10 years on: why we still need better sex education for the digital world

 

Jessica Ringrose with Amelia Jenkinson and Sophie Whitehead of Sexplain. 

Last month new guidance  for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education for England was put out for consultation by the Department for Education. This draft statutory guidance is intended to upgrade the nearly twenty-year-old previous advice from the year 2000. eb-digital-2-e1552856549265

It highlights the current challenges of the digital context and the essential fact that “for many young people the distinction between the online world and other aspects of life is less marked than for some adults” (page 9). This is referenced throughout, in the context of healthy relationships, respectful behaviour and consent. The importance of digital literacy skills is emphasised for both primary and secondary (see paragraphs 58, 62 and ‘Online and Media’ section of secondary table, p28).

While I (Jessica Ringrose) told the New York Times last month that the guidelines looked promising and, “It will be really great if they will be able to tackle all these issues” we, the three authors of this blog post, remain concerned that there are serious omissions and that the guidelines fail to address important Read more ›

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Posted in Social sciences and social policy, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment, young people

International School Meals Day: who gets a ‘proper’ dinner, who gets less and who gets nothing?

Rebecca O’Connell, Julia Brannen and Abigail Knight.

If we had not included Portuguese young people in our cross national study of Families and Food in Hard Times*, the inadequacies in the free school meal system in England might not have not have been quite so obvious. But looking at the photo taken of a secondary school meal in Lisbon by one of our participants (Maria, age 12), the contrast with lunch in an inner London secondary school (photo taken by Jack**, age 12) is stark. This international school meals day we explore the two nations’ approaches to school food.

Screenshot 2019-03-13 at 21.30.00Lunch at the school canteen in Lisbon (left) and in London (right)

Irrespective of their ability to pay, the standardised menu for all children in Portugal includes a daily soup starter, meat and fish on alternate days, bread, and a piece of fruit or jelly for dessert. There is a three-tier system for paying for school meals (and Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, International comparisons, Social sciences and social policy

‘I don’t want to have to apologise for wanting a career at 60’: staff development for older workers

Domini Bingham

Ageism is a dirty word, stretching across workplaces and society as a whole. Even if in principle equality and diversity are established by the law, the reality can be different, and a number of factors are in play. For example, it appears older workers are often passed over for learning opportunities, even if unconsciously so, despite wanting to continue working and developing.

Empowering older workers through learning and development turns ageing in workplaces on its head. In my new book, Older Workforces: Re-imagining Later Life Learningl seek to re-imagine how workplaces could capitalise on older workers’ Read more ›

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Posted in Employment and skills, Further higher and lifelong education

Taking back control of school accountability

IOE events.

This month our What if…? debate tackled a reoccurring theme from the series – how we hold schools to account and the impact that has on how schools are run and what they provide for their pupils. This issue is particularly topical at the moment, as Ofsted is consulting on a proposed new inspection framework that could depart in significant ways from the current approach.

The need for regulation on matters such as health and safety is not in question. And few would argue that there should be no monitoring whatsoever of schools’ performance in terms of what they do and what their pupils achieve. But it is now very apparent that there is a fine balance to be struck in designing accountability measures if we are to gain the benefits (raising the floor on standards and providing information for stakeholders) without experiencing downsides. The negative impacts of the combination of inspection and performance indicators Read more ›

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Posted in accountability and inspection, IOE debates

Exclusion and mental health difficulties: unravelling cause and effect and seeking answers in classroom practice

Amelia Roberts

We are in an ‘exclusions’ crisis.With a rise in exclusions for three years running, we now have 40 children per day being permanently excluded across the UK.

There is a clear link between exclusions and subsequent mental health difficulties. Add the ‘high number of prisoners currently serving time in jail – 42 percent – hav(ing) formerly been permanently excluded we urgently need to understand the reasons behind excluding. The thinktank Poverty and Social Inclusion articulates the links between exclusions and subsequent mental health difficulties. Too often we are assuming that the reason for exclusions lies in prior pupil behaviours or pre-existing illnesses. Should we be instead considering that the cause and effect are the other way round? Could it be that exclusion has an impact on mental health, rather than that the mental illness came first? Perhaps it is the early experiences of excluding in school that reinforces social exclusion in later life?

Such questions will feed into discussions at a conference at UCL on March 15 which will examine how the Lesson Study approach can support vulnerable children. Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, Special educational needs and psychology, Teachers and teaching assistants
UCL Institute of Education

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