Welcome to the May edition of Educate.
Since 8 March, all students have returned to face-to-face education, and the question on how schools can recover lost educational opportunities and learning, now schools are physically re-open, has been debated at length. In this issue we hear from three school leaders who share their views on the new catch-up measures announced by the government, as well as their professional opinions, plus what they are focusing on to ensure all their students thrive. It has been over a year since the Educate team has had the pleasure of stepping foot inside a school to conduct a headteacher interview. Schools had only just reopened when we had the delight to visit both Archbishop Blanch School and St John Bosco Arts College and interview the respective headteachers Claire Madeloso and Darren Gidman, and whilst the way we met staff and students has changed somewhat, the vibrant, happy feeling that you get when you enter a school is still wonderfully present. What we know from speaking to school leaders is that their unwavering passion to support all children to become the best version of themselves, and continually encourage them to achieve what they want in life, is shared. Supporting all children means valuing differences, and key to that is acknowledging and understanding diversity in all its forms. In March, Neurodiversity Celebration Week is celebrated across schools, and although this week gives an opportunity for pupils to learn about neurodiversity, we wanted to find out how mainstream schools are creating truly inclusive classrooms for all students, outside of a dedicated celebration week. Read our special feature, Valuing differences: Neurodiversity in the classroom on p. 40 – 43. In our 16+ section we once again explore careers, this issue looking at construction, a vast industry with a wealth of different job opportunities that can be entered via a number of different pathways. With a recent poll suggesting a shift towards more people preferring their child to get a vocational and technical qualification, and a need for the UK and the rest of the world to start to rebuild from the pandemic, along with a skills shortage within the industry, the different career pathways and jobs, offer exciting and growing opportunities for young people. This feature is a great guide for students, parents, and teachers alike, p. 58 – 60.