New research has found that two-thirds of primary school children aren't reaching basic fitness levels for their age group - an awful statistic. Child obesity rates are soaring as a result and this can easily be linked to the decline of sport and exercise. With the emphasis on creating a generation of test-passers and box-tickers, exercise and sport are being neglected in schools.
Now in my fourth year of a part time PhD I am attempting to tell the stories of stressed, anxious and depressed teachers in a different way and carry on the conversation. If you are reading this and would like to tell me your story for this project then please let me know. And if you are out there, in distress, talk to someone.
Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that what I have done is state the glaringly obvious for people who have been teaching for a long time, and I apologise if that is the case. I'm new to teaching, however, and I'm pretty horrified. It's a job I want to do, I see it as more of a vocation, and I've been told I'm very good at it, 'outstanding', in fact.
Record numbers of students are attending university this year and young people choosing to further their education is something that I'm hugely in favour of. What I can't support, however, is a free for all in universities which simply don't have the infrastructure to deal with the rising numbers, but who are happy to benefit financially from them...
Everyone picks up bad habits in life as well as driving, it's inevitable, but when you have children it's important to make sure you're not making glaring mistakes on a regular basis. I suppose that what many people need to realise is that if for instance your child grows up watching you on your phone in the car then they'll believe that it is safe behaviour.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, said recently that private schools should be stripped of their charitable status for failing to sponsor academies and struggling state schools in poor areas. Through my personal experience of the private education system and my current work to provide academies with cost effective extra-curricular programs, I couldn't agree with him more.
The government is launching a new campaign this week to encourage better reading among the young: "Read On. Get On". Based on a report that links the inability to "read well" with potential joblessness later in life, it's the latest of many articles and reports bemoaning a decline in traditional reading skills among young people.
An hour teaching teenagers who don't want to be there something they don't want to learn is never pleasant... A few things tend to raise their curiosity: that they can physically change their brain; that mindfulness is used by top sportsmen and musicians; that it might help with their exams or, at the very least, help them worry less about their exams.
GCSE results alone provide a narrow and confusing measure of success with no real consideration of the overall benefits to children of their time at school... under new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, there is a real opportunity to take an approach which not only provides a strong academic grounding but also instils character values in students.
Mindful moments can occur during the simplest of tasks - taking the register, hanging out the socks or making a cup of tea... Whatever profession you are in; whether a teacher, a nurse or an architect; you will be more effective, productive and creative when you include a mindful practice into your working and personal life.