Design your own Aldi lorry to inspire healthy eating – and win up to £1,000 for your school!

This summer, Aldi, Team GB and Paralympics GB are challenging pupils aged 5–14 to design an Aldi lorry that inspires the UK to enjoy healthy, sustainable food. The winning hand-drawn designs will be featured on real Aldi lorries which will travel across the country for everyone to see!


The competition, which is open until Friday 23 June, is part of Aldi, Team GB and Paralympics GB’s award-winning school initiative, Get Set to Eat Fresh. Get Set to Eat Fresh encourages pupils to develop a love and curiosity about healthy and sustainable food, and give them the knowledge and skills they need to cook nutritious and low-cost meals for themselves.


Designs will be judged by a panel featuring representatives from Aldi, Team GB and Paralympics GB, and Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including weightlifting silver medallist Emily Campbell and judo gold medallist Chris Skelley, who will select one winner for each of England, Wales, and Scotland.


As well as getting to see their lorry design come to life, the first prize winners will also win £1,000 for their schools, £100 Aldi vouchers, a goody bag from Team GB and ParalympicsGB, and Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes will visit their school to share the good news! Runner-up prizes are also available in each of the regions, with the pupils in second place winning £750 for their school, along with a £50 voucher and a goody bag, while those awarded third place will receive £500 for their school and a £25 voucher.


Jemma Townsend, Marketing Director at Aldi, said: “The Design a Lorry competition is part of our collaborative efforts with Team GB and ParalympicsGB to promote healthy eating among young people.


“We’re looking forward to receiving a diverse range of entries and are excited for participants to learn more about the advantages of eating a nutritious diet through the competition.”


Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director at Team GB said: “We’re really excited to be bringing our Design a Lorry competition with Aldi back for a second year! It’s a great opportunity for school pupils to get involved with, helping to inspire them to feel passionate about fresh, healthy food by bringing it to life in a creative way.”


Jenny Seymour, Commercial Director at Paralympics GB said: “This competition offers a great chance for students to be recognised for their creativity, whilst also encouraging and motivating them to eat healthily. We’re proud to be involved and can’t wait to see the final designs.”


The Design a Lorry competition is part of Aldi’s partnerships with Team GB and Paralympics GB. It also forms part of their long-running Get Set to Eat Fresh education programme that aims to inspire young people aged 5-14 to eat healthily, and has so far reached over two million children across the UK. The competition is supported by new Get Set to Eat Fresh resources that offer curriculum links to Art, Design & Technology, PSHE/Health and Wellbeing and sustainability.


Teachers can introduce the Design a Lorry competition through dedicated, flexible lesson resources, including a video with athletes Emily Campbell and Chris Skelley to introduce the competition. The lesson plans includes a series of adaptable activities, such as a fun food quiz to understand what healthy, sustainable food means to their students and exploring how to use Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes’ success to create change.


A previous competition to Design a Lorry for Aldi took place in 2021 and had over 24,000 entries. This year will be even bigger and better, with individual winners from England, Scotland, and Wales, so be sure your pupils don’t miss out on all the fun, while they are learning more about how to eat healthily and sustainably!


Alongside the Design a Lorry competition, Aldi, Team GB and Paralympics GB’s Get Set to Eat Fresh programme offers a series of teaching resources to educate children about nutrition and build their love and curiosity about healthy, sustainable food. It can be accessed at


Schools and parents can enter the Design a Lorry competition at


New research finds over 50% of education staff spend own earnings on classroom supplies

  • 50% of education staff spending their own money to purchase supplies and materials for the classroom
  • One in five education workers are picking up a side hustle as the cost of living continues to rise
  • 78% of respondents have restricted turning the heating whilst 64% are foregoing putting money into savings accounts

A new survey exploring the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on education staff in the UK has revealed over 50% of workers have spent their own earnings on supplies for the classroom. Of those respondents buying materials, almost 24% find themselves regularly purchasing materials, with 28% doing so occasionally.


The survey, by membership service Discounts for Teachers, polled over 1,000 workers from across the education sector, to highlight the financial struggles affecting educators’ day-to-day lives. Discounts for Teachers is calling for greater support to help incentivise the sector and keep quality teachers in schools.


With respondents spanning schoolteachers to catering staff, and university lecturers to nursery workers, a further one in five have picked up a side hustle as prices continue to rise. Amongst these additional jobs, education staff cited tutoring at weekends, working in supermarkets, babysitting and administration work, on top of their overstretched workloads.


Over 75% of respondents also said the current economic climate is having a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing. For a sector facing wellbeing and recruitment challenges, these findings underline the risk that today’s financial pressures pose to retaining good quality education staff.


Beyond impacting their work in the classroom and ability to support students, the research further highlights where staff have made cutbacks at home. A significant 78% of respondents have restricted turning the heating whilst 64% are foregoing putting money into savings accounts, because of skyrocketing energy bills, and 16% said they have made the biggest cutbacks in groceries and food.


Small luxuries such as restaurant and cinema trips have also taken a hit, with 80% of respondents foregoing dining out in order to save money.


Colette, teacher at Carronshore Primary School in Falkirk, Scotland, said:

“With the current cost-of-living crisis, I think it is really valuable for teachers to have access to discount schemes that enable us to make savings on things that make us feel good. Recently, I have saved money on holiday trips where I have been able to spend quality time with my family. I feel that this is really important for your wellbeing.”


Strikingly, many respondents said the current cost-of-living crisis has impacted their ability to take industrial action, with a quarter saying it had completely affected their ability to strike. This emphasises the increasingly difficult position individuals working in the sector are facing. 


The economic climate has also shifted educators’ holiday habits, with 60% of respondents going on holiday less often, and 12% opting to take a break somewhere local.


Further key findings from the survey include:

  • Almost 40% of surveyed members have switched supermarkets in order to reduce their food shop bill
  • Further sectors where education staff are making the greatest cutbacks include fashion and clothing (20%)
  • Other small luxuries that educators are cutting back on include phone and laptop upgrades and theatre trips.

Storm Postlethwaite, CEO of Discounts for Teachers, said:

We know that education workers have been hit particularly hard by the current cost-of-living crisis. Our research shows that the crisis manifests two-fold for educators; not only are they facing increased cost pressures in their personal lives, but they are also buying resources for their classes, due to ever-increasingly stretched school budgets.


The data we have produced also demonstrates the impact this is having on the mental health and wellbeing of staff. It is important for the sustainability of the sector that these issues are addressed in the long term with greater support and incentives, to help retain talented educators. Leaders can only extend their budgets so far and provide other means of support for their staff. We’re working to support the sector by connecting education staff with discounts and offers from retailers – to go some way towards alleviating the financial pressures they’re under. With the current recruitment and retention crisis putting increasing strain on the sector, a long-term solution is vital if the sector is going to survive.

Premier League Primary Stars schools’ programme providing 4,000 free football kits for girls’ football teams

Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme Launch at Castle Hill Primary School, Chessington.
Photograph ©2023 Sam Frost…

The Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme has returned, giving primary school teachers the opportunity to apply for a free Nike football kit for their girls’ team.


The Kit Scheme, run in partnership with Nike, aims to encourage more young girls across England and Wales to participate in football and builds upon the 7,000 free football kits that have already been given away via the Premier League Primary Stars schools programme since 2017.


Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to be active and develop essential life skills. It is available to every primary school in England and Wales, inspiring girls and boys aged 5-11 in the classroom, the playground and on the sports field.


The programme supports teachers with free, downloadable, curriculum-linked resource packs and activities across PE, PSHE, Maths and English. More than 18,700 primary schools across England and Wales have taken part in Premier League Primary Stars to date.

Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme Launch at Castle Hill Primary School, Chessington.
Photograph ©2023 Sam Frost…


Nick Perchard, Head of Community and Football Policy at the Premier League said: “We are pleased to be able to launch the Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme again in partnership with Nike, this time specifically to support and encourage more young girls to get involved in football.


“The Kit Scheme builds on the League’s ongoing support of women’s and girls’ football, having provided funding to aid the expansion of The FA’s Emerging Talent Centres and pathways for girls aged eight to 16. We hope as many schools as possible take up this opportunity.”


All teaching staff registered to Premier League Primary Stars, and who work with primary school pupils aged 5-11 in England and Wales, can apply for the Kit Scheme. Applications will need to include details on each school’s commitment to girls’ football and how the new kit will support an increase in girls’ participation in the sport.


Dan Burrows, Senior Director of Social & Community Impact at Nike said: “Nike is delighted to partner with the Premier League to launch the Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme. Our work with partners like the Premier League is vital to removing cultural, social and economic barriers to participation, so all kids, especially girls, have an opportunity to benefit from play and sport. Together, we can create an active next generation and a healthier and more equitable future for all.”

Successful applicants for the Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme will receive a set of Nike Park Short Sleeve shirts, shorts and socks (13 x outfield sets and x 1 goalkeeper set) – with a range of colours available.

Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme Launch with Chelsea F.C. Women players Jess Carter and Ann-Katrin Berger the club’s Cobham training centre.
Photograph ©2023 Sam Frost…

The playing kit will be embellished with Premier League on the front of the shirt, No Room For Racism on the sleeve and will be numbered between one and 14 on the back, with Nike 2.0 hijabs also available as required.


Teachers can register for the Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme on ahead of the application window closing on Friday 9 June 2023. Successful applicants will receive their kit during the Spring term 2024.


Solve education recruitment crisis by growing Multi Academy Trusts, calls IRIS Software Group

New research reveals MATs and SATs’ staff recruitment challenges could be solved by growing Trusts


25 April 2023: Expanding Multi Academy Trusts (MAT) over the coming years is a key lever education leaders should pull to solve the major issues around finding and retaining leadership and support staff, according to new research from IRIS Software Group (IRIS).


Surveying over 250 trust and school leaders, the IRIS Education Leaders’ Survey reveals the majority of MATs are looking to grow to stay financially stable, realise economies of scale and mitigate challenges with recruitment and retention. However, the results also highlight there is little appetite in the state sector to move to academies, showcasing the clear barrier stunting the growth and overall health of the sector.


The strain of the current economic climate is showing in the UK, with a recent wave of strikes across different industries, and teachers striking over pay and conditions. This perfect storm is placing education leadership under severe pressure, with a National Foundation for Education Research report finding teacher vacancies were 93% higher in the academic year up to February 2023 than the same point pre-pandemic. In London, the situation is so dire, the number of new trainees applying for postgraduate teaching courses has dropped by 11% in the last year, according to Department for Education figures.


The report reveals half (50%) of all MAT leaders are struggling to recruit critical support staff across their Trusts. One MAT CFO commented, “Teaching Assistant salaries are not competitive – you can get paid the same working on a till [at a supermarket] with less stress and responsibility.”


Simon Freeman, MD of Education at IRIS Software Group, comments, “Undoubtedly, the external economic environment has exacerbated the current staff recruitment and retention crisis. Yet MAT leaders unanimously told us they aspire to grow. There are economies of scale to be found through sharing resources and staff, but these are only properly realised at around ten schools, so with the median trust size being five, many trusts are in the range of needing to grow to become more financially stable. As such, we will likely enter an era of MAT consolidation, where we will see fewer new MATs form and existing MATs merge to become larger.”


The study further reveals MAT leaders see filling (49%) and holding on to (34%) academy principals as a real struggle. The overwhelming majority (99%) of MAT leaders also found it harder to recruit teachers in 2022, and 78% said they found it harder to retain staff. Nearly half of MAT leaders (48%) are worried about salary expectations and the impact on staff retention, with a third (33%) citing it as a recruitment barrier.


Positively, the vast majority (93%) of MAT leadership surveyed said they plan to grow in the next three years. The clear opportunities provided to strengthen financial positions in the uncertain economic environment is a major factor in this decision, as it the ability to create economies of scale by centralising key enabling functions such as finance, HR, operations and IT to support growth across the trust.


Lord Jim Knight, Member of the House of Lords and former UK minister for schools, digital and employment comments on the results, “Put simply, more people are leaving teaching than are joining the profession as trainees. This is especially acute in secondary schools and subjects like maths and physics. This constrains the ability of schools to improve, as high quality is defined by good teaching.


“Less testing, more human inspection and accountability with a more balanced curriculum would all help rebuild trust in the teaching profession. A trusted profession with more empowerment is more likely to remain connected to the intrinsic vocation of teaching.”


Further information about how MATs and schools are navigating the economic uncertainty is available in IRIS’ Education Leaders’ report.

Mental Health in Education Show – Supporting Mental Health in Education

23 June 2023 sees the launch of the Mental Health in Education Show, a free event which focuses on mental health at all levels of education and offers professionals across the UK access to a wide range of support, resources and expertise refined and aimed at mental health leads from across the country.


The show will also feature the inaugural Mental Health in Education Awards which will celebrate the amazing work being done to support mental health and wellbeing in educational settings across the UK.


In addition to the presentations, seminars, information and resources available, the show will welcome award-winning children’s author Michael Rosen as the headline speaker who will also be presenting the Mental Health in Education Awards.

Attendees will get the opportunity to:

  • Network with other mental health leads and share knowledge and skills that is relevant to their job role.
  • Access services and products that are carefully selected to be relevant to them and their relevant education setting.
  • Attend talks and seminars with guest speakers and panels hosted by education leaders who understand the demands put on mental health leads
  • Share challenges and successes with peers and experts who have the same background as you.


Show organiser and founder of the National Network of Mental Health Leads, Richard-Daniel Curtis says:


‘Education professionals are under intense pressure at the moment and the increase in children suffering from poor mental health very often means that mental health needs have to be picked up by teachers and non-mental health professionals. This conference gives educators an opportunity to learn from their peers, share their challenges and access the latest information from industry leaders.


‘This year we’re also pleased to be launching the Mental Health in Education Awards which will recognise people and organisations who have made outstanding contributions to improving mental wellbeing in the education sector’.


Michael Rosen adds:


‘Events over the last few years have added massively to the normal stresses and strains our children and young people face.  Focussing on their mental health and wellbeing has never been more important.  The role of educators in helping the next generation to cope with what they will face is vital and I am pleased to be able to support their work.’


The show is run by award winning mental health organisation The Root Of It on behalf of The National Network of Mental Health Leads, the representing body for mental health leads and coordinators in schools and colleges across the UK.


To find out more about the event and to book your free place, please visit:


Teacher training providers merge to create new offer for schools and future teachers across Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk

A new local teacher training organisation operating across Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk will support recent graduates and career changers into the classroom from September 2024.


Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk Teacher Training (NESTT) is being formed following a merger of experienced “tried and tested” school-centred local initial teacher training (ITT) providers Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT and BEC Teacher Training.


The merger has been agreed following the Government’s recent ITT market review report which made recommendations on how to make sure all trainees receive high-quality training, how the ITT market maintains the capacity to deliver enough trainees and is accessible to candidates, and how the ITT system benefits all schools. One of these recommendations was around the development of local partnerships.


Whilst Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT and BEC Teacher Training will continue to operate as individual ITT providers until the end of the 2023-24 school year, NESTT leaders are already laying firm foundations for the future for the new organisation, including working with subject experts to design a new and exciting curriculum for the teachers of tomorrow.


The NESTT programme will feed into provision for the Early Career Framework, which sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers, and ensure a coherent three-year training cycle for new teachers as well as comprehensive support for mentors in school.


“The two SCITTs merging to form NESTT share a vision of working with all our local partners to nurture a vibrant, research-engaged community of teachers in our area,” said Anna Richards, Executive Leader of Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT.


“We are a tried and tested local provider and will continue to be responsive to local need. Collaborating with local head teachers in each area will enable us to consult widely amongst our partnership schools and local multi-academy trust CEOs.


“Unlike some of the new national entrants to the market, the SCITTs merging to form the new partnership all have 22-25 years’ experience of delivering ITT. Both legacy SCITTs joining NESTT currently have five-year teacher retention rates above the national average, in some cases by a substantial margin.”


Christine Jarrold, Director at BEC Teacher Training, added: “The records of ourselves and Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT show the vast majority of teachers we train take jobs in local schools and continue their careers working in the area.


“NESTT teacher trainers have all worked in local schools before moving into teacher training and have a wealth of contacts and personal knowledge of the region, which facilitates that. Existing excellent relationships with schools mean that NESTT will be able to ensure that every trainee has a suitable school placement and a skilled mentor from the start of the course.


“The NESTT team will continue to foster the culture of trust and transparency which enables us to work with schools effectively to provide the best training for our beginning teachers.”


NESTT will continue to provide the majority of training face-to-face rather than relying on online platforms and pre-recorded videos. “Face-to-face interactions provide valuable experiences for trainee teachers, facilitating learning through activities such as rehearsal and micro-teaching, which research has found to be highly effective,” Anna said. “It will also enable them to develop supportive networks in our area, aiding future retention of teachers.


“We will keep up our current open-door policy and our locally-based teams will be able, as now, to respond quickly and flexibly to any questions raised by our schools. As well as trainees, the mentor training and skills’ staff develop as teachers will support broader school improvement. All this will be underpinned by our core values, Nurture, Empower and Teach.”


The development has been welcomed by education and local authority leaders across the region, including both Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council who have long been strategic partners of Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT.


Mark Bennett, Senior Education Officer at Norfolk County Council, said: “We are confident that NESTT will provide high-quality staff for our local schools and ensure they gain enjoyment and satisfaction from their careers, remain in the profession and continue to develop their expertise, contributing to their own schools and to the training of future teachers.”


Samantha Fletcher, Assistant Director for Education Strategy and Infrastructure, Norfolk County Council, concurred: “Relationships are key, and we will continue to build on the strong partnerships with local schools that characterise our full provision, and offer our communities high-quality training and personalised support.”


Ahson Mohammed, CEO of Compass Trust, the parent body of BEC Teacher Training, added: “We are delighted to be cooperating in this new venture. Our Trust has always had a strong commitment to providing the very best in training and development for our staff. The formation of NESTT will enable us to make our offer to trainee teachers even more attractive.”


The University of Suffolk will continue to validate the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) on NESTT primary and secondary ITT programmes. “We are pleased to be able to extend our relationship with NESTT, and look forward to supporting staff and trainees alike,” said Dr Clare Gartland, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Suffolk.


Primary and secondary schools in the following cities and towns (and surrounding areas) will be supported by NESTT: Basildon, Billericay, Brentwood, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Harwich, Hornchurch, Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, Norwich, Rayleigh, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Thetford and Wickford.


NESTT is hosting Train to Teach Information Events on 9th May, 14th June and 13th July.  For more information, go to



In celebration of Earth Day 2023, Discovery Education is providing primary schools with a vast array of digital resources inspiring exploration of the natural world and environmental stewardship. Available via Discovery Education’s award-winning Espresso learning platform, this collection of high-quality digital content has been curated by Discovery Education’s team of curriculum experts. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. 


Taking place on April 22nd, Earth Day is an annual, global event reaching 1 billion people in over 193 countries. The 2023 theme is ‘Invest In Our Planet’ and Discovery Education’s Earth Day resources encourage children to reflect on the wonders of the Earth and the threats they face. Exploring topics such as global warming, ocean pollution, deforestation and overpopulation, this curriculum-matched content is curated in a special Earth Day Channel, which allows teachers to find relevant resources quickly and easily.


Suitable for students from Foundation to KS2, Discovery Education’s Earth Day resources include:


  • The ‘Home’ Impossible Field Trip:

A new, interactive experience taking pupils on a journey from the newly colonised Moon, back home to Earth. Driving across the moon’s surface in a lunar rover before docking with an orbiting space station, pupils are guided to reflect on the significance of planet Earth as a home for everyone. Supporting resources help contextualise the experience and provide guidance for paired discussions on this important topic.

  • Earth Day Assemblies

Celebratory assemblies for Key Stages 1 and 2 help teachers set the scene for Earth Day and comes complete with scripts, slideshows and question prompts.

  • Dynamic Video Content

A newly curated library of content that’s ideal for use as lesson starters, covering a wide range of real-world themes such as climate change and the United Nations Green Goals. Pupils can even witness the view from the International Space Station.

  • Classroom Activities

A range of activities that explore how we can celebrate and protect our planet. Through paired discussions, pupils are encouraged to identify and learn about threats our planet faces and use their voices to advocate for change.


The Discovery Education Earth Day resources are closely mapped to the National Curriculum, helping teachers to meet curriculum objectives in Science, Citizenship, Geography and British Values at KS1 and KS2.

In addition, Discovery Education’s users can integrate these resources directly into real-time assessments through the platform’s innovative Quiz feature. Teachers can also integrate the content into presentations using the resource’s Studio feature. Learn more about all of the flexible features of the Discovery Education platform here. 


“Our planet is an endless source of wonder and inspiration for us all. This Earth Day, with Discovery Education resources in hand, primary schools can inspire pupils to discover the importance of protecting our environment,” said Howard Lewis, Discovery Education’s UK and International Managing Director.


The Earth Day resources are available to Discovery Education subscriber schools via Discovery Education Espresso, the curriculum-centred daily learning platform for primary schools.


Explore Discovery Education’s award-winning digital learning services at



Education sector ignoring employee health, say almost half of teachers


Following recent strikes, a new study finds a quarter of teachers have worked whilst physically or mentally unwell 

More than 2 in 5 teachers reported the education sector is either passively or actively failing to look after employee physical health (44%) and employee mental health (41%), new data has revealed.

Teachers are the most likely employees to work through physical illness, with almost a quarter (24%) having done so in the last year. The data also shows that more than 1 in 4 teachers have worked whilst mentally unwell.

Pressures such as Ofsted inspections, excessive workloads, and low pay during the current cost of living crisis – combined with gaps in employer support – are causing an increase in mental and physical health issues for teachers. Over three-quarters (76%) said they’ve experienced at least some decline in physical or mental health due to their work. Some 40% reported increased anxiety and 24% cited back/neck pain.

The 2023 UK Employee Health, Wellbeing & Habits study asked over 1,000 employees for insights into their health over the last year. The aims were to discover how changing working patterns are affecting employees’ health and wellbeing, and see how UK companies can better support their workforce in this area.

The study also found that teachers are picking up quick-fix habits to cope, which are negatively impacting their physical and mental health. 35% of teachers are eating more unhealthy food and almost a fifth (17%) have been drinking alcohol more frequently over the last 12 months. 

What can the education sector do?

A staggering 85% of teachers want their company to be more proactive in boosting employee health, wellbeing and healthy habits.

  • 36% of teachers want managers trained to provide better mental health support and prevent stressful work environments
  • 36% believe in promoting the use of sick leave when people are struggling with physical or mental health
  • 26% of teachers want training in stress management

The education sector also benefits from contributing to teachers’ health and wellbeing: it leaves 42% of teachers feeling more productive at work. When supported, almost 2 in 5 (39%) report feeling engaged with their work and 37% say they’re less likely to seek job opportunities elsewhere.

Claire Brown, qualified life and career coach, says:

“Employees must be encouraged to prioritise their health and wellbeing above productivity, by taking regular breaks from the screen and getting fresh air, where possible. Providing alternative and innovative ways for connection and communication between team members is also really valuable.

“Additionally, by adopting a flexible attitude and approach to how and when work is completed, companies can alleviate some of the pressure. As always, communication is key. It’s important for employers to be fair and realistic about what is possible and provide practical support to help team members manage their workloads.”

Surrey school takes top spot at national STEAM competition

The winning team at ACS Egham taking part in the Engineering Challenge

A group of Grade 6 students (11 to 12 years old) from ACS International School Egham have been crowned champions of the Engineering Challenge at a national STEAM competition, Destination Imagination UK and have been invited to the Global Finals in May.


As part of the challenge, the winning students built the longest roller coaster (over six meters) with limited materials. The aim of the challenge was to get a golf ball to roll down as fast and controlled as possible. ACS Egham’s team had the fastest overall speed, with the golf ball taking just seven seconds from start to finish.


Destination Imagination UK is a global community united by the belief that when students have the freedom to grow and collaborate, their confidence explodes, and the world opens up to them in new ways. The project aims to inspire young people to become creative and collaborative leaders. The organisation provides STEAM programmes and challenges for students across a range of different ages.


John Mendehall, Science Teacher at ACS Egham, said: “Our students had a wonderful time at the Destination Imagination UK competition, and I am so proud of our students for winning the Engineering Challenge. The skills they have gained, such as creative and critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving, are invaluable. At ACS Egham, we give our students these opportunities so they stand ready for a future full of opportunity and we hope to see even more students from ACS participate next year.”


Other schools in the ACS International School group also triumphed at the competition, with ACS International School Hillingdon taking home top spot in an instant challenge, which tests students with quick, creative and critical-thinking exercises that can only be completed within one day.


To find out more about ACS Egham, visit:


Teens would rather turn to TikTok than tell a teacher about troubles – time for AI?

  • 8 in 10 teenagers claim to suffer mental health symptoms
  • 1 in 3 (35%) warrant professional support for depression or anxiety
  • More than half of these have not accessed support
  • 33% are turning to TikTok for answers, compared to 21% teachers
  • Only a third of those who got support say it was what they needed
  • An astonishing 78% would prefer to speak to an app than their teachers


London, UK, 17 April: The youth mental health crisis is even more severe than we thought. Shocking new research by Wysa reveals that more than 8 in 10 teenagers are experiencing mental health worries, with 1 in 3 needing professional support. But the solutions we’re offering them are falling short. Half of young people can’t access the support they need, with many feeling too ashamed or uncomfortable to talk to teachers or mental health teams at school. As a result, a generation of teenagers is silently suffering, with nowhere to turn – so they’re going to TikTok.


When faced with challenges half of young people would speak to parents (53%), and a similar number to friends (46%). But ahead of CAMHS services (25%) and teachers (21%) is TikTok (33%). Teenagers are using their phones and social media to access mental health support, which may not be accurate or regulated.


When asked how they would feel about a confidential app with tailored support, and if that app and chatbot would be a preference over other people, the app is the preference over teachers, doctors and siblings. An astonishing 8 in 10 (78%) would choose an app over their teachers, and three fifths (60%) would rather get help from an app than their doctor. 


This points to a need for a clinically validated and backed digital solution that meets young people where they are, when they want it.


Scale of severity


New figures from leading mental health app Wysa show that the children and young people’s UK mental health crisis is worse than estimated. Over 1 in 3 13-17 year olds surveyed indicate symptoms of depression or anxiety that warrant investigation – and 82% self report a range of mental health issues such as anxiety (49% – rising to 63% of females), trouble sleeping (21%), dislike of image (26%), fear of socialising (29%) and other concerns. Half are worried about their parents’ money, showing influence of news agenda and the cost of living crisis on teenagers’ mental health.


Official figures point to 1 in 6, but this data suggests something much more widespread. In fact, it suggests that 1.3 million 13-17 year olds have symptoms of anxiety and depression that could warrant further investigation.

But most worryingly, young people aren’t getting the help that they need. More than half (55%) who scored 3 or more on GAD2 and PHQ2 screening questionnaires for anxiety and depression haven’t spoken to a relevant professional about it.


Stigma and lack of knowledge


Their reason is embarrassment (43%) or that they don’t recognise they need help (41%) – stigma still prevails, and education about what is normal needs to happen. We need to normalise talking about mental health, and provide the resources and education around what to do when struggling or faced with difficulties. Although there has been extra focus and investment into supporting people to understand and identify signs of mental ill health, it’s just not landing with young people.


And 1 in 6 (17%) don’t know who to speak to, which rises to a quarter (23%) of 13-15 year olds. Having a mental health nurse in school, or posters up about therapists only work if people are shown how to access them, and guided to getting support.


Lack of accessibility


Part of the reason for this is accessibility at the times that young people need help. Nearly half (49%) experience mental health worries before school and a quarter (27%) just before bed – yet most current solutions are available during school hours. A third (35%) say that the support available is not at the right times for them.


Emma Taylor, CAMHS Lead at Wysa says “This research is clearly showing us that support isn’t available right when our young people want it. Resources mean that young people who present for clinical support have limited and time bound treatment at specific times of the day – which may not be when they most need help. An always on, flexible solution, that helps them at the moment of need is necessary.”


Wysa Managing Director Ross O’Brien says: “Wysa makes it easier for young people to access the vital mental health support they need, when they need it. Young people shouldn’t have to wait until they are very unwell to receive treatment or support. So whether they need one to one therapeutic support, wellbeing resources, immediate and ongoing support and information, or on-demand exercises to help their mental health – Wysa will be with them every step of the way.” 


Koda, 17, is a student who uses Wysa and he says: “I found out about Wysa through a friend when I was feeling very depressed and suicidal. I truly believed that there was no hope for me. I started to use the app and having the 24/7 support, no matter where I was or what time it is, has been the best thing. I can just pull out my phone and talk through any problems I might be having at the time, like a panic attack. Every time I finish a session with Wysa, I feel more relaxed and ready for the day. I like knowing that I’m not going to be judged or feel like a burden when talking to Wysa. It’s a safe outlet for me when life is getting too tough to handle. There is always something available to help me and it has done a great job at getting me out of my depression. I’ve started to be more active and productive and my overall mood has been a lot better.”


The full report can be downloaded at