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

“Whilst some providers have been counted in, nobody has been counted out”: NASBTT responds to ITT accreditation process outcome

The Department for Education (DfE) has today notified providers who applied to Round 1 of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) accreditation process of the outcome.


Figures released show that 80 providers spanning school and university-based ITT have been accredited.


In response, Emma Hollis, Executive Director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said:


“Whilst we are obviously disappointed by the headline figure that only 80 providers have been successful in Round 1, it is important to stress that we are only part-way through the process and as such no provider has been counted out.


Providers who have not yet been accredited are able to re-apply in Round 2 (which opens on 23rd May, deadline 27th June) and, importantly, have been given feedback from DfE which will support their resubmission. They will only have to submit responses to the question or questions they did not pass, so can invest time over the next two months developing their applications in the specified areas. Needless to say, we are committed to supporting all NASBTT members through the accreditation process, and would encourage all providers who have not yet been accredited to continue with their applications into Round 2.


We would also encourage all those who are resubmitting or planning to apply for the first time in Round 2 to attend our forthcoming online networking events on trainee curriculum (8th and 9th June), mentoring (13th June), partnerships (14th June) and brokering new partnerships (15th June), which are free to NASBTT members. These will bring ITT providers together to discuss their approaches to each of these elements of the application, and to share ideas and thinking to support one another in the accreditation process.


We remain confident, based on assurances that we have been given from DfE (who we are in constant dialogue with), that there is no pattern or preference emerging in the accreditation process for size and scale of provider – a fear expressed by many.


We are also confident that the government at large will want to avoid a potentially catastrophic risk to the teacher supply chain – and quality and availability of provision – which would come from losing significant numbers of providers from the market and further undermining teacher supply at a time when ITT applications are back to, or indeed below, pre-pandemic levels.”



Searches for teacher training courses have risen dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research.


For the first time in nearly a decade, overall recruitment of initial teacher trainees exceeded the national target in 2020-21, up 6% on the target for secondaries and 30% above for primaries.


To get a better understanding of specific trends around transitions to teaching over the course of the pandemic, Access Education analysed thousands of Google Searches to identify the subjects seeing the biggest rise in demand as well as the UK locations seeing the most change.


The findings have been published in a new report, Boardroom to classroom: How has the pandemic impacted career switches to teaching?, by Access Education, a software specialist for schools and academies.


The research found that between 2019-20, across all core subjects searches for teacher training courses were up. History saw the biggest growth in demand, closely followed by art and design as the most popular subjects, seeing the biggest spike in searches in 2020.


The subject areas that saw the biggest increase in searches between 2019 and 2020 were as follows:


  • History teacher training – up 30.49%
  • Art and design teacher training – up 29.86%
  • Music teacher training – up 27.97%
  • Science teacher training – up 25.72%
  • Maths teacher training – up 20.07%
  • Geography teacher training – up 16.84%
  • PE teacher training – up 15.41%


Secondary education saw the biggest growth in terms of potential new recruits when compared to primary (a 21% increase in searches between 2019 and 2020).


When looking at regional trends, the research also revealed that interest in the profession and searches for ‘teacher training’ related terms spiked in locations across the country. This was particularly evident in the north where Glasgow (up 19.51%), Liverpool (up 17.63%) and Sheffield (up 16.15%) saw the biggest increases of the locations included in the research.

The five locations that saw the biggest increase in teacher training related searches between 2019 and 2020 were as follows:


  • Glasgow – up 19.51%
  • Liverpool – up 17.63%
  • Sheffield – up 16.15%
  • Edinburgh – up 15.11%
  • Nottingham – up 13.52%


Adrian Brown, founder of My School Portal, an Access Education company said:


“The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably changed how some people think about life, work and whether or not they are happy within their existing role. Over the past two years we’ve seen thousands of people deciding to throw caution to the wind and not only consider a new role, but perhaps a different profession altogether.


“The remarkable work of teachers throughout the pandemic was recognised across the country, with many going above and beyond to ensure learning could continue. These heroic efforts clearly inspired others to consider a role in teaching – perhaps as they sought a more meaningful and fulfilling career.”


Click here to view the full research, Boardroom to classroom: How has the pandemic impacted career switches to teaching?



Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, Access Education looked at a range of seed keywords associated with teaching to gain an understanding of the search landscape for terms related to teacher training. Keywords included ‘primary school teacher training’, ‘maths teacher training’ and more.

For the regional data, we took a look at more generic teacher training related terms for each location such as ‘teacher training’ to establish a wider list of terms.

National Traineeship and Apprenticeship organisation is named Highly Commended Partner of the Year

Qube Learning, one of England’s leading independent recruitment and training providers who directly contracts with the government’s Education & Skills Funding Agency to deliver high quality interventions to economically inactive young people aged 16–24, has been given great praise with the Highly Commended Partner of the Year label at the inspiring Movement to Work awards.


The credible recognition was generated by Qube Learning’s commitment to driving employment through Traineeships, with the business making it their mission to tackle youth unemployment and create lasting change. At the core of this support for young people is Qube Learning’s Traineeship programme, which includes a work experience placement lasting seven to eight weeks, hosted by one of Qube Learning’s Employer partners. As part of this programme, they also deliver embedded employability skills, English and maths tuition, and the attainment of relevant licences to practice other accredited qualifications. The training provider set themselves apart from other institutions by only partnering with Employers who commit to offering job vacancies to achieving Trainees that lead to employment or an Apprenticeship.


Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, says ‘Our educational hubs provide young people with hope and are a touchstone of Information, Advice and Guidance on career options. The economically inactive demographic in Bradford is the furthest from the labour market, yet year on year, we have exhibited some of the highest positive progression rates for all providers in England against the Traineeship programme. We are so thrilled to play such a huge part in the rise of employment for so many people, and believe this is why we have been given the accolade of Highly Commended Partner of the Year’.


In 2018, Qube Learning launched their first ever satellite centre in the heart of Bradford, West Yorkshire, to support young people who live in an area that has demonstrated continued decline in social mobility into work. A recent study showed that Bradford is the 13th most deprived local authority in England out of 317, and its position has worsened between the 2015 and 2019 recorded Indices of Multiple Deprivation. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2021 Qube Learning launched a second satellite centre in Bolton, Greater Manchester, a city exhibiting many of the same challenges as Bradford. Within each region, the business also works closely with independent partner organisations, such as nurseries, solicitors, veterinary practices, healthcare settings and small retailers.


The result is that local people are being placed in local jobs, which is a mission the provider will enthusiastically continue. Qube Learning believe that everyone deserves a chance, no matter where they are from. It is at the core of their business and the Employers they work with.

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

Email: Telephone:  01235 833838 / Website:

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities a Traineeship or Apprenticeship bring, speak with the experts at Qube Learning. Email: Telephone:  01235 833838. Website:


A Birmingham-based activity education and training provider has won a national business award from Lloyds Bank and expert mentoring after navigating one of the toughest periods in its history.

Founded in 2005, Aspire Active Education Group now works with almost 200 schools across the country, providing PE, sport and physical activity support to primary schools to get more children moving. It also delivers apprenticeships through its training arm and supports around 40 children’s physical activity providers with Aspire Active Partnerships, a network of organisations that came to the fore supporting its members during lockdown.

Director Paul Griffiths said: “We exist to combat inactivity among children and predominantly work with primary schools. When the pandemic hit and schools closed, we pivoted operations to offer more business support to our Aspire Active Partnerships network. This involved webinars, resources, peer support group sessions and weekly huddles, and creating an online forum where the owners of these like-minded organisations could share challenges and good practice.

“Running a small business can be a lonely place at times and that was especially true during the first lockdown. But the network has become a close-knit community and we have now evolved that side of the business into an ongoing support system, all with the aim of getting more children engaged in activity.”

An increase in screen time and more pressure in schools on academic subjects like English and maths has led to less physical activity and education among children, something that was highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. A survey by Sport England found that the number of children and young people in the country who were physically active fell during the 2019/20 academic year.

Paul and the rest of Aspire’s 44-strong team have relished being able to operate again in recent months, with delivery including running the government-funded cycle training programme, Bikeability, and, most recently, working with 16 schools and more than 10,000 children throughout the summer as part of the Marcus Rashford-backed Holiday Activities and Food initiative.

Now, Aspire Active Education Group has been named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2021 awards, which celebrate businesses across the UK. The prize is a mentoring session with Dominic Cools-Lartigue, founder of pop-up food market Street Feast. Dominic will provide insight and support to help Aspire to continue to grow the business in the year ahead.

Paul said: “This kind of recognition is very much welcomed. I’m really proud of every member of the team for their constant hard work and dedication, especially during such unprecedented times. It’s been a busy summer and we can’t wait to get back into schools properly at the start of the new academic year.”

Gareth Oakley, managing director of business banking at Lloyds Bank, added: “Aspire provides a vital service to schools and children in the West Midlands, and to similar organisations further afield. It has shown great determination and adaptability during a challenging time and is a worthy recipient of this award.”


NASBTT speaks up for ITT providers following Ofsted Covid-19 report


NASBTT has responded to the publication of Ofsted’s Teaching Teachers during COVID-19 research report


Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “Firstly, and very positively, we are delighted that the hard work of ITT providers during the course of the pandemic has been highlighted in the report. The support providers have given to trainees has been recognised as going ‘above and beyond’, and something we have directly witnessed with our members over the past 14 months. We are equally delighted that our experiences of providers finding innovative ways to support trainees during an unprecedented period of time has been clearly identified by the research team.


It has also been our experience that some aspects of ITT provision have been strengthened by the shift to new ways of working. The report makes positive references to “deeper and more connected thinking about the ITE curriculum” as well as “improved guidance and support {and}…wider access to ITE curriculum content across the partnership”. This is reflective of the ‘Covid keepers’ we have been exploring with our members and signals a new approach to some aspects of ITT in the future.


At a time where broadening access to provision has never been more important, we are also pleased to note the recognition given to providers’ efforts to support access for trainees with a wide range of personal circumstances have been acknowledged. We are confident that such innovations will be embraced going forward, with face-to-face methodologies being retained where these have been shown to be more impactful.


The focus on mental health and wellbeing has also been recognised in the report and this is an area which we believe has been particularly effective for providers. With reports around the decline of the mental health of the teaching workforce presenting worrying findings ( it is promising that ITT providers have made this a central part of the offer they are able to give to beginning teachers who will be entering the workplace at a time of great uncertainty.


The impact of the pandemic was, inevitably, always going to be felt keenly by trainees who have limited access to classroom practice. We are pleased the report has identified that providers have made their best efforts to mitigate this disruption and have done everything within their gift to offer support and guidance through this difficult time. We are clear that there will be unique challenges for Early Career Teachers (ECTs) entering the workplace this September and it will be important for employing schools to appreciate these unique needs and ensure that, with the support of the ECF, they are tailoring support accordingly. Despite some challenges for this year’s ECTs, it is heartening to note that the report has highlighted some ways in which this cohort are at a unique advantage to others – including their immersion in online teaching and learning environments which has well-prepared them for the possibilities for blended learning and given them additional time and space for reflection on key principles of how pupils learn.


We do, however, have to take issue with the report’s conclusions that too few partnerships have a sufficiently ambitious ITE curriculum and too many partnerships are overly reliant on the experiences that trainees gain through placements to provide ITE curriculum content in subjects and phases.


Our experience of working exceptionally closely with providers over the past 18 months through conferences, workshops, one-to-one support and networking opportunities has been that providers have taken the introduction of the Core Content Framework very seriously and are working hard to ensure that their revised curriculum materials fully meet and exceed these new requirements. We have seen excellent practice in the development of highly ambitious ITT curriculums, many of which we have collated and shared publicly. The introduction of an entirely new curriculum expectation, if it is to be done thoughtfully and to a high standard, is always going to take time. We must also not lose sight of the fact that the ITE Inspection Framework was due to be introduced from September 2020, which fell in the eye of the Covid-19 storm. Despite this, the work we have been doing with providers has not lost sight of the importance of curriculum design and implementation.


On the perceived over-reliance on school placements for learning the curriculum, Government policy decisions, made explicit in the ITT Criteria have, over a period of more than a decade, directed providers to ensure that school placements are at the heart of any provision. It is a central part of the unique system of teacher training that we enjoy in England (and which is due to be exported globally with the introduction of iQTS) that real and sustained experiences of live classrooms are a core feature of any programme of ITT. The quality and consistency of school placements are a perennial challenge for ITT providers who have, variously, been tasked with working with schools in challenging circumstances, supporting employment-based routes into ITT and ensuring a breadth of school experiences for trainee teachers. These are challenging priorities to balance and it is our experience (backed up by the outcomes of Ofsted’s previous inspections) that providers have been able to rise to these challenges over successive inspection frameworks and through successive adaptations to government policy.


The positive note in the Ofsted report about the ability of the sector (and in particular the school-based sector) to secure placement opportunities for their trainees despite the tremendous pressure on schools throughout the pandemic is testament to the success of ITT providers’ relationships with their partnership schools.”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teachers Invest in Child Mental Health Training Ahead of World Mental Health Day

Following the surge in online training undertaken by teachers during school closures, new trends have emerged highlighting the critical issues currently affecting the education sector.

Teacher training on the topic of child mental health has increased 510% this year compared to 2019, according to the latest reports shared for World Mental Health Day (10th October). The subject has been the cause of debate within the sector, with concerns raised regarding the impact of virtual learning and COVID-19 related procedures on a child’s mental wellbeing.

With more time spent online this year than ever before, and many children still unable to return to school, training on internet safety has seen the biggest increase of all among teachers this year, with an uptake of 960%.

Demand for online training courses among teachers has been at an all-time high according to the reports shared by High Speed Training. School closures provided a unique opportunity to invest in skills and CPD increased by 114% on average in 2020 compared to 2019 across all topics.

The online training provider is responding to rising safeguarding concerns by creating new mental health training and supporting content that will be available for teachers for free, set to launch later this month.

Dr. Richard Anderson, Head of Learning and Development at High Speed Training, said: “This year has brought with it new challenges and the impact that these will have had on children in education cannot be underestimated. Teachers have a valuable role to play in a child’s wellbeing and our thanks go to all that have gone above and beyond to try and bridge the gap created by moving to a ‘virtual classroom’, and that have invested in developing their skills, particularly those that support mental health. While schools have officially reopened, the challenges are far from over, and we must not forget that there are many young people facing extraordinarily difficult times ahead and who may not yet be able to return to class. This World Mental Health Day is an important reminder for all of us to take extra care.”

For more information and to be informed of new course content going live, simply