We've just received a postcard from Angela and David who have been visiting the Institute for the Psychology and Pedagogy of Development (IPPD) at Krasnoyarsk, capital of the Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia, Russia. We were privileged to meet Elena Federenko and colleagues on previous visits to England. Angela and David are visiting with old friends from Dudley in order to explain more about Healthy Schools and learn more about their approach to health and social education. We look forward to hearing more from them on their return.
David was recently privileged to attend a small invitation conference organised by Peter Griffiths, retiring head of PSHE at OFSTED. Peter was at his vigorous, generous best, and we welcome the appointment of Margaret Jones to the post. We look forward to her first visit to us in Exeter.
Ruth Joyce has recently retired as Manager of the UK Drug Education Research programme 'Blueprint' at the Home Office.
Ruth is pictured (right) at a presentation at the House of Lords with Baroness Doreen Massey.
For some months, SHEU have been collaborating with the lobbying organisation, Stonewall on a piece of research into young people's experiences of homophobic bullying. The Stonewall survey was an opt-in survey of young people, conducted over the Internet. SHEU were pleased to be involved in this important research, although the findings were often very sobering.
In other work, we have some examples of findings about homophobic bullying from whole-population surveys in schools. For example, we have occasionally asked whether young people are being bullied for different reasons.
We were saddened to learn of the death of Vanessa Cooper.
Vanessa was such a warm and positive personality. Our thoughts are with her family, of course. She will also be greatly missed by the wider group of people who knew her in the PSHE community.
A record breaking year for SHEU. We have worked with over two dozen local authorities or PCTs who carried out surveys in 2006. The combined figures from our online and paper-based healthy lifestyle surveys have nearly doubled our previous record total of over 54,000 in 2000. There are a number of reasons why we are seeing more young people being surveyed. Results of our local surveys are compared with SHEU's unique databanks drawn from a broader locality. The commissioning authority is provided with a powerful resource for planning health improvement programmes.
The first UK National Healthy Colleges conference took place February 27th. SHEU presented the results of the online survey with 6th Form and FE Colleges and discussing how colleges can use the data to inform their healthy college programmes. Another development over the past 14 months has been the steady increase in the number of people joining the monthly Healthy Student News email. One recent addition to the digest about young people's health and behaviour presented research into sexual behaviour.
SHEU is 30 this year, having been established in St.Luke's School of Education (now part of the University of Exeter) in 1977.
SHEU was sorry to learn of the death of Major-General Sir John Acland who died today. Sir John was on the Advisory Board of the SHEU in the early years when it was based at Exeter University and funded by the then Health Education Authority. Some of the most exciting work I have done with young people involved the evaluation of a video, "The Extra Guest", Sir John presented to us. The video was about the effect of alcohol at a teenage party.
SHEU have been publishing from our accumulated databanks in our 'Young People in...' series since 1986, and more recently in our 'Trends' series. We have been offering a little 'health warning' with these reports, as follows:
Each year we produce a report in the Young People series, and however careful we are to describe the populations involved in the surveys, the total picture is often referred to by the media as ‘national data’.