July 2015

The know zone

  • Sixth sense
    As timetables are tweaked in readiness for the new sixth-form provision in September, schools and colleges should ensure that their 16-19 study programmes will meet tight new financial and curriculum standards, says Kevin Gilmartin. More
  • Know your numbers
    Pay progression data can reveal hidden – possibly discriminatory – trends, so it is vital to study it carefully, says Sara Ford. More
  • Making allowances?
    Pay rises could push you over the tax relief limit and into trouble with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) so check your position, warns Stephen Casey. More
  • Experience counts
    Devising your school or college’s continuing professional development (CPD) programme can seem a daunting prospect. Do you plan for your own staff to deliver, invite a facilitator in to do the work or send staff out on external courses? What are the pros and cons of each approach and which provides the best value for money? More
  • A tidal change
    The Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation (RMNEF) is a British educational charity that officers support for the natural or adopted children of Merchant Navy seafarers and professional sea-going fishers, and of crew members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI’s) lifeboats. More
  • Extra daylight, extra opportunist thefts
    The warm summer evenings mean that everyone can look forward to spending more time outdoors. More
  • Question time
    What is the one big issue that you would like Secretary of State Nicky Morgan to tackle in this Parliament and why? What is the one burning issue that is affecting you and your school or college? Here, ASCL members share their views… More
  • Leaders' surgery
    Hotline advice expressed here, and in calls to us, is made in good faith to our members. Schools and colleges should always take formal HR or legal advice from their indemnified provider before acting. More
  • Reflected glory?
    The head is an ambassador for the school. However, there are – to put it mildly – some dangers in over-identification between the needs of the school and its leader’s desires, according to Chris Pyle. More
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The Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation (RMNEF) is a British educational charity that offers support for the natural or adopted children of Merchant Navy seafarers and professional sea-going fi shers, and of crew members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI’s) lifeboats.

A tidal change

What does the charity do? 

Since 1827, the charity’s objective has been to offer support to children and young people by providing for or towards their maintenance and education with the end goal of assisting them in training for and taking up employment.

Having capitalised some of its property assets, the RMNEF is currently in the somewhat unusual position of not needing to raise any additional funds to implement this programme, so it is concentrating on finding more young people of seafaring families and helping them build their educational foundation for a successful future.

RMNEF Chief Executive Officer Charles Heron-Watson said, “The RMNEF has helped almost 6,000 children and young people to gain access to the education they deserve. Yet while we have been helping seafaring families for almost 200 years, the drop in Merchant Navy crew levels amongst other factors means we’re finding it increasingly hard to make contact with the thousands of beneficiaries who may need our support.

“And this is why we need the help of school and college leaders around the country to tell our story as widely as possible but especially within their educational communities to help identify those who could be eligible for our help. Our mission is to increase our beneficiary numbers by 700 per cent within the next five years, so please do get in touch to see if we can help.”

Who can qualify for support?

The foundation believes that each young person is unique, with unique needs that require unique support and so every applicant is assessed individually. Each qualifying parent must either be serving or have served at sea. Factors such as domestic environment, geographical location, health and finance are all taken into careful consideration and a solution offered to provide the utmost support.

For further clarification:

● A person serving at sea in the Merchant Navy means any seafarer working in any capacity aboard a merchant vessel, which includes but is not limited to passenger liners, ferries, container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, break-bulk and refrigerated cargo ships, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries (RFAs) (or their equivalent), coasters, specialist ships (such as RNLI lifeboats, deep-sea tugs, salvage vessels, oil support vessels and lighthouse tenders) and luxury or charter yachts.

● A person serving at sea in the Fishing Fleet means any seafarer working in any capacity aboard inshore or deep-sea fishing vessels.

● A person serving at sea in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution means any crew member of a lifeboat operated by the RNLI.

How has the charity helped beneficiaries so far?

When the beneficiary is in full-time education, a wide range of financial and tangible benefits are included within the charity’s goal of ‘enabling education’ for its beneficiaries. This can involve contributions towards school or university fees; living expenses; educational books, visits or equipment; costs of school uniform; and even laptops and Internet access. Most recently, for instance, the RMNEF has worked closely with a specialist educational school in the West Country to provide a desktop computer that meets stringent requirements for a beneficiary who has severe learning difficulties.

The foundation has also:

● contributed towards the costs of a diving trip to the Red Sea for a beneficiary who is studying marine biology

● contributed towards the costs of a field expedition to Finnmark, Norway for a beneficiary who is studying the environment

● provided a bicycle for another beneficiary to enable him to train with his football club

● met the costs of extra GCSE tuition for an orphan beneficiary who also has a long-term illness.

Find out more

For more information, visit the Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation website at www.rmnef.org.uk or email office@rmnef.org.uk