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Modular buildings allow schools to react quickly to the increase in demand for places PROCUREMENT


The steps to make effective purchasing decisions


FREE MEALS FOR INFANTS Overcome the obstacles to implementing the new rules


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Modular buildings allow schools to react quickly to the increase in demand for places PROCUREMENT


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FREE MEALS FOR INFANTS Overcome the obstacles to implementing the new rules



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FREE SCHOOL MEALS MAY CHALLENGE PRIMARIES From this September, primary schools in England will need to offer all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 free school meals due to new legislation in the Children and Families Bill. But data obtained by the BBC reveals that over 2,700 schools will need to improve their kitchens in order to serve these meals. This represents about a third of schools that have so far been assessed. An additional 1,700 schools have no kitchen. A spokesperson from the Department for Education said that: “Schools are receiving a huge amount of support to provide free school meals. We are providing £150m to improve kitchens and dining facilities, as well as an additional £22.5m specifically to help smaller schools to provide these meals.” On pages 87-97, the Children’s Food Trust shares advice on how primary schools can overcome such obstacles to implementing the new rules and answers some pressing questions on how this will affect meal provision. In other news, the Department for Education has released new figures showing that free schools are proving hugely popular with parents, attracting almost three applications for every available place. Natalie Evans, director of the New Schools Network said: “Free schools are proving increasingly popular with parents across the country, either because there simply aren’t enough local places or because they are not happy with what is currently on offer.” On page 31, Tina Allison, schools and academies specialist at Crowe Clarke Whitehill looks at some of the strategies to improve governance at free schools. Angela Pisanu, editor

!ONLINE ! IN PRINT ! MOBILE ! FACE TO FACE If you would like to receive 6 issues of Education Business magazine for £120 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 Angela Pisanu EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Arthur Walsh EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Danny Wright PRODUCTION EDITOR Richard Gooding PRODUCTION CONTROL Jacqueline Lawford, Jo Golding WEBSITE PRODUCTION Reiss Malone ADVERTISEMENT SALES Paul Beech, Natasha Carn, Raj Chohan, Patrick Dunne, Shelby Foord, Jackie Preece, Carl Skinner, Lorraine Steel, Carol Symons PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Victoria Leftwich REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

© 2014 Public Sector Information Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any other means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the editorial content the publisher cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1362 - 2541




Planning lessons, marking papers



and dodging spitballs have gone Google. Thousands of schools have already gone Google, using Apps and Chromebooks for Education. Why not learn more?

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Record numbers of UK teachers recorded; calls for transparency in Head pay; £9 million Learning initiative launched The REC’s Tom Hadley outlines the benefits of using fully qualified supply teachers instead of stop-gap measures


CIPFA’s Kerry Ace writes on how academy governance bodies can manage their schools effectively outside the council framework


What is the right leasing option for your school? Peter HIll from law firm Geldards LLP advises


The National Association of School Business Managers advises on how to make effective purchasing decisions


Tina Allison looks at some of the strategies to improve governance at free schools


School leaders met at the Education Show to discuss the benefits and challenges involved when schools convert to academy status


With schools’ energy bills set to double in the next six to eight years, how can you save on your energy, asks Amy Edwards



The use of modular construction radically reduces both disruption to teaching and time on-site and allow schools to react very quickly to the increase in demand for places


Ergonomics expert Claire Kendrick writes about how poorly designed school furniture can harm children’s postures


What are the common risk factors for accidents in schools and what can be done to provide a safe learning environment?

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Elisha Dignam of the British Institute of Cleaning Science writes about the importance of having trained caretaking professionals Richard Moseley of the British Pest Control Association describes the risks arising from different species of common kitchen pests What resources and support available is available to teachers to help them teach the new computing curriculum and tablet adoption rates in schools are discussed


How primary schools can implement the new rules on free meals in the Children and Families Bill in September, and The Children’s Food Trust answer schools’ pressing questions on how the new rules will affect meal provision

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As a new SEND Code of Practice awaits publication, Jane Friswell of nasen summarises the challenges facing schools as the sector undergoes major reform


Britain’s alarming rates of childhood obesity can be partly attributed to a lack of quality sporting facilities, and Team GB hockey player Alex Danson talks about the change sport has made in her life


Taking traditional subjects outdoors can provide a host of learning benefits


There is plentiful evidence that challenging play provides tangible developmental benefits to children of all ages


BUSK UK explains how to take the hassle out of organising a school trip by coach, and RoSPA’s guidelines for planning fun, safe excursions for pupils


The Education Show 2014 was a showcase for the resources that will be supporting educators in its implementation of the new National Curriculum Volume 19.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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The Department for Education has published a survey of 110 free schools which asked about their admissions. These schools received 23,642 applications for 8,755 places, an average of 2.7 applications per place. Natalie Evans, Director of the New Schools Network said: “Free schools are proving increasingly popular with parents across the

country, either because there simply aren’t enough local places or because they are not happy with what is currently on offer. This latest data shows how in a short space of time free schools have already become the first choice for many READ MORE: parents.”

Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, will become the first free school in the country to be shut down. Government funding was withdrawn when the school failed to improve following the imposition of special measures. Oftsed inspectors found last May that children were at risk of progressing to primary unable to read or write. Labour county councillor Chris Oxlade said: “It’s been a debacle from start to finish. First of all, my heart goes out to the parents and the children at the school because they have been through a sort of living hell especially over the last few months. There’s a huge sum of money that has basically been wasted on a political experiment that’s gone horribly wrong.” Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith said: “I believe that the Department for Education should have given the school, which got a new headteacher and management in, time to turn itself around. “But the department were quite clear that they wouldn’t tolerate a READ MORE: failing school.”



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OECD report criticises Welsh schools Numbers of UK Organisation for Economic Co-operation and for closing gender gaps in achievement, teachers reaches The and Development (OECD) has published a it says: “From an international perspective, report on education in Wales saying that the the performance of 15-year-olds in Wales on record high country’s schools system lacks an effective Pisa is low overall, and there are too many The Department for Education has announced that the number of teachers working in England in November 2013 was the highest ever recorded. The department’s figures show that there were 451,100 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers, 9,100 more than at the same time in 2012. The teacher vacancy rate was found to be low, with 750 vacancies throughout England. The department also claims that the quality of teachers is on the rise, with 96 per cent of the workforce holding degrees and 74 per cent with 2:1s, an increase of 13 per cent from 2010. A DfE spokesman said: “There has never been a better time to be a teacher and today’s figures show there have never been more people teaching in England’s classrooms. More top graduates are coming into teaching than ever before and a record 96 per cent of teachers READ MORE: now hold a degree.”

long-term vision and fails to support its teachers. It was found that Wales’ Pisa test scores were the lowest in the UK. The report was commissioned by the Welsh government in 2012, following poor Pisa scores. It says that while improvement is being made, a clearer implementation strategy is needed. While the report praises Welsh schools for having “positive” learning environments

students performing at low levels. The Pisa 2012 reading and science assessments showed that almost one in five Welsh students did not achieve level two which is considered the baseline of proficiency at which students begin to demonstrate competencies to actively READ MORE: participate in life.”


Scottish schools may have to pay for exam appeals The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is to introduce a new exam appeals system which is designed to prevent schools from submitting too many requests for appeals. Under new rules, schools will be charged if an appeal is unsuccessful. There are concerns that disadvantaged councils will be unable to meet

these fees. A teacher said: “It’s bound to disadvantage pupils. Schools are going to look carefully at who they appeal for – in future there will be READ MORE: fewer people presented.”



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‘English as a foreign language’ on the curriculum for Leeds school The City of Leeds School is to make the study of English as a foreign language compulsory for all students. The school has 314 pupils from about 50 countries, with only a quarter of pupils born in the UK. Headteacher Georgina Sale said: “Many of our pupils are not only new to English but are not literate in their own language. For some, we are the first people to put a pen in their hand.” The classes will be grouped by ability rather than age, and will take in native speakers as well as those born outside the country; Sale said that many “who are native English speakers have not got a formal enough level of English that will get them that A-star grade in history or that READ MORE: A-grade in science.”


£9 million special needs centre in Northern Ireland Northern Ireland’s Department of Education is accepting tenders for the construction of a new school and resource centres for special needs pupils. Arvalee School & Resource Centre will cater for over 100 pupils aged between three and 19.


Investigation into school Islamist ‘takeover plot’ Birmingham City Council has launched an investigation into an alleged Islamist takeover plot involving 25 schools in the city, including, primaries, secondaries and academies. Former head teacher Ian Kershaw has been appointed chief advisor to the inquiry. The issue was flagged last year when an anonymous letter alleged that ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ aimed to introduce Islamic principles to schools, and that four leadership changes had been made as a result. Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said the two tier education system made it difficult to deal with these issues: “We do not have the relationship with academies as we do with the READ MORE: community schools.”




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School kitchens need improvements to fulfil free school meals, study finds Over 2,700 schools will need to improve their kitchens in order to serve free meals to infant pupils in accordance with new rules, according to data obtained by the BBC. This represents about a third of schools that have so far been assessed. An additional 1,700 schools have no kitchen.

The DfE says that action is being taken to make the required improvements, and that the “vast majority of schools” are on track to implement the policy by September. ! Go to page 87 for the latest on free school meals


Stricter arts and humanities GCSEs Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that arts subjects are to be made more demanding from September 2016. Art and design, music drama and dance will be given a more rigorous GCSE curriculum. This follows announcements that other subjects like history and languages will be reformed for the same deadline. Gove said: “I am passionate about great art, drama, dance, music and design, and I am determined to ensure every child enjoys access to the best in our culture. I also want all schools to be able to nurture creative talent in every child.”

Michael Gove: “I want all schools to be able to nurture creative talent in every child”



UK pupils have above average problem-solving skills Teenagers in England perform well at problem-solving, according to the results of international tests. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said that English teenagers perform significantly better than average on tests designed to measure problem solving. The tests focus on practical problem solving ability. England came 11th in global rankings, the second highest in Europe, while failing to make the top 20 in measures of conventional academic attainment. A DfE spokesperson said that while these results are encouraging, “they also confirm that generally those who perform best in maths,

reading and science – Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea – are also those who do best in READ MORE: problem solving.”





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Outwood Academy goes from failing to outstanding in two years Outwood Academy in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, has gone from being ranked among the worst in the country to outstanding by Ofsted in just over two years, which the Department for Education says is one of the quickest turnarounds ever achieved. Outwood Academy Portland’s principal, Dr Phillip Smith, says that while a renewed focus on attainment in core subjects since the school became an academy has been crucial, the school’s success was only possible thanks to the numerous extra-curricular activities now provided because they turned the school into a place where children wanted to be.

Dr Smith added that high-quality extra-curricular activities are a feature of all academies in the Outwood family of schools. When the school was council run, only a handful of activities were available. But now the school uses its academy freedoms to offer pupils more than 100 after-school classes – with everything from extra English and maths classes, to an orchestra, a choir, a debating club, Minecraft club and circus skills on offer. The school has seen sharp improvements in results and behaviour since they first started working with Outwood Academies Trust in May 2011, a year after being placed in special measures.


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Calls for transparency in Head pay The Department for Education has revealed that 900 head teachers in the UK receive annual salaries in excess of £100,000, with a third of these paid more than £110,000 – three times the average teacher’s salary. Most of the highest paid heads work in academies. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Head teachers should have their annual salaries published in a clear and transparent way like every other person in senior public service positions. It’s scandalous that schools in receipt of millions of pounds of public money do not have a requirement show exactly READ MORE: what they pay their heads.”

REGULATION A new learning research initiative will explore how informal learning activities impact on young people’s engagement and attainment in science. The £9 million scheme was launched by the Wellcome Trust along with the US National Science Foundation and the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome

Trust said: “With young people spending just one-fifth of their waking hours at school, the Wellcome Trust wants to explore what sparks their imaginations outside of the classroom. Science Learning+ will provide evidence for what makes an effective informal learning experience, giving young people the opportunity to engage with science in ways that really work for them.”

Reaction to lab work being axed from curriculum Many in the British scientific community have criticised Ofqual’s decision to take assessed coursework off the main A-level curriculum for science subjects. From 2015, lab experiments will be counted towards a separate practical qualification to be taken alongside science A-levels. Dr Sarah Main of the Campaign for

Science and Engineering said: “The changes will not help students who we know are inspired and motivated by doing science, not just learning about science. “And they will not help universities, colleges and companies who already struggle to recruit people with the practical experience they need.”

Teachers slam education watchdog Ofsted The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has criticised the target culture in education. The organisation has called for an ‘inspection charter’ for school inspections to combat what it sees a trend of subjective measures being imposed on schools. Simon Clarkson of Leicestershire said: “We need to stop the madness. We need to stop the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ management of our schools and, as part of the way of doing that, we need to fix the distorted looking glass that is Ofsted, that is distorting the very READ MORE: way we teach.”




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Tom Hadley outlines the benefits of using fully qualified supply teachers instead of stop-gap measures, and how the REC Audited Education quality mark can help schools recruit the best There are huge changes afoot within the UK’s education landscape – the introduction of performance related pay for teachers being just one of the major debating points over recent months. Whatever the changes to structures, conditions or curriculums, highly motivated and skilled teachers will always be at the heart of any education system. As part of this schools must have access to suitably skilled and effectively vetted supply teachers. This is why we need to ensure that mechanisms are in place to promote flexible staffing models that meet all the latest safeguarding criteria but also ensure that no days are wasted in terms of the education provided to children in our schools. Being able to bring in a fully qualified teacher, often at short notice, to cover for short or long term absences is a huge benefit. There are a number of factors which will

increase the importance of flexible staffing arrangements. WHY SUPPLY TEACHING MATTERS We are already seeing a real emerging challenge in terms of teacher shortages in certain areas and disciplines. There are some fears that changes to pay and conditions as well as increasing bureaucracy could create more of an exodus. Although the focus must clearly remain on retaining people within the profession, having access to fully qualified

Written by Tom Hadley, REC director of policy


supply teachers can provide the right level of cover whilst hiring procedures for new substantive staff take their course. The feedback from members of the REC Education sector group is that an increasing number of people are actively looking to work as supply teachers rather than in substantive roles, partly due to the amount of administrative work. This is preferable to losing people from the profession altogether and is another example of why having a vibrant supply teacher sector is so important. On the broad resourcing challenges that lie ahead, the changes to pay and conditions could result in schools potentially allocating more money to certain high demand roles (maths, science, languages etc.) and less to roles that are easier to fill. Some have argued that we might see something like a football transfer market start to develop, driven by the shortage in certain disciplines. Will we also see the emergence of flexible ‘cadre’ of supply teacher in some of these shortage areas? Possibly, it is certainly something that REC Education will continue to monitor. We are likely to see more fluidity in the teaching profession. In addition, analysis of the current teaching workforce demographics shows a significant number in the 30 to 35 year-old bracket, many of whom are likely to be on maternity/ paternity leave at some point over the coming years. !


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SUPPLY TEACHERS " This will only increase the need to bring in suitably skilled teachers at short notice, on a flexible basis. This further supports the argument that supply teacher agencies will have an increasingly important role to play over the coming years.

complex area requiring both legal

and practical HR support. Staffinghin The implementation of it w performance related pay s d e e n l l i will also create a huge w s school the new change within schools s a and will radically e v evol um puts the impact on the skills needed by schools curricul n key areas o governors and heads. s y u g n o o Again, schools will need technol practical support on such as science developing new assessment and

KEEPING APACE WITH DEVELOPMENTS The case for using fully qualified supply teachers, rather than using teacher assistants or cover supervisors as stop-gaps, is a strong one. The question then is how best to source and manage this flexible resource and to remain up to speed with all relevant external developments. As with any recruitment into schools, it is vital to focus on some of the basics such as effective vetting and reference checking. One challenge here is to ensure that all schools are up to speed with and best practice and regulatory development such as the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). A poll at the last REC Education meeting saw just under 50 per cent of specialist recruiters saying that they thought schools had limited awareness of the new DBS schemes, with a further 50 per cent saying that schools had virtually no knowledge at all. The need to raise awareness amongst schools and candidates is something the REC has been taking forward for a number of months. Recent confirmation from DBS that they will be implementing specific measures to raise awareness is good news but more needs to be done. The lack of awareness raises more fundamental questions about where schools can go to get the necessary updates and support. Speaking at a recent REC meeting Professor John Howson, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education highlighted the fact that ‘fragmentation of the education landscape has created a huge void’ in terms of support structures and information sources for schools. With links to Local Authorities now mostly eroded, where can schools go to get advice and a clear steer on regulatory changes and market developments? One conclusion was that specialist recruiters and professional bodies can play a role in filing this void. The aforementioned changes to pay and conditions is a further illustration of why schools need to develop some form of support and guidance network to take stock of external developments and put in place the necessary measures. For example, Stewart MCcoy, Managing Director of Randstad Education and Chair of REC Education underlined the fact that these “pay changes will have an immediate impact on how equal treatment requirements under the Agency Workers Regulations are met”. This is a

procedures and criteria, which is another area where specialist recruiters can play a supporting role.

RECOGNISABLE KITEMARKS Any big change – such as performance related pay – creates implementation challenges and time implications for schools. One priority must be to ensure that the inevitable focus on setting up new performance related pay systems doesn’t deviate attention away from other priority areas such as the safeguarding agenda. We must never lose sight of the need to make sure that anybody who comes into schools has not only got the right skills, but is also properly vetted. For the REC, it is about taking stock of the changing landscape and coming up with practical solutions that make things easier for schools – in particular through specific initiatives such as REC Audited Education. Schools are increasingly squeezed for time and resources so need recognisable kitemarks, which give reassurance that the right checks have taken place and that suppliers are meeting the highest


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staff development, diversity and client management. To ensure our standard continues to meet the needs of the education sector, the scheme is underpinned by a steering group, chaired by Professor John Howson and made up of key representative bodies including the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Voice (the union for education professionals), the National Association of School Business Management, the Independent Academies Association Assured Services, the British Council and the National Governor’s Association. The REC Audited Education tool is building real momentum and external recognition. The feedback from members who have been through the audit has been extremely positive and we continue to actively promote the initiative to schools and LAs. As part of the awareness-raising drive, the REC spoke at last week’s Westminster Education Forum event that brought together 200 representatives from schools, academies, local authorities and teaching unions. Our key message to schools is make sure you’re using an REC member and make sure you’re using suppliers with the REC Audited Education stamp. WHAT’S NEXT? An immediate priority is to pre-empt what curriculum changes will mean for teacher demand. Staffing needs within schools will evolve as the new curriculum puts the onus on key areas such as technology (including coding skills), science and languages. Schools and specialist agencies will need to plan ahead to ensure that there is a strong pipeline of qualified teachers to work in both supply and substantive roles within our schools. Speaking at the last REC Education general

One priority must be to ensure that the inevitable focus on setting up new performance related pay systems doesn’t deviate attention away from other priority areas standards. This is the core aim of the REC Audited Education initiative which was launched last year to build on the legacy of the REC/DfE Quality Mark scheme. The Quality Mark scheme was managed by the REC on behalf of the Department of Education since its launch in 2002 and became a highly regarded badge of best practice within supply teaching. When government funding for the scheme was cut last year, the Education Minister encouraged the industry to ‘pick up the baton’ and develop a replacement scheme to ensure continuity and ongoing quality assurance for schools and parents. The new audit covers both teaching and non-teaching staff and goes way beyond just compliance, requiring agencies to demonstrate that they operate best practice in areas such as customer service,

meeting Ty Goddard, Director and Founder of the Education Foundation – the UK’s only specialist education think tank – argued that “the classroom would change beyond recognition over the coming years” but that “The pillars of any successful education system are great leaders and great teachers”. A priority for the REC is to continue promoting the added value that our members can provide to schools by supplying great supply teachers and by providing guidance and support to school leaders on specific challenges such as implementing new regulations and performance related pay. There is a huge opportunity for our sector to work in genuine partnership with schools in these and other areas. # FURTHER INFORMATION



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academies, there is a serious risk that such instances could taint the whole sector. So what lessons can academies, free schools and other stakeholders learn from these problems?


Kerry Ace, policy manager for academies, colleges and universties at CIPFA, writes on how academy governance bodies can manage their schools effectively outside the council framework On the 3 March approximately 500,000 children in England heard if their application to their first choice of secondary school had been successful. My son was one of those 500,000. Many parents like me are constantly impressed by academies. Their facilities are amazing; my local academy features a dance studio, a newly opened conference centre, a recording studio with a vast array of musical instruments and a huge range of extracurricular activities,

with the local sports centre offering the school first option for any time and facility. I should also mention the impressive exam results, with the children at these schools seeming to constantly be in our local newspapers. However, worryingly stories of governance failures, mismanagement of funds and even fraud at various academies continue to appear in the national newspapers. Sadly, despite good work going on at so many

Academies no longer have direct access to the expert advice, systems and processes previously made available to them by councils, unless they pursue this directly as an option

Written by Kerry Ace, CIPFA


COPING WITH UNCERTAINTY As we know academies have freedoms that other schools don’t. They have influence over the curriculum taught, flexibility regarding the use of their funding, including salaries paid to staff, and overall, greater control of the school’s strategic direction and ability to innovate. This has come about through the transfer of these powers from local authorities; however this relinquishing of local authority control comes with added risk. As a result, academies no longer have direct access to the expert advice, systems and processes previously made available to them by councils, unless they pursue this directly as an option. Academies also no longer benefit from economies of scale with regard to procurement and need to negotiate their own contracts. With this in mind and whatever the governance structure in place (single converter or a more complex multi-academy trust model), it is essential that governing body members understand their role in ensuring that risk and risk management is taken seriously and is part of their accountability to parents, the wider public and other stakeholders. Indeed, it is required of academies, by the Education Funding Agency, that they have in place a sound system of internal control and risk management processes. For any organisation, including academies, risk can be defined as the uncertainty that an event or an action will adversely affect their ability to achieve their objectives and to execute successfully their strategies. And risk is not only about adverse events, it is also about ensuring that an institution is in a position to minimise its lost opportunities. A risk management system for an academy must be concerned with looking at the measures they have in place to identify and manage key risks, and then recommending the actions that need to be taken to control those risks more effectively. MITIGATING RISK All academies face a range of uncertain internal and external factors that may affect the achievement of their objectives. This means that at the highest level, risk management must be closely aligned with the academy’s strategic objectives, ensuring that there is a clear focus on the significant risks that would prevent it from achieving its key aims. An example of such a risk could include a failure to take account of emerging competition from other education providers that could potentially threaten the sustainability of the institution in the longer term. A means of mitigating this risk might be to ensure an effective marketing !



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to poor financial management and control of funds. Some academies have had the risk of having inadequate procedures, such as those dealing with expense claims and invoice processing cruelly exposed, leading to such schools being vulnerable to fraud, by external contractors, professional fraudster and unfortunately their staff. These stories have been clear demonstrations of the need for robust controls over expenditure authorisation policies and practices at the heart of all academies to mitigate these risks. Some academies have also unfortunately demonstrated the risks of having inadequate expertise in dealing with procurement issues – such as those associated with renewing IT or reprographic facilities for pupils – with schools receiving poor value for money for years to come as a result of mistakes made. At the heart of mitigating these types of risk is ensuring that sound professional advice regarding all contracts is both sought and followed. Proper internal control is also an integral part of an institution’s risk management arrangements. Controls are a means to an end – they are a dynamic and fluid set of tools which evolve over time as an academy’s objectives, environment, technology and corresponding risks change.

Governing bodies need to seek assurance that the controls in place are being monitored to ensure that they work effectively in practice " campaign clarifies the benefits of the education provision within the academy and ensures that differences – the academy’s unique selling points – are brought to the fore. Another significant area of risk for academies is reputational risk. For example, if an academy fails to safeguard adequately the school’s pupils at risk of harm, the result could cause significant damage to an academy’s reputation and pose possible problems in the future recruitment of students. The management of all such risks should be a

part of the ongoing focus of the management team and governors of any academy. RISK AREA Recently, another risk area for which a series of academies have come under significant scrutiny has been operational risks – the management of risk associated with the ongoing systems and procedures that academies use in their day to day administration and operation. Stories in the media have abounded, especially in relation

GOVERNANCE SKILLS Ultimate responsibility for ensuring effective risk management arrangements are in place in an academy falls to the governing body of an academy, though it is the role of management to develop and implement such arrangements. Senior management must identify and prioritise the risks associated with non-delivery of the academy’s objectives and associated plans. Management must then match key controls to these risks to minimise them and must monitor them accordingly. But they must be pragmatic – it is not the aim of the process to eliminate all major risks – some element of risk will always remain and will need to be managed. To undertake its role successfully, the governing body of any institution must ensure that it has the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience and support so that it can appraise the major risks to the academy and act effectively. If it does not have the appropriate skills, the governing body must plan on how such gaps can be filled. Members must ensure that there is sufficient time at meetings to discuss risks to the institution and to assess their impact on the institution’s risk profile. The governing body should also ensure that ‘horizon scanning’ is undertaken across the institution so that longer-term risks as well as unexpected or unusual risks are identified. As part of its role, governing bodies need to seek assurance that the controls in place are being monitored to ensure that they work effectively in practice. This is done by the academy’s management, but will also need to be undertaken by an independent person, !



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to be effective, there must be a clear link between the academy’s objectives and its key risks. Risk management must therefore be embedded in the planning process.

" someone that has not been involved in either the setup of the control mechanisms or their operation. Independent assurance is usually provided by an academy’s internal audit provider or equivalent and the institution’s external auditor. The academy’s audit committee or its equivalent also has a role in supporting the governing body by providing an opinion on the adequacy of the academy’s risk management arrangements. However, there are a few more lessons worth bearing in mind. Academies must

avoid ‘over control’. Implementing extensive risk management procedures that far outweigh the benefits to the academy clearly should be avoided. Policies and procedures should be kept simple. An academy should concentrate on a limited number of significant risks – for example 10-20, as any more becomes unwieldy to manage. Risk management should not be regarded as a separate compliance process – it should be integrated in the academy’s governance and management processes. For example,

A THRIVING SECTOR Clearly the governing body needs to ensure that a positive risk management culture is established across the academy. This culture – ensuring that all staff are aware of the risks that the institution faces and the impact they can have on these risks in their own roles and their own responsibilities in the process – must be seen as being driven by the head teacher, but with significant support and challenge from the governing body. Effective risk management helps to minimise events which might result in financial losses, service disruption, bad publicity, threats to the safety or health of students and other stakeholders, or claims for compensation. It enables the type of opportunities for academies that all involved parents, teachers, governors and, most importantly, pupils need. If our academy sector is to continue to thrive and educate our children to take the risks and opportunities that life presents them, then the sector must also learn to succeed by better mitigating and managing the risks that it faces. # FURTHER INFORMATION





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Peter HIll from law firm Geldards LLP advises on the various leasing options for school managers, and explains the differences between finance and operating leases Equipment leasing is a form of asset finance, the other most common form being hire purchase. It is an increasingly important method of financing capital-intensive equipment. An equipment lease is an agreement to hire, but not to buy outright, an item of equipment. If the lease agreement contains an optional clause providing the hirer with a right to purchase the equipment at the end of the term, it is a hire purchase agreement. Where the customer chooses to lease, the supplier often provides the lease through an asset finance subsidiary company, which becomes the owner. Some suppliers may introduce the customer to a third party lessor, often the asset finance arm of a bank.

to insure the equipment, maintain and operate it in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and to return it in good condition when the lease ends. When the lease ends, the customer can either return the equipment or extend the lease. Hire charges may be lower than paid during the original lease term. Under a hire purchase agreement the customer can arrange to buy (bearing in mind the item is no longer new). OPERATING & FINANCE LEASES Operating leases are useful if the lessee needs the equipment to be updated or replaced frequently as: they run for shorter, specific periods shorter than the full economic life of

Peter Hill, Geldards LLP

full economic life of the asset. The lessor can claim the writing-down allowances and can also pass the benefit of these to the customer in the form reduced rental payments. In summary, the distinction in accounting treatment under IAS 17 is that for an operating lease, the customer lessee records only expenses, not a balance sheet item. For a finance lease, it records both expenses and the asset on its balance sheet. However, for schools, government policy treats an operating lease as a hiring agreement, but a finance lease is treated as a borrowing agreement for capital finance.

Written by Peter Hill, senior associate, Geldards LLP



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ADVANTAGES OF LEASING EQUIPMENT Leasing, instead of purchasing, is a means of spreading the cost of the equipment over a period of time, avoiding the need to pay the full purchase price as cash upfront. The certainty of fixed regular payments which can be made from a school’s devolved revenue budget allow cash reserves to be preserved. Leasing also offers some flexibility with the repayment period matched to the useful life of the equipment, and allows equipment to be upgraded without the need for capital the asset; the lessee is not liable expenditure. Leasing packages The for financing of the asset’s full can include servicing and f o y value; the lessee has use of other maintenance and t n i certa ments the equipment, but not full may be offered with ay p ownership; and because supplies of consumables, d e e x fi e mad b the residual value for example paper for n a c which a school’s belongs to the lessor. In photocopiers. These reality the depreciation additional benefits e from u n e v e r d in value over the hire are an inclusive-price e v devol allow cash period is suffered purchase of goods and/ by the lessor, since the or services ancillary to budget rves to lessor is the owner. the equipment lease. The ese r A common example is a erved value for money of such be pres contract hire agreement for convenient arrangements a fleet of motor vehicles – most should be investigated fleet vehicles are replaced within two carefully, as should the fundamental or three years. The lessor may rent the choice of whether to buy or lease. vehicles or other items to a succession of lessees, but the lessor can only claim the FINANCE LEASE RESTRICTIONS writing-down allowances against taxable For both maintained schools and academies, profits (under the Capital Allowances Act the use of finance leases continues to 2001) while ownership is retained. be prohibited without the consent of the In contrast, a finance lease will be for a Secretary of State for Education (SSE). specific longer period considered to be the School business managers will !

For both maintained schools and academies, the use of finance leases continues to be prohibited without the consent of the Secretary of State for Education (SSE) However, it is common for large equipment manufacturers to have their own asset finance division with the business of that division not necessarily being limited to financing the manufacturer’s own products. Any type of equipment can be leased but typically it is a single expensive item such as a photocopier, or several items which operate together as a system, such as a telephone switchboard and the handsets for each of the extensions connected. There may be ancillary items such as a voicemail system. Equipment may be new or second-hand, but with a working life of several years. MAIN TERMS The parties to an equipment lease are the owner and the hirer, sometimes referred to as the lessor and the lessee. In return for payment of the hire charge (the rent) the lessor, as the equipment owner, permits the lessee to use the items hired for the term (the duration) of the Lease. Typical customer (lessee) obligations in such a lease are to pay rental instalments,



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If you contemplate leasing, your risk assessment should include risks associated with entering into a leasing arrangement as opposed to an outright purchase " be familiar with this requirement under their own local authority’s schools financial manual or the Academies Financial Handbook. Although no specific prohibition against finance leases is contained in the Education Act 2002 or the School Finance Regulations for maintained schools, nor under the Academies Act 2010 for academies, finance leases (as distinct from operating leases) are identified in the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities as “credit arrangements” for capital finance. Credit in this context means borrowing, and borrowing does require SSE consent under Schedule 1 of the Education Act 2002, and also under Academy Funding Agreements. In almost every case these requirements preclude use of finance leases in state schools, although some might argue that finance leases can offer better value for money than operating leases. This is the view of the Finance and Leasing Association, the trade body representing asset finance lessors, whose members would welcome a new opportunity for business. Fee-paying independent schools should check whether their constitution (if a company, its memorandum and articles of association) empowers the school to borrow. Not all charities have a power to borrow. HOW TO LEASE WELL Before obtaining quotations or conducting a tender procedure for equipment, the school or academy should conduct normal good practice pre-procurement steps as for any other procurement, such as: a pre-procurement review, identification of the school’s requirements; preparation of a statement of requirements in a form suitable for use as the specification for the invitation to tender; preparation of evaluation criteria; and careful consideration of the cost of leasing against the cost of an outright purchase, is the item in question suitable for an operating lease, will it need replacing frequently and what are the associated costs? If you contemplate leasing, your risk assessment should include risks associated with entering into a leasing arrangement as opposed to an outright purchase. Before starting the tender stage, there is some useful guidance in the DfE/NASBM Tips for Successful Leasing in Schools, and some sensible precautions in the 12-point Checklist for Business Finance Customers appearing on the website of the Finance and Leasing Association. EVALUATION OF TENDERS If packages with maintenance/servicing and other items have been offered, check that you are comparing like with like. Would separate purchase of consumables give better value? If so, ask the supplier to take this out of the package – a supplier is unlikely to risk losing the main equipment sale or lease over the supply of consumables. Understand what is provided and who provides each element, including the leasing arrangements. If the equipment lessor is not part of the supplier, take up customer references for both. Beware cashbacks, subsidised rentals and other incentives. If offered, value for money may be suspect. Also, watch out for “escalator clauses” when evaluating price: these stipulate automatic price increases and are sometimes in the small print of the supplier’s terms and conditions.


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About the author Peter Hill is experienced in all areas of property, including all aspects of commercial property asset management and development. He has particular involvement in projects for local authorities, private sector and not-for-profit providers across a range of activities in education, healthcare, housing, leisure, regeneration, social care and other public services. Prior to joining Geldards, Peter was an Associate Director with TPP Law and a Principal Solicitor at the London Borough of Redbridge, after some 20 years experience in the City. the financier and the financier’s required leasing period is significantly longer than the supplier’s minimum hire period. Check that the school’s obligations on termination are clear – it is likely the equipment will need to be returned to the lessor at the customer’s expense; items damaged or in disrepair may be charged to the customer. Before signing, check that the contract identifies the equipment with at least model numbers and preferably serial numbers so each item can be identified individually. Similar items may be hired at different times by different contracts. If the need to terminate arises you need to be sure you are dealing with the right one. Finally, check the amount payable on early termination of the lease. # FURTHER INFORMATION

Ten reasons why 2014 is THE year for education leasing Leasing, when done well, is a viable and trustworthy route to paying for equipment that your institution or school badly needs; whilst still retaining funds for other things. Read our top 10 compelling reasons why you should be considering leasing in 2014. Our quick guide includes: z

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why the right company will be with you every step of the way and create a leasing solution tailor-made for you (with no nasty surprises) how much more financial freedom you will have through leasing why leasing will improve your Ofsted score and ‘green up’ your credentials it will allow your staff to plan creative programmes and keep on top of technological advances, whilst also avoiding tech problems.

Feel free to share the infographic with friends and colleagues who may also be considering leasing. For your free guide, visit

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The National Association of School Business Managers informs school bursars of the steps they need to take to make effective purchasing decisions

Negotiating contracts and managing supplier relationships can be a daunting prospect, particularly for school business management professionals facing considerable pressure to secure the most cost effective deal whilst ensuring excellent service delivery. They are responsible for the full process of purchasing pretty much everything for their school and must consider numerous factors, not only in relation to price, delivery and quality, but also to ensure that these services are fully compliant with procurement rules and regulations. Collectively, schools spend approximately £9.2 billion in areas other than teaching staff. With many schools feeling the squeeze, the pressure is on school business management professionals to find ways to maximise their school or academy’s finances and deliver cost savings. However, with the freedom to choose how they spend, and with countless choices on offer, how can SBM professionals get the best out of their budget?

If not followed, however, there could be an impact on a school or academy’s ability to operate effectively. Bad decisions result in budgets not stretching as far as they could and potentially lead to legal challenges, cancellation of contracts, financial penalties and damage the school’s reputation. The good news is that schools and academies could potentially make 11 per cent savings simply via smarter purchasing, and they don’t have to do it alone. A number of organisations exist to help guide SBM professionals through the often perplexing procurement process. ORGANISATIONS Not-for-profit organisations, such as YPO, provide goods and services to schools and other public authorities. Deals are negotiated both nationally and more locally as appropriate with suppliers, ensuring quality, efficiency and compliance with procurement legislation, saving both time and money. Some are also publicly owned, meaning their profits are directly reinvested back into public services and not pocketed elsewhere. Privately-owned buying trusts negotiate deals on schools’ behalf and achieve cost savings by combining their spend with that of other schools. In this way, they achieve economies of scale. They’re set up on the basis that they take a percentage of the money saved or, alternatively, they take a commission from the supplier you choose. A consortium is an association of organisations which work together or pool their resources in order to achieve cost savings. Some of these are publicly owned, meaning their profits are directly

ting Negotiaacts contr ging na and ma can be a rs supplie prospect for g dauntinl management schoo essionals GUIDELINES There are some basic prof ing budget management rules fac e to follow when purchasing pressur goods, works or services. Set out by the EU Procurement Directives, they are designed to ensure that spending choices and decisions are both transparent and defensible should they be scrutinised. The rules set out formal procedures about how a public organisation should buy when they are spending over a certain amount of money. The threshold is currently set at £173,394. For amounts exceeding this, organisations must follow the formal procedures set out by the EU Procurement Directives. For amounts under the threshold, it is not compulsory but is still best practice.

returned to the public sector. Others are private, and may take a percentage of the money saved as profit from you and/or the suppliers they deal with. YPO, which is owned by local authorities, is also a founding member organisation of Pro5, a consortium of the public sector buying groups in the country. This consortium aims to achieve better value for money through combined buying power for commonly bought goods and services. Regardless of which type of organisation you choose, typically they will operate in both goods and services that may be available directly or via a framework arrangement containing approved suppliers. They provide cost savings by combining their customer’s spend to bulk buy, which achieves better prices. Working with a procurement organisation or consortium can provide additional support, giving school business management professionals the help and guidance they need to make the right decisions for their school or academy’s future. When it comes to selecting a procurement organisation, there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind, such as preparing clear specification briefs and practising good contract management. This will ensure that efficiencies and cost savings are achieved after the contract is awarded, and that the goods or services remain fit for purpose in the future. The benefit of working with a procurement organisation is that they can manage the process from start to finish and provide as little or as much support as you need. For example, YPO offers varying levels of support through its procurement service, from basic level, which provides school business management professionals with a direct line to skilled procurement advisors and access to 150 EU compliant arrangements, right through to full project delivery, which is a bespoke service that offers full contract management and specification development. !



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SCHOOL MANAGEMENT " WRITING A BRIEF The specification brief is a key part of the procurement process, as it is contains a clear statement of your needs. Its main purpose is to provide suppliers wishing to tender for your requirements with a straightforward and accurate description of the supplies, services or works that the school requires, meaning they can offer you the right solution. Before writing the brief, make sure that you have a clear understanding of what is needed. If you are writing a specification for someone else, identify, agree and ensure you fully understand the user’s requirements. For works, evaluate any existing provision to determine the impact of new proposals and the relationship of new to existing arrangements. Research the market by talking to suppliers, other purchasers, industry associations, etc. to identify possible solutions, costs and delivery timescales. Identify any potential risks associated with the procurement process, so that ways of controlling these can be built into the specification, and plan the scope of the contract and the range of goods and services which the supplier will be asked to deliver. Finally, identify the evaluation criteria so that the specification will reflect their importance and determine how you will monitor performance of the contract. STRUCTURING THE SPECIFICATION Specifications will vary in length and complexity depending on the type of product or service required. However, the three most important

Good contract management top tips areas within any specification will include the scope, which is your opportunity to be clear on the exact requirements. You should consider what you’re asking – how many, whether you want it supply only, supply and install, provide training and support documentation, post supply support and management etc. Where appropriate, it should identify what is not to be included. Also consider the background – you will need to provide more information (reasoning, expectations, and any implications) on what goods and services you require in order that suppliers can respond in the best way on product, service and price. Finally, there is the statement of requirements, which should describe what you expect from the performance of the goods and services, including how you will monitor and assess them throughout the contract. The evaluation criteria you use to assess the tenders must be developed at the same time as the specification. It must reflect the key needs of users and should be included in the specification so tenderers can construct their bids properly. Only evaluation criteria which were included in the tender should be used when bids are assessed, so it is important to identify all the relevant criteria early. If the contract is subject to the EU procurement rules, then the evaluation criteria must be selected from the criteria allowed under the EU rules and must be weighted. #


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Research suppliers. Whatever product or service needs to be procured, there will undoubtedly be a large number of companies promising to offer ‘the best deal’, so gather information on potential suppliers, their reputation, pricing and the quality of the service they deliver Be clear on your needs and requirements and highlight the services or products that are essential and those that are desirable Allow flexibility within a contract, as the requirements of a contractor are unlikely to remain the same throughout the contract. For this reason, at YPO we recommend that all contracts are reviewed annually to guarantee customer satisfaction Have a ‘get out clause’. In a worst case scenario, if a service is not fit for purpose, it is important to have a well-designed escalation route in place. Ensure there is a clause in the contract which will enable you to terminate the contract without legal repercussions or having to pay financial compensation to the supplier if a service is not delivered as agreed


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The free school model has many merits if governed and managed with appropriate controls and balances in place. Tina Allison looks at some of the strategies to improve governance at free schools

Free schools seem to be rarely out of the headlines these days, for all the wrong reasons. These schools initially were championed by many as putting the power in education back in the hands of parents and communities, after receiving strong backing from the Coalition Government and a great deal of publicity. However, some high profile school failures and questions about governance has led to a public debate about the effectiveness of this model of schooling, and whether it meets the needs of children and communities. Some free schools have been accused of cost cutting and profit focus, others of financial mismanagement and of a ‘chaotic’ teaching environment. But the free school model has much to recommend it if governed and managed with appropriate controls and balances in place. Much of this comes down to carefully selecting a good governance team and ensuring that they fully understand what is expected and required of them – their responsibilities in setting out the strategic direction for the school and steering it through what is a

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challenging economic environment for the education sector. A good free school board, as with any other school, needs to be a good mix of skill sets, experience and business knowledge. As an auditor working closely with schools, I see many excellent examples of well balanced and accountable boards supporting their schools to achieve great educational outcomes for children. Unfortunately, I also see cases where poor governance acts as an active hindrance to the school’s performance, in some instances leading to a breakdown in the relationship between trustees and school management. This approach does not ultimately lead to better educational outcomes for children. So, how can free school governance be improved? Labour has called for local oversight of free schools and that action to be taken on underperforming schools,

a point that they will likely reiterate as we enter an election year. But there are measures that can be taken internally by free schools when selecting their governance board, and setting out the procedures they operate under.

SETTING UP A FREE SCHOOL BOARD A free school is, by its very nature, borne out of a need identified by parents and community members. It follows logically that parents tend to be well represented in free school governance. While on one hand, this brings a fresh perspective and passion to the governance of the school, there is also a need for balance. Having diversity in the board membership and independent voices from outside the community that set up the school, brings different perspectives to discussions enabling healthy debate and, ultimately, a more balanced approach. !



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SCHOOL MANAGEMENT " A good free school board is made up of people with diverse skill sets and a strong understanding of their roles and responsibilities and the risks and opportunities facing the school, who actively participate in decision making. Structure is also important, with specialist committees formed to make decisions on specific focus areas – human resources, finances and so on – so that you have people with specialist knowledge making decisions in these crucial areas If trustees are too closely connected to their school, there can be a tendency towards emotional attachment to ‘sacred cows’ sometimes hindering progress. This over-involvement and feeling of personal attachment to the school itself can cloud trustees’ decision-making processes. A board made up solely of interested parents and community members may not fully understand corporate structure or the way a commercial board environment operates, which can cause problems in the decision-making process. Some boards embark on a flurry of impulsive actions in response to a reduction in pupil numbers and make changes without fully understanding the underlying reasons for the change and if indeed the fall is likely to be an ongoing problem. Too often these changes can precipitate further collapse. Many changes made over a short period of time can undermine parents’ confidence in the school, create a change in perception locally about the school and result in further reductions in pupil numbers. Taking a balanced approach to decision making is essential. The community led nature of some free school boards can also lead to situations where one dominant personality type takes centre stage, taking the lead on decisions and talking down any contributions by other board members. This can lead to a passive approach from the rest of the board, letting the dominant person push their ideas through without question. If this happens, all members of a school board need to recognise that they are all responsible for any decisions made. The chairman needs to ensure participation and ownership of decisions comes from all trustees, not just those who have more dominant personalities. BUILDING A BETTER BOARD The first step towards building a better school board is to cast the net wider when recruiting trustees. Rather than always looking for local people, recruitment for a school board should focus on finding people with appropriate skill sets and experience of acting on a board. Many companies and not for profit organisations operate corporate social responsibility programmes and encourage their staff to take up non- executive roles where their wider skills sets can be utilised. Approaching these entities and establishing relationships with their social responsibility

and human resources teams is a good first step towards recruiting effective trustees. In my assessment, the key skill sets needed in governing a school are experience in education, legal knowledge, human resources, buildings and estates, marketing and financial management. A good board should contain a mix of these skill sets. The board should assess their current skill set, and look to recruit the necessary skills to include a balance of expertise. During the board selection process, the trustee’s roles and responsibilities need to be made clear to prospective candidates. Some school trustees take on the role under the misapprehension that they are going to ‘run the school.’ This is not the role of the school board – responsibility for day-to-day management rests with the Head teacher and the senior management team. The board of trustees is responsible for example amongst other things setting the overall strategy with the Head teacher and the overall oversight of its delivery. They should be supportive to the head teacher and their Senior Management Team in the delivery of the strategy, but be aware it is the responsibility of management to deliver the strategy, not the trustees. Making such matters clear at the beginning should stand the school in good stead for the future.

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and provide specific training where necessary. Ask your board to carry out self-evaluation exercise, and report on their own skills, strengths and weaknesses as well as carrying out an independent appraisal. Board appraisal and self-assessment can be difficult in some circumstances, particularly where dominant, defensive or sensitive personalities are involved. Performed successfully it can be effective in making necessary changes to a board. A possible solution to this is using an independent external facilitator, who can assist in the process to ensure that any evaluation of trustee skill sets is kept objective, professional and does not become heated or personal. Once the evaluation is complete, specific training needs to be provided to meet any shortfalls in trustee skills. This should be monitored over time to track performance and any areas that need further development. A school board should work within a culture of continuous improvement with regard to trustee knowledge and skills, rather than looking for quick-fix solutions for specific issues. The way board meetings are conducted can go a long way towards improving trustee performance. To ensure thorough, well thought out decision-making and consideration of the issues facing the school, board meetings

Speak to your trustees and make sure they are fully aware of what is expected of them, and their duties, and provide specific training where necessary An important position on the board is that of chairman, as they have the responsibility for the key relationship with the Head teacher. It can often be a difficult role as the individual needs the personal relationship skills to enable them to manage the relationship with the Head teacher, both professionally respecting their position and capabilities whilst acting in a line management capacity and offering constructive challenge where necessary. It can often be a difficult balancing act. However, with the right skill sets, a strong relationship between the chairman and Head teacher is a valuable asset in the running of any school. IMPROVING YOUR CURRENT BOARD Not every school is in the position to be able to recruit new board members. Improving the performance of the existing board is a priority for many. Training, a more professional approach to board duties and increased awareness of trustee roles and responsibilities, can go a long way towards fostering better trustee performance. Creating awareness of responsibilities and expectations is the first stage. Speak to your trustees and make sure they are fully aware of what is expected of them, and their duties,

must have structure and an agenda, and be properly minuted. Trustees need to focus on the issues that are important, as well as those that are urgent. This will ensure the board considers the long-term strategic goals of the school, and makes appropriate decisions to achieve them, rather than being distracted by very detailed issues that may not need their time. The board of trustees is a crucial factor in a school’s success or failure. As school governance comes under increasing scrutiny from Ofsted and other authorities, every school needs to take a close look at their board, and assess whether their trustees have the right set of capabilities to steer the school successfully into the future. A careful assessment of skills, rigorous recruitment of trustees and appropriate training will result in a school board that is equipped to deal with the challenges facing modern schools, leading to a more stable, well-planned school environment for the ultimate beneficiaries, the students, to achieve educational success. # FURTHER INFORMATION



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School leaders met recently at the Education Show to discuss the benefits and challenges involved when schools convert to academy status. We look at some of the areas they covered Academies are the most common type of secondary school in England, now making up 55 per cent of the education sector, but academisation has come under renewed criticism lately, with 14 of the 350 academy chains now restricted from taking on more schools. However, many academies have enjoyed greater educational attainment and the freedoms offered by academy status remain a draw for many schools. So what factors determine success, and how can schools prepare themselves for the challenges of greater freedom?

HIGHER AUTONOMY Greater autonomy has always been one of the chief attractions of academy status. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Andreas Schleicher, once described as “the most important man in education” by Michael Gove, cites greater autonomy as a common feature of some of the world’s most successful education systems. The combination of greater flexibility for heads


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and rigorous public accountability is, Schleicher says, a hallmark of the strongest education systems. The accountability part of this statement is crucial however, and it is this issue that lies at the heart of the criticisms facing the academy chains that have been subject to restrictions. For many schools, the journey has been a successful one, leading to increased attainment for pupils and, in some cases, an even closer relationship with their local authorities. Back in 2011, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conducted a survey amongst 1471 school leaders. The results indicated that nearly three quarters of those converting to academy status believed that, in addition to greater freedoms, conversion would also benefit the school financially. In recent months this picture has been tainted somewhat by reports of several academies that needed financial assistance from the Department for Education (DfE). Chris Cook, education correspondent for the Financial Times, recently covered the issue, reporting that while conventional schools can call on their local authorities for help, academies do not have access to council funds and, in some cases, may E

For many e , th schools s been ha journey ul, leading f success creased to in ment and tain pupil at r authority close nships relatio



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 be denied access to advice and guidance. A governing body has an important role to play in ensuring an academy has access to this good advice. The flexibility offered to academies means that schools can select their governing bodies based on their needs, so a recognition of the importance of support and financial advice is crucial. THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP Estelle Morris, ex-secretary of state for education under Labour, also believes that leadership is growing in importance within the changing educational landscape. Writing in her Guardian column in March, she cited greater accountability, autonomy and the demand to raise standards as being the triggers for “an even greater revolution for governors. The shift in power over the last 30 years from local authorities to schools means the largest volunteer force in the country has had to transform itself from ‘friends of the school’, to a body capable of running a multimillion-pound key public service.” “The realities of becoming an academy are that the financial gains are not as great as you might think and the governing body needs to strike a balance between challenging the school and supporting its aims and ethos,” says Marie Lister, executive principal of South Axholme Academy in Doncaster. “Ultimately, we made the decision to convert because we wanted to be able to shape our own future, to have greater flexibility in managing our finances and because it is clear that this is the direction of travel for the education sector and we didn’t want to be either left behind or taken over by a large chain.” As part of the newly formed Isle Education Trust, the step to becoming an academy was a natural progression for South Axholme

Academy, which had already previously converted from state maintained to trust status. The school has just under 900 enrolled pupils between the ages of 11 and 16. “We were always aware that this is a very big undertaking that requires a mind-set change for the finance and administration teams,” says Marie. “Initially there is little impact on teaching staff, but from a management point of view, it is critical to invest in quality support staff or provide good training for existing staff.”


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academies programme, which evaluated the implementation of the programme from May 2010. The report found that losing the economies of scale that some local authorities offered by centrally procuring service would result in unforeseen increased costs. “The Academies Programme is a key element of the Government’s plans to reform the school system. Delivering a ten-fold increase in the number of academies since May 2010 is therefore a significant achievement. However, the Department for Education was not sufficiently prepared for the financial implications of such a rapid expansion, or for the challenge of overseeing and monitoring such a large number of new academies,” stated Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office. “It is too early to conclude on academies’ overall performance, and this is something I intend to return to in the future. As the Programme continues to expand, the Department must build on its efforts to reduce costs and tackle accountability concerns if it is to reduce the risks to value for money.” A rise in the cost of financial services and insurance were the two areas of rising costs, but some academies still maintain close links with their local authorities and informal networks can also be a solution. “In addition to the support available from the DfE and, in our case, the local authority, there are lots of people out there who have gone through the same process and in my experience they are very willing to share their knowledge and offer advice,” says Marie. ATTAINMENT TARGETS In addition to the increased financial intricacies that many schools can face,

“You have to make sure your rationale for converting is secure and that your vision is clear and achievable” Marie Lister, South Axholme Academy This focus on the future is echoed by Wendy Wheldon, headteacher of Greengate Lane Academy in Sheffield, which caters for 224 pupils aged between three and 11. The school also made the decision to convert based on the increased freedoms conversion offers. “The freedom is great but there are always challenges related to the complexities of the finance system, especially for primary schools who don’t always have the financial expertise that’s necessary,” says Wendy, a sentiment echoed by Marie. “You are very busy setting up the business to begin with and it really is imperative that you don’t take your eye off the ball and allow the business tail to wag the education dog.” MEASURING PERFORMANCE The National Audit Office published a report on managing the expansion of the

both South Axholme and Greengate Lane cite the need to ensure greater attainment and achievement as the priorities for any school considering conversion. “You have to make sure your rationale for converting is secure and that your vision is clear and achievable,” says Marie. “This needs to be communicated to all stakeholders. Don’t try to change too much too quickly; you need to have a carefully constructed plan and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and alongside developing the academy, you have to keep up with a constantly changing educational landscape, ensuring that everything you do is centred around the best interests of your students.” L FURTHER INFORMATION






New and innovative lighting technology is helping both public and private sector organisations meet their energy saving targets Energy wastage has always been a problem for schools, colleges and public buildings, but with increasingly tight budgets and pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, now is the time to face up to the challenge in reducing energy costs. Historically, lighting has accounted for a large proportion of energy costs in public buildings. However new and innovative technology is giving schools and colleges the opportunity to reduce lighting costs by up to 90 per cent. European Lamp Group’s well established sales team have proven credentials and an impressive track record in offering excellent customer service and delivery. As well as continuing to supply general and specialist lamps, EGL holds comprehensive stocks of fluorescent and discharge

control equipment, available for next day delivery. The company has carried out lighting upgrades from small single units to roll‑out projects in excess of £1million. THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHTING Quality lighting enhances the experience of both staff and visitors and is especially important in the education sector. The need to maintain a feeling of safety and security is crucial in schools and colleges, especially in public access areas. Employees need quality lighting to perform their daily duties effectively, especially with the flexibility that different working areas demand. In addition, studies have shown that lighting can have a positive effect on comfort and stress levels, and can contribute to reduced

Historically, lighting has accounted for a large proportion of energy costs in public buildings, however new and innovative technology is giving schools and colleges the opportunity to reduce their lighting costs by up to 90 per cent

absences and increased productivity. ELG’s lighting design service can help create the ideal environment for staff, pupils and visitors. The company partners all major UK lighting manufacturers as well as reputable factories in the far east who are at the forefront of energy-saving technology. ELG works closely with the public and private sectors, including the education sector, leisure centres and the NHS. The company has also helped to considerably reduce energy costs and carbon emissions for many high street establishments such as Asda , Marks & Spencer and Whitbread. NEW LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY LED technology offers a wide range of energy saving solutions, and since it was introduced to the market five years ago, ELG has closely monitored the development of this technology, and in response to growing demand, the company has set up it’s own in-house testing facility. All ELG’s products have been rigorously tested to the highest standards in output, reliability and safety. ELG also tests for EMC emissions to ensure that factory specifications are correct and units do not exceed safe levels. This testing is extremely important, especially in education establishments. ELG also has a range of induction and fluorescent options in stock, together with 8000 lines of lamps and tubes. Whichever type of lamp you are looking for, the chances are that ELG has it in stock. ENERGY SAVING SURVEYS The company offers free, no obligation energy saving surveys for any sized room with cost of ownership reporting to suit your individual needs. ELG dispatch to all points in the UK daily from small packets to pallets, delivering what you want, when you want. ELG’s showroom has been developed over the past four years and has a huge selection of energy-saving solutions including LED floodlights ranging from 10 to 500 watts. Other products on display include LED strip, down lights, lighting panels, high and lobays and the showroom also has full range of induction luminaires that not only reduce energy but also offer huge savings on maintenance costs. Induction can save up to six lamp changes against traditional discharge and comes with a no-quibble five year guarantee. L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0844 991 4400

ELG’s newly developed showroom



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Written by Amy Edwards, Energy for Education Co-operative



With schools’ energy bills set to double in the next six to eight years, Amy Edwards, co-founder and energy director of Energy for Education Co-operative (E4E), provides energy-saving advice Have you diarised when your current energy supply contract comes to an end? Did you know your school could be subsidising other businesses if it’s in the wrong energy procurement basket? Is your school still paying CCL, VAT or other taxes when it should be exempt? Are you worried about rising fuel bills for your school? The chances are that everyone is going to say yes to question number four, but I suspect a fair proportion will have to look long and hard at their paperwork before responding to the other three.   We know from attending a variety of education events over the last few months that those responsible for energy bills in school are often overwhelmed, confused and frustrated by the avalanche of information and options available and would give anything for some clarity and simplicity.

We understand that, and it’s part of the reason why we set up E4E in the first place. As a not‑for-profit organisation, our focus is on providing simple help and advice which can really make a difference to keeping those costs down. A WIDE-RANGING APPROACH We provide what is effectively a ‘one stop shop’, taking a holistic approach to

help schools save energy using our OJEU compliant approved partner framework. By charging £1 per pupil per annum for three years, we provide energy management services, acting as a virtual energy manager and helping schools in developing a cohesive energy strategy.   E4E has four main areas of focus. Energy procurement covers bill analysis, intelligent brokering and surety on energy budgets. Energy efficiency involves an audit followed by recommendations on how to implement measures such as LED lighting, boiler and voltage optimisation, IT and other technologies such as pre-fabricated new build. Energy generation includes the development of solar and biomass schemes to save schools money and generate revenue. Finally, energy culture involves working with staff and pupils to help change long term behaviour and implement energy saving initiatives. Each is important in its own right, but a combination of all four is the only real way to reduce the impact of rising energy prices.   REVIEWING CURRENT CONTRACTS The easiest and quickest way to start to deliver results is the ability to review your existing E

We know from attending a variety of education events over the last few months that those responsible for energy bills in school are often overwhelmed, confused and frustrated by the avalanche of information and options available Volume 19.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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5 reasons why Adobe Generation is great for students: • All courses are freely available • Courses last five to six weeks and include a live online session lasting 90 minutes • Live sessions take place on a Tuesday evening, starting at 7pm (GMT/BST) • All the sessions are recorded and available to watch anytime • After course completion, an official Adobe certificate will be awarded

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY  energy contracts and cut bills. So how do you shave those numbers? The best place to start is by checking the end date on your current contract. This won’t be on the bill but it should be on your initial correspondence and nearer the time, you will also receive a renewal letter. Beware, energy companies tend to just roll you forward onto the next agreement – which is often uncompetitive – unless you proactively stop them. Once you have the date, diarise to give yourself plenty of time to look around as the termination notice period can be from 30 days to a year. If you have recently converted to an academy, you may need to contact your local authority to get details of your current energy contract. You can make the change yourself, either by finding an OJEU approved framework, running a competitive tender exercise, or alternatively working with an independent, impartial service to find the best deal.   In our experience, these tend to be one or two year deals – locking yourself in to a longer fixed term contact can backfire. If you find a good quote when shopping around, then ask the supplier to secure it for you, so you automatically move to the new deal when your current contract ends.   By working with an independent not for profit buying group such as ourselves, we believe you should be able to save at least 10 per cent on current market energy prices and a guaranteed price cap with our flexible energy products means you can be confident you won’t end up with higher bills.   THE POWER OF COLLABORATION  You don’t have to go it alone on the energy stakes. At E4E we work on the basis that collaborative procurement is the best way to achieve maximum savings.   Our collaborative procurement baskets are aimed specifically at the schools market because that’s where our expertise lies. We know the peak hours for schools in terms of energy usage are during the day, so we look for deals which provide the best market prices to suit your timetable.   It really helps if you can get into a regime of winding down power usage after 4pm as after this time electricity prices shoot up – typically it costs 14 times more to get the electricity to you between 4pm and 7pm than it does for the rest of the day. If your school is part of a more general procurement basket it can have the opposite effect, as you end up subsidising businesses who run their operations much later in the day.   The first of the year’s deadlines to sign up for a basket was April 1, but there’s still plenty of time to join forces with other

schools for the October 1 deadline, and remember that doing so opens up access to flexible products that wouldn’t otherwise be available to schools. From this April, many schools will have become exempt from paying the CRC carbon tax, but as it always pays to check the small print, so make sure you confirm this with your local authority.   You also need to look out for the Climate Change Levy. Schools or Academies that are on five per cent tax may not be liable to pay CCL, so check with your current supplier who can tell you if you should be paying. CCL is charged per Kwh of energy, which means the bigger the user you are, the more you could save by finding out if you are exempt.   PRACTICAL CHANGES There are plenty of small changes that schools can make to help save energy and smart meters are quite literally a very smart move. Installing smart meters in different buildings, or even on different floors, can give you an instant picture of where your energy is being used, while upgrading fluorescent lighting for LED lights can also make a difference.   Technology can be used more widely to control items such as lighting timer switches, climate control sensors or remotely controlled ICT or heating systems, and adding insulation to roof spaces and/or walls will make the building more energy efficient.  By monitoring these areas over a period of time you can soon make small changes to save on bills and you can even use that realtime information in the classroom to teach pupils the principles of energy awareness.   If budgets allows, then moving towards larger investments such as the installation of photo-voltaic panels for solar energy or biomass boilers is a sensible investment, especially given the benefits of the Feed In Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive potentially providing a source of income for the school.   Interest free loans for these improvements and more can be applied for through the Government’s SALIX funding scheme and E4E can provide support for funding applications. The loan is then repaid through the savings you make.   ENGAGING PUPILS  We believe it’s really important to engage youngsters in the classroom about the environment and the need to save energy. If we can help enthuse and inform them at school, then these are the messages they can take home to their parents as well.   We’ve already seen how schools can use

Movingrger s la towardents such investmstallation of n as the ivoltaic panels photo- olar energy for s ass boilers or biomsensible is a ment invest


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Amy Edwards, co-founder of Energy for Education

smart meters to bring energy lessons to life and the beauty of the environment and energy saving as a topic is that it combines the STEM topics of science, technology, engineering and maths together. The world’s resources are certainly not infinite and, if we’re not careful, it will be today’s generation that will be left to pick up the pieces of our wasteful approach to energy. Showing them what can be achieved now will put them well onto the road to saving the planet – or at least treating it better – in the future. THE CO-OPERATIVE APPROACH We’ve already touched on the power of collaboration and we think it’s a method which works very well within the schools environment, especially for multi-academy trusts.   Enabling schools to have membership of the Co-op – and it’s not compulsory to be able to take advantage of our services – ensures that they are at the heart of everything we do. We don’t have shareholders or investors demanding large profits, we are simply working for the benefit of the schools community.   Becoming an E4E member costs £500, and that provides a share of the profits and voting rights, plus access to an online members’ portal and the opportunity to share best practice.   Plus, we’re investing up to half of any profits into educational good causes, such as energy awareness teaching packs, with the remainder split between member dividends and investment back into E4E. In conclusion, there is no one magic switch to saving energy but, by being proactive now, schools can take a huge number of small steps to help them on their way. Surely that’s a lesson worth learning. L   FURTHER INFORMATION



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TAKING AWAY THE CONSTRUCTION HEADACHE It has been estimated that more than 250,000 new school places will have to be created nationally by 2014/15, which will put pressure on existing education facilities across the country. With this urgent requirement for additional school places fast, the modular building industry has risen to the challenge, to provide excellent quality learning environments that can be constructed to tight deadlines. The new building regulations that came into force from April 2014 has given the modular industry a further opportunity to prove its ability to meet the challenges presented with energy efficiency. Both traditional and modular buildings now and for the future need to be more energy efficient. Modular products available with buildings built in a controlled factory environment today can already demonstrate more energy efficiency. From 2020, buildings will be required to be zero carbon to meet European Legislation. This year the new regulations continue to go part way towards that target and more will be expected by 2016. With all this in mind it makes sense if new classrooms are needed today to consider modular buildings as a first

choice to replacing, adding or buying new additional classroom facilities. TICKING ALL THE BOXES All too often when discussing these subjects, end users are given the impression that it is a complicated issue. In actual fact buildings that can be provided by the modular building industry will be able to tick all the boxes. The industry sector is fully aware of what they need to do to comply and in many cases is ahead of what is expected. As previously mentioned, new modular buildings, like traditional buildings, have to be fully compliant so clients will not have an issue using modular buildings. Modular buildings are still a very good alternative if budget restraints are an issue to ease a cash flow situation; there is the option to hire buildings or purchase refurbished buildings, which is an area that still many are not familiar with. This is an option that is available from an industry with over 75 years knowledge and experience. Buildings that are readily available for hire or reused buildings available for purchase, buildings built prior to 2014 will still meet the specified requirements within the new regulations. These buildings can be

r Modula s buildingigned des can be tructed to s and conent building perman s and comply d standar oE guidelines with D aching and for te rning lea

provided with the required documents to prove ‘Energy Efficiency Compliance (EPC) and regulations once more giving clients confidence that they are acknowledging their responsibilities in looking after our environment for the future. THE NEED FOR MORE PUPIL PLACES With the urgent need for the additional classrooms, modular buildings could be the solution that the education sector is looking for. We would recommend when looking for new buildings, adding to existing buildings, buying refurbished or hiring, to choose a supplier that will complete each project precisely on programme and meet the deadline for completion on time needs to be high on the agenda. A vast majority of work can be undertaken in many cases during school closure. Companies familiar with this type of contracts are well aware that buildings have to be completed for the start of the new terms. Buildings can be designed and constructed to permanent building standards and comply with the latest Department for Education guidelines for teaching and learning.

Written by Jackie Maginnis, chief executive, Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA)

The use of modular construction radically reduces both disruption to teaching and time on-site, both which are essential factors when schools have an urgent need for additional school places

Design & Build

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BUSINESS AS USUAL The use of modular construction radically reduces both disruption to teaching and time on-site, both which are essential factors when schools have an urgent requirement for additional school places. E



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MODULAR BUILDINGS  There are many more schools and colleges that are now using modular buildings to service their requirements. It has been estimated that more than 250,000 new school places will have to be created nationally by 2014/15 which will have a huge impact on education facilities across the country. Classroom buildings using the modular building method can be fitted out to suit the requirements of the school in question. Buildings can be designed to accommodate a wide range of applications, such as laboratories, art rooms, dance studios, technology rooms, IT suites, general classrooms, receptions, kitchen and dining facilities, and offices. SIMPLE STEPS TO TAKE If you are looking for a building make sure that you talk to industry direct. This will without doubt save money. Ask the company to provide a turnkey package, as this reduces the number of people that you have to deal with. Make sure you have an clear idea of your requirements. If in doubt take advice from the industry before expensive plans are drawn as fancy buildings can be costly. Look at school buildings that have been built in modular and used for the same purpose. Talk to colleagues at other locations

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It has been estimated that more than 250,000 new school places will have to be created nationally by 2014/15 which will have a huge impact on education facilities across the country. Classroom buildings using the modular building method can be fitted out to suit the requirements of the school in question that are familiar with the systems. If in doubt, talk to the industry association, an association that understands the industry and will give free impartial advice. For good examples of projects that have been undertaken by members of the Modular & Portable Building Association, see the website A NEW LOOK Cladding panels from Steni UK have helped an infant’s school achieve a new look. Five special colours of Stein’s Colour fibreglass reinforced polymer composite panels with a smooth surface of electron beam‑cured acrylic (without the use of solvents) were specified by Solihull Metropolitan

Borough Council for the £1million redevelopment of Valley Infants School. The two-form entry infant school with 240 children was built in 1957 over a single storey, over two floor levels using a timber‑framed modular system with single‑glazed wooden windows and vertical painted timber board-clad uninsulated hollow walls. As such, it was identified by the council’s primary capital programme (PCP) as being in the highest category and requiring major PCP action in terms of improving the structure and fabric to extend its design life and encouraging community use. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Valley Infants School uses Steni UK cladding panels to achieve a new look



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Martin High School’s new facility at its site in Leicestershire, provided by Yorkon, consists of eight classrooms and 12 toilets

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The education sector faces continued pressure to provide high quality learning environments to the growing population. Modular buildings allow schools to react very quickly to the increase in demand for places, as Education Business finds E Volume 19.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Inspirational Eco Classrooms

Welcome to the truly innovative Eco Classrooms from Pod Living Ltd The team at Pod Living are passionate about making new school buildings not only functional but also places which inspire students and teachers alike. The Eco Classroom Pods they are constructing today are light years ahead of anything else that is on the market both in terms of aesthetics and build quality, and offer schools a building that is a real breath of fresh air. A Better Environment For Everyone. • A+ rated EPC • Solar panels which generate income for the school • Air source heat pump for heating and air conditioning • Eco-friendly insulation • Quick installation, cutting pollution & inconvenience • Affordability – more money can be spent on teaching

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The Department for Education (DfE) estimated that 417,000 additional places will be needed over the lifetime of the current Parliament (2010-2015), with the surge in primary places beginning to move through to secondary schools Councils are facing an huge challenge in responding to the recent surge in demand for school places, thanks partly to a rise in immigration and a high birth rate. The Department for Education (DfE) estimated that 417,000 additional places will be needed over the lifetime of the current Parliament (2010-2015), with the surge in primary places beginning to move through to secondary schools. Many councils are looking at innovative solutions to provide extra pupil places, with some opening new primaries in police stations and church halls, and one school opening a playground on a roof top. And many are using modular buildings which are cost-effective and less disruptive than on-site construction. Commenting on the issue, Robert Snook, director and general manager of Portakabin Hire said: “High levels of international migration and increasing birth rates are putting acute pressure on primary school places nationwide, with

particular rises in demand being seen in London, the South East and in the major cities such as Bristol and Birmingham.” “The provision of teaching accommodation using modular construction is a highly effective solution that more LEAs are turning to, allowing them to react very quickly to an increase in demand for places, which can be very difficult to predict. However, if a child is learning in an interim building for two years that could be one third of their time at that school – so the

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quality of the education environment has to be of the very highest standards.” Modular buildings can benefit schools for a variety of reasons. Programme times are reduced by up to 50 per cent and buildings are delivered with much less disruption to teaching than if construction was to take place on site. The designs are highly flexible and with the use of good-quality materials and a robust steel-framed construction, modular buildings are suitable for the most demanding school situation. It is also a sustainable alternative to site-based building methods, with less waste, improved building performance and fewer vehicle movements to site. EXTRA PLACES IN LONDON North Beckton Primary and Colegrave School in the London Borough of Newham have added two interim teaching buildings to cater for extra places needed, while redevelopment works for a permanent

North Beckton Primary School in Newham has had interim teaching buildings supplied by Foremans Relocatable Building Systems



Need additional learning or dining space? Whether it’s a single standalone classroom, dining area and kitchen, whole school or vertical extension, Clearspace Education is fast becoming the company of choice amongst schools, colleges and Early Years settings that want to create permanent, adaptable modular learning space. Our permanent modular buildings can be placed virtually anywhere, including inaccessible, enclosed spaces or on top of existing structures. The possibilities are endless and ideal for schools struggling to find ground space for a new building. Conducive to modern learning, delivering on every level, from accommodating small learning groups to whole schools, the benefits of a Clearspace Education building are numerous, including:  Quick to construct  Cost-effective  Energy efficient  Guaranteed  Environmentally friendly  Naturally ventilated “We selected Clearspace Buildings because of their co-operative nature at the outset. They were very flexible and arranged a number of site visits to other schools in the region who had Clearspace buildings. We were very impressed with their customer service and with their approach to figuring out a design that met all our needs and at a price that was in scope of our budget.” – Phil Smith, Governor, Padbury CE School

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 North Beckton Primary has been taken from two to three form entry, increasing the number of places from 60 to 90. A double classroom block is now in use for the next two years until a new permanent building is constructed. Commenting on the project, Manjit Rai, Head Teacher at North Beckton Primary, said, “Feedback about the interim classrooms from teaching staff and the parents of children in year four who are now using them has been very positive. The rooms are large, warm, comfortable and rather lovely. Everyone is happy with their accommodation and we would recommend the approach to other schools with similar needs.”

Bristol cil un City Co oned a si commispermanent f range orim classroom e and int ons to create soluti itional 630 an add y places in primar chools solutions to create an 12 s

The buildings, which were supplied by Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, a company that supplies pre-owned Portakabin buildings, were delivered eight weeks from receipt of order and were installed outside term‑time to avoid any disruption to teaching. Each building comprises two classrooms, which were delivered to site around 70 per cent complete, further reducing time and disruption to local residents.

MORE SPACE IN BRISTOL In 2012, Bristol City Council commissioned a range of permanent and interim classroom

additional 630 primary places in 12 schools across the city. The buildings, supplied by Portakabin, provided a series of buildings ranging from single classrooms hired for up to two years, to a permanent two‑storey brick‑clad building with a lift and suspended ceilings. All the classrooms were supplied to tight timeframes and with features such as toilets, climate control, access ramps, security and alarm systems, children’s sinks, finger guards on doors and projector mountings. E



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MODULAR BUILDINGS  A GROWING LEICESTERSHIRE SCHOOL In August last year, a new two-storey teaching block was added to an expanding Leicestershire school, and has been described by the school’s business manager as an “iconic building.” One of the highest-performing state schools in Leicestershire, Martin High School in Anstey, was expanding from a middle school for 11-14 year olds to a secondary school, catering for 11-16 year olds. A new building was then needed to accommodate 50 per cent more pupils over the next two years. The new facility, provided by Yorkon, provided eight classrooms and 12 toilets. The pre-installed high performance concrete floor has been used to deliver superior acoustics and a robust finish for a demanding

secondary school environment. Full-height curtain walling to the entrance has created an impressive exterior and a combination of spandrel panels between floors, brickwork and cedar cladding give the scheme a distinctive and contemporary appearance. Off-site construction allowed the building to be delivered with much less disruption than a site-based solution and the modules were installed over a weekend. Martin High School’s Business Manager, Sue Plunkett, said: “This was a new venture for the school and we have been very pleased with both the finished result and the construction process. The building is designed to make the most of the fantastic views from the windows of the nearby beauty spot, Bradgate Park. The design of the cladding blends in well with the countryside and we have created a truly iconic building for the school.” TWO-STORY MODULAR CLASSROOM Ninestiles School – an outstanding ‘convertor’ academy in Birmingham – added a two-storey modular classroom

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building in a tight timescale in order to meet stringent funding requirements. The scheme involved the use of a large 350-tonne crane to lift the steel and concrete building modules over the top of the existing school building and into a totally enclosed courtyard. Working closely with Thomas Vale and the school, the installation was timed to coincide with the half-term holiday, minimising any disruption to teaching. The building has provided the school with six new classrooms to help meet the increased demand for places and has replaced an outdated facility. Features include brick cladding to the ground floor with a contrasting white finish to the upper floor; windows, doors and aluminium cladding panels in anthracite grey; a full height glazed stairwell, and a link corridor to the main school. The facility also has a high performance concrete floor throughout, which was pre‑installed in the Yorkon factory to further reduce work on site. This is a robust design option for high traffic areas and to reduce sound transmission. E Martin High School in Leicestershire has spandrel panels between the floors and brickwork and cedar cladding




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700 VEKA windows specified for enterprising Thetford Academy


VEKA customer Ashford Commercial has completed a large project within the education sector, with architects Jestico and Whiles and main contractor Mansell, using VEKA’s M70 profile for 700 windows. The Norfolk-based company manufactured and installed more than 700 windows and 80m2 of window walling for Thetford Academy, with the intention of reducing glare and heat gain in the classrooms of this new build. The architects specified VEKA products for the project, knowing that these systems carry all the accreditations required for commercial and education projects. The choice of Anthracite Grey from the standard range of foiled VEKA products complemented the colour scheme for the project. Thetford Academy in Norfolk is a part of The Inspiration Trust, a family of schools in Norfolk committed to delivering the very best educational experience for young people in the area. Ashford’s Commercial Manager, Barry Manley explains: “VEKA’s Matrix 70 was chosen based on a combination of specification, style and price – it was an economic solution that met with the project’s budget requirements. After a competitive tendering process, Ashford Commercial was chosen as both the manufacturer and installer for the project, which of course, we were thrilled about. “The project consisted of long runs of top-hung windows in a grey finish externally with Teleflex operators to the high level windows and atrium windows having electric openers. The window walling was also manufactured and

installed in grey, which created a seamless look. This was the first major new‑build project we have done using the Metsec steel construction system, incorporating an extended EPDM system, which did pose a potential difficulty, but the installation went smoothly and was completed well within the specified time frame.” VEKA’s Matrix 70 system is often chosen for use in new build and commercial applications, due to its simple fabrication and trouble-free installation design. The VEKA UK Group has unveiled an extended range of colour foil options, which gives more freedom for commercial and education projects to be ‘personalised’ to match the company branding or school colours. In this case, Anthracite Grey was chosen to give a sophisticated, modern finish which looked almost like aluminium. What did the customer think of the result? Barry Manley explains: “Both the Main Contractor and the School staff were extremely pleased with the windows provided by Ashford Commercial. They were impressed that we designed, manufactured and fitted them within the specified time frame and stayed well within budget. “These high-spec PVC-U windows minimise outdoor noise, reduce solar glare and will keep the Academy’s energy bills down thanks to their energy-efficient properties.” FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01282 716 661

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MODULAR BUILDINGS  Commenting on the project, Christine Quinn, Principal of Ninestiles School, said: “We really love the new building. Its design is fresh and modern, and the use of glass makes it light and airy. Two of the classrooms on each floor can be opened up into one large flexible space which allows more creative use of the teaching accommodation when we need it.”

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les Ninesti l – Schoo ding tan an outs ertor’ ‘conv added y – academorey modular t a two-soom building classr a tight in le timesca

OXFORDSHIRE Dashwood Academy in Banbury, Oxfordshire has had six new modular classrooms added. There were several reasons why a modular build programme was preferred. While reduced cost is one advantage, the urgent need to accommodate rising pupil intake meant a speedy build time was also vital. The new rooms constructed by Wernick will allow the school to increase pupil numbers by 180. They will house the older children in the more modern classrooms. The pupil-led school council were involved in the construction process at the early stages, with children deciding on where play equipment was to be relocated to make way for the new building. Dashwood Academy had a very clear vision for the layout of the building, with each classroom needing to be spacious with ample storage space, and wet role play areas within the classrooms. A neighbouring toilet facility attached to each classroom layout was also a must. Wernick Buildings carried out the whole project, from initial enquiry stage to planning, design, groundworks, delivery through to completion. The climate controlled classrooms are hi-tech, and feature the latest IT equipment including large touch screen wall mounted TVs. CAMBRIDGESHIRE Three two-storey curriculum wings for the new Cambourne Village College in Cambridgeshire have been constructed using a revolutionary new off-site building system. The secondary school provides teaching accommodation for 750 pupils aged 11 to 16, helping to meet the growing demand for places following an increase in housing locally and rising birth rates in the area that are significantly higher than national trends. The new Yorkon off-site building system that was specified for the three teaching wings reduced the number of steel‑framed modules by half to just 60, which were craned into position in just two weeks. This solution was more sustainable because it reduced the number of vehicle movements and work on site, and there are fewer internal columns to facilitate space planning and any future reconfiguration required to meet changing local needs. E




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When companies review their external building fabric, What typically would a planned gutter gutters are often forgotten about as they cannot be seen. maintenance programme include? As a consequence there is no planned maintenance regime put into place and we find we often receive calls from A gutter maintenance programme would typically businesses or organisations who actually have a problem include a full gutter clean every 12 months ideally by that needs resolving. hand, ensuring that all outlets are free flowing and an attempt to unblock any blocked outlets as a matter Companies should really be pro-active and the majority of course during the clean. of businesses should incorporate a gutter clean as part of their Annual risk management/maintenance programme, Following the clean we would then assess the condition as soon as the leaves have fallen from the trees. The cost of the gutters and roof and if necessary undertake any implications of blocked and overflowing gutters can be minor remedials whilst on site. immense and can cause major disruption to their business with flooding, stock and equipment damage and even the Following the clean a brief report, advising of the condition of the gutters, together with any major remedials potential of a fire if the water reaches electrics. identified, will be sent to the client accompanied by before As a result many insurance companies are now specifying and after photographs of the works undertaken.

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 Each module was delivered to site with a high performance concrete floor already in place, further reducing work on site, improving quality and acoustics, and providing a robust finish for a demanding secondary school environment. Commenting on the project, Sean Sumner, deputy head at Cambourne Village College said: “The children and staff absolutely love their new school and you would never know the teaching wings were built in a factory. The feel is very solid and robust and we particularly like the amount of space and light, the wide corridors and the size of the classrooms.” “Building work in schools can cause huge disruption to teaching and there is the safety aspect to consider – with off-site construction you can minimise the impact of those issues. If we need to expand the school in the coming years, we would definitely consider an off-site solution again, which would give us the opportunity to increase capacity very quickly and easily.” The school campus features a central mall with three teaching wings radiating from it and a series of sheltered courtyards to encourage outdoor learning. The ends of the curriculum blocks each have full height stair towers and a balcony at first floor level creating an additional outside space. There are also circulation areas which open on to the central core with no divisions between zones to allow passive surveillance to reduce bullying and anti-social behaviour. The west wing is dedicated to science and technology, the central wing houses generic classrooms for maths, languages and humanities, and facilities for IT and art are located in the east wing. A cross laminated timber structure was used for the central core that accommodates the larger communal spaces such as the dining hall, sports halls and gym. The building has been clad in a combination of timber, dark brickwork and render to create a strong identity for the new school and to reflect the surrounding landscape. Render was used for the teaching areas, interspersed with panels of timber cladding.

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dham Wymon orfolk N High in tted from fi e has benicated sixth The new a ded e developed accommodation was ntr built to link to the form ce a sustainable existing & office g lar buildings.arts u usin d The classrooms o m were designed on a recycledilding single basis to provide a bu

ADDING A SIXTH FORM CENTRE In 2011, Wymondham High in Norfolk, which now has Academy status, benefited from a dedicated sixth form centre developed using a highly sustainable recycled modular building. The additional teaching accommodation was needed at the time as the school caters for over 1,600 pupils, with 400 in the sixth form from the start of the 2011/12 academic year and plans are in place to increase pupil numbers to 2,000. The purpose-designed facility by Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, was craned into position in just one day during the school holidays to minimise disruption to staff and students. The single-storey building accommodates five seminar rooms for students studying social sciences, and sixth form facilities, including a break-out area, toilets and administration office. Commenting on the new building, Victoria Musgrave, Principal at Wymondham High Academy said: “This project has definitely exceeded our expectations and both staff and students are genuinely thrilled with it. They like the ambience it has created, the flexibility of the space, and the fact that we now have a dedicated facility for our sixth form.” LEEDS SCHOOLS GO MODULAR Since May 2012, Leeds City Council has been improving its school buildings using a modular approach. Three modular buildings have been built to provide a total of 3380m2 of accommodation to the Roundhay, Bracken Edge and Wykebeck area. Bracken Edge Primary School was a phased demolition of an existing single story flat roofed primary school classroom accommodation with partial refurbishment of existing hall. The new two story steel framed nursery and primary school was constructed off site at Premier Interlink.

compact and energy efficient build, the complete size of the build was 15 modules at 440m2 total. The external finish was completed to match the existing building using the same palate of materials and colours, brick slips and composite panels. The classrooms have skylights providing both natural ventilation and appropriate ray lighting levels. For Roundhay, the scheme consisted of a new primary school which has been developed as a second site for Roundhay School, extending their overall age range from 18 years down to 4. A key feature of the site is the difference in levels across the site which slopes up from Wetherby Road. The Primary Campus, for 4 –11 year olds, operates as a ‘split site’ part of Roundhay School. The building provides 14 classrooms, a large hall, a small hall, a learning resource centre, design and technology space, group rooms, office and staff areas, storage, toilets, kitchen and plant areas. The school is of modest proportions, planned over two storeys with an approximate 7.5 metres to the eaves and 9 metres to the ridge. The school’s design has been developed to provide a quality environment while minimising the use of energy and carbon output. The building is well insulated with good levels of daylight and provided with natural ventilation. The building solution delivered balances the provision of thermal comfort, robust design solutions and low energy delivery to provide a high quality primary school facility. Premier Interlink constructed the 52 bays built and fitted out at Premier Interlink’s factory in the East Riding of Yorkshire, before being delivered to the site for installation. L



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Do you suffer with back pain or

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page." - St. Augustine

"Travel teaches toleration." Benjamin Disraeli


Ergonomics expert Claire Kendrick writes about how poorly designed school furniture can harm children’s postures, and how improving awareness can prevent future problems

prevent the onset of backpain by tackling the issue from a young age? Could we educate children about the importance of taking care of their backs in the same way that we educate children about the health effects of smoking and the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating? A large study by Leboeuf-Yde and Kyyik in 1998 found that causes of lower back pain can start in childhood and concluded that prevention of lower back pain needs to be focused on in childhood and adolescence. A number of studies have been carried out which support the notion that postural health education in primary schools can be successful in improving back muscle strength and raising awareness of the importance of back care. Perhaps postural health education introduced at nursery school age and throughout the rest of school years could go some way to protect children from developing bad habits which could lead to back problems in later life?

Written by Claire Kendrick, human factors analyst, AWE

bad posture? Did you know Children st that according to backcare o UK, back pain is the spend mool day leading cause of sickness h c s absence from work in of their nd research a the UK and it costs d e t sea room s s the NHS £1.3 million, a l c o d n int u o the UK government f s e ha £13 million in benefits furniturthe chairs and the UK economy that e r a £37 million a day? s e l b What if, as a nation, and ta quate we could take steps to help inade

ENFORCING GOOD HABITS A number of factors affect the postural health of children, including their use of classroom furniture, heavy backpacks, underlying health conditions and sitting habits at home. This article focuses on some of the issues faced by schools (knowingly or unknowingly) in relation to classroom chairs and desks. Children spend most of their school day seated and research into classroom furniture has found that the chairs and tables that children are required to use are inadequate with some studies concluding that almost none of the children studied were able to find an appropriate seat and desk height combination. During their early school years childrens’ spines are still developing; it is at this young age that sitting habits are formed and bearing this in mind, surely it is of great importance that children are taught about postural health and are provided with the right furniture to support them in practicing good habits? Therefore the introduction of ergonomic furniture that promotes good posture is arguably more important to children than adults. However, The Health and Safety at Work Act 2002 (HSE, 2011) states that “employers must ensure workstations meet specified minimum requirements.” When talking in terms of display screen equipment, one of these requirements E



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FURNITURE  is that chairs should allow the user to achieve a comfortable position. Interestingly though, this legislation only protects adults excluding school children who have no relevant legislation to provide them with appropriate workstations. IDENTIFYING THE ISSUES So what exactly is the problem with classroom furniture? The reason that there is such a mismatch between children and their classroom chairs and tables is that one size does not fit all. One size desk and one size of chair is usually selected for each age group and since the size of children varies so widely between gender, build and age, it is easy to see how a mismatch will occur. It is also a misconception that all furniture in catalogues supplying classroom furniture is good for children, generally this furniture is made to be durable and cost effective rather than to provide children with an ergonomic solution. The bucket shape of most school chairs used in classrooms restricts the variety of postures that children are able to assume and encourages static postures. However, we know this to be potentially harmful: “Changing positions is essential for the health of our spinal discs. They don’t have veins, so must get their nutrition via a process of diffusion, which depends on a pump or sponge mechanism” (Cranz, 1998). Chair design can promote the kind of natural movement which is required to keep the spine healthy. Attention span and concentration can also be improved by good chair design. It has been stated that in a school in which the child’s natural need of movement is supported and actively encouraged, a positive development of the ability to study and willingness to work can be expected. He found that in a control group where movement was not part of the curriculum, attentiveness deteriorates so much that by the fifth lesson concentrated study does not appear to be possible anymore.

Chair design can promote the kind of natural movement which is required to keep the spine healthy. Attention span and concentration can also be improved by good chair design. It has been stated that in a school in which the child’s natural need of movement is supported and actively encouraged, a positive development of the ability to study and willingness to work can be expected Regarding money, there is certainly a perception that the introduction of postural health education and ergonomic furniture will be expensive and in the current financial climate schools already face budget constraints. Also, possibly due to the lack of awareness, an already packed curriculum and the constant release of new technology, preventing back pain is not a high priority for schools Finally, there was a perception among teachers interviewed that implementing this back care initiative will be time consuming as well as disruptive to lessons.

The bucket ost fm shape o chairs school postures the restricts hildren are that c ssume and a able to rages static encou tures pos

CHALLENGES My own research investigated the barriers preventing schools catching up with research in terms of ergonomic classroom furniture. Interviews were carried out with teachers, headteachers and other stakeholders and concluded that there are four main perceived challenges for schools when considering the introduction of postural health education and ergonomic furniture: There is sometimes a lack of awareness of the issue in general as well as about the ergonomic furniture options available. This lack of awareness is perceived in teachers, parents, school business partners and the government.


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SOLUTIONS One way of improving awareness of the issue is to incorporate postural health education into teacher training programs; this would allow newly qualified teachers entering the education system to bring this knowledge into the schools which could then filter out to other teachers and head teachers. Training courses and awareness weeks within schools could also help to address this issue. Once awareness is raised in schools and the importance of the issue is highlighted, it could act as a driver for the government to incorporate it into the health and well being aspects of the curriculum, possibly helping to make it a higher priority, which in turn could encourage schools to consider purchasing ergonomic options when they come to replace their existing furniture. This process is not going to happen overnight and schools do not have to throw away their existing furniture tomorrow. By introducing postural health education and raising awareness of its importance, the nation’s schools may be able to start to transition from cost driven purchasing to investing into the health of children’s backs for the future. A strong implementation strategy is needed, but to do this an authority with a strong interest and the ability to drive this forward is

also needed. It is politicians and government officials that can have a real influence on the education system. Further research is needed to understand the barriers that they foresee and to ascertain why postural health education is not a priority, especially considering the current prevalence of back pain and its’ high cost to the economy. Although there has been a lot of research on this subject, perhaps none of it is persuasive enough in terms of cost effectiveness to encourage governing bodies to take action. More studies need to be carried out into the long term effects of postural health education in order to create a stronger case. Results from these types of studies providing statistics and projecting economic benefits could have an important impact on the drive for change. BENEFITS The potential impact of this transition is huge; studies have shown that the initial impact could be an increase in attention span and concentration levels meaning more productive pupils and more control in the classroom. However, the long term effect could be that the number of people developing back problems could be reduced, which in turn could have great economic benefits with a reduction of NHS costs, a reduction in days lost from work and a reduction in the amount of people suffering from back pain effectively resulting in a cost saving for the government as well as a healthier workforce. Next time you are in a classroom, at a parents evening or a school play or assembly, spend a minute or two thinking about the chair you are sitting on and ask yourself if you are comfortable – (I predict that you won’t be), ask yourself if you would like to sit in that chair all day and finally ask yourself whether you think these are adequate for children with their soft bones and developing spines. We are working towards healthier food in schools; now let’s work towards healthier furniture. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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What are the common risk factors for accidents in schools and what can be done to provide a safe learning environment? The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health offers some advice The most common cause of injury in any workplace is slips, trips and falls. Official statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that 40 per cent of all major reported injuries occur as a result of a slip, strip, or a fall, and in education things are no different. According to the National Union of Teachers’ (NUT), slips and trips constitute the largest single of personal injury cases pursued by the union. In December 2003, a teacher won £55,000 after slipping on a chip outside the school canteen. The schoolteacher strained her knee ligaments during the fall and was unable to return to work as a result. INSPECTIONS Dave Garioch, chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Education Group, said: “Even if an accident

happens, the school would have to be negligent if it was to be successfully sued. “To minimise this risk, schools should keep records of inspections of the playground and equipment, use of the HSE checklist to show that the issue has been looked at and sensible controls put in place. A written procedure covering the cleaning up of spills and general cleaning duties is also a great idea to reduce the risk.” Slips, trips and falls within schools and colleges are not just a risk to employees and students but to school visitors also. Schools and colleges are often at the ‘heart’ of a community and welcome visitors from the elderly to watch performances to contractors. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS Many accidents are a result of slipping on contaminated floors, e.g. food in dining

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rooms, water and oil in kitchens, inadequate mats to dry shoes when coming into buildings out of the rain. The vast majority of slips and trips do not result in injury and are often put down to carelessness by the individual who slipped/tripped. Accident reports often say the person should take more care to prevent it from happening again. Many health and safety professionals understand the need to take slips and trips more seriously and backed the HSE “Shattered Lives” campaign. An IOSH study in 2004 found that nearly 60 per cent of education establishments did not have any form of slip reduction policy; it would be interesting to see how much that has changed in the last ten years. In order to prevent school accidents, the school needs to review where their slip and trip accidents are occurring to identify if there

About IOSH IOSH is the Chartered body for health and safety professionals. With around 44,000 members in 100 countries, it is the world’s largest professional health and safety organisation. The Institution set s standards and supports, develops and connects its members with resources, guidance, events and training. It is the voice of the profession, and campaigns on issues that affect millions of working people. IOSH was founded in 1945 and is a registered charity with international NGO status.

are any trends. There are several areas to consider. Does the flooring have the right level of friction to reduce the slip risk? Are there suitable arrangements in place to clean up contamination quickly and effectively? Also ask if there are suitable controls for bad weather, if changes in floor level are clear and easy to see, and if there are trip hazards in walkways. The HSE consider this an important topic and have provided information and guidance on their website. You can also download

a useful checklist provided by the HSE from their website, as well as a useful Slips and trips mapping tool, for safety representatives, but can be used by anyone. ACCEPTABLE RISKS Children fall over in the playground regularly, and whether or not this should be prevented is a fair question. Part of growing up is learning to push the boundaries of knowledge and skills. This will sometimes result in errors and children will fall over, which can be an acceptable risk in helping them understand their limits. We need to make sure that the playground area has no obvious hazards, the surface is in good repair and any equipment is maintained in good working order. We must also ensure any toys and equipment when not being used are safely stored and that children learn to put away toys when they have finished with them. To minimise the risks for slips and trips, you need to carry out an assessment of where the biggest hazards are and develop robust controls with regular inspections and good levels of housekeeping. This will help reduce the number of accidents and the potential for being sued by parents if their child is injured. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Take a moment to think back to when you were at school as a pupil, what comes to mind? Personally, I remember the hectic changeover’s between lessons as I ran from one end of the school to the other, the older kids having food fights in the canteen and the water fights on hot summers days. They were the good old days. We all remember our teachers for the good and the bad. However, did we ever consider the unsung heroes who kept us safe and comfortable in the environment where we learnt out most valuable lessons: the cleaning operatives and school caretakers? In a report published by the Northern Ireland Education and Library Board, it was found that there are a number of strategic benefits to a clean school: creates a positive learning experience and contributes to the ethos and culture of the school; encourages good hygiene practices; promotes a positive image to parents and reassures of pupil safety; teaches respect for property and environment; reduces hidden costs associated with deterioration of property and expenditure on maintenance. MINIMISE RISKS In addition to the indirect impact cleaning staff has on the learning experience of pupils, maintaining a good standard of housekeeping at your school will also ensure a safe and hygienic environment for all users of the building, including pupils, staff and visitors. With many accidents in schools being as a result of slips, trips and falls, it is essential to minimise these risks through maintaining a high standard of housekeeping. Unlike many other building types, education facilities have to accommodate large-scale movements of pupils, staff and others, often concentrated into short periods of time, such as during lesson changes. With this in mind it is essential that spillages are cleaned up without delay and a “caution: wet floor” sign is used to protect building users to ensure areas are kept free from hazard or obstruction. Since its establishment over 50 years ago, The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) has continued to campaign to raise awareness of the requirement for accredited training and standards within the cleaning industry. Over the years, the Institute has heard many horror stories about cleaning operatives whom, as a result of not receiving accredited

training, have endangered themselves and other users of the building. In particular, BICSc has heard stories about operatives who have mixed corrosive chemicals with their hands or have left chemicals within easy reach of primary school children. For any teacher or parent, it would be their worst nightmare should a pupil be injured as a result of coming into contact with chemicals that should have been stored out of reach. As this illustrates, it is essential that all cleaning operatives receive accredited training in skills such as chemical competence when preparing cleaning solutions, to ensure health and safety while performing cleaning duties. Furthermore, without initial accredited training, cleaning operatives will not have been trained in how to clean effectively and safely. For individuals outside of the cleaning industry, who only think about cleaning at the weekend when it’s time to do the dreaded housework, it may seem an obscure concept that individuals need accredited training on how to clean because, after all, we all know how to clean our own homes, right? In some ways this is true, but in fact there is much more to consider within commercial cleaning, such as the risk of cross-infection, correct use of chemicals and health and safety requirements.

do everything within their capabilities to provide a safe environment, this includes clean and hygienic facilities. ASSESS SUBSTANCES By law, employers are required to assess the risk of substances used within a workplace under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002. For employees, preventing exposure to harmful substances may require: the adoption of good working techniques that avoid or minimise contact with harmful substances and minimise leaks and spills, including safe storage of materials; providing personal protection equipment, such as gloves or eye protection; ensuring good hand care, for example, remove contamination promptly, wash hands properly, dry thoroughly and use skin creams regularly; ensuring the workplace is well-ventilated. It is essential that cleaning operatives understand the relevant COSHH data sheets to ensure they are aware of what the hazards and risks are and also of what to do in an accident or emergency. Before conducting any task, an operative should consult the risk assessment, follow the directions on the product labels, use hazardous substances only for the specified purpose, dilute according to specific instructions, open containers with care and never leave containers open.

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CHEMICAL COMPETENCE Unlike regular household cleaning, many cleaning operatives are required to use a range of different chemicals, like floor, toilet and window cleaners and polishes. Furthermore, many of these chemicals are purchased in a concentrated form and require diluting. Many of these substances are designed for use in well-ventilated areas or can cause health problems, such as asthma and dermatitis, if used inappropriately. With many operatives expected to use these chemicals within areas with little or no ventilation, such as toilets or corridors, operatives are not only posing a risk to their own health but also that of the students and staff at the school. With one in 11 children in the UK suffering from asthma, it is essential that schools

Written by Elisha Dignam, The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc)

Elisha Dignam of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) writes about the benefits of having a clean school and the vital importance of having trained caretaking professionals

SAFE STORAGE OF EQUIPMENT & MATERIALS All hazardous substances used for cleaning within schools must be stored appropriately and must not be accessible to the users of the building, ie, not stored in teaching areas, staffrooms or toilets. By ensuring a well-maintained and organised cleaning storage area, operatives and employers can further increase the safety of their operatives by ensuring: hazardous materials are out of the reach of young children but remain easy to access by the cleaning operative (ie, not stored above head height); containers are not left open; there is suitable ventilation where E



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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT " required; warning signs are used correctly; all equipment and materials are labelled correctly; heaviest equipment is stored at the lowest levels; storage areas are dry and not immediately next to a heat source; and hazardous substances are not overstocked. In addition to ensuring that operatives store equipment and materials effectively, it is also necessary that an operative receive sufficient training about the safe and correct disposal of hazardous products and materials. By ensuring cleaning operatives understand the requirement to store all equipment and material safely and correctly, employers can confirm the health and safety of all staff and students, including the cleaning operative themselves.

For many, these are common complaints but they are nonetheless preventable through accredited training and knowledge. Additionally, cleaning operatives are often employed within a workplace that has been designed with other workers in mind (ie, classrooms). This may generate additional challenges or health and safety problems that require the operative to make adjustments for the environment they are working within. For example, many secondary schools are on multilevels so, as a result, operatives are expected to carry equipment (such as vacuum cleaners) up and down stairs. This may cause an operative serve physical damage, ultimately affecting attendance and the long-term cleanliness of the facilities.

COMMON COMPLAINTS Further to the risks posed by the use of hazardous materials within schools, it is also necessary to establish that equipment and materials are used safely and correctly. It is essential to make sure equipment is suitable for use (ie, not damaged or faulty) and is used in a safe and effective way (ie, not left out after use or cables left trailing). How many instances have their been in your school where a pupil or member of staff has tripped over a trailing cable or slipped on a wet floor in the bathroom because there was not a â&#x20AC;&#x153;caution: wet floorâ&#x20AC;? sign?

STANDARDS AND BEST PRACTICE When dealing with buildings such as schools, it is essential that all cleaning operatives are provided with the knowledge and skills to allow them to implement colour coding and best practices, such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;from clean to dirtyâ&#x20AC;? to minimise cross-infection. In essence, to clean â&#x20AC;&#x153;from clean to dirtyâ&#x20AC;? ensures that an operative always starts with the cleanest area of the environment first, gradually working through to the soiled areas. To illustrate, you would never clean the toilet of a washroom and then continue to the hand basin before you clean the door handle,


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as you would spread germs from the toilet to all the other areas of the washroom. Unlike many office buildings, schools often have a wide variety of different facilities that require cleaning, such as classrooms, washrooms, food technology suites and kitchens/canteens. As a result, it is necessary to implement a colour-coding system for cleaning materials and equipment. The BICSc recommended colour code recommends the use of red materials for general washrooms and bathrooms, red and white materials for higher-risk sanitary appliances, blue for general low-risk areas, green for general food and bar use, yellow for clinical areas and white for site specific or specialist. Through adopting a colour-code system within the school environment, cleaning operatives are able to minimise the risk of cross-infection by using the correct colour-coded materials within the correct designated areas. As we are aware, the spread of general coughs and colds, and more serious cases of flu, are commonly spread among schoolchildren. Although children are inherently more vulnerable to common illnesses as their immune systems are still developing, it is possible to reduce the risk by adopting cleaning best practices. ! FURTHER INFORMATION

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A canteen or kitchen offers pest species numerous opportunities to feed and to live. Richard Moseley of the British Pest Control Association describes the risks arising from different species Whenever we consider or discuss any pest species, we must always remember that pests are incredibly adaptable. Even with the best precautions in place, we can be susceptible to pest intrusion and infestation. This is the reason that a proactive pest control contract with a reputable company is an essential part of any control strategy, especially in an environment such as a canteen or kitchen that offers pest species numerous opportunities to feed and to live. PEST DANGERS Many of the species that professional pest controllers deal with on a daily basis are termed as ‘Public Health Pests’. A public health pest has the ability to transmit disease or pathogens, which is obviously a major concern for anyone with responsibility for a commercial kitchen. Pests can either carry disease within their body, or transmit pathogens via contact due to the unsavoury locations where they live and feed. This makes their presence in any kind of food preparation environment unacceptable. Rodent species such as the Brown Rat and the House Mouse present a number of issues if they gain access to our work and food production areas. For example, Brown Rats can carry an infection within their urine called Leptospirosis (also known as Weils Disease). This infection is transmitted via contact with wet rat urine, and the symptoms in humans are similar to flue.

Unfortunately that makes this particular infection very difficult to diagnose, and unfortunately people die every year in the United Kingdom after contracting this illness. Rats are also capable of transmitting disease due to the locations where they typically live and breed. The Brown Rat is an incredibly successful pest, partly due to its ability to live in sewer systems and use these to access our work places and homes. The numerous diseases and infections that we associate with sewerage and waste have no effect on the rat, and he survives quite happily in this hostile location. However, always remember that when-ever a rat finds an access point into a kitchen or canteen it potentially carries back out of the sewer our waste and the health implications that we associate with raw sewage. If your site has a history of drain problems discuss it with your pest controller before a rodent problem becomes apparent.

Written by Richard Moseley, technical manager, BPCA


infestations bring. The key characteristic of rodents is that their incisor teeth grow throughout their lifetime ( The word ‘rodent’ derives form the Latin meaning ‘to gnaw’). If this growth remains unchecked rodents front teeth will overlap, which can stop them eating. To prevent this, rodents must regularly gnaw to wear down their front teeth. Not only will they use their incredibly strong front teeth to chew their way into our properties, but once inside they will regularly gnaw to wear back their incisors. Gas pipes, electricity cables and water pipes are often attacked by rodents, leading to fire, flood and even explosion, and damaged cables can also result in the electrocution of staff. And remember, squirrels are rodent too – they will cause as much damage as a rat or mouse, so if staff and pupils are encouraging squirrels by feeding them, your chances of suffering from rodent damage are greatly increased. In purely economic terms, rodent activity is not acceptable. For every 1 kilo of food that a rat consumes, it will contaminate 10 kilos’ with its urine, fur and droppings, which results in the wholesale disposal of commodities. House mice consume very small amounts of food, but are termed as sporadic feeders. This means they will feed often from many different locations, which again results in large scale contamination and necessitates the disposal of large amounts of food and ingredients. And even when the rodents have been controlled and the contaminated food disposed of, further costs may be incurred if food contact surfaces and storage areas require deep cleaning to remove and trace of the rodents and prevent any possibility of transfer of food poisoning infection. #

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and electronic fly killing devices should be considered to capture any fly that manages to get through any proofing measures. Scrupulous hygiene in waste and drain areas will also remove potential breeding sites for fly and other insect species that manage to gain access to high risk food area. PREVENTION As you may gather from the information above, pest infestations are serious, dangerous and financially damaging, and this is only the tip of the pest iceberg with many other species existing that can infest buildings and food stores. It is essential that if you represent an institution or organisation such as a school or college, you recognise that pest infestation can be incredibly damaging to reputations and can result in legal action being taken by Environmental Health Officers. News and information travels faster than ever before due to social media, and any incident that could damage the financial wellbeing of your organisation must be managed and controlled. The best way to ensure that your organisation and your workplace is protected from infection, economic loss, disease, prosecution and damaged reputations is to employ the services of a reputable pest control contractor who will not only control issues as they arise, but will constantly advise and guide your institution on pest prevention measures. A pest control contract may seem expensive, but when you consider the hazards associated with pest intrusion, it’s actually a small price to pay to protect your building, your staff and your reputation. British Pest Control Association (BPCA) members are qualified, insured, are committed to Continual Professional Development, and have access to industry leading Health and Safety consultants to ensure they are " OTHER HARMFUL SPECIES Rodents are not the only pest species that find our kitchens and canteens prime feeding and breeding sites. Cockroach species such as the German and the Oriental cockroach are both extremely comfortable in food preparation areas, and where possible they will rapidly infest kitchens. The combination of high temperatures, accessible food source, moisture and hiding places such as damaged tiles and floor coverings makes the commercial kitchen perfect for cockroach activity. The fact that cockroaches feed on anything organic, including animal and human waste, makes them just as likely to spread disease as rodents. And because insect breeding is temperature dependant a warm kitchen can lead to cockroach population explosions, causing heavy contamination to multiple due to the cockroaches’ excellent climbing ability. Fly activity is also a serious cause for concern in a commercial kitchen. Species such as the common house fly transmit a number

It is essential that if you represent an institution or organisation such as a school or college, you recognise that pest infestation can be incredibly damaging to reputations and can result in legal action being taken of pathogens due too their unsavoury breeding habits. They will again feed on anything organic in origin, including animal waste. Whilst feeding they defecate and vomit, causing even more contamination. House fly can go through a full life cycle from the point where they lay an egg to becoming an adult in 5 to 7 days in favourable temperature conditions as you would expect to find in a commercial kitchen. Because of this, exclusion of flying insects is absolutely essential. Opening doors and windows should be screened against insect intrusion,

working safely and responsibly. They benefit from the support of a world renowned not for profit trade association that is available to support them, and their customers with pest prevention and control. If you would like to view BPCA member companies in your area, please contact our office. Always ask for the BPCA logo – never put the safety of your sites, your staff and your fans in the hands of an amateur. ! FURTHER INFORMATION



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Written by Mark Dorling, Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science



Mark Dorling explores the resources and support available to help teachers prepare for the new computing curriculum for pupils aged five to 16 Technology is now essential to everyday life and ‘computational thinking’ is a vital skill when it comes to participating in the digital world. The new computing curriculum which replaces ICT (Information Communication Technology) this September has been specially developed to equip children (in England) with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need to participate fully in society. There are now three strands to the new computing curriculum (a core subject for pupils aged five to 16) – Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. The new programme of study teaches students from KS1 to KS4 how to use computers, how computers work, and how

to design and build programmes. There is a focus on computational thinking and creativity, as well as scope for creative work in programming and digital media. The change brings with it both challenges and opportunities for schools and teachers. It is vital that teachers get the support they need to prepare for the transition from the ICT curriculum to the new computing

curriculum which comes in to force in September. There are a range of resources and sources of support available to help teachers who have concerns over how to deliver the new curriculum. HOW CAS CAN HELP Computing at School (CAS) is a collaborative partner with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (the professional body for people working in IT), and has formal support from other industry partners. CAS aims to promote the teaching of computing at school and supports teachers across the country. CAS membership is free and open to everyone, including teachers, parents, governors, exam boards, industry, professional societies and universities. THE NETWORK OF EXCELLENCE CAS, together with BCS (with funding from the Department for Education) is supporting teachers through the Network of Teaching Excellence (NoE) and Barefoot Computing projects. The Network of Excellence aims to deliver continuing professional development (CPD) that is cross #

It is vital that teachers get the support they need to prepare for the transition from the ICT curriculum to the new computing curriculum which comes in to force in September Volume 19.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE




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COMPUTING CURRICULUM About the author: Mark Dorling Mark Dorling is National CPD Coordinator for the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. The Network of Teaching Excellence (NoE) is the national computing CPD programme run by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Computing At School.

" referenced to the new National Curriculum for Computing as well as the document for entrants into Teacher Training. One of the key principles behind the Network of Excellence is local, face-to-face training by teachers for teachers to help them deliver the new curriculum. There are a range of professional development courses now being offered around the country to help meet the needs of the teaching community in all aspects of the new curriculum. Courses may take place in schools, universities and other venues, and are being organised at various times of day – including one-day courses, twilight sessions, evening classes and holiday courses – to be as convenient to teachers as possible. MASTER TEACHERS The programme aims to train and develop a significant number of Master Teachers who will in turn, train and support teachers in their local area. The emphasis is very much on face-to-face support, training and networking, backed up by an active website of resources and discussions. All courses offered through this CPD initiative will be delivered by trained and approved providers (Master Teachers) and are evaluated fully to ensure quality. CAS Master Teachers have been (and are still being) recruited and trained to offer CPD to their local schools. They are experienced teachers, with good subject knowledge of computing. They have the skills needed to support other teachers and can offer advice on how to get ready for the new computing curriculum. The NoE offers teachers many opportunities for professional development. Individual teachers can join CAS (via their website) and schools can join the Network of Excellence. There are 285 lead schools in the NoE offering support and advice. CAS Online can also help teachers get ready to deliver computing at school. The CAS community website offers teachers resources and details

of events, as well as a place to ask questions and meet other similarly minded teachers. CAS Online already has almost 10,000 members and supports both secondary and primary teachers. Teachers can find mini-CPD sessions, support and informal networking opportunities through more than 90 CAS regional hubs that hold termly meetings throughout the UK. Additional support will be available through the Barefoot Computing project which starts this summer. Funded by the Department for Education, the project will develop computing exemplification resources for primary schoolteachers. These exemplifications will illustrate how progression can be enhanced across other subjects in the curriculum (such as literacy, maths and science for example) by teaching computing. They will also equip teachers with the basic computing subject knowledge and confidence needed to begin the journey towards becoming excellent computing teachers. The changes in computing are exciting and forward-thinking; students will be inspired by what will be taught and this will reap benefits for them and for UK industry in years to come. With the support of BCS and CAS, the hope is that all teachers will feel supported and be able to access the help they need. GUIDELINES To help primary school teachers prepare, CAS, in collaboration with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and Naace has issued guidelines which include information on resourcing, teaching and assessment, as well as a glossary of computing terms. It provides advice on how to build on current practice and will help teachers understand the new requirements. It also includes help for schools in terms of planning and gives guidance on how best to develop teachers’ skills. ! FURTHER INFORMATION

It forms part of a range of activities designed by BCS to help nurture future computing Master Teachers – ahead of the launch of the new computing curriculum in September 2014. The NoE partners schools with Master Teachers and local universities to provide teachers with opportunities to develop their computing knowledge and skills.

Tips for delivering the new computing curriculum 2014 Here are some simple steps you can take to help you prepare to deliver the new computing curriculum in September 2014: Join Computing At School (it’s free) by going to http://community. This will provide access to all Computing At School events, resources, and discussion groups. Sign up to the Network of Excellence (it’s free.) Membership of the Network of Excellence is open to all schools and will be able to connect the school to the local CAS Master Teacher and CAS Regional Coordinator. Some schools in the Network of Excellence are Lead Schools which means that they will also be able to help other local schools that need support with their planning for delivering computing. Go along to your local Computing At School (CAS) hub meeting. There are over 90 hubs around the UK enabling teachers to meet each other and share ideas. Most hubs meet every term and list these meetings at http:// community.computingatschool.



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Kanex products help you get more from both current and ‘legacy’ technology. They offer simple solutions to everyday needs of sharing and storing information whether visually to a class of students or directly to their devices. meDrive makes it easy to wirelessly backup, share and save files from computers, smartphones or tablets to an external USB hard drive. safely and securely. ATV Pro, meanwhile allows older, VGA projectors to use Apple AirPlay mirroring from an iPad to Apple TV. It breathes new life into old projectors!





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EFFECTIVE IPAD MANAGEMENT IN A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT As iPads and other devices become integral to modern learning there seems to be a lack of understanding about how best to manage them. Robert Smith, managing director at Traka, outlines the importance of a management system to both protect them and reduce classroom disruption

Digital learning is becoming integral to today’s classroom. Educational apps are more sophisticated and the use of iPads and tablets on a daily basis is increasing. Students of all ages and abilities are benefiting from this new, interactive way of learning. However, the intrinsic value of these assets, the license value of the software downloaded on to them and the time invested in preparation has made it imperative to ensure it is available to the

keeping track of valuable devices. Students can be given an individual PIN or by using biometric credentials can access iPads through the lockers. These transactions are monitored in real-time so there is complete accountability on who has removed which iPad, and when they have returned it. Curfews can also be set so a notification is sent to the administrator if an iPad has not been returned on time. However, tracking the devices and ensuring the asset is protected from theft, loss and damage is only one aspect of enabling educators to get the most out of the investment. Managing the practical aspects, charging and syncing them ready for lessons, for example, is a time-intensive task if there is not an effective management system in place. With greater pressure on teaching professionals to spend classroom time devoted to educational rather than ancillary processes, this is more important than ever. SIMPLE STORAGE DEVICES Classroom disruptions can be caused by the simplest of events, so a mismatch of charged and uncharged iPads at the beginning of a

when returning the device to the locker. This means that the practical charge function is facilitated at the same time as managing the location of the asset. As educational apps develop and there are more to choose from, there are also more to download. While downloading an app on to one device is a simple and quick task, downloading one app on to 20 devices is a little more time-intensive to say the least. Relying on students at the beginning of the lesson to quickly and efficiently install them is a risk. Even if they have been prepared before – or if an app is missing from a student’s iPad – the disruption it will cause will certainly distract from the initial benefits. GET THE MOST FROM TECHNOLOGY The Traka iPad Locker can sync all devices in its system, ensuring that the educational tools are installed on every single iPad, ready for the lesson. This reduces the ancillary processes both for the educator and the IT manager. The teacher can rest assured that the lesson can start with no practical complications, helping them to get the most out of the technology.

Students can be given a PIN or by using biometric credentials can access iPads through the lockers. These transactions are monitored in real-time so there is accountability on who has removed which iPad, and when they have returned it widest possible student population, while also maintaining accountability. The increasing scrutiny of expenditure in the state and private sectors has seen stakeholders demand that an effective asset management solution is put in place, to protect the investment from theft, loss and damage. However, it would seem that there are many schools and education facilities that have a lack of understanding on how best to secure the devices. Many are operating on a paper ‘sign-in’ and ‘sign-out’ system, which presents opportunity for theft and loss as well as being a time-intensive process. EFFECTIVE SOLUTION There are systems, such as the Traka iPad Locker, that offer an effective solution for



lesson where the devices are the primary focus can cause chaos. In fact, even the process of ensuring all classroom iPads are charged can be a bit of nightmare. If a teacher is lucky enough to have 20 iPads in their classroom – but only five plug sockets – the task of charging them at the end of the lesson is not at all simple. There are other systems on the market that can help with this, for instance the laptop charging/storage trolleys. But when these are fully populated, they are as manageable as a fully laden supermarket trolley. Trolleys are simple volume storage devices; they have one door and one key so the individual issue of items cannot be logged automatically. A Traka iPad Locker gives a more holistic approach; its integrated charge function allows the students to plug in their iPads

Devices, such as iPads, are changing education, but to ensure the trend continues schools, IT managers and teachers need to have a system in place to make sure the assets are protected and, of equal importance, that the practical aspects are taken care of. There are holistic solutions available that protect the valuable technology from theft, but will also reduce maintenance and admin duties. ! FURTHER INFORMATION

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British Educational Suppliers Association director Caroline Wright discusses tablet adoption rates in schools, presenting recent industry research carried out by BESA with Naace The adoption of tablet technology in schools has not always come with positive news. As we move from the ‘innovators’ into the ‘early adopter’ phase of the technology adoption life-cycle, we are starting to see a realisation that successful implementation requires an understanding of the technology’s full potential, rather than simply a consideration of the hardware itself. Our annual ICT in UK state schools research into 1,238 schools (731 primary and 507 secondary) issued in September 2013 revealed that 24 per cent of schools plan to invest more than expected in ICT this year (2014/15). The investment in desktop and laptop computers remains fairly static. It is a shift in investment towards tablet technology which is increasing. 25 per cent of schools indicated that investment in pupil PCs and specifically tablets will be one of the main areas of spend, which is good news so far. However, at this early phase in the technology adoption life cycle, schools must carefully consider all aspects of the use of mobile solutions in the classroom before investment. Gaining an insight into how tablets are being used to enhance teaching and learning means that planning for implementations and professional development can make the most of the learning opportunities that these devices have the potential to enable.

MAKING IT WORK Our research suggests that schools recognise the importance of developing a full understanding of the factors affecting successful implementation; approximately 40 per cent of the teachers surveyed stressed that they will require training into the use of tablet technology. One BESA member, LearnPad Group, who supplies educationally aligned tablets into schools, has always stressed that the successful outcome of any tablet implementation is not based on the hardware. Nik Tuson, managing director at LearnPad, explains: “Ultimately a tablet is a tablet. A positive outcome from an investment in tablet technology is based on the content. This is not just the learning content from high quality education suppliers, but also the management system which gives teachers the power to supervise the activities the children are carrying out. Being able to display any child’s display on the classroom whiteboard, block another child’s activity and restrict access only to approved websites are all features of a tablet management system that help define effective classroom use.” As the trend for hardware in schools moves towards mobile devices, the demand for continuous site Wi-Fi access increases accordingly. In the past, schools may have considered themselves well-resourced with Wi-Fi if they had access in administrative areas, staff rooms and library/resource centres. Such access may now be considered limiting as teachers and pupils need Wi-Fi access in classrooms.

Written by Caroline Wright, BESA


At se this phanology ech in the t n life cycle, adoptio ust carefully m schools er all aspects consid mobile of before s n o i t u sol ent investm

EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM USE Our most recent research published at Bett 2014 in January was carried out in association with ICT association Naace. This research also found an increasing trend towards the use of mobile devices in schools as teachers #




























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As the adoption ofCompany mobile technology in schools Summit Insurance Services Ltd increases, it is important to understand the factors E-12-256 Index as Same as above that facilitate learning to ensure their success. Whilst FAO Paul Abbott not conclusive, when compared to other studies, it <> appears to supplied) manage (artwork part Sales Contact: Emma Lock that inclusive tools designed classroom use, the availability of appropriate learning resources along with initial training and adequate time for familiarisation are vital

" and pupils become more familiar with using tablets as part of their learning experiences. The report, Evolving Pedagogies for mobile technology in schools, focused on how tablet technology is used in schools from initial implementation onwards. The findings rementrevealed Directory that the application of the tablet technology does change through time. Schools start by using them for creator/consumer activities in the early adopter phase, to community activities at the later stage of implementation, with teachers increasing the use of the technology over time. Catalysts for effective classroom use include time for familiarisation, experimentation and regular training, backing up our previous research where teachers stressed a need for training. The Naace research also highlighted the point made by BESA member LearnPad. The schools who took part in the Naace study indicated that being able to mirror the pupil device display on to a large screen or interactive whiteboard was an important part of the progression of use over time. Other factors included reliable internet connectivity and the availability of tools and apps designed for learning, rather than ‘focused solely on engagement or ‘edutainment.’ Evidence for the study was collected from teachers at the initial stages

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of tablet implementation and compared with teachers who had used the technology for a year. Different tablet types were used by the teachers, but a similar range of learning activities were apparent despite these differences. The study focused on pedagogies for effective teaching and learning, rather than including other uses of technology that might be more administrative or organisational. In terms of the technology’s use, referring to research by Melhuish and Falloon (2010) and Clarke and Svanaes (2012), the study concluded that the use of mobile technologies can increase collaboration and communication in the classroom including peer feedback and facilitated engagement with learning.

TAKING THE FINDINGS FORWARD While the scale of this project was very small, with teachers from five schools being surveyed, informal conversations with a range of educators seems to indicate that the conclusions of the study are valid. As the adoption of mobile technology in schools increases, it is important to understand the factors that facilitate learning to ensure their success. Whilst not conclusive, when compared to other studies, it appears that inclusive tools designed to manage classroom use, the availability of appropriate learning resources along with initial training and adequate time for familiarisation are vital. ! FURTHER INFORMATION

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15 minutes per day to make Computer Science really take off Written by Zan Nadeem, Education Director, Restech, experienced teacher of Robotics As a teacher, preparing for the new curriculum, you are probably being inundated with resources, kits and bits of code that all do entertaining things, but hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a question: How do you find the time to fully understand and utilise those resources, more importantly, how do you find the time to both learn programming and plan the lessons for it? Some tips: 1. Spend 15 minutes per day learning the building blocks of programming. To begin with stick to one language, either C or Python. (A physical output is always helpful, for example an arduino starter kit.) Start with something simple like flashing an LED (or moving a character on screen). Then, each day, add a bit more complexity; something that takes no more than 15 minutes to do and fully understand how and why it works. If you can learn to write your own programs fluently, creating your lesson plans and making better use of resources, will be much easier and faster. 2. Work together. Computer science is a part of STEM, so why not implement flowcharts and logical thinking activities into those subject lessons? Your students need to start thinking like computer scientists and see everything as simple, organised, (sometimes mathematical) steps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; crazy but achievable.



3. Spend your budgets wisely. Invest in staff training, and pick your resources carefully, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t follow the hype â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how many raspberry pis are now sat in classroom cupboards with the catchphrase: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nowâ&#x20AC;ŚWhat do we do with them?â&#x20AC;? And when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the classroomâ&#x20AC;Ś. Working with teachers and students on a daily basis means weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learnt a lot, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s some things that have really stood out: 1. Leave activities open, children are hugely imaginative, broad activities allow them to be creative whilst learning lots. 2. When possible, use kits or real electronics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; physical outputs give a higher sense of achievement and aid understanding. 3. New technology with lots of possibilities can sometimes overwhelm students; leading to confusion as to what to achieve and frustration. So do everything in fun, bite sized pieces. For your free copy of our programming cheat sheet, a lovely set of picture definitions of common programming terms, give us a call on 0845 299 6003 or email us at Also, if you have any questions about programming, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll answer them or point you in the right direction. We are highly experienced in teaching programming in a creative way, engaging all types of students, so if you are looking for resources, or expertise it could be worth getting in touch. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re happy to give you some free advice, answer your questions and save you some time. To find out more about our robot workshops, staff training and robot kits visit

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There’s no doubt that the Stemettes are challenging a real societal problem – the declining numbers of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) fields. It began in the 60s at least, when the numbers of women working in technology began to decrease, and it has got declined ever since, with numbers of women working in STEM decreasing year on year from 2011 to 2012 by four per cent. The problem, though having come into the limelight in a significant way in the year, has been very well documented in the past 30 years or so. The inspiration for the Stemettes founder and ‘Head Stemette’, Anne-Marie Imafidon, to start the project was the Kings College Longitudinal Report – ASPIREs project – and a report published by WISE. In this, the decline in women working in STEM fields was quantified and problematised. Of the girls who do study STEM at university, two thirds of them will not go into a STEM career path – many of them aren’t convinced of the ways they can leverage their STEM skills to get into a fulfilling STEM career, or are unaware of the options available to them. A gap in knowledge and exposure that organisations such as the Stemettes aim to tackle, and university careers services and STEM departments should be doing more to combat. TAKING ACTION In 2013 when the Stemettes began, there was certainly more report-writing than action-doing going on. The tendency was to comment on the problem with increasing concern instead of acting on the problem with increasing urgency. However, this is changing. More and more, we are coming across amazing and inspirational teachers (men and women) who are pushing their girls to seriously consider a career in STEM; they work with the Stemettes to put on hackathons, they invite amazing female scientists into their schools to give talks, they run day long workshops and they get their girls on-board. One such teacher is Fiona Kempton from Norwich High School, who wants to put on a series of Hackathons for other schools in the Norwich area. Also, Rosemary Russell, from the Ursuline Academy Ilford, recently took a group of girls from London to the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. While there, they won the CREST Award for Communication and Real World Context.

Working with schools and corporates, the Stemettes take a different approach to most – this is why we have a wide base of schools and companies with whom we work. Based on experience on similar schemes when she was younger, and observations of organisations overseas we have experience in running the most high impact and effective events when it comes to inspiring girls, aged five and up, to seriously consider going into a STEM career. ACHIEVING RESULTS Through panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring (launching later this year), our Little and Big Stemettes meet all sorts of amazing women who work across the entire breadth of STEM. We go into schools, but we prefer to take the girls out of school and get them into the offices of a STEM employer to show them where they could be working; it gets them more engaged and has a bigger impact. From gamers, to weapons analysts, to biochemical engineers, to women working in tech at big multinational corporates, to a Maths MSc student. After just one highly interactive interaction with the Stemettes, the results are immediately visible – 22 per cent more girls want to pursue a career in STEM. Equally, we see real and tangible results. One of our little Stemettes, Kamille, travelled to Oxford from Kent on both days of our autumn hackathon last year. She did such a great job and coded up such a wonderful product that one of the supporters on the day felt compelled to offer her an internship at his company there and then. That is the Stemettes

Written by Jacquelyn Guderley, stemette

A new scheme is working to get more women into careers in science and technology by starting in the classroom. Jacquelyn Guderley of the Stemettes talks about how it works

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success story – and it can be achieved through a one-time Stemettes intervention. And with our Student to Stemette mentoring programme kicking off in June this year, there will be more where that came from. All of the girls who take part in the mentoring programme will have monthly meet-ups with a woman working in STEM at Deutsche Bank and also take part in a week long Spring Week of work experience. Girls will experience what it is really like to work in STEM and also have the opportunity to fly out to the USA free of charge for the Grace Hopper Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona – the largest tech event specifically for women in technology in the world. SCALING UP FOR THE STEMETTES This year is all about scaling up for the Stemettes and taking what we do outside of London. Already taking part in and running events in London, Manchester, Cambridge, Newcastle, Norwich, Hertfordshire, Portsmouth and many more, we are a good deal nearer to bringing the Stemettes to schools all over the country. We know the value of the work we are doing. We have a current computer science student who sits on our panels and helps at our events who says she is one girl out of hundreds who take computer science at her university. She said when she discovered the Stemettes she wanted to cry – she felt like she had “come home”. ! FURTHER INFORMATION



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The Children’s Food Trust shares advice on how primary schools can overcome obstacles to implementing the new rules on free meals in the Children and Families Bill in September

What does the recent Children and Families Bill mean for schools? The Children’s Food Trust has enthusiastically welcomed the new government legislation which means that from September, primary school head teachers will have a legal duty to provide free lunches for children at their school. The Children’s Food Trust has been supporting educational and children’s settings to provide better meals since the organisation was set up in 2007 and is the ideal choice to help schools prepare for the implementation of universal infant free school meals in September. Chief Executive Linda Cregan, said: “The Children’s Food Trust has always believed all children have the right to have a nutritious balanced diet and putting both the funding

The n’s Childre t has THE OPTIONS s u r AVAILABLE T d o Fo w e n The Trust has already d e worked with local welcomon which i t authorities in a s l l s legi mary schoo Newham, Durham i r p s l n a and Wolverhampton a g e e m eal to implement the will hav provide universal free school duty to nches meal pilot, but now its hugely experienced advisors free lu

and legislation in place is a huge step towards this. Making sure our infant school children have access to healthy school meals is vital for them to stand the best chance of reaching their full potential and growing-up healthy.” For many schools providing free school meals for all infant children from September will be a huge challenge but the Children’s Food Trust’s new advice service is set to provide them with the support they need to develop and improve their catering facilities.

are ready to help make free school meals the norm nationwide. All infant and primary schools in England can now access support online or contact the advice line, where they will be provided with support to get ready to deliver free school meals for all infant pupils. #



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FREE SCHOOL MEALS " For schools that need extra help, there are a number of options including further telephone advice or face to face visits by specialist professional advisors, and linking up with other schools who have already made successful changes to learn from their good practice. Linda’s advice to school’s embarking on this free school meals journey is: “You need a plan. Bring together a project team including your business manager, a governor, your school cook, local authority, caterer – if you have one – and at least one parent. “Communicate often, and well, with your parents and don’t forget to consult your pupils – their views can be very helpful. “Read and digest the School Food Plan, and use all the resources available through website like ours.” PREPARING FOR CHANGE Alongside the bill, the government have announced funding in the shape of a £2.30 allocation for each pupil per meal, £150 million capital funding and transitional funding for one year of £22.5 million to support small schools. Amongst other things, schools will have to think about changes to staffing, how they can forecast the amount of meals they’ll need to provide and how to cater to special


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For many schools providing free school meals for all infant children from September will be a huge challenge but the Children’s Food Trust’s new advice service is set to provide them with the support they need dietary needs. Linda said: “A common concern is how schools will manage the increased number of children eating school meals. “A lot of this worry stems from lack of space in the dining room. Our advisors are supporting schools to help them think about ways they could make space, including changing the layout of tables and chairs to make things flow better, making lunchtimes longer or perhaps staggering lunchtimes for different year groups. Every school’s situation is different so our approach is to provide advice that is specific to their circumstances. “One size fits all” doesn’t work here.” For schools that don’t have a kitchen or inadequate kitchen facilities, Linda suggested that: “Schools should contact their local authority to find out what funding is available and if they are able to receive any of the capital fund made available by the Department for Education. Academy trusts have also been able to access funding through the Academies

Capital Maintenance Fund and we expect the outcome of those bids to be known soon. “There are lots of options, like siting a “Pod” mobile kitchen on site if there is space, bringing in food from a hub kitchen or as a very last resort offering cold food items that meet the standards for school food.” SUPPORTING SCHOOLS The Children’s Food Trust and LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) have teamed up with a range of delivery partners to provide the tailored expert advice to infant schools. Anne Bull, LACA National Chair commented: “The timeline to have everything in place by September may seem daunting to some schools but we know that they are working hard with parents and staff to improve school meals whilst caterers and government are collaborating to improve standards and #



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" take up. Our new advice and support service will bring together the best experts and practical advice to help caterers, teachers and schools prepare for this major change.” Despite the obstacles, Linda says that the benefits of schools meals are clear to all to see. Linda said: “There’s no doubt that this is going to be a challenge for some schools. But we also know the changes are possible with the right help and support. “We know that when all children are offered good quality school meals for free, more families opt for these meals because they become the norm. This also has a knock on effect with children not just showing big improvements in their diet and eating habits but also displaying real improvements in their school results. “These benefits are particularly important for those children living in under privileged families: we know many of these children aren’t reaching their full potential at school, and their lunch can be their only proper meal of the day. This legislation will ensure all children in infant schools benefit.” Support is also available to help junior, secondary, academy, free schools, PRUs and schools for pupils with special educational needs that have very low take up, to increase the number of children having school meals. Run by the Children’s Food Trust with its partner organisations, this support is available to schools in the South East, South West and East of England and for will help just under half of the 2000 eligible state funded schools in England.


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“By involving young people and listening to their views we can create the environment and menu that they want” Rob Rees MBE, chairman, Children’s Food Trust LISTENING TO PUPILS’ NEEDS The Food for Life Partnership will be working with schools, cooks and caterers across the North of England, the Midlands and London. The support includes a series of ‘Train The Trainer’ courses which will give local authority or academy trust staff the training, skill and expertise to deliver the Children’s Food Trust’s Small Step Improvement programme’ to eligible schools in their area. In addition junior schools will receive the ‘Food Dudes Dining Experience’ and secondary schools will receive training in developing a bespoke marketing programme from Elygra Marketing Services. This will help schools to ensure their menus and dining facilities appeal to the young people using them. The Children’s Food Trust’s chairman and professional chef, Rob Rees MBE, says: “It’s a fantastic time to be involved with school food. “Through my work at the Children’s Food Trust I’ve seen the problems schools have every day to deliver high quality, nutritious, interesting food to young people. There are so many competing demands on young people’s time at school they often end up eating lunch on the go or at mid-morning breaks and sitting down with friends to eat a healthy meal is often not their priority. There is no doubting that increasing uptake in school dinners is a big ask that no one should underestimate.

“We need to look at how we market our dining experience to children. By involving young people and listening to their views we can create the environment and menu that they want. Just as a commercial restaurant needs to design its whole dining experience to attract its target audience so academies and schools need to do the same. We need to make sure our school meals are an attractive proposition next to all the competition both in and outside school. “For some it will take a shift in mind-set, we need to think of our children as customers and as soon as we do this it suddenly makes more sense what we need to do to increase take up. “By listening to young people academies and schools can gather vital insight such as what the drivers are behind children’s decision making when it comes to school meals. For example we know just as adults like to go out for a coffee or meal to relax or to not only meet friends but build new relationships, so a well delivered school meal gives all the same rewards to children. We also know these factors come above nutrition and refuelling in most young people’s priority list. The food, dining room and overall experience must meet the children’s expectations.” ! FURTHER INFORMATION




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From September 2014, all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England will be eligible for free school meals. The Children’s Food Trust answer schools’ pressing questions on how this will affect meal provision


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Who should receive a free school meal? From September 2014, all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England will be eligible for free school meals. This includes infant pupils in maintained infant and primary schools, free schools, academies, schools for pupils with special educational needs and pupil referral units. Pupils at maintained nursery schools, direct grant nursery schools, independent schools and general hospital schools are not included. Free school meals will also continue to be available to pupils (including infants) whose parents receive certain benefits and who are registered to receive one. This advice and support is for schools that are getting ready to provide universal free school meals for infants. For information about the existing free school meal provision for older pupils visit the Department for Education website or our website. Free meals will also be extended from September 2014 to disadvantaged students in further education and sixth-form colleges to mirror entitlement in school sixth forms.

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Why are free school meals for all infant pupils being introduced? The government is funding schools in England to provide every child in reception, year 1 and year 2 with a nutritious meal at lunch time. The aim is to improve academic attainment and save families money. Universal free school meals for primary school pupils were a key recommendation in the School Food Plan (www.schoolfoodplan. com), which was produced independently for the Department for Education. The School Food Plan presented evidence that universal free school meals leads to positive improvements in health, attainment and social cohesion, and help families with the cost of living. How do we get started? You need a plan. Bring together a project team including your business manager, a governor, your school cook, local authority, caterer (if you have one) and at least one parent. Communicate often, and well, with your parents and don’t forget to consult your pupils – their views can be very helpful. Read and digest the School Food Plan, including the Head Teacher’s checklist. How much money will my school receive to provide free school meals for all infants? Schools will be allocated a flat rate of £2.30 per meal taken, based on actual take-up by newly eligible infant #




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FREE SCHOOL MEALS " pupils, which will be measured in the Schools Census from next year. For infant pupils who were already registered to claim free school meals, schools will receive whatever your current rate is. The £2.30 flat rate is to pay for the meals of pupils who were not already registered for free school meals. DfE recognise some smaller schools will face particular challenges. Transitional funding totaling £22.5million will be made available in 2014-15 to small schools, which will be provided before the start of the new academic year. There is also £150million available for capital funding to help schools purchase kitchen and dining equipment. David Laws, the Schools Minister, has written to Local Authority Directors of Children’s Services with details of how this money should be allocated. Local Authorities have been asked to prioritise capital expenditure according to their local circumstances. They have been encouraged to consider how this funding could be used to improve school kitchen and dining facilities, and to support creative approaches to meeting the increase in demand for school food. We know that many Local Authorities are already making contact with their schools, either through their catering teams, or direct to schools that have in-house or other private catering arrangements. We encourage you to make contact with your Local Authority if you have not yet heard from them. Academy trusts can also access capital funding through the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund. There is further information in the Department for Education advice documents. How will the Pupil Premium be calculated when all infants are receiving a free meal? From September 2014, there are going to be two types of pupils receiving free meals. All infants will automatically receive free school meals but there will be pupils (including infants) who are eligible for free school meals because their parents receive certain benefits. The parents/carers of disadvantaged pupils should still be encouraged to sign up for free school meals and complete the paperwork to ensure that the school receives Pupil Premium funding. Pupil Premium allocations will continue to be calculated using data collected during the January census of schools and pupils. The amount a school receives in the financial year 2014 to 2015 will depend on how many eligible pupils are registered for free school meals on the day of the school census. It will not be affected by the introduction of free school meals for all infant school children. Schools must continue to encourage parents of eligible children to register their child for free school meals to ensure your school receives the maximum pupil premium allocation for that year. For the financial year 2015 to 2016, the same criteria currently used to assess

FSM eligibility (i.e. receipt of qualifying benefits) will continue to be used to assess whether a pupil qualifies for the pupil premium (£1,300 per child at present). Data on FSM-eligible pupils will continue to be collected by the department annually, through the School Census (for mainstream settings) and the Alternative Provision census (for non-mainstream settings).

also provide them with a simple form to let you know if they plan to take up the offer of a free school meal, which can help you plan and manage the increase in school meal numbers. The Department for Education, Children’s Food Trust and other organisations will also be promoting the free school meals for infants in the media and on websites and other communications.

Do schools have to provide free school meals for all infants? Yes. This is now a legal requirement and there will be an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which is currently before Parliament, to place a legal duty on primary schools to offer free meals to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 from this September. The legislation will also include a power to extend the policy to additional year groups in future. Existing entitlements to free school meals for disadvantaged pupils in nursery classes and at key stages 2-4 will continue as now.

How can I get pupils and parents involved in planning for free school meals for infants? Some families will be aware of the plan from news reports, but will be keen to hear how it’s going to work in your school, others might not know anything about it. A few lines in your newsletter or on your website, explaining that you’re working up your plan and will keep them updated, will reassure them. Get a group of parents and pupils together who can be a school food focus group in the coming year – they’ll be a great source of feedback and ideas. Find out what your current customers think (children and parents) and act on their feedback. A simple survey of pupils can shed light on all sorts of issues – tackle them now and you’ll be streets ahead for next year. The Children’s Food Trust Learning Network has an online training course to help primary schools involve parents and pupils in school food, which is full of tips and resources.

How can I find out how many meals we’ll have to provide from September? The simplest thing to do is ask parents of Reception and Year 1 pupils if they plan to switch to school meals from September (when they will become Year 1 and 2 pupils). This can be done by using a simple form with a tick box to indicate interest. This will help you to understand if your school meal numbers will increase and help you to plan. You can do the same when parents of new Reception pupils come to school for information evenings. How do I know how many staff I will need when school meal numbers increase? For catering staff, you can estimate that each cook can produce around ten meals per hour, but the best thing to do would to talk to your school cook or catering provider and ask them how many staff they will need, once you’ve


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How can we manage the increased number of children eating school meals? Look at the space in your dining room. Could you accommodate lots more children having school meals? Are there ways you could make space? Could you change the layout of your tables and chairs to make things flow better? Will you need to make lunchtime longer? Will you need to think about staggering lunchtimes for different year groups?

School lunch menus are designed for the majority of the school population, so some pupils with special dietary needs may need to be catered for individually found out how many parents plan to take up the offer of free school meals for infants. You can also use this to work out the number of lunchtime supervisors and support staff such as teachers you’ll need to cover meal times. How do I let parents know that school meals are free for all infants? The simplest thing to do would be to send a letter to parents and let them know. You can include information in newsletters, on your school website, through text messaging, notice boards or any other ways that you usually communicate with parents. It’s a good idea to

Reducing the size of your menu can really help when you’re serving lots of children – find out how your pupils would feel about having fewer choices. Will children still be able to bring in a packed lunch if they wish to? As a head teacher, you have the power to decide whether you want to allow pupils to bring in a packed lunch instead of taking up their free school meal. We would recommend introducing a healthy packed lunch policy for those who do continue to do so and for older pupils who choose to bring in a packed lunch. #



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FREE SCHOOL MEALS " Is there funding available to help my school build the facilities needed to provide free school meals for all infants? The Department for Education has made £150 million capital funding available to support the universal infant free school meals entitlement in the 2014 to 2015 financial year. You can find out how much funding is available in your area here. Contact your local authority to find out how to apply for this funding. My school doesn’t have a kitchen or has inadequate kitchen facilities, what can I do? There are several options open to schools including: applying for capital funding; siting a ‘pod’ (mobile kitchen) on site if there is space; bringing in food from a hub kitchen; or as a last resort bringing cold food items that meet the standards for school food. How do we cater for children with allergies or special dietary requirements? School lunch menus are designed for the majority of the school population, so some pupils with special dietary needs may need to be catered for individually. It is up to the school to decide whether this is feasible, although every effort should be made to cater for all pupils’ needs. Schools are not required by law to cater for children with special dietary needs but they are encouraged to do so. We would recommend that schools develop a policy and procedure to ensure that a request for a special diet is handled in an efficient and appropriate way. It is good practice for these requirements to be written into any contracts that are developed with caterers. Catering providers and local authorities may already have policies and procedures in place.

period of time then they will need to explain the reasons for this to pupils and parents. Why has a meal price of £2.30 been chosen? The Children’s Food Trust’s most recent survey estimate of £2.30 for a primary


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increase in take up, and found that caterers’ prices in the pilot areas did not increase over the course of the pilot while they did elsewhere. The authors of the independent School Food Plan – Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent – estimate that there will be economies of scale as take

As part of the work to implement the School Food Plan, schools that do not have to comply with the regulations are being asked to make a voluntary commitment to do so school meal has been used. This is the best available data, but we know that actual costs vary and in some cases schools will be able to deliver extra meals for less than this. Can you assume economies of scale? The evaluation of the free school meals pilots in Durham and Newham suggested that economies of scale may be generated by an

up in a school increases. They cite evidence from the Association for Public Service Excellence that there is great variation in productivity in school catering, with gaps in meal production per staff hour that could be closed if take-up increases. ! FURTHER INFORMATION

Is the free school meal required to be a hot meal? The legal requirement on schools is to provide a lunchtime meal that meets the school food standards, where they apply. It is important that all meals meet these standards and a cold meal is very unlikely to do. It is expected that pupils will routinely be offered a hot meal option. The standards apply to all LA maintained schools. Academies set up between 2008 and 2010 are required to comply with the existing regulations. Academies and free schools set up after 2010 are currently exempt. The government will be introducing a requirement for new academies to comply with the school food standards regulations through their funding agreements. As part of the work to implement the School Food Plan, schools that do not have to comply with the regulations are being asked to make a voluntary commitment to do so. If having explored all options a school finds that it is impossible to provide hot meals for a






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Over a quarter of UK schools are now taking significant steps towards becoming fully cashless by collecting payments from parents online. Find out why two London schools chose to join them... There are clear issues around pupils bringing cash and cheques into school to pay for school meals, trips and clubs. Cheques are easily lost and cash can be spent in the corner shop on the way to school or act as a trigger for bullying. For a growing number of primary and secondary schools, online payments have become the preferred way of ensuring that parents’ money is received by school safely and spent in the way it was intended – on a healthy school meal, a school trip or after school activities and clubs. Suzanne Fenn, School Bursar at Wembley Primary School in Brent explained why the school decided to take online payments from parents: ‘We have over 900 students at the school and so much time was being lost to collecting, banking and reconciling cash.’ In Lewisham, Gareth Hudson, School Business Manager at Holbeach Primary added: ‘Managing cash was costing us a significant amount of time which could be better utilised on more important tasks.’ WHAT NEXT? Keen to go fully cashless, Gareth researched the online payments options available to Holbeach, then reviewed their requirements against what was on offer in the market place. Gareth outlined the key reasons ParentPay stood out: ‘We selected ParentPay partly because of its integration with our current MIS/Finance system making on-going management simple and helping us avoid any unnecessary duplication of work.’ Suzanne also reviewed online payments options and after talking to other schools and doing some research they chose ParentPay. Suzanne stated: ‘ParentPay had a good reputation and it was also the only system proven to integrate with PayPoint. This meant that parents who still wanted to pay cash could do so at their local store whilst still allowing us to totally remove cash from our school. It was also important to us that ParentPay had already proved popular with parents within ethnically diverse catchment areas such as ours. From the start we took payments for all items including school meals, our trips and extra-curricular activities.’ Suzanne explained the steps taken to become a cashless school: ‘We did a lot of parental education to ensure parents understood that removing cash would help release time which would be better used supporting their children

whilst making their own lives easier too.’ Suzanne added: ‘Parents found the system easy to use. Having the ability to pay online actually encouraged many parents who rarely used the internet to do so! Gone are the days where we had queues of parents waiting to pay outside the school office. Our school meal numbers have gone up and we have saved up to four days of administration time per week. ’ GETTING IT RIGHT FIRST TIME Suzanne has advice for other schools: ‘At the start make sure you do your homework and select a tried and tested system already proven to be popular with parents. Parental take-up is key and we are seeing real benefits at Wembley.’ Gareth outlined some of the immediate benefits gained by parents and school staff alike: ‘All our income is now stored in the system and totally transparent. Parents can pay 24/7 whilst also seeing up to date balances without having to send cash into school and as a result queries have been reduced to a minimum.’ Maximising parental take-up to ensure that the school made the most out of ParentPay was also important to the Senior Leadership Team at Holbeach. Gareth commented on the steps they

put in place to get parents on board: ‘It was simple really, we followed a plan and used the promotional materials made available to us by ParentPay. We made sure we promoted the system to parents at every opportunity we got, ensuring parents understood the benefits ParentPay offered the school as a whole.’ Gareth added: ‘We also made sure that right from the start we didn’t just collect income for school meals but also for clubs, trips and other extra-curricular activity ensuring we saved time and parents had a one stop shop.’ RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS The Cashless Schools white paper includes advice, research and real case studies provided by LACA partners (formerly Local Authority Catering Association), industry experts, schools and local authorities who have successfully deployed ‘fully cashless’ solutions. The paper also includes a checklist to help ensure schools choose an online payments system which is safe and certified as industry standards compliant – reducing risks of financial fraud. L FURTHER INFORMATION Download your copy of the Cashless Schools whitepaper from



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Language study is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Justin Sycamore explains how the use of technology can enable effective language learning for every pupil There is an unavoidable truth that learning another language takes time and patience and is typically deemed a tough school subject, yet its benefits are far reaching. Language learning is not just about learning a set of vocabulary; it comes with an understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Students who learn another language show greater cognitive development in creativity and higher order thinking skills such as problem solving, conceptualisation and reasoning. Typically, they also tend to have greater self confidence than their monolingual peers. In addition, as international business continues to become a norm in the global economy, it’s important that the UK workforce has the necessary language

Some mobile apps for learning language vocabulary enable access to native speaker audio files. These develop pronunciation and help students perfect the intonation of words crucial for many languages. Making the most of mobile learning provides students with an engaged and active role in their education journey, which in turn, allows language learning to become so integrated into their daily routines that it doesn’t feel like work. With increased wi-fi in schools and many opting to roll out 1:1 device schemes, increased internet access allows language teachers to make use of online specialist language software in class. Text-reconstruction software allows teachers to provide students

Students who learn another language show greater cognitive development in creativity and higher order thinking skills such as problem solving, conceptualisation and reasoning skills to establish meaningful relationships with others from different countries. These are but a few examples, yet they demonstrate it’s in our best interests to help students recognise the value of speaking another language. Technology is an excellent facilitator for this, especially given it’s prevalence in young people’s lives, and can help speed up the learning process. TAILORED TO PUPILS’ NEEDS To create an environment conducive to language learning, educators will usually set tasks that support the three key learning styles – visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Mobile devices can support this, broadening the way they teach and the way students learn. Language learning apps give students the opportunity to practice vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation - the ‘hard graft’ of language learning – anytime, anywhere. This makes the foundations of learning a language more engaging, and allows students to progress at their own pace.

various texts in which letters or words are either missing or scrambled. This is an effective teaching strategy that supports students to focus on the parts of language within the context of the whole text. Multimedia simulation software incorporates video, sound, graphics and text which allows learners to explore computerised microworlds with exposure to a language in a meaningful context. This gives students greater control over their learning experience, helping them to actively construct knowledge. EFFECTIVE RESOURCES Furthermore, through their internet enabled smart devices, students can gain access to online foreign newspapers to aid language learning. Teachers could consider asking students to translate interesting news stories, not only improving their vocabulary and enabling them to become more independent learners, but allowing them to see things from a different perspective and read about events that are not necessarily reported in the news

they are used to watching and reading. Other online resources available via students’ mobile devices include videos and animations, which may of particular interest to visual learners and songs by native language speakers, useful for auditory learners – the types of resources not usually available in traditional language lessons. Another way of increasing independent learning, while simultaneously improving pronunciation, extending speaking skills and deepening understanding, is to ask students to create their own digital language learning content. Teachers may wish to ask students to record their own audio files using their personal tablets or smartphones to revise vocabulary, or work together on developing online language newsletters or magazines, the latter of which improves students’ general presentation skills as well.

Written by Justin Sycamore, Vocab Express


MOTIVATING STUDENTS Competition can play a key role in the classroom to stimulate, engage and create a sense of enjoyment around learning, as well as establishing interaction with peers. It can also prove an effective way of engaging lower ability students to develop a stronger interest in languages. With this in mind, schools may wish to participate in online inter-school language championships which use a real-time points and scoreboard system to track student progress at a glance and motivate them to improve their score. Many schools may not have the time to look for new language learning technology tools and become familiar with them. Some may also be concerned about relinquishing control to their techsavvy students. But at the end of the day, education technology is here to stay. Language educators must seek to create opportunities for authentic and meaningful language learning both in and outside the classroom. By using new technologies, we can better prepare students for the cross‑cultural interactions increasingly required for academic, vocational and personal success. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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As a new SEND Code of Practice awaits publication, Jane Friswell of nasen summarises the challenges facing schools as the sector undergoes major reform

Written by Jane Friswell, ceo nasen


There are real challenges around special educational needs (SEN) funding; many schools have difficulties in demonstrating what they are providing and what their package of SEN support is for particular groups of children. The more support a child requires, the more detailed we have to be in describing the nature of those arrangements in school, including specific costings. So schools need to improve their ability to map out the strands of their provision. Schools which require access to top-up funding will need to provide their local authorities with this kind of evidence to access the money. If they don’t have that information ready, this will become an area of tension. The dialogue is happening already, as the new funding arrangements have been in place since last April. Certainly from our perspective, there are some concerning anecdotal stories that schools are struggling to identify the level of provision and the costs that will enable them to make a case for access to additional funds and the necessary provision required for the child or young person. Another key challenge is around curriculum reform in that we are moving towards a more content-driven curriculum. Where schools are working really hard to prompt, engage and improve access to the curriculum, this could present some real challenges for teachers in terms of enabling all the children in their setting to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, while being really confident of the progress their pupils are making. Now that the National Curriculum levels have been removed, schools are well placed to use all the information at their disposal to inform the assessment picture for where pupils are at. It is important that schools are clear about the starting point, destination and levels of progress for all of their pupils. There is a third area of challenge around the implementation of in-school SEN arrangements. With the removal of School Action and School Action Plus from September this year, many staff will feel out of their comfort zone. Schools may feel that with the loss of a familiar structure they may not be able to deliver all that they need to under the new requirements for SEN. My view is that the removal of these structures will allow schools to have more freedom in how they interpret their own arrangements to identify, assess and deliver the provision for children and young people with SEN. There is an opportunity here for schools to become very creative in demonstrating what that provision may look like by applying a graduated approach. The key to success is the core investment that settings make E

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SEN GUIDANCE  to their whole-school provision, then they need to look at their targeted and specialist provision. If they do this, then over time we should see a refinement of that targeted provision, as the majority of needs will be met by high-quality whole-school provision. Finally, schools also need to understand the impact on parents, carers and families as they align provision to meet the expectations of the new Code of Practice, and ensure that they are included along the way. On a practical level, from September we will still have pupils with statements and pupils with new education, health and care plans. Schools will be running a dual system with the expectation that they will scrutinise and report back on their outcomes. KEY FEATURES MAKE THE DIFFERENCE The key element is a whole-school inclusive ethos that says we welcome all children, parents, carers and families and see them as the cornerstone of our school community. We value your thoughts and opinions and will use them to drive improvement in our school offer. School leaders need to promote a culture that says when you arrive at school in the morning, we welcome you, are pleased to see you and are privileged to work with you. This requires a workforce that is highly skilled, and this includes being sensitive to how a special educational need and/or disability has a direct impact on how a child learns. We need a curriculum that is broadly balanced to meet the needs of all but highly focused so that it can be personalised where appropriate. To do this, school leaders require a long term view of where children are heading, and the school must be confident in its contribution to the children’s journey towards being independent, productive, happy and confident adults. Making the connections and understanding our contribution to the key milestones in a child’s development have to be seen hand in hand with how we support parents, carers and families in making that journey together. CPD IS EVER MORE CRUCIAL Clearly with the SEN reform agenda workforce development is going to be a key piece of action – not just improving the quality of provision but also supporting those professionals who need to extend their abilities to become the adaptive flexible thinkers that we need. Successive governments have fostered a sense of autonomy in schools, with the freedom to make key decisions. What CPD looks like in schools is now very much down to the headteacher. The critical information around the support for the workforce is how to provide effective CPD. Nasen is exceptionally well placed to provide that practical edge and to illustrate what that looks like. For example, as a newly qualified teacher (NQT), what should I be expected to do when I may have received as little as

About the author Jane Friswell joined nasen in 2013, having professionally supported the work of the organisation in a consultancy capacity from 2011. Prior to joining the organisation, Jane worked as a teacher, headteacher and in local authority advisory roles.

six hours’ training in SEN in my three- or four-year initial teacher training course? I will be expected to perform in a classroom and I will need to adapt the curriculum to

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looking to work for schools, with schools. The timing of nasen Live 2014 could not be better, given that we should have our definitive Code of Practice for SEN. We will

The key element is a whole-school inclusive ethos that says we welcome all children, parents, carers and families and see them as the cornerstone of our school community ensure that it is accessible for all the children I am teaching. This is a huge ask of any teacher, never mind one who is new in post. If we can get that right for the NQT community, what springs from that will help to inform what we do for more experienced colleagues. We need a CPD programme that can be tailored to the needs of individuals, local settings and broader national imperatives. I am not saying it is happening in all schools, but there is the potential for our most vulnerable children in school to have their needs met by the most vulnerable staff. The expectation to deliver high-quality teaching and learning cannot be seen in isolation from the need to provide high‑quality CPD for the whole school community. We will be looking to address CPD but not with a ‘top down’ model – nasen will be

clearly be preparing for an implementation phase of arrangements, and nasen Live is the first of a number of implementation events where nasen will be providing copies of the Code to delegates, along with a two-day comprehensive seminar and workshop programme built around the SEN Code, briefing sessions from the DfE, and the launch of a unique central portal for educators to access SEN resources from the leading voluntary sector organisations, the SEND Gateway. The nasen SEN Leadership Conference also takes place the day before nasen Live, so the offer for schools and school leadership teams is incredibly strong. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Sport & Fitness Written by Sarah Hall, Football Foundation


Britain’s alarming rates of childhood obesity can be partly attributed to a lack of quality sporting facilities. Sarah Hall of the Football Foundation outlines strategies to fight this trend Obesity is on the increase with growing access to fast foods and a tendency towards less active lifestyles, and disappointingly it is England that has the fastest rising rate of obesity of any country in Western Europe. The latest Health Survey for England (HSE) data shows us that over 1 in 10 children under 10 in England are obese. For children in schools this can be a real issue, with weight cited as one of the main triggers of bullying and low self-esteem. Both of these are proven to effect students’ work and can often lead to truancy, with research suggesting one in three young people who experience bullying skip school. In later life, weight issues can have a severe impact on health, leaving people at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and more likely to develop several types of cancer. As well as the obvious health risks, obesity related illnesses are estimated to cost the already struggling National Health Service £4.2 billion per year, a figure that is projected to double in the next 35 years. Drugs for Type II Diabetes alone, a condition linked directly to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, now accounts for 8.4 per cent of the NHS medicines bills, a cost of £725 million a year of taxpayer’s money. POOR FACILITIES It seems little coincidence that alongside one of the highest rates of obesity on Western Europe, we also have some of the poorest public sports facilities. A recent grassroots football survey by Sky Sports showed that 46 per cent of players rated sports facilities in their area as “poor” or “very poor”. This partly explains figures from Sport England which suggests grassroots



participation levels within football have dropped considerably over the last 10 years with one in three being put off playing football because of poor playing surfaces. When participants were then asked what they thought the best solution to improving sports facilities was, 28 per cent suggested the installation of third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs). It’s a simple formula really. With more quality facilities readily available, more people will get involved in sport. It is hardly surprising children turn their back on sport if they are forced to use cold, damp changing rooms in the middle of January, not to mention the thousands who go home from school disappointed by yet another cancelled game due to water-logged pitches.

in 2010 to build a new 3G AGP due to high demand for sports facilities in the area. The nearest 3G AGP was usually fully booked and was over 10 miles away. With news that the facility was going to be built, over 50 local football teams immediately came forward hoping to use the pitch. The site was opened later in 2010, and since then the total number of users has risen from 1,479 to 1,895 – an increase of nearly 30 per cent. This demonstrates the high demand for better quality sporting facilities and the encouragement they provide for healthy living. Tewkesbury School in Gloucestershire is another example of the positive impact sports facilities can have on participation. In 2009, the Foundation awarded the school £285,219 to build a new 3G AGP and changing rooms on site. Since the new facilities were opened in 2011, the number of total users has risen by 185, an increase of over 20 per cent. This includes an increase in the number of girls playing sport on the site from 82 to 108. The high-tech design of these AGPs enables sport to be played in all-weather and performs like natural grass. We need more sports facilities like these to provide a space for people to play during the wet, cold and dark winter months – a problem that England is renowned for facing.

It is not ng surprisi n their tur childrensport if they back oned to use cold are forc ging rooms chan dle of d i m e h in t January

GRASSROOTS PROJECTS This is where the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity, can help. Through its annual analysis of sites, the Foundation demonstrates that sports participation increased by over 12.4 per cent at facilities that had been redeveloped or upgraded through Foundation grants. Since its inception 14 years ago, the Football Foundation, with funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England, has developed over 1,600 grassroots facility projects, with nearly 500 of these being 3G AGPs. As a perfect example, the Foundation awarded Witchford Village College £121,100

ECONOMIC BENEFIT Through the new £102m Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, also funded by the Government through Sport England, the Foundation is dedicated to addressing the problem of poor sports facilities across the country to encourage a healthy and active

Increasing sports participation will help build a healthier nation, saving the health services time and money, and will set up the strong foundation for the next generation to grow up healthy and active

lifestyle in the nation’s youth. Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport and Equalities, at the launch of the new Fund, said: “This partnership between the Premier League, The FA, Sport England and Government shows what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work together to help strengthen our national game at the grassroots. “The investment of £102 million into

facilities, delivered by the Football Foundation, will encourage many people to get into sport in some of the most deprived areas of the country. Sport has a unique power to change lives for the better and this will make a positive impact in many local communities.” Half of the funding is set to be pumped into floodlit 3G AGPs that will provide first-class playing and coaching surfaces in all weathers day and night – where they are needed most. In addition to helping boost the health of the population, The Foundation also helps the UK economy by generating £7.73 for the economy for every £1 invested. The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) also found that in a sample of 47 facilities projects, the Foundation created 4,992 jobs benefiting over 1,000 local firms. A FITTER NATION Providing better facilities is the solution for beating obesity. Increasing sports participation

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will help build a healthier nation, saving the health services time and money, and will set up the strong foundation for the next generation to grow up healthy and active. Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, highlighted how money invested through the Foundation will help to support a new generation of facilities across the country and added, “Having been a Trustee of the Football Foundation since the very start, I have seen first-hand how these new sports facilities can help to regenerate communities and increase participation amongst those who play our national game.” It makes sense for the health of our sport, the health of our people and the health of our economy but above all want to see the youngsters of this generation out keeping active and enjoying themselves. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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The Youth Sport Trust helps young people identify and nurture their sporting talent. Champion Team GB hockey player Alex Danson talks about the change sport has made in her life One of Team GB’s brightest stars, bronze medal winning hockey player Alex Danson is a keen advocate of school sport. She uses her personal and sporting experiences to inspire young people across the country through her work with free secondary schools initiative Sky Sports Living for Sport and the Youth Sport Trust. Here, Alex explains her journey to London 2012,

its impact and how her lessons learned are now being used to encourage pupils nationwide to get involved in sport. RETURNING TO FORM “Immediately after the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the whole Great Britain ladies’ hockey team recognised that we needed to make radical changes to return to winning form.

Fortunately, we received strong support from UK Sport which subsidised our team. This gave us a huge boost and meant that suddenly we were all able to totally commit to playing hockey for Great Britain. “From the outset, there was a palpable difference in the team. We were all living in Bisham Abbey, training together four days a week, really getting to know each other off the pitch and working towards a common goal – London 2012. The desire for gold began to shape everything we did as a team; we developed the mantra ‘gold mentality’ meaning that any decisions we made were focused on helping us to achieve that medal. “Immediately, our hard work started to pay off. We improved consistently and so much that our world ranking increased from seventh to third, and we went into the Olympics feeling confident in our ability as a team. A home Games meant so much to me personally, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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About Sky Sports Living for Sport Sky Sports Living for Sport an initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, uses sport stars and sport skills to improve the lives of thousands of young people in secondary schools across the UK. Secondary schools can learn more about Sky Sports Living for Sport and sign up today at “I am lucky enough to meet a lot of young people through my work with Sky Sports Living for Sport and the Youth Sport Trust’s Young Ambassadors programme and Step into Sport camp. Young Ambassadors is all about developing young people as role models and Step into Sport is supporting young disabled people to be leaders in sport, Sky Sports Living for Sport encourages young people to develop important life skills through sport. To be able to share my story and experiences with students across the country is a real privilege. “When I visit schools, I share both my sporting experiences and life experiences that have come with them. It is very easy to be put on a pedestal as an Olympic medal holder but I remind pupils that I am just a normal person, and that everything I have achieved has come from hard work. “I truly believe that there is some element of sport that everyone can enjoy. The wide variety of physical activity that schools offer helps pupils to find the right type of involvement for them. This is something I try to add to in my visits to schools as an Athlete Mentor; leadership, organisational and planning skills are important life skills that can be learned through sport.

“Sport has transformed my life, helped me achieve things I could never have imagined possible, and aided me in the development of important life skills”  lost our semi-final against Argentina. We still had the chance to earn bronze, and I went into that match full of determination. I remember leading 3-1 with only a few minutes left of the match; in that moment I realised that we were on course for a medal. I couldn’t stop smiling; I was totally overcome with the elation of having won bronze! I knew that as a team, we had performed to our very best, with the best preparation, and we couldn’t have tried any harder. To win a medal of

any colour was a huge achievement; it’s something I am incredibly proud of. ROLE MODELS “When I was growing up, I never dreamed that I could earn an Olympic medal. Yet after four years of dedication, commitment and very hard work preparing for London 2012, I was able to stand on the podium at my home Games claiming bronze. I think that’s a hugely important message for young people today: with hard work you achieve things you never dreamed of.

SKILLS OFF THE FIELD “As I have grown as a hockey player, I have also started to realise that I can achieve other feats that I hadn’t considered before. I am currently studying for a degree with the Open University, despite never being academically gifted in my youth, sport has opened my mind. Everything I have learnt in life has come through sport, and I passionately feel that school sport has real cross curricular value, something which I am delighted to see more and more schools harnessing. “Sport has transformed my life, helped me to achieve things I could never have imagined possible, and aided me in the development of important life skills. If my PE teacher had not encouraged me to pursue hockey, I would not be where I am now. The importance of school sport should not be underestimated.” L FURTHER INFORMATION



Outdoor Education Written by Ales Brooks–Johnson, chief executive, Widehorizons – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION



Taking traditional subjects outdoors can provide a host of learning benefits, writes Alex Brooks-Johnson of Widehorizons September 2014 will see the arrival of the new National Curriculum, to be taught in all maintained Primary and Secondary schools across England. The new curriculum provides teachers and schools with the flexibility to develop their own bespoke curricula to meet their students’ requirements. This reflects the government’s ideal that the National Curriculum should not only slim down the level of prescription teaching in the classroom, but also encourage professional decision-making. Some view the emphasis on the core subjects as overly prescriptive, and argue that children and young people are not being prepared for life and employment in our modern society. We would certainly have liked to see more focus being put on social

   

development and environmental education in the curriculum changes, for example. Utilising the outdoors to facilitate learning is still a popular choice, despite the reduction of local authority provision and funding. Many teachers understand the value and positive impact that outdoor learning can have on a young person’s academic performance and personal wellbeing. Mick Waters, QCA’s Director of Curriculum said, “If you want to increase attendance, improve behaviour and raise achievement, get kids out of the classroom.” CHANGING ATTITUDES There are still some who view time outside of the

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classroom as a one-off activity ‘holiday’ for pupils (a school trip) and, unfortunately, many of those in senior positions in schools mistakenly link time away from the classroom with time not spent learning. We hope that with a new curriculum comes a new attitude towards adventure learning. As we, and others, get better at evaluating and measuring the impact of what we do, more people will understand that outdoor learning can enrich taught subjects back in the classroom. As we develop our own service provision, and fully integrate it into the philosophy of learning, children will have the opportunity to learn through memorable, first-hand experiences that give depth to curriculum subjects. The new curriculum offers many opportunities for schools to enhance their current teaching, using tools to develop and stimulate classroom learning. Below are examples of how adventure learning can enrich traditional classroom subjects as part of the new curriculum. GEOGRAPHY The new geography programme of study for secondary and primary schools contains a renewed emphasis on ‘Geographical Skills and Fieldwork’. This is

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particularly focussed on developing practical skills in fieldwork, compass reading and map reading. What better way to improve your pupils understanding of analysing data about geographical features, or unravelling the mysteries of the compass, than by taking them outside to experience this for themselves? By enabling students to understand the application of classroom‑taught subjects in a practical setting, pupils can develop a working geographical knowledge that is relevant to the real world. Camden Schools for Girls have been using Widehorizons Ty’n y Berth Centre for many years to build upon their geography curriculum, helping to motivate pupils, embed their learning, and improve delivery of their exam syllabus. The main objective of the week-long residential is for students to collect primary data on one of the schools chosen key GCSE exam requirements which could include rivers, sand dunes or forests. They also make learning fun by linking it to exciting and practical adventurous activities. Gary Doyland, geography teacher at Camden School for Girls commented,” The wealth of examples to supplement both the taught curriculum and the excellent locations for practical work means that the centre is a brilliant place for GCSE geographers to come to.” Fieldwork is a critical element of the GCSE course and pupils’ fieldwork projects for


this trip are worth 25 per cent of their GCSE grade. Martin Evans, Head of the Geography Department, commented on the academic impact that the Adventure Learning experience has on his groups, “the wide variety of fieldwork opportunities at the centre mean that it is easy for students to pursue their individual initiatives. The benefits of this are reflected in their high attainment and positive feedback from the examiners”.

Brownhills School, uses outdoor learning to inspire his students commenting, “What better way to engage your group with their GCSE PE criteria than by taking them mountain biking! The class had a great time whilst developing key physical and mental skills.”

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CROSS-CURRICULAR LEARNING The flexibility of the new curriculum gives schools the opportunity to cover any gaps in

Through adventure learning we can immerse children in the history of people and places through experiential learning and role play HISTORY A key outcome of the updated curriculum has been the focus on historical enquiry skills for pupils, adding ‘it should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past’. The best way to help children build a natural curiosity, think critically, and begin to evaluate different historical arguments of how the past is interpreted is to help them relive it. Through adventure learning we can immerse children in the history of people and places through experiential learning and role play. Whilst learning about WWII at an interactive day at Widehorizons Horton Kirby Centre, Claire Hollidge at Crook Lodge Primary stated “children were enthusiastic to share their knowledge and broaden their learning”. Within the new curriculum opportunities to continue teaching the popular unit on the Second World War and this is now also covered within the Local History study option. PHYSICAL EDUCATION With the increase in childhood obesity, and further research in the last decade on the importance of children having more time for Physical Education, this is a key subject in the new curriculum. In March 2014, new studies from JAMA Paediatrics showed that there are “significant positive relationships” between physical activity and academic performance. Overall, the new programme of study for Physical Education provides a slimmer framework, giving more flexibility to schools in delivering their Physical Education programmes. There is also a focus in the programme of study to ‘take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team’. So where does adventure learning fit in to this? Learning through adventure is a powerful tool. Why not complete your PE specification by mountain biking, rock climbing or orienteering in the mountains? A typical programme at any residential outdoor education centre will often include a selection of adventurous activities, but those which concentrate navigation and movement skills are also relevant to the areas of assessment. Ian Mitchell, Director of Excellence at

pupil’s knowledge and understanding across the whole curriculum. This means there are many options to use Adventure Learning creatively to engage students in areas that otherwise they may have found difficult to comprehend, or for revision sessions. A particular area that we find is commonly misunderstood is the benefit of teaching, and learning English, maths and science outdoors. These subjects can be learnt in the same experiential way that geography and history can, using inspirational real life examples and the outdoor environment as a vehicle. MATHS Teaching maths outside of the classroom facilitates kinaesthetic learning. We see many children learning through real life experiences, deepening their understanding of the subject. By taking maths into the outdoors we see clear beneficial outcomes for school groups, including the ability of children to bridge the gap between theory and every day use, driving inquisitive thought processes, a positive attitude to approaching new challenges, and the ability to apply authentic problem solving strategies. Bridge and Walworth Academies asked Widehorizons to develop mixed activity and GCSE revision weekends for borderline C/D candidates. This has had significant positive impact on their final results. The adventurous activities, combined with the teacher-led revision sessions, developed team skills, confidence and practical problem-solving skills, whilst maintaining motivation and commitment to studying. We are developing a long term plan with the school to build more integrated revision sessions, using the outdoors as a learning tool across Maths, Science and Literacy. POSSIBILITIES The possibilities for linking adventure learning to the new curriculum are endless, but doing this effectively whilst helping children achieve key learning outcomes is what makes the difference for excellence in teaching. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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COMBATING RISK AVERSE ATTITUDES TO PLAY Children are quick to reject sterile, uninteresting play areas. Instead they crave stimulating play environments that provide excitement, escapism and most importantly fun. There is plentiful evidence that challenging play provides tangible developmental benefits to children of all ages. As the old adage goes, it’s not climbing up a tree that teaches us lessons in life, it’s coming down that counts. While this might mean a few inevitable bumps and scrapes along the way, it’s the journey we make that is significant and we are all the wiser for it.

Written by Colin MacAdam, API

There is plentiful evidence that challenging play provides tangible developmental benefits to children of all ages, writes Colin MacAdam, vice chair of the Association of Play Industries (API)

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THE BENEFITS OF PLAY The Association of Play Industries (API) represents the interests of manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. It campaigns at the highest levels for recognition of the value of play in policy. API member companies know that when it comes to children’s play, risk assessments needn’t restrict enjoyment, fun and challenge because children enjoy and actively benefit from a degree of risk when playing. API Chairman Michael Hoenigmann says: “Far from wrapping children in cotton wool and removing any exposure to risk, we believe it is our duty as the UK’s leading play companies to provide high-quality play equipment and playgrounds which provide a strong element of challenge. The benefits of managed risk are indisputable.” Around 70 per cent of the API’s members supply the education market, designing, creating and installing learning and play spaces, multi-use games or play areas, play equipment and resources to schools and settings across the UK. All member companies believe strongly in the benefits of managed risk in play and ensure that every play area they design includes plenty of challenging play equipment. If approached with a common sense attitude to health and safety, challenging play has multiple benefits. It takes children out of their comfort zone, teaching them valuable lessons about their own E

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PLAYGROUNDS  capabilities and skills. They grow confidence, resilience, self-awareness and self‑esteem in the process which prepares them for the inevitable challenges that life presents. Play campaigner and author of Rethinking Childhood, Tim Gill, says: “Taking risks is about going beyond our social and emotional comfort zones, learning from our mistakes, and gaining a sense of our own agency. When we engage with risk, we feel what it is like to be an active, competent person who takes responsibility for their actions. So you could say that taking risks is about getting the hang of being a human being.” CHALLENGE AND HAZARD Challenge in play comes in many forms, from using a piece of play equipment that pushes physical limitations for the intended age group, to learning a new skill or doing something in a new way. Either way, recognising the distinct difference between challenge and hazard is key. API members are dedicated to quality and standards and ensure that hazards are avoided with all play designs and equipment they supply. Of course every school fears rising litigation culture but applying common sense to health and safety is essential when it comes to play. When managing a play area or planning a new outdoor space, schools have a duty of care to remove all unforeseeable hazards that may cause injury and must demonstrate diligence. Understanding the difference between challenge and hazard is key. According to the Register of Play Inspectors International, challenge is a desirable attribute that encourages children to explore their limitations and develop new skills. A hazard, meanwhile, is a negative influence associated with something being wrong with the equipment, surfacing or surrounding environment which could harm a child. An invaluable source of guidance for schools about the benefits of managed risk is the Children’s Play Safety Forum’s ‘Managing Risk in Play Provision’. The guide, which has recently been revised, shows how schools can use an approach to risk assessment that balances the benefits of an activity with any inherent risk, fully taking into account and encouraging the benefits to children and young people of challenging play experiences. Funded through the Social Action Fund and supported by the Cabinet Office, the publication has been endorsed by numerous organisations including the Health and Safety Executive, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the Association of Play Industries. Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Health and Safety Executive says: “Play – and particularly play outdoors – teaches young people how to deal with risk. Without this awareness and learning they are ill equipped to deal with adult life. Outdoor play and learning is an important part of our children’s education.”

What is key is that when it comes to planning a new playground, schools should take a balanced approach to health and safety and to risk Before any new play area opens, a post‑installation inspection should take place undertaken by a registered, certificated Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII) annual outdoor inspector. This can be commissioned by the school or the play company installing the equipment. Regular repair and maintenance is also vital to eliminate hazards and servicing and replacement of worn out parts keeps play equipment safe and compliant. COMBATING MISCONCEPTIONS Children’s safety is paramount but concerns about health and safety may sometimes impede positive thinking about the benefits of managed risk and challenge in children’s playgrounds, particularly in schools. Here we examine some myths that prevent progress in this area. Some think that playground equipment is less exciting / attractive for children nowadays. API members offer a vast array of play equipment for schools, much of it linked it to the national curriculum and designed to deliver tangible learning, developmental and physical literacy outcomes. There are also concerns that safety surfacing has made playgrounds less exciting for children, whereas in fact, far from limiting challenge, surfacing is increasingly being used as a play resource in its own right, for instance, to demarcate distinct zones within a playground. Many schools are trying to increase physical activity levels so are using interesting surfacing to improve the design and aesthetic appeal of their outside space in order to encourage more children

outdoors. Additional play and learning value can also be incorporated into surfacing with trails, paths, roadways and hopscotch as well as numbers, letters, words and shapes to support literacy and numeracy. Others say that European legislation has banned exciting playground equipment. The purpose of European and British safety standards is to prevent serious injuries, not to limit challenge. All API member companies conform to relevant standards (BS EN 1176 for playground equipment, BS EN 1177 for impact attenuating playground surfacing, and BS EN 15312 for free access multi-sports equipment). While these standards are not mandatory, they are viewed as best practice by the API, UK play industry and judicial systems. Far from banning exciting playground equipment, there has never been such a wide range of high-quality playground equipment available. A BALANCED APPROACH While no-one wants to see children getting injured, it is inevitable that they will face the occasional bump, scrape, fall or collision – either in the school playground or in any other aspect of their daily life. What is key is that when it comes to planning a new playground, schools should take a balanced approach to health and safety and to risk. This means choosing a reputable, high‑quality play company that can provide expert advice on how best to incorporate elements of challenge that will get hearts racing and excite children’s natural enthusiasm. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Pat Harris of BUSK UK explains how to take the hassle out of organising a school trip by coach and what BUSK is doing to raise quality and safety standards among coach operators There’s little doubt that school trips play a huge part in education outside of the classroom. I recall my first school trip on a coach from Belfast to the Giants Causeway. It was great fun and a day I still remember after forty-something years. Today, I run BUSK, the independent organisation that aims to promote safe child road transport throughout the UK, specialising not only in all aspects of home to school transport, but also in school trips in the UK and school visits abroad. BUSK provide free services for parents and schools. UNDERSTANDING THE INDUSTRY Some teacher unions have voiced concern about transport safety among teachers and group travel organisers responsible for organising school trips by coach. Certainly, the person organising this kind of transport needs to be aware of some key points. A clear message for anyone hiring a coach is that a shiny livery on it’s side or a fabulous website doesn’t necessarily offer a guarantee that everything is operated safely, or that the coach company complies fully with the rules governing their license. A coach company must by law have an Operator’s License to operate. However, licensed companies cannot automatically be regarded as reputable. Assuming all is fine

based on the license alone can result in hiring transport that may not be road worthy or driven by an employee of the transport company. The driver could be casual labour and not trained to a high standard that a company investing in its employed workforce would normally make. BUSK increasingly finds that few schools understand how the coach industry operates. We have every sympathy with a school that’s trying to keep costs down, but schools cannot afford to ignore blatant warning signs such as really cheap quotes. Often expert and independent advice is available. We give free advice on a regular basis to anyone who’s unsure how to tell if the coach company they want to use is safety and legally compliant.

updating the fleet. It is these operators that rarely have defective vehicles, or flout Drivers’ Hours Regulations. These regulations are there for a reason – to avoid drivers becoming tired and to keep everyone safe. Policing all of this is the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Throughout the UK, the coaches are stopped by the DVSA and the Roads Policing Units to spot-check for legal compliance. Every year in the UK a significant number of coach operators are found to have defects in their vehicles. The list of defects includes rear emergency doors that won’t open, bald tyres, defective brakes and steering, and other serious problems that compromise safety and could contribute to a road traffic collision.

Written by Pat Haris, director, BUSK Uk


SIMPLY SAFE In April 2012, BUSK introduced Simply Safe, a scheme aimed at coach and minibus operators who were keen to demonstrate that they were safety and legally compliant. Simply Safe members, and there are now more than 130, are listed on the BUSK website. Each operator will have had background checks carried out using DVSA Encounter Reports. These go back over the previous three years and include checks on an operator’s previous two year’s MOT pass rate on first presentation. BUSK looks at the reasons for any failures. Other checks are made to see if the company has been called to a Public Inquiry and to ensure the company is of good repute. If necessary we will also ask for written and signed references from industry leaders. All of these checks will be carried out again after two years. Each month, BUSK randomly spot checks ten members. Stringent rules are in place to ensure that those companies listed on our website are monitored continuously. It’s worth noting that some applications E

A e messag ne o for anyoach is c hiring ainy livery or h that a slous website a fabu ’t guarantee doesn erything is that ev erated op safely

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR Cheap coach hire should always be challenged. Usually, if a coach company charges more it’s because it reflects the costs involved. The rate asked for will include costings that allow the operator to invest in training, technology, safety and



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TRANSPORT  have been declined when the background checks that BUSK carries out have shown that they don’t meet the Simply Safe criteria. The good news is that almost all of those operators, who have chosen to invite BUSK in, have vowed to improve how they run their company. In most cases those operators reapply after 12 months, and some successfully achieve the accreditation. SAFETY CHARTER Each Simply Safe member has a page on BUSK’s website with a direct link to their own company website. When visiting a member’s website, a school could expect to find a Safety Charter listing what the operator guarantees to provide. However, and this is equally important, the Safety Charter will list what’s required from the hirer. For example, an operator won’t want all the teachers to sit at the front of the coach. They will want two teachers to be seated by the rear emergency exit and to have familiarised themselves with how to operate it in the unlikely event that it may need to be used. This door is almost always going to be situated on the offside of the vehicle and could have traffic passing it. Pupils jumping out of the vehicle and into the line of traffic must be avoided at all costs. Another document to be found on a Simply Safe’s member’s website is a company profile. This provides important and relevant information about the operator including the main contact; how many drivers they employ, both full and part time and what additional level of training they’ve had to undertake; if they’re experienced to drive abroad; what associations the company belongs to and what breakdown recovery systems are in place. Each operator will also state that they reinvest into their company because that is what they do as a matter of course, unlike the operator who fails to do and can therefore, well afford to offer cheap coach travel. This level of information is still the exception in the industry, but through Simply Safe we’re getting more and more operators to recognise why it’s important. The information on the company profile prepared by BUSK can be used as a template by a school so they can ask for that same level of information from non-Simply Safe members when they request a quote for a school trip. This means the school can start to compare like with like instead of just comparing cost alone. THE BEST SERVICE We regularly talk with schools and they often say that they’re obliged to choose the cheapest out of three quotes but this is not the case. National guidance says that schools must take into account quality and safety and not choose a coach company on cost alone. To hire on cost alone with no questions asked is just asking for trouble, in particular, should something go wrong. Legal advice sought on this issue by BUSK has indicated that a court would take a dim view of anyone hiring transport in this way because it demonstrates a lax attitude to the safety of children. Earlier we told you that some companies are

called to a Public Inquiry if stopped by the DVSA and found to be using defective vehicles or where the drivers have exceeded their hours for driving. The horrifying truth is that it could take up to six months between the time an operator is stopped and caught breaking the law, and the date for the Public Inquiry. During those six months, the company can still operate. Teachers could hire a coach from that operator and be unaware of the situation. If they wish, hirers are able to look at the vehicle defect reporting systems, as well as driver walk-about-checks, the process carried out by a driver before a vehicle is driven from the depot to collect passengers. Another point to bear in mind is that if a teacher uses a tour company that organises transport, accommodation and ferry crossing,

but coach drivers are strictly governed by the regulations concerning their driving hours. Those regulations mean the driver is required to rest, relax and get proper, undisturbed sleep between driving the party around. If a driver shares a room, this can be compromised, especially, and this is a serious point, if another driver sharing the same room is prone to loud snoring. The same applies to ferry crossings where berths are booked for drivers. All too often BUSK hears of four drivers who perhaps don’t even know one another who are expected to share these tiny spaces.

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SAFETY CRITICAL While we’re looking at the importance of the driver to ensuring a successful school trip, there’s another issue that affects continental

We regularly talk with schools and they often say that they’re obliged to choose the cheapest out of three quotes but this is not the case they can still stipulate their requirements. For example, the hirer can stipulate they want a Simply Safe member to be used so that the school can be sure they have been background checked. Not all tour companies will have carried out these types of checks. If they say they have, ask for evidence because some will carry out audits on coach companies they use, but this is different from the type of checks BUSK makes on its members. BUSK BENCHMARK Simply Safe gives a teacher the reassurance, backed up by a process of quality and safety checking, that a coach operator is doing everything it can to deliver a safe, professional and quality service. Reading all this, you might think that Simply Safe is generating more work for an operator. Yes there’s some additional administration involved, but at its heart, Simply Safe is all about measuring what every coach operator is legally required to do. So what about those operators who choose to do more than the basics? BUSK Benchmark is the UK’s first and only star rating for the coach industry based on safety compliance. This six-star rating is awarded to companies that have introduced more than they are legally required to do. ROOM SHARING Its all very well for BUSK to describe what it is doing to offer reassurance to anyone wanting to hire a coach for a school trip, but here are a few more points that should be considered. Avoid hiring from a coach company or a tour operator that expects or forces the coach driver or drivers to share rooms at hotels. This situation often arises in continental Europe when costs need to be kept down, but it can equally arise in the UK. It may be perfectly fine for a teacher to share a room with a colleague,

trips. Why do schools often choose to make return journey through the night? If it’s because the tour company says that’s how it has to be, that’s nonsense. There are a host of safety concerns with such a decision. The temptation, by teachers and children, to undo a safety belt to curl up on a coach seat is high. Teachers simply cannot fulfil their duty of care and provide a safe journey if they’re asleep. The other huge associated risk with driving through the night is the common practice of schools checking the party out of the hotel on the last day right after breakfast. They usually check the driver out too. In some cases the driver is expected to drive the party to the slopes when in fact, he should be resting and sleeping through the day ready for the long journey back. Hanging around all day without any facility to rest properly, and then be expected to be refreshed to drive back in the early evening is just impossible. Parents need to be given the choice of paying a little more to cover an additional night’s stop-over. There really is no argument that the driver who drives the coach on its homeward journey must have had a good night’s sleep and be fully refreshed. Parents who pay anything up to around £900 for a skiing trip for their child are hardly likely to refuse to pay a small additional sum to ensure their child spends another night in the hotel and also, ensure that the driver gets that all important sleep before setting off on the long journey home. We have focused on the key points that need to be addressed by anyone responsible for hiring a coach for a school trip. In general, the vast majority of coach operators provide an excellent service, and standards are continually increasing across the industry but, at the heart of all of this is the vital importance of doing research. L FURTHER INFORMATION



School Trips Written by David Rushton, head of education and leisure, RoSPA


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Ofsted inspectors will now examine a “pupil’s ability to assess and manage risk appropriately and keep themselves safe”, under the revised Ofsted Inspection Framework. This is where schools have to strike the right balance between keeping risks under control “so far as is reasonably practicable” and judging the risk of doing something against the cost of not doing it, while taking into account the health and safety of employees and anyone else affected by a school’s actions.

David Rushton, head of education and leisure at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, talks us through the guidelines for planning fun, safe excursions for pupils While it is true that schools have both a legal and ethical duty to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, when it comes to shaping the behaviours and attitudes of the citizens of tomorrow, attention needs to be paid to encouraging children to become risk-aware and not risk-averse. Risk taking is a key part of a child’s development – let us not forget this. As employers, schools should treat risk assessment and risk management as key tools to enable activities to take place safely. Carrying out an appropriate risk assessment is a legal duty in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (which sit under the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974) and relates to buildings and activities, including school visits. Managing health and safety in a


proportionate and planned way should be a top priority for schools, especially as responsibilities for safety and health management in schools and colleges are being refocused. By taking reasonable steps to adhere to the law, a school will be able to defend itself against a claim for damages should an accident occur. One of the most valuable things a school can do when planning school visits is to involve children in the risk assessment process. Enlisting the help of pupils to identify hazards which staff might not have picked up on is a useful and fruitful exercise, not least because

PLANNING A SCHOOL VISIT As the UK’s oldest safety charity, with a mission to “save lives and reduce injuries,” the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) advocates that schools take an approach which ensures that children and staff are “as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible.” RoSPA believes that children and young people benefit from being challenged to visit new places and take part in fresh activities. In general, school visits are low risk activities – but this is because a lot of thought and planning has gone into assessing and managing any risks, as well as recognising the potential benefits. While a very large number of children and young people take part in school trips each year, these are usually without mishap. It is very rare for a tragedy to occur.

he One of t able lu most va hool can sc things a n planning do whe visits is to school ildren in the ch involve assessment risk process

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has brought only two prosecutions involving school visits in the five-year period between 2005/6 and 2009/10. Prosecutions invariably result from incidents where there has been recklessness or a clear failure to consider and adopt sensible measures. But just because an accident has happened, this does not necessarily mean that there has been a breach of health and safety law. RISK OF INJURY Injuries from leisure activities show that children are far more likely to get hurt playing football or rugby at school than going on a school hiking trip, for instance. Safety arrangements for school visits should be part of an overarching health and safety management system and policy. The policy should include a clear statement about the benefits of school visits or other opportunities for learning outside the classroom – making it clear that pupils’ safety is paramount at all times. Preparation and planning are the key elements to a successful and safe school visit. Teachers and other leaders should be trained or otherwise adequately prepared to deal with, or avoid, any significant hazards they may encounter on each specific visit. CONCLUSION A sense of adventure is a big part of school visits which should not be stifled by health and safety. By managing the physical and psychological risks well, children and young people will still be able to develop their self confidence and a sense of achievement. RoSPA has launched a new programme that checks and validates the systems schools and academies have in place as part of health and safety risk management. RoSPA SchoolSafe assesses a school’s ability to “teach safely” and its arrangements to “teach safety”, and each review results in a report and action plan for the school. In December 2013, Withernsea Primary School in East Riding of Yorkshire became the first school in the country to be awarded an A grade in the programme. L

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Preparing for visits Preparation and planning are the key elements to a successful and safe school visit. Teachers and other leaders should be trained or otherwise adequately prepared to deal with, or avoid, any significant hazards they may encounter on each specific visit. Consider the following: Information for parents − Start with a universal consent form from the Department for Education (DfE) − Inform parents when children are not in school and keep all contact details updated. Information from parents − Exchanges of information between the school and parents should, ideally, be done in writing − Sign and date all records of details given both orally and in written form. Staff/adult to pupil ratios − At least one teacher should accompany any group and be able to manage and supervise − Any decision made about ratios should be based on prior assessments of the probability of harm to the children and young people participating in each visit − If in doubt, increase the number of adult supervisors, with at least one male and one female member of staff present in mixed groups

− There is a specific legal requirement for ratios in the early years and foundation stage, which applies to on and off‑site activities and visits. (See: education/ a0068102/early-years-foundation-stageeyfs). Safeguarding − Volunteers accompanying children on occasional school trips should undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly Criminal Records Bureau – CRB) − Where the visit involves an overnight stay, all volunteers (including parents) should be asked to undergo a DBS check. Risk assessments and their benefits − Risk assessments serve as a reminder that we should assess the likely benefits of the activity, as well as the legal requirements. The aim should be to minimise risk while maximising the benefits. A formal risk assessment is a way of structuring and recording the hazards identified and judgements made in order to make sure that the risk is adequately controlled. Insurance − Adequate insurance ahead of a school visit is a must. Your insurance should cover: personal injury; public liability; medical and related expenses; extra expenses; personal effects; hired equipment; special activities; cancellations.



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We were delighted to receive dozens of proposals for presentations, and we were able to programme some top quality practitioner-led professional development sessions, covering every key stage and topics including teaching pupils with dyslexia, building community networks and helping students to deal with performance nerves. Delegates learned, among other skills, to loop, beatbox, improvise, play Taiko, compose on an iPad and run a successful business. SPEAKERS Big names on the platform included Darren Henley OBE, who spoke of the Mayor of London’s plans for music education in the capital; Ed Vaizey MP, speaking on the progress of the National Plan for Music Education; Ofsted’s Robin Hammerton HMI, who gave a persuasive defence to Ofsted’s uncompromising position on ‘what music hubs must do’; and Sir James Galway, who charmed the socks off everyone in the course of promoting his new online flute tutor, First Flute. My personal highlights included inspirational warm-ups from conductor Dominic Peckham and ex-STOMP member Ollie Tunmer and fascinating debates on the future of GCSEs and on increasing student engagement, the latter of which was filmed for James Rhodes’s upcoming Channel 4 documentary on music education. As well as our more than 50 seminars, workshops and debates, we organised a number of performances across the two days. My favourite was the Chestnut Grove School Steel Pan Band. Other performers included a string trio from the Corps of Army Music, a Taiko band from Chessington Community College, close‑harmony jazz group Vive, and children from the London Russian School of Music. THE EXHIBITION Sitting alongside the conference programme was a major trade exhibition bringing together music education suppliers, publishers, manufacturers, exam boards, tour companies and professional associations. The show floor bustled with over 100 trade stands, showcasing a huge collection of the latest resources, instruments, technology and expertise from across the sector. Among the many products on display, the exhibition featured the first public

appearance of Tromba’s revolutionary plastic trumpets with the first production models on show at KORG UK’s stand. MUST-ATTEND EVENT We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from our exhibitors, with over 62 per cent of stands already reserved or booked for 2015. Perhaps the most extraordinary feedback received was from David Crawford, marketing manager at RATstands, who said that: “In terms of generating sales opportunities it was the most successful trade show in the history of RATstands.” Ciaran Morton, managing director of Rhinegold Publishing said: “This second year of success for Music Education Expo clearly establishes it as the ‘must‑attend’ business event for all suppliers to the music education sector.” MUSIC TEACHER AWARDS Alongside the Expo was the gala ceremony for the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence 2014. The ceremony took place on the evening of 7 February 2014 in the Barbican’s Garden Room and Conservatory with 190 guests from across the industry. Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor, ably assisted by a jazz trio from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, oversaw proceedings, with awards presented by figures including Darren Henley OBE, The DfE’s Jenny Curtis, and representatives from the sponsors. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Written by Thomas Lyndon, Rhinegold

Music Education Expo, which took place in February, is an exhibition and professional development conference for music teachers. Here’s a look back at some of this year’s highlights

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Winners Best Musical Initiative Singing Playgrounds (Ex Cathedra) Best Print Resource: Portsmouth Music Hub Songbooks Best Digital/Technological Resource: Friday Afternoons (Aldeburgh Music) Best SEN Resource: Drake Music Scotland Excellence in Primary/Early Years Music: Mini Music Makers & Little Music Makers (Music for Change) Best School Music Department: Baden-Powell & St Peter’s Church of England Junior School Hub Innovation Award: SoundCity (Brighton & Hove) Most Innovative Retailer: Knock on Wood Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award: Jane Cutler, DaCapo Music Foundation Best Classical Music Education Initiative: In Harmony Opera North Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Vivienne Price, founder of the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain, and to neuro‑linguistic programming guru Christine Croshaw.



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NEW CURRICULUM RESOURCES HIGHLIGHTED AT 2014 EDUCATION SHOW With the Education sector’s eyes set firmly on the fast-approaching new National Curriculum, the Education Show 2014 was a showcase for the resources that will be supporting educators in its implementation. The show also provided an opportunity to access valuable continuing professional development (CPD) resources. Here’s some of the show highlights

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Preparing for a new approach to teaching and learning from September this year, people visited the Education Show with a clear mission; to be ready for the new National Curriculum, and to be ready for changes to inspection, assessment and funding. The Education Show had undergone a clear shift, with a programme of content that encompassed the pressing issues in education and showcased some fantastic best practice. In line with this, Jim Magee, education standards directorate at the Department for Education kicked off proceedings in the National Curriculum Theatre, sponsored by Scholastic, as he explored delivering the new National Curriculum. Following him were three days of insightful sessions that looked at how educators can best prepare for the changes, covering everything from primary English and maths, through to coding and teaching the new design and technology curriculum.

SCHOOL LEADERS SUMMIT Recognising the changing needs of school leaders, the School Leaders Summit returned to the show floor with a rich line up of speakers and sessions that allowed for advice, sharing ideas and prime networking. With an afternoon focused on the realities of academy conversion on Thursday 20 March, other sessions focusing on the changes to GCSEs, the use of pupil premium and practical case studies on the implementation of technology, there was something for every headteacher, senior leadership team member, ee, business manager or bursar. Jim Magion Unarguably, show highlights t a educ ectorate included the jam-packed r di s d r sessions from keynote a t d stan rtmen d speakers Professor Brian a p e D e at th ion, explore Cox and Dara O Briain. at c u As figures inspiring d E r g o f n the country with their deliveri tional a passion for STEM (science, N w e the n iculum technology, engineering and maths), each had their Curr audiences’ rapt attention as they discussed their inspiration, thoughts and personal stories in their sessions on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 March respectively. The variety of sessions on offer meant that each visitor could find something of interest. The ‘How do I…’ sessions provided practical E


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From whole-school solutions to best-value classroom resources, the event bought together more than 360 companies which offered visitors the opportunity to trial a range of products and services under one roof.  guidance and ideas for the classroom, such as transforming learning with the introduction of a 1:2:1 iPad scheme, detailed by Derek Trimmer, headteacher at Hove Park School. Meanwhile, the Technology in Education Theatre saw a host of sessions exploring the increasingly prominent role of technology in the classroom, including using augmented reality to enhance learning with James Pollock, teacher at Teeside High School, and computing for the primary and secondary curriculum in two separate sessions from CAS (Computing at School) master teachers. The Early Years and SEN Theatre encompassed a broad range of sessions across the education spectrum. A popular session was on the SEN code of practice and 0-25 implementation, led by Jane Friswell, CEO of nasen. As the sector experiences the biggest review of special educational needs provision for 30 years, this provided the essential overview needed to help schools and other education institutions become aware of the new realities. The importance of best value procurement didn’t go unnoticed at the show either. From whole-school solutions to best-value classroom resources, the event bought together more than 360 companies which offered visitors the opportunity to trial a range of products and services.

PROCUREMENT AND VALUE Recognising the need for a flexible learning environment, Smart Wall Paint were on stand CD83 showcasing their award-winning write-on wipe-off whiteboard paint that transforms smooth surfaces (walls, desks, table tops, doors, glass and more) into unlimited writing surfaces. Smart Wall Paint works with all normal whiteboard or drywipe markers, only requires one coat and doesn’t release any toxins into the environment. Available in both white and clear (perfect for use on wallpaper and colourful walls) whiteboard paints are eco‑friendly, low odour and VOC free, as well as holding a performance guarantee of ten years against staining, which usually appears on traditional whiteboards. Finding a product that doesn’t cost the earth and won’t need replacing for a newer model in a few years’ time was great. And it comes in clear. COLLABORATION With the growing presence of social media, new exhibitor Petra’s Planet for Schools was on hand on stand B85 to showcase its cross-curricular, safe and controlled environment designed to motivate and engage students between five and 12 in an online learning environment, teaching important digital and social media skills. E




The colour printer for schools that never needs replacement cartridges

Offering schools the business skills to put the Xing into their smoothies

Have you ever wondered how your school spends so much on printer consumables? Monochrome (black and white) printing has always been priced very competitively with most printer manufacturers and suppliers offering monochrome printing from as little as 0.8p per page. However, manufacturers make the bulk of their profits from colour printing, often making the cost prohibitive, even to the extent where some have had colour printing banned in their school altogether. Ecoprinters offer an alternative solution, providing colour printer/ scanner/copiers that never need replacement cartridges that are suitable for use in schools as a replacement for most types of colour laser printer. There is no capital outlay or misleading click charges for the printers, you simply rent them for as little or as long as you require with no time based contract or lease to sign. Schools already using

Xing Education is a social business that sets up student-run, profit-making smoothie businesses. The project aims to have a wide social impact centrally, focusing on helping students to develop their employability skills, confidence and foster an unrivalled enterprise culture. Using the professional expertise from running its own commercial smoothie retail business, Xing empowers students at school or college to set up and run their own. The young people make all the business decisions, get paid to manage the bar and the school or college keep all the profits. Xing has supported 17 schools and colleges and hundreds of pupils to run their own successful, income-generating businesses. Testimonials received: “It’ll make me stand out when I go to get a job in the future,’’ Andi, aged 14. “We’ve learnt to make decisions between ourselves.

Ecoprinters have each saved thousands of pounds as they have not had to purchase consumables for the Ecoprinters, nor have they had to worry about servicing, support, maintenance, parts and labour or purchasing new printer hardware as everything is included with no hidden cost. Ecoprinters are so confident that it has the most cost effective solution, it guarantees to save every school that gets in touch with them at least 30 per cent on their colour printing. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 8560 4444

We don’t wait for teachers to tell us what to do – we’re the management,’’ Rob, aged 15. “We are trying to drive the standard of exam results, but they will only get young people to the interview stage – we need to teach them extra skills so that they are ready for the workplace,” Mark Rushby, principal, John Whitgift Academy. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01482 464949 Twitter: @xingsmoothies Facebook: XingEducation

MOST POPULAR RESOURCES Full set of example SEFs January 2014 A full set of SEF examples based on the ECM SEF successfully tried and tested in schools. Cost: £100.00 + vat (All materials are sent electronically for licensed use in purchasing school.)

Exciting indoor & outdoor activities available All ages catered for Encourages personal development & teamwork Multi-activity provision tailored to your schools requirements NGB qualified staff Fully Insured & risk assessed

Transition Matrices January 2014 Quickly and efficiently show expected and more than expected progress for each cohort and groups. ECM matrix also has sub levels on matrix to show weaker/ stronger progress. Cost: £29.99 + vat (All materials are sent electronically for licensed use in purchasing school.)



Securing Outstanding Subject Leadership 14 x individual subject self-evaluation support documents based on the latest Ofsted subject guidance 2014. These resources will help to support subject leaders in readiness for a subject or full inspection. Each curriculum area is covered: English | Maths | Science | ICT| PE | Art | Music | ML | DT | Geography | History | RE | PSHE | Citizenship and can be purchased separately or as a whole school pack. Includes a free supporting document with more useful subject leader resources. Cost: £300.00 + vat or individual subjects separately at £29.99 + vat (All materials are sent electronically for licensed use in purchasing school.)

We have a wide range of innovative resources and tools to support schools available on our website or by contacting our office.

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EVENT REVIEW Education Resources Awards – 2014 Winners

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Best Special Educational Resource or Equipment – non ICT Crossbow Education – The Visual Stress Collection Best Special Educational Resource or Equipment – involving ICT Sonocent – Audio Notetaker 3.1

! Created in collaboration with teachers, Petra’s Planet for Schools is an ideal resource to support the new primary computing curriculum. New features such as a blog and the possibility of finding a twin class – which offers students the opportunity to connect with a class in another school, anywhere around the globe – will help teachers to develop communication, collaboration and creative skills in their students. Teachers hear about the risks of social media all the time but it isn’t going away and it strikes us as a sensible idea to give pupils a safe social environment to learn the ropes in.

‘flipped’ learning environment, giving students home access to lesson content in an effective and engaging way. The company really impressed with how much thought had been put into product development and is one well worth looking into. The British Educational Supplier’s Association (BESA)’s Information Point at the show was very busy indeed - most visitors call there first to plan their visit. BESA is planning to launch a suppliers app which allow registered users to search through the database of member companies, including sector and product searches. The BESA website already has a functionally rich library of members so that schools can search by keyword, but the app takes it to a different and more convenient level, and is optimised for mobile devices. The fact that members have to adhere to a code of conduct and BESA’s advice on procurement, leasing and other business management matters makes the association crucial for schools.

SEATING EDEN Learning Spaces on stand H55-G56 was launched live at the show. It helps schools throughout the country transform their seating in the classroom with a new line of bright and contemporary bean filled products that can also be used as engaging teaching tools. This might not sound ground breaking to some but what really impressed was the extensive research and close work with schools that had EDUCATION RESOURCE AWARDS: clearly underpinned the product development. WINNERS ANNOUNCED The products were not only fit for The winners of the 16th annual Education purpose in early years, primary, Resources Awards (ERAs) were secondary and sensory announced at a gala event on the The learning environments evening of the second day in y g but the company had of the Education Show o l o Techn Theatre done much to promote 2014 (see panel opposite on i t a s multipurpose usage for the winners). c n u o i d E f sess o which makes for a The ERAs, which are t s o h saw a xploring practical investment. organised by the British e Free downloadable Educational Suppliers asingly f e r c n activity resources Association (BESA) i e th role o t can also be used with and Brilliant Marketing n e n i prom ogy in the the different bean bag Solutions Ltd, aim to ranges so it becomes celebrate the innovative technol sroom more than just furniture! approach to learning by clas Offering practical and teachers, institutions and effective solutions to common organisations across all levels of (and commonly ignored) problems, can education. The winners were selected promote greater inclusion and achievement by an independent panel of experienced within everyday teaching and learning.On education and industry professionals. stand N47, visitors to the show could speak Caroline Wright, director of show to Sound for Schools from PC Werth, which co-organisers BESA, and the head judge, specialises in cost-effective solutions to comments: “With the launch of the new improve teaching conditions in all schools. National Curriculum later this year it was It offered bespoke voice amplification great to see such a fantastic number of solutions for mainstream education and also entries offering innovative teaching and showcased Juno, lesson capture technology learning resources designed to help that addresses the demands of the modern schools inspire and excite pupils.” "

Best Early Years Resource or Equipment – non ICT TTS Group – Water Pump Station Best Early Years Resource or Equipment – involving ICT TTS Group – Wonder Bug Best Primary Resource or Equipment – non ICT Kit for Kids – Chloe the Caterpillar Blue Design Indoor Mat and Counting Ladybird Cushions Best Primary Resource or Equipment – involving ICT Lego Education – Story Starter Best Secondary Resource or Equipment – non ICT English & Media Centre – Spotlight on literacy Best Secondary Resource or Equipment – involving ICT Lego Education – Mindstorms Educational Book Award Oxford University Press, Project X Alien Adventures Supplier of the Year (less than £1million annual turnover) Jolly Back Supplier of the Year (between £1million and £10million annual turnover) Frogtrade Supplier of the Year (over £10million annual turnover) YPO Education Exporter of the Year Award Consortium Innovation Award Fiction Express Discovery Books – Fiction Express for schools Marketing Campaign of the Year Scholastic – National Curriculum in England/100s Educational Establishment of the Year Award William Edwards School, Essex Leadership in Education Award Sofina Islam, Stanton Bridge Primary School, Coventry Outstanding Achievement Award Neville Hudson, Gratnells



Education Show Profiles


Make, create or fix in exciting new ways with 3D printing technology Exciting new 3D printing technology is enabling education to create, make and fix things in new ways, in new materials, in new places. Schools all over the country are starting to engage students of all ages with 3D printing in every area of the curriculum; beyond the STEM subjects and into others, such as history and art. Students can bring their design concepts to reality using simple CAD design software and plug-and-play 3D printers or they can ‘tinker’. The team at GoPrint3D can introduce you to the world’s first 3D printing pen, where you get to be the 3D printer – #WhatWillYouCreate? Any school can explore and experience 3D printing through the services offered by GoPrint3D, these includes sales, hire, events and printing bureau services. David Jermy, head of DT at Settlebeck School in Cumbria, said: “All of the pupils who have

been involved with the 3D printer so far have been inspired by its possibilities. The opportunity to realise a concept or idea quickly into a 3D product is an incredibly powerful teaching tool.” Speak to people who know, use and love 3D printers. Find the best-fit solution for you from a range of best-in-class printers across different manufacturers.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01765 694000 Twitter: @GoPrint3D

A professional lectern for just about every need Launching a new product into a new sector is challenging but the number of actual sales received at the Education Show proves the M-Power lectern, with its’ powered raise and lower facility, is massively ahead of anything on the market at this time. Enabling any presenter, no matter how tall or short, able bodied or seated to utilise the facilities that a lectern should provide was always the first consideration in the design and development of this product. Allowing students to see and be seen during school assemblies or presentations is simple as the push of a button lowers or raises the lectern to the ideal height for any user. The range of materials and finishes allows BlueAV to offer any colour of powder coating on the metal lectern and any colour and grain finish on the wooden model.

Adding connection facilities to the standard model allows the use of computer screens for preview, touch screen use and a range of connectivity that includes VGA, HDMI, CAT5 and video in component or composite forms. The unit comes with two antivibration microphone mountings and all cabling enclosed within the column of the lectern. An LED reading light is also part of the package. In its Dorset based facility, BlueAV can manufacture any custom model that differs from the standard range. By retaining control of production in its own premises, the company can personally guarantee the quality of its products and keeps control of costs to ensure the best value is always delivered. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01202 474373 Mobile: 07976 937666

Paperback copies of the 2014 national curriculum

Adventure under sail: inspiring young people

www.thenationalcurriculum. com publishes quality paperback versions of the new 2014 education guidelines in England. The company’s aim is to deliver quality and competitively priced books to education providers in order aid in the implementation of the new 2014 curriculum in schools. Books include the 2014 Primary National Curriculum, the 2014 Secondary National Curriculum and a range of three beautiful EYFS books covering six different essential government documents. The EYFS range covers the 2014 profile handbook, the 2014 assessment and reporting arrangements and the 17 government profile exemplification materials, as well as the EYFS statutory framework, EYFS outcomes and EYFS ‘Development matters’ document. www.thenationalcurriculum. com has sold over 10,000 books

Ocean Youth Trust Scotland is the UK’s leading sail training organisation. It believes that all young people, regardless of circumstance or ability, should have the opportunity to realise their true potential in order for them to live healthy, fulfilling lives. Ocean Youth Trust Scotland inspires young people through the challenge of adventure under sail. Residential voyages aboard the company’s fleet of sail-training vessels provide a uniquely powerful and extremely effective environment for the personal development of young people from a diverse range of backgrounds, throughout Scotland and beyond. Sail Training is a perfect and unique environment to further a young person’s education. Ocean Youth Trust Scotland knows that young people integrate learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, which

to schools and students with nothing but positive feedback so you can be assured of a quality product and service. Orders can be placed via the website, over the phone or by email and the company also accepts payment via invoice once books have been delivered to your school or learning institution. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0203 291 3723 sales@thenational www.thenational


then provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors. The journey through education for any young person must include opportunities for a series of planned, quality outdoor learning experiences. Learning outdoors can be enjoyable, creative, challenging and adventurous and helps young people learn by experience and grow as confident and responsible citizens who value and appreciate the landscapes, natural heritage and culture of Scotland. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01475 722 722

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! The Education Show’s Poppie Mickleburgh talks to Professor Brian Cox to discover what advice he gives to his students ahead of The Education Show 2014. HOW DO YOU MAKE PHYSICS MORE ENGAGING FOR YOUR STUDENTS? I lecture first year students at Manchester in their first term. I get to teach the 18 year olds who are straight out of school about Quantum and Relativity. We have a syllabus that is agreed in the department, but what I try and do is make the content as up to date as possible. So, although Quantum and Relativity might be up to date, you are talking about theories in terms of special relativities from 1905, and the quantum mechanics we teach is from the 1920s and 1930s – so both theories are 100 years old. So although the subject matter is well established and we know how to teach it, I try and talk about LHC and where things are relevant to that, and then wander off for five minutes and talk about current tests of relativity e.g. new space missions that are relevant. I find that the students enjoy that and we get some really good feedback – they like it when I wander off and talk to them for a bit in the lecture, and the diversions about modern physics before coming back and teaching them the thing they need to know. What we really want is to get them to do maths and apply it to physics, especially special relativity; it is a process they have to go through. They have to learn the seemingly dull stuff and the mechanics of it, but what they like is when you go off and put it into modern context, and that is what I try and do.

HOW DO YOU THINK TEACHERS CAN ENSURE THEIR PUPILS FIND SCIENCE FUN AND EXCITING? They like cutting edge stuff. For example, a new experiment in the US has been announced about Neutrinos and the UK are going to be involved; my students love it if I turn up on Monday and mention about the experiment and then explain how it relates to quantum mechanics and relativity. So the key is up to date cutting edge physics. DID YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TEACHER AT SCHOOL? WHAT MADE THEM SO GREAT? I got on very well with my physics teacher, Mr Galloway, not surprisingly! He was very young at the time and he has only just retired (last year). It is the idea of making it relevant and exciting. At the time I was really into music and he helped a friend and I build a little piece of electronics that we wanted to use in order to make music – it allowed us to interface a drum machine to a synthesiser, which was very difficult to do in the 80s! He designed it and helped us build it, which is a lot of work for a teacher. My experience is when you go beyond the strict limits of what they need to know to pass an exam and taking the time to engage in their interests, which really works – it did for me! At the time I didn’t like electronics, but I did when I found out I could interface a drum machine to a keyboard. WHERE DID YOUR PASSION FOR PHYSICS COME FROM? It was really early on – it was astronomy fuelled by Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’, which came

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A new experiment has been announced about Neutrinos and the UK are going to be involved; my students love it if I turn up on Monday and mention about the experiment and then explain how it relates to quantum mechanics and relativity on TV when I was about 11 or 12. By the time I got to senior school when I was 11 I knew I wanted to do physics, to the extent I was probably a bit of a pain to the French teacher, because I thought it was a waste of my time and I wanted to do physics. #

Read the rest of the Brian Cox Interview here: FURTHER INFORMATION For more information on the exhibitors at the Education Show 2014, visit The Education Show 2015 will take place from 19-21 March 2015 at the NEC, Birmingham



Introduce Flipped and Blended Learning AND Create a Better Learning Environment

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Bett, the world’s leading event for learning technology, took place at ExCeL London on 22-25 January, attracting the highest number of visitors in its thirty year history In its 30th year, the 2014 Bett show attracted the highest number of visitors in its history. 35,942 visitors attended the four-day show from 22-25 January to gather inspiration and guidance for a classroom-to-boardroom approach to learning. The attendance figures reveal that Bett 2014 attracted three per cent more visitors than in 2013, and the show’s overall footfall was up six per cent, with a total of 46,508 visits throughout the show. The event’s increasing global appeal was also reflected in the fact that nine per cent more international visitors attended than in 2013. The opening address Secretary of state for education Michael Gove opened Bett 2014 and delivered the opening address, where he also went on to speak about the new computing curriculum and the future of education. Gove said: “From five, children will learn to code and program, with algorithms,

sequencing, selection and repetition; from 11, how to use at least two programing languages to solve computational problems; to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems; and how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system.” He added: “These are precisely the sort of skills which the jobs of the future – and, for that matter, the jobs of the present – demand. From now on, our reforms will ensure that every child gets a solid grounding in these essential skills – giving them the best possible start to their future.”

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Innovative learning technology Following his official appearance at Bett on the opening day, Gove returned on Saturday as a visitor, with his two children. The secretary of state visited a number of companies exhibiting at the show, where he and his children were able to try out some of the innovative learning technology that was on offer. “Bett is one of the few events that provides content free of charge, and we still believe that this is the key to the show’s success,” says Debbie French, education portfolio director at i2i Events Group. “As in previous years at Bett, we worked with partners, including Naace, nasen and BESA, and also with teachers, leading enterprise professionals and education thought-leaders to create CPD that would resonate with all of our visitors. "

In its 30the year, th how 14 s Bett 20 the highest d attracter of visitors in numbe tory; 35,942 its his attended people our-day the f nt eve



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EVENT REVIEW ! “It is the enthusiasm and dedication of the people it represents that have made Bett such a unique show. Our visitors’ commitment to advising and inspiring their peers, along with our exhibitors’ dedication to providing the best possible solutions to support learning and development, is what makes the show a success, year after year. The figures confirmed 2014 as the show’s most successful year to date, reflecting its continued importance within the education sector,” French continued.

learning tools through its partnership

with the Shakespeare Birthplace Bett Trust and the Fitzwilliam d Museum. These were provide ‘try n o launched at the show. s d a han xperience Students can design e ’ t s costumes, sequence e t and ors, t i s plots and even explore i v r o f e v i t phrases and insults, c a r e with intations, and whilst teachers can access webinars from tr demons guidance expert lecturers and free dvice download lesson plans. Cambridge University and a

Inclusive ampitheatre Bett 2014 offered more free training than ever before, with three bespoke CPD-accredited summits for school leaders, HE professionals and learning and development professionals; practitioner-led sessions in six ‘Learn Live’ theatres, and additional networking and fringe events around the show. The Bett Arena also returned for its second year, providing an inclusive amphitheatre space where thousands of people were able to collaborate to learn together and share ideas. Keynote speakers addressing the crowds included Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Bob Geldof and Lord David Puttnam. New products for education Bett provided a hands-on ‘try and test’ experience for visitors, with interactive demonstrations, free guidance and advice on all the latest and most innovative products, and CPD certified seminar content, delivered by world-renowned speakers. The event saw a number of new, innovative and exciting launches. Accessibility software firm Recite Me unveiled its product Include Me, which enables greater inclusion for learners with special educational needs or language and communication needs. This product has been developed to support learners in Primary, Secondary and Higher Education. Providing a range of features that support learners with dyslexia, visual impairments and other communications needs. Also launched was Levett Consultancy with its new range of products aimed at simplifying the network and cloud technologies for schools: School-ina-Box – full network solutions with classroom management tools; School-ina-Cloud – fully hosted Google Apps and curriculum tools solution; and Wireless-ina-School – enabling 35 devices per classroom to connect wirelessly. All of these products were all well received by schools attending the Bett Show.

Press’s ‘Shakespeare’s World’ gallery offers 360 degree views of artefacts from the world of his plays, whilst a collection of Elizabethan portraits exemplifies characters and costumes of the period – all with related learning resources. As part of the greater focus on Shakespeare in the National Curriculum, these enhanced digital assets will address the 11 major plays used in schools beginning with KS3, including Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet. Bett is an annual event held in January at ExCeL London. Bett 2015 is scheduled to take place between 22-25 January. Creative IT tools This year at Bett, education software company Kudlian unveiled its AppFurnace, which is software that enables pupils to design and create their own smartphone and tablet apps. As well as giving pupils a more hands on experience with the technical aspect of the new Computing Curriculum, AppFurnace is designed to be a cross curricular tool, bringing subjects to life. Pupils can create a revision app to help them learn timetables, design an app pin pointing areas of interest near where they live, or create education game apps. Firefly launched its Teacher Planner app, the first homework setting tool that is compatible with every school Management Information System (MIS). The Teacher Planner allows teachers to draw on a variety of information related to their timetable, homework submitted, class seating plan, as well as pupils’ profile. All of the information is accessible in real time for busy teachers on the move. The app is an effective communication tool between teachers and pupils; allowing

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teachers to set differentiated homework tasks according to pupil ability, provide feedback on homework submitted online, as well as recommend links and resources for further home study. Firefly was founded by old school friends Joe Mathewson and Simon Hay. While still studying for their GCSEs, they redeveloped their school’s intranet site, which resulted in other schools requesting their services. This was the origin of their company. BETT AWARDS 2014 Comedian Jo Brand hosted the 16th prestigious Bett Awards on 22 January 2014, where 580 guests gathered at The Brewery in London to recognise the most innovative ICT products and companies in the education sector. The annual Bett Awards represent a partnership between BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association), Bett pioneers and the trade association representing the educational supply industry, and i2i Events Group, the organisers of Bett, the world’s largest learning technology event. The awards encourage and recognise outstanding education sector resources, learning solutions and companies. The judges, who are all educational professionals, focus on what works in the classroom or the school setting in terms of design, cost-effectiveness, support of higher order thinking skills and effective learning and teaching styles. Outstanding entries Caroline Wright, director at BESA, commented: “The quality of entries for this year’s awards has been outstanding. It is hugely exciting to see such an excellent range of products and services on offer to schools, especially with the introduction of the new National Curriculum in September this year. The winners’ products and services ensure the UK ICT industry continues to be recognised as the best in the world. The quality of these learning resources is a testament to businesses operating within the UK education sector.” Debbie French, education portfolio director at i2i Events Group, added: “The Bett Awards are recognised as a mark of excellence and each year some of the UK’s finest companies are recognised for their innovation and "

Education secretary Michael Gove opened Bett 2014 and delivered the opening address, where he also went on to speak about the new computing curriculum and the future of education

Cambridge University Press launches Shakesspeare resource To support the new editions of the School Shakespeare series, Cambridge University Press has developed a suite of online teaching and




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EVENT REVIEW ! commitment to excellence in educational resources and services. The strict judging process carried out by educators and sector stakeholders ensures the awards identify the very best products, resources and organisations within the education sector.” Outstanding achievement Lewis Bronze, co-founder & director of content at Espresso Education, won this year’s prestigious Bett award for outstanding achievement in ICT education. Espresso Education, recently acquired by Discovery Communications, also won the award for ‘ICT Company of the Year – over £10m turnover’ and was a finalist in Primary Digital Content for E F Espresso Coding and Espresso Primary: Grammar & Punctuation categories. These awards come just a few months after Lewis was honoured with an MBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2013. A former editor of Blue Peter, for which he won a BAFTA award, Lewis co-founded the innovative Espresso Primary service in 1997. In the 16 years since then, Espresso Education has become a leader in e-learning, transforming the way students learn through a blend of visual media and interactive

Could you speak at Bett 2015? used every day in schools across the UK.” Commenting on his award Lewis said; “This is a proud moment for me, and for Espresso Education. I must thank the whole team at Espresso whose efforts have built our business– they share this award with me.” “To be recognised by his peers is the ultimate honour and this prestigious award validates Lewis’ significant contribution to the UK digital Education sector,” said James Rosenstock, President of Discovery Education International. Inclusive technology Oldham-based Inclusive Technology, provider of learning technologies supporting children with special educational needs, won the ICT Special Educational Needs award. It was recognised for its ‘HelpKidzLearn’ resource ChooseIt! Maker 3, which allows teachers to make personalised learning apps for children with special needs and download them to an iPad or Android tablet. The Bett award was made in recognition of the product’s distinct contribution to supporting learners with special educational needs. Digital devices Fourier Education’s einsteinTM Tablet+ not only acts as a familiar platform for teachers and

Bett 2014 offered more free training than ever before, with three bespoke CPD-accredited summits for school leaders, HE professionals and learning and development professionals resources throughout the UK market. The company’s education services are now available in almost 11,500 schools, with brands including Espresso Primary, Clipbank and Channel 4 Learning. Lewis was presented with the award by Dominic Savage, Bett founder and Director General of the British Educational Suppliers. Hosted by comedienne Jo Brand, around 600 guests gathered to recognise the most innovative ICT products and companies in the education sector. The outstanding achievement award is chosen by a team of key figures in the ICT education world for outstanding service to ICT education and a contribution over time which has impacted upon the development of ICT in UK schools. “Nothing could bring me greater pleasure than to give Lewis this well deserved award,” said Dominic. “Lewis has been involved in children’s education throughout his career. After starting off at the BBC as the Producer of Newsround and the Editor of Blue Peter he turned his attention to pioneering the use of digital video and e-learning in schools. The innovative Espresso Primary service has consistently set the standard for the use of digital materials in the classroom and is

students but it also includes everything teachers need to get their students actively engaged with real-world, hands-on science learning. The tablet is pre-loaded with multimedia experiments for biology, chemistry, environmental science, human physiology, and physics. Teachers and students can also easily create their own experiments on the tablet with the einsteinTMActivity Maker. Bett judges commented on Fourier Education’s win saying, “einsteinTM Science Learning Platform is a very good product which is ideally suited to supporting the new national curriculum. We like the design, branding and functionality and think the product is durable and robust. We particularly like the way it encourages students to interact and work collaboratively.” Digital collections and resource banks Since launching the History of Computing resource in October 2013, London teachers have quickly made the resource one of the most popular resources within the LGfL Learning resource portfolio. LGfL, working in partnership with E2bN and The National Museum of Computing, fought off competition from a range of other high quality productions. The Bett

Bett 2014

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Speaker submissions for the 2015 Learn Live Series are now being considered. Have you implemented a new teaching technique, piece of technology or learning initiative into the classroom over the past year? Your successes can be shared with your peers and other educational enthusiasts and discuss the impact on the learning experience. Fill in this form to be considered as a speaker at Bett 2015. Submissions will be accepted until the end of September, with successful applicants informed by the middle of October. Read more: Judges recognised that producing a resource such as History of Computing is beyond the means of individual teachers. The judges said: “Meets a real need in bringing together a wide range of resources which teachers would have difficulty in finding for themselves. Extremely child centred.” Access to the collection of iconic Computers at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park has offered a unique backdrop in which to appreciate Britain’s digital heritage and helps the current school age population to Better understand their digital past and futures. The embedded teaching resource within the resource bank has proved popular with many primary schools using the Brave New World series of lessons built into the History of Computing as their start point. The Naked Computers and Computing Concepts lesson resources have provided a reassuring support for Secondary ICT teachers, many of whom are not specialist computing teachers and hence have to secure appropriate CPD in order to deliver the revised curriculum for September 2014. Primary digital content Only four months after launching, Tigtag beat strong competition to win in the Primary Digital Content category. This is the third year in a row that Twig World products have won at Bett with Twig World being named the 2013 winner in the Digital Collections and Resource Banks category and the 2012 winner in the Secondary Digital Resource category. Switched on ICT in the Early Years is a scheme won the Early Years Digital Content award that helps all practitioners, regardless of experience, to embed ICT into the curriculum in exciting and meaningful ways. It brings together technologies that are freely available in the EYFS to engage young minds. It is ideal for confident practitioners, and also for those with limited experience of ICT, as step-by-step support is provided for every activity. # FURTHER INFORMATION





From the largest LEA to the smallest primary school, has a wide range of ICT deals that are perfect for the classroom. From mobility deals to enhance 1:1 learning to the latest desktop PCs for the classroom, we have some great offers for education. Find out more at
















1. HP 255 G2 Laptop

2. Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z All In One

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Bett 2014


Damian Branigan, client device development manager at Oxford Brookes University, gave a lively presentation on the Lapsafe stand following the university’s successful Chromebook loan scheme

Oxford Brookes University’s animated presentation on ‘How it successfully implemented a self-service loan system for Chromebooks within its university’ provoked interest from the audience and passers-by on the LapSafe® stand at Bett 2014. Set in the historic student city of Oxfordshire, Oxford Brookes University is one of the UK’s leading modern universities which enjoys an international reputation for teaching excellence and innovation, as well as strong links with business and industry. Spread over three campuses in and around Oxford, the university boasts a brand-new building at its Headington Campus; this is a university that is looking forward and to the future. The university is well-known for its dedication and support of Google Chromebooks. So much so, that it introduced a ‘Chromebook Loan System’ for students to borrow the device for short periods of time. This was initially managed by staff using two LapSafe Mentor™ storage and charging trolleys full of Chromebooks, but it soon became hard to supervise. LapSafe Products has been the market leaders in managing storage and charging solutions for devices in volume for over a decade, and recently designed and manufactured a range of self-service loan charging lockers for laptops, netbooks, tablets and iPads. Bill Sturman, chief information officer at Oxford Brookes, explained: ”We wanted to provide self-service loans of devices to students, so we approached LapSafe Products and they suggested that we pilot their Diplomat™ LMS self-service charging



lockers product. LapSafe were able to offer us a unique solution for Google Chromebooks, which issues the best charged device [SmartLine™ power management] from multi-bay lockers and is linked to our existing Library Management System [LMS] for loan management. We can also allocate lockers by height to accommodate wheelchair users.” Sturman continued: “Whilst it may be difficult to expand the number of PCs on desks within a limited campus space, it is possible to provide portable devices for use within social and other areas. The Diplomat LMS self-service loan lockers provide 24/7 access to devices in communal areas and enables students to borrow a device anytime, use it anywhere and return it unmediated by staff. The scheme has proved to be extremely popular and we have had great feedback both students and staff.” So with this strong relationship in mind, this year LapSafe invited Damien Branigan from Oxford Brookes to attend the Bett Show and present a talk on its stand about ‘How they successfully implemented a self-service loan system for Chromebooks within their university’. The Bett Show has changed significantly since it first began, and it is no longer just a sales exhibition. Visitors attend to learn something new – with the Show now playing an important part in teacher’s continuous personal development – as well as a chance for them to see the latest technology and innovations. Damien’s presentation was well-received by visitors looking to deploy a similar service within their establishment also using the Diplomat LMS, multi-bay self-service device loan lockers. Some of the audience did

not realise that such a device could work so well with Chromebooks. Following the presentation, many in the audience opted to view the Diplomat LMS for themselves, which was on the stand, and enjoyed a full demonstration from the LapSafe Team. The intelligent electronic functionality of the Diplomat LMS can be integrated with most library management systems. Users identify themselves and must agree to the establishment’s terms and conditions using the 19” integral touchscreen before they are presented with the best charged device and an optional printed receipt. The customer can set timeframes for device loan, control access to devices and monitor overdue returns. Identification methods can be MIFARE™, barcode or magnetic swipe card, or biometrics. The LapSafe unique SmartLine with PowaSave™ charging system ensures that all devices are charged simultaneously in the fastest possible time, and always deploys the best charged device as a priority. PowaSave will detect when all devices are fully charged and will turn off the power supply to save electricity costs. Power will be reinstated automatically when the next laptop needs charging. Available from 12 to an unlimited number of bays (96 per terminal), the Diplomat LMS can be tailored to suit the user’s needs. LapSafe Products have recently enhanced the functionality of the Diplomat LMS. Users have the option to choose to loan a laptop, tablet or a locker for the popular BYOD scheme. Contact LapSafe’s Sales Team to find out about the Diplomat LMS and other LapSafe products. #

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 130 3456



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Faronics Deep Freeze (now available as a cloud-based solution) helps reduce IT costs and requests by making computer configurations indestructible. Once installed, any changes made – regardless of whether these changes are accidental or malicious – are automatically eradicated with every reboot Faronics Deep Freeze provides Windows, Mac and Linux systems with immunity from many of the problems that plague computers today, such as malicious software activity, system degradation or configuration drift, and helps reduce IT costs and support requests by making computer configurations indestructible. Once Deep Freeze is installed on a workstation it ensures that any changes made to it are automatically eradicated with every reboot, even when users have full access to system software and settings. Deep Freeze is now also available as a cloud-based solution. Research from Gartner Inc found that the average helpdesk cost per contact was £14.75 and that a well-managed desktop PC can be 42 per cent less expensive to keep than an unmanaged one. With Faronics Deep Freeze installed on your Windows and Macs, the hard work of daily repairs is eradicated and your IT support tickets can be reduced by up to 63 per cent, allowing IT staff to concentrate on other duties that are often sidelined when computers are reported as faulty and taken out of action. Since 1999, Faronics Deep Freeze has helped thousands of IT professionals in the education sector make their PCs indestructible by freezing their desired configurations and

Users can carry on using the computers as they normally would and all of their work can be stored safely on a network drive or in a virtual storage drive – called a ThawSpace – that you allocate to be retained across reboots. DEEP FREEZE CLOUD As well as the traditional perpetual licence, Deep Freeze is now available as Software as a Service (SaaS) which is updated automatically and can be managed and run from any browser, with no console, database or server deployment required. It is scalable and easy to deploy/use, just like any other cloud-based solution, and has been built on the time-tested fundamentals of the industry-leading cloud software companies. If your organisation has multiple sites or campuses, Deep Freeze Cloud allows them all to be managed from the same web login, with the ability to add multiple administrators or limited administrators for each individual site. The annual subscription for Deep Freeze Cloud takes PC management, data protection, asset administration and power management to the next level, so you can now be in control of your machines from anywhere at any time. Aberdeen City Council says: “Deep Freeze has been excellent. We no longer have any worries

With Faronics Deep Freeze installed on your machines there is no need to reimage, restore or lock them down and by ensuring 100 per cent workstation recovery with every restart, they will extend their life – creating operational savings preventing unwanted user changes, such as altering settings or downloading programs from sticking. By restarting the computer all systems are returned to the desired state. Deep Freeze ensures 100 per cent availability of your workstations and allows the automation of software updates, such as Windows updates, by scheduling them from within Deep Freeze. With a simple reboot, the system integrity is maintained and your machines run smoothly and efficiently. The end result is higher computer uptime, significant cost-savings and accelerated user productivity. With Deep Freeze, there is no need to reimage or restore machines from back-ups and no need to lock down your computers.

about the ‘dabblers’, and tutors also agree it is an excellent product.” With Faronics Deep Freeze installed on your machines there is no need to reimage, restore or lock them down and, by ensuring 100 per cent workstation recovery with every restart,

they will on average extend their life by up to 50 per cent – creating operational savings. THE BENEFITS Provides IT administrators with the ability to deliver a clean and consistent workstation with each session; free IT personnel from tedious system repairs that arise from software corruption, viruses, malware and spyware; allows users to benefit from an unrestricted and trouble-free computing experience where they can still save their data to thawed unprotected partitions; enhanced IT control over enterprise systems through network deployment and management capabilities; reduced money spent on IT repairs and hardware; and sign up, deploy and manage computers in minutes with a subscription to Deep Freeze Cloud. Tower Hamlets Council says: “Deep Freeze helps us manage 250 public access spread over eight sites. Using Deep Freeze means that most PC issues can be resolved by rebooting the machine. Our ICT team reduced in size yet the number of available PC hours actually increased over the same period, this would not have been possible without Deep Freeze. It is a vital part of our public access PC management strategy.” Contact ITS to download a free 30-day trial. # FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 8869 1965



Products & Services â&#x20AC;&#x201C; THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION


King Edwardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dulcet tones on song with a new performing arts centre after demolition of its sports hall When it comes to attracting the private education pound, any board of governors that discounts the influencing factor of a high-quality performing arts centre may lose a potential parent to King Edwardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School in Birmingham. King Edwardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School opened its new ÂŁ6m facility in 2011 providing a state of the art platform for the performing arts curriculum. Before site work started, the main contractor Shaylor Group appointed Compliance Surveys to produce the essential asbestos demolition survey report. Compliance Surveysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; managing director Adam Grundy had this to say about the project: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The majority of this educational establishment was built in the early 1900s when the use of asbestos in construction materials was common place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;New HSE guidelines were introduced in 2010 to ensure that the first stage of any demolition or refurbishment project must include a fully intrusive asbestos survey. This is only common sense, as the construction team must be fully aware of what they will encounter during the course of the work. All asbestos-containing material must be identified for type and quantity.â&#x20AC;?

Adam Grundy continued: â&#x20AC;&#x153;As specialist building surveyors, regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, we started producing asbestos survey reports in 2003 when the original asbestos regulations were introduced. Our surveys are undertaken and our reports are written with two definite aims, not only to identify the asbestoscontaining material, but also to describe the other materials used in the construction; this gives the contractors confidence about the safety of their working environment.



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Compliance Surveys was originally appointed by King Edwardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School in 2009 to ensure the whole site was compliant with the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations. At that time, we had no idea what a phenomenal investment was about to be made in the future education of the 1,200 pupils. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shaylor Group then appointed us to survey and advise on the demolition of the old sports hall to make way for the new performing arts centre. This was the start of an integrated working relationship that continues with the upgrading of the science block.â&#x20AC;? Adam Grundy commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Compliance Surveys is proud to have built a team, that operates nationally, to a level of excellence that allows us to work on prestigious projects, with solid professional construction plcâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, like Shaylor Group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also good to think we had a small hand in providing a facility that may inspire a future musician or thespian to greatness.â&#x20AC;? FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01159 414959








Visiting Barnstaple Heritage Centre is a great way for teachers to find inspiration for lessons, and is one of the area’s principal historical attractions. Visitors can explore this ancient towns’ past with hands on displays, computer touch screens and atmospheric sights and sounds, providing fascinating materials for all ages and abilities. There is no limit to the number of times groups can go around the exhibition. Students can take home their brass rubbings, quiz sheets and receive a sticker on leaving. They will have fun playing 16th century games and gain a real feeling of life in their home town in different centuries. Visits are also an ideal aid to sections of the national curriculum and teachers are welcome for a free site visit. Quizzes are available for the exhibition together with

Give your students lifeenhancing skills and an adventure they will never forget – a residential at UKSA. At UKSA the inspirational education helps each individual achieve their personal best, through sailing and watersports. There are two outdoor learning environments to choose from. The main campus is in Cowes, Isle of Wight – right on the waterfront in the heart of the yachting world. The site has everything you need for a trip to remember, but is also a great base from which to explore the Island too. UKSA’s additional hub is in the Lee Valley, London. Here you can enjoy watersports on a 180-acre lake, and stay in affiliated YHA accommodation. Each trip is bespoke and can be tailored to your requirements. Whether you want multi-activity or specific sailing, windsurfing or kayaking sessions – it’s up to you. Whether you want

Experience Saxon life at the Barnstaple Heritage Centre in Exeter

Barnstaple’s Millennium Mosaic (situated outside the building). The centre is open from 9.30am - 4.00pm (Nov - March) and 9.30am - 4.30pm (April - Oct). Group rates are £1.50 per person, teachers and helpers may enter for free (minimum groups of 6 to a maximum of three classes). FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: (01271) 373003 Fax: (01271) 373003 denise.holton@ www.barnstapletowncouncil.

Give your students a trip they will never forget



The PenAgain Twist ‘n Write pencil teaches kids the right way to write. Specifically designed to fit small hands and bring the fun back in learning to write. A thick 2mm lead provides for long-lasting write-out that never needs sharpening, and it comes with two erasers. The wishbone-shaped design forces the school-taught ‘tripod’ finger grasp and kids love the curvy shape and fun colours making them just want to write and doodle. This is a revolution in children’s writing tools. Available in packs of two or four. The PenAgain Ergo-Sof ballpen is the most comfortable writing instrument in the world. The rubber coating feels like silk for tension-free writing with its ‘no grip’ design. Ergonomically designed to adapt to the contour of the hand, the pen alleviates the stresses normally observed with a standard pen. The natural weight of the writer’s hand provides

Zone CEE is a Midlands-based company founded in 1984 providing interior refurbishment, building alterations, new build and general contracting services to all sectors but specialising in education. If you are looking to update, refurbish or extend your existing facilities to a modern, high standard, Zone CEE can provide ideas to suit your budget. The company has developed a reputation for the quality of its craftsmanship, which supports its creative and innovative works. Zone CEE provides drawings and mood boards with sample finishes so you can see your ideas before committing to your new schemes. Its project management team will take overall responsibility for your project ensuring that

PenAgain ergonomic writing tools for all ages

sufficient pressure to apply ink to the paper. This eliminates the need to grip the pen allowing the thumb and forefinger to serve merely as guides. The PenAgain may help to alleviate symptoms of writer’s cramp, carpel tunnel syndrome, arthritis and anyone who has trouble holding and writing with a regular pen or pencil. Suitable for either right or left-handed writers, it is available in red, blue, black and silver.

Products & Services


half days, whole days, fully residential packages or nonresidential – it’s up to you. Residential visits include evening entertainment to keep students focused, engaged and active. For example, before lights out on the Cowes campus, students can wind down in a self-contained entertainment zone or swim in the indoor heated pool. FURTHER INFORMATION Contact a UKSA schools advisor on 01983 203045, email or visit

Zone CEE for creative and innovative refurbishments every aspect is completed to a high standard. Zone CEE’s health and safety systems are accredited by CHAS and its staff have CSCS cards and DBS checks. The company is a ‘preferred installer’ for Venesta Washroom Systems and Bushboard Washrooms, which offers a range of cubicles for the education sector – and Zone CEE has a dedicated team who just refurbish toilets. Zone CEE works within the local community supporting several schools with their quarterly newsletters and visits from Santa and his elves at Christmas. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0121 474 5136







Redstor for cloud services & Risk-free premium data protection solutions eco printer cartridges Founded in 1998, Redstor is a leading provider of cloud-based IT services in the areas of data backup, storage, endpoint management and safeguarding. As an ISO 27001 and 9001 accredited organisation, Redstor combines technical excellence with proven processes to deliver innovative and secure IT services that reduce risk and cost, and increase flexibility. Supported and based in the UK, Redstor can guarantee that your data will not cross borders. All of Redstor’s services utilise strong encryption to guarantee data privacy and aid in ensuring compliance with the Data Protection Act, Information Commissioner’s Office, SFVS and other guidelines and regulations. Redstor’s flagship online backup service, RBUSS – resold by over 70 local authorities and over 40 large and small private sector education service providers – protects the data of 10,000 schools across the UK. RBUSS

is also Capita’s only approved technology for protecting SIMS, FMS and Discover data. Redstor’s safeguarding service allows pupils and staff to feel more confident about using new technologies, safe in the knowledge the ICT network is monitored and protected. Redstor’s endpoint management service enables IT support providers to audit, manage, monitor and provide remote support to devices from any location, on any network. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0118 951 5200 Twitter: @Redstor



Toner Trader can collect your unused toner and ink cartridges within 24 hours and pay for your toner cartridges within a few days, offering great prices when you sell your surplus printer toners. Toner Trader also sell at wholesale prices. Most schools in the country have printer toners and ink cartridges in their cupboards they no longer need or use. Quite often these printer toners are thrown away. Toner Trader understand that schools need all the help they can get, especially in the current economic climate and know every penny counts. Toner Trader can buy these toners and offer you great prices – just call or visit the website for an instant

Smart Tech is a leading UK based online retailer specialising in tablet PC and electronic gadgets, providing quality products backed with speedy and reliable customer service. Smart Tech offers a wide range of tablet PC models for schools, colleges and university students including 7 inch, 8 inch, 9 inch, 9.7 inch and 10 inch tablets. The company also supplies a variety of electronic gadgets such as MP3/MP4 players and accessories which are popular with young people. Smart Tech prides itself on

Toner Trader buy and sell surplus toner cartridges and printer consumables


National education distributor Supplies for Schools has expanded its premium range of own-brand printer cartridges following successful trials in schools throughout the UK. The cartridges offer education establishments an audited, environmentally friendly alternative to original toners and inks, plus cost savings of up to 40 per cent. Offered under the slogan “Go Green”, the cartridges have achieved internationally recognised certificates for both manufacturing quality and environmental standards,

quote. Toner Trader also offers collection within 24 hours, and your school will get paid the day after collection. It is that simple. The company also guarantees that you will not pay more than wholesale price on your first order. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 433 2440


including the prestigious Swan Mark – the official Ecolabel of the Nordic countries. “Quality is everything,” as managing director Alan Bowes explained. “The key to getting a green cartridge adopted by schools and colleges is to take away the risks of moving away from originals, because there are still lots of very poor quality compatibles out there. “Our cartridges are right at the top of the quality ladder and that quality is built into every part of the manufacturing process. We’re very happy to put our name on them.” Supplies for Schools cartridges are available for hundreds of popular printer models and all the major brands. There is also a free collection service for recycling empty cartridges. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0871 200 0697 Fax: 0871 200 0698

Quality tablet PC’s at affordable prices

providing good quality products at competitive prices, along with an excellent level of customer service. The company offers a 12 month warranty on all tablet PC’s and electronic gadgets, and the price you see is the price you pay. If you require a specific product or need help making the right choice, contact Smart Tech’s customer service team who are more than happy to help. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0) 7523 066 466


School food procurement: online training course The Children’s Food Trust charity (formerly the School Food Trust) has created an online training course on school food procurement, which covers the legal obligations for spending public money and the process to be followed when procuring for your school meal service. This is relevant whether you outsource your school food provision or employ an in-house cook. Visit www.childrensfoodtrust. to request a free trial of the Children’s Food Trust’s Learning Network. This new website contains online training courses on a range of school food issues: from increasing the number of pupils eating free school meals (and impacting on the pupil premium your school receives), to getting children and parents interested in school food (to increase take-up and create more revenue).

There are courses on reducing waste and improving efficiency, customer service for school caterers, training for lunchtime supervisors, and much more. Training courses will help schools achieve the aims of the government’s School Food Plan, which includes the reintroduction of cooking on the curriculum and universal free school meals for infants from September 2014.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0114 299 6960 Tel: 0114 299 6901 (Jonathan Rayment) learningnetwork@



Does your kitchen ventilation comply? With new budgets and continually changing requirements and standards, it can be difficult for schools to decide how to invest in its kitchen facilities. Caterquip have 20 years experience in providing catering ventilation systems and offers free site surveys, quotations and designs (CAD), along with planning assistance to help schools make the right choice. The company’s manufacturing facility offers quality bespoke and standard items at competitive prices, including ST/ST canopies and cladding. Caterquip holds accounts with the UK’s leading kitchen suppliers and receives preferential rates, enabling the company to pass the savings on to you. It has a specialist knowledge of catering ventilation systems, including input air and carbon filtration systems, along with excellent relationships with quality companies

Products & Services


offering associated services, enabling clients to deal with one common source. Previous projects include the Olympic Villiage, Basildon Hospital, Dock Gate 4 and Banana Wharf, colleges, schools, hotels and public houses. Caterquip provide catering ventilation systems to DW172 specification and BSEN:6173:2001 compliance and provide services nationwide. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01789 841665


Cemak – the specialists in food transportation

Welcome to The Utility Warehouse Business Club

Cemak is an independent family-run catering equipment supply company specialising in food transport and meal delivery equipment throughout the entire UK and Ireland Individual meal delivery solutions include mobile hot trolleys and cupboards as well as isothermal insulated boxes and bags. Cemak is the exclusive UK distributor of SDX Thermobox mobile food service trolleys. Manufactured in Sweden to the highest quality, the trolleys come in hot, cold or a combination of both. SDX trolleys can be used both indoors and outdoors and are suited for schools, hospitals, hotels, event caterers and prisons. Cemak also stocks a comprehensive range of Kanga Box insulated thermo boxes which offer an ideal cost effective solution for food transport.

If you’re looking to cut your business overheads, let The Utility Warehouse Business Club supply your phone and broadband, mobiles, gas and electricity. The more services you take, the more you can save. Plus, you can earn up to 18.5 per cent cash back when you buy your everyday supplies. The Utility Warehouse Business Club is here to help, and it will help you save money. Unlike other utility companies, it has on-the-ground local distributors that you can call on to help you save money. The company is committed to providing excellent customer support and has a single number for its award-winning UK call centre, offering prompt and professional help on managing your account and technical issues so you can get on with running your business.

Cemak is a main distributor of Cook Tek Induction, which is available as either table top units or drop in units. Cook Tek also has induction heated food delivery and pizza bags, while Cooper Atkins’ comprehensive range of temperature probes and monitoring equipment is also available through Cemak. Being an independent company means Cemak can source and supply any piece of catering equipment at very competitive rates. Visit the company at Hotelympia 2014 on Stand 1964. FURTHER INFORMATION

So, if you want a Better deal for your business utilities, join The Utility Warehouse Business Club today. Take a look at the website and see for yourself what you can save. Contact David Lench direct for a personal service, and there is no charge for this. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01297 33009 Tel: 07957 863363 davelen@countrymaid. www.utilitywarehousefor






Omega Music (UK) was founded in 1987 and specialises in the supply of musical instruments and equipment to schools and colleges across the UK. Over the years, it has become one of the UK’s main suppliers in this area, particularly for the high school sector, but increasingly to junior schools, also. The directors of Omega Music taught for many years before getting together and setting up the business. Several of its office staff are graduates and practising musicians (classically trained, rock and electric folk). Collectively, the team has a great deal of knowledge about different kinds of musical instruments. This blend of in-depth knowledge and experience of working in educational environments has helped to establish Omega Music as a

Music Made is a fresh and unique method of teaching music, from foundation stage to Year 6. It provides activities, resources, advice and training for primary school teachers to create a systematic, progressive and topic-related music scheme. Requiring minimum preparation to deliver dynamic, professional and enjoyable music lessons, this is innovative and joined up school music teaching ‘in a box’. After teaching music in schools for over 30 years, founder Marie Leaney felt she could improve upon the musical experience of teachers and pupils alike. She decided to create her own music education scheme, and so Music Made was born. It caters for all teachers: from musical maestros to the completely terrified. Marie works collaboratively with respected children’s composers, musicians, filmmakers, presenters, illustrators and technicians to produce modern and fun resources, which include

Musical instruments and equipment for schools

provider of the best choice of instruments within the different price ranges. The company’s ethos is to be helpful and friendly in its service. Within the UK’s music industry, Omega Music has a very strong reputation for honest opinions and integrity. Contact Omega Music (UK) for more details or to order a copy of its 160-page Education Catalogue. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 016977 3067


Music Made: a teaching scheme for primary schools

Music Made-produced DVDs and CDs. Each class teacher receives a box containing everything they need to meet – and exceed – the requirements of the National Curriculum for music. The teaching is strongly based on practical experience and sound music principles. It also gives teachers extra confidence to deliver music activities by providing 30 hours of support and training for each school. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0) 7563 624 072


Quality images of students TripleChoice Media Portal for schools and suppliers and digital asset library Images4education has been established by David Vincent, an experienced education market professional, to create a library of quality images of UK students from all age groups engaging in the learning process. These images are of benefit to the schools, who welcome us into their premises to take the images and to the education suppliers wishing to use images of UK students to promote their products and services. Once the images have been taken, the school receives a disc of the shots entirely free of charge, which they are then licensed to use in their promotional material and online. Schools then support us in seeking permission from parents for the images to be used by education market suppliers. In gratitude for their support, parents receive a free mounted print of their child. All permission-released images are added to the photo library at

148 and made available to suppliers to the education market. A pleased client of Images4education left the following feedback: “The service that was provided by David was of an extremely high quality. His rapport with the students and staff was great and his calm nature ensured the shoot ran as smooth as possible. We would highly recommend David to other schools and companies and look forward to working with him again.” FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01386 552052


Tripleplay has relaunched its TripleChoice Video Media Portal with a fresh new look, incorporating integration into virtual learning environments (VLEs), including Moodle and Blackboard, ensuring users get the best possible experience from their video library solution. Enabling users to upload and categorise content, record live TV, create bookmarked video clips and personal libraries, TripleChoice Media Portal is a feature-rich digital asset content solution, ideal for use within HE and FE institutes. With a fully customisable portal, TripleChoice Media Portal allows users to create a personalised experience, optimised for access through PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones and controlled via Tripleplay’s browser-based management interface as well as accessed through LDAP integration. The portal is in use within universities, academies and

colleges around the world, and in the UK by Sheffield Hallam University, Bridgwater College, New College Durham and Kettering Buccleuch Academy. Tripleplay also specialises in the provision of server-based digital signage and IPTV solutions, with its video portal operating upon the same platform, allowing seamless integration between core services. Tripleplay creates a true single platform digital media experience for staff and students alike.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0845 094 3326 Twitter: @tripleplayserv



ZatPark from Unity Five provides cutting-edge parking notice back office technology and cost-effective on-street solutions. The system offers innovative tools to allow sensitive management of parking resources, with inbuilt appeals handling, automated letter generation and full integration to online payment solutions and on-street cashless payment systems. With optional integration to third-party providers, offering final stage recovery services. ZatPark has been designed to provide market-leading functionality with cost-effective pricing, this has resulted in over three years’ development work to be able to offer on-street software utilising either Apple iOS or Android-based mobile hardware. This enables customers to benefit from low costs when rolling out on-street devices, which could allow technology to be deployed at a ratio of 3:1 compared to other solutions.

“Nearly half of all children in the UK have had occasional backache from poor posture, unsupportive classroom seating, carrying heavy schoolbags and leading an unhealthy lifestyle. The best schoolbag for your child is a well-designed backpack,” NHS Choices 2013. Marathon School Supplies’ Chiropak and Physiopak III are the ONLY backpacks on the UK market endorsed by qualified back-care professional bodies as “proven to reduce the incidence and severity of neck and back pain associated with the carriage of heavy loads”. For 25 years, Marathon has supplied high-quality schoolbags, sports bags and accessories to thousands of UK schools. It prides itself on quality, long-lasting and durable products that look great and are comfortable and practical to use, as well as being gentle on growing bodies. All Marathon products have been ergonomically designed and

Parking enforcement systems from ZatPark

The choice of hardware is extensive and includes rugged waterproof devices from leading manufactures if required. Existing clients include the NHS, and ZatPark is experienced in supporting them with the unique challenges hospital parking presents. The company understands the sensitivity required to implement and manage such parking schemes. Contact ZatPark to discuss how its systems can help you with your own challenges. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 033 3344 0834

Marathon: helping to protect children’s backs

Products & Services


the company is able to draw on years of research with leading universities and development work undertaken with some of the leading national chiropractic and physiotherapy bodies. Marathon provides a warranty against faulty workmanship on all non-accessory bags. It also prints logos and carries large stocks. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01932 359188 Twitter: @marathonss



Hoodies for school, college Kazbar Systems for the latest in music technology and university students Hoodies4Schools is a leading UK supplier of personalised hoodies to students of all ages. Ideal for school-leavers, teams, clubs and trips… Hoodies are an increasingly popular choice for schools, colleges and universities. In-house embroidery and screen-printing expertise means full control from order to delivery, that makes sure you’re getting the very best quality and design for your budget. The Hoodies4Schools range includes fashionable styles in dozens of colours with layout options for personalising from off-the-peg graphics or your own artwork. As specialists in leavers’ hoodies, the company’s designs incorporate all the leavers’ names

into an eye-catching graphic or you can create your own. Hoodies4Schools’ ISO 9001-certified screen-printing process uses only environmentally safe inks and its hoodies meet the requirements of the ‘confidence in textiles’ kitemark. You want hoodies that stand out and are mementos that look good for years to come. Hoodies4Schools believes you should get quality and value-for-money. So, should you find a lower quote on a like-for-like personalised hoodie, the price will be matched. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01254 457013

Kazbar Systems supplies recording studio equipment to the education sector. If you are looking to have a setup from the smallest system to a full production studio, Kazbar Systems can advise, specify and install a working recording system to your budget plus offer support, too. Kazbar supplies everything from microphones, speakers, computer recording, audio hardware, software, cables and much more. If you have a requirement for multiple systems in one room, it can specify and install, too. The company can advise on all aspects: from what cables and patchbays, Apple Macintosh or PC, software and hardware

configuration including recording software, plugins and audio interface, microphones, speakers, to acoustic advice on your studio room, including full bespoke design and installation. Kazbar also specialises in acoustic treatment, sound acoustic panels and sound management. If you have a room that you’re planning to convert into a studio, Kazbar can offer onsite advice, planning then full installation. Contact Kazbar Systems with your music technology inquiries. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01234 780177





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Marathon School Supplies 149 Maxxia 25 Mercury Sports Products 110 Misco UK 140 Music Made 148 NEC Display Solutions UK 82, 83 Nomadic Schools 58 Ocean Youth Trust Scotland 132 OKI Systems UK 116 Omega Music UK 148 Oscommsonline 74 ParentPay 88 PC Werth 134 PCC Office Supplies 21 Playforce 34 Pod Living 48 Point 2 Educate 74 Portable Building Sales 52 PRECOR 36 Premier Global 60 Rathbone Brothers 32 Recite Me 104 Red Spot HR 18 Redstor 146 Restech 84 Rock UK Adventure Centres 113 School Business Services 29 School Signs 124 Shakespeares Solicitors 20 Simply Health 68 Smart Protection Systems 150 Smartâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Techshop 146

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Education Business 19.2  

The Business Magazine for Education

Education Business 19.2  

The Business Magazine for Education