The best bits of anti-bullying week, a blender on a bike, and free potatoes!

As anti-bullying week closes there seems to have been a huge response from schools and a run of guidance and new resources to support schools. If you haven’t seen these or had a chance to incorporate any of these ideas this week then much of this can go into you year long PSHE programme. We have pulled together some of the main information and links.

Anti-bullying week lesson plans, and ideas for assembles

Stonewall resources on tackling homophobia

CEOP guidance on safe use of webcams

FGM Conference from the British Arab Foundation on November 30th

West Midlands Police launch their new FGM campaign

This week has also seen the release of the most recent sets of HIV and STI data for the UK. Useful for both your own knowledge and awareness, and as part of a teaching resource, this data gives you and young people, an up-to-date and accurate picture of the prevalence and risks.

On a very different note, if you are looking to develop growing in your school you can now register for your own free potato growing kits at

This week we took possession of our new Smoothie Bike. Schools will be able to borrow this from the Health Education Service as a fun and engaging way for pupils to understand the link between health, eating and exercise.


Finally our congratulations go to the Health for Life team on winning the national FDF Health and Wellbeing Award. This is a fantastic achievement for the partnership between Health Education Service, Life Education and Mondelez International, and of course all the brilliant work from Birmingham primary schools. For more info on this programme for primary and secondary schools visit



Working with young people around porn

Over the last two years there has been a growing awareness of the need to help young people understand the images and messages they are receiving through their accessing of pornography. Whilst some people will argue that there has always been porn, the nature and accessibility of material that the internet allows has changed significantly in the last decade. The title of the report earlier this from the Children’s Commissioner – ‘Basically porn is everywhere’ seems to sum up the situation for many young people.

There are increasing arguments relating to the impact of porn on how young people view expectations in relationships, the roles of men and women, violence in relationships and body image. And yet how do schools effectively raise these issues with their pupils? High quality sex and relationships education lessons delivered by confident teachers in a climate of trust and respect can go a long way, but schools may be wary about misunderstandings about lesson content or just be unsure of how to even broach the subject.
Following a number of requests from schools for support we have booked BISH training to deliver a one day training session on January 31st. The session aims to give workers the understanding, confidence and the skills to help young people to be more critical about the sexual and pornographic content that they come across.
For more information and booking click here

For more background information click below for the Children’s Commissioner report and also the excellent report on the sexualisation of young people by Dr Linda Papadopoulos.



Class of 2013

GTP awards trainees
GTP awards trainees and tutors

We recently celebrated the success of our last group of trainee teachers to go through the Graduate Teacher Programme. Over the last year 32 primary and secondary trainees worked with us to gain qualified teacher status. The group took time out of their hectic first term to come along and receive their certificates from our Head of Service. They were a fantastic bunch and we saw some really inspirational teaching from them over the year, so it was great to see all the trainees together one more time and to know they are now making a difference in our schools. Well done to everyone – it was a hard year, but we hope you think it was well worth it.
Next year we start afresh with the new School Direct training programme, working in partnership with Calthorpe Teaching School to deliver primary training. For more info visit the Initial Teacher Training pages at

Review of sexual health services in Birmingham – be part of the consultation

Birmingham City Council is currently reviewing sexual health services and intending to commission a sexual health ‘system’ during 2013-14.
This is the opportunity for you and the people that you work to have their say and the opportunity to respond to the proposals attached here.
Sexual Health Commissioning Strategy – Consultation Summary

A public consultation is running until Monday 9th December, and a former participant on the National PSHE CPD programme, Catherine O’Byrne, has been appointed by Birmingham Public Health to consult with their priority groups including children in need and care leavers, LGBT communities, people with mental health issues and people with learning disabilities.

Catherine is hoping to speak to as many people as possible but is particular keen to ensure that the voices of the people in the above groups are heard as well as those people at risk of sexual exploitation, coercion and violence (including female genital mutilation).
Catherine is offering a variety of ways to take part in the consultation but please feel free to contact her if you would like to arrange an alternative way to participate.You can:

1. Fill in the survey online at or through the Be Heard website
2. Contact Catherine to come and run a focus group with your staff, volunteers or service users
3. Invite Catherine to come and sit in reception at your service, come to your community group or to come to an event that you are running.
4. Ask Catherine to deliver paper copies of the consultation that you can hand out to your staff, volunteers and service users.
5. Come along to the consultation event for the general public at Birmingham City Football ground on the 5th December from 2.30-4.30
This consultation is a real opportunity for everyone to influence the future shape and nature of sexual health services in Birmingham and your support and help with this is vital.

If you would like to talk to about the consultation or to arrange for a focus group, meeting visit, or for paper copies to be distributed to you please contact Catherine at or call 07763004009.

Please remember this consultation is open to everyone in Birmingham not just those people in the target vulnerable groups listed above.

Crumble in a bag, sexting and Wonder Women – another week in the life of HES

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Last week saw the first meeting for the group of teachers taking part in our Masters level CPD Pathways programme. This programme provides an opportunity to gain up to a third of a Masters degree following the completion of assignments reflecting on how the learning from Health Ed courses is implemented back in school. The focus for this group is PSHE and emotional wellbeing. Over the forthcoming months the teachers will take part in a series of centralised and in-school sessions to develop their knowledge and skills to enable them to lead on a range of activities back in their schools including curriculum review, staff training, mentoring and policy development, as well as developing their own expertise and confidence.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

The assignments provide the opportunity to analyse and critically reflect on the work they have undertaken following the training and develop a deeper understanding of the issues their schools face and the best approaches to improve outcomes for their pupils. Research has shown that in using the Masters vehicle it can deepen the learning from CPD and lead to greater changes in schools.
The programme is also open to those who have taken part in the two day designated senior person training, and both groups will be working with colleagues from Birmingham City University to help them ease back into study, and to sharpen their reflective skills.

cooking course teachers

A full group of teachers also took part in the Healthy Growing training on Wednesday as part of their schools Health for Life programme. The day looked at a range of topics including what is required to organise cooking in schools, how to get family members involved, running your own ‘Come Dine with Me’ competition, and how to make a crumble in a bag – a mess free cooking homework task!!!

Secondary teachers from Coventry and Birmingham joined forces on Tuesday for the Protective Behaviours – Pre-empting and Supporting Pupils Who Exhibit Risk-taking Behaviour. This was the first time that we had run the secondary course, and it was great to see the schools addressing issues such as sexting, consent and homophobic bullying within the framework of protective behaviours.

Finally the Sex Education Forum on Thursday included a fascinating input from the journalist that has led the Daily Telegraph campaign for better sex education. Stemming originally from the online version of the paper, the story spread more widely when Nick Clegg and David Cameron both responded positively to the campaigns call for updated SRE guidance. At the heart of the campaign is a call for guidance to be revised to reflect the issues that young people face today that hadn’t even been dreamt of 13 years ago when the last guidance was published. It was a real insight to how these campaigns work, the machinations of the national press, and how do you not only get a question to Clegg and Cameron, but also get an answer from them.