LEAF EDUCATION HELPS PRIMARY SCHOOLS TEACH PUPILS WHY FARMING MATTERS?

LEAF Education, in partnership with BASF Agricultural Solutions, is delighted to announce its newly updated programme for Primary school children, Why Farming Matters, to help inform generations now and in the future about the role of farming, food production and the natural environment on their everyday lives.

 

Going live on Monday 16th January, the newly updated programme is targeted at primary school teachers, inviting them to help students to find out Why Farming Matters and why it’s the ‘Biggest Job on Earth’!

 

With new resources available for use in the classroom and outdoors, teachers can register to receive a free copy of LEAF’s new booklet and access video content and other resources to download. Activities include a focus on farmland habitats, soil types, the role of energy, supporting learning on telling the time, stimulus for writing, discussion topics and learning new age-appropriate vocabulary all in exciting new ways. Supporting teachers to deliver national curriculum in a unique way through a hugely interesting topic, that affects us all – food, farming, and the natural environment.

 

As part of the launch, LEAF Education and BASF Agricultural Solutions is offering two training dates for teachers to sign up to free online training courses to then get all of the Why Farming Matters resources too.  Sessions are taking place on 31st January 2023 4-5pm and 9th February 2023 4-5pm. Find out more and book onto the CPD courses at www.countrysideclassroom.org.uk/whyfarmingmatters.

 

The Why Farming Matters teaching material covers the big questions primary school children ask about farming – how is our food produced? Who produces it, and what are the many jobs associated with farming and the countryside? What impact does the weather have on farming? What effect does farming have on the environment? And the biggest question of all, why does farming matter? As well as engaging pupils in discussions to ensure future generations can flourish, the activities are designed to help teachers weave the themes of food and farming through the curriculum areas of English, maths, geography, science, art, and design. They can be approached separately or as part of a larger topic on food, farming, climate change, history, wildlife, and the natural environment.

 

In the last academic year, LEAF Education, has broken its own record, engaging with more young people, teachers, and schools on-farm and in the classroom than ever before.  The number of students benefiting from the organisation’s work has doubled since before the pandemic, the organisation has directly provided 35,610 young people with bespoke interactive sessions, worked with 1,570 teachers, and supported 485 farmers with wider professional training, totalling 40,206 hours!  Through its partnership with Farmer Time which connects farmers with schools to learn more about life on a farm where visits are not always possible, 995 schools and farmers have been paired, engaging 30,286 children, and offered 72,511 learning hours.

 

Carl Edwards, Director, Education and Public Engagement at LEAF Education, concludes: “One of our most popular resources to date being used by 10’s of 1000’s of children across the UK we are delighted to provide this much needed update. Today’s school children are tomorrow’s farmers, consumers, parents, politicians, leaders, and thinkers. They are the ones who will need to meet current and future challenges, whether that be the climate crisis or feeding and ever-growing population. With young people and schools keener than ever to connect with food production, farming and nature we aim to inform, engage and inspire them. With our updated resource pack, video content and training, pupils will deepen their understanding of the role of farming in the UK, discover its powerful impacts, and be encouraged to ask questions and begin to find out and formulate their own understanding of Why Farming Matters.” 

 

Joining LEAF Education BASF Head of Communications, Ali Milgate says, “With food, it all begins with farming. For every meal that ends up on our plate, a farmer has grown or raised the ingredients. Without farming, we can’t hope to realise our true potential and that’s why we at BASF believe farming is the ‘Biggest Job on Earth’.  We are honoured to partner with LEAF Education to on the Why Farming Matters school’s resource to help inform generations now and in the future about the impact of farming on food production and other less known activities such as sustainable energy supplies.”

 

Register now to receive a free printed copy of Why Farming Matters and access video content and other resources to download, at www.countrysideclassroom.org.uk/whyfarmingmatters  

 

Micro:bit Educational Foundation partners with Code.org to Bring Power of Physical Computing to Educators Teaching the CS Fundamentals Curriculum  

The two non-profit organisations have joined forces to empower teachers using Code.org with free micro:bit physical computing resources, helping bring code lessons to life   

 

The Micro:bit Educational Foundation, the education non-profit on a mission to inspire all children to achieve their best digital future, today announces a partnership with Code.org, a US-based education innovation non-profit, to offer teachers computing resources to complement use of the handheld micro:bit physical computing device as an extension to the Code.org CS Fundamentals curriculum.   

 

With over 70 million students and two million teachers subscribed to Code.org, this partnership will expand the reach of micro:bit’s physical computing resources to students around the world, helping both organisations achieve their shared goal of improving digital literacy and delivering richer teacher materials and tailored support to empower computer science educators in schools.   

 

Elementary school students using Code.org curriculum will now have access to new lessons which will show them how to bring code to life with a partner handheld computing device, the BBC micro:bit. Bringing a physical element to computing education is proven to greatly enhance how children – especially girls - learn how to program. Using the micro:bit helps make connections between the code entered on screen to real life, improving motivation to learn and building confidence with tech as their conceptual understanding grows.   

 

Micro:bit Educational Foundation works closely with schools, educators and some of the world’s biggest tech companies like Arm and Microsoft to help implement computing education at a young age and improve diversity in computer science. Its micro:bit programmable device is already used in over a third of UK schools and there are over 7 million in use internationally, supporting both block-based beginner coding and more advanced text-based skills.   

“Physical computing is a great way to engage students in computer science, and I’m excited that Code.org is expanding its offerings in this maker education space. We’re delighted to partner with to provide physical computing extensions to our existing courses, says Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi of the partnership.  

 

Growing a diverse pipeline of tech talent who contribute to the creation of better technology in the world begins in the classroom. We are invested in excellence in computer science education for younger students and are excited by the size of the impact we can create together with Code.org to bring the benefits of physical computing to young learners.Commented Gareth Stockdale, CEO at the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.  

 

Interested educators can learn more about the Micro:bit Educational Foundation and Code.org on their respective websites. The new micro:bit physical computing resources for CS Fundamentals are now live.  

 

 

About Micro:bit Educational Foundation   

The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation founded in the UK in 2016, with the aim of inspiring every child to create their best digital future.  

 

We do this by:  

  • Developing hardware and software that inspires young people to get excited about technology and the opportunities it presents for them  
  • Creating free, user-friendly educational resources to support teachers in delivering engaging and creative lessons  
  • Working with like-minded partners to deliver high-impact educational programmes across the globe.  

 

 

About Code.org  

 

Code.org® is an education innovation nonprofit dedicated to the vision that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education.  

 

The leading provider of K-12 computer science curriculum in the largest school districts in the United States, Code.org also organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign, which has engaged more than 15% of all students in the world.  

Cyber Security Schools Audit reveals urgent issues facing schools nationwide

 

  • 78% of schools fell victim to at least one type of cyber incident in 2022 – with 7% experiencing significant disruption as a result
  • 21% suffered a malware and/or ransomware attack and 18% faced periods with no access to important information
  • 26% had not implemented multifactor authentication to safeguard important accounts
  • 25% continued to allow limited staff access to USBs that can compromise systems through infections from computer viruses, malware and spyware
  • 4% had no back up facilities
  • 6 schools reported a parent losing money due to a cyber incident.

Top three attack vectors used by criminals:

  1. Phishing – fraudulent emails from attackers used to deceive staff into revealing sensitive information
  2. Spoofing – where attackers impersonate someone else to gain a victim’s confidence, access to a system, steal data, or spread malware
  3. Malicious software including:
  • Malware – used to disrupt or gain access to systems
  • Viruses – programs that when executed replicate themselves by modifying other computer programs and inserting their own code
  • Ransomware – designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Schools continue to remain at particular risk from cyber criminals and must demonstrate vigilance, says the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, part of GCHQ) and edtech charity LGfL-The National Grid for Learning (LGfL), which today published their Cyber Security Schools Audit 2022 of UK schools nationwide.  The report can be downloaded here securityaudit.lgfl.net

Given the global shortage of skilled, experienced cybersecurity professionals, even large corporations struggle to recruit qualified staff. According to Mark Bentley, Cybersecurity Lead at LGfL, “For cash-strapped schools – rightly focussed on teaching and learning and keeping children safe – recruiting qualified staff is both a significant challenge and an additional expense – this is why LGfL and partners, which include some of the world’s largest security providers, have published an additional report that includes further analysis and important next steps for schools, also available at securityaudit.lgfl.net.”

 

However, the audit did reveal that schools are wising up to the cyber threats they face:

 

  • 53% of the schools reported they felt prepared for a cyber-attack (compared to 49% in 2019)
  • Awareness of phishing in schools has increased from 69% in 2019 to 73% in 2022
  • 55% (compared to 35% in 2019) implemented staff training for non-IT staff
  • 49% (compared to 41% in 2019) have included their core IT services in a risk register or business continuity plan
  • 90% (compared to 33% in 2019) have at least one of the following – a cybersecurity register, risk register, or business continuity plan.

 

Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society said, “Our schools rely so much on the myriad of data required to run efficiently – including sensitive data on students, parents, governors and staff – therefore more work must be done to support the cyber security around these essential services. That’s why the National Cyber Security Centre has been working with schools and the education sector to provide free tools and guidance to help schools manage their cyber risks effectively and supporting them to keep this valuable information safe.”

 

Concluding, Mark Bentley, said, “Cybersecurity can sometimes feel like a Rubik’s cube that changes its colours just as you are on the verge of solving it. Every week seems to bring new threats and make the list of ‘vital steps to stay protected’ grow even longer! But as with any complex issue, you can do a lot to manage and mitigate cybersecurity risks and this report is helping us to shape the support needed so that schools can do just that.”

 

Online searches for ‘ai essay writing’ skyrocket 2,041%, as educators fear widespread cheating on exams

Google trends analysis found that searches for ‘ai essay writing’ hit a massive high of 2,041% in December compared to the last five years. These findings emerge as a recent Guardian report reveals that a lecturer has found one fifth of submitted University essays have detected bot assistance from AI programs such as ChatGPT.

 

The analysis of Google trends data was done by online tool specialists at Tiny Wow who discovered the spike. The soaring interest in artificial intelligence is taking place amid the release of AI tool ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer).

Tiny Wow also found that online searches for ‘ai’ hit an all-time worldwide high, jumping 159% in December compared to any other year since 2004. The spike begins to climb just after the November 30th release date of the software where in the five days following this, one million users signed up to ChatGPT. The possible negative and positive impacts of the software are explored below. 

What is ChatGPT?

 

ChatGPT is a form of generative AI, artificial intelligence that can generate ideas and create content. ChatGPT comes from OpenAI, the creators of DALL-E 2, the text-to-image AI software that makes images from simple text inputs. ChatGPT is a conversational chatbot that interacts with users with the ability to ask follow-up questions, challenge incorrect premises and reject inappropriate requests. Users can ask the software to write, summarise, and paraphrase text in any style, write code, and more.

 

OpenAI claims that its goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole. However, there is reason to ask at what point does generative AI pose a threat to the education system? 

 

What are the potential negative impacts of ChatGPT?

 

  • Plagiarism: Users of ChatGPT quickly discovered the potential of the technology as a means to assist in various tasks, very quickly. For example, a student asks ChatGPT to summarise a text or write an essay on any topic, and the results are presented in seconds. There is a clear interest in students looking to AI for essay help.The essay writing abilities of ChatGPT are so efficient, comprehensive and coherent that students across the world could be utilising this to do their homework for them essentially. The worry from educators is that ChatGPT and other AI software could have a negative impact on student learning and could see the end of homework altogether. If new AI technology can evade anti-plagiarism software, then pen-and-paper exams and coursework may be the future for students.

 

 

  • Writing malware: ChatGPT may be utilised to produce malware and facilitate hackers with cyber-attacks. According to dark web forums, some users of the software have used the AI tool to create ransomware by asking ChatGPT to create python scripts that are designed to decrypt and encrypt. With time, this could lead to cyber criminals running extortion campaigns. Simply put, cybercriminals could take data hostage and extort victims for money.

 

What are the potential positive impacts of ChatGPT?

 

 

  • Update education systems: As mentioned above, plagiarism is a possible worry to educators, but rather than seeing generative AI as a danger to education, it could be used as an opportunity tomakeover the current education systems in place that may be overdue for an update. Teachers could even utilise the software to engage students creatively; for example, a teacher could use ChatGPT to create engaging writing prompts for students to respond to. This change could be a positive step towards encouraging critical thinking in the classroom.

 

  • Improve business customer service and content: ChatGPT’s ability to converse and respond to human input can be utilised by businesses dealing with customer requests. The improved customer experience could increase customer loyalty to the brand. 

 

Chat GPT could also be used to create content for a businesses website, or even write articles. This tool could save a business much time and money spent on personnel. 

 

 A spokesperson from Tiny Wow commented on the findings:

 

“The increased interest in AI technology is sure to have an impact on education, businesses and the general public. Utilising this incredible tool should be done so with caution, as the temptation to let an intelligent software do the work for you can open you up to potential risks of plagiarism or presenting inaccurate facts.” 

 

Education strikes: concerns grow for skills availability

Following the news that teachers will go on strike in February and March, Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), comments:

 

“The general unrest we’ve seen spread across the public sector meant that this news wasn’t a surprise for many. While there will, of course, be concerns around the impact strikes will have on pupils across the country, the more pressing issue is the skills shortages that the sector has been facing.

 

“The education sector has struggled with resources for some time and the pandemic only exacerbated the issues. Professionals have faced mental health difficulties and burnout since Covid-19, juggling already significant workloads alongside the move to virtual teaching. Issues around supply teachers have only added to the problems the sector is contending with. Staff illnesses – which have become a more prevalent challenge in the post-Covid era- have put further pressures on temporary resources which were already in short supply across the education arena. This has led to an increase in staffing costs at a time when schools can ill-afford the additional expense.

 

“There needs to be a fundamental rethink around how the education sector’s staffing challenges are addressed, including more sustainable and cost-effective access to supply teachers which will only help improve the financial situation across the sector and, in turn, help solve some of the salary concerns that the TUC has raised.

 

“On a longer-term basis, though, the education arena needs a well-overdue boost of talent to help remove the work burden that is driving so many professionals to not only strike, but also exit the sector altogether.”

 

SAFER INTERNET DAY 2023: DISCOVERY EDUCATION PROVIDES RESOURCES TO HELP CHILDREN STAY SAFE ONLINE

A male teacher sits supervising a group of children who are working on whiteboards and digital tablets. ; Shutterstock ID 298463792; Team: Marketing; Product: DoodleLearning; Project: DoodleLearning Press Release; other: Michelle Burleigh

Digital resources promote safe use of technology and help schools observe global event

 

Discovery Education — the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place — is proud to support Safer Internet Day – 7th February 2023 – by providing UK primary schools with dynamic digital resources to help students stay safe online and develop digital citizenship.

 

Available via the award-winning digital learning service Discovery Education Espresso, the resources were  created by the UK Safer Internet Centre to help schools mark this year’s event and support pupils to navigate the online world safely. 

 

Helping pupils to develop digital literacy skills and understand who and what to trust online, the resources include videos, activities, assemblies, and lesson plans. Child-led films explore issues such as fake news and disinformation while fun activities promote digital citizenship and teach children to question the motives behind what they see and read on the internet.

 

Highlighting how young people can influence and support a safer internet and build positive digital citizenship skills, the resources also provide tips for safer online behaviour, particularly when gaming or interacting with friends on social media. Designed for pupils from Foundation to Year 6 and suitable for remote or in-class teaching, the comprehensive resources will inspire the safe and positive use of technology and empower children to take control of their digital lives. 

 

Howard Lewis, Discovery Education’s UK and International Managing Director said:

 

“Safer Internet Day is an ideal opportunity for schools to shine a light on the issue of internet safety and to have important conversations with their students. We’re proud to back Safer Internet Day by providing teachers with engaging resources to support students on their digital journey, helping to make the internet a safe, positive and enjoyable place for everyone.”

 

Now in its 20th year, Safer Internet Day is a nationwide celebration, organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre. In 2022, the event was celebrated in more than 180 countries and territories worldwide. With a theme of ‘Together for a Better Internet’, this year’s event will see schools and organisations unite to inspire positive changes online, raise awareness of safety issues and participate in events and activities across the UK and around the world.

 

The Safer Internet 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 www.discoveryeducation.co.uk.

 

Find out more about Safer Internet Day at www.saferinternetday.org.uk.  

 

Cambridge University Press launches international celebration of teaching with fifth Dedicated Teacher Awards

Following more than two years of disruption to education caused by the pandemic, Cambridge University Press is asking people around the world to submit their stories about inspiring teachers, as the publisher opens its Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards for 2023.

 

The global competition provides the chance for students, parents and colleagues to say ‘thank-you’ to a special teacher, and to share examples of inspiring education across the world. Nominations are open between 16 January and 16 March 2023.

 

Now in their fifth year, the awards were established by Cambridge University Press to showcase the resourcefulness and positive impact of inspiring teachers across the globe. In 2022, the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards received a staggering 7,000 nominations from 112 different countries.

 

While there are six regional winners announced every year, overall winners of the accolade have come from Pakistan, Colombia, and the United Arab Emirates. Last year’s inspirational winner, Khalifa Affnan, continues to teach at Keningau Vocational College in Malaysia.

 

Nominations can be made by going to dedicatedteacher.cambridge.org/nominate and submitting a written entry (in English) of less than 150 words or a video no longer than two minutes.

  

Publishing Director for Education at Cambridge University Press, Matthew Walker, commented: “Over the last year, we have seen students across the world return to classrooms and in-person learning. As a result, teachers have had to effectively support students at varying levels of attainment and be constantly aware of the social and academic impact of ‘lost learning’ caused by the pandemic.

 

“Teachers have never been more important, and their role in shaping young minds more vital. These awards are designed to celebrate everything they do around the world to support the next generation.”

 

Once nominations close on 16 March 2023, a panel of educational experts will choose six regional winners who have made a difference to the lives of their students. These teachers will receive a trophy and feature on a ‘thank you’ page at the front of new Cambridge University Press Education textbooks for one year from September 2023. They will also win class sets of books or digital resources.

 

The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite story when the regional winners are announced via social media on 24 April 2023. Cambridge University Press will announce the overall winner on 22 May 2023.   

 

The Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards stipulate that for an entry to be valid, nominators should only nominate one teacher. Furthermore, nominations may not be for family members, relatives or partners.  For more information, or for full terms and conditions, please go to dedicatedteacher.cambridge.org

 

Last call to sign up your school’s star readers to the National Reading Champions Quiz

Celebrate your school’s champion readers by registering a team for the quiz by 31 January 2023

 

To register: literacytrust.org.uk/reading-quiz

 

The National Reading Champions Quiz from the National Literacy Trust is back for its third consecutive year, thanks to generous funding from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

 

There are still a limited number of spaces available before the closing deadline on 31 January. The Reading Quiz is the only national reading quiz which is entirely dedicated to knowledge of fiction books, meaning that schools can celebrate their star readers, while also championing the benefits of reading, learning and working as a team to the wider school.

The Reading Quiz is an inclusive event open to all schools across the UK. It costs £20 to enter a team (of up to four members) and pupils must be aged 10 – 14 years. Each school can enter a maximum of two teams. Out of the 500 spots available there are only limited places left, so don’t let your school miss out – sign up today.

Regional heats will take place across the spring and will be led once again by fun and engaging quizmaster ‘Mr Dilly’, providing an entertaining as well as educational experience for teams taking part.

The winners from the heats will meet in central London for the Grand Final on 6 June, where teams can experience the excitement of competing live and enjoy special guest appearances from renowned authors.

Henrietta Roberts, Senior Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “We are so excited to be able to run the National Reading Champions Quiz for the third time. This is a chance for schools to put their best readers in the spotlight, the same as they might do for sports stars or art whizzes. Taking part in this quiz can help children feel a sense of pride, self-fulfilment and confirmation that their literary knowledge is important and enriching. It’s also just such a fun event, you don’t want to miss out.

“Furthermore, preparing for the quiz by learning collaboratively with other pupils, school librarians and teachers can help pupils to gain confidence and enjoy working in a team. We hope that by entering teams in the quiz, schools can inspire their other students to visit the school library and get into reading for pleasure.”

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive at the ALCS, said: “We are delighted once again to be partnering with the National Literacy Trust to put on this fantastic reading quiz. It’s a brilliant opportunity for enthusiastic readers to be proud of their fiction book knowledge but also to learn about what it takes to be an author and how the publishing and copyright industry works. We look forward to welcoming every team to this year’s National Reading Champions Quiz.”

A representative from last year’s winning school said:

“We are really thrilled to have won the 2022 quiz. Thank you to everyone involved in organising the event – we all had a fantastic day at the final and are looking forward to entering again in 2023!”

 

Find out more and register for the quiz here: literacytrust.org.uk/reading-quiz

 

UK UNIVERSITY STUDENTS STRUGGLING WITH CLASSROOM ANXIETY, MAKING FRIENDS, AND COST OF LIVING IN POST-LOCKDOWN ERA, NEW SURVEY FINDS

 

UK Student Behaviour Report, commissioned by Chegg’s Center for Digital Learning and produced in partnership with Hanover Research, with input into the survey from Universities UK, delves into the state of student mental health. 

 

  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of students say they tend to feel anxious about their classes and schoolwork 
  • 39% of students say textbooks are too expensive, and 34% say they cannot afford rent or housing costs 
  • 44% say they have trouble meeting new people and making friends whilst nearly two-thirds (64%) say they do not get enough sleep 
  • More than half (54%) of students struggle with practicing healthy habits like working out and healthy eating 
  • Less than half of students (48%) say their university provides access to mental health services – despite 77% viewing it as an important institutionally-provided resource 

 

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of UK university students say they tend to feel anxious about their classes and coursework, whilst more than two-thirds (67%) feel embarrassed when lost in class, and fewer than half (48%) feel comfortable asking questions. 

 

These were some of the findings of the new UK Student Behaviour Report, commissioned by Chegg’s Center for Digital Learning produced in partnership with Hanover Research. The study, developed with input from Universities UK, polled 621 UK undergraduate and graduate students between July and August 2022, months after UK universities had reopened their campuses post-lockdown.[1] Earlier this year, the Chegg.org Global Student Survey revealed that nearly one-third (28%) of UK students felt their mental health had worsened since starting on or returning to campus after post-lockdown restrictions.[2] 

 

The report also reveals that their academic stress is heightened by time constraints. Over a third of students (37%) do not have enough time to study for all their classes. Many say they are dealing with either inconvenient class schedules (31%), fast-paced courses (31%), a heavy workload (31%), or unclear guidelines (29%). 

 

Candace Sue, Executive Director of Chegg’s Center for Digital Learning, said, “Students are under so much pressure, between their studies, work, and family responsibilities. They are juggling it all as they face a perfect storm front of different challenges – from learning in the aftermath of the pandemic, rising debt levels[3], and now a global economic downturn”. Sue added, “Thank you to Universities UK for their valuable input in developing this study. Through this research, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the conversation around how all players in higher education can best support their students. After all, mental health can have a huge impact on academic performance, and we are deeply committed to both learner and educator success.”  

 

The research shows that students’ mental health challenges extend far beyond the classroom. More than half (54%) of students struggle with practicing healthy habits like working out and healthy eating. They also have difficulty sleeping; almost two-thirds (64%) say they don’t get enough sleep. And despite living in the most connected era in history, students appear to suffer from loneliness. Nearly half (44%) say they have trouble meeting new people and making friends.  

 

Students’ stress is compounded by the rising cost of living. Well over one-third (39%) say textbooks are too expensive. Last month, book publishers warned that prices were likely to increase by up to 20%[4] due to soaring energy and raw materials prices. Students are also struggling with rent and housing costs, with around one-third saying they cannot afford them. Figures from student housing charity Unipol and the National Union for Students found that average annual rents for student accommodation in the UK had risen by 61% since the 2011-12 academic year.[5] Adding to students’ money challenges are difficulty finding a work-study job, an issue that 53% say they face. 

 

The survey also shows that universities have an important role to play in helping students navigate their mental health challenges. The vast majority (77%) of UK students say that mental health services are an important institutionally-provided resource. However, just under half (48%) say their university provides access to these services. These findings come as the UK higher education sector faces pressures of its own. The Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s leading universities, has reported a funding shortfall of around £1,750 per student per year.[6]

 

YPO PARTNERS WITH TAP TO PRAISE TEACHERS IN THE UK

 

YPO, one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations and education suppliers, has announced an exclusive partnership with TAP – ‘Thank and Praise’ – to show appreciation to education staff in an environmentally-friendly way.

 

TAP is a social-thanking platform which allows pupils, parents and guardians, students, colleagues, and the community to share ‘thank you’ notes with education staff via its public virtual ‘thanking wall’. The platform is free to use all year-round, meaning a ‘thank you’ can be shared at any time, and messages can be stored forever.

 

To be used as an alternative to physical ‘thank you’ notes and messages, the platform offers an environmentally friendly way to share appreciation with multiple educators, for the wider sector to see.

 

Simon Hill, Managing Director at YPO, said: “We’re proud to be working with TAP to show our appreciation of our educators in an environmentally sustainable manner. We know that these last few years have been difficult for the sector, and that we need to show education professionals how much we value their incredible work. The wellbeing of our educators is vital, and has been under strain, and whilst there’s more that can be done, we hope small, kind gestures like these go some way to help.”

 

Matt Findel-Hawkins, CEO at TAP, said: “We are delighted that YPO has chosen to support TAP’s mission to increase school staff wellbeing through the power of gratitude. We know how much pressure school staff are under to ensure their students achieve the best possible learning outcomes within the best possible school environment, despite the many challenges they face. We also know that when they receive a message of thanks it makes a big difference to them.”

 

Supporting education is in YPO’s heritage. Since 1974, the organisation has been supplying resources to schools across the UK, helping to shape future generations.

 

You can see the partnership in action here.