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PM on track to begin phased return of schools, colleges and nurseries from 1 June

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

From 1 June schools, colleges and nurseries are still set to open to more children says @BorisJohnson, despite Independent Sage report warnings  Schools, colleges and nurseries across England remain on track to open to more children...

Independent SAGE report on Should Schools Reopen? Sector Response

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SAGE Advice Published - The scientific papers on school safety from the committee of independent scientists chaired by Sir David King was published today (22 May) with advice relating to the reopening of schools    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson...

Featured Articles

Akosua Bonsu is Head of Strategic Development and Director of Studies at Regent College London

The left of centre approach: Supporting …

May 25, 2020 / Featured Article

#MentalHealth is not an add-on  Mental health concerns are likely to emerge or to be compounded in lockdown. Being stuck indoors, being unable to see family members, attempting to home educate children, working in frontline services or the financial strain of being furloughed, all add to an unprecedented cocktail of triggers...

Video and Podcasts

Boris announces intention to go ahead wi…

May 24, 2020 / FE Video

Prime Minister @BorisJohnson made a statement at the daily coronavirus press conference on 24 May 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er09g2LdRmw Good afternoon. I want to begin by answering the big question that people have been asking in the last 48 hours. And that is – is this Government asking you - the people, the public, to...

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Sector News

Equal pay still an issue 50 years on

May 25, 2020 / Sector News

As the Equal Pay Act enters its 50th anniversary the number of Employment Tribunal claims is still high, according to global law firm DLA Piper. The Equal Pay Act was given royal assent on 29 May 1970, and implemented the principle that men and women should receive equal pay for equal...

Home Learning

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Pfizer helps kids keep up with science a…

May 21, 2020 / Home Learning

   @pfizer helps #homeschool kids and parents with new online teaching resource Pfizer UK is releasing a series of online educational materials to equip parents and teachers to continue STEM learning from home, as schools remain closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. An independent survey of 1500 UK adults with school-aged children, conducted by...

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At the 30th Anniversary celebratory event for the Prince's Trust yesterday, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales spoke of the need to educate offenders and support them in their efforts to re "“ enter society as productive participants rather than pariahs, referring to the need to ensure that "young offenders do not become old offenders."

The concept of lowering the rate of re "“ offending has been a popular theme in recent months, with the high cost to the taxpayer of supporting the crowded jail system. It has been demonstrated through a number of statistical surveys that those offenders who are afforded the opportunity to train and learn are much less likely to re "“ offend. This leads not only to fewer people entering the penal system (thus lowering the burden on taxpayers) but also allows them to enter the workforce legally.

The Conversion of a Probation Officer

Often, however, those working within prisons or in probation find it difficult to maintain this attitude in the face of the trying conditions within which they work, facing their own and their charges" pre "“ conceptions of offenders and jail. One of the Basic Skills Agency's priorities is set out to be `Engaging the Disengaged`. Amongst the "disengaged", offenders figure prominently as being one of the hardest to reach in educational terms.

One probation officer from the West Midlands was skeptical to begin with, saying: "Like many other Probation Officers, the emergence of Basic Skills impacted upon my consciousness as yet another, arguably, politically driven target, cascading down from the Home Office. Intellectually I could accept that there was a link between poor literacy/numeracy, self-esteem, life skills and life opportunities, and offending behaviour. In practice it was yet another form to fill out."

"C"

After explaining that they now believed in the need to educate in the service, the submission went on to give the example of "C", a sex offender. The offender had had a troubled upbringing: "He has had an appalling upbringing characterised by family violence and alcoholism. He had few friends. Those friends he did have seemed to share his characteristic of being an `outsider`; a marginalised `odd boy` with poor social skills and precious little confidence. He left school with rudimentary skills in the 3 "R`s". "C" was, in short, a man with no sense of self-worth, severely lacking in self confidence, and having no sense personal power."

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Following referral to the Basic Skills Agency in 2004, he began to experience positive changes in his life: "At the end of February he sat (and passed) a Level 1 literacy examination. He was delighted. For the first time he had official recognition confirming his competence; he had proved to himself that by application and with support, he could achieve goals."

The Probation Officer went on: "His sense of self-worth has increased dramatically over the past 8 months. He is altogether more relaxed in himself and in his dealings with others. Given that very low self-esteem is a common characteristic of sex offenders, it is plain to see that for those who lack Basic Skills, addressing the issue can be of major benefit." The Probation Officer concluded: "So I`m a convert. Of all the initiatives, directives, targets and accompanying paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, I can, with hand on heart, say "I have no problems with Basic Skills"."

Jethro Marsh

Do you agree that education is a vital tool to fight re - offending? Tell us in the FE Blog

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Boris announces intention to go ahead with...

Coronavirus press conference (24 May 2020) Speakers: Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prof Stephen Powis, NHS England - Boris announces intention to go...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 19 hours 58 minutes ago

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