BBC R4 - The Educators

BBC R4 - The EducatorsBBC Radio 4: The Educators

BCC radio 4 is running a new series of the Educators.  The latest episodes are below:

  • Character Lessons– The KIPP school movement began 20 years ago in the US. It stands for Knowledge Is Power Program, and the schools focus on two things; academic achievement and building strength of character. Sarah Montague speaks to KIPP co-founder Dave Levin about how character is taught alongside traditional subjects.  She visits the KIPP Infinity school in Harlem and hears from Kings Langley Academy. To see an HfL case study on character education at Kings Langley School, click here.
  • What Finland Did Next– Since the first international comparisons in 2000, Finland has been at or near the top of league tables for the abilities of its teenagers in reading, maths and science. Sarah Montague interviews the city’s Education Manager Marjo Kyllonen and visits a Helsinki school, to see the changes being made to a world-leading education system.
  • Turning Schools Around– Schools in England have been warned that if they coast, rather than improve, they risk being closed down. Sarah Montague meets the new head teachers of a Birmingham secondary school involved in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal.
  • The First Teachers– The most important educator in most children’s lives is their parents, and the first five years is deemed to be critical. Sarah Montague meets Margy Whalley, the co-founder of Pen Green Children’s Centre and Research Base in Corby, Northamptonshire.
  • The World’s Best Teachers– Studies have shown that the most important thing in a child’s education is the quality of their teacher. A child at a bad school with a good teacher can learn more than someone at a good school getting bad tuition. Doug Lemov has trained thousands of teachers in the UK in how to use their classroom time effectively – keeping children focused with the most subtle of techniques and gestures.

Sex crimes in schools

school sex crimes report by BBC

High numbers of alleged sex crimes in schools

This week, the BBC reported on the figures from a freedom of information request to UK police forces on the number of alleged sex crimes in schools. The information revealed that between 2012 and 2015, there were 4,000 alleged physical sexual assaults – a fifth of which were carried out by children. Of the 4,000 sexual assaults, there were 600 instances of rape.

Both senior police and NSPCC officials suggested that there may be significantly more unreported instances. The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, called for:

Personal Social Health Economic Education with a relationships and sex component to be part of the national curriculum.

Currently, sex and relationship education (SRE) is only compulsory in maintained secondary schools. NGA in its evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee in 2014 recommended that it should also be compulsory in primary schools. Although the Select Committee agreed in its report on the subject, the government has chosen not to adopt the recommendation.All schools should have effective safeguarding policies and practice. The NGA will shortly be publishing safeguarding guidance for governors. In the meantime there are a number of questions governors can ask senior leaders.


  • Do we keep children safe and healthy?
  • Do we meet the statutory health and safety requirements?
  • How does the school ensure it keeps up to date with relevant health and safety regulations and guidance?
  • Is there a designated health & safety co-ordinator; safeguarding/child protection governor?  are governors and staff aware of who this person is?
  • How often are safety inspections carried out and are the outcomes reported to the governing body?
  • Are the school’s procedures for dealing with a breach or incident clear?
  • Are staff clear about the procedures for dealing with health and safety emergencies?
  • Does the school have clear and proportionate procedures in place for approving (risk assessing) school trips/outdoor activities?
  • How are child protection issues monitored, do we have a child protection coordinator (name, contact details)?
  • Are staff aware of the procedure that needs to be followed when they have concerns about child protection?
  • Have staff and governors received appropriate child protection/safeguarding training?
  • Do we run e-safety awareness training for staff, governors, pupils and parents?
  • Have we ensured we have sought information to identify any members of staff who may be disqualified under the new disqualification criteria in early years?
  • Does our curriculum include PHSEE and specifically information on sexual health and consent if appropriate?  (Depending on age).
  • Do you have the opportunity for visiting experts? (School Nurses).

Training Times – Post Election; where now?

Training Times - Post ElectionTraining Times – Post Election – where now for education?

The June edition of Training Times is now in schools, with a spotlight on the general election and Herts for Learning’s Schools’ (HfL) HR team.   The online version can be found at:

This HfL monthly newspaper has something for governors and staff based in schools, whether looking for a little light reading on current educational news or for courses to further your professional development.

This edition includes:

  • HfL governor roadshows –
    6th, 9th, 15th, 27th & 29th June;
  • General election 2015 – where now for education?
    “This month HfL spoke with some of Hertfordshire’s leaders to hear their impact of the result for schools.”
  • Schools’ HR – how can this team support you?
    “The Schools’ HR advisory service provides specialist professional advice and support for headteachers and governors on all aspects of employment law.”
  • Research from HfL’s new Education Policy and Practice Intern, Jasleen Dhillon-
    Analysis of Finnish education;
  • Hertfordshire schools’ news and much more!

If your Chair of governors would like to receive extra copies for the governing body please get in touch.  HfL welcome any feedback or content suggestions for future editions.   Please contact their Journalist Jessica Broadbent at with your feedback or if you would like your school to be included.