RSI Corporate - Licensing

Welsh schools mental health scheme to ‘tackle stigma’

BBC – Staff Writer

“Time to Change Wales, started in 2012 to raise mental health awareness among adults, will run a young people’s programme. It will initially work with pupils, teachers and parents at nine schools, using Big Lottery funding. Programme manager Lowri Wyn Jones said it was important to tackle mental health “stigma” at a young age. One in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem, Time to Change Wales said, with the associated stigma and discrimination often making life “even harder”. The scheme will pilot in three schools in south Wales – Blackwood Comprehensive, Mountain Ash Comprehensive, and Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda – with others in mid and north Wales to follow.”(more)

Welsh children ‘more likely to try e-cigs than tobacco’

BBC – Staff Writer

“Children are nearly twice as likely to try e-cigarettes rather than tobacco, Cardiff University research has said. A paper published in the BMJ Open questioned 32,479 11-16 year olds in Wales. While 18.5% said they had tried e-cigarettes, only 10.5% said they had smoked tobacco. One Swansea e-cigarettes firm said it operated a “challenge” policy to people who looked under 25 to ensure products were not sold to young people.”(more)

School foreign languages learning changes call by Estyn

BBC – Staff Writer

“Education watchdogs have called for changes in the way modern foreign languages are taught to reverse a declining trend in pupils taking exams. The Welsh Government commissioned Estyn to undertake the study after a report last year found modern foreign language learning “declining rapidly” in Wales. There were 700 A-level language entries in 2015 compared with 1,152 in 2009. It found a fall in the use of the language as the means to instruct pupils, with teachers using English. The report, Modern Foreign Languages, partly blamed core curriculum requirements and limited option choices for a decrease in the number of students taking GCSE and A levels in languages.”(more)

Schools can — and should — teach more than discipline

The Seattle Times – Jerry Large

“Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline doesn’t require more information or analysis. It requires a will to change strong enough to produce sustained, effective action. Someone said that the other night at a meeting about the pipeline. And a lot of people said what a lot of people have been saying for a very long time, the gist being don’t criminalize kids, educate them. Well, maybe it takes repetition to sink in deep enough to matter. Here’s a definition of the pipeline: “ … the policies and practices that push our nation’s schoolchildren, especially our most at-risk children, out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” That’s from the American Civil Liberties Union, one of numerous organizations working nationally to fix what’s wrong. Schools went along with the tough-on-crime, no-tolerance attitude that swept politics and the criminal-justice system in the 1980s. The result has been a huge increase in the number of children suspended or expelled, often for classroom behavior that could be dealt with productively if it were treated as a teaching opportunity.”(more)

Foreign language learning ‘declining rapidly’ in Wales

BBC – Arwyn Jones

“Modern foreign language learning in secondary schools in Wales is “declining rapidly” according to a major study…Melanie Gill, head of languages at Abertillery Comprehensive, said there was still much to do. “Pupils seem to link languages with working abroad. They don’t seem to link it with local companies…” Education Minister Huw Lewis said language skills were important for jobs and Welsh business…Mr Lewis said: “This problem is not unique to Wales, but it is one I am determined to tackle. I want to ensure that more and more of our young people actively choose to study a modern foreign language as part of their school education, and develop the skills they need to thrive in a modern global economy.””(more)

Teaching training reforms ‘critical’ in Wales – review

BBC – Staff Writer

“Teacher training is at a “critical turning point” and needs to be changed, according to a major independent review for the Welsh government. Prof John Furlong said the quality of the system had “deteriorated” since he last looked at it nearly 10 years ago. It follows hot on the heels of proposals for a radical overhaul of how and what children are taught. Education Minister Huw Lewis said the case for change was “compelling” if teachers are to meet future challenges. Prof Furlong, appointed by Mr Lewis last year as an adviser on initial teacher education and training, was asked to look closely at the system and he has now set out nine recommendations in a 40-page report.”(more)