Young apprentice factory worker learning from engineer professional in factory workplace.

Liverpool Waters, the £5 billion regeneration project, and the city region’s biggest college, The City of Liverpool College have announced a partnership that will provide local students with apprenticeship opportunities on the project’s various developments.

Liverpool Waters which is owned and managed by Peel Land and Property, will regenerate over 60 hectares of Liverpool’s dockland, which spans over 2.3 kilometres of waterfront, starting at Princes Dock and heading towards North Liverpool.

With multiple developments already taking shape, including the residential apartment buildings Plaza 1821 and The Lexington at Princes Dock, as well as international developer Romal Capital’s Quay Central at Central Docks, the demand for skilled apprentices is increasing at a rapid rate.

By forming this partnership, Liverpool Waters’ development partners will have access to The City of Liverpool College’s skilled apprentices, who will in turn benefit from working on one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe.

Ian Pollitt, assistant project director at Liverpool Waters, commented:

“Working closely with The City of Liverpool College means that we have access to a talent pool of 10,000 local apprentices, which will become invaluable as our project continues to pick up pace.

“We’re constantly welcoming new partners to our scheme, and a commitment of our partnership is that every single contractor and developer meets with the college to discuss their requirements and how the college can support them to meet these. This not only allows them to find some fantastic placements for their students, but the college can also encourage businesses to think creatively about their needs, as well as the kind of roles they’ll be looking to fill in the future.

“It is critical that we are working with future generations to ensure we can continue to be the very best, and this partnership means that we are inspiring an entire generation of workers, as well as retaining talent in the city by offering them sought after experience and creating opportunities for local people.”

Elaine Bowker, principal of The COLC, said:

“Through this partnership, we are creating opportunities for our students whilst providing these organisations with highly skilled and motivated apprentices. As a result, we’re able to give our students both the experience and the education to have an excellent career in the construction industry.

“We know that these skills are in high demand. As a college, we are reactive to this need and by offering a wide range of qualifications in a variety of disciplines, from GCSEs to Higher Apprenticeships, we can ensure that our students are equipped to meet these requirements. This partnership presents us with a fantastic opportunity to connect local talent with these businesses, as well as help firms upskill their current workforce to make sure their businesses are prepared for the future.

“We’re in constant conversation with businesses across the North West from a management and leadership perspective, which means we know exactly what these businesses need from their workforce. This not only gives us a competitive edge, but also allows us to build and nurture strong and lasting relationships with some of the biggest businesses in the area. We pride ourselves on our ability to harness the latest digital skills thanks to our digital academy, which means that as digital engineering starts to become a much more sought-after skill, we’ll already be ahead of the game and teaching our student apprentices everything they need to know. “

To learn more about the Liverpool Waters project, please visit: or The City of Liverpool College please visit

Principals by CH&CO starts the 2018/19 school year with new openings worth £7.5m

Principals by CH&CO has had a strong start to the new school year with more than 16 new schools opening this term adding to the current established portfolio.
The new partnerships have a total value in turnover of £7.5m for the duration of the contracts and will see the specialist school caterer strengthen its foothold in its homestay of Kent and break into London and Surrey. This success has been built on the team securing both individual schools and small clusters through recommendations and network.
According to client feedback, Principals by CH&CO was successful because of its reputation to develop unique solutions for each school, for growing uptake and for generating interest in food in the classroom, dining hall and home.
Great tasting, nutritious food on the menu is a given, but it’s the way that the on-site Principals by CH&CO teams engage and excite children, staff and parents to create a joyous, positive food culture that stands out. Initiatives and innovations that have captured imaginations and enhanced food experiences include street food pop-ups to introduce new flavours, tastes and textures and an interactive ‘family service’ concept that empowers children to serve themselves at the table, assisted by an adult, helping them build social skills and confidence and teaching appropriate portion size, as well as adding enjoyment to meal times.
Through food, Principals by CH&CO also supports school life throughout the year. From school gardens that inspire children as they follow the life of food from seed to the kitchen and plate, to sports, school events and special calendar occasions, food has an important role to play and is linked with the curriculum wherever possible.
Peter McKenna, sales director for Principals by CH&CO, said: “It’s been an incredible start to the new school year and we’re thrilled to be extending our reach into London and Surrey. Principals by CH&CO is in a strong position and this is down to our innovative, creative approach that enables us to build genuine partnerships with the schools we work with and be a positive part of a school community. I’ve been into the kitchens of our new schools and the atmosphere is brilliant and the teams’ dedication to creating exciting food experiences is palpable – there’s a real buzz!
“This is a new, exciting chapter for the business as we enjoy continued growth and move into new areas.

We also benefit from great support from the wider CH&CO business in the form of outstanding nutrition and culinary expertise and excellent support in marketing, procurement, finance, training and development, to name just a few!
“Our ethos is to work with the right schools that we can build true partnerships with, and not growth for growth sake. We have great people in our teams who want to make a real difference to the children and school communities we work with, beyond what’s on the plate. Take our new family service concept, for example. In modern society, not every child sits down for family meals at home and important development and life skills are in danger of being lost. We’re in a position to give children experiences in the dining hall that they can take with them throughout their lives, and it’s important that we do this.”


National Deaf Children’s Society responds to head teachers marching on Downing Street

‏Ian Noon, Head of Policy and Research at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said:
“Head teachers from across the country are marching on Downing Street because of huge pressures on the education system. For children with special educational needs, like the UK’s 50,000 deaf children, a complete crisis is unfolding before our eyes.
“Every child deserves the same chances in life, but systematic, swingeing cuts have left deaf children with a mountain to climb just to reach the start line.
“The Government must now wake-up and listen to the concerns of the entire sector and start delivering on its promise of a world-class education for everyone.”

Hallfield School Marks 140th Anniversary with Time Capsule Burial

Hallfield School in Edgbaston today launched a year of special anniversary celebrations by planting a time capsule on the school grounds.
The capsule, which will be opened by future pupils on the School’s 150th anniversary in 2029, contains artefacts that will give future pupils a snapshot of life at Hallfield School in 2018. This includes photographs and articles of school events in 2018, a school newsletter, items of school uniform, a school teddy, art work, a chess trophy, children’s letters to future pupils and today’s Birmingham Post and First News. The Head Master even took time out to write a letter to future staff and pupils of 2029 for the capsule.
After filling the time capsule up, the School’s Head Master, Mr Morrow, said a few words before burying the capsule in the ground.

Speaking of the event, he said: “We wanted to start a year of celebrations with an event that would capture the imagination of our pupils. They had obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the contents of the time capsule and it will be fascinating to see how life compares in 10 years’ time.”

Hallfield School will be celebrating their 140th anniversary throughout the academic year with a series of exciting events for pupils, parents, alumni and the local community. For more information visit

Overworked social services impacting standards of care for vulnerable children

Social workers, education and law enforcement workers in England concerned at rising childhood problems and shrinking services

85% of social workers have admitted that increased pressure on agencies that interact with vulnerable children means they are no longer able to give all children on their caseloads the support and time they need. The crisis in confidence amongst professionals is reflected in a new survey by YouGov for Barnardo’s.

With rising numbers of children facing multiple and overlapping issues stemming from early trauma and neglect, social workers caseloads are so overstretched that care for the most vulnerable children may be suffering.

The full survey of social workers, education and law enforcement workers in England showed alarming levels of concern at rising childhood problems and shrinking service solutions. Because resources are stretched to breaking point, professionals are becoming increasingly focused on expensive intervention, with children already at crisis point, meaning too many families miss out on the early help they need.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“The results of this survey are a wake-up call. What we’re seeing is a ‘perfect storm’ of more children needing help, increasingly complex challenges, and a system struggling to cope.

“With less and less resource for early intervention, and long waits for specialist mental health services, we are in danger of failing a generation of vulnerable children who face a future without hope. It’s also a false economy – young people who don’t get help now may develop far deeper and more costly problems in the future.

“But with a radical new approach we can turn this around.”

Last year Barnardo’s supported 301,100 children young people, parents and carers across the UK. By forming strategic partnerships with local and national agencies, co-designing and delivering services, and investing our donors’ money, alongside statutory sources, we can achieve a real step change, so that young people get help long before they reach crisis point.”

Findings in the polling include:

• A majority of law enforcement workers who work with children see an increase in demand in children experiencing exploitation by criminal gangs (58%)

• 58% per cent of social workers who come into professional contact with children had seen an increase in demand for support for children who had witnessed domestic abuse in the last year.

• Almost two-thirds of social workers (65%) also blamed a postcode lottery in the consistency of support, saying that it can be a barrier to vulnerable children getting support

• Over a third of teaching staff are ‘not confident’ they have sufficient skills to deal with and respond to complex vulnerabilities that children face (37%)

In response to the issues faced, Barnardo’s is actively advocating for “Strategic Partnerships” during party conferences this autumn, based on our own successful experience. Over the past few years Barnardo’s has been investing funds alongside national/local Government funding to identify challenges and co-design and deliver responses through strategic partnering that lead to better outcomes for more children.

For example, in 2012 service leaders in Newport City Council and Barnardo’s created a continuum of integrated family support services for children in need and their families that is proving more effective in protecting children from harm and promoting family well-being. An independent evaluation found 48% of all families worked with, had achieved very positive outcomes, including children being able to remain safely at home. IPC’s evaluation of this service found that it is also highly cost-effective.

VGC Group joins forces with charity to promote construction industry to students

Three VGC Group senior directors – managing director Laurence Mckidd, group services director Ciara Pryce and HR manager Laura Perry – have volunteered to join the charity’s local advisory boards, partnering with seven schools and one sixth form college in the London boroughs of Brent, Camden and Westminster.
To prepare students for the world of work all partner schools will benefit from bespoke construction related employability workshops, delivered by VGC Group’s skills and employment adviser, Kimberley McGinty.
In addition, two students will have the opportunity to undertake a four-week internship at VGC Group’s head office next summer.
Laurence Mckidd, managing director of VGC Group, believes the new partnership will complement the company’s existing schools engagement programme while helping to showcase the many rewarding career paths within the industry.
He said: “The construction industry is facing a skills shortage as not enough young people are taking up careers in the sector.
“I hope that our involvement with the charity’s local advisory boards will provide an even greater opportunity to showcase the industry’s vast array of career opportunities to the next generation. And I’m sure our new partnership will prove to be a very worthwhile and fulfilling journey.”
Recent research has highlighted that the overall appeal of the construction industry as a career option for young people is low, due to a perception that it is ‘male oriented, muddy and manual’ and most suited to ‘young people who do not get into college or university.’
Swati Patel, corporate social responsibility manager at VGC Group hopes the company’s new partnership will help to change attitudes amongst the younger generation. She said: “We know that one of the best ways to communicate with young people is by engaging with school careers advisors and teachers. We believe that our school engagement programme and partnerships with pivotal partners like Career Ready will enable us to promote the opportunities and earning potential a career in construction can provide.”
The newly formed partnership will also guarantee that all partner schools adhere to four of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework used by schools to ensure appropriate careers provision is included in their curriculum.
Anne Spackman, CEO at Career Ready, added: “Regular contact with employers can open a young person’s eyes to the range of careers available and the skills and attitude needed to get started.”

New generation Prowise personal devices

Prowise presents the latest generation personal devices. The Prowise Chromebooks, Prowise All-in-One PCs and Prowise EduBook 360 are better aligned with the needs of the education sector than ever before.
Adding devices to the classroom realises personalised education and an active class. Prowise also develops the software, ensuring that the devices completely fit into the classroom: Prowise Presenter.
Prowise Chromebooks EduLine
As Google for Education Partner in the Benelux, Prowise launches the new Chromebook EduLine series. Prowise is one of the only businesses in he world that works together with Google in producing Chromebooks. Due to its speed, powerful battery, Android apps, HD camera, automatic updates and 360º rotating touchscreen (EduLine 360), the devices can be deployed in the classroom in many different ways.
The Chromebooks from the EduLine series comply with high quality standards, are suitable for use in the modern classroom and have an incredible 3-year warranty. The Chromebook EduLine 360 is equipped with 4GB RAM/32GB storage and has a 360º rotating screen. Use it as a laptop to write essays together and fold it over to transform it into a tablet to play educational games or read long texts. The Chromebook EduLine does not have a 360º rotating display and is equipped with 4GB RAM/16GB storage.
Prowise All-in-One PC
The Prowise All-in-One PC is set to play a key role in the classroom. The 21.5″ LED screen delivers up to six hours of superior performance thanks to the powerful long-lasting battery. Thanks to the 10-point multi-touch touchscreen, the All-in-One PC is perfectly suited to numerous students working with or around it. Teach in PC Mode, divide students into small groups and work in tablet mode or allow someone to work on exercises independently in a quiet corner of the classroom.
There are more functionalities that turn the Prowise All-in-One PC into a versatile device for use at school. The two megapixel camera and microphone guarantee that students can get started with recording film clips, Skype conversations or interactive games. The clever webcam cover means you do not have to be concerned about undesirable onlookers. You can rest assured by sliding the cover over the camera. The Privacy Verified certificate shows that you can trust that your personal data is safe with us.
The Prowise All-in-One PC is available in two models: the Intel Pentium and Intel Core i5.
Prowise EduBook 360
The Prowise Edubook 360 is a powerful notebook, equipped with Windows 10, touchscreen and Windows Ink pen. The device always offers the right mode to work with. Due to its 360º tilting touchscreen you can transform it from laptop to tablet and anything in between. This was you the tablet can be deployed flexibly in the classroom.
De Prowise EduBook 360 is equipped with a Windows Ink pen. Students can write with the greatest precision, practise their writing skills and make detailed drawings. The 180º rotating camera function is new, and you can now make photos and videos from the front and rear side of the device. Thanks to the innovative rotating design of the camera, you can discover many new educational options: you can record the lesson while you are taking notes.



Aled Davies and Bianca Williams pay special visit to London’s St Mary Magdalen School

A Lewisham teacher has received a national award from two top British athletes after helping his pupils to be more active.

Edward Pinks, from St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary School, has been recognised as a Gold Active Teacher, one of the UK’s first. He was presented with the award by Paralympian Aled Davies and sprinter Bianca Williams, who made a special visit to his school today.

The athletes led a lively assembly where they shared inspiring stories of competing for Great Britain. They also took part in lessons and spent time meeting with pupils and teachers.

Edward’s award recognises his involvement with Active Kids Do Better – a Nike and Discovery Education programme to increase kids’ movement and play throughout the school day. The initiative has helped children at St Mary Magdalen to be more active by incorporating fun movement into their daily routine.

Launched in February, the Active Kids Do Better programme now reaches thousands of teachers in hundreds of primary schools across the UK. Developed with the support of Liverpool John Moores University, it offers free resources, games and activities to all UK primary schools. From short-burst classroom activities to outdoor games and play, Active Kids Do Better gives busy teachers fun and easy opportunities to get kids moving.

Edward Pinks is one of five teachers to receive a prestigious Gold Active Teacher Award, after using the resources with his pupils every day. Just three months into using the programme, children at St Mary’s are active for at least one hour each day: in the classroom, playground and even at home, and the school has seen real benefits.

Speaking after today’s assembly, Edward said:

“I’m really proud to be given a Gold Active Teacher Award. Our whole school has benefitted from being part of the Active Kids Do Better Programme. Now that we’ve brought play and movement into daily school life, the children are happier, and we’ve seen a real impact on attainment, behaviour and even school attendance. The children were really excited to meet Aled Davies and Bianca Williams today. It was an experience that they won’t forget!”

Aled Davies is a Paralympic gold medallist and current para double world champion in the F42 shot put and discus. Bianca Williams is a 200m sprinter, Commonwealth Games gold and European gold medallist this year in the 4x100m relay. The children were delighted to meet the athletes, and to have the opportunity to see and hold their medals!

Aled Davies said:

“Kids today aren’t as active as they need to be, and it’s amazing to see the impact that sport and play can make on a whole school. The kids we met today were energetic, bright and raring to go!”

Bianca Williams said:

“It was great to visit St Mary Magdalen, a school where kids are encouraged to have fun being active and where everyone can have a go! Mr Pinks is a real inspiration to his pupils. We were delighted to present him with his well-deserved award and really enjoyed meeting so many happy, active kids.”

Fewer than one in four young children in the UK get the recommended amount of exercise*, which means that millions of kids are missing out on the benefit of sport and play. Active kids are healthier, happier and show stronger academic performance. Active Kids Do Better helps schools to take simple steps in the right direction.

Christine Major, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

“The Active Kids Do Better Programme helps teachers introduce movement and activity throughout the day, not just designated PE lessons or playtime. There’s a whole raft of exciting digital resources to ignite ideas for activity, before during and after school. We’re absolutely delighted by the number of schools taking part and would encourage more teachers to get involved!”

To sign up your school visit

Education recruiter responds to Labour’s proposals for National Substitute Teacher Register

Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, this week announced plans for a Labour government to save cash strapped schools over half a billion pounds a year through a major shake-up of the supply teacher system.
Proposals include the introduction of a new national Substitute Teacher Register as well as plans to examine the feasibility of setting up a state supply agency and whether further regulation of supply teacher fees is needed to put an end to ‘exorbitant and escalating’ costs.
Commenting on the announcement, Baljinder Kuller, who has over 15 years’ experience in education recruitment, and is now Managing Director of online supply teacher portal, The Supply Register, said:
“The idea of a National Substitute Teacher Register is, in theory, a perfect solution to rectifying spiralling agency spend, and we welcome Labour’s intentions. However, while this system has worked successfully in Northern Ireland for many years, in England and Wales the market is very different. In Northern Ireland there is an abundance of talent and a shortage of jobs. Here, the reverse is true.
“While local authorities have managed education recruitment regionally in the past, reduced budgets mean that the majority are now unable to fund these services. And although the idea of a state supply agency is also an admirable suggestion, it would require a huge amount of investment to not only establish, but also manage in terms of compliance to ensure that teachers are deployed safely and reliably. In principle it’s a great idea, whether it’s logistically feasible is another matter.
“We would welcome further regulation of supply teacher fees to stop the exorbitant and escalating costs seen in the industry in recent years. Pay is inextricably linked with successful teaching and remuneration is often the deciding factor for teachers moving jobs. Until the government mandates a pay structure for professionals across all schools and local authorities, teachers will continue to switch roles to get a better deal, which will only heighten movement and reduce retention.”

A Senior Pupil’s Moving Account of the Battlefields of Belgium

As a member of the English Department’s Talented Writers’ Group, senior pupil, Sofia in Year 9 at Manor House, candidly shares some of her thoughts about the Year 9 Battlefields Trip. This is a moving account of one girl’s experience.
Belgium. A small, scenic country with enchanted woods, peaceful green fields, and delicious chocolate. Those fields weren’t always peaceful – in fact, they used to be battlefields. It’s just so hard to believe that such a dear little land to the north of France could have seen the unprecedented bloodshed that was the First World War. You certainly can’t imagine it looking around today. The woods have dents from artillery fire and chillingly real trench replicas running through them. One particularly beautiful piece of architecture is the Menin Gate, dedicated to the missing soldiers, where a remembrance ceremony is held to the famous Last Post (at which I personally laid a poppy wreath from Manor House).
I was awoken at six o’clock, moved from car to coach to train to France to Belgium, and found myself standing before some gravestones – row upon row, acres filled with the white headstones. This was also because this was a Commonwealth cemetery, owned by all the Allied forces: Britain, France, Canada, Australia, India. There were also Chinese names from the Chinese Labour Corps though and even a couple rows of German names.
What hit me hardest was how many of them said nothing but ‘A soldier of the Great War. Known unto God’. This was a real live human being with thoughts, emotions, hopes, and dreams just as complex and valid as my own, and all we can say about them is how they died.
We visited several of these Commonwealth cemeteries.
We also went to a German graveyard which was very different. Instead of neat headstones there were simple black crosses or stone tablets for Jews adorned not with engravings, but moss and cobwebs. Instead of honouring individuals there were as many as four to a cross. Our guide, Andy, explained this as a drastically different mindset. The mild disrepair was a return to nature and the mass burials kept loyal comrades close together in death. Apart from a few red and white roses there wasn’t much to show that anyone really cared for these people and how brave they were.
While Britain took a punch to the gut from a level of grief they’d never felt before, Germany had a more stoic approach. They were a military country. They were used to fighting and losing many lives. They’d been involved a relatively short time ago, in the Thirty Year War. Thirty years of death, fear, poverty, and horrendous conditions will desensitize anyone. I thought of this little graveyard as proof they really did care and that made it seem a little less cold.
But what about the battles that left us with so many dead young men to bury? What about the devastation itself?
We saw two massive mine craters, both in France. First came the Hawthorn Ridge mine sitting like a wound within what was once a copse of trees on a hill where you could’ve sat, watched the view, had a picnic on a summer’s day. This one was set by us to kill the Germans.
Certainly those poor men up there were completely vaporized by such an explosion. The soldiers far below would’ve felt the blast; the Earth shuddering in horror.
Then there was the Lochnagar Crater. It was much more decorated with a cross and a platform for poppy wreaths. A pilot named Cecil Lewis was flying above the area when it was detonated and was thrown off course so badly he was lucky he lived to tell the tale.
What can I say about the Battle of the Somme? The soldiers there walked exactly like lambs to the slaughter. Yes, walked. They were told to walk rather than run into the raging German fire. Why? Because the British army didn’t have a clue that day. And good Lord, were we forced to learn. The Somme was a massacre – the pre-atomic bomb massacre. No description I can give you will allow you to comprehend it. I don’t even fully comprehend it myself. A horrendous proportion of gravestones (60,000 dead on the first day) bear its date.
Another equally distressing place in Somme is the Thiepval Memorial. The Thiepval Memorial is bigger inside than it looked. This contains a mere fraction of names of the missing or unsuitable for burial; you could feel the atmosphere plunge. Faced with names crammed into every possible square inch of stone, my thoughts echoed those of the soldiers they belonged to approaching enemy lines: there are too many of them. There are way too many of them. But while their bodies were blasted to ribbons, only my heart received that fate now. Actually, my heart was still in the metaphorical trenches. It went out to be pulverized when I saw the cemetery behind the memorial. The graves took me by surprise. You couldn’t see them from the whole area in front. I, much like the floundering British army, was not prepared. I had been a little misty-eyed at past stops (such as the Caribou memorial) but this really got the tears flowing. It could be the bottom of the ocean for weight and scale.
So, those are some of my thoughts about the Year Nine battlefields trip.
I hope I made you think.
Sofia, Year 9.