to parents what they’ve learned and achieved, rather than having to be asked what they did in school today.”

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