What are we to make of the student who, at a job interview, checks her mobile for messages?

Most young people who enter the workplace for their first job, are, on day one, utterly bemused. 

Of course, to some degree they will be prepared, for they will have heard stories from parents, older siblings, friends who left school a year before…

Unfortunately, 95% of these stories will be at best irrelevant to the workplace they are entering or at worst utterly wrong in every regard.

For entering work is not just about the skills a young person brings to the job in hand.  It is also about the young person’s attitude. 

If the employer and the staff already in place treat the new employee as a responsible adult who is going to work hard for the company, and the young employee doesn’t realise that when a job is complete he/she should find out what to do next, there is already a significant misunderstanding of how to behave.

Indeed, knowing how to behave in the work place can be the most important issue on day one.  The issue reported in the headline above might look bizarre in the extreme, but it has been reported and is just one very graphic example of students simply not knowing how they are supposed to behave.

The problem is, however, that many employers have themselves not properly thought through how they are going to treat the newcomer.  Which is why it is vital for students to understand exactly what sort of situations they might encounter and what they can do about them.

What Employers Want and Expect deals with these issues, as well as with the new demands that employers, in this post-recession environment, are now placing on staff.

The book recognises that under current legislation, employers have an almost total right to dismiss employees who started work after April 2012 during the first two years of employment for any reason, and notes that the average time people now spend in a job is only two years and four months.

Which means, in fact, that around half of the working population have virtually no protection against dismissal without reason.

The book takes the view that in order to stay in work the vast majority of young employees must help themselves by being aware of the current needs and attitudes of employers.

The volume, which is fully copiable and so can be put on the school’s learning platform, copied to disk or photocopied, covers such issues as reliability, accuracy, punctuality, honesty, smoking, communication, written work, swearing, etc.

There is also a commentary concerning what one can write on social media.  As the book points out, many employers will check Facebook and other sites used by their employees to ensure that no one is saying anything amiss about the company that pays the wages. 

It is, in fact, essential reading for everyone going into a job for the first time.

The volume can be bought as a photocopiable book or on CD Rom.

You can see some sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/careers/T1798.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1799EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 895 8


  • Photocopiable report in a book, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1798EMN

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How can a school show it is exercising its duty of care to staff who are suffering from work-related stress?

“All employers have legal responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure the health safety and welfare at work of their employees.”

That bold statement comes from the government’s Health and Safety Executive website which lays down the duty of care that all employers have for their employees, and of course it applies to schools as much as any other place of work.

Of course, the amount of heavy lifting and the operation of noisy machinery in a school is limited, but there is one area where schools are vulnerable to challenges under the duty of care rules and that is stress.

Schools have a double obligation here: to do whatever is practical to reduce the level of stress; and if there are signs of stress such as anxiety, depression, a decline in work standards, emotional behaviour, time off work, they have to offer support.

But can anything practically be done? 

In fact there are two approaches that schools are using. The first is to look at what aspect(s) of work may be causing stress for that particular teacher and see if anything can be changed (not only for this teacher, but for others who may also be starting to feel stressed within their job).

The other is to offer help and support to the teacher in terms of suggesting a programme of activity that can be used to help overcome the stress.

Of course, the fact that teaching is the profession which now suffers from the third highest level of stress of any occupation in the UK does not make recovery from stress easy.

But if a stress reduction programme is incorporated into the school’s work and is available for any member of staff who is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of teaching, then it is very possible that some staff who might succumb to serious levels of stress can be helped. The resultant benefits for the teacher and the school are enormous.

By introducing the teacher suffering from stress to various techniques it is quite possible that the teacher will be able to avoid the stress turning into a serious long-term illness, allowing the teacher to make rapid progress on the road to recovery.

Such an approach simply recognises that the only way out of stress is for the individual to undertake the journey of recovery him/herself. That does not mean that the stress-causing factors in the school or elsewhere are ignored, but it is nevertheless essential that the individual teacher is taking the steps to start to deal with stress.

The volume thus helps school managers who don’t suffer from excessive stress to understand what their colleague under stress is going through and to see how she or he can be helped.

It deals not only with ways of reducing the levels of stress that teachers suffer from, but also offers a programme of practical help that can be offered to the teacher who is suffering from stress. The volume also includes a set of templates relating to the school’s policy on stress and a risk assessment programme.

The volume can be bought as a photocopiable ring bound book or on CD Rom.

You can see some sample pages at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/education/T1786.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1786EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 840 8


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £49.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £49.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £56.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1786EMN

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Reading comprehension is a three step process

1) Reading
2) Decoding texts
3) Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension is a three step process – before your pupils can become proficient with reading comprehension, they must first be confident not only in their reading ability, but also in their ability to decode texts.

Our Comprehension Activity Books for Years 1 to 6 will support your pupils with this transition – all the way from reading and decoding texts to reading comprehension.

The activity books have been designed so that no one is left behind, nor is anyone held back from reaching, or exceeding, their reading comprehension potential. They ensure that each and every pupil is able to progress at the speed and to the level that is right for them.

You can see sample pages from each of the activity books by clicking on the links below:

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 1

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 2

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 3

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 4

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 5

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 6

We have also produced a Comprehension Activity Book for Year 7 which you can use to challenge your Year 6 pupils who have progressed above and beyond expectations.

The activities can either be used with full classes, small groups, or individual pupils.

If you are looking at implementing a whole-school Comprehension programme using our clear, concise, easy-to-follow, and child-friendly Comprehension Activity Books, you can buy all seven books at a discounted price of £112 for the books, £105+VAT for the e-books on a CD, or £84+VAT for the download on our website.

Or if you’d prefer, you can order the comprehension resources:

By post to Topical Resources, P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5L


Why November and December can be good months for the maths department ……

If you’re thinking of ordering new calculators, geometry sets etc then there’s some good news for you. In addition to their already competitive prices, Signpost Educational Ltd are giving away FREE products with qualifying orders during the months of November and December 2015.

a.  With any order of 50 or more scientific calculators you’ll receive a FREE sample of the Survival Pack (a useful set of pens, pencils and rubber, all packed in a handy zip-up polyester wallet…useful for both students and teachers) with a special price if you decide to order them  in bulk.

b.  When you order 100 or more of  the Casio FX 83 GT+, FX 85GT+ or LK 183 scientific calcs you can order up to the same quantity (or fewer) of the Value Maths set for only 95p (usually priced from £1.10 to £1.20 ex vat)

c.  When you order 150 or more of any the above three calculators you’ll get five Value Maths sets completely FREE  ……… so if it’s calculators you need then below are their most popular models:

Casio FX 83GT Plus    £5.49  (100+)  £5.65  (40+)  £5.75  (1-39)

Casio FX 85GT Plus    £6.65  (100+)  £6.75  (40+)  £6.90  (1-39)

Logik LK 183     £3.49  (100+)  £3.55  (40)  £3.59  (1-39)

Texet Albert2     £3.45  (100+)  £3.55  (1-99)

Aurora AX 595   £4.55  (100+)  £4.62  ( 40+)  £4.69  (1-39)

all prices are ex vat.

Check out their website:  www.signposteducational.co.uk
You can order by email: signpost@talk21.com   fax on 020 7515 4420
or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to help.