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It was recently reported that Lincolnshire County Council might urge all its 360 primary, secondary, nursery and special schools to become academies and join a single charitable trust. A drastic move to help deal with dwindling resources or a clever way of securing the future of high quality education in the county – what do you think? ICT has been part of education for a number of years now, however, there is still room for increasing the use of specialised ICT in the classroom, along with professional development to help get the most from technology. Read more on page 23. Many were disappointed when the government scrapped the Schools for the Future programme, however, a new school rebuilding scheme, the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), has now been launched. The Secretary of State described it as a “privately financed school building programme,” to address schools in the “worst condition”. Remodelling and refurbishing of existing buildings will still form a large part of the upkeep and maintenance of existing buildings, something that English Heritage explores further on page 57.

Sofie Lidefjard, Editor

P ONLINE P IN PRINT P MOBILE P FACE TO FACE If you would like to receive 6 issues of Education Business magazine for £45 a year, please contact Public Sector Information Limited, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055, Fax: 020 8532 0066, or visit the Education Business website at: PUBLISHED BY PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION LIMITED

226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 Web: EDITOR Sofie Lidefjard ASSISTANT EDITOR Angela Pisanu PRODUCTION EDITOR Karl O’Sullivan PRODUCTION DESIGN Jacqueline Grist PRODUCTION CONTROL Julie White ADVERTISEMENT SALES Emma Lines, Jake Deadman, Jasmina Zaveri, Kati Ackerman, Toni Lee, Jade Fisher SALES ADMINISTRATION Jackie Carnochan, Martine Carnochan ADMINISTRATION Victoria Leftwich, Alicia Oates PUBLISHER Karen Hopps GROUP PUBLISHER Barry Doyle REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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CONTENTS 07 NEWS 11 SCHOOL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Are you making the most of your INSET days, asks the National Association of School Business Management

19 ICT Technology in maths lessons can help learners understand the relevance of the subject in the real world, writes Alison Clark-Wilson, principle lecturer at the University of Chichester

57 DESIGN & BUILD How can historic school buildings be given a new lease of life, asks Tim Brennan from English Heritage Staff and students at Phoenix High School were put in control of their new building project to create an inspiring learning environment


The British Security Industry Association highlights the importance of physical security measures to avoid breaches

What should you consider when buying flooring for indoor sports halls?



The value of arts education is immeasurable, says the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts

We visit the Eden Project where young people can develop a fundamental understanding of our dependence on the natural world

Lord Alan Sugar tells Education Business what he thinks of today’s education system and the important role that ICT plays

The Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee explains accreditation badges available to ensure safe outdoor activities

43 MOBILE TECHNOLOGY Mobile technology is helping to introduce a level of creativity and independent learning into the classroom like never before

45 FINANCE We look at self-management, a one stop shop approach for investment portfolios Investing resources and funds in the building of sustainable social enterprise solutions can allow schools to capitalise on its assets

53 ENERGY St Benedict’s Infant School has implemented the Eco-Schools programme, resulting in benefits to students as well as lower energy bills The UK suffers from overvoltage, however, a correction of this can reduce electricity usage, save money and cut carbon emissions

How are educational institutions tackling bugdet cuts? The British Cleaning Council reports


Andy Kemp, head of mathematics at Taunton School, argues the case for increasing the use of specialised ICT in the classroom

xSolutions is the event for professionals who have responsibility for the dayto-day running of audio and video communication technologies



Schools can make a strong contribution to children’s levels of physical activity, says the Association of Play Industries Birmingham Botanical Gardens highlights how botanical education can be applied to many areas of the curriculum Moving lessons outdoors can be a practical way to boost children’s learning potential while reconnecting them with nature, says educational charity Groundwork


The Schools Music Association explains the value of music as part of a broad curriculum

108 RECRUITMENT With the education system changing, it is important that schools recognise the value temporary workers can bring, explains Ed McRandal from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation

110 INCENTIVES & REWARDS Rewards play an important role as a motivator for learners and educators alike, says the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association


We look at ways to make school trips as easy as possible for those who organise them

87 CONFERENCES & EVENTS Devon offers a varied list of inspiring venues for event planners

91 CATERING The School Food Trust serves up advice on how to provide a great lunchtime experience at school for every single child

Ray Barker of BESA outlines various views on the new English Baccalaureate certificate

114 MARKET RESEARCH In a time of change, research can provide robust evidence to aid decision-making, says the Market Research Society


How can schools, parents and staff benefit from introducing a cashless catering system?

Education Business Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


SPORTS Kids get a sporting chance thanks to county cash Hundreds of schoolchildren will be given a sporting chance thanks to £200,000 from Derbyshire County Council. The money will help young people across the county take part in competitions and sports festivals over the next two years. It will also be used to create links between schools and community sports clubs, and identify and nurture talented youngsters. Cash will also go towards identifying committed young leaders, getting them volunteering in their community and supporting them through leadership academies. Up to 1,000 primary and secondary teachers will receive training to make sure that pupils are benefiting from high quality PE in schools. TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT...

£57m investment envisaged for Wick schools Major investment, totalling more than £57 million, is being planned for schools in Wick over the next five years. As well as the construction of a new community secondary school within the existing site of Wick High School, at an estimated cost of £37 million, the council will consider commencing a Statutory Consultation on the possible replacement of the town’s primary schools with two new purpose built facilities. Councillor Gail Ross said: “Three new schools in Wick over the next five to six years is tremendously good news not just for parents and children in the area but for the wider community as well. This is a welcome boost to the economy in the far north and I look forward to seeing the plans and the work actually beginning. “We have to make sure now that the builds are kept within budget and delivered on time. We should also make sure that the existing buildings are dealt with appropriately and not left to fall into disrepair.”


Learning centre for DIY and construction opens in Llanelli A new vocational learning centre has opened in Llanelli to benefit secondary schools and adults wanting to learn skills in DIY and construction. The centre is part of TAD Builders Temple Works site in Furnace and has been developed through a partnership between Coleg Sir Gâr, Llanelli secondary schools, Carmarthenshire County Council’s adult community learning and TAD. The centre will give pupils in the Llanelli area access to construction related courses through their school curriculum, and provide adult learners with part-time evening courses in construction, plus short courses in home maintenance.

Paul White, head teacher at St John Lloyd School and chair of the Llanelli 14-19 Network Cluster, said: “Currently, we are only able to send Llanelli schoolchildren to the college’s Ammanford campus, but transport costs and travelling times are prohibitive so having a centre in town is great news.” TAD Builders managing director Anthony Jones said: “The children will benefit from being around a working industrial site as they learn various trades in and around our daily onsite work. We’re hoping to recruit apprentices from the centre on a yearly basis, so we’ll be working very closely with the new venture.”



NEWS IN BRIEF Raising aspirations with apprenticeship scheme Chesterfield Borough Council’s Apprenticeship Scheme continues to deliver excellent results as more young people gain employment and pass their training courses. The council has trained 30 apprentices since it started the programme 18 months ago. The young people have covered a variety of courses specific to their apprenticeship programme including business administration, customer service, community sports leadership, housing and a Football Association coaching qualification.

Centre boosts reading and maths skills Scores of young children have made big improvements to their reading, writing and maths skills thanks to a specialist training centre set up by East Sussex County Council. Pupils from across the county have been taking part in two programmes to improve literacy and numeracy levels, at the centre based at Highfield Junior School in Eastbourne. TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT...

Kent to trial 20mph speed limit Kent County Council will launch a trial of 20mph speed limits involving six primary schools in Maidstone early next year. The trial, which has been agreed with Kent Police, aims to reduce traffic speeds and improve road safety outside the primaries in and around the county town. Council cabinet member for environment, highways and waste, Bryan Sweetland, said: “This trial will be conducted outside primary schools without using traffic-calming measures, like speed humps, to slow cars down. We want to find out what difference lower speeds can make and whether measures, such as signs and road markings, can improve safety outside schools.” TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT...

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Major transformational changes to education and learning in Walsall announced by council cabinet Walsall Council’s cabinet has agreed major changes to the way education is delivered in order to meet “a changing landscape”. Councillor Rachel Andrew, Walsall Council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are met with a changing landscape for education that means big changes in how we support education and learning in Walsall – as well as changes to the whole education provision across the country. “Schools will soon be able to buy in services from other places, and with more schools taking academy status for greater autonomy things are changing. “The cabinet has agreed that this requires a transformation of school support services during the next two years. We’ll now work jointly on an orderly transfer of services with minimal disruption to schools, parents and staff.” Before Walsall’s education services were compulsorily outsourced to Serco in 2002, on the instructions of the Secretary of State for Education, education was a failing directorate in the council. Now, Serco is to be given two years notice on its contract and it is likely to formally end in summer 2013, although a transition plan for transfer of functions and services will be in place throughout the two-year period.

Councillor Andrew said that head teachers are joining with the council to develop a new relationship with schools to improve results for all children. She added: “The decision will not have an immediate impact on any service or member of staff. That’s an important reassurance as I want Serco staff to feel valued and to continue to provide important support to schools and early years’ services without any disruption.”

Council officers will work closely with head teachers and key stakeholders together with Serco staff over the next few months to redesign services, councillor Andrew said, with head teachers having a major role in shaping the future. A three-month review into the future of education was staged by Walsall Council before the decision was taken. Major changes to government policy have prompted the authority to make the decision.

TRANSPORT Changes to school transport throughout Warwickshire Warwickshire County Council will be making changes to a number of its school transport services from September. Currently some services allow students who are not entitled to free transport to pay a daily fare or to purchase a pass directly from the bus operator. In most cases from September this will no longer apply. These services will now be regarded as ‘closed door’ which means that only students showing passes issued by the council will be able to travel. This group includes pupils entitled to free transport or non-entitled students who have purchased a pass from the council under its Vacant Seats Policy.




Two-year-olds to get free childcare places

People encouraged to ‘have a go’ at new skills

Free education and childcare places will be offered to two-year-olds in Derbyshire as part of a pilot project. Derbyshire County Council has been awarded almost £400,000 to improve language and communication skills and boost attainment. It is hoped 150 children from Cotmanhay, Creswell and Langwith will benefit from up to nine hours of free education and childcare a week. These areas have been chosen as children have lower than average attainment levels when they enter primary school. Councillor Barry Lewis, the county council’s cabinet member for young people, said: “We focused on these areas as they are some of the county’s most deprived areas where almost 40 per cent of children under five live in households where the adults do not work. “We hope this project, which

Welsh Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert (pictured), has outlined his commitment to raising skill levels of the Welsh workforce and boosting the profile of vocational qualifications and career routes. During a visit to this year’s Eisteddfod in Wrexham Mr Cuthbert saw for himself the wide variety of training opportunities in Wales when he had a go at Welsh rural crafts, motorbike engineering and 3D modelling using clay and computer graphics. “Each year tens of thousands of people across Wales follow a vocational training route to obtain qualifications and skills that can lead to a satisfying career, a better job or as a stepping-stone to further study,” Mr Cuthbert said. “Ensuring we have the depth and breadth of trained, talented employees that Welsh businesses

also includes children in our care and traveller families, will improve their language and communication skills and in turn their chances of doing well in the future.” Councillor Lewis added: “We recognise that the involvement of parents contributes greatly to a child’s development so we will also be running training courses for parents to be able to support their children’s learning.” The pilot project will be rolled out in Derbyshire during 2011/12 with other local authorities following suit by 2013.

need is vital to our economy. That is why I have made it a priority to raise the basic skills level of the Welsh workforce and later this year will launch a review of qualifications to ensure they are fit for purpose.” TO READ MORE...

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THE WAY TOWARDS SUCCESS Well trained staff are key to a school’s achievement. The National Association of School Business Management explains how to make training accessible and affordable Most schools are currently experiencing or predicting a reducing budget whilst also identifying the need that effective and well trained staff are key to ensuring the best delivery of school services. The National Association of School Business Management has recognised this need and is looking at how schools can deliver more through their INSET training days to compensate this. INSET days, or to give them their full title, In Service Training days can be a very useful tool for head teachers to keep their staffs’ knowledge and skills up to date. In England schools have five days per year that can be used for staff training when pupils are not present. These days are most commonly tagged on to the end or beginning of holidays to minimise disruption to parents and carers. An INSET day can be a very useful and beneficial day for school training if they are organised and planned well in advance. The day can be used to bring the whole of the school workforce together and provide the opportunity to demonstrate the school plan and align all departments. In many schools, due to the nature of the site and the busy day to day operations, internal communication and sharing of ideas can be one of the biggest areas to suffer. The use of the INSET days to deliver training and information to the whole school can help to motivate and deliver common shared goals across the school. This is in the same vein as many other professions who undertake development and training during their contracted hours. CREATIVE SPENDING The current climate is certainly a very challenging one for schools with so much change happening at such a quick pace and with a financial climate that is putting the squeeze on every aspect of school life. Schools therefore have to be more creative with where and how they spend money whilst also ensuring that they meet all mandatory requirements, such as providing training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for all staff members. The most cost effective way to deliver training to a multitude of staff is to take advantage of INSET days, as you can deliver training at your own school site for up to 20 members of the team. Apart from the obvious value in imparting new or upgrading skills, INSET days can be made to work to a school’s advantage financially. They not only reduce the cost per head for delivering training but will reduce any incremental costs to the school such as travel.

They also can be self-financing as any additional or unwanted places can be sold to neighbouring schools to allow them to participate in the INSET training. This is a win-win situation as not only do the schools receive the training at a lower cost but the host school has the opportunity to generate an income for charging for its service. In a time of reducing budgets and a push for collaboration there could be no easier quick win to deliver both outcomes. PARTICIPANTS Perceptions of the usefulness of INSET days can vary widely. Too much time can be spent on routine refresher training which, whilst necessary, leaves little time for personal development. Vast differences can also arise between which members of the school are included in the training. INSET days are largely geared towards the teaching staff and a lot of the training content is not particularly relevant to the non-teaching roles within the school. In some cases the non-teaching staff attend but can be left bewildered, as the content has not been geared to this audience and its diverse roles. A good school ethos, shared common goals and a strong understanding by all staff of the School Development Plan is vital to CPD. In order for training to have impact and delivery identifiable outputs for both the school and the trainee it must clearly identify all the varied training needs and ensure that these are undertaken. Any training offered should be useful and valuable to the trainee. It needs to be relevant and cover the current issues facing schools, not something which “we’ve always done on INSET days”. Once a training need has been identified, the school is then left with a twofold choice. Does a workshop or training day exist for their identified need? Secondly, who can deliver it in the most cost effective way for the school? NASBM SUPPORT NASBM – the UK’s leading association working exclusively on behalf of the school business management profession – can offer this service. Our membership includes school business managers, bursars, finance officers, administrators, school secretaries and others who fulfil this important role. The Association was established to support the training, qualification and professional regulation of the role of school business managers. Increasingly the Association has recognised the importance of Continuous Professional Development and offers training on a consultancy basis. NASBM can support local groups and

School Business Management


deliver training in-house on school premises for half day and full day consultancy services across a range of management areas. This can be a useful cost effective way of delivering professional development activities for colleagues within the profession. Are you planning your on-site training for the coming academic year? Do you need to get all members of a team up-skilled in a specific area? Do you want to reduce the costs of training delivery? Do you have a sister site that you wish to share training with? NASBM realises that CPD budgets are getting tighter, whilst there is still a need to deliver training to all members of the school workforce. The training we offer can be tailored to your school’s exact requirements so if you don’t see what you are looking for below then please contact us directly. The standard topics we cover are shown below. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Is your school looking to review its performance management systems and procedures ensuring alignment to your school development plans? Are you interested in developing skills to effectively manage review discussions in a professional and motivating ways? We believe it is important to apply best management practices and skills to ensure the highest standards of school management. The programme covers the benefits of performance management review and the process; standards of performance and assessing performance objectively; setting personal objectives; effective performance management schemes – documentation and techniques and practical skills for one-to-one staff discussions and dealing with difficult situations. Your school teams training and development is essential – and simple time management skills can see your school reap the rewards. This is an interactive training session, covering practical approaches and appropriate skills to help your team succeed in managing their time more effectively and efficiently. This time management skills workshop will help your team to easily plan and prioritise their workload; address bad habits that can steal their time; manage and control their diary; delegate effectively and confidently and assist in “saying no”. DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE Are your team leaders or managers looking to develop their interpersonal and assertiveness skills? Are you interested in developing skills to resolve conflict and move school related problems forward? E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

11 providing Building Technology Solutions Having served the commercial/public sectors since 1992 SCC International are best placed to propose the right solution for you within our building technologies portfolio. The company has a reputation for professionalism, technical expertise, superior service and quality resulting in ISO9001:2008 quality assurance accreditation. All engineers are fully security cleared for access to sensitive locations.

Digital TV Upgrades Digital TV upgrades have been completed nationwide for detention centres, bookmakers, hotels, financial institutions, offices, schools and private landlords, in readiness for the analogue switch off next year.

IPTV SCCI install Internet Protocol TV direct to PCs via satellite allowing pupils to view digital broadcasts in the classroom. This is proving to be the most cost effective solution in the education sector.

CCTV (IP CCTV) CCTV Systems serve many purposes for residential, commercial and public properties. Once installed the visible cameras immediately act as a deterrent to burglars and vandals. Cameras that are hidden from view provide 24 hour surveillance, this means being able to hand over vital evidence of criminal activity or suspicious behaviour.


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Video/Audio Door Entry Access Control Electronic access control provides the most efficient and convenient way of securing your building and assets. This can be audio only or with the addition of video. Access Control enables complete monitoring over who enters the building ensuring total peace of mind.

Automated Gates There are a number of gates that can be installed by SCCI dependant on your security and site requirements. Swing gates are used more in a setting that needs to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye and require more of an installation area to operate. Sliding gates however do not need as much space to operate as a swing gate, useful when space is restricted and also provides better security. SCCI also installs security perimeter fencing, barriers and turnstiles.

LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT E Are there difficult people or just different people? Defining difficult people is completely subjective. We can either choose to be victims of others’ communication style or take charge of the relationship and manage them more effectively. Changing what you do, what you say and how you say it will create changes in the other person and hopefully the outcome too. The workshop will allow delegates to understand people and behaviour; understand conflict and learn about preferences for dealing with conflict; explore various strategies for more effective relationships; and adopt assertiveness techniques to achieve what they want in difficult situations. BUILDING HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAMS Does your school team need to develop their management skills? Are your line managers interested in developing skills for effective school team problem solving and decision making techniques? To get the best output from a team you need to apply the best management practices and skills to ensure the highest standards of school management skills. The programme covers effective management – management v. leadership; effective teams; problem solving; and decision making.

Do you or your school team need to develop interpersonal effectiveness at school? Does your school need to review and further develop its professional communication techniques during meetings and presentations? This programme covers confident delivery and presentation skills; professional communication; planning and structure of talks for maximum impact. INTERVIEW SKILLS Are your team leaders or managers looking to develop their personal effectiveness in conducting interviews? Are you interested in developing confident interview skills to ensure you recruit the right person for the role? We will provide clear guidelines for you on the successful preparation and conduct of safe and effective selection interviews in schools. Topics covered include the recruitment process; job/person specification; offering employment; and legislation and vetting. The list, though long is not exhaustive and NASBM is acutely aware of the varying individual needs and hot topics which can arise. In answer to this, NASBM is flexible and can tailor a course to suit a school’s individual needs. Schools that have used our onsite training have found the experience both

productive and cost efficient in training a large number of colleagues at once. “Some really useful techniques which can be used in our everyday roles and responsibilities,” said Helen at Bartley Green, whilst Pen from Robert Napier School commented: “Found the day very interesting and constructive.”  On review it is proposed that INSET days are the way forward for schools. They can provide tailor-made training for a school which will not only improve the CPD of those employed, but also enhance the shared ethos of the school, ensure a cohesive and joined up approach to deliver the school vision, update their skill set and ultimately benefit the wellbeing and development of the pupils. They can, if used properly be an income generator for the school by selling on the consultancy to other neighbouring schools. In these fast changing and challenging times the INSET day has changed. NASBM can facilitate this change for the benefit of a school and deliver value for money, plus effective and relevant training for all needs. L

School Business Management


FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact Diane Gregory on 01788 573300 or visit

Emerge – the most talked about app in schools Groupcall has fast become one of the education sector market leaders in communication and data extraction tools since its launch in 2002. It provides communication and data solutions to the education, public and private sectors. The company was co-founded by Sir Bob Geldof, and its product portfolio comprises of Messenger, Xporter, Alert and Emerge. Groupcall was initially created to improve general and emergency communication between a school and its parents. Its parental communication system, Messenger, is currently used in more than 2,500 schools throughout the UK and Europe and has proven to successfully reduce unauthorised absences in schools, as well as improve parental engagement, lower costs and improve efficiencies. Emerge was launched at BETT this year and is a powerful yet intuitive app, which enables schools to have an up-to-theminute copy of their MIS data instantly and securely available in the palm of their hand for access anytime, anywhere and is now fully integrated with Groupcall Messenger. The Emerge app is designed for the Apple iPod touch with Wi-Fi, or an iPhone/iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. It delivers up-to-the-minute Management Information System (MIS) data instantly and securely, with access on an anytime, anywhere basis.

Emerge is the perfect solution for users to access information when and wherever it is needed, including in an emergency where the school system may be down or access to the school is restricted, thus ensuring staff and student safety is paramount at all times. It is designed specifically for senior leaders, administrators and teaching staff at both primary and secondary stage education, providing them with access to on-the-go key data from a compact mobile device. Via Emerge, registration can be taken while simultaneously being written back to the school’s MIS. Additional student information including timetables, attendance and behavioural data can also be accessed wherever the teacher is located (both on and off school grounds) without the need to rely on a desktop PC. It is Groupcall’s belief that equipping teachers with a device that gives them immediate access to the information they require is not

only hugely beneficial from an administration and time management perspective, but also with respect to student safety. At the touch of a button, teachers are able to quickly access contact information for each student and of course their parents/guardians. In an emergency situation, where the school system is down, offline or access to the school is restricted, Emerge continues to deliver instant access to staff and student information. When retrieving and relying on paper-based registers and records is logistically unfeasible, Emerge has been specifically designed to offer efficiency and accessibility, as well as being a less expensive and more environmentally friendly alternative to paper-based records. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 020 85027344 Fax: 020 33284601

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


School Business Management




Considering leasing but don’t know where to start? Now help is at hand as a new guide has been published to help schools avoid the potential pitfalls of leasing agreements The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM), the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and the Department for Education have joined forces to produce a leasing guide designed to help schools avoid making costly errors. William Simmonds, chief executive at NASBM, which supports the training, qualification and professional regulation of school business managers, says: “The Association has received many requests for assistance from schools who have been coerced by equipment suppliers into taking out new leasing agreements that were either not fit for purpose or rolled the previous outstanding value on the current lease into the new agreement.” The new guide called ‘Tips for Successful Leasing in Schools’ gives schools a useful checklist that will help them to avoid the many pitfalls when entering into a lease agreement. The free guide is available to schools via the NASBM website and will also be available to download from the FLA and DfE websites. The issues schools currently face include not fully appreciating how to specify the terms of their agreements, not checking the terms and conditions or understanding that a previous balance would be rolled over and not written off. With a number of schools reporting these issues to NASBM the guide was created to help schools identify the areas in the lease agreement to check and help combat this problem. Philip White, chair of the FLA’s working group on the guide and CEO of finance provider Syscap, commented: “Schools are facing a very tough budget balancing act at the moment, but they are determined

that this should not affect pupils’ access to up-to-date technology to support their learning. This is putting financing methods like leasing at the top of schools’ agendas making this new guide particularly timely.” VALUABLE TOOL The guide provides a much needed tool for schools when entering into new leases or re-leasing from a current provider. William Simmonds added: “We are pleased to have been able to develop a useful guide in response to our member’s queries and also hope that this guide will provide great assistance to all schools entering into lease agreements across the country.” As part of the usual commissioning process for equipment you should compare the cost of leasing with the cost of buying. Make sure you are comparing like with like e.g. include maintenance if appropriate. The most competitive quotes for buying the equipment might come from a supplier that doesn’t offer leasing. MINIMUM LEASE PERIOD This is the shortest period for which the school will have to make rental payments for equipment. The period is fixed regardless of other factors, such as the equipment becoming less reliable, changes in the school’s needs or changes in technology. A lease is an agreement to rent equipment, not to buy. The school will not own the equipment after the minimum lease period. Instead there will usually be the choice of returning the equipment after the minimum lease period, extending the rental period, or purchasing the equipment.

TYPE OF LEASE For accounting purposes, there are different types of leases, referred to as operating leases and finance leases. The school may need to seek local authority or central government approval if it wishes to enter into a finance lease. Make sure it’s clear whether maintenance is included or excluded. If it is included, check who would provide it. If you are leasing direct from an equipment manufacturer the maintenance might well be provided from the same company. Otherwise it is likely to be provided separately. Check what would happen if the company providing the maintenance went out of business as you could have to continue making rental payments throughout the minimum lease period even if the equipment doesn’t work. SUPPLIES & UPGRADES The lease agreement will sometimes include the provision of supplies, such as paper, bulbs, etc. Check what would be provided and who would provide it. Check whether it would be better value to buy the supplies separately over time as they are needed. During the lease period an equipment supplier might suggest that you change or upgrade your existing equipment. Always consult experts before upgrading. Keeping the equipment you have and waiting until the end of the minimum lease period will almost always be less expensive than upgrading. L FOR MORE INFORMATION For a copy of this free guide please visit

Complete telecoms solutions for schools and colleges across the UK Focus Telecom understands how schools and colleges work and has been providing the education sector across the UK with telecoms solutions for over eight years. Focus Telecom provides a complete and in-depth analysis of current services and future business plans. We deliver solutions tailored to the school’s or college’s needs. By reviewing existing provision, monthly expenditure and the current traffic profile, we ensure that the right service is provisioned for the individual organisation. Focus Telecom will not only be able to reduce call charges and line rental for schools and colleges but also offer telephone systems, full


Focus Telecom is listed with the National Association of School Business Management and has featured the last two years running in The Times Tech Track 100, which features the 100 fastest growing technology companies in the country. Focus Telecom offers contract terms from just 30-day agreements with full dedicated account management and 24-hour fault reporting. ongoing system support and maintenance, IT support and solutions, mobile telephony, data services from ADSL to leased lines and MPLS, and in-built fraud protection.

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

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School Business Management


With increasing demands, Bangor University needed a way for key staff to quickly track critical student, staff and financial data. After implementing Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), stakeholders now have access to near real-time data to support effective decision-making Thanks to their new Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) solution, instead of spending the majority of their time locating and gathering data, stakeholders can now deal with critical projects that add more value to the colleges, schools and departments of the university. BACKGROUND Established in 1884, Bangor University has a distinguished history and significant record of achievement. The University currently has 12,000 students and an annual turnover of £126m with 23 academic schools arranged in five colleges. In order to keep the university running effectively and efficiently, it employs a number of best of breed systems, including Banner, Agresso HR and Agresso Finance. With disparate systems, it was difficult to see the big picture performance of the university or have the ability to drill-down to see

was tasked with designing and developing a BI platform that would allow all key staff to instantly access the information they needed – a platform that could scale to support the university’s growing needs with the capability to support potentially hundreds of users. THE SOLUTION To the university, the Oracle BI Suite was the most cost-effective, fully integrated and easy to use solution on the market. Together, the teams quickly began to build the solution, leveraging the Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Warehouse Builder 10g. The system was tailored to meet the specific needs of Bangor University and designed in such a way that maintenance of the metadata is simple and the full power of the reporting tool is leveraged with ease. In approximately 70 days, SolStonePlus was able to design and develop the initial data loads, train the development team and release the first

“SolStonePlus has enabled us to build a pervasive real-time intelligence environment for monitoring student recruitment and that has the scalability to support enterprise-wide reporting as our needs evolve.” Stuart Kay, management information officer, Bangor University. necessary student, staff, financial and research data. In addition, creating comprehensive, timely reports on aggregate student and staff data across a range of variables and timescales was also a tremendous challenge. The university needed to find a simple and timely way to gain accurate, detailed statistics on student recruitment rates and profile students according to age, origin, ethnicity, and course in order to determine the best mix of study programs. Another challenge for the university was to find a way to monitor trends in student and staff data across the colleges, schools and departments of the university. Chosen for its successful track record in delivering performance management solutions in the higher education sector, SolStonePlus

version of the Oracle BI solution to 50 academic and managerial decision-makers within the institution. Stuart Kay, managment information officer, comments: “The ability to deliver a simple but powerful solution to users quickly was very important to us. SolStone helped us to achieve this in record time with immediate benefits.” THE BENEFITS With the latest intelligence data provided to decision-makers within 24 hours instead of up to four days using the existing legacy tools, the university now has a system that immediately alerts them to potential business issues and performance shortfalls. It will provide a single, consolidated view of all their disparate management data, presenting

the most relevant information in an easyto-understand graphical format, enabling them to quickly drill-down to the root cause of specific business issues. Furthermore, the system allows end users to select and build personalised data maps in order to build reports relevant to their areas of responsibility. The university now has harmonised reporting of recruitment, student and staff data, made available via daily dashboards in both English and Welsh languages. The multilingual capability of OBIEE proved incredibly useful for Bangor University as an organisation operating in a bilingual environment, the system offers the ability to add in translations into the system. Feedback from staff has been excellent and staff across all schools and colleges now have the opportunity to become focused and harmonised having true confidence in the data, empowering users at all levels to make more effective, informed decisions. NEXT STEPS The university is extremely enthusiastic about the new system and is keen to explore its flexibility and leverage its full potential. The team is currently working on a range of exciting new projects that are only possible thanks to the increased functionality of their new BI platform. These include using the solution to: • Plug into the Student Destination Survey, in order to monitor employability and trends • Leverage near real-time intelligence during confirmation and clearing to profile applicants, confirm offers faster, and keep acceptance levels in prescribed range of government student number controls • Provide projected student number updates regularly during the day throughout the clearing period • Integrate student, staff and financial data to monitor research activity and quality. L FOR MORE INFORMATION

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Temporary school staff to get new employment rights A major change in employment law on 1 October 2011 will affect everyone who hires temporary staff – including all of the UK’s 30,000 schools. The Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) introduce new rights for temporary workers, which ensure they have the same basic working and employment conditions as if they had been directly employed by the school. Some of these new rights apply from the first day of employment. Although final guidance has yet to be published by the Department for Education, Connex Education (which worked with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on guidance during the consultation period) has prepared detailed notes which schools can use free of charge, to help them prepare for the changes. Changes will include: • The right to equality for temporary workers after 12 weeks in “a given job”. Any period during a week (even one day) counts as one week of this period. • Breaks which trigger a new 12 week period beginning have to be six weeks – creating implications for workers in long-term positions and those booked regularly on a day-to-day basis. • These breaks will not include school holidays: the qualifying period clock pauses and restarts when school re-opens.

• Schools are deemed to be the hirer as they supervise, direct and control the temporary worker. Supply teachers currently are not necessarily paid to scale; to comply with AWR their pay and benefits will need to be altered, if necessary, after the 12 week period in line with permanent counterparts. The regulations also prevent manipulation of working patterns to prevent people from qualifying for equal treatment, with awards of £5,000 if proved. Therefore it is essential that schools identify the right pay and other benefits to which temporary workers are entitled. There are still a number of grey areas relating to the AWR, and Connex is awaiting

final guidance from DfE before finalising its already well-advanced arrangements for supporting its schools, to keep them compliant with the minimum fuss. This service includes monitoring the time period of all temporary staff supplied, alerts at 6, 8 and 10 weeks of any term of employment and access to an AWR calendar (to track candidate usage) via Connex’s client portal. Schools that do not currently have access to their Connex Portal, can ask for details to be resent. FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact: Mark Ashmore Tel: 0115 824 3001

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12 22/07/2011 11:05

Make sure your school is ready for direct procurement by attending the National Association of School Business Management’s Procurement Event The withdrawal of local authority services presents the need for schools to find good value like-for-like alternatives. Do your SLT understand their responsibilities? Do your team have the right skills to deliver value for money procurement? Have you got a procedure and buying framework set up? This is a one-day Procurement Event designed for people involved in, responsible for and accountable for a school’s procurement. These can be defined as the school leadership team, heads, deputy heads, school business managers and governors. This programme will help you answer the above questions and many more. The programme will: • give an introduction to school based procurement • define the roles and responsibilities in school • clarify the steps that should be undertaken and provide delegates with a checklist • provide an overview of the procurement cycle and highlight the potential pitfalls • highlight the necessary EU legislation and other legal parameters that must be adhered to • identify ways to help your school save

money when procuring products and services • enable the school to create good quality specification briefs and evaluation criteria. Outcomes and benefits from taking part in this event include: • opportunity to share best practice and gain insights • gain practical tools and experiences to execute a school procurement policy • enable the school to create accurate

specification briefs and evaluation criteria • undertake buying exercises to assist in role and responsibility definition • understand the necessary steps to ensure your school is delivering value for money. This event has been developed to allow more than one member of a school to attend and all receive benefits on their individual role in the school procurement process. The NASBM Procurement events will take place in Twickenham 13 October 2011, Liverpool 7 February 2012, Derby 8 March 2012, Exeter 3 May 2012, and Durham 24 May 2012. The cost is £115 for NASBM Members, while non-members pay £145. The event fee includes lunch, refreshments, and an extensive toolkit for delegates to take home.

School Business Management


FOR MORE INFORMATION For further information or to book please visit and click on Conferences/ Procurement Events. Alternatively contact Julia Warmington on 01788 573300.

Premier Life Skills – ten years experience in stress management and wellbeing training Premier Life Skills Limited is a stress management and wellbeing training company with more than ten years experience of dealing with stress-related problems and issues affecting either individuals or organisations. Our trainers are stress management and wellbeing experts from relevant professional backgrounds including health and education. During these times of change and uncertainty, individual and organisational resilience is fundamental to long-term survival. However, in order to cultivate a future-fit workforce, the notion of wellbeing must be ingrained into the company culture from top to bottom. In the past 12 months: • nearly two thirds of employers have made redundancies • nearly 40 per cent of organisations reported a rise in stress-related absence and mental health problems amongst staff such as anxiety and depression • the cost to organisations per employee per year for absence has risen to £600 • forward thinking employers are now wising up to the value of individual wellbeing, introducing wellbeing strategies and increasing their wellbeing spend. The wellbeing of staff need not be compromised even if organisations have

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Alison Clark-Wilson, principle lecturer at the University of Chichester and former secondary school teacher, discusses the importance of technology in maths lessons and how it can help learners understand the relevance of maths in the real world Having originally qualified as a chemical engineer, I later embarked upon a career as a secondary school maths teacher. In doing so, I became a firm advocate of the use of technology to support the teaching and learning of secondary maths. For learners to be successful future mathematicians it is important that they appreciate the many applications of mathematics, and are able to recognise its relevance to the real world as early as possible; something that technology can facilitate. Technology has a powerful effect on the classroom; it has the potential to change both

the teacher’s and the learner’s approach to maths, whilst also encouraging understanding. In the UK, the lack of appreciation of the wider application of maths is influencing the number of students who are recognising just what is possible in terms of a future career and how a maths qualification can be put to further use. PROGRESSING IN MATHS Without this contextual knowledge, pupils can sometimes lack the motivation to progress in the subject, failing to realise that maths is so much more than just numbers and equations. In my view, technology has the power to

change this; it can influence how maths is approached in the classroom through means that are just not possible with traditional tools such as the compass, pen and paper. It is clear to see that when learners use technology to undertake a basic maths activity, they are also given the opportunity to be creative, unlock their inquisitiveness for the subject and delve deeper into the task. A NEW FORM OF LEARNING When used appropriately, technology offers the learner the opportunity to take part in experiential learning, engaging them at a more personal level by responding to an individual’s line of enquiry. Take the properties of 2-D and 3-D shapes for example; an element of the curriculum that all pupils are expected to learn. Using a dynamic geometry software programme and interactive whiteboard, learners can bend, stretch and rotate shapes on the board and by doing so they are able to see that no matter how much they manipulate the shape some properties still remain. Compared to traditional learning techniques, this style encourages the formation of cerebral connections. Consequently, the learner is not simply just remembering the facts but understanding the concept, which is an added value of ICT. As time goes on and more geometry is layered in, learners can build on their existent understanding and begin to E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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TECHNOLOGY IN MATHS Biography Alison Clark-Wilson is head of research and consultancy at the University of Chichester’s Mathematics Centre. Alison is a former head of mathematics and was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher Status (AST) in 1999 specialising in the development and use of ICT tools for mathematical learning. Alison is also chair of the Mathematical Association’s Professional Development Committee, project lead on the University of Chichester TI-Nspire research pilot for Texas Instruments and author of ‘Evaluating TI-Nspire in secondary mathematics classrooms’ ISBN 978-0948765-47-6.

In order to develop the future technologies, and compete globally in the market place, our learners need to understand the power of maths and be encouraged to see the broad range of possibilities that maths offers in the real world. E consider what happens when lines cross, and discover the properties of other shapes such as circles. Ultimately, through the dynamic learning experience that technology offers, more substantive learning can be achieved. NEW DEVELOPMENTS So why is the use of technology in maths lessons still not widespread? The barriers can sometimes reside unknowingly with the teachers. Maths is different to science and technology where the knowledge is still evolving in a more publicised way. The discovery of laser technology in the 1970s for example was accessible to students undertaking physics A-level and thus became part of the course. Developments in maths are often deemed too complicated or inappropriate to have any relevance at secondary level; therefore some teachers can

be reluctant to share exciting developments that would perfectly demonstrate real-world application of mathematical concepts. There are, however, plenty of ideas to inspire learners. Consider computer generated images (CGI), the use of cones and spheres in creating aliens in the popular TV series Doctor Who, or perhaps think about the computer games that wouldn’t be possible without maths – you can sense the pupil engagement already! Without understanding the power of maths, our future generation may be left behind in the international employment market. I have recently been working on a European Evaluation project, where I met with learners in the Netherlands and Sweden, and had the opportunity to see first hand the difference in attitudes towards technology and maths combined. The pupils I met with had their own handheld maths technology, usually in the form of powerful graphics calculators; a

different culture resides in some European countries, with the expectation that students must have their own handheld maths technology when they begin secondary school. When utilised well, the effect of this type of technology on the comprehension of STEM related subjects is highly observable. Whilst the UK is rich in technology available to our learners, there is no requirement for schools to insist that pupils purchase a particular ICT tool designed specifically for STEM subjects. In the UK we struggle for this to be the norm and instead are tending to go down the laptop route which can be an expensive method, and not subject specific. This is where we seem to be behind our European neighbours such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Teachers hold the key to change the way maths is taught in the classroom and much of that can hinge upon the professional development that teachers are offered. Members of staff may partake in professional development sessions to learn how to use the technology, but they do not necessarily have the opportunity to learn how to teach specific subjects using technology. Different pedagogy is required for individual subjects and each will have their own subtleties. This is something that needs to be addressed for the use of technology in maths to be successful and widespread. Time after time, research shows that technology is a catalyst for learning. Pupils should be encouraged to explore maths for themselves, just like the early mathematicians did. In order to develop the future technologies, and compete globally in the market place, our learners need to understand the power of maths and be encouraged to see the broad range of possibilities that maths offers in the real world. When technology first arrived in UK schools over 20 years ago it actually started out in the maths department through the teaching of spreadsheets. So let us claw back the use of technology in maths, and motivate and inspire our learners in the most dynamic way possible. L

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE






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MATHS, ICT AND INDUSTRY: WHY A BACK TO BASICS APPROACH IS NOT ENOUGH With employability high on the agenda and education cuts looming, Andy Kemp, head of mathematics at Taunton School, argues the case for increasing the use of specialised ICT in the classroom, along with professional development to help get the most from technology Technology plays a crucial and encompassing role in our lives, one that increases year on year. The technological revolution is in full swing and no one would deny the impact that it has on our lives, both work and leisure. What isn’t as widely acknowledged is that mathematics underpins this technology; the iPad, the PSP, the jet engine – you name it and maths played a role in its creation. With the rate of technological development and the ever-increasing focus on

employability, there is a recognised case for encouraging strong mathematical skills; as the subject forms the foundation of much of this century’s innovations, a workforce skilled in mathematics, along with the other STEM-subjects, is a crucial way of ensuring that a nation can sustain itself. THE WORLD OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM If the main aim of educators is to help pupils attain knowledge and prepare themselves

If the main aim of educators is to help pupils prepare themselves for the world outside the classroom then technology and learning are as inextricably linked as technology and business.

for the world outside the classroom then technology and learning are as inextricably linked as technology and business. It makes perfect sense to ready young people for industry by using tools which help develop the skills and knowledge that will be called upon in the workplace. This is where ICT comes in. Some subjects, such as maths, benefit hugely from technology simply because of the springboard it provides to help them achieve a greater level of understanding. Teachers like me who advocate the use of ICT in maths lessons are not arguing against the need for the basics of a subject. The basics are the foundation for future understanding but knowledge of the practical application of the subject and a relational understanding of the different mathematical concepts is what is really needed. For E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE




SPECIALISED EQUIPMENT E this, ICT can be incredibly useful, helping improve the relational understanding of the subject by offering multiple mathematical representations that demonstrate how different mathematical concepts link together. Understanding the different topics in maths lessons is important, but without teaching pupils how these topics link, to each other and to the world around them, we can’t expect them to understand or appreciate the big picture of how the subject really works. TO MAKE TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR US It is sometimes claimed that using technology in any way in lessons is beneficial for pupils belonging to the digital generation. This perspective is overly simplistic and misses the crucial idea that it should never be about the use of technology, but instead about the appropriate use of technology. To that end it is essential that the equipment we use should befit the purpose and, although a laptop or an iPod Touch certainly have their uses, the subject of maths calls for more specialised equipment, such as handheld learning devices like the TI-Nspire. The crux of the issue is that specialised equipment often requires specialised training. A lack of comfort and familiarity is often the main cause of resistence to regular use of ICT from professionals. This is where continued professional development is crucial for teachers, a fact recognised by the National Union of Teachers, which is behind the movement for increased teacher ICT training. In 2008, the union stated that it is imperative that school support staff are “provided with more support to help them get to grips with using the wide range of technology now available”. OVERCOMING BARRIERS There are barriers to regular CPD in teaching; hectic schedules, no ring-fenced funding and a lack of funds for supply cover are often the biggest hurdles. No formal continuous professional development requirement for teachers in England and Wales, coupled with budgetary constraints, means that this picture could be set to continue but there are other ways for teachers to obtain professional development that are flexible, or cost-effective enough to fit in with the primary aims of their schools. The first and most basic of these is peer training and sharing of best-practice on an in-house or an informal local basis (e.g. TeachMeets – Often, there may be the odd tech-savvy teacher who can lead the way; internal workshops or taking videos of how this teacher uses technology in his or her lesson to show other members of staff can offer a step in the right direction. Similarly, suppliers such as Texas Instruments offer free product training and will visit teachers on-site to outline ways to get the most out of the resources. Instruction for one


teacher, followed by peer training can help to overcome the obstacle of lack of funding. Aside from training courses offered by the TDA, the cost of which may be prohibitive in times of funding cuts and coalition claw-backs, there are organisations offering targeted CPD at no cost to the school or the teacher. The international ‘T3’ (Teachers Teaching with Technology), focuses on maths and science with free nationwide workshops. The organisations can arrange a free inset session on-site and will work with the school beforehand to ensure the session meets the specific objectives of the teachers involved. In addition to training days, there are numerous online resources such as training videos or podcasts, lesson plans and activities to lighten the administrative load for teachers. The Teacher’s TV website is a useful source of video tutorials and online resource banks such as Nspiring Learning which gives step-by-step instructions, as well as teacher-created lesson plans, to engage learners with different mathematical topics. The BBC’s education site also offers helpful information for teachers – and for learners – and Cambridge University’s ‘Plus’ e-magazine is a mathematics teacher’s paradise. SUBJECT ASSOCIATIONS PLAY A ROLE Professional organisations play an important part in professional development in teaching. There are numerous subject associations for maths and many will feature ‘how to’ guides in journals and publications, along with events around the UK for teachers. Perhaps the most influential event for subject-leaders is the British Congress of Mathematical Education (BCME), which is timed to occur every four years between its international counterpart ICME. There is a cost for attending such events but the sheer number of professional development opportunities, best-practice guidance, peer to peer training and opportunity to exchange ideas will certainly justify the cost of attendance. EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY Ultimately, encouraging teachers to embrace technology and undertake regular professional development is a responsibility which lays with school leadership teams. What the profession needs is an easier route to CPD; one that does not add to the administrative burden that the profession endures. The job of teaching is a rewarding, challenging and ever-changing one. Support for those on the chalk-face must come from the top down, otherwise the lofty principles behind curriculum changes and new initiatives will fail to meet the needs of pupils and industry. JFK was once quoted as saying “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” While reducing the deficit is important, it should not come at the cost of investment into the future of younger generations. L

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

CPD sources and associations The National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics ( T3 – teachers teaching teachers to provide professional development for the appropriate use of educational technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science ( The Training and Development Agency CPD database (www.cpdsearch.tda. Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) STEM Programme (www. The Mathematical Association ( Association of Teachers of Mathematics ( Association of Mathematics Education Teachers ( National Association of Mathematics Advisers ( Mathematics in Education and Industry ( Plus Magazine ( Nspiring Learning (

British Congress of Mathematics Education The British Congress of Mathematics Education (BCME) is an event timed to occur between its international equivalent, the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME). The intention is that all sections of mathematics and mathematical education should come together in a single conference to celebrate, enrich, refresh and build mathematical and pedagogical confidence and expertise. Initially, it was run on an ad-hoc basis; commencing with BCME-6, there is a determination amongst all its partners that BCME should be an established, visible and highly successful event that has its own identity, timing and impact. Following the highly successful BCME6, JMC has agreed to hold BCME on a four yearly basis synchronised two years either side of ICME (see www.icme12. org for details of the next ICME in Seoul in 2012). This last BCME took place Easter 2010 at the University of Manchester.





How the “C” in ICT could unlock higher learning effectiveness and productivity The minds of students and children are at the height of their powers to absorb information and digest new ideas. However, their cognitive skills are not fully developed. This means that students tend to be relatively poorly equipped to make sense of what they have absorbed and to categorise information correctly, compared to adults. This is one reason speech communication is so important in education. Explaining, engaging and interacting via speech is the primary way to transfer meaning and understanding. Verbal communications therefore play an essential formative part in the learning process. COMMUNICATION & LEARNING Effective communication underpins learning and always has. The difference today is that communication it is no longer just a oneto-many activity delivered from the front of class – it comes in a variety of forms: • Speech and one-to-many communication • Visual media • Rich and interactive media • Online material • Group activity and explorative study • Podcasting and stored media • Experiential and role play The list goes on, but few – if any – methods can be considered to exclude speech or sound for their full meaning or learning impact to be realised. THE ROLE OF ICT ICT and its role in creating a more interactive learning system is one of the great successes of modern education. The impact of high quality, rich content and a dynamic visual environment is hard to overestimate. But in the race to equip schools with sophisticated ICT equipment over the last decade, the communication aspect of ICT has been neglected. Given the importance of sound and speech in creating meaning as part of a richer learning environment, the problem now is that sound communication lags behind other technologies. Multimedia sound sources are also not adequately integrated into the learning environment. This lag is not just by years, but arguably by decades – and the lag is actually widening as ICT applications advance ever-faster. In short, ICT has succeeded brilliantly in creating new content and learning methods, but the transmission channel has failed to keep pace, undermining many of the

potential benefits of the ICT revolution. Enhancing ICT by placing a greater emphasis on the “C” of communication therefore has the potential to realise considerable benefits. Compare the learning impacts of two scenarios: IT TRADITIONAL “C” • Effort-intensive one-to-many communication with all members in the class. Speaker strains voice to balance loud speech to closest students and still be heard by those furthest away. • Podcasting and lesson capture or review is impossible. • Rich media and interactive media is compromised by separate speaker systems for PC, TV and other media sources. Without dedicated speakers, can all students hear? • Noise interference: students and teachers have to combat noise from active whiteboard projectors, PCs and many classroom sources. • Group activities explorative practical learning and student representations are compromised by students (or teacher) facing away from one another. Demonstration and communication requires stopping all activity. • Impact of experiential, role plays and input from students reduced due to voice projection issues, individual shyness etc. INTEGRATED ICT • Effortless communication with all students, irrespective of where they sit and what direction they face. • Podcast, replay or record all lesson content and input at will. • Seamlessly intertwine spoken and all media content so that all students can hear at an appropriate volume. Combat and defeat noise interference from the class or outside the class at no extra effort to the teacher. • Integrate and control group activities and individual examples rapidly, easily and with minimum disruption. • Maximise inclusion and whole class learning from student to input. PUTTING THE C BACK INTO ICT Given the advances made in ICT, the integration of speech and multimedia communication technologies, to the same level as IT, should be feasible. And, for very modest investments, it is. With skilled installation, integrating speech enhancing dispersed speaker technology

and specialist wireless microphones with existing IT infrastructure is just a few hours work. Such “soundfield” installations deliver speech enhancement and the benefits discussed above. Studies and anecdotal reports from over 10,000 installations cite: • Improved student attention and time on task (up to three times longer) • Better understanding and hearing (students consider it easier to hear) • Less repetition (teachers advise less repetition) • Easier class management (students settle faster and can hear wherever positioned) • Reduced teacher stress and fatigue combating noise (teachers report less need to strain voices and themselves, in addition to a calmer class atmosphere) • New and advanced teaching features with podcasting, interactive and rich media content. CONCLUSION The positive impacts of ICT can be enhanced by a greater focus on verbal and sound communication as part of ICT. This can be addressed by dispersed speaker technologies and wireless microphone systems, such as soundfield systems by PC Werth and its partner, FrontRow. In fact, in the early 2000s, PC Werth’s biggest soundfield trial had to be wound up because students, teachers and parents observed an unfair advantage given to students that benefited from soundfield in a comparative study. L FOR MORE INFORMATION For your information pack, and exclusive offer including DVD, or for general enquiries, copies of reports, testimonials and evidence, visit ed_bus or call PC Werth on 020 8772 7200.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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SUPPORT FOR FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS Lord Alan Sugar – the rags-to-riches, straight-talking businessman – gives his thoughts on today’s education system and how ICT has a particularly important role to play in pupil achievement From a humble childhood growing up in Hackney, East London, to now owning a fortune estimated at £730 million, businessman and entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar is a modern rags to riches tale. Having left school at 16 to sell car aerials from the back of his car, Lord Sugar went on to make his name from AMSTRAD, a consumer electronics business that specialised first in car stereos, TVs and hi-fi units, and later in personal computers. He is now the star of BBC’s The Apprentice, and owns a collection of lucrative businesses, including Viglen, an IT

services company that has enjoyed much success within the education sector. As a real rags to riches success story, did any teachers see entrepreneurial potential in Sugar at an early age? “My headmaster knew I was destined for a commercial future despite me thinking I would follow the sciences and engineering,” he recalls. THE GROWTH OF IT Back in the 80s, the computer was only just being to be introduced to schools and the AMSTRAD brand was responsible for giving many schools their first computing E

My headmaster knew I was destined for a commercial future despite me thinking I would follow the sciences and engineering

Viglen has beaten several competitors to win high-profile tenders for three new build academies across the UK. The contracts have a combined total value in excess of £4.5 million and are for Bedford Academy, All Saints Academy, Dunstable and the Skinners Kent Academy, part of Skinners Trust. They will all benefit from Viglen’s innovative ICT solutions, which aim to enhance education and underpin the aspirations and philosophies of the academies. The succession of wins comes after the ICT solutions provider, whose major shareholder is Lord Sugar, was awarded a position on the Becta ICT framework last year. Upon closure of Becta, the framework transferred to the DfE and Viglen has since beaten competitors to eight prestigious multi-million pound new business wins. The three contracts will see Viglen and its services become central to the ICT strategies of the learning institutions. The Bedford Academy contract, which is to the value of £2 million and runs over four years, will see the Science & Technologyspecialist institution become an ICT-rich environment as it takes on high-quality Viglen products in its new premises. The All Saints Academy, Dunstable is hoping that its fully-integrated Viglen solution, worth just under one million pounds over four years, will transform its learning, teaching and administration services, whilst the arrangement with Skinners Kent Academy will be worth over £1.6 million over three years. With its student population expected to grow, ICT is core to Skinners Kent Academy’s expansion strategy. The appointment of Viglen at all three academies plays a key role in ICT becoming a critical factor in motivating young people. In total, Viglen’s ICT solutions for these contracts will benefit over 3,000 students across the three academies. The latest state of the art solutions will bring a number of disparate technologies together as a unified system to assist with ICT education transformation. It is hoped that Viglen’s proposition will help raise levels of attainment in these institutions, which in turn can help rejuvenate areas and engage disenfranchised young people. Bordan Tkachuk, CEO of Viglen said: “It’s exciting news to be the chosen ICT solutions provider for these academies. We are thrilled that our products will be at the centre of education excellence in such high profile institutions.”

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE





E experience. Now the role of IT in education has grown massively, helping to deliver all subjects in the curriculum, as well as enabling new and interactive ways of learning. Lord Sugar’s company Viglen has enjoyed much success within the education sector, with some 9,000 schools using the company’s managed services and products across the UK. Indeed the company was awarded a position on the Becta ICT framework last year. Upon closure of Becta, the framework transferred to the Department of Education. “The new generation of students will know a computer in the same way as I knew a pencil and textbook,” commented Lord Sugar. “Schools have to make the most of technology and use it to its maximum in order to turn out students who are ready for the workplace in which technology has taken over completely.” A BUSINESS MODEL In recent years there has been a shift in how schools are run, with many choosing to operate on a business model. This means the gap between academia and business is getting smaller. The wave of recent academies, for example, has seen private sector organisations get involved in education through sponsorship. And now, with the new government’s push for free schools, which will be founded by parents and teachers and run by private sector organisations or charities, there will be even more private sector involvement.

The new generation of students will know a computer in the same way as I knew a pencil and textbook. Schools have to make the most of technology and use it to its maximum in order to turn out students who are ready for the workplace in which technology has taken over completely. As a successful businessman, Lord Sugar can see the benefit of forming such partnerships: “The role of private sector sponsorship in education is a two way thing; private organisations invest money to improve facilities as well as offering time, experience and advice, while students benefit from the sponsor’s knowledge of the workplace. “Too many students leave school with no knowledge of the working environment so this approach gives them an advantage that will be appealing to future employers. In turn we should end up with a better prepared workforce.” Lord Alan Sugar has given youngsters a taste of the business world through the television series, Junior Apprentice, which was screened on the BBC in early 2010. The six-week competition saw the candidates, all aged between 16 and 17, battling it out through a series of tough

business tasks in the hope to become the first ever Junior Apprentice. The winner was 17 year old Arjun Rajyagor who was awarded access to a fund worth £25,000, which goes towards his business career when he is ready. On launching the show, Sugar said: “It is my long-held belief that we should be doing more to promote enterprise among young people, as the future of our economy relies on them.” “I passionately believe that the key to business success lies in hard work and common sense and that we should encourage our young people as much as possible. Understandably, the contestants won’t have any previous business experience, but all I want to see from them is an entrepreneurial aptitude and an enthusiasm to succeed,” he added. MORE FREEDOM FOR SCHOOLS Now more schools are being freed from local authority control and given the E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


In an ever more demanding world, Variable Message Signs Limited combines innovation, experience and technology in strategic and urban driver information. Our road traffic product range covers applications in the strategic , urban, and traffic management equipment sectors. We offer a full range of services to suit individual client requirements from design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of LED driver information systems, including fully UTMC compliant systems and all for clients, which include the Highways Agency, Transport for London, Local Authorities, Local Health Authorities, Hospitals and others. We have supplied and installed a number of hospital sites which use our Safewatch range of vehicle activated signs for road & patients safety, by advising and reinforcing the speed limits and other hazards, such

as pedestrian crossings, side roads and car park entrances and exits, etc; Our range of car park guidance and information signs advise drivers where the car parks are on site and the number of spaces left within each, providing information and choice for drivers entering the site, and via our TRAMS car park management software package, the hospital / customer has control over all the listed car parks, the number of displayed / available spaces as well as providing various management reports and helps reduce emissions by keeping traffic moving and avoiding queuing. Variable Message Signs Limited’s full matrix high resolution dual colour range of signs, known as Pegasus, offer the health authorities, individual hospitals etc a flexible solution in three different character heights and in either landscape or portrait mode. The sign is offered in three sizes, with high resolution matrix areas suitable for the display of four lines of text with character heights of 160mm, 100mm, and 50mm. All variants are capable of displaying combined text and pictogram information and employ a dual-coloured, amber and red, matrix.

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INTERVIEW E freedom to spend their own budgets, the business acumen of staff will be tested. But are they prepared for this? “With more freedom comes more responsibility and this is an evolving challenge for academies,” commented Lord Sugar. “They should therefore make the most of sponsors and private sector investors who can offer help and support. “But with current public sector spending cuts, the key thing is that there is now less money around and everyone has to learn how to spend it more wisely – whether that is the local authority or the school.” The Academies Bill passed last year gives schools rated as outstanding by Ofsted pre-approved academy status. However, the government has only received lukewarm reception of this invitation. Commenting on this, Lord Sugar said: “There are some fantastic opportunities that come along with academy status from which all schools could benefit. However, outstanding schools are doing well under the current system and there is still so much confusion regarding the consequences of transferring to an academy it’s no surprise that they aren’t jumping at the opportunity.”

Social networking is a useful tool for communication. It will become the new way of passing news in the future if we see the demise of the conventional newspaper. THE RISE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING Lord Sugar has a large Twitter following and has made headlines in the past for his Twitter blow-outs with other celebrities. So how does he feel about social networking in education? “Social networking is a useful tool for communication. It will become the new way of passing news in the future if we see the demise of the conventional newspaper. “However, there are issues that need to be considered relating to the addiction to these things which can seriously affect the younger person. I feel there needs to be parental and teacher control as to the use of these sites. I also believe that legislation will soon be needed to limit the entry and activities of these sites to ensure the safety of the user.” Moving on to safety of a different kind, there has been much discussion about drastic security measures being introduced

to in schools such as CCTV and metal detectors. New powers have been given to teachers to frisk students for items they fear will be used to harm others or break the law, such as pornography, tobacco, fireworks, mobile phones and cameras. “We live in a different society than the days when I was at school,” said Lord Sugar. “So for many reasons, it is necessary to deploy technology to assist in the security for both pupils and staff.” ALL CHANGE So how has the education system changed since Sugar was at school? “Everyone always says it was harder when they were at school but I don’t think this is necessarily the case,” he said. “Methods of evaluation have changed over the years as education practitioners learn about different ways of learning. Not E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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INTERVIEW E all pupils are equal and many have different learning styles and different aptitudes.” “By opening up the examination market to different players you increase the likelihood of innovation. Boards have to compete with each other and so there is motivation to come up with innovative and effective ways of evaluating students’ knowledge.” Many people argue that there has been a dumbing down in the education system. Given the range of subjects on offer nowadays, some say it is easier to obtain qualifications now than in the past. But what does Lord Sugar think? “What is important is that the qualifications being offered are relevant and prepare the student for life after their education comes to an end. As the workplace changes the curriculum and qualifications offered should change with it. As an employer you need to know who is the most talented candidate to fit in your workplace.” And is Lord Alan Sugar a fan school league tables? “There will always be demand to compare schools as parents E

Phones for Schools programme from Excellent Telecom a hit

Zonic ICT – providing ICT technician services and supplies to schools

Lichfield-based Excellent Telecom is currently celebrating its 27th year of trading and credits its business success to constantly pushing the frontiers of knowledge and technology within the rapidly changing telecoms environment. The organisation’s latest innovation is the Phones for Schools programme, which offers straightforward communications advice and services. Teachers, parents and children all benefit from revolutionary resources including a dedicated sickness and absentee line, anonymous contact numbers for children to report bullying, and a message line to keep parents and guardians up to date with regularly school trip progress reports. The facilities and range of products are proven to reduce staff workload and improve communication. An essential component of the Phones for Schools service is call recording. Incoming and outgoing conversations are captured in a digital format as a safeguard for all parties. Voice management enables the user to clarify facts, provide accurate feedback for staff appraisal,

Zonic ICT Services is an independent company providing both on-site and off-site ICT technical support and project consultancy to primary, middle and secondary schools in South East England, including Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Barnet and Cambridgeshire. Our support service covers standalone computer systems and all network systems including CC3 and CC4 networks, CSE network systems, Ergo Free2Teach networks and Microsoft Windows Server (Vanilla) networks. We offer regular weekly or fortnightly on-site visits for a fixed low hourly rate of just £22.49p per hour (excluding VAT) with no complicated pricing structures and no contracts. All services are covered by public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance and all

adhere to regulatory compliance guidelines and increase staff performance. It is fast becoming established as an indispensable tool within the education arena across the West Midlands. Excellent Telecom supplies, installs and maintains a wide range of telephone systems across the UK. As companies expand and open branches and satellite offices so their reliable service and attention to detail are required further afield. When asked what sets Excellent Telecom apart, the company’s owner Andy Robinson explained: “The telecommunications marketplace is constantly evolving. We are able to offer our customers technologicallyadvanced facilities, cost and time-saving devices so they stay ahead of their competition.”

technicians are CRB checked. We also offer free consultancy and project advice, and supply equipment to schools to offer a complete solution to the schools’ ICT needs. This includes ink and toner cartridges, bulbless projectors and projector lamps, visualisers, laptop batteries and power supplies, laptop trolleys, netbooks and desktop PCs. We offer a no obligation 18-hour free trial to try our technical support services. For more information, please contact us and discover why the schools we support are so happy with our services. FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact: Steve Perry Tel: 01245 423683 Mob: 07783 580980

FOR MORE INFORMATION For a free review of your telecoms equipment call PhonesforSchools on 0800 8409184 or visit

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



Mind and Behaviour – offering a better understanding of the difficult issues most people face today Mind and Behaviour was set up to offer a better understanding of the issues most people face today. We work with people for people. Our company motto is simple: We listen to you, we have time for you, we treat you with care. “As a solution-focused person, my approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients address current life challenges and long-standing issues. With compassion and understanding, my team and I help individuals find resolution to a wide range of personal concerns and psychological issues,” says Steven Hurrell, director. “With a wide range of approaches, we draw from a variety of methodologies and techniques to incorporate what is most helpful for each individual. In a comfortable and supportive environment, we offer a highly personal approach tailored to each of my clients individual needs to help them attain the personal growth they’re striving for. Together with each client, we work to develop strengths and achieve life goals.” Seeking help is often an individual choice. There are many reasons why people ask for help. Sometimes it is to deal with longstanding psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s

life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek help and advice as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with us can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Help can address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, bodyimage issues, and general life transitions. Our services aim to find what is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives. We are able to help people with training courses in many areas, managing challenging behaviour, self safety and awareness,

understanding self harm, drug issues and awareness and many more. Our courses are designed to meet the changing needs of children, adults and professionals. We help to identify specific training requirements, devising training courses and programmes to meet specific needs and requirements. Mind and Behaviour works in many different areas to help people resolve problems, and works with other companies and organisations to provide an efficient system and solution for people. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 07717 478646

We listen to you we have time for you we treat you with care. Mind and Behaviour is able to help in a number of different ways. Some the main areas in which we help are: • Drug Proof Your Kids® • Managing Challenging Behaviour • Understanding Behaviour • Understanding Self Injury • Anti Bullying Schemes • Counselling 1 to 1 • Supervision of contacts We have a wide range of experience which is used with different clients. All of our staff are qualified, vetted and checked to a high standard. The team all have a keen interest in providing a high and professional service at all times.

Mind and Behaviour Limited look at providing an unique and personal service at all times to everyone. Mind and Behaviour is a youthful company with many areas in which we can expand and provide support to people of all ages. We are constantly looking at new ways to provide a professional and high quality service, we always look at the best way to help solve all problems. The Director Steven Hurrell, has a comprehensive knowledge of differing ways in which people work. He has a vast range of experience in dealing with many situations with many different clients.

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12




All students thought that Lord Sugar was simply inspirational and what came through was the integrity of his personality and his natural good sense for business opportunities. – Loredana Morrison, school development officer E seek the best possible education for their children,” he said. “But it’s important to have a comparison system that takes into account as many factors as possible.” THE VALUE OF TEACHERS Putting resources and technical innovations aside, what makes the difference between a successful education and an unsuccessful one is down to the people. So what does Lord Sugar think makes a good teacher? “I think a teacher has to be a special person who has a desire to see others blossom. It takes a dedicated person to have the patience to do the job. I also think that teachers are in the best position to appraise students as to what they are best at doing, as they live with them for their school life and they can gauge their capabilities in an independent manner to parents views.” Sugar continues to play an active role in

education and encouraging youngsters to achieve in their academic and business career. Last year, Sugar paid a visit to Chigwell School and was faced with a barrage of questions from eager pupils. He answered questions for over an hour with subjects ranging from how to be successful in business to his involvement in football and the current economic situation. School development officer Loredana Morrison told the local Guardian: “All students thought that Lord Sugar was simply inspirational and what came through was the integrity of his personality and his natural good sense for business opportunities.” L FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information on Lord Alan Sugar’s company Viglen, visit

JUNIOR APPRENTICE The six-week competition has the candidates, all aged between 16 and 17, battling it out through a series of gruelling tasks in the hope to become the first ever Junior Apprentice. The winner is awarded access to a fund worth £25,000, which goes towards his or her business career and will be personalised to their individual prospects and development. Like the adult Apprentice, each week the candidates are divided into two teams and Lord Sugar briefs them on the new task. The team appoints a project manager and this person is responsible for leading the task. Throughout the task Lord Sugar’s advisors Nick Hewer and Karren Brady shadow the teams and report back to him in the boardroom. At the end of each task the candidates are called to the boardroom to face Lord Sugar and his advisors. Once the figures are tallied up the team with the biggest profit win and are given a well-deserved celebratory treat. The losing team are sent off to discuss their failings before heading back to the boardroom for a grilling from Lord Sugar, where one of them is fired.

Dajon for leading edge document management solutions Established in 1998, Dajon Data Management has grown into one of the leading and most dynamic document management service providers in the UK. We now provide services to hundreds of organisations on a daily basis and have established a reputation as a provider of unrivalled personalised services. As a philosophy, Dajon continues to search out new technologies and develop solutions to enhance business performance through efficient information processes. Dajon’s cost effective and comprehensive range of solutions includes

• Document archiving & records management • Document scanning • Data capture from forms and business documents • Cloud based information and collaboration portal solutions • Electronic document management • Invoice processing and digital mailroom solutions Dajon is ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001 certified. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 020 7323223

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE






Schools and colleges must seek top marks for uninterrupted access to critical student information

If everyone who is involved in providing a quality education can enjoy uninterrupted access to the vast landscape of interconnected data management systems that keep information flowing in real-time, students will learn more. No parent will accept a second-rate education for their child. Today, they virtually demand that educators do everything in their power to provide their kids with the tools they’ll need to succeed in a world that’s growing more and more perilous to navigate. The fact is, computer systems are very complicated machines and will always be glitch and failure prone. According to Gartner, a leading technology research firm, notebook Annualised Failure Rates (AFRs) range from 15 per cent to 20 per cent throughout the life of the system. A common database server failure, for example, could bring a school’s system to its knees for more than a day. Moreover, the skills needed to keep these systems running properly are in short supply. The matter of maintaining accessibility is further complicated by the fact that the backup and recovery methods used by school systems typically operate on the assumption that everything that’s important is located in a centralised IT department. Unfortunately, the vast numbers of information management assets that reside at campuses throughout a district are often overlooked and the responsibility for backing up data on local servers and laptops falls to teachers.


GREAT EXPECTATIONS With the prevailing cultural expectation that the answer to any question is at our fingertips 24/7, technologies that ensure uptime once prevalent in industries such as banking, healthcare and hospitality, are finding their way into other areas of endeavor including education. One such technology is High Availability (HA). One of the world’s leading developers of HA is Vision Solutions. Vision Solutions works in partnership with its value added reseller IML Technology to implement Vision’s Double-Take Availability solution. Double-Take Availability is now in wide use in many regions of the world, ensuring the availability of information that is critical to the efficient operation of campuses for primary, secondary and advanced learning. IML Technology provides total IT solutions to the education sector and is committed to building long standing relationships with its customers. The IML Technology Double-Take Availability offering is comprised of software and redundant hardware that provides nearzero data loss and almost 100 per cent uptime. It offers comprehensive and automatic information protection capabilities, an array of automated management functions, and the intelligence and redundancies to assure the

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

integrity of a switchover to mirrored systems. IML Technology advises that the implementation of the second Double-Take Availability system should preferably be in a remote location, providing protection and availability regardless of planned or unplanned events. The sophisticated software provides real-time or near real-time replication of any changes to pupil records, financial data, system data, and other system objects to keep the backup system perfectly synchronised and ready to take over operations at a moment’s notice in case of disaster or other interruption. OTHER EFFICIENCIES IML Technology recommends Double-Take Availability for education customers so they can offload some common tasks from the production system entirely. For example, since the secondary system contains an up-to-date replica of the production data, it can serve as a platform for creating backup tapes without affecting production operations by forcing everyone to log off the production system. Having a redundant system also enables time-consuming pupil or financial reports to run without interfering in normal processing. Automatic healing and failover capabilities continuously monitor the health of the production system and automatically initiate a failover whenever necessary. When the secondary system assumes production operations, the software captures any data changes made on that system so that the software can automatically resynchronise the primary system when it comes back online. When maintenance must be done on the primary system, an administrator can initiate a switchover to the backup system instantly. Double-Take Availability will capture any changes and replicate them to the production system when it returns to service. If everyone who is involved in providing a quality education can enjoy uninterrupted access to the vast landscape of interconnected data management systems that keep information flowing in real-time, students will learn more. When school systems function more efficiently, as pupils advance though primary and secondary schools, and then possibly through college, less money is required and better educated young adults are the end result. FOR MORE INFORMATION To find out more information on Vision’s Double-Take Availability or to discuss any other IT solution you may require please visit or call us on 01623 726100.

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One of the most common issues amongst IT and technology managers regarding audiovisual solutions is their reliability. Organisers of this year’s inaugural xSolutions explain the importance of ensuring your technology investment stands the test of time and change

In the modern teaching environment, where audiovisual systems are tightly woven into the fabric of each session, it’s imperative that their availability is as close to 100 per cent as possible. The very worst start to the day is for a lecturer to arrive for a session, and discover for whatever reason that he or she is unable to use the AV system. This inevitably leads to blue language, and a call to the support team. It doesn’t, however, have to be this way. There are a number of steps that AV or IT management can take before it reaches this point. These can either prevent the call being made, or resolve the query quickly, possibly without even attending the site of the problem. “It doesn’t work!” is not a desperately helpful analysis of the problem from a frustrated user, but probably the most common one encountered. Once we’re past that first reaction such issues divide themselves into two kinds. The first is operator error, whilst the second amounts to a system fault. These two are actually one and the same. They both arise due to faults with the system. In the former case, the system hasn’t been designed in such a way that makes it sufficiently easy for the user to operate correctly, the latter implies that it hasn’t been designed to anticipate or prevent equipment failures. Clearly there are a couple of caveats to that generalisation – even the most reliable equipment fails sometimes, but pure equipment failure is rare. USABILITY Tackling the first issue, that of system usability, can be broken in half. Firstly, when working with your AV provider a clear set of design parameters need to be arrived at relating to the interface for controlling the technology. A good starting point is “as few controls as possible”. The less options there are for a user, the smaller the chance of them selecting the “wrong” one. Rather than providing controls for each item of equipment, a much more satisfactory option is to be able to tell the system what task is required of it, and have it, rather than the user, control the appropriate bits of equipment. For example, a single button press should be enough to dim lights to appropriate levels, close blinds, activate an electronic projection


screen and switch on a projector. If there is a choice of source, a second press should turn on the appropriate one, and establish it as both the video and audio input. A touch panel interface organised by task, source, or media type minimises the number of confusing options. Building an idiot proof interface doesn’t imply that users are idiots, it just allows them to get on with their job without requiring an in depth knowledge of AV systems. SIMPLE CONTROLS Screens on control panels should contain clearly labelled, helpful icons for the particular task, rather than offering a massive range of controls. Also, whatever you and your AV supplier think about the interface, consultation with the eventual user at this stage will save a lot of headaches later. Beta testing, and demonstrating ideas to lecturers and other staff will give you invaluable feedback. This process will also give staff a sense of involvement in the project rather than being presented with a fait accompli. A final, but vital design consideration

how to operate the tools at their disposal, and also aware of their features. This will enable them to use the equipment to its full potential, and therefore maximise the educational benefit that students will get from the investment. Lecturers can’t develop engaging content for a seminar without knowing what is possible. It will also keep down the number of support issues. So now you’ve arrived at some kind of staff acceptance and educational nirvana, where everyone knows exactly what they should be doing and never presses the wrong button, it’s important that the system lives up to expectations. Again there are two aspects to this challenge; reliability and response time. Reliability is really where equipment and system selection comes into play. It goes without saying that equipment should be selected from established vendors, and you will be dependent to a certain extent on your AV supplier to make sure this is the case, but you shouldn’t abdicate all responsibility. Forearmed is forewarned and familiarising yourself with what’s

The very worst start to the day is for a lecturer to arrive for a session, and discover for whatever reason that he or she is unable to use the AV system. This inevitably leads to blue language, and a call to the support team. should be a focus on those with impaired ability – the option for large text on labels, or audible cues to the visually impaired will go along way to legal compliance. The best designed interface in the world will still require an amount of user training, and this should be factored into the budget for any new system. This training needs to include both the interface itself, as well as individual pieces of equipment. Support staff will need more intensive training than lecturers, but there is a choice to be made as to whether frontline staff should be trained by the integrator/reseller or by the establishment’s AV team. Correct staff training will make sure that lecturers are as familiar as possible with

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

on offer is a key part of the process. To help in this regard a few of the major equipment suppliers, exhibiting at xSolutions 2011, have provided some insight into how they believe their offerings can assist ensuring that solutions are as reliable as possible. E-CONTROL Crestron’s education support manager, Steven Vacher said: “In a word, it would be e-Control. e-Control is a blanket term that covers our two most important pieces of software for the AV manager. Crestron RoomView is the global management tool that allows at the click of a mouse an overview of the campus wide AV infrastructure. It gives feedback from the Ethernet connected Crestron Systems for E

E projector lamp hours, in room help requests, equipment faults and error reporting. “This allows the AV manager to be proactive in ensuring their systems are ready for the day’s teaching.” PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT This concept of pro-active maintenance is a vital one for ensuring system availability. Knowing how long a projector bulb has been used for, and what condition a cleaning filter is in means that its possible to replace them in a scheduled manner before a failure interrupts teaching. Crestron is not alone in offering system

monitoring options. AMX has a similar suite known as ClassroomManager, part of its Resource Management Suite. The company’s business development director, Chris Kendall, explaines the benefits: “ClassroomManager is a comprehensive solution that allows classrooms, lecture theatres and their associated electronic devices to be monitored and maintained facility-wide. “Real-time monitoring and problem notifications allow audiovisual equipment to be maintained proactively, with automatic and routine checks being made to a system’s status. “This facility allows administrators to ensure



equipment is working correctly at all times, in line with service level agreements, and that system notifications are directed to the right person, at the right time. Assets such as flip charts and lecterns can also be registered and tracked for inventory management.” Panasonic’s Daniel Rose states: “Both panasonic’s professional projector and display ranges offer networking functionality we’ve called the PJ Link system. This enables users to both view the status of and operate multiple projectors over a LAN. “Panasonic’s projectors also boast auto cleaning filters, which ensures that dust and dirt from the air doesn’t get into the chassis and compromise performance.” The status of such filters can additionally be reported over PJ Link. All of these tools will go a long way to ensuring that a regular maintenance programme cuts down the amount of unforeseen problems. But just as important is the response time when the inevitable bug rears its head. USEFUL TOOL A very useful tool that aids this is Crestron’s XPanel. It is the second half of the e-Control suite. “This is full touchpanel replication at the AV manager’s desktop,” states Steven Vacher. “XPanel allows the support desk to take control of the room to assist should their user get into trouble. In my experience 80 to 90 per cent of all support calls are ‘finger trouble’ and therefore can be fixed almost instantaneously with XPanel.” Finally, when issues can’t be resolved by an in-house support team you need to go back to your integrator. Making sure you have appropriate service level agreements in place, and that you’re working with a responsive, helpful supplier is vital. Your relationship with the supplier you settle upon should be just as robust as the system it installs, if not more. Problems with a system are all solvable, just as long as you have the right support and relationships in place. xSolutions 2011 will demonstrate how audio, video and IT networking communication technologies can help improve services, manage costs and deliver greener facilities. It is for professionals who have responsibility for the day-to-day running of audio and video communication technologies within educational facilities. It will provide the opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the latest AV technology and solutions based offerings – as a specific product, part of an individual system or as part of a complete building systems solution. xSolutions will provide an unprecedented focus on AV communication technology within UK and Ireland. L FOR MORE INFORMATION xSolutions 2011 takes place 19-20 October, ExCeL London. Register to attend for free now

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TECHNOLOGY FOR NEXT GENERATION LEARNERS Anthony Coxon, co-founder of GCSEPod, argues the case for the use of consumer technology as a valuable learning resource Having worked with schools across the UK, there are clearly two distinct camps when it comes to the use of consumertechnology in the classroom; those who use it and those who don’t. For those who use technology the benefits seem endless, but for those who don’t, the arguments they present are numerous too. I am hoping to share insight from schools from across the UK, both private and state run, in affluent and disadvantaged areas, where consumer-technology has found a valuable place within the classroom and the wider learning environment. A PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE Recent statistics from a survey of secondary students in a Basingstoke school showed that a staggering 50 per cent of their students owned an iPod Touch and 35 per cent owned an iPod Nano. Whilst I recognise that these are not national statistics, they do reflect what we are finding from school to school. Young people are familiar with this technology and have made it part of their everyday life, so can it really be ignored? For businesses like my own, recognising that students need content for these devices has been pivotal. It has led to a range of high-quality material now being available for schools and individuals. However, as I work with more and more schools who are embracing this technology, I now realise that the benefits of using it are far greater than we first imagined when we created the GCSEPod. Mobile technology is helping to introduce a level of creativity and independent learning into the classroom like never before. Far from dumbing down the education process, the use of this technology is helping to create a generation of independent thinkers. This generation utilises technology and information available to them to enhance their own learning experience, by seeking out information that is appropriate to them and their individual learning needs, where the real issue is one of accessibility and signposting to what is needed at any given time. From art students taking photographs of their work at various stages of development, to students in science lessons filming experiments, the use of this technology is extremely versatile. The beauty of this technology is that it can draw on so many different forms

of information; from a range of quality commercially produced content to teacher produced or pupil created material. It allows students to take control of their own learning through effective resourcing and the ability to collaborate effectively with others. Schools that have embraced consumer technology have not done so lightly. Whilst there may be a few advocates in the schools, there has inevitably been cynicism and doubt from other members of staff and often parents. Schools I have worked with who have successfully welcomed technology have done so with the support of both their teaching staff and of parents and students. The truth is, in some cases, the students will know more about the technology and its capabilities than the teacher will. This understandably leaves some teachers feeling nervous and lacking in control, which is a huge hurdle to overcome. GETTING EVERYONE ON BOARD Dominic Tester, assistant headteacher at Costello Technology College in Basingstoke and freelance education ICT consultant is well aware of this situation. Having decided not only to allow consumer technology into the classroom, but also to encourage its widespread use by installing a wi-fi cloud in the school via a managed wireless solution so that students can access the internet on their handheld devices, the school had to ensure that all its staff were on board and could support the school’s innovative approach. He explained: “Some of our members of staff needed time and support to understand the capabilities of the technologies but more importantly to have the confidence to recognise that they needn’t know the intricacies of the devices but need only be concerned with the final learning outcomes. Tester also refers to the cost effectiveness of such technologies. He added: “Schools are under increasing budgetary constraints so it’s our job to make what we have to hand work harder for us.” Whilst ownership of iPods and smart phones continues to increase amongst year 10 and year 11 students, schools encouraging their use as an educational tool are still mindful of the need for inclusivity and the need to provide access to those students without their own devices. Some schools are going so far as to providing all their GCSE students with their own personal

Mobile Technology


devices. Whereas others, a much greater percentage, have introduced curriculum loaded content iPods into their school libraries for students to loan as they would books. GETTING RESULTS We have been working with a school in Kidderminster, which provides its students with access to iPods loaded with GCSEPod revision and learning podcasts, and have been delighted that the school has received praise from the media, parents and students for its innovative approach to learning. Now at the end of its second academic year of offering students iPods as a learning resource as part of an overarching commitment to innovation in education, the school has silenced its critics with phenomenal GCSE exam results. Last year the school had a record number of students attaining five or more A*-C grades, jumping by a staggering 18 per cent – from 59 per cent to 77 per cent. Whilst iPods alone most certainly can’t be held entirely responsible for this success, the school’s deputy affirms that the school’s innovative use of consumer technology – as part of an overall strategy to offer different solutions for different groups of students to address their particular barrier to learning – had indeed played a significant part. Some students have a natural ability to be able to scan pages of text and extract key information and facts, but for others, the podcasts do this for them, making revision an easier, more enjoyable and more effective process. On my travels around the UK, one year 11 student in Bolton told me that the podcasts were fantastic and had really helped her to understand things from her science and maths lessons, even helping her to move up a set. She claimed she learns better by listening as opposed to reading and said the podcasts were like having a teacher on hand to explain things to you over and over. Our own research indicates that teenagers are far more likely to listen to something that they have downloaded on to a handheld device such as their iPhone or iPod than they are from the internet or on a computer, so schools who enable their students to use their handhelds to both create their own content and download content via the school’s own VLE are in our opinion on to a sure thing. As the number of schools adopting this approach continues to grow, it would seem we are not alone in our thinking and those in the ‘don’t camp’ may well find that they ‘do’ soon. L

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Accounting in the cloud Cloud accounting momentum gathers as the sector looks set to embrace the shift towards cloud. The recent Association of College’s showcase event for Finance Directors was a real eye-opener for both Symmetry and the delegates. The two day event showed just how much momentum the case for cloud accounting has gathered. “With talks already fairly advanced with several colleges and the general feedback from FE Finance Directors being very generous indeed,” comments Symmetry’s Marketing Manager, Matthew Kirby, “we naturally expected a good response from the sector at such a key event. What we hadn’t envisaged was the volume of the interest with finance professionals queuing at the stand for the short demonstrations we were giving.” A survey in March this year showed over 2/3 of colleges expecting cloud accounting to be adopted within the next two years, and over 70% viewing cloud accounting as relevant in the light of likely collaborative projects in the next 12-24months. The response at the AOC event is further proof that momentum has gathered and the sector looks set to embrace rather than shun the cloud.

Lessons learnt With its well-established Financials on-premise accounting platform, Symmetry has attracted 15,000 education users in the UK and hopes that its new cloud-based platform, FinancialsC will be continually developed and shaped by regular input from across the sector. A series of webinars and the AOC events are part of Symmetry’s programme to engage with FE professionals and canvas opinion, so that any future development is focused in the right

areas. Symmetry’s own technological pedigree is based on an ‘open’, yet robust technology platform, giving it an advantage, particularly when it comes to integration and interoperability issues. “It is also interesting,” says Kirby, “how IT and finance perspectives differ. The technical audience tend to be particularly keen to understand more about performance and security, whilst Finance Directors we find are more focused on the

tasks such as data entry, through to using Symmetry’s Partners to help deliver processes such as audit assistance and year end. With financial pressures squeezing education to get more for less, cloud accounting gives FE the perfect opportunity to embrace lower costs and easily adopt shared-service or collaborative approaches.

Cloud accounting gives FE the perfect opportunity to embrace lower costs as well as take part in collaborations. pricing model, integration with other systems and the capabilities of FinancialsC to manage day to day financial processes. There is common ground however and this tends to be around the area of availability, a key factor for us when it came to specifying how FinancialsC would be delivered with our hosting partner.” Why Symmetry & the cloud FinancialsC is delivered via a hosting environment that has been specified by independent consultants in order to ensure it delivers on the key factors of availability, security and performance. The actual physical data centre itself is of military grade and offers some of the highest security levels in the UK. Adding further credibility to FinancialsC, Symmetry has also become one of the first suppliers to sign up to BASDA’s (Business Application Software Developer’s Association) “Cloud Vendor Charter” that encourages vendors to adopt a responsible approach to data management, application availability, security and customer management for cloud-based solutions. Transform Finance with fair and transparent pricing FinancialsC also provides multiple options for organisations to transform their finance operations, from using the system to outsource low-value

Benefits of cloud accounting × No need to be tied to a single supplier for multiple applications - solutions offering high levels of interoperability enable you to choose the best systems for your organisation. × Reduced hardware, software & licensing costs × Location independent and ideal for shared services between a group of colleges × Pay for what you use monthly × Reduce level of IT resource required × Data is held remotely with service provider responsible for back-ups × Allows you to focus on core finance issues without the distraction of technical issues × Always on the latest software with minimal downtime for upgrades × Short implementation time × Higher returns on investment

To book an online meeting or to arrange for a group demonstration, contact Symmetry: T: 0117 900 6262 E: W: “Cloud Accounting in FE” group




FINANCIAL PLANNING AND WEALTH MANAGEMENT Danny Cox, Chartered Financial Planner at Hargreaves Lansdown, looks at the changing market and how trustees might benefit The professions have never been under more pressure to improve value or reduce their fees. Investment management is no different. In part this is to try and compete with the growing number who self-manage their portfolios. “Price is what you pay: value is what you get” said the famous investor, Warren Buffet. Of course he was referring to the price of a stock rather than the price of a service, but the same principal applies. Trustees are generally open to pay reasonable investment management charges providing they are receiving value for money services in return. Naturally it is during periods of poor markets and lower returns when fees and value for money are most under pressure – when a portfolio is doing well no-one notices the fees, when doing poorly the fees become more noticeable. MARKET TRENDS Given recent market volatility, it is therefore hardly surprising that there is a growing trend of private investors who have decided to manage their own investments without advice to save these fees. Apart from cost savings, one reason quoted for self-management is that the investor believes they know as much as the average investment adviser, if not more. This may not be surprising given the huge amount of investment and market information now readily available online. We are also seeing a number of trusts, including school trusts, making the decision to self-manage all or part of the trust’s portfolio without professional investment advice. This isn’t new – it is common for boards of trustees to appoint one or more people who are either investment professionals or perhaps experienced in that field, however, it is expected that the numbers of trusts who completely self-manage without advice, will rise. Self-management has been made significantly easier since the introduction of the fund supermarket or wrap account. These investment services have been available for over ten years and allow trustees and other investors to manage their portfolios easily online without the need for advice. Features from these wrap services include online access to valuations and portfolio information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The advantage here is all trustees can have access to portfolio information E

Self-management has been made significantly easier since the introduction of the fund supermarket or wrap account. These investment services have been available for over ten years and allow trustees and other investors to manage their portfolios easily online without the need for advice. Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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reasonably believe to be qualified to give it, by reason of their ability in, and practical experience of, financial and other matters relating to the proposed investment. Trustees should ensure the suitability of investments for the trust, relating to both size of investment, risk and tax treatment. As part of this, appropriate diversification must be achieved. An appropriate balance between income and growth is also required.

In exercising their powers of investment, trustees must obtain and consider “proper advice” from a person whom the trustees reasonably believe to be qualified to give it, by reason of their ability in, and practical experience of, financial and other matters relating to the proposed investment E whenever they need it, rather than waiting for quarterly or half yearly statements. ONE STOP SHOP Market news, fund and share information together with model portfolios and investments ideas are also readily available. The wrap services themselves allow trustees to invest in virtually any share, unit trust/OEIC, investment trust, exchange traded fund (ETF), gilt, corporate bond or even remain in cash, in one consolidated account. One primary trustee has the ability to place deals on behalf of the other trustees, either online or over the phone. This one stop shop approach for investment portfolios also allows wrap accounts to reduce the costs of investing by buying in bulk and passing these savings onto the investor. Trustees taking this step have to be confident with their investment choices and that their decisions conform with the Trustees Act 2000 (see below). If in doubt, trustees should take 3rd party investment advice. TRUSTEE ACT 2000 Duty to act in the best interests of beneficiaries: Trustees must always act with honesty and with prudence, acting at all times in the best interests of all beneficiaries, present and future. Duty to be impartial: Trustees should not accept/decline a recommendation

for investment based on any prejudices they may have. Duty to ensure fairness between beneficiaries: Trustees should hold a fair balance between different classes of beneficiary, whether present or future. For example, they should not provide excessive income at the expense of capital growth for other beneficiaries. The exception to this is where the trust deed indicates a specific intention to favour certain beneficiaries. Duty not to hoard cash: Unless the trustees require near-immediate liquidity, the trustees have to consider investment to increase long-term returns. Duty to take account of tax consideration: Although not a specific duty, account should be taken of considerations such as tax and administrative costs. However, in many cases school trusts will be operating as charities and therefore tax is not an issue. PERMITTED INVESTMENTS With the exception of charitable trusts, trustees are provided with a new general power of investment, whereby they may invest as if they were absolutely entitled to the assets of the trust. This is a significantly wider power than under the 1925 act. In exercising their powers of investment, trustees must obtain and consider “proper advice” from a person whom the trustees

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES A school trust typically aims to provide bursaries, other awards and projects. There are two main strategies to generate cash flow for these aims – natural yield approach and total return approach. A natural yield approach is where the portfolio is invested to generate decent levels of income and grow the capital to maintain its value against inflation. As the capital grows over time, so does the level of income. Under natural yield, only the income generated from the underlying investments is distributed and capital is never distributed other than for special ad hoc requirements. Should markets fall, it is still only the income which is distributed and therefore the capital has the best opportunity to recover. An income portfolio which is 60 per cent equities and 40 per cent fixed interest securities may produce 4.5 per cent income this year. Exponents of the natural yield approach like the long term increasing income stream. There is a “lower” risk, less volatile nature of this approach not least because income stocks tend to be more conservative businesses which are profitable and have a good record of paying dividends. The downside is the portfolio may be geared entirely in one direction, income producing stocks, which does not allow exposure to certain markets or opportunities or diversification if income does poorly. TOTAL RETURN A total return approach looks at the profits from a portfolio in a different way. It views the gains and the income as profits and distributes an amount based on the combination of the two regardless of the source. This approach allows a portfolio to be more diverse than an income portfolio, taking advantage of low yielding opportunities and markets. This can allow a more aggressive investment strategy. The downside of this approach is that if you spend capital, recovering values can be much harder, for example if a £100,000 portfolio falls in value by 20 per cent because capital has been spent, it has to grow by 25 per cent to get back to £100,000 again. Therefore in times of falling markets, losses are exacerbated and recovery slower. My preference is the natural yield approach where income is the key objective. Please note the value of investments will fall as well as rise and income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. L

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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HELP IS AT HAND FOR ACADEMY SCHOOLS Andy Morris, head of the Charity and Education team at accountants & business advisers Dains LLP, looks at the challenge that converting schools now face and the support available “Every school is different because the experience of people working within each school varies dramatically. Some schools require support in establishing a financial function and the staff working within it, others are past this point but require assistance in choosing the right software options and considering payroll solutions,” says Andy. “Choosing advisers to work alongside is not a straightforward decision – it’s very easy to fall into the trap of picking a firm that can deal with the audit requirements of the academy but very little else. We believe that by being involved on a more frequent basis, we can help academies to make high quality business decisions in the same way that our corporate clients do. “Many of our clients seek guidance before making investment decisions so that they can ensure they have considered all options. It’s as important to consider long term cashflow as it is to consider the background behind a major purchase. “With some careful planning, we can help our clients build a sensible financial plan that works in the long term and protects the interests of all stakeholders.

governance, which very often results in inefficiency and delays in making decisions. At Dains we believe that helping clients is at the heart of what we do as opposed to being a remote adviser who completes an independent audit once a year.” Fellow partner at Dains LLP, Lisa Richards, chair of Derbyshire ProHelp, a network of professional firms providing advice and support to charities and not for profit entities, believes that academies require more support: “There is a lack of real help available when it comes to financial advice and support. The academies handbook and the DfE website will only get you so far – sometimes there is just no substitute to picking up the phone or having a meeting with your trusted adviser. “We are enjoying the challenge of supporting academies – the learning curve can be steep but with the right level of interest and help, it’s surprising how quickly things come together. Once the accounting function is established we can really start to get stuck into day to day commercial issues and ensure the smooth running of the academy. “There’s no substitute for hard work

Lisa Richards

With some careful planning, we can help our clients build a sensible financial plan that works in the long term and protects the interests of all stakeholders. This is a particularly useful exercise to consider upon conversion – especially if the academy needs to access surplus funds.” Having worked within the charity sector for almost 20 years, Andy recognises that there are cultural differences between academies and businesses. “It’s vital that advisers recognise and adapt to the culture of the client. We work hard to support our clients so that they understand the roles and responsibilities for trustees and also to establish good governance. Decisions need to be made every day and it is core to the success of the academy that heads, teachers, bursars and business managers understand what they can and can’t do without reference to the trustees. “Unfortunately, not all advisers are proactive in this area – this can lead to poor

and rigour at the outset and we like to be alongside clients throughout this process. This is in keeping with our cultural values of being empathetic to our clients and working together to achieve our clients’ objectives. Last week our team spent an afternoon on site at a school converting to academy status to decide on the most appropriate accounting software package to adopt, later on in the week our team was advising another school on payroll and HR support. It’s great to be involved and really see the benefit of spending time with our client – long before we start the audit work.” Lisa believes that choosing the right adviser is something to consider early on in the conversion process: “By being involved early on in the process we can deliver our support when it is most needed. Although

Andy Morris

auditors will not be required on site for some time – it is worth thinking about the support your financial function will need as a whole. Time spent now can help academies avoid some of the problems that others have had in managing cashflow, producing budgets, running payroll etc. Our advice is to seek advice from a team that understands academies and has the technical competence to deal with charity audit work but more than anything else, recognises the need to work closely with the academy and trustees.” L FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information please contact Andy Morris or Lisa Richards on 0845 5558844 or e-mail:

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


SEQ Students Ecovation from Plymouth college running their marketstall.


INVESTING IN SOCIAL BUSINESS Investing resources and funds in the building of long term, sustainable social enterprise solutions can be of great benefit to the school, its pupils and its communities

It’s a challenging time for schools right now. Funding cuts, policy shifts and an emphasis on value are driving change in the sector and the need for schools to function effectively as businesses is more apparent than ever. With this challenge comes scope – the potential to introduce and grow a new business model within schools that sees them taking ownership and control of their assets and resources, and using them to the benefit of the school, its pupils and its communities. Investing resources and funds in the building of long term, sustainable social enterprise solutions allow schools to capitalise on the resources and assets at their fingertips. INVOLVING STUDENTS One of the greatest of these assets is the ideas and enthusiasm of a school’s young people and by getting them involved in new social business ventures the value of those ventures increases exponentially. From fundraising and marketing to planning and financial management, through social business young people can not only contribute to the revenue growth of the school but also develop skills not commonly offered by other learning routes. Of course, enterprise in the curriculum is not a new thing. Indeed, many schools already undertake enterprising activities on a short term project basis, but the key for change is to translate that activity into long term sustainable social enterprise that benefits everyone. It’s an idea that is already turning heads in the business world, promoted by leading thinkers like Charles Leadbeater. “All schools should be the base

for a productive social enterprise so that children associate learning with work, get pleasure from working productively together and contributing to a business,” he explains in his book ‘Innovation – What’s Next- 21 Ideas for the 21st Century’. “Education is too cut off from the real world. One way to provide children with more opportunities for real-world learning is for all schools to become productive social enterprises.” SOCIAL ENTERPRISES Taking the step from social enterprise project to sustainable social business requires drive, ambition and commitment, but when it works it really pays off – something Launceston Primary in Cornwall found out this year when their pupils set up Just Beez (, a social enterprise developed and run by the school’s year 6 pupils to help address the plight of the British bee population. Since making the initial decision to set up a social business, the pupils have led on all aspects of the business including the design and manufacture of a range of 100 per cent natural beauty products, made with Cornish beeswax and honey. They have negotiated sponsorship deals and set up key distributor relationships, run a successful launch event and built a business plan for their profits, reinvesting part back into the business and school while also donating part to a bee conservation charity. Similarly, Writhlington School near Bath has taken social enterprise to new heights with WSBE Orchids (www.wsbeorchids., a conservation-focused business



which raises and sells thousands of orchids each year, running the UK’s leading orchid collection from the school’s greenhouse and involving young people at every stage. Writhlington’s orchid business is now common fixture at all the major flower shows, has won countless horticultural awards, has been heavily featured on TV and is now working in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, and the Eden Project supplying rare orchids for their collections. Money raised through the business is invested back into WSBE and the school as well as into global conservation projects, which are managed by Writhlington’s A level students. COMMUNITY HUBS It’s impressive and inspiring to see what young business minds can achieve, but schools are about much more than just young people. Increasingly schools are looking to the wider community for support, involvement and even revenue-generating opportunities; fertile ground when it comes to social business. Developing schools as community hubs is a great way of taking early steps into the world of social business, it’s collaborative, builds on existing relationships and enables a school to respond directly to the needs and wants of its own community and location. Abbeymead School in Gloucester is pioneering the community hub approach, working with Real Ideas Organisation Schools Service to develop their own community enterprise. Building on the work they have done around social enterprise over the last four years they are now looking to use social enterprise as a community tool by working with different outside partners, businesses and community organisations which are looking to collaborate, take on real commissions and even run community services. So whether it’s spearheaded by young people, driving community engagement or capitalising on a school’s physical assets and resources, social business has a lot to offer in the rethink of how schools are managed and run. How a school operates is integral to the sort of education it provides and by addressing the challenges of the current education climate with a social business framing in mind, that sort of education is a very exciting prospect indeed. L

About RIO The Real Ideas Organisation’s (RIO) Schools Service is the solution enterprise solution for schools. Designed to fill the gap left by recent shifts in the education sector; RIO provides cost effective ethical consultancy to help heads, teachers and pupils get the most out of their school; introducing real, impactful, purposed learning. For more information please see

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT St Benedict’s Infant School has implemented the Eco-Schools programme, resulting in benefits to students as well as lower energy bills, says Jodi Winter, environmental education officer Our drive to increase biodiversity in our school grounds began two years ago, after receiving our first green flag. We were introduced to the Biodiversity Award by Birmingham City Council and started to work towards achieving this goal. Birmingham City Council also named us as a Centre of Excellence in Environmental Education. This award was achieved relatively quickly by our school and enthused both staff and children to continue to work passionately on biodiversity issues. As 2010 was the Year of Biodiversity, we decided to tackle it head on in our school. Our Eco Committee decided they wanted to learn more about wildlife and so as well as exploring the wildlife in our gardens, we decided to try and increase the amount we have. As well as attempting to achieve a better understanding of biodiversity and encouraging species into our schools grounds, we also

Through environmental studies, children helped to create a bug hotel, minibeast piles and provided food for the birds. This is an ongoing project and continues throughout the year, not only for biodiversity but also as it continues to encourage children to care for nature and respect it. As well as tackling biodiversity, we also continually run an energy project across the school, encouraging all children and staff to be more energy conscious. Our Eco Committee work hard to learn about climate change and work towards creating an assembly and video for Earth Hour. CHALLENGES Our school has very limited green space, so every inch is used. Due to being an urban site, it is difficult to attract wildlife to the area, especially as it is a noisy site. However, with persistence and encouragement,

Through environmental studies, children helped to create a bug hotel, minibeast piles and provided food for the birds. This is an ongoing project and continues throughout the year, not only for biodiversity but also as it continues to encourage children to care for nature and respect it. wanted to continue to develop our hard work on energy saving within the school. These were the two major topics that helped us to gain our second green flag in October 2010. ACTION As part of our curriculum, we offer environmental studies. Each child in year 1 receives one environmental studies session per week for half a term. Children who seem to thrive learning outdoors then continue to receive one 40-minute session per week. During these sessions, children learn to respect the outdoor environment and the wildlife living within in. They also develop their communication and social skills, and in turn this has a huge impact on their classroom based work. Children develop confidence, self-esteem and a passion for the nature.

wildlife is slowly making its way to us. Children are the key in every step of our success as a green flag school and a centre of excellence in environmental education. All of our children are passionate about the environment and have a huge thirst for exploring it. Our children are keen to get involved in any activity involving slugs, newts and mud! Children at St Benedict’s do feel they have ownership of our school grounds as they are so involved in nurturing and developing them. Children approach me every day informing me of creatures they have found, new plants they have discovered growing in our gardens and to tell me off if the bird feeders are empty.


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– they can now hear birds singing in the gardens, whereas before the project there were none. Children take more pride in their outside environment and take better care of it. We have seen a reduced amount in litter in the playgrounds and find hardly any flowers are picked now. Before the project, as soon as flowers grew, they were picked! Our Eco Committee know they can make a difference to the school and we have noticed and huge increase in self-esteem in the children involved. Our energy bills have been reduced since having the light sensors installed, as have our water bills since having push taps fitted. Children and staff are more energy aware and try where possible to reduce what they use. Our children work hard to remind staff to turn off electrical items not being used and our tap monitors ensure water is not wasted during lunch and break times. Since starting our energy saving drive, we have secured funding to install motion light sensors on every classroom, ensuring that lights are only on when people are in the rooms. We are also looking to secure funding to have a small wind turbine installed in the school grounds to make us even more energy efficient. Using virtual leaves from the Generation Green Scheme, we have purchased a model wind turbine to aid our teaching of alternative energy to the Eco Committee. The site manager is extremely passionate about energy saving initiatives and volunteers some of his time each week to take a group of children meter reading around the school. These children read the electric, gas and water meters, recording the numbers and calculating the units used. Not only does this enable the children an understanding of the importance of not wasting resources, but it also supports their numeracy skills significantly, giving them confidence in number work. LESSONS LEARNED There are a lot of schemes and initiatives to get involved with, but sometimes it can be easy to take on too many. It is impossible to achieve awards and targets if there is only one person trying to do everything. A strong team of staff is essential to succeed. Also, it is extremely beneficial to work with a school that has already been successful in an award or scheme – get their advice and guidance. L FOR MORE INFORMATION

RESULTS Children have benefited in seeing a further variety of wildlife in their school grounds

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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AN EFFICIENT SOLUTION The UK suffers from overvoltage, however, a simple and cost-effective correction of this can reduce electricity usage, save money and cut carbon emissions Following the Chancellor’s spending review (CSR) in October 2010 and the subsequent budget in April 2011, educational establishments across the UK are looking to find ways of reducing their energy consumption and their carbon emissions, with solutions such as voltage optimisation proving to be particularly popular. These energy management solutions reduce electricity consumption and associated carbon emissions, as well as improve life expectancy of on-site electrical equipment. In the original plan drawn up by the previous Labour government, the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), which is now set to be launched in April 2012, encouraged large energy users throughout the UK, to monitor and reduce CO2 emissions. It specifically highlighted that for every tonne of CO2 being emitted by organisations, there would be a surrender value, an allowance, which would be bought at the start of each financial year. Under the original scheme allowances

equipment. It improves power quality by balancing phase voltages and filtering harmonics and transients from the energy being supplied. Systems can maximise the use of energy by operating at a voltage more in line with site requirements. Voltage optimisation is proving to be an effective energy and CO2 reducing solution across the UK because the nominal voltage delivered by the National Grid is 242V, whilst the vast majority of electrical equipment in UK has been designed to operate at the European voltage of 220V. This “overvoltage” means that energy consumption is higher than required. As a result, the lifespan of equipment is shortened. REAL SOLUTIONS Educational establishments benefiting from the installation of a voltage optimisation solution include amongst others, Sheffield Hallam University and Richmond Adult Community College (RACC).

If an organisation cannot surrender enough allowances, they will now be taxed by central government for every tonne of carbon dioxide they fail to submit. It is therefore, in an education establishment’s best interests to lower energy usage, not only to save money on electricity bills but also to reduce carbon emissions. could be sold-on to other organisations, including educational establishments, at a price pre-determined by the buyer. The coalition government has, however, changed the parameters. If an organisation cannot surrender enough allowances, they will now be taxed by central government for every tonne of carbon dioxide they fail to submit. It is therefore, in an education establishment’s best interests to lower energy usage, not only to save money on electricity bills but also to reduce carbon emissions. This will ensure they are not taxed by central government. LOWER EMISSIONS One quick cost effective way schools, colleges and universities can lower their carbon emissions is by installing voltage optimisation. Voltage optimisation is a clever energy saving technique that is installed in series with the mains electricity supply to give an optimum voltage for a particular site’s

Sheffield Hallam University has always striven to reduce its impact on the environment through a variety of projects, both in environmental as well as energy efficiency. The university identified that the voltage into the student union building was particularly high and that the power quality delivered was poor. It was left to the EMS team to design a Powerstar system, which would not only reduce the energy consumption, but also the high levels of harmonics (electrical distortions) from the supply. Powerstar’s unique design provided both the energy savings as well as the reduction in harmonics, improving the power quality into the building. “The Powerstar system has saved 16 per cent of the total electricity consumption at the student union building and has reduced the failure of the lights by an amazing 75 per cent,” said Stephen Ward, senior electrical and mechanical engineer, Sheffield Hallam University.

At a glance Many sites across the UK receive higher than necessary voltage resulting in increased costs, shorter equipment life and higher carbon emissions. Voltage optimisation is an electrical energy saving technique installed in series with the mains electricity supply to give an optimum supply voltage for the site’s equipment. It improves power quality by dealing with the discrepancy between the actual supply voltage you receive (207253V) and the optimum voltage your electrical equipment needs (220V). Solutions can cut energy use by up to 20 per cent, reduce carbon emissions by up to 15 per cent, and prolongs the life and reliability of all equipment that runs on electricity.

PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY RACC in London is a centre of learning that provides students with the opportunity to extend their existing skills. It actively promotes sustainability and eco-friendly practices and has already worked with the Carbon Trust to reduce its carbon footprint. As part of its green commitment the college recently updated its heating systems at one of its main sites and will achieve BREEAM excellent rating for one of its new build properties, which will incorporate recycling and sustainable energy strategies. Against this backdrop the RACC called in EMS to ascertain whether the installation of Powerstar voltage optimisation systems could help save money on energy costs, whilst also making a further contribution to reducing its carbon footprint. Following an initial on site survey EMS recommended that RACC install a Powerstar 210kVA unit at the two sites. Each unit is built to meet the specific electrical loading characteristics of each establishment – as load levels can vary from 150kVA to 1,000kVA. An important additional benefit of Powerstar is that it comes with an online monitoring and targeting tool that enables users to monitor the overall energy usage and take further steps to reduce consumption, which can be as basic as simply turning off unnecessary lighting. “Our electricity usage has dropped on average by 16 per cent since the installation of the voltage optimisation units,” said Monika Quayle, corporate services administrator, Richmond Adult Community College. L

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE






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Design & Build


will play a factor in how they are reused. Listing does not mean that buildings cannot be altered or remodelled, but simply that proposals for change and redevelopment need to be justified in proportion to the significance of the building in question. There have been many successful examples of historic buildings being refurbished and remodelled in recent years to ensure that they remain fit for educational purposes for many years to come. Some of these have been radical interventions to the fabric of historic buildings, while others have simply been sympathetic refurbishments that have refreshed the external appearance.



How can historic school buildings be given a new lease of life, asks Tim Brennan, senior regeneration Adviser, English Heritage After a decade during which resources and investment reached levels never seen before, the schools capital programme now appears to face an uncertain future. The state of the public finances, together with the recent review of capital investment in schools led by Sebastian James, has prompted a rethink of how precious resources are spent on school buildings. Against this background, it is probably safe to assume that remodelling and refurbishing of existing buildings will form a large part of the short to medium programme. From a heritage point of view, the James review contained some welcome recommendations – including those on the importance of a much more systematic approach to the collection and upkeep of robust condition data (and the way that this should inform future funding allocations) and maintenance of existing buildings. All school buildings, not just those that have heritage significance, need investment and systematic maintenance to ensure they remain fit for purpose and provide the best possible learning environment. The benefits

of an up to date and functional school estate are now well understood – both in terms of student attainment and staff motivation. SUSTAINABILITY Other than the importance of the upkeep of existing buildings or their architectural or historic significance, there are other factors at play that reinforce the arguments behind reusing existing school buildings. The increasing awareness of sustainability issues and the embodied energy within existing buildings (and the drawbacks involved in demolition and replacement) together with the ongoing surge in the birth rate in England also mean that the days of discarding school buildings and replacing them have probably come to an end. Indeed, it’s worth noting that a significant proportion of the proposed free schools that have moved to the business stage case are planning to use listed buildings originally constructed as schools as part of their estate. Where school buildings are listed, either nationally or on a local list, their significance

LESSONS LEARNT So what do recent projects involving historic buildings have to offer in the way of insights and strategies for successful refurbishment projects? There are three main areas where issues arise. Get expert advice at the right stage. It is obviously important that decisions on the future of historic school buildings are not taken in isolation from appropriate advice and guidance on heritage issues. Local authority staff dealing with capital investment should seek the appropriate advice at the earliest possible stage – levels of risk rise where redevelopment proposals have been drawn up without this kind of advice, and it can result in delays and cost overruns. Windows should also be considered. Many historic school buildings retain their original windows. Given budget constraints, there can be a tendency to replace original sash window to with the intention of achieving lower maintenance costs over the long term. However, this kind of intervention clearly has an effect on the significance of the building. Alternatives to replacement are often possible – recent research undertaken on behalf of English Heritage has demonstrated straightforward and practical ways of significantly improving the energy performance of traditional sash windows. Secondary glazing, draught proofing or the fitting of blinds can all dramatically improve the level of heat loss, in some cases by over 60 per cent. Where listed buildings form the ‘core’ of a school, there has been a recurring theme in refurbishment projects over recent years where poor quality and out of context later additions and extensions have been removed as part of the redevelopment. Investment in historic buildings is clearly a positive move on many levels – it allows updating and modernisation of the schools, as well as enabling the replacement of these types of buildings with accommodation more in keeping with its surroundings and context, and which will hopefully prove to be of better longevity. It also serves as a reminder that when it comes to updating and modernising such schools, we need to take a long term view – we shouldn’t simply be creating the conditions for the same problems to E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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Investment in historic buildings is clearly a positive move on many levels – it allows updating and modernisation of the schools, as well as enabling the replacement of these types of buildings with accommodation more in keeping with its surroundings and context, and which will hopefully prove to be of better longevity. E reoccur 30 or 40 years from now, where buildings and extensions from the early 21st century are regarded as obstacles to modern education and end up being demolished and replaced yet again. Refurbishment, remodelling and extension projects on historic schools need to take proper account of their context and ensure that new development is sympathetic to what already exists in design, size and materials. SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES Achieving successful outcomes in redeveloping historic school buildings depend in large part on two key principles – Planning Policy 5 (PPS 5): Planning for the Historic Environment and the Constructive Conservation philosophy. PPS 5 sets out guiding principles for the management of heritage assets within the planning system and essentially means that proposals for change should be proportionate to their degree of significance. It also makes clear that assessments and understanding of the significance are crucial ahead of development of proposals – thereby removing unexpected surprises and risk from later in the process. As part of this assessment, it is important to understand what or where the significance is – for example explaining where it appears, such as in the building fabric or plan form. Constructive conservation is the philosophy behind the English Heritage approach to the modernisation and updating of sensitive and important historic buildings. It

means taking what is special or distinctive about a particular building and actively managing the change or redevelopment to reinforce this particular character. It is important to stress that English Heritage understands the need for school buildings to adapt and evolve to reflect the changing needs of staff and students and to be able to accommodate new methods of teaching and different ways of using space. Constructive conservation seeks to use what is special and significant about particular buildings in the pursuit of these aims – what this can mean is that radical interventions to the building fabric are entirely possible where proposals demonstrate understanding of significance and justification exists. Projects such as those at King Edward VII School in Sheffield have demonstrated the advantages that flow from this approach. WALTHAMSTOW SCHOOL FOR GIRLS The refurbished and partially remodelled Walthamstow School for Girls in the London Borough of Waltham Forest (built in 1912 and listed at Grade II) recently won the BCSE award for best large scale refurbishment. The project used the distinctive character and the landscape of the school site to guide the redevelopment – the classrooms within the main school building were refurbished to take advantage of their high levels of natural light and are now used by the languages and English departments,

Design & Build


while specialist teaching in subjects such as science and technology subjects are accommodated in a new extension. This takes advantage of a fall away in the ground level and inspiration from the existing layout of the grounds – so the extension contains a large amount of new space by having a lower ground floor and at the same time reducing the scale of the new against the old. There is also a new drama space creating a very striking junction with the original listed assembly hall. The redevelopment has successfully created a modern and well equipped school while retaining and enhancing its historic character. EVELINE LOWE PRIMARY SCHOOL Eveline Lowe School in the London Borough of Southwark was completed in 1967 and listed Grade II in 2006. Its design and layout was groundbreaking at the time of its opening, and proved hugely influential both across the rest of the country and elsewhere in Europe. By 2007 changing education patterns together with pressure for school places locally led Southwark Council to consider the redevelopment of the site. The project refurbished the existing listed building, which is now used as resource, specialist and communal space and which acts as the hub of the school. A series of new (and deliberately modern) buildings have been constructed around the edge of the site to form an integrated enclosure to complement the central listed building. Given the importance of ensuring that every school offers its pupils the best possible learning environment, Constructive Conservation is particularly appropriate for school buildings. It means being positive about adaptation of the historic fabric where it is sensible to do so, in turn meaning that the building can continue to accommodate new equipment and uses. Such an approach ensures that the inspirational surroundings offered by historic buildings are not denied to future generations of students, while also reusing finite resources in the interests of sustainability. L

Architecture, space planning and strategic space management The practice has over 13 years experience working in-house for large public and private sector institutions across London and the South East. We are equally at home preparing briefs, feasibilities and detailed proposals for any size of project, however large or small, and have the capability to manage copmlex multi-sited property portfolio’s between 500 and 500,000 sq. ft. We pride ourselves in a professional and timely delivery of high quality information in a variety of formats to suit individual organisational technology platforms and communication methods.

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Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



AN INSPIRATIONAL ENVIRONMENT By putting staff and students at Phoenix High School in control of their new building project, Hammersmith & City now has one of the most iconic and functional sixth forms in the country The new Sixth Form Centre at Phoenix High School in west London, was finished earlier this year and has exceeded all expectations. Located in one of the UK’s most socially deprived areas the school wanted a new sixth form centre that would raise the aspirations of all its students. Eve Waldron Design, the furniture fittings and equipment consultant, has created a flexible environment to accommodate different teaching styles. A variety of different desk layouts are used in the rooms so rather

than looking like regular school classrooms they have a more collegiate feel. Unusual shapes and sizes of furniture fill some of the classrooms and breakout areas while in other areas office chairs are used. A PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT The high spec furniture is more on the lines of what you would expect to find in a successful company’s office. The school hopes that this more professional environment will encourage students to aspire to greater

Design & Build


things than they might have otherwise. Sir William Atkinson, executive head teacher, said: “I am delighted with the new Post 16 Centre, it has exceeded all my expectations! The collaborative process between the staff, students and design team helped to widen the students’ perspectives, increase their expectations and now with the new Post 16 Centre finished they are able to see their aspirations realised. “The vision around the designing of a variety of teaching environments in the new building was to both challenge and stimulate students, providing a flexible and dynamic working environment for all. The furniture is an integral part of this vision. Using a variety of different classroom set ups, we get away from regimented rows of desks and promote greater creativity and responsibility.” WORKING TOGETHER The consultative design process with both school staff and students helped ensure the new centre met the needs of all the E

A variety of different desk layouts are used in the rooms so rather than looking like regular school classrooms they have a more collegiate feel. Unusual shapes and sizes of furniture fill some of the classrooms and breakout areas while in other areas office chairs are used.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE




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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

Kaba is an internationally active, listed company with around 9,000 staff in more than 60 countries, offering its customers innovative, comprehensive and reliable security solutions and an expertise acquired over 145 years. With an extensive product portfolio comprising mechanical and electronic locking systems, online access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and time and attendance systems, Kaba develops bespoke solutions to provide seamless integration between staff and student databases and enhance security. Kaba’s integrated solutions enable any school, college or university to • secure your building perimeter, i.e. main entrance, bicycle parks, car parks • secure your interior quarters, i.e. classrooms, IT rooms, halls of residence • monitor and manage

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NEW BUILD E stakeholders. This process also gave students practical insight into new professions. Garry McMillan, Phoenix High School’s director of facilities and development, said: “From the outset Phoenix High School made the decision to manage this project through the school and a team of external consultants. This would cut costs and, ultimately, ensure that the school got a building that was inspiring, unique and functional. The project team that was created has worked tirelessly to ensure that the school’s goals were met.” The result is a functional, inspiring and iconic building. Eve Waldron and her team have been able to consult with all parties involved with the building, not just school executive staff and teachers but also with the end-user, the students. This has ensured not just the iconic status of this building but, even more importantly, its ability to function. INCLUDING STUDENTS Eve Waldron, director of Eve Waldron Design, said: “It was great to include the students as well as the staff in design team meetings. The school has an inspirational head who was very involved – he tried out chairs and brought the students on board. I had never presented to a team of 17 year olds before and it was exciting to put myself and the project in front of a group who had never heard of this process before.

“I got a taste of what it would be like to be an ambassador of design. I think it is important to expose more people to the profession, especially students as the world needs better designers.” The £8.7m building was designed by Bond Bryan architects and built by Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd. The building has been nicknamed the ‘liquorice allsorts’ school because the exterior elevations comprise of vertical timber panels repeated at random intervals and framed with subtle colours, visually akin to liquorice. The building will have a low environmental impact having been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of Very Good. Jeff Stibbons, director at Bond Bryan said: “This is a complex design that had to work within the constraints of a Conservation Area. Most gratifyingly, I have been approached by a number of pupils who, on learning that Bond Bryan designed their new building, have said they would now be interested in a career in architecture, simply because they find the building so inspiring.” ON BUDGET In the wake of all the spending cuts in schools it is inspiring that some investment is still going ahead and see how positive an impact a new building can have on students in a deprived area. Tight control was kept over spend, and the project came in on budget.

Phoenix High School Phoenix High School is a successful multicultural school serving a diverse student population drawn from a range of social and economic backgrounds. Its head teacher, Sir William Atkinson, was appointed in 1995 and is credited with turning around the school. In 2008 Sir William was knighted for his services to ‘education and the community’. The school achieved specialist Science College status in 2005. The first 130 students were accepted into Phoenix High School’s new Sixth Form Centre in September 2010. The new bespoke building to home the centre is just finished, ready for the next intake of students in September 2011, bringing the student population up to 260.

Environments can improve the performance of students at school. The new Sixth Form Centre shows how furniture, fixtures and equipment in schools can encourage more respectful, creative, aspirational and mature students. L FOR MORE INFORMATION

Furniture fit for purpose from I M Design

Grant Westfield – shifting washroom boundaries

I M Design is a consultancy specialising in the design of furniture for education. Whether working with an academy, college or a manufacturer our aim is to produce practical, attractive systems that support modern teaching and stimulate learning through the use of form, materials and colour. The design process goes further than just planning layouts, it asks fundamental questions about what you need and what you want to achieve and often leads to new and unexpected solutions.     Whether you want a reception counter or a suite of specialist classrooms, we will guide you through the process. Integrating technology is often an area of concern; how to strike the balance between accessibility, safely and security. Choosing an ICT supplier is only the first stage. We have worked with many ICT and AV suppliers, we can anticipate their problems and

Grant Westfield has a wealth of experience in manufacturing washroom and laboratory systems for the education market. The recent relaunch of their façade flush cubicle system – traditionally used in commercial buildings – has challenged the traditional approach to washroom specification by moving the washroom to the fore-front of building design. At the recently completed Catmose College, Grant Westfield worked with all parties involved to seamlessly integrate the cubicle system – complete with acoustic separation – with all surrounding services and structures. This involved unisex, personal space cubicles being built onto the main corridor circulation, and integrating with the existing corridor ceiling at 3.7m, and cladding an internal 5m ceiling void.

help you manage your decisions and the eventual implementation. We will work closely with you to develop your ideas or new designs, we will then cost, detail, manufacture and install, all to suit your timetable. Some examples of our solutions can be found on our website, but please contact us if you have any queries about what design can do for you. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0113 2420231

Design & Build


This was achieved by manufacturing all elements off-site to precise factory tolerances, meaning the tight hand-over date for the opening of the campus could be met. “This is the future for academies, free schools and indeed beyond the education sector,” says Mark Cuthbert; business development manager at Grant Westfield. “Taking a holistic approach to the integration of systems and services in washrooms early in the design process, can not only increase life-cycle, it can also provide cost-savings without compromise on quality and aesthetics.” FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0131 3376262 mcuthbert@

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telephone: 01642 488328 Manufacturers and Distributers of the Finest Sports Equipment that money can buy!

Manufacturers and installers of all types of indoor and outdoor equipment, with over 30 years experience in the industry you can trust Universal Services with all of your sports equipment needs. Universal Services Beckingham Business Park, Tolleshunt Major, Maldon, Essex. CM9 8LZ Tel: 01621 868700 Fax: 01621 860697

Sports & Leisure



A FLOOR WITH THE COMFORT FACTOR David Carter of flooring specialist Gerflor, member of the Sports & Play Construction Association, offers advice for anyone specifying or buying flooring for school indoor sports halls Sport England guidance notes clearly state: “The most important piece of equipment in a sports hall is the floor.” Yet, it is very often given the least consideration. It is normally installed near to project completion and therefore can become the focus of cost savings. There are many indoor sports surfaces on the market with a whole host of natural and synthetic products to choose

from. Firstly you need to ensure that for a multi purpose sports hall, the manufacturers you shortlist can provide certification for EN14904 compliance. EUROPEAN STANDARD This European Standard superseded the old British Standard in 2008 and was introduced predominantly to improve user safety. It sets minimum criteria for sports performance,

Sport England guidance notes clearly state: “The most important piece of equipment in a sports hall is the floor.” Yet, it is very often given the least consideration.

safety and other technical aspects. One aspect of the standard is percentage force reduction. This should be at a minimum of 25 per cent to comply with EN14904. FLOOR CLASSIFICATION What’s the importance of force reduction? In summary it helps to reduce the risk of repetitive impact injuries. There are four types of sports floor classification, as defined by the European Standard: Point Elastic – A synthetic floor that deforms at point of impact, under a user’s foot. A comfortable option that is appropriate when children are primary users. Area Elastic – Made up of a hard surface such as timber, vinyl or linoleum, because there is no force reducing properties to the surface, it sits on an undercarriage system that provides force reduction. A Combined Elastic – A sports floor combines the comfort of a point elastic floor with the force reducing qualities of an undercarriage system, hence ‘combined system’ or ‘combo system’. A combined elastic floor offers benefits for a wider range of users. Finally, rarely seen outside Germany is Mixed Elastic. This is point elastic which sits on a synthetic stiffening component. Whilst force reduction is a measure that has been around for some time, new research emanating from Europe is highlighting other E

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All the space you need Do you have a requirement to hire or purchase temporary additional space? Neptunus is an international specialist in providing high class temporary structures and semi-permanent buildings. Particularly suitable for sports and leisure applications, the Neptunus semi permanent product range is the most technologically advanced and versatile available in today’s market. Based on high-tech and innovative designs with durable components, our structures have similar properties to a permanent building. • readily available • similar properties to a permanent building • quick to assemble • flexible sizes and fittings • flexible hire, lease or purchase NEPTUNUS Ltd The Old Rectory | Main Street | Glenfield Leicestershire LE3 8DG | United Kingdom T (+44) 0845 180 40 01 | F (+44) 0116 232 01 50 |

the netherlands







Dutch olympians train in new Neptunus sports facilities As the official temporary structures supplier to the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), Neptunus has added two new semi-permanent structures to the Dutch Olympic training facility in Papendal, ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in the UK. Located in Arnhem in the Netherlands, the National Sports Centre is the meeting place and training location for the country’s elite sports men and women. The facilities are suitable for athletics, football, golf and virtually all indoor sports. Papendal needed additional space to accommodate a wider range of sports with different sports leagues and a new sports education programme. This required NOC*NSF to be flexible in commissioning any buildings as they could not predict the length of the agreements. In addition, the committee required a sustainable structure so they enlisted Neptunus – the temporary building specialist – to install the two new structures. Neptunus engineers built two linked energy efficient semi-permanent Flexolution structures to form over 3,000sq m of space, 1,728sq m purpose built table tennis hall, and 1,224sq m general training room. The durable sports halls at Papendal are constructed from aluminium columns and laminated wooden trusses with insulated sandwich panels so that heat loss is minimised and noise is reduced.


Neptunus’ Flexolution as semi-permanent sports facility in Papendal

The Neptunus team built the halls in just a few weeks under strict time constraints. Not only can the structures be built quickly but they can be dismantled just as quickly when no longer required and then the materials can be reused for other projects emphasising Neptunus’ environmentally sustainable policy. Last year Neptunus installed a number of all-weather high-quality temporary structures to allow NOC*NSF’s top athletes to train all year round. This included three semi-permanent Evolution structures with a custom-made 1,300sq m sprint hall. A 1,125sq m multi-purpose hall with a side wall height of 13m caters for a range of sports including badminton and volleyball with special wall panels fitted to improve the venue’s acoustics and provide a more

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comfortable environment for the athletes. Flexolution is the most energy efficient semi-permanent structure currently available in today’s market. The new structure boasts superior acoustic and thermal properties and offers an A-Rated energy performance under the EU Energy Performance in Buildings Directive. Externally the bespoke structure, available in a range of colours, can be tailored and branded to either blend in with the surroundings or make a statement. The building dimensions are designed to be flexible to suit individual client needs and create optimum space. It is sustainable and materials can be easily reused thus reducing a company’s carbon footprint. Neptunus also provides customised packages including the entire fit-out of the sports hall including flooring, lighting, heating and ventilation and security systems. Neptunus has provided temporary, fully relocatable sports hall solutions for Esporta Health Club following a fire, Cranfield University during a refurbishment project, and the Defence Academy’s military staff traing college in Shrivenham. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 1804001 Fax: 0116 2320150

SPORTS HALL FLOORING E areas that should be considered, one of which is comfort. Whist force reduction primarily protects against repetitive injuries, comfort covers the instant sensation felt by users both when exercising and when falling. The science behind sprung floors shows that they start to excel when higher forces are exerted. With force being a combination of weight and velocity, the moment one of those factors decreases, so does the effectiveness of the sprung floor. With users of lesser weight, or exercising less intensively, there are then benefits from installation of point or combined elastic floors. COMFORT VALUE The research in France has focused on comfort, particularly in the education sector. Four years of research by Potiers University, one of the leading biomechanics departments in France, has led to some interesting conclusions. When an athlete hits the floor, there is obviously a contact area. The larger that contact area, the more comfortable the floor is for the athlete. With point and combined elastic floors, the surface envelopes the part of the body impacting in the same way a mattress on a bed does. This enveloping increases the contact area and therefore increases the comfort value,

With point and combined elastic floors, the surface envelopes the part of the body impacting in the same way a mattress on a bed does. This enveloping increases the contact area and therefore increases the comfort value, a measure that certainly the French are looking to employ when comparing floors. a measure that certainly the French are looking to employ when comparing floors. WHAT TO CONSIDER? There is an ‘intelligent process’ to specifying a sports floor, when we consider a new or replacement indoor sports surface. This includes the need to ask some basic questions prior to project start up, including: What sports will be played on the actual sports floor? What is the anticipated level and frequency of play? Are any national governing bodies for sport contributing financially? Are there any secondary uses? Is there an approved project budget for the installation? What type of surfaces would be ideal for the required sports applications?

Sports & Leisure


Traditional or new innovations in flooring? Other considerations include ongoing maintenance both in terms of costs and time. Will your new surface have to be periodically maintained as well as cleaned daily? How much will this cost over the lifetime of the floor. Is a warranty available? What is the end of life consequence – recycled or land filled? Finally, are there any construction constraints? My advice when reviewing what flooring supplier to use would be to do your research, shop around and if in doubt, revert to the EN standard. L FOR MORE INFORMATION

Increase participation in PE and save money

SURFACES . . . FOR WINNERS As the UK market-leader in sports surfaces, our expertise covers the design, installation and maintenance of synthetic athletics tracks, football pitches, hockey pitches, rugby pitches and tennis courts as well as indoor sports halls and individual tailored multi-sports areas.

CHARLES LAWRENCE SURFACES LTD. A MALCOLM GROUP COMPANY Brunel House, Jessop Way, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2ER, England Tel. +44 (0)1636 615866 Fax. +44 (0)1636 615867 Email.

Principal Contractor is a new online resource centre for teachers who deliver dance and fitness to children and teens. There are three easy steps to help your school deliver fun high quality dance and movement sessions every time: • view instructional teaching videos online, saving money on external training and time and effort on preparation • print lesson plans directly from • teach it. The resources are designed for all teaching abilities and include exciting schemes of work designed to be delivered as part of your PE curriculum, plus prechoreographed routines perfect for after school club ideas or a school dance show. Choose from popular styles including Disco, Latin, Cheer, Jive, StreetJazz, Broadway, Jazz, Pop, Freestyle, Creative Combat, SportsJam and Funky YogaFit. Schemes are easy to follow and teach plus all schemes are tried and

tested to ensure that children and teens engage with learn from and enjoy each session. If your staff prefers a professional to deliver a scheme, then try the new imovesTeach virtual helper for primary schools. A skilled imovesdance presenter will teach the session via an interactive whiteboard/ TV, allowing teachers to enjoy the session and learn a few moves alongside their students. Each scheme runs for three 35 minute sessions that progress in to a performance in either Funky YogaFit or Creative Combat. resources have been approved by the Professional Development Board for PE as an ideal resource to use within the PE Curriculum. FOR MORE INFORMATION Go to for your FREE trial now.

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Outdoor Education Written by Sam Kendall and Jon Cook



CHANGING MINDS Learning outdoors and school gardening are brilliant starting points for developing a fundamental understanding of our dependence on the natural world. Eden project explains Amy was 15 years old when she took part in a pilot project at the Eden Project. She had never been that interested or engaged in the issues surrounding sustainability and climate change – mainly, she says, due to a lack of knowledge: “I didn’t really know what was going on so you can’t have an opinion on it.” So when she had the opportunity to engage in the pilot she wasn’t sure about whether it would be that relevant for her but decided to give it a go: “I thought that it might help me understand and to show what people are doing and what I can do to help.” After completing the Green Talent workshop Amy and her group went to see how Rolls Royce were approaching sustainability and looking at how business opportunities, customer pressure and impending carbon reduction targets were driving the agenda forward. She got the opportunity to see large scale engineering in action and also to meet people involved in the work. The whole experience had a profound affect on her. “You’ve explained it in different ways, which makes it a lot easier to actually get. It’s like changed the whole way that I think… because now I know I can do something.” TRANSFORMATIONAL PROJECTS It’s this kind of transformation that we are aiming for when we work with young people in all of our education projects.


This is a pretty big challenge but we believe that’s absolutely what is required as the 21st century will present enormous challenges to our society: food security, energy security, population growth and movement, all cranked up by climate change. The 2008 Climate Change Act commits us to an 80 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and if that feels like a long way away then remember that it is within the working lifetime of anyone you know in their 20s. The UK is unique in being the only country around the world that has introduced a long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change and this 80 per cent cut will force transformative changes in society. Almost every aspect of our lives today depends on liberal use of cheap fossil energy and we can’t even begin to imagine how the changes ahead will play out. All we can say with certainty is that it’s going to be a wild ride! THE ROLE OF THE YOUNG Preparing young people for the challenges of the future needs to be a vital element in any education programme – not just in relation to sustainability. This isn’t about niche environmentalism, it’s much more fundamental than that. Many governments, international agencies and major corporations, such as O2 and Rolls Royce are developing

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plans for action at national levels and the frameworks that are being laid down are a platform for a radical change in our society. The education, skills and learning sectors must adapt and refocus to the major economic, ecosystem and social challenges of this century and demonstrate to young people the links between their skills and talents, their future jobs and careers, and the environmental challenges of the 21st century. How to approach these issues with young people? Over ten years work with schools, colleges and the general public we have developed a set of approaches that inform our teaching and learning about sustainability. DEPENDENCY Our starting point is dependency – on the natural world, and on each other. This connection is fundamental; a generation that does not understand or value the natural world will not strive to protect it. A generation that does not value society will not work together to save it. That’s why at Eden we sow, grow and exhibit plants for food, fuel, medicine, materials, beauty, music, sport, entertainment, and more to show our dependence on the green things of life. And it’s not just goods, but services too. Our diverse ecosystems, forests, oceans, steppe and savannah, act as air conditioners, water purifiers, waste recyclers, carbon capturers and climate controllers. These are called ecosystem services – similar to the services we have in our homes except they’re free and vital for our survival. We’ve all heard the stories about children who are horrified that carrots grow under the ground in “dirty” soil and are astonished to learn that cows give us milk. Learning outdoors and school gardening are brilliant starting points for developing E


KEEPING IT REAL Practical experience, real examples and authentic voices are key in bringing sustainability alive and making it meaningful and relevant to children and young people. From eating a tomato that they’ve grown themselves, to seeing Eden’s industrial composter in action, to hearing from a large corporation like Rolls Royce what sustainability means to them; whatever the scale, our experience demonstrates the value of showing that sustainability is more than just a theoretical concept. Andy Latham, sustainability coordinator and science teacher at Penryn College, Cornwall, knows how important this can be. “A key part of a students learning at Penryn College is being able to see the theory they learn in lessons being put into practice,” he says. “Teaching aspects of renewable energy took on a whole new meaning for students when I showed them a local solar water heating system in action. They became so engaged and inspired by seeing these ideas they came back to the classroom and built their own.”

Almost every aspect of our lives today depends on liberal use of cheap fossil energy and we can’t even begin to imagine how the changes ahead will play out. All we can say with certainty is that it’s going to be a wild ride. E this fundamental understanding of our dependence on the natural world. Trythall School, a small primary in the far west of Cornwall has spent the last term fully embracing the possibilities of learning outdoors from developing children’s firelighting skills and making and cooking bread on the fires, to more traditional nature study such as bug hunting and pond dipping, to involving the children in the development of their own school grounds by building willow structures and problem solving outside issues like rabbits. We also depend on each other. The solutions to challenges like climate change are not going to be found solely by personal effort and individual action. How we respond as organisations and communities is going to be key. In school, this means that working on sustainability offers a chance to focus on teamwork and collaboration as well as meaningful contexts to work on community cohesion, inclusion and diversity. POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC People don’t change out of fear, guilt and resentment – but for years this seems to have been the key approach of much environmental and sustainability education. This approach works from an assumption that there is a set of right sustainability

behaviour that we just need people to adopt, and everything will be fine. But the changes required are so big, and the situation so dynamic that the question is not so much how we can get people to change their behaviour, as how we can get the best from the unavoidable change that is happening all around us. Reducing our carbon emissions by 80 per cent isn’t going to mean we just do or have 80 per cent less stuff – we need to focus on doing things differently, or doing different things. It’s worth reminding young people, and ourselves, just how quickly change can happen – and that change is by no means always a negative thing. It’s something that’s really hard for young people to spot – their memories aren’t long enough yet. But just take at the smartphone in your pocket if you need a reminder about how fast the world can change. That was the IT revolution – this generation will be living through the climate revolution. In the face of that time of radical change, we will need creativity and optimism to get us through. It’s almost as if we have to choose to be hopeful – perhaps by being cynical about the cynics who say nothing can be done and remembering how many amazing good things that happened in the last few decades, and how few of them anyone predicted.

Outdoor Education

Sponsored by

NEXT STEPS At this time of uncertainty and reduced resources it might seem a bit challenging to explore ways of developing education delivery that might cost more money or might be a break from the norm. However, we believe that we don’t have to just passively sleepwalk into these changes. Continuing business as normal just won’t be possible in the coming years and it will require the best of us to build the world that we want for this and coming generations. By scanning the horizon and inspiring and motivating young people with educational programmes and experiences that contextualise the imperative for change and also increase their confidence in being able to be part of a practical solution, we have a real opportunity to rise to the challenges that the 21st century will throw at us. L FOR MORE INFORMATION Information on all of Eden’s programmes for schools can be found at If you need help justifying this work, or want ideas for starting points, the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom campaign has done a brilliant job addressing the issues that stop schools taking learning outdoors contains real case studies of young people who have already found or created jobs to do with climate change and sustainability. is an online community where young people can get career advice, learn new ways of working and share ideas about the future.

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Outdoor Education



WIN A NO POWER HOUR SESSION WITH KEVIN KEEGAN It’s your once in a lifetime chance for npower’s No Power Hour football arena to visit your school

Kevin Keegan has been travelling the nation to blow the whistle on plugged in power, showing kids and parents how to have a fun, footie filled and energy free No Power Hour over the summer. There’s one stop left on the nationwide tour – a No Power Hour event with Kevin Keegan at a winning school, football club or youth club! npower wants to give you the chance to win the ultimate No Power Hour experience. The No Power Hour football arena will visit your school with a once in a lifetime skills session hosted by Kevin Keegan and the No Power Hour team. npower is calling for parents, teachers, youth club leaders and not forgetting the most important people in all of this, the children, to team up and enter the fantastic competition by proving they’ve got the green credentials to score a goal for climate change and tackle the No Power Hour challenge. To win, all you have to do is get your pupils to describe, in 200 words or less, a way that they have spent an hour without power that they would encourage others to do too, and send a photo to illustrate it. All entries must be e-mailed to climatecops@ by midnight, 16 Sept 2011.

bringing the No Power Hour football roadshow to children and families in cities up and down the country. No Power Hour is a nationwide call to action by npower, which asks children to switch off their computers and the TV, and pledge to get out and about for just one hour to enjoy some unplugged fun with their friends and family. It is designed to easily slot into a family or school’s daily routine and is a fantastically fun way to educate young people about energy consumption and how their actions, together, can have a huge effect on the rest of the world. This summer, children in Sunderland, Birmingham, Leeds and Nottingham have been enjoying skills sessions with football legend Kevin Keegan, making their No Power Hour pledges to have switched off fun outdoors and thinking about the positive effect that switching off for an hour a day can have on the planet – now it’s your turn. L FOR MORE INFORMATION For full terms and conditions visit

WHAT IS NO POWER HOUR ALL ABOUT? As sponsors of The npower Football League, npower can’t wait for the 2011/12 season to kick off and has been busy all summer


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No Power Hour ideas Make and fly a kite in the park. Go on a Climate Cops mission to ensure nothing’s left on standby in your house and that all the lights are turned off. Make a no-bake cake for your family. Take your dog (or a neighbour’s dog) for a walk. Go on a creepy crawly hunt in your garden or the local park with your friends. Write a poem about your favourite things.

Did you know? If every person in the UK spent an hour outdoors using their own energy rather than being powered up, the nation would save £327 million worth of electricity and 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 a year.


Outdoor Education


Kids would rather ask Jeeves than ask dad, reveals research from npower Families are in danger of falling into a ‘digital parent trap’, new research by npower reveals. Over a third of parents (34 per cent) feel replaced in their child’s life and traded in for technology by having to compete with gadgets such as consoles and social networking for their son or daughter’s attention. GLUED TO A SCREEN The npower research reveals: One in four children admit they would choose time with an Xbox over quality time with their family. As many as 15 per cent of parents – or four million – shockingly either never spend an hour doing activities with their child or could not remember the last time they did. Half of all children (51 per cent) are glued to a screen for up to five hours a day. Parents are cast off from their child’s learning, as well as play time, with 36 per cent of young people choosing Ask Jeeves or Google over their parents’ knowledge to answer tricky homework questions, leaving over a quarter (28 per cent) feeling redundant and hurt by the lack of involvement in their child’s life. With 22 per cent of youngsters ignoring their

family to spend time online, parents are forced to communicate with their child by text or e-mail even when just a few feet away in the same house, with a third of parents (35 per cent) believing their children are more likely to respond to a text or Facebook message. COMMUNICATION With over a quarter of children preferring to communicate digitally rather than face to face with an actual person, respected psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos suggests parents and children are in danger of being left with communication issues that could affect them as they grow up. She said: “The nation needs to switch off and spend time together doing faceto-face activities – just an hour a day interacting as a family can boost confidence and improve verbal communication. “Not only that, if every person spent an hour outdoors using their own energy rather than being powered up, plugged in and online at home, the nation would actually save £327 million worth of electricity a year, – a huge difference to the world.

“Nearly half of the parents questioned admit that the communication between themselves and their child has been affected because of the child’s use of technology, they are less responsive, conversation is kept to a minimum or they just have no idea what their child is up to. “Because this level of technology was not present when we were growing up, it is important to use it in a way that enriches our family life as opposed to using it to the detriment of other ways of communicating with each other.” WASTED ENERGY Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, said: “Five hours sitting in front of a screen or gadget is a long time – plus a lot of wasted energy! “Technology is a great thing; we know that 61 per cent of young people use the net to keep up to date with distant relatives for instance. It is important to educate the UK’s children that small differences, like spending an hour without power, can make a real impact on the world we live in.” L

Kids pledges Q. What will you switch off to save power? A. We’ll play on the computer and the Playstation less Q. Do you think you will do one hour less a day (of the above) and why is this important? A. We will try because it’s important to protect the world for future generations. If we used less electricity we could stop the world getting hotter. Q. What fun ideas do you have that kids can do in their NPH? A. Play sport. Try rock climbing, climb a mountain, or jump off stuff. Q. What are your top tips to look after the environment? A. Pick up litter in your street and recycle all your dad’s beer cans. Q. If you could travel to school in any way, without a car, what would you choose? A.12-year-old Connor would get his nineyear-old brother to give him a piggy back.

npower’s free teaching resources Order npower’s free Climate Cops teaching resources to help you deliver fun and engaging Science, Geography and PSHE based learning about energy generation, saving energy and climate change for your 4-7 and 7-11 year olds. Simply visit the Climate Cops section of and follow the links.

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Outdoor education at its best Kingswood has over 30 years’ experience, welcoming around 130,000 students annually, with over 75% of schools returning year after year. We have a year-round network of nine centres in the UK and one in France, including a new centre set to open in spring 2012.

3 Dedicated environmental, ICT, cultural & personal

development programmes to support each Key Stage.

3 Over 40 high-adrenaline activities designed to

develop teamwork and increase self-confidence, including 3G swing, zipwire, canoeing and more.

3 Full support for teachers – we help with paperwork, programme selection, transport, insurance and excursions.

3 Prices include full-board accommodation, activities,

equipment, instruction & daily evening entertainment.

3 Excellent value for money with options for every budget.

3 Every operating centre holds the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Quality Badge and is fully-secure with CCTV, gated entry and perimeter fencing.


Call us on 0800 655 6564 quoting ‘Education Business’, to book or order a brochure or visit



Outdoor Education


There are several accreditation badges activity centres can apply for to ensure safe outdoor learning. Brian Ogden, chair of the Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee, explains Recent years have seen considerable growth in outdoor adventurous activities that take place outdoors, be they in traditional pursuits such as hill walking, canoeing, sailing, or more modern trends like mountain biking, canyoning or coasteering. Many participants started their interests during their school years, often attending centres of the local authority, commercial providers such as PGL, or the YHA or Outward Bound. Some young people are enthused straightaway and continue their participation in the activities to high degrees of competency and qualification through training courses at recognised centres of the National Governing

the thrill and excitement of the unknown or unpredictable is part of the attraction, the sense of enjoyment, independence and fulfilment that comes for new achievement. These days we are frequently reminded of the need for healthy life styles, greater exercise and agility in both mind and body. In all but a handful of cases participants return unscathed, unharmed and safely, having had an enjoyable and rewarding experience. GROWING SECTOR Look in any outdoors magazine, Tourist Information Centre or National Park Visitor Centre to see the literature and advertisements

Adventurous activities by their very nature have a greater element of risk – in part the thrill of the unknown or unpredictable is part of the attraction, the sense of enjoyment, independence and fulfilment that comes for new achievement. Bodies for sports and activities such as those of the RYA and BCU, or National Sport Centres such as Plas-y-Brenin, Plas Menai, Glenmore Lodge or Tollymore in Northern Ireland. Adventurous activities by their very nature have a greater element of risk – in part

that are testimony to the growth in provision of adventure or activity holidays in our tourist destinations. Countless companies, organisations and sole traders have set up in business to provide activities, plan journeys, specialist sessions sometimes linked to

accommodation and other day ventures. There is everything from mountain biking to horse riding, white water rafting and guided walks to the highest peaks, if you want them. But how safe then are the practices and procedures of the providers or the participants who “go off on their own in increasing numbers”? Those of greater years remember the Cairngorm Tragedy of 1972, and more recently the Lyme Bay disaster of 1993, each leading to the sad loss of young lives. Adventurous activities carry a higher element of risk and accidents do happen. The adventure activities industry is seeking to manage that risk through a continuum of accreditation of providers and encouraging any participants whoever they are and whoever they go to to provide their adventure to ask whether the provider, company or centre has an AALA licence, Adventuremark or LOtC badge for adventurous activities. These terms need some explanation to describe how they make a continuum and what they cover. AALA The Adventure Activities Licencing Authority (AALA) was set up in 1994 by the government in direct response to the Lyme Bay tragedy in which eight young canoeists drowned whilst on a course from a centre in Dorset. Any provider supplying defined adventurous activities in the UK for young people E

Outdoor learning at Grafham Water Centre Based in Cambridgeshire by the UK’s finest inland sailing venue, Grafham Water Centre is the perfect environment to learn in. Our Centre is welcoming and flexible – equipped to accommodate groups of up to 110 people. Access for all is a priority and we provide a variety of specialist equipment to ensure everyone can participate fully in the Grafham Experience. We recognise the positive impact that high quality outdoor education has on young people. Our Centre Vision – ‘Changing young people’s lives’ – is at the forefront of everything we do. We want to engage young people to learn and achieve and make our vision a reality. We set high expectations for each group, listen to what people say and constantly monitor the

and problem solving. All activities can be structured to achieve specific outcomes and we will tailor your personal programme to your own individual aims and objectives. So whether you’re looking at day visits, residentials or courses, look at our website, request a brochure or call us on 01480 810521 to discuss your requirements and we will do our best to exceed your expectations!

impact of our programmes to ensure children and young people leave us inspired. Our activities include sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, raft building, river studies, orienteering, mountain biking, archery, climbing, ropes courses, bushcraft

FOR MORE INFORMATION Grafham Water Centre Perry, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0GW Tel: 01480 810521 Fax: 01480 812407

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Outdoor Education Courses for Schools and Colleges

tal Education • EnvironmenEdu cation • Adventureand Soci al Development • Personal landbase d activities • Water andrange of acti vities and llent • Exce A-level) and -4 (KS2 cs topi y stud ue location on the Solent and • Uniq cen adja t to the New Forest • DVD available

For a brochure, please contact: , Fawley SO45 1BR Calshot Activities Centre, Calshot Spit Email: Tel: 023 8089 2077 www.calsho



CARROTY WOOD | South East HALLS GREEN | South East FRONTIER CENTRE | Midlands WHITHAUGH PARK | Scottish Borders SUMMIT CENTRE | South Wales Rock UK Adventure Centres Ltd is a registered charity No: 1107724 (England & Wales) SC040118 (Scotland)



Visit or contact

T 01580212717

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ACCREDITATION SCHEMES that could sit alongside licensing to cover activities which lay outside its scope and also providers of activities for people over 19. AAIAC has developed a parallel system using expert consultants and taking much of its methodology from the licensing system. It launched it as Adventuremark® in 2009. Adventuremark® is a system accrediting the safety aspects of adventure provision, looks at the way practices and procedures are carried out and uses a similar inspection regime. Staff qualifications, emergency procedures, briefings and developments, standard locations used as well as the quality of equipment, are all part of the inspection accreditation regime. Adventuremark® can be gained by a provider making application to cover any adventurous activity, provided for any age group and anywhere in the UK It is not restricted to under 19s unlike licensing and covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and centres abroad if the badge holder operates from the UK.

E under 19 years of age must now have an AALA licence to do so. It is principally local authority outdoor centres and those run by commercial companies and charities for young people of school age who need this. Adventure Activities Licensing ensures that activity providers follow good safety management practices for activities in scope. It should allow young people to experience exciting and stimulating activities outdoors without being exposed to avoidable risks of death or disabling injury. Activities in scope of licensing are: climbing, abseiling or scrambling over natural terrain and cliffs; trekking on foot, horse or cycle over remote hills or mountains; watersports on the sea, tidal waters, large lakes or white water; exploring natural caves underground. There are approximately 1,170 licenced providers throughout Great Britain. Licensing does not apply in Northern Ireland. Accordingly, if your child goes on a school outdoor activities course or holiday offering in scope activities then the venue provider must hold an AALA Licence. A licence is granted after inspection for between one and three years, before reapplication and reinspection. A fee is charged by the Licensing Service for this – currently £715 – but there is also a significant sum of tax payers money supporting the system, £670,000 per year. AALA was formerly administered by the DCSF but is now under the Health and Safety Executive. The licence may

not cover all the activities taking place because some, including newer ones, are not included within the scope of licensing. GOOD PRACTICE If a provider does not cater for young people under the age of 19 or undertakes activities that lie outside the scope of licensing there need be no accreditation to assure users and customers that practices have been inspected and/or conform to standards of safety recognised as acceptable good practice by the industry. It is estimated that about 75 per cent of all adventurous activity provision lies beyond the remit and scope of licensing. In reality therefore, there is little short of finance that stops you or I setting up an adventure activity business with no check on safety credentials, experience, qualifications, expertise or equipment. Let it be said immediately that there is no evidence of hoards of unscrupulous operators entering the industry but not all operators are necessarily aware or sure of all that can be done to ensure their own commercial success or the safety and wellbeing aspects of their customers and users. ADVENTUREMARK® In 2005 the then DfES commissioned the Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee (AAIAC) to research and develop a parallel system of accreditation

Outdoor Education


LOTC During the research and development phase of Adventuremark® the government in England has been pursuing a curriculum initiative called Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC). This is designed to stimulate and extend learning and teaching methods, using anything from the school grounds, local area and wider educational visits as we know them. It can apply across any subject area and has been seen to pay handsome dividends in terms of pupil progress. After all, history or geography does not take place in classrooms, literature is normally about happenings outside them, mathematical understanding develops much more extensively if it is applied to the real world and science and technology become applied at home, at work and in the adventure activities sphere – so let’s study things where they originate as well as within the confines of school buildings. In seeking to extend learning beyond the classroom and school it became the case that a system of badging for providers who service the educational demand elsewhere ought to have some form of accreditation to safeguard schools, their students and teachers and confirm that acceptable standards of good practice are being applied at those learning venues. Accordingly, for just over a year now there has been in operation an LOtC Quality Badge system for providers to apply for in ten learning strands, including adventurous activities. The Quality Badge is open to all organisations providing learning outside the classroom experiences. The route any organisation takes to achieve the Quality Badge will be determined by the degree of risk management required to manage the activities offered. Learning experiences in museums, theatres, places of worship constitute Route 1 for the activities with least risk, whilst field studies, expeditions, study tours, farm E

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Outdoor Education


ACCREDITATION SCHEMES the process of seeking one of the badges and, if the answer is no to either question, then it is suggested you look elsewhere for somebody/a provider who has. Please tell the school and teacher to do the same!

E visits and adventurous activities constitute Route 2 where the regime is more rigorous. Thus adventurous activities providers and organisations can be accredited in three different ways, depending on their circumstances and the market in which they intend to operate. AALA and LOtC accreditation apply in the educational and children’s services age range only, AALA to Great Britain and LOtC to England only, since education is a devolved responsibility elsewhere in the UK. On the other hand Adventuremark® can be obtained for any adventurous activity covering any age range and is UK wide or overseas if an offshoot of a British organisation. AAIAC is the award holder on behalf of the LOtC Council for the LOtC Quality Badge in adventurous activities and can accredit centres for this to supplement an AALA Licence or Adventuremark® as appropriate. Take up of the badging system so far has been less than anticipated and hoped for

largely because the public and, in particular as yet the educational world, is insufficiently aware of what has happened and is now available. 520 badges have been awarded across the eight sectors of the LOtC Quality Badge system to date. AAIAC has awarded almost 200 of those in the same period including some major schemes of sport governing bodies with more in the pipeline. AAIAC invites anybody wishing to use an adventurous activity provider, any parent/carer thinking of sending their child on a school organised visit or adventurous activity to simply ask the provider or teacher at school, does where we are going have any of the three badges AALA, Adventuremark® or LOtC? If they do that gives you, your child and family greater protection and the security of knowing that accreditation has been awarded on the basis of industry wide standards of good practice, if not the licensing regime. If they have not, ask whether they are in

GAINING MOMENTUM If sufficient customers and users start asking now, we shall build up a momentum that allows the accreditation system to become more or less universal because providers will soon learn it becomes at least desirable if not a necessity. In that way we have a better, safer industry and experience for customers/users who can be surer that things will be done correctly in activities which do have an inherently greater risk – ones that can and should be properly managed. After all, we are in the business of preventing accidents and doing our best to provide fun, enjoyment, exhilaration and achievement etc., and return home safely every time. That is what the industry wants. Those who venture out on their own, and it is a huge number of people these days especially in our tourist hotspots, can have the benefit of the previous experience from school days, activity holidays, from organisations such as scouting, guiding and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DofE). Such experiences are “provided” from a rich variety of sources and “train” people in the craft of their sport or activity so they become proficient themselves. Accredited providers give a better standard of training for those who later go on to “do it themselves”. This is also why asking whether providers are “badged” makes greater sense now. AAIAC urges you to do your bit – when you can. L FOR MORE INFORMATION and

Give your students the adventure of their lives With an enviable reputation for offering one of the widest ranges of outdoor activities anywhere in the UK, take your pupils to Plas Menai and you won’t be disappointed. Located on the edge of Snowdonia the centre sits nestled between the mountains and the sea on the banks of the beautiful Menai Strait. The stunning location means they really can offer a unique experience. With highly skilled and qualified instructors, the centre provides an unrivalled choice of water based and land based activities meaning schools can visit at any time of the year. For over 25 years, school children from across England and Wales have


each school’s individual requirements and can include evening activities and national curriculum work. The centre has outstanding waterfront and shoreside facilities including an indoor heated swimming pool, large dining room, lounge, bar and recreation room. It also offers a choice of accommodation in on-site dormitory style house accommodation or twin-bedded ensuite accommodation in the main centre complex. been visiting the centre with many schools returning year after year. Every programme is tailored to meet

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FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01248 670964


Dynamic outdoor and Learn how special the indoor adventure activities natural world can be Highline Adventure delivers dynamic mobile outdoor and indoor adventure activities for schools, organisations and events. All activities are suitable for 6 year olds and above, and include our 9 metre high climbing walls and 7 metre spider mountain, bouldering, canoeing, skate boarding, archery, mini-fencing, problem solving/ team building and orienteering, all of which promote personal development and working together. The portable nature of the activities means a convenient, fully supervised, cost effective event can be delivered direct to your school or venue for an exciting, hassle free day. There is no need to undergo the cost and logistics of transporting your group and assessing sites. We bring our range of risk-assessed and liability insured activities operated by fully qualified, CRB

checked staff to your site. One activity can be brought to your location or a multiactivity programme can be put together to your specification, designed to meet your requirements, which may be achieving a curriculum agenda or highlighting specific dynamics within a group. Highline Adventure mobile equipment can be used effectively indoors or outdoors depending on customer requirements and our activity programmes are designed for groups of around 20-25 people per activity. Our aim is to give you a reliable, top quality experience for your group that is easy for you to achieve at an affordable price. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 409 1303

Create a wild flower meadow in your school Established in 1982, Wildflower Turf Ltd is the UK’s leading supplier of Wild Flower Turf™. The company provides expertise in bio-diverse turf products for the establishment of Wild Flower Meadows and Green Roofs – colourful, nectar rich and low maintenance – that are easy to install and quick to flower. School grounds make up 5 per cent of all built-up areas within the UK, and whilst they are largely made up of hard surfaces, landscaped areas provide a great opportunity to enhance biodiversity. Wildflower meadows offer huge potential for learning about wildlife, whilst requiring very little maintenance and care. In an age when environment is so topical, young people should experience nature at a stage when they are receptive to understanding its importance. Having an onsite outdoor classroom will provide pleasant, interactive surroundings, through which pupils can learn in a more relaxed and stimulating setting. In addition to meadows and landscapes, Wildflower Turf Ltd supplies the green roof industry

Adventure Beyond has been running real outdoor adventures for people of all ages for over 15 years. We work in many, very special areas across the UK – from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to the Brecon Beacons National Park, Cardigan Bay, a special area of conservation, and the Mid Wales mountain range and Elan Valley. We offer experiences for all manner of groups, from the very adventurous on a coasteering exploration (every thing your mum told you never to do) to the person who just wants to get close to nature in the most wonderful mode of transport, canoeing. We also offer kayaking, sea or river, gorge walking, coasteering, surfing, and hill walking or coastal tours. During our adventures and journeys we see much wildlife including seals, otters, deer, badgers, birds of pray, dolphins, porpoise, basking shark, sun fish, flora and fauna of all kinds and much more. We can offer a range of courses

to suit your educational needs. This includes DofE Bronze to Gold expeditions in the UK and worldwide experiencing canoeing, sea kayak or walking. Residential visitors can camp or sleep in bunkhouses with a range of activies (up to 200 people). Fully catered five days start from £220 per head with free teacher places. We can also come to your school or area to deliver the activites too. Half day adventures start from £35 per head. The best way to see what we do is to come and try it! FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01239 851028 Mob: 07781 123761

Open the door to the outside world and addresses the difficulties of establishing a truly native, biodiverse environment in which flora and fauna can thrive on a roof. Establishing a wild flower meadow as a roof or landscape will fulfil many modern requirements: green corridors, BREEAM points and the code for sustainable housing, great PR, drought tolerance, carbon and pollutant capture, tranquil and beautiful surroundings, to name a few, and last and by no means least, a sustainable and enchanting classroom! For a quick guide as to how it works please download a free three minute explanatory video at www. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01256 771222 wildflower@

Dolben Hall is a purpose-built mansion with excellent facilities – situated on a 25 acre site in the heart of the Cefn Valley and nestling on the banks of the River Elwy. We have our own limestone rock face for climbing and abseiling, a cave system, a low and high ropes course with aerial runway, forest area for paintball and quad treks, and specific fields for team building/problem solving, archery, assault course and orienteering. The river gives us access to kayak and canoe, raft building and white water rafting. The centre provides a wide range of outdoor pursuits on land and water, from climbing and abseiling to quad biking, canoe/kayaking, caving, archery, mountain biking, low and high ropes course, paintball games, leap of faith, jacobs ladder, zip wire, assault course, team building and problem solving exercises and these are all on site!

FOR MORE INFORMATION Open Door Training Dolben Hall Bont Newydd St Asaph Denbighshire North Wales LL17 OHN Tel: 01745 585535

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Outdoor Education Written by the Association of Play Industries



MORE THAN CHILD’S PLAY Play has always been an essential part of the school day, but with cuts and rising levels of obesity, children’s access to play spaces, both in school and in communities, is facing important changes While the demand for play, from parents, teachers and pupils remains high, the role of schools in providing play spaces could be set to stretch beyond the boundaries of the school gates. The amount of time that children spend playing outside of school has fallen dramatically over the last ten years. After the previous government’s Playbuilder funding scheme ended in March, several communities have seen new play equipment installed in their area, while others have seen their playgrounds removed as their local authority cannot afford to replace or maintain it. For the communities who have lost out in the spending cuts, the need for their children to have access to play facilities in school is greater than ever. The Association of Play Industries’ (API) new State of Play report has found strong links between urban deprivation and a lack of access to play spaces. These areas, defined in the report as “play gaps”, are most prevalent in communities where childhood obesity is on the rise and adult life expectancy is low. Amongst the report’s policy recommendations calling for action on play from the Department for Education, the API has asked for: “Children’s health and wellbeing to be prioritised with suitable availability of outdoor play spaces for early year’s children, schools and communities.” The report has arrived alongside new physical activity guidelines from the Department of Health and the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO). This new information recommends young children have a minimum of one hour’s vigorous physical activity and several more hours of less strenuous activity throughout the day, as soon as they are able to walk. A particular emphasis is given to early years children. PROVIDING FOR PLAY Access to public play spaces often raises very passionate support from parents, but construction can run into numerous difficulties relating to funding, planning permission and location. With set playtimes and play spaces already established, schools can make a strong contribution to children’s levels of physical activity they might not find so accessible in their community. There is an established requirement in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for schools to provide children with innovative and exciting play spaces in which to be active, learn and have fun. But how can schools help the wider community play? An increasingly popular idea in the spirit of the government’s new Localism bill, which


aims to encourage members of a community to volunteer in the provision of services, is for school playgrounds to be opened for use at the weekends and after school. Many schools already allow their play spaces to be used by after-school clubs, the new proposal would simply extend this access to times when the main school building is closed so children from the community can use the playground over the weekend. The idea may prove controversial in itself as there are issues surrounding how these outof-hours playtimes might be supervised and for there to be suitable vetting of volunteers to ensure the site remains secure. Effectively, the scheme would make existing play spaces more accessible to communities that are already closely involved with the school as parents or governors, to release existing social capital at little or no cost either to the school or the community it is built to serve. OPEN FOR BUSINESS? While many public services are undergoing severe cuts, the future of school play provision is not necessarily an open-and-shut case. With rapid changes in the way money is distributed for schools’ construction and building maintenance, there are also new opportunities for schools to think differently about the providers they use to carry out maintenance of existing sites and new construction projects. For example, the 80 per cent reduction of the devolved formula capital (DFC) is being redirected centrally to local authorities to support the infrastructure of several schools, which means the pot of money directly available to schools is now much smaller. While the remaining 20 per cent is primarily intended for other capital expenditure beyond the upkeep of individual school’s buildings and facilities, such as playgrounds, the majority of the DFC will fall under the central purchasing power of local authorities, which are expected to deliver better value for money when commissioning services so that all will benefit through greater economies of scale. While the intention of “savings for all” is a noble one, the system has come under fire as a potentially unfair method of funding distribution and seems to contradict the government’s objective of devolving budgets and decisions to those at the ‘coal-face’, namely the head teacher. Another issue that could arise is that as an entire council borough’s funding is gathered together, the unique financial requirements of each school will be lost in a bureaucratic jumble. Simply put, there is a greater risk of schools either being under or over-

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funded relative to their allocated needs. In the past, head teachers have been encouraged to manage budgets, including detailed business plans that highlight the requirements of the school over extended periods taking into account a full DFC budget. However, massively reduced funds mean that some schools need to apply to local authorities for funds they previously managed themselves, which may result in long periods spent waiting for a suitable solution to be implemented. Also, the flexibility of how to spend funds over a longer period allowed schools to invest in major projects, including playground solutions. This flexibility has been reduced considerably. FIRST NEW STEPS The recent review of the EYFS recognises the intrinsic value of play for 0-5 year-olds and encourages it in several educational disciplines to ensure that children remain active, both in body and mind. Indeed, the spirit of play is recognised as a key influence on how children learn through three characteristics of effective teaching and learning: playing and exploring; active learning; and creating and thinking critically. There is an increasing range of innovative play equipment developed specifically with these goals in mind that complements learning in the classroom by providing children with opportunities to learn through the more relaxed environment of the playground. Play engenders development by encouraging children to act both instinctively and spontaneously, providing crucial opportunities to take risks and use their own initiative. Play also enables children to interact with, and learn about, their environment and those around them. Echoing the API’s recommendation for suitable outdoor play spaces in schools, the EYFS review also states that: “Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, must ensure that all outings are planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example poor weather conditions).” OUTDOOR PLAY Outdoor play encourages the development of social interactions that build relationships and social skills, whilst encouraging the expression of emotions and thoughts sometimes inhibited in other situations. Many outdoor play space designs emphasise the inclusive nature of play by proposing products and spaces that are fit for all and that can be adapted and interpreted freely by the children themselves. Water play is highly tactile and the E

E right equipment can engender harmless, dynamic movement that is absorbing and fascinating. Indeed, water with sand is a perfect combination, as so many children discover on the beach. MUSIC & SOUND PLAY Play involving sound and music can help young children with their creative development. It can help them to discover how to express themselves in an imaginative and artistic way. For older children, experiencing music and sound outside can be important to show them how acoustics alter. This, in turn, can help them to understand the different structural elements of music (rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, texture, form, and dynamics). For some children with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties, music can be a precious gateway into the world, enabling them to “feel” the beat and the rhythm. CHILDREN WITH SPECIFIC NEEDS The benefits of play can be particularly important for many children with SEN and disabilities, providing them with unique opportunities to explore the world and engage in creative and fun activities. A vast array of play equipment is available for schools and, with the right guidance and advice, it is possible to produce highly accessible and inclusive play environments

to meet the needs of most children. These environments can be particularly important in helping with pupil’s personal, social, and emotional development, and in developing their problem solving, reasoning and numeracy skills. The use of different textures and colours can greatly assist visually impaired children by providing visual and tactile cues. It can be used to delineate physical boundaries, for example, where Tarmac finishes and a timber trail starts, or to highlight different textures, such as gravel, sand, bark and a variety of rubberised surfacing (continuous or tiled). QUIET CORNERS & SENSORY GARDENS Time out zones can be important for many children, but especially for those with autistic spectrum disorders or dyspraxia, as they provide them with a place to wind down from their anxieties. Story areas or circles can encourage communication, use of language and literacy, while also stimulating creative development, for example, by providing essential space to act out a story. Being involved in gardening can contribute greatly to general wellbeing. Gardening also generates many learning outcomes and involves the development of such a variety of skills and activities. It can be used very flexibly to select those activities which best suit the abilities and interests of each individual child.

Planting and nurturing flowers or vegetables brings with it a degree of responsibility, a skill that some children can develop over an extended time. The experiences found in sensory gardens, with herbs, lavender, rosemary, flowers, sweet peas and strawberries, are all part of gaining knowledge and understanding of the world.

Outdoor Education


LOOSE PARTS & INDOOR PLAY One advantage of supervised non-public areas in schools, and particularly in special schools, is the opportunity to have loose parts play equipment. There are several equipment options available, consisting of both small and large scale modular play solutions that, when bought in sets, children can use in a variety of combinations, creating dynamic, exciting child-initiated playscapes where they can have fun, explore and learn. Soft play areas and sensory rooms have come a long way since the first days of ball pools. One special school said it had introduced listening to music and a choice of tactile as well as motor-auditory experiences into its sensory areas. Another is having a brand new soft play and sensory room fitted with an interactive floor and lights so that by breaking light beams children can play notes and make sounds. This will aid their motor skills and hand/eye coordination and help them to understand cause and effect. L

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Outdoor Education



CREATIVE LEARNING FOR ALL Birmingham Botanical Gardens highlights how botanical education can be applied to many areas of the curriculum, from botany, through to geography and history Changes in today’s society are becoming more rapid – economically and environmentally. People will live very differently in the future from the way they do today and they will face greater challenges. Today’s young people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of protecting their own environment on a personal and global scale. Birmingham Botanical Gardens has a long established reputation as a centre of excellence for sustainability and environmental management and for raising awareness of the vital and fragile relationship between people and plants. Situated in leafy Edgbaston, this 15-acre oasis of delight was designed by J C Loudon, a leading garden planner, horticultural journalist and publisher and opened to subscribers in 1832. Today it remains a haven of beauty, peace and tranquillity close to the city centre. The Gardens first opened at a time of global exploration and great discoveries in the natural world. Enormous numbers of new plants from around the world were introduced to Britain and there was growing excitement in Birmingham to discover more about these species and learn more about them. EDUCATION Today the Gardens’ mission is not only to bring enjoyment but also to use the plant collection to spread the message that plants are essential. Our society needs plants, yet our actions determine whether they survive or become extinct. The charity aims to encourage all visitors to respect their environment by maintaining and developing the plant collection, sharing stories, organising events and most importantly offering educational programmes particularly to young people. Increasingly the Gardens’ role also involves educating younger generations in conservation and preservation to ensure they are well equipped for survival in the future. Today’s Botanical Gardens reflects these changes in society and address issues beyond plants and botanical collections, looking at how we all interact with the environment, tapping into the issues affecting the world at large. People are paving their front gardens, gardening less for show and more for improved quality of life. Like them, the Gardens is also focusing on the essential issues – food, carbon footprint, quality of life and the environment and conserving resources. As James Wheeler, chief executive of the Gardens, observes: “Here children can learn about the changes in our environment, the challenges those will bring and how they can and need to address the balance for the future. They won’t be driving


around so much, they will have to eat more home-grown foods, and they will probably be more dependent on energy from clean sustainable sources for everyday chores.” Birmingham Botanical Gardens does not exist just for fun and leisure. A market leader in horticulture and environmental management, the Gardens’ team of horticultural and educational experts lead by example, dedicated to providing the best experience for all their visitors, whatever the reason for their visit. The Gardens seeks to be relevant to all visitors, whether they are the recently retired or schoolchildren. The charity’s audience is more sophisticated nowadays and more informed about green issues. Visitors increasingly use the internet and the Gardens’ website to access information about the attraction but nothing replaces the personal experience of a visit. To reflect these changing interests, the Gardens has developed new features such as

will begin this autumn and was kicked off in July with the first international conference exploring the multi-dimensions of wellbeing. The importance of urban green spaces was pioneered by J C Loudon in the 1800s and his work led directly to the city parks that everyone enjoys today. How fitting then that the Botanical Gardens, arguably Loudon’s most impressive landscape, should provide a pilot site for today’s landscape architects’ exploration of why gardens heal us and increase our wellbeing. STUDENT GARDENERS Ernest Henry ‘Chinese’ Wilson, one of the most famous and successful plant hunters of the Victorian era, and a pioneering conservationist, spent his formative years living and working in Edgbaston and trained at Birmingham Botanical Gardens between 1893 and 1897 before going on to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and achieving fame as a plant collector,

The charity aims to encourage all visitors to respect their environment by maintaining and developing the plant collection, sharing stories, organising events and most importantly offering educational programmes particularly to young people. the Story of Horticulture, fun environments for youngsters, learning zones such as the Growing Schools Garden and new spectaculars like the Japanese Garden. Acknowledging the increasing interests in education, conservation and the environment, and the importance of green spaces to the wellbeing of society, the Gardens is expanding partnerships and networking with other organisations with similar interests. The Gardens cooperates with major botanical gardens like Kew and Edinburgh in plant conservation work such as the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Of even greater importance is bringing awareness of the importance of plants in their lives to the attention of the general public; without the ‘ecosystem services’ provided free of charge by the wider countryside and urban trees, cities and our life in them would be unsustainable. Plants also contribute greatly to the quality of our lives; Birmingham Botanical Gardens is cooperating with Birmingham City University in a ground-breaking study of the designed green landscape and how it improves people’s mental and physical health. A three-year study

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

and that spirit of discovery and learning continues today. Each year, the Gardens takes on a number of student gardeners from all over the UK and overseas. They come from a variety of educational backgrounds and interests. Under the tutelage of Simon Gulliver, plant collections manager, they learn a wide range of subjects as well as practical skills – plant identification, dormancy, evolution, nomenclature, pruning, propagation – and take these skills out into the wider world. Most important are the young and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomes over 15,000 schoolchildren each year to its purpose-built Education Study Centre, providing high quality learning experiences for all ages and abilities. Schoolchildren sample a wide variety of environments from hot and humid tropical conditions to desert climates in the four glasshouses and can observe the seasonal changes to plants and trees around the 15 acres of landscaped gardens. Deborah Knott, education officer, comments: “Young visitors are encouraged to appreciate living things, studying different habitats and developing a caring attitude and an overall concern for the environment that E

E will hopefully stay with them into adult life. Educational programmes complement all the National Curriculum subjects but there are also additional features for the children to become more hands-on with the environment.” The Gardens’ Study Centre is a recognised centre of excellence and has recently had its Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge renewed. The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto is a government initiative demonstrating how learning can take place outside the classroom, within school grounds and beyond. There is strong evidence that learning outside the classroom is a powerful approach to learning in which personal experience is of prime importance. It provides children with the opportunity to experience the world beyond the classroom and is an essential part of learning and personal development. It provides positive memorable experiences that stay with them into adult life and hopefully will influence their values and the decisions they make for the good. Learning outside the classroom provides a context for learning in different areas; general and subjectbased knowledge, thinking and problem solving skills, and life skills including team building and interpersonal communication. Birmingham Botanical Gardens has also recently received a Growing Schools Garden Award in recognition of its work in developing

opportunities for children’s outdoor learning in a natural environment, providing access to the Gardens and hands-on activities. Its Growing Schools Garden first opened in 2008 and was designed by TV presenter and garden designer Chris Beardshaw. SUSTAINABILITY The Garden also features a Straw Bale building, a sustainable building constructed entirely from environmentally friendly materials, where school groups can meet and observe the nature around them. The building has a negative carbon footprint as it is sustainable – straw being formed by photosynthesis. Cool in summer and warm in winter, the green roof absorbs water and, as well as providing insulation, also creates a home for wildlife. Straw bale buildings flourished in the UK until the 1940s when cement became more popular. Another of the Gardens’ initiatives to bring children in direct contact with their environment is its Green Man project. Housed in a specially converted Victorian cottage, it is designed to help teachers deliver the National Curriculum in a new exciting way. Children enter the fascinating world of the Green Man, a striking character who encourages them to explore the Gardens’ plant, trees and shrubs by issuing quests and sending them off on missions of discovery. The titles of other Study Centre courses

give an indication of the breadth of learning available at the Gardens: Maths in Plants; Cryptic Orienteering; Habitats and Homes, Rainforest Survival; Intelligent Plants; Natural Survival as well as Bug Hunts and PondDipping. The Growing Schools Garden will shortly welcome a number of hens that will provide an opportunity for children to learn about simple animal husbandry, reflecting Chris Beardshaw’s own vision of small animal keeping on school grounds. As an educational charity, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens has an ethical advantage but this does not pay its bills. Finding new investment is a constant challenge, to maintain its historic fabric and glasshouses while also developing new buildings, attractions and education resources around the Gardens. The management continues to explore productive and mutually beneficial partnerships with the business community to secure and develop a unique world-renowned product. As James Wheeler says: “If we don’t invest in the future we won’t be here in the future and that applies to us all, not just to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses. For our part, we intend to continue to live up to our own code – Plants and People – Partners for Life.” L

Outdoor Education



Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Outdoor Education



NURTURING THE NEXT GENERATION There’s much to learn in British classrooms today, however, moving lessons outdoors can be a practical way to boost children’s learning potential while reconnecting them with nature Most schools have a multi-faceted resource for learning outside the classroom on their doorstep – their own site or grounds. The immediate surroundings of a school are an easily accessible, cost-effective and convenient resource that can be a powerful tool to educate using sensory perception as well as mental stimulation. Environmental charity Groundwork has been working with schools to bring environmental education to schoolchildren in a way that complements the National Curriculum for the past 30 years, and we have found that nothing brings a subject to life more than giving pupils the opportunity to experience the environment first hand. “Taking lessons outdoors is extremely valuable, particularly for pupils who find the formal environment of the classroom isn’t working for them,” says Vicky Duxbury, environmental education officer at Groundwork Luton & South Bedfordshire. “It gives pupils the opportunity to learn in a more hands on way and the chance to apply knowledge, for example, taking part in an audit of the school grounds could involve the practical application of maths and English. “It’s a really good way for teachers to reconnect with switched off learners.” PLANS & IDEAS Schools tend to approach us in order to improve and make better use of their grounds. Some have firm ideas about what they want to do but many are open to new ideas. In this instance we would consult with the school community before then drawing up a design to suit the needs of all, including a very important stakeholder: the local wildlife. Groundwork uses the Learning through Landscapes model to bring about changes in school grounds. This approach advocates the need to assess or audit the school’s current environmental facilities and to consult widely with the whole school community before changes are made. The fun thing about the audit stage is that it provides a great opportunity for fieldwork by pupils of all ages. Foundation age children can take an exploratory walk around the school grounds, and GCSE or AS Level Biology pupils could undertake more scientific studies of existing habitats. Once the audit stage is complete a school is asked to consider what they would like to


do with their school grounds. What is their vision? What do they want to be able to do in the grounds that they cannot do now? Consultation with pupils, staff and parents often results in a ‘wish list’ which is prioritised and drawn up into a vision plan for the grounds. Groundwork will then work with the school to help them implement their vision. CREATIVE FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES With the plans in place the next step would usually be to work with the school to identify potential sources of funding. Being creative about funding opportunities can go a long way to creating these outdoor learning spaces. The private sector can play a key role in this as part of meeting its own corporate social responsibility objectives. This can sometimes make for some unusual alliances, but this type of brokerage can bring private, public and voluntary sector partners together in a very effective way. Groundwork’s partnership with npower on the Climate Cops Green Fingers programme is just one example of this. The Climate Cops Green Fingers initiative for 4-7 year olds forms part of npower’s wider Climate Cops programme. By giving them access to their own greener learning space, it has helped young children to develop their own green fingers while also learning about the science of growing and power of the earth’s natural energy. npower research in 2010 found that: • Children are spending on average just 4 hours a week outdoors, compared to the 12 hours enjoyed by their parents’ generation when growing up. • Nine out of ten parents think they have a better appreciation of nature and the environment than their child as a result, which is supported by the finding that 13 per cent of kids do not understand the process of growing. ECO-IMAGINATION In 2010 npower launched a national competition to help reverse this trend and to transform ten areas of grey built up urban school environments into spaces that allowed children’s eco-imaginations to bloom. The ten competition winners received a package of support worth £5,000 from npower to work with Groundwork to create an outdoor growing area children could enjoy and learn in a fun and engaging way.

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These outside greener learning spaces were designed so children could see plants, natural habitats and creatures grow and develop and be involved in the whole process. Many of the winning schools have said their pupils have learnt about the enjoyment of the outdoor world through being involved in the maintenance, as well as through specific curriculum lessons. “It’s important to bring the learning of energy and the environment to life for young children,” said Clare McDougall, head of community & education investment at npower. “They can learn so much from being outside, planting and taking responsibility for maintaining nature and wildlife rather than staying indoors watching TV or playing on their computers. “Getting outdoors and seeing how plants grow is the first step kids can take in learning about nature and how valuable it is. We know that kids love being outdoors, but when they live in urban areas they don’t always get the chance. Through the Climate Cops Green E

safety and draining reasons. The area was mostly tarmac with a large mound of rubble unsuitable for use as a gardening area. The garden has now been designed to be wildlife friendly, so that the sounds and sight of bees, butterflies and birds can add to the sensory and calming nature of the site. The greener learning space will be used and enjoyed by pupils, parents, and a local residents group as a place to meet, play, learn and relax. The school lacked pleasant outdoor spaces for groups to use, and a sensory outdoor space has great potential for providing eco-therapy. This is particular useful for the particular groups and individuals at the school, many of whom suffer from stress and anxiety. “The site was derelict and unpleasant to look at and totally unusable – to have this changed into a beautiful space for the senses, with seating and shade will allow the wider school community to use and enjoy this area for many years to come,” said Maria Harries, vice chair of governors and head of the project steering group. ”The process of developing the site has been very good for community engagement, and the wider community have really liked being involved in the decision making process and finding their opinions were valued.”

Getting outdoors and seeing how plants grow is the first step kids can take in learning about nature and how valuable it is. We know that kids love being outdoors, but when they live in urban areas they don’t always get the chance. E Fingers programme, we aimed to help children learn about the science of gardening and how the earth’s natural energy helps things grow.” The programme has improved 1,118m2 of land, planted 165 trees, involved 648 children and nearly 800 people overall. “The school environment is one of the most influential environments children experience,” says Groundwork’s chief executive, Tony Hawkhead. “After all, they spend almost half of their waking day at school, they will develop social interaction skills, make or break friendships, in short, grow as people. “Through this partnership with npower

we have been able to support each winning school to develop their grounds to enhance the learning of their pupils in a fun, enjoyable and environmentally inspirational way.” STIMULATING THE SENSES Climate Cops Green Fingers winners Dorin Park Special School in Chester worked with us to transform a derelict area of the school grounds into a sensory garden for its children and their families to enjoy. The site was formerly a derelict area used as a dumping ground during a recent building project and was out of bounds for

Outdoor Education


GROWING YOUR OWN Groundwork also worked with Key Stage 1 pupils and teachers at Our Lady and St Anne’s RC Primary School, in Newcastle upon Tyne to plan, design and implement their outdoor growing space, with professional contractors carrying out the physical improvement works. After winning Climate Cops Green Fingers, we supported the school to set up an active vegetable plot and provided them with tools and information to help them to sustain this after the project was complete. We also worked with children and teachers in reception, year 1 and year 2 to plant up the raised beds. The classes were split into groups of 15, with each class planting its own vegetables. The children were taught what plants need to make them grow and the importance of looking after their growing space in the future. As a result the children now have an increased awareness of the environment and have learnt how to grow, care for and use plants through a variety of practical activities. Michael O’Brien, head teacher, explains: “A lot of people describe the school as a hidden oasis in this part of the city. It is a conservation area but where the children play is mainly concrete and flagstones. We wanted to give them the chance to learn in a much more practical way and give them the opportunity to grow things.” Keira Johnson, a pupil at the school added, “We planted radishes and cabbages. When we get back from the summer holidays I bet they will be huge. Like in Jack in the Beanstalk.” L FOR MORE INFORMATION

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Educational Trips



BEYOND THE CLASSROOM Lucia Crothall, education marketing manager, English Heritage, looks at ways to make school trips as easy as possible for those who organise them and as beneficial as possible for all involved “I personally find organising trips very stressful and sadly it’s easier (and of course cheaper) not to do it at all.” This is what one teacher said last year when English Heritage conducted a survey to find out why some schools were not re-visiting our properties on free entry school visits. So how can organising trips be made easier and cost-effective? Given that school budget cuts, coach costs, changes in the curriculum cycle, staff cover, and health and safety legislation are largely beyond the control of out-of-the-classroom attractions, what exactly can be done to make school trips as painless and pleasurable as possible for those who want to undertake them? By offering all pre-booked learning groups free entry to over 400 historic properties in our care, we aim to take the cost “sting” out of memorable outside the classroom learning experiences. We can’t do anything about the weather but to make risk assessments less of a nightmare, we normally e-mail group leaders a hazard information sheet for each site, together with the free entry permit which can also be used for a free familiarisation visit. We even offer learning group leaders 20 per cent off site guidebooks that they can buy to help prepare for the class visit. At English Heritage we’ve found that offering free site entry and information simply isn’t enough. There’s also the need to convince some teachers of the huge and proven value of outside-the-classroom learning in general, let alone how historic sites in particular can be used for a range of cross-curricular opportunities. Newly-qualified teachers are particularly hard nuts to crack. With little or no experience of either the new local area they invariably find themselves in or of teaching history, many are understandably anxious about both. We need to help them find what they want as easily as possible and convince them of the value and ease of conducting a self-led visit – and this means making the experience as appealing as possible right from the start. WEBSITES AND BOOKING SYSTEMS A good website is essential for an effective pre-visit experience. It should meet the needs of learning group leaders looking for places to visit, facilities and resources. But even finding a website can be a problem and search optimisation, menus, content, positioning and links should be under constant review. With a choice of 400+ different properties, all with different features and many with different opening times, on-site facilities, activities and resources, making


this operation a simple one is complicated and we still have a long way to go. Bookings systems should also be customerfocused and easy to use to prevent people from turning away at the first post. Our online system is constantly reviewed and we act quickly if people find problems with it but there is always scope for improvement. We hope that next year’s move to centralised phone bookings will improve the userfriendliness of all bookings options. LEARNING THROUGH DOING All children should have the opportunity of a hands-on history experience, to understand, value and therefore want to care for their local heritage. It’s the job of the education team to make this as easy and effective as possible on school trips because as one teacher on a recent self-led visit put it: “To actually run around in a castle and hear the noises that are made, to touch the walls, to feel everything – you just cannot put that learning into a classroom, it’s impossible.” To make getting out there as easy as possible, and give teachers a break from having to do all the planning, some of our sites offer the option to book interactive, expert-led Discovery Visits

“Heritage learning encompasses a huge set of skills – not just learning facts about history but understanding how people operate and interact with their environment,” adds Pippa Smith, head of education. “If you tell children something, maybe one or two will remember the facts. If you help them investigate and find things out for themselves, 90 per cent of them are going to remember the facts. Making a connection between a theoretical fact and a practical reality is key – and that’s where English Heritage can really support.” A short new film showing what can be accomplished through play (and what learning looks like at English Heritage properties) can be seen on the English Heritage website. Not surprisingly, Discovery Visits are particularly appreciated by teachers who do not have the time to plan sessions for their groups or fear that their historical knowledge is not up to scratch – although our richly illustrated property information and teachers’ kits (also sent to bookers and downloadable from the website) can help with both problems. They offer a wealth of historic and site details as well as lesson ideas to help nonexperts make the most of all self-led visits. When we recently asked teachers if there

To actually run around in a castle and hear the noises that are made, to touch the walls, to feel everything – you just cannot put that learning into a classroom, it’s impossible. (£90 per group) that support national curriculum learning across a range of topics and key stages. These are universally popular as they enable learners to experience life as royals, knights, monks, soldiers and servants or become history, maths, art or even garden detectives at actual Roman, medieval, Tudor and Victorian sites. Our feedback confirms that children develop enquiry, team building and communications skills and learn more from Discovery Visits than they do in the classroom. They like and remember the experience too. “The children enjoyed it; I learnt a lot as well. This was so real. It was excellent,” said a Year 6 teacher of a Discovery Visit at Pendennis Castle. “The best school trip ever,” commented learners on a Discovery Visit at Beeston Castle. We believe that fun and play should be integral to a learner’s development. “Learning is active engagement with experience. For very young children play is the main medium through which they learn,” explains education director Sandra Stancliffe.

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

was anything we could do to make this education offer more attractive just under 50 per cent voluntarily said “it’s great as it is,” while the remainder mainly wanted reductions in transport costs as well as less bureaucracy. To help address this we have in the past introduced campaigns like “save our school trips” and “introduce a learning group” (whereby successful claimants received 50 per cent off their transport costs). We are now looking into different ways we may be able to help encourage the use of public transport. ON-SITE FACILITIES Activity-packed local heritage trails, newlook teachers’ kits, inspiring films, on-site handling collections and activities, flip cameras and GPS units – these are some of the exciting new learning resources and items currently under development to help bring to life even the most esoteric mounds and ruins and make trips to them a breeze. Most of our major properties have E

Educational Trips


Touching the past – a school visit to Beeston Castle

A school visit to Eltham Palace

A school visit to Kenwood House in North London

E indoor education spaces or store/lunch rooms that education groups can use as learning bases for the day and nearly all have toilets, parking and plenty of space to let off steam. Cafes and shops also offer well-deserved refreshments for teachers and helpers, and souvenirs for all to remind them of what we hope they will long remember as a happy and rewarding trip. Shops can often provide the icing on the cake for a successful school trip – some even provide lunch or goody bags if pre-booked. Learners at some of our most amazing properties will soon be able to track down significant sights and objects using GPS units and express their creativity with flip cameras loaned out to them during free entry visits. Costume and handling collections and activity bags will also be offered at an increasing number of sites, such as the interactive guide book and object collection at Warkworth Castle and our first traditional building methods pack at Launceston Castle. New interactive heritage trails, designed to expand a site visit into a fulfilling day-long trip, are also being developed. These address teachers’ preferences for a full day covering environmental and other activities to make the most of school trips and offer the chance to undertake stimulating activities and develop new insights and skills while finding out about the changing face of towns. A trail for Whitby can already be downloaded and trails for Deal, Great Yarmouth and more will soon be available, aimed primarily at Key Stage 2-3 pupils. For those based in different parts of the country there’s normally a castle, abbey or other site of historical significance not far away and free entry visits to our 400 heritage sites can offer amazing cross-curricular learning experiences all over the country. By offering them and constantly reviewing and improving our website and booking procedures, providing free hazard and historical site information, familiarisation visits and useful downloadable resources, and introducing new site-based activities and resources, we aim not only to reduce the costs and stress of trips but also to make them as easy to organise and as beneficial as possible for all involved. L

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AN INSPIRING DESTINATION With a great choice of venues, coupled with history, culture and scenery, it is evident why Devon has become such a popular choice for conferences. Read on and be inspired With inspiring venues that are easily reached yet feel miles away from it all, Devon is an appealing choice for residential and one day conferences alike. As expansions and new developments continue to appear, the choice of venues will soon be better than ever, providing great value for money and all the mod cons amidst naturally inspiring surroundings. ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING Devon is known for its green spaces and stunning coastlines. Along with its modern and diverse venues it provides spaces naturally conducive to clear thinking and learning. A vast choice of venues provides for residential conferences for over 1,000 delegates, friendly meeting spaces for just a few, and everything in between. More unusual venues also prove a popular choice and include country house hotels overlooking expansive golf courses or deer parks, aquariums where giant fish tanks are the backdrop, or hotels overlooking the Atlantic. With the sea and the moors on the doorstep, management training and team building events are equally well catered for. The choice of places to unwind after hours is similarly vast. Whether it be the restaurants and bars of the cities or relaxed country gastro pubs, the emphasis is on fresh local food, cooked with style. Off-duty delegates can choose to indulge in the great outdoors by exploring the two coastlines, vast countryside or two moors either on foot or by bike, sail boat or steam train. Devon is also closer than many people think, with good rail, road and air links making

it easy to reach from throughout the UK. Two of the main conferencing hubs, Exeter and Plymouth, are serviced by the London Paddington and Waterloo lines, with journey times from Paddington around 2 hours 15 minutes to Exeter and 3 hours 15 minutes to Plymouth. There are also frequent services from the North and the Midlands. Torquay, another key conferencing destination, is also quickly reached by a local branch line from Newton Abbot. With Exeter International Airport’s links with key areas, delegates from locations such as Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle can reach Devon within 1 hour and 30 minutes. NEW VENUES Devon’s conference venues are continually evolving to meet the needs of their clients. Among these, new locations have been established including the FlyBe Training Academy. Home to Europe’s largest regional airline and a stone’s throw from Exeter International Airport, FlyBe’s headquarters now offers brand new, state-of-the art facilities for up to 140 delegates. These facilities will be complemented by the planned expansion of the airport itself and the addition of a 120 bed Hampton by Hilton hotel in late 2011. The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth has also opened further spaces for functions and events, including rooms surrounded by gigantic fish tanks where the light and colour created by the movements of the oceans’ giants create an unusual but charming setting for corporate events.

Conferences & Events


Not to rest on its laurels, Devon’s investment in new projects is very much apparent, particularly in the Exeter area, with the Exeter & East Devon Growth Point project continuing apace. This series of developments to Devon’s county town and the surrounding area will include expansion and improvements to Exeter International Airport and the development of the new Exeter Science Park, set to capitalise on links with the technology base provided by the University of Exeter, the Met Office and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. The University of Exeter is also undergoing significant regeneration and new construction here will include the flagship building The Forum. Due to open in early 2012, it will house a 400-seat technology-rich lecture theatre, seminar and meeting space as well as restaurant complete with a terrace boasting views across the historic city of Exeter. Successful conferences and meetings depend as much on the venue as they do on the agenda or programme of the event. A successful venue should therefore offer more than a place to meet and Torquay offers all the vital ingredients that take a conference from being just good to being fantastic. Torquay has many venues to choose from ranging from the purpose built Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC), to top business hotels, to the more unusual venues such as the newly reopened Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens (following its extensive £6.5m restoration), Paignton Zoo & Botanical Gardens, and Kents Cavern Underground show caves – the most famous Stone Age home in Britain. The RICC is the largest venue offering a choice of conference facilities for up to 1,500 delegates and breakout and meeting rooms for up 350, 1,750m2 exhibition

Torquay harbour

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Conferences & Events


DEVON facilities and banqueting for in excess of 1,200 guests, all located just off the seafront and therefore surrounded by a wide variety of hotels and guest accommodation. The RICC was the first English conference centre to be accredited with a silver Green Tourism Award so they understand and work with conference organisers on reducing carbon footprint and considering any other adverse impacts on the environment. This has encouraged other local venues and businesses to follow so Torquay is fast becoming a green town. Hotels range from the 4-star Imperial Barceló, and the independently owned Grand Hotel, to cosy, clean and inspected small hotes and guesthouses and a quality budget Premier Inn. Conference Torquay, with its online free accommodation booking service will help delegates find the serviced or selfcatering accommodation for any budget. ENGLISH RIVIERA When you are in Torquay, you’ll appreciate why the area is called the English Riviera. The clean air, spaciousness and pace of life have contributed to attracting new business set-ups, e-commerce businesses and boltholes for city dwellers. As a conference destination you’ll be with others who have found the destination a great place for clear thinking, relaxed environment

and certainly one that differs significantly from the pressured city environment in which there is usually little time to reflect. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why a poll found Torquay to be the foremost seaside destination in the UK. It was the Victorians who coined the phrase the ‘English Riviera’, likening the area to its French equivalent. Subtropical plants and the celebrated Torbay Palm add to the Mediterranean feel. LEISURE TIME Every effective conference provides for some leisure time and on the English Riviera there is an abundance of activities. View the hills and fields around from the HyFlyer, a tethered balloon adjacent to the RICC. As the only urban accredited Geopark in Europe, Torbay has a wealth of history, its Jurassic Coastline can be explored not only from the sky but also by boat or by an informative bus tour. Torquay’s history is well known for its connection with Agatha Christie, but there is so much more to its past than this – Brunel, Singer family, Darwin, cavemen and Romans, Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Crusaders, as well as the Elizabethan, Victorian and Edwardian eras. Beyond Torquay you will find lots more: you can explore the riverbanks of Dartmouth on a

jazz cruise, and the home of Agatha Christie or walk the rolling wilderness of Dartmoor. There are fantastic shopping opportunities at both Exeter and Plymouth; both beautiful cities have recently undergone extensive shopping centre redevelopments. Pavement cafés and restaurants add a continental feel to both cities and of course both have historical stories of their own to tell. FOOD FOR THOUGHT Another important part of any successful conference is food, whether it is a banquet for hundreds or a simple brunch with friends Torquay can offer you a complete range. In terms of large scale banqueting there are many suitable venues to choose from. For something different Torquay can offer unusual dining experiences at the adjacent Torre Abbey, at the zoo or Living Coasts amongst the penguins. For more elegance the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth offers a magnificent setting overlooking the River Dart, amongst its history of battles fought and of naval officers trained, including Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and Prince Philip (the setting where the Queen first met her husband to be). L FOR MORE INFORMATION

Three superb venues for all your corporate needs

The world’s largest centre for contemporary dance Laban offers specialist training to up-&-coming dance artists. The building was designed by acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron of Tate Modern fame, the Beijing National Stadium (2008 Olympic Games), & winning Laban the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for ‘Britain’s Building of the Year’ in 2003. Alexandra Suite St Mary’s Road, Swanley, Kent BR8 7BU

The Woodlands Hilda May Avenue, Swanley, Kent BR8 7BT

The Olympic Beechenlea Lane, Swanley, Kent BR8 8DR

• Min/Max capacity: 2/270 • Flexible meeting and banqueting rooms • Ideally located at junction 3 (M25) Junction 1 (M20) • Excellent transport links to London and the South East • Free car parking • Free internet access • Personal service tailored to meet your needs • Exceptional value • Hotel accommodation nearby • Corporate functions and Christmas events Telephone: 01322 613900 Email: Website:


EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

A stunning, ultra-modern venue providing an inspirational setting for events, its facilities include a 294-seat state-of-the-art theatre, a 100-seat lecture theatre, 13 versatile ‘blank canvas’ studios, smaller meeting spaces & a funky foyer area for up to 400. Outside, a 200seat amphitheatre has been carved into landscaped gardens, offering a stunning setting for alfresco functions & weddings, with the building providing a dramatic backdrop both by day and by night. A flexible arrangement for both technical services and catering is on offer at Laban – either via the in-house teams, or via approved external suppliers. Laban is easily accessible from central London, a short walk from the bustling centre of Maritime Greenwich. ‘It is a building which champions the idea that intelligence, creativity, imagination and art make life better.’ - Rowan Moore, London Evening Standard Laban, Creekside, London SE8 3DZ T 020 8469 9452 F 020 8691 8400

Laban in #1 ranked raph’s leg The Te inspiring st ‘50 mo ings in build in’ Brita (2008).



A NEW LOOK AT AUTISM Life Beyond Labels Autism Resource section is a supportive web based resource, utilising social media to help all those whose family, friends, helpers and medical advisors place labels upon them Autism is much in the news but many people have no idea what it is or what is being done about it. It is often described as a spectrum of psychological disorders, including acute difficulties in personal communication and in relating to others. Laurence Mitchell was only diagnosed as autistic, in his case with Aspergers Syndrome, at the age of 48. Despite a lifetime of interpersonal difficulties and communication challenges, Laurence has determined that his life’s work is the development of a web resource for all those who have been labelled in some way as “different” or “not normal”. Laurence’s site, Life Beyond Labels, gives anyone who has been labelled the opportunity to choose another kind of label – one they are happy to wear. It is also a major resource where those who suffer from any form of autism, those who care for them and those seeking to offer them treatment, can distribute information, tips and share on their own particular wall. Not a wall to protect – but a wall to share thoughts and ideas, offer support and find friends with. Using the latest web technology, Life Beyond Labels is an enabling resource to help anyone manage their thoughts and organise their lives. A person’s own wall can be used for several purposes: • For personal development by organising the labels on a person’s wall according to their current importance in a person’s life. • To help, teach and support those with special needs and challenges of any kind. • To open up any label and develop it into a personal website. “Your wall is your life and within it there are a number of walls which a person can design and build to support them, and this may become your very own effective personal theraputic treatment,” says Laurence. HUMPTY DUMPTY Your guide through the world of Life Beyond Labels is Humpty Dumpty. But not the Humpty you may be familiar with from the children’s nursery rhyme. This Humpty is no longer a cracked egg as he cannot fall off his wall as he has learned to tear off any unhelpful and unwanted labels others have pinned on him. Whether your interest is to build a wall built of a single label or a thousand, very simple and straightforward instructions apply. The first thing you have to know is that it is a requirement to become a member of the LBL community to be able to access all the tools on Life Beyond Labels. Once you have registered

and are logged in with your username and password you will be ready to build your wall. When you log into your account for the first time you will see Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall built of a single row of labels delivering the message: “Make hope a reality by rebuilding your life brick by brick.” YOUR CHOICE Each wall is a technical masterpiece in its own right because not only can you build walls with it but you can turn it into a game, a diary or organiser, learn how to organise your mind and manage your life and many more things. Each wall has been designed to make sure you don’t have to have any technical knowledge so it doesn’t matter whether you are a novice or expert – all the hard technical stuff has already been done for you. For more information on how to build a wall, the types of walls that can be built, about labels, adding images to labels, adding content, types of content, adding images and other media to content, information about content, you can view the instructional video in the help label (guide). FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 08000 789 139

Laurence Mitchell

Some of the things you can do at LBL • organise and prioritise in your life • custom build your own mind games and exercises • create a guide to your life • deposit and retrieve any information you want • network • upload videos and images • join forums and meet like-minded people • make friends with those who have common interests or conditions

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Good food at school? It comes down to six staples – enough time for lunch, decent dining rooms, freshly cooked food, affordable prices, stay on site policies and cooking in the curriculum If there was such a thing as a silver bullet for making sure that every child gets a great lunchtime experience at school, we would’ve fired it long ago. What’s clear, six years since we began our work, is that the task of helping the school meals service across the country to grow the market and become fully sustainable is still both huge and complex. The list of factors in the mix is lengthy, continuing to make the case for why and how good food at school matters for children’s education and their performance – research proves that when children eat better, they do better, yet all too often food has to compete with the leaky roof or upgrading IT for so many hard-pressed schools. Add to that the need to help schools meet some of the world’s toughest nutritional standards for school meals and showing their worth for children’s attainment and health; developing training opportunities; supporting schools with marketing menus on tight budgets; helping schools to protect kitchens and improve dining rooms; and to get better value for their services and supplies. GROWING NUMBERS We are, however, seeing the steady impact. The number of children eating healthy school meals in England has climbed for the third year in a row, with more than three million children now having a school lunch every day. New figures, published in July by the School Food Trust and the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA), show that an average of 44.1 per cent of children in primary schools and 37.6 per cent of pupils in secondary school opted for school meals in the 2010/11 year, up from 41.4 and 35.8 per cent respectively in the previous year. This means that around 173,000 more children had healthy school meals last year, compared with around 100,000 extra children in 2009/10. In total, more than three million children now eat a school meal every day, so the equivalent of almost 590 million healthy school lunches were served up last year. Figures in primary schools have now notched up a rise of almost 5 percentage points over just three years, more than compensating for the fall in take up seen after Jamie Oliver’s original campaign. CONTINUED INVESTMENT Crucially, despite the un-ringfencing of government funding for school food from

Written by Rob Rees MBE, chair, School Food Trust




Rob Rees eating with pupil

The majority of children are still bringing packed lunches to school, or get dinner money to spend in the local takeaway or supermarket. If we’re going to keep school meal numbers rising, we have to keep healthy school meals affordable. April, the research also shows encouraging signs that schools are pledging to continue investing the money in good food at school. Two thirds of councils taking part in our survey (65 per cent) indicated that their catering services would continue to receive School Lunch Grant funding, with fewer than one in five indicating otherwise. The average meal price across all schools was £1.93, a rise of 5p – less than 3 per cent and below the current rate of food inflation – on the previous year. For me, there’s no better review for any restaurant than to see the number of returning customers going up each year – and that’s exactly what’s happening here, thanks to

the hard work of cooks and catering teams, lunchtime supervisors, schools and councils. But the majority of children are still bringing packed lunches to school, or get dinner money to spend in the local take away or supermarket. If we’re going to keep school meal numbers rising, we have to keep healthy school meals affordable. That means helping schools to grow their market, to get the best deals for their food supplies and services, to protect their kitchens and dining rooms and to operate their catering services efficiently. With more children registering for free school meals, we’ve also got to make sure that we continue to encourage more children to take them up. At a time when funding is so tight E

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MEALS TAKE UP E everywhere, good school food is a solid investment in children’s learning and health. That’s why we’re setting out six staples of good food at school that will keep these figures rising: giving children enough time for lunch, decent dining rooms, freshly cooked food, affordable prices, stay on site policies and cooking in the curriculum. TIME AND ENVIRONMENT Children need enough time and space in which to eat their lunch. A 25 minute break simply isn’t enough for them to refuel and recharge their brains for the afternoon – research with

programme – which helps schools find small, low-cost ways to make lunchtime a better experience for their children – saw average take up increase in all five pilot areas where schools took part. One school increased school meals turnover by more than £12,000 in the six months after starting to make little changes – such as buddy systems to help younger students feel more confident in the dining area, re-arranging tables to improve capacity and allowing packed lunch students to sit with school lunch students. The way in which school meals are prepared is linked to take up, which is why we need

Our Small Step Improvements programme – which helps schools find small, low-cost ways to make lunchtime a better experience for their children – saw average take up increase in all five pilot areas where schools took part. One school increased school meals turnover by more than £12,000 in the six months after starting to make little changes. children for the Trust found that lack of time to eat is one of the main things which can turn them away from the canteen. Queues have a significant impact on take up of school meals and are where bullying, pushing-in and intimidation tend to occur most frequently. What’s most important to children isn’t what they eat – it’s where they eat. Get the environment and food right and children will want to eat in the canteen. It’s not about huge capital spending – small things that don’t cost the earth can make a huge difference. For example, our Small Step Improvements

to protect freshly cooked food in schools. Research proves that more children tend to eat school meals in places where more schools can offer freshly cooked food. Helping schools to protect and improve their kitchen and cooking infrastructure is an investment in children’s performance at school. STAYING ON SITE Children miss out when they can go offsite for lunch. Polling for the Trust suggests that 90 per cent of parents think schools should adopt a stay-on-site policy at

lunchtime, with 67 per cent agreeing that children would eat more healthily if they weren’t allowed to leave school at lunch. It can help make sure that children don’t turn up late in the afternoons, and allows teachers to focus on behaviour in school rather than outside. Stay on site can also ease tensions with residents living near school and cut littering. UNDERSTANDING FOOD Learning to cook and understand food is too valuable to be an optional extra or “nice to have”. Cooking and food skills should be a compulsory subject in all schools. They enable children to learn the skills they need to make healthy and informed choices about the food they buy and eat, setting them up for life. When children know how to eat better, they will do better. They offer practical ways to learn across the curriculum and secure the future success of a significant part of the UK food industry. Keeping school meals affordable for parents is essential if we want more children to benefit from them. Our research proves that school food is particularly sensitive to changes in price, so schools need support to build their market, run their catering efficiently and to deal with rising costs. These are our six staples of good food at school. Together, while they may not quite be that silver bullet, they will get us pretty close to the target: a great lunchtime experience at school for every single child. L FOR MORE INFORMATION The national statistical release, methodology and full report can all be found at www.schoolfoodtrust. statisticalrelease and annualsurvey6

Eco-friendly vending machine is pioneered in UK schools A new eco-friendly vending machine from The Green Drinks Company, which offers substantial energy savings and the lowest carbon footprint of any cold drinks vending machine in the world, is being pioneered in schools following successful schools trials. The Pouchlink™ Machine is 80 per cent more energy efficient than a conventional cold drinks vending system. It achieves this by taking water out of the supply chain and making and packaging soft drinks in the vending machine itself rather than selling bulky bottles which have been transported from the factories they were filled in miles away. The system filters mains water, momentarily flash chills it, mixing it with fresh fruit concentrate before packaging the drink in


it does away with the need for constant refrigeration, whilst its 1,000 pouch capacity means it needs less frequent re-stocking. Schools can choose from a selection of schools compliant water-based fruit drinks, which are free from added sugar, artificial colours and artificial flavours and can also offer the One Water charity brand. Independent schools can additionally vend Vimto, Bottlegreen, Sunkist and Pomegreat brands. The Green Drinks Company is offering schools a free two week trial and up to 1,000 free drinks when a machine is installed. a flat-packed flexible pouch. The flash chill facility uses £200 a year less electricity than a traditional vending machine as

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01684 851294


Craft bakers share baking skills with schools to celebrate National Craft Bakers’ Week High street craft bakers across the country are inviting local schools and children of all ages to help them celebrate National Craft Bakers’ Week to be held 19-24 September 2011. During this, the third National Craft Bakers’ Week, craft or artisan bakers want to focus on fun activities such as competitions, videos and cake and bread tastings to show children how they make the delicious products that appear on the bakers’ shelves, fresh every day. Teachers can access a range of resource material including recipes for gingerbread people and bread rolls to bake with their pupils as well as videos that show how bread is made, at Primary school children are invited to take part in a colouring competition whilst a ‘design an advertising poster’ competition for high school pupils puts their design and business skills to the test. Pupils of all ages are also encouraged to ‘meet a baker’ by contacting their local baker. At the forefront of this year’s National Craft Bakers’ Week will be double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes who has inspired so many with her grit and determination to be a winner. Dame Kelly Holmes says: “I am very happy to be championing this year’s National Craft Bakers’ Week. Tasty, locally produced food

should form the backbone of a healthy diet and no shop better demonstrates this than a bakery where the products are freshly baked every day and in the shop for sale within hours. Bakeries are at the heart of their communities and deserve our support.“ For many children with no experience of freshly baked bread and the processes involved in making it this is an opportunity to learn about one of the oldest crafts, learn some new

skills in baking and even taste test something they have made themselves or that their local baker has to offer. To find participating bakers in your area go to FOR MORE INFORMATION National Association of Master Bakers 21 Baldock Street, Ware SG12 9DH Tel: 01920 468061 Fax: 01920 461632

School motivational merchandise and personalised products offered by Able-Direct Centre Ltd We would like to say a big thank you to all of you who visited us at the Education Show and everyone who has ordered from us since. The feedback you have given has been excellent! For those of you who haven’t heard of us before, let me introduced you. Able for Schools is part of the Able-Direct Centre Ltd group, although you may know us better by our trading name Able Labels, a Northamptonshire based company that has been operating since 1954. Able has been supplying bespoke stationery and personalised goods directly to schools for nearly 40 years. By combining our many years experience and working closely with several schools, we have produced a range of fun motivational rewards which include stickers, certificates, reward charts, year books and printed/embroidered garments. All of our goods are produced in-house which allows us to incorporate your design on any of our Able for Schools range. This works especially well for smaller subjects, children’s own artwork or for one off activities such as school productions. We have a dedicated team of designers who are more than happy to give you advice or work with you to produce your own unique creation. Earlier this year we saw a large increase in the amount of leavers hoodies and year

books being ordered, products that are becoming very popular with both senior and junior schools. We have even had feedback from one school that said their parents prefer a year book to the traditional class photo as it is so nice to look back on. As well as working directly with schools, we also offer a very popular fund raising initiate where your school came earn commission on products brought from our Back to School range at Able Labels. The range includes nametapes, shoe labels and personalised pencils to name just a few. We supply your school with enough forms for all your children

along with posters to advertise the scheme. All you have to do is make sure they are distributed and then wait for the commission to roll in! For further information on our Fundraising for Schools please contact our Customer Services team on 0844 371 2423 or e-mail us at FOR MORE INFORMATION To view our current range please visit our website or for a free copy of the catalogue e-mail or telephone us on 0844 371 2423.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



WHY SHOULD YOU GO CASHLESS? The benefits of cashless catering go far beyond just offering schools a faster and more efficient way to pay for school meals Cashless catering is becoming an increasingly prominent trend in schools, college and universities, with more and more education facilities realising the benefits that come from the introduction of an electronic pre-payment solution. In schools, it allows parents to keep an eye on how much money their child is spending in the school canteen, and in many cases, what items they are purchasing. At lunchtimes, schools are extremely busy places, which is when cashless catering really comes into its own. Schools always aim to keep queues to a minimum and make sure that all pupils are fed in good time. Cashless catering is a fantastic solution to ensure that lunchtimes are not so much of a hassle for catering staff. TIME BETTER SPENT Queuing times are reduced dramatically when cashless payment solutions are installed in schools, as pupils only have to tap their card against a contactless reader or even just touch a biometric indentifier in order to authorise their transaction. Payments only take a few seconds, it is really that quick and easy to use. Some suppliers offer electronic payments system that have individual accounts that can be managed by parents, with payments and settlements reviewed by the school. Cashless catering systems can dramatically decrease administration costs in schools, as staff do not have to deal with handling cash and daily counting, as systems automatically can run ‘end of day’ reports and settlements. Some electronic payments are given access to an online portal, which allows them to monitor how many pupils are using the system and how much money is being spent. They are also given weekly reports so they can analyse individual accounts and how many are active at the school. FURTHER BENEFITS Besides the obvious administration benefits, there are plenty of other reasons for why cashless catering can benefit the school environment. Even though it is clearly unfair, especially at a time when many families are struggling in the post-recession economic climate, there is still a lot of stigma attached to the idea of free school dinners. Students who are eligible for these

payments can often feel embarrassed or bullied by others, which can discourage them from having meals in the school canteen. Using cashless catering, students on free school meals can spend this money anonymously as there is no clear difference between the cards or biometric accounts, with money being topped up automatically every day. Parents can view these transactions online, and be assured that their child is being given a good meal in the school canteen. Joyce Watson, Labour assembly member for mid and west Wales, is one of the advocates for cashless catering in schools, as she believes it could bring an end to the negative connotations. She explained to the BBC that it is one way of stopping this stigma existing, as all children participate in the payment scheme, it means no one needs to know who has loaded money onto a pupil’s card in the first place. KEEPING CASH SAFE There’s far less chance of any child losing their money to the school bully if cashless catering payment systems are installed in schools. Pupils using smart card technology can have their cards blocked by the school, or on an online portal in the instance of theft or loss, which protects the balance on the card if someone else tries to make a payment using it. If biometric identifiers are in place, no one can use any account but their own. This is an obvious benefit to pupils, as well as staff, who are able to handle these situations quickly and easily. Cashless catering systems also give parents the reassurance that their children’s dinner money can only be spent in the school canteen, and only by their child. They remove the worry that money can be taken out of the school and used at the local shop, or to pay for unhealthy items elsewhere. If they need further reassurance, they can check their child’s transactions online as well, through a secure portal which allows all of the payments made to be viewed in one place. Parents can check the individual transaction amounts, with a clear breakdown of how much is spent every day, and in many cases, on which items. They don’t need to worry about their children carrying around lots of cash at the



beginning of the week, or month, either, as they are able to top up the cashless catering card online, making it an extremely safe system. Parents can choose to either top up a large amount in one go, or add smaller amounts on a weekly basis, to ensure that their child does not overspend in one day. MAKING LIFE EASIER As Dawn Boyes, business manager at Cockermouth School in Cumbria, recently told the Times and Star newspapers, cashless catering makes “life so much easier for parents and children.” Cashless catering providers encourage pupils to enjoy healthy lunches in school, and allow parents to introduce responsible spending to their children. Payments made using cashless systems are completely safe, the funds are held in a secure online account, and parents are at will to remove these funds at any time. Parents using cashless catering services can be assured that they have access to dedicated customer service teams, who are on hand to ensure that any queries or problems are dealt with quickly, and with minimal disruption to the pupil. Schools are also given direct contacts to resolve issues at a school level. Schools around the whole of the UK have recently begun to see the real advantages which can be gained through implementing a cashless catering system, from reducing the amount of cash which moves around their facility to ensuring pupils don’t have to queue for long to get their lunch. There are benefits cashless catering can provide outside of the school gates as well – there is the possibility for the school to take on online payments services to handle school trips, uniform and other items, which brings an end to the disappointment when children forget to ask for school trip money on time. Parents are able to see a clear list of all the offers available for their child, and make payments at their leisure. The school office has a system which reports all the payments, and where they came from, so that they have an up-to-date and comprehensive idea of which students are to be included in which trips. The latest figures from the School Food Trust show 44.1 per cent of primary school pupils and 37.6 per cent of those in secondary schools consume lunch at their education facility. With school meals uptake on the rise, now is the ideal time for parents, staff and pupils to experience the benefits of cashless catering. L FOR MORE INFORMATION Please contact Bede Feltham, marketing director, sQuidcard Limited Tel: 020 8339 2111

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Is your dirty playground or car park letting your school down? Fed up with your dirty playground or car park? Has it become a slip hazard? Is it letting your school or college down? You need worry no more because professional help is to hand. Utilising the very latest deep cleaning technology Jet Stream Drive Clean can totally refurbish any hard landscaped surface and return it back to as near as new condition. In the case of car parks, once deep cleaned our total restoration programme offers a re-white lining service.

Covering the whole of the UK we will be only too pleased to offer you some consultation on how we can help you achieve your improvement goals to your external areas with no obligation. Just give us call or drop us a line via e-mail, and one of our friendly team will gladly assist you. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01280 820608 Fax: 07840 057385

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Maclin Group unmasked as secret supplier Since 2003, Maclin Group has been an industry secret confidential producer to many of the UK’s largest chemical cleaning companies, major retailers, Ministry of Defence, UNICEF and others. Now these same high specification products are available to purchase direct online at great savings at With Instant Credit Accounts to all schools, colleges and universities on receipt of official purchase order reference by e-mail or fax. The online shop site offers a wide range of easyto-use cleaning and hygiene products that help you with due diligence compliance and safety, whilst saving you money. We have the solution for: Body fluid spillages (blood, urine, vomit) – download our

protocol paper free of charge. Hand disinfection – 70 per cent alcohol hand gel with refill packs for added economy. Gym equipment sanitizing – our wipes range kills germs, viruses and reduces the risk of infection. Sanitize play equipment, door pushes, tables, telephones – in fact any hard surface to reduce the risk of transmitting germs and viruses. Playground and hall line-marking paint aerosols – quick and easy to use, no specific skill set required. Technical advice online with more available over the phone during normal office hours. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01284 810887 Fax: 01284 811908

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How are educational institutions preparing for coming budget restraints? Peter Carrol, British Cleaning Council, reports from the University of Liverpool and London’s Institute of Education With government cuts beginning to take their toll on higher education budgets, many universities are having to reduce their costs to ensure that demanding efficiency targets are met. But how are these cutbacks being reconciled with corporate social responsibility and the growing support for fairer pay? Last year’s comprehensive spending review brought the news that government funding for universities would be reduced from £7.1bn to £4.2bn by 2014. The government had hoped that the majority of this reduction could be offset with an increase in tuition fees, and last December a bill was passed to increase tuition fees from £3,290 a year to a maximum of £9,000. Despite this reform, it is estimated that universities will still see around 20 per cent of their income disappear. In the aftermath of these announcements, right of centre think tank Policy Exchange argued that universities are not doing enough to cut their costs. In their research paper ‘Higher Education in the Age of Austerity’, they claimed that universities could collectively save as much as £3bn a year if they privatised many of their services. So what are universities doing to address the budgetary constraints that lie ahead? And how are they reconciling the pressures on their finances with a commitment to higher wages, specifically the Living Wage Campaign, which many universities have signed up to? OBJECTIVITY Anthony Tyrell, head of head of Estates and Facilities at the Institute of Education (IoE) in London, has looked at making savings across the board. After reviewing working practices, managers decided that there was very little extra capacity amongst the workers to increase their output. “Benchmarking and efforts to increase productivity did not feature in our plans, due to staff productivity here already being well above the industry norm. What we focused on instead was a department-wide audit, which looked objectively at every expenditure. It transpired that there was substantial double accounting; we have a contract to clean two sets of buildings, the education premises and the residential areas, and when we asked for two sets of invoices we discovered that we were paying for two uniforms and other related equipment,” he said. The IoE is also committed to greater levels

of collaboration and shared management practices: “Our relationship with other universities working in proximity to us is being scrutinised, and we will look at ways that we can work with them, in procurement practices or sharing management staff, for example.” REVIEWING PRODUCTIVITY Mike Kelley, director of Residential Services at the University of Liverpool, approaches the government’s cuts with a different set of circumstances. After a review of processes and working arrangements in 2007, they found that the department was running at a surplus and therefore able to withstand the significant reductions to their budget. The 2007 internal reforms came in response to the fact that working arrangements had remained largely unchanged for a generation. After reviewing productivity levels and areas of responsibility amongst cleaning staff, they found that their labour numbers were too high and the amount of productivity too low. For staff that were resistant to change, the university offered voluntary strategic disengagement. This meant that workers who did not want to modify their working practices in line with the new requirements were offered a package that included the equivalent of one year’s salary and redundancy. “It was offered across the university, at every level,”explains Kelly. “This process was very successful from our department’s point of view, as we reduced staff numbers and increased efficiency.” The university also looked at modernising the level of service it provided to students, in recognition of the fact that facilities staff were “overcomitting”. This meant that services such as weekly fresh linen and bi-weekly servicing of communal areas were scrapped. Kelly found that these changes were wellreceived by the students. “We have never received a single complaint about the services we provide,” he adds with a note of pride. WORKING TOGETHER The university is focusing on closer collaboration with other establishments, such as Lancaster University, through sharing facilities and offering joint courses on subjects like medicine. Liverpool has also looked at innovative capital-raising strategies for new projects.

They are currently in the process of building new student accommodation, which is being privately funded by banks. The £200m development will be self-financing, deriving its income from the student’s accommodation charges, while from a facilities management perspective the state of the art facilities will be easier to maintain and clean than the older existing buildings. The new development, Kelly believes, will allow his department to increase its contribution to the university’s central budget, by allowing them to offer more sophisticated conference facilities. The upgrade to the levels of service provided by the new developments also anticipates changing expectations from the students. Kelly describes this as “enhancing the student experience, offering them better value for money and more relevant services”.

Cleaning & Hygiene


FAIR PAY While the upheaval in higher education has been taking place, the slow drumbeat of the fair pay movement has been pulsating underneath. In recent years, this movement has crystallised in the form of the Living Wage Campaign, a carefully calculated figure that amounts to the minimum wage that people need to keep a family in health and properly housed, fed, and able to contribute to society. Led by London Citizens, the living wage is not a case of just topping up the minimum wage, rather a way of calculating the amount needed to live in certain areas of the country. Like every department at the IoE, both Tyrell and his colleagues are committed to adopting the Living Wage from 1 August 2012. Reacting to the criticisms that the wage should be implemented immediately, Tyrell explains: “The process takes time; when the cleaning contracts were last tendered there were three levels of pay, which led to a discrepancy of contracts. But we fully expect to keep our word and deliver this to staff by this date.” Tyrell believes that the commitment to increasing staff wages has eroded the strength of the benefits associated with outsourcing, which has sometimes been viewed as a way of reducing responsibility of the employer: “The campaign increased the pressure on the organisation to find a way to ensure that staff are paid fairly. This has meant that outsourcing cannot be used as an excuse.” Tyrell and other members of the management team at IoE are unequivocal in their support of the living wage, and see it as their duty to make it work for staff within the institute. “We have taken a more comprehensive approach to the London Living Wage and believe that four hour contracts are required to make living wage desirable for employees. Only by paying close attention to our workers schedules does the living wage achieve its moral objectives.” L FOR MORE INFORMATION

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Can your educational establishment get more for less? With costs rising and budgets being squeezed, this daily dilemma can detract from the real purpose of education, so any organisation offering a sensible solution deserves to be carefully considered. PEL Services Ltd has worked hard for more than 35 years to supply cost effective systems and services to educational establishments that are worthy of such consideration and believes that now, perhaps more than ever, efficient service is essential to gain genuine economy of scale. Imagine the benefits of obtaining your sound, fire, security and communications systems maintenance from a single quality assured organisation – a team of professionals that make sure from the outset that your particular requirements are understood by all concerned and that communicates effectively with you, a team with over 35 years experience and a track record that is highly regarded. Because PEL is so well established it shouldn’t be surprising that every system and service offered by the company is handled in-house rather than sub-contracted. PEL engineers are trained to support fire alarm, intruder alarm, escape lighting, access control, CCTV, audio visual, sound field, pool alarm and class change systems, thus optimising routine service programmes. It isn’t difficult to imagine how much admin time, workplace disruption, duplicated

Fire & Security

effort and staff involvement, not to mention unnecessary cost, that is caused by numerous visits from individual services providers. Add to this the environmental impact of repetitive journeys and the picture is clear – there is so much to be gained by employing one organisation to do the work previously undertaken by many others. PEL offers a range of service agreements, including routine maintenance and fully comprehensive cover, on third party as well as PEL systems. Both single site and group customers benefit from high quality response from our experienced

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FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 020 88392100

PEL Services Ltd have supplied and maintained Sound, Fire, Security & Communication Systems throughout the UK for over 35 years. Our multi-discipline engineers ensure genuine economy of scale... • combined site visits • simpler administration • reduced carbon footprint Call 020 8839 2100 to discover how to get ‘more for less!’ 98

engineers throughout the UK and Eire. Think of the savings in time and money and the saving of effort and administration that this genuine economy of scale provides, then please contact us for a quotation. For over 35 years PEL Services has been a leading UK systems company that designs, supplies, installs, commissions and maintains sound, fire, security and communications systems.




CARING FOR YOUR SCHOOL PREMISES Physical security measures can be cost effective and play a vital role in securing educational establishments, writes James Kelly, chief executive of the British Security Industry Association While ensuring the safety of students, staff, visitors and assets is always a top priority, achieving effective security certainly is a challenge, especially in the face of cuts to public spending. Schools vary in size with some small sites contained in a single building whilst others are stretched across multiple blocks and campuses. As they are frequently located among highly populated areas such as housing estates or town centres, sites are within easy reach of well-meaning staff, pupils, parents and visitors as well as deceitful intruders. Although the overall incidence of criminal activity in schools has dropped in the past few years, acts of theft, vandalism and especially arson are still a reality. To avoid the nasty consequences that intrusions can have on schools, it is important to ensure the sites are equipped in a way that such

breaches are effectively prevented. Physical security measures are the first and arguably one of the most important aspects of school security, as they serve as deterrents to criminals and are aimed at physically keeping intruders out of the vulnerable areas of the site. Ensuring the safety of staff and, in particular, students is paramount and educational establishments should endeavour to use quality equipment that complies with the relevant British Standard and Acts. As well as addressing physical security needs, the establishment of clear strategies, such as key control ones, should be given great consideration. PLANNING FOR THE PERIMETER When protecting a school’s perimeter with physical security, a great deal of planning is required, particularly when it involves

combining technological systems with other more traditional measures. In an environment where the flow of people entering and exiting the site must be monitored, it is important to ensure the perimeter provides meaningful physical barriers that will deter any sort of unauthorised access. Creating such barriers demands attention to a variety of design considerations such as sufficient height and strength, the use of climbing impediments, secure ground fixing as well as the provision of clear areas to facilitate surveillance and maintenance. Security fencing comes in a variety of forms and should comply with the British Standard 1722-17: 2006 in order to ensure quality. To enhance the effectiveness of perimeter fencing, physical barriers must be underpinned by measures to detect, identify and react to intrusions. Combining physical security with other measures such as intruder alarms and CCTV will provide even tougher protection, for if a trespasser attempts to breach the barrier an alarm could be triggered to alert a monitoring centre of the intrusion. Clever landscaping can also be utilised to soften the look of fences and barriers, avoiding the risk of making school premises look more like prisons rather than places of learning. SINGLE ACCESS ROUTES Ensuring all visitor traffic is limited to a single E

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CDS – the complete security solution At the forefront of security technology since 1985, CDS Systems is now one of the UK’s largest independent providers of integrated security systems. Operating at the cutting edge of management, planning, supply, installation and commissioning, we specialise in combining analogue and IP CCTV, digital video recording, video display solutions, automatic number plate recognition, wireless infrastructure, perimeter intruder detection, access control and more to create comprehensive solutions, which we oversee from inception to completion and beyond. Our aim is to ensure public safety and data protection, with our customers’ needs as our highest priority. With CDS you can be assured of the best quality, best value service possible. We provide integrated security solutions. This means we utilise numerous technologies and take responsibility for every aspect of a project, and ensure each of

Safeguarding people, property and finances Kalamazoo specialises in the protection of products, documents and identities from fraud and replication. Working extensively within the education sector and in partnership with Capita Education Services, Kalamazoo has vast experience in providing solutions to help safeguard people, property and finances from security risks and fraudulent activity. Sims security cheques: Kalamazoo is the only Capita approved supplier of SIMS security cheques. As a Cheque & Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) approved cheque printer we produce in excess of 100 million security cheques per annum and far exceed the security guidelines as set by the C&CCC. Visitor management is an invaluable tool for safeguarding children by preventing unauthorised access to a school and ensuring all authorised visitors are clearly identifiable.


Kalamazoo is a market leading supplier of both paper-based and electronic visitor management systems, and our cost effective web-based visitor system enables schools to cut costs without compromising security. Absence and injury reporting: Kalamazoo’s range of attractive and colourful paper-based solutions are designed to help effectively manage authorised absences and recording accidents in schools. The renowned Onewrite system means details can be entered once and simultaneously transferred onto the integral register. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 08445 766770 Fax: 08445 766886

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

our systems operates seamlessly with each other and with our customers’ existing equipment. We have established an excellent reputation built from over 25 years’ experience working in the commercial, local government, industrial, education, leisure and retail sectors which has positioned us at the forefront of the UK and European security markets. FOR MORE INFORMATION Computerised & Digital Security Systems Ltd. Tel: 01443 405052 Fax: 01443 405061 a.greenwood@

Security technology your responsibility? Keep up to speed at IP UserGroup The IP UserGroup is an international security and safety technology forum with hubs servicing the UK and Europe, USA, Canada and Latin America. Our role is to facilitate, communicate, educate and influence, presenting the very latest in network centric security and safety technology to an eager international audience. With more than 30,000 subscribers worldwide the IP UserGroup is the fastest growing security technology forum in the world. Having represented more than 200 of the most progressive companies over the past eight years, the IP UserGroup has become one of the most respected and influential independent vender neutral organisations in the industry. The IP UserGroup offers an extensive portfolio of services to its members, providing a combination of web-based, new media and print solutions, plus an extremely popular calendar

of road-shows and events across the globe. As more and more applications converge onto IP networks the scope for IP UserGroup involvement continues to grow, with products such as IPfocus Magazine and eZine, IP Connections eNews and IP-in-Action LIVE roadshows proving to be both efficient and cost effective sales and marketing tools. Whether established players or new entrants into the security and safety marketplace, the IP UserGroup has something to offer. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0870 7870546




designated communal areas, laundry rooms, to allow only authorised access is pivotal. STRATEGIES FOR KEYS No matter how sturdy a locking system is, it becomes worthless without clear key control strategies. Unfortunately, however, the question of who has access or can get access to the keys is a consideration that is very often overlooked. It is important to remember that an unauthorised person gaining access to an area or premises using just a key can make any insurance claim invalid. By using a key, the intruder will have the advantage of leaving no evidence of a forced break in meaning it could be a considerable amount of time, if ever, before the unauthorised access is detected. This will put the school at a great disadvantage and may often end up with the school having to pay out for any losses. GUIDANCE AVAILABLE Local police forces can provide clear guidance to schools as to the type of security breaches they are likely to incur and how these can be countered. Gloucestershire police, for example, have recognised the risks associated with school security, and has dedicated a whole page of its website highlighting the importance of physical security measures to avoid breaches. Moreover, employing reliable security consultancy services will confer schools the peace of mind that their premises’ security is being taken in hand by independent and experienced professionals. The BSIA’s website is a great place to start to find out more about physical security measures available to protect your school. L

Physical security measures are the first and arguably one of the most important aspects of school security, as they serve as deterrents to criminals and are aimed at physically keeping intruders out of the vulnerable areas of the site E access route is another way to secure the perimeter of a school. Signage highlighting entry points will direct foot and vehicle traffic to designated paths, ensuring more vulnerable parts of the buildings are not accessible by unauthorised people. Traditional gates can be used to secure these entrance points, and alternatives such as bollards can be employed to control vehicle access, by sinking into the ground or being removed when authorised vehicles approach the site. Physical security measures are essential not only for the protection of perimeters, but also for the buildings themselves, externally and internally (locking rooms). Locks are the most basic of measures, and provide a fundamental layer of security, which will prevent crime by deterring criminals and

slowing them down when trying to break in. A good quality lock can last for years; however, the popularity of this security product means that people often buy one that is inferior in quality under the misunderstanding that it will provide them with financial savings. High standards are essential when selecting and installing physical security. A quality lock, for example, should comply with BS 3621: 2007 and be specified to meet the requirements of the door or window that it is securing. Locks are useful for any type of building, particularly one where individuals all require access to different areas. Schools and colleges can offer accommodation to students and staff, therefore the categorisation of different internal areas, such as private rooms,

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0845 3893889

ABOUT BSIA The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is the professional trade association of the UK security industry. Its members produce over 70 per cent of the country’s security products and services to strict quality standards. The BSIA lobbies key organisations/ bodies to form valuable working partnerships and achieve desirable changes e.g. Members of Parliament, the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, Association of British Insurers. The BSIA is active in liaising with government to ensure that legislation reflects industry and customer needs. The Association lobbied for regulation of the security industry for over 15 years, culminating in the introduction of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 and the launch of the Security Industry Authority.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Arts & Crafts



Written by Asma Mansuri, education consultant, and Denise Topolski, chairman Young Arts NADFAS


The school environment must show the status of arts in every way it can, through the quality of the teaching environment and encouraging its performance and exhibition spaces Arts education offers people of all ages an alternative language to better understand themselves and the world in which they live. A language that crosses socio-economic boundaries and provides young people with transferable life skills, that are often undervalued and certainly underestimated. The place of arts education in primary and secondary schools is as important and relevant in today’s society, however, literacy and numeracy, and governors and educators ignore the arts at their peril. Through arts education young people develop their capacity to understand and navigate complex situations, and become better equipped to manage personal and professional relationships. Through the arts, students learn to express themselves and communicate more effectively with others, developing positive working relationships, learning to articulate a vision, making informed decisions, exercising self discipline, setting goals and taking responsibility for quality performance. The value of this work is immeasurable, enabling young people to develop an alternative perspective of life through challenging assumptions, breaking down barriers and embracing new opportunities. ENGAGING WITH COMMUNITIES Arts education provides schools with a vehicle for developing meaningful parental engagement and building community cohesion. Art exhibitions, creative workshops, music and drama performances all provide low risk invitations to families, which can encourage many parents to engage with teachers and schools for the first time. For many hard to reach families and parents who are often most in need and lack the confidence to support their children in literacy and numeracy, creative programmes can provide the first time they are able to support their children. The arts therefore can increase their likelihood of engaging positively in their children’s learning, thus raising their children’s overall academic achievement. Creative programmes can offer a counter balance to testing and while their impact on academic performance is more difficult to measure their value in terms of cognitive development and emotional literacy is tangible. For many vulnerable students these projects, for the first time, give them the opportunity to excel. AN EMOTIONAL OUTLET


The arts can be inspirational and stimulating for a lot of young people including two young offenders from Swinfen Hall. Their arts project gave them an emotional outlet and a sense of peace and escape from an environment of considerable challenge. One young person said: “I have loads of ideas in my head and art helps me to get them out”, while another stated that the involvement in the arts project “takes me to a place where I can forget”. The Swinfen Hall project was funded by a grant from NADFAS, an arts education charity formed in 1968 by Patricia Fay OBE. The aims of the charity are the advancement of arts education, and appreciation and the preservation of our artistic heritage. With over 350 member societies, run by local volunteers, the 92,000 members in the UK and mainland Europe support the fine and decorative arts through a variety of educational projects, gallery and museum visits, lectures and volunteering opportunities such as Church Recording, Heritage Volunteering, Young Arts and Church Trails. NADFAS launched Young Arts in 1973 specifically to provide exciting opportunities for young people, in order to broaden their horizons through their involvement in and experience of the creative and visual arts. NADFAS encouraged its societies to provide Young Arts opportunities for young people either by offering fully or part funded projects or through the establishment of Young Arts Groups. These groups for 8-18 year olds were affiliated to a local NADFAS society and organised arts related activities for its young members. In 2010 alone NADFAS Young Arts funded activities involving 20,000 children and young people, and offered grants and funding of £171,000. In many cases grants were given for educational visits, visiting lecturers, artists in residence and models for life drawing classes. Grants supported local and national arts events, including the Big Draw, and this year a number of societies are supporting projects based around the cultural Olympiad. LOCAL ACTIVITES FOR ALL The work in educational institutions has covered the full spectrum from nursery schools to supporting students continuing into further and higher education. Each of the projects is an arts related activity for an individual or group in the local area. Each project is unique, its format created by local needs, resources, facilities and funds. Some projects have supported work in hospices and museums, and have involved a number of schools working

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

together. Society sponsorship ranges from £50 to £2,000, however, often the societies grants become a catalyst for further funding or matched funding from other grant giving bodies or the NADFAS grants committee. School based projects are wide ranging and have offered young people the opportunity to work with practicing artists on a variety of creative and cultural projects. This direct work with artists have given students the opportunity to make contact with positive new role models, learn new creative and technical experiences and explore and take risks within a safe context. The feedback from these projects shows how inspired the students were and how they grew in confidence, artistic skills and ability, gaining insight into the arts world that may lead to new career pathways and a continued interest in the arts into adulthood. It is hoped this interest will enrich their lives as well as helping them to meet the requirements of employers and benefiting the wider community. PROJECT EXAMPLES Some projects involved students working to enhance their school environment through E

Masterclasses at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Arts & Crafts


mainstream schools some excellent work has been undertaken with vulnerable young people like those at Swinfen Hall. All of these young people have gained a positive experience of the arts, learning how the arts can bring different people together, creating links with different communities and encouraging them all to feel and sense of pride in themselves, their school and their local community. POSITIVE FEEDBACK The feedback from schools is very positive. These projects enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for young people and schools to benefit from working with excellent practitioners able to inspire and engage staff, students and families, and offer a new way of working and learning. The partnership between NADFAS and schools is a thriving one as both sectors recognise the importance of investing in arts education for tomorrow’s workplace. In a climate where the benefits of English and mathematics are seemingly more obvious it is all too easy to overlook the multitude of educational benefits provided by arts education. The arts are the second biggest revenue generator for the Treasury after financial services. The Arts Council states that between 1997-2006 the creative economy grew faster than any other sector, creating two million jobs and accounting for £16.6 billion in exports. As such a valuable element of any broad and balanced curriculum it is imperative that school leaders invest in the arts and in their students. The arts deserve high level resourcing, outstanding teachers, quality materials and adequate curriculum time. L FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information about NADFAS Young Arts contact or visit PISCES 1/4 AD-30/7/11_Layout 1 29/07/2011 16:25 Page 1

E the production of murals and exhibitions. In Honiton, the local society worked with staff pupils and governors to create a mural to welcome visitors to the school, with all 220 pupils in the school designing and painting a 15cm square tile reflecting their personal perception of their school. One student in year 6 stated that when he went on to “big school” a little bit of him would always remain in his old school. In Ribble and Craven working with primary age students, many with English as a second language, on a Bug Project brought together the arts and sciences in a project raising awareness of climate change. Following a bug hunt and an afternoon looking at and handling stick insects, a praying mantis, snails, tarantulas and scorpions the students studied the depiction of insects in arts from earliest Egyptian to contemporary drawings, before producing their own studies, which were exhibited at a local gallery. In some cases groups have provided equipment for infant and nursery schools and at the other end of the age range two apprenticeships have been offered to an apprentice mason and glazier at Salisbury Cathedral. COMPETITIONS Many schools have been supported in raising aspirations through running competitions in photography and painting. Here it has been wonderful for young people to see their work in “real” presentations that have attracted the interest of the local community and local press. Secondary age students have benefited from grants to support their extended studies with funding for laptop computers and digital cameras to enable them to keep photographic records of their practical work While the work of Young Arts has been primarily based in

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Carole Lindsay-Douglas, Hon. Secretary of the Schools Music Association, explains the value and wide-ranging benefits of music as part of a broad curriculum I am one of those who “get” music – that is I constantly thrill to its sound, its rhythmic impulse, its ability to transform a mood, its capacity for transforming lethargy into excitement and its relaxing, calming qualities. By now you will be suspecting that this could turn into a fairly emotional discourse, but I contend, none the less valid, even though it may be impassioned in tone. Thanks to music I have made a reasonably good living, yet even more, I consider that my life has been enriched beyond measure because of my involvement as a music teacher and performer, and more recently as a music publisher and volunteer supporting music and the arts in schools in my position as Hon. Secretary of the Schools Music Association of Great Britain. UNLOCKING THE VALUE We are all familiar with the expression that “a picture paints a thousand words”, and the same is also true for a musical phrase which, in my opinion, can obviate the need for tens of thousands of words. That snatch of melody heard unexpectedly, can so often transport us back to former times – happy or sad – with a power and vibrancy that other art forms find hard to match. We relive the entire context in which that melody was first memorised. Such is its power. Music lives in us all, and can either be unlocked through sympathetic teaching and encouragement, allowing a love and greater understanding of the medium, or it can be suppressed by less than constructive criticism. Music is a fundamental human form of expression, a therapy for the soul, and all of our children need and deserve exposure to this life-enhancing force. THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM Having said that, I would be the first to acknowledge that one size does not fit all and this is where the National Curriculum, as it stands at present, allows for diversity, taking into account regional and ethnic demands, yet at the same time requiring an awareness and experience of the whole world of music. Such demands call for deliverers of the highest quality and imagination, and as mentioned in my previous article in this magazine, I do have fears that as a nation, we shall find ourselves with an even greater scarcity of well-trained music teachers for all the reasons discussed there. So how does music add value to the curriculum as a whole? Organisations benefit from corporate activity; schools need to develop a sense of community and belonging,

and music can deliver this. It is one of those subjects that is truly inclusive – all ages and abilities can perform/rehearse together, striving for an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts. This could be said of sport, but would it be safe to allow five year-olds and eighteen year-olds to play football together? A good education is more than the absorption of facts and the ability to recall them. It should be preparation for life as a whole – both at work and at leisure. Not all young people will go on to make their living from music, but it could well form a significant part of their spare time, either as followers of a particular genre (or genres) of music, or as members of a local orchestra, choir or band. THE BENEFITS Through the learning of an instrument, motor skills are developed, leading to enhanced physical coordination. Singing,

properly taught, brings with it enormous health benefits as an aerobic exercise. Those who have the opportunity to sing or play in a group – be it in class or school choir or orchestra – experience the joy of contributing to something greater than the self. Then when we come to the presentation of an end product, such as a concert, there is the added boost to self-esteem and the sense of having achieved something significant, when the audience shows its appreciation through applause. We all blossom when our efforts are acknowledged and praised, and unlike a spirited music performance, a stunning geography project for example, however good, is seldom met with a standing ovation. Self-confidence and self-esteem are crucial to learning. In my own case, I passed the 11+ exam and was placed in the ‘A’ stream class at my local high school. In my fourth year (year 10) I was selected to take the part of E

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LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT E Eurydice in the school production of Gluck’s opera Orpheus. This involved many after school and lunchtime rehearsals – much to the concern of my parents, who feared that my academic work would suffer. When the end of year exam results were announced I was astonished to find that I had risen in the table from my normal 12th or 13th place in the class, to second. This anecdote illustrates what research now supports – that children who have the opportunity to demonstrate and develop their talents through music, improve academically as well. GOOD VIBRATIONS There is a tendency among decisionmakers at many levels, to regard music as a frill, a nice extra if there’s enough time and money. I would argue that no school should be without music at any key stage because it is fundamental to forming healthy and balanced individuals and thus a school with a “good vibe”. Professor Susan Hallam, Institute of Education, has said: “Making music utilises a great many skills and elicits a wide range of responses, more perhaps than any other human activity. Participating in making music requires the development of aural, intellectual, physical, emotional, communication and musical skills in addition to high levels of commitment, motivation and organisation. The immediate time frame within which music is performed also elicits very high levels of concentration.” Specifically, music aids the development of speech. Singing simple songs teaches children how language is constructed. Younger children seem to learn best when songs are experienced through their bodies in conjunction with movement. Music allied to movement greatly assists the acquisition of language. In maths, a study of seven year-olds in California showed that learning rhythms had a direct bearing on the understanding of ratios, fractions and proportions. There are many opportunities for learning about the world in

general through the lyrics of songs (when fully explained). A wider understanding of history and heritage also derives from this source.

participants, indulged in less alcohol, smoking and illegal drug use and remained low users of all these substances into their adult lives.

MUSIC FOR THE SOUL Many psychologists have observed that music enhances social skills. Youngsters who have the opportunity to take part in music develop higher levels of social cohesion and understanding of themselves and others. The emotional aspect of making music appears to offer the right conditions for developing social skills such as empathy and respect for others. More research from the USA has proved that music helps improve a child’s ability to reason abstractly, by strengthening neural firing patterns of the brain that are relevant to both musical and spatial cognition. Physiological research carried out by Dr. Lawrence Parsons at the University of Texas - San Antonio, which employed magnetic imaging technology to examine the brains of expert musicians, showed more clearly than ever that significantly more of the brain is used during music making than previously thought. “Music is represented in mechanisms widely distributed throughout the brain rather than localised in a single region as are other kinds of information, such as visual or movement information.” It has long been accepted that brain function is enhanced in direct proportion to the number of connections we are able to establish within it. Additionally, most music teachers will tell you that music encourages self-expression and self confidence. As a non-verbal language, music can convey a complexity of emotions, and offers a means of expression to a shy or diffident child who finds it hard to communicate through speech. Discrimination between timbres and the ability to recognise the quality of those sounds also develops, and this results in enhanced listening skills – essential for all subjects across the curriculum. In other findings from research in Wisconsin, those teenagers actively involved in music making whilst at school, when compared with those who were not

ENGAGED CITIZENS The Salzburg Global Seminar on The Transformative Power of Music (2010) believes that music is a proven gateway to engaged citizenship, personal development and wellbeing; that inspiration and rewards unleashed by music are universal benefits that must be available to all as a human right. All children from the earliest age should have the opportunity to unlock musical creativity, fulfill musical potential, develop musical expertise, shine for their musical achievements, encounter great music from all cultures, and share their new-found skills of creativity, teamwork, empathy, and discipline. Providing these opportunities should be the responsibility of society supported by the education system, arts organisations, media and funding bodies working together. So to sum up: music contributes to the quality of life in the school community, as well as promoting use of higher-order thinking skills. It is a way to understand our cultural heritage as well as other past and present cultures, and contributes to sensitivity (emotional intelligence). Music education promotes motor development and encourages teamwork and cohesiveness. It fosters creativity and individuality, alongside discipline and commitment, and is a therapeutic outlet for the human spirit. What head teacher, what governing body would wish to deprive their school of these wide-ranging benefits? Without music it would be a dull world, lacking in energy and excitement. School life would be in grayscale rather than glorious colour and without music in our schools, those without resources or parental support and encouragement for music would be at risk of enduring life with leaden souls. L




African drumming, samba, composition workshops and more The Music Workshop Company was established in September 2002. Since then we have supplied projects to primary schools, secondary schools, youth clubs and community groups all over England, Wales and Scotland. Our projects are suitable for all ages and abilities from nursery to adults. All Music Workshop Company musicians are experienced workshop leaders and have the relevant CRB checks. Projects can be tailored to the needs of the school, covering topics of choice, on the date of choice and following the timetable of choice. We are happy for workshops to be photographed, or video/ audio recorded for your records (if required).

We offer a wide range of Workshops including African Drumming, Latin American Percussion, World Percussion, Junk Percussion, Composition, Song writing, Singing, Historical Workshops, Inset workshops and much more. Workshops for schools start from as little as £330. All quotes include the musicians’ time (including planning, set up and workshop), travel, use of instruments and administration costs.

The Music Workshop Company works with musicians from all over the UK and can offer workshops in all areas of England, Wales and Scotland. FOR MORE INFORMATION For more details, please visit or call Maria, Alison and the team on 0844 5838131.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE





STAFF FOR A CHANGING EDUCATION LANDSCAPE The next few years will witness profound changes within the education system and it is important that schools recognise the value temporary workers can bring in such an evolving climate, explains Ed McRandal, education advisor at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation Education in the UK is changing. As the government looks to head teachers and parents to run services, local communities are being given more control over schools. The reform agenda is gathering pace, with many new academies created and free schools yet to come. These reforms can either be seen as an opportunity or a risk; with some welcoming the newfound freedom to innovate, whereas others fear the cost and pace of reform.Either way, when dealing with this changing landscape, the education sector must recognise that with new freedom comes a renewed responsibility to ensure classroom standards remain the top priority. MORE WITH LESS The next few years will witness profound changes within the education system and it


is important that we recognise the value that temporary workers, such as supply teachers, bring. Whilst the frontline schools budget has been protected and policies such as the pupil premium allocate more funding to low income pupils, cuts to central services provided by local government will require schools to do more with less. With the climate of uncertainty that inevitably surrounds such processes of reform, it is important now more than ever, that we ensure that there are highly qualified teachers in the classroom.

What we must avoid are situations where schools have chosen to deal with absence cover by overstaffing with unqualified teaching assistants, often referred to as cover supervisors. One doesn’t have to be an experienced HR professional to realise that this is extremely inefficient. Such a strategy may conceal absence cover costs within the payroll but it not an effective use of public money, and there are a number of compelling reasons to invest in professional supply teachers instead. E

The next few years will witness profound changes within the education system and it is important that we recognise the value that temporary workers, such as supply teachers, bring.

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

E A GOOD INVESTMENT Firstly, supply teachers, including those provided by REC Education Agencies, 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, which could add to the overall cover costs that they were taken on to reduce. Secondly, agencies will provide supply teachers who are fully qualified and, whenever possible, subject specialists, unlike the unqualified and generalist cover supervisors who offer a more basic teaching experience. This is doubly unfair to students when you consider that it is poorer performing schools that experience the highest turnover rates in teachers and staff. These pupils need more support from qualified teaching professionals; when up to a year of a child’s school life can be spent with cover providers, it is

essential that this is from a fully qualified supply professional. This is an argument that draws wide support from educational bodies and providers, as REC Education regularly meets with teaching unions, government departments and local authorities, creating consensus that teacher absence should not lead to a poorer standard of teaching. AGENCY BENEFITS Whilst classroom standards must be the primary concern, it is important that schools recognise the financial benefits of using a recruitment agency compared to the higher levels of risk in internal recruitment processes. The biggest problem is not finding the right member of staff: spending large sums on advertising, staff time on short listing and interviewing, only to discover that no suitable candidates were available. In fact, studies from Hansard Canada estimate that, on average, employers spend 134.5 hours recruiting per (permanent)



position. When the cost of staff hours, vetting, checking and training candidates is taken into account, the average cost is £8,160 per appointment. In an age of austerity our schools cannot afford to take this risk. Education providers should learn from the private sector, where companies are turning to recruitment agencies to deliver this process successfully. CIPD surveys indicate that 78 per cent of staff are sourced through employment agencies. Why is this the case? What do recruitment agencies bring that inhouse solutions do not? Firstly, agencies take over the financial risks of the recruitment process, as they are only paid when a successful placement is made. That means that they are responsible for advertising, interviewing and finding candidates, ensuring that education professionals can focus on the job they are paid to do. This is particularly pertinent in relation to the recruitment of management level staff, as surveys have found that 93 per cent of public sector workers believe a lack of effective leaders is the biggest challenge that they face. In the current climate it is important that education providers carefully analyse the costs and benefits of their workforce spending. Temporary staff such as supply teachers provide essential support to ensure that staff absence does not lead to a drop in classroom standards. Schools must not be drawn into the false economy of employing permanent classroom assistants to replicate the role of fully trained supply teachers. Not only do they lack the required skills and training to offer the full classroom experience, but they often prove more expensive than using a supply teacher who is only paid as and when their services are required. To manage the process of reform in the education sector, a focus on flexible working is a must. Recruitment agencies must play a leading role in this process, applying their expertise so that the right staff are placed in the right position for the right price, guaranteeing the best outcome for students. L

Need an experienced and reliable supply teaching agency? Education Appointments is a fresh and exciting agency, developed out of a need in the marketplace for an alternative way of providing staff to the education sector. Education Appointments works closely with their client schools to ensure they understand the school ethos in order to match the right candidate to the specific vacancy ensuring a exemplary service to the schools and maintaining a close bond. The key individuals in this organisation have decades of experience placing the right staff in the relevant schools and education facilities such as secondary schools, primary schools, special needs schools, pupil referral units,

they supply teachers and staff to. We have been extremely successful due to our approach to understanding our clients’ needs and providing an individual solution, understanding that every school has its own challenges and needs.

LEMS, LUFAP, looked after children’s services, education diversity settings and NTAS. Education Appointments is an academy specialist, and now has a large portfolio of academies that

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Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Incentives & Rewards Written by Andrew Johnson, director-general, UK Gift Card & Voucher Association



AN EDUCATIONAL INCENTIVE Rewards play an important role as a motivator for both learners and educators, and the wide choice of gift cards can help tailor and personalise these to suit everyone’s tastes

Many of us can recall proudly being awarded with a gold star by our teachers for working hard on a project. This continues today but the types of reward have been adapted in response to the recipient’s interests and motivators. Throughout the years, rewards and incentives have been offered to improve behaviour, bolster motivation, encourage targets and goals to be met and generally provide a way to achieve positive results. Within an educational environment, rewards also play an important role as a motivator for learners and educators alike. Many of us can probably recall proudly being awarded with a gold star by our teachers for working hard on a particular project. This continues today but the types of reward have been adapted in response to the recipient’s interests and motivators. A school might want to motivate children or teachers. It may be that rewards are designed to commend teachers for hard work or meeting achievement targets. Children may be the focus of motivational schemes implemented to address the issues of below average academic performances and poor attendance.


CHOICES No matter who the recipient is, the common factor is that it is essential to ensure the reward can be tailored and personalised to the individual so that each person can aim to earn exactly the reward they want. A reward or incentive will only prove highly effective if it appeals to the person it is intended for and sparks interest. Whilst a cash reward may seem the most obvious incentive and way to provide choice, research clearly indicates that it is actually non-cash benefits, such as store gift cards, that are more successful. This is due to their ability to deliver choice, and furthermore, to enable the recipients to treat themselves to something special that they truly desire while cash paid into the bank account might be absorbed by daily living costs.

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

REWARDING THE LEARNER Declan Byrne, managing director of One4all Rewards, observes: “We have definitely seen an increase in the use of the One4all Multistore Gift Card as part of student reward programmes; in fact, 20 per cent of all our corporate orders come from the education sector. Our research clearly indicates that the ‘trophy value’ offered by a non-cash reward helps to reinforce the recipient’s sense of achievement. It also creates a lasting value which is there long after the gift is redeemed.” READING GIFTS National Book Tokens have been the reward of choice for schools across the UK for decades and are also used as part of further education (FE) and higher education (HE) student support funding. They are a trusted and neutral brand that inspires further learning by encouraging book reading and attainment in a way that few other rewards can do. Crucially, like all vouchers and gift cards, they provide choice to the recipient. Remarkably, many children do not own a single book, so giving them a book token not only ensures that they can own a book of their choice but it also creates an important bond as they have chosen it themselves. National Book Tokens also allow colleges to make their funds go further through bulk deals and ensuring funds allocated are spent on books. In the last 12 months, National Book Tokens have increased their appeal by launching a range of gift cards including a new top-up card specifically for the FE and HE student market – the Student Book Card. This card allows student and parents to ring-fence funds for books and can be topped-up remotely at any time. Colleges are promoting the new card as a great way to help students budget for books with a number of sixth forms and colleges leafleting students and their parents about the new product. Alex de Berry, managing director of National Book Tokens, states: “With our new Student Book Card, we have created an easy way for parents to support the ongoing costs of college books.” THE PREPAID INCENTIVE Andy Philpott, marketing director at Edenred, and Denise Porter of Maxchoice International, both note the positive impact of gift cards and vouchers in rewarding good attendance levels or improved results among students. “This gives them the ability to drive behaviour and so then impacts on the school’s objectives, supporting them in their activity to reach the targets they need to achieve,” says Philpott. Another valuable benefit of prepaid cards, as highlighted by Philpott, is their usage for expenses: “We are increasingly working E

E with schools and colleges throughout the UK, implementing the use of prepaid cards to cover expenses on away days and trips overseas. This cuts down on time, resources and paperwork for the organisation and simplifies the process.” Commenting further on the value of prepaid cards for expense payment purposes, Gilles Coccoli, managing director of PrePay Solutions, says: “Prepaid cards can be tailored to meet the needs of schools, colleges and other places of further education on a number of different levels. They can be used to help students transport money and manage their finances by providing them with a secure, practical way to pay for food, accommodation, equipment and activities. This makes it easier for the student to manage their day to day expenses as they are only able to spend the fund loaded on to the card, with no risk of going into debt.” The system also allows the educational establishment to control the outlets where the card is used. STUDENT FUNDING INITIATIVE The £180m Student Funding Initiative will be introduced in September for 16-19 year old students who are facing financial hardship. Darren Welch, national account manager at Love2reward has highlighted the benefits of gift cards such as its Flexecash card: “Schools, colleges and training providers will want to ensure that qualifying students use this discretionary payment for the purpose intended – to help with the financial demands of further education. In my view, the simplest and most effective way of doing that is by making the award in the form of a voucher or gift card, which can be spent at a wide range of retail outlets.” AN APPEALING REWARD For young people, attractive rewards such as vouchers for their favourite clothes shop are a true motivator. A key example of this can be found at Great Wyrley Performing Arts High School in Staffordshire. In February 2011 the school launched a new student reward programme, Progress Rewards, to incentivise three key elements across the year 10 group – attendance, attainment and

behaviour. Pupils who have achieved 100 per cent attendance over a term, meet attainment targets and demonstrate good citizenship will be rewarded with both a certificate and a New Look gift voucher. Head of year 10 Barry Stokes comments: “We already have pretty good attendance rates, but are always looking for ways to improve this, together with pupil attainment and behaviour. We continue to award certificates throughout the school, however, once our pupils reach teenage years we’ve found that they are more responsive when we introduce additional incentives. “This year we decided to use gift vouchers – they are both simple to administer, yet extremely effective, and our pupils have expressed keen interest. After some initial research New Look came out as the store of choice – it offers great value fashion and we have nearly ten stores within a ten mile radius, so it’s very accessible to everyone.” HAPPY + VALUED = PRODUCTIVE STAFF Ensuring that staff feel valued and appreciated is important as this also impacts on learners. Teaching is a profession that requires passion and if the educator feels disillusioned, uninspired and that they are not fully appreciated this will not fare well across their work. David Butler, general manager, National Garden Gift Vouchers, states: “Making sure that staff are fully engaged is key to any organisation’s success, which means that motivation and reward schemes need to have a high satisfaction level and wellbeing appeal. “Research has shown that a more holistic approach to pay and reward is now necessary. Organisations need to look across their financial and non-financial reward offerings to consider whether they are attractive to staff. The use of non-financial rewards that promote work-life balance, such as gardening, can be an effective way of engagement.” Butler believes that rewards and incentives that allow choice, encourage physical activities and are whole-family inclusive are growing in popularity. Enjoyable rewards that help reduce the burden of costs and offer respite from the strains of term times are seen as effective,

according to Chris Orrell, managing director, HotelVoucherShop: “We work with a number of clients and members of the NASUWT. We find that leisure based products are welcome rewards for teachers and workers in this sector. We see an increase in purchases towards the end of terms and school years as rewards. For teachers, leisure and travel based rewards work well as they can be used during the holiday periods and in many cases where attractions, hotels and other leisure products increase their pricing around school holidays.”

Incentives & Rewards


MEMORABLE GIFTS Stuart Murray, account manager, Signet Corporate Services is keenly aware of the problems over choosing a memorable gift especially when marking a significant event or milestone for staff. He explains the value that prepaid gift cards provide in this arena: “Jewellery and watches have traditionally been given as a token of thanks or recognition and are well received but everyone’s taste differs considerably. Choosing the right gift for someone else can be a challenge and so the use of our store branded H.Samuel and Ernest Jones gift cards or vouchers could provide the ideal solution to many purchasers within the education sector.” In the same way that gift cards are used to improve attendance of pupils, Darren Welch at Love2reward considers how introducing similar incentives for staff could cut costs across the board: “On the staff reward front, gift vouchers have classically been used to reward and recognise loyal service, but rarely to encourage improved attendance, which is more prevalent in the private sector. That’s an interesting observation when you consider the costs associated with supply teachers who have to be called upon to fill the void when colleagues are absent.” It is clear from these observations that motivation schemes can address a wide range of issues facing schools and that gift cards and vouchers can play a valuable role in their success, for learner and educator alike. L FOR MORE INFORMATION

Enjoy a show of your choice with Theatre Tokens With Theatre Tokens you can see a show of your choice at any one of over 240 theatres nationwide including all of London’s West End. So give yourself or your family and friends a real treat whether it be a magical musical, thrilling drama, comedy or dance show. Theatre Tokens are simple to use either over the phone or at the box office. You simply choose a theatre and show and pay for your tickets with Theatre Tokens. They

come in values of £5, £10 and £20, never expire and can be used nationally. They also make great presents if you’re looking for an unusual gift for someone special and a fantastic reward for staff or pupils. Discounts are available on larger orders. FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information and to purchase Theatre Tokens, see www.theatretokens. com or call Tokenline on 0844 887 7878.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE






The new English Baccalaureate certificate is causing much debate within the secondary sector. Ray Barker, director, BESA, outlines the various views and potential implications for the primary sector The introduction of the new English Baccalaureate (eBac) stemmed from the government’s concern that there had been a “dramatic collapse” in the number of pupils taking GCSEs in traditional academic subjects including English, maths, science, foreign languages and humanities. This, in turn, they felt would increasingly affect the UK’s global economic position in the future. The decision came at the time of the announcement of the results of the PISA ranking, which emphasised the need for a review of the core subjects in England. This highly anticipated annual Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) showed that once again the UK had slipped further down the world ranking in maths, reading and science to 25th position. And it is certainly true that a ‘baccalaureate’ system is operated by many European and Asian countries that are now positioned above the UK in these international league tables. Speaking at the Education World Forum in January 2011, Andreas Shleicher, head of the PISA programme at OECD said that the picture for the UK was “stagnant at best”. “Many other countries have seen quite significant improvement,” he added. The new English Baccalaureate has its advantages for the Department for Education. As stated by the government, it will put an end to schools aiming to maintain their league table status by simply putting their students through ‘non-academic’ qualifications such



as the intermediate GNVQ in ICT, which is measured to be the equivalent of four good GCSE passes, despite only requiring the teaching time of the maths GCSE. It is also a straightforward signal to head teachers that this government wants every child to have access to a balanced and rigorous curriculum. Employers expect good communication skills and a standard of maths and science and the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) has continually stressed the need for change if we are the become a more economically successful society. However there are many reservations. OBJECTIONS The majority of objections were based on the speed with which this new umbrella qualification has been introduced. School performance in the autumn is already going to be measured by the number of children who attain the new certificate although it was introduced after they took the exams. This is therefore perceived as a retrospective assessment move. Naturally many feel this is an unfair measure of success, with teachers suggesting the government has moved the goal posts without warning. Many young people have studied hard for a range of qualifications but now will find it impossible to reach the standard of the eBac simply because they made their choice a few years ago. It also causes many management issues

for secondary schools in how they organise their curriculum, teaching day and assessment regime. In fact many secondary leaders are saying that it will skew the way schools work. In a resent focus group at BESA, secondary leaders told us that they were having to reconsider what was being taught and how they could manage these core subjects – often without key staff or time or space in school. The status of subjects in school has now been changed. This means that the importance of other subjects has declined – in terms of value and number of lessons. For the good of their students and their future they will have to do this – even though they know it is not the best thing for student performance in all cases. Also, because pupil numbers were going to be a big issue in the future (and so funding) schools would be looking for their unique selling point to attract parents and students (especially if they did not have to follow a particular specialism any longer). Heads would need to demonstrate the value of their school as a marketing exercise, and eBac results would be a major factor. Schools are also questioning the value now placed on the subjects not included in the Baccalaureate. The coalition government positioned it as offering “a broad, rounded curriculum” but what about students who have a proficiency in art and the creative subjects – and more importantly vocational and technical subjects? Will they be seen as less qualified? Equally, students who have E

E selected to study religious education (not one of the humanities on the list) will now be seen to be less successful than those studying a language or even geography. OUTCOMES The feeling at our recent focus group was that although the government talks about local choice and autonomy, these measures will all be about outcomes (linked to the new Ofsted framework). The retro-tables linked to the eBac will be key to curriculum change. “Schools are being forced to play a different game,” one leader commented. iGCSEs are changing the nature of teaching as well, with no coursework and the perception that “they are easier to pass”. Despite the government’s view that it offers a broad curriculum, what all teachers will stress is that education surely is about being able to live a constructive fulfilled life and contribute positively to society. It is not just about getting students to university. The fact that there has been a 2,300 per cent increase in the number of students taking vocational qualifications since 2004 should not solely be attributed to students and schools taking the easy option in maintaining their position in the league tables. It is more likely to be a sign of the fact that a significant number of students recognise what they are really good at and what will help them to become independent learners.

students can select their first language, which would normally be their mother tongue. This brings us on to the next obstacle provided by the Baccalaureate. Secondary schools will have to, if selected, be able to provide GCSE level teaching for any number of languages – Mandarin, Hindi-Urdu, Bengali, Russian or Japanese to name just a few. A similar challenge was presented to primary schools last year, when the previous government made it a part of the national curriculum for every child from the age of seven to 14 to learn a modern foreign language (MFL). Few primary schools employ qualified language teachers, so being able to provide an acceptable level of teaching was questionable. Many, however, provide access to a language through creative means – ICT programmes, language clubs, national celebrations. Taking this one step further, we should ask the question whether modern foreign languages will have to continue to be taught at primary level if we are to achieve a good standard at secondary. One BESA member, Rising Stars, creators of award-winning books, teaching resources and software including the Euro Stars Primary French programme, offers schools a simple way to incorporate MFL into the curriculum, without the need for specialist teachers. Managing director Andrea Carr comments; “We appreciate that primary teachers are not always comfortable or able to teach modern foreign languages. Euro Stars has been designed by teachers to meet their key concerns, including providing comprehensive support for pronunciation, audio by native French speakers and being fully linked to the QCA Scheme of Work for MFL French.” We all appreciate the government’s view of a need for higher standards in our education system, we all want the UK to regain our leading position in the PISA ranking and

Alicipsunt doluptate deni dolupturis mos aut labo. Vit od qui cuptia cus remo velitist quame excepudae inist, sit volendenem adist, consequi te denima ipitiist raeceat quatinv erspitibus, as eium ipsum dolorerio. Illa comnis rerspeditat. THE LANGUAGE CHALLENGE This focus on academic subjects is also clearly going to disadvantage schools in certain areas. Students with English as a second language is a common aspect of many schools particularly those located in urban areas. Therefore being measured by the number of Baccalaureate passes including English is often unreasonable and can only lead to perceived failure. Although, in addition to the three core elements of the Baccalaureate,



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 its 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.

we all respect the need for core skills in everyone’s life, regardless of their future career but there are clearly aspects of the new Baccalaureate that need refining. We also all keenly await the details of the primary curriculum review to understand how primary school’s curriculum will be adjusted to support students as they move towards the new English Baccalaureate. L FOR MORE INFORMATION

A one-stop-shop for BI products and services As competition increases and becomes more global, attracting and retaining students from a range of diverse backgrounds, each with individual needs, is a substantial challenge for any university. This makes the case for adopting the principles of Business Intelligence (BI) ever stronger. SolStonePlus is a leading Business Intelligence, Analytics and Enterprise Performance Management services company with an established and growing reputation. We enable our clients to be more efficient, provide better service to their customers and improve bottom-line performance through solutions delivering the deep and actionable insight needed to make quicker, smarter, joined-up decisions. We offer an enviable combination of

specialist capabilities and pedigree that other providers simply can’t match: Deep and broad expertise – with over 28 years under our belt and an amazing staff loyalty profile, we have the strategic, business and technical skills you would expect from having worked with hundreds of leading organisations to identify, design and implement effective BI solutions to help them achieve their goals. Exceptional strength and focus in higher education – with an impressive and growing client list of over 30 universities,

we have demonstrable experience of implementing smart ideas for driving performance improvement in many key areas, including operational efficiency, marketing and recruitment, student experience, and academic excellence. Comprehensive service portfolio – a full services offering for BI, EPM and data warehousing, including strategy, analysis, design, delivery, support, training, project management and license management, as well as urgent ad-hoc assistance or additional resource when you need it. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01273 206555



Market Research



UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE The Market Research Society examines market research in the era of choice and competition, and explains how you can benefit

The schools system in the UK has undergone rapid change with the advent of the coalition government; the creation of free schools and the growing support for academies are just some of the big initiatives. Funding is an issue across the board, and academies are seen by many as an increasingly attractive alternative to the traditional model, whether they are sponsored academies, or converted local authority schools. The futures and expectations of the country’s school leavers are also changing. With a university education now seen to be financially out of reach for some students, particularly if they live away from home, schools are adapting the advice that pupils receive on what next steps they should take. “The focus, both in schools and universities, is on two things – value for money and employability,” says David Smith, director at DVL Smith, a full-service research agency and MRS Company Partner. “We are experts at education research and we know that our clients have massive pressures on their budgets and very little flexibility. However, using reliable research provides insights that you just wouldn’t get any other way. It gives you an expert professional team that knows


the sector inside out, delivering accurate findings and offering an independent view. With research you can find out whether you are spending the right money in the right area, and understand your stakeholders.” PROFESSIONAL ADVICE Good research is only available from professionals. Vanella Jackson, chairman of the Market Research Society (MRS), explains: “Accredited suppliers offer you a guaranteed deliverable; timely, efficient and accurate research which has been conducted fairly and ethically, and gives you valuable insights.” Market and social research is often thought of as online or face-to-face clipboard surveys, but as David Smith, an MRS Fellow and former chairman describes, there are many more options available: “Qualitative research can give you great results; not everything is high cost. This might include an audit of existing sources and some telephone interviews, for example. Doing this with a research supplier, rather than handling it internally, means you get efficient results, from a team with an objective view of the situation.” There are broadly two kinds of research methodologies used, qualitative and

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

quantitative, and each serves its purpose. A good researcher will know which methodology to use, in what way and to what scale in order to best address a client’s business issue. QUALITATIVE OR QUANTITATIVE? Both have different sample sizes – qualitative is typically small sample research, while quantitative uses large amounts of data. Qualitative research could involve evaluation of teaching tools using a small sample to create improved products, or sensitive research with small hard-to-reach groups who would not normally respond to traditional research methods such as surveys or telephone interviews. On the other hand, quantitative research involves big sample sizes, such as the National Student Survey, and covers larger-scale issues where an understanding of the views of a large number of people is important. To take the example of new school models, such as academies, a mixture of research types can give the clearest picture when looking at everything from motivations for becoming an academy, to the impact of changing the curriculum, budgets and the length of a school day. All are common issues and concerns among education authorities, governors, staff and parents when the decision to move to academy status is being made. RULES AND GUIDELINES MRS upholds a number of rules and guidelines to ensure good practice across sectors. Professionals that are MRS members and organisations that are MRS Company Partners have to abide by the MRS Code of Conduct, which provides a step by step guide to effective, fair and ethical research. The MRS Code of Conduct, together with relevant legislation such as the Data Protection Act of 1998, provides a strict professional set of legal and ethical parameters that ensure research is conducted properly. When these legal and ethical rules and guidelines are met, research can provide an unparalleled insight into the thoughts and opinions of customers and audiences that can redefine the way decisions are made. The MRS website should be your first port of call for finding a good research organisation. The site includes A Newcomer’s Guide to Market Research, as well as the annually updated Research Buyer’s Guide, which lists MRS Company Partners and organisations along with MRS members, their contact details, geographic area and industry specialisms. All organisations and individuals listed in the Research Buyer’s Guide are committed to adhering to the MRS Code of Conduct. Reform in education seems set to continue and with so many stakeholders affected it will be important for education providers – whether local authorities or academy companies – to understand the impact it may have. In a time of change, research can E

E provide robust evidence to aid decision-making and provide insights into future impacts. CASE STUDY Qualitative research by EdComs helped the Co-operative Group to understand the impact of their work with academies and trust schools across the UK and shape their future education strategy. The Co-operative movement has been involved in education for many years with the aim of promoting co-operative values and improving the life chances of children and young people. Over the past ten years the Co-operative Group, alongside the Cooperative College and the Co-operative Education Trust Scotland, has supported over 100 schools in becoming Co-operative Trust schools and Co-operative Academies. In light of the recent and wide ranging changes within the education sector, the Co-operative Group sought to understand the practices, values and impacts of different models of school governance and engagement to inform the development of a sustainable, impactful model of future activity within education. Taking stock following a period in which the Co-operative school network had expanded rapidly was felt to be critical in understanding what was working and for whom.

The educational research consultancy EdComs, an MRS Company Partner, was commissioned in 2010 to provide research and consultancy support to assist strategy development. Qualitative research was undertaken with senior stakeholders across the Co-operative movement in order to understand their vision for both the Cooperative Group and the wider co-operative movement’s engagement in education. The findings of this research were looked at alongside a review of existing strategies and monitoring data, in order to outline delivery models and identified impacts. UNDERSTANDING ENGAGEMENT Having developed a stronger understanding of the background context, telephone interviews were undertaken with school and local authority representatives from across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to gain insights around schools’ motivations for engaging with the Co-operative, as well as views on the support received, perceived impacts, challenges experienced and future support needed. In order to provide the Co-operative Group with more holistic and illustrative examples of cooperative values in action within the different school governance models, case studies were conducted in which researchers visited schools to talk to students, teachers, school governors, parents and partners. This enabled EdComs to

develop engaging, school-specific case studies which highlighted the wide-range of impacts on students, schools and local communities. EdComs worked closely with both the Co-operative Group and the wider Cooperative stakeholders in developing the research approach and in the dissemination of the research findings. This relationship enabled EdComs to deliver actionable findings, alongside consultancy support, directly informing the Co-operative Group Education Strategy. “Understanding the impact the Co-operative Group and its education partners has made in our schools has been key to developing our future strategy. We needed an organisation that could work with our complex networks, had a strong empathy with our values and understood the education sector, Edcoms were therefore a perfect fit. The research has helped us identify the key areas where we need to change direction, areas of success and areas where we could add value with our schools. It has been a highly valuable process and I believe our new strategy is stronger and has greater clarity of purpose thanks to the research,” said Mags Bradbury, national projects manager, The Co-operative. L

Market Research



Case Study Tudor Grange Academy ‘‘To meet the rigorous demands of this type of environment, all facilities in our academy have to be robust, efficient and fit for purpose. Centurion has fulfilled these requirements, and has given an excellent finished appearance in all washroom areas.’’ Graham Turner, Facilities Manager, Tudor Grange

Tudor Grange in Solihull is a mixed, 11-16 age academy, formed in 1974 from the combination of well established boys’ and girls’ grammar schools on the same site. The academy has a reputation for excellence and academic achievement and is popular with parents and students alike. In fact, it’s always over subscribed. When it came to refurbishment, Facilities Manager, Graham Turner, was looking for a highly robust, high specification cubicle that would be able to withstand the many rigors of this large and busy academy. Solihull Council, having specified Venesta in the past, chose our Centurion range for the six male and female toilet facilities situated throughout the campus. Centurion combines strength and rigidity with wall channels and pilasters that extend to the floor, obviating the need for pedestals. This gave the academy the long-lasting quality that they were looking for. Contact us to order our new brochure. Call 01474 353333. 10-year guarantee.

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Advertisers Index



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77 8, 20, 115 104 74 22 74 104 10 100 67 26 32 64 56 96 16 77 48 35 100 90 109 62 106 33 14 46 28 59 73 63

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42 81 77 62 96 63 36 67 79 100 96 116 79 62 100 72 60 104 89 6 58 34 40 93 OBC 66 70 2 37 50 77

Panasonic PC Werth Pel Services Pisces Art Plas Menai Premier Life Skills Renault Rock UK SCCI Energy SCC International Solstone Plus sQuidcard Swanley Banqueting & Conference Centre Symmetry Systematic Energy The Green Drinks Company The Music Workshop Company Thornton Sports Trend Trinity Laban Tripleplay Services Theatre Tokens Universal Services Variable Message Signs Vaults Fire & Security Village Hotels Xscape SNO!zone Zonic ICT

IBC 25 98 103 76 17 18 74 52 12 15 94 88 44 4 92 107 64 54 88 35 111 64 30 116 86 85 33

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Vaults – always working to keep you safe

JJ is now releasing a full range of wines, spirits and beers at unbelievable prices. Visit the JJ website and download the latest brochure to see what you can save. JJ Food Service has been established for over 20 years with a massive range of ambient, frozen and chilled foods as well as packaging and cleaning products. There are various ways to buy from JJ with seven collection depots across the country. If you like shopping fast JJ has a collection system in which you can be in and out in as little as

Vaults Fire and Security Ltd is an established provider of leading security solutions. A family run company based in the Midlands, we specialise in protecting businesses nationwide by providing peace of mind to our customers. We are able to provide systems to meet all of your security needs, designing, installing and servicing. We are also approved installers, at the highest level of Paxton Access and Dedicated Micro’s systems. Trading for over ten years, we are an NSI NACOSS Gold Approved company working with both public and private sector companies including local authorities, police and insurance companies. We employ a team of well trained and highly motivated security professionals dedicated to building close partnerships with our clients.

five minutes. Simply order and pay online, choose a time slot of when you would arrive, drive to the collection bay at that time, and your goods will be ready for you to put into your vehicle. Visit the shopping website now or phone our sales team for more information. JJ is open to both public and trade. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 08719 730 999 Fax: 08719 730 888 Facebook: facebook. com/jjfoodservice

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

The safety of staff, the public and property is vital. We are always happy to arrange a site visit to one of our recent installations or provide a no obligation security survey. FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0121 354 5525







































ADMIN/FINANCE & LEGAL Accountancy Software Symmetry 0117 9006262 www.symmetry. Associations NASBM 01788 573300 Banking Lloyds TSB 0800 6816078 schoolbanking Credit Cards Visa Consultants Babcock 0800 0734444 Dains LLP 0845 5558844 Electronic Payments sQuid 020 83392111 Equipment Leasing Investec Education Leasing 01244 525406 Syscap 020 82541870 public/education

Financial Consultancy Almary Green 01603 706740 Bamzonia 0845 5051750 Baxter Fensham Limited Orchard House 18 Fink Hill Hortsforth Leeds LS18 4DH 0113 2583253 Create Financial Management 21 Brunel Parkway Brunel Business Park Pride Park Derby DE24 8HR 01332 268068 David Burton Associates Limited 01306 887515 ForeSight 161 Ashley Road Hale Chesire WA15 9SD 0161 9269350 Guardian Associates 145-157 St. John Street London EC1V 4PY 01702 716332

HJP Linden House 176-180 South Street Dorking, Surrey RH4 2ES 01306 742200 Holden & Partners 020 78121460 IFA Direct 01483 715823 Lombard MRN Mediation Springfield Back Lane, Kingston Sturminster Newtone Dorset DT10 2DT 01258 817688 Navigator Financial Planning 3B Miltown Hill Warren Point Newbry County Down BT34 3QY 028 30851199 OCM Wealth Management 01604 813013 louise@ocmwealth www.ocmwealth Pearson Jones Plc 0114 2357000

Pension & Financial Consultants Ltd 028 90783030 Pethericks & Gillard Ltd 01761 410444 Quorum Training 0121 3627536 Scottsdale Consulting 0845 5046433 SG Wealth Management 01603 760866 Trustees Bridle Close Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 0SW 01664 562825 Wesleyan 0800 3166554 Westminster Wealth Management 020 74005865 Insurance Balens 2 Nimrod House Sandy’s Road Malvern WR14 1JJ 01684 580776

Specfiers Index


Ecclesiastical www.ecclesiastical. com/ingoodhands Market Research B2B International 0161 4406000 Ecory’s 01782 753230 Hope Stone Research 01934 740386 Payroll Frontier Software 0845 3703210 Performance Monitoring Edexcel aa-recruitment Printing and Design Bright Side Linton House 164-180 Union Street London SE1 0LH 020 79605111 The Rubber Stamp Company 020 86551144 Risk Management Experian riskauditplus

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Specifiers Index


School Supplies Able for Schools Avery 0800 9804800 GLS Educational Supplies 08451 203213 Office Depot 0844 4120000 AUDIO VISUAL Acoustics PC Werth 020 87727200 Sound Sorba Desborough Street High Wycombe Bucks HP11 2LZ 01494 536888 Sound Space Design 2 St. George’s Ct 131 Putney Bridge Rd London SW15 2PA 020 88775868 acoustics@sound Interactive Whiteboards Panasonic 0800 8409184 Systems AV Ltd 01634 402855 Projectors Casio Innovations 01943 850800 CATERING Associations National Association of Masters Bakers 21 Baldock St Ware SG12 9DH 01920 468061 School Food Trust


Consultants Review Consultancy 023 92232647 The First Class Catering Company Ltd 225-229 Longwood Road Huddersfield HD3 4EL 0845 2415617 Drink Suppliers Drink Fit Fatcory Gate Marketing Digby Drive LE15 8JS 07709 438698 The Green Drinks Company 01684 851294 www.thegreendrinks Vivat Equipment Die-Pat Divisions Ltd 01327 311144 Holmes Group 01759 375500 Innovate Food Suppliers Aimia Foods 01942 408600 Findus 0800 132096 JJ Food Service Five Arches Business Estate Unit 2 Maidstone Road Foots Cray DA14 5AG 01992 701727 La Pizza’s 01730 811490 Lloyd’s Food Service 01244 398899 Müller 01630 698571

Cashless Payment Systems Ami Education Solutions 0845 6717101

Pride Catering 1C Merrow Business Park Guildford Surrey GU4 7WA 01483 575000

Uniware 0844 8006200

Theo’s 01922 472422

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

Vending Machines Autobar UK Limited Unit 4 Anderson Road Industrial Estate Woodford Green Essex IG8 8ET 0800 2300097

Educational Resources Clarity 0845 6780725

CLASSROOM Arts & Crafts Pisces Art 08442 570390

Eduscope (Eclipse) Innovation Centre Keele University Staffordshire ST5 5NB 0845 3883224

Behaviour Management Aero Medical Ambulance Service 07717 478648 www.aeromedic CPI Atlantic Business Centre Atlantic Street Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 5NQ 0161 9299777 Classroom Furniture Gresswell 01992 454511 John F. White Ltd Unit 6, Veasey Close Attleborough Fields Ind. Estate Nuneaton CV11 6RT 024 76347347 KI Furnishing Latham Jenkins Pitt Street Wigan, Lancashire WN3 4DH 01942 821414

Demco Interiors 01992 454600

Kumon 0800 854714 LFC Catalogue 08458 506507

Hope Street Hotel 0151 7093000

Notice Board Company 02476 010076 www.noticeboard sales@noticeboard

Laban Creekside London SE8 3DZ 020 84699452

Language Resources Sanako 01274 863380

London Art House 2-18 Britannia Row Islington London NI 8PA 020 32273200

Music ABC Music 01372 466195 Canford 0191 4181122 Drum Voice 0121 4424976

Steelcase 020 74219000

Mel Bay Office 512 Fortis House 160 London Road Barking IG11 8BB 0800 4320486

Willow Brook Education Willow Brook House, Quarry Farm Estate North Luffenham Road Ketton, Stamford Lincolnshire PE9 3UT 01708 721115

CONFERENCES & EVENTS Venues Brands Hatch 01474 875224

Kucel 020 84175519

Latin Heart

Welco Education 0800 9549001

Storage Systems O.T.T. Pouch 01656 655615


LFC Startright 08458 506507

TITAN Furniture 0845 1308022

Science: Laboratory Furniture Lab Systems Furniture Rortary House Bontoft Avenue Kingston Upon Hull HU5 4HF 01482 444650

The Music Workshop Company 0844 5838131 The Utterly Butterly Ukulele Project 020 81337940 Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK)

Stapleford Abbotts Golf Club 01708 381108 Swanley Banqueting 01322 613900 swanleybanqueting@ The Channel Suite Leas Cliff Hall The Leas Folkestone Kent CT20 2DZ 01303 228606 Village Hotels 0844 9800047 fixedpricemeeting@ Visit Scotland DESIGN & BUILD Architects Glynn Williams 01245 222692 www.glynnwilliams Sutters Partnership Architects 020 87885788

Building Surveyors BWA 020 84601111

Modular Construction Elliott UK 0800 454962

Construction Collinson Riverside Industrial Park Tan Yard Road Catterall Preston, Lancashire PR3 OHP 0800 8401698

GML Group Orchard House Westerhill Road Coxheath Maidstone, Kent ME17 4DH 01622 742700

Cyclone Commerce Ltd 01920 824058

Jacob UK 01694 722841

Grant Westfield Limited Westfield Avenue Edinburgh EH11 2QH 0131 3376262

Lowrie Brothers 01233 733833

Homelodge 01962 881480 Hunts Contractors 01427 788445 Hydropanel 01283 722588 IM Design 0113 2420231 McAvoy Modular Buildings Ltd The Deep Business Centre Hull HU1 4BG 01482 382038 www.modular sales@modular Remodelling Education SafeVent 01925 577801 West Country Buildings 15 High Cross Road Rogerstone Newport NP10 9AE 01633 782684 www.westcountry sales@westcountry Interior Surfacing Formica Limited 11 Silver Fox Way Cobalt Business Park Newcastle Upon Tyne NE27 0QJ 0191 2593100

Premier Interlink (Waco UK Ltd) 0800 3160888 EDUCATIONAL VISITS Conference Facilities European Study Tours 0844 5761954 Leisure Alton Towers 0871 2825194 www.altontowers. com/school-visits Museums Ripley’s 1 Piccadilly Circus London W1J 0DA 020 74946818 The Agricultural Museum Brook The Street, Brook, Ashford, Kent TN25 5PF 01227 730 477 www.agricultural Twickenham World Rugby World Rugby Museum Twickenham Stadium Rugby Road Twickenham Middlesex TW1 1DZ 020 88928877 Outward Bound Centres Adventure Beyond 01239 851028 Art Hog Arthog Gwynedd Wales LL39 1BX 01341 250455 Avon Tyrrell 01425 672347

BF Adventure Goodygrane Activity Centre Halvasso Penryn Cornwall TR10 9BX 01326 340912 Blackland Farm 01342 810493 Calshot Activities Centre Calshot Spit Fawley SO45 1BR 023 80892077 English Heritage www.english-heritage. Gibside Stables Learning & Discovery Centre National Trust Gibside Burnopfield Newcastle Upon Tyne NE16 6BG 01207 541200 gibsidestablesLDC@ Grafham Water Centre Perry, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0GW 01480 810521 Highline Adventure 0845 4091303 Hindleap Warren Outdoor Centre Hindleap Warren, Wych Cross, Forest Row, East Sussex RH18 5JH 01342 822625 Kingswood 0800 6556564 London Duck Tours 0845 4346013 Open Door Adventure Dolben Hall Bont Newydd St Asaph, Debbighshire North Wales LL17 0HN 01745 585535 Plas Menai 01248 670964 Reach Out Plus 0845 2160080

Rippledown 01304 364854

Sabercom 01732 440035

Rock UK Adventure Centres Ltd 0844 8000222

Products Carbon Legacy Ltd 0845 6972419

The Ringsfield Hall Trust 01502 713020 Twig Group Combourne Farm Buildings Goudhurst Kent TN17 1LP 01580 212717 Ski Trips Chill Factore 0161 749 2218 Skibound 01273 244500 Snozone UK Travel Providers Mariposa Holidays 0034 651588029 Tenacity of Bolton 01768 482233

Eco Adapt 01635 556429 GlassGuard 01842 763752 The Owl 01256 383430 ENVIRONMENTAL Asbestos Management ARCA 01283 531126 Cordtape Environmental Services Ltd 0800 0937810 Gully Howard Technical Limited 5 St George’s Business Centre St George’s Square Portsmouth PO1 3EY 023 92728040 KAD Environmental Consultancy Limited 01702 308438

Wildlife Cotswold Wildlife Park 01993 825720 www.cotswold education@cotswold

LAR Ltd 0161 9479628

ENERGY Associations ESTA

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Air Conditioning Educool 023 92361260

Consultants Utilitrack 0114 2352565 Energy Suppliers Apollo Solar 08456 808103 Melton Electrical Services Ltd 01664 564223 www.meltonelectrical Ocip Energy Ltd 0800 9179360 RWE npower

Specifiers Index


Yani Montoya Consultants

SDH Air Conditioning Services Ltd 8 Forest Way Bolton Lancashire BL7 9YE 01204 305053 Air Filtration Widespread Solutions Ltd 01423 522836 www.widespread sales@widespread Cleaning 3M (Scotchgard) 01234 229496

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Specifiers Index


Abacus Main Ltd 0800 3247819 Chemex 0121 5656315 Complete Pool Controls Ltd Unit 2 The Park Stoke Orchard Bishops Cleeve GL52 7RS 0871 2229082 Danish Clean Water Dallow Street Burton on Trent Staffordshire DE14 2PQ 01283 542865 Ednam Property Services 020 82424993 Hygiene 4 Less 01284 810887 Jet Stream Drive Clean 01280 820608 Rentokil 0845 6020900 specialisthygiene-enquiry@ Resource Group 0113 2607328 Sempermed Industrial Products Ltd 25 Cottesbrooke Park Heartsland Daventry NN11 8YL 01327 313140 Serna Services 85-87 Bayham Street London NW1 0AG 020 76094200


Chelsom Ltd Heritage House Clifton Road Blackpool Lancashire FY4 4QA 01253 831406 Cordtape Energy Management Systems Ltd 0115 9780554 Costmaster Ltd Newton House Birchwood Park Warrington WA3 6FW 0845 1235154 EBUK Ltd 01305 766154 Elcomponent Unit 5 Southmill Trading Centre Bishop’s Stortford Hertfordshire CM23 3DY 01279 503173 GazProm 0845 2300011 Imserv 0870 8335656 Intelligent Utilities 01344 421408 headoffice@ Ixian 145-157 St. John’s Road London EC1V 4PY 0845 6525597 LLumar 13 Acorn Business Centre Northarbour Road, Cosham Portsmouth PO6 3TH 023 92219112

Electrical Equipment Coomber Electronic Equipment Ltd Brindley Road Warndon Worcester WR4 9FB 01905 342070

LSI 0800 0199595

DFx Technology 01993 705151

PCM Switch 01943 882189

Energy Management Systems Alternative Energy Solutions Ltd 01978 664114

Powermaster 01924 272696

MCL Energy 01302 738000 Monodraught 01494 897700

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

Powerstar 01709 836200 R.E.G Energy Services REG Energy Services Unit 5, Home Farm Business Park Norwich Road, Marsham Norwich, Norfolk NR10 5PQ 01603 510161 Radio-Tech 01279 636324 SCCI Energy 0844 5588619 Scottish Power 0845 0304053 Systematic Energy 0808 1088057 The Finance House 01273 857024 Trend Controls Utility Assist Energy Consultants 0845 09444325 Utility Matters Entrance Matting Mats Direct 0161 7976785 Landscaping Bartlett 0845 6009000 Primary Landscapes 0845 6039435 Sureset UK Ltd 01985 841180 Parking Alpha Parking Ltd 020 72422567 BemroseBooth Paragon Limited 01482 826343 Entry Parking Post 01564 773188 Nagels UK Ltd

Total Parking Solutions SATRA Innovation Park Rockingham Rd Kettering Northants NN16 9JH 0845 2573540 ZEAG UK 020 85458905 Property Management 4m Flooring Uk Ltd Unit 9 Decade Close High Carr Business Park Newcastle-Under-Lyme Staffordshire ST5 7UG 01782 576650 Axis 020 75642095 education@axiseurope. com/education Signs and Signwriting Variable Message Signs Limited Unit 1 Monkton Business Park North Mill Lane, Hebburn Tyne & Wear NE31 2JZ 0191 4237070 Washroom Equipment Armitage Venesta Washroom Systems 01474 353333 Dyson Airblade HEALTH & SAFETY Consultants Handsam 0330 3337393 OHS ROSPA 0121 2482233 Workers and Workstations 0845 6499964 enquiries@ Equipment Ergonomic Education Furniture sales@ Slingsby 0800 2944440 Fire Safety Amthal Security 1 Executive Park Hatfiel Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 4TA 0800 0937818

BAFE 0844 3350897 Bee Safe 4 Ameiva Point Quartremaine Road Portsmouth Hants PO3 5QP 023 92348000 Black Craig 0845 5195604 Central Fire & Security Services Commercial House 23 Meadow Road Netherfield Nottingham NG4 2FR 0800 7817274 Clarkson Safety Services 143 Godstone Road Whyteleafe Surrey CR3 0EH 020 86600131 CP Fire Consultants Ltd 01249 817900 Eurotech Systems Ltd 19/20 Stratfield Park Elettra Avenue Waterlooville Hampshire PO7 7XN 020 31410999 FARMSS 58 Old Wood Lane Cheadle Cheshire SK8 5JA 0161 4884863 Fire Safety Assessments Ltd 01603 741484 www.firesafety Fire Training International Ltd 0800 1584428 Pel Services Ltd 020 88392100 Sea Fire 2000 01323 644674 Pro Minent Resolution Road Ashby-De-La-Zouch Leicestershire LE65 1DW 01530 560555

HUMAN RESOURCES Consultancy ASCL 01162 991122 Belmas Hillingdon Community Mediation 01895 447700 Kroll 01273 320001 www.krollbackground Live N Learn 0870 9984432 MHS 83 Baker Street London W1U 6AG 0845 6017603 Pass Training Consultancy Ltd 08432 895581 www.passtraining SolStonePlus Incentives Charity Gift Vouchers Marketing Ltd Chicheley Hempstead Lane Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3PR 01323 848686

Five Minute Box 01442 878629 National College for School Leadership 0845 6090009 Premier Life Skills 07808 215674 SQA 0303 3330330 St John Ambulance 0844 7704800 The Open University 0845 3008848 VTCT Third Floor, Eastleigh House Upper Market Street, Eastleigh Hampshire SO50 9RD 023 80684500 ICT Consultancy Bright Green 0845 5333333 Red Rock ICT 0845 6737333 Vision 020 73544300

Theatre Tokens 0844 8877878

Zonic ICT 01245 423683

Recruitment Connex Education

Document Management Dajon Data Management 020 7323223

Education Appointments 0845 226810 info@education eteach 0845 2261906 Randstad Education 0845 6001234 education@randstad Staff Training Concentrix TSG 20 Granite Way Mountsorrel Loughborough LE12 7TZ 01509 410500

Firefly 020 81334415 Frog 01422 250800 LETNEVO 0118 9070070 evoeducation/ Mimio 01727 800380 Netsupport 01778 382270 education@netsupport

Employee Sacrifice Scheme 0870 4607709 www.employeemobilescheme. Networks: Wireless Call Systems Technology 0800 3895642 Geode Networks 0845 5050103 Printer Cartridges Biko Cartridges 020 30049838

Hardware Austin Hughes 01794 521810

Dell 0141 2025618

Crestron 0845 8738787 Misco Education 0800 0350799 MRG Systems Limited Willow Court Beeches Green Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 4BJ 01453 751871 NEC 0870 1201160 OKI Printing Solutions 01753 819856 Viglen 01727 201820

E-learning BCS

Hardware: Laser Printers Brother

BKSB 01623 413333

Imaging Kodak 01442 846508

Design Services For Schools 020 87713400 www.designservices

OliVerdi 0845 5045255


Dartfish 0845 0043414

Parker Software 01782 822577

IML 01623 726100

Equanet 0844 8712409

Clever LCD 020 83197777

Interactive Devices Black Box 2 Norfolk Street Lancaster LA1 2BW 0871 4640843

Security Computerised & Digital Security Systems Ltd Penbwch Isaf Farm Penycoedcae Road Pontypridd CF37 1PU 01443 405052 Osbourne Technologies Osborne Technologies Ltd Unit 4 Wortley Cout, Fall Bank Industrial Estate, Dodworth, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 3LS 0800 0372904 Software CEM Eset Haven Systems Ltd Tripleplay 0845 0943326 Software: Classroom Management Group Call 020 33284600 True Colours 01252 876300 Software: Print Management Graphic Mail 01670 363346 The Morgana Range 01908 608888

Web Resources Pearson Phoenix Cross Keys House Queen Street Salisbury SPI IEY 01722 344800

Specifiers Index


OFFICE EQUIPMENT Office Furniture Rap Industries 01733 394941 Sapphire Business Interiors Seedbed Centre Lanston Road Loughton Essex IG10 3TQ 020 87877014 Shredders HSM Staffordshire WS7 3GJ 01543 272580 SECURITY Access Control Adept Security Systems Ltd 1 Pendeford Place Pendeford Business Park Wobaston Road Wolvehampton WV9 5HD 01902 786780 Amission Solutions 27 Old Gloucester Street London WC1N 3XX 0845 6440701 CCR Systems (Northern) Ltd 0151 6448296 Commend UK Ltd 01279 457510 DED Limited 01797 320636 Elmdene 3 Keel Close Interchange Park Portsmouth PO3 5QD 023 92696638 stop-graffiti@ GB Security Group Security House High Street Donington Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 4TA 01775 821100

Specifiers Index 2011/12 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Specifiers Index


Integrated Design Ltd (Fastlane) 020 88905550 IP UserGroup Physical Security Technology Forum Unit 3 Burstow Bus. Centre Horley Surrey RH10 3XF 0870 7870546 Kaba Ltd Lower Moor Way Tiverton Devon EX16 6SS 0870 0005625 London Security Guards 020 88517987 Nortech 01633 485533 QMP 01384 899800 Siemens 01291 437920 buildingtechnologies/ securityproducts securityproducts.sbt. Vaults Fire and Security Ltd 0121 3545525 CCTV CDA Solutions 0845 2577465 SCCI International 0844 5588620 Product Protection Kalamazoo 0844 5766770 SEN Associations and Consultancies Contact Associates Viney Court Viney Street Taunton TA1 3FB 01823 352749 Drawing and Talking 020 87150745


Elklan 01208 841450

Sports Art Fitness 01282 779234

Real Group 01273 358080

Equipment A & Z Sports 01474 324878

Education Resources Equal Adventure 01479 861200 Laurence M Mitchell Penfriend 30 South Oswald Road Edinburgh EH9 2HG Robins Wood Press 01384 397475 customers@ Wyvern Business Systems Wyvern House Netherwood Road Rotherwas Hereford HR2 6JJ 01432 271233 Hearing Equipment Conversor Ltd The Lansbury Estate 102 Lower Guildford Road Woking Surrey GU21 2EP 0870 0663499 Sensory Equipment Mike Ayres Design Unit 8 Shepherds Grove Stanton Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 2AR 01359 251551 Sight and Sound 0845 6347979 Space Kraft 01274 581007 Total Sensory 01702 542231 Software CReSTeD 01242 604852 SPORTS & PLAYGROUNDS Coaching Software imovesdance

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Specifiers Index 2011/12

Bas Vampire Classic Teak 01429 890808 CR Swift Landscaping Ltd Greenwoods Farm Crondon Park Lane Stock Essex CM4 9QS 01954 288870 Garden Escapes 028 97564477 Grimshaw 01242 513251 Inclusive Play 14 Swanston Steading 109 Swanston Road Edinburgh EH10 7DS 0844 4990214 Jupiter Play & Leisure Ltd 0131 4457989 Lightmain 01709 763410 Neptunus 0845 1804001 Play Scope 01206 796722 Sanli 01235 861640 SutcliffePlay Waggon Lane Upton Pontefract West Yorkshire WF9 1JS 01977 653200 The Articulator 01622 812103 Trevor May 01233 740574

Universal Services Beckingham Business Park Tolleshunt Major Maldon Essex CM9 8LZ 01621 868700 www.universal info@universal

Green Slades Main Road Cannington Somerset TA5 2LF 01278 653205

White Horse Contractors 01865 736272

Smiths Sports & Civils 01529 461500

Playground Canopies Ace Shelters 0113 2522611

Thornton Sports 01282 777678 www.thorntonsports.

Outdoor Classrooms 0113 2569941

Timotay Playscapes 01933 665151

Surfaces Agripower 01494 866776 British Harlequin plc Festival House Chapman Way Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 3EF 01892 514888 Charles Lawrence Brunel House Jessop Way Newark Nottinghamshire NG24 2ER 01636 615866 www.charleslawrence sales@charleslawrence Cleveland Land Services 01642 488328 Coronet Turf (Wild Flower) 01256 771222 wildflower@ Exclusive Leisure Ltd 28 Cannock Street Leicester LE4 9HR 0116 2332255 Fleet Fleet House Spring Lane Malvern Worcestershire WR14 1AT 01684 573535

Pop Up Arena

World Leisure (UK) Ltd 07977 108577 362 Broad Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G40 2TR Venues National Ice Centre 0115 8533064 sportsdevelopment@ TELECOMS Telephone Systems Excellent Telecom 0800 8409184 Focus Telecom 0844 8928013 Two Way Radio Red-Radio 01582 481114 Videoconferencing AVerMedia Information Europe Bv 01908 371772 Wireless Communications AIT Partnership Group Ltd 0845 0177017 TRANSPORT Vehicles Castle Minibus Flexible Leasing Solutions Commerce House Telford Road Bicester Oxfordshire OX26 4LD 01869 253744 Day’s Rental 0800 3897626 Renault


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Copyright 2011 NEC Display Solution Europe GmbH. All rights are reserved in favour of their respective owners. This document is provided “as is� without warranty of any kind whatsoever, either express or implied.

Education Business Magazine issue 16.5  
Education Business Magazine issue 16.5  

The Business Magazine for Education