Elliot Heald, a 10-year old from St Elizabeth's RC Primary School, Wythenshawe, has beaten over 6,000 budding young designers from across the country to win a nationwide sock design competition.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade products sold in the UK, the Catholic aid agency CAFOD – a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation – teamed up with SockShop to launch the special competition for 7-11 year olds to design an exclusive Fairtrade-themed sock.

Designs were submitted by more than 6,000 pupils from a staggering 142 schools, but Elliot, a Key Stage 2 pupil, was selected as the winner thanks to his beautifully creative design, and understanding of Fairtrade. The panel of judges impressed by Elliot's design included award-winning actress Jo Joyner, formerly Tanya Branning on Eastenders, and a senior designer from SockShop. As a prize, Elliot will receive a £100 voucher to spend at SockShop and will see his design made into a limited edition sock which will be sold on the SockShop website.

On finding out that he had won the competition, Elliot said:

"We learned about Fairtrade in school and I really enjoyed it because it's interesting to see how you can help other people. When I was designing my sock, I remembered that Fairtrade is about paying people a fair wage for things that they produce. It's about making people happy. So that's why I designed a sock with a smiley face made out of fruit.

"I can't believe that I won the competition. It really is amazing and I'm so excited that my design has been made into a sock and is being sold by SockShop. There are no words to describe the feeling!"

Jo Joyner said:

"I know it's a cliché but it truly was so difficult to choose the 10 finalists and then even harder to choose a winner. There was so much thought, time and creativity that had gone into the designs. Some of the slogans were worthy of a top ad agency! Most impressive was the fact that all the children seemed to have grasped completely the concept of fair trade.

"Elliot's design impressed the judges because it said so much in such a simple way. The smiling face out of the fruit demonstrating the happiness that fair trade brings. Crucially, in terms of a design, the colours, the fact that the design is on the ankle of the sock and the sense of humour displayed made Elliot's a really wearable sock. Congratulations!"

CAFOD Schools Programme Team Leader, Monica Conmee, said

"We are absolutely thrilled at the number of schools and individuals who entered the competition from all over the country. It's clear that the children have loved learning about the important issues surrounding Fairtrade in an interactive and creative way, whilst taking part in a unique competition. This has been the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of Fairtrade products in the UK."

CAFOD works with children, young people and young adults in England and Wales to deepen an understanding of the causes of global poverty and injustice, and offers ways to take action to bring about a just and sustainable world.

Visit cafod.org.uk/fairtradefeet to view the designs from all the runners up and the competition winner.

For more information please contact Ellie Wilcock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / on 020 7095 5451 or 07540 265 715

Year 6 pupils at St Benedict's Catholic Primary school in Atherstone are celebrating the completion of their new classroom in a new block exclusively for the school's oldest pupils.

Following on from being re-confirmed by OFSTED as a "Good" school and achieving excellent SATs results, the school has looked to increase the number of pupils it can accept each year. But there simply wasn't enough space to do this and provide much needed before and after school care as well.

In November 2013 Warwickshire County Council endorsed the school's plans for the future and allocated £165,000 to fund the new facility. Only one other school in Warwickshire was awarded funding at the time.

School head teacher Mrs Susan Shannon said; "This new classroom in its own block gives our Year 6 pupils a little independence and a taster of life at secondary school. We have decorated to look more 'grown up' and the children have new state of the art white board, air conditioning and wifi."

She continued: "I am delighted that Warwickshire County Council has considered our school to be a priority for spending at a time when funding is tight and take this as a great vote of confidence in our ability to provide a fantastic education for children from Atherstone and the surrounding villages."

To mark the official opening of the Year 6 block the building was blessed by Fr Michael Miners at a ceremony attended by pupils, parents and a number of invited guests from, local schools, the Local Authority, City Sites who built the room and the Diocese.

For further information please contact:

Mrs Susan Shannon, Head Teacher – 01827 712320


By The Bristol Post | Posted: February 05, 2014

IT'S been a hot topic in political debates around the country for years, but to date there appears to have been more talk than action on the 'living wage' in Bristol. But one city school is leading the way by introducing it – the first in Bristol to do so.

Since the start of the year, St Bede's Catholic College in Lawrence Weston has been paying all its employees a minimum of £7.65 per hour, a rate deemed to be high enough to cover the costs of living in Bristol.  

As a result, 20 workers at the secondary school and sixth form have seen a pay increase.

It was governors at the school who decided to bring in the salary rise, despite the likely consequence of the move being a reduction in the college's budget.
The school's principal, Catherine Hughes, said: "There was generally a welcome to this change when employees were told. Although governors recognise this will have a consequent impact on the budget, that is not justification for paying people less than a fair amount.
"We feel that it was important to become a living wage employer as it is an expression of our solidarity with those individuals and organisations striving to achieve fair pay for all."

The living wage is an hourly wage rate calculated to take into consideration the costs of housing, transport, food and basic essentials for the worker and their family.
In November 2012, the Catholic Bishops' Conference passed a resolution that fully endorses the principle of the living wage and encourages Catholic organisations and charities in England and Wales to work towards its implementation.

Their resolution recognised that fair wages were essential to the "common good" of society.
The term living wage came to prominence in Bristol when it became one of the election pledges of Labour mayoral hopeful Marvin Rees, who lost out to George Ferguson in the race to become the city's first elected mayor in 2012.

He promised to introduce a living wage in Bristol if he was elected to the figurehead post. He pledged to bring in a rate of not less than £7.20 an hour for all council employees and hoped it would be extended across all firms and organisations throughout the city.
Mr Rees said he would have started the living wage from day one of taking office, which would have made Bristol the first council in the country to implement such a policy.
He said evidence had shown that a living wage made business more ethical and also brought down absenteeism, built a more stable and less transient workforce and improved the quality of work that people carried out.

Eventually, all the candidates bar one pledged their to support for the living wage for Bristol.
The living wage was originally a figure determined by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University as a sum people can reasonably live on.

Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Living-wage-School-leads-way-fair-pay-commitment/story-20561459-detail/story.html#ixzz2sSXE6DQ2


Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:53

Saint Paul’s Pupils Join Youth Parliament

Staff and pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe were delighted to receive the news that their Head Boy, George McIlroy, and Head Girl, Mary Jayne Chadwick, have been elected for the Manchester Youth Parliament.

The Manchester Youth Parliament, part of the UK Youth Parliament, which is run by young people, provides opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change.

Now that they have been elected, George and Mary Jayne will be expected to find out the concerns and needs of other young people in their constituency, and represent these views to decision makers on a local, regional and national level.

The Youth Council have been given their own office inside Manchester Town Hall to reflect how serious the Council is about working with young people and listening to their voice.

Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher, explained: "This is a fantastic opportunity for George and Mary Jayne; during their term of office they will have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of events projects and campaigns. They will be able to get to know their local MP and provide feedback for meetings at the House of Commons."

"Whilst working Members of the Youth Parliament, the pupils will be able to develop their communication, debating, negotiating and public speaking skills. They will also have the chance to gain greater knowledge of politics and current affairs and enhance their ability to look at an issue from someone else's perspective, "commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's.


For more information please contact:

Jane McAuliffe-Hall
Publicity and Marketing Manager
St Paul's Catholic High School, a Voluntary Academy and Engineering College

Tel: 0161 493 2859

E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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