New research shows that 3 in 10 children see footballers as role models as Marcus Rashford Book Club engages 25,000 children to inspire a love of reading


New research from the National Literacy Trust finds that 3 in 10 (29.8%) children and young people see footballers as role models, rising to almost 1 in 2 (45.8%) of boys, with over a third (35.5%) of children saying that seeing a role model read would make them want to read more. With almost a quarter of children saying they have no one that inspires them to read and with children’s reading enjoyment at an all-time low, the Marcus Rashford Book Club project is more important than ever.

“Marcus Rashford is a true inspiration for children. He and other footballers are crucial to reaching children and young people who aren’t engaging with the more familiar reading role models of teachers and parents,” says National Literacy Trust’s Chief Executive Jonathan Douglas. “It’s alarming to see that a quarter of children say they don’t have anyone who inspires them to read and act as a reading role model. That’s why it’s so brilliant that Marcus Rashford, a role model for so many children, is championing the joys of reading and that the Book Club continues the National Literacy Trust’s work in finding the places and spaces that children love to be in – on the football pitch! – and bringing reading to them.”

The Marcus Rashford Book Club, a partnership between the National Literacy Trust, Macmillan Children’s Books, and KPMG, picks accessible books that appeal to a wide range of young readers and has so far gifted more than 200,000 copies to encourage reading for enjoyment. Reading for enjoyment is associated with higher literacy levels as children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to read above the expected level for their age group, which in turn is linked to not just success at school, but better job opportunities, higher earnings, and better physical and mental health throughout their adult lives.

The best-selling The 13-Storey Treehouse, written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton, has been chosen by the Marcus Rashford Book Club for this October and 25,000 copies will be gifted to children in schools with the lowest levels of literacy and the highest rates of poverty, alongside classroom activities specially designed to encourage a culture of reading in the classroom.

Andy Griffiths comments: “I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by books with reading being modelled by my parents as a very natural and pleasurable way to spend time. I’m aware however, that not all children have such easy access to books which is why I’m so happy for The 13-Storey Treehouse to be included in the Marcus Rashford Book Club. I’m passionate about the power of reading to change lives and the more books that young readers can get their hands on, the more lives can be changed!”

Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, MD Macmillan Children’s Books says: “Marcus Rashford speaks to children and young people in such a powerful way and it is clear that they listen to him. Marcus gives his readers permission to focus on their dreams; he is both aspirational and inspirational. The Marcus Rashford Book Club has reached hundreds of thousands of children since its launch in 2021 and, through our partnership with the National Literacy Trust and KPMG, we are now able to donate more books to those who need them the most. We are delighted to embark on this new stage in the campaign together this autumn.”  

The 13-Storey Treehouse is the first in the multi-award-winning Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton that has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Full of slapstick humour and a laugh-out-loud combination of text and cartoon-style illustrations, this book has been picked for the Marcus Rashford Book Club for its easy-to-read style and accessibility, and its side-splitting humour that will engage even the most reluctant of readers.

Rachel Hopcroft CBE, Partner and Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG in the UK, said:

“Alongside numeracy and lifelong learning, literacy is one of the major building blocks of social mobility, and yet 1 in 8 children don’t have a single book at home. As a firm, KPMG UK is committed to improving social mobility, working with our local communities and partners to raise skills and aspirations. We’re thrilled to be working alongside Marcus Rashford, Pan Macmillan and the National Literacy Trust, helping more children experience the joy of reading while also building a fairer and more equal society for all.”

For more information about the Marcus Rashford Book Club, please visit marcus-rashford-book-club/

To read Role models and their influence on children and young people’s reading, please visit or see attached.  



Sport England, in association with Sheffield Hallam University, Youth Sport Trust, Activity Alliance and Association for Physical Education, has shared key insights taken from its Secondary Teacher Training (STT) programme. The research explores how secondary schools can adopt inclusive practices and incorporate student voice to provide a better PE, school sport and physical activity (PESSPA) environment for students.  

Inclusivity, increased participation and student voice were the dominating topics brought to life through pupil-focused research. It found that giving young people, especially those who are less active, the chance to shape their PE lessons created a happier environment. How getting to know and understand students’ motivations and barriers can help encourage enjoyment and engagement, and that the least active students don’t recognise opportunities to be active at school, as easily as their active peers.  

To showcase the findings, Sport England has created five infographics detailing key outputs from the STT programme to be shared far and wide across the teaching community. Teachers can find tips which answer questions about why PE matters and why PE makes a happy school, as well as insight on how to make PE great and accessible for all students.  

In addition, Sport England has also developed 10 short films which feature case studies of teachers and students positively impacted by the programme. The films highlight the easy-to-adopt ways secondary school teachers have implemented new approaches having completed the STT programme. The films focus on themes such as why an inclusive approach is key to increasing participation, why a changing approach to PE makes students think differently, and easy ways to incorporate student voice. 

The research also talks about the importance of activity in schools, with a view to the benefits it has on the mental health of young people. According to Sport England: 

  • More active students report an average happiness score of seven out of 10 (compared to just five out of 10 for less active students).  
  • Almost three-quarters of students (69 per cent) agreed that being active helps them build resilience.  
  • More than half (62 per cent) agreed that it helps them make healthier life choices.  
  • More than half (59 per cent) said it improves their mental wellbeing. 
  • Nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) said it improves their mood. 

The STT programme was created in 2018 to support secondary schools with access to professional development opportunities that support teachers in placing pupils’ enjoyment at the heart of PESSPA participation. The research was conducted throughout the £13.5 million Lottery Funded programme that impacted more than 2,500 secondary schools across England.  

To view the full suite of infographics and videos that can help secondary teachers to make PESSPA a more inclusive and enjoyable experience with top tips for their students, head to 

Could speech and language issues be behind a child’s challenging behaviour?

Communication needs can be a root cause of behavioural incidences in school.


It’s Monday morning and you’ve asked your pupils to get their English books out then sit down ready to start a lesson on writing poems, but there are a small group of children who are still in the cloakroom chatting about what they did at the weekend.


Despite repeating the instructions several times, nothing seems to be prompting the pupils to stop what they are doing and prepare for the lesson. You ask your TA to go over and quietly emphasise the request, but one of the children starts knocking chairs over.


Is the child simply misbehaving, or could it be that they have not had enough time to process or understand what they have been asked to do? 


A recent study from the Education Endowment Foundation suggests that 76% of children starting school in 2020 required more support in their communication than in previous years. Lockdowns, it tells us, widened the gap in vocabulary acquisition, which could make it more difficult for a child to decipher spoken and written language.


Behaviour that might at first look like disinterest or refusal to engage, could in fact indicate the need for additional measures to be put in place to support communication. One way to do this quickly and simply is with visual aids.


Making vocabulary visual


Verbal instructions are likely to disappear instantly into the ether for a child who lacks key vocabulary.


Visual aids can support children to better understand the structure of a lesson, as well as grasp expectations. They can also provide reassurance for those pupils who may struggle to navigate a new topic or routine.


The best way to utilise visual aids is to use symbols to represent spoken language. This helps learners focus on the information they need to follow instructions. A symbol of an ear, for example, helps to explain quickly and clearly to children that they are being asked to listen. The instruction can still be given verbally, the symbol will simply reinforce it in a very visual way for children with limited vocabulary.


Here are two effective ways to use symbols to boost pupil engagement and encourage positive behaviour in school.


Providing the reassurance of a visual timetables


Visual timetables are important tools for making routines and expectations clear. For many children, having a predictable visual routine for the school day can ease anxiety and reduce the chances of disruptive behaviour during transitions.


A lesson timetable that includes symbols for each subject gives children with limited vocabulary a quick and easy way to see what activities and learning breaks are coming up next, helping them to be more self-sufficient in school. Visual timetables also support the development of skills such as sequencing and time awareness.


By making timetables more visual, schools can lessen the frustration, anxiety and confusion some children experience when they are unsure of what they are supposed to be doing and when. Symbolic timetables also eliminate the pressure on children to interpret written text quickly, so they are more likely to be able to stay focussed and learn effectively.


Helping children to express emotions


A child who feels overwhelmed or angry will struggle to access the high level thinking they need to process new information. Being able to easily explain feelings like these to a relevant adult can make the difference between potential classroom disruption and an engaged pupil.


Having a visual chart that represents a range of emotions can be of huge help to children who find it difficult to verbalise how they are feeling. An emotion chart can be easily accessible to a child at all times, allowing them to point to a specific feeling to give context to their behaviour and enable a teacher to help.


Visual charts can also promote self-help techniques to help children manage their emotions independently, by counting to ten, deep breathing, or finding an agreed safe space in which to calm down.  



Foundations for learning success


Visual symbols are a helpful tool to support all children, not just those identified as needing extra communication support. Including them in your behaviour management toolkit will help to create the happy classroom your pupils need to learn and succeed.


Sue White is a former teacher, SENDCo, local government advisor on education and co-author of Walking the talk: A vocabulary recovery plan for primary schools. In her role as senior educational specialist at Widgit, she advises schools on using symbols to improve learning outcomes.


Twitter: @Widgit_Software

A message from Louisa Hunter -Bett Director


I am excited to announce the most significant change to Bett in our 37-year history. Starting with Bett 2023, we are transforming the way you and everyone in the Bett community connects and collaborates by launching a groundbreaking new programme called Connect @ Bett.

Connect @ Bett is a tech-enabled meetings programme that will drive more meaningful conversations between education buyers and EdTech solution providers than ever before. This new programme will be at heart of your entire Bett experience. You’re going to love it.

Connect @ Bett empowers education buyers to discover the right solutions for their learners, in a fraction of the time. And it allows technology providers to find the people within institutions that can unlock the potential of their tech. All meetings are double opt-in and just 15 minutes, so you can tackle your strategic, pedagogical, and operational challenges in the most time-efficient way.

Here are some important updates and changes to the show:

  1. Bett will be held on Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 March 2023 at the ExCeL, London
  2. Bett registration will open on Monday 3 October 2022
  3. Unlike previous Bett shows, there is now a deadline to register that ensures you get to fully participate in Connect @ Bett. Anyone can attend Bett for free if they register on-time. On-time registration ends on 3rd March 2023. Late registration tickets (4th March 2023 onwards) will incur a fee.

Find out more about Connect @ Bett


7th October 2022 at ExCeL London

New Scientist Live, the world’s greatest festival of ideas and discoveries, returns to ExCeL London next month and will be hosting a dedicated day for schools, for the first time, with an incredible line-up of speakers, interactive demonstrations and more!

The presentations, features and experiences are specifically tailored for Key Stages 2 (upper), 3 & 4, giving students a unique opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom and bring the world of STEM to life.  The show will connect students with leading-edge researchers and give them the knowledge to engage with the scientific, social and ethical challenges that will shape the world of the future.


Highlights include:

  • World-class science presenter Stefan Gates whose presentation will be packed with explosions and will explore combustion, pressure, sound, elasticity, energy storage, pressure and sound. Expect mini-motorbikes, massive balloons, fireballs and flamethrowing on the Universe Stage!
  • Filmmaker Simon Clark on the Mind & Body Stage discussing how he became a YouTube scientist starting from his A level choices to submitting his PhD thesis, as well as the lessons he learned along the way
  • Palaeontologist David Hone featuring on the Planet Stage and discussing why the Tyrannosaurs rex is the most dangerous terrestrial predator of all time.
  • Tech wiz Rob Sedgebeer and Steve McNeil who will be presenting an interactive history of some of the earliest advances in videogames so make sure you bring a charged smartphone to play along on the Future Stage
  • J Spooner on the Engage Stage with a special guest in the space shed for interactive, intergalactic, mind-blowing fun!

Students can immerse themselves in the latest tech developments, from surgical robots to augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence to VR, and see how the latest medical innovations are being used by world-class clinicians to improve diagnosis and treatment. One feature not to be missed is the immersive pop-up planetarium where you can see what it takes to become an astronaut and let the inspiration take you to new places that you could never have imagined.

With VR rollercoaster rides to piloting a virtual drone, seeing inside an artificial star to smelling space, New Scientist Live features an unbelievable experience for everyone.

A proportion of the Schools’ Day tickets will be made available for free to schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged students and schools with lower science capital ensuring that science is accessible to the widest possible audience and to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and leaders.



Schools day tickets prices: £12 per student, with one free chaperone ticket available for each group of ten students.


Early booking ticket prices: Children £16 | Adults: £40 | Family ticket: £100 (ends 11thSeptember)

Tickets available for either Saturday 8th or Sunday 9th October, or you can save more by booking for the whole weekend.

For more information and ticket options click here

For the Schools’ Day programme visit –


Friday 7 October (Schools only) – 09.30-15.00

Saturday 8 October – 10:00-17:00

Sunday 9 October – 10:00-17:00


ExCeL London

Royal Victoria Dock

One Western Gateway

London E16 1XL

Surfers Against Sewage are launching free Teacher Training to help you get the most out of the Plastic Free Schools Programme.


This is a call to action. Primary School Teachers – sign up to our new training and gain the skills and confidence to lead change-making environmental education in your classroom. Let’s inspire a new generation of Ocean Activists.

How? Simply make sure you are signed up to our Plastic Free Schools Programme where you will receive the link to save your place.

Who is Surfers Against Sewage?

Surfers Against Sewage is a charity of water lovers campaigning to protect the ocean and all it makes possible, by taking action on the ground that triggers change from the top.  

Find out more about Surfers Against Sewage here.


What is Plastic Free Schools?

Plastic Free Schools is a system shaking, change making, pupil-led education programme. This ground-breaking programme equips and empowers young activists with the tools to create positive, lasting environmental change and teaches pupils that they should never underestimate the power of their voice.

Pupils will learn how to run their own campaign in the fight against single-use plastic; from challenging government and industry to creating tangible change in their schools and forming sustainable habits that will continue into adulthood.

Most importantly, Plastic Free Schools is free and easy to sign up to. Simply click here.

Want to find out more? Click here.


Why is this programme so important?

We know that in order to thrive as people, we need a thriving ocean. By signing up to this programme, you are taking direct action to address the ocean and climate crisis. With millions of young activists on board, we can end plastic pollution on our beaches by 2030.

When and where is the Teacher Training?

Wednesday 12th October – 16:30-18:00

Tuesday 1st November – 16:30-18:00

The sessions will take place online.

Why sign up to our new Teacher Training?

In these sessions, you will deep dive into what Plastic Free Schools is all about. You will further your knowledge, understanding and skill set needed to successfully deliver the programme and continue to fuel environmental action in your primary school and beyond.

What will the two sessions involve?

Session One: Wednesday 12th October 16:30-18:00

  • How to become accredited – the five objectives of PFS Primary.
  • From the classroom – talks from teachers on their PFS journey.
  • What are the challenges to accreditation? How do we overcome these? Small group discussion to generate and share new ideas to take back to your school.


Session Two: Tuesday 1st November 16:30-18:00

  • How to get your school onboard – tips and tricks from the teachers who have succeeded at this.
  • The PFS resource library – a digital scavenger hunt to explore the resources that have been created to help you on your PFS journey.
  • Launching the PFS online community – VIP access to the new online community – connecting teachers across the Plastic Free Schools network to each other, and to the SAS team.



How to save your place:

This training is exclusively for primary school teachers who are signed up to our Plastic Free Schools programme. If you’re not already set up, don’t panic! You can easily and quickly register your school here. (Did we mention it’s completely free?).

If you’re already onboard, you’ll find a notice with the link and event password at the top of your dashboard. Log in here.


Any questions? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at

What Every Teacher Needs To Know – Jade Pearce


What Every Teacher Needs to Know is a must-have guide for both primary and secondary teachers that summarises key research papers, offers evidence-informed teaching and learning strategies, and explains how to disseminate this information across departments and schools.

There is a growing thirst for evidence-informed teaching in the UK and beyond, in order to help ensure that schools have the biggest impact on student learning. In a concise, accessible manner, this book distils key educational research into clear, precise guidance that can be used immediately. It is ideal for any busy teacher or school leader looking to transform student outcomes through a research-informed approach.

What Every Teacher Needs to Know is essential reading for research leads, heads of department, and teaching and learning leads. It offers:

– summaries of 20 prominent research papers on effective teaching and learning
– key takeaways for classroom practice
– evidence-informed teaching and learning strategies
– examples across a variety of phases and subjects
– insightful case studies from practising teachers 


‘What Every Teacher Needs to Know is a stunning book, oozing rich research, that will provide you with the knowledge to support your teaching and leadership. Highly recommended!’

Michael Chiles, Assistant Principal and author of The Feedback Pendulum, @m_chiles




Jade Pearce is an assistant headteacher for teaching and learning in a secondary school in Staffordshire. She is an evidence lead in education for the Research Schools Network and a member of the EEF ‘Expert Voices Group’. She is also a member of the ‘Raising the Attainment of Disadvantaged Youngsters’ (RADY) group. Jade participates in conferences and discussions on podcasts and has featured in case studies in numerous publications, including Michael Chiles’s book The Feedback Pendulum. As an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE) for Staffordshire Research School. She regularly writes articles for the journal of the Economics, Business and Enterprise Association. Follow Jade on Twitter @PearceMrs



HTC VIVE Introduces VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker and Eye Tracker



HTC VIVE expands rich VIVE Focus 3 ecosystem with Eye and Face Tracking

Lightweight and user-friendly, with low latency and high-precision, fitting into VIVE Focus 3 seamlessly

VIVE’s new trackers suit a wide range of use cases, from helping to create realistic avatars, through to medical assessments


HTC VIVE announces VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker, expanding the VIVE Focus 3 ecosystem to deliver more natural and immersive professional VR experiences.

Enhanced eye and facial tracking boosts engagement with peers for enhanced virtual collaboration and human interaction in VIVE Focus 3, ideal for virtual events, training, chat groups, VIVE Sync remote meetings, animation and motion capture, and more.

Express yourself in VR

VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker makes it easy to naturally convey your emotions and read intentions in real time. Its mono tracking camera captures expressions through 38 blend shapes across the lips, jaw, cheeks, chin, teeth, and tongue to precisely capture true-to-life facial expressions and mouth movements on avatars.

With a 60Hz tracking rate and optimised runtime for facial tracking, users can synchronise lips to voice with minimal latency and enjoy lifelike interactions in high fidelity. VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker set up is made easy as the module seamlessly connects to VIVE Focus 3 headsets through the built-in USB Type-C port with no need for add-ons or adaptors.

The benefits of facial tracking are vast, improving soft skills in presentation coaching, customer service management, training, and more. Users can track and improve their emotional preparedness, helping to achieve better real-life outcomes across many applications, from education and healthcare to human resources and creative industries.

Unlock the benefits of eye tracking

Gain access to insightful data with VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and reach a heightened level of VR immersion. Bringing realistic eye movements and blinks to virtual avatars delivers true-to-life virtual collaboration and improves human connections in VR through expressive, non-verbal interactions. By tracking and analysing eye movement, attention, and focus, businesses can open the door to deeper user behaviour analysis.

The dual camera setup with supporting IR illuminators is capable of capturing data for gaze origin and direction, pupil size and position, and eye openness. The lightweight module easily attaches magnetically to the headset without impacting the balanced ergonomics and the adjustable IPD works perfectly with the VIVE Focus 3 headset to help users find their viewing sweet spot.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker allows you to see what users see to understand intentions and improve feedback, perfect for training and education scenarios. Measure duration and locate direction with heat mapping and gaze tracking to gain insights about performance and interaction to improve outcomes. VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker also helps to understand how users naturally interact with a product and improve the experience by uncovering actionable insights about user intent.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker also makes gaze control possible, opening new avenues for how people experience immersive content, as well as new accessibility options. Eye Tracking also helps with GPU workloads, as foveated rendering prioritises areas where the user is actually focused.

Both VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker support Unity, Unreal Game Engine, and Native. Developing is easy with VIVE’s WaveSDK and upcoming OpenXR support and it’s also seamless to stream content from a PC via VIVE Business Streaming.

A rich ecosystem for professional VR

VIVE Focus 3 has a rich ecosystem of both hardware and software for professional-grade VR. Since launch, HTC VIVE has released five accessories, including VIVE Wrist Tracker, multi-battery dock and carry case giving businesses the features and flexibility to create their ideal VR set-up.

Hand-tracking, OpenXR, extensive Wave SDK, Location-Based Software Suite and MDM support open the possibilities for developers. Devices also come with VIVE Business Warranty and Services which includes a two-year commercial warranty, and expedited return/replacement if needed.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker are available to order today for £216 and £83 respectively.

Back-to-school internet safety advice as children return to the classroom

  • New research from connectivity provider TalkTalk reveals that 99% of children aged 7 to 13 will have access to internet enabled tech when they go back to school*
  • Half of parents are concerned about the content their child could access when using internet-enabled technology for school related tasks at home*
  • TalkTalk and Internet Matters share advice on how parents can keep children safe online

6th September, 2022: As we start the new school year, TalkTalk and Internet Matters have issued safety advice to parents whose children may be having access to internet enabled devices for the first time.


Research from TalkTalk reveals that almost every (99%)* child heading back to school this week will have access to internet enabled tech either at home or in school. Parents overwhelmingly see the internet as a force for good, and the advice is aimed to help those who may be unsure how to approach the topic with their young children.


8 in 10 parents say their child has developed new skills as a result of spending time online**. Parents cited the ability to access educational websites i.e. BBC Bitesize (65%) as a key benefit, as well as conducting research (52%) and playing online games that help to develop creative skills (51%)**. Despite this, a third do admit that they have no idea what their children get up to online **.


Over half (54%)* of 7 to 13-year-olds are now spending up to two hours of their after-school time online, with the top three most common school tasks being online homework (79%), reading (40%) and talking to classmates (29%)*.


However, this access to new tech has led to concern among parents about other content their child could access while using internet enabled technology for their schoolwork (50%)*. Network data from TalkTalk shows that the use of smart plugs, typically used to connect voice assistants to a power source, has increased by 47% over the past year***. Suggesting that the range of internet enabled technology available to young people at home is growing.


Earlier this year, TalkTalk’s research around the Online Safety Bill found that 65% of parents see unregulated online spaces such as chatrooms and the metaverse as a huge risk to their children***. Other concerns include talking to other online users (68%), social media (63%) and online gaming (45%)***.


In fact, 74% of parents say they use internet safety tools, such as blocking certain websites or filtering tools to limit their child’s access to certain content and 64% of parents say they are trying to reduce the amount of time their child spends online***.


Matthew, parent of two (aged 7 and 9) said, “From an early age my children have used mobile devices, tablets, and computers as part of their learning, at home and school. As they grow older, and begin to use internet enabled tech more, I have concerns around online safety on open platforms (i.e. social media) or socially interactive games. Both of my kids play with their friends on Minecraft for example, but they’ve been instructed not to talk to or “friend” strangers, and we monitor this on an ad hoc basis.”


“Having access to the right information when it comes to online safety – whether that’s tangible resources like home security tech or expert tips – is invaluable while navigating the transitional period as children begin to spend more time online.”


TalkTalk has partnered with Internet Matters, an organisation set up to help parents keep their children safe online. Internet Matters’ website holds an abundance of practical information about how to talk to children about their online presence, including a back to school online safety guide that parents may benefit from this week.


They advise a collaborative approach to back-to-school online safety: They advise a collaborative approach to back-to-school online safety:


  1. Practise open and honest conversations with your child, as it will mean they are more likely to approach you if they feel unsafe online.
  2. Ensure you are aware of the school’s online learning policy. Schools have now developed these for children’s safety, and you should be able to find it on your child’s school website.


  1. Set boundaries around when and for how long your child is allowed to use tech, which apps and websites they can access, who they can contact and how they should behave online. Agree this together so they feel part of the decision-making process.


  1. Make sure that they know what to do if they come across unpleasant content – depending on their age it may be more appropriate for them to tell you rather than try and deal with it themselves.


  1. Consider adding a web filter, such as TalkTalk’s HomeSafe feature, to your home Wi-Fi to block inappropriate content and set time limits for gaming and social media websites. You should also ensure that your security features are up to scratch.


TalkTalk’s Head of Customer Security, Mark Johnson, says: “As a parent I know how worrying it could be not knowing what your child is getting up to online. Online security is key to us at TalkTalk, which is why we work with Internet Matters to offer advice for parents who may not know how to approach the topic of online safety with their children or where to find resources and tools to help keep their children safe.”



  • Nearly half (48%) of teachers expect not to have enough money to fund their retirement
  • Three quarters (75%) of teachers plan on leaving the profession before retirement age
  • 37% of teachers will need to keep working in some form to fund retirement after they start drawing their pension benefits

As teachers are heading back to the classrooms this term, almost half (48%) say they will not have enough money to fund their retirement – highlighting a potential retirement ‘funding gap’ within the profession according to new research from Wesleyan, the specialist financial services mutual for teachers. 


Three out of four (75%) UK teachers say they are looking to leave the profession before the normal retirement age for their pension savings, even though many haven’t saved enough to fund their retirement. 


The research also showed a trend in ‘flexi-retirement’ – teachers continuing to work after they have ‘retired’. Nearly two fifths (37%) of respondents to Wesleyan’s survey said they will need to keep working in some form after they start drawing their pension benefits.


The main reasons for doing so were to generate income for luxuries (27%) and one in six (14%) said they would need to work to ensure they could meet their basic needs.


The results found that many teachers are confused by the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). Just a third (34%) of teachers said they fully understand the TPS rules around ‘phased retirement’.


Phased retirement options give teachers the choice to access up to 75% of their pension benefits while still working and contributing to the scheme – but what they are finding confusing are the rules and regulations around working patterns and salary to access this option. Many teachers do not realise this is an option for them.


Additional research with members of the teachers’ union the NASUWT found that 22% teachers planned to take early retirement because of stress/workload pressures. A further 21% stated that they were retiring early to have a better work/life balance (21%)*.


Glen Roberts, Area Manager at Wesleyan, said: “September is a natural time to reflect on career ambitions and the new school year ahead, and it’s traditionally a month when we get a surge in enquiries about retirement planning. It is concerning to see that so many teachers are worried or confused about their retirement.


“The traditional concept of retirement as a time when people fully leave the world of work behind is becoming more and more outdated. As our findings show, teachers are increasingly choosing to work in retirement. For a small but nonetheless significant proportion, it will be a necessity so they can meet basic needs – a worrying finding.


“A financial adviser really can help make the planning process easier to manage – including helping to determine whether teachers have enough to afford the retirement they want, and how to make early or flexi-retirement possible.”


The Retirement Living Standards guideline is that an individual will need £33,600pa in retirement to live comfortably**. This means they will be able to cover everyday cost plus pay for some luxuries such as holidays and beauty treatments. However, the average pension for a male teacher is £16,034pa and £11,581pa for a female teacher.*** This would mean a shortfall in income of up to £22,019 in retirement. This shortfall will reduce to approx. £12,392 if the full flat rate state pension is paid from state pension age.***