Talent is across all the UK, but actual job opportunities are still far and few between, especially for those in poorer areas

Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, a national training and recruitment solutions provider, works to increase the employment prospects for those furthest down the socioeconomic ladder, and who may traditionally fall through the cracks of the UK’s employment and education system. He says: “As upward social mobility appears harder than ever for many members of society, we are unfortunately still seeing the quality of an individual’s education vary depending on the social class that they are born into. More often than not, the higher the family income, the better the educational opportunities.”

As a country who prides itself on diversity, our geographical equality remains biased, and education and professional poverty is a daily reality for many people. Although the space between the classes is vast, an increasing number of organisations are beginning to seek out the wide and diverse range of talents on offer from every sector within society. However, this is still not enough, as unemployment rates in some localities remains high and sees several demographic groups unable to secure work.


Joe continues: “With two educational Kick Start Centres in Bradford and Bolton, we have seen first-hand what professional deficiency looks like. We work closely with residents to help them gain basic skills, training them and then placing them in an occupation of interest. For academic year 2019/2020, we saw 116 people embark on Traineeships with 80% of those achieving, and for the 2020/21 academic year we enrolled 196 Trainees with 90% completing. We intend to keep growing this provision year on year, with the aim being to see many more people find a viable path to a safe and secure future. We see the desire for people to survive and care for themselves and their families; these are talented individuals who have often gone unseen or are stuck in habitual employment cycles in sectors not for them. We hope to inspire change with our hands-on approach and programmes like Traineeships, which provide a comprehensive package of employability support.


A core objective of the government’s recent Levelling Up White Paper report is to release the potential of every person and region within the UK, which closely aligns with our own company ethos. The report muses that through successful programmes like Apprenticeships and Traineeships, there is a real chance to improve the social mobility of poorer areas – predicted skills increase, economic boost, improved transport, and more factors, will see regional locations transformed into cultural hubs and drive up the number of professional vacancies.


According to the report, by 2030 the number of people successfully completing high quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high quality skills training annually, bolstered by a further 80,000 people annually completing courses in the lowest skilled areas. As a provider who aims to see fairer recruitment and skills development options available to everyone, this prediction is music to our ears. It’s an encouraging paper to read with a lot of promise and we remain optimistic that the government’s wheels are now in motion, escalating a rapid movement of equality across industries and education.


I see people from all corners of the UK overcoming challenges and reaping their rewards; we want all demographics to succeed and that should be the outlook for all those who play a part in recruiting. Many businesses are missing out on a huge pool of talent by sticking to their conventional social class when recruiting. No matter where in the country, it’s about developing all talents, and looking at vocational and creative skills rather than just academic status.”

Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) recruitment and training solutions provider, that works with hundreds of Employers across the country, delivering a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of Students. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship or Traineeship can bring, then speak with our experts at Qube Learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities a Traineeship or Apprenticeship bring, speak with the experts at Qube Learning. Email:  tellmemore@qube-learning.co.uk Telephone:  01235 833838. Website: www.qube-learning.co.uk



Recently appointed CEO Sue Hayes will also host an exclusive ‘A Day in The Life of a CEO’ Q&A session for one winning school

This National Careers Week sees Nottingham Building Society launch its flagship employability programme, Career Academy, to support 16 to 18-year-olds as they build key life skills through meaningful interventions that will help to prepare them for the world of work.

Supported by community engagement specialists EVERFI, the brand-new resources further develop The Nottingham’s existing employability activity with the aim of helping young people fulfil their potential by igniting their future career ambitions. EVERFI is an international technology company driving social impact through education. 

As a result of the societal challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers, teachers, and other educators had to quickly adapt and incorporate new and flexible styles of careers learning and delivery to minimise disruption to their educational experience. Against this challenging backdrop The Nottingham sharpened their focus on providing young people with meaningful educational interventions to enhance their knowledge of the world of work.

With Career Academy, the Nottingham Building Society has developed a catalogue of online, downloadable resources for educators which follow the Gatsby benchmarks and are linked to the PSHE Association’s programme of study. They include a video shot entirely on location in Nottingham charting the journey from education to employment of 17-year-old Sabina, who wants to work in IT.

Following a successful project pilot from mid-September 2021, the full resource suite is now available for free to schools across England in time for National Careers Week. The materials, which contain lessons aligned to the curriculum that teachers can choose from to suit student needs, are based on the following five areas: 

  1. Navigation: “I know how to find out about work” 
  2. Practice: “I can experience what being at work is like” 
  3. Skills: “I have the skills employers want” 
  4. Networking: “I can get ideas from different people” 
  5. Reflecting: “I understand why an employer might value me” 

Teachers who have taken part in the pilot to date have shared that: “Students learnt a lot about themselves in the content. It allowed them to think about how their own personality and skills align with different employers and what employability skills different industries are looking for.”

Another teacher praised the resources adding that: “The worksheets provided are an excellent resource to get students thinking about their futures and reflect on the industry which would best suit them,” with a further teacher highlighting that “where students had a career but no plan to it, they have now investigated a route and had the inspiration to research this further.”

As part of The Nottingham’s ongoing focus in driving awareness and developing students’ skills into future careers, May 2022 will see recently appointed CEO Sue Hayes host an exclusive ‘A Day in The Life of a CEO’ Q&A session for one winning school. The winning educational establishment will be selected at random from those who have registered for the Career Academy online.

Sue Hayes, most recently chief executive of GB Bank, says: “We’re delighted to mark this year’s National Careers Week with the launch of Career Academy, our flagship employability programme.

“It’s our aim to help prepare young people for the world of work and, looking at the positive feedback we’ve received from educators to date from our pilot, we’re well placed to continue supporting employability and financial capability during these challenging times – with the hope of building brighter futures for youngsters.

“Young people have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic so our current focus on supporting them to fulfil their potential by igniting their future career ambitions is something close to my heart. Through my upcoming student Q&A session I’m excited about the opportunity to share practical insights to inspire the next generation of brilliant young minds.”

Teachers can register to the Career Academy here for the chance to win an exclusive Q&A class session and discover the range of free curriculum-linked resources for their school.


UK digital literacy to receive major boost as 57k BBC micro:bit coding devices donated to primary schools

  • The Micro:bit Educational Foundation alongside partners Nominet and the Scottish government will donate 57,000 BBC micro:bits across UK primary schools   
  • Support from the Scottish government will see every primary school in Scotland receives devices  
  • In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, priority will be given to the schools that need additional support the most  
  • With many secondary schools now using BBC micro:bits in the classroom, the project aims to boost support for younger children and provide essential teacher resources   

    30 March 2022 The Micro:bit Educational Foundation, the organisation behind the pocket-sized BBC micro:bit computer, has announced plans to help even more primary school children take their first steps into digital creativity and computing. In partnership with Nominet and the Scottish government, 57,000 BBC micro:bit devices will be donated to UK primary schools, alongside comprehensive teaching resources and online Continuing Professional Development courses.   

    As digital literacy and computing become increasingly important core skills, this major boost to teaching these subjects will see approximately 3,000 UK primary schools receive around 20 devices each. Support from the Scottish government will see every primary school in Scotland receive 20 devices, with the Foundation and Nominet working with primary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to prioritise 22,000 devices to those that need additional support the most. Delivery of devices will begin from April onwards.  

    Having launched in 2016, today there are 6 million BBC micro:bits being used by children all over the world, including most UK secondary schools. The Foundation has also seen growing adoption and demand from primary schools to teach 8 – 11-year-olds with the devices. With this major project, the Micro:bit Educational Foundation aims to boost usage in primary schools even further, providing the devices and resources to help teachers make coding exciting, accessible, and something they can teach confidently to younger children.   

Teaching digital skills from a young age has impressive results and understanding computational thinking can greatly enhance a child’s creativity and life chances. However, research underpinning the project from the Micro:bit Educational Foundation and Nominet found that  61% of UK primary teachers responsible for teaching computing have no background in the subject, 3 in 5 also cite lack of resources as a barrier to teaching computing and digital skills.   

Gareth Stockdale, CEO of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, said: “Digital literacy and computational thinking are critically important not only to the future of our society, but to the future of children who will one day shape that society. They are increasingly important core skills, and we know that the earlier you learn them, the better. The BBC micro:bit has become an essential tool that teachers and students alike have come to love. We’ve seen fantastic adoption in secondary schools, and we’re delighted to support and empower even more teachers to unlock children’s creative potential at primary level.”  

Roll-out of the micro:bits will also complement a three-phase research programme, as the Foundation looks to assess, monitor and address the challenges, concerns and successes UK primary teachers experience improving digital literacy and in bringing micro:bits into the classroom.  

Interested teachers and schools can visit the Micro:bit Educational Foundation website for more information.  

Adam Leach, CIO, Nominet, said: “We are so pleased to see the continued roll-out of micro-bit in classrooms across the UK, enabling so many more primary school children to explore and develop their skills in digital creativity and computing. It’s exciting to think about the potential passion for technology this programme could set alight. On practical level, it is really important that access to learning these essential skills is provided to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to discover, experiment and master them. Each one of the 57,000 devices will impact on developing children’s core digital skills as citizens of a digitalised world – and perhaps even put some of them on a pathway to help fill the digital skills gap in the UK’s digital workforce of the future.”    


Premier Advisory Group appointed by DfE as official adviser for free school proposers

Premier Advisory Group (PAG) has been appointed by the Department for Education as sole supplier of free school application support. The contract starts on 1st April 2022 and is for up to three years.


PAG takes over from New Schools Network (NSN), which had previously provided this service for over a decade. We would like to thank NSN for its outstanding contribution to the flagship free schools programme.


The free schools programme remains at the forefront of the Government’s plans to level up standards across England and respond where there is demand for more school places. Since its inception in 2010, the programme has delivered hundreds of new schools and thousands of school places up and down the country.


The next year will see new special and Alternative Provision (AP) schools application waves as a direct result of additional Government funding, as well as plans to invest in both Education Investment Areas and other areas of need with mainstream, special and AP schools.


Commenting on the appointment, Tom Legge, Managing Director of Premier Advisory Group, said:


“We are delighted to be entrusted with the role of advising organisations and individuals on submitting bids to open more great schools.


“I remember attending a free schools event and being inspired by Rachel Wolf and her passion for the free schools movement. Over a decade later I’m as enthusiastic and supportive of the programme as ever and it’s an honour that PAG has been selected to carry on the excellent work of New Schools Network at a time of huge challenge and opportunity for the sector.”


Delivery of the contract will be led by Charlotte Pearce Cornish, PAG’s Director. Speaking about her forthcoming role, Charlotte said:


“While the policy is now over a decade old, there is still a lot of unfinished business for the programme, most notably in Alternative Provision – a particular passion of mine – but also across all types of school. We are very much looking forward to getting started and to supporting and advising proposers to set up the very best new schools so they can provide the first-class education places that children and young people deserve.


“I feel like I have come full circle. I started my career with NSN and was heavily involved in setting up their Development Programme and supporting the first waves of Special and AP Free Schools in 2011 and 2012. Since then, there has not been a day that I have not been involved in some way or another with the free schools programme.”


About Premier Advisory Group

  • Premier Advisory Group is a multi-disciplinary professional services firm with a specialism in education consultancy and related areas. Our clients want to navigate complex environments, solve difficult problems, and maximise the good they can do in the world – and we are here to help.


  • The contract with the DfE starts on 1st April and is for up to three years. It has a value of about £500,000 per annum.


SMART Technologies and Kooth join forces to transform student and teacher wellbeing

  • SMART partners with Kooth to bring vital mental health resources and support to more students
  • The partnership is an education industry-first for supporting students and teachers with their mental health
  • At least 17% of six to 16-year-olds now suffer from probable mental disorders

London – 29 March 2022 – SMART, the edtech company with a 35-year track record of pioneering learning solutions, has partnered with Kooth, the leading digital mental wellbeing platform, to provide educators with engaging lessons on how to support students and teachers with managing mental health.

This industry-first collaboration will see SMART Technologies apply its interactivity and engagement expertise to Kooth’s clinically proven mental wellbeing content and activities, and embed it into SMART’s digital learning tool, Lumio™ . In doing so, SMART will be able to provide teachers with readily available and digitally engaging lessons centered around mental wellbeing, connecting more educators and learners to Kooth’s resources and community. This includes making Kooth’s integrated platform – currently available to over 20,000 schools across the UK – available in North America, too.  

The partnership comes at a pivotal time for supporting mental wellness for students, with CDC data showing that rates of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse continue to rise. In the UK, data from NHS Digital finds that one in six, 6 to 16-year-olds in the UK now suffer from probable mental disorders – up from one in nine in 2017. The importance of an integrated approach to early education and support for mental health has never been greater. 

Kooth is the UK’s largest digital wellbeing mental health platform for 10-25 year olds, and delivers clinically proven, and research-evidenced therapies for those dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health and wellbeing concerns.

The strategic partnership will also see SMART help to propel Kooth’s North American expansion and beyond by coupling Kooth’s wellbeing expertise with SMART’s global scale and reach to roll-out vital mental health lessons and support to schools and educators across the globe.

Nicholas Svensson, CEO of SMART Technologies, said: “As a company, we have always worked to deliver technology platforms and solutions that boost student and teacher wellbeing and build connections that matter – whether that’s through creating engaging content where students can interact with one another, providing active, collaborative learning options, or supporting social and emotional learning (SEL).”

“As a leader of wellbeing in education in the UK, Kooth can further improve our offering with its clinical expertise that’s underpinned by extensive research and experience in supporting hundreds of thousands of students every year. Together, we’re excited about what we can achieve as a collective unit in alleviating one of the most prevalent issues in classrooms today.”

Tim Barker, CEO at Kooth, said: “The pandemic accelerated mental health challenges amongst students, and as a result, educators are now working tirelessly to provide support where they can. Our collaboration with SMART leverages its trust and scale in education to make accessing our clinically developed content and platform easier for teachers and students across the US, UK, and beyond.”

Hear more from Tim Barker and Nicholas Svensson in this conversion from Bett: https://youtu.be/eIEjdi8Cncc 

New resources launched for schools to help make sure school uniform is affordable

The Children’s Society is launching new resources today for all state primary and secondary schools to help them navigate the changes set by new school uniform laws. These resources were developed in partnership with the Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East, and based on years of hands-on work with schools and families. 
The new law, the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021 which passed in April 2021, requires schools to follow new statutory guidance on uniform costs, instructing them on how they must keep prices down so their policies are more inclusive for children from low-income families.   
Schools are required to implement the guidance in time for parents buying uniform for the new school year in Autumn 2022 – or Summer 2023 if it breaches a pre-existing contract or formal agreement with a supplier. The new resources have been designed to help schools understand the guidance and be able to implement the changes to their policies.   
The new cost of school uniform law was a result of seven years of campaigning from The Children’s Society to make school uniform affordable and a Private Members Bill from Mike Amesbury MP. Young people had told The Children’s Society back in 2014 how not being able to afford the correct uniform meant they were given detentions or even being excluded. It also made them feel embarrassed amongst their peers and resulted in being bullied or feeling isolated.   
The charity went on to publish three research reports The Wrong Blazer in 2015, 2018 and 2020 revealing that many schools have unnecessarily strict uniform requirements, such as making families buy uniform at specific and often expensive shops or having lots of branded items. This meant that for families living on the breadline, it was the choice between letting their child turn up with incorrect uniform and facing the consequences or going without the basics.   
Mark Russell, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: “School should be a place where every child feels they belong. A uniform can bring the school community together and develop a sense of school identity but high standards shouldn’t have to mean high costs. Long uniform lists put pressure on family finances and expensive uniforms can even push parents into debt or force them to make hard choices to ensure their children have the right kit.  

“Our research in 2020 found that 1 in 8 families were having to cut back on essentials, such as food or heating to cover the cost. The stress of having the wrong uniform, and fear of being singled out, has a real impact on pupils’ confidence and well-being. They may even be taken out of lessons because of incorrect uniform, losing essential learning time. 

“We have designed these resources to help schools understand and be able to navigate the new statutory guidance in front of them. We invite all schools to download our resources so they find it easier to update their school uniform policies making them more affordable by the start of the next school year.” 

Head of Child Poverty Action Group’s Cost of the School Day programme Kate Anstey said:  

“We know that parents struggle with the cost of school uniform and that kids are excluded from activities and even given detentions for not having the right kit. Following the new government guidance, we’ve brought together our insights in this series of resources to support schools to develop affordable approaches to uniform and ensure children are not priced out of school life.”   

Luke Bramhall, Head of Youth Services and Poverty Proofing at Children North East, said: 

“At Children North East we frequently hear directly from children and their families about the impact uniform costs have on household income through our Poverty Proofing© the School Day work. The recent government guidance is an important step in the right direction, enabling educators to create accessible uniform that will reduce costs and remove stigma associated with not being able to afford expensive uniform costs. We are pleased to have worked with both organisations to produce this series of resources aimed at supporting schools to implement affordable uniform policies.” 


 The Resources can be downloaded for free from http://childrenssociety.org.uk/school-uniform-resources 

Bentley Education Announces New Student Contest: The Digital Twin Design Challenge

March 29, 2022 – Bentley Systems, Incorporated, (Nasdaq: BSY) the infrastructure engineering software company, today announced Bentley Education’s Digital Twin Design Challenge—a student contest that provides an opportunity to reimagine a real-world location with a structure designed with the popular Minecraft video game. Digital twin technology is set to be the next powerful tool for future engineers, and this contest is a unique opportunity for students to explore it in a creative way.  

Through the Digital Twin Design Challenge, students have the chance to combine their imagination and creativity by exploring infrastructure digital twins. Students will use Minecraft to take a real-world location and design a new structure within it. In addition to gaining recognition from Bentley Education, the top 20 finalists will receive USD 500 each. The winner chosen by expert judges will receive a prize of USD 5,000, and the winner from the popular vote category will win a prize of USD 2,000.

The challenge is open to students aged between 12 years and 25 years from secondary schools, high schools, community colleges/schools, polytechnics, technical institutes, and universities. Students can design structures that address issues like environmental sustainability, architectural aesthetics, and population growth, or solve a specific engineering challenge. These designs can be in the form of any superstructure, such as a building, bridge, monument, park, train station, or airport.

With the world and its infrastructure facing many growing challenges, future engineers will turn to digital twin technology to manage them. Because digital twins are virtual representations of the real world, they can help combine and visualize data to optimize decision-making and enable effective planning and action. 

Katriona Lord-Levins, chief success officer, Bentley Systems, said, “This challenge is continuing Bentley Education’s mission of nurturing future professionals for careers in engineering, design, and architecture. We want students to show their creativity using Minecraft and explore the potential of Bentley’s iTwin technology to tackle a challenge facing the world’s infrastructure. And, along the way, we want to inspire and encourage students to learn about infrastructure engineering as a possible career and expose them to the opportunities that lie ahead, with infrastructure going digital.”

When their design is ready, students will export the structure as a 3D model and place it within the real-world location using the Bentley iTwin platform. Students will also need to submit a short essay describing the concept behind their design. To participate in the challenge, students must register and submit their projects before March 31, 2022. To register and to learn more about the submissions, judging criteria, and other information, click here.


‘Going Too Far–Extremism and the Law’- LGfL wins award for resource developed in partnership with DfE… and its Technical or IT Support Services

LGfL-The National Grid for Learning strikes gold with a double award win at BETT 20221

LGfL-The National Grid for Learning celebrated striking gold at this year’s BETT Awards 2022, when it scooped  both the Best Wellbeing, Digital Wellness & Safeguarding Resource for its ‘Going too Far–The Law and Extremism’, developed in partnership with the Department for Education, and the Best Technical or IT Support Services. The BETT Awards, organised in association with the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA), celebrate the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The awards form an integral part of BETT each year, the world’s leading showcase of education technology solutions.

John Jackson, CEO, LGfL-The National Grid for Learning said, “We are absolutely thrilled to win these two awards – my thanks goes out to our talented online safeguarding team and colleagues from the Department for Education for producing Going too Far, designed to  promote critical thinking online and equip teachers with scenario-based activities to lead discussions around extremism and behaviours that are dangerous or illegal. I would also like to thank our dedicated team for rolling out significant technology initiatives to ensure that no child is left behind and for delivering exceptional customer care. (Please click on the video and move to 1.10 to see LGfL featured on the BETT Awards site  https://bettawards.com/)

Going Too Far? – Extremism and the Law

Going Too Far?-Extremism and the Law (https://goingtoofar.lgfl.net) –  the result of a partnership between the Department for Education and LGfL – is an open-access interactive teaching resource to help students understand extremism and how certain online behaviours may be illegal or dangerous. Cross-curricular activities facilitate a whole-school approach, complementing and complying with RSHE guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education and the UKCIS Education for a Connected World Framework.

The resource aims to promote critical thinking and build resilience to help young people face the abundance of extremist content online by exploring the techniques used by extremists and evaluating digital content, making positive choices about who/what is trustworthy online,  challenging extremist narratives and considering the consequences of their actions and making a positive stand.

Going too Far includes case studies and discussion stimuli, videos featuring subject experts,  scenarios to explore potential risks e.g. gaming and social media, signposting to trusted sources for support and reporting channels and printable teacher notes, extension activities, mini video guides and suggested answers to help lead informative discussions.

Its SEND and Inclusion area features audio narrations and alternative texts, as well as differentiated questions to support as wide a range of learners as possible.

Best Technical or IT Support Services

LGfL is one of the fastest growing edtech charities in the UK.  Its mission is the advancement of education. It is passionate about tackling inequality, promoting diversity and ensuring no child is left behind. Its #BridgeTheDivide initiative –  a huge national procurement for up to 2 million Chromebooks and Windows Laptops – enabled it to drive down the cost, save schools millions of pounds and increase access to devices and technology for children, including those disadvantaged. By making its Free School Meals Eligibility Checker free to schools nationwide it was able to help them to identify a potential £112.5M of Pupil Premium Funding and to support communities facing huge challenges.

“Our empathy and understanding of schools’ needs has enabled us to design, build and provide solutions that have been consumed at an unprecedented scale,” said John Jackson.

“Our standards of customer care are exceptional, with a retention rate of over 90%, sometimes involving incredible risk on behalf of our customers.”

  1. LGfL-The National Grid for Learning strikes gold with a double award win at BETT 2022 – Right to Left: Sindu Vee, Event Host and award winning comedian; Mubina Asaria – Online Safeguarding Consultant, LGfL; Bob Usher – Content Manager; LGfL; John Jackson – CEO; LGfL; Gareth Jelley – Product and Security Manager, LGfL.

World Autism Acceptance Week 2022 – what can employers do to create a safe environment for individuals with autism at work?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in every 100 people are on the autism spectrum and according to the National Autistic Society, there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.


Qube Learning, a leading national recruitment and training provider, has delivered training to many individuals who are autistic, and they believe that the right work setting plays a major part in their success in employment. Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, says: “The stigma of autism is that people cannot live alone or work – this is not true for all autistic people and is one perception of the disability that must be challenged. We have trained employees who live and function by themselves, who proudly own their autism, and want their employer to know their personal story and how far they have come. Everyone comes with their own unique make up and employers should be prepared to see talent on an individual basis, not expecting everyone to work and perform in the same way – that’s unrealistic and mechanical.


“With 21.7% of autistic adults in the UK in full-time or part-time paid employment, it’s important when recruiting that an employer finds out what they can do to make a job role and working environment more comfortable for someone with autism. Learning about effective ways to work with adults with autism helps to ensure they get the best treatment possible, can utilise their abilities, and get the most out of life.


As a business we have found that these simple changes can make a huge difference for people with autism –


  • That measures are in place and considerations made for people to function and communicate as well as they can in the workplace.
  • Don’t confuse timelines. Be concise when giving instructions, by using clear and simple language.
  • Allow a person to respond in their own time – don’t rush them or move onto another topic.
  • Be mindful of the needs of others. Actively seek to change your approach in accommodating additional support needs a co-worker or employee may have.
  • If something is going to change, inform those affected in a clear and calm way. Do this as early as possible to allow for the change to be accommodated.
  • Encourage people to take breaks, which will provide a rest from ongoing interactions. This may be particularly beneficial in helping people cope with the stresses that social interactions bring.
  • If someone becomes easily overwhelmed or agitated, speak to them in quieter moments, or approach them in a way that is supportive of their differences. 
  • Do not take offence if a person with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome is unwittingly rude or inappropriate, since social situations can be exceptionally challenging for some people.
  • Invest in developing a quiet space that can be used for relaxation, with natural light that reduces sensory overload.


Adults on the autism spectrum have specific qualities which can make life especially challenging. Some individuals may not be as verbal as others, or have the best social skills, which makes functional communication and socialising a struggle. Others may need a lot of prompting, training, and reinforcing to learn how to complete daily life skills independently. Not all adults with autism have a job or career path, but many do and so it’s fair to ensure they feel part of a team and are understood by their colleagues. We encourage employers across all industries to instil belief in those who live and work with the disability, and to passionately drive change on society’s outlook on autism and its stereotypes.”

Qube Learning is a proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider, delivering a range of training and qualifications to hundreds of Employers and Students across the country. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship, Traineeship or Qube Vision eLearning can bring, then speak with the experts at Qube Learning.

Email:  tellmemore@qube-learning.co.uk/ Telephone:  01235 833838 / Website:  www.qube-learning.co.uk

Responding to the mental health crisis: 97% of UK schools now providing pupil mental health support but one in 10 teachers feel poorly equipped


  • Teachers have witnessed a rise in pupil anxiety, stress and depression since the pandemic
  • Two thirds more concerned about managing mental health and wellbeing of pupils
  • Half of teachers want the government to provide a national counselling service for school children


New research1 from specialist education insurer Ecclesiastical has revealed the majority of schools (97%) are providing support for pupils struggling with their mental health. Despite this, one in eight (12%) teachers admit to feeling poorly equipped to support pupils with mental health issues.


Increase in pupil mental health issues since the pandemic


The pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues in the education sector, and schools have witnessed an increase in pupil anxiety (56%), stress (54%) and depression (46%).


Perhaps unsurprisingly, two thirds (66%) of teachers are now more concerned about managing the mental health and wellbeing of pupils as a result of the pandemic.


Contributing factors


The biggest contributors to poor student mental health are a dysfunctional home life (34%), isolation during Covid lockdowns (33%) and falling behind due to the pandemic.


The research also identified a peak2 in pupil mental health issues at age 11 – a turbulent time for some pupils as they transition from primary to secondary schools.


Supporting pupils with mental health issues


Additional training for staff (44%), regular lessons on mental health issues (43%), staff members with counselling responsibility (41%) and a dedicated mental health professional (41%) are the top ways schools are supporting pupils with mental health issues. Only 3% of schools don’t provide any mental health support for students.


For example, Hardingstone Academy3 in Northampton worked with a team from St Andrew’s Healthcare as part of its School Mental Wellness Programme. The St Andrew’s team worked closely with the school over 18 months, providing staff training and ideas for whole school mental health and wellbeing strategies and practice.


Despite the majority of schools providing mental health support for pupils, one in eight (12%) teachers reported feeling poorly equipped to support pupils with mental health issues.


Teachers think the government should be doing more to support students with mental health including more funding (51%), a national approach to mental health (50%), and a national counselling service for school children (49%).


The Teachers’ Union NASUWT4 is campaigning for the UK Government to secure statutory provision of schools-based counselling in every primary and secondary school in England. Unlike in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, there is currently no legal requirement for school-based counselling in England.


Faith Kitchen, Customer Segment Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “As one of the leading insurers of schools in the UK, Ecclesiastical is passionate about supporting the education sector. The pandemic has put a huge pressure on schools and the mental health of pupils is a key risk for teachers and staff to manage. While it’s encouraging to see most schools are providing mental health support for pupils, some teachers feel poorly equipped to support pupils with mental health issues. The pandemic has created new risks for schools and seriously exacerbated existing challenges in the sector. We encourage schools to think about the risks they may face and how best to protect their organisations for the future.”


Ecclesiastical Insurance’s Education Risk Barometer 2021 explores the top risks within the education sector and focuses on key areas of concern including pupil and teacher mental health and safeguarding. It is the latest in a series of sector insights from Ecclesiastical Insurance, combining independent research with specialist knowledge from the insurer.


Ecclesiastical Insurance offers a range of risk management support and guidance to help schools manage the risks they face. For more information, visit the Hub for Education.