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If you had the opportunity to visit this year’s BETT I’m sure you agree that the event once again was a success with a great number of visitors and many interesting solutions on offer. For those unfortunate enough not to make it to Olympia, we have a full review of the event on page 119.


The next major event in the education sector calendar is the Education Show, taking place 4-6 March in Birmingham. Read all about what is to take place on p.111.

EDUCATION SHOW 2010 products Check out the latest h and services, 4-6 Marc

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE If you would like to receive 6 issues of Education Business magazine for £45 a year, please contact Public Sector Information, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055, Fax: 020 8532 0066, or visit the Education Business website at: P NEWS P FEATURES P PROFILES P CASE STUDIES P EVENTS P AND MORE

8 EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE PUBLISHED BY PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION LIMITED 226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 EDITOR Sofie Lidefjard ASSISTANT EDITOR Angela Pisanu PRODUCTION EDITOR Karl O’Sullivan DESIGN Jacqueline Grist


PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Julie White PUBLISHER Carol Symons ADVERTISEMENT SALES Paul Beech, Anna Wyatt, Deborah Feather, Jade Fisher, GROUP PUBLISHER Barry Doyle SALES ADMINISTRATION Jackie Carnochan ADMINISTRATION Charlotte Casey, Victoria Leftwich REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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07 NEWS 15 INTERVIEW WITH A HEAD TEACHER We talk to Elizabeth Conneely, deputy head teacher at St Antony’s Catholic Primary School in Essex

16 LEARNING CONTINUITY Jonathan Boyle, deputy head teacher at Madeley Academy, discusses how a digital curriculum can ensure learning continues during an unexpected school closure

25 EB AWARDS A look at the winners from the fourth Education Business Awards

29 SCHOOL INSURANCE BIBA discusses the importance of business continuity planning and the importance of having the right insurance


57 DESIGN & BUILD Partnership for Schools is responsible for overseeing a full suite of capital investment progammes. Chief executive Tim Byles discusses the benefits of this newly acquired role We preview the Building Schools Exhibition & Conference (BSEC)

75 CLEANING & HYGIENE Catherine Anderson, chair of the British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education, talks about the changes she implemented to the cleaning regime at Liverpool University The Cleaning and Support Services Association, offers advice into the right approach to deep cleaning your kitchen

80 SECURITY St John’s Preparatory School has become an accredited Secured Environment. We find out what this means and how it’s achieved


Kurt Obermaier of the Credit Services Association explores the problems of collecting student debts and cash flow management

New nutritional standards have made the need for additional training for school cooks all the more important. The School FEAST Network is meeting these needs

There has never been a more important time for school to research before procurement decisions are made to find the best value for their school, argues Ray Barker from BESA

The School Food Trust has created a range of online tools designed to help parents get a real feel for the well-balanced meals now on offer in schools

The FSA talks through its National Strategy for Financial Capability which can help teachers who are less than confident in money matters

45 ENERGY Linda McKeown from BRE looks at government grant schemes to encourage the take up of renewable energy technologies in community building projects

55 SUSTAINABILITY Becoming more sustainable in 2010 will be easier than you think with the help of the Eco-Schools team

89 CASHLESS CATERING Ian Byfield from AIDC UK looks at future developments in identification technologies that enable such things as cashless catering

94 AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS A look at the positive impact after school clubs are making to targeted groups of children and young people

96 RECRUITMENT How will the new Vetting and Barring Scheme affect the recruitment of education professionals, asks the REC

103 OUTDOOR LEARNING Play England’s Ken Ryan looks at how one school is successfully providing time and space for children’s play

107 SCHOOL GROUNDS School groundsmen have the complex task of making sure school grounds can safely accommodate various types of sport and play

111 EDUCATION SHOW 2010 We preview what’s on offer at the Education Show, taking place 4-6 March at NEC Birmingham Ray Barker of BESA explains why the Education Show is vital in times of economic difficulty

117 INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY In business, most people are aware of the benefits that videoconferencing can bring. But do the same attractions apply to videoconferencing in schools?

119 BETT 2010 We review the world’s largest educational technology event

122 DATA SECURITY Andrew McIntosh from Powerchex gives advice on how to keep personal information safe

125 ICT Demonstrating effective software licence management can be confusing, says FAST IiS

129 FACILITIES MANAGEMENT A look at the complex role of facilities managers in schools

133 CONFERENCES & EVENTS What venues and facilities can Birmingham offer the event organiser?

99 SCHOOL TRIPS Should the credit crunch prevent children from going on educational trips?The Education Travel Group gives it answer



Education Business | Volume 15.1



270,000 families to get a free computer and free internet rime Minister Gordon Brown and Schools Secretary Ed Balls have announced that 270,000 low income families are to get free computers and free broadband access. A £300 million investment in the Home Access programme will help ensure young people can use a computer and the internet at home for their education, and help parents keep in touch with their child’s progress. Families with children in years three to nine, who are entitled to free schools meals, will be able to apply for a grant to buy a computer and broadband


connection from an approved supplier. Looked after children up to the age of 18 will also receive laptops, and the scheme will offer bespoke packages to provide more support for SEN children. Successful pilots in Oldham and Suffolk showed a positive impact. On average, children who received computers from the Home Access programme spent an hour more per week for learning online, compared to their classmates who already had the internet at home and 81 per cent of parents believed that home access had increased their involvement in their child’s learning.

Animated character to aid science teaching chools Minister Vernon Coaker has launched ‘Scimorph’, an innovative new science resource for children starting secondary school. The 3D animated computer character responds to interaction from users, and was developed in consultation with the Science Learning Centres. Scimorph reflects core components of the Key Stage 2 science curriculum, including The Gravity Zone, where children can learn about


the effects of gravity on different planets, the Sound Zone, where children can see the effects and movement of sound waves and the Bug Zone, where children can learn about the spread and effects of germs and infections. The online resource, which will be available to every child at home and in the classroom, contains supporting materials for parents and teachers to help them guide children around the site.

GCSE results improve across the board ew figures published from the final 2009 national, local authority and school-level GCSE results show improvements in secondary schools. The results show five or more A*-C GCSE results including English and Mathematics were achieved by 50.7 per cent of pupils in the maintained sector and 49.8 per cent of pupils in all schools. London schools are the top performers out of the English regions with 54 per cent of pupils getting five good GCSEs including English and mathematics. The number of National Challenge schools – where fewer than 30 per cent of pupils get five good GCSEs – has fallen to 247 compared to 439 last year. Results also show that girls continue to outperform boys, with 54.4 per cent of girls achieving five or more grades A*-C compared to 47.1 per cent of boys.


Schools with the highest number of pupils getting free schools meals have seen the biggest rise in students getting five good GCSEs. Those with the highest deprivation levels saw a 27.0 percentage point improvement between 1999 and 2009, compared to schools with lowest deprivation levels which saw a 11.0 percentage point improvement over the same period.

Campaign gets supermarket to double its fairtrade uniform stock A student campaigning group, People & Planet, has persuaded supermarket chain Tesco to double the number of Fairtrade cotton school uniforms it stocks. The 'Wear Fair' campaign aims for all UK schools to have Fairtrade cotton uniforms by 2015 and for all major retailers and independent uniform stores to follow Tesco’s lead. The number of Fairtrade lines offered by Tesco will increase by over 50 per cent, while the volume of sales is projected to grow by 85 per cent in 2010/11. Research commissioned by People & Planet showed that nearly 70 per cent of school and college students want their uniforms to be made from Fairtrade cotton. There is also a growing concern amongst parents that the school uniforms they are buying are contributing to the hunger and hardship faced by cotton producers.

Free e-learning resource for Irish schools Over 729,000 students and teachers in 4,000 schools across Ireland now have free, anytime, anywhere access to engaging learning resources from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online School Edition, as part of the government’s new Digital Content Initiative. Implemented by the National Centre of Technology for Education (NCTE) as part of a €150 million, threeyear plan to improve the quality of ICT hardware, internet services and high quality digital content in schools, students can now view hundreds of articles, illustrations, interactive games and multimedia resources to support learning.

Tories to raise teacher quality The Conservatives are promising to make teaching "the new noble profession" by improving the quality of graduates entering teaching in England. This would include raising the required standard of entry and setting up a scheme – called Teach Now – to encourage people who have succeeded in other professions to go into education. To cope with a shortage of maths and science teachers, the Conservatives are promising to pay off student loans for applicants with upper second- or first-class degrees in these subjects from ‘good universities’. Meanwhile, financial help with postgraduate teacher training would be removed for those who have achieved a third-class degree or lower. Cameron highlighted the education systems in Finland, Singapore and South Korea as deliberately promoting teaching as a prestigious profession: "They are brazenly elitist – making sure only the top graduates can apply. They have turned it into the career path if you've got a good degree. "And in America, President Obama is offering financial incentives to attract more science graduates into teaching. We should be equally bold here," he added.



Education Business | Volume 15.1



Charity launches fundraising enterprise for schools

Close schools, don’t cut budgets, say heads in Edinburgh

arie Curie Cancer Care has launched a new fundraising challenge, which could form part of citizenship lessons for secondary school pupils and help to fund home nursing care for terminally ill people. The ‘Daffodil Schools Challenge – An Active Citizenship Project’ calls on pupils aged 11 to 16 to design, plan, and create a visual display based on the charity’s daffodil emblem, either at their school or elsewhere in their community. The display could range from planting a flowerbed of daffodils, to creating a sculpture or a mosaic based on the flower.


The students are also challenged to raise funds to help fund Marie Curie Nurses, who care for terminally ill people in their own homes at the end of their lives. Once teachers register for the activity, they will receive a pack containing lesson plans linked with National Curriculum standards for Key Stages 3 and 4 in subjects such as Citizenship, Business Studies and PHSE, as well as activity sheets which take the pupils through all the elements of project management. For more information or to sign up visit

Computer skills essential, European research suggests hile 98 per cent of teachers believe being able to use a computer is critical in preparing students to enter the workforce, a funding shortfall is preventing schools from fully embracing technology, research reveals. In response, 76 per cent of teachers across Europe are calling on their respective governments to do more. The study by Intel questioned over 2,700 primary and secondary teachers across 15 emerging and developed economies with the aim of exploring the role technology plays in helping create a more competitive economy by enhancing core maths and science skills. The study highlighted the ability of technology to improve interest in learning as well as classroom attendance. For instance, almost 80 per cent say it increases


students’ interest in learning and 57 per cent believe using technology in their lessons improves academic performance. More than this, over three quarters (76 per cent) of teachers believe that computers enable them to better tailor their lessons to the needs of individual students. The research goes on to reveal that although 70 per cent of teachers believe students should be provided with a personal laptop, only three per cent have access. In addition, over half of the teachers polled in the UK believe children under five should be given access to a computer under supervision, the highest figure in Europe, but almost one in three (31 per cent) say that funding is preventing their schools from making this investment.

Head teachers in Edinburgh are calling on councillors to look at closing more schools instead of making sweeping budget cuts to schools across the city. Two years ago, Edinburgh City Council tried to close 22 under-occupied nurseries and schools but plans were halted in the face of protests. Heads claimed 90 per cent of their budget was allotted to fixed costs, such as pay and that closing under-occupied schools would be preferable to cutting the budgets of individual schools. Schools in Edinburgh are facing the prospect of 2.5 per cent cuts to their budgets in 2010-11 and there are much larger cuts predicted for future years. Four schools have been selected for closure in Edinburgh, as they are running at only 33 per cent to 41 per cent full. There are 8,429 spare primary places and 2,699 secondary places in schools in the city.

Singing helps children to learn in over 80 per cent of primary schools New figures from Sing Up, the National Singing Programme, show that over eight out of ten primary schools across England have signed up to making singing part of daily school life. Now Sing Up is now launching a major drive to sign up 100 per cent of primary schools in 2010. Ahead of the new drive, Sing Up has commissioned research which shows that singing is a widely used and celebrated tool in both Reception and Year One, with 88 per cent and 58 per cent of teachers respectively using singing to deliver lessons to pupils. In addition, 55 per cent of teachers remember learning through song in the classroom when they were children. Sing Up will also be targeting Key Stage 2 teachers to explain the benefits of using singing to deliver on the curriculum, rather than as a further workload.

New premier standard of service for schools ASTLE MINIBUS is pleased to announce the launch of a new after-sales mobile service for its academy, college and school customers throughout the UK. This exclusive service will provide our clients with the benefit of a ‘hassle free’ on-site service covering: the 10 week safety check, annual service, replacement tyres and MOT facility with the assurance that your vehicle is maintained in accordance with current VOSA minibus legislation. We will pro-actively contact you to arrange the safety checks etc to be carried out at your school and at your convenience to ensure that time spent by staff and yourself is kept to an absolute minimum. Essentially, all our academy, college or school clients are now required to do is just put fuel in and insure the vehicle. So the next time you forget to book a safety check or are still waiting for your local dealer to turn up with your minibus, please give us a call at Castle and we can explain how we can look after your minibus without all the fuss.


We are proud to be the first company in the UK to provide schools with a level of service normally reserved for BMW or Mercedes drivers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call Castle Minibus on 01869 253744, e-mail: or visit our website



A small selection of projects by Mike Ayres Mike Ayres has been designing, manufacturing and installing Sensory environments and Soft Play rooms for well over 20 years. To find out more please visit our website at where you can also try out with some of our innovative products.

Greenwich Toy Library – Sensory Studio

Created within a Portacabin. It has a lobby and two main Sensory areas. It has a very comprehensive range of experiences to cater for children and adults with a very wide range of needs. Every aspect of the spaces is controllable by the users.

Royal School for the Blind – Sensory Studio

A large multi purpose studio. The photo shows the projection wall which at the moment is running a slide show and music through a video iPod. The picture is 3 metres wide.

Royal School for the Blind – Tactile Mural 240cm long This is just one of a very wide range of individually designed murals by Mike Ayres. This one has elements which are UV reactive. Other pieces range from 40cm square up to 16 metre long trails.

Brimble Hill School – Soft Play Room

Created within a newly built Primary School. The room gives opportunity for a wide range of curriculum based activities as well as physical exploration.

Museum of Childhood, London – Sensory Pod

A very calming and intuitively interactive space open for anyone to visit. It is anticipated that over a million people will use it in its lifetime, so it is built to withstand extreme and constant use without compromising its aesthetic value. For further information or to talk to someone. Contact: Mike Ayres Design, Unit 8, Shepherds Grove, Stanton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 2AR Telephone: Fax: E-mail: Web:

01359 251551 01359 251707

Contact us for a copy of the Sensory Resources 4 Catalogue

Education Business | Volume 15.1



Boxing professor to give pupils a lesson in leadership

New School FEAST centre opens at Doncaster College

oungsters at a Nottinghamshire school are to learn the art of boxing as part of a programme to increase confidence and leadership skills. Nottingham-based BMC Global Services, which uses boxing as a means to teach business people, will deliver a series of sessions to year five pupils at Salterford House School in Calverton. Prof Rakesh “Rocky” Sondhi will first take some of the independent school’s teachers through the basics of the boxing so that they are fully aware of how the sport can help youngsters improve both physically and mentally. Then, pupils from year five will be taken through sessions at BMC’s premises, which not only have a boxing ring and gym equipment, but also classrooms


and visual presentation facilities. Principal Marlene Venables said: “I believe that some people are born leaders and others need to have the qualities brought out through training programmes such as these, in addition to the more traditional classroom studies.”

Celebrity chef Prue Leith has opened new state-of-the-art culinary facilities at Doncaster College, which will provide the latest in the national School FEAST network. The college became a regional training centre for the School FEAST network in November 2008 after a successful bid with partners, Doncaster School Meals Service and NHS Doncaster. As a result, a brand new state-ofthe-art training facility has been built at the college. The new centre will provide training and continuous education for cooks, kitchen assistants, lunch-time supervisors, school business managers, school governors, senior leadership staff, pupils and their parents. Across the network, School FEAST offers a core list of training and qualifications. At Doncaster, this includes Food and Drink Service, Customer Service, Hospitality Supervision and Leadership level 3, Chef Diploma level 1, and Professional Cookery. The School FEAST network was established in October 2006 by the School Food Trust and is critical to ensuring school cooks have the skills they need to transform the quality and provision of school food.


Professional development

Advanced Diploma of School Business Management (ADSBM) The ADSBM is offered as part of the suite of school business management programmes and builds upon the successful Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM) and Diploma of School Business Management (DSBM). ADSBM is designed to support the professional learning of experienced school business managers operating at an advanced level and will enhance their contribution to the leadership and management of their schools as they face new challenges in increasingly complex organisational settings. Due to demand, an additional cohort of the ADSBM will commence in March. The application round for this cohort is open until 15 February. For more information and to apply, please visit School Business Management International Conference 2010 Achieving world class schools Registration opening mid January.


For more information please visit

13949 ADSBM_1539 125x176.indd 1

Inspiring leaders to improve children’s lives



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Education Business | Volume 15.1



Results show an improvement in first class degrees in 2009

Celebrity chef launches sixth form survivor competition

he number of first class degrees awarded in the UK rose last year, although there was a light fall in the total number of first-time graduates. There were 333,720 degrees in 2009 compared with 334,890 in 2008 but the proportion of firsts went up from 13 per cent to 14 per cent. The biggest change year-on-year was in the number of foundation degrees awarded, up 26 per cent – albeit to only 18,850.


The figures, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, confirm that a clear majority of graduates these days are women, at 57 per cent. Science subjects made up 41 per cent of the degrees awarded in 2008-09, divided equally between men and women. Students from outside the UK accounted for 21 per cent of those awarded higher education qualifications, up from 20 per cent the year before.

Celebrity chef James Martin has launched a Northern Ireland-wide recipe challenge to find the ultimate sixth form survivor. The 'Sixth Form Survivor Competition', organised by the Food Standards Agency, is part of a campaign to promote the 'Survival Guide to Food' a handy guide for sixth form students in Northern Ireland that communicates the skills needed to eat well and stay healthy when preparing to leave home for the first time. To enter, students upload their recipes, and entrants with a recipe in the top 100 will receive a voucher and a Sixth Form Survivor certificate. Five regional winners will be selected from the 100 recipes to win vouchers, a school award and go on to represent their region in a grand final at the Ulster Museum, Belfast on 23 March. The winner will receive £1,000 worth of equipment for their school, £250 vouchers and a bespoke award for their school. Deadline for entries is 5 March 2010.

Powerheart® AED G3 Plus His heart stopped. Will you save him? It’s sudden cardiac arrest. And his chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10 percent for every minute he goes without defibrillation. Will you save him? Without an AED (an automated external defibrillator), the likely answer is “no.” You have a decision to make right now: will you find out more about getting a defibrillator for your school, or will you turn the page? To protect your students, your faculty, and maybe even yourself please call 0161 926 0000. Let’s talk today to make your school a heart safe environment. Cardiac Science, “At the Heart of Saving Lives,” the Shielded Heart logo, and Powerheart are trademarks of Cardiac Science Corporation. Copyright © 2010 Cardiac Science Corporation. All Rights Reserved. MKT-00091-02rA



Whatever you read...

Everyone’s Reading, the new 11–18 book-gifting scheme, is live! State secondary schools in England can register now for 15 free books for their library. Book selection guide and sign-up form available online at

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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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TOP OF THE CLASS Elizabeth Conneely, deputy head teacher at St Antony’s Catholic Primary School in Essex, shares her views on what makes St Antony’s a top performing school GRADED AS OUTSTANDING IN ITS LAST Ofsted report, St Antony’s Catholic Primary School in Woodford Green, Essex, knows the formula for a successful school. Providing education for three to 11 year olds, the school has a strong catholic ethos which is at the heart of everything it does. It enjoys an excellent standing in the community, with children happy to go there, staff happy to work there and parents proud to send their children there. WHAT DO YOU PUT THE SUCCESS OF YOUR SCHOOL DOWN TO? It’s very much a joint effort. There is a real community feel to our school where everyone – teachers, pupils, parents and governors – all work together for the same outcome. Parents are heavily involved in their children’s education and strongly support the school. And because our children live in the local area and most belong to the same parish, this heightens the sense of community. Being a faith school also contributes greatly to our success; we have a strong catholic ethos which influences everything we do – from our teaching methods to how we treat each other. Furthermore, we have excellent committed teachers who have been at the school for a long time and understand our stringent assessment standards. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO USE THE INTERNATIONAL PRIMARY CURRICULUM? The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was created to standardise the curriculum in English speaking international schools. We adopted it because we felt it gave us more freedom than the national curriculum, which we found to be too prescriptive. Although the national curriculum was introduced to stop subjects from getting repeated or missed out, we found that, alongside the use of QCA, it crushed the life out of lessons. The IPC, however, allows you to be a lot more creative in your teaching. It uses a more topic-based approach and is taught cross-curricula. We can be assured that core objectives and key skills are planned in, but we have the freedom to change activities to suit the needs of the classroom. HOW DO YOU ENSURE PUPILS EAT HEALTHILY AT MEAL TIMES? The majority of our children have packed lunches. These range from the traditional sandwiches to thermos flasks of hot pasta or soup. We promote healthy eating through science and PSHE lessons. We also have an annual Healthy Eating Week

where the children learn about food and eating and their effects on the body. Catering can be a challenge for us however because we do not have a kitchen. Instead we have a servery – a type of hot plate where we serve food which is delivered to us. Unfortunately we did experience some problems with our former catering company. Food was not well-balanced and the company often sent the wrong meals. But now we have switched to a new company and things have improved massively. Food is a lot healthier and varied, the portions are better and the company is reliable. With the previous company we only had about 60 children opting for school dinners. Now we have over 100! WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON SCHOOL TRIPS? We believe that school trips are vital as they bring learning to life. As one example, we take our year five children to a field studies centre every year where they stay for four days and get involved in many outdoor activities such as orienteering, river studies and mammal trapping. But perhaps the biggest lesson they take home with them is learning to think for themselves; by staying away from home, making their own sandwiches and packing their own bags, it teaches them be responsible for themselves. HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE SECURITY OF YOUR PUPILS AND STAFF? We are fortunate to be in a safe area, but you can never be complacent when it comes to security. We have therefore invested heavily in

our security systems. Before the main gate was only locked with a pad lock, but now we have installed new security gates which are locked all the time accept for when the children arrive and leave school. We also have new fencing around the car park, new CCTV cameras, and a security code to get in and out the school. Nameplates have been introduced for staff, and visitors have to wear badges as well as be signed in and out. HOW DO YOU APPROACH TEACHER TRAINING? We are firm believers that a school should be a learning environment for everyone – for staff as well as pupils. Teacher training is therefore a high priority. However, paying for a teacher to attend a course, as well as arranging the necessary cover, can be a big expense. You also run the risk that what is taught will not work for your school. This led us to try a different approach to training. We have a lot of expertise in school and decided to maximise on this by bringing inset days in-house. This involved taking different themes such as numeracy, reading and writing, working with children to try different approaches and then meeting up to discuss the impact. This has proved so successful that we are now working with the Institute of Education to develop a Masters programme based on the research we are doing within the school.

FOR MORE INFORMATION schools/st-antonys



Education Business | Volume 15.1

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COPING WITH THE UNEXPECTED Jonathan Boyle, deputy head teacher at Madeley Academy, discusses how a digital curriculum can provide pupils with on-demand resources to ensure learning continues during an unexpected school closure

IN THE WAKE OF THE SWINE FLU outbreak or adverse weather many schools could be forced to close, impacting the consistency of pupil development. Although teacher to pupil contact lessons can never be replaced, students’ education could be less interrupted if teachers were able to deliver lessons remotely to their pupils’ homes. CONTINGENCY PLANNING It has been rumoured that if schools faced closure because of a swine flu outbreak, the government would use the BBC to broadcast lessons. However, this is impractical for several reasons. Firstly, only one lesson can be broadcast at a time. One lesson can not be broadened to suit all age groups and abilities, meaning students will not be getting a full day’s education and what they do receive may not be suitable for their level of understanding. Secondly, teachers know their pupils personally and as such create lesson plans based upon what they know will work for their class. Often school



While a school closure is never ideal, if a school has ready-made resources in place for its pupils to use from home, it can go some way to offering students an insurance policy against delays in learning trips or similar themes and knowledge previously explored is referenced, giving the lesson some context and making it engaging for the pupils. Therefore, while a school closure is never ideal, if a school has ready-made resources in place for its pupils to use from home, it can go some way to offering students an insurance policy against delays in learning. BRINGING THE CLASSROOM HOME Madeley Academy is in the early stages of developing a digital curriculum to offer pupils downloadable lessons and resources to aid their studies. While the primary function of the digital curriculum is not to act as a stand alone

learning product, once completed it could be used during a shut down to provide continuity of learning to students working at home. One easy way to facilitate remote home learning is to deliver learning content via video tutorials. These can be easily created using specially designed tools, such as screencast software, which don’t require any specialist training on the part of teachers. Programmes for creating screencasts, also sometimes referred to as lesson capture software, allow the user to record everything happening on their computer screen, such as PowerPoint presentations or browsing the web. This recording can then have external audio added

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to it such as voiceover instructions or music. These videos or ‘screencasts’, which mimic a traditional classroom lesson, can then be downloaded by pupils to learn from home. Being able to access lessons during a school closure is especially important for pupils in the run up to vital exam milestones, such as SATs and GCSEs. As subjects at this level are covered at a very fast pace, missing out on even a week’s schooling could lead to pupils falling behind. With downloadable lessons and resources, pupils preparing for examinations would be able to continue receiving their scheduled lessons. IMPLEMENTING AN ONLINE CURRICULUM Following a review and upgrade of the school’s ICT system and previous success experienced through screencasting at another school, Madeley Academy began using screencast software to create a series of videos that would complement the school’s existing curriculum. The initial intention of the online curriculum was to create videos designed to cover ICT projects and software demonstrations, but is now being extended to cover a wide range of subjects, which, once completed, will form the basis of a comprehensive archive of learning aids. When in class, many teachers at Madeley Academy use PowerPoint presentations to deliver their lessons, talking over slides as content is presented to pupils. In this sort of scenario, lessons can be recorded as they happen using screencasting software such as Camtasia Studio by TechSmith. Real-time recording means screencasts for the online curriculum can be created on the fly, without taking time out of teachers’ planning or marking hours. These screencasts can then be stored in a central location to create an archive of lessons. In the case of an unplanned shut down where a lesson may not have been previously recorded, it can be created and delivered by teachers from their homes. In addition to recording straightforward videos of what is happening on their computer and talking through it as a voiceover, teachers have the option to supplement their lesson capture with webcam videos of themselves delivering the lesson. This further enhances the pupil’s level of engagement. In order to ensure pupils are remaining absorbed in the lesson and their understanding is developing at the expected rate, bolt-on quizzes and interactive tests can be added to the digital lesson. If there are areas the class need to work on, additional lessons or tutorials can be created to expand upon the subject. MORE THAN JUST A BACKUP PLAN An online curriculum is not only useful in times of school closures, it also encourages a culture of learning during the school day. Lessons delivered on a computer are often more engaging to pupils as they tend to already have an interest in technology and the Internet. Engaging pupils with visually stimulating



In order to ensure pupils are remaining absorbed in the lesson and their understanding is developing at the expected rate, bolt-on quizzes and interactive tests can be added to the digital lesson. If there are areas the class need to work on, additional lessons or tutorials can be created to expand upon the subject content through a computer has been recognised at Madeley Academy as a very successful method of getting them to learn and understand their lesson content. In the classroom, pupils can highlight the areas in which they need help. Teachers can then create screencasts focussed on specific areas to explore the problem area more deeply. This means pupils who understand and are comfortable with the subject matter do not have to revisit the content, and the pupil who requires additional help can learn at their own speed. Additionally, teachers can use the same video to help pupils struggling with the same thing in the future, minimising the impact on their time. KNOWLEDGE ON-DEMAND The scope for pupils to download material on-demand means that even when a school is fully operational, they can have access to resources to revise or catch up on missed lessons. This enables pupils to learn and study independently, but still have the guidance of a teacher led lesson. As more lessons are delivered and recorded, the online curriculum will grow. If the syllabus is changed, the curriculum can be updated accordingly. This, unlike investing in books for every pupil, means pupils can always access fresh, relevant content even if they can not attend school. While this is still not as effective as actually being in the classroom, videos of lessons are a valuable learning resource and are ideal for helping

pupils keep up with their syllabus. Additional material to supplement lessons can also be created during a shut down where a teacher knows certain pupils will require a deeper explanation on the subject than others. This, in effect, gives pupils a suitable lesson structure; while the teacher is not present to deliver the lesson they can ensure pupils get as much help as they would receive in the classroom. Another situation in which knowledge on-demand can ensure the smoothness of learning is when permanent teachers are taken ill. Cover teachers could view the lessons the class has already received alongside lessons recorded from previous years. Covered lessons can then be adapted to give pupils a smoother transition, reducing interruption to their learning schedule. While, thankfully, the digital curriculum has not been used for a shut down situation at Madeley Academy, once a full curriculum covering all subjects is developed, it will be a relief for pupils, teachers and parents to know that learning can continue during unforeseen closures. The digital curriculum has already delivered proven results by improving the educational experience of pupils and maximising their opportunities to learn. As the online curriculum continues to grow, pupils can access content rich revision aids and, if needed, distance learning tools, creating a highly comprehensive on-demand learning platform for all of the Academy’s pupils.

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DEBT COLLECTION – THE WAY FORWARD Paul Mackenzie, chief executive of Mackenzie Hall Ltd, looks at how the debt collection industry has changed

CREDIT CARD COMPANIES, utility providers, mobile phone operators, banks, building societies, government agencies, retailers…. more and more businesses are increasingly calling on the services of Debt Collection Agencies. In recent years, the growth of the debt collection industry in the UK has been considerable, fuelled by an economic climate where individual financial impairment increased, just as the importance of cash flow to businesses became more important than ever. Concurrently, legislation, guidelines and standards governing debt collection and Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) have been tightened, revised, re-revised and thoroughly implemented, ensuring that the industry is now one of the most closely and carefully regulated in the land. For Paul Mackenzie, chief executive of Mackenzie Hall Ltd, these simultaneous developments in the debt collection sector has enabled many of its members to demonstrate their professionalism and effectiveness, becoming valued partners to a wide range of organisations. “The debtor landscape has changed, and the ability for debtors to ‘juggle’ their debts has declined,” explains Paul, who established Mackenzie Hall Ltd in 2003 after more than 13 years in the industry.

“This means that the line between those who can’t pay and those who simply won’t pay is increasingly blurred. In the past generation or so, debt has become a cultural norm – the words ‘student’ and ‘debt’ are now incontrovertibly linked – and delaying or avoiding payment is disconcertingly commonplace. “When pursuing debts, the options open to internal credit management departments are limited by resources, time and the skills and compliance knowledge required for a successful outcome. Plus, most people don’t feel particularly comfortable chasing debts, especially from valued customers, be they students or parents. At best it can be awkward, at worst potentially damaging to your reputation, not to mention the financial implications. “Debt collection is a skill that, when used properly, forms an invaluable extension to an organisations credit management function.” TAILORED STRATEGIES Like many DCA’s, Mackenzie Hall Ltd operates on a commission only basis, tailoring collection strategies to best meet the requirements of their clients. So, for fee paying schools, where the individual debts are likely to be fairly sizeable, from only a handful of debtors and where perhaps discretion is

crucial, the strategy will be quite distinct to a college or university pursuing accumulated library or accommodation fees from a larger number of students and/or their parents. The agency will communicate directly with the debtor, confirming the money owed, and establish a means to repay the outstanding debt. Neither aggressive nor confrontational, the process is far from simple and results can vary widely. Often, receipt of a letter from a DCA is enough to spur the debtor into paying. Or, the Agency may set up a payment plan with the debtor reflecting their financial circumstances. “Success is measured by the money collected,” continues Paul. “Our experience has shown though that the speed is the key – the sooner a debt is outsourced for collection, the sooner it will be recovered.” Andy Simmons is business development manager with Mackenzie Hall Ltd, and liaises directly with many businesses and organisations which are utilising the services of a DCA for the first time. He also stresses that DCAs should not necessarily be seen as the last resort. “I was recently told about a budget holder at a private school who was experiencing an increase in overdue tuition fees,” said Andy. “A letter to parents resulted in no response, leaving the budget holder to ask ‘what next’. The answer was to bring in a DCA, although by leaving it to the last minute, the chances of successfully recovering the debt in full were considerably diminished. “Educational institutions are on the cusp right now and are being impacted by the wider financial crisis. Establishing a solid, robust and compliant outsourced debt collection service, whether used across all debt types or focussed on specific areas, can make a real impact.” So, next time you pick up the phone to a specialist external recruitment firm, media relations consultancy, health and safety adviser, maintenance contractor, transport provider, accountants or lawyers, consider adding a DCA to your organisation’s collection of trusted external partners. It could make all the difference to your liquidity, bottom line and future growth. AWARD-WINNING COMPANY Mackenzie Hall Ltd is based in Ayrshire, and operates throughout the UK on behalf of a wide range of clients. The award-winning company employs more than 100 people at its state of the art contact centre and head office, and is a member of the Credit Services Association, with Mackenzie Hall’s compliance manager, Rob Sands, now sitting on the CSA’s board. Dedicated to providing new, innovative solutions to debt collection, Mackenzie Hall is launching an interactive on-line debt management system.




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FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH The fourth Education Business Awards applauded successful schools for their achievements in transforming education WITH CAPITAL INVESTMENT programmes such as the Building Schools for the Future, the Academies Programme and the Primary Capital Programme, schools in England are enjoying the biggest sustained investment in buildings and facilities for decades. Add to that excellent teaching, innovative technologies, and new methods of learning and many schools are experiencing excellent exam results and higher levels of pupil, parent and teacher satisfaction. Recognising such success, the Education Business Awards, sponsored by Sony, took place at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on 19 November. The awards went to 16 schools that have demonstrated progress in transforming education through areas such as ICT, catering, facilities and security. BBC Newsreader Bill Turnbull presented the ceremony, which saw the award for Outstanding Progress go to Castleford High School & Technology College. In 2005, 41 per cent of Year 11 pupils received five A*-C grades, of which 22 per cent included English and Mathematics. By 2008, this figure leapt to 75 per cent with 56 per cent in English and Maths. This places Castleford

as the most improved school in Yorkshire, and the third most improved in the country. THE ACADEMIES PROGRAMME The Outstanding Academy Award, sponsored by Towergate, went to Barnfield West Academy in Bedfordshire. The Academy opened in September 2007 in the premises of the former school. Since then, students achieving 5 A* – C GCSE grades leapt from 48 per cent to 100 per cent in 2009. Maths and English went from 16 per cent to 55 per cent in the same period. The Academy has received various awards, including International Schools Status in 2008. St. Aidan’s Church of England Academy in Darlington scooped the Academy Development Award, sponsored by Capital Finance Solutions Group. The Academy features state-of-the-art classrooms, science laboratories, sports and drama areas and a worship space. Since taking over in September 2007, the leadership team have tackled long-standing weaknesses and brought about significant improvements. The Academy Partnership Award was taken

home by Manchester Academy. The Academy has forged a relationship with law firm Pinsent Masons which includes a career-orientated mentoring programme, and a reading and maths support programme. In 2007/2008 66 per cent of the students stated that they felt their reading was better as a result. In 2008/2009 this figure increased to 100 per cent. SPORTING EXCELLENCE The Sports Award, sponsored by Aviva, went to The Canterbury High School in Kent. The school and Chelsea FC Foundation have established Chelsea FC Foundation’s only elite boys’ football academy in Kent. The Chelsea FC Foundation/Canterbury Academy aims to combine a first class training and coaching programme, delivered by Chelsea’s UEFA approved coaches, with an educational package delivered by the school and its partners. The SEN Provision Award, sponsored by Mike Ayres Design, was presented to Hatton School and Special Needs Centre in Essex. Almost two thirds of the pupils at Hatton have autistic spectrum disorders. The

CSG finance – a unique approach to your school’s asset financing needs U NFORTUNATELY, IT IS CLEAR now that the financial meltdown over the last two years and the resultant government financial support packages will have a negative impact across the educational sector. The mountain of debt run up by the government (which will invariably end up bigger than projected) will necessitate public sector spending cuts, and in particular kerbs on investment in infrastructure and technology. This is clearly an issue for educational establishments that are witnessing an increasing demand for both educational and operational technology spending. It would appear that the government’s answer will be to encourage, the participation of private sector finance to assist with the funding of these critical technology assets, i.e. asset finance and leasing. However, whilst there will be a strong demand for these financing products, there are a number of pitfalls that the bursar or finance office looking for alternative options needs to be aware of: An underestimated issue continues to be the simple availability of lending even to entities that are effectively the UK Government. There has been a loss of a number of big names from the leasing market and a lack of field resource among others resulting in those remaining being stretched to meet demand.

A solution for many such finance companies is to align themselves with technology suppliers; this can have its advantages for all parties but be aware that these relationships generally exist to benefit the supplier; don’t just take the first offer; shop around with lenders who are supplier independent, because leasing is a way of smoothing out cash flow. Additionally, ensure that the finance product you are being offered best matches your immediate and long term requirements. Many lenders like to lend into the educational sector but not all will have products that suit the financing of technology assets; just as important as cash flowing the initial expense is the ability to easily keep up with technology changes – many lenders have changed their view on this ‘upgrade’ approach to asset finance and you may find yourself locked into a long term agreement that is expensive to exit. Ask about the ability to upgrade during the agreement term and ensure you understand what you are committing to. Preferably you will want to include

a wide cross section of assets under your financing facility – again many lenders have restricted the types of assets they will finance. Don’t assume that because one big lender says no to your white boards or educational software, that everyone will. Finally, due to the ongoing dislocation between real borrowing costs and the Bank Of England base rate, pricing can be a minefield which some lenders will attempt to hedge through the use of residual value operating leases. Again, these can be an excellent method of reducing the whole life cost of your technology, but ensure you understand the overall financial commitment and what will happen to your assets when the agreement ends – some apparently cheap options can turn out less so over the whole agreement. In all cases, make sure you know what will happen to your equipment at the end of the agreement and quantify any additional costs. The good news is that there are many lenders out there who will work with you to ensure you get the best fit for your projects and help you keep up with technology through these hard times whilst concentrating on the important business of educating.

FOR MORE INFORMATION E-mail: or call 01689 806970



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school offers a wide range of specialist resources which enhance the educational experience, including a purpose built gymnasium, sensory room, garden, and adventure playground. Hatton School has achieved remarkable improvements in the provision of care for pupils with SEN. GETTING TECHNICAL The ICT Innovation Award went to Monkseaton High School in Tyne & Wear. Monkseaton is the UK’s first Trust School. Part of the mission of the Trust is to develop new approaches that can be applied in other schools, and it uses an array of technologies to gather and analyse data about students and apply personalised learning strategies in and out of school. The ICT Facility Award went to South Rise Primary School in London. The school’s new ICT suite is equipped with 30 state-of-the-art computers, all with 19-inch flat screen monitors. Children have been given access to podcasting websites to enable them to upload their work. Year 6 classes use audacity software to produce multi-layered tracks including adverts, jingles and longer pieces of DJ work. The winner of the Science Award was Rose Bridge High School in Wigan. The school acts as a centre of science learning for the region, working with four other secondary schools and ten primary schools to provide master classes for gifted and talented students. The school was recently named ‘most improved specialist science college in the country in 2009’ by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS Taking home the Art and Craft award was Isambard Community School in Swindon. The school’s art activities are linked to the Flux programme, a government project to develop the arts in North Swindon. The programme involved a pilot to see if arts activities can positively affect young people and discourage anti-social behaviour. The school is also the first in the country where all staff have been trained to be an Arts Award advisor. Coventry Blue Coat Church of England School in Warwickshire took home the Music Award. The school has recently become one of very few specialist Music Colleges in the country. Catering for over 1250 pupils, the school has ties with Coventry Cathedral, and in 2008, the school emerged victorious in BBC’s Songs of Praise School Choirs of the Year competition. High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool was awarded the Educational Visits Award. The school’s extensive educational visits programme is firmly linked to the College’s science specialism. High Tunstall prides itself on being the only 11-16 Secondary School worldwide to have regular links with Yale University where students can gain experience working at Yale University’s Science Faculty. The School Catering Award, sponsored by Eatz4U, went to Todmorden High School in West Yorkshire. The school serves nutritional, freshly prepared and locally sourced food wherever possible. The school has School Nutrition Action Groups which enable students to have a say on meal choices. STATE OF THE ART BUILDINGS The School Building Award was presented to St. Mary Magdalene Academy in London. With a total cost of over £30 million, the Academy comprises an Early Years Nursery, Primary and Secondary School, and contains a state of the art ICT facility. Sustainability was a major consideration and the school has natural ventilation, biomass boilers, photo voltaic cells, highly sustainable cladding and curtain walling. Going greener still, the Environmental Building Award, sponsored by Ocip Energy, was awarded to Queen Elizabeth’s School in Dorset. The frame of the school’s new Sustainability Education Centre is made of locally sourced timber with render and part timber cladding. The walls have been insulated with 6,000 recycled newspapers, donated by local people, and straw bales. Renewable energy technologies have been installed, including automatic lighting systems and photovoltaic panels. Stockwell Park High School in London received the School Security Award, sponsored by STI. The school installed Classwatch, an audio visual system that uses specialist surveillance software and is capable of producing sound and vision permissible in a court of law. This uses a total of 40 cameras located around the school grounds to allow video recording throughout the school day. Cameras are also used in 28 classrooms.


Towergate risk solutions – the academic choice OWERGATE IS A specialist provider of high-quality insurance and risk-management solutions to the education sector. Our Education ‘Centre of Excellence’ has the knowledge and experience of protecting a range of educational establishments, having provided, for 20 years, insurance and risk-management solutions to schools and colleges, further and higher education establishments. We will offer educational institutions a competitive yet specific programme. Working in partnership with a school, we will efficiently source their requirements before prescribing the most suitable match from the covers in our range. Our areas of expertise include: Combined liability (professional/ public/employer’s), staff/absence related, hirers indemnity and liability, governors and trustees’ indemnity, personal accident, property damage, business interruption, school trips and (group) travel, minibus (and other school vehicle), engineering In addition to programme negotiation and placements


we will provide comprehensive and professional advice on related areas including: • Appropriate excess levels. • Specific education related advice on loss control. • Technical support on major loss or contentious claims. • Both insurance and risk control advice on new build projects. • Disaster Recovery Plans • Preparation of insurance market submissions.

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per cent can be achieved on LED lighting. Our exclusive range covers both indoor and outdoor lighting, from small down-lighters to powerful floodlights and streetlights. Our Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) are a very demonstrable statement of a school’s green credentials, aside from being an asset and investment. We are distributors of the widest range of VAWTs in the UK.

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CRISIS MANAGEMENT James Woollam gives advice on business continuity planning and explains how having the right insurance is crucial A RECENT SURVEY FOR A LEADING insurance company declared that just under half of all businesses fail following a major fire. It is not unreasonable to replace fire with any unexpected crisis; the recent spate of snow is a common reminder that not even the met office can see too far into the future. Contingency planning is therefore a must for all schools in order to survive a crisis and indeed meet personal liabilities to the school and its governors. To ensure an effective business continuity plan, the process must become an integral part of your thinking, tied in to your operational plans, and with all key stakeholders having an involvement in its preparation and review. Any plan, once formulated, must also be regularly updated to ensure it remains relevant. I recall a school calling me following a major flooding incident, concerned that they were unable to alert anyone as the staff and contact details

had not been updated for three years! The expectations in schools are now higher than ever, whilst competition in both public and private sectors, and between the two, is fierce. At the same time, we read of disasters on an almost daily basis – from fires and storms to floods, pandemic flu and more recently sabotaged computer systems. Are you prepared for these eventualities? And if not, is the school at risk? PRPARING FOR THE WORST Preparing a plan need not be overwhelming. The first step is to assemble a team. Senior management should be involved, with a project coordinator who is empowered to make decisions and implement them. Involve staff of all levels. Many will have an intimate understanding of the school, and what would be required in the event of a crisis. The actual planning process can take

some time, but is relatively straightforward. Consider each activity the school undertakes, and then examine it in detail. Are some time critical? Should some take priority? When a school is involved in many different activities, or is particularly large, you may choose to build plans for different departments or faculties, and then have these feed into one final document. With each activity there are a few key steps. First, develop a planning aim for each activity, such as a timescale for restoration. Next, determine the minimum steps for your initial response. Plan for restoring communication methods and consider key personnel and equipment, and other information sources. Delegate disaster planning assignments to the staff who carry out the essential activities on a daily basis. Finally, you can incorporate the fine details, focusing on the impact of the interruption, not the cause.



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WHERE TO CONTINUE TEACHING The school site will be high on the agenda. If you have more than one site, then consideration must be given as to whether you could continue functioning, at least in the short term, from your other sites, or are some of your activities based on very specific facilities? If you only have one site, then would it be possible to put temporary accommodation on any playing fields or other free space? Some towns and cities have seen a glut in commercial property, could this be utilised? Even other local schools may be able to help, and it is a given that an agreement will be easier before a crisis than during, on the basis of mutual assistance. Communication is essential, and a part of any good plan is detailed information on key staff, with their contact details, and methods of communicating about any disaster. You will also need information on other important third parties, from trusted contractors to the local press and your suppliers. Indeed, your insurance broker or insurance company is likely to be near the top of your list. But how will you deal with any media pressure? What happens if the event has caused a human disaster, such as a loss of life? Your reputation will be on the line and you will have little time to respond. In recent times, it has become common to also keep the details of a crisis containment consultant, who can hold information about the school and react immediately should an incident occur. Some insurers have started offering this service as a part of the cover, and it is worth checking with your broker if this is the case. The insurance can even cover the cost of their fees and expenses.

over the indemnity period. Other options could be to define the revenue and only insure for those aspects you believe will be affected, for example removing government fees and grants as you continue to educate the pupils, leaving only additional income streams which will cease until the school is rebuilt, or insure only the first element of the revenue, known as ‘first loss’. Finally, you could believe that your revenue will not be affected at all providing alternative and temporary accommodation is provided quickly, and your plan suggests this is possible given your circumstances. In this case you will only need cover for Alternative Expenditure and Increased Costs of Working. With a Business Continuity Plan in place, schools can at least have some certainty for the future; the unexpected does happen more than you think. It helps you to retain and keep your key staff, and to ensure your reputation is not unnecessarily affected by bad news. It also helps you meet governance criteria. A helpful secondary benefit is that any claims costs will be kept to a minimum, and insurers may well allow discounts on your insurance cover for a well thought out business plan. And in this cost conscious age, saving money and reducing insurance costs can only be good news.

THE RIGHT INSURANCE You cannot consider how to survive a crisis without considering whether your insurance is adequate. Business Interruption insurance, otherwise known as consequential loss, is a vital component of a continuity plan and it will be impossible to ensure the cover is correct without a good plan in place. In depth discussion on your Business Interruption insurance would be impossible here, but there are crucial links in to your plan that should be considered. You will have estimated how long it will take you to return the school to its former position before the event. This length of time should be reflected in your cover, and is known as the indemnity period. If you believe the school will not have its full complement of students for say five years and therefore your revenue will be affected for this period of time, your Business Interruption cover will also need to last for five years. The second aspect is what to insure for. Some multi site schools may believe that their revenue will not be affected as they can simply switch sites, some may have specialist departments reliant on specific machinery or other facilities, which can simply not be replicated quickly. Some schools will therefore insure on a full revenue basis, which will then be multiplied


This article was written by James Woollam, director of Educational Insurance Services, on behalf of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA). Educational Insurance Services is a member of BIBA.


THE BRITISH INSURANCE BROKERS ASSOCIATION (BIBA) The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) is the UK‘s leading general insurance organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers. BIBA is the voice of the industry, advising members, the regulators, the government, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues. BIBA provides unique schemes and facilities, technical advice, guidance on regulation and business support and is helping to raise, and maintain, industry standards. BIBA works closely with the Chartered Insurance Institute to provide training to those working in the industry and actively participates in helping the industry and its customers deal with some of the major issues of the day. BIBA members provide professional advice to businesses and consumers, playing a key role in identification, measurement, management, control and transfer of risk. They negotiate appropriate insurance protection tailored to individual needs and operate to a very high standard of customer service with the aim of ensuring peace of mind, security, financial protection and the professional advice required.



Education Business | Volume 15.1


GETTING THE RIGHT COVER Eric Galbraith, BIBA chief executive, discusses the value of using a broker when choosing commercial insurance BUYING COMMERCIAL INSURANCE cover to protect a business can be riddled with complexities – even for the smallest company. However, many business owners could come unstuck because they believe that they are receiving advice as they buy their insurance when in reality all they are getting is information, according to research commissioned by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA). Advertising would suggest that going online or direct to the insurer for commercial cover is a straightforward and cost-effective way of buying cover. Worryingly, BIBA’s research found that a third of the micro SMEs not using the services of an insurance broker failed to realise they were not being advised and were probably only being offered products limited to a single insurer or provider. UNDERSTANDING THE OFFER This lack of understanding has to be of concern. This cover may not be the best for the purchaser’s business. Business owners are often far too time pressed to read all of the conditions of an insurance policy. Businesses as a result could find themselves unwittingly unprotected if they have not had certain terms and exclusions pointed out to them or understood security requirements, for example. Sadly, all too often, that happens when a business needs the protection offered by their policy the most – when a claim has arisen. Having suitable insurance in place is vital. Business owners should always check that adequate cover is being purchased by asking if the policy offered is a recommendation, if it is suitable for their specific needs or by obtaining advice from a broker. Brokers take time to learn about the insurance needs of a specific business and can offer a full range of professional services including risk management, recommending insurers for their quality and not least, provide assistance in the event of a claim. There are many occasions, where had it not been for the intervention of a broker a claim would have either been refuted or reduced payment made by the insurer. The research confirmed high satisfaction levels with those businesses that chose to use the services of a broker, with 95 per cent of SMEs saying they are likely to do so again for their business insurance when their policy next falls due for renewal. INDUSTRY GUIDANCE How the broker gets paid for those services has been a source of much discussion in the insurance industry recently. The Financial



Services Authority (FSA), which is responsible for regulating the activities of the insurance industry, has been seeking greater transparency about the level of commission earned by intermediaries when selling insurance, the type of services they provide and the relationship that they have with insurers. The FSA argues that this information is needed to ensure that the buyers of commercial cover make a better informed decision about the most appropriate insurance product for their business. The upshot of all this has been the publication of industry guidance which aims to ensure that the buyers of commercial insurance are provided with clear information about the capacity in which their chosen intermediary is acting i.e. are they working for the insurer or the customer or in some cases for both, the services being provided and the remuneration they have received for them. The development of this guidance has been led by BIBA in cooperation with the other trade bodies in the insurance market such as the ABI, IIB, LMA and LIIBA. Customers buying commercial insurance should be made aware of their right to request commission information by their intermediary. The guidance gives brokers direction on how they can give prominence to this right as research from the FSA has shown that a significant number of commercial customers are unaware that they have the right to know how much remuneration their broker receives on their particular policy.

GET ALL THE INFORMATION The guidance also seeks to ensure that commercial customers have clearer and more comparable information about the commissions that brokers and intermediaries receive as well as the services that are being provided. This includes information about the breadth of search that the broker has undertaken in order to find an insurance product for their customer. Where a broker has used the services of another intermediary in the placing of the insurance then the commercial buyer should also be made aware of their presence. The FSA’s rules require all authorised firms to take all reasonable steps to identify conflicts of interest between themselves and a client. Brokers will face a conflict where their own interests conflict with those of a commercial customer; or a broker is unable to act in the best interests of one commercial customer without adversely affecting the interests of another commercial customer. Consequently, a large part of the guidance is devoted to helping brokers to manage the conflicts of interest that may arise from commercial relationships.

FOR MORE INFORMATION To find BIBA broker visit A copy of the industry guidance can be found at: IndustryGuidanceFINAL.pdf

Visit the website to view the categorised product finder

COBRA Insurance Brokers Ltd RUGBY – specialist insurance broker to the education sector


OBRA INSURANCE Brokers Limited RUGBY is an independent insurance broker specialising in helping clients to find the right insurance solutions for their business or organisation’s needs. The cornerstone of our business is the provision of insurance for ‘Professional Risks’. We work closely with a number of professions or sectors and have over time recognised the growing need and demand within the education sector for insurance to protect the legal liabilities of governors, directors, council members, officers or trustees of educational establishments or consultancies. You might wonder why a school (for instance) might need to have this type of insurance. It is possible for claims to be brought against a school or an officer, governor or trustee (for example) in respect of alleged dishonesty, fraudulent activity or misconduct. In these increasingly litigious times this type of action is all the more common and can be very costly. We can tailor a policy to suit the needs of your particular establishment COBRA Insurance Brokers Limited has branches

and clients nationwide and a dedicated office in Rugby dealing solely with Professional and Financial Lines. The Rugby office is managed by Claire Russell who has 15 years Broking experience – most of that time concentrating on Professional and Financial lines insurance. Our staff are knowledgeable and motivated to nurture our customer relationships in order to retain our clients long-term – we want our clients to stay with us year-on-year. We have market wide access and work closely with a panel of carefully selected Insurers in order to provide our clients with access to insurance products that suit their needs.

Our business model is based on providing great value quality products combined with excellent customer service, underpinned by trusted relationships with leading insurers. This is the basis of our success – a three-way partnership between the customer, the insurer and us. We believe it is extremely important in today’s insurance marketplace to provide a first class service to our customers – not only when providing quotations and new policies but also backing this service up with help and assistance throughout the year and in particular should a claim or potential claim occur. Our clients have direct access to their account handler – a real person that they can talk to when the need arises.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 686 0260 Fax: 0845 686 0262 E-mail: Web: and


School Insurance Experts to the education sector for Insurance & risk management For a quotation please call Educational Insurance Services on

0117 929 9381 St Lawrence House, Broad Street, Bristol BS1 2HF Educational Insurance Services is a trading name of Hayes Parsons Ltd and is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority


Growing demand for Budgets under scrutiny Demands on management time Confusing finance market Progressive Technology Finance CSG provides unrivalled choice and service in the educational sector allowing you a real alternative to captive finance companies working with technology vendors, who often have their own agendas. Our consultative approach ensures you can acquire the latest technology at a competitive whole life cost with predictable and simple upgrade options. or 01689 806970




For many parents these are testing times. This is why a rapidly growing number of schools are offering them the choice of paying their schooling expenses like trips, uniforms and fees by credit or debit card. As well as being a secure, familiar and convenient payment method, it can make managing their finances easier too. But the benefits don’t stop there. Card payments can improve your own cash flow and save on administration

time and costs. What’s more, because you’ve less need to keep cash on the premises, security becomes less of a worry, too. In fact, with so many advantages, the only question remaining is why are you not with RBS WorldPay, the number one card processor in the UK and Europe?* Contact us now so you can offer parents a real choice, safely and securely.

To learn about accepting card payments in your school and eligibility for our preferential rates, call us now on

0800 010 166** Alternatively, visit us at *Source: Nilson Report Nov 2008. **Calls may be recorded for security and training purposes. Calls made to 0800 numbers are free from BT UK landlines; costs from other networks may vary.

Written by Kurt Obermaier, the Credit Services Association

Sponsored by


LESSONS IN CASHFLOW MANAGEMENT The impact of student debt is considerable. Even if only a small percentage of tuition fees, for example, is not recovered, it can amount to several millions of pounds lost for the college or university STUDENT DEBT IS A SUBJECT RARELY out of the newspapers. And for good reason. According to figures from John Paton of The Lewis Group, a Member who works closely in this sector, students incur average annual debts of £5,000, and by the time a student graduates the average debt burden is c£20,000. This is worrying enough, says Mr Paton, but the problem is getting worse. “Student debt levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have risen sharply in last 12 months, as much as 30 per cent in some areas, and the fear is that level will continue to rise,” he said. Debts incurred by students, or at least those that concern the universities or colleges to which they belong, tend to focus around two main areas: accommodation fees, and tuition fees. As well as these fees there are what might be termed ‘sundry debts’, for example payment for field trips, library fines, and so on. The potential for debt is considerable; even if only a small percentage of tuition fees, for example,

is not recovered, it can amount to several millions of pounds ‘lost’ to that university. OUTSOURCING DEBT COLLECTION Most universities and colleges share common concerns, and indeed common solutions. Debt tends to be cyclical, peaking at the start of the academic year. To that end, collecting debts is not so much an issue of competence, more a matter of resource and it is simply not practical to have a big team chasing debt all year ‘round when it tends to be concentrated at particular times. This is where outsourcing collections to an external agency comes into its own. Taking an ‘average’ university or college charging an ‘average’ tuition fee of c£2,000 with for example 35,000 new students each year, that amounts to c£70 million to be collected. Even taking a modest figure of 10 per cent of these students failing to pay in the first instance, the initial debt could be as high as £7 million. Without recourse to an external collections agency, there could

be several millions of pounds ‘lost’ to the university, money everybody would rather see invested in attaining academic excellence. Accommodation fees are also an issue. It is remarkable how many students don’t seem to be able to pay for their halls of residence but don’t seem to have the same problem in the second year paying an external landlord. In these cases in particular, the pressure that can be exerted by an external agency may be more appropriate in recovering a debt. One of the biggest headaches the credit manager faces is when a student decides to ‘opt out’ without telling anyone. Students embark on the first semester, change courses, and then somehow think they don’t have to pay for the education they have received up to that point. It is when students don’t formally withdraw that the problems start. MANAGING CASH FLOW For those working in the finance teams within education, it is not just debts relating to



IT User Qualifications

Helping people manage their money Now that it has been confirmed that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education will be made compulsory in schools from September 2011 you may be looking for suitable provision for your students. BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT has developed a innovative qualification in Personal Finance for schools and colleges. BCS Personal Finance is an investment   that will pay off. It is a useful and insightful  qualification that teaches you financial  literacy and includes topics such as how   to look after your money, preparing for  future life, work and career, how to avoid  debt, and find out about savings, pensions  and mortgages.  This qualification is suitable for anyone   from age 14 onwards who wants to learn  about aspects of finance as part of social,  economic and working life. There are  qualification options available at Level 1  (QCF) and 2 (NQF). At Level 2 the BCS Personal Finance certificate commands performance points  – Award = 23, Certificate and Diploma = 46, and offers financial guidance and literacy for people at  any stage of life. You can choose to take units that meet your needs and suit your circumstances,  and all testing is done online, so there will be no written exams to take.  BCS worked closely with NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education), the FSA  (Financial Services Authority), and financial consultants and advisors to develop an employerrecognised qualification which will lead towards the new PSHE requirements. To find out about BCS Personal Finance qualifications call Client Support on 01793 417 530,  email and visit the website QCF = Qualifications Credit Framework  NQF = National Qualifications Framework

BCS Qualifications  First Floor  Block D  North Star House  North Star Avenue  Swindon  SN2 1FA T +44 (0) 1793 417 530  F +44 (0) 1793 417 570  E  Website The British Computer Society (Registered charity no. 292786) MTG/AD/1066/0110 

Education Business | Volume 15.1

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their students that cause concern. In keeping with their colleagues in the commercial sector, they too require goods and services that need to be bought and paid for, and managing cash flow becomes a critical factor in their establishment’s survival. Help in terms of managing cashflow is now widely available, with a number of guides recently published by The Institute of Credit Management (the ICM) for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. These guides urge a ‘back to basics’ approach to credit management, and in particular the importance of ‘knowing your customer.’ The approach is as valid when the ‘customer’ is a student: a bill cannot be paid unless/until it is received, and won’t be paid if it is in dispute. It also encourages credit departments not to be afraid to ask for payment, to make immediate contact when payment hasn’t arrived, and to be assertive about what you expect and when you expect it. The consequences of non-payment must be made clear, and that might include involving a third party – i.e. a debt collector – to act on your behalf. Most in the education sector believe that debts can be collected through their own endeavours, and will usually take the first steps in recovering a debt, contacting students with letters and reminders. None of them, however, deny that debt is still an issue, and agree that employing an external agency, even in the last resort, is a useful option – certainly for those within the ‘won’t pay’ rather than ‘can’t pay’ camp. No-one is going to persecute a student in genuine trouble, but there are those in the ‘won’t pay’ bracket where a ‘softly softly’ approach doesn’t work. In those cases, a letter


or an approach from an external debt collection agency elevates the situation such that it becomes – in their minds at least – something more serious that they cannot ignore. LIBRARY DEBTS Amongst the sundry debts, perhaps the area of greatest common concern is the library. Library debts, through fines alone, can run into many hundreds of pounds, and are an increasing problem. With books costing typically £20-25, a student with 10 books who not only doesn’t pay the fine but then walks off with them will owe in excess of £250. Not only does this financially penalise the university, but it also disadvantages other students. Consistency is also a problem. Distinguishing between the genuine cases and the non genuine ones – the can’t pays versus the won’t pays – is as much of a concern to a university as it is in the commercial world. The most important thing about selecting a third party collection agency is that they should be members of the Credit Services Association.

Members of the CSA are professionals who adhere to a strict code of practice. There are specific procedures and rules that these members follow with teams dedicated to a specific task – and that is recovering debt. Secondly, it is important that you understand what an agency can do and what skills they have, and that they understand what you do. Some establishments like to work with several agencies, and benchmark and compare their services and share good practice. The year ahead will be busy. John Paton, for example, says that debt referrals from its education sector clients have increased by an average 19.9 per cent per month over the last 12 months, and are expected to grow still further. The real problems with debt, however, comes when a university or college hangs on to it for too long, rather than referring it to an agency earlier in the cycle.


Ranstad Education – shaping the world of education ANDSTAD EDUCATION, the new name for Select Education is a specialist division of Randstad, the world’s largest specialist staffing services group. It is the leading UK and global educational staffing specialist, providing quality, individual service to over 10,000 teachers and support staff and to the 15,000 schools who have used its service throughout the UK. Randstad Education teachers, assistants and lecturers work alongside 135,000 young people per day across 2,500 schools a week, positively shaping their lives at nurseries, schools, colleges and training organisations across the UK. Established in 1993, Randstad Education has a network of over 35 offices throughout the UK with teams of education specialists, including dedicated primary, secondary, special needs and early years consultants.


Working closely with the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Home Office and other government bodies, it also partners on ground-breaking education research with the Institute for Public Policy Research and Campaign for Learning. As a result the company has pioneered many aspects of educational staffing, from quality controls and systems through to introducing new services for SEN and Teaching Assistants.

Randstad Education plc is an accredited Investor in People (IIP) organisation, a member of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and is accredited with the international quality standard BS EN ISO 9002.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 600 1234 E-mail: Web:



Education Business | Volume 15.1

NEW WAYS TO PAY Uptake in card payments gives schools and parents a real multiple choice FOLLOWING A DECISION TAKEN BY the Payments Council at the end of last year, the humble cheque will cease to exist by 2018. The move could have serious ramifications for those schools which still rely on cheques for payments. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time to adopt alternative payment methods that are popular with parents. Research conducted recently by RBS WorldPay shows that a move away from cheques and the provision of an alternative to cash are welcomed by parents. Fears that cheques can get lost, that cash may not even reach the school gates or that carrying it may turn their child into a walking target of crime, were all understandable parental concerns highlighted by the study. The removal of cheques from the payment system is also welcomed by many school managers and bursars who have experienced how cumbersome and time consuming the processing of cheques can be - from the time spent waiting for cheques to clear, through to the intricacies of the audit trail necessary to track the payment process. Cash creates similar administration issues, due to the need to actually bank the cash, or produce a physical receipt which is often a manual task in itself. On top of the phasing out of cheques, an additional worry stems from the discontinuation of the UK Cheque Guarantee Scheme from 30 June 2011. The end of the Scheme removes the certainty that funds pledged by a cheque will actually be credited and will therefore hasten the decline of the humble cheque as a readilyaccepted payment method. Schools need to ensure, therefore, that they stay ahead of the payments game and consider alternatives to make sure they don’t lose out. WHY CARDS? So, apart from the upcoming changes to the payments landscape, why should schools make the move toward accepting debit and credit cards? One of the most obvious benefits is increased efficiency. Unnecessary administration such as counting cash and cheques, reconciling payments, manually preparing and issuing receipts and chasing unpaid cheques, can be minimised as funds are deposited automatically into the school’s bank account (typically within three to four days). As more payments are made by card, schools have fewer cheques to administer and less cash to deposit at the bank, freeing up valuable staff time. “We are really seeing the benefit from a banking perspective,” said Wicor Primary School. “We used to bank three to five times a week and



we now only need to bank once a week.” Secondly, greater security and reduced risk is a significant benefit to schools. Replacing cash with cards means less money is held on school premises and staff security is not compromised when leaving the premises to deposit cash funds at the bank. This also extends to student security, as they don’t have to carry cash to school. Additionally, the technology boasts easy integration – there’s no need to change your existing bank account, a wide range of card payment terminals are available to suit the needs of your school and getting started is easy. Card payments are fully flexible so your school can take payments from parents over the telephone, through the post or in person at the school office, and a fully secure card payment facility can be integrated into a school’s website to enable online transactions. If required, schools can also use the system to set up a series of regular payments which act as a direct debit mandate. Online payments have an added benefit of driving parents to a school’s website, which is a useful way of highlighting key information about upcoming school events and news. BENEFITS FOR PARENTS So, what about the parents – is there demand from them too? Well, parents welcome the increased flexibility and convenience that paying by card offers to their already busy lives. They are open to payment methods which they have become used to in the retail space – such as debit and credit cards, and online shopping carts – to pay for school trips, books and meals. This is especially true during times of economic difficulty, with the freedom to spread credit payments over longer timeframes creating financial flexibility and an additional degree of control over cash flow. South Farnborough Infants School confirmed: “Being able to pay by credit card has meant that parents who are finding things a bit tough during the credit crunch can spread their payments instead of having to produce a cheque at a moment’s notice.” There’s also the benefit of convenience. Paying over the phone or online means parents no longer have to come into the school to make payments in person, which is particularly convenient for students from overseas whose parents may not live in the UK. Finally, card payments offer peace of mind to parents, as they no longer need worry whether their cash or cheque has safely reached school because an automatic

audit trail will confirm their payment has been received and processed properly. WHY RBS WORLDPAY? With RBS WorldPay, Europe’s number one card processor, it has never been easier or more secure for schools to accept payments via debit and credit cards. We process millions of payments every day, securely and quickly. RBS WorldPay has been working closely with primary and secondary schools in the UK to develop card payment solutions which meet the needs of this specialist sector. RBS WorldPay can offer your school: • Fixed or portable chip and PIN terminals – similar to those you will find in shops on the high street, they are ideal for taking payments from parents in person from a fixed location (for example the school office) or, in the case of portable terminals, in multiple locations within the school premises (such as at fundraising evenings). These terminals will also allow you to administer payments taken conveniently over the telephone.

Education Business | Volume 15.1

provides a ‘Schools Cash Office’ (SCO) in association with RBS WorldPay. This system is a truly integrated way to manage non-grant income within local authority schools, e.g. school trip money or school uniform fees. It provides an easy and powerful method for parents to pay online and lets them choose what they want to pay for and when. It helps the school finance team to manage and control this income by providing them with a system to oversee it and automatic updates show who has paid what, cutting down on hours of labour each week. For example, for schools that collect dinner money in advance, SCO dramatically reduces administration workload, keeping track of who has paid what and instantly showing who is in arrears and by how much. The Tucasi system works well in all schools and further education colleges and can easily be applied in independent schools. In areas where SCO has been used for some time, auditors recommend it. WHERE DO I START? It’s easy to set up card payment facilities for your establishment. One call to RBS WorldPay is all it takes: 1. We’ll explain the various options to you and help you set up a merchant account 2. One of our experienced service agents will call on you to install a payment terminal 3. If you plan to accept payments online, we’ll provide all the materials and support you need to accept cards on your site You can then start accepting card payments. And if you have any queries you can contact our helpdesk, open 365 days a year, or visit our online support area.

FOR MORE INFORMATION • Online payments – the ability to take payments securely online, via the school website, through our gateway payment service. To provide these market-leading solutions, over the past 12 months RBS WorldPay has started working with leading technology providers in the online field to help schools take payments online. These include Tucasi and WisePay. While RBS WorldPay provides the secure payment gateway through which transactions take place, these companies provide schools with back office administration and shopping cart technology to help schools manage and reconcile payments. THE WISEPAY PLATFORM The WisePay Platform provides leading-edge technology for the education sector. WisePay allows parents to easily make all of their school payments online and also provides full accounting software so that schools can quickly reconcile and audit non-grant income and expenditure. The WisePay Platform automatically integrates with a school’s information database, so there is no need for manual updating of accounts by school staff. Furthermore, WisePay also integrates

with all major cashless caterers allowing school meal payments to be paid online and the student balances to be available at the till. Using WisePay for all payments made to school by parents cuts down on hours of staff time. A user in the school’s finance office from The Gryphon School in Dorset commented: “WisePay does what it says on the tin – the system is invaluable and it saves about two days work per month.” The WisePay Platform also provides an SMS and e-mail service so that schools can issue general school messages and alert individual parents to outstanding trip instalments or low dinner money balances. All payments parents have made, plus payment balances, school meal purchases and school meal nutritional values can be communicated back to parents through their own, secure ‘Wise Account’. The WisePay Platform is driving efficiencies in local authority run secondary and primary schools as well as in further education colleges, independent schools and nurseries.

• For more information on RBS WorldPay, visit or call 0800 010 166. • For more information on Tucasi contact Annette Mckeown on 0844 800 4016, e-mail on or visit • For more information on WisePay please contact Sarah Phillips on 0845 899 0011, e-mail or go to

SCHOOLS CASH OFFICE FROM TUCASI Tucasi, which was formed to apply innovative thinking to income management in schools,



Education Business | Volume 15.1

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FINDING BEST VALUE FOR YOUR WHOLE SCHOOL Ray Barker from BESA writes on best practice issues and the importance of funding for schools to give them good value CHRISTMAS IS OVER AND THE TREE and lights have been taken down. After a rather interesting December filled with snow and travel chaos that continued into January, the New Year is upon us, and the new term has begun. With it, many school leaders are turning their thoughts to what 2010 will bring. If you managed to visit BETT this year, you would have been privy to the launch of the latest educational resources set to hit classrooms of the future. As co-founders and organisers of BETT, BESA also runs the main Information Point at the show, and as a result, we have the opportunity to talk to many educators who visit each year. This year, we found that many were interested in seeking ‘best value’ resources and sourcing as much information as they could before investing in supplies and making final procurement decisions. EFFECTS OF ELECTION Also high on the agenda for many educators is how the coming election will affect school funding. Earmarked for the first half of 2010, the next elected government is sure to make significant changes, and whether this means that school funding will be affected is yet to be seen. A large deficit as a result of ‘spending our way out of recession,’ which we still aren’t quite out of yet, means that we could see public funding tighten. However, current school budgets are guaranteed until 2013 which means that we still have the same amount of money to spend on school needs as before. The recent budget confirmed real terms rises for schools, colleges and Sure Start Children’s Centres guaranteed in 2011-12 and 2012-13, with an 0.8 per cent average annual rise: Sure Start in line with inflation, 3-16 education at 0.7 per cent and 16-19 education at 0.9 per cent. With the end of ring-fenced funding, school leaders also have more choice about how they choose to spend their budgets, and to make sure they are using funds for the areas of greatest need. Leaving current funding unspent is not doing anyone any favours – this money has been delegated to schools for today’s learners, not the learners of the future. At the end of 2009, BESA’s ICT research found that schools still had needs for new classroom and whole school resources, so withholding funds at the risk of LA clawbacks will only leave schools at a disadvantage.

MAKING IT COUNT If I were to name the 2009 catchphrase for BESA, it would hands down be ‘best value’. There has never been a more important time for school decision makers to research before procurement decisions are made to find the best value for their school. As suppliers move online, and more people attend exhibitions like BETT and the Education Show, it has become easier for school leaders to compare resources and find the best fit. It is important to remember that best value does not mean the cheapest resource. The price of technology such as laptops and software has certainly come down in recent years thanks to a thriving consumer market. However, I’m sure many classroom teachers have witnessed just how easily kit that wasn’t made specifically for use by a busy classroom full of learners, like furniture made for home use, can fall apart when being used repeatedly by 30 odd young people every day. This is why it is vital to remember that ‘best value’ does not always equate to ‘cheapest on the market.’ You may have also heard the recent announcement by the government that stated they would like schools to start making ‘efficiencies’. Many educational suppliers who work in partnership with schools recognise the pressures that some are facing, and have been trying to alleviate pressure by providing additional services such as free teacher training and support. If you plan on attending this

year’s 20th Education Show, it is worthwhile taking advantage of some of the free CPD training on offer by exhibitors, or taking a look at the extensive seminar programme on offer. You might find new ways to use resources that you already have in your schools to get the most from what you already have. INFORMED PURCHASERS For decades now, BESA has acted as an intermediary between educational suppliers and the sector to help teachers become more informed purchasers and users of the dizzying array of resources available, and to ensure that educational suppliers are providing good quality, best fit products and services to support school needs. All BESA members agree to comply with a Code of Practice, which means purchasers can be assured of quality and best value – and they can trust their suppliers. This is why we also created the award-winning BESA website (, which contains a special Ed-Zone, just for teachers and educators. Crammed full of information, resources and news about what is going on in the sector, you can also search for resources and services from our 300 plus members, all of whom must adhere to a strict Code of Practice ensuring you best value, value for money and high quality. If you do plan on attending the Education Show in March, visit the BESA Information Point and we will help you get the most out of the show in 2010.



Exciting News from IIPSEC – Europe’s Premier Network based Security Technology Event We are pleased to announce that IIPSEC 20ten, Europe's Premier IP based Security Technology event has been re-scheduled and co-located with the UK's No.1 IP infrastructure event IP Expo and moved to London Earls Court 2 on 20 - 21 October 2010 IP Expo is now in its 5th year and attracts over 7,000 IT professionals across all verticals with a particular strength in public sector and finance. IIPSEC has welcomed more than 10,000 visitors, delegates and exhibitors over the past three years to what has become a recognised calendar event in the UK, Europe and beyond. This arrangement will now allow exhibitors, delegates and visitors to both events to move freely between IP EXPO and IIPSEC, engage with one another, enhancing the overall participant experience and further increasing the knowledge base within both sectors. The structure and educational content of IIPSEC will remain as strong as ever and the "spending quality time with quality people" ethos will continue to underpin the event. For exhibitors, the opportunity to present and demonstrate products and services to more that 10,000 potential customers are unparalleled and with the event now located in the prestigious Earls Court Complex in the heart of LONDON, it represents a very positive development for visitors, delegates and exhibitors alike.


Paul Hennings, Event Director commented, “We are all aware of the continued convergence between the physical security, life safety and IT worlds with the IP UserGroup and the IIPSEC team having always been at the cutting edge, so when an opportunity such as this arises we take it very seriously. We all know that for Networked Security and Safety Applications to grow and thrive it is essential that the industry learn to engage with the IT industry as a whole and the IP infrastructure players in particular and this relationship with IP EXPO will provide such a platform”. Paul added. “I believe that this is a significant move forward helping to increase the awareness and acceptance of new IP based applications across many market areas and I am sure that you will agree, this is an extremely exciting development. Having worked closely with the IP EXPO team over several years we have been able to identify many areas of synergy and are keen to make Earls Court in October the centre of the IP Universe”. IIPSEC’s partners, Imago Communications organisers of IP EXPO are equally excited about the prospect of further growth into "Application Areas" and are committed to delivering a first class technology event.

SEC 20

“We are pleased to be working with Paul and his organisation to facilitate the co-location of the IIPSEC event with our flagship IP Expo event. I have long thought that the next evolution of IP Expo will be built on new network devices and applications which are now leveraging the core IP Network much akin to the addition of voice a decade ago. The co-location and Imago’s relationship with IIPSEC fast-tracks our entry into the Life Safety, Building Systems and Security arena and is an exciting addition to our autumn hub. It is particularly exciting from the audience perspective based on the level of interest we saw this year at IP Expo in CCTV and surveillance seminars. I personally look forward to working with Paul and his team to deliver this event” – Adam Malik, Content Director and General Manager Imago Communications The IIPSEC and IP Expo teams hope that the rescheduling of the event does not cause you any inconvenience and that they can rely upon your continued support. For further details, exhibitor enquiries and visitor registration visit

An Event Focused on Network Centric Security & Life Safety Technology TEN 10 0 2 r e b o t Oc 1 2 The Latest in IP Based Security 0 2 and Safety Technologies . n o Surveillance & CCTV • d n • Access Control, Time & Attendance o L • Intruder Detection & Alarms 2 • Fire Detection & Evacuation t r • Integrated Security/Safety Solutions u • Audio, Intercom & Messaging o C • Biometrics and Visual Content Analysis ls • Transmission & Comms Systems r a Building Management Systems • • Remote Monitoring & Hosted Services tE a W O IIPSEC 20ten at the IP EXPO N co-located with

Earls Court 2, LONDON 20th to 21st October 2010

Enquiries: +44 (0)870 7870 546 - Email

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GETTING ON TOP OF PERSONAL FINANCES Keeping on top of money is often easier said than done and the effects can be felt not only by individuals but also in the workplace. The FSA’s financial capability programme can help SPENDING AND MONEY ISSUES CAN get the better of all of us. And in the current economic climate it’s more important than ever to be on top of our personal finances. But sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. For an employer or those managing staff, there are other issues. The current climate means that many people are unable to switch off from their personal financial worries when they come to work, which can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and even stress-related illness. The government recently announced its intention to make PSHE education – which includes personal finance – statutory from September 2011 for pupils in secondary schools. This move will help young people in the education system begin to develop the skills they need to be confident and competent in managing their money, and, along with acquiring healthy and proactive attitudes towards money matters they will leave school in a much better position to deal with the various financial issues they will face as they go through life. MONEY MANAGEMENT FOR ADULTS What about us adults that didn’t have lessons in money management when we were at school? Most of us are not financial experts, and many of us don’t know where to begin when it comes to finances. What kinds of support are available for teachers who might find themselves teaching PSHE education but are less than confident about money matters themselves? The National Strategy for Financial Capability, led and funded by the FSA, has worked closely with organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help schools deliver personal finance education in the classroom. Your school may have already accessed this professional support through the FSA-funded Learning Money Matters project, delivered by the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg). However, the work does not stop there and the strategy has ways to help other people across the UK. Making the most of your money is a completely free programme of financial education delivered direct to employees in their workplaces. And this includes schools. As this is from the FSA, the UK’s financial regulator, the programme of hour-long seminars and information literature is completely impartial. There is no selling, and seminars are delivered by trained presenters. The presentations are accessible and down-to-

earth. They cover everything from budgeting, borrowing, saving and investing, and protecting your family and possessions, to planning for your retirement. They have been designed to be easily and effectively delivered in any workplace, and can be tailored to include bespoke information, such as a specific benefits package. The sessions are supported by a free guide that supplements the seminar and signposts to further sources of useful information. POSITIVE FEEDBACK Since we began the programme in 2006 it has reached over three million people, and has seen us work with 750 employers. We are encouraged by the results so far. Independent evaluation by a research agency carried out on our behalf on a sample of 13,000 shows that, of those who attended a seminar: • 97 per cent thought it was a valuable part of their employer’s benefits • 97 per cent found the seminar useful • 81 per cent felt that the seminar had increased their knowledge in relation to money issues • 79 per cent said the seminar had given them more skills, further enabling them to deal with money matters The programme also has support of the government, which has pledged to promote it so that every public sector worker has the opportunity to take part between now and 2011 (HMT and FSA Joint Action Plan, 2008). A large number of public sector organisations have already participated, including NHS Trusts, central government departments and local authorities. For further information on Making the most of your money please e-mail Teaching and other staff can also access a wide range of free and impartial online information, tools and order printed guides to help with money from our Moneymadeclear service In April 2009 Moneymadeclear launched a pathfinder service in the North East and North West of England offering money guidance face-to-face, and via the telephone as well as online. The FSA is delivering this service in partnership with government, which recently announced its intention to expand the service nationally from 2010.

in providing personal finance education and including it in their curriculum. Being financially capable has wide social benefits, and it is never too late to learn. Research the FSA conducted earlier this year found that an improvement in an individual’s financial capability leads to an improvement in their psychological wellbeing. Even moving from low to average levels of financial capability decreases anxiety and depression by 15 per cent. It increases life satisfaction 12 times more than earning an extra £1,000 a year. People who are informed and confident with their personal finances are more likely to make better buying decisions and are less likely to fall foul of scams. Tips on planning ahead and keeping track of spending, and information that helps us understand and make informed decisions about financial products all help to develop confidence in money matters.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Making the most of your money: our-work/workplace/index.shtml National Strategy for Financial Capability: View FSA publications and research at latest/index.shtml

WORKING WITH COLLEGES We have also been working in the Further Education sector with our Money for LiFE project that helps support colleges



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EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE The escalating costs of fossil fuels and the government incentives and grant schemes should encourage more take up of renewable energy technologies in community building projects like schools. Linda McKeown from BRE reports ENERGY MINISTER DAVID KIDNEY MP was at BRE’s headquarters in Watford in November to promote the government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2 Extention. Funding for this renewable energy grants scheme, which is aimed at public sector and charitable organisations, has recently been extended with a further £45 million now available. The scheme offers grants of 50 per cent towards the costs of installing small scale renewable energy devices like solar panels or wind turbines. Grants up to a maximum of £200,000 per site are available to schools, hospitals, housing associations, local authorities, charitable bodies, and community organisations. Funding can be used for the supply and installation of any combination of the following microgeneration technologies: • Solar thermal hot water • Heat pumps • Automated wood pellet stoves • Wood fuelled boiler systems • Micro hydro turbines • Wind turbines The Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2 aims to stimulate the uptake of microgeneration technologies and help to lower carbon emissions from buildings which account for almost 50 per cent of the UK’s total CO2 output. The programme also demonstrates how the technologies can work in a wide range of organisations and building types. TECHNOLOGIES EXPLAINED Solar Thermal hot water: solar panels, also known as collectors, can be fitted onto or integrated into a building’s roof. They use the sun’s energy to heat water, or a heat-transfer fluid, which passes through the panel. The fluid is fed to a heat store (e.g. a hot water tank) to provide part of the hot water demand for the building. Usually another heat source will be needed to supplement collectors in winter months. Solar panels can also be used to heat swimming pools. Hydro-power systems use a turbine to convert the energy stored in water flowing downhill into electricity. Useful power may be produced from even a small stream. The hydro-power source should be relatively close to where the power is needed or to a suitable grid connection. Hydro systems can be grid-connected or form part of an off-grid power system. In a grid-connected system surplus electricity can be sold to electricity companies. In an

EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE The Low Carbon Buildings Programme – Phase2E (LCBP2E) is a Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) scheme offering grants for microgeneration installations to public sector and charitable organisations. From 1 July 2009 organisations have been able to apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of installing approved technologies with grants of up to £200, 000 made available per eligible site. For further Information on Phase 2E of the LCBP, including eligibility criteria, please visit uk, or call the helpline on 08704 23 23 13. Deadlines for receiving applications:

Applications for electricity generation (non-PV) can only be accepted up to March 2010 when Feed-in Tariffs will be introduced. Heating only applications can be made throughout 2010 but applicants will have to claim their grant by the end of February 2011. Please note that this scheme ends on 1 April 2011 when the Renewable Heat Incentive will be introduced. For more information on the Renewable Energy Tariffs (RETs) please visit the DECC website uk/en/content/cms/consultations/ elec_financial/elec_financial.aspx



Worried about the new CRC legislation?

Effective building controls can help you with Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) requirements. Optimising your building energy management system (BEMS) will quickly deliver significant energy savings and reductions in carbon emissions. In addition to significant energy savings, a Trend system can also provide the environmental data and information collected for teaching purposes in the classroom. Simply email your address details to and we will send you a FREE Trend CRC booklet which illustrates the practical steps you can take to reduce your carbon emissions.

Request a FREE copy of the Trend CRC booklet now.

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off-grid system, electricity can be supplied directly to the devices powered or through a battery bank and inverter set up. A back-up power system may be needed to compensate for seasonal variations in water flow. A wind turbine converts wind to electricity. The most common design is of three blades mounted on a horizontal axis which is free to rotate in the wind on a tall tower. The blades drive a generator either directly or via gearbox (generally for larger machines) to produce electricity. Wind turbines can be mounted on masts that are free-standing or tethered with wire guys, or on buildings. The greatest amount of power will be generated if turbines have a constant supply of steady wind, and advice should be taken on where to site the turbine to optimise output. The electricity can either link to the grid or, in the case of off-grid systems, charge batteries. Modern designs can be very quiet in operation. HEAT PUMPS Heat pumps can be used effectively for space and water heating. Heat pumps take heat energy from a source such as the ground, a body of water (eg river, lake or well) or simply the outside air and transfer it to the building. The heat is upgraded by using a pump and compressor which removes heat from one side of the circuit and ejects it to the other side. Heat pumps require electricity for their operation and users may consider buying this through a green tariff scheme, which promotes the use of renewable energy sources by power generators. Automated wood pellet stoves and wood fuelled boilers. Wood burning systems, unlike other renewable energy sources, emit carbon dioxide. However, as the wood fuel is cultivated, it absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide as is released when burnt. As such it does not add to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. PROGRAMME BENEFITS Speaking at the first in a series of free nationwide events to promote the extended scheme, Mr Kidney explained the benefits of getting involved in the LCBP and government’s plans for increased use of renewable energy generation in the UK. Monika Munzinger who manages the scheme on behalf of DECC said: “We all now recognise the crucial need for urgent action on climate change. More and more community projects are using technologies like solar panels and wind turbines with the help of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2. Small-scale renewable energy technologies can work for a range of organisations, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions, bit also helping to lower fuel bills. In these times of high fuel and energy prices which can be exacerbated by the cold spell we recently experienced across the UK, this is

THE COMMUNITY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROGRAMME is a £10 m grant programme providing £8 million to community-based organisations for the installation of microgeneration technologies, such as solar panels or biomass boilers and energy efficiency measures including loft and cavity wall insulation. It also provides £1 million for project development grants that will help community organisations decide if they could benefit from a microgeneration and energy efficiency installation. Applications are being accepted now. Capital grants will be awarded

on a competitive basis at quarterly Selection Panel meetings. Project Development grants will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis until all funds are spent. The programme was launched in April 2008 to provide funding for three years. Capital grant funding will continue throughout 2010, with the last deadline on 29 October 2010. Development grants will continue until the money has been allocated throughout 2010.



New Light for greater energy efficiency. The TRILUX Sonara.

Every luminaire from TRILUX is far more than just light. For instance, the TRILUX Sonara: in addition to outstanding lighting performance it contributes significantly to noise reduction, and is suitable for the installation of further features such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems and loudspeakers. The luminaire is primarily suitable for classrooms and office environments where high value is placed on good acoustics and energy-efficient lighting: the highly reflective MIRO-SILVER速 coating and integrated lighting management achieve a light output ratio of 75%. TRILUX Sonara: New Light as it should be.

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BRE BRE has been building a better world for almost 90 years through cutting edge research, consultancy and testing services. Our unrivalled knowledge in regard to sustainability and innovation is now used across the construction industry and in the corporate world creating better buildings, communities and businesses. BRE is part of the BRE Group of companies owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity. The profits made by BRE go to the BRE Trust the largest UK charity dedicated specifically to research and education in the built environment. something that more and more organisations should be looking to do.” Running in parallel with the LCBP2 throughout 2010 for possible match funding, the Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP) is a grant scheme for microgeneration and energy saving technologies to help community based organisations in England reduce their energy bills and environmental impact. Funded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme, CSEP provides £8 million worth of grants towards the cost of technologies such as solar thermal systems, heat pumps and small scale wind turbines. It will also provide £1 million for project development grants to help community organisations establish a microgeneration and energy efficiency installation that will work for them. SCHEME OBJECTIVES The programme aims to achieve the following outcomes: • Reduction in CO2 emissions • Increased community awareness of climate change and how changes to our behaviour can reduce it • Increased skills base of local trades (for example, local builders and building-service subcontractors working on renewable energy projects for the first time) • Reduction in energy bills • Reduction in reliance on imported energy and increased independence from commercial energy suppliers • Stronger partnerships within local communities with lasting social benefits • Growth of local enterprise in new technologies. BRE has been appointed by the Big Lottery Fund as an Award Partner, responsible for distributing funding through the CSEP scheme as part of the Changing Spaces programme. The programme aims to improve rural and urban environments and enable communities across England to lead healthier and more environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Peter Wanless, Big Lottery Fund, chief executive, said: “The Changing Spaces programme is all about improving access to the local environment and empowering communities to make a positive difference to their surroundings. The CSEP scheme offers a great opportunity for community-based organisations – from schools to community centres – to come forward and apply for funding for energy saving equipment and technologies. Not only can they lessen their impact on the environment but reduce their energy bills to boot.” Organisations may also submit applications for grants to fund feasibility studies to identify the most appropriate mix of measures for particular buildings. Grants will require match funding that may be available from other grant schemes such as LCBP2. Monika Munzinger of BRE, who also manages the CSEP scheme for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “These schemes enable community based organisations to take positive action on climate change. The organisations that make successful applications will have a vital role in both promoting and demonstrating the types of technology we all need to be installing on our buildings to lower carbon emissions and become more sustainable – it’s a great opportunity.”


Educool – the affordable and practical cooling system for schools DUCOOL IS A NATURAL cooling system for schools, that uses only 10 to 15 per cent of the energy required for air conditioning, costs less to install than wind catchers, and provides cooled fresh air, not recirculated air. The system fully meets the requirements of the BB101 guidelines on classroom ventilation, which standard air conditioning cannot do. An Educool system has recently been installed at Boxford Primary School in Suffolk. The school’s first floor classrooms were unusable in the summer term, due to heat from the sun and pupils. To overcome the problem an Educool system was designed, and installed in just three days during a holiday break. The upstairs classrooms are now fed with fresh, filtered and cooled external air from the large ceiling void above, via ceiling diffusers, creating a pleasant,


comfortable teaching environment. Using open windows as natural extract, the rooms purge with cooled fresh air, dropping previously recorded temperatures in excess of 35 degrees centigrade, to a pleasant 22 to 25 degrees. Head teacher Rob Giles and his staff have noted a marked improvement, not only in the ambient conditions, but also in the children’s wellbeing, attentiveness and alertness during their afternoon lessons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 02392 361260 Fax: 02392 361256 E-mail: Web:

Award winning solutions from AZURE OW COSTS, minimal maintenance, reduced carbon emissions… the advantages of installing renewable energy systems in non-domestic buildings are self-evident. Add generous government grants and compliance with increasingly stringent planning consent regulations and the case for natural energy heating and cooling systems becomes overwhelming. As one of the most experienced and award winning independent installers of renewable energy systems in the UK, AZURE specify, design and install complete heating and cooling systems, which are highly efficient, affordable and reliable. With a large portfolio of projects ranging from small flats, large residential properties and churches to industrial units, schools and community centres, we’re here to support your vision… AZURE heating systems are individually tailored to meet the specific needs of your living and


working environments and it is our policy only to use the most efficient and effective renewable technologies that provide a realistic and economic alternative to conventional heating systems. We are accredited installers for the Low Carbon Buildings Program phase 1 & 2 (LCBP2E) and “The Community Sustainable Energy Program”. Members of the Solar Trade Association and the Ground Source Heat Pump Association and subscribed to the REAL assurance scheme.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01743 860970 Fax: 01743 860402 E-mail: Web:



Build your own natural playscapes Let children design


and build their own features in school Commercial, Public Sector & Domestic Heat Pumps Biomass Boilers Solar Photovoltaic Solar Water Heating Don’t Miss This Cost Saving Opportunity!

Integrate curriculum and outdoor learning

Learn about natural materials and sustainable building For more information, call us on 0117 9638222, email or visit our website at

Need Metering KNOW HOW? Smart, advanced, sub energy metering; automatic Monitoring and Targeting aM&T Draw on the KNOW HOW of expert energy management professionals, advanced system suppliers and successful, experienced Energy Managers. Discover the KNOW HOW to implement the roll out of advanced and smart meters; Part L; CRC; Display Energy Certificates. KNOW HOW to manage energy. Attend our free ESTA conference so that you KNOW HOW to implement aM&T and deliver reductions in your organisation’s energy use, cost and carbon footprint.

The eighth national aM&T conference & exhibition Thursday 25 February 2010, E.ON Lounge, Ricoh Arena, Coventry


Visit the website to view the categorised product finder

A complex case for a simple solution? Smarter Automated Meter Reading? A

UTOMATED METER READING (AMR) is now a topic that has reached even the furthest corners of the UK plc. The main driver of recent months has been the Carbon Reduction Commitment, or CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, as it is now to be known. As recently as last week the Environment Agency has had a climb down on the requirement to buy two years carbon allowances in July 2011, essentially halving the cash flow impact of the CRC energy efficiency scheme on qualifying businesses. The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme’s impact on your business (should it qualify) will in 2011 entirely depend upon what are called the Early Action Metrics, whereby a league table is drawn up and your companies relative performance to others is gauged by these metrics. In the first year, a successful installation of AMR across 90 per cent of your portfolio should see you avoid the associated financial penalties as AMR accounts for 50 per cent of these metrics. The other metric is to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard or other similar scheme. In the second and third year the impact of

AMR has doubled, now delivering 40 per cent in the second year and 20 per cent in the third year. This now gives higher emphasis to Early Action changes and reducing more slowly to better recognise your investment in AMR. Of course your company’s ability to reduce its consumption weighs heaviest after the first year, with the difficulties of doing this from estimated invoices, AMR is the best way to prove exactly what you have used. AMR covers a range of technologies, all of which provide users with timely and accurate access to their utility usage. AMR is available for electricity, gas and water meters, however, in the case of gas and water, a data logger

or other similar device needs to be connected to your meter via a pulse output, should a working pulse output be present on your meter. “It is important that your AMR solution is independently verified, financial and consumption benefits clearly detailed, and that the same company will support you in a year or two’s time when you are asked to prove the results,”said Jonathan Akers, head of Technical Energy Services at BIU, who provide metering services to RBS, Tesco, One Stop Stores, NCP, Pets at Home, Café Rouge, Poundland, Pret-a-Manger and the 2012 Olympics’ Athletes Village.

FOR MORE INFORMATION British Independent Utilities St Annes House, Wood St Lytham St Annes Lancashire FY8 1QG Tel: 01253 789816 Fax: 01253 714131 E-mail: Web:

Stroma – a co-ordinated approach to building sustainability and compliance TROMA HAS RECENTLY PILOTED a new energy strategy as part of a joint initiative with the Isle of Man Department of Education (DoE) and the Department for Local Government and the Environment (DoLGE), assisting them in reducing CO2 emissions and running costs across the island’s school building stock. Stroma focused on a number of schools, carrying out a stock analysis using energy league tables, before formulating bespoke improvement plans for several schools. In parallel with this process, Stroma completed financial appraisals of the proposed improvement strategies with full funding stream analysis. The initiative prioritises reducing energy wastage through building fabric improvements such as remedial air sealing or insulation. Only then are system improvements, including any renewable energy technologies, considered as potential supplements. Thereafter, better utilisation of controls, behavioural change, building management and ongoing monitoring and targeting become focus. Subsequent savings can then be reinvested, enabling a rolling programme of improvement. An example of work to date is the air leakage assessment Stroma conducted for Cronk-y-Berry Primary School in Douglas. Test results indicated an air leakage rate of 31m3/hr/m2 @ 50Pa - a considerably higher rate than the UK building


regulations limit of 10m3/hr/m2 @ 50Pa. After performing a full survey of the building, Stroma estimated that an improvement of around 30 per cent was achievable via air sealing works. The remedial works were then undertaken by Stroma’s contracting division and a retest indicated a substantially improved air leakage rate of 13.2m3/hr/m2 @ 50Pa. Pleased with the results, Peter Longworth, Energy Initiatives Officer for DLGE, commented: “The works carried out on Cronk-y-Berry so far will reduce CO2 production by 44 tonnes a year and energy bills by a projected £9,000 a year. “We are now reviewing the potential for integrating air source heat pump technology to further

improve the school’s energy performance. Discussing the success of the initiative so far, the Minister for Education, Hon Mrs Anne Craine MHK, commented: “We, as a government, are trying to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 and this exercise has enabled us to rectify our heat loss problems and has as a result proved a great contributor in meeting that target. I welcome the fact that it has given the Department of Education a ‘green’ feather in our cap.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 621 11 11 E-mail:



Education Business | Volume 15.1


BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE Ocip energy is a growing renewable energy company offering a mix of low carbon technology solutions with significant and tangible benefits to customers OCIP’S PRODUCT RANGE IS ACROSS the wind, solar and lighting sectors and working with our technology partners, we aim to provide cleaner and greener power solutions. There is no magic in our solutions. We simply take time to understand the challenges and needs of our clients and then determine the right solutions for the individual case. This combined with our comprehensive knowledge of planning and project management assists us in responding to the growing need of our clients, helping them meet their sustainability and energy conservation targets. Take for example the work we have done at RAF Hendon. With large areas of floodlighting and high bay lighting, there was an immediate opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and electricity costs

cost of electricity set to rise in the coming years, investment in LED lighting now is likely to be one of the best investments this business has made. Similar savings could be made in schools and universities, especially with the goal in the Children’s Plan, ‘Building Brighter Futures’, which is aiming to have all new school buildings being net zero carbon by 2016. For those schools interested in producing their own energy, Ocip energy is also the distribution partner for Quiet Revolution’s vertical access wind turbine. EFFICIENCY Quiet Revolution Ltd develops elegant renewable energy solutions, especially small wind products, demonstrating that small wind solutions can deliver renewable and distributed energy generation and micro generation across the UK.

It is estimated that small scale wind generation, together with other forms of micro generation could provide 30-40 per cent of all the UK’s electricity needs by 2050 and, with price trends for fossil fuels continuing upwards, it is currently projected that the cost of small scale wind will be competitive with fossil fuels by as early as 2010 through direct replacement of their existing lighting with the latest LED technology. The Museum initially ordered eight 100W LED High Bay lights from Ocip energy’s commercial LED range, replacing the existing 400W high pressure sodium lighting, but were so delighted with the results that they then ordered a further twelve 100W LED High Bays lights after that. SAVINGS The use of the LED lights will see a saving of 10.5 tonnes of CO2 and around £2,500 per annum in energy costs, quickly justifying the investment in the technology. However, there are other advantages – the total life costs of implementing the changes – such as the reduced maintenance required due to the longer life of the LED lights and the lack of hazardous waste disposal issues sometimes associated with other forms of lighting. The future for the Museum’s energy management is through further deployment of LEDs throughout the Museums historic hangers, halls and parade ground. With the



Their products are very likable because they demonstrate that efficiency can be combined with elegance, that the natural resource of the wind can be used cost-effectively, cleanly and quietly and because their wind turbines are manufactured and assembled in the UK. Interestingly, they also provide the option to sell surplus energy to the Grid. The qr5 wind turbine has also won many awards for design and innovation since its launch, including the Rushlight Wind Power Award 2007 and the D&AD Award - Product Design 2007. It is estimated that small scale wind generation, together with other forms of micro generation could provide 30-40 per cent of all the UK’s electricity needs by 2050 (Source: Energy Saving Trust Microgen Study, March 2006) and, with price trends for fossil fuels continuing upwards, it is currently projected that the cost of small scale wind will be competitive with fossil fuels by as early as 2010. In essence, wind turbine design falls into two distinct categories; Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines or HAWT which can be deployed

both on-shore and off-shore and which tend to be large scale generators producing several megawatts of power from each unit and the less familiar type; and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines or VAWT, designed for small scale locally generated power. Each type of turbine has its advantages however, in an urban or built-up environment the VAWT has benefits over the HAWT. The VAWT design doesn’t require wind from a consistent direction to continue producing power so air turbulence caused by surrounding buildings will affect a VAWT less. In short it can deal with gusting and turbulent wind conditions where as a HAWT has to physically rotate and track into the wind every time the direction changes. Using real wind data in modeling scenarios, it has been calculated that a VAWT will produce 20-40 per cent more energy than a conventional similar sized HAWT in a typical location near buildings, where the wind is turbulent. Just think of the possibilities of deploying this neat turbine in urban areas and especially in helping meet carbon reduction targets for universities and schools. Ocip energy: renewable energy solutions that won’t cost the earth.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Free phone: 0800 917 9360 Fax: +44 (0)1242 522 343 Web: Registered office: Unit J, Churchill Industrial Estate, Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 7FD United Kingdom Registered in England & Wales No: 06849542

Education Business | Volume 15.1


ONE OF THE GREENEST SCHOOLS IN THE UK A new Plymouth school is one of greenest in the UK, using ‘free’ renewable energy for all its heating needs. Pupils can observe their school’s building management system on a PC, a valuable teaching resource for energy efficiency and technology skills A NEW SCHOOL IN PLYMOUTH is using ‘free’ renewable energy for all its heating needs, making it one of the greenest schools in the UK. Brook Green Centre for Learning employs ground source heat pumps and solar panels for all space heating and hot water, while an advanced passive ventilation system cools the building in summer and ensures low CO2 levels throughout the year. A sophisticated building management system (BMS) from Trend Controls Systems ensures the energy systems operate at maximum efficiency. KK Controls & Equipment Ltd – a Plymouthbased Trend System Integrator – was chosen to install the BMS on a dedicated IT network. Heat is delivered through the school by an underfloor heating system managed by the Trend BMS. In summer, window louvres and high level vents open automatically to provide free cooling: these are also monitored and controlled by the BMS. In winter, high CO2 levels and high night time temperatures are also corrected via the passive vent system. TREND IQ3 CONTROLLERS At the heart of the BMS is six Trend IQ3 controllers, which deliver web pages to a display screen in the school’s restaurant. This enables pupils and staff to see clearly how the heating, cooling and hot water systems are operating, in real time. It therefore provides a valuable teaching resource, demonstrating not only the use of renewable energies in their own environment, but also how an advanced building control technology manages the energy from ground heat and solar panels to ensure their comfort – and as energy efficiently as possible. In addition, a Trend IQView touch screen display is mounted on the front of the control cabinet in the main school plant room. This enables the building manager and maintenance engineers to access controller functions, performance graphs, alarms and schedules. The Trend system has the ability to send alarm emails to Plymouth City Council. If desired in the future, the system can be linked to the Council’s intranet for remote monitoring and control. Brook Green Centre for Learning is Plymouth City Council’s school for pupils aged 11 to 16 years with special behavioural, emotional and social needs. It opened in September 2008, replacing Hillside Special School. The main mechanical and electrical Contractor for the building project was Mitie Engineering Services. Faber Maunsell Ltd were consulting engineers for the building,

which was designed by Gale and Snowden. Time and again, the installation of a Trend building management system has proved a highly cost-effective way for schools, colleges and universities to cut their energy consumption – frequently making savings of more than 25 per cent. Moreover, it has often produced equally large or even greater reductions in maintenance expenditure. Trend is one of the world’s leading Building Management Systems manufacturers, with a worldwide distribution and support network covering over 50 countries. Its fully integrated control solutions are able to meet the most complex requirements of modern buildings.

FOR MORE INFORMATION KK Controls can be contacted on Tel: +44 (0) 1752 224 922, alternatively contact Trend on + 44 (0) 1403 226451, mentioning Education Business.



Carton recycling scheme helps schools and businesses get to grips with green Cartons have a great environmental story to tell.

1.5billion cartons

Tetra Pak recently announced that over in the UK will soon carry the certification of the Forest Stewardship Council, which confirms that the paperboard is sourced from responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources. And that’s not all.

low carbon, lightweight

Cartons are also a choice, made from a renewable resource and they are recyclable, which is great news for the nation’s schools and businesses who get through millions every year.

200 million

England’s primary schools alone used a whopping milk and juice cartons last year – and now, thanks to the carton manufacturer Tetra Pak, and the carton industry body ACE UK (Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment), there is a scheme in place to help schools and businesses across the country to recycle them.

Tetra Pak’s new service enables schools and businesses to contact their local carton recycling contractors through an easy to use web portal. Here, you can get a quote and follow the step-by-step instructions online to set up collection. The scheme is now available to schools and businesses across more than 60% of the UK, and Tetra Pak is working with contractors on an ongoing basis to extend it further. For more information on local contractors and service coverage, and to set up collection, visit:

Education Business | Volume 15.1

Sponsored by


BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE IN 2010 If your school’s new year’s resolution is to become more sustainable, it will be easier than you think with the help of the Eco-Schools team for wet play, and issuing letters/information electronically via the website. We have just been awarded our Bronze Award and it is hoped we will work towards our Silver Award next term.”

THE ECO-SCHOOLS AWARD PROGRAMME is helping over 60 per cent of schools in this country to become more sustainable. By providing a structured path towards achieving the Bronze, Silver and Green Flag milestones the programme is assisting schools to meet the government’s 2020 sustainability targets. Don’t feel put off by the challenge. Your school is probably meeting more of the sustainable criteria that you think. Tuning of appliances, keeping the school litter free and saving water are some of the first and most important steps to gaining your first award. So let’s get going. STEPS TO SUCCESS First of all, register your school at Participating in the programme is free of charge. One of your first tasks will be to form an eco committee involving pupils from the whole school and a teacher. With the help of resources from the website the committee needs to complete an environmental review – to show where the school can make changes, such as to reduce waste and promote recycling or conserve more water. Remember pupils are the leaders of the Eco-Schools programme and teachers should assist but not do all the work! The second step is to make an action plan

to make improvements. This often involves planning a project that, although led by the committee will involve the whole school. The committee is responsible for coming up with project ideas and how to measure the success of the work carried out. The third step is to apply for an award. The work undertaken for your school project can help you get your first award. The Bronze and Silver awards are credited online and The Green Flag award is assessed by the Eco-Schools team. This process is repeated for each award you apply for. CASE STUDIES Schools such as Stondon Lower School in Bedfordshire took small steps to achieve their Bronze award. Mandy Taylor, EcoSchools co-ordinator, explains. “Being a small rural school in central Bedfordshire, initially the prospect of Eco-Schools accreditation seemed quite daunting. Many of the case studies on the Eco-Schools website seemed to be on a very large scale. However, we decided to embark on our eco journey; taking small but measurable steps forward. “Our action plan was formulated and many of the ideas were simple but very effective, for example introducing classroom lighting monitors (breaktime/lunchtime), re-using waste paper

INSPIRING PUPILS Other schools such as Canon Evans Infant School used lots of different tactics to inspire their pupils. “The children attending the after school eco club became secret energy monitors, making their own badges and investigating what had been left on in the school using a simple tally table. The children were then told the results of the secret check, and taught why switching off is important in a school assembly,” said their Eco-Schools co-ordinator. “The children have also been learning how to grow potatoes with a little help from The British Potatoes Council’s grow your own potatoes scheme. The school registered onto the scheme and received two varieties of seed potato and a £5.00 garden centre voucher to get them started.” Many schools are pleasantly surprised about how supportive the programme is and the number of different themes they can complete projects on. There are nine themes of the programme from litter to biodiversity and schools can choose which area to focus their work on. Programme manager Andrew Suter says: “We would like to encourage schools to get signed up and benefit from all the support that is available. The programme offers many resources from step by step guides to lesson plans, so that schools and pupils can get the most out of the experience and enjoy the projects that will help them become more sustainable.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION See more case studies and find out more about the Eco-Schools programme by visiting



Written by Tim Byles, chief executive, Partnership for Schools

Sponsored by


UNDER ONE ROOF Partnership for Schools is responsible for overseeing a full suite of capital investment progammes, making joined up delivery much easier to achieve

2010 PROMISES TO BE AN EXCITING year for education – and for Partnerships for Schools – as it sees us develop in our recently-acquired role overseeing the management and delivery of the full suite of capital investment programmes into schools, helping ensure that taxpayers get the best value from every education pound spent. Building Schools for the Future, the Academies and the Primary Capital Programmes are about more than just buildings – they’re about people and creating environments which inspire all who work in them or use them for education, health or leisure to reach their full potential. It is something which was brought into sharper focus at the 2009 Excellence in BSF Awards which highlighted the range of projects, and people, nationwide involved in creating safe, welcoming and inspirational schools of the future. A POSITIVE IMPACT A couple of categories stood out in particular for me from the 2009 awards. Our Grand Prix and School of the Year winner, Beaumont Leys in Leicester, is a shining example of how pupils in a deprived area can flourish when they step inside a new learning environment, built specially for them and their needs. It also showcases how a head teacher and a leadership team with commitment and passion can work with the public and private sectors to create a truly inspirational school. Since moving into the

new building in April 2009, school leaders have seen the pupils flourish, and a growing sense of pride and ownership in the local community. The other award I want to highlight is the Jonathan Ibikunle Award for Best Design Adviser, named in memory of our dear friend and former PfS head of design who tragically died at the end of 2008. Jonathan was someone renowned for the time and attention he gave to all those he worked with, and I was pleased that Jonathan’s wife and one of his daughters were able to attend the event and present this inaugural award to Catherine Brownell for her work with Southwark BSF. All of the 19 award winners across the categories have great stories to tell, and such positive feedback is coming to us on a regular basis from schools and local authorities across England – and with around 120,000 secondary-age pupils already benefitting from BSF investment alone, as well as those in the 27 new primaries nationwide which opened at the start of the new school year. JOINED UP DELIVERY PfS is responsible for the delivery of around £8bn investment into education until 2011 – through Building Schools for the Future; the Academies programme; the Primary Capital Programme; the Devolved and Targeted Capital Programmes; and the Co-Location Fund. As such, we are in a unique position to engage in a strategic dialogue with local government and the private sector about how to ensure we get

best value from every single education pound, maximising the benefit to every young person. So what does this change mean in practice for PfS and for our interaction with the wide range of stakeholders we deal with in the delivery of all these programmes? Whilst policy decisions rightly remain the province of ministers, it means that the ambition of joined up delivery can become much easier to achieve. As a former council chief executive, I have long championed it in local government and have continued to make the case centrally. I strongly believe that joined up delivery makes sense for central government, local government and the private sector providing a balance between central and local and between rigorous national standards and the uniqueness of place and locality. Critically, it also makes sense in terms of efficiency and value for money. This approach – having ‘one conversation’ about all schools capital matters – will be taking place in earnest in 2010. For local government having one conversation on capital will mean a more strategic discussion with central government about the particular challenges that exist locally and how capital investment can be used in the round to tackle those challenges. And in a very practical sense, one conversation means just that – not dealing with a range of different organisations about capital, but having that strategic discussion with one organisation, who then works with the authority to bring about positive change on the ground that reflects the needs and aspirations of local people. For the private sector, bringing the delivery of these programmes all under one roof will again mean only needing to have one conversation with one organisation about what they can bring to the table. It also brings with it the knowledge that rather than operating as individual autonomous programmes, ‘one conversation’ is supported by technical specialists in the fields of procurement, contract management, ICT and design experts. The range of programmes we now manage is testament to the fact that we need to look at education – and young people’s futures – in the round, and that as such there is no one-size-fits all solution to an area’s needs. As such, PfS is ensuring that the right vehicle – the Local Education Partnership (LEP) or frameworks – and expert advice and support are there to keep projects on track. PROCUREMENT REVIEW The coming months will see us build upon the work carried out in 2008 to reduce both timescales and costs in the BSF



Education Business | Volume 15.1

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programme. The first procurement review is already helping to reduce procurement timescales by up to two months and reducing costs across the programme by £250 million, with the new inquiry focusing on four main areas to streamline processes further, reduce red tape and ensure that every education pound is well spent. Announced at the PfS Design Conference at the British Museum in November, the new procurement review is designed to make further inroads towards the ultimate goal of a 52-week procurement. By exploring possible steps such as a centralised Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) process, the use of exemplar sample designs, and looking again at where ICT procurement fits in the process could all hold the key to improved timeliness and cost effectiveness, ensuring pupils, teachers, parents and local communities benefit from new learning environments earlier than previously possible. The four areas of inquiry are: • A centralised PQQ process: this would negate the need for bidders to go through the PQQ process each time they bid for a scheme which takes around 10 weeks off the 75-week procurement timeframe. • Sampling design in a different way: it is a legal

requirement to test both the bidder and the bid, and so sampling designs will remain a key feature of the BSF procurement process. Options to be explored include the use of exemplar samples or reducing the number of sample designs required to one PFI school, with a schedule of rates for the Design & Build scheme. • ICT procurement: looking again at whether this can be done in a different way, including early funding for ICT in schools that are in later phases of BSF, and in what circumstances separate ICT may be permissible. • Improved timetabling: ensuring that BSF and key local authority committee meetings are synchronised to help speed up decision making. Building on the useful work that has been done on proposals for ‘Smart PFI’ over the past three years, we have established that there is now no legal impediment to the final proposals produced by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). There remain, however, a number of issues to resolve in terms of deliverability, for example ensuring continuous improvement; integration; how to test partnership working; and securing genuine risk transfer. Whilst not insignificant, these issues





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need not be insurmountable, and working with the RIBA I look forward to exploring this approach as a live option going forward. Also on the design front, PfS, the RIBA and CABE have together agreed to establish a new list of Client Design Advisers that are accredited to work on BSF projects. The list will be formally launched and open for applicants this year, with advisers receiving regular updates, training and networking opportunities so that they can give the best advice at all times. With the news in November that another 12 projects have been given the green light for BSF, we now have 96 local authorities in England actively engaged in the programme somewhere between consultation, design and construction, through to fully operational schools. And as such we can now see the difference that new and refurbished schools are having for pupils, teachers and local communities. The ‘one conversation’ approach enshrined in our new role means that PfS can genuinely be called Partnerships for Schools – as opposed to ‘Partnerships for BSF’ or ‘Partnerships for Academies’ – reflecting the ongoing investment in the education and the futures of all young people.

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Hallgate Specialist Services – creating a better teaching and learning environment


ALLGATE SPECIALIST SERVICES Ltd provides a unique solution to school premises development. We have tailored our business to specialise only in the education sector working in partnership with schools and local authorities with the aim of assisting you to improve and maintain your teaching and learning environment. We are a leading provider in the fabrication of timber modular buildings using a simple method of constructing prefabricated timber framed panels without the use of heavy machinery or mobile cranes. This method of construction has been successful where the need for accommodation has arisen in restricted locations that cannot be accessed easily by delivery lorries or mobile cranes. The wall sections are fixed into position by hand making the site fabrication fast and easy to build. Each building is individually designed to suit the school’s specific requirements and in most cases the buildings have been developed on an existing structural footprint or irregular shapes where conventional modular buildings are limited to a set dimension. Hallgate

Specialist Services Ltd were contracted by Lambeth BSF team to design and build a new teaching complex for the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton using our off site prefabricated timber panel system. The building provides 1,400M2 of high qaulity temporary teaching faciltites comprising 11 classrooms, staff areas, shower changing rooms, multi purpose hall for dining upto 180 pupils and various specialist rooms. The

£1.2 million development included two ouside MUGA areas and soft landscaping to provide a nice modern teaching environment. Deputy Leader Lambeth Council Cllr Jackie Meldrum commented in part: “I visited the site of the temporary Evelyn Grace School and was very impressed with the works to date. Your team has created a small school in a very short time. Nigel Hurst senior project manager Capita Symonds, wrote “We would like to thank you and your team for all your efforts in completing the King Solomon Academy temporary accommodation on time, on budget and to the highest possible quality. Given the very tight 6.5 week programme to build the Academy, you and your team excelled with a positive attitude and never once gave us or our client cause for concern that the building would not be ready for the 3rd September handover.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION For further information please contact us: Tel: 0845 1235391 E-mail: Web:

Mcgee – trusted civil, structural, demolition and decontamination specialists for over 50 years


cGee Group is one of Europe’s leading civil, structural, demolition and decontamination specialists. The Group was founded in 1958 by Tom McGee and has grown dramatically in size and reputation. McGee continues to pioneer innovative techniques and methods, enabling them to deliver projects quicker, cheaper and with reduced environmental impact. McGee Group has been safely removing asbestos from buildings for over 20 years. With its range of in-house resources, the Group has an unrivalled track record undertaking projects of all sizes, from individual private properties through to the most complex and prestigious developments for which it is renowned. McGee has the capacity to take your project from early phase works, for example; site enabling, decontamination, demolition, groundworks and deep foundation construction, through to construction of permanent structures of all kinds. McGee works across the industry in delivering building and infrastructure projects, working with main contractors and clients in the private/commercial, public, education and military sectors. McGee Group services fall under four

divisions which can be employed independently or as part of integrated works packages. Decontamination & Decommissioning inc. Asbestos Services – This division specialises in asbestos decontamination including; Asbestos Surveys of all types, removal, encapsulation, transport and Safe Disposal. McGee Group is UKAS and ATAC accredited and has been removing asbestos from buildings, ranging from schools to power stations, since the 1970’s accumulating vast experience in this sector. McGee Group has been a member of ARCA since 1999. UKAS accreditation is a safeguard for clients to ensure McGee is working to the highest standards, in line with current guidance and legislation. Demolition & Deconstruction – McGee

spearheaded the development of the industry with its innovative approach to the demolition and deconstruction of large structures. The Group is a leading specialist in this area and is renowned for its work on complex projects such as Wembley Stadium, Camden Market and Battersea Power Station. Civil & Structural Services – McGee carries out all works relating to the excavation and construction of deep foundations, basements and underground structures. There is also a specialist team dedicated to the construction of concrete and steel frames and super structures such as those recently implemented at Stables Market, Camden. Transport, Recycling & Waste Management – McGee Group has a specialist division undertaking the transport, recycling and disposal of all materials. The Group also owns and operates a concrete crushing and recycling depot in Canning Town.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information please contact Chris Wright on 0208 998 1101 E-mail: or visit our website



Visit the website to view the categorised product finder

Unique furniture solutions from Profile Education

Identifying and managing the risks associated with asbestos

ROFILE EDUCATION has been supplying schools and offices for over 20 years as a leading designer and distributor of furniture, equipment and supplies to the public sector and education market. We offer a wide range of unique furniture, storage, filing and stationary solutions. Many of our products are designed specifically with school classrooms in mind, and are supplied in a range of colours providing a bright and stimulating environment for the classroom or office. Ongoing product design and research keep our product ranges fresh and different ensuring that we provide products that satisfy the requirements of teachers and pupils alike. Profile Education is principally a trade supplier and you will

SBESTOS, THE deadly legacy of 20th century construction, is estimated to be present in up to half a million commercial, industrial and public buildings. All publicly accessed buildings by law must have an asbestos management plan. Failure to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 may result in premises closure, a fine of up to £20,000 and even a custodial sentence. Recent awareness campaigns by the health and safety executive have placed the responsibility upon those in control of maintenance work carried out in publicly accessed buildings. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) must be located, assessed and regularly monitored and managed within an overall asbestos management plan. Information regarding all ACMs present within a building must be made available to all maintenance contractors employed on publicly accessed premises in order for them to be considered as part of their risk assessment. There



find most of our products available through all of the leading educational equipment catalogues. Alternatively, our complete range of school furniture, classroom accessories and office products are available to purchase through our website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information please visit or call 0151 479 3030.

New concrete floor system for healthcare buildings REMIER INTERLINK (Waco UK) has announced a new concrete floor option for healthcare buildings. By utilising modern methods of construction, the PremierPlus Building System can now offer the option of a healthcare building with factory installed concrete floor. PremierPlus is a high quality, permanent building which offers a clean, modern and comfortable healthcare environment at a competitive price. This can be provided in a much shorter timeframe compared to a traditional building. Acoustics are very important in hospitals. The new concrete floor increases the acoustic dampening qualities of the building and also reduces vibration in high traffic, high equipment load areas, such as plant rooms or MRI and X-ray. The concrete floor option is ideal for use in hospital theatres. Premier Interlink (Waco UK) has a wealth of knowledge and experience of providing healthcare buildings and working to HTM and HBN regulations, having worked with major NHS Trusts such as Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge. Off-site construction significantly reduces disruption to staff and




is also a duty placed upon the contractor to ensure staff are provided with asbestos awareness training. LK Assure Limited provides advice and guidance on all aspects of asbestos management from which type of survey you require to the implementation of control measures and removal procedures. We are one of the few remaining truly independent asbestos consultants in the UK, guaranteeing impartial and appropriate advice through a client orientated service. We work with local authorities, property developers, Primary Care Trusts, housing associations and educational establishments throughout the UK and Ireland. In short, LK Assure can save you time, expense and bad publicity. LK Assure Limited is part of the LK Group of environmental consultancy companies.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0161 763 7200 Fax: 0161 763 7318 E-mail: Web:

Mike Ayres Design – sensory development resources for schools visitors, reduces traffic to site, offers improved site safety and increased cleanliness. Modern methods of construction are fast becoming the preferred solution for hospitals and healthcare buildings. Premier Interlink (Waco UK) is a market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of healthcare buildings using modern methods of construction. With over six decades of experience in off-site construction and being part of a large, established international parent company, we are in a strong position to meet the most stringent and demanding healthcare building requirements, now and into the future.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Please contact Premier Interlink (Waco UK Ltd) on 0800 316 0888 or visit

AYRES M IKE DESIGN is one of the longest established companies specialising in providing multi sensory environments and equipment and soft play rooms and spaces. Mike Ayres has been designing for people with special needs since the mid 1970’s and pioneered the introduction of sensory environments into the UK. Since that time the company has been at the forefront of development and supply of high quality products and environments in this field. Today, Mike Ayres Design has a very comprehensive catalogue of products and services which are provided to all authorities and many individuals in the UK and to many other countries throughout the world. Products include: Bubble tubes,

fibre optic lights, Infinity panels, Sensory trolleys, Switch2 equipment control system, switches, Infinity huts, projectors and visual effects equipment, cushions, bean cushions, sound light floors, tactile panels and murals as well as a wide range of other equipment designed to develop the senses. Services and environments include: multi sensory rooms, Sensory studios, Relaxation rooms, safe spaces, soft play rooms, sensory pools and other special environments.

FOR MORE INFORMATION All of this and more can be seen by visiting www. and or ring us on 01359 251551.

Hallgate Specialist Services provides a unique solution to school premises development.

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DESIGN & BUILD REFURBISHMENT MODULAR BUILDINGS For further information please contact us:

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ACOUSTIC PROBLEMS IN SCHOOLS? Many schools suffer from poor acoustics. Several research projects have proven that high noise levels in classrooms lead to poor concentration, disruptive behaviour and high degrees of stress for both students and teachers. This is clearly not supportive to a positive educational environment. Under Part ‘E’ of the Building regulations (Building Bulletin 93) There is a requirement to achieve specified reverberation times in teaching and learning spaces, including: • • • • • • • •

Classrooms Music Rooms Corridors Assembly Halls Dining / Canteen Areas Technology & Science Labs Lecture Theatres Sports Halls

In addition, compliance to The Disability Discrimination Act often leads to acoustic treatment. The problem of poor acoustics can easily be solved by installing sound absorbing material. Ecophon are manufacturers and market leaders of acoustic suspended ceiling and wall panel systems, we can offer services including site visits, technical advice, acoustic calculations, and CAD design. Please come and visit us on stand U56, we will be happy to demonstrate our acoustic solutions and discuss your requirements.

For further information please contact: Tel: 01256 850989

Education Business | Volume 15.1 Sponsored by


WHAT’S IN STORE FOR EDUCATION? BSEC 2010 is a pre election ‘must attend’ for anyone involved in the commercial issues impacting future learning centres AS EVERYONE RESPONSIBLE for educational commercial issues monitors the political posturing and mixed policy messages that mark the count down to the forthcoming National Election, attendance at the annual Building Schools Exhibition & Conference (BSEC) has become compulsory. The BSEC remains the only event in Britain that caters for everybody involved in school building projects, from planning, through commercial management to the use of new or renovated buildings. This year the event, which will take place in London’s ExCel exhibition centre 24-25 February, will again play host to visitors ranging from architects, teachers, educational managers, builders, ICT specialists, local authority heads and sub-contractors. The timing of the coming general election makes this year’s BSEC especially crucial for a sector concerned about the impact of the Labour Party losing power or the possible effects of a change of government or a hung Parliament. Whoever has their hands on the country’s driving wheel expected cuts in public spending and the need to reduce costs is on everyone’s mind, especially anyone responsible for making sure build budgets remain intact. BSEC event director Sam Jennings said: “There’s intense concern over what will happen if we have a change of government. Furthermore, the need to reduce costs is on everyone’s mind. There’s also the question of how these projects will be paid for if private finance is still hard to find.” WHO WILL PAY? As the post election government starts to turn promises into working policies, it will be essential that they confirm who will pay for the necessary investment in the next generation of 21st century learning places. The Conservatives, of course, embrace learning and have already confirmed that they see Academies as the way to improve our state schools but they see ‘transformational’ as a New Labour word. Semantics apart it has become obvious that repaying the national debt will take the lead in budget planning. As a result of the well broadcasted need to review public spending, more organisations and educational commercial managers are beginning to plan for an era of ‘revisited’ budgets and the need to remodel existing buildings rather that rebuild educational centres.



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KEY BENEFITS OF HARLEQUIN FLOORS INCLUDE: Durable, long-lasting Easy maintenance Multi purpose As used by professionals Fully tested to meet rigorous demands of dancers - DIN Standard 18032 Part II Recyclable at the end of usage All wood products purchased from F.S.C (Forest Stewardship Council) approved suppliers We also offer a range of accessories including dance/ballet barres, tapes, roll and panel storage carts and much more. RIBA CPD available introducing architects to the differences between dance/drama/performance sprung and sports floors.

SEE US AT BSEC STAND 634 Performers College British Harlequin plc, Festival House, Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3EF Tel. 01892 514 888 Email: LONDON








Education Business | Volume 15.1 Sponsored by



Register for BSEC 2010 to discover: • The future of the Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital programmes after the general election • New directions for academies, what sponsors want and how they mean to achieve it • Transformational education, is it working? Examining early results from new schools on the ground • The outlook for the LEP and what the current economic climate means for future procurement • The progress of the Zero Carbon Task Force; the definition of zero carbon, examples of best practice and what can be achieved by 2016 • Striking approaches to re-modelling interiors, which maximise resources • Revolutionary use of ICT and ILT to transform both teaching and learning Boxford

This is why attendance at the next BSEC is essential to anyone involved in the moving commercial goalmouth that will impact the rebuilding of learning centres, local communities and the UK economy. Key to the event will of course be the question ‘What future has the government’s Building Schools for the Future?’ This will be only one question asked and hopefully answered by the high profile speakers lined up to discuss subjects ranging from ‘Setting the scene for 2010’ to ‘The view from a contractor’. SPEAKER LINE-UP Talking about the speakers already confirmed for this year’s BSEC conference manager, Michael Stewart, said: “The line-up for this year’s conference is stellar. We already have confirmed film producer and education philanthropist David Puttnam, education select committee chair Barry Sheerman, academy foundation head and former schools commissioner Sir Bruce Liddington and former secretary of state for education Estelle Morris. All will address what will happen to the school investment programmes after the election.” Professor Stephen Heppell from will set the scene for BSEC 2010. Stephen’s enormous contribution to learning and ICT includes helping to shape government policy through his involvement in the Stevenson Report. Benefit from his further experience as sponsor of Portland Academy, the first academic to be selected for such a role. Lord Puttnam, film producer and education philanthropist will take a session on ‘Fostering tomorrow’s creatives’. David Puttnam’s many award winning films include The Mission, the Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone, and the Memphis Belle. David now focuses on his work in education and the

The BSEC remains the only event in Britain that caters for everybody involved in school building projects, from planning, through commercial management to the use of new or renovated buildings



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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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environment, and will outline how future learning has the potential to shape a generation of world-beating British creative talent. Tony McGuirk, chairman, BDP, will look at the school as the keystone of the community. He will present the opportunity for architects and urban designers to transform society through adventurous design, by working collaboratively with the community. He will include key features of BDP’s vertical schools, including the Hampden Gurney school, the Bridge Academy, and the University of Sunderland. Mike Peasland, group managing director, Balfour Beatty will take a session on ‘the view from the contractor’. His presentation will cover the current thinking from one of the major contractors on the likelihood of projects to reach financial close in today’s economy. He will also cover how ‘healthy’ the LEP model is, whether we will see a substantial shift from PFI to direct procurement, and what this means for the contractor’s ability to form strong, lasting relationships with LEAs, teachers, pupils and the community. Confirmed speakers also include: • Sir Bruce Liddington, former Schools Commissioner for England and director general, EACT • Barry Sheerman MP, chairman of the children, schools and families select committee • Baroness Morris of Yardley former Secretary of State for Education The quality of the speakers prepared to attend the BSEC reflects its profile in all the sectors associated with the design, commercial management and construction. Over the last four years BSEC has become the largest event for those involved in education construction and design, with more than 5,000 visitors attending the last show. BSEC is also the calendar event for the £9.3 billion Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which in the current economic climate has been a lifeline for many involved in the sector. CHANGE OF VENUE Commenting on BSEC’s move to London this year Michael Stewart explained: “The last BSEC was in Manchester, but the event has outgrown the venue’s capacity to hold everyone wishing to exhibit and attend.

Reduce your energy consumption and cut CO2 emissions with Sunpipe from Monodraught


LDER SCHOOLS FEATURED classrooms with large windows, but as designs have advanced, space constraints and the need for flexibility have conflicted with ‘daylight design’ in many schools. In addition, daylight and thermal comfort sometimes conflict as larger windows allows a greater amount of daylight to penetrate the space, which leads to greater heat gains and heat losses through the glazing. Small wonder then, that when Monodraught launched Sunpipes in the UK 14 years ago they proved an immediate success with schools, being easily incorporated into new designs for schools and for refurbishing existing buildings. Architects and consultants were quick to recognise the advantages of Sunpipes over conventional rooflights in eliminating heat gain and heat loss and the glare that is often present. The reduction in energy consumption – by eliminating the need for electric lighting during daytime use – is also a significant factor. However, another major advantage that cannot

be overlooked is the health benefit associated with piping natural daylight into the classroom. Sunpipes maximise the concept of renewable energy by reflecting and intensifying sunlight and daylight down through the mirror-finish aluminium tube to the room below. A UV stabilised diamond shaped dome seals the Sunpipe at roof level and a clear, stipple finish, polycarbonate diffuser at ceiling level evenly

spreads light into the room or space below. The Sunpipe system is highly effective in both sunny and overcast conditions and even when it is raining the efficiency of the Sunpipe still allows daylight to be piped through. Sunpipes have the distinct advantage of providing soft, soothing natural light to virtually any part of the schoolroom or classroom. Sunpipes are known to have a calming and soothing effect on children and by eliminating the need for constant electric lighting, they are not only energy saving but contributing to both the children and the Teachers’ health and wellbeing. They are vandal-resistant, require no maintenance, and are compatible with any building design, although special finishes and ceiling trims are available.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01494 897700 Fax: 01494 532465 E-mail: Web:



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Monodraught’s natural ventilation systems Windcatcher natural ventilation systems harness the power of the wind to introduce fresh air into a building, and the natural buoyancy of thermal forces to expel stale air to atmosphere. Once installed there are no running costs for the life of the building. That’s Windcatcher – the natural alternative to air conditioning. It’s also a breeze to install and won’t wear out, break down, corrode or need to be replaced.

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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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The fact that a substantive tranche of school spending and schools are in London and the South East must also be recognised. We expect to grow the audience significantly by moving to London. However, key to the growing interest in this year’s event is the future of the BSF programme – a question that has meant attending the event could, arguably, be a matter of survival for some organisations.“ BSEC 2010 will continue to highlight the best in design and construction of educational buildings. There will also be scrutiny of the assumption of delivery of all school building and refurbishment programmes by Partnerships for Schools, the future for academies and what this means for architects, commercial managers and contractors. NEW TO BSEC As part of the event’s desire to embrace new areas there are a number of different features for visitors this year. There will be three new features this year, which includes the Design my Learning Space LIVE! competition as well as the Head Teacher Zone and the Danish Pavilion. Intended as a fun and collaborative way to explore design challenges in real schools and with real clients, The Design my Learning Space LIVE! competition will see teams designing


innovative solutions for a series of briefs set by primary and secondary schools, addressing a range of challenges in education with a panel of experts awarding prizes for the best designs. The Head Teacher Zone will also host a series of presentations, over the two days of the event, aimed at helping head teachers and deputies learn from their peers. With other head teachers at various stages in the BSF process sharing their experiences and advising on planning input to the BSF process, the presentations will give an insight on minimising disruption and ensuring schools are rebuilt or remodelled on time and to the highest standards. The Danish Pavilion is organised by the Dutch Embassy and will involve several companies involved in equipping Denmark’s new schools. The Pavilion will provide the perfect opportunity to see the Danish approach to innovative building design and their dedication to preparing teachers to adapt to brand new learning environments.

investment in schools and places of learning. To lessen any emphasis on learning, educational facilities and supporting budgets will be a disaster. Although everyone understands the challenges facing a future government having to balance the books it remains a pivotal role of BSEC 2010 to ensure the powers that are, and will be, understand the dangers of removing funding from the sector. Only by the entire sector using BSEC to demonstrate a united front will we be sure education reconstruction leads the country in the new age of economic competition between nations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit or contact Hina Mistry on 020 7579 4105 or

IMPACTS ON SOCIETY As we slip into what may become a period of social unrest and tough budget decisions it is essential that everyone involved in the commercial, design and construction issues impacting education come together to emphasise the importance of the continued

Grant Westfield – setting the standard for standardising school washrooms


HEN SOMEONE SAYS ‘school toilets’, it conjures up unattractive images of vandalism and bullying along with memories of poor hygiene, invasion of privacy and general insecurity. Challenging ingrained perceptions that these negative connotations can be overcome with an informed approach to modern school washroom design is a difficult task in itself. To implement such a concept nationwide must therefore be beyond the boundaries of complexity, and entering the all too familiar world of unrealism in construction objectives? Not necessarily. In the recession fuelled scrabble to find work, and drive the economy, it is easy to lose sight of what can simplify the delivery of the BSF programme; standardisation. “With the huge increases in funding associated with this programme, there is considerable scope for using standardised specifications, layouts and dimensions to speed up design and construction, reduce whole-life costs and deliver consistently high quality and better value school buildings.” From ‘Standards, Specifications, Layouts & Dimensions 3 - Toilets in Schools’ (SSLD3) Department for Education and Skills’ Grant Westfield Ltd has been heavily involved in the development of SSLD-3, and as such is primed to partner with other suppliers and manufacturers to ensure

school washroom re-modelling is simplified by offering reliable integrated systems that conform to DDA and Doc M regulations. Grant Westfield’s washroom package for schools is designed to ensure student privacy with floor to ceiling, personal space cubicles, and to prevent bullying with open, mixed wash-stations allowing a higher level of supervision. Anti-vandal materials and designs can be incorporated into the cubicles, wall panelling and vanity areas. Any budget concerns can be immediately alleviated with the range of materials available to meet differing requirements and applications. Furthermore, with a standard specification for the washroom and rationalisation of the supply chain to ensure economies of scale, any repair and maintenance required can be supplied quickly from stock at low cost. As well

as cost-savings through standardisation, Grant Westfield offers waterless urinal duct modules, saving an average of £400 per urinal per year. The concept of standardisation and costsaving, whilst appealing to the local authority, may concern head-teachers and architects, looking to create identity within the school. The range of colours available from Grant Westfield allow any institutional colours to be represented, whilst the possibility of student involvement in digitally produced, off-site built laminate wall duct modules, invite creativity to a traditionally under-stated interior.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Grant Westfield Ltd Stand 709, BSEC Exhibition Tel: 0131 337 6262 Web:



Visit the website to view the categorised product finder

Ecophon creates sound design at Failsworth school

Sutcliffe Play – designer and manufacturer of play equipment

AINT-GOBAIN Ecophon, manufacturers of acoustic suspended ceilings and wall panels designed for all areas, was chosen to help create a good acoustic environment in the new state-of-the-art sports college, Failsworth School in Oldham. The new school building needed to comply with acoustic regulations outlined by BB93, a regulatory framework for the acoustic design of new schools in support of Part E of the Building Regulations. Ecophon acoustic ceiling tiles and wall panels were installed to aid compliance by helping reduce reverberation time and promote speech intelligibility in the ground floor classrooms, sports hall and theatre. In the ground floor classrooms, Ecophon’s Super G acoustic Wall Panel A were fixed at high level instead of ceiling tiles so concrete soffits could remain exposed. They were also installed in the school theatre and sports hall, changing the acoustic balance to enable multi-purpose use. Super G wall panels are designed specifically for environments such as school classrooms, corridors, multi-purpose and sports halls

HROUGH CREATIVITY, innovation and conviction Sutcliffe Play tries to contribute to the enjoyment and experience of children through play. We design to encourage creativity, leaving as much as possible to the children’s imagination. We build in an element of risk, to ensure play spaces are stimulating and challenging. We believe passionately in ‘inclusive play’ and we do this in an invisible way, allowing all children to discover & extend their boundaries while playing side -by-side. In addition we believe that there are many other benefits that play brings to children and adults – physical health, learning, development, social cohesion, even regeneration within communities. But above all when designing, we focus on play for plays sake, as that simple, essential part of childhood. Snug is the innovative range of primary school ‘free play’ equipment developed by Sutcliffe Play and award-winning



where everyday activity may mean occasional or consistent high impact on ceilings and walls. Phil Deakin, Failsworth School business manager says: “In the classrooms and halls of traditional schools it’s often difficult for teachers to make themselves heard clearly. In our classrooms, excess noise is absorbed by the acoustic wall panels and it makes a huge difference – they’ve even given us a choice as to where to hold assemblies!” To help implement the most effective solution, Ecophon referred to its Room Acoustic Comfort concept™, evaluating the school’s different room types and the activities that take place within them to create the perfect acoustic balance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01256 850989 E-mail: marketing@ Web:

Building boards for a variety of applications VERY TEACHER IS willing to acknowledge the fact that the environment in which students study has an immense impact on the quality of what is being taught. However, students who are full of energy often cause premature wear of teaching facilities. This may involve: • An increase maintenance costs • A deterioration of teaching conditions • Security problems within the teaching facilities In such a context, the choice of materials become of vital importance. In fact, materials that are fully adapted to the school and university sector




will make it possible to: • Reduce maintenance costs • Preserve the quality of teaching offered • Teach students in an environment altogether suited for learning HYDROPANEL cement board makes it possible for those in charge of educational facilities to tackle all of these challenges with peace of mind.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information contact Hydropanel on 01283 722588 or hydropanel@

artists Snug & Outdoor. Snug’s nine large colourful, flexible shapes can be easily moved, joined and arranged by children, to create new environments for play. It transforms bleak playgrounds, where they can explore, create, discover and learn. Snug changes established patterns of behaviour in playgrounds by engaging children’s imaginations and giving them the satisfaction of being able to change their own surroundings.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01977 653200 Fax: 01977 653222 E-mail: Web:

Visit the website to view the categorised product finder

Floors for dance, drama and performance

Bringing energy efficient buildings to BSEC

HOOSING THE CORRECT floor for dance is important for health, safety and artistic performance. For nearly 30 years Harlequin has been producing a worldrenowned range of floors suitable for all types of performance for stage, dance studio and display use: from portable, double-sided roll-out floors to permanent, heavy-duty and cushioned vinyl. Not only are Harlequin floors long-lasting and durable, they are also multi-purpose and tested to ensure they meet the rigorous demands of all types of dance from classical ballet to percussive dance such as tap and flamenco. Harlequin has also developed its own portable and permanent sprung floor systems which have been fully tested fully tested in accordance with DIN Standard 18032 Part II to ensure they help to minimise injury risk to dancers. Harlequin floors have become the preferred choice of many professional dancers and are also being endorsed for BSF projects. British Harlequin also offer a RIBA approved core curriculum CPD – ‘Specifying Floors for

ONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST REHAU is exhibiting its range of energy efficient and innovative products at BSEC. For the building envelope, this will include its BFRC A rated window range and REHAU Polytec 50S thermally efficient composite curtain walling system. And, in M&E, it will be exhibiting its underfloor heating, district heating and flexible heating and plumbing pipework systems, as well as its cable management systems. The REHAU AWADUKT Thermo ground – air heat exchanger will also be a major focus on the stand as REHAU demonstrates the benefits of the system which provides controlled ventilation



Dance, Drama and Performance – a Guide for Architects”. Harlequin’s range of accessories include ballet/dance barres, tapes, roll storage carts and bags, rolls straps and cleaning materials. Harlequin offices are located in the UK, Europe, Australia, America and, more recently, Hong Kong.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01989 762600 Fax: 01989 762654 E-mail: Web:

FOR MORE INFORMATION British Harlequin plc, Festival House, Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3EF Tel: 01892 514 888 E-mail: enquiries@ Web: or

Radway – one of the UK’s leading external envelope specialists ITH OVER

GDL Air Systems – servicing the construction industry ERVICING THE construction industry. We employ over 50 people at our manufacturing site and head office based in Glossop, Derbyshire. We also have regional offices in London and Bristol. We continue to achieve and maintain our reputation as being one of the leading manufacturers GDL Air Systems Ltd is a privately owned manufacturer and supplier of air distribution products, and suppliers of grilles, diffusers, louvers and dampers in the UK and work with major contractors, consultants and architects. GDL offers a vast wealth of experience in technical, manufacturing and product development fields, ensuring our customers are supplied with the choice of products most suited to their requirements, manufactured to the highest quality. We are fully focused on ensuring 100 per cent customer satisfaction. We continue to develop into new markets, products and


W 40 YEARS experience, Radway is one of the UK’s leading external envelope specialists. Operating exclusively in the public sector, we offer clients, architects and contractors a range of innovative solutions for school projects including curtain walling, windows and doors. Our comprehensive product range includes aluminium, PVC-U, timber and aluminiumclad timber windows, doors and curtain walling. A member of the Radway Group of companies, we offer a complete in-house design, manufacture and installation service. Best value can be achieved on even the most bespoke projects without compromising safety, security or compliance with regulations. Working safely and responsibly are a core values at Radway,

air into school environments whilst at the same time also reducing the space heating and mechanical ventilation loads. REHAU has worked extensively in recent years with BSF providers to develop solutions for schools which effectively utilise its polymer products in sustainable applications. This includes BSF programmes in Birmingham, Manchester and Slough and at one of the Demonstration Projects for Sustainable Schools in the UK at the Queen Elizabeth School in Dorset.

especially while pupils and staff are in occupation. We hold the highest levels of industry accreditation available. Our approvals include Constructionline, Exor, ISO 14001, ISO 9001, SHEqual and CHAS. Our wide range of products, combined with our technical support and project management experience, means we are an ideal partner for new build and refurbishment education projects nationwide.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Radway House, Oxleasow Road East Moons Moat, Redditch Worcestershire, B98 0RE. Stand Number 521 Contact via: 01527 503 700 or e-mail

services to fulfill the requirements of our customers. We are soon to launch a range of innovative and technologically advanced Natural Ventilation systems at the 2010 BSEC (The Building Schools Exhibition and Conference) on the 24th and 25TH of February at ExCeL in London.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Please also visit our website or call our head office on 01457 861538 if you require any further information.



BSEC 2010 includes a two-day paid conference. Book now to make sure you secure your place as the majority of the 1,000 places have already sold.

Conference highlights:


The UK’s largest event dedicated to the design & construction of schools


Day One - February 24, 2010

Day Two - February 25, 2010

Visions of the future, bringing a 21st Century technological vision to schools David Puttnam, chairman, Futurelab

The school as the keystone of the community Tony McGuirk, chairman, BDP

Ensuring design quality in the teeth of the recession Paul Finch, chair, CABE Panel: Schools capital programmes for the future Tim Byles, chief executive, Partnerships for Schools Anna Fazackerley, head of education & arts & culture units, Policy Exchange Sir Bruce Liddington, former schools commissioner for England and director general, EACT Barry Sheerman MP, chairman of the children, schools and families select committee

BCSE Great Schools Inquiry & Commission Baroness Morris of Yardley, commission chair and former Secretary of State for Education Panel: The educators respond Judith Bennett, chair, National Governors’ Association John Troake, National Association of Head Teachers Malcolm Trobe, policy director, Association of School and College Leaders

Dedicated seminars on: Design, ICT, contracting and procurement, sustainability, the Primary Capital programme, Academies, co-located services and external learning spaces.

View the full conference programme at:

Confirmed speakers include: • Barry Sheerman MP chairman of the children, schools and families, select committee • Professor Stephen Heppell • Tim Byles chief executive, Partnership for Schools • Baroness Morris of Yardley former Secretary of State for Education

Come along to the free exhibition at BSEC 2010 and take advantage of the following features: • NEW for 2010! Danish pavilion – with a mini-expo and seminar content from Danish officials at the forefront of the continent’s most progressive school buildings programme • Over 300 exhibitors • Largest ever Local Authority Village • Exhibitor fringe events – drinks receptions, giveaways and competitions • Access to the visitors’ networking bar • Largest number of major contractors and architects at any event in the UK

Platinum sponsors

Event partners

Gold sponsors

Media partners

Book now at:

Education Business | Volume 15.1

THE SMART WAY TO CUT HEATING COSTS Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with heating needs a smart approach to all the technologies available. Ian Dagley of Hoval explains FACED WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S intention that all schools should be carbonneutral by 2012, there is now considerable pressure to reduce the emissions associated with heating and hot water. And while low and zero carbon (LZC) heating technologies will often form part of the solution, it’s important to adopt a smart approach that makes optimum use of all available technologies. Biomass boilers using wood fuel, for example, have proved to be an effective and reliable component of many a school heating system. Consequently, Hoval’s BioLyt and STU biomass boilers have now been installed in many schools and other educational establishments. In many cases, though, the maximum efficiencies will be achieved by combining different technologies and exploiting the characteristics of each to their maximum potential. These could include solar heating and/or heat pumps but the heating capacity of both of these varies through the year, so a back-up for ‘topping up’ is essential. In some cases the best choice will be a biomass boiler, or it could be a high efficiency gas-fired condensing boiler, such as Hoval’s UltraGas – or it could be a combination of both. For instance, condensing boilers are most efficient when working with lower temperature water, compared to conventional boilers, so will give exceptional performance at times when the water returning from the heating system is at a relatively low temperature. So the smart approach considers all of these factors to arrive at an engineered solution that delivers optimised performance at all times of the year, bearing in mind seasonal variation and varying occupancy of schools at different times of day and year. Clearly, though, this multiple heat source scenario is a more complex situation than simply using boilers as the only heating plant. The system needs to be configured so that optimum use is made of each heating technology – and this needs to happen automatically using sophisticated controls. As a company that manufactures biomass boilers, solar heating systems and heat pumps – as well as ultra-efficient gas and oil fired boilers - Hoval has vast experience of providing integrated, optimised systems that give maximum performance throughout the year. This results from a combination of engineering expertise and a profound understanding of each technology, backed by advanced controls systems that we have

developed to address these challenges. In addition, we are able to offer comprehensive packages that go far beyond the supply of equipment to encompass every stage of the project from initial design right through to final commissioning and ongoing maintenance. We also have considerable experience of working with local authorities and individual schools to ensure that individual requirements are fully addressed. For example, the day-to-day running of the heating plant may well fall to staff that are not heating specialists. So as well as being smart enough to give optimum performance, the system needs to be smart enough to be easy for a non-specialist to operate. Here, Hoval’s expertise in understanding these requirements, backed by our experience in providing

appropriate training, proves invaluable. At Bowbridge Road Primary School in Newark, for example, our BioLyt biomass boilers are integrated with a number of other LZC technologies. Crucially, they are also designed to minimise input from the school’s maintenance staff using features such as self-cleaning, automatic fuel feed and automatic ash removal in the boiler to keep maintenance costs down.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Hoval Ltd, Northgate, Newark, Notts NG24 1JN Tel: 01636 672711 Fax: 01636 673532 E-mail: Web:

DEALING WITH EMISSIONS When EC Directive 2008/50/EC, Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe, comes into force in June 2010 it could create a difficult situation for biomass boilers. This is because the Directive seeks to create a control framework for particulate emissions down to a diameter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) – something that traditional filtration technologies cannot achieve. Hoval’s new CF ceramic filter is capable of removing up to 96 per cent of PM2.5 and PM10 (10 micron diameter) particles and can be used with any type of biomass boiler – new

or existing. Consequently, the CF has the potential to address any concerns about particulate emissions from biomass boilers. The CF units also feature the low maintenance features that characterise our biomass boilers. The Hoval CF contains a matrix of porous ceramic tubes which are closed at the lower end. As flue gases are drawn through the filter by an inline fan, the gases are able to pass through the walls of the ceramic tubes, while particles are trapped. At regular intervals (timed and/or in response to a pressure drop across the filter) a pulse of air is used to dislodge the particles, which fall into a collection bin.



Thousands of floors. One mop head. With its unique gentle wash action, the Miele PW5064 washing machine significantly extends the life of mop heads and cleaning cloths. And it gives you perfect disinfection time after time. Miele products are engineered to keep performing wash after wash, year after year. Meaning less downtime, longer replacement intervals and ultimately less cost. Which is great news for your business. And your balance sheet. For years of perfect performance, it must be a Miele.

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A CLEAN TRANSFORMATION Catherine Anderson, chair of the British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education, talks about the changes she implemented in her role of director of residential and leisure services at the University of Liverpool What were the main challenges you identified when you began your role at the University of Liverpool? I realised early on that changes would have to be made. The University’s halls of residence are all between 40 and 50 years old and many were in a poor state of repair. Renovations were needed urgently, but student rent levels are subject to market forces which made it unworkable to raise the money for repairs this way. We were forced to look at other ways of reducing money for investment. What were the key changes you brought in at the university to reduce costs? Most universities removed room cleaning in their halls of residence over 10 years ago, but at Liverpool we were still cleaning rooms once per week. If we reduced this service it would provide an opportunity to save expenditure without adversely affecting the student experience. We undertook a detailed study of the space to be cleaned in the halls, then applied industry cleaning standard times and specifications to those areas to build up the required total cleaning hours for the Residential Estate. This resulted in a 35 per cent reduction in the hours employed, which reduced our wage bill substantially. How were reductions to staff’s hours received by your workers? The transition has been very smooth as the reduction in hours was achieved through a voluntary disengagement scheme, which almost matched the required reduction. Because of this, there was very little disturbance to the staff

and most remained in their existing location, which helped the transition immensely and enabled most cleaning teams to remain stable. Were there any problems implementing this increased workload onto staff? There were no parts of the change that were greeted with great resistance. There have been some small teething problems with staff taking time to get used to their new work areas and the times allowed for certain activities. Staff concerns are dealt with by holding meetings once a fortnight. Formal minutes are taken of these meetings and actions are agreed. These will be reviewed at a formal review meeting with the Trade Unions that’s planned to take place three months after implementation. It has already been identified that there may be a need to increase the hours worked in one area, but that will probably be the most major outcome from the review. But these meetings help tailor our working practices so that these issues are addressed. How did you overcome any resistance from staff or the unions? There was a strong feeling amongst the staff that students would not be happy with a reduced service, and the reduced contact with the domestic staff which would decrease the pastoral aspects of the role. However, as the changes were accompanied by a voluntary workforce reduction scheme these objections eventually subsided. The most important part of making the changes work successfully was by working closely with the Trade Unions so that there was constant dialogue between

them and the staff. It was also important that the review process was put in place and a methodology for staff to convey their concerns so that they could be dealt with and not fester. What would you have done differently if you could return to the first day of your role? Nothing; I think it went well and the short timescale meant that everyone had to work speedily and decisions made quickly. Change that takes too long can be undermined. Finally, what do you think would improve the status and prestige of the cleaning industry? Recent publicity about unclean hospitals, hotel rooms and the control of swine flu has brought to the fore the importance of good cleaning. This needs to be built upon and cleaning marketed as a profession with professional standards. Cleaning is an invisible service, until things go wrong when it becomes very visible. These stories always tend to be turned into negative publicity, as good cleaning and infection control is taken for granted. Increased support and backing is important in times like these. Catherine Anderson, director of residential and leisure services at the University of Liverpool and chair of BACHE, was interviewed by Peter Carrol, press officer at the British Cleaning Council. BACHE ( is a member of the British Cleaning Council (



Effective Cleaning & Maintenance Solutions For Schools, Colleges & Universities Through our considerable experience we know that the cleaning and maintenance issues facing schools, colleges and universities are many and varied. We can provide a complete, low cost solution. • Contract Cleaning & TUPE Transfer • School, College & University Deep Cleans • Planned Maintenance & Contract Cleaning • Hard Floor Maintenance & Replacement • Heavy Duty Carpet Cleans • Kitchen Ducting & Extractor Cleans • High Level Cleaning & Maintenance • Graffiti Removal

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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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A CLEAN START Andrew Large, chief executive of the Cleaning and Support Services Association, offers his insight into the right approach to deep cleaning your kitchen SO YOU HAVE DECIDED TO DEEP clean your kitchen. This might be because you are worried about a build up of dirt, because of comments by an Environmental Health Officer or just because you think it’s a good idea. Whatever your motivation, it is crucial that you think before you act, otherwise it could all prove to be an expensive waste of time. BE AWARE The first thing to make clear is that a deep clean is not a substitute for the day to day cleaning of your kitchen. A deep clean may well return your kitchen to an as new state, but from the moment that people return and start cooking, then contamination will also return and with it the risk of E. coli and other food poisoning issues. The deep clean is an opportunity to clean things that may have been left for a long time – not a way of putting off daily hygiene tasks. Secondly, it is very important that you properly schedule and resource the deep clean. By this I mean that it is vital to ensure that you know how many people are required to do the job, how

Committed to serving mankind and the environment ERICHEBOURG Multiservices is a major force in the European corporate and community services market (sanitation and cleaning, support services and reception desk). Its mission is to help companies to refocus on their core activities by out-sourcing transferable services, improving their organisation and controlling costs. In tune with the markets, Derichebourg Multiservices anticipates the needs of its customers and is constantly changing its service offering to assist them in the long term. Due to its expertise in a wide range of business lines, Derichebourg Multiservices can implement comprehensive solutions and become your sole partner for all outsourced facilities management services. In the sanitation market, Derichebourg Multiservices has the opportunity to offer an impressive list of educational establishments


throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and continental Europe. The quality of its services is based on strict methodologies and exceptional human resources and techniques. The know-how and culture of service shared by all our associates, mean that we can guarantee the best service levels. This is the reason why in the educational market, Derichebourg has earned the trust of a number of prestigious schools from both the private and public sector.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0)170 238 2462 Fax: +44 (0) 170 229 6976 E-mail:educationservices@ Web:

Hand-Giene Hand Sanitizers for schools DVANCED HYGIENE Systems has recently launched a new range of Hand Giene Hand Sanitizers which are safe for children to use at schools, universities and hospitals. Advanced Hygiene Systems are also able to supply automatic sensor based hand dispensers and other hygienic sanitary products. The Hand-Giene Sanitizer has many benefits and is available in three Handy Sizes; 40ml up to 140 usages, 80ml up to 280 usages and 250ml up to 1,200 usages. The product is antibacterial and kills 99.99 per cent of germs, bacteria and is a good prevention for swine flu. All our products are alcohol free and provide longer term protection than toxic and flammable alcohol based gels. Hand Giene leaves your hands feeling soft and also contains aloe vera. All our products are non flammable and non


toxic and safe for children. Hand-Giene Hand Sanitizer – Waterless Formula, No Water, No Towels, No Mess.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit our website and buy online today For any further information please contact us via e-mail on or telephone and speak to a member of our team on 0844 482 1966.



First fully SSLD-3 compliant washroom... Having been heavily involved in the development of the SSLD-3 standards for school washrooms, it was only fitting that Grant Westfield should supply the first fully SSLD-3 compliant washroom at Bower Park School, Essex.

• • • • •

Meet DDA, SSLD-3 and Doc M standards Enable cross system integration Allow standardisation across schools Save costs Provide durable, reliable solutions

Grant Westfield’s washroom solution for schools has been specifically designed to:

Education Business | Volume 15.1

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much time it will take and what equipment is required. Deep cleans are disruptive and will therefore need to be properly planned and managed in the context of the rest of the kitchen operations. To do a deep clean properly, the kitchen will need to be closed. This is both to enable you to move kitchen equipment around to enable a full clean, and to ensure that there are no risks to health and safety from things such as hot fat or wet floors while the clean is underway. You should bank on the kitchen being out of action for a couple of days to ensure that there is enough time for the deep clean. Closing the kitchen also enables you to use more robust techniques to clean the kitchen area. You may wish to use a steam cleaner to remove stubborn grease from cooking equipment, or allow a chlorine-based cleaning product time to fully disinfect surfaces. In every case though, you should ensure that the person doing the work is properly trained and managed, and has access to the necessary personal protective equipment. If in doubt, ask a contractor to do the work for you. USING A CLEANING COMPANY Deep cleaning can be disruptive, but it brings real benefits to the cleanliness and hygiene of a kitchen. You may be tempted to do the work yourself, but this may expose you and your staff both to health and safety risks and also to the risk of not making a thorough enough clean. For these two reasons I would always recommend using a professional cleaning company to deep clean your kitchen. So how should you go about choosing a company to deep clean your kitchen? The first port of call should be your existing contract cleaning supplier, if you have one. Many catering establishments have already contracted out their daily cleaning, and if that is the case then it makes sense to discuss with them what your requirements are. In most cases I am sure that they will be able to help. If, however, you do not have an existing contract cleaner in place, then there are a number of different avenues that you can take. Perhaps the first port of call would be other kitchens in your area. Do they already use a contractor for their deep cleans? Can they recommend someone to you? Getting a contractor with local experience is a good way of ensuring that you find someone who knows how to do the job properly. The other approach that you can take is to contact a trade association like the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA). Trade associations have lists of members in your area and will be pleased to put you in contact with them. Moreover, if you want to discuss the work in more detail, the association is always available to provide advice and support. However you chose your contractor, it is always a good idea to ask for and take up references, so you can see examples of other places they have cleaned, and ask the clients if they are satisfied. SPECIFICATION & MONITORING There are two more issues that you need to get right when you are contracting. The first of these is the specification. In other words you need to be clear about what you want the contractor to do. It is no good asking for a deep clean of the kitchen, because deep cleans mean different things to different people. The contractor should be able to provide you with a model specification for a kitchen deep clean that you can then modify to suit your own needs. Once the specification is clear, you then need to understand how the contractor will monitor the quality of their work. Some contractors use a formal quality system, such as ISO 9000, while others use in house systems. Both are equally valid, but you should satisfy yourself that whatever system is being used, it enables the contractor to manage the work properly and assure you that the agreed specification is being delivered. In conclusion therefore, a deep clean is a fundamental part of ensuring that the kitchen remains hygienic. It may lead to disruption but it is worth it for the benefits to your business. It is best done by a specialist contractor, and you should be careful in how you choose, monitor and manage the contractor so as to get the best out of them.


Leading the way for cleaning and FM in education M SUPPORT SERVICES provides the full complement of cleaning and facilities management services, with particular focus upon understanding customer needs and delivering flexible, tailored services. Our customers span many markets, industries and government organisations. Within the education sector, case studies include excellent long-term relationships with both Trafford College and Lancaster University. Established in 2002 in Lancashire, some 400 employees are now taking care of our customers across the UK, providing cleaning operations for buildings, grounds, windows, interiors and specialist cleans; as well as maintenance and security services. During 2009 a range of washroom services was introduced into our portfolio – from feminine hygiene, washroom fragrance and vending services, to advanced paper products and hand soap products. In spite of the economic slow-


down, AM Support Services has retained a sharp focus upon the delivery of excellent customer service. We are an approved supplier of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and are accredited with: Investors in People, quality mark BSI ISO 9001:2000, environmental standard BSI ISO 14001, and the health & safety SAFE CONTRACTOR scheme. We are also a member of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), and are working towards BSI ISO 9001:2008.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 300 6671 Fax: 01524 859569 E-mail: Web:

Clean Machine – making cleaning easy LEAN MACHINE specialises in hire and sales of cleaning equipment and chemicals, and have just celebrated 10 years trading. Their hire fleet has grown to over 200 cleaning machines, ranging from carpet cleaners and floor polishers to ride-on scrubberdriers and sweepers. Operating from the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border, they offer a hire delivery service and free demonstrations on selected floor cleaning machines and industrial steam cleaners to many areas of UK mainland. Ian Monk and his team has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in hard floor and carpet care to help their customers achieve the very best results when they hire or buy from Clean Machine. They are keen to


point out “specialist machines and professional cleaning chemicals certainly make cleaning tasks easier. For example, Thermadry and Host low moisture carpet cleaning systems quickly and efficiently deep clean, reducing time taken to clean and carpets can be walked on almost immediately after cleaning. Thermadry is the latest carpet cleaning technology from Craftex. Host products are natural, environmentally friendly and excellent for removing allergens from carpet, improving indoor air quality.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Clean Machine can be contacted on 01491 825600 or at



Written by Perpetuity Group


A STRONG ROLE MODEL St John’s Preparatory School has demonstrated its commitment to safety and security by becoming an accredited Secured Environment ST JOHN’S IS A CO-EDUCATIONAL preparatory day school situated on 28 acres of the green belt countryside in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. With around 20 members of staff and over 200 students, aged between four and 11, it is imperative that safety and security are adequately addressed. Therefore, the decision was taken to demonstrate the school’s commitment to the safety and security by reviewing standards. The answer? Secured Environments, a police approved accreditation for security developed by Perpetuity (an independent research company headed by Professor Martin Gill) and ACPO SBD (The Association of Chief Police Officers, Secured by Design). The accreditation follows six key principles developed through extensive research and consultation with industry experts from around the world. WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES? • Commitment to creating a secure environment. The senior leadership team must show high-level management commitment to creating a secure environment. Without this, no matter how much time or money is spent on security, it is unlikely to be fully effective. • Understanding of the problem. A Secured Environments organisation proactively gathers and analyses information from a wide range of sources to develop an understanding of the crime and disorder risks it faces. • Develop a response. Security measures need to be in place, which are appropriate, targeted and proportionate to the risks identified. • Manage the response. Security measures can be expensive and it is important to track these costs to enable effective budgeting. The management team needs to know what resources (e.g. people, time, money and technology) are used within the organisation to create a secure environment and ensure that this is managed properly according to project management principles. • Implement the solution. A Secured Environments organisation looks at the management and implementation of security measures and stresses that all staff must know their roles and responsibilities with regard to security. • Evaluate the solution. All security measures need to be monitored and evaluated to determine their effectiveness. These principles are designed to incorporate the fundamental stages of good crime prevention, whilst remaining easy to follow for those with no prior experience of crime prevention. It seems that this approach has the desired effect with the Headteacher at Church Hill Primary School reporting that the principles were a



useful starting point to enable them to evaluate where the schools strengths and weaknesses lay and providing a clearer idea of what they needed to achieve in relation to security. GAINING ‘SECURED ENVIRONMENTS’ STATUS In order to assess St John’s validity to be accredited with the Secured Environments status, independent auditors from Perpetuity spent a day at the site, speaking with representatives from the senior management team, teachers, teaching support staff, administrators, and site security staff. It was crucial that all members of staff were involved in this process in order to gain a comprehensive picture of how policy is implemented. This also provided an opportunity to understand staff roles in relation to security, as commitment is needed from every member of staff in order to develop and maintain a truly secured environment. Feedback was provided to St John’s within two weeks of the audit. This outlined the areas where the school was fully meeting the criteria, as well as highlighting areas of weakness. The feedback also provided suggestions on how the gaps could be addressed. The school responded to the areas for improvement promptly and was able to demonstrate that appropriate action had been taken to resolve the outstanding issues. St John’s Preparatory School then became the first private school to receive the Secured Environments Accreditation. SECURE YET HOMELY Speaking about the accreditation, Mrs Tardios, the school’s headmistress said: “As a small school in a semi-rural location we want to engender a familial feeling in everyone who comes here, be they parents, pupils or staff members. The Secured Environments procedures we have adopted allow us to be security conscious without choking out any of the old-fashioned homeliness we have also worked hard to cultivate.” Secured Environments was a good choice for St John’s because it works very well for organisations with older buildings. The inability to change certain aspects of existing buildings limits security options, and buildings that are outdated or poorly designed can be difficult and/or expensive to retrofit. It is of little surprise therefore that a large number of schools and universities have signed up for the scheme, where re-designing older buildings is not economically feasible. The St John’s Preparatory School is now fully accredited by Secured Environments demonstrating to their staff, students, parents, and prospective parents that safety

THE PERPETUITY GROUP Perpetuity is a leading provider of research, consultancy, training and conferences in the areas of crime reduction, community safety and security. We provide bespoke services to international companies, central and local government, public service providers, private businesses as well as charities and voluntary organisations. We have established an international reputation for excellence by combining a scholarly approach with a broad range of practical experience. Our collective commitment is to provide our clients with solutions that make a difference. Perpetuity engages in a range of research projects including extensive work around schools, teachers and young people; recent and ongoing work includes the development of a gang’s toolkit for schools, a survey of parent’s views of school security, and a survey of young peoples’ views and experiences of knife crime. and security within the school gates is taken seriously. Their Secured Environments Accreditation is valid for three years and can be extended through demonstrating ongoing high standards at the end of the period. This is a fantastic achievement and the good practice demonstrated by St. John’s provides a strong role model for other schools. Any organisation that can display their commitment to the six principles in their security policies could be eligible to be awarded with the Secured Environments Status. Alan McInnes, (general manager, ACPO SBD, emphasises that “Police certification schemes like this give the public, customers and staff the confidence that security is being treated seriously by organisations who achieve certification.” Supported by the academic rigour of the audit process, this endorsement from ACPO SBD provides reassurance that the Secured Environments Scheme is a positive way forward in security accreditation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information on Secured Environments call one of the team on 0116 222 5555 or visit www. Information on St John’s Preparatory School and St John’s Senior School can be found at: www.stjohnsseniorschool.

Education Business | Volume 15.1

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Dynamic Cardax FT functionality delivers the next generation of visitor management OR MANY ORGANISATIONS, managing the access of temporary visitors can be a time consuming, costly and error-prone process, potentially compromising site security. In many logbook based visitor management systems, receptionists receiving a sudden influx of visitors can be overloaded and miss vital steps in the process, or visitors overdue to leave a site may go unnoticed. More recently, many computer based visitor management systems have automated most visitor management tasks, but fail to fully integrate with a site’s existing security management system, leaving potential security gaps. The Cardax FT command centre visitor management module delivers the next generation of visitor management functionality, providing a highly configurable, secure, and easy to use solution. Employing client-server architecture for Cardax FT, this solution allows the Cardax FT Server to communicate with visitor management ‘smart’ clients via network services over TCP/IP. Advantages of a network services based architecture are: • Improved client-server connectivity on modern corporate IT networks – easier connectivity through corporate firewalls. • Single click client deployment – an


e-mail can be sent to users with a URL to install the application. • Automatic updates – no need to visit each machine for workstation updates. • Less data entry A visit host can pre-register visitors prior to their arrival on-site. A visit can contain multiple visitors, avoiding repetitive data entry of common visitor details (e.g. time of arrival and departure, visit purpose, company name etc). Visitor details can be filled in for new visitors, or pre-populated from previous registrations. The information captured for new visitors is configurable by visitor type, and can either be pre-set to mandatory or optional entries. Quick and easy reporting means operators can view the status of visitors during the day (e.g. what visitors are expected to arrive today, what visitors are currently on-site), and summary reports on visitor and escort past and planned visits (e.g. who visited this employee in the past month, how many times will this visitor be on-site next week).

Reports can either be printed, or saved to file for future reference. All Cardax FT Visitor Management pre-registration, receptionist, visitor, and host events are recorded in the Cardax FT Command Centre database, maintaining one comprehensive database for your site security. Visitors who have not left a site by the end of a scheduled visit are placed in a ‘Due to Leave’ state. A grace period is configurable in Cardax FT Command Centre to allow such a visitor to leave, without raising an alarm. Once the grace period has expired, an ‘Overdue’ visitor alarm is raised in Cardax FT Command Centre. Daniel McVeagh, Cardax product manager, highlights the core drivers behind the Cardax FT Visitor Management functionality as ease and efficiency of use and significant configurability: “This solution addresses the fundamental issues surrounding integrated visitor management. The Cardax FT Visitor Management module is a powerful tool that will transform the way companies handle visitor management going forward.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION For further information, please contact: Gallagher Security Management Systems (Europe) Ltd on +44 (0)2476 641234 or visit



The healthier choice for kids is now even better. Yazoo has made the nation’s favourite milkshake* even healthier and tastier for kids by launching a new and improved recipe containing natural !avours and real fruit juice.

School Appro ed

Not only is Yazoo low in fat, it also contains less than 5% added sugar and is free from arti!cial sweeteners, nasty colours and preservatives. But it’s not just what’s left out that makes Yazoo a healthier alternative to !zzy drinks, it is made from semi skimmed milk, packed with calcium and a good source of vitamin B. With three tasty !avours to choose from including strawberry,

chocolate and banana, there is something to suit even the fussiest of eaters! Schools can also rest easy in the knowledge that these great tasting shakes belong to an exclusive selection of drinks that meets the tough UK government regulations for use in schools in England and Wales.

Complies with Government Regulations for use in Schools in England & Wales

✓ ✓ ✓

Contains real fruit juice and made from semi-skimmed milk No preservatives, artificial sweeteners or nasty colours

Increase your school's milk consumption with the nation's favourite milkshake!*

Flavoured milk is one of the fastest growing sectors of soft drinks and Yazoo holds over 40% share of this market

YAZOO will be highlighting the healthiness of YAZOO in a TV Advert aired throughout February!

Contains 40% of children’s RDA of calcium

* Source: Nielsen 2008

Education Business | Volume 15.1

Sponsored by


CREATING SCHOOL COOKS OF THE FUTURE New nutritional standards mean that school cooks need to be more knowledgeable in the kitchen than ever before. The School FEAST Network plays a key role in nurturing the school cooks of the future

LAST SEPTEMBER NEW NUTRIENT-BASED standards for school food were introduced in secondary schools, following introduction in primary schools in 2008. This marked a milestone in the transformation of school food. These nutrient-based standards – designed to ensure that an average school lunch contains the correct levels of energy and 13 nutrients including carbohydrate, fat, saturated fat, protein, and a range of vitamins and minerals – have made the need for additional training for school cooks all the more important. So how is this critical training need being met? TRAINING SCHOOL COOKS In September 2006, the former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Alan Johnson, announced The Five Point Plan, a package of measures to improve school food and tackle childhood obesity. It included a £2million capital funding grant to establish a network of regional training kitchens to act as centres of excellence for school cooks. The centres were charged with providing a readily accessible supply of high quality training turning out a motivated and skilled school workforce openly encouraged to take up the training on offer. The School Food Trust led the implementation of this proposal. This School FEAST network brings together existing providers of excellence and new and innovative training centres. All centres and partnerships provide a range of training and development opportunities for the school food workforce. Each has the flexibility to deliver specialist training to this diverse group. The School Food Trust has also led the partnership development of the minimum core offer of training or qualifications each School FEAST centre and partnership provides. The Trust has worked on this with People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for Hospitality and Catering. Talking about the importance and impact of the centres, Prue Leith, Chair of the School Food Trust, said: “The new nutritional standards mean that school cooks need to be more knowledgeable about ingredients and more creative in the kitchen than ever before. The School FEAST Network plays a key role in nurturing the school cooks of the future – enhancing the skills of kitchen staff for thousands of schools across the country to help ensure more children eat a healthy lunch every day.”

I have parents phoning me up asking what their child has eaten at school. Not only can I tell them this but I can also tell them its nutritional value. And pupils with the most points at the end of the year are rewarded with some great prizes, so it works well as a motivation for eating healthily – Linda Dickinson, catering manager at a Technology and Performing Arts College




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Amadeus is a well established Catering & Soft Services Consultancy dedicated to improving quality and service standards in the State and Independent Education Sectors. Our Associate Consultants are time served professionals with extensive experience in helping clients in In-House and Outsourced situations. In the majority of cases our input achieves significant cost efficiency.


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The Amadeus Service: • Tendering • In-House Transition • Design, Equipment Specification and Project Management • BSF Projects • Nutritional and Healthy Eating Support • Food Safety Audits & Performance Monitoring Please visit our website for more information and to arrange a FREE MEETING to discuss how we can best help your School.

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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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NEW GUIDE OUT NOW ‘A fresh look at the school meal experience’, published by The School Food Trust, looks at how to improve the look and feel of dining halls, manage lunch times effectively, reduce queuing and improve behaviour. All this helps provide a more attractive dining space, with a pleasant atmosphere, where people will want to eat. The guide contains new, practical resources, ideas and suggestions to help schools tackle these issues and includes new case studies from schools which have made a real difference to the school meal experience. To download a copy of the document or order a hard copy online go to: www.schoolfoodtrust.

TRAINING IN ACTION Many school cooks have, however, been in catering for years already, so how can they be convinced that there’s still so much more to learn? Linda Dickinson, catering manager at a Technology and Performing Arts College, was one such cook. With decades of catering management experience for her local authority and later, in big corporate business catering, Linda knew a thing or two about school catering. Linda returned to school catering wooed by news of brand new facilities at Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College, Lancashire. With the new standards for school food coming in, Linda saw it as an ideal time to start afresh. However, when School FEAST training and development manager Janette Mason first told Linda about their courses, Linda couldn’t see the point and felt it would just mean extra work. It was only when the course information from the trainer and the nutritionist came through that Linda was captivated and converted. “I thoroughly enjoyed the Professional Catering Skills course,” Linda admits. “No one knows it all and I realise now you can get complacent and stale.” “We adopted the new school food guidelines and have stayed updated ever since,” says Linda. “The service is transformed. As well as the nutritional standards, we use fresh, local produce, have a great relationship with pupils and staff and our service is at the heart of the school community.” BENEFITING PUPILS Linda now passes on her training to her team, which in turn passes on to benefit the pupils.

“Pupils chat to us about the food, asking what is in the meals, and teachers say pupils are more attentive in the afternoons since the school meals improved.” Linda works with the food technology department, helping GCSE students with recipes, nutrition, menu planning, school meals and healthy eating. She also does presentations in assemblies which are educational and provide an ideal platform for promoting school meals. The SWiS course has given Linda a completely new insight into the school as a whole, its function as an organisation and how her role fits in. It explored the role of all non-teaching staff such as the school nurse, the community police officer, those who come in to support children with special needs or problems, the sign language teacher, and the office staff. This insight is underpinned by Linda’s team using a cashless, computerised system aligned with points given to pupils according to what food they are choosing, with the healthier options attracting the most points. “I have parents phoning me up asking what their child has eaten at school. Not only can I tell them this but I can also tell them its nutritional value. And pupils with the most points at the end of the year are rewarded with some great prizes, so it works well as a motivation for eating healthily. The School FEAST training Linda received has given her diplomas in the following: EDI Level 3, Professional Catering Skills Programme; SWiS Level 3 Diploma; Providing a Healthier School Meals award and CIEH Level 2 in Food Safety. SCHOOL MEAL EXCELLENCE IN PRACTICE A range of four themed Meal Deals and Just Desserts recipes from Lancashire Catering Services Food Development Team run over a

three-week cycle. They include quantity and portion guidance as well as lists of ingredients and local suppliers, which Linda says makes it very easy for her and her team to follow. Examples from these menu cycles include: Traditional Meal Deals: • Yorkshire puddings with savoury mince served with potatoes and at least two other fresh vegetables. • Roast pork, beef or chicken served with roast or mashed potatoes and at least two other vegetables. Global Meal Deals: • Pasta, such as penne or tagliatelle, with peas and bacon in a healthy béchamel sauce, served with a side-salad and garlic bread. • Chicken tikka masala with mixed rice, including peppers, peas, and carrots and a crisp salad including, mixed leaf lettuce with chopped cucumber and peppers. Vegetarian Meal Deals: • Macaroni cheese bake served with side salad and garlic bread. • Quorn sausages or mince served with side salad and garlic bread or jacket potato wedges. Hot sandwiches Meals Deals: • Steak and onion bap with side salad made with a 4–5 ounce steak sourced locally, served on a soft or crusty roll or on ciabatta. • Tuna melt in pitta bread. Just Desserts: • Chocolate sponge with mandarins or lemon sponge made with fresh lemons, served with a white sauce. • Fruit yoghurt made from low-fat natural yoghurt with added fresh fruits.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Further information about School FEAST training centres can be found at: www., and about the School Food Trust at:



Soft bake bars are approved for schools.

It’s official! The School Food Trust has approved the Cakes & Biscuits food category for sale in schools at lunchtime and in the afternoon. And that includes Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain range of soft bake cake bars. Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain soft bake bars are easy to serve and come in delicious varieties - giving pupils plenty of choice in the new term!

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Products

Case contents

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Strawberry Soft Bake Bar

28 x 37g

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Apple Soft Bake Bar

28 x 37g

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Blueberry Soft Bake Bar

28 x 37g

Kellogg’s Elevenses Raisin Soft Bake Bar

24 x 45g

Kellogg’s Elevenses Golden Bake Soft Bake Bar

24 x 50g

Contact your usual wholesaler and order Kellogg’s Soft Bake Bars today for your students.

For more range, product and point of sale information, please contact the Kareline: 0800 783 6676 © 2009 Kellogg Company

Education Business | Volume 15.1

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ENGAGING PARENTS WITH SCHOOL FOOD Digital tools from the School Food Trust help take the worry out of children’s nutrition and encourage school food take up

PARENTS, PARTICULARLY THOSE WITH children of primary school age, are key decision makers when it comes to school meals. They shape children’s attitudes to food so it is important that they understand the benefits of a well-balanced diet. But the decision between giving children a packed lunch or buying school meals can be a difficult one. Parents may have heard that school meals have improved, but for many their last experience of a school lunch was when they were children themselves. So the School Food Trust – the organisation charged with transforming school food – has created a range of online tools designed to help parents get a real feel for the well-balanced meals now on offer in schools all over the country. The work is aimed at debunking myths, answering questions on how the quality of school lunch has been improved, explaining how school lunch can contribute to children’s health and learning and being clear on the all-important issue of cost. EAT BETTER MICROSITE The Trust has created the ‘Eat Better’ microsite to host videos, case studies and supporting articles explaining the nutritional value of school meals and the difference that a healthy school lunch can make to a child’s energy levels, attention and concentration. There, parents can watch videos of Lorraine Thomas, the CEO of the Parent Coaching

Academy, giving her expert answers to some of the questions most often asked by parents including: ‘How have school meals changed?’, ‘Can’t I make a packed lunch more cheaply than the cost of buying a school meal?’ and ‘What are the health benefits of my child having school meals?’ There’s entertainment for youngsters in the shape of the ‘Snack Dash’ flash game – which uses play to demonstrate the benefits of good nutrition. Children learn to collect healthy options and avoid junk food to win the most points and to finish the game in the fastest time. The site also includes recipes to cook with children and a gallery of images so that parents can see for themselves how far school meals have come from the tapioca and overcooked vegetables that they may remember from their own school days. The MSN ‘Eat Better’ website is just one of the places where you can download the ‘Little Book of Goodness’. This book – with copies distributed to more than 17,000 primary schools across England – gives parents all the guidance they need to make an informed choice about school lunch, both before their child starts school and beyond, answering many of the common questions that arise. MUMSNET & NETMUMS In a bid to deepen its relationships with families, the School Food Trust has also

started working collaboratively with a number of popular parenting sites. A partnership with Mumsnet, the subject of so much recent press attention in the wake of live webchats with both Gordon Brown and David Cameron, is building a dialogue with parents to address their concerns about school lunches. Using Mumsnet’s strong and loyal membership base, the Trust is working to address preconceptions and answer questions about school food, and to promote the real facts about a healthier school lunch. A joint poll was established to root out parents’ current views, with results showing that of the 1,088 parents questioned, 69 per cent of children sometimes have school meals, with 39 per cent having them every day. A further 61 per cent of parents think meals are now healthier than when they were at school, with 58 per cent of parents finding that they are more varied. CHOOSING SCHOOL MEALS Of those parents who choose school meals, over half (56 per cent) said they do so because it saves them time having to prepare a packed lunch; 54 per cent choose them because they think it’s beneficial to have a hot meal; 44 per cent think it’s a good way to introduce a wider range of food into their child’s diet and a third (34 per cent) think it’s more sociable than a packed lunch. The good news is that four out of ten (41 per cent) of parents reported that their child’s school meal is healthier than ever. Parents are now getting regular information to what their child is eating everyday with a third saying they have regular updates (36 per cent). Just under a quarter say there’s now more variety on offer and 22 per cent say their child is offered a wide choice. Following the research, parents can now upload their own footage giving their views of school food. These will feature in an online video which will be hosted on Mumsnet in coming weeks. Elsewhere in cyberspace, the Trust has linked up with parenting site Netmums to sponsor two newsletters issued to more than 500,000 registered users, and to develop a homepage presence taking parents straight to the Eat Better microsite.

FOR MORE INFORMATION The MSN ‘Eat Better’ website and ‘Little Book of Goodness’ can be found at: www. The ‘Little Book of Goodness’ can also be downloaded at: www. Read the Mumsnet parent survey at: and visit Netmums at:



VeriCool for Schools Biometric Multi-Lesson Registration, Cashless Catering and School Reception Software VeriCool for Schools are the leading provider of Biometric cashless catering, multi-lesson registration and school reception software.

The VeriCool suite of software uses Biometric fingertip verification to uniquely identify students. Our software offers Multi-Lesson Registration, Cashless Catering and School Reception solutions to schools in the UK. As a premier partner to Capita and partner to Serco we pride ourselves on our seamless links to the and SERCO Facility platforms. VeriCool software ensures that swipe cards are not required, no-one can steal your student’s identity and it can reduce the school administration of FSM’s and identification of absent students. The VeriCool Biometric software verifies a student’s identity in less than one second.

Call the VeriCool Sales Team today on 08458 382 410 or email us on or visit our website

Education Business | Volume 15.1

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RECORDING WHO, WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN Identification technology can bring many benefits to the education sector, such as cashless catering. Ian Byfield from AIDC UK looks at how developments in such technologies will bring further benefits to education in the future IN MANY WAYS EDUCATION management is about records: who is here, and therefore, who is not; who has done what, therefore, who has achieved what; who has spent what and therefore, how much do we have left? The who, what, where and how much have always been recorded by a variety of methods – not least pen and paper. But, increasingly, identification technology is playing its part not only in automatically recording activity, but quickly and accurately presenting results of the calculations to help ensure timely, efficient and effective management. The use of barcodes, smartcards and biometrics in the form of fingerprints is already widespread in education today, but what challenges face education managers who will need to be aware of technological tools at their disposal in the future? And what will be the technological developments to watch out for in this sector? PRIVACY CONCERNS There is naturally much concern about the capture of information surrounding individuals in terms of personal privacy and as the technology to gather such information develops further, consideration must continue to be given to what happens to the information captured about individuals. Essentially little will change; as all sorts of information is held now, often in non-digital form. Using filing cabinets as repositories of information, means that privacy can be invaded simply by files being taken out and looked at. Many people feel that digital information is more easily accessed or ‘invaded’– what becomes important is the control of access to such information. Where there used to be lock and key, there now must be sophisticated and secure prevention of unauthorised access through technological means. BIOMETRIC ‘PASSWORDS’ Passwords are now regarded as far from ideal means of security. Biometrics – fingerprints or iris scans, palm recognition for more secure areas and increasingly blood pattern recognition under the skin of fingers – will be required to access many systems retaining information on individuals where security is important. It is likely that combinations of biometrics and passwords, or biometrics and smartcards will become the norm. Not only is this more secure than many current systems, it also enables audit trails to be developed to record exactly who has had access to what and when. In short, these days when data repositories are being designed, their

security is part of the development process. The education sector is likely to espouse a number of developments in the way the data is entered into those systems which must remain so secure – and will make use of different, new reasons why such data is captured in the first place. Identification of individuals is not only about gathering information on them – it will increasingly be about using stored information to define trends, accurately predict activity and keep effective records easily to fulfil report requirements for conformance to statutory requirements. BARCODES Barcoding remains a simple, economic and effective means of identifying individuals (on cards, fobs laminated menus, for instance) and items (physical assets such as office and classroom furniture and equipment, for easier auditing) and will continue to be used for

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ian Byfield has been a writer, consultant and evangelist for AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) technologies for 20 years. He works with the European Centre of Excellence for AIDC in Yorkshire – a non-profit distribution company in Barnsley (originally funded by Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency) – which has a mission to be an authoritative and independent source of information about what is possible with AIDC technologies such as bar coding, RFID, smartcards and biometrics as well as mobile and wireless applications. It also offers technical and commercial consultancy, particularly to SMEs – and is registered as a centre of knowledge for Innovation Vouchers.





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some time. New and interesting applications appear all the time – particularly with recording attendance at specialist events. But while barcodes are simply a series of numbers and letters which must be referred to a database to discover the identity, two dimensional codes (most of them looking like small crossword puzzles) are emerging as a way of carrying the information in the code – without the need for reference to the database. So for instance a student could carry a 2D code giving personal details and up to date achievement information which could be read straight off the page. These 2D codes are emerging as popular elements of consumer activity – some of them can be read by mobile phones – and so should be at least looked at when ID systems are being introduced. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology using an enormous variety of ‘tags’ in different ways. The tags carry information which can be read at variable distances without line of sight. So students with RFID badges could be logged going through a doorway – many at once – or identified as they approached a counter. Assets could be tagged, too, making tracking and stock-taking easier and more accurate. Advances in smartcard technology are making such cards increasingly useful in many areas of education administration. Modern cards can carry several applications and so a single card could be used, say, for registration, library, checking into clubs and school transport. Systems exist already which involve users being able to carry monetary values on the cards which can be spent at various locations and topped up in various ways. CASHLESS CATERING Such cash value cards are starting to be used in cashless catering systems which involve students being able to buy lunches without having to carry and present money – an area where biometrics comes into its own as well. If the monetary value is not carried on the card, then it must be stored on a database and through identifying individuals by their digital fingerprints funds can be reduced in relation to what is chosen for lunch. These systems have the added advantage in that they can show statistics on buying patterns and help in the efficient ordering of food. In the education of younger students, parents can top up the amount they have to spend over the internet and in cash. In some systems they can set daily spending limits, and restrict certain food purchases, especially useful in cases where the child has a food allergy or intolerance. Other advantages are speeding up lunchtime service and helping to keep school children on school premises during lunchtime. In addition, pupils who are entitled to free school meals remain anonymous, as they have a swipe card like everyone else. COMBINING TECHNOLOGIES Biometrics – in the form of vein and blood vessel pattern recognition and iris recognition

– are used for secure identification. They require “registration” of an individual’s natural feature; this is stored in a database for comparison against a scan in situ. Alternatively, these registered features can be carried on a smart card. The card is read at the point of transaction as is, say, the fingerprint, and the two compared for identification. Indeed this concept of combining technologies is likely to be a major feature going forward. Not only will it make identification and system access more accurate but it will also help safeguard the privacy of the individual by ensuring only the information required for a particular transaction is accessed. For instance if someone was being asked for proof of age, there will be systems which reveal conformance only; in other words a checking system for ages would only be able to read confirmations that the person is over the stated age and could not have access

to name or any other personal details. I think it is reasonable to assume that many if not all these technologies will be put together on a single device to take identification to a new even more sophisticated level. The device would probably be some form of PDA which would have mobile phone, e-mail and internet access capabilities as well as storing monetary values, and acting as house keys, locker keys, cupboard keys and access clearance for vary secure areas. These devices could be used for healthcare, shopping, as personal alarms and in conjunction with fold-away screens, DVD players and mobile televisions. And if all this fails here are other forms of identification technology which are being developed relating to natural smell, unique limb and body movement and facial recognition which mean all the above might be obsolete (in 30 years or so).



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FULLY CASHLESS CATERING Essex school goes cashless with help from TOSHIBA and MH Systems ways the cash cards can be used; for example, paying for school trips, uniforms, and other extra curricular activities,” added Verrall.

TOSHIBA HAS PARTNERED WITH MH Systems and HPort to provide a solution that has enabled one Essex school to implement a completely cashless catering system. Funded by Essex County Council, the system, which has been installed at the Philip Morant School, uses Toshiba STA-10 POS tills loaded with MH Systems ‘Chips’ cashless catering software combined with HPort Systems nutrients data. Since implementation the number of pupils using the canteen has increased by 50 per cent and transaction time at the canteen’s three tills has speeded up, allowing up to 800 pupils through every 20 minutes. NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS The chosen system, needed to integrate with HPort Systems nutrient data, which provides a complete analysis of nutritional data for each pupil based on their daily purchases in school. Philip Morant looked at four different POS suppliers and visited a number of schools using different applications. They finally selected the MH Systems, Toshiba, HPort Systems solution because of its flexibility; ability to meet the specific needs of a school environment and ultimately meet the future goal of a totally ‘cash-less’ school. Easy to use, parents can load the required

amount of cash onto their children’s school cash cards via ParentPay or via credit or debit card at the school reception. As the process is real time money is available immediately and whenever a transaction is made the amount is then taken from the account. Because the money on the card is only available to spend in the school, parents do not have to worry that the cash they give their children will be spent elsewhere, or, as cards are personalised with student images, be used by anyone else. “Parent feedback to the cashless catering system has been tremendous – with some 85 per cent of parents readily adopting the scheme.” commented Sheila Verrall, catering manager of Philip Morant School. “We’ve encouraged the remainder to provide packed lunches in order for the school to eventually become totally cashless.” The state of the art tills are easy to set up and use and screen layouts can be tailored to meet a school’s specific requirements. The combined system enables catering staff to control stock efficiently and manage menu planning in-line with government nutritional standards which were introduced in September 2009. “We are very impressed with the benefits of the system so far and we are looking at other

AWARD-WINNING SYSTEM The award-winning ST-A10 has an ultra-small footprint that incorporates a wide range of functionalities, offering exceptionally easy maintenance with click-on access to its outer casing and components. Smart ergonomics ensure fast customer throughput times. The EPOS terminal can withstand severe thermal and humid conditions – providing a stable, consistent and reliable hardware platform with a low cost of ownership for many years. The metal chassis optimises the performance/ power consumption ratio and assists in cooling the terminal. Passive cooling is the primary source of heat dissipation for the ST-A10. Heat sink and metal chassis draw heat away from the main components, thereby reducing the dependence on fans. The revolutionary VIA C7 processor with the VIA TwinTurbo™ allows the processor to switch between ultra low power mode to full speed operation in a single clock cycle, resulting in consistent performance. ‘GREEN’ SOLUTION TOSHIBA products minimise the carbon footprint throughout the entire product life. This is achieved by getting a head start at TOSHIBA manufacturing facilities, through a long and productive lifecycle and ultimately in a controlled recycling process. The ST-A10 TouchPOS is fully RoHS and WEEE compliant. The ultra-thin screen edges give a pictureframe image with maximum screen size and minimum impact on counter space. The ST-A10 TouchPOS has an extremely durable, high clarity touch screen, sealed to protect against spillages and dust, making it ideal for the school canteen environment. The ST-A10 TouchPOS has been designed with a unique ‘click’ release system on its outer casing to replace key components, including hard disk drive, memory and power supply, facilitating minimal downtime and reduced service visits. Options include interactive wireless USB cover, uDOC Flash Disk with USB 2.0 interface, card reader, iButton personal identification key and moveable or fixed line display unit. The ST-A10 TouchPOS is designed to work with the TRST-A10 and A15 printers to provide fast, quiet, two-colour thermal printing.

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AFTER HOURS Many schools are using after school clubs as a way of increasing the breadth of opportunities for participating in healthy activities HEALTHY AND UNHEALTHY HABITS are formed early in life, and with children spending an average 35 hours in school each week, there’s no doubt that schools can be one of the biggest influences. As all Healthy Schools know, the impact of the school environment reaches far beyond the school day, and the Healthy Schools programme, which is now celebrating its 10th year as one of the most popular non-statutory government programmes in schools, is helping schools to promote positive health choices, both inside and outside of timetabled curriculum. THE NEXT PHASE With more than 80 per cent of schools having already achieved National Healthy School Status, from Autumn 2009 schools are being invited to take part in the next phase of Healthy Schools – which will help schools to continue to build upon existing good practice in supporting children and young people to choose healthy behaviours. The government’s vision for the 21st Century School places schools firmly in the centre of efforts to improve children and young people’s health and wellbeing, and schools that take part in the new Healthy Schools enhancement model will be particularly well placed to translate that vision into practice. Helen Williams, director of curriculum and pupil wellbeing at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, explains: “This next stage of development is really about recognising the growing role played by schools in supporting a range of children’s outcomes. In the future, schools will still be about education in the traditional sense, but will also focus on developing the whole child, by offering: more personalised education, a stronger focus on improving health and wellbeing, and a wider community resource to support whole families and communities.” Working with Healthy Schools, schools can now prioritise their own health and wellbeing agenda by choosing which issues to focus on, in partnership with other local services and based on local evidence. Schools will carry out a needs analysis to identify those children and young people who need more support – whether they are young carers, those with mental health needs or who need help to tackle issues such as bullying, low self-esteem, weight management, or drugs or alcohol misuse. Indeed, as part of this approach many schools are also using after school clubs as a way of increasing the breadth of opportunities for participating in healthy activities, including for children and young people that might not



usually engage in traditional sporting or extracurricular activities. Here we take a closer look at the difference evidence-based after-school clubs are making to targeted groups of children and young people through Healthy Schools. LOOKING AFTER ME Treloweth Community Primary School in Cornwall is tackling the sensitive issue of obesity with a number of its children, through a club called ‘Looking After Me’ which encompasses a range of issues from healthy eating, self esteem, confidence and exercise – which was set up with close input from parents. Kate Pordage, Healthy Schools coordinator for Cornwall explains: “The club provides the children with physical activities to take part in everyday, along with lunchtime sessions and weekly after school family sessions covering a range of health issues, including cooking workshops and provides free access to local swimming pools and family pedometers to help the children measure how far they are walking each day. It has also trained year 6 pupils as playground leaders for ‘Wake and Shake’ which children can join in at break time to get active.” Starting with 22 students, the club has proven a great success with continued attendance from those students. Parents and carers have also given it a firm vote of confidence. As one parent said: “Since the club started my daughter is more positive about herself, seems happier and more motivated, and has learned how different foods and exercise can help to keep her healthy. But the best thing is that she feels like she is part of a team, supported by her friends and teachers.” BIKE-FIXING CLUB In Bristol, Teyfant Primary School has been using after school clubs to focus support for the emotional health and wellbeing of its students. Head teacher Gus Grimshaw says: “Like many schools locally, for us addressing the emotional health and wellbeing of our children and young people is high on the agenda, because without first addressing a child’s emotional and physical health, they are in no fit state to learn. A great aspect of Healthy Schools is that it encourages a holistic, ‘whole child’ approach to health and learning, understanding that you cannot have one without the other.” Recognising that children would develop more positive behaviours in the classroom when they also felt secure and supported by role models at home, the school began to provide a platform to help strengthen parent and child relationships using a range of after school clubs. For example, a group of parents at the school introduced an after-school bike repair scheme

where parents and children were encouraged to bring broken bikes and bike parts along for an upgrade. Together, the parents and children were taught how to build and repair bikes from different parts, encouraging team work and closer relationships, particularly amongst dads and lads, and the group have since organised a number of biking trips into the country. Indeed, the scheme has been so successful that through word of mouth, parents from other schools have heard about it and have approached the club for help in starting a similar initiative in other schools, and the parents are also now looking at running other after school skills classes. MOTIVATION THROUGH SPORT A group of Healthy Schools in St. Helens, Merseyside are using an alternative sports and PSHE education initiative including a range of after school activities, to re-engage young people who were at

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The club provides the children with physical activities to take part in everyday, along with lunchtime sessions and weekly after school family sessions covering a range of health issues high risk of exclusion from school. Over 500 girls from the area, aged 14 to15, who showed they wanted to ‘get back on track’ but were perceived by staff as struggling with elements of social interaction and behavior at school, were chosen to take part in a 20 week long ‘SHE’ course which introduced them to a range of alternative physical activities such as boxercise, gym and street dancing, as well as sessions to help develop citizenship skills such as healthy relationships, bullying and sexual health. With a structure to the course that has enabled these girls to grow through mixing

with different social groups outside their usual school settings, teachers have seen significant impact on girls’ attitude to learning. One teacher, Emma Cookson from Cowley Language College has noticed some dramatic changes amongst her students: “Two girls, in particular, struggled with their form groups and lacked confidence due to past experiences of bullying. One of them hardly spoke even when spoken to, and they would never join an extra-curricular club. The street dance sessions really developed their personal confidence and social interaction, and a residential weekend

away at the end of term, proved just how far they’d come, when they performed a dance routine for the rest of the group. “We also found out later that they often rehearsed dance routines at home, and the sessions had provided the opportunity to further develop their interests and stretch their confidence in a safe environment. It has also since led to them helping out at our after-school dance club and auditioning for local dance competitions.”




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ARE YOUR PUPILS IN GOOD HANDS? John Dunn, Chair of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Education Sector Group, discusses the new Vetting and Barring Scheme and how this will affect the recruitment of education professionals 2010 IS SET TO BE ANOTHER DIFFICULT year for all recruiters. Whilst those in the education sector have ridden out the storm better than most so far, the impending squeeze on school budgets as the government

seeks to reduce the national budget deficit is set to challenge the sector even further. While some will search for ‘innovative’ ways to plug the gap in the public finances, it is often the simple truths applied effectively

Education is an essential sector. By getting education right, we can equip tomorrow’s workforce with the right skills and attitudes needed for a strong economy. Ensuring that only fully qualified teachers are at the front of the classroom is more essential than ever, and supply teachers from specialist education recruiters are the most cost-effective means of achieving this



which end up being the right solution. According to the latest figures from the Report on Jobs, a monthly tracking survey produced by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the economy is starting to recover. The job market continues to grow from a low in August 2009 to levels now comparable to 2007 before the start of the current recession. The REC’s Annual Industry Survey 2007/2008 also states that there are, in any given week, 132,000 workers supplied into the education sector. FLEXIBLE LABOUR With growth now being recorded in once troubled industries such as the financial services, businesses are turning to recruiters to fill vacant positions left hanging during the recruitment freeze. Now is the time

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for the education sector to recognise flexible labour as the best way to cope with tight school budgets, rather than a cost to be cut. In recent years, increasing numbers of schools have naively overstaffed with unqualified teaching assistants, sometimes known as cover supervisors, as a means of providing sickness absence and other cover. The budget cuts must force school heads and managers to reconsider this mismanagement of labour resources. Firstly, supply teachers through education recruiters are only a cost to the public purse when used, unlike cover supervisors who are a fixed cost on the school accounts all year round. What is more, cover supervisors themselves can be absent through sickness. Secondly, education recruiters will provide cover with supply teachers who are fully qualified, unlike the unqualified cover supervisors who can only offer a second-rate teaching experience for children. On both efficiency and quality grounds, education recruiters have a very positive message for schools facing funding cuts. As this message becomes understood more widely, the immediate future will hold opportunities for supply teaching agencies for the education sector rather than threats. Education is an essential sector. By getting education right, we can equip tomorrow’s workforce with the right skills and attitudes needed for a strong economy. Ensuring that only fully qualified teachers are at the front of the classroom is more essential than ever, and supply teachers from specialist education recruiters are the most cost-effective means of achieving this. THE SAFETY AGENDA Quite apart from the efficiency and quality case for supply teachers, the child safety case is unquestionably worth making too. Checks on teachers made by recruiters include the Vetting and Barring Scheme, checks against the General Teaching Council’s register, reference checks with past employers, health checks, face to face interviews, Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks, overseas police checks and a myriad of others to ensure a teacher is safe to place in a school. Education recruiters do not take this job lightly and all REC Education members are kept up to date on the latest requirements they have to fulfil and the latest guidance from the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The new Vetting and Barring Scheme launched by the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s (ISA) has been set up to further improve checks on people working with vulnerable adults and children. The scheme was launched in October 2009 but certain elements will not come into operation until July 2010. The most significant change in July will be the introduction of a new online registration, where teachers will have to register to work with children. The scheme will include an enhanced CRB check and cost each supply teacher £64 to complete. The fact that the new Vetting and Barring Scheme will not be as all-embracing as many people think continues to be a major frustration to schools, supply teachers and their agencies alike. The new scheme only covers child safety related offences and recruiters will still need to make an additional CRB check on all new candidates to uncover any criminal offences such as drugs, theft and even some firearms offences, which would render a candidate unsuitable to teach. All this will add cost to the education sector at a time when it can least afford it. The ISA must, at some point, consider making the Vetting and Barring Scheme more thorough than the current proposal. There has been huge media interest in terms of how the new scheme will be implemented and the REC has been working behind the scenes to take forward the views of recruitment professionals who will be on the front line of using the scheme.


have no way of checking if a supply teacher was barred to work with children until a CRB check was approved, a process which sometimes took months. Given the nature of supply teaching, the ability to quickly check the suitability of temporary staff is essential and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation is working with the ISA and specialist select committees on the Vetting & Barring Scheme to ensure that this is recognised and that other essential checks remain workable in the run up to the registration switchover in July. The months before then will prove extremely busy as schools prepare for the new school term in September. It is essential that recruiters and schools have sufficient time to take stock of the new changes and train staff and key personnel within schools on what the new regulations require. Most importantly, the government must learn from the mistakes it made when the CRB scheme was originally introduced when many schools found it difficult to source staff because the system was overloaded. If this scheme is to be successful then businesses and organisations need sufficient time to prepare to ensure that it doesn’t create any an unnecessary shortage of staff. Given the complexity of candidate checks and meeting ISA regulation, it makes economic sense for specialist agencies who work across local authority boundaries to handle the recruitment needs of schools, rather than the countries 27,000 schools to handle their own recruitment needs individually. This will ensure that staff are quickly sourced, thoroughly vetted and are thoroughly qualified to provide a valuable service to the nation’s schools. As we recover from the recession, it will be more important than ever to ensure that we provide children with the best education experience that we can today, in order to give the workforce of tomorrow the best possible start.

THE NEED FOR GUIDANCE Yet with six months to go questions still linger on aspects of the Vetting & Barring Scheme and after months of promises from the government, guidance for recruiters is yet to be published. Under the new scheme it will become compulsory for all new recruits to be registered before they undertake ‘regulated activity’ from November 2010. In April 2009 there was a change to the phasingin of the ISA regulation. This change meant that recruiters would



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BRINGING THE CURRICULUM TO LIFE Grown-up matters like the recession should not be allowed to hold our children back from going on educational trips, argues David Holloway from the Education Travel Group THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL TRIPS to a child’s development is undisputed but the current economic situation has resulted in a drop in the number of teachers taking children on educational visits. The recession has put severe financial pressure on both schools and parents, meaning that many teachers are reluctant to put together school trips that they believe will not be supported by parents. However, should grown up matters be allowed to hold our children back? Research has demonstrated time and again that learning outside the classroom benefits pupils both academically and personally. Ofsted recently claimed that well-organised educational visits have the potential to significantly raise standards and improve social, physical and emotional development. The majority of teachers are only too aware of the vital role that learning outside the classroom plays in a child’s development and do want to facilitate this kind of ‘hands-on’ learning. However, when the country is gripped by financial woes, teachers find it understandably difficult to push parents to help fund trips and often do not feel that they have the support of other members of staff who will be left behind to cover.

CHANGING WITH THE TIMES At Education Travel Group, we arrange educational visits for over 250,000 children every year and have done so for over 75 years. Over the years, as with any business, we have developed new ways to keep up with the changing needs of our customers. We have found new ways to extend the learning experience beyond the classroom, keep up with the ever-changing curriculum and deliver parts of the curriculum that are difficult to deliver in the confines of a classroom. The current economic situation is just the latest example of how the changing world has influenced our work. As a school trips

provider, our livelihood rests on our ability to create programmes that make it easier for teachers to deliver the curriculum, and to support them through the process of organising educational visits. Our philosophy over the last 75 years has been to give teachers value for money and make sure that learning outside the classroom is accessible to everyone, regardless of background. This philosophy has never been more important than in the current crisis, and we have recently developed a range of new products to make educational visits even more affordable to cash strapped parents and over-stretched schools. For example, STS School Travel Service

The recession has put severe financial pressure on both schools and parents, meaning that many teachers are reluctant to put together school trips that they believe will not be supported by parents. However, should grown up matters be allowed to hold our children back? THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION


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A residential centre with a difference CHOOL AND COMMUNITY groups are invited to stay at Gibside Stables Learning and Discovery Centre. This Grade 1 listed building has recently been refurbished and now provides a friendly and relaxing venue in the heart of a beautiful 500 acre 18th century landscape forest garden. Situated on the outskirts of Gateshead in Northeast England, the Stables provides an individually designed itinerary for groups participating in fun and memorable activities held both at Gibside and, if required, at nearby centres and regional visitor attractions. All activities offered support delivery of the National Curriculum and can be adapted for Key Stages one to five. Activities include orienteering, low ropes challenge, red kite rambles and minibeast safaris. The first floor of the spacious Georgian Stables is allocated for residential groups. It can accommodate up to 33 children in two dormitory style rooms


The British Museum

has made a range of new options available for teachers and schools, enabling them to select the right trip for their needs and budget, no matter what they might be. As the UK’s leading school tour operator, STS has created recession-busting, shorter itineraries for all its key trips, enabling teachers to take pupils away for less and making learning outside the classroom more affordable for all. STS is now offering itineraries from just two days, travelling to much loved destinations such as WW1 Battlefields from just £95 per child, and is able to arrange trips for smaller groups with a minimum of 10 students but maintaining great rates. TAILOR MADE TRIPS For teachers with limited resources and budget, it is important to find a tried and trusted provider who will be able to guide them seamlessly through the process. A good educational trip provider will discuss the educational and developmental needs of a class with the teacher and suggest, then build, a costeffective itinerary for the group based on these discussions. Despite what many teachers may initially think, it is not the case that pupils need to be taken very far for them to feel the benefit of learning outside the classroom. London, for example, is one of the most historical and cultural cities in Europe and is right on our doorstep – perfect for stimulating a broader understanding of history, art, science and politics, whilst residential stays at UK education activity centres such as Kingswood will build camaraderie and enable teachers to deliver areas of the curriculum that are otherwise difficult to facilitate. Tours to Northern France are an excellent option for teachers who still want to take their pupils abroad. As well as being very close to the UK, the area has a wealth of history and the benefit of exposing pupils to another language and culture. It is also important to build links with parents and to demonstrate what your trip will bring to their child. All Education Travel Group educational visits are closely tied to the curriculum, and Equity School Travel has indexed each one of their tours to the curriculum, giving teachers and parents an easy reference point. Many educational travel providers will be more than happy to come to events such as parents’ evenings to discuss your trip and bring learning to life for the parents, as well as the children. I would advise teachers to contact a provider early in the process for more information and to ask as many questions as possible, to ensure that you are able to answer any questions parents may throw at you. It would be a huge shame to let school trips slip from the spectrum of educational opportunities afforded to children because of the current financial situation. Together, we must find a way to give every child the education he or she deserves – in and out of the classroom.




with adjoining rooms for an additional four adults or leaders. There is ample space for activities, recreation and eating. Catering is organised on site using high quality, locally sourced and organic food wherever possible, providing home cooked, healthy meals. The Learning & Discovery Centre is open all year and could provide your group with a unique experience in a beautiful historical setting. Come and experience it for yourself!

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01207 541820 Fax: 01207 542741 E-mail: gibsidestablesLDC@ Web: www.nationaltrust. (Quote ref: GS-EDBUS)

Honouring the past – inspiring the future HE MISSION OF THE Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) is to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, designers and aviators with an ambitious education programme that ranges from working with primary school pupils to aerospace engineering undergraduates. Avro Vulcan XH558 returned to flight on 18th October 2007, following an award winning engineering restoration programme. Vulcan XH558 is Britain’s last airworthy Vulcan and an awesome example of iconic British design and engineering. Now the star of every air show at which she appears, XH558 is the focal point of an exciting and extensive education programme. Our education programme is about honouring the past creating an atmosphere of learning and discovery in which to explore the history of Vulcan XH558, its extraordinarily advanced British design and


technology and its importance in the context of the Cold War. Most importantly our education programme is about looking forward – engaging, enriching and inspiring the future with much emphasis on science, design, technology and innovation. For National Curriculum linked resources and outreach visits please see or website and contact Miriam Tong, education manager.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01455 895 914 Fax: 01455 616 398 E-mail: education@ Web:

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Ringsfield Eco Centre – outdoor and enquiry-based learning UTDOOR LEARNING at Ringsfield Eco Centre aims to connect children to the natural world and to stimulate imagination, creativity and good relationship. Subjects cover Sustainability, Science, Geography, Biology, Design Technology, Art, Mantle of the Expert, PSHE, Citizenship, History, Early Years. On offer are both Residential and Day visits which can be tailor-made. Activities include Earthkeepers, an Earth Education programme with hands-on activities relating to ecological systems in a woodcraft setting with camp fires, cooking, shelter building; sessions on issues such as soil, waste, environmental footprints, energy; also reflective and themed activities such as nature walks, environmental art, quiet spots, Tudor or Victorian themes, orienteering, mapping; team-building with negotiation and cooperative play; for early years a variety of seasonal crafts, and activities. Ringsfield has a beautiful 14 acre


site with a lovely Victorian house and excellent home cooking (self catering facilities available). The site encourages free-range play yet is secure, with garden, woodland, wildlife, meadows, secret places, playing field, art barn, animals. Groups are free to follow their own programme, and the site which is close to Norwich, coast and heath, fens and the Broads, can be used as a base for cultural visits and outdoor activities relating to those areas.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01502 713020 E-mail: Web:

World War II evacuee’s experience trips UNIQUE WW2 LIVING History experience for children studying the National Curriculum K9 History topic at Level 2 -3. Imagine being able to take your children back to England in the war years. Our “Children at War – the Evacuee’s Experience” brings your pupils face to face firstly with the Billeting Officer in the Evacuees Schoolroom and then with various period re-enactors who will help them experience the work of the 1940’s housewife, ARP wardens, fire wardens, military personnel, land army, the Blitz Experience etc. Your children can go into the Anderson, the Morrison and the street Shelters, help fight firebombs, do the weekly wash and help “Dig for Victory”. Lots of ‘hands-on’ experiences to create the perfect learning environment. We can organise single day visits or – uniquely in the UK – a 3 day visit where children live through three wartime dates –


Evacuation, The Blitz and V.E. day. The Forties Experience is a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction registered with VisitEngland.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For further information visit our websites, or e-mail us: Alternatively you can call us direct on 01923 233841 and ask to speak to Janet McLennan for Day visits or Rachel Collins for 3 day residential trips.

The sustainability centre educational school trips OME AND VISIT FOR a day or stay for a week. Enjoy a wide range of activities introducing eco-friendly ideas at our 55 acres woodland site set in the beautiful surroundings of the South Downs. See yurts, tipis and straw bale building, study a habitat or pick a topic from our website. We provide lots of handson activities outdoors and in, with specialist activities for small groups and whole class experiences. With ideas of how your school can be more sustainable inspired from a living working environment. We cater for primary and secondary schools, with links to the school curriculum. This is a wonderful opportunity for your pupils to experience the great outdoors and learn more about the world around them. Topics include habitats, energy use, sustainability, food and farming, biodiversity, food chains, sustainable buildings, ecology, citizenship and more. Pupils learn through educational games,


team work, practical projects, discussion and design projects. Our residential accommodation is an eco-hostel. Food is catered for by our own healthy and ethical on site café caterers and served in the restaurant. We also offer schools training to meet school sustainability targets and organise conferences. Please ask for more information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01730 823 166 Fax: 01730 823 168 E-mail: education@ Web:

A unique mix of leisure and learning DAPTABLE TRAVEL provides educational tours for thousands of passengers each academic year from schools, colleges and universities. We pride ourselves on being the UK’s most innovative educational trips operator offering unique, safe and low-cost school trips, college trips and educational tours. Our school tours are designed to stimulate learning by placing pupils in fresh and exciting contexts relevant to their learning. These school, college and university trips truly echo our philosophy of leisure and learning. The safety and security of your group is the most important responsibility we have, which is why Adaptable Travel is fully committed to ensuring the very best standards of safety and financial security. Our externally audited safety management system is committed to the management of safety on all of our tours.


Adaptable Travel is also proud of our inclusion in the government backed Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge scheme, in addition to our membership of the School Travel Forum. Contact us today via our award winning website for your bespoke school trip, college trip or university trip quotation, whether it be in the UK, Europe or further afield.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01451 832133 Fax: 01451 870422 E-mail: info@ Web: www.



Build your own natural playscapes Let children design and build their own features in school

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MAKING TIME AND SPACE FOR PLAY The government’s national Play Strategy identifies schools as an important place for children’s play. Play England’s Ken Ryan looks at how one school in particular is meeting the challenge of providing time and space for children’s play THERE ARE INTERESTING TIMES ahead for schools in England. Government policy has made it clear that schools are an important place for children’s play, both during the school day and in terms of making facilities available outside schools hours. In addition, Play England’s Charter for Children’s Play, a document that acts as a catalyst for organisations to examine, review and improve their provision for children’s play, states: “Children at school need time and space to play.” The challenge for school leaders, planners and designers is to how best develop their existing play facilities and enrich the school day by including opportunities for learning through play, particularly in the primary curriculum. One London primary school has been well ahead of these current initiatives in terms of providing this time and space to play. SCHOOL ON THE MOVE St John Baptist Church of England Primary School, in Hoxton, serves a diverse community in area where social exclusion, poverty and language barriers are real issues. Almost five years ago when current head teacher, Louise Rosen, was appointed, the school had behaviour issues, its Ofsted inspection was disappointing, and for parents, it wasn’t a popular destination for their children. Now the school, thanks to some innovative leadership, has a radically new ethos that has helped make learning exciting. It’s oversubscribed, seeing parents appealing to get their children a place; attendance levels are excellent with 98 to 100 per cent not being uncommon; and a 2008 Ofsted inspection report described St John Baptist as a ‘school on the move’. PLAY DEPRIVATION An audit of local places where children go to play by the Shoreditch Trust, which children at the school were involved in, revealed serious issues around gangs and street crime that was having a devastating impact on how and where local children went to play or meet friends. This was one of the factors that convinced Louise Rosen that play needed to feature strongly in plans for the school’s future direction. “When children are experiencing play deprivation, what’s the point of a capital letter and a full stop,” said Rosen whilst holding a copy of the influential Play Wales’ publication ‘First Claim’.

When children are experiencing play deprivation, what’s the point of a capital letter and a full stop – Louise Rosen, head teacher, St John Baptist Church of England Primary School



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There are issues about supervision, as these extended services are partly dependant on the local authority providing playwork support. To make sure this is not an issue, the school has recruited a play manger and is preparing to roll out training to staff and parents so they can gain an NVQ Level 3 in Playwork from this autumn. Rosen is keen to develop the school as a ‘learning institution’ and an example of good practice and that all staff extended their skills. To partly achieve this, funding has been secured from the Training and Development Agency (TDA) so that teaching staff can follow an MA programme on Play from this September. There are more plans for the playgrounds too. Children have just completed a consultation on the design of a new roof top play space and are now looking for funding to turn their plans into reality. Rosen explained that she sees connections between play and improving conditions for children, adding that ‘play is an important part of a good childhood and also important in raising standards within the school’. Informed by this understanding, and having dipped into some key play theory texts, including Bob Hughes’ ‘Evolutionary Playwork’, she set about changing the school. CHILDREN HAVING THEIR SAY The first task was to find out what the children actually wanted. Using a ‘magic pen’, children, parents and governors produced posters of their vision for the school; these mostly contained images of children playing and laughing – rather than doing maths or English classes. The consultation with children highlighted the need for change. The school had no green space or shade, children were not physically challenged, had no quality playtime, no climbing or swinging, and no sand nor water. Since Rosen’s arrival, over £1m has been raised from outside the school’s delegated budget, providing the resources for an ambitious programme. Rosen was able to get everyone on board with the message that “anything was possible and they were going to build the most amazing school for children, staff and parents”. With support from adventure playground specialists Design + Build [Play], work started on transforming the school playgrounds. Children were involved right from the start, by producing models of the structures and voting on what was going to be included. The results speak for themselves. The boundary between classroom and playground for younger children at Key Stage 1 has been blurred. Classrooms extend into the playground, sheltered by a glass roofed canopy; a sensory garden with planting and a den has been added thanks to support from the Sunbabies Trust; and a play structure has been located within a huge sand pit to providing a safe landing zone and space for loose parts play. Things really get going in the playground for Year 3 to 6 children. An impressive adventure



playground structure, complete with aerial walkways, cargo nets and a Globe Theatreinspired stage/meeting area provides the main focus. The school might also be the only one in the country to feature a zip wire. With help from the environmental regeneration charity, Groundwork, the school recently installed ‘the hill’ – a gently sloping grass hill that now breaks up the former tarmac surface, whilst also providing outdoor amphitheatre style seating for the theatre stage. Introducing natural features to the playground was also a priority. Each class is named after a tree, so careful thought has been put into locating real examples of these in the playgrounds. Flower-beds and vegetable plots are prominent features, with children encouraged to grow vegetables, which are then used by the school kitchen. A strong emphasis on sustainability is noticeable; growing organic vegetables, composting, and even the theatre is powered by solar panels. Crucially, Rosen doesn’t see these features as ‘bolt-ons’, as all these elements find their way into the curriculum as some stage. This holistic view links the gardens, play areas, PE and sport, and music and art, to topic plans that make lessons exciting. Initially some parents were concerned as to how the head teacher was spending school money. The Chair of Governors wrote to parents, explaining that the money came from additional grants or charities bid for by the head teacher. Some were also worried about children hurting themselves, this gave way to the majority who were overwhelmed, telling staff that children will not miss a day at school if it means they miss their turn on the play structure. THE FUTURE St John Baptist provides extended services along with 12 other schools, as part of a local cluster. The school provides access to the core offer of extended services including breakfast and after school clubs. It operates a holiday scheme so the community could take advantage of its rich play environment.

WINNING FORMULA Looking back at the school’s achievements, Rosen is confident that they have achieved what the children wanted, whilst also reinforcing the schools commitment to raising attainment by ensuring children become confident lifelong learners. At first, Rosen did question whether spending time and money on developing a creative and playful environment was the right approach, but firmly believes that this support has helped improve attainment: ‘good quality play leads to greater plasticity of the brain, which enables us to access and problem solve the new and as yet undiscovered’. This was a bold move: some schools faced with a similar situation, and under close scrutiny to boost SATS scores, might have placed a far greater emphasis on bolstering academic achievement at the expense of those fun art, crafts, music and play-based activities that have proved so successful here. Rosen is clear that none of this could have taken place without good teamwork. Important here has been the commitment and positive attitude of the school premises officer, whose daily tasks now include sweeping sand and watering plants; he even comes in at weekends and during holidays to help the children take care for their playground. The children like this new approach too. I asked two Year 6 pupils for their opinions on the school. Dorothy, age 10 and Chris, age 11, both remember the old playground describing it as ‘boring’, and a place they didn’t like because ‘there was nothing to do’. Now they describe the playground as ‘exciting’, they both like coming to school and Dorothy has plans for decorating the structure to make it more ‘eye catching’. Chris added: “We can paint it – not them [adults], whatever colour we like, we can choose some people who are sensible, we will have turns, every class can have their turn.” It seems like some of Rosen’s original enthusiasm for ‘building an amazing school’ has rubbed off, with the children having a genuine sense of pride, ownership, and confidence that they can help shape the school.

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UTDOOR CLASSROOMS is now established as the very best providers of outside space enhancement and utilisation in the North of England. Since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, we have been working with early years and primary practitioners to produce beautiful, robust, educational and ethical items for school and nursery grounds and gardens. All our timber is harvested in Yorkshire by our own dedicated woodland management team of foresters and wildlife experts. We only ever take timber from woodlands with a sustainable management plan firmly in place and our main priority is to improve the woodland to increase bio-diversity. We have a fabulous range of items to fit in with any curricular aspect, from vegetable growing beds, play theatres, minibeat trapdoors© and balance beams, to ‘Bear Hunt’ bear sculptures, climbing frames, sensory boxes and signs, and even log-cabin classrooms. Finally Outdoor Classrooms is

EE AND JILL BREWSTER have been working together since 1991. They design and make sculpture and seating for schools, local authorities, public buildings and outdoor spaces. The work that they produce has been as a response to extensive consultation with hundreds of young people ‘how we play’ and ‘how we socialise’. Lee and Jill are working on the development of playgrounds and spaces for play as a positive resource for schools to use not just in play but as an aid for teaching curriculum subjects and environmental awareness. Turning a traditionally flat grey playground space into an exciting, stimulating and valued part of the school community is at the heart of their seating and sculpture design. Often working on theme based subjects their natural, tactile



proud to say that we are here to make a difference, not to make a profit. We plough all profits back into our research and development, and we welcome ideas and suggestions from anybody working in education. To see our fabulous range, please visit our website at or e-mail us outlining your requirements or ideas at info@

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pieces stimulate and encourage independent creative play. Lee and Jill can be commissioned to design and make a single story telling chair, interactive play equipment or large scale sculpture. Any of the seating products can be commissioned and images supplied by children from the school or local youth group can be carved into the piece. A full range of services and products can be seen on their website.


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Education Business | Volume 15.1

THE GREAT OUTDOORS The £45bn Partnership for Schools (PfS) programme is the UK’s biggest public building initiative for decades. Tony Woodfield explains how schools will be making assets out of outdoor spaces THE GOVERNMENT HAS SET ITS NEW agency, Partnership for Schools (PfS), an ambitious challenge – Building Schools for the Future (BSF). And PfS has been given the money to make it happen. Part of that challenge is delivery of the government’s Learning Outside the Classroom manifesto, which has put new emphasis on how firsthand experiences of outside learning will help make subjects more vivid and interesting, and enhance pupils’ understanding. It explains how intelligently designed outdoor spaces in schools can also contribute significantly to pupils’ personal, social and emotional development. PfS has retained the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) as its adviser on the procurement and design assessment processes and all BSF projects will now go through CABE’s schools design review. The latest 10-point Schools Design Panel Guidelines from CABE take an initiative on behalf of the schools by recommending that designers ‘make assets of the outdoor spaces’ and ‘achieve a high-quality play space for every childrens’ facility’. Sun shading and weather protection feature prominently in the criteria which call for a host of considerations (see box panel). It’s important, agrees Ofsted, to integrate learning inside and outside the classroom by ensuring free movement between the indoor and outdoor environments. We all know that in actuality, that’s rare. But it’s becoming a real possibility that public authorities will be made liable for the provision of shade structures, and it is readily apparent that a huge knowledge gap exists for many of this sector’s stakeholders. EVERY CHILD MATTERS Ofsted expressed concern that some schools had outdoor areas that, too often, lacked suitable canopies which unnecessarily limited the use of these areas. Taking up this theme, the ‘Every Child Matters’ Report joins with Cancer Research’s ‘SunSmart’ campaign which insists that any outdoor construction takes into account the 86,400 cases of skin cancer (source: Cancer Research UK) diagnosed annually in the UK. Skin cancer is very rarely diagnosed in children, and that leads to dangerous complacency, says Cancer Research UK. Many skin cancers take years to develop. Damage to the DNA of young people’s skin cells may develop into skin cancer several decades later. And the most serious type of skin cancer – melanoma – is the most common cancer in 15-to-34 year olds. Local authorities are quite clear that when adhering to the Early Years and



TOP 10 DESIGN TIPS Top Ten Design Tips: 1. Make best use of your outdoor designs to enhance the character of the site 2. Provide shelter from the prevailing wind, rain and sun 3. When making provision for outdoor learning ensure the new space supports the school’s learning structure 4. Designs should make clear links between the indoor and outdoor learning environments 5. Structures need to be robust, flexible and able to cope with our famously ever-changing weather 6. Capitalise on the visual potential of free-standing structures to brighten up essential areas such as sand pits, seating areas, swimming pools and playgrounds. 7. Ensure your structure is not only fully compliant with CABE criteria but also add a visual statement to the school grounds and facilities 8. Take a Whole Life Approach with materials capable of offering an expected life of 20-30 years 9. Structures should be easy to clean, resistant to rot, mildew, fading, fraying and tearing 10. Ensure they are able to filter out at least 90 percent of UV radiation while allowing light and air to pass through – check that it can reduce the temperature in the shaded area by around one third. Foundation Stage National Curriculum, outdoor learning and play between 11am - 3pm from May-September should only be conducted in the shade – yet we all know that is something completely lacking in most school playgrounds at the moment. Education sector designers are increasingly specifying weatherproof shade sails and waterproof tension structures to provide the twin requirements of outdoor UV protection and covered space that allow young people to have a safe environment in which to learn and play. PRACTICAL OUTDOOR SOLUTIONS And it’s worth remembering that as designers work with suppliers and head

teachers to provide a practical outdoor environment, the investment also offers many opportunities to engage with young people in the mutually reinforcing nature of the provision process, from design through to maintenance, giving students the opportunity to input into shapes and colours that can include overlapping hyperbolic squares, conics, triangles and more. Tony Woodfield is managing director of


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BEYOND THE CLASSROOM The Institute of Groundsmanship discusses the complex task of making sure school grounds can safely accommodate various types of sport and play THE FACT THAT THERE ARE PLANS to establish the Association of School Grounds Professionals to “tackle the problems faced by grounds professionals in private schools” is a sign that groundsmen throughout the country at both private and state schools are regularly confronted by specific issues that require an unusually wide-ranging multi-tasking skill set to accommodate the demands of multi-use playing surfaces. “This means school groundsmen potentially face a myriad of problems that single-sport grounds professionals often can’t imagine,” says Ian Avery, head groundsman at Sutton Valence School in Kent, and the man behind the idea of the new Association. “Following an initial meeting in September of school groundsmen at the IOG SALTEX show, it is now the intention that we progress with the

development of the Association,” he continues. “The group will offer support, guidance and networking opportunities for school groundsmen where common issues can be shared and resolved.” MULTIPLE DEMANDS Those common issues focus, for example, on the increasingly widespread mix of artificial and natural turf playing surfaces, which by necessity involve totally different maintenance routines. Other issues include the requirements that the (often) multitude of sports make on groundsmen and the playing surfaces themselves. Even in school holidays, the playing surfaces at many schools are ‘open for business’. And the skills demands don’t end there – groundsmen are also charged with managing the appropriate equipment needs, such

as nets, as well as varying horticultural requirements of school grounds. In some cases this could also include the specification and sourcing of items like outdoor canopies. Outdoor activities are an excellent way to bring the curriculum to life and canopies offer schools safe, covered areas for such activities to take place. Likewise, during break time, covered areas offer pupils an area outside where they can take in the fresh air whilst being sheltered from the elements. When sourcing an outdoor canopy, a visit to IOG SALTEX can pay dividends. TRAINING & EDUCATION Ever since its establishment in 1934, the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has been working to develop training and educational opportunities for grounds staff. Today the



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IOG offers a wide range of professional short courses as well as internationally recognised qualifications in most areas of grounds maintenance and management. This includes training that is endorsed and supported by all the major governing bodies of sport in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The IOG works closely with all relevant organisations in the UK and Ireland to promote these opportunities. This includes working in partnership with colleges and awarding bodies to ensure there are adequate and appropriate educational qualifications for all employment levels within the industry, to ensure the recognition of the profession and the need for quality standards for grounds and groundsmen. Its three-tiered scheme of courses is designed and structured to meet grounds staff’s needs for the management and maintenance of sporting surfaces, as well as specific courses for ‘winter pitches’ and ‘synthetics’. TEACHING SCHOOL CHILDREN Back in 2007, the IOG broke new ground by playing a key role in successfully helping schoolchildren achieve an IOG-endorsed National Practical Certificate Introduction to Groundsmanship accreditation. Undertaken by 21 students aged 14-15 years from the Ashton on Mersey Sports College in Manchester, the IOG-led initiative involved the students in tuition for one day a week for six weeks, and included ‘practical outdoor’ sessions at Middleton Cricket Club and at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground before being assessed. The college has close links with Manchester United and the club’s head groundsman Joe Pemberton, and education and welfare officer Dave Bushall, played key roles in the success of the programme. Liam Horrigan from Ashton on Mersey college re-arranged the students’ classroom timetables to accommodate the programme and liaised closely with the IOG throughout. The course involved practical assessments covering an introduction to groundsmanship and involved basic skills, the preparation and maintenance of cricket and football pitches and handson work – for example, mower operation, soil cultivation, and turfing and seeding. The programme was observed by Ofsted and received praise from its inspector for being an innovative programme of learning: the students also underwent the short answer-page test associated with NPC using the IOG’s innovative Moodle online virtual learning environment. Led by IOG instructor Ian Mather-Brewster, who collaborated closely with Ashton on Mersey tutor Darren Lock, the process has been described as a complete success and while setting the benchmark for similar learning projects involving the IOG and schoolchildren, has been repeated at the college. More recently, Merchant Taylors’ School in

Ever since its establishment in 1934, the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has been working to develop training and educational opportunities for grounds staff Hertfordshire has benefited from IOG training courses and capitalised on the financial assistance offered by Train to Gain – the government service that offers independent advice on improving employee skills. Three of the grounds team are currently working towards an NVQ Level 3. By collaborating with the IOG – the NVQ delivery body – the qualification can be delivered and assessed on-site effectively, which creates a win-win situation for everyone involved. Grounds manager Richard Ayling, who is undertaking the Level 3 accreditation with two of his groundsmen, explains: “Our training is in-house and therefore doesn’t create absenteeism from work, such as attending college. Therefore

our day-to-day duties never suffer.” “So, we’re happy as a grounds team because our workload doesn’t pile up and, at the end of the process, we’ll have an industry-recognised qualification. And the school is happy because nobody is having away-days, so the grounds remain pristine. And, of course, the government funding is very welcome in such tough economic times.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION The Institute of Groundsmanhsip: The Association of School Grounds Professionals:



Kumon Ed_cational franchises. The only thing missing is u. Do you share a passion for knowledge and understand the true value of education? Do you have a natural ability to work with children and the talent to fulfil their potential? If the answer is yes, we’d like to meet you. As an Instructor of a Kumon maths and English study centre, your role will give you the job satisfaction you’ve been looking for, whilst offering the support and training needed to build a successful career through running your own business. We currently have fantastic opportunities in your local area. For more information visit, call 0800 854 714 or come along to our stand (J91) at the Education Show, NEC Birmingham on Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 March 2010.

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IT’S BEEN EDUCATIONAL Education professionals can get to grips with new developments in education and check out the latest products and services by attending the Education Show at NEC Birmingham, 4-6 March ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES in the life of an educator – whether a classroom teacher, TA, head or a bursar – is finding enough time to get everything done. A hectic schedule can mean that it is often difficult to find the time to plan ahead, or create opportunities for the team to participate in CPD and training, or spend time together to share experiences. For 20 years now, the free to attend Education Show has been high on the agenda for many in the sector, using the UK’s largest resource exhibition as the perfect inset day to get to grips with changes to education by participating in a seminar, find the latest new products and services to support teaching and inspire learners, and to enjoy a fun but worthwhile day out. Open from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 March at the NEC Birmingham, the Education Show is well worth a visit.

areas to make your visit easier. For Your Classroom features exhibitors and theatres specifically demonstrating resources and services for use in class – ideal for teachers and support staff. The For Your School area showcases products and services by exhibitors that offer whole-school solutions, and includes the leadership lounge and theatre, which is a worthwhile visit for school leaders, bursars and governors. Here is a snapshot of some of the exhibitors at this year’s show. School Website, the UK’s leading provider of website design, prospectus design, marketing and branding for schools (stand R53), is giving advice to visitors on how to enhance your school’s profile, both online and offline. School Website provides individually tailored websites, powered by its very own unique, content

FIND THE PERFECT RESOURCE It’s not just the many CPD and seminar opportunities that make a visit to the Education Show so important – with 300 plus exhibitors bringing thousands of resources designed for every area of school life, and offering plenty of free advice, the show is an invaluable experience for all school staff members. Firstly, it is worthwhile visiting BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association) who is running the main Information Point at the show on stand J46. Here, you can seek assistance and advice from BESA staff to help plan your visit at the show and get the most from your day using the interactive planning tool. You can also pick up a copy of the BESA book, which lists all 300 plus BESA members, consisting of educational suppliers of every kind who adhere to a stringent Code of Practice giving you piece of mind when looking for new products and services for your school. To help you get there, BESA is also sponsoring the Group Travel Subsidy – where groups of 10 or more visitors that come to the show together can receive up to £150 subsidy towards coach hire – visit the ‘visit’ section of for details. In 2010 nasen, the UK’s leading organisation embracing all special and additional educational needs, hosts the SEN Information Point (stand H76). Visitors can find details on all SEN resources, gain practical advice and meet with experts to discuss the latest inclusive practice and specialist SEN teaching techniques. This year, the show is divided into two distinct

For 20 years now, the free to attend Education Show has been high on the agenda for many in the sector, using the UK’s largest resource exhibition as the perfect inset day to get to grips with changes to education by participating in a seminar, find the latest new products and services to support teaching and inspire learners, and to enjoy a fun but worthwhile day out management system, Fluency. On stand, School Website is also showcasing its innovative approach to prospectus design. Using the very latest in digital page turning technology, school website can turn your school’s prospectus or magazine in to a web-based digital publication. Visitors to the Education Show who sign on to any School Website service within one month of the show receive a special 10 per cent discount. ERGONOMICS STABILO, one of the world’s biggest names in stationery, is launching its brand new ‘EASY Ergonomics’ range on stand M84. Also at the show, top neuropsychologist, Doctor Christian Marquardt is holding two thought provoking and interactive seminars on the development of handwriting on behalf of STABILO. STABILO has worked closely with educationalists, scientists and designers for several years to develop

optically appealing and ergonomically suitable writing instruments for children learning to write, for both left and right hand writers. Galt has focused on developing dual-purpose furniture that helps make the most of the space available and gives the flexibility to transform any environment. Some of the new products on display include the ‘Spin Away Space Saver Kitchen’; a complete kitchen environment with a compact, space saving design allowing it to spin away when not in use to become a handy table. Galt is also launching its new ‘Height Adjustable Table’ which allows establishments to adapt to different age ranges quickly and effectively. To celebrate the Education Show’s 20th Anniversary, Galt is offering visitors 20 per cent off its “Top 5 Favourites”, visit R60 for details. Hope Education, the UK’s largest educational

resources provider, is be exhibiting its brand new, programmable floor robot, ‘Dizzy Tron’ at the Education Show. Be sure to meet him at stand number P82. (stand l85) helps schools and colleges to raise funds for a variety of extra-curricular projects and offers a range of solutions which all help schools to become a successful fundraiser. Ideas include text books, yearbooks, calendars and Christmas cards. CPD OPPORTUNITIES Continuous professional development has long been a vital part of the Education Show and, with the current economic uncertainty in education, cost-effective methods of keeping abreast of the latest teaching initiatives and techniques are more important than ever. The comprehensive seminar programme at the Education Show 2010 features



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leading practitioners and agencies and offers examples of best practice, innovative teaching techniques and inspiring ideas for the classroom across all the Key Stages. Assessing Pupils’ Progress, Home Access, online reporting, playful learning curriculum changes and special educational needs are just some of the topics at the heart of the show in 2010. The seminars offer practitioners and school leaders the opportunity to maintain their professional development and weave the latest and best practice into the fabric of everyday school life; discovering exciting new methods of delivering personalised and targeted education to their learners, along with the best ways to utilise the latest educational resources to enrich pedagogy at all levels of education. SEMINARS The seminars at the Education Show 2010 have been selected to ensure that maintaining best practice is both cost-effective and inspiring. With over 80 sessions from sector experts, available spaces are at a premium so it is recommended that visitors pre-book to avoid disappointment. There are several theatres at the show to enable visitors to access CPD that is relevant to

over the coming months and a session from practitioners at Whitehouse Common Primary looks at practical ideas from the classroom on how to engage and excite learners using song, rhyme, animation, storytelling, YouTube, audio, Voki, Voicethread, crosscurricular and international links. Also linking with playful learning and enhancing creativity, National Drama offers a seminar on building the natural creativity of young learners. Developing literacy continues to be a deserved focus in KS1-3 education and the Every Child a Talker (ECAT) programme, which found that many children were entering school with poorly developed language skills, is the subject for a session from the National Strategies, drawing on case studies from settings involved in improving provision for babies and young children and supporting the development of listening and speaking skills. Continuing on the theme of literacy, the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation delivers several sessions looking at topics such as encouraging children to become lifelong readers, poetry, storytelling and writing. Looking at the development of handwriting and the role it can play in

The comprehensive seminar programme features leading practitioners and agencies and offers examples of best practice, innovative teaching techniques and inspiring ideas for the classroom their profession, whether it is secondary level, early years, SEN, primary or leadership, the show offers something for every practitioner. The Leadership Seminar Theatre features expert advice and information from leading practitioners and key agencies. The opportunities that social networking offer school leaders are the topic for the National College, which looks at the challenges and benefits for busy school leaders using the web to develop their leadership practice, drawing on examples of both formal and informally-organised online networking. Continuing on the topic of CPD, the Training and Development Agency (TDA) and the National College discuss a joint training and development programme, designed specifically for a school’s CPD leadership team to ensure that the necessary tools and guidance are made available to practitioners. The TDA also discusses the latest developments in e-safety in schools, along with the support and assistance that is available for professionals. In the Primary Seminar Theatre, leadership, literacy, numeracy, handwriting, drama and playful learning feature in a range of inspiring sessions, along with subject specific sessions from leading associations offering best practice guidance to practitioners. Languages look set to take centre stage in primary education



facilitating a child’s academic progress, Dr Christian Marquardt, one of Europe’s leading neuropsychologists, examines new teaching methods and the importance of ergonomics in the process of learning to write fluidly. EARLY YEARS SEMINAR The Early Years Seminar Theatre offers practitioners the opportunity to keep abreast of the latest developments in early years education. Playful learning is the subject of a session from Pre-School Solutions which looks at how to engage staff and children to the wonders of den play, examining how play can benefit children and offering ways of ensuring that staff are equipped and inspired to make play an integral part of early years education. The importance of creative music making with young children in their early years is the focus for a seminar from independent practitioner, Linda Bance, while Jaz Ampaw-Farr, teacher, government advisor, independent phonics trainer and BBC Children’s TV presenter, returns with her motivational and inspirational seminar on how to assess and teach children to read and write effectively. Another popular seminar from 2009’s show makes a return; Sue Palmer, whose wide-ranging research on ‘toxic childhood’ helped spark a national debate about the effects of modern life on child development,

has spent the last two years investigating the impact of 21st century lifestyles on boys. Despite a decade of research and initiatives, boys’ achievement is still a matter of urgent concern. Her presentation discusses what’s going wrong, and how schools, parents and the wider community can help boys back on track. SECONDARY SCHOOL SEMINARS The Secondary Seminar Theatre sees sessions on an exciting range of diverse subjects, such as a session from GL Assessment looking at assessing reading and comprehension skills and the creative use of ICT in English, delivered by the National Association of Teachers of English. E-safety continues to be an important topic and the safety of learners, while encouraging freedom to learn, is the focus of a session from the TDA. Using best-practice case study examples of neuro-linguistic programming, the CfBT Education Trust examines the implications on personalised education while a session from CILT looks at language learning via the world’s largest online forum, which brings together language learning and gaming. Sport is the topic of a seminar from Aston Villa Football Club, which looks at the power of linking education programmes to sporting role models. With the recent and continuing focus on inclusion in UK schools, all teachers are keen to discover effective advice and teaching methods for pupils with special educational needs. The SEN Seminar Theatre hosts numerous informative seminars, including a session from the National Autistic Society looking at independent education plans for pupils on the autism spectrum. A second seminar from the organisation focuses on the role of teaching assistants when working with pupils on the autism spectrum while a third looks at strategies for developing social skills in pupils with ASD and facilitating positive peer interaction. Dyslexia is the focus of a seminar from nasen, looking at the specific problems that pupils with dyslexia face throughout the curriculum and looks at ways to combat and overcome the issues. The LDA looks at numeracy skills for pupils with dyscalculia or dyslexia, demonstrating techniques to engage children. Behavioural challenges and ways to address them in the classroom have been a pressing topic recently and several seminars address the issues surrounding them. Leading expert Fin O’Regan discusses supporting children who appear difficult, demanding and sometimes defiant when responding to direction from supervisors. His session aims to create better understanding of the reasons behind behavioural challenges and the different learning styles, imparting key management strategies for teachers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information and to register, visit

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Specialist Insurance packages for schools, charities and the not-for-profit sector – from experts who care


N ETHICAL, 4TH GENERATION family business founded in 1950, Balens is currently run by David Balen, his two sons and a friendly, supportive team of managers and advisors. We are pulled by growth rather than driven by it and are not solely motivated by profit. We have an ethos that includes supporting not for profit organisations. We have a culture of self development and education within the company, and are able to conduct financial awareness clinics for students as part of the service if required. We insure a variety of schools, training organisations, charities and not for profit organisations. Our managing director is also involved as a trustee of one educational charity and two other charities involved in the health sector, he is also involved in the education of health professionals and others as visiting lecturer at Oxford Brookes and Middlesex Universities and has started to collaborate with Westminster University on a new project. He writes articles of an educational nature for various professional associations and training bodies. We like to give value for money to our clients. However, good advice and experience can also save money and time. Our expertise in business insurance goes back over 60 years, and we pride ourselves on our consultancy,

advice and claims support, which includes personal out of hours contact in an emergency. Whilst premiums are usually competitive and reasonable, and costs savings inevitably are at the top of any insurance revision agenda, Balens approach adds to this a consultancy role which results in added support for your hard-pressed administration team. We explore the cover and how that relates to the individual activities of the establishment, pointing out possible vulnerabilities in the policies, and provide solutions as situations and needs change whilst our competitors will tend to use their own in house designed scheme packages if they have one. Giving advantages in price and convenience, they can sometimes be lacking in flexibility and choice. We do not advocate change for changes’ sake, and if appointed as intermediary, we will sometimes retain cover with an existing insurer if it represents “best of breed”, building up a varied portfolio of cover, not reliant on just one or two insurers. There are certain areas of cover which need specialist focus particularly around policy wordings for directors, trustees

and governors’ protection, employment law and issues, travel arrangements, abuse and various liability Covers. Other than adequate insurance values and the odd areas of common confusion in wordings, most packages cover many of the same things as far as protecting bricks and mortar and contents are concerned. We have 35 staff, some 50,000 clients and have developed the latest technology in house to process documentation quickly whenever required. We are regularly complimented by our clients for our friendly approachable service, and by Partner Insurers who have seen our in house administration systems. Small enough to care yet large enough to cope, we are always looking for ways to improve what we do for our clients. We retain an old fashion style of personal service and hands on visits and site surveys to help with risk management, yet a contemporary approach to giving fast, flexible service. The number of visits per year as the insurance programmes as a whole we devise are always customised for each individual educational establishment client.


Passionate about education? Think you can make a difference? K

UMON IS A LEADING after-school education provider which offers maths and English programmes to children of all ages and abilities. We are currently looking for dedicated, passionate individuals to run maths and English study centres across the UK and Ireland. A job that ‘has it all’ – satisfaction, flexibility and remuneration – might not seem a realistic prospect, but perhaps it’s time to think again. By starting a new career as a Kumon Instructor and running your own study centre, you would be helping children in your area to make the most out of their learning and achieve their potential. You would also be working for yourself, managing the franchise business in your own time whilst earning a comfortable living. If you are looking for a rewarding career and understand the true value of education, then you could become a Kumon Instructor and own a franchise that would give you freedom, flexibility and solid financial rewards. Instructors come from many different walks of life, but what they all have in common is a passion for education and a desire to help children develop. Kumon has more than 60,000 students at over 600 study centres in the UK, and despite

the recession grew 14 per cent during 2009. Our Instructors are extensively supported throughout their careers by office staff, who have recently reviewed the support package in order to maximise the earning potential for new Instructors. Al Shaw became a Kumon Instructor just over a year ago. He says: “Being a Kumon Instructor has all the benefits of working for yourself, plus great support from an established organisation.” Instructor of 13 years Rachel Reeve agrees: “Every day I am impressed by the power and flexibility of the Kumon programme! It is very exciting to be able to help those students who are struggling with their school lessons,

as well as challenging those students who are excelling in maths and English. I love the opportunity to be involved with the education of individual students over many years, often seeing them develop their skills from primary school to GCSE level and beyond.” Come along to our stand (J91) at the Education Show, NEC Birmingham on Thursday 4th to Saturday 6th March.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For general enquiries and details of information sessions call 0800 854 714 or visit



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THE EDUCATION SHOW COMES OF AGE Ray Barker of BESA explains why the show is vital in times of economic difficulty as it celebrates its 20th year WE COULDN’T JUST LET THE 20TH anniversary of the Education Show slide by us without making a bit of a fuss. One of the most beloved events of the year and free to attend, the annual Education Show brings together educationalists to share ideas, partake in the many CPD opportunities on offer, and have a good look at the latest resources out in education this year. This year’s Education Show is set to be an interesting event. Falling against a backdrop of political uncertainty with the looming election and constant talk about school budgets, a visit in 2010 is imperative for all educators eager to seek advice, find out about funding and help make cost effective procurement decisions for the coming year. FINDING YOUR WAY Each year at the Education Show BESA runs the Information Point to help visitors make their trip to worthwhile. With around 400 exhibitors, it can be a daunting task to figure out who to see first, and BESA staff can help you to find exhibitors and products that are relevant for your particular needs. To make life easier, the show organisers have completely redesigned the show this year, and it has now been divided into two clear areas. The ‘For Your School’ area contains exhibitors and seminar theatres specific to the needs of school leaders, such as products and resources used right across the school, such as ICT hardware and outside play equipment. Over in ‘For Your Classroom,’ classroom teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff can find those resources perfect for their class, from publishers, to software companies and a host of other exhibitors. This is also where you can find the Subject Associations, Primary, Secondary, SEN and Primary Seminar Theatres, the SEN Information Point run by nasen, and the BESA information point of course! GROUP TRAVEL SUBSIDY As the Education Show provides such an invaluable experience for educators, BESA has been helping schools to bring their entire team to the Education Show as an Inset Day. The BESA Group Travel Subsidy is an easy way to help reimburse some of the costs associated with travel to the exhibition, and can go a long way to making sure everyone gets a chance to experience the event. Entry to the show is completely free, and now that



some of your travel costs are taken care of, it certainly makes the journey a lot easier. The BESA Group Travel Subsidy provides savings for groups of 10 or more staff travelling in excess of 50 miles to the NEC for The Education Show, who can claim a subsidy of up to £150 towards the cost of hiring a coach or minibus. Those with 10-19 staff can claim a £50 subsidy, and groups of 20 or more staff are eligible for a £100 subsidy. Also, those travelling on Thursday 4 March can claim a £50 bonus! READING TAKES A CENTRE STAGE One of the most exciting announcements for 2010 is the Education Show Literacy Conference, taking place on Friday 5 March. In association with the National Literacy Association, ‘The Future of Reading’ conference sees a number of very special guests and big names presenting at the event. Those in attendance will also be able to contribute their views and opinions about the future of reading to the development of the Literacy Conference ‘manifesto’ publication. Some of the speakers include author and former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, author of the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language Prof. David Crystal and author/publisher Verna Wilkins. The main objective of the Literacy Conference is to place a spotlight on the issues surrounding the future of reading amongst our learners, and discuss ways we can inspire a love of reading and writing. It will be the ideal format in which to have your say, get involved in the workshops, and contribute to the production of the Literacy Conference manifesto. Many leading publishers are already on board and will be holding break out sessions in the afternoon. While attending the Education Show is free, tickets to this special, one-day conference are limited and priced at £150 per ticket, which includes the full day seminar programme and lunch. To find out more, visit There is plenty taking place at the show in 2010, with new feature areas including Cool Schools, Innovation Alley and BETT Boulevard to name just a few. I hope to see you and your team at the Education Show this year.


Education Business | Volume 15.1


ABOUT BESA BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and

digital-content related services to the education market. With 75 years of experience, BESA offers unparalleled support, research, events and advice on both UK and International markets, and the future of the education supplies industry. BESA is focused on promoting

and providing support and advice to their members, the industry and to schools. BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure buyers of a high standard of quality in both product and customer service.

‘Study Time’ – solutions to stationery budget problems D BALLS RECENTLY announced a range of measures to save two billion pounds from school budgets at the next spending round. As part of this he expects head teachers to save 10 per cent from their resource budgets! This represents, for many schools, a choice between continuing to purchase known products and having to buy less of them, or choosing to continue to provide resources by purchasing more competitively priced alternatives. Luckily, as far as stationery products are concerned there is an answer! ‘Study Time’ is a high quality range of classroom stationery products sourced from major manufacturers around the world. Fully compliant with all UK and EEC regulations it offers schools a highly competitive option that can maximise the use of their budgets


without compromising quality or performance. There is a full range of graphite and coloured pencils including learner’s pencils in both traditional hexagonal or the ‘Easy Grip’ triangular shape, whiteboard markers in both traditional and ‘pen style’ versions and handwriting pens in either the traditional format or triangular shape. Standard, Jumbo oil and Water Soluble Pastels, sharpeners (plastic, metal and battery), wrapped plastic erasers and water based fibre tips are some of the other products available. Available in a variety of packaging including classpacks and Gratnells trays.

FOR MORE INFORMATION R. J. Gray Ltd Tel: 01582 500600 Fax: 01582500601 E-mail:

Bespoke playgrounds for schools and nurseries IMOTAY PLAYSCAPES – a NMT Award Finalist 2009 – has earned a fantastic reputation for completing bespoke play environments for schools and nurseries all over the country. Using natural materials and creative thinking we offer our clients the best possible playscapes solution tailored for their site, children and budget. We offer a comprehensive service; a thorough consultation procedure, a meticulously thought through design solution created by experienced designers and expert construction. By using bespoke play equipment and surfaces we work with the environment to make the best possible use of the area. It is this unique design and implementation


service and our passion for introducing children to natural play products that pushes us ahead of any other play garden developer in the country. With the organic move of opinion toward natural play, our services are ideally suited to the forward thinking nursery manager looking to keep up with current thinking on natural outdoor play.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01933 665151 Fax: 01933 666023 E-mail: jenny.brady@ Web:



Written by Andy Wright, managing director, Aethra UK


VIDEO CONFERENCING AND SCHOOLS: DO THEY MIX? In business, most people are aware of the benefits that videoconferencing can bring – reducing travel, improving productivity, assisting collaboration and lowering your carbon footprint. But do the same attractions apply to videoconferencing in schools? VIDEOCONFERENCING IS ALREADY in use within education, from the few early adopters who purchased systems to connect over ISDN, through to the growing numbers of schools, universities and colleges now connected through broadband technology. Many UK schools have implemented videoconferencing following the roll-out of the National Education Network (NEN), a national core of regional networks made up of component or associated wide area networks (eg. Learning Grids or regional broadband consortia [RBCs). Delivered through local networks – and nationally via the SuperJANET IP backbone – the NEN provides dedicated education, harnessing the power of broadband to deliver content and services to the classroom. It is



optimised for data intensive applications, such as videoconferencing, and is safe and secure to enable pupils, teachers and parents to work confidently together. Its high quality, high bandwidth connection creates a powerful level of performance, reliability and control, which

is not achievable on the public internet. The NEN has, in effect, delivered the power that schools really need in order to carry out content hosting, video streaming and of course high quality videoconferencing. Pupils at schools connected to a grid

Videoconferencing adds another dimension to learning. It enables children to collaborate and interact with each other locally, nationally or internationally. In Whitley Bay, for example, a school uses videoconferencing to teach languages by bringing partner schools together from France, Germany and Spain

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or RBC can now not only videoconference with other pupils in their region, but also nationally with schools or organisations via regional interconnects to JANET (the UK’s education and research network) and the JANET Videoconferencing Service (JVCS). And unlike ISDN, videoconferencing over IP is effectively free of charge. BENEFITS TO EDUCATION So why should schools be using videoconferencing? Videoconferencing adds another dimension to learning. It enables children to collaborate and interact with each other locally, nationally or internationally. In Whitley Bay, for example, a school uses videoconferencing to teach languages by bringing partner schools together from France, Germany and Spain. Students speak directly to foreign counterparts to learn how to pronounce words correctly and learn more fluency. Besides other schools, there are many institutions and organisations including museums, libraries, archives and specialist content providers with whom schools can connect. One organisation that has embraced video conferencing as a means of extending its educational experience for schools is the National Space Centre in Leicestershire. By making use of a powerful feature available to most videoconferencing systems, alongside the video call, they can also share data, whether this is slides, images or text. The Space Centre runs a number of ‘E-Missions’ using an Aethra video conferencing system. In one mission, ‘Operation Montserrat’, school pupils are connected with a ‘Commander’ at the Space Centre via a video conferencing link, and they have to form an emergency response team to deal with a volcano and hurricane threatening the island simultaneously. This is linked directly to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 2, 3 and


4. The fully proactive session is based on real-life events that took place in 1997, and features video footage taken at the time, and data based on the flow of lava from the volcano, wind speeds, etc. ‘Operation Montserrat’ was carried out in 90-minute sessions at over 150 schools around the country last year in a learning exercise that covers many different curriculum-based subjects including geography, science and maths. One of the other key advantages of being involved in this videoconferencing initiative is that the schools save time and the cost of travel, and benefit the environment by cutting out the inevitable coach trip to the Space Centre. LINKING DIFFERENT LOCATIONS By utilising the services of JVCS, or directly through a suitably enabled videoconferencing system, a number of schools can jointly hold what is known as a multi-point videoconference. This is where three or more locations all join in the same video call and is ideal for schools collaborating on local initiatives, who want to share and discuss ideas. For schools looking to invest for the future, cost-effective videoconferencing is now available in HD. Most, if not all HD systems are backward-compatible with older, non-HD units, but it is important to be aware that some models require much higher bandwidths to operate at HD (720p) resolution than others; an important factor to take into account as most locations have a limited amount of bandwidth available. Full HD (1080p) systems are also available but they do require considerably higher bandwidths. The main benefit of an HD system is that it can provide sharper, clearer pictures, enhancing the ‘virtual’ nature of the conference for students.



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BETT 2010

A SHOW TO REMEMBER Around 30,000 visitors and 700 exhibitors later, the stands are packed up and another successful year of BETT is being celebrated. So what did this year’s BETT hold for the visitor? AS EVER, THE EXHIBITORS AT BETT 2010 were of a superb quality. Every year the innovation that suppliers offer continues to grow, and fascinating new technologies to support educators reaches new heights. With the show now passed, teachers are packed to the brim with thought provoking ideas to offer the classroom, leaders are reflecting upon all that was seen, contemplating their next potential purchase. So, let’s take a look at what was hot at BETT 2010. ENGAGING PARENTS Parental engagement was a key topic at BETT 2010, with Groupcall on hand to talk to visitors about various ways that communication between parent and school can be enhanced. Its parental communication system, ‘Groupcall Messenger’, which is used by over 2,000 schools throughout the UK and Europe, helps to reduce unauthorised absences and improve parental engagement, was regularly demonstrated to visitors and proved popular. On Thursday, Sir Bob Geldof discussed the issue of parental engagement and how he established Groupcall to help schools stay in touch with families. Also of interest to those looking for parental engagement tools was exhibitor Synetrix. Online reporting is a key driver in allowing parents to have a meaningful dialogue with both their child and the school. Demonstrated by i2Q was, ‘OpenHive’, a tool which enables schools to provide parents with the opportunity to become involved in their child’s learning, to positively affect confidence and self-esteem, and to help raise levels of achievement. OpenHive is not just about reporting to parents and carers but engaging them in school life and creating a 3-way partnership which is informative, constructive, interactively engaging, secure and in real time. TEACHING TOOLS In terms of teaching tools, Onfinity’s ‘CM2 Max’ caused quite a stir. This fully featured interactive whiteboard system transforms any flat surface, such as a wall or table into an interactive whiteboard. The CM2 Max requires no signal receiver or device to be attached onto the surface making it fully portable between classrooms. GCSEPod were on stand, getting pupils motivated about their education by providing the growing number of iPod and MP3 player

users in the UK with the tools to create their very own virtual learning environment for examination success. It offers downloadable podcasts for Year 10 and 11 students, allowing access to a wide range of audiovisual content to assist learners in digesting and storing information in a more relatable digital format. Following unprecedented success during the last academic year, the team at GCSEPod significantly extended the product range from an initial 30 to just over 300 titles, covering eight GCSE subjects. Espresso Education introduced the ‘embed code’ feature for both Espresso Primary and Channel 4 Learning’s Clipbank. This feature enables subscribing teachers and pupils to

interactive digital page turning prospectus at the 2010 show. Using new digital page turning technology this innovative style of prospectus takes viewers on an interactive journey to give prospective parents and pupils a real feel for the school. One of the big names at BETT 2010 was Microsoft, who hosted a range of exciting new products. Visitors were able to meet the early adopters and partners of these technologies and to talk about their experiences first hand. BETT also offered a first chance for visitors to find out about the Windows 7 beta programme. Microsoft also demonstrated ‘Semblio’, at the show, a developer and assembly tool to be released with Office 2010.

It’s not just exhibitors that BETT attendees flocked to see – many visitors come to the show to access the seemingly unending continuous professional development opportunities. This year’s seminar programme covered everything, right from Early Years to HE/FE, and sought to bring together the wealth of information and share experience from practitioners, industry and educational experts display and play video easily and directly in the UK’s most popular learning platforms. In addition to supporting schools in achieving best value from their learning platform investment, this service enhancement also further strengthens “anywhere, anytime access” by providing pupils and students with extended learning opportunities. Clipbank also launched its new ICT and RE subject libraries on stand, with music to be added to the service in spring 2010. A new exhibitor to BETT 2010 was the US leading educational search tool, netTrekker. netTrekker demonstrated their cross curricular content tool which is now aligned to the English curriculum and allows students and teachers to find safe, educator-selected digital resources, tightly aligned to government recommendations. LAUNCHES School Website, provider of website and prospectus design, launched its brand new

Microsoft Semblio can be used to create rich, immersive multimedia learning materials that are highly interactive and foster exploratory learning that teachers can customise, and that promotes collaboration. BETT 2010 was the first time the public were able to hear about the learning tool in practice. Dell was also making waves at BETT 2010 by demonstrating the ‘Connected Classroom’. A purpose-built ICT solution for education, the Connected Classroom is a set of integrated capabilities that include Virtual Classrooms, Remote User Access and SIF Integration within Dell’s Connected Learning Journeys. The fundamental core values of the solution encourage learners to connect, collaborate and learn via active engagement with technology. Unlike traditional classroom settings, students are connected not just to the wealth of content within a www-enabled platform, but with interactive technologies, teachers and each other,



BETT 2010

going beyond the confounds of their physical environment to connect with a world of learning opportunities that exist in a digital age. GAMES-BASED LEARNING Within the exciting new central feature, Playful Learning, games-based learning played a strong role at BETT 2010. Primary and secondary learners were giving live on-stand demonstrations to show teachers just how much fun learning can be. Through interactive sessions with students, Google demonstrated how Google Search, Earth and YouTube can help to bring the world into the classroom and assist students to find up-to-date information that isn’t available in text books. Mangahigh the curriculumcompliant maths games site for secondary school aged students, put visitors skills to the ultimate test in’s thrilling Pyramid Panic face-off. Two teams, including some of the young people on stand, competed to be crowned BETT 2010’s Masters Of Maths. SEMINAR AND CPD HIGHLIGHTS It’s not just exhibitors that BETT attendees flocked to see – many visitors come to the show to access the seemingly unending continuous professional development opportunities. This year’s seminar programme covered everything, right from Early Years to HE/FE, and sought to bring together the wealth of information and share experience from practitioners, industry and educational experts. Aside from the packed main seminar programme, BETT 2010 also featured sessions in the training theatre, along with software presentation theatre sessions, a free-to-attend and diverse government-led presentation programme in the Supporting Next Generation Learning area and free Future Learning Spaces seminars. A big hit this year included TeachMeet, an informal gathering of educationalists eager to share ideas and experiences, led by teachers. The BETT TeachMeet Takeover, brand new to BETT 2010, involved numerous exhibitors handing over the reins of their stand to teachers to host TeachMeet slots. Completely led by visitors, TeachMeet Takeover gave teachers plenty of opportunities to get together and give informal presentations on quality ideas for free. On the opening day of BETT, there were plenty of exciting seminars taking place. One of the first to open to show, Sally McKeown, a renowned consultant and journalist in the field of special educational needs, presented ‘Reading for Pleasure, Technology and the Future of Literacy’. The seminar explored the effects of technology on reading in children, along with accessibility in a modern world. Over in the Keynote Theatre, BESA’s annual keynote speech was this year chaired by Merlin John, who hosted an educational debate with panellists including BETT Award winner Prof. Stephen Heppell, Prof. Angela McFarlane, award-winning teacher, Tim Rylands and RM’s CEO, Terry Sweeney. The debate proved a success, with participants and attendees taking part in thought provoking and often heated discussions about a number of educational topics affecting today’s schools. On Thursday, Ben Williamson of Futurelab took to the stage in the Solutions Theatre to discuss ‘Institutional Innovation: The curriculum, subject knowledge, skills, and children’s cultures’, which discussed ways in which schools could make their approach to teaching the curriculum more innovative. An issue that has been high on the agenda for both secondary schools and colleges is the 14-19 Agenda and the roll out of Diplomas. Colin Money, of Kingswood Partnership, discussed the challenges his consortium faced during the implementation of the Diploma, and how they overcame any operational issues such as monitoring students across several locations. On Friday, Nick Shacklock from Becta presented a seminar entitled ‘Home Access – exciting opportunities for teaching and learning,’ which gave an update on the Home Access programme to provide all learners with home access to computers and the internet, launched at BETT 2008. The Keynote Theatre was overtaken by teachers on Friday afternoon, as TeachMeet returned to the show to provide the ultimate platform for teachers to get together and discuss issues affecting them,



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share ideas and brainstorm creative approaches in the classroom. This year saw well over 100 teachers attend the TeachMeet session, with plenty of discussion and short presentations taking place. Saturday also featured plenty of CPD opportunities for BETT exhibitors taking advantage of a weekend visit to the show. In the Solutions Theatre, Dan Buckley of Cambridge Education talked about teamwork, and talked about how schools can promote more harmonious and effective team work amongst young people. It wasn’t just the BETT main seminar programme that offered training for visitors; free presentations took place on numerous feature areas around the show. On ‘Future Learning Spaces’, a feature area dedicated to showcasing learning environments being developed though school renewal programmes such as, Building Schools for the Future and the Primary Capital Programme. A specific presentation area held many free talks for visitors. Lead by Partnerships for Schools, presentations were held by sponsors involved in the FLS area, such as Sony, who talked about media and learning, and Ramesys, who explored the topic ‘Future Learning, What should it mean? How far have we come?’ In the ‘Supporting Next Generation Learning’ area, which included nine main government departments and agencies, visitors partook in regular presentations by both experts and practitioners to highlight some of the policy and curriculum changes to education in recent years, along with advice and best practice tips to improve standards. So BETT might be over for another year, and no doubt plenty of UK and international visitors and exhibitors came away with plenty of new ideas, new connections and hopefully new inspiration to take back to classrooms the world over. BETT makes a return 12-15 January 2011, so lock in next year’s show into your calendar now.

A new minibus could be more affordable than you think... Castle Minibus can source and provide the ideal transport solution for your school on easy payment finance options.

T 01869 253744 E W Castle Vehicle Leasing · Commerce House · Telford Road · Bicester · Oxfordshire · OX26 4LD

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A new ‘premier’ standard of service for schools is announced by Castle Minibus


ASTLE MINIBUS is pleased to announce the launch of a new after-sales mobile service for their Academy, College and School Customers throughout the UK. Chris Maynard, sales director, says “By listening to what our school customers want, I am delighted we can now offer this exclusive service which will provide our clients with the benefit of a ‘hassle free’ on-site service covering: the 10 week safety check, annual service, replacement tyres and MOT facility with the assurance that their vehicles continue to be maintained in accordance with current VOSA minibus legislation. “We will pro-actively contact you to arrange the safety checks etc to be carried out at your school and at your convenience to ensure that time spent by staff and yourself is kept to an absolute minimum. With the new regulations we understand that in the event of an accident, the budget holder is held personally responsible and for this reason our Castle Minibus ‘on-site hassle free service’ makes sure that your vehicle remains fit for purpose at all times “Essentially, all of our academy, college or school clients have only now to put fuel in and insure the vehicle. “We are proud to be the first company

in the UK to provide Schools with a level of service normally reserved for BMW or Mercedes drivers.” Since 1995, Castle Vehicle Leasing has offered a choice of vehicle finance packages and a quality service to businesses throughout the UK. Castle Minibus was launched in response to the needs of schools, colleges, universities and academies also requiring a high level of service and expertise in providing solutions for their transport needs. We pride ourselves on being an efficient and dependable supplier, and firmly believe in keeping traditional business values whilst embracing the latest technology to deliver a flexible service. You can expect impartial advice and constructive

recommendations to ensure a solution tailor made for your needs. One call gives you access to our dedicated account managers who take time to understand your requirements and are supported by an experienced in-house customer services team. So the next time you forget to book a safety check or are still having to drive to your local dealer for servicing, contact us at Castle Minibus and we can explain how we can look after your minibus without all the fuss.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call me, Chris Maynard, at Castle Minibus on 01869 253744 or e-mail me at or visit our website

Sony Professional helps schools to ensure security with its intelligent video security products


ISITORS TO BETT 2010 saw how Sony’s intelligent video security products – that include IP cameras, network recorders, CCTV, minidome cameras and security software – enable educational institutions to maximise child safety through sophisticated monitoring and surveillance. Sony’s intelligent video security is built on its Distributed Enhanced Processing Architecture (DEPA), which distributes image processing across an IP network. DEPA-enabled security cameras use intelligent trip wires, Intelligent Motion Detection (IMD) and Intelligent Object Detection (IOD) to pre-process raw video streams, reduce false alarms and create a uniquely secure learning environment. Sony’s IMD is a motiondetection technology that can distinguish between ‘real’ movement and ‘environmental movement’, such as a tree blowing in the wind. Sony’s IOD detects any object that enters or exits a camera’s field of view and alerts security when pre-programmed rules are broken. Mike Cole, video security sales manager, Sony Professional, said: “With child safety becoming a growing concern for educational facilities, the need for high quality video surveillance within schools is more critical than ever before. Not only are intelligent video

security solutions integral to protecting the perimeters of schools, but stairwell and crowd monitoring analytics can also prove vital to preventing disruption within school buildings.” Cole continued: “Sony’s range of Pan-TiltZoom (PTZ) cameras are equipped with visibility enhancing technology to improve performance in high contrast lighting environments, making them ideal for both day and night surveillance. The cameras’ built-in motion detection function (MPEG-4) is ideal for remote monitoring, enabling discrete surveillance at a distance and allowing educational facilities to accurately evaluate and track activity on and off-site without the need for extensive monitoring by security personnel.”

Sony’s DEPA-enabled cameras detect objects that enter or exit a camera’s field of view, identify when pre-set boundaries are crossed and subsequently alert security to potential safety breaches, such as prohibited entries to the school or loitering individuals. Similar to airport security devices, Sony’s intelligent security solutions can be preconfigured such that an alarm will be triggered when somebody enters, but not exits, the schools parameters. Yet the flexibility with the system will also allow the customer to trigger on entry and exit if they wish to do so, or even when the number of individuals within a designated area reaches its maximum capacity. Providing a security solution that is flexible, scalable and cost-effective, this advanced technology can be specifically tailored to meet educational institutions diverse security requirements. Ranging from crowd observation analytics and stairwell monitoring software to HD technologies and CCTV, Sony’s cutting-edge surveillance applications are easy to install, completely mobile and offer world class image processing.




Education Business | Volume 15.1


DATA SECURITY: EDUCATING THE EDUCATORS Andrew McIntosh, operations manager at Powerchex, investigates the increasing burden of keeping personal data safe in the education sector ACROSS THE WORLD, FRAUDSTERS are realising the potential treasure trove that lies with people’s sensitive information. As the risk has become main-stream rather than a few isolated incidents, there has been a steady increase in awareness of data security and the risk of identity fraud. Information exchange is a central facet of educational institutions everywhere. After all, teaching cannot take place without it. However, such institutions also hold detailed personal records of their current and past students, and of their staff. Schools, higher education authorities and other related parties have a duty to ensure that all is being done to safeguard this kind of information. Though many institutions have good standards of data security, a significant number still underestimate the risk of data loss and fraud both to their own reputation and to the individuals whose personal information they are entrusted with. Whether it happens through criminal intent or by complete accident, a data breach is still a data breach. The sad fact is that honest staff can pose a similar level of threat as that posed by computer hackers, and it takes just one moment of carelessness for this to be demonstrated. PRECAUTIONS What can you do to mitigate against the risk of fraud and data loss? Here are the precautions you should look to have in place: You need to create a centralised environment for all personal, financial and other, potentially valuable information, meaning that all data can be secured in one or more protected databases. Despite the complexities in doing this, moving all sensitive information to just a few locations makes it much easier to control and secure data. Any information database should be equipped with real-time activity monitoring so that administrators have logs of all user activity. These should go back at least 12 months. Once in place, those who work with this information should not be given access beyond that necessary for them to perform their job roles. The less access an individual has to information, the lower security risk they represent. MONITOR & CONTROL You should be looking to monitor and control all flows of potentially sensitive information in and out of the institution: • Where laptops or other portal devices are used to transfer sensitive data, these should



be encrypted. Usage of such devices should be logged and monitored under the authority of an appropriate individual. Water-tight policies on the usage of such devices should be in place. • Software which tracks all web surfing as well as e-mail traffic should be installed on every single terminal on your network, and staff should be aware of this. • You should consider blocking all major external webmail and social networking sites

for all members of staff. This reduces the risk of sensitive information being deliberately or unintentionally sent to an external party. You should ensure that you conduct checks on any third party suppliers that might have access sensitive information. After all, these companies will still impact on your reputation if something goes amiss. If you choose to outsource your IT, do not forget to conduct checks on their staff also. Remember, they have access to absolutely everything on your network.

Though many institutions have good standards of data security, a significant number still underestimate the risk of data loss and fraud both to their own reputation and to the individuals whose personal information they are entrusted with

Education Business | Volume 15.1 Sponsored by

You should have a clear policy on what to do with paper documents that could contain sensitive information. In the case of administrative staff, it may be good practice to treat all paper as ‘confidential waste’ to eliminate any confusion about which bin to use. All paper should be shredded ‘cross-cut’. KNOW YOUR STAFF To have all the above in place demonstrates a good understanding and appreciation of the risks of data security. However, this is insufficient in real terms because it fails to address where the key risk lies, and that is your staff. It goes without saying that you should screen your employees. All of them – temps, cleaners, even the work experience boy. If they could have access to sensitive information then you should ensure that they are properly checked. There has been a lot of media focus recently on inadequate background screening, especially relating to criminal record checks. Any person working in an environment where they have access to children or vulnerable adults should be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure Criminal Check and needs to be registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). You need to be checking the full employment history of any potential employee, including personal references from their previous managers. While often time-consuming to obtain, these can be an invaluable tool to help gain a real insight into the character and potential performance of any future member of staff. Some appropriate questions to ask about a potential member of staff might include: “What was their rapport with their charges? Their colleagues? The management team? Were there any disciplinary issues with this person that you are aware of? How did they respond to criticism? Were


they a team player? Did they struggle to keep up to date with necessary paperwork? Would you re-employ them if given the opportunity?” Remember, if the referee is unwilling to provide a reference, then change tack and ask on a personal basis; most people are more comfortable commenting if reassured in this way. And despite any temptation to do so, never start a new member of staff before checks upon them have been completed. You should always wait until everything is back and you are happy with the information you have gained before you let them in the door. TRAINING & AWARENESS Finally, you need to conduct regular training and awareness programmes for staff to make them aware of their data security requirements. Those who work with sensitive data need to have a clear understanding as to why data security is integral to their work and what they need to do to comply with regulatory requirements. The important thing to remember is that data security is not simply an IT issue. The main risk of data breach remains that which is hardest to control; human error by those who work with sensitive information. Imagine that an individual with felonious intentions applies for a job with you. Are you confident that you have enough checks and/or deterrents in place to spot them? Do you honestly believe that you are devoting enough resources to raise staff awareness and conduct risk assessments, or are you making the mistake of focusing solely on IT security?



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Acoustics in schools and colleges – the hidden influence on teaching and learning


UCCESSFUL LEARNING depends upon hearing and understanding what teachers say in class. Giving students the ability to hear clear, intelligible speech must therefore be a key ambition for any school. Soundfield systems are designed to achieve this. The fact is that teachers’ speech intelligibility is affected by reverberation, noise and distance. In well-designed classrooms, reverberation and external noise can be managed. But design cannot eliminate noise inside the class from moving children, rustling clothes, scraping chairs, humming computers, etc. And no design can eliminate distance between teacher and pupil – studies show that kids at the back simply don’t hear the same information as those at the front. Another factor affecting speech intelligibility is that teachers’ voices vary enormously, while children’s hearing and listening abilities are not Soundfield 11/1/10 12:39 fully developedhalf until page.2:. they are 14-15 years old.

heard and without constant repetition. This is what a soundfield system does, by linking a teacher’s voice to speakers placed around the classroom. It’s a concept so powerful and so simple to implement that it’s surprising soundfield isn’t installed in every classroom. Soundfield is proven in UK schools with over 15,000 systems in use. Pupils get better academic results, teachers get less voice-strain and schools get better league-table positions. Steve Mitchell, product manager for PC Werth, says that the cost per system is modest – usually a fraction of that for traditional acoustic treatments – and that the financial returns for schools are quick to realise.

What’s more, pupils often suffer from temporary – but educationally-significant – hearing loss due to colds, glue-ear and other ENT infections. To overcome the issues of distance, noise and hearing loss, a teacher’s voice needs to be presented close to every child’s ear. Achieve this and pupils will hear speech clearly, without Page 1 the stresses of the teacher shouting to be

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact PC Werth Soundfield systems on 020 8772 2700 E-mail: Web:

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KNOW YOUR SOFTWARE RIGHTS Education establishments have a great need for software, but are they making the grade in compliance? SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL BODIES across the UK are relying more on software and technology to teach the majority of their curriculum. In much the same manner as the commercial sector relies on software to perform business, education is developing a greater dependency on Information Communication Technology (ICT) to teach and plan lessons to students. Software terms and conditions often vary greatly and their reconciliation with how many instances are installed is not so simple to keep track of. Upon disclosing an unintentional error education establishments may find themselves spending a large part of their IT budget rectifying licence fee shortfalls – a situation that no school or college would want to have happen to them. A CAUSE FOR CONFUSION John Lovelock, chief executive of industry association, the Federation Against Software Theft – Investors in Software (FAST IiS) explains: “Schools and universities face a tough time balancing the use of software

with the right to use it. Software licenses come in many forms that includes per seat, per site and even per user. Some vendors have special exemptions, pricing or restrictions whereas others do not, which all adds to the confusion that many schools find themselves in with regards to demonstrating effective software licence management.” FAST IiS, is a not-for-profit body that exists to educate and encourage business users in their use of software to ensure software resources are used effectively in

compliance with licence agreements and the law. Having assisted countless organisations with achieving and demonstrating software compliance FAST IiS advocates the use of software asset management (SAM) tools to aid end user organisations in reconciling software assets with licence requirements. “The issue of software compliance is higher on the agenda with Trading Standards being granted the right to enter businesses without a search warrant to check legitimate use. Trading Standards are unlikely to knock on a

Education organisations that have experienced an unexpected software audit before will know just how much time and effort they demand. It is important staff spend their time teaching and not having to worry about accounting for software licenses in their organisation



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LMMatters – developing LapSafe® – the original and the best! leadership and management excellence L MMATTERS, the UK partner for 50 Lessons, focuses on providing high quality resources to develop Leadership and Management Excellence. 50 Lessons is an invaluable video resource for organisations and educational establishments that want to encourage behavioural change and for individuals seeking guidance in their own career. With over 1,000 inspiring and engaging videos with actionable suggestions for building on the lessons learnt, the 50 Lessons library demonstrates memorable and powerful storytelling from over 200 of the world’s most respected business leaders to enhance development of individuals. 50 Lessons can be used in a number of ways including: as a catalyst for discussion, to bring life to a case study, to bring outside experience into the classroom, to provide support for students on placements, for distance




learning courses, for research, as mobile learning content, and the lessons can be used in e-mail communications to encourage users to view relevant lessons. LMMatters has a wealth of experience in selecting the right solution for your organisation. With experience in the many sectors including education, government and finance we can ensure the right resources are successfully implemented to deliver innovative Leadership and Management development programmes.

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APSAFE® BRINGS YOU tested and proven security solutions for laptops, netbooks, computers, projectors and other IT equipment. Using state of the art technology we lead the market in this type of anti-theft device. Our laptop trolleys, laptop cabinets and kiosks benefit from extensive market research and high end manufacturing techniques that deliver excellence in design, performance, scalability and sustainability. LapSafe® Products was the first to market with innovative laptop security solutions and remains at the forefront of technical expertise. We reinvest profits into research and development that help us address future challenges, particularly as computing becomes

more mobile and more valuable to the sectors it serves. The LapSafe® after-sales support customer service team will help you with any aspect of your new laptop security equipment, whether practical or technical. As well as laptop storage and charging, the CrystalKiosk™ range from LapSafe® Products offers bespoke and customised interactive kiosks with a wide range of touch screen devices that allow you to reach your audience with the application of your choice.

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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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school’s door, but there is always the possibility that a software vendor may ask for an audit if they feel a need, commonly an audit clause in the licence agreement will allow this.” Education organisations that have experienced an unexpected software audit before will know just how much time and effort they demand. It is important staff spend their time teaching and not having to worry about accounting for software licenses in their organisation. A TIME CONSUMING TASK “The amount of bother and effort schools need to commit to successfully manage a software compliance audit is huge. It’s not right that the teachers focus is diverted by having to check individual hard drives for installed software, even sometimes having to sort through cupboards for actual licence certificates, and then confirming with accounts to see they have the receipts and purchase orders of the software bought,” says John. Specialists in school asset management solutions, Tim Roots, managing director of Parago Software explains: “Software asset management is key for schools who are striving to adopt best practice for the Becta Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS).” Becta leads the national drive to inspire and lead the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning. It’s our ambition to create a more exciting, rewarding and successful experience for learners of all ages and abilities enabling them to achieve their potential. “FITS is based on IT Infrastructure Library processes which enable schools to effectively deal with incidents and also to help incident prevention. Proper SAM procedures can aid ICT in schools by reducing workload for technical support and improving service availability by helping prevent incidents from occurring due to out of date or illegal copies of software.” FOCUSING ON TEACHING With effective ICT tools and services in place teachers and administrative staff are able to focus on their teaching responsibilities to do their job. Once SAM processes and effective ICT is in place then the ICT will help to run itself. This means that staff can focus on teaching and running a school rather than getting sidetracked by ICT issues including the major task that a software compliance audit can be for the unprepared. Tools to simplify the software asset management exist, some specifically tailored for the needs of educational environments. This deserves investigation since it is not widely known but is true that governors and head teachers are responsible for what software is installed on school machines. Roots continues: “Commonly smaller schools have been found to be auditing themselves once a year using a spreadsheet to reconcile the installed software base with their proof of purchase. The ease and speed at which

software can be installed means that after the walk around audit has been completed there could be 364 days of non-compliance until the next check. Any software vendor is going to want to be reimbursed if you have copies of their product on your hard drives, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t use it or even if that machine is stored in a cupboard.” THE RIGHT INFRASTRUCTURE With the increasing reliance upon software effective support of the infrastructure is critical to the successful adoption and use of technology in schools. The traditional approach was to use home grown support systems using databases and spreadsheets. However, to effectively manage and develop large and complex ICT infrastructures requires purpose built solutions. As Eric Wright, managing director of help desk software specialists Richmond Systems, explains: “Schools must be able to support their increasingly techno-savvy ICT users whilst meeting their compliance requirements. It is therefore essential that schools adopt supporting technology that is compatible with these demands.” THE RIGHT TOOLS With schools now responsible for their own ICT budgets, the choice of how to fund support for IT services increasingly lies with the school. Support staff are an expensive resource and need tools to enable them to deliver a cost effective service. The nature of the education systems often means these

tools need to be easy to deploy and be accessible from any location via e-mail, phone, web or mobile devices. The tools must also integrate with existing school systems. By deploying packaged service desk software, IT staff can track issues rather than just react, identifying underlying causes of technical issues and help to prevent their recurrence. This improves the confidence in IT and encourages more staff and pupils to benefit from it. “Becta FITS provides an effective framework for managing support and compliance and by using systems that are FITS compatible, schools will give themselves a head start,” Eric Wright concludes. ICT goals for the educational environment that are aided by software asset management solutions include aiding future purchasing decisions with detailed procurement; freeing system resources by freeing up machines from unneeded software and standardising machines to make helpdesk support easier. Schools and colleges gain peace of mind to be able to concentrate on educational and not administrative matters; licence compliance means no sudden outlays to cover already installed software; overages can be cut to reduce annual licence fees and monitoring of unauthorised installations stops mischievous users compromising the network. Software asset management offers far more than just what its name suggests, particularly when undertaken as part of an intelligent ICT programme designed to make a network fit for education in the 21st century.



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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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A COMPLEX ROLE Facilities management is a multifaceted function that requires a broad range of skills and knowledge FACILITIES MANAGERS HAVE A CORE

role to play in education establishments. They free up a school’s time to get on with its core operations by taking control of a mix of essential, non-core services. Facilities managers increasingly require more skill and knowledge in a broad range of areas. As well as the need to cut costs, comply with health and safety legislations, and keep people and estates secure, facilities managers now must also proactively manage the school’s impact on the environment. Facilties management also needs to meet the short term needs of the teachers and pupils, such as temperature control and lighting, so that pupils have the best possible environment to learn in. Recognising the vital, multifaceted role that facilities managers now have, the sector is now flourishing and provides identifiable and meaningful career options for facilities management professionals. SECURITY

Most educational establishments contain high value goods such as computers and IT equipment on-site, which are extremely attractive to thieves. Facilities managers have a major role to play in keeping schools secure from threats such as theft but more crucially, from threats against staff and pupils. Together with security managers and IT managers, facilities management professionals must ensure that security

New knowledge calls for new equipment NDUSTRIAL AND commercial equipment provider Slingsby supplies over 35,000 products through its website and catalogue including a wide range of lockers, cloakroom equipment, health & safety products and recycling equipment. But even with over 35,000 products you may still not find what you’re looking for. No problem, whatever your requirement we can provide bespoke solutions tailored to your needs. With 116 years experience of solving workplace problems our skilled staff can provide advice or guidance and we can manufacture or source solutions especially for you. Our no quibble guarantee and 12


month warranty scheme give you complete peace of mind and we can also offer you an instant credit account to make it even easier to place your first order. Nothing is too much trouble, we’ll do all we can to accommodate your needs and we’re confident that our unique combination of product choice, free delivery and no minimum order make us hard to beat. In addition we offer a free next day delivery service for all stocked products.

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Education Business | Volume 15.1

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measures are adequately considered and correctly implemented to protect the school from attacks. This means they need a much greater awareness of security issues and legislation, and to be involved in the delivery of all types of security across an organisation. In addition, roles need to be clearly defined when it comes to security. Facilities managers, security managers and even IT managers need to jointly agree the security provision, whichever department it falls under. But it’s not just physical or virtual attacks that could stop the day-to-day operation of a school. There is also the possibility of an infection spreading which could result in schools closing. As we have seen in the last few months with the swine flu pandemic, schools are excellent breeding grounds for infections due to the sheer amount of people they occupy and the amount of close contact children have with each other. A rigorous cleaning regimen should be implemented, including the disinfecting of surfaces that are continuously touched throughout the day, such as door handles. Facilities managers could also put up posters reminding adults and children alike the


importance of washing hands to prevent the spread of infection. Regular and strategic disinfecting will be essential for protecting the health of staff and ensuring business continuity. With facilities management incorporating so many areas, it is no surprise that outsourcing certain functions has grown in popularity. Outsourcing can help organisations keep costs down and also addresses other problems such as having a lack of in-house resources or a lack of in-house expertise. The facilities manager, however, would have to manage such contracts, and may even be responsible for the procurement of such contracts. SKILLS FOR FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

We’ve seen that facilities management is a multifaceted function that requires a broad range of skills and knowledge. But how can FM professionals develop their skills? One way could be through Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for facilities management, housing, property, planning, cleaning and parking. It is a government licensed, UK-wide organisation set up to improve the skills

of people working in these industries to boost productivity and competitiveness. Its work is steered by employers, both large and small, who inform what type of training and vocational qualifications are needed to meet current and future skills requirements. In facilities management, Asset Skills works to raise the industry’s profile, promote careers and develop new occupational standards and qualifications, particularly at entry level. It also works with higher and further education providers to raise awareness of FM and ensure the range of new training is available on the market. Other projects in FM include the Public Service Skills Framework (PSSF), a new programme that trains public sector support staff in customer service and other key skills. The scheme is for employees such as local authority cleaners, school caretakers or hospital porters. Asset Skills would like to hear from public sector employers interested in the PSSF. FOR MORE INFORMATION Web:

Labcold – the professional choice for medical and scientific refrigeration L

ABCOLD IS THE UK’S leading manufacturers of medical and scientific refrigeration. They are preferred suppliers to the NHS and have built a reputation for making specialist equipment for specialist applications. Labcold’s product portfolio includes models designed specifically for the storage of medicines. Many pharmaceuticals, like insulin, should only be kept in purpose designed fridges, away from foodstuffs, at precise temperatures. A purpose built pharmacy refrigerator is the only type of fridge suitable for this purpose. The Labcold range comes in a variety of sizes, including a compact 36 litre model that can be wall mounted, making it ideal for schools and colleges that have to store small amounts of medicines for their students. If you keep animals on your college premises these fridges are perfect for storing their medications because they comply fully with the regulation guidelines of both the RCVS and BVA. The Labcold range of scientific refrigerators and freezers includes the Labcold Sparkfree range. With the use of domestic refrigerators in science laboratories posing a significant fire risk, these models have been developed to ensure that whatever is kept in the refrigerator, there is no source of internal combustion thus eliminating this problem.

The units also come with door locks for extra security plus an accuracy of temperature not found in refrigerators and freezers built for other purposes. These, and the more specialist scientific refrigerators and freezers, such as the Labcold Ultra Low Temperature range, are used by universities, research laboratories and anywhere where the safety of property and people is a serious concern. Labcold have over 40 years experience in the manufacture of professional refrigeration, so when you choose a Labcold product you can be sure that it is constructed to the highest standards and designed to be fit for

purpose. Expecting domestic refrigerators to perform specialist functions, such as the keeping pharmaceuticals or using them in laboratories, is a risk. So, when it comes to your school or college, make the professional choice, choose purpose designed, choose purpose built, choose Labcold.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For full information on all Labcold products why not visit the website at or alternatively e-mail or phone 0870 300 1001 to talk to a specially trained advisor.




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MEET IN BIRMINGHAM Situated in the heart of England, at the very centre of an accessible, comprehensive transport network, Birmingham offers a wide range of world class venues and facilities for event organisers to choose from Birmingham has successfully positioned itself as a global destination for both business and leisure visitors, and has developed a sizable visitor economy over the last 25 years. Visitor numbers increased from 29 million in 2005 to 32.2 million in 2008, contributing £4.6 billion into the local economy, an 11 per cent increase over the period. While the leisure economy is improving, due in part to a regenerated city-centre, eclectic cultural offering and a larger share of the weekend city-break market, the sector is still heavily dependent on the business visitor. With 27,000 hotel bed spaces, the largest range of exhibition and conference facilities in the UK and its central location, it’s not an accident that the city remains a market leader in this sector. The city is one of Europe’s busiest meeting points and is home to a vast number of conference and meetings venues. These range from purpose-built, internationally renowned facilities, to academic venues and lesser known unusual settings, making Birmingham an ideal location to do business. Ian Taylor, commercial director at Marketing Birmingham, says: “Marketing Birmingham aims to position the city and region as the place to hold events, both UK and globally. This is why we launched a new marketing campaign for the city – Meet Birmingham. The overall aim is to position Birmingham as a leading global event city, knowledge capital and an international city of choice that delivers a world-class visitor experience.” The campaign’s website – www. – showcases the services of Birmingham Convention Bureau which provides a vital resource for event organisers, with information to help find the right venues, accommodation, out of hours activities, and travel information. EVENTS Over the past year, Birmingham’s reputation as an events city has reached new heights with the success of major conferences to the city. Notable examples are the Conservative Party Conference and Rotary International Convention, which brought economic impacts to the city of £28 and £24 million respectively. The Centenary Rotary International Convention was the biggest of its kind to be held in the UK for two decades, and attracted some 20,000 delegates and support staff to the city. It took place in June 2009 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), with concerts, markets and other events held around the city and surrounding region. This event had a major impact on

the city and wider region – Birmingham’s city centre hotels enjoyed a massive boost in occupancy levels and income with occupancy rising to 71 per cent during June (compared with 64 per cent in the previous month). The city has also now established itself as part of the major political party conference circuit. The Conservative Party will return in 2010 and the Liberal Democrat Party will stage its spring conference in 2010 and its annual convention here in 2011. Birmingham was named in October 2009 as the best performing European city in which to do business, having risen more places in Cushman & Wakefield’s influential European Cities Monitor than any of its competitors. It is now second only to London in the UK for business. Birmingham now occupies the 14th spot amongst a total of 34 across Europe, and outperforms all other UK cities in this year’s report. NEW OPENINGS & DEVELOPMENTS Aston Villa has completed the next stage of its redevelopment – upgrading the Holte Suite. Unveiled for the 2009/10 season, the Holte Suite has been brought up to date with impressive state of the art facilities, contemporary design and the versatility to accommodate corporate and private events for up to 800 guests. Fans of Birmingham’s other football team can experience a new and improved venue when they visit Birmingham City this season. The executive areas at St Andrew’s stadium have been transformed with The Boardroom Club, Wiseman Suite and Captains Club boasting

newly refurbished facilities with re-positioned bar areas, new décor, flooring and furniture. Following a £35 million renovation the Town Hall’s civic status has been fittingly restored as the oldest purpose built venue in Europe, celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2009. It can hold up to 900 guests without catering or 500 guests with catering. Partner venue Symphony Hall is considered to be the UK’s finest concert hall and has now opened its doors to private events for the first time in its 20 year history. It can be hired for conferencing events of up to 2,200 delegates and both venues share a dedicated team of in-house staff to assist with arrangements. Baskerville House, in Centenary Square, provides two floors of conference and serviced office space and is one of the largest commercial serviced office environments outside of London. Two brand new atria have been created at the heart of the building providing a great sense of space and light to the cafe area situated on the second floor. Birmingham Hippodrome, which stages some of the biggest shows outside the West End, has opened up its Stageside Bar Bistro as meeting and event space for daytime or evening private hire. Tucked away on Thorp Street adjacent to Birmingham Hippodrome Stage door, Stageside is a hidden gem with bare brick walls and leather sofas, offering a relaxing atmosphere and the perfect place to spot the stars.




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Marley Eternit


Clean Machine


McGee Group


Cobra Insurance Brokers Rugby


Miele Company





Mike Ayres Design


Touch Wood Enterprises


Cubicle Centre




Towergate Partnership




Ocip Energy


Trilux Lighting




Outdoor Classrooms




PC Werth




Envisage Wildcare


126 21, 22

The Belfry The National College

132 11

The National Trust


Timotay Landscapes

105 92





Village Hotel & Leisure Club Walsall


First Standard


Pro Cool Industrial


Vulcan to the Sky Trust


Focus Games


Profile Education


West Nottinghamshire College


Radway Group







working with

Not everyone knows that Cadbury has committed to going Fairtrade across its hot chocolate range in the UK and Ireland. So we just thought we’d spell it out. Look out for the first Fairtrade products in the range from September 2009.

Education Business Volume 15.1  

The Business Magazine for Education

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