New data reveals nearly ¼ of parents believe responsibility for educating their children about financial matters lies elsewhere

According to a recent survey conducted by the team at Guarantor Loan Comparison, it has emerged that nearly 25% of parents who have children aged under 18 feel that they are not the most responsible for educating their children about financial matters.

Using data sourced from respondents across the UK from all walks of life, the survey looked to gain a greater understanding of the level of financial support parents provide to their children.

Along with direct financial support, educating children about how to handle money is essential for their future development and long-term well-being.s the above data shows, three-quarters of parents are prepared to provide this education.

However, attitudes show that it is not deemed the sole responsibility of parents to provide financial guidance, with more than 70% of respondents agreeing that secondary schools also have a key role to play. This figure drops when the respondents were asked about the role of primary schools, with just over 37% of parents thinking that schools should be discussing financial matters with children between the ages of 5-11.

Sixth forms and sixth form colleges also proved to be less popular with those answering the survey than secondary schools, which implies that the age bracket of 11-16 is seen as the definitive time for financial education to be imparted.

Talking about financial concerns

When it comes to talking about finances with young people over 18 − who are more likely to be earning of their own accord − it seems that mum is definitely the word. The survey revealed a definite gender split in terms of parental guidance on financial matters. When compared to the dads we surveyed, mums were far more likely to talk to their adult children about a number of topics, including:

  • Credit scores – 63% of mums said they would discuss this with their adult children, but only 27% of dads said the same
  • Debt – 70% of mums were happy to talk about this, as compared to 59% of dads

Budgeting – 78% of mums would talk budgets, opposed to 41% of dads

Wellbeing in schools: how can school leaders respond to the fact that one in eight students experience mental health issues?

Bernard Canetti, Principal of Brampton College, London’s highest achieving independent sixth form college gives his opinion on the government’s plan to dedicate an additional £31.6 million to the training of more educational psychologists and the need for a proactive holistic approach to wellbeing in schools…

With one in eight 5 to 19-year-olds experiencing at least one “mental health” disorder, according to results published last year by the NHS[1], I, along with many of my fellow teaching professionals, welcome the Government’s plan to dedicate an additional £31.6 million to the training of more educational psychologists[2].

The pressure on young people today is huge and over the past ten years I have witnessed an increasing number of students suffering from anxiety and other psychological issues. Adolescence is an inherently difficult time and recently the problems have been compounded by the constant access to the internet, social media and the pressure of exams. This is widely recognised as a significant problem affecting not only pupils and schools but the support services too.

So whilst I would applaud the Government’s commitment to increase spending on training qualified educational psychologists, I would call for an even greater and more holistic approach to tackling student wellbeing, which takes a pro-active and preventative approach to the psychological wellbeing of students rather than relying on interventions at crisis point.

I believe it’s critical that all schools receive support to implement school wide initiatives which help promote and support wellbeing. More than ever, it’s profoundly important that schools present an environment where students feel their teachers are concerned about them as individuals, take them seriously and believe in them.

An important authority on this subject, Sir Anthony Seldon has voiced his opinion on the need for government to take student wellbeing seriously. A leading headteacher for 20 years, he has called on government to introduce a Wellbeing League Table for schools on a par with its Exam League Table. At a recent conference he commented, “The evidence is clear that wellbeing interventions… allow students and young people to cope best with problems… schools that prioritise wellbeing, which includes challenging and stretching students, also build character and help them to perform better than those schools which are simply exam factories.” I couldn’t agree more!    

So what measures can schools put in place which actively encourage a whole-school approach to wellbeing?

It is a misconception that a commitment to student wellbeing comes at the expense of strong academic results. In fact the two are intrinsically linked. At Brampton, we are delighted to have achieved our 18th year at the top of London’s league tables, however whilst academic achievement is crucial for our students, looking after their psychological wellbeing and developing self-belief, confidence and resilience is equally valued.

This ethos has driven our approach at Brampton for many years. As well as assigning a personal tutor to provide personal and academic support to each pupil, the college has a Student Counsellor, an Educational Psychologist and a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, trained at the Tavistock (under Emil Jackson, who is head of the Child and Adolescent Unit at the Tavistock), to provide guidance and support to staff, as well as students and parents.

We are launching a new initiative this year called ‘Creating Community Conversations’, which will be delivered to students via the weekly personal tutor sessions.  The programme has been designed to allow students time to reflect upon a wide range of issues and challenges in their day-to-day lives.  For example, the first module “Fresh Start” encourages all members of the Brampton community to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’, as well as providing resources and powerful advice that might help individuals when dealing with anxiety, confidence issues and challenges related to organisation. ‘Taking care of ourselves’ is the theme for the second module, where community members will explore mindfulness and meditation techniques, as well as examining the power of gratitude in their daily lives. This initiative is in addition to a series of wellbeing workshops, involving team building activities which explore ways to develop a positive attitude and emotional resilience.

Building a good relationship with parents is also key. For the past few years, we have been holding a series of talks for parents from leading figures in childhood and adolescent psychology. Their perspective and advice on how best to support children or cope with challenging behaviour has been incredibly well received. 

Our strong academic results stand testament to the school’s dual approach to wellbeing and studies. When students leave our college feeling happy and confident then we know we have achieved real success.

For more information on Brampton College please visit




Family For Every Child calls on organisations across the globe to sign up

It is estimated that 1 in 6 boys worldwide experiences sexual abuse. And whilst girls continue to be the gender principally affected by sexual violence (estimated at 1 in 4), the abuse suffered by boys can fall under the radar (Caring For Boys Affected By Sexual Violence, 2018).

Child-facing organisations including schools are being invited to sign up to an international charter which aims to change the way societies tackle sexual violence affecting young males.

On becoming a signatory to United For Boys, organisations will be able to access tailored support and guidance from the charter’s founding charity Family For Every Child – a member-led network of local children’s organisations from around the world.

Charter signatories will also be encouraged to publicly demonstrate their commitment to tackling sexual violence affecting boys by displaying the campaign badge.

Family For Every Child’sscoping study Caring for Boys Affected by Sexual Violence (2018), found that boys are less likely to report abuse, are less likely to be believed when they do, and are more likely to be seen ascomplicit in the act or even as the perpetrator.

Support services – where they exist – are targeted at and organised around the needs of girls, with counsellors and support workersoften ill-equipped to engage with boys.

The study produced a list of recommendations that are based on evidence and can be tailored to local contexts. These include the need for more gender-inclusive recovery services, effective sex education, revised laws, and changes to the cultural and social norms around gender and sexual violence.

Amanda Griffith, CEO, Family For Every Child, said: “All around the world, millions of children – girls and boys alike – are affected by sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful behaviours. All children deserve a childhood free of these threats.

“Socio-cultural norms related to childhood, gender, masculinity and sexuality perpetuate sexual violence affecting boys, increase the vulnerability of boys to sexual violence, and contribute to under reporting.

“Our United For Boys charter combines public awareness-raising with systemic change. It calls on everybody – women and girls, men and boys, professionals and the public, young and old – to be a part of building a brighter future for boys, and for everyone.

“We believe that the best way to achieve these changes is by engaging professionals, from teachers and school support staff to GPs and social workers, who can work in new ways to improve the system for children worldwide”.

The United For Boys charter calls for six evidence-based principles to better support boys. These are:

  1. Raising awareness of sexual violence affecting boys amongst professionals who work with children, leading to the development of organisational strategies for building staff knowledge and skills so they feel informed and equipped to provide support.
  1. Ensuring that all services that can support boys are designed and managed in ways that make them feel included, accepted and welcome.
  1. Providing easily accessible, appropriate and high quality information to help educate children and families on sex, sexual health, sexuality and internet safety; and ensuring that this includes information relating to sexual violence affecting boys.
  1. Advocating for changes in the law that could ensure that boys affected by sexual violence are better protected and supported, and that victims are not criminalised.
  1. Changing the conversation around our culturally-embedded and harmful social norms around gender.
  1. Challenging damaging narratives around sexual violence affecting boys, including in the media; and offering support on how to better frame the issue.

Family for Every Child is a global alliance of local civil society organisations working together to improve the lives of vulnerable children around the world. It has 36 member organisations in 35 countries.

More information about the Charter and the support offered to signatory organisations

About Family For Every Child

Family for Every Child is a network of local children’s organisations from around the world. By coming together as one, we ensure that locally-grown ideas get the global attention they deserve; and that individually all our member organisations have new opportunities to flourish and grow.

Our membership of social innovators and thought leaders bring in-depth understanding of their context which enables them to develop tried-and-tested models that lead to change for the families and communities with which they work. The members all have years of experience in addressing the drivers leading to children being separated from their families and examples of how families can be strengthened  and can demonstrate what the situation is for alternative care in their countries and inform what changes need to happen.

By coming together as a global alliance, we have a stronger voice than our members would individually. This gives our members a greater opportunity to influence governments and policy-makers around the world, turning their locally-grown ideas into world-changing action.

The UK is getting more inclusive classrooms to ensure no child is left behind at school

More than a million young people in the UK will be taught in more inclusive and accessible classrooms as part of a new initiative from Microsoft.

Around 30,000 teachers across the country will receive training on how to ensure every child they teach is engaged in lessons and understands the topic, by helping them learn in the best way for that individual.

Educators will also be shown how to use free computer tools that improve reading and writing, including live captioning and Translate, as well as the Immersive Reader function that’s embedded in Microsoft Edge, Word, OneNote, Teams, Outlook and Flipgrid. They will pass these skills on, to create a culture of accessible learning and ensure no child is left behind.

Immersive Reader is a free Microsoft tool that reads out text, breaks words into syllables and increases spacing between lines and letters. While it has proven effective at helping students with dyslexia to learn, it can assist anyone who finds it difficult to understand text.

Microsoft announced today that the tool will be made available as an Azure Cognitive Service, allowing third-party apps and partners to add Immersive Reader into their products to help the students and parents who use them.

Chris Rothwell, Director of Education at Microsoft UK, said: “Teachers have an impact on the young people they interact with in schools every day; they know how to run their classrooms to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn.

“We want to support their vital work by giving them tools that can foster a culture of inclusivity and creativity, ease their workload and help inspire the next generation. Technology can reduce isolation and help young people gain independence. By listening to teachers and working with them, we can ensure children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released this week revealed that although 90% of teachers in England reported having been trained to teach in mixed-ability settings as part of their formal training, just 69% felt prepared to do so. The study found that an average of 41% of teachers in this country worked in classes where at least 10% of pupils had a special educational need – much higher than the average for the other countries taking part at 27%.

Many students with dyslexia, dyspraxia and dysgraphia find that they are struggling to learn in a traditional school environment. Dyslexia International estimates there are 700 million people around the world with dyslexia, including one-in-five students. However, 90% of children with dyslexia can be educated in a regular classroom if they are given the right environment and tools.

Immersive Reader will read paragraphs aloud, allowing students to follow the words – which will be automatically broken up into syllables – as they are highlighted. Pupils can also make the on-screen text larger, change the font and background colour and narrow the field of view to one, three or five lines to make it easier to focus. The tool can also use pictures to depict what a word means, so reader can easily understand what a piece of text is referring to. It can be used alongside Microsoft’s Translate tool, so any website can be translated into another language before being read aloud.

In October last year, Microsoft become the first company to sign a global pledge to help people with dyslexia. By signing the Made by Dyslexia pledge, the business promised to tackle a lack of resources and training in schools and homes that can hold back children who find it difficult to read, write and do maths.

Tags: classroom, dyslexia, Education, microsoft, school, teacher, technology

Discovery Education and Probrand Announce Partnership to Help School Budgets Go Further

Students working together on a HP ProOne 400 AIO PC in class while a teacher supervises.

Discovery Education and Probrand are delighted to announce a new partnership which will give schools access to the latest education technology and help teachers make budgets go further. It’s also an example of how market leading firms in the EdTech sector can create new collaborations in support of the DfE’s EdTech strategy.

The two pioneering EdTech companies are joining forces as part of a scheme run by HP, HP for Education, which allows schools to raise money when buying new computing equipment. By trading in their old equipment at the same time, schools can generate thousands of pounds of additional funds which can be spent on Discovery Education’s award-winning digital learning services.

The scheme means that schools can access Discovery Education services without using precious school funds by utilising the credit they earn from trading-in old equipment, including old laptops owned by parents. With award-winning digital content mapped to the National Curriculum, plus specialist teaching resources and professional development solutions, Discovery Education equips teachers with the tools to make lessons come to life.

Probrand has developed a ground-breaking CIPS accredited marketplace offering 300,000 IT products, managed services and solutions. This award-winning business openly connects over 50,000 members with 2,500 brands in education, business and all areas of the public sector. IT buyers receive personalised education discounts direct from distributors and vendors, saving them time and money procuring IT.  The business also delivers IT services that run and transform school and college operations.

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

“We’re excited to be joining forces with HP and Probrand to deliver 21st century learning to pupils everywhere. This partnership will help teachers to get the best value from the money they spend on digital technology, making their EdTech budgets go further and improving student outcomes.”

Steve Buet, Sales Manager, Probrand, said: “Our research has found that 99% of special discounts don’t make it to IT buyers. Furthermore, the complexity and volatility of the IT market is seeing some pay a margin of up to 1092% for IT.  We’re pleased to bring a stop to this with an open marketplace and by partnering with like-minded organisations such as Discovery Education to deliver value back into the classroom.” 

Schools can access the scheme by visiting It’s quick and easy to register. Simply create an account, purchase your school’s new hardware via the Probrand marketplace, trade-in your old equipment and choose your Discovery Education resources.

Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medallists join children and families in launching Travel to Tokyo at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Seven years on from London 2012, young people and families are harnessing the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, to get fit and active together.

As the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games begin, children and families across England can benefit from a brand-new active programme, Travel to Tokyo which has launched on June 18th at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The programme is part of Get Set, Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s youth engagement programme, with £2.6 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England, and support from partners including ukactive.

Travel to Tokyo aims to inspire children aged 5–11 and their families to try new activities and get active together in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By joining athletes on a virtual journey from London to Tokyo, participants will be in with the chance to win some fantastic prizes as young people work together to reach the December 2020 finish line.

To launch the programme, an all-star cast of athlete ambassadors joined local families in a Japanese-inspired family sports day designed to get everyone moving and learn what Travel to Tokyo is all about.

Joining the event to help celebrate the launch was an all-star cast of athletes including two-time Olympic Gold rower Helen Glover MBE, five-time Paralympic dressage champion Natasha Baker MBE, 2016 Paralympic table tennis Gold medallist, Will Bayley, London 2012 medallist Anthony Ogogo, London 2012 wheelchair basketball Paralympian Abdi Jama and former Paralympic rower turned Nordic Skier Rachel Morris MBE. Also joining the event was Mike Diaper OBE, Director Community Sport at Sport England.

Talking about the programme Helen Glover, said: “Travel to Tokyo is such a good idea because it’s involving young people and their families to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. As a new mother myself, it’s so nice to see how everyone has come together to enjoy themselves in the run up to Tokyo 2020. It’s brilliant!”

Talking about the event Natasha Baker said: “Having been a huge supporter of Get Set to Make a Change, I am so excited to be involved in the new Travel to Tokyo campaign. It’s be great seeing families and young people celebrating getting active and making the most of today. I can’t wait to see families across England join in on this active journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games!”

After a quick warm up, young people and their families got the chance to try authentic Japanese games including the business suit relay race, a tug of war and the new Tokyo Tens warm-up activities. Staying true to its aim to get a half a million families engaged across England, the launch day got everyone on their feet including young people, athletes, families, journalists and the MC. Finishing up with some inspiring speeches, the day signalled an exciting start as families took their first steps on their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

According to recent research carried out by Sport England, 4 in 5 young people are not doing the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise recommended by the Chief Medical Officer. Sport England’s vision is that everyone in England, regardless of age, background or ability, feels able to take part in sport or activity and to enjoy getting active. Therefore, Sport England has awarded National Lottery Funding to Get Set, the official Team GB and ParalympicsGB youth engagement programme, a grant to inspire primary school children throughout England to explore a range of new family-friendly activities and live healthy, more active lifestyles with the free Travel to Tokyo challenge.

Neil Townshend, Chairman of the British Olympic Foundation said: “It’s great to see the Get Set programme continue to champion healthy and active lifestyles by empowering children and their families across England to take part in physical activities inspired by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Travel to Tokyo is a dynamic and creative way to motivate families to keep active and the British Olympic Foundation is incredibly proud to launch this new initiative inspired by the Olympic Movement and its Values.”

Mike Sharrock, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association said: “We are proud to be part of the Travel to Tokyo challenge which uses the inspirational power of the Paralympic Games to help young people to get active on their own terms. We look forward to seeing the social impact with families across England as young people take on the values of the Paralympics to build active networks with their families and communities,”

Mike Diaper, Executive Director Children and Young People at Sport England said: “Sport England is delighted to be investing National Lottery funding that builds upon the success of Road to Rio and the Get Set Schools initiative to launch Travel to Tokyo. Our challenge is to turn the excitement and inspiration of international sporting events like the Olympics and the Paralympics into action by supporting more children and families to try new sports or activities and become regularly active.

This programme does just that, by creating a fun way for families to get active together, regardless of their level of experience. We know the importance of how working and playing together as family can build active habits. Children from active families are far more likely to take a positive attitude to playing sport or being active into their adult lives.”

Jack Shakespeare, Director of Children, Young People and Families at ukactive said “We believe this is an incredible programme that can connect with communities through the inspiration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We would very much like to partner on the wider roll out of the programme across England. We know that our members, a large proportion of the 4,000 leisure provider members based in England, would be very keen to support the activation through their sites, right in the heart of diverse communities across the country.”

The Travel to Tokyo programme will be launching via England primary schools from June 2019. The programme is funded by Sport England’s ‘Families Fund’ which aims to increase activity levels of families, especially those in lower socio-economic groups, with children aged 5 to 15 and deliver positive experiences to support families to be active together throughout the week.

Check out the free resources and activities here:

Leeds school victorious as animal welfare debate finale heads to Westminster

Six schools from across England qualified for the RSPCA’s 2019 Great Debate finale in London – with Dixons Trinity Chapeltown from West Yorkshire ending up victorious.

Six schools from across England have headed to Westminster – with a Leeds-based school winning top honours for their animal welfare debating skills.

Dixons Trinity Chapeltown, from the West Yorkshire city, were judged to have won the grand finale,  with the ‘Great Debate’ concept an integral part of the RSPCA’s Generation Kind initiative.

Generation Kind is a set of ambitious, innovative projects aiming to nurture and encourage the values of kindness and compassion towards all animals within children and young people – of which the ‘Great Debate’ is one part.

Other ‘Generation Kind’ schemes include those aimed at looked-after children, deprived areas and youth offenders, though the ‘Great Debate’ is open to all schools across the country.

Dixons Trinity Chapeltown is connected to Dixons Trinity Academy, based in Bradford.

The Academy was one of six schools to have come through regional heats to reach the final yesterday (Monday 17 June).

Reading Girls School, King Edwards VI Five Ways (Birmingham), Roundhay Academy (Leeds), Highdown School (Reading) and Harborne Academy (Birmingham) had also qualified for the event, having won through regional heats earlier in the year.

Schools debated the issue of who holds responsibility for animal welfare in England – discussing the role which the general public, veterinarians, local authorities, the RSPCA, the UK Government and the police all play in protecting the nation’s animals.

Each school team also nominated media officers to live-tweet debates, utilising the hashtag #RSPCAGD19, learning  how journalists keep the public informed about events.

Awards were also given to individuals pupils who demonstrates outstanding performance at the finale in Westminster – with pupils from schools based in Birmingham and Reading picking up trophies. These were:

  • Logan Smith (Harborne Academy) – Future Journalist
  • William Brown (Harborne Academy) – Future Politician
  • Amandeep Mavi (Reading Girls School) – Future Campaigner

A pupil from Highdown School was also recognised with the ‘Animal Welfare Champion’ accolade.

The UK Government’s Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley MP attended the Great Debate.

Dave Allen, RSPCA head of education, said: “Just a stone’s throw from the House of Commons – and at a venue where Members of Parliament once sat during war-torn London in the early 1940s – the animal ambassadors of the future put on a real masterclass.

“It was so rewarding to watch the pupils from schools all across England debate the vital topic of where responsibility for animal welfare lies.

“Generation Kind is all about inspiring young people to be compassionate, empathetic and understand our fellow living creatures. Those taking part seized all the opportunities on offer – from first-class debating, to acting as budding student journalists.

“It was incredible to witness how the children have progressed through the heats, building in confidence and communicating new ideas, research and findings.

“Our congratulations go the winners – with Dixons Trinity Chapeltown our champion school for England. They debated the role the RSPCA play – and were awarded the trophy for their strong team-work, stimulating and well-researched arguments; and obvious understanding as to the role of the RSPCA plays within society.

“We hope the scheme will leave a lasting legacy for participants – with the individual award winners too displaying the skills the Great Debate aims to develop – namely communication, campaigning and compassion.”

The event “unlocked the corridors of power” to school children, with pupils also given a tour of the UK Parliament.  Mr Allen added that this is vital to the scheme’s aim of nurturing citizenship, and teaching the animal ambassadors of the future where decisions are made concerning their fellow living creatures.

He added: “The tour of the UK Parliament was a great addition for the school children – bringing to life our decision-making process; and we’re grateful to the parliamentary tours team for facilitating this. It really unlocked the corridors of power for them all.

“The Great Debate is all about developing citizenship skills, and opening the eyes of the next generation how decisions which impact animals are made, and how they can influence those decisions in the future.”

More information about Generation Kind is available on the RSPCA’s website. If you wish to support the RSPCA and these initiatives, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

Extreme Networks to Showcase the Classroom of the Future at ISTE 2019

London, UK, June 19, 2019 – Extreme Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) today announced it will showcase its advanced networking solutions in booth #1116 at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2019 Conference, to be held June 23-26, 2019 in Philadelphia. Demonstrations will show how Extreme Elements™ — software, hardware, and services that are the building blocks of an autonomous network — can be combined to create purpose-built networks that solve educational challenges and improve learning outcomes for students in K-12 and college.

Extreme will share solutions designs using Extreme Elements and third-party applications that show schools how to ensure digital citizenship and student safety, flawlessly execute high-stakes online testing, blend online learning with the on-campus experience, deliver personalised education programmes, and support STEM and robotics labs where students are immersed in new kinds of learning.

Extreme will also share best practices for building digital eSports arenas, as more schools and colleges look for ways to build competition-ready eSports programmes as part of their athletic and academic offerings. Extreme’s channel partner, CDW, will host an eSports demonstration leveraging ExtremeSwitching™ technology at booth #2722.

Demonstrations will showcase:

●     Simplified Network Management for BYOD and IoT: School networks must be able to support an influx of new BYOD and IoT devices as schools expand their digital initiatives. With Extreme Management Center™ and ExtremeAnalytics™ software, IT leaders gain a 360-degree view of the network, helping them understand which devices and applications are running on the school’s network, and who is using them, so they can quickly detect anomalies and optimise performance. For schools with limited IT staff, Extreme will show how ExtremeCloud™, a scalable cloud-based network management solution available as a subscription service, can provide granular visibility into all users and applications across distributed locations. 

●     High-Density Wi-Fi: ExtremeMobility™ access points and ExtremeSwitching technology provide schools an unparalleled, high-density Wi-Fi network and supporting infrastructure to meet rising bandwidth demands associated with digital learning programmes.

●     AI-Powered Networking: Leveraging ExtremeAI™ for Smart OmniEdge, teams can automatically monitor critical radio frequency and network parameters to optimise the network and make proactive recommendations to IT. This demo will show how AI plays a key role in network diagnostics, allowing staff to quickly identify, troubleshoot, and address network deviations.

●          Fabric-Based Campus Automation: Extreme Fabric Connect™ delivers a simplified, agile and resilient infrastructure that makes network configuration and deployment of new services faster and easier. The demo will show how IT teams can automate campus networks, phase out legacy technologies gradually, and eliminate time-consuming, manual network provisioning, freeing up time to focus on more forward-looking digital initiatives.

Our networks are deployed at more than 17,000 schools and 4,500 campuses worldwide, enabling emerging styles of technology-driven teaching including online testing, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and flipped classroom. Our education specialists are available to help districts with a range of topics – from technical queries to financing. We are available to help navigate the E-rate process, and offer flexible funding through our Extreme Campus Service Agreement to qualified school systems.

RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2019 winners announced

RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2019, William Rae works in the garden at Edinburgh Academy Junior School William is pictured with fellow P6 pupils, left to right, Sophie, Alexander, Isabella and teacher Rob Tyrell.
  • Urban schools win across all three competition categories – RHS Young School Gardener, RHS School Gardening Champion and RHS School Gardening Team of the Year
  • Competition shines a light on the many benefits of school gardening, from learning to improved health and wellbeing

City schools have swept the board in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) School Gardeners of the Year competition, winning all three categories – Young School Gardener, School Gardening Team and School Gardening Champion of the Year – and hammering home the many benefits of gardening, particularly food growing, in urban areas.     

Now in its eighth year, the nationwide competition supported by historic greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic, celebrates the positive difference that gardening can make to young people’s lives and their learning, development and wellbeing.

The year’s winners chosen by a panel of judges from over 200 nominations are:

  • RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2019: William Rae, age 11, Edinburgh Academy Junior School, Edinburgh
    Growing everything from radishes to rhubarb, knowledgeable young gardener William enjoys sharing his love of gardening with his schoolmates; instigating a garlic growing competition and mentoring his fellow pupils. In addition to spending a huge amount of time in the school garden, William also recognises the wider environmental benefits of growing your own such as cutting down on plastic packaging and food miles.  
  • RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2019: Michelle Jones, a parent volunteer at Ashmount Primary School, Crouch Hill, London
    ‘Mum on a mission’ Michelle is passionate about teaching children where food comes from and is the driving force behind a flourishing school gardening club that has got 50 families on board to grow food in the school grounds. Families now flock to Michelle’s weekly gardening sessions, many of whom don’t have gardens at home, and the school grounds are bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables for the whole school to enjoy.

  • RHS School Gardening Team of the Year 2019: Springhallow School, Ealing, London
    The team of nine aged between 12 and 16 from Springhallow, a school for young people with autism, have worked together to create a beautiful and productive garden from scratch; challenging themselves to try new foods and supplying edible flowers to a new school café. Gardening has also helped boost the team’s confidence, social and communication skills.     

The winners and finalists of the Young School Gardener and School Gardening Champion of the Year categories will attend an awards ceremony at RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey, on Saturday 22nd June to accept their awards from competition judge and TV gardening expert, Frances Tophill, who appears on BBC Gardeners’ World and ITV’s Love Your Garden.

Springhallow School, the winning School Gardening Team will take delivery of an award-winning, handmade Hartley Botanic Greenhouse worth up to £10,000, while William and Michelle both win handmade Hartley Botanic Patio Glasshouses for their schools. Other prizes include National Garden Gift Vouchers and tickets to RHS Flower Shows.

Frances Tophill, BBC Gardeners’ World presenter and judge said: “Harvesting fresh fruit and vegetables from plants you’ve nurtured from seed is one of the greatest joys of gardening. This year’s winners prove you don’t need acres of space to successfully grow your own and demonstrate how food growing can bring people together, encourage greater experimentation and healthy eating and reduce our environmental footprint.”

Alana Cama, RHS Skills Development Manager said: “We know that growing crops is the most popular school gardening activity but I was impressed by how these city schools have really embraced it to inspire themselves and others – from getting parents involved to inspiring their peers and incentivising them to push their own boundaries.”    

The RHS School Gardeners of the Year competition forms part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening which provides free resources and advice to over 38,000 schools and groups across the UK:

Further details on this year’s winners and finalists and their nomination videos are at:

60% of teachers believe students leave school with poor financial understanding

Two thirds (60%) of UK teachers believe students leave school with a poor level of financial understanding, new research from Nutmeg, the UK’s largest digital wealth manager, has found.

The research found that the UK is rated below average when it comes to teaching finance in schools despite it being a mandatory part of the curriculum. In fact, 37% of students who are in the relevant age bracket for this curriculum said they aren’t or weren’t taught finance at school.

While three-quarters (74%) of teachers felt that financial education is as important or more important than non-core subjects like history and geography, 42% of them scored their own financial knowledge at 5 out of 10 or lower. Whether this is due to the curriculum, lack of resources or their own attitude towards finances is unclear, but teachers felt that their students were similarly struggling, with 60% believing that students leave school with a poor level of financial understanding. 

Lisa Caplan, head of financial advice, Nutmeg, said: “At a time when personal debt in the UK is at record highs, pension pots are falling behind and mortgage and rent costs are rising, we need to be doing more to ensure young people aren’t left making big financial decisions without enough financial understanding. However, our research has found that students are leaving school with little financial literacy and a poor level of financial understanding.”

Two-thirds (67%) of pre-curriculum respondents agreed that if they’d learnt more about personal finance at school, they would have more confidence with their finances as an adult. However, Nutmeg research suggests that the current solution to financial education is still not having the necessary impact, with nearly half (44%) of those exposed to financial education in schools not knowing or not feeling like they could confidently manage financial products. And a third (34%) of post-curriculum respondents said that lessons made no difference in how confident they feel in their financial decisions.

Nutmeg has partnered with Young Enterprise to deliver and mentor students through a financial education in schools programme, designed to help students think differently about their finances and provide practical skills. 

Russell Winnard, director of programmes and services, Young Enterprise and Young Money, said: “Young Money is proud to support educators to develop and embed high quality financial education to suit their educational setting. We do this by ensuring teachers and practitioners have access to training and resources which enable them to develop and deliver high quality financial education on a sustainable basis. This whole school approach is most evident in our Centres of Excellence programme – supporting schools to become beacons of good practice for financial education. We are really pleased to be working with Nutmeg to support a new Centre of Excellence, increasing the total number to over 160 throughout the UK.”

Caplan concluded: “We understand that there is a confidence crisis in the UK and financial education is important to help people make good quality, well-informed decisions that will make a difference to their future. This can be the difference between a smooth financial journey or sleepless nights, so we believe a real focus needs to be put on ensuring young people are receiving sufficient financial education.”

Nutmeg offers a guide to ISAs, pensions and lifetime ISAs, complete with a detailed unpacking of definitions, benefits, FAQs and much more. Both teachers and students can use these as useful aids to help bring confidence, understanding and a brighter financial future to future generations.

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