The RIBA Foundation in Architecture

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Foundation in Architecture is a very unique, affordable course, delivered all online and differs substantially from full time education. Here below is a comparative table outlining the key differences. This will enable foundation level students to make the most appropriate choices that best suit them.

Dr Maria Faraone, an ACERT member, is a Senior Lecturer in the Oxford Brookes University, School of Architecture. She is Programme Director for the RIBA Studio which is a practice-based route to qualification as an Architect.

The course she runs has been specifically designed to give young people without formal qualifications and with limited finances the opportunity to develop their skills and understand the career opportunities in architecture.

National Higher Education initiative launch

Wed, January 20, 2021 10:00am – 12:00noon

Join the launch of the national initiative to support Gypsy Traveller Roma Showman and Boater students in Higher Education

You can find more information and register for the event via Eventbrite

You are invited to join the launch of the new GTRSB into Higher Education pledge, this ground-breaking initiative is designed to encourage and support Universities, Colleges or educational institutions to undertake certain steps to support Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman, and Boatmen students into and within higher education.

The national initiative is the first of its kind and is not be missed if you have an interest in education. There will be a range of guest speakers from Bucks New University and the Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman, and Boatmen communities.

Speakers include: 

  • Baroness Janet Whitaker, Co-Chair APPG for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma
  • Kate Green, MP, Shadow Education Secretary
  • Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Buckinghamshire New University
  • Professor Margaret Greenfields, Professor of Social Policy and Community Engagement, Buckinghamshire New University
  • Sherrie Smith, GTRSB Research Assistant, Buckinghamshire New University
  • Chelsea McDonagh, Traveller Movement
  • Professor, Colin Clark, University of the West of Scotland 
  • Lisa Smith, Chair, ACERT 
  • Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation

For further information on the pledge and how higher education institutions can take the pledge, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact Sherrie.Smith@bucks.ac.uk


29 join first Education network meeting

29 teachers and other education support staff joined the first Education Support Network Zoom call on 9th December 2020. The response was heartening because there was wide representation from across England and their contributions suggested that there is plenty of good work continuing despite the many challenges faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families and the services trying to promote their inclusion and opportunities.

Lisa Smith, ACERT chair, who previously worked as part of the Worcestershire TESS, described how important was the support her family received from the service, allowing her to progress to Higher Education and wider career opportunities. She emphasised the importance of creating a strong support network in a hostile political and media climate, without the support of NATT and under the threat of the pandemic.

Contributions came from Darlington, Hampshire, Norfolk, Liverpool, Worcester, Sussex, Wiltshire, Greater Manchester, Middlesborough and Cambridgeshire. People had different roles within local authorities, as traded services and in the voluntary sector, working from Early Years to adult education and addressing a wide range of issues relating to health, accommodation and benefits in addition to education focuses of access, attendance and achievement.

Several participants described their work, much of which was innovative and encouraging. Most reported education in staff numbers, reorganisation and changes in the relationship with schools. Several services still meet with those from neighbouring areas to share ideas and coordinate provision. In some cases staff have adopted new skills to respond to the priorities of schools and the pressures on mainstream services.

It was decided that we should arrange to meet each half-term. ( Jan 27, Mar 10, April 21, June 9 and July). Contact info@acert.org.uk if you wish to participate and have not received an invite.

“No smoke without fire”?

A month or so ago, many Gypsy, Roma and Traveller organisations received answerphone messages saying that children in school were to be vaccinated and have microchips inserted, without their parent’s consent. The implications of this for communities with histories of genocide, sterilisation and forced settlement is significant. No responsible parent would allow this to happen. Another issue to worry about, another reason to keep your children at home.

When it was reported to ACERT, the phrase, “No smoke without fire” was used. We are all familiar with this expression; fire can be a big threat to our communities whether we’re in trailers or settled accommodation. Smoke alarms save lives; investigating the smell or sight of smoke can identify the source of a fire before it takes hold. But just because the idiom is true, doesn’t mean that is also the case in every situation it is applied to.

Type “microchip vaccine” into a search engine and you’ll get a feel for how much truth there is in this story. One particular investigation by Reuters, the international news agency, discovered exactly how a video, shared 27,000 times on Facebook, had been edited to suggest that a microchip on the packaging was injected with the vaccine. Another report suggests that ethnic and religious groups are being targeted.

This is not smoke without fire; it’s a smoke alarm which has been tampered with to put the frighteners on us. And it’s likely that the people doing the tampering are racially motivated.

In reality, the real threat to our communities is that they don’t get the health protection they are entitled to, because they aren’t registered with doctors, because the messaging uses technology they have no access to or because they aren’t in the right place at the right time. The fake news spreaders are no friends of our communities and we should deny them the satisfaction of believing they have caused more illness and death among us.

Below are the recommended priority list for vaccinations taken from an independent report Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation dated 30 December 2020.

This advice is the other side of the coin to the vaccine scare stories. It explains in detail what their aims are (to save lives, protect key workers and stop the further spread of the virus) and the reasons they have decided to recommend the order of priority for vaccination. Note that children under 16 are not included at all unless they are extremely vulnerable.

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers have plenty of reasons to mistrust government but in our experience they are more likely to overlook our rights to decent health care and protection than they are to use vaccination as a cover for a national ID system. We owe it to ourselves and our families to find trustworthy sources of information and not be fooled by people we don’t know and whose motives we don’t understand. All older people are vulnerable, those with underlying health issues all the more so. Make sure they make informed choices and get the health care you’re entitled to.

We recommend make sure you and your family are all registered with a doctor and that they are clear how to contact you.