A world first in Cambridge: IB special autism school to open in 2021

The Cavendish School, the world’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) special autism school is set to open on the outskirts of Cambridge in Autumn 2021. Based in Impington, The Cavendish School will also be Cambridgeshire’s first state maintained special free school provision for young people with autism.

Initially admitting up to 40 students in Years 3 to 7, intake at the school will grow year on year, to a maximum capacity of 80 students from Year 3 to 13. The Cavendish School will be accessible and available to many families who cannot be catered for within current state provision in the county.

Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of The Learning Alliance – a new multi-academy trust of which The Cavendish School is a member – said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce the plans for The Cavendish School to the public. Through our bespoke curriculum and teaching methodology, we will provide the educational environment that young people with autism need to thrive and succeed when their needs cannot be met in a mainstream school.

“The Cavendish School will celebrate diversity and accept, respect and recognise neurological and developmental differences to support each individual student through a differentiated programme that builds and focuses on their skills. Through the knowledge and expertise of The Learning Alliance, The Cavendish School will deliver exemplary education provision for students with Educational Health Care Plans.”

The first of its kind, The Cavendish School will be an IB World School, which means that it will follow the IB programmes and accredited qualifications, alongside specific therapies or interventions as appropriate for individuals. In an ever-changing world, the IB equips students with the skills, confidence and lifelong learning needed to thrive and make a difference. Each of the programme frameworks allows teachers to personalise learning to the unique abilities of their students.

Leah Cooper, Assistant Principal for SEND/PP and SENCo at the co-located Impington Village College, currently seconded to The Cavendish School, said: “Through our IB offering, we will provide our students with the skills and knowledge they need to become globally aware citizens, achieve a range of accredited qualifications and make measurable progress towards their own personal outcomes. Our individualised approach will ensure that we are offering the support and guidance needed to all who study with us, as well as helping families throughout the process. We will be drawing upon the success of our co-located mainstream schools (Impington Village College and Impington International College) to provide excellent opportunities for the students, through shared use of support staff and bespoke extra-curricular activities.”

At the heart of The Cavendish School will be relationships and the important ways in which they can support the growth of each student. Throughout the planning stages for the school, the team has drawn on the latest research into autism and used its expertise in education and experience of working with young people with autism and their families. Beyond high-quality teaching, therapeutic support will be offered, so that all students have full access to the curriculum, to learn and to achieve. The Cavendish School will offer students the opportunity for multidisciplinary support, which will be carefully matched to the explicit needs of the individual student.

Julie Bailey, Chair of Governors at The Cavendish School and doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Education within the University of Cambridge, said: “The Cavendish School aspires to remove the barriers to inclusion and achievement that many young people with autism face in their education. We’ve built on the best of current provision and the very latest research throughout the design and planning stages. The Cavendish School is set to have a transformative impact, giving its pupils an educational environment in which they will thrive.”

Covid-19 and the classroom: what has been the impact on NQTs/trainees?

Last month the Education Support charity published a new report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of education staff which revealed “a profession feeling unsupported and unappreciated”.

The report, Covid-19 and the classroom: working in education during the coronavirus pandemic https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/resources/research-reports/covid-19-and-classroom-working-education-during-coronavirus-pandemic, found that half of the UK’s school teachers (52%) say their mental health declined during the first stage of the pandemic. Whilst the majority (58%) accessed the support of family and friends to help them cope, a quarter (24%) said they had not gained any support.

We have subsequently worked with Education Support, and YouGov who undertook the survey for this charity, to further drill down into the responses provided by NQTs/trainee teachers. Whilst there were only 61 responses from this group we wanted to better understand what those undertaking initial teacher training and NQTs were reporting in order to inform our own efforts going forward. Here is what we found:

The extent to which NQTs/trainee teachers feel their work has been appreciated by:


Appreciated                                                                                                                 83%

Not appreciated                                                                                                           7%

Senior management teams

Appreciated                                                                                                                 74%

Not appreciated                                                                                                           12%


Appreciated                                                                                                                 70%

Not appreciated                                                                                                           17%

Teaching unions

Appreciated                                                                                                                 50%

Not appreciated                                                                                                           11%

General media

Not appreciated                                                                                                           71%

Appreciated                                                                                                                 10%

UK government

Not appreciated                                                                                                           62%

Appreciated                                                                                                                 16%

General public

Not appreciated                                                                                                           61%

Appreciated                                                                                                                 23%

Department for Education

Not appreciated                                                                                                           32%

Appreciated                                                                                                                 30%

The impact of the pandemic on NQTs/trainee teachers’ mental health and wellbeing:

It has declined a little                                                                                                  39%

No difference                                                                                                               29%

It has improved a little                                                                                                 12%

It has considerably declined                                                                                        9%

It has considerably improved                                                                                      5%

Don’t know                                                                                                                  5%

Prefer not to say                                                                                                          1%

The major concerns expressed by NQTs/trainee teachers about making the transition back to work at their normal institution:

Pupils/students’ learning loss                                                                                      61%

Possibility of my being exposed to Covid-19                                                              59%

Possibility of the virus returning                                                                                  49%

Examinations process e.g. A Levels, GCSEs                                                             37%

Ensuring pupils/students are safe                                                                               32%

Organising/managing teaching and learning                                                              30%

Ensuring staff are safe                                                                                                27%

Supporting families who might need emotional and/or financial support                    24%

Supporting pupils/students who may have suffered loss/bereavement                      24%

Backlog of work                                                                                                           14%

Travelling on public transport                                                                                      9%

Re-building relationships with colleagues                                                                   7%

I am not concerned about transitioning back to work                                                  7%

The attributes/skills that NQTs/trainee teachers feel they need (or need to develop) in order to support their pupils to adapt positively back to school life after lockdown:

How to help pupils/students who may have experienced bereavement/trauma         53%

Ability to adapt curricular to pupils/students’ different learning needs                        52%

Ability to quickly adapt to new circumstances/new routines                                       49%

Mental health/wellbeing training                                                                                  43%

Positive outlook                                                                                                           43%

Resilience                                                                                                                   42%

Self-efficacy (belief in one’s own ability to perform tasks)                                          34%

Good listening skills                                                                                                    28%

Knowledge of the available sources of support                                                          27%

Ability to know where to refer for counselling                                                              20%

Safeguarding refresher                                                                                               15%

We have also compared NQTs/trainee teachers’ responses to the 1,939 school teachers (including teachers, supply teachers, teaching assistants and those working in SEN with classroom responsibilities) who completed the survey.

In summary, these are my main observations:

  • Nearly half (48%) of NQTs/trainees felt their mental health and wellbeing had declined as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – this increased to 52% for all school teachers – and re-emphasises the need for effective approaches to mental health collaboration across the sector, and our own role within that.
  • The majority of NQTs/trainees did not feel appreciated by the general media (71%), UK government (62%) and general public (61%). This is, in part, why we are currently undertaking some work to gather the stories of ‘hero trainees’ who have played an important and effective part in supporting schools during the 2019-20 summer term and now also for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Internally whilst 12% of NQTs/trainees did not feel appreciated by senior management teams, this rose to 22% for school teachers; and externally whilst 32% of NQTs/trainees did not feel appreciated by the Department for Education this increased to 47% for school teachers. This highlights a perceived gap in the appreciation of the job done by school teachers, as well as NQTs/trainees, throughout the pandemic.
  • Some of the most interesting differences are in relation to the concerns about making the transition back to work after lockdown:
  • NQTs/trainees are more likely than school teachers to be concerned about pupils/ students’ learning loss (61% v 39%), the possibility of my being exposed to Covid-19 (59% v 53%), examinations processes (37% v 25%), organising/managing teaching and learning (30% v 24%) and supporting families who might need emotional and/or financial support (24% v 11%).
  • School teachers are more likely than NQTs/trainees to be concerned about the possibility of the virus returning (49% v 61%), ensuring pupils and staff are safe (32% v 45%) and ensuring staff are safe (27% v 42%). All this does, perhaps, indicate greater pressures overall on NQTs/trainees in terms of areas of anxiety.
  • Also significant is the thoughts on the attributes/skills that are needed to support pupils to adapt positively back to school life:
  • NQTs/trainees are more likely than school teachers to want development on how to help pupils/students who may have experienced bereavement/trauma (53% v 41%), self-efficacy (34% v 23%) and a safeguarding refresher (15% v 8%). These, and the other key attributes/skills pinpointed by NQTs/trainees present valuable intelligence for ITT providers and early-career support teams in schools.

Emma Hollis is Executive Director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT)


  • Vodafone launches Connected Education: a suite of digital tools and services including tablet devices, connectivity and security.
  • Includes mobile Wi-Fi to boost school connectivity and specialist training to help teachers with digital skills.
  • Incorporates Microsoft Teams for Education.
  • Pilot will run for six months in Newbury, Berkshire.

Vodafone today announced trials of ‘Connected Education’, a new suite of digital services for teachers and pupils. It includes tablet devices for teachers and children, mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, advanced-grade security and technology consultancy for educators. It also incorporates Microsoft Teams for Education, an online classroom environment where students can connect with teachers and classmates easily and safely. The pilot will be running for six months at St Joseph’s primary school in Newbury.

With an estimated one million children and young people in the UK with inadequate access to technology at home[1], providing digital devices and connectivity can help bridge the digital divide. For children, access to education platforms at a young age will help them gain vital digital skills, essential for many jobs of the future[2].

Connected Education provides straightforward access to classwork, school materials and resources suited to a range of learning styles. It enables a teacher to provide an in-classroom and remote learning experience at the same time, using tools such as video and creating digital exercise books. This ensures children forced to miss school due to illness or quarantine can continue to join the class if they are well enough. 

Time-consuming tasks – such as lesson preparation and analysis of data to monitor a child’s progress – can be partly automated via the Microsoft Education platform, giving teachers an estimated 30% more time for student-focused activities such as developing relationships or supporting those who need more help[3]

The Connected Education package includes technology consultancy from independent provider Tablet Academy to help Heads understand how to digitise their school and get the most from technology.  Teachers also benefit from digital skills training to help ensure they can get the best from the solution.  Vodafone provides telephone support so issues can be quickly resolved. 

Michael Robinson, Deputy Head Teacher at St Joseph’s School said: “We are delighted to be working with Vodafone and excited about the opportunities this pilot could present. We hope it will provide teachers with new and creative ways to deliver teaching; and enable Year Six children at our school to experience something they wouldn’t normally have access to. We recognise that using such tools as a part of their school day will help develop vital digital skills without them even realising.”

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “We are excited to be working with St Joseph’s in Newbury to trial our Connected Education solution. The recent months have highlighted the importance of digital education platforms that children can access whenever they need to.  We hope this pilot will showcase the effectiveness of such provision. By incorporating devices, connectivity, specialist training and advanced security, we can help increase vital digital skills and ensure no child is left behind, whatever their circumstances.”

Connected Education has been developed by Vodafone Business Ventures, which combines social purpose and technical expertise to change lives for the better. A full commercial proposition of Connected Education is due to be available to educators and councils across the UK during 2021.

Vodafone recently announced it is working with Coventry University to trial state-of-the-art virtual reality learning for student nurses and health professionals over the next phase of 5G technology.

[1] Nominet Trust 2019

[2] DCMS reported in 2019 that 82% of online job advertisements require digital skills.

[3] Microsoft and McKinsey & Company 2020.

Danone’s Eat Like a Champ programme launches updated healthy, sustainable lifestyle resources for primary school pupils

Danone has revitalised it’s popular Eat Like a Champ resources, placing sustainability at the heart of the free, evidence-based healthy eating education programme. Since it’s launch in 2010, the programme has already reached over half a million children in the UK. With the updated content for 2020, Eat Like a Champ aims to engage and educate many more pupils aged 9-10 about both healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Registrations are now open for teachers to download their free resources.

Key Messages:

·The lessons and resources are designed to teach children about healthy, sustainable lifestyles in a fun and exciting way.

·The programme is written in collaboration with the the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association, and Hubbub.

·Registrations for Eat Like A Champ 2020 / 2021 are now open.

The six free lesson plans and supporting resources have been developed in consultation with teachers, and the new content is written in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association and everyday sustainability experts Hubbub. Topics include healthy eating, food waste, recycling, hydration, climate change and physical activity.

The need for healthier, more sustainable lifestyles has never been greater due to increasing obesity rates and an emerging sense of urgency to tackle climate change in the UK.. The Eat Like a Champ programme aims to support teachers to educate, inspire and engage the next generation to live healthy sustainable lifestyles.

The Eat Like a Champ programme offers readily available, free and unbranded resources aimed at children aged 9-10 years old. The resources are linked to the school curriculum and can be downloaded and delivered in the classroom. Each lesson is designed to last approximately one hour (although can be tailored to fit you and your class’ needs) and is supported with a variety of adaptable and engaging resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, card activities, and PowerPoint presentations.

Christopher Hillman, Head of Sustainability & Social Innovation at Danone UK said: “At Danone we have a vision to bring health through food to as many people as possible. We believe the health of people & the health of the planet are interconnected. Through our updated Eat Like a Champ programme we aim to support the next generation in adopting healthier, more sustainable lifestyles by  empowering them to change their habits and make a positive difference to the world around them”.

Claire Theobald, Education Service Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation said: “It’s important that pupils develop an appreciation of the basics of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. The Eat Like A Champ lessons provide support to do this in actionable ways. The lessons explore healthy eating and sustainable diets and inspire young people to explore how to stay active for themselves and the planet.”

Sarah Mansfield, a primary school teacher said: “The Eat Like a Champ lesson plans are a great way of bringing the important topics of nutrition and sustainability to primary school pupils. By getting pupils passionate about sustainable eating, they have the opportunity to build healthy and sustainable lifelong habits.”

Quarter of Teachers Have Less Time to Focus on Their Mental Health

Latest research reveals the knock-on effect of virtual learning on mental health issues

In recognition of the incredible challenge ahead, a new mental health course to look after the UK’s educators has launched today and will be available for free for teachers, teaching assistants, support workers and school leaders.

The training will provide education staff with helpful ways to manage their mental health, reduce work-related stress and engage in self-care as one in four teachers stressed that during lockdown and virtual learning, they had less time to concentrate on their own mental health matters compared to during regular term time, a survey* released today from High Speed Training has revealed.

The complimentary course is responding to rising concerns from the industry that not enough importance is given on the subject of mental wellbeing, with almost half (45%) of teachers across the UK stating that they feel unconfident that they have had sufficient training to deal with safeguarding and mental health matters. This coincides with the concerning fact that the large majority (81%) of teachers expect to see an increase in mental health issues amongst pupils this academic year that they will require the ability to cope with.

Catherine Talbot, Education Sector Analyst and Course Lead at High Speed Training, said: “This year has been more turbulent than most and it is clear that teachers will carry the burden of a growing attainment gap and rising safeguarding issues amongst pupils on their shoulders. This overwhelming amount of pressure to continue having a positive impact on young people’s lives, on both an educational and personal front, will undoubtedly have an effect on teachers’ own mental wellbeing across the country. High Speed Training is offering its Mental Health Training for Teachers course for free for a limited time to ensure that teachers feel confident and content in the workplace.”

Corinne Sweet, Psychologist and Psychotherapist, added: “Currently, teachers are under enormous strain as they manage their students’ and their own mental health issues in an extremely challenging situation. Teachers need to be able to deal with their own stresses, strains and pressures as, if they are not coping, they will not be operating at their best. In my experience, I see how those within the education sector can neglect their own mental health badly, due to the pressures to perform and cope with hugely challenging circumstances. Teachers can often put their own needs last, as the workload mounts and now with virtual learning and dealing with the demands of the pandemic, this has added another layer of high stress to what was already an overstretched situation. Resources that seek to help teachers psychologically, like the Mental Health Training for Teachers course, is gold dust at this difficult time.”

The CPD accredited course will be available for free for those within the education sector for a limited time only. For further information regarding High Speed Training’s Mental Health Training for Teachers course, simply visit the website here.

Education world putting more focus on planning compared to six months ago reveals Plandisc

A 32% increase in downloads in the last four weeks is a tangible indicator that planning is back at the top of the agenda according to Plandisc, the world’s first digital, shareable and interactive circular planning tool.  Usage from clients in the education sector has soared a staggering 50% in the “back to school” season. With 60,000 customers across twenty countries, Plandisc originated as a planning tool for schools and it is the education world from primary schools through to colleges and further and higher education bodies which remains by far its biggest fan base. 

Plandisc originated in Denmark where the expression “year wheel” is much used.  Ideal for visualising organisational flow and generating transparency to break down departmental siloes that can hinder progress, year wheels make it easy to involve multiple groups and stakeholders. At its simplest, having the overview ensures that classes, timetables and event schedules do not clash and for education establishments wanting to function at the highest possible professional level, the evaluation module ensures that mistakes do not reoccur.   

It saves time for the school as a whole and Plandisc customer feedback shows that administration time is reduced by about 2 hours per teacher or academic member of staff (per annum). “Plandisc is ideal for starting to (re-) plan activities/tasks/meetings in a still semi-virtual world. The need for coordination and visualization and mapping of elements across a school or educational establishment is going to be huge to avoid overlapping activities and stressing the organisation unnecessarily” explains Torben Stigaard.    

Plandisc is compatible with Microsoft Teams and Sharepoint and the synchronisation between Outlook and Plandisc means that important meetings and events can be transferred across in a few clicks, so no “copy and pasting” required with changes appearing both in Outlook and the Plandisc at the same time.  Typically embedded on an organisation’s intranet to make it accessible to all staff, the circular overview helps coordinate plans between academic departments as well as sports, events and marketing activity.  With a circular view, it is easy to spot overlapping activities and make sure that staff meetings, parent days and virtual open days for example are distributed evenly throughout the year. As Stigaard explains “Sharing information via Plandisc in business as usual times avoids last-minute changes of plans and extra workload but now, with so much activity that was paused during lockdown needing to restart, there is even more need for better planning as an educational establishment cannot suddenly implement all paused activity at the same time whilst still having the flexibility update plans easily and efficiently as circumstances change.” 

Plandisc is intuitive and for schools, colleges, universities wanting to test it out, is free to use for one user creating up to three Plandiscs and is easy to get started as there are a number of templates on its website to choose from: https://plandisc.com/en/circular-calendar-templates/ Packages include a Premium account for just £130  a year which provides 10 Plandiscs and a Business version with unlimited Plandiscs for £160 a year. 

Outside the education world, Plandisc is used by all kinds of organisations and it now has over 60,000 users in twenty countries and twenty sectors from churches in the US to fashion companies in the Nordics and multi-nationals. 


Christmas Jumper Day is back! And whilst it may look a little different after a challenging year, Save the Children is hoping that flashing, festive knits will still be sweeping the nation on Friday 11th December, creating much needed Christmas cheer and a chance to raise money for the world’s most vulnerable children in the UK and around the world.

People have got a lot of fun to catch up on this festive season. So whether they’re at school, nursery or a youth group, we’re calling on children across the UK to swap their uniforms, for their silliest, most wonderful woollies and donate £1 each.

In 2019, 13,660 schools and nurseries across the UK took part, helping to raise more than £4.1 million. With the Coronavirus crisis continuing to affect children and families around the world, Save the Children is hoping that people up and down the country find new and exciting ways to get involved this year.

To ensure every child can take part, Save the Children is encouraging schools to organise crafting sessions to show pupils and parents that they don’t need to invest in a new knit each year. Instead, they can dig out some sequins and pom poms and jazz up last year’s Christmas woolly – or even their normal school jumper.  

Schools can sign up at www.christmasjumperday.org and they will receive a free fundraising pack, full of handy tips on planning a great day, in a Covid-19 secure way. Here are some other ideas to raise more money and make the day more fun, whilst staying safe:

  • Get crafty with last year’s jumpers! Kids can grab an old sweater and cover it with stickers, tinsel, tin foil or whatever sparkly stuff they can find. Or hold a jumper-decorating session at school
  • Swap shops are a great way of recycling old jumpers and not buying new! If schools do want to arrange swap shops make sure all knits are freshly washed and left for 72 hours
  • Leave cash for 72 hours after collecting it and wash hands for 20 seconds after handling
  • As parents and caregivers might not be allowed into school in the coming months, Save the Children has created a JustGiving page for schools this year as an alternative way to donate their £1. A link will be included in each fundraising pack.
  • If you are planning on taking a Christmas jumper filled classroom picture remember to keep a two metre distance

All money raised through this wacky woolly-wearing could help give a child living in a refugee camp clothes to keep them warm through winter, help buy nutritious food for their entire family, or set up a safe space to give children the chance to be children again. It could also help bring essentials like healthcare, education and protection to children around the world to give them a better start in life.

Infact, £1 could pay for antibiotics to treat five children suffering from pneumonia, one of the biggest killers of children in South Sudan, £2 could provide a week’s worth of water for a displaced family in Yemen and £10 could buy antibiotics to help five children beat malnutrition.

Help us make it the biggest, most jingly and joyful Christmas Jumper Day ever.


For Facebook visit – facebook.com/christmasjumperday

For Twitter visit – @savechildrenuk #christmasjumperday

MakerBot Releases New Report on Trends in 3D Printing and STEAM Education

Report underscores the use of 3D printing as a learning tool to drive engagement with students and help them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and design thinking skills
BROOKLYN, N.Y., October 16, 2020MakerBot, a global leader in 3D printing and subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), today released its latest report, “Trends in 3D Printing and STEAM Education.” Based on over 1,000 responses from education professionals around the world, the report illustrates the use of 3D printing in education and how it is applied across grade levels among respondents.    Key findings from the report reveal that 63% of respondents use 3D printing to better prepare their students for the workforce, but they want more than just a 3D printer in order to be successful—respondents want a full ecosystem of 3D printing resources in order to achieve their educational goals. 65% of respondents cited that online training programs would help them to implement the technology better, while 63% and 56% of respondents also cited lesson plans and educational webinars as useful 3D printing resources, respectively.    Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot, noted, “We are at a pivotal moment in education. We have seen the use of 3D printing in education increase steadily over the past years due, in part, to the availability of more products and services geared toward teachers and students. Affordable and easy-to-use 3D printers, training and certification programs, integrated lesson plans, and online 3D printing resources have made the technology attractive to many educational institutions. In addition, working with 3D printers can help students develop practical and usable skills that can be used outside of the classroom.”   Additional key findings from the Trends in 3D Printing and STEAM Education report include: Authentic learning experiences are becoming a popular new teaching method. Design-based learning (57%), integrated learning (51%), and collaborative learning (49%) were identified as the top teaching methods among respondents. Only 42% of respondents stated that they still use traditional learning settings with students. Teaching STEAM subjects requires resources that schools may not have. Budget constraints (56%), insufficient equipment (45%), and lack of technical training (39%) were cited as the top challenges to teaching STEAM subjects. 3D printing is widely used to develop practical skills that can be used beyond the classroom. Respondents cited developing problem-solving skills (63%), skill sets for future careers (63%), and creative thinking skills (63%) as their top reasons for 3D printing adoption. Educators want more than just a 3D printer. They want a full 3D printing ecosystem. 82% of respondents cited 3D printing resources (i.e., lesson plans, training programs, etc.) as important factors when choosing a 3D printer.  Costs, reliability, and ease-of-use play important roles in decision-making. 95% of respondents rated reliability as an important benefit, while 90% said ease-of-use was important and 89% said costs were important.   “The importance of 3D printing in education cannot be overstated. The report revealed the shift from traditional learning environments to more interactive and engaging approaches. By teaching visualization, design and creation via 3D printing, 3D printing opens up opportunities for students and brings ideas to life,” added Goshen. 



  • The England International Footballer launches Parliamentary Petition on Government website, calling on the General Public to pledge support to #endchildfoodpoverty. 
  • Mechanism to demonstrate high levels of public support for the Government to implement the 3 National Food Strategy policy recommendations without delay.
  • Food Foundation releases data showing that 1.4 million children (18%) reported experiences of food insecurity over the summer holidays

Link to petition will go live 0700 15 Oct and  is here   

England International Footballer, Marcus Rashford MBE, has today launched a petition on the Parliamentary Petition website asking for Government to support vulnerable children by implementing 3 vital recommendations from the Government commissioned National Food Strategy:

These are:

  1. Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5million 7-16 year olds
  1. Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1million children
  1. Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10) and expanding into all those on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 pregnant women and children under the age of 4

The National Food Strategy was written by Henry Dimbleby.

The #endchildfoodpoverty campaign is supported by the Child Food Poverty Task Force which was formed by Marcus Rashford, a further 20 charities and key names in the food industry.  They are calling on Government to allocate sufficient budget to the three National Food Strategy recommendations, as part of an urgent recovery package for vulnerable children this Autumn.

Data released by the Food Foundation today reveals 18% of 8-17 year olds (1.4 million children) reported experiences of food insecurity over the summer holidays (1).   Experiences of food insecurity included:

  1. Having to eat less and make food last longer because of lack of money to buy more (6%)
  2. Parents not eating because there wasn’t enough food at home (5%)
  3. Children being hungry but not eating to avoid using up food at home (4%)
  4. Children being hungry but not eating because of lack of food at home (4%)
  5. Not eating a proper meal due to lack of money for food (4%)
  6. Eating at a friend’s house because there wasn’t enough food at home (3%).

6.3% of children said they were worried about going hungry during the October half term.

Rising numbers of families are struggling with an 11% (850,000) of children aged 8-17 reporting that either they or their families had visited a foodbank in the summer holidays.  This was over 60% higher in non–white British ethnic groups (1).

The Food Foundation’s recent You Gov survey (2) showed that 31% of parents of children on Free School meals across the UK said they received no form of help over the summer holidays.   For those that did get help, most (75%) received vouchers.   10% of all parents said that changes in the household budget affected their ability to purchase food over the summer holidays.     

The Food Foundation is also launching the Children’s Right 2 Food Dashboard which is a one-stop-shop for data and research on what children across the UK are eating and the effects on their wellbeing and long-term health. http://www.childrensright2food.co.uk/

Marcus Rashford, England International Footballer said For too long this conversation has been delayed. Child food poverty in the UK is not a result of COVID-19. We must act with urgency to stabilise the households of our vulnerable children. In 2020, no child in the UK should be going to bed hungry, nor should they be sat in classrooms concerned about how their younger siblings are going to eat that day, or how they are going to access food come the holidays. The school holidays used to be a highlight of the year for children. Today, it is met with anxiety from those as young as 7-years old. Many have said that education is the most effective means of combating poverty. I do not disagree with this statement, but education is only effective when children can engage in learning. Right now, a generation who have already been penalised during this pandemic with lack of access to educational resources are now back in school struggling to concentrate due to worry and the sound of their rumbling stomachs. Whatever your feeling, opinion, or judgement, food poverty is never the child’s fault. Let’s protect our young. Let’s wrap arms around each other and stand together to say that this is unacceptable, that we are united in protecting our children. Today, millions of children are finding themselves in the most vulnerable of environments and are beginning to question what it really means to be British. I’m calling on you all today to help me prove to them that being British is something to be proud of.”

West Yorkshire Primary School receives Anti-Bullying Award UK

Image courtesy of The Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Wilsden Primary School praised for anti-bullying efforts

Bradford based Wilsden Primary School has received the ABQM-UK Bronze Award after successfully establishing effective and sustainable anti-bullying policies and strategies which has become a part of the school’s everyday life.

The school were presented with the national award after staff, pupils, parents, and governors demonstrated that anti-bullying is a priority which they play an active role in through range of procedures including a peer support scheme.

The bronze level shows that the school has a clear understanding about how to prevent all forms of bullying including cyber-bullying and that the safety, mental health and wellbeing of its pupils is of the highest importance.

The school is now working towards achieving the ABQM-UK Silver Award.

Andrew Chadwick, Head of School commented: “The recognition from ABQM-UK shows the continued hard work of everyone at Wilsden Primary School to create a culture where bullying is not acceptable.

“I would like to give special thanks to Rebecca Fortune who has helped establish our ways of working to prevent bullying.

“Our schools’ motto is start small, dream and achieve big, so we will carry on working until we have developed a community ethos of anti-bullying and emotional wellbeing.”

Wilsden Primary School operates as part of Focus Trust – a charitable multi-academy trust which is based in the North West of England with a vision of providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where the children are happy.

Find out more about the ABQM at http://www.abqm-uk.com/