Surrey school girl wins national charity Christmas card competition

Tracey Fantham (L), Cassandra Clarence (middle) and Teresa Williams (R)

A Manor House School pupil has been named as one of two national winners of Leeds Building Society’s Christmas card competition, which will raise money for Samaritans. Art Scholar, Cassie’s card is available to buy at the Society’s 55 branches.
A Manor House School pupil has been named as one of the national winners of Leeds Building Society’s Christmas card competition, which will raise money for Samaritans. Almost 100 designs, based on a ‘Listening At Christmas’ theme, were submitted for this year’s competition, with two chosen to be transformed into Christmas cards. The judging panel picked a design by Cassandra Clarence, 11, a Year 7 pupil and Art Scholar at the Bookham-based school, as one of two winners. Her card is now available at the Society’s 55 branches, including the nearby Epsom branch. All proceeds raised through the Christmas cards in Leeds Building Society branches will be donated to Samaritans, as part of the Society’s aim to raise £250,000 for its charity partner by March 2020. Richard Fearon, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Leeds Building Society, said: “It’s been great to see so many entries from children across the UK and it was very difficult for the judging panel to pick its two favourites. “The cards look fantastic and are available across our branch network. We believe the donation of all proceeds raised through our Christmas cards campaign demonstrates our commitment to Samaritans, which has already seen our colleagues and members raise over £100,000.” The prize for Cassandra’s design was a £50 book token and a donation of £250 to Manor House School from Leeds Building Society for use as part of a wellbeing focused project. Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “Congratulations to Cassandra on a beautiful design, and thank you to everyone who took part in the competition. “Together you have helped ensure that everyone has someone they can talk to this Christmas. I look forward to sending these winning cards myself, and hope I receive one or two as well.” The winner of the under 11 category was York schoolboy Isaac Savage. To find the closest Leeds Building Society branch where the Christmas cards are available, visit the Society’s branch finder.

Design can save lives

British Safety Council announces the results of its multimedia poster competition focused on workplace wellbeing

The British Safety Council has revealed the winners of its multimedia poster competition, ‘Images of wellbeing’, which showcases images of wellbeing at work and in an educational environment.
The British Safety Council has a proud legacy of producing posters to inform, educate and campaign for safety, health and wellbeing in the workplace. For sixty years, its posters were a striking and often humorous reflection of the developments that transformed the workplace in Britain. Their subjects ranged from occupational health and safety matters to headline news.
Today, employees face new risks to their health and wellbeing, as companies move away from traditional work practices. New technologies, long hours and remote working affect people’s wellbeing and can lead to mental health problems, which are particularly prevalent among men and young people.
Matthew Holder, Head of Campaigns at the British Safety Council, said: “The results of our competition have shown that wellbeing and mental health are at the forefront of young people’s minds. The poster competition has proved to be a good barometer of their concerns about mental health, the workplace environment and the practices that adversely affect employee wellbeing.
“Workplace wellbeing is of paramount importance to young people. Their commitment to their employers will depend on how they look after their physical, psychological and mental wellbeing.’
The winner in the Under 21 category, Colin Orr, a student of graphic design at Edinburgh College of Art, said: “It’s estimated that one in five teenagers will experience depression prior to adulthood, with only three in every ten teens receiving the support they need. The main causes of teen depression are academic pressures and cyber-bullying. That’s why I intended the poster to be displayed in schools, where mental health awareness tends to be limited.
“I wanted to let young people know that depression isn’t always extreme but is very common. They shouldn’t feel deterred from receiving help because they don’t think they’re ‘bad enough’. I avoided seeking help despite showing obvious signs of moderate depression. One of the first warning signs of being depressed is spending a lot of time in bed. My poster suggests that you should worry about friends who sleep in the afternoon.”
Rimsha Ahmed, the overall competition winner, who works as a marketing assistant at LYRA, explained: “Wellbeing is key to a successful and happy career. It can be expressed in the simplest ways that make a working day more manageable and reduce an individual’s stress levels and anxiety.
“As an artist, I understand how a workspace influences an individual’s productivity; therefore, I focused on issues which can make an office a safer, healthier and more mindful environment in which to work, particularly during periods of stress. Having compassion for your peers, access to sunlight and even something as simple as the opportunity for a hot drink can make the working day more relaxing and comfortable, thus increasing employee productivity.”
The winner of the Moving Image poster is a three-person team from design agency Silver, consisting of Lidia Teasca, Amy Purvis and Robert Walsh. Lidia Teasca, said: “Our poster focuses on the importance of the connection between people as part of the five ways to achieve wellbeing.
“Our intention is to use this poster alongside our Mental Health Task Force. We will have a dedicated wellness hub on our intranet to share information and advice, and to promote lifestyle changes that can help us all cope better with pressure and reduce stress. Spreading a positive attitude can influence other aspects of achieving wellbeing. Most importantly, we all need to realise that we can contribute to each-other’s wellbeing. It may be just a small part of what we do, but it should be 100% of who we are.”

Derventio Education further partnership with ISBL

Derventio Education are proud to announce that we are furthering our working relationship with the Institute of School Business Leadership. As an approved partner organisation, selected ISBL members will enjoy access to SchooliP, the simplest and most effective way to manage appraisals in schools.
Our collaboration will see the ISBL professional standards integrated into our software. SchooliP will help to increase accountability within the school business community. This will make it easier for school business leaders to demonstrate high levels of competency, professionalism and expertise. They will be able to log their initial professional development (IPD) and continued professional development (CPD) with ease. This will help practitioners to receive the professional recognition that they deserve.
This news has been warmly received by both organisations.

“ISBL are delighted to be working with SchooliP to provide school business professionals with access to an online solution that makes it easier for them to demonstrate their levels of knowledge and skills; whilst also enabling them to identify what they have achieved or need to achieve against Professional Standards. We are also delighted that this new initiative will allow us to facilitate mentoring support for those new and aspiring to the sector via an online platform for the very first time.”

Bethan Cullen – Business and Commercial Development Director – ISBL
“The ISBL have a superb reputation for promoting excellent and are standard bearers within education. We are delighted to be working closely with them to help school business leaders maximise their potential.”
Stuart Reece – Managing Director – Derventio Education
To find out more about SchooliP, please visit, call 0333 0433 450 or email: Also, we will be exhibiting at the ISBL regional conferences throughout 2019.

YHA campaign helps schools improve student outcomes by harnessing the power of the outdoors

The opportunity to have access to outdoor adventure is vital to develop young people’s ambition for the future, says leading youth charity YHA (England and Wales).

With *research showing that only 1 in 5 children regularly play outside and are missing out on critical childhood experiences to benefit their emotional, social and academic development, YHA has launched a brand new campaign, The Adventure Effect.

At the heart of the campaign is a film which features a social experiment highlighting the impact of young people not having the opportunity to access travel and the outdoors. The experiment also echoes the **research finding that residential breaks help young people learn to build relationships.

YHA confined the professional adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys to a room for three days. In contrast, the film also follows five young people during their first big adventure away from home and demonstrates their personal transformation during that time.

Watch the powerful film at

As far back as 2008, an Ofsted Report into learning outside the classroom highlighted the positive benefits and impact on raising achievement.

Worryingly, however, research has shown that children from lower socio-economic groups, and those with special educational needs and disabilities are less likely to visit the countryside or undertake rural leisure pursuits.

To enable schools to provide the opportunity for outdoor travel and adventure to all their students, YHA’s Educational Support Programme supports young people aged between 8 and 18 who are eligible for Pupil Premium and have additional social challenges. Up to 10 young people in a group can apply for a two-night supported break at a Youth Hostel. The current round of applications to YHA’s Educational Breaks programme is open until 31st January 2019.

Karen Pine, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, who has supported YHA with the campaign, explained: “Being unable to get outside for a prolonged period can lead to stress and depression. Time outdoors – having adventures in nature – helps to build resilience which is our ability to bounce back in life. This is an incredibly important skill.”

YHA has also pledged to work more closely with schools, groups, charities and organisations who work directly with young people living challenging lives, to ensure that they can more easily access the transformation power of travel and adventure.

James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) explained: “Last year, YHA welcomed almost 100,000 young people on educational residentials and this year we want to reach even more. We’re passionate about transforming young lives through travel and real adventure. We know the experiences we deliver through our network of youth hostels make a very real difference to young people.

“That is why, throughout 2019, YHA will be working with Alternative Provision teams, home educators and those working with children in care to look at how we can ensure that these young people best access adventures in the outdoors and breaks in nature.”

In support of the growing body of evidence demonstrating the positive impact of residential experiences on young people’s learning and wider development, more than 80 of YHA’s locations are accredited by Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC). YHA has the most LOtC sites in England and Wales of any school trip provider.

For schools planning a residential, YHA recommends the following websites:

 Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel National Guidance
 Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
 Brilliant Residentials

To book your next residential school trip with YHA or apply for support, visit

Design a drone to protect endangered animals and you could win £5,000

BIEA’s annual International STEM Youth Innovation Competition is now open!

The British International Education Association (BIEA) is calling for schools across the UK to take part in its free annual International STEM Youth Innovation Competition. The competition, pre-registration for which officially opened for entries today, challenges students under the age of 18 from all over the world, to design and develop a drone to help protect wild and endangered animals.
Supported by the British Science Association and the Royal Institution, the aim of the competition is to raise the level of technological enthusiasm among students as well as to stimulate their passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
Students can enter their designs until 31st March 2019. In April, 36 international finalists will be announced, and each team will receive £100 funding from BIEA to buy a mini drone and make their modifications to it. The winning team will then be announced at the RAF Museum in London on 4th July, where they will receive the £5,000 grand prize.
This challenge builds on BIEA’s previous competition which saw more than 2,000 schools from across the UK entering. It was only open to British students and centred around the theme of creating a drone for a rescue situation.
Philip White, Head of Communications, BIEA, explained the importance of the competition, “BIEA’s focus is to improve global education standards and we believe that one of the best ways to do this is by supporting the development of STEM subjects in schools. Highlighting the importance of scientific and technological innovation to young people helps to develop a constant motivation to create the source of a better future.
“We decided on the challenge of designing a drone as it really requires students to push the boundaries of their technological and scientific knowledge: it involves several disciplines including mechanics, electronics, computer programming and flight dynamics, and the ‘Fighting Extinction’ theme draws on multiples fields of science.
“The competition is designed to give young people around the world a stage on which to learn, communicate and improve scientific innovation; it’s a chance for them to acquire knowledge and fulfil their dreams. We’d love as many schools as possible to join in! We’re very excited to see what they come up with!”
To find out more about the International STEM Youth Innovation Competition or to sign up please visit or follow us on Twitter at @BIEAeducation

We wish you an autism friendly Christmas: helping those with autism during the festive season


Family decorating the Christmas tree.

Bright twinkling lights, carols, meeting new people, eating different foods…sound like a perfect Christmas? For people on the autistic spectrum, Christmas can be a stressful time and not the welcome break that most people enjoy. For most people these are things that make Christmas so special, however, for an individual with autism these are the very factors that make Christmas so difficult and a time to get through as quickly as possible.
Dr Helen Hughes, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Team Lead at Options Malvern View, a division of Outcomes First Group, leaders in the provision of education and care for children and adults with autism, complex and Social Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH), offers advice and guidance for parents and carers who look after children, young people and adults with autism, so that Christmas can be a more enjoyable and less stressful time for all involved.

How to handle change

Some people with autism find change difficult. Changes to routines, environment and social expectations can mean that Christmas can be a confusing and challenging time. For those who value predictability, surprise guests can be overwhelming. The abstract nature of the festive season can also heighten people’s anxiety. Overall, these changes can result in an unpleasant experience, so what can we do to help people enjoy the festivities and reduce distress?
• Introduce decorations slowly so the changes to the environment are not sudden. Alternatively, just have the decorations up from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day in order to reduce the length of the change. Involve everyone in planning the changes; for example shopping for decorations, deciding where to put them and deciding on the number of decorations.
• Create a schedule for Christmas day, including all activities such as opening presents, eating lunch, and family visits. A schedule will create structure and reduce the unpredictability of Christmas day.
• Create a safe Christmas-free zone. If Christmas becomes overwhelming this can be used as a retreat.

Sensory overload

Christmas can be an overstimulating time of year for those on the autistic spectrum. Some will appreciate the new high impact sensory stimulation, for others this can be a struggle.
The types of extra sensory stimulation that we tend to associate with Christmas include:
• Vision – extra visual stimulation to process, such as lights and decorations
• Smell – different and often more intense smells, such as incense, perfumes, cooking, rich food to smell and taste.
• Touch can be affected by new clothes, adornments, decorations and crowds
• Sound – new and multi-layered sounds to process, such as crowds, background music, excited children, carol singers and brass bands.
Individuals with autism can find these sensory stimulations overwhelming and not at all pleasurable. Here are some tips to reduce sensory overload and to manage difficult situations:
• Steer clear of crowds if you know this is a difficult situation
• Keep decorations to a minimum
• Avoid Christmas crackers
• Offer structure to present opening – e.g. take turns opening gifts and restrict the number of gifts from each person
• Use preferred therapeutic tools to reduce sensory overload – e.g. ear defenders, fiddles and weighted therapy.

Communication aids

Communication aids have been shown to reduce anxiety for people on the autistic spectrum. Big changes in routines such as going to events, parties and meeting new people can not only make the world appear chaotic and unpredictable, but can also place new social demands on the person which can lead to heightened levels of arousal and distress.
Good communication is vital in preparing for change; without the appropriate communication strategies those with autism can feel excluded and find the festive period stressful. Some strategies to use include:
• Countdown calendars to visually communicate Christmas day and the events leading up it
• Story boards to communicate changes in routines
• Visual schedules to communicate daily routines and reduce the level of disruption
• Christmas Makaton signs (Makaton is a sign and symbol language) to enable inclusion.

We wish you an autism friendly Christmas is just one of the many help sheets created by the Options Clinical Team offering advice and guidance for parents and carers who look after children, young people and adults with autism. If you would like to sign up to receive these help sheets via email, please complete the sign up form on the Options website

For further information about Option Autism, please visit Options Autism is a division of Outcomes First Group, a leader in the provision of education and care for children and adults with autism, complex and Social Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH)


A new report from EngineeringUK suggests that more should be done to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study and succeed in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
Analysis shows that just under a quarter of those working in engineering come from low socio-economic backgrounds, with this underrepresentation consistent with participation and achievement throughout the engineering educational pipeline.
• 44% of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) achieved an A*-C grade GCSE in mathematics compared with 62% of non-FSM pupils; the respective figures for physics are 8% compared with 23%.*
• Similar gaps were observed at A level: of those who sat an A level Mathematics exam in 2017, 54% of those eligible for FSM in school achieved an A*-B grade, compared with 66% of those who were not eligible. The corresponding figures for physics are 39% and 52%.
• Just 1 in 10 engineering and technology first year undergraduates** came from the most disadvantaged POLAR4 quintile***, compared with 20% of the population.
The UK faces an engineering skills shortage, with 203,000 roles requiring engineering skills needed to be filled annually through to 2024. The report suggests the skills gap could be addressed if the educational system and engineering community worked together to address social mobility.
The report, which provides an overview of social mobility in engineering from the educational pipeline to the workforce, indicates engineering has the potential to offer real career opportunities for young people, whatever their background. However, an unequal provision of science-related subjects across the country is a barrier, with deprived areas more likely to face teacher shortages and have STEM subjects taught by non-specialists, and the lack of availability of triple science at GCSE. This potentially affects young people’s opportunity to study subjects like A level Physics, which can have a knock-on effect for undergraduate degrees and routes into engineering careers.
The report identifies patchy careers guidance as an obstacle to social mobility, with students from deprived areas needing more access to high-quality careers guidance.
EngineeringUK CEO Mark Titterington, said: “Addressing issues of diversity and inclusion is crucial for the engineering community – we need to encourage all young people, whatever their background, that engineering is for them.
“Not only is there a compelling business case for the sector to harness and widen the talent pool to address the skills shortage so people from all backgrounds are able to contribute positively to some of society’s biggest challenges, it’s just as important for young people to discover how fulfilling, diverse and exciting careers in modern engineering can be. From powering our lives to improving our health and wellbeing, engineers shape the world we live in.”
Social mobility in engineering builds on the data and analysis contained within the Engineering UK 2018: The state of engineering report and provides an overview of social mobility in the sector. It considers the potential implications of recent policy reforms, presents trends in STEM educational attainment and participation among those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and reflects on how these factors impact their employment outcomes.
The Social mobility in engineering briefing which contains inputs from the Sutton Trust, Pearson, Jacobs and Brightside is available from

Pudsey Bear is joining Twinkl on Twitter and wants your questions

Pudsey Bear, the BBC Children in Need mascot, will be joining Twinkl to go live on Twitter. The iconic bear will be joining Twinkl, the Proud Schools Partner of BBC Children in Need, in a take over of its Twitter account in the run up to the BBC Children in Need Appeal night on 16 November 2018.

Pudsey will be joining Twinkl to tweet live from @twinklresources from 2:30pm to 3:30pm on Wednesday 14th November.

Children and schools across the UK are being invited to send in their questions to @twinklresources adding the hashtag #PudseyTakeover.

Jonathan Seaton, CEO and Founder of Twinkl, said: “We know that children and schools everywhere will have some really interesting questions for Pudsey.

“We hope that thinking of questions together will be an inspiring activity for children and teachers to do in the classroom and will get schools thinking about raising money for BBC Children in Need.

“Everyone at Twinkl is really proud to be supporting schools this year with all the amazing fundraising they do. BBC Children in Need is a fantastic organisation and it continues to make a massive difference to communities throughout the UK by helping children and young people have a happy and secure childhood.”

BBC Children in Need is currently funding over 2,700 projects in communities across the UK which aim to support children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma.

Claire Hoyle, Commercial Director from BBC Children in Need said: “With the BBC Children in Need Appeal Night coming up on the 16th November, we’re hoping to galvanise as many schools and nurseries to help raise as much money as possible to help support disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. We’re hoping this opportunity to ask Pudsey and Twinkl fundraising questions will help offer ideas and inspiration for children and teachers across the UK to get involved.”

Those interested in more information about this year’s schools fundraising campaign can visit

Twinkl creates learning resources used by educators across the world including teachers, childminders and parents. The team has created a range of curriculum-based resources to support schools and individuals to raise money for BBC Children in Need. They can be downloaded for free at

Are you feeling festive yet?


If you thought to yourself “No, I’m not feeling festive yet!” then I may just be able to help.
I’m Toby Johnson, Publication Director here at The Educator Magazine UK.
I’m writing to give you some early festive cheer.
I have a unique and exclusive way for you to wish all U.K Schools and Academies a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
We are giving you the opportunity to advertise your Christmas and New Year message on our website from now until February 2019.
Check our “Merry Christmas” tab at the top of our index bar to see more.

For only £195 you will receive a 300 x 300 pixel advertising button to highlight your Christmas and new year wishes to our U.K. Schools and Academies and this will run until the end of February 2019. With millions of hits per month, and a huge proactive audience, it’s a low cost brand awareness exercise which the Schools audience will see as its our first page on the website.

To claim yours email me on 

Don’t forget to follow us socially and share too. Thanks.


Securus and eSafety4schools announce a new partnership offering leading online monitoring and filtering solutions

Securus and eSafety4schools are delighted to announce a new partnership that will offer a combination of leading online monitoring and filtering, together with a comprehensive and fully managed service, to ensure greater safeguarding in schools.

Working together, Securus and eSafety4schools provide a range of solutions to schools that help ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate online danger. This approach works by monitoring for signs of troubling or risky behavior and applying flexible content and web filtering policies as well as reporting without over-blocking. Easy-to set-rules and unparalleled security features & functionality give schools enterprise level protection. By combining both approaches the solutions ensure the best possible online safeguarding is in place.

Busy Designated Safeguarding Leads with responsibility for ensuring the children and students in their care are safe can now take advantage of our fully managed service staffed by a team of education specialists experienced in safeguarding who actively monitor the schools online behaviour on their behalf. Reviewing activity every day, they help contextualize issues that come to light and alert the school to anything that needs their immediate attention.

Securus and eSafety4school’s solutions also enable schools to fully meet the latest government statutory guidance covering Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) and the Prevent Duty from an online safeguarding perspective.

Bernard Snowe, Securus CEO, said of the new service “Securus is delighted to be partnering with eSafety4schools as we both share a clear commitment to help schools meet the challenges they face to safeguard the school network and primarily to keep children safe online. Together with the active monitoring managed service, used in conjunction with our range of products, we can now provide education customers with a total comprehensive safeguarding solution. At Securus we constantly strive to provide greater support to schools for online safety and our partnership with eSafety4schools gives us exactly the opportunity to deliver this”.

Matthew Holt, Director for eSafety4schools commented “eSafety4schools looks forward to working with industry leading Securus to provide schools with best in class Safeguarding solutions. The commitment to support and service by Securus mirrors the eSafety4schools ethos exactly. The demands placed on schools is ever increasing with Safeguarding of Children at the forefront of these. By offering the active monitoring managed service schools can gain maximum benefit from their investment in filtering and monitoring software.”

About Securus (Monitoring Provision)

Securus has been at the forefront of providing online safeguarding and monitoring solutions to schools, colleges and law enforcement for many years. It is one of the UK’s market leaders in providing online safeguarding and active monitoring solutions to schools. Securus products represent the next generation of online monitoring software and have been specifically developed to make the task of online safeguarding easier and more accurate than ever before. Securus detects inappropriate content as soon as it appears on screen. A screen capture is taken of every incident of concern, enabling staff to respond to potential risk. Our products feature easy-to-use and highly intuitive user interfaces that will help your establishment to ensure that potential instances of risk or problematic online activity are identified rapidly so that you can respond, safeguard and educate accordingly.

About eSafety4schools (Filtering Provision)

Supplying over 500 schools eSafety4schools has many years in-depth experience about the issues and challenges that Schools face to provide appropriately filtered Internet access. Recognising that no two schools are the same, we have a flexible approach to the grouping of users, the policies that are applied to those users and the reports produced against their Internet usage. eSafety4schools support led approach has seen it become accredited by two leading government approved frameworks – emPSN and ThinkIT thus enabling schools to order Web Filtering and Monitoring directly from us, safe in the knowledge they are receiving value for money, quality and service.

For more information on our monitoring and filtering solutions contact: or

Press Enquiries should be sent to Bernard Snowe, CEO, Securus Software.
Email: or call 0330 124 1750