• BFUK Team

We're in The Times!

Bright Futures UK made national news this week, with our Founder and CEO, Josh, writing in The Times (online) on Tuesday 8 June.

In the Times’ Red Box, Josh wrote about Bright Futures UK, his own experience, and the need for more government support for young people whose education has been interrupted by illness.

About his own experience, Josh wrote:

“The first time I was diagnosed with cancer I was five years old. I had surgery to remove a tumour on my kidney and then spent a year undergoing intensive chemo and radiotherapy. I missed the entire first year of primary school.

The second time I was diagnosed, I was 16 and in the final few months of my GCSEs. I went straight from my first summer exam to the hospital, where doctors removed cancerous sections in two of my ribs. I spent another year having chemotherapy, during which time I tried and failed to keep up with my A Levels. Beyond sending home large packs of work with no context or explanation, my school couldn’t do much to support me. I fell too far behind to continue.”

Later in the piece, Josh writes that after he finished chemotherapy for cancer the second time, he went back to school and finished his A-Levels. He founded Bright Futures UK to help others get the same opportunities he had - through mentoring, tuition and workshops.

About the lack of Government support, he wrote:

“The guidance on how to provide education for children who can’t attend school because of ill health was last updated by the coalition government in May 2013. Shortly after, Ofsted found that guidance was failing.

The Government puts responsibility for providing an alternative means to education on local authorities. Ofsted found that only one in three councils does this well enough to know how many children are affected, and what alternative education they are receiving. Their report states that children in this situation “can become invisible to local authorities”. Put simply, sometimes those responsible for our education forget we exist.

.... Once Ofsted identified these failings, the Government should have amended and updated its guidance accordingly. It didn’t, and it hasn’t in the seven years since.

To read the full piece, go to:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/as-a-child-cancer-sufferer-i-know-how-damaging-it-is-to-miss-school-rpb323v7v

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Bright Futures UK is the first UK charity to support children and young people from 5 to 24 who have been forced to take time out of education due to serious illness.

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