G7 leaders pledge support to new gender equality initiative in education

The G7 leaders have pledged support to new gender equality initiatives in education as announced on August 28th 2019 by Global Partnership for Education.

This is great news in the light of many other events happening at the G7 talks in 2019.

The lives of so many girls will be enhanced by the ability to access education. There are many known facts about the importance of education for everyone and that includes girls! Lives will be positive and girls can look on their lives ahead with hope and a future.

In many countries, girls do not have access to education in the same way as boys, sometimes this is through government decision, a faith-based decision and sometimes it is because countries do not have the resources to provide education for all.

How amazing it is, living in a developed country that this should still be the case in 2019.

The Global Partnership for Education has been pursuing this anomaly for many years and it is through their work and other organisations that this has been brought before the G7 Summit.

‘The G7 leaders have recognised the urgency of ensuring that all girls and boys around the world are able to claim their right to a quality education and called for transformational efforts to meet that goal as the route to a more gender-equal world.’  Global Partnership for Education Announcement 28.8.19

In the Declaration, G7 leaders state: “We are convinced that equal access to quality education is vital to achieve the empowerment and equal opportunity of girls and women, especially in developing contexts and countries struggling with conflict. Thus, we welcome approaches to address the barriers girls face and to achieve gender equality and, in particular, the Gender at the Center Initiative.

The Declaration on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment issued at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz, France, gives new momentum to ensure education for all children, and provides powerful support for the Gender at the Center Initiative.”

Great news and at SmithMartin Partnership LLP we look forward to hearing more and  being part of the work ahead to engage with education for all.

Sue Martin FRSA

 

 

 

 

 


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  • The Mandela family at South Africa House, London August 15th 2018

    Mandela family reading the book image
    The children reading to the audience…

    On August 15th, the SmithMartin Partnership team were invited to a book launch and family event at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square London.

    There were sandwiches and cakes, balloons and celebrations as the Mandela family led us in storytelling and reflection about Nelson Mandela’s life and hardships, eventually securing the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994.

    Zindzi Mandela, who is currently serving as her country’s ambassador to Denmark is  the youngest daughter of Nelson and Winnie. She wanted to write a book so children could understand on their own terms about her father Nelson Mandela.

    Grandad Mandela - cover image and web link
    Buy this book here…free delivery

    Grandad Mandela is written by Zindzi and two of her grandchildren, Zazi and Ziwelene, illustrated by Sean Qualls and published by Lincoln Children’s Books.

    Zindzi had grown up in Soweto and when she was 18 months old her father, Nelson was sent to prison, and her mother, Winnie, was banished to the Free State, taking Zindzi with her. There was no schooling and she only had chance to finish her education when she was sent to Swaziland. In 1985 she gained a BA in Law at the University of Cape Town, In February 1985, she had read out Nelson’s refusal for a conditional release from prison by P.W.Botha.

    Buy this book - button image and web link
    …with free delivery

    Zindzi also accompanied her father at his inauguration as President and was First Lady following Winnie and Nelson’s divorce.

    An incredible woman, she has a special place in history during those turbulent and impossible times in South Africa. Unbelievable now, that apartheid could have ever happened, working in a multi-cultural city like London…there is so much we take for granted.

    Zindzi spoke about the need to write this book so children can discover on their own terms about apartheid and the struggle to overcome it. She said children should get answers to the questions they have. The work of Nelson Mandela in ending apartheid is now legendary and his strength and stalwartness in the pursuit of peace and forgiveness should be shared across the world.

    “For many years as black South Africans we were not allowed to have a voice, but now we have a voice. And we won’t stop talking! And we won’t stop writing!”

    The video below gives some of the words from Zindzi.

    Thembi Tambo, the High Commissioner for South Africa in London, welcomed the family and explained that Zindzi had gone through a difficult childhood when Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years.

    Thembi Tambo explained also about the life experiences of Zindzi and how she has must have hidden away any anger and fears, remaining strong in her belief and in continuing her work. She said it was difficult to imagine a better way in which to allow children to access the information than through this book. “There are many stories but some are just too hard to share”.

    The Mandela Legacy organisation helped in the promotion of the book, and in organising this event, to support those who wish to have a voice and create a platform for sustainable development.

    The children helped to read Grandad Mandela and were also asked some questions about human rights. One of the answers was, “You can’t judge children by how we look and feel. We are all fine just as we are”.

    A stunning answer from an eight year old. The book Grandad Mandela, the work of Nelson Mandela and now his family shows what can happen to make changes for the better and the enormous courage and work needed to make it happen.

    Sue Martin,  FRSA


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  • Ofsted Early Years – Self Evaluation Forms no longer needed

    Ofsted Self Evaluation Forms are no longer needed.

    The Ofsted SEF or self-evaluation form, as produced by Ofsted are longer a requirement for Early Years Providers.

    This is great news, although many providers have been producing their own evaluations linked to their planning and outcomes for some time. The SEF was undoubtedly a good management tool for creating information about the setting and giving practitioners a place to be reflective about their practise.

    We are often involved with early year’s providers in action planning, assessments, outcomes for children and management and governance. For many, this will come as welcome news and in the long run I am sure that this is the case. Settings who have become reliant on all the information needed for the Ofsted inspector being available in the SEF will now need to use other tools in their toolkits.

    One of the best methods we suggest is to integrate the Action Plans across the setting and the curriculum into a document that can be translated into overall planning. Using a RAG system can easily identify and provide a timeline for actions needed and indicate systems and procedures which are working well.

    You can always be bold, and use gold or silver to show that expectations are exceeded!!

    In Nursery World, 9.2.18, it states that from 1st April 2008, the online SEF will cease to exist and quote,

    While managers and staff of childcare settings need to be able to evaluate the care and activities their setting provides, and how well they are meeting the learning needs of children to an Ofsted inspector, they do not need to fill in the SEF. This is clarified in the inspectorate’s myth-busting campaign.

    Ofsted says that it hopes the removal of the form will help to reduce burden on early year’s providers.”

    The Pre School Learning Alliance also mentions that the need for the SEF is part of the myth busting campaign from Ofsted Early Years teams and that by no longer needing to complete the SEF this will enable managers and practitioners to reduce some of the administration burden and be more focussed on the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

    I wonder how many settings will stow away their SEF into the bottom of the cupboard and how many will already have developed their own systems and happily send the SEF to the famous filing cabinets!

    Sue Martin  Early Years Consultant

     

     


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  • An Equal Start in Life – Finland’s Baby Box

    Finnish Baby Boxes
    Finnish Baby Boxes

    One of the most beautiful things we have seen is the Baby Box for all newborns in Finland.

    ‘I started life in a box, we all did!’ said a colleague, who was proud of the equality given to all babies in Finland since 1938. An equal start, and an equality in society that is mirrored throughout life.

    Every Finnish mother receives a maternity grant when baby is born.

    We started to get really interested in the concept of the box. At our meeting in the Finnish Embassy, which was actually not to do with provision for babies, we were shown the most beautiful boxes. The box has a mattress and sleeping oufits so the baby can sleep in the box for several months of their life.

    The contents of the box include all that you would need for a new baby, and in excellent quality. The clothes, including very warm snuggly ‘all in ones’ are in colours that are gender neutral, and really beautiful. Who would not to have one of these?

    An equal start in life it really is. And an equality that pervades the whole of the Finnish culture.

    The baby box has been available since 1938 and is provided as the maternity grant. Mothers can choose between cash and the box. Of the 60,000 grants distributed annually by Kela, Social Insurance Institution in Finland, two thirds are taken as maternity packages as the baby boxes with contents.

    In the 1960’s sleeping bags first appeared in the boxes instead of quilts. By the 1980’s and 90’s families had become better off, but since the package remained as popular as ever it was decided to continue.

    In the 2000’s the boxes continue and the contents are reviewed annually by a social insurance committee following a competitive tendering process, in which quality and affordability are equally important.
    The boxes are available to purchase for anyone living outside Finland, who is not covered by the Finnish social security system, and can range from a Summer Basket to a Cold Winter Basket.

    Our partnership is very socially minded and this idea has a huge appeal, so simple, so beautiful and yet so practical. It provides an equal start in life and a pride of life in a box shared by all citizens in Finland.

    Kela Maternity Box

    Sue Martin FRSA
    SmithMartin Partnership

     

     

     

     


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  • A Kellet thank you…

    Following our recent delivery of Book Fest celebrations at The Kellet School in Hong Kong, the school have just published a short film thanking contributors to the Annual Fund activities across the academic year.

    We were delighted that our team of authors were able to make such a great contribution to the learning and understanding of the writers craft. (Our delivery is featured at 2 mins 30 secs.)

    The Kellet School children produced a vast amount of very high quality work from the BgW week, as you can see from the film.

    We were delighted to be able to contribute and know that our authors would be happy to return to Hong Kong any time. Thank you to everyone who took part in Book Fest from us too!

    The Team at SmithMartin LLP – Books go Walkabout

    bgw_logojs-3.jpg

     


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  • Spare a Thought for…

    Portabella RdWe awoke as a nation on Friday 25th June 2016 to the incredible announcement that Britain has voted to leave the European Union.

    How and why ever did that happen? As The Economist in the article, A Tragic Split, mentions…” How quickly the unthinkable has become the irreversible”. Economist 24.6.16.

    On Saturday morning I was walking in a small town in East Anglia, similar to many small towns with different communities, who bring lots of benefits to local towns. As I walked on the streets I could see many Lithuanian and Latvian young families doing their shopping, they were stopping and talking with each other. How do they feel on this Saturday morning? How will their children feel at school on Monday?

    And so as a passionate European, my small lament as a consequence of this reckless decision…

    Spare a Thought for all those who now live with us from Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and other countries…

    For the nurses in our hospitals who every day look after us when we are sick and ill.

    For the carers of our elderly parents and older generation, who every day care for and act with compassion and tenderness to our families.

    For the people who work on the land, who every day battle with the cold and wet weather to provide us with cheap food.

    For the plumbers, carpenters, electricians in the building industry, who every day build our houses and places of work.

    They have come to be with us to make a better life for themselves and for our country, they are trying to make things better. How did they feel on Friday June 25th?

    Now we have to live with this decision taken on a vote fuelled by prejudice and fantasy. We will make individual decisions in a different way than before the vote.

    It seems inevitable that decisions will be made that will close the door to friends in the EU. As a partnership, we will try more than ever, to ensure that we work and strive to maintain the compassion, care, inclusiveness, diversity, fairness and support for everyone who is and who wants to be in the UK.

    Sue Martin

    SmithMartin Partnership LLP


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
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  • Book Fest Hong Kong 2016

    breaktimeimage56
    Break time, seen from the 8th floor of the Kellet School in Hong Kong…

    Sue Martin and the Books go Walkabout team are in Hong Kong this week. (May 2016)

    Working in partnership with The Kellett School, with generous funding from the school Annual Fund, Sue and a fabulous creative team of authors, photographers and poets, are delivering Book Fest across two campuses on the island.

    The programme of work, is designed to add value to the schools curriculum around writing, story creation and delivery, as well as creativity and critical thinking about form and content.

    The work is delivered by Australian Author Carole Wilkinson, Nigerian author and photographer Ifeoma Onyefulu and poet and writer Cheryl Moskowitz.

    bookIconImageYou can see the daily narratives and galleries of the creative energy generated on the project pages of Books go Walkabout here.

    After the week long event we will be publishing our learning and recommendations for trans-continental book and literacy project delivery, as well as celebrating, in detail, the work of the children who were enthused and creatively encouraged by our authors. Watch this space for details.


    Editor’s Note:

    SmithMartin LLP,  through the vehicle of their international books and literacy project, Books go Walkabout, are actively seeking more project partners in both the USA and Africa.

    We use our project management, book procurement and curriculum support skills to devise, develop and deliver cross community, cross art form projects to interested clusters of schools, community organisations or tertiary education settings.

    Contact Sue Martin at SmithMartin LLP for informal discussions at any time.

    Image credit: Eigth floor image courtesy of Sue Martin
    smithmartinadv
    International projects created and delivered…

  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
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  • Books for a school in the Philippines

    Books for Philippines
    Packing for the Philippines…

    Books Go Walkabout have recently sent parcels of books to the Philippines with parents from Kellett Care, delivering social projects for Kellett School, Hong Kong.

    Committee members and parents are travelling to the Philippines to meet directly with the teachers and children, and delivering the books as part of their work with Kellett Care. They are also taking goods that have been bought with funds from parents and these packages include essential items for the school, such as pencils, paper and stationary.

    The books from Books Go Walkabout are picture books and will be used by the school to enable further work on reading and writing. We hope that this will bring some stories of faraway places to their shores and also to help and encourage them in learning to read and to write.

    We are hoping to continue our work with the school in the future and help in other ways to support reading, writing and communication. We want to share aour love of reading and sharing stories and books across the world.

    Books Go Walkabout is a global project, based in Cambridge, UK and is a part of SmithMartin Partnership LLPVisit Books go Walkabout on-line...

    Sue Martin & Tim Smith

    BooksGoWalkabout.com


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
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  • Carmel Littleton appointed as Head of Children’s Services in London Borough of Islington

    Image 1Carmel Littleton has been appointed as the new director of children’s services in London Borough Islington, following on from Eleanor Schooling who has moved to Ofsted.

    Carmel Littleton (Image: courtesy of LBI), has been director of children’s services in Thurrock since 2013.

    On 18th November 2015, Children and Young People Now, (article: Neil Puffett) reported that:

    ‘The local authority said that Carmel Littleton, who has been Director of Children’s Services in Thurrock since 2013, will take up the post in the new year.

    Her background includes teaching, working as an educational psychologist and as a children’s services adviser.

    Littleton said: “I am delighted to be joining Islington and look forward to both the challenge and exciting opportunities that this brings.

    “I can’t wait to build on the excellent work that is already under way and ensure every child and young person has the best possible chances in life.”

    Islington Council leader Richard Watts said: “The job will have its challenges because Islington is a borough of such great contrasts. Islington is one of the most deprived areas in the country with the fourth highest child poverty rate and complex underlying social problems that need to be tackled”.

    SmithMartin Partnership are pleased to have worked with Early Years in Children’s Services in Islington, building on and developing the good work in children’s services.

    Sue Martin


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
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    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...

  • Jeremy Corbyn pledges support for Youth Services

    A CYPN article - web link‘Labour leadership front-runner Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to fight for statutory youth services if he is chosen to head the party.’

    Children and Young People Now have published, on 11.8.15, an article about pledges and commitments made by Jeremy Corbyn.

    ‘Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn pledges statutory requirement for youth services.
    Islington MP Corbyn, who is ahead in the polls to be next Labour leader, said his party should maintain a commitment to a statutory youth service in order to offer young people the benefit of wide-ranging advice, guidance and support to access further and higher education.

    His pledge comes just months after Labour ditched its commitment to statutory youth services prior to the general election.

    The party’s Youth Manifesto for the 2015 election ruled out forcing councils to provide a minimum level of youth provision, committing instead to a “root and branch” review of youth services should it win the general election.

    Corbyn’s pledge to pursue statutory youth services featured in a youth policy document published yesterday.’

    SmithMartin Partnership – working with communities


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
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