Available now: FREE Citizenship resources

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK independent regulator of advertising across all media. We work to make sure that all UK advertising is legal, decent, honest and truthful.

We are pleased to announce the launch of Ad:Check – Understanding Advertising Regulation, a new resource for PSHE, Citizenship, Media Studies and English at KS3 & 4.


Ad:Check offers teachers a range of lessons and classroom activities that will enable students to engage with examples of real ads and explore some topical and controversial issues within the context of their rights, responsibilities, duties and freedoms as citizens of a diverse and democratic society.

The materials and activities have been developed using real life case studies which will allow teachers flexibility in their approach and provide them with resources that will:

  • Encourage active learning, rich in student talk, discussion and questioning.
  • Prompt students to develop skills of visual literacy, thinking critically, constructively and creatively in analysing and evaluating evidence.
  • Help students with presenting ideas in a variety of forms and justifying conclusions.
  • Enable students to solve problems and develop their analytical skills while being encouraged to think creatively about topical issues, through decision-making exercises.

Ad:Check can be viewed and downloaded now from the ASA website.

Please also join our mailing list to receive more information from us about Ad:Check and our wider schools engagement programme here

This resource is produced by the Advertising Standards Authority. If you have any enquiries, please contact Priscilla Owusu at schools@asa.org.uk.


What is the simplest way of showing Ofsted that you are ticking all the boxes?

In the past 18 months it has become increasingly clear that for Ofsted there is one box that, when ticked, impresses the inspectorate almost more than anything else.

It is almost as if, when you get that right, the inspectors expect everything else to be in place. Instead of walking the school looking for what’s wrong, they walk around expecting everything to be right.

So, you may ask, what is this magic issue that so changes the attitude of the inspectors as they tour the school?

Here’s the answer: the issue is homework.

Show the inspectors that students, their parents, your colleagues and SLTs all know what homework is set day by day, the deadlines for each homework, the details of each piece of work, who was late submitting, what the marks were, and a dozen other factors, and immediately there is the impression of organisation and attention to detail that Ofsted inspectors so love and admire.

If you can show all that within a couple of minutes you will start to see the inspectors’ faces nodding with approval as ticks are put in the boxes.

Then show that you have incorporated the provision for non-English speaking parents to be able to access translations of the homework, and you will see that look that says you are almost home and dry.

Finally, make the point that the students not only know what homework they have to do – they also know that everyone else knows.

That one really knocks them out, because it shows that in one stroke you have eliminated the old story that students used to give parents about no homework being set.

To achieve this solution all you need is “Show My Homework”. It is used by schools across the country, and you can sign up for a free trial on our website by clicking here.

Alternatively you can call us on 020 8133 4560 for more information.

P.S: Here’s a nice little extra, we’ve just been shortlisted as a finalist for the BETT Awards 2013 in the category of Innovation in ICT – www.bettawards.com/522212

Widgit symbols could be a life saver

Widgit Software is famous for its symbols which are used widely in schools, colleges and day centres. Now they are beginning to develop a set of resources for the Health Service too.

Jane is 19 and has learning disabilities so she sometimes finds it hard to put thoughts into words. She has a 24 hour package of care but goes on her own in a taxi to college, to day care or to visit her friends.

She has several different medical conditions and her family worry about how she would cope in an emergency. Would people understand her? Would she get the treatment she needs?

ICE cards are playing an increasingly important part in health care. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and users fill in details of emergency contacts, medications and allergies.

Alex Jordan is a volunteer administration assistant for Care Division, a registered care provider which has offices in Hampshire and Dorset.  She knows Jane well. Alex has first hand experience of symbols. She did not speak until she was more than 5 years old and symbols and signing became her lifeline when communicating with others.

I still use symbols on a daily basis to make  visual reminders for myself and to let service users like Jane  know what is happening,’ she said. ‘They might want a visual timetable of activities or a copy of a care rota so they can see when particular members of staff will be on duty.’

Alex is delighted with the Widgit ICE cards. ‘We find that some adults who have never encountered symbols before take to Widgit symbols straightaway because they are so simple and visual.  They help people like Jane communicate with others and make themselves understood. The Widgit ICE cards could, quite literally, be a  lifeline in an emergency.’

Widgit has the largest symbol supported vocabulary of all printed symbol systems and can be printed out in black and white or colour. Black and white symbols are clear and simple, ideal for some of our users who are easily distracted while colour can provide helpful clues for others.

Have a look at their health materials which include resources for diabetics and  information to help health professionals work with people with communication difficulties who have having routine procedures.