New teacher training programme gets under way

PGDE first ever teaching cohort. Day 1. Andrew Gallacher Head of Teaching introduces the students to the University

EDINBURGH Napier University has welcomed the first intake of students on to its newly-launched Professional Graduate Diploma in Education programme.

The university will provide training in key science and technology subjects, supported by the Scottish Government as it looks to address teacher shortages in priority areas.

The first cohort of 46 students to arrive at the Sighthill-based School of Applied Sciences will follow new secondary teacher education courses in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.

The curriculum has been developed in consultation with practicing STEM teachers and will use the latest teaching tools, including video analysis of body language, verbal communication and practical skills.

The students will also develop an understanding of how issues like dyslexia, inclusion and mental health impact on life in the classroom.

The year-long programme – which has attracted recent graduates and mature students looking for a career change – will also include school-based placements to help develop core teaching and classroom management skills.

Andrew Gallacher, the university’s Head of Teacher Education, said: “We are hugely excited about getting this postgraduate programme under way, and look forward to producing people who will be a real asset to Scotland’s local authorities.

“We will help students develop their confidence and communication skills so that in time they will be ready to embrace the diverse demands of the job and inspire children to thrive in the classroom.” 

The university plans to expand the General Teaching Council for Scotland-accredited programme by offering courses in Computing, English and Modern Languages over the next three years.

Eco-friendly gloves provide additional benefits to eczema sufferers

Bamboo is one of nature’s most sustainable resources with plants growing around 15 metres tall in only 6 months. It’s ability to be processed into fibres allows it to be used in the production of gloves that provide various benefits in comparison to cotton, nylon or polyester alternatives.

Glove usage for eczema

Eczema is a frustrating and sometimes debilitating form of dermatitis. Sufferers face an ongoing battle with itching and inflammation of the skin that can occur anywhere on the body. Eczema is very common and persistent scratching causing the skin to break can lead to bacteria entering the wound, resulting in infection. A common solution to prevent harsh scratching is to apply a pair of soft gloves. By wearing gloves, the skin is less likely to break when scratching occurs as the fingernails are covered. Those with eczema on hands will often apply cream and use gloves as a way of keeping the cream in place on the affected areas of the hands.

The most common gloves purchased by eczema sufferers are made from cotton. Although cotton is a biodegradable natural substance, it is a difficult crop to farm and is particularly vulnerable to pest attacks. Because of this, farmers will use pesticides on a large scale with smallholder cotton farmers spending up to 60% of their annual income on pesticides. Although cotton crop covers just 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land, it uses 6% of the world’s pesticides and 16% of insecticides, more than any other single major crop.1 The use of pesticides has a devastating effect on the health of those around it and it is estimated that almost 1000 people die every day from acute pesticide poisoning. Cancer, neurological diseases and birth defects are also linked to cotton farm pesticides.

The natural and health-friendly alternative

As opposed to cotton, bamboo is grown without any pesticides or chemicals and is a naturally regenerative resource. Gloves made with bamboo offer substantial benefits to eczema sufferers compared to their cotton, nylon or polyester counterparts. Bamboo gloves are lighter and softer than cotton making them easy to don and extremely comfortable to wear. They are 2-3 degrees cooler than cotton or synthetic gloves and breathable. Bamboo is four times more absorbent as cotton. Small micro-holes help prevent build-up of moisture and improve ventilation to the hands. Unlike cotton, bamboo fibres will not generate bad odours or contribute to the growth of fungi, even in moist conditions.

Sian Gomersall, Head of Business Development at JustGloves, a major online retailer of gloves in the UK, states: “We are seeing a rise in the sales of eco-friendly gloves due to the increased awareness of the devastating effects that chemical usage and pollution is having on our environment. Our customers are looking for gloves that perform just as well, or better than their current glove choices, but cause less damage to the environment. Because of this, we are constantly sourcing environmentally friendly gloves and looking at the latest advancements to add to our extensive product range. This ensures we can meet the needs of our customers and assist the efforts being made to save our planet.

“Bamboo gloves are just one of the eco-friendly glove options available on our website. The gloves offer superior comfort to wearers and can be machine washed at 60 degrees without any reduction in quality or fit.”

To find out more about the range of environmentally friendly gloves currently available, visit

1 Pesticide Action Network UK – Pesticide Concerns in Cotton. 234

Back-to-School Season: This Year, Hackers Can Get Inside Your Kids Classroom

Many Schools Have Unsecure Wi-Fi Networks That Can be Easily Hacked

August 6, 2019. Internet-connected classrooms have transformed the learning process in schools all over the United Kingdom. But it’s also given rise to new dangerous online threats. Much like other public Wi-Fi networks, school Wi-Fi might be vulnerable to hackers.

There are a few recorded cases of hackers and other shady internet personas getting into a school’s Wi-Fi network. In such a case, hackers may be able to access student devices and get hold of their photos, documents, and other sensitive data. They may also get in contact with the students.

“The truth is that public Wi-Fi networks are usually so unsecure that even a seven-year-old kid with an interest in tech can hack them,” says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “School Wi-Fi networks are no exception. Loads of online tutorials provide tips on how to do that.”

In 2015, ago a 7-year-old girl from London showed how easy it is to break into a public Wi-Fi network. It took her less than 11 minutes to infiltrate the hotspot by setting up a rogue access point. Hackers frequently use this technique to activate a ‘man in the middle’ attack and begin eavesdropping on the traffic.

There are approximately 32,000 in the United Kingdom, and almost all of them have Wi-Fi networks. The problem is that the authorities usually have very few ways of knowing if and who is hacking them. That’s unless the cyber criminals are caught using student data or other information.

According to NordVPN’s expert, it might be a good idea to bring up the question of Wi-Fi security at school. Another step is getting a virtual private network (VPN) for your kid. A VPN, like NordVPN, is an encrypted tunnel between the Wi-Fi network and a child’s device. Most importantly, you should talk to kids and help them understand online security threats and the importance of digital privacy.

ABOUT NORDVPN NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, malware blocking & Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy. For more information:

Thousands of sexual offences against young children recorded by police as NSPCC re-launches safety campaign

  • Figures highlight the importance of NSPCC Talk PANTS campaign and  equipping parents to talk to young children about how to stay safe from sexual abuse

Police across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are dealing with thousands of sexual offences against young children, according to research by the NSPCC.

A Freedom of Information request to police forces shows that in 2018/19 there were at least 7,618 recorded sexual offences against children aged four to eight.

The NSPCC has also revealed that last year hundreds of children under the age of 11 living across the UK contacted Childline about sexual abuse.

A young girl who contacted Childline said:

“I want to know if something that happened to me was wrong. The other day my older brother’s friend kissed me and touched me. He asked me to do other things but I said no and he got angry with me.

“I feel awful and like what happened was all my fault. My friends have all told me that it’s fine but I’m so confused. Is this normal?”

In response, the NSPCC is this week relaunching its Talk PANTS campaign, which helps parents with children aged eight and under to have vital conversations about staying safe from sexual abuse.

The charity’s PANTS rules, catchy Pantosaurus song and activity pack help parents find the right words to talk to their children about staying safe. They don’t mention the words sex or abuse so it is easier for parents to tackle the sensitive subject.

The NSPCC is encouraging parents to donate to the charity to get the PANTS activity pack and help protect a generation of children from abuse.

The charity has also produced new videos which show children using the PANTS activities.

Donna-Marie Wright, a mum to seven children, is a passionate supporter of the NSPCC’s Talk PANTS campaign.

She said: “I think Talk PANTS is brilliant. Having been abused myself between the ages of seven and 18, I believe it’s essential that all parents talk to their children about staying safe from sexual abuse.

“Many parents may worry that talking to their children about this sensitive subject will be scary and confusing but the PANTS activities help you find the right words. There is no mention of sex or abuse and when I’ve used them with my own young children, I’ve found the resources to be incredibly useful.”

Parents and children can sing along with Pantosaurus ( who explains each letter of PANTS. The acronym provides a simple but valuable rule that keeps children safe: that their body belongs to them, they have a right to say no, and that they should tell an adult they trust if they’re worried or upset.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “It is very concerning that the number of recorded sexual offences against young children is at such a high level and it is vital we do more to help them stay safe from sexual abuse. That is why Talk PANTS is such an important tool for parents as it enables them to have vital conversations with their child in an age appropriate way.”

Endsleigh signs exclusive partnership with Bookmark Reading Charity

Independent schools can now provide further support to children struggling with their reading skills, thanks to an exclusive partnership between Endsleigh Insurance Services and Bookmark Reading.

A literacy charity dedicated to helping primary school children develop the skills they need to succeed, Bookmark volunteers provide dedicated support to children to help them read to the expected standard. According to the charity, poor literacy can lead to limited job prospects, poor health, and low self-esteem. Low literacy levels cost the UK economy approximately £36 billion each year, and with more than one in four children in England unable to read well when leaving primary school, its work is of utmost importance.

Endsleigh’s partnership with the charity will see the insurance provider make a donation equal to 1% of any premium paid by an independent school, in respect of fees protection, pupils’ personal possessions and pupils’ personal accident, to the charity.

Every £10 donated to Bookmark will gift a child in the UK with dedicated reading support for a week. As the exclusive general insurance provider to partner with Bookmark, working with Endsleigh means independent schools can further their commitment and provide additional support to hundreds of children.

Will Brunwin, Head of Travel and Schools, said: “Supporting small charities and the education sector is extremely important to Endsleigh, and we are looking forward to partnering with Bookmark and watching it grow as a charity. The help it provides children, families and schools is invaluable and we hope our relationship will help continue this success story.”

Kitty Higgins, CEO of   Bookmark, added:  “We have ambitious plans to provide reading support to the children who need us – but can only achieve this with generous support from partners, volunteers, and donors. We are thrilled to have entered this partnership with Endsleigh, whose donations will allow us to help more children, in more communities.”

Endsleigh has anticipated that it will have helped more than 90 children with poor literacy to learn to read well within its first year of the partnership.

For more information, please visit

1decision awarded PSHE Association Quality Mark

1decision, part of Headway learning resources, has been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark for its Key Stage 2 classroom materials.

With Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) reaching a pivotal point in UK schooling, and Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education becoming statutory from September 2020, this national recognition for 1decision could not be better timed.

The programme, which already held the PSHE Association Quality Mark for its Key Stage 1 resources, launched its offering to help primary school teachers deliver PSHE lessons for 8-11 year olds in December 2017. This resource aims to help all primary-aged pupils develop the essential knowledge and skills to manage different influences and pressures in their lives and to make safe, healthy and informed choices.

Now, after a rigorous accreditation process, 1decision has been awarded the Quality Mark of the PSHE Association for its full primary programme, which includes modules such as staying safe, staying healthy, growing and changing, feelings and emotions, being responsible, online safety and the working world. These subject areas also help to fulfil the requirements for SMSC development and are in line with the latest safeguarding and Ofsted guidance.

Confirming the Quality Mark, PSHE Association Subject Specialist Sally Martin said: “1decision can form an important part of a planned PSHE education programme across the primary phase, and will support planning of effective and engaging lessons for pupils. Pupils are encouraged to help characters make the right decision in a variety of situations and consolidate their learning through a variety of teaching activities. Video clips, pupil activity sheets, workbooks and interactive materials are provided for each module and clearly written teacher guidance supports high-quality delivery.”

1decision is unique in that the programme offers over 65 videos with alternative endings and documentaries to support effective lessons which promote children’s personal development, safeguarding and wellbeing. The programme empowers primary school pupils to make choices to keep the featured characters safe and healthy. PSHE often touches on sensitive subjects but the use of characters makes these topics less personal for the children. Pupils explore situations in a safe environment and work together to make positive choices for the characters. This enables children to feel empowered whilst gaining the knowledge, vocabulary and skills to manage their own lives now and in the future. 

“To receive the PSHE Association’s Quality Mark for our Key Stage 2 resources is a significant milestone in our journey,” said Hayley Sherwood, Founder of 1decision. “Schools will benefit from the fact that both our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 programmes of study now have the full endorsement of our professional subject body. As we move towards statutory Relationships Education and Health Education in primary schools next year, the timing could not be better as schools really need to think about how they are going to deliver these subject requirements. We are continuing to develop our high-quality 1decision teaching resources and will be able to help schools further prepare learners for life.”

Research by Headway Education, of which 1decision is its PSHE partner, earlier this year found that 60% of headteachers, other senior leaders and class teachers were “concerned or very concerned” about the need for high-quality resources to support the new curriculum. 54% reported being concerned or very concerned about finding time to teach these subjects, teacher training (52%) and parental support (39%).

To find out more about the 1decision resource, please visit


Saltdean Primary’s Business Manager Mark Woodley has helped the school save £6,000 by introducing new print management software with SOS Systems

An East Sussex Primary School has saved £6,000 in print costs after following advice from technology specialists SOS Systems – and is using the money to upgrade pupils’ computer equipment.

Saltdean Primary, in Brighton, has considerably cut costs since installing the latest Canon machines with new print management software, which includes the ability to attribute print costs to individual users, devices and different departments.

The result has been raised awareness among the 90-strong staff of personal paper usage, and significantly reduced print volumes – the equivalent of 62 trees. 

The new system also saves time as staff can now easily print to any device on site, reducing queuing; and document security has been maximised as printing is only released when an authorised card is presented to a device, eliminating print errors and the risk of sensitive documents being left on machines in line with GDPR legislation.

Saltdean Primary’s Business Manager, Mark Woodley, says: “For a school of our size to save £6,000 in a year is quite incredible and the change has been really well received by staff, many of whom have said to me they have noticed the reduction in paper use throughout the school.”

He adds: “SOS Systems always do their best to save us money and the savings they have achieved for us have allowed us to find a major computer replacement programme which means so much to everyone.”

Commercial Director at SOS Systems, Graeme Savage, says: “We love helping all clients save money, but it is especially rewarding when we can help schools.

“The staff at Saltdean have really maximised the benefits of having the latest print hardware and software and should be proud of what they have been able to achieve in such a short space of time.

“The results speak for themselves and Saltdean is a fantastic role model for other schools.”

International Award for UK’s Young Engineer Champions

Winners of the GSK UK Young Engineers of the Year from Loughborough Schools Foundation in the East Midlands have won a silver award at an international science competition in China.

Grace Lord, Brendan Miralles, and Aalia Sellar, 14-year-old students who were awarded the GSK UK Young Engineers of the Year title at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition in March 2019, showcased their ‘Music Splash’ app, which uses machine learning to analyse music recitals and provide tailored suggestions to improve performance.

The team won second place in the international CASTIC (China Adolescents Science & Technology Innovation Contest) category, winning silver medals and certificates and receiving interest from a Chinese business to develop their app.  

The winners say ‘Music Splash’ helps “guides you to instant perfection and is like a music teacher in an app.”

Over 220 international students from 51 countries took part in the competition, with over 400 Chinese young scientists with 300 projects in 13 scientific categories.

Since being crowned GSK UK Young Engineers of the Year the team has had the opportunity to complete work experience at GSK as well as representing the UK at CASTIC, they will compete in a prestigious European competition – EU Contest for Young Scientists – in September, held in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Commenting on how winning the Big Bang Competition has provided them opportunities to continue on their STEM journey, Aalia said: “The chance to go to China was completely unexpected for us and to be able to present our project around the globe and to connect with more people…it’s just been an amazing experience.”

Parents no longer needed for homework help as modern generations become empowered by smart devices, Lenovo™ survey finds

  • Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of UK parents say their kids are more likely to look something up online than ask them for help with schoolwork
  • 62 per cent of UK parents say they have, at least once, looked something up online and pretended they already knew the answer when helping their child with schoolwork
  • 78 per cent of the UK’s working parents believe tech is helping to balance their careers and parenting lives
  • 82 per cent in the UK believe today’s students already have a better understanding of tech than those teaching them

Lenovo, August 1, 2019 – New research released today by Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) shows how education around the world has been positively transformed thanks to smarter technology, creating a generation of independent learners and problem solvers.

The research, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals globally – including the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France, and Italy – reveals that over two-thirds of UK parents (69 per cent) say their kids are more likely to look something up online than ask them for help when it comes to a question about schoolwork. The countries where this was most prevalent was India (89 per cent) and China (85 per cent), both of which have also seen a rise in parents using technology to assist with their kids’ learning in recent years[i]. The least was in Germany, at 54 per cent, where according to the Lenovo survey people are reported to be more wary about tech in general, especially in the classroom. However, tech adoption is beginning to become more wide-spread in Germany following an initiative from the government in 2018, to equip more than 40,000[ii] schools with newest computers and software.

Parents depend on tech, too

On the flipside, 62 per cent of UK parents also say they have, at least once, looked something up online and then pretended they already knew the answer when helping their child with schoolwork. This was most common with STEM subjects such as Mathematics (45 per cent) and Science (38 per cent). And this may link to schools too, with 82 per cent in the UK believing today’s students already have a better understanding of tech than those teaching them.

Most UK respondents (83 per cent) agreed that advances in technology in education are helping students perform better in school. Likewise, a substantial majority of working parents (78 per cent) in the UK said current and new technologies encourage more parents to remain in the workforce due to the personal benefits it brings while also enabling them to stay more connected with their families.

Tech empowering a new generation of independent learners

While technology has many positives in aiding learning (use of high-speed Internet, automated translation tools, and accessibility features), 73 per cent of UK parents said they have concerns it could create dependencies in young people, potentially affecting social skills, and 71 per cent in the UK feel it is affecting memory skills of students as well.

On the contrary, 66 per cent of the UK said they trust technology is aiding future generations to be “more independent learners and problem solvers”. This notion was felt lowest in the US (59 per cent) and highest in India, with 91 per cent agreeing, which could be related to the country’s growing reliance on technology to help educate younger generations. A recent report[iii] established that the majority of mothers in India are using smartphones for parenting, with eight in 10 believing technology has made parenting easier. This suggests that parents in the country are seeing the true transformative power of technology, for example how some schools are beginning to adopt VR to create inclusive and immersive learning environments, supporting students facing physical, social or cognitive disabilities.

As for youths themselves, Gen Z and millennials in the UK generally feel that technology has had a positive role in their education, with 31 per cent agreeing it makes it easier to find out about causes or social issues they care about. The sentiment was shared by the general population, too, with almost half (48 per cent) in the UK believing technology will be “extremely important” in solving future challenges in education.

Psychologist and founder of Digital Nutrition, Jocelyn Brewer, comments:

Not only has much of the curriculum taught across the globe been revamped and updated in recent decades, but pedagogy and ways of learning have shifted as well. Many parents regularly report feeling unequipped to help their children with aspects of study beyond moral support and emotional encouragement to achieve in school.”

“Parenting in a digitally saturated world can pose additional challenges for modern families, as educational technology might feel quite foreign to their own experiences of learning and socialising. Parents might feel overwhelmed and confused about how to best support their children to develop the academic, social-emotional skills that help them achieve life success as well as satisfaction. They are seeking practical and positive support that balances the value of technology to support learning and avoiding sources of distraction.”

Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of User and Customer Experience, Lenovo, commented:

“There is no doubt that the world of education is being transformed due to smart technology, offering children the opportunity to be adventurous and independent learners, who are empowered to find out the right answers themselves. As with everything, it is important to strike the right balance on and offline, but technology can be a uniting force for families. It is also important to remember that some parents are better equipped to offer children answers on educational subjects than others, especially in different regions across the world.”

“However, our technology solutions allow students to experience immersive, active learning that is not confined to the classroom. And so it’s clear to see that world-over, tech is a universal leveler, allowing more children access to a plethora of information sources rather than being reliant on the expertise of adults in their immediate proximity.”

About the research

Lenovo surveyed 15,226 people in eight languages across 10 global markets, including the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France and Italy. The respondent sample was nationally representative of the online adult population (18+) in each market.

The survey was conducted March 31st – April 27th, 2019 and the overall margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point (at a 95 per cent confidence level); the margin of error within each country is +/- 3 percentage points (at a 95 per cent confidence level). The survey probed respondents on how they view the role of technology in their lives and in society, both today and in the future.

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, we’re also leading an Intelligent Transformation to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world. To find out more, visit, follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagramWeibo and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.


Tavistock Tutors is London’s leading private teaching and tutoring agency, dedicated to inspiring students and helping them succeed. From early years to higher education, Tavistock Tutors use their bespoke selection process to ensure students are matched with the most suitable tutor to help them on their path to success.

Tavistock Tutors was founded by Luke Shelley and Marcus Ereira in 2009, and has quickly become one of London’s most successful and prestigious education companies. Beginning with just ten tutors and a mobile phone, the agency now works with over 1,000 experienced tutors and a wealth of academic advisors. In times where students may want extra support for their studies, Tavistock Tutors offer a personalised service, only working with trusted tutors who have a high success rate. The team spend time getting to know students, addressing their strengths and weaknesses to get a deeper understanding of how they learn and what they respond well to.

Based in Soho, London, Tavistock Tutors work with students face-to-face, online and internationally. The agency also works with a number of live-in tutors who travel with families whilst they holiday, to ensure they keep up their academic standards out of term time. This year even saw one of their esteemed tutors travel to Coachella in LA to work with a musician’s daughter. Their mission is to help as many students as possible reach their potential and succeed.

Luke Shelley, Co-Founder of Tavistock Tutors comments:

‘It is incredibly rewarding to know that we are helping so many people take their education to the next level. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and getting to know our customers to deliver the best service possible. We’ve gone from strength to strength in the past ten years, and 2019 sees us on to track to turnover £1million.’

Registration with Tavistock Tutors is £150 and further information can be found at