On the 9th of July we attended the Association of Citizenship teachers annual conference. This was the first time that the association had had a chance to come together after the curriculum announcement that Citizenship would remain a core subject. It also was coincidental that the draft curriculum was published the day before.
The event’s aim was to reinforce how the subject could play a big part in the learning of pupils and link in to wider educational thinking around SMSC and community involvement. The conference attendees were treated to key note speaker David Blunket. He was one of the architects in getting citizenship in to the modern curriculum and remains an advocate for it. He stated he believes, in line with Barack Obama’s comment, that that you don’t stop being a citizen once you put your ballot paper in the box. Mr Blunket believes young people need to take an active interest in their communities and the way they are run, reinforcing the current crop of school council members are the next crop of MP’s.
The key messages were make sure you respond to the curriculum consultation by the 8th of August, and ensure the conversations are had in your setting about the impact Citizenship can have in your school, pressing the case for its own curriculum time. As a subject it has had the personal finance element added to it so be ready for PFEG and others targeting resources towards this.
If you want to know more about citizenship in the new curriculum or would like some support in developing your school’s approach, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Association for Citizenship Teachers site is http://www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/
On July 8th the government published their response to the National Curriculum consultation launched in April. Whilst PSHE remains non-statutory (even after the last moment attempt to amend the education bill), the response did re-introduce puberty back into the key stage 2 science curriculum. The reference to naming of body parts is still vague and schools will need to consider how they define this when reviewing their SRE and Science policies. It is interesting that the opportunity to clarify the expectation on schools on this area has not been taken, given the strong emphasis in the recent Ofsted report on the need for children and young people to know the correct names for all body parts as a safeguarding issue. It has always been considered good practice in SRE for children in key stage 1 to learn the correct names for genitalia as this is a key foundation for all subsequent SRE to build upon. Also we know that introducing these words early reduces the embarrassment factor, but this is sometimes an issue that parents and staff struggle with. Sexual language is interesting in that often people feel far more comfortable using slang words than the correct terminology. To see what the Sex Education Forum think about the response, click here. http://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk/policy-campaigns/sre-gets-attention-in-new-national-curriculum.aspx
The full consultation document is here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/210969/NC_framework_document_-_FINAL.pdf
CEOP and Securus have published guidance for schools on ‘sexting’. ‘‘Sexting’ in schools: advice and support around self-generated images: What to do and how to handle it’ contains practical advice about how schools should respond to an incident, including how to support a child whose image has been shared and whether or not devices can be searched. Case studies in the document highlight the significant challenges faced by schools in dealing with sexting incidents, exemplifying the findings of a number of recent studies which have shed light on the scope of ‘sexting’ and the devastating impact it can have on children’s lives. The booklet is in two sections
1. Offers practical advice about what to do if sexting happens in your school, highlights the steps that you need to take and offers examples of best practice through case studies.
2. Gives an overview of the problem and offers an insight into the research and categorisation of sexting incidents. It highlights some activities that schools can do to highlight the issues and develop a ‘whole school’ approach.
You can download the booklet and the supporting materials from http://www.naace.co.uk/esafety/sexting
The NSPCC has launched a helpline aimed at protecting and supporting children in the UK from FGM. The launch follows the publication of research that more than 70 women and girls as young as seven seek treatment every month.
The NSPCC says the free 24-hour helpline is aimed at anyone concerned that a child’s welfare is at risk because of female genital mutilation, particularly teachers and medical staff, but they are also hoping that relatives will come forward. They stress that callers can remain anonymous but information on children at risk will be passed to police and social services.
For more information click here http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/our-news/child-protection-news/female-genital-mutilation-helpline/fgm-helpline-launched_wda96863.html
If you would like to know more about FGM then the national organisation, Forward, provide an excellent website with a wealth of information on this subject. Click here to access http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/key-issues/fgm
To talk to someone about training and awareness sessions for staff in your schools on this subject and all safeguarding issues contact email@example.com