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Sex education to be compulsory in all England’s schools

Sex and relationships education is to be made compulsory in all schools in England, the government has announced. All children from the age of four will be taught about safe and healthy relationships, Education Secretary Justine Greening said.

Children will also be taught, at an appropriate age, about sex. But parents will still have the right to withdraw their children from these classes.

Until now, sex education has been compulsory only in council-run schools. Since academies and free schools are not under local authority control, they do not have to follow the national curriculum and have not been obliged to teach sex and relationships education (SRE).

In practice, the vast majority do teach the subject – the government’s announcement will mean all schools across the system will be bound by the same obligation.

Age-appropriate lessons will have particular emphasis on what constitutes healthy relationships, as well as the dangers of sexting, online pornography and sexual harassment.

In a written statement, Ms Greening said: “The statutory guidance for SRE was introduced in 2000 and is becoming increasingly outdated.

“It fails to address risks to children that have grown in prevalence over the last 17 years, including cyberbullying, ‘sexting’ and staying safe online.

‘Sensitive approach’

“Parents will continue to have a right to withdraw their children from sex education.

“Schools will have flexibility over how they deliver these subjects, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs of the local community; and, as now, faith schools will continue to be able to teach in accordance with the tenets of their faith.”

The news was welcomed by Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, who said age-appropriate SRE would prepare young people for the challenges they faced.

“It is so important for young people to be taught about appropriate relationships, and the duties set out today bring that one step closer.”

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, urged the government to give schools the freedom to be innovative and flexible in the way they approached the subject.

“We do not believe it is necessary for the government to provide standardised frameworks or programmes of study, and we would urge ministers against being too prescriptive,” he said.

The Right Reverend Stephen Conway, the Church of England’s lead bishop on education, said he supported age-appropriate SRE.

“In an age when even primary school children are becoming exposed to online pornography – often by accident – and when practices such as sexting are becoming commonplace at a younger and younger age, we cannot simply advocate an approach like the three monkeys covering their eyes, ears and mouths, vowing to see, hear or speak no evil.

“If we want children to build resilience it is important to start young, teaching them about strong and healthy relationships.”

‘A tragedy’

But the Safe at School Campaign described the announcement as a “tragedy”.

National co-ordinator Antonia Tully said: “Parents will be absolutely powerless to protect their children from presentations of sexual activity, which we know is part of many sex education teaching resources for primary school children.

“The state simply cannot safeguard children in the same way that parents can. This proposal is sending a huge message to parents that they are unfit to teach their own children about sex.”

Ms Greening’s announcement follows a widespread campaign by charities, MPs and local authorities, calling for (SRE) to be made a statutory for all schools.

At the end of last year, the chairmen and women of five different Commons select committees called on Ms Greening to make SRE a statutory subject.

Their call came after a report from the Women and Equalities Committee showed that sexual bullying was a significant problem in schools.

Last month, the Local Government Association said the lack of sex and relationships education in some of England’s secondary schools was creating a “ticking sexual health time bomb”.




Euro 2016 Predictor – Win £100s worth of print with PMD

Win £100s worth of print with PMD

PMD have decided to set up a league to predict the Euro 2016 scores, via the BBC website. Simply see up a team and join the PMD league. You will need to add a BBC account to join the league.

To enter JOIN HERE and add the PIN number below to join our league…

League PIN: lch788

Predict the exact score and win 40 points. You get 10 points for the correct result (win, loss or draw). The final score does not include extra time or penalties. Changed your mind? You can update your predictions up until kick-off.

All times are in BST and subject to change. BBC & PMD is not responsible for any changes.

Sandy Lane Primary School Website

Sandy Lane Primary were looking to develop a website that brought to life their educational excellence and the personality of the school. Looking to avoid the stereotypical school website that is more targeted to children, the Sandy Lane Primary website needed to position itself as a key resource for parents whilst ensuring the school has appeal to children.

The challenge

Sandy Lane’s old website was poorly structured and developed with a virtually unusable content management system. The website was nether responsive or engaging and didn’t allowed the school to easily publish the statutory requirements for government legislation/Ofsted. The Senior Leadership Team wanted a website that would be engaging for parents and children, easy to content manage and promoted the schools ethos and personality.

The solution

PMD designed, developed and delivered a multilingual, responsive WordPress website that captures the school’s mission, vision and values, is engaging to current and prospective parents and easy to maintain through the WordPress CMS. Developed with additional user editor roles added for individual teachers/classes or admin staff enabling them to edit pre-determined content areas. PMD also advised the school on content requirements and updated/migrated existing content, as required.


An engaging, responsive website that promotes the schools ethos and offering, with clear navigation and content. As important was the ability for the staff to edit and update easily and efficiently and ensure that visitors to the site, whether this was Ofsted, parents, children or prospective parent could easily navigate the site and quickly access the information required in less than 2 clicks.


The endorsement

“We decided to go with PMD Creative Solutions to design and develop our new website and, alongside this, they worked with us to re-brand the school, including new logo designs and signage. From the beginning of the process to the final product, PMD always responded to our various requirements and demands very professionally, either in person or over the phone. Now that we are up and running with the website we are finding it incredibly easy to maintain, unlike our previous content management system. This means that staff are not afraid to keep their pages up to date as it doesn’t take very long at all. Any queries we do have are dealt with quickly via email or phone call, meaning we waste no time and the site always looks good”.

Darren Robinson, Deputy Headteacher – Sandy Lane Primary School

White Cross Vets Virtual Tour

If you’d like to see how the White Cross Vets brand looks, see the virtual tour of one of the practices. Everything you see printed/branded has been designed/developed by us.

Why a website plays a key role in marketing a school

A great school website can help with a prospective students decision in which school to attend. With plenty of competition out there, a good website is essential and can play a key role in the school’s marketing strategy, as well as offering a platform of communication with students, parents and staff.

A website can be used for the day-to-day communication with pupils and parents, as well as promoting various aspects of the school and its services. With advancements in Content Management Systems, a school website can be managed internally with the ability to update daily and easily with various content – key to appearing higher on search engine results. Google loves content! Regular, fresh content is exactly what Google (and other search engines) want to see. They want to make sure users are receiving the most relevant, up to date information as possible, so content is crucial.

Google continues to update its algorithm, a calculation for measuring how to rank your website content. Google algorithms are updated regularly, so keeping up to date with the latest changes can make a huge impact on your website visibility.

For example, things like the speed of your website, spell-checking elements and freshness of the content are now all taken into consideration, as well as the design and the layout. A website needs to be built well in order to meet user requirements and get the results needed!

Your school brand is extremely important. A clear identity across your website and other marketing collateral has a huge impact on prospective students and parents, as well as existing students and parents in keeping uniformity and defining your position and personality as a school.

Communicating with young people isn’t always easy, but schools are now beginning to take advantage of social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pininterest, and YouTube are all easy to integrate into a website, and provide two way communication with both students and parents, as well as adding to the school’s identity and character. This is particularly good for outside of the classroom activities such as sports games, talent shows etc.

Embedded videos can bring your school to life! Providing a virtual tour, teacher q&a’s or a simple video introduction to the school adds a cost-effective something extra to a website, providing further engagement with students and parents.

The crucial element of a school website is its ‘user centred’ design. It has to be easy to navigate around for the three user groups – pupils, parents and teachers. The best way to start the website planning is producing a user journey for each audience. A pupil will navigate their way around the website very differently to a parent, and very differently to a teacher, yet all journeys have to be incorporated into the same website.

Use your school website as an effective e-portal with both students and parents, providing information in a detailed, secure manner. Parents expected to be involved in their child’s education 24-7 now, not just on parents evenings twice a year!

Why specialist design is important for school websites

The importance of a website has drastically increased for a range of industries within recent years, with no exception to the education sector. The way we communicate has continued to grow, with advances in mobile technology and a greater dependence on online services, the Internet has become a necessity for most people as their primary source of information.

Schools are able to use the Internet as an engagement tool with pupils, with information conveyed to both students and parents in an accessible format. A schools brand can also be enhanced with an appealing, easy-to-use website. An online presence is crucial in creating awareness to prospective students, generating interest in the school. This brand awareness is increased with support material such as a prospectus using the same design.

With a wide audience range of pupils, parents and teachers, the design, layout and functionality must be taken into account for each user group. Students have to be engaged and interested in the information available to them on the website, whether this is the latest school news, sport team updates or revision class timetables, high quality images should be used throughout to grab their attention. Parents are likely to look for ‘dates for the diary’ and require easy navigation around the site – particularly when first applying to a school. Having a clear understanding of the layout of the website will ensure it is useable for all audiences.

The purpose of the website must also be taken into account, the design and structure for a primary school website is likely to have a different look and feel to that of a secondary school website.

Russell Hall Primary School updates its branding

Russell Hall Primary School has recently commissioned PMD Creative Solutions to create a whole new look and feel for their school.  As part of this they altered their uniform, stationary and signage to bring to life the new brand and values.  In order for children, parents and external bodies to be able to access essential information and learn more about the school, PMD were asked to design and develop a new and improved website; this had to be easy to navigate, be informative and fun.

PMD had an initial web meeting with Russell Hall to determine the main objective for the website.  Site maps were then created and designs proposed reflecting the new brand look and feel.  To encourage Russell Hall Primary School to keep content relevant and up to date the website was created using a CMS system that would be easy to use and update with current information.

To view the website visit

Senior Account Executive Required (16-20K)



We are seeking energetic, confident and talented account executive to work with our existing and varied client base.

You will be a passionate, dynamic and dedicated individual, with integrated through the line experience with a proven track record of excellent project management and establishing superb client relationships. As a Senior Account Executive you will be required to take new projects on and manage them from start to finish, whilst being the first point of contact for your clients on a day-to-day basis.

We are looking for a real self-starter, someone who will be able to hit the ground running, understand the clients needs, and be able demonstrate a good creative eye for growing our existing accounts.

You will be responsible for managing client work through the agency including taking briefs, liaising with the creative team then ensuring all work runs through the studio efficiently, effectively, on time and within budget. You will be a key point of contact for clients, ensuring there is regular communication and updates as and when required.

Key requirements:

  • Prior design agency experience preferred, Junior Account Executive or Junior Account Manager level
  • Preferrably educated to degree standard
  • Project Management experience


If you are fantastic with people, interested in working in a dynamic and varied marketing agency environment and comfortable working as part of a team, PMD Creative Solutions could be the right company for you!

The small print: Closing Date: 25 July 2014. No recruitment agency please.

The Elements Of a Great Brochure Design

With some a competitive market out there, your marketing material has to stand heads and shoulders above the rest. Creating a professional, eye-catching brochure is essential for effective brand marketing and can open up a window of opportunities when designed properly. But there’s a difference between a good brochure, and a great brochure – PMD Creative give a few tips on the elements of a great brochure design.

  1. Purpose: Understand what you are trying to achieve from your brochure, understand your competitors and most crucial of all, understand your audience. Outline your objectives for the brochure, look at any past brochures you have had, what worked? What didn’t work? Take the time to plan the project will be a solid starting platform for your brochure.
  2. Design: The design should reflect your brand, the colours used, the font choices – readers of your brochure who are already aware of your brand should be able to instantly identify it. Understand the look and feel you are trying to achieve with the brochure. The importance of white space shouldn’t be underestimated, especially if you’re going for a simple, classy and elegant look. Adding colour splash to selected areas on a black and white design can help to accentuate the design in a diverse and creative way. Captivating your audience effectively isn’t just about the choice of colours used; it’s about how your display these colours throughout your brochure design.
  3. Font and copy: Design might be what draws the customer in, but the right copy is what keeps them reading. Limit your fonts to make your brochure attractive and readable – fancy, elaborate fonts are likely to put a reader off. Stick to a consistent theme throughout the brochure, using headings and subheadings to break up large bulks of text. We suggest using no more than three fonts throughout the design, and no smaller size than point 11. Craft compelling headings that draw in your readers, accompanied with fresh and interesting content. And always proofread your copy – twice!
  4. Images: Images are going to have a huge impact on your brochure. Readers want to see quality, sharp, interesting photographs. Talk to your agency about the best way to achieve great photographs, they might be able to suggest a reliable, quality photographer or purchase stock images for you.
  5. Print: The physical product that people will hold into their hands needs to be taken into consideration when designing your brochure. Options are endless, the stock you use, coated or uncoated paper types, matte or gloss, the list goes on – and they can all have an impact on your finished product. The right choices can enhance your design, however print terminology isn’t always easy to understand, so talk to your agency and/or printers about the look you are trying to achieve with your brochure.


Your Brand Name Is Crucial, Make Sure It’s Right!

A great brand name is crucial. You have seconds to grab a consumer’s interest and make your brand stick in their mind, so your brand name has to be perfect. It’s the first thing you have to consider, and it will be stuck with you for a very long time! There are a few crucial things to think about first…

Make it web-friendly – The Internet is extremely powerful and a crucial way for consumers to find you. Your name should be easy to find and give Internet users an idea of what your company does. This includes getting a domain name that is directly associated with your company. This is also the case for social media – your brand should be easy to find, and exclusivity on your name is ideal for setting up social media platforms.

Keep it simple – Word-of-mouth becomes difficult when consumers can’t pronounce your name properly or it is too complicated for them to remember! This includes the spelling; potential consumers won’t be able to find you on search engines if they can’t spell your brand name correctly.

Make it unique – Although you want to keep it simple, differentiating yourself from all the noise out there is key. Make it memorable, create a buzz. Giving away too much information in the brand name may cause consumers to lose interest in you, keep the curiosity there. Look at your competitor brands and identify how to keep away from similarities and create something eye catching and memorable.

Match it to the logo – Your logo and brand name can often go hand-in-hand, so they have to relate. This makes it simple for people to remember your brand, Apple is a prime example.

Give a little hint – Your brand name must have a strong distinction from others in the market, as well as reflecting your businesses strengths or highlighting what kind of product/service you provide. Some brand names have no relation to the business they are in, but reflect on the ‘feeling’ aspect of the name.

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