Safer Internet Day: Young ignore ‘social media age limit’

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“More than three-quarters of children aged 10 to 12 in the UK have social media accounts, even though they are below the age limit, a survey for CBBC Newsround suggests. The study, marking this year’s Safer Internet Day, also suggests more than one in five has faced online bullying. The global event encourages “safe and responsible” use of the internet. Social media network Instagram said if anyone suspected accounts were run by under-13s, they should report them. The Comres survey for Newsround, based on 1,200 young people aged between 10 and 18, found social media to be an important part of everyday life.”(more)

Heads warn over pupils’ untreated mental health issues

BBC – Hannah Richardson

“Children’s untreated mental health issues could spiral into psychiatric problems later in life unless more is done in schools, say head teachers. The National Association of Head Teachers says with a fifth of children having a mental health problem before age 11, it is a key concern. A snapshot survey of 1,455 English heads suggests two-thirds of primary schools cannot deal with such issues. The government says it has ring-fenced £1.4bn for children’s mental health. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the heads’ union, NAHT, says: “We know the government is determined to improve children’s mental health but there’s still a danger that some children will take untreated mental problems into adulthood.” Mr Hobby said three-quarters of school leaders had reported that they lacked the resources needed to provide the kind of mental health care that children need..”(more)

Nick Gibb: Teach children important facts not ‘joyless’ processes, minister urges

The Independent – Oliver Wright

“Schools across England are still relegating “timeless literature, scientific wonders and great historical events” to a “back seat” in the classroom in favour of teaching pupils “joyless” skills and processes, the minister in charge of educational standards has warned. In a robust attack on the teaching profession, the schools minister Nick Gibb said he had witnessed “countless examples” of pupils being taught in ways that “systematically expunged” subject content in favour of fashionable “processes and concepts” that denied children the joy of learning.”(more)

We can’t lose public libraries – they’re as crucial for students as ever

The Guardian – Greta Bellamacina

“The 6 February is National Libraries Day, instigated in 2012 by campaigners hoping to avoid further library closures, and to celebrate these temples of learning across the country. Growing up, libraries played a huge part in helping me to establish myself as a poet. I discovered works by Anne Sexton and TS Eliot in a public library. I spent hours unpicking their lines and making my own interpretations. The library was a truly reflective space for me, away from school and away from home, where I began to form my own voice as a poet. There was the sense of excitement when finding something new on the same shelf a week later and taking it home at no expense. I absorbed a canon of books I could never have afforded to buy. There was a staggering £50m cut from library budgets across Britain in 2014-15 and 106 libraries closed in the same year, according to the latest Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy annual survey of libraries in Great Britain.”(more)

Garden project helps pupils engage in school

BBC – Katherine Sellgren

“Taking part in a project, such as running a club or renovating a garden, can prevent pupils becoming disengaged from education, research suggests. The Demos study indicated working on a pupil-led “co-production” with teachers and school staff improved behaviour, confidence and social skills. The think tank set up projects in four schools in England over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. A total of 64 Key Stage 3 pupils (11- to 14-year-olds) worked with 15 staff.”(more)

Britain Looks to Reinvigorate Apprenticeships, Vocational Education

Education News – Raymond Scott

“State schools in England will soon be required to spend as much time on vocational training as they do on academic subjects for students interested in landing an apprenticeship after their studies. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said that England’s education system should “level the playing field” by offering students all the options available to them. A new law will require the schools allow apprenticeship providers to advise and connect with young students to rub out an “outdated snobbery” against technical education.”(more)