Today’s Education in the Media blog will cover flexible working in the teaching profession, the Education Secretary’s message to online influencers on Stop Cyberbullying Day and Minister Milton’s plans for a new youth pre-employment programme.
Today, Friday 21 June, is Stop Cyberbullying day, an international awareness day run by The CyberSmile Foundation that aims to encourage kindness and inclusion online.
The Education Secretary has backed the awareness day by encouraging young people to ask questions about the images they see on social media and calling on ‘online influencers’ to be more thoughtful in the curated content they post.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
Children are growing up with a warped view of what is normal because so much of what they see on social media is false.
These days there’s a filter for everything, so much so that when something ‘real’ goes online it’s tagged as #nofilter but there should also be #notedited.
I want social media influencers to think about what they are putting on their platform – is it honest? Is it authentic? Is it too image focused?
I have always been supportive of the benefits of the internet and for many children and young people it can open up worlds that would otherwise go unexplored. What I am asking online celebrities for is for fewer selfies and more travel, more nature, more honesty. Use your access to educate your young followers rather than focus on body image.
From 2020, every child in England will learn about the importance of mental wellbeing through the introduction of compulsory health education for every state funded school. This sits alongside the introduction of compulsory relationships education for all pupils. We’re also investing in expert mental health support in schools so that pupils get the right help when they need it. But these are only piece of the puzzle – because no one seems to be immune from online cruelty, and whilst teachers and school do their best to prepare and protect their students, the phone in someone’s pocket is with them 24/7 – not just in school hours.
All online influencers, social media companies, TV channels and streaming sites must take their responsibility more seriously because their world is one we spend so much time in. We need action now to stop today’s young people facing a lifetime of abuse online.
Today, Friday 21 June, the Education Secretary has encouraged all headteachers to commit to a culture of flexible working in school.
Writing for the TES, the Secretary of State talks about his commitment to making sure teaching remains a family friendly profession by breaking down the barriers that prevent teachers being able to work flexibly. He encourages headteachers at schools where flexible working is not currently allowed or limited to take advice from other schools that manage to run the practice successfully.
We want to support schools to do more to implement flexible working and, earlier this month, we launched a competition for EdTech providers to show how technology can be used to improve workforce flexibility and timetabling for those who wish to work more flexibly.
Youth pre-employment programme
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton, has told FE Week of her commitment to better support young people that leave school with limited or no qualifications.
Minister Milton said she wants to launch a new youth pre-employment programme as early as next January and is already in cross-departmental discussions with ministers about the programme, which she envisions would prepare 16-25 year olds for employment.
She added that the programme could be implemented without a review and pilot programme, which she said would take too long and would prefer to rely on work that has already been done within the Government on similar programmes, such as traineeships.