College students shape up for a military career

An Army Public Services Surge Day was held at Redcar and Cleveland College to make the students aware of career opportunities within the military. Students try to beat the wrecking ball  03/10/16  Pic Doug Moody Photography

An Army Public Services Surge Day was held at Redcar and Cleveland College to make the students aware of career opportunities within the military. Students try to beat the wrecking ball
03/10/16 Pic Doug Moody Photography


Teesside students have been put through their paces by military police and other experts who showcased a range of exciting careers in the public services sector.

Redcar & Cleveland College hosted an interactive event at its Corporation Road campus to give students an insight into the dozens of job opportunities in seven key army career streams, which include the military police, infantry and medical services profession.

The students got the chance to quiz experienced professionals about the careers on offer and take part in activities designed to test their skills, including an exercise where they discovered the subtleties of camouflage, cover and concealment techniques. They also got the opportunity to grapple with a giant wrecking ball, a piece of construction equipment often used by the military on demolition projects.

Mark Watts, public services lecturer at Redcar & Cleveland College, said: “The fact that this event was held at the college allowed students to learn about the multitude of career opportunities on offer without having to physically visit a local army recruitment office. Experienced professionals representing each of the seven main career streams illustrated what they could offer via eye-catching interactive stands.

“The students were able to get involved in a range of fun activities and benefited from the wisdom of professionals who have worked in public services for many years. The knowledge and experience acquired will also inform the students’ coursework and give them that vital employment edge when it comes to getting a job.”

For further information on Redcar & Cleveland College, please call 01642 473 132 or visit

Active kids are best in class



A pioneering physical education provider is helping schoolchildren to achieve top marks in their academic studies, new research has revealed.

Data from schools across the country showed that active primary school youngsters who’d had PE lessons from Sunderland-based Physical Education & Active Kids (PEAK) had attained excellent marks in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Ninety-three per cent of children who had been on a PEAK learning programme had improved their arithmetic, punctuation and grammar. Of the pupils who hadn’t been on the programme, only 66% had improved in these areas. More than four fifths of PEAK-taught children boosted their reading (81%) and writing (87%) skills – a much higher achievement than their peers (66% and 74% respectively).

More than eight out of ten (83%) of teachers surveyed said most of their children were more engaged in their learning in the academic lessons following a PEAK-led PE lesson. Over one half noted that attendance was better, while 67% said most of their children were more motivated to learn in other subjects.

The company’s training has also generated an upturn behavioural performance, with 75% of teachers claiming there were fewer incidents of poor behaviour the day after their children had attended a PEAK lesson.

PEAK’s learning programmes have drawn widespread praise from schools across the country.

Paul Brown, head teacher at St Lawrence’s Primary School in Byker, Newcastle, said: “Now that PEAK deliver our PE, the subject is much more varied and taught in line with the national curriculum. PEAK’s deliverer is extremely professional, punctual and has quickly become a part of our staff.”

PEAK was established two years ago by experienced teacher Dave Johnson, who decided to go solo after being made redundant in 2013. The company has three staff who deliver PE learning programmes in schools and 15 apprentices who also go into schools to help the teachers. In this academic year, 78% of young people who completed their apprenticeship have gone on to secure employment.

Dave Johnson said: “There are far too many organisations offering to deliver primary school PE using Level 1 and Level 2-qualified single sport coaches. These people are simply not qualified to deliver the level of learning that the children need.

“There are also organisations who are putting secondary qualified PE teachers into primary schools but again this isn’t a solution. There is a huge pedagogical difference in, say, a 16-year-old and a four-year-old so the teaching has to be adapted accordingly.

“The performance of our schools really demonstrate why having a suitably qualified, appropriate age qualified teacher of PE is so fundamentally important in the pursuit of driving up overall standards in that school. It has long been known that schools offering high-quality PE perform better academically as well. The results of our schools combined with our teacher survey really demonstrate that PEAK has helped schools to drive up their SATS results.”

For further information on PEAK, please call 07921 563 464, e-mail

or visit

The MOD installs My Concern® to protect students in 21 international schools

  • The MOD invests in MyConcern to manage all safeguarding concerns in 21 international schools


One Team Logic, specialists in Safeguarding in Education, today announced an agreement with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to supply 21 of its schools across the world with its safeguarding software, MyConcern®.


The safe and secure solution, developed to record and manage all safeguarding concerns in any educational setting, will be installed in schools spanning from Falklands to Germany. It will provide ‘the big picture’ – a holistic view of all safeguarding concerns affecting an individual, group, whole school or all 21 schools.


While the application’s functionality was high on the selection criteria list, ease of use was also one of the main components.


The web-based software was chosen because it is easy to implement without onsite technical installations and upgrades are carried out automatically on a regular basis. The software was also purchased through education sector procurement framework, Think IT, which meant costs were low and the need for multiple tenders was avoided. The training will be carried out online, saving the need to travel to each school.


Former chief constable Martin Baker, managing director of My Concern’s creators One Team Logic, said: “MyConcern closely reflects the reality of managing and safeguarding in today’s schools, where the ‘real world’ and ‘digital world’ risks to children and young people need to be managed holistically.  Using MyConcern, staff in leadership and supervisory roles can utilise their safeguarding data to analyse emerging trends and provide early help to children and families”.


Neil Watkins, managing director of Think IT, added: “There is no issue of greater importance to schools or parents than the safety of their children, and safeguarding remains high on Ofsted’s agenda. This month, the DfE released its ‘Keeping children safe in education’ statutory guidance for schools and colleges. The advice it offers and processes it recommends are matched by My Concern, making it the ideal system for schools to remain compliant and protect their students. Because our government-approved procurement framework was used, the systems could be purchased cost-effectively and installed quickly and efficiently, without needless time-consuming tenders.”

QinetiQ apprentices celebrate graduation as training school announces record intake

Twenty-three apprentices have celebrated their graduation from QinetiQ’s apprenticeship schemes at a ceremony at MOD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire.


The apprentices, who graduated in aeronautical engineering, mechanical manufacturing, electrical engineering, IT, and facilities management, have all kick-started their careers by earning full-time positions at QinetiQ.


Facilities Management apprentice Carl English received the CEO Award at the ceremony, in recognition of his outstanding professionalism, ability and exceptional standard of work.


Ian Beresford, Group Director Engineering & Operations, QinetiQ, said: “I wish this year’s graduates the best of luck as they set out in what I’m sure will be long and rewarding careers. These young people have a great head-start, entering the job market with skills already developed and put to the test in the workplace. As an employer we know just how valuable this is, and recognise the importance of apprenticeships in addressing the skills gap in UK industry. Our commitment to developing young talent is underlined in our membership of The 5% Club, which encourages employers to ensure 5% of their workforces are apprentices, sponsored students, and graduates on formal programmes.”


Record intake


The graduation ceremony coincides with the start of the school’s academic year, in which a record number of 47 apprentices have joined the ranks.


Twenty join as QinetiQ apprentices, including one in the newly introduced discipline of logistics and procurement, alongside 21 Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) apprentices, who QinetiQ will train at the school.


For the first time, six National Crime Agency (NCA) apprentices join the four-year Electronic Apprenticeship Training programme. The contract with NCA to train its apprentices marks the school’s first commercial contract, won through its first competitive tender.


Melanie Jackson, Head of QATS, said: “The invitation to compete for the NCA contract followed a recommendation from one of QATS existing customers and marks the start of exciting new opportunities for the school. We are delighted to welcome all those who have joined us this year and look forward to another productive and enjoyable programme.”


The QinetiQ Apprentice Training School is a fully accredited City and Guilds centre and its courses are approved by the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA). The school’s pass rate and the number of its students entering work after completing the course are both well above the national average.