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VOLUME 21.4

Business Information for Education Decision Makers SPORT

TABLET TECHNOLOGY

SCHOOL TRIPS

OUTDOOR LEARNING

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE What support is available to schools to improve outdoor learning?

SCHOOL GROUNDS

EXPLORING THE CURRICULUM FROM THE GROUND UP Letting school grounds breathe life into school subjects

PLUS: CATERING | CURRICULUM | ENERGY | FINANCE | LIGHTING | WEBSITE DESIGN


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A member of

VOLUME 21.4

Business Information for Education Decision Makers SPORT

TABLET TECHNOLOGY

SCHOOL TRIPS

OUTDOOR LEARNING

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE What support is available to schools to improve outdoor learning?

Comment

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

The case for the defence is slowly waning Another week of opposition and another week where the academy merry go round keeps on spinning. At the start of our printing week, the BBC reported that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will consider making it easier for councils to form their own multi-academy trusts.

SCHOOL GROUNDS

EXPLORING THE CURRICULUM FROM THE GROUND UP Letting school grounds breathe life into school subjects

PLUS: CATERING | CURRICULUM | ENERGY | FINANCE | LIGHTING | WEBSITE DESIGN

Despite remaining adamant that the government will not alter its stance on academisation, it now seems likely that her climbdown may be beginning to gather force. According to many sources, opposition from all corners of the political field is leading Morgan to consider concessions. A rebel number of up to 40 Conservative MP backbenchers have joined the frustrated swarm surrounding the former solicitor’s policies. Her defence is waning, and her defiance is slowly turning into a likely U-turn. Additionally, the Local Government Association (LGA) has released research that shows that local authority schools achieve a higher rate of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than academies. While the LGA agenda is clear, for the good of the nation’s schools, teachers and students, surely it is only a short amount of time before the whole debacle is brought to a close. Michael Lyons, acting editor

Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @EducationBizz

This issue contains a correction on the Education Business article concerning budget monitoring, previously published in Education Business 21.2. The corrected article is now on page 13.

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www.educationbusinessuk.net PUBLISHED BY PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION LIMITED

226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 Web: www.psi-media.co.uk EDITOR Angela Pisanu ACTING EDITOR Michael Lyons PRODUCTION EDITOR Richard Gooding ASSISTANT EDITOR Tommy Newell EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Rachel Brooks PRODUCTION CONTROL Sofie Owen PRODUCTION DESIGN Jacqueline Lawford, Jo Golding WEBSITE PRODUCTION Victoria Leftwich ADVERTISEMENT SALES Patrick Dunne, Jackie Preece, Raj Chohan, Harry Harris, Paul Bland, Stephanie Matthews PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Vickie Hopkins REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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CONTENTS EDUCATION BUSINESS 21.4 07 EDUCATION BRIEFER

British values being undermined; ‘chaotic’ primary testing regime; and LA schools outperforming academies?

13 FINANCE

Education Business revisits the importance of good budget monitoring, plus CIPFA discuss why schools should be aware of financial fraud in education

21

21 DESIGN & BUILD

Education Business looks at some of the schools that were recipients of the 2016 regional RIBA Awards

27 SCHOOL PREMISES

There are numerous advantages for schools to hire out their premises outside of school hours. Education Business looks at the financial and community benefits

31

31 SPORT

Funding for school facilities can be extremely beneficial for schools, communities and the sport in question. The Football Foundation reports

35 SCHOOL GROUNDS

35

School grounds play a pivotal role in children’s lives. Juno Hollyhock examines the role of stimulating landscapes and their contribution to education

37 LANDSCAPING

Outdoor learning brings pupils to their surrounding landscapes and can change the landscape of their learning. Here, Stacey Aplin promotes ‘taking it outside’

40 ENERGY 42 65

Schools must keep on top of the ways in which they can cut bills from their expenditure. The Solar Trade Association suggests that solar may be the solution

42 LIGHTING

Can good lighting improve performance and well-being in schools? The Lighting Industry Association suggests so

45 ACADEMIES

With plans to convert all schools into academies, Tina Allison raises some of the considerations that may be overlooked amid the controversy

Education Business

Contents

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48 CATERING

Linda Cregan from the Children’s Food Trust shares her tips on how schools can create healthy habits that students take home from the classroom

51 IT & COMPUTING: MOBILE TECHNOLOGY AND AUDIO VISUAL TECHNOLOGY

Mobile technology is becoming a mainstay in the UK education system. But, if usage is increasing, what is hindering it’s full adoption? Following on from this, Dave Smith, chair of Naace, discusses the history of audio-visual technology in schools and how it enhances the learning experience

65 CURRICULUM RESOURCES It is essential that school business leaders follow procurement trends intently. Mark Rosser of BESA examines the latest trends in tablet resources

68 WEBSITE DESIGN

For most prospective parents, a school’s website is the first place that they gain an insight into how good a school is. But what information should a school website contain?

71 THE EDUCATION SHOW

Education Business looks back at all the latest ideas and resources from last month’s Education Show from the NEC

74 ENGAGEMENT

A positive school community relies upon trusted coorperation and communication between teachers, parents and governors, says Emma Williams of PTA UK

77 TRIPS: RESIDENTIALS AND SCHOOL TRAVEL GUIDANCE Jane Cooper of the Countryside Education Trust dissects the benefits of school residentials, while the School Travel Forum explain the importance of thorough planning for all types of trip

87 SECURITY

Parents and carers rightfully expect safety when their children are in school. With the growth of CCTV on school sites, is there such a thing as too much surveillance or is safety secure?

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“Serving Hungry Minds”

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Operating in over seventy countries ISS provides services within six different areas: Catering, Cleaning, including professional education cleaning, Technical Services, Security and Support Services and Facility Management. For the last three years we have achieved the highest possible ratings by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® (IAOP®), which is just one more reason why you should consider ISS as your chosen provider. To find out how you can benefit from the experience and skills provided by our 500,000+ service professionals, visit www.uk.issworld.com or feedinghungryminds.co.uk or contact us at isseducation.commercial@uk.issworld.com

Every day ISS employees work as an integrated part of each client school, academy, university or college, ensuring that service value is created through ‘The ISS Way’ of customising and delivering our innovative service solutions. ISS Facility Services, ISS House, Genesis Business Park, Albert Drive, Woking GU21 5RW - www.uk. issworld.com - Phone: +44 845 057 6300

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EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY

Disadvantaged pupils more likely to have unqualified teachers According to a report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) committee, poor pupils are twice as likely to be taught by teachers who are unqualified, than their better-off peers. The research examined the incidence of inequality in education and found four per cent of teachers in the most deprived primary schools did not specialise in the subject they taught, compared to two per cent in more affluent areas. It outlined that nine per cent of teachers in secondary schools serving poorer areas were unqualified, compared to five per cent in richer areas. The study was conducted by Education Datalab and found that schools in disadvantaged areas had a higher rate of teacher turnover. It warned that teacher recruitment and retention had worsened since the data was first compiled. The news followed similar research by the Institute of Education which identified that the most highly qualified teachers were more attracted to schools serving the wealthiest and highest-attaining pupils.

In its report, the SMF recommended the use of pay incentives and increased support to inexperienced teachers to redistribute more experienced teachers to more deprived schools. Nick Clegg, chair of the commission, said: “This new research suggests that poor pupils are facing a ‘cocktail

of disadvantage’ – they’re more likely to have unqualified teachers, non-specialist teachers, less experienced teachers, and to have a high turnover of teachers.” READ MORE: tinyurl.com/guj45or

EXAMS

ACADEMIES

NAHT calls for solutions to ‘chaotic’ primary testing regime

CCN warns against academy plans

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has called for ’swift and lasting’ solutions to the current testing regime in primary schools. 98 per cent of primary leaders who responded to NAHT’s Assessment Pledge believe the current system is ‘chaotic and distracting’. The union has warned that ‘serious mistakes’ have been made in relation to the planning and implementation of testing this academic year, which the NAHT says has had a negative effect on children’s education. Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, is calling for a ‘better system of assessment – one that works for parents, pupils and teachers, rather than one that just ticks boxes for bureaucrats and politicians’. The key mistakes identified include: late publication and frequent changes in the middle of the year; inappropriate content; lack of clarity on standards and contradictory guidelines; a focus on tick-box skills rather than the quality of work; lack of time to implement the new curriculum; and serious errors on the design of a reception baseline, leading to its cancellation. The NAHT has also drawn focus to the Key Stage 1 spelling, punctuation and grammar test, which was leaked online months before the exam was due to take place.

The County Councils Network (CCN), which represents 37 largely Conservative local authorities, has warned that government plans to force all schools in England to convert into academies pose a ‘grave risk’ to schools. Speaking to the BBC, Councillor Paul Carter, chairman of the CCN, warned that the government was pursuing change with ‘undue haste’. He said: “My concern is that the change will lead to a poorer education system operating across Kent, and more broadly England, because the value that local authorities generally provide to schools will be removed.” Carter suggested that primary schools and small schools would struggle more with the conversion than larger secondary schools, as they require greater support to tackle issues such as maternity cover. He told the BBC: “If you have a school with five teachers, and two or three of those teachers become pregnant at the same time, you need those support networks to support those schools – otherwise their finances will not be sustainable and the school will end up in a spiral of decline.”

Hobby said: “Testing has a role to play in the assessment of children, but the poorly-designed tests and last minute changes we have seen this year do not add value to teaching. Increasingly, parents and teachers agree that high-stakes statutory tests like SATs can actually make it harder to find out what children are really learning and to improve their education. “We want to find a clearer, simpler system that gives parents and schools the information they need to improve children’s learning. We cannot endure a repeat of this chaos. The government must step back from its piecemeal, last minute changes and engage with the profession now – well in advance of next year – in a fundamental review of assessment from reception to Key Stage 3. There is much that we can achieve if we work together.”

READ MORE: tinyurl.com/gnywxps

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MARKING

GENDER PAY GAP

‘Critical lack of evidence’ on effective marking, EEF warns There is a ‘critical lack of evidence’ on the most effective marking strategies for teachers, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has warned. The EEF’s new report, entitled A Marked Improvement, saw researches at the Department for Education at the University of Oxford review existing research to find out how teachers can use their time more effectively to improve pupils’ learning. The research found a ‘significant disparity’ between the enormous amount of effort teachers invest in marking and a lack of evidence on ways to improve the marking process. Following the report, the EEF has said that there is an ‘urgent need’ for more studies on written marking, to provide teachers with more comprehensive information about the most effective approaches. The EEF identified a number of areas that it believes require more in depth research, including: testing the impact of marking policies which are primarily based on formative comments and which rarely award grades; investigating the most effective ways to use class time for pupils to respond to marking; comparing the effectiveness of selective marking that focuses on a particular aspect of a piece of work to thorough approaches that focus on spelling and grammar, in addition to subject-specific content; and testing the impact of dialogic and triple marking approaches to determine whether the benefits of such approaches justify the time invested.

READ MORE: tinyurl.com/hoshfh7

More support needed for women applying for senior roles, report says A report by Ranstad Education has argued that more support is needed for women applying for senior roles in schools. The report entitled, Women and the Education Pay Gap, surveyed 480 teachers and found that 43 per cent of female teachers believe a glass ceiling is holding them back in their careers. It also found that 84 per cent of female teachers wouldn’t ever consider asking for a pay rise, compared to 75 per cent of male teachers. Commenting on the government’s academisation plans, it warns the move could ‘risk creating a system where pay structures are less transparent’ and could push women out of the profession. It urged schools to do more to encourage women into leadership positions, particularly in light of the retention crisis. When asked to explain why they felt they

Education Briefer

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were unable to move up in their career, female teachers cited a number of reasons, including: a lack of confidence (23 per cent); employer attitudes (21 per cent); and a fear of how they will be perceived by senior management and colleagues (13 per cent). Ranstad concluded that more needed to be done to encourage women to ask for pay rises and to apply for more senior roles, if the number of female head teachers is to increase. READ MORE: tinyurl.com/jy5btbh

FAITH SCHOOLS

British values being ‘undermined’ by some faith schools, Ofsted chief warns Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned that British values are being ‘undermined’ in some independent faith schools. Wilshaw voiced his concerns in a letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. He opened the letter saying that he was writing to her not just in her capacity as Education Secretary, but also as Minister for Women and Equalities. The letter follows recent inspections of three independent faith schools currently judged as inadequate by Ofsted, which were carried out between 12 and 21 April. According to Wilshaw, these schools showed signs that they do not ‘conform to the spirit of the equalities legislation which underpins the spiritual moral social and cultural standard’. He gave the example of the Rabia Girls’ and Boys’ School in Luton, where, at the initial meeting with inspectors, the school

insisted on segregating men and women with a dividing screen. Wilshaw claims that further evidence signalled that male and female staff were segregated during whole school staff training sessions. He advised that changes introduced by the Department for Education (DfE) to strengthen independent school standards in relation to fundamental British values were not being followed and said that any form of segregation without good educational reason will likely lead to inadequate inspection judgements. He concluded by urging Morgan to further review DfE guidance and reaffirm the government’s commitment to the promotion of British values. READ MORE: tinyurl.com/z2rha8b

WORKLOAD

Teachers are the most likely professionals to work overtime, survey suggests According to a survey of 1,500 people conducted by Reed, teachers are among the professionals who are mostly likely to work unpaid overtime. The research outlined that the incidence of working unpaid overtime in the teaching profession is considered a fundamental part of the job. The survey concluded that

teachers are seen as the hardest workers among a nation of hard workers. Engineers were also found to work high rates of unpaid overtime. The findings suggested that one in five employees in England work over a day of overtime per week, with two thirds of workers racking up four hours of overtime each week.

On average, teachers and engineers work around six hours of unpaid overtime each week. 60 per cent of teachers which responded to the survey claimed they often worked through lunch, while 50 per cent maintained they regularly stayed late after school. Read more on the survey at tinyurl.com/zzm68h4.

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ACADEMIES

Local authority schools outperform academies, LGA finds According to analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA), local authority schools achieve a higher rate of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rankings than academies. The LGA’s research found that 86 per cent of council-run schools were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, compared to 82 per cent of academies and 79 per cent of free schools. The LGA claimed the figures, which looked exclusively at Ofsted’s newer, more rigorous inspection framework, are even more pronounced. This data found that 81 per cent of council-maintained schools were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, with 73 per cent of academies and 79 per cent of free schools. The LGA said that the research suggested that ‘inadequate’ council-run schools were more likely to improve if they remained under a local authority, than if they were converted intern academy. It outlined that 98 per cent of council schools improved after just one ‘inadequate’ Ofsted inspection, compared with 88 per cent of academies. Councillor Roy Perry, chairman of the LGA’s children and young people board, said: “[The LGA] figures clearly demonstrate that

councils are education improvement partners, rather than barriers to delivering the high quality education that our children deserve. “With 86 per cent of council-maintained schools in England rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, the government needs to recognise councils’ role in education improvement and that imposing structural changes on schools is not the best way to improve education.” However, the Department for Education (DfE) said the LGA figures were misleading. A DfE spokesperson argued: “These figures are completely misleading and wilfully

ignore the real progress that’s been made through removing the very worst performing schools from council control and turning them into sponsored academies. “It’s thanks to such reforms that 1.4 million more children are now learning in good or outstanding schools compared with 2010. The latest inspection results show 350,000 children now study in sponsored academies rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.” READ MORE: tinyurl.com/h3gort9

MENTAL HEALTH

CURRICULUM

School staff to be given mental health training

Government acts to save community languages in schools

Mental health charity The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust will fund £175,545 to provide one-toone training for over 1,000 members of school staff across southern and western England. The grant was awarded to the charity as part of the Department of Health’s £3 million Health Education England award. The money will be used to train pastoral and support staff to identify mental health warning signs in pupils, so they can intervene correctly and effectively. On its grant application, the charity said: “School pastoral and support staff are uniquely well-placed to recognise and respond to mental ill-health in pupils, and to provide effective one-to-one support, to prevent mental-health deterioration and promote positive outcomes. This workforce’s skill is

currently under-developed and under-utilised.” Over the course of a year, each school project will receive 10 sessions which will cover a range of mental health issues and early intervention strategies. The charity will also provide 20 online question-and-answer sessions with mental-health experts, which will be available for schools across the country. Claire Stafford, chief executive of The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, said: “This funding will help us make a difference by upskilling teachers and support staff to help recognise the warning signs, support young people, and know when they need to make a referral to wider services.” READ MORE: tinyurl.com/j6dasmr

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Community languages such as Panjabi, Portuguese and Japanese will continue to be offered in schools thanks to action taken by the government. The move comes after exam boards announced they would withdraw several courses from 2017. The government has worked with Ofqual and the exam boards to secure agreement that these languages will continue to be offered up to GCSE and A-level. Pearson and AQA will continue to offer the languages they currently offer and will also work to develop new GSCEs and A-levels, taking on most of the qualifications that are being withdrawn by OCR. OCR has agreed to continue offering these languages until 2018, when the new qualifications from Pearson and AQA are set to be introduced. The languages that will remain on offer include: Arabic,

Modern Greek, Gujarati, Bengali, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “One of Britain’s strengths is its rich, multicultural nature and ensuring young people have the opportunity to study a wide range of languages is integral to that. “I am delighted that these languages will continue at GCSE and A level. Learning a foreign language opens up a whole world of opportunity and ensures our young people will be able to compete on a global scale. “I also want to thank those exam boards who have worked with us to protect these languages so we will continue to have high quality qualifications available.” READ MORE: tinyurl.com/zol4mw4

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SBS Budget Management Success Stories

Schools save time and gain confidence with accurate budget management solution, SBS Online Budget Accuracy

Lady Jane Grey Primary School - Groby, Leicester

Before switching to SBS Online, School Business Manager, Sally Boaden utilised spreadsheets provided by the local authority. The spreadsheets had always calculated each contract’s National Insurance (NI) separately. “For members of staff who had more than one role, the forecasts were always wrong,” Sally explained. “For example, a single member of staff works as a teaching assistant, in the breakfast club, as a midday meal supervisor and as a cover supervisor. Their NI was always miles out.” Working with spreadsheets also posed other problems. “If I wanted to change my staff I had to add a new line on the salary spreadsheet which would then throw out my budgeting spreadsheet. I had little faith in my budgets... my figures would often change from one meeting to the next.” Sally is hugely more confident in her budget now SBS Online is projecting her staff costs. This is largely due to the way that NI is calculated. It is worked out by employee, not by contract, and for those staff who have more than one role, the NI calculations are spread across those contracts to arrive at exactly the right figure. Sally also uses the Salary Monitor to check her payroll and ensure her contracts remain correct at the same time. “Monthly payroll reconciliation now takes me 20 minutes instead of an hour and a half.” With her renewed faith in her staff figures, Sally has been able to budget with more creativity and freedom.

“Having accurate staff forecasts has allowed me to budget for a brand new kitchen and an after school club.”

Effortless Reporting

George Mitchell School – Waltham Forest, London

School Business Manager, John Lawrence, was previously using spreadsheets to plan and monitor his budget. John found that producing reports for the Local Authority (LA) and governors became a much easier process. He exports the reports from SBS Online and quickly uses them to fill in the relevant documentation required by the LA. For governors, he is able to export the SBS Online reports straight to PDF and present them. “I used to spend at least half a day chopping up data from my finance software. Using SBS Online, it’s a two second job to report to the senior leadership team and to budget holders. I can produce a report for the LA and I can budget monitor based on CFR codes which gives me a much better feel for year end.” John uses the Salary Monitor to check his monthly payroll against the contract information held in SBS Online.

“I have a much greater degree of confidence. National Insurance, superannuation and increases to pay are correct. I was never that confident before, but the expected amounts in SBS Online match my payroll file.”

SBS Online will make budget management a breeze. Talk to our friendly team today. Read more success stories or watch a short video on our website http://bit.ly/SBSOnline. 0345 222 1551 • option 5

sbsonline@schoolbusinessservices.co.uk

schoolbusinessservices.co.uk


BUDGET MONITORING

Finance

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

The importance of budget monitoring Schools rely upon good solid budget plans to survive the inevitable twists and turns that the school year provides. Education Business looks at why budget plans are only worthwhile if schools know they are keeping to them Good financial management in schools essentially comes down to maintaining knowledge of where money is coming in and knowing where money is going out. The average revenue balance across all local authority maintained schools was £120,000. Additionally, 16,534 maintained schools held a surplus revenue balance – translating to an average surplus in each school with a surplus of £134,000. 5.4 per cent of schools were in

deficit for the last academic year (2014/15). With the current financial pressures that schools are facing with squeezed budgets and deficits, budget monitoring is becoming an increasingly important and effective element of financial good practice. Successful budget monitoring reports provide the necessary information about schools’ spending patterns that assist the schools’ management or finance staff to recognise and provide realistic

forecasts of year-end under or overspends. There are two key components of budget monitoring, one leading smoothly into the other. With the vast bulk of any school’s expenditure being on staffing costs, it is important enough to warrant its own process. This is payroll reconciliation – otherwise known as salary monitoring. A good salary monitor will be a thorough check back of expected employee costs per ! Volume 21.4 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Finance

BUDGET

MONITORING

An easy to et g use bud t system men manage s consistent enable rocessing data p ltiple users u across mithin the w school ! month to actual employee costs. A common mistake is to check one month’s payslips back against the previous, as if there was an unaccounted for error in the first, it would continue undetected in the next, and any future payslips. The salary monitoring process will often not only identify incorrect staffing forecasts, but also incorrect payments to staff, creating a ‘win-win’ situation. It is important to note that any pending payments or corrections identified in the salary monitoring stage should be noted and used later. BUDGET MONITORING When budget monitoring, be sure to include all year to date actual expenditure and as fine a detail as possible – nominal code for example. Couple this with any committed expenditure, which for staffing should be based on your latest staffing contractual information. At this point be sure to add back in the pending payments as these will otherwise be missed, as they won’t be in your actual expenditure. Consider for a second that you have a two month back log of incremental rises. These would not be in your actual expenditure, and neither would they be in your commitments in your original budget profile – a hefty chunk of expenditure to not include in your year-end projection. This could result in the school making key decisions on data which is not accurate, therefore spending the surplus only to realise two months later it never really existed. This has hopefully given an idea of the importance, but a couple of further tips to ensure you air on the side of caution and to avoid some commonly made mistakes. It is essential for schools to consider budgeting for future open staffing positions, and have details of any contract details pencilled in, not just an amount. This will not only be far more accurate but will encourage employment within the scale

range budgeted for. It is also important for schools to consider projecting year-end balances differently depending on the detail, such as for staffing items if running a salary monitor, project actuals plus commitments. It is important to see an underspend if it exists. You may need it elsewhere in your budget midway through the year. Schools should also examine projecting a minimum of your original allocated budget for non-staffing, unless your actuals plus commitments exceed your allocated budget, in which case forecast this figure. And lastly, ensure all budget variances exceeding five per cent in either direction from your allocated budget are justifiable and explained, which will give confidence to the governors.

of staff being absent, a significant handover may be required to explain the workings of the budget spreadsheet for anyone else to understand and continue to manage the data. PRACTICAL REWARDS A user-friendly budget management system enables consistent data processing across multiple users within the school and access to permission-based information. This alleviates any key dependencies within the team and allows for succession planning. After a practical budget management training session with live data, users will be able to set and analyse their budgets almost immediately. Business and finance managers are able to see the impact of any new budget

Successful budget monitoring reports provide the necessary information about a schools’ spending patterns that assist the schools’ management and provide realistic forecasts of year-end under or overspends THE SPREADSHEET CONUNDRUM With an understanding of the importance of budget monitoring, it demonstrates the need for a robust budget management system. Many schools have been using a trusted spreadsheet for some time with complex formulas and multiple worksheets. Not only are the spreadsheets familiar but a huge amount of time and effort was invested into building and maintaining them, and users are often apprehensive to implement a new system. Spreadsheets are known to carry inaccuracies with a simple formatting or formula errors that are hard to trace and correct. This leads to increasing mis-calculation and budgets quickly lose substance and valuable time is wasted identifying and reconciling queries. In the event of a member

scenarios, for example, increased or reduced teaching staff, at the click of a button. The time-saving and accuracy benefits alone delivers return on investment and value for money within just a few months. While spreadsheets can be riddled with inaccuracies, require constant levels of maintenance and time, and hide anomalies, a good management system is the opposite. It offers a user-friendly and highly accurate way to manage the budget for the school, or, in fact, multiple budgets for multiple schools, and saves on time – which is a precious commodity in any educational establishment. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.gov.uk/government/uploads/ system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/483541/SR48_Text.pdf

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

BENEFITING FROM GOING CASHLESS As well as time saved with eliminating the collection and counting of cash, other advantages to the school include savings made as a result of using the ParentPay Communication Centre. Helen outlines: “The key benefit for us is to be able to email parents therefore saving costs of paper, postage and admin time.When emailing parents everything happens so much quicker, I can get an unpaid invoice sorted out in 10 minutes rather than one-two weeks.” By providing parents with a more convenient payment method, it is possible to establish a higher uptake for school trips and other activities available. Helen explains: “Trips are paid quicker by parents because it is on a first come first served basis, we use the online consent which is brilliant as it saves lots of permission slips hanging about. We also capture all the emergency contact numbers for when the students are out for the day, saving staff so much time in compiling the information.” HOW WERE PARENTS ENCOURAGED TO GET ON BOARD? Outlining how Oldfield made the best use of ParentPay, Helen commented: “We wanted to ensure the information was easily accessible to parents by making all school correspondence available online. We found this encouraged them to sign in and register, which in turn reduced the amount of paper copies we had to send out.”

TIPS ON SELECTING AN ONLINE PAYMENT SYSTEM Business case: Carry out a cost analysis based on the time it takes administrators to collect payments and manage the cash. Decide on your final objective: Ask the supplier/s you’re considering to provide evidence of what’s realistically achievable, check this by contacting schools using their system. Do the maths: Build a quote comparison between suppliers for the cost of a cashless payment system, and remember to encompass the total cost of ownership; any annual costs; training, support costs and upgrades. Provide for cash-based payers: Does the solution offer socially inclusive payment options such as PayPoint? Protect against fraud: Ensure your chosen system offers a secure Payment Collection Service to avoid the dangers of collecting money from parents’ debit and credit cards. Whoever a school uses to collect payments should be PCI Compliant. Check reporting features: Ensure your system allows you to record and report on FSM and paid for meals. A broad reporting functionality including income reconciliation, electronic payment receipts, audit trails and banking reports. Remember alerts and reminders: Providing balance alerts to parents can help reduce the need to chase parental debt. Look to achieve best value: How fit for purpose the product is, its value and whether the company issues new, free upgrades through an investment in development and support services including training. ! FURTHER INFORMATION www.parentpay.com


CORRUPTION

The education sector experiences the repercussions of bribery and fraud as much as any other organisation. Rachael Tiffen, of the Counter Fraud Centre at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy explains how to be wise to the corruption The financial integrity of some academies has recently come under question with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) publishing a series of financial notices to improve in December 2014. Weak governance was also flagged with four trusts exposed as lacking in these areas – namely Theale Green Academy Trust, Durham Free School Limited, the Business Academy Bexley, and the Bishop of Rochester Academy Trust. Good financial management and strong governance are cornerstones for protection against fraud and corruption within schools and academies, so it’s essential to get it right. Another concern raised by the leading whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work (PCaW), is that the lack of clarity in the education sector is also causing practical problems for whistleblowers. In the first half of 2013 PCaW saw an 80 per cent increase in calls from the education sector. After careful analysis of these cases, to identify what the major concerns were and why more workers were seeking advice on how to raise concerns, the issue became clear. Fundamentally, the cases demonstrated that the education sector lacked clarity on reporting procedures for whistleblowing and how to raise concerns at work. CLEAR POLICY Being under investigation for financial mismanagement, weak governance and poor reporting procedures is a serious matter and

not one to be ignored. It is no longer the remit of a sole administrator to look after receipts, signed cheques, HR issues, and a set of accounts. Leadership in education must therefore focus on establishing clear guidelines and policy for whistleblowing, as this will form a significant part of preventing and detecting fraud and misconduct in schools, academies and universities. The education sector, and the UK in general, still has some way to go when it comes to addressing the issues surrounding whistleblowing and creating internal reporting systems that enable individuals to step forward and highlight concerns. An interesting phenomenon is that newer employees are more likely to blow the whistle on an organisation or individual and 39 per cent have less than two years’ service, according to PCaW’s ‘Whistleblowing: the inside story’ study. To date there has been very little substantive research undertaken on why this is the case. One reason could be that they are less engrained and therefore less influenced by the culture of an organisation, or it maybe that they are more likely to spot misconduct at work as they look at information with a ‘fresh pair of eyes’. As with many things, it is often easier to examine the reasons

Written by Rachael Tiffen, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

Detecting deceit in educational finance

Finance

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

why people fail to take action in the first instance. The information below, for example, is taken from the Independent Whistleblowing Commission, which reported last year, and sheds light on common reasons why workers in general fail to speak-up. It reported that: “Evidence suggests that workers fail to speak up because of fear of reprisal and/or a concern that they will not be listened to and that nothing will be done. Too often, those who speak up are ignored or their concerns do not come to the attention of management. In the YouGov survey commissioned by PCaW in 2013, of those that had a serious concern, 66 per cent said they had raised it. When asked about the most likely barrier to raising a concern this was stated as the fear of reprisal or the response of colleagues. Further cases analysed in ‘The inside story’ revealed that 74 per cent of whistleblowers said they were ignored when they first raised a concern. This research also established that it is likely individuals only raise a concern once (44 per cent) or twice at most !

Employ play a v e e s role wh ital en comes to prev it enting, detecti n g a protect n ing aga d inst fraud a n d corrupt ion schools in

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Case Study

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

Care Check – Online criminal record checks that provide benefits to academy schools Care Check, one of the leading providers in DBS criminal record checks, has spoken candidly about the benefits of using independent DBS providers to school academies. The company, which has grown rapidly since its conception in 2002, has always dealt with a plethora of independent schools, but with a growing number of government-run schools choosing to make the transition into an academy, Care Check can only praise this change. Currently 2,075 out of 3,381 secondary schools are academies while 2,440 of 16,766 primary schools have acquired the same status. Charles Eason, Care Check’s managing director, has said that as more schools choose this option, this will not only speed up the recruitment process, but it will also drive up standards and put more power in the hands of the head teachers regarding pay, term times and supply staff. He added: “Using local authorities for

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DBS checks can be very frustrating and time consuming, but using a dedicated umbrella body like ourselves means that schools have a one stop shop for all disclosure processing and legislation needs.” One of Care Check’s longstanding clients, Jeanette Lowe, from Droitwich Spa High School also applauded the benefits of having academy status since making the move in 2012. The HR manager said: “As a school it is essential that we use the most effective safeguarding processes to protect the students and staff. It is also important to us that we ensure that our staff are able to start

work posts as soon as possible and without any unnecessary delays.” She also added that taking control of their own DBS applications has led to significant efficiency and time savings both for the school and applicants who are applying for staff vacancies. She concluded that this makes for ‘a much quicker turn round of criminal record and barred list checks which are an essential step in any safeguarding process’. Care Check boasts impressive completion times with 70 per cent of checks being returned within five days and half of this being completed within 24 hours. If you require any more information on how Care Check can help you with your Disclosure process, please contact one of the team via the details below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0333 777 8575 www.carecheck.co.uk


CORRUPTION

Good financial management and strong governance are cornerstones for protection against fraud and corruption within schools and academies, so it’s essential to get it right ! (39 per cent) before giving up. In its March 2013 report into out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall run by Serco, the National Audit Office found that whistleblowers felt inadequately protected and were therefore reluctant to raise concerns internally.” DEFINED PROCEDURES What is clear is that individuals who have previously tried to raise concerns have had to show remarkable courage in coming forward. A lack of well-defined guidance, effective processes and protection can deter people from blowing the whistle or reporting misconduct at work. However, employees play a vital role when it comes to preventing, detecting and protecting against fraud and corruption in schools, academies and universities. Therefore a whistleblowing policy should play a central role for all education establishments. Having in place a defined procedure for reporting fraud and misconduct at work is an integral part of good governance, compliance and risk management. The benefits of getting this right and listening to a concern raised can help prevent disaster, avoid costly litigation, and potentially preserve a reputation. A solution to this workplace challenge for the education sector is a new whistleblowing e-learning package from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) that empowers employees to act in the right way if they witness misconduct at work. The e-learning is suited for use in organisations where a whistleblowing policy already exists. Using scenario-led content plus case studies from charities and local authorities, the course sets out how to raise and report concerns at work and aims to clear up ‘grey areas’ around processes, complaints and definitions. It also aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of whistleblowing and why it is important. Staff will learn: what whistleblowing is; how best to raise concerns; where staff can raise concerns; what to expect and how their organisation will support them, and rights and options for support. The CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre has worked with PCaW and audit, advisory, accounting and tax specialists Mazars to create the course. BRIBERY Another area for senior management teams to be aware of within schools, academies and universities is bribery. Bribery is not always obvious, and sometimes it’s cloaked in goodwill. It’s these subtle variations

of approach and behaviour, which often cause individuals and organisations to fall foul of the UK Bribery Act 2010. Frequently the issue is not the bribe itself, rather the back-story, context, form and language in which it is dressed. This is especially the case in situations where it is neither clear nor obvious what the risk or threat is. Identifying and being aware of ‘red flags’ in behaviour will help individuals to notice whether what is being suggested is a bribe or not. So, when dealing with clients, developers, customers or contractors, what can individuals do to avoid being exposed to a potential bribe? In essence, it’s about being professional and taking care, which means don’t: agree to meet alone; allow over-familiarity; give out your personal mobile number; meet informally outside working hours and away from your organisation’s premises (and certainly don’t do so without getting formal approval); allow too frequent contact or over familiarity that may be acceptable with friends, colleagues and family but not from people with whom you only have a commercial relationship; discuss your private life, or social or recreational interests of you or your partner; accept offers, discounts or other services or products by the client, customer or contractor; accept hospitality, gifts etc., you yourself wouldn’t pay for from your own pocket, and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, obligated or might be open to misinterpretation or might be difficult to explain to your manager, a journalist or an investigator. It’s also essential that your school, academy or university has the necessary policies and procedures in place, plus a well-publicised and confidential means for getting advice or for reporting unwelcome approaches or suggestions. These will act as a system of checks and balances to help prevent bribery and misunderstanding. Even if fraud or corruption are not obvious, school, staff, parents and the community should always stay alert for warning signs such as poor record-keeping and a lack of documents supporting financial transactions, different procurement duties being carried out by the same person rather than different people, or a school operating outside its approved budget. Today, leadership development is at the forefront of academic agendas and many educational establishments are investing in training to help develop skills and experience within existing teams to prevent fraud and corruption at work. Putting in place some baseline prevention techniques

Finance

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could also prevent a fraud, and deter those that may take advantage of opportunities. PREVENTING FRAUD Fraud risks in the education sector are very similar to those across the public sector with few exceptions. CIPFA has published detailed guidance in partnership with Mazars to help schools and academies prevent fraud and to spot the warning signs early. Some key areas to focus on include; know who you are employing, check qualifications, references and employment history. Ensure you have the right governance in place to prevent fraud, and adopt a sensible approach to procurement. There are examples of schools across the UK having been charged up to ten times more than would otherwise have been paid for laptops and other IT equipment through mis-sold lease agreements. Cases reported include a laptop that has a price of between £350 and £400 being charged at £3,750. Therefore put in place governance over financial agreements, cheque books, income from leasing halls or rooms, and what funds are spent on. Finally, ensure that revenue streams are monitored and keep a look-out for false invoices as this will help prevent procurement fraud, which is a big issue for educational establishments. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.cipfa.org/counterfraudcentre

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creating the best possible spaces for an inspiring teaching experience. When it comes to education design, we understand that it is not just about the physical space and facilities a new structure provides, but also about creating focal points around which everybody can coalesce and get the very best out of each other. We work closely with educationalists to design spaces that adapt to the latest ideas in teaching and learning, to help create vibrant learning communities. Our work is backed up by our in depth knowledge of all of the legislation and design criteria that enables the creation of both new build and renovation projects alike. If you’d like our help with improving the quality of learning environments at your school, contact us on +44 (0) 1784 256 579.

www.therpagroup.com

creative minds: practical people


RIBA AWARDS

Design & Build

Mellor Primary School, located in the Peak District, has been awarded the RIBA North West Award and the RIBA North West Project Architect of the Year 2016 Award for its new facilities designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects (Image courtesy Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Beccy Lane, Posimage)

Awarding architectual excellence The RIBA Awards celebrate sucess in architecture across the UK. With many schools shortlisted and announced as winners across the regional categories, Education Business looks at some of the architectual brilliance that is being recognised in our schools

Andy Sokill, Trustee and chair of the Governors at the school, said of the project: “All our requirements were met and pursued with a massive dollop of professionalism and inventiveness.”

For 50 years the The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards and prizes have championed and celebrated the best architecture in the UK and around the world, no matter the form, size or budget. Successful projects reflect changes and innovations in architecture, but at their core display a commitment to designing and developing buildings and spaces for the improvement and enhancement of people’s lives. RIBA has begun unveiling the 2016 RIBA Regional Awards winners this month, with a number of schools noted for their achievements and excellence on successful architectural and design projects.

WELSH WONDERS Burry Port Community School in Wales was commended for the collaborative work between the client, Carmarthenshire County Council, the architect, Architype, and the school itself to produce an excellent educational environment. As the first Passivhaus school in Wales, a standard of eco-building that strives to cut the carbon footprint of a building by promoting rigorous standards of energy efficiency, the new building has been heralded as stimulation for the children. The school, which reopened last year, links the Burry Port Infant and Burry Port Junior schools, accommodating children aged three to eleven. However, what is most impressive is the link between the existing school building and the new extension, known within the school as the ‘Pod’. A double-height elliptical !

MELLOR PRIMARY SCHOOL Mellor Primary School, located in the Peak District, has been awarded the RIBA North West Award and the RIBA North West Project Architect of the Year 2016 Award. The school was noted for its uninspiring and deflated appearance as the judges approached the house – not because there was anything particularly wrong, but purely because the school looked like any other of its era and location.

However, when you are able to locate the architect’s focus, the school design changes the whole dynamic of the building. The classroom experience is thoroughly enhanced by the decision to concentrate architectural efforts on to the rear of the building, intertwining indoor and outdoor learning spaces that have the ability to transform and facilitate learning. A new classroom, SEN room, library and an extension to the school hall are all enabling Mellor Primary School to meet increased pupil numbers, and expand the teaching space available. Built in August last year at a cost of £591,000, architects from Sarah Wigglesworth Architects have achieved, on a relatively small budget, what many schools seek but fail to attain. The naturalistic primary school extension blends indoor classrooms onto the wooden outdoor terraces, mixing the school perfectly with its landscape.

ful Successeflect r projectstions in innova e, but also tur architeca commitment display ning buildings to desig improve and which ce people’s enhan ives l

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A clever use of

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RIBA AWARDS New facilities at Mellor Primary School were built in August last year at a cost of £591,000 (Image courtesy Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Beccy Lane, Posimage)

! drum, with high acoustic quality, the space is being manipulated for dance, theatre and music. This is an extremely sensitive, very carefully considered building that focuses on health, well-being and safety of students. Using raw Welsh materials, such as locally sourced timber, judges deemed the school as setting the bar higher for the schools of the future.

Design & Build

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NEW THEATRE FACILITIES The Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s has been created from a redundant Moravian church and Minister’s House to create a new performing arts centre. Whilst this is not directly a school refurbishment, Bedford School and the local community will provide a beneficial use for an important Grade II-listed building. The 200-300 seat flexible theatre contains a studio where the school can conduct its drama lessons, and can also use the large foyer space for teaching within. The building itself is a testament to its history, with most of the original features preserved, and the detailing of the new materials and insertions well thought through. Foster Wilson Architects won the RIBA East Award for the project, at a construction cost of £4.3 million.

The classroom experience is thoroughly enhanced by the decision to concentrate architectural efforts on to the rear of the building, intertwining indoor and outdoor learning spaces that have the ability to transform and facilitate learning

THE WINNERS IN THE SOUTH In 2014, Nick Clegg, then Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, launched an initiative that every school child should receive a free hot meal at lunchtime. At the time, certain schools deemed this unachievable, another burden on already tight purse strings. Other schools responded through embracing the initiative, seeing the necessities behind it, and made it possible. One such school was Prestwood Infant School in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, who created a new dining space for 96 pupils, which could also host the school’s after-school club. The new facility is located in one of the school’s playgrounds in place of two redundant storage sheds. Drawing on inspiration from the Fantastic Mr Fox book from Roald Dahl, who lived in the area for 36 years, the project itself embodied Dahl’s narrative – transforming the place into a modern day Grand Feast Hall, as described in the book. De Rosee Sa, the architects behind the £158,038 project, used inspiring rainbow-coloured cedar battens to form the impression of houses, which fronted the dining hall. The result is visually stimulating and accurate to the book, with windows positioned at differing heights to reflect the differing house sizes of the animals. In the book, Mr Fox says: “We will make, a little underground village, with streets and houses on each side – separate houses for badgers and moles and rabbits and weasels and foxes.” The judges deemed that ‘three aspects made Little Hall stand out. The first is the provision "

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The S+B Stemline System

Creating a stimulating learning environment to integrate STEM skills across the curriculum S+B Stemline is a new multi-use learning environment which combines fully serviced fitted benching required for science, smart contemporary semi or un-serviced mobile workstations for IT, design and academic study, with the heavy duty build quality essential for Technology and Engineering.

Science, technology, engineering & math’s The recognition of the importance of improving the uptake, education and qualification in these core subjects and the need to remove the traditional gender bias is resulting in new STEM Centre’s appearing in colleges and universities, whilst many schools are developing plans with greater integration and cohesion between the subjects as the objective.

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Creating a flexible learning environment Serviced perimeter benching and fume cupboards can facilitate biology and chemistry, teaching walls can double up as resource bases and focal points for discussion and full class address. Moveable workstations can be reconfigured to facilitate different student groups working on different project elements at the same time but within the same space and the clean but heavy duty semi serviced workstations are equally suited to design, planning, evaluation and work with machine tools and resistant materials.

Building STEM skills to provide a better future Economies need well trained scientists, technologist, engineers and mathematicians and to that end pedagogy is changing with emphasis being placed on collaborative group work, research, project and context based integration between the related subjects. S+B design and build innovative, ergonomic and inspiring educational environments to stimulate both students and teachers.

For more information please visit our website or to receive a free brochure join our mailing list. 0161 793 9333 | www.splusb.co.uk | sales@splusb.co.uk Labtec Street, Swinton Manchester M27 8SE


Design & Build

RIBA AWARDS

Architects De Rosee Sa designed a new dining hall for Prestwood Infant School in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire based on the Grand Feast Hall in Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox book (Image courtesy De Rosee Sa and PMR Studio)

‘The sustainability strategy has been well conceived and implemented and the material and structural strategy is legible. This provides further opportunity for learning’ " of a building that inspires the schoolchildren and the local community; the second is the way in which this building inspires them; and the third is the use of prefabricated materials, where possible, and simple detailing to reduce the labour and waste in order to meet the school’s tight budget.’ Nicola Raher, head teacher, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new Little Hall, there was much excitement amongst the children on the first day of term when they learnt they were going to have their lunch in the new building. The atmosphere was amazing, and having children in the building made it really come alive. The Little Hall is exactly as I wanted, a fun building that was unique and had the wow factor. “De Rosee Sa and PMR were determined to complete the project within budget without compromising the quality of materials used. I am delighted that the excitement continues daily, the children love the building and have found every possible space and area to play in. Children will always learn more effectively if they are inspired and happy, the Little Hall truly does this for our children at Prestwood Infant School.” CONNECTING PUPILS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD Established in 1940, Davenies School in Beaconsfield is a school for boys aged four to 13. The school bases much of its reputation and success on an ability to engage pupils with nature and maximising their connection to the world around them. With many of the school blocks becoming outdated, architect DSDHA were appointed to carry out the final phase of a

20-year masterplan, which would see the school gain ten classrooms for Reception level through to Year 4, generous breakout spaces, external play areas, a new library and a hall, along with staff facilities. The judges deemed the new building, which replaced the previous 1980s building, as ‘uncompromisingly contemporary without being harsh’. The ‘calming and nurturing’ building doesn’t just sit alongside the surrounding landscape, but integrates itself within it. The classrooms, flooded with light, utilise space to create different atmospheres, ideal to the school’s holistic approach to learning. RIBA stated that ‘the sustainability strategy has been well conceived and implemented and the material and structural strategy is legible. This provides further opportunity for learning’. The design builds on the site’s history as a farm, with an informal typology to deliver a series of distinct yet coherent architectural components echoing the school’s agricultural past. These new components are: the Link, which lightly touches the adjacent listed facade to provide a connection between the new extension and the rest of the school as well as a new library; the Reception/Teaching Wing, providing a smaller scale environment for younger children; and the Main Teaching Wing to the north, set around the verdant Dell, and accommodating a new hall below. Architects DSDHA made the Dell the key element of design, despite the previous buildings turning their back to it. Its topography and existing trees determined the form and arrangement of the two wings of the new building, while, at the lower level, the Dell blurs its boundaries with a playground

overlooked by a glazed hall, offering an extra indoor play area for the pupils. A GLANCE BACK Burntwood School, a large comprehensive girls’ school in Wandsworth, London, won the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize 2015 for the UK’s best new building. Architectural firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ (AHMM) transformation of the school reimagined a 1950s modernist secondary school campus for 2,000 girls and 200 staff. The project saw six new faculty buildings built and also saw the creation of two large cultural buildings linking original buildings by renowned 1960s architect Sir Leslie Martin. Every building is full of light and air with double height spaces at the end of each corridor to increase natural daylight and create well-framed views. It offers a range of teaching spaces from conventional classrooms to interactive open spaces. Already a very sculptural building, AHMM worked closely with an artist to use large, colourful murals throughout the buildings – cleverly combining signposting with modern art. !

The winning projects from the London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and South West regional categories will be announced shortly. To view the winning schools in more detail, or to view the array of winning projects as a whole, please use the link below. FURTHER INFORMATION www.architecture.com/Awards/ Awards2016/RegionalAwards/ RegionalAwards2016.aspx

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Case Study

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

The school lettings specialist which tops up school revenues by opening up facilities to the community School facilities, particularly those of secondary schools, represent an enormous and presently underutilised resource in the UK. According to Sport England, over a third (39 per cent) of all sports facilities – including 61 per cent of artificial grass pitches and 77 per cent of sports halls – are located on school, college, and university grounds. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of school sports facilities across England are now available for some form of community use. Kajima Community’s BookingsPlus, supports this by providing a web-based, total administration system, including a room booking tool, white-labelled website, automated invoicing, online payments system and automated communications. This helps schools and other community venues open up their facilities to a vast array of community groups, from dance and sport organisations, to social clubs, holiday camp providers, and charities. The time and costs of the administration and organisation of letting out space have, in the past, meant that the margins for generating additional revenues have been minimal. Through BookingsPlus Kajima Community enables schools to capitalise on potentially significant revenue streams,

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

helping to contribute towards the costs of new equipment, staff and school maintenance, allowing staff to focus on the day-to-day needs of students. Steve Munday, head teacher of William Edwards School in Essex, said: “The BookingsPlus system gives us a significant revenue boost. We have been able to invest in ICT/ technology, sporting equipment and staff to ensure that we provide the best possible learning environments and opportunities for our students.” Equally importantly, BookingsPlus helps schools like William Edwards to become a more integrated part of the local community by giving organisations and charities access to exceptional facilities. Opening up school amenities helps schools to fulfil their social potential, and can have transformative social effects, from promoting community cohesion to engaging with young adults and hard-to-reach parents. Users can choose to use the system as a stand-alone platform, or contract Kajima’s SchoolBooking’s team to carry out the marketing and administration for them to help drive booking numbers. By maintaining a strong online presence

through targeted marketing, Kajima Community can secure interest from local commercial organisations and voluntary groups, thereby making the process of hiring out facilities easier and more efficient for schools. For more information about BookingsPlus, please email or call. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01604 677 764 bookingsplus@kajima.co.uk


School Premises

LETTING FACILITIES

When a school moves beyond working 9-5 Opening up school premises for public use can create better engagement between schools and their communities, provide greater commitment to the schools from local residents and create additional funding. Education Business explores the popular trend in detail A letting is defined as ‘any use of the school building and grounds by parties other than the school’. A school’s grounds potentially hold a range of educational, recreational and sporting facilities which can be used to meet a variety of needs not only for pupils, but for their parents, families and local communities. In fact, a guidance document by the London Borough of Bexley lists the four reasons as to why school lettings may be beneficial to schools. These are: to raise income for the school; to better integrate the school

into the local community; satisfy some of the needs of local individuals, groups and organisations; or to increase the use of facilities which are of necessity under used by the school. While the financial benefits are obvious – the income generated can be directly pumped back into school resources - this article will instead look at the community benefits. As we enter a season of change in school structure, with every school having to become an academy by 2022, the links between schools and their

With every g to havin school n academy a become22, the links by 20 schools and n betweecommunities their onceivably could c amaged be d

communities could conceivably be damaged. Academy schools lie beyond the control of local authorities, receiving direct funding from the Department for Education, and rely on a self-governing structure. The very idea of self-governing casts shadows over the relationship between schools and their local communities. Even within my own experience of the external use of school grounds, an array of opportunities come too mind – from firework displays, sports matches, fundraising events, church meetings, not to mention the use of school swimming pools and gyms. While the evidence behind an academy-school improvement correlation has been hotly debated, very few contend against the positive influence that parents, families, local businesses and communities can have on educational well-being and achievement. !

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LETTING FACILITIES ! RAISING THE SCHOOL PROFILE A Department of Education (Northern Ireland) publication titled Every School a Good School – The Governors Role states that ‘school premises are a valuable facility for community use and schools are actively encouraged to consider making their premises available as a community facility where possible’. Schools have an opportunity to reach out to those in their surrounding areas, and become a ‘hub’ of community use. Sports, youth services, cultural events, fundraising, and adult learning all help contribute to personal, health, economic and community development. It must be said that a large majority of schools in the UK do make the most of their facilities and are opening up their premises to the wider community, there are some schools who have, so far, failed to promote the availability of their facilities, or remained shut off to the possibility. However, while the immediate thought envisioned when questioning external use of school premises is how will the community benefit – it is just as important to acknowledge the benefits from the opposite end. Schools have a lot to offer to their local communities, but they also have a lot to gain. Creating a positive perception and engaging with those living and working near the school can lead to the school’s profile being raised. Parents already have an interest in their child’s school and education, but enhancing the school’s popularity can lead to prospective parents desiring their pupils to also learn there, resulting in larger numbers of admissions and a higher school profile. EXTENDING THE SCHOOL DAY, EXTENDING LEARNING Amongst other, more contentious, issues in his March Budget, Chancellor George Osborne stated that secondary schools in the UK will

gain additional funds, directly from a sugar tax on fizzy drinks, to extend the school day and offer more after-school activities. However, with the funding only available to 25 per cent of schools, and no clear distinction made to distinguish between the out of school activities that are currently on offer and those that fall under the Chancellor’s statement, the issue remains complicated. However, research from the Nuffield Foundation has suggested that after school clubs and sports groups improve the academic performance of primary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The report stated: “Compared with disadvantaged children who did not attend an after-school club at the age of 11, those who attended an after-school club one or two days per week had made significantly more progress than predicted. “Those who attended an after-school club one day per week had, on average, a 1.7 point higher actual Key Stage 2 score than predicted based on their prior attainment and circumstances, while those who attended an after-school club two days per week had on average a three point higher actual total point score than predicted.” The research also found that poor children who attended after-school clubs developed better social, emotional and behavioural skills than those, also from similar social circumstances, who did not. This benefits the community aspect of letting out school facilities and premises – creating the necessary pathways for young people to learn and develop outside of school hours. SPORTING FACILITIES Opening sports facilities to the community could see your school deliver health benefits locally – while also creating a valuable, and

Schools have an opportunity to reach out to their surrounding areas, and become a ‘hub’ of community use. Sports, youth services, and adult learning all contribute to personal, health, economic and community development

often necessary, source of income. According to Sport England, nearly 40 per cent of sporting facilities in England are on school sites, with 62 per cent currently opening their facilities to their local communities. Three quarters of sports halls and artificial sports pitches and a third of swimming pools in England are located in schools, enjoyed by children during term time but left dormant during the holidays or in the evening. Facilities are being underused and schools undervalued. In June 2015, Sport England launched a comprehensive new online resource called ‘Use Our School’ to promote and raise awareness of this type of provision. The digital tool, originally developed in partnership with 40 schools and industry experts, aims to support schools in providing sports access as well as improve and sustain their current community programmes. Since its launch, schools across the country have been reaping the rewards of leasing their sports facilities out of hours. They are playing a vital role in the provision of sport in their local communities, providing volunteering and vocational opportunities to their students, enjoying increased local status, and many are generating additional income. Jayne Molyneux, Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Youth, said: “We know what an important role schools play in their local community and we want to actively support those schools who already open up their facilities for community use, and those who are considering doing so.” With nearly two thirds of schools across England already offering their facilities for community use, it is obvious that the access is a win-win for both the community club or sport and the individual school. Sport England’s aim is to facilitate and support the development of this provision.

School Premises

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STRENGTH IN COMMUNITY The school landscape is in a constant state of change and development. Free schools, independent schools, academy schools and trusts are just a few of the changes that have emerged in recent years. A school has a responsibility, not only to its students, but also to parents. Likewise, parents have a responsibility towards the school and this extends into the wider community. Communities should be proud of their schools and promote them within their areas. A key way to promote and maintain healthy relationships with local schools, is to maintain constant interaction and involvement. Schools can meet the needs of communities in a variety of ways and should be encouraged to do so openly and willingly. While the role of local authorities in schools may be coming to an end, let’s hope that the role of the local community remains as active as ever. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning

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Sport

Sunderland AFC striker, Duncan Watmore, opened Durham-based St John’s School and Sixth Form College’s new £614,950 3G AGP

FACILITIES

Written by Alice Sherritt, Football Foundation

Going back to school to open high quality facilities The Football Foundation’s Alice Sherritt reflects on a busy few months as the nation’s largest sports charity continues to improve schools’ grassroots football facilities, with help from some of football’s famous faces Those facilities have been made possible thanks to money from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, and funded by the Premier League, The FA and the government, via Sport England. By funnelling money from the very top of the sport downwards, the Football Foundation is improving the country’s inventory of sports facilities, including those found in schools. This means that facilities delivered by the Football Foundation are specifically helping students to fulfil their physical and academic potential. The Foundation ensures that grants are awarded to the areas that need them most, which makes for high participation levels all-year round. Increases of seven per cent in football, and eight per cent in multi-sport participation, over the last year at Football Foundation-funded facilities are testament to this. These big increases have come about because the Foundation works alongside county FAs and schools to produce five-year Football Development Plans (FDPs), which are a vision for how football will be delivered at a site with emphasis on increasing participation.

to open their new third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). A £288,034 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund enabled the school to refurbish their old 3G carpet, which had become so worn that it was hindering the pupil’s PE lessons. Now the new state-of-the-art surface will play host to a range of different football sessions for the students, as well as rugby lessons. Lambeth-born Powell was able to see the pitch in action, with a PE lesson taking place at the opening. He said: “It was really inspiring to see the pitch full of young people enjoying their football, the pitch will have a significant impact on local grassroots sport for years to come.” The school’s Football Development Plan, drawn up in conjunction with the Middlesex FA predicts that the Premier League Kicks programme – a football-focused community outreach scheme aimed at difficult to reach young people – will see a rise in the numbers of children taking part. In fact Brentford FC’s Community Sports Trust will deliver weekly Premier League Kicks sessions and also run a futsal programme at the refurbished facility.

3G AGP, in his first role as a Football Foundation Ambassador. The project was made possible thanks to a £214,950 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, with the new surface replacing a dilapidated Multi-Use Games Area and part of the school’s natural grass playing field that was prone to waterlogging. Looking back at his formative years as a player, Duncan, who recently graduated with a first-class degree in economics and business management, said: “The beauty of floodlit 3G pitches is that they don’t get waterlogged and you can play on them through the dark evenings. I remember trying to train on some real quagmire natural grass pitches and then having to finish the session early because it got too dark!” The School Sports Partnership – a scheme designed to increase sports and physical education opportunities for schoolchildren – plans to give 26 of St John’s teachers and 36 Junior Sports Leaders the opportunity to gain FA Level One coaching qualifications. Also as a result of the Football Development plan – made possible thanks to input from the Durham FA – local amateur club St Mary’s JFC will be able to increase the number of teams they cater for from 18 to 40, with the majority of growth at boys and girls Under-10 to Under-18 level over the five year period. The club also intends to introduce Under-11 and Under-18 disability teams.

LONDON SCHOOL’S NEW 3G PITCH Football Foundation Ambassador and former England defender, Chris Powell, recently stopped by Northolt High School, in Ealing,

BISHOP AUCKLAND’S NEW 3G PITCH Sunderland AFC striker, Duncan Watmore, opened Durham-based St John’s School and Sixth Form College’s new £614,950

NEW FACILITIES AT A NORTH LONDON COLLEGE Sky Sports News anchor, Hayley McQueen, surprised pupils at Finchley-based Woodhouse !

s Facilitie d deliveretball oo by the Ftion are Founda ly helping al specific ts to fulfil studen physical their demic and acantial pote

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Sport

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FACILITIES ! College when she marked the official opening of the sixth form’s new £470,554 floodlit 3G AGP by unveiling a commemorative plaque. Hayley, who is one of the UK’s best-known female sports journalists, spent time talking to the pupils about her career as a sports broadcaster and her love for the grassroots game. She said: “I’m very fortunate to work in the industry I do because it afforded me the chance to report on the stars at the top of the game. But we mustn’t forget where it all starts, and where the next generation of young stars will come from – the grassroots.” The facility was made possible thanks to a £220,554 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and the new surface replaces an old sand-dressed pitch which had become so worn it was no longer fit for use. The state-of-the-art facility will also play host to a girls’ drop-in session, and competitive league. Other initiatives created by the Football Development Plan, and London FA, include Mars Just Play and Football Futures sessions, while other sports are expected to feature as part of the college’s PE curriculum plan. There are also plans in the pipeline for the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to use the pitch as a community hub, from which they will deliver a range of outreach programmes.

Chris Powell, Football Foundation Ambassador and former England defender opened a new third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at Northolt High School in Ealing

SEEING THE PITCH TAKE SHAPE Russell Martin, captain of Norwich City FC, donned a hard hat and high-vis vest at Open Academy recently to visit the school’s £688,789 Football Development Centre which is currently under construction. The project has been made possible thanks to a £498,789 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. When finished, the Football Development Centre will be home to a 3G AGP and changing rooms and will be used by the school between 8am-5pm, then by the community in the evening and weekends. Norfolk FA will be responsible for operating the site during evenings, weekends and school holidays, using the site to deliver many of its initiatives, including Workforce Education and County 5IVES. The new facility will also serve as a base for many Norwich City FC Community Sports Foundation initiatives, who will deliver a variety of their programmes, which will include girls’ and boys’ development centres along with the other existing programmes still taking place at the school such as the Premier League 4 Sport initiative. Martin said: “It won’t just be the Academy’s pupils that benefit. Lots of local grassroots football clubs and other community groups will get to use the site. I am also really pleased that this site will now also become

a venue for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation’s superb outreach work.” GRANTING A CHANCE TO PLAY SPORT Investment in schools’ facilities, specifically third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs), elicits huge rises in participation because poor facilities are the main barrier to playing football. For example, a floodlit 3G AGP can host play to 90 hours of play a week compared to just five on a natural grass pitch in the winter. Simply, a 3G AGP means that more young people can get involved in sport and play for longer. Since its 2000 inception, the Football Foundation has been delivering funding from the Premier League, the FA and the government in the shape of 14,200 grants worth more than £560 million towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780 million making a total of over £1.3billion of investment. More than half of all the 3G AGPs that the Foundation has delivered are based at schools across England. That means that tens of thousands of students can enjoy state-of-the-art pitches for both physical education and extra-curricular activity. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.footballfoundation.org.uk

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OUTDOOR LEARNING

Obit, elit outside eum doloriatur sam reprae voluptatur? Qui officiis cum So how can you effectively Learning of the classroom can breathe life into subjects. escipicipsamoutdoor hit exerferi quibus, omnis sinctatem. La incorporate learning intoexceaqui the curriculum? Juno Hollyhock from non non nossi ute Landscapes dis rest dolupta acescipsant everum que nis Learning Through shares some ideas School grounds play a vital role in children’s lives. They’re a space for children to do P.E, a space for community activities, for learning in and about nature, for playing and for festivals and performances. And they’re critical for the health and well-being of our children. Many children are living in densely populated urban conurbations with little or no access to green space. Access to the natural environment and the chance to play outside is being replaced with indoor, sedentary activity. This is having an impact on behaviour and attainment as well as on obesity and levels of physical activity. The provision of outdoor space for learning and play at school is essential. But under new rules it’s not required of certain schools to provide outdoor spaces. Whilst it’s true you can head off-site to study P.E, you’re faced with difficult questions around transportation, risk assessments, staffing ratios, cost of hire and erosion of lesson time. Off site provision is not a solution to schools seeking safe places for their pupils to play and be physically active during break and lunch times. For

some pupils the school grounds are the only safe places that they have to be outside, exercise and experience nature. SCHOOL GROUNDS AND LEARNING Learning outside provides children with a richer, deeper source of experiential teaching and learning. It can inspire and motivate those children for whom classroom learning is inaccessible and challenging. Learning outside has been proven to improve motivation and attainment and enhances behaviour, concentration and focus when the pupil is back into the classroom, if built into the school curriculum effectively. Teaching and learning in the outdoors is fairly well explored and documented throughout the primary and early years curriculum.

Teaching at secondary level is challenging already with KPIs and intervention strategies, monitoring students’ progress and changes to GCSE frameworks. Going outdoors to learn can feel like an unnecessary addition to a challenging day. However, there are many benefits to learning outside that will subsequently help with indoor teaching and learning, it is just as possible to use outdoor learning to move grade B students to A or A* as it is to get those marginal achievers over the C/D boundary or engage the under-performing Year 7s. The main difference between teaching and learning outdoors at Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2 and teaching and learning outdoors at Key Stage 3/Key Stage 4 is the need for clearly defined curriculum links that support attainment outcomes. !

Using rs doo the out way to at is a gre inspiration provide tive writing for crea s giving new a as well of exploring ways ents of elem ure literat

Written by Juno Hollyhock, executive director, Learning Through Landscapes

Revitalising Dummy headline the to fit this space curriculum with the tight as great outdoors possible

School Grounds

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Thoughts from Sir David Attenborough “The necessity for us to maintain contact with the natural world is essential to the human spirit, yet a gradual disconnection between children and nature is occurring. “With over 50 per cent of the human race living in an urban environment, each and every opportunity for children to experience nature is absolutely vital – they are the future custodians of our planet. “Unfortunately, for many children, school grounds are one of the only spaces they have access to for this kind of engagement.” Sir David Attenborough, 2013

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School Grounds

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OUTDOOR LEARNING

Learning outside provides children with a richer, deeper source of experiential teaching and learning. It can inspire and motivate those children for whom classroom learning is inaccessible and challenging ! TAKING THE CURRICULUM OUTDOORS With Maths, many children still retain their ability to learn more effectively by ‘doing’ even when they are in KS4, this often applies especially to boys. Using trees, buildings and landscapes for trigonometry and estimation work immediately provides a no cost/no resource reason to get outside. Small scale construction projects (e.g. building a managed food growing space) provides the opportunity for project management activities. Budgeting, calculating measurements, surface areas and volumes, geometry, estimating amounts of material required, calculating time required and cost effectiveness are all ways in which real contexts assist children with problem solving. DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY Resistant materials classes will be very keen to assist Maths with their objective of creating a school grounds installation and can be involved in producing the designed elements of the finished area. Once maths and resistant materials have project managed and created a food growing space into existence then of course there is the opportunity to meet some of the requirements of the food curriculum in understanding where our food comes from. Space within the school grounds set aside for construction projects like this will allow students to experience some practical learning as they use their design and build skills. These projects can change year on year if necessary, their value is that they provide an on-site mini ‘building site’. SCIENCE Physical properties and behaviour of matter are much more fun when demonstrated on a large scale. Scientific investigation either of the natural world or of pre-hidden examples of man made objects is also easy and engaging in the school grounds. By using a range of scientific equipment students can apply their knowledge of different properties of materials to identify buried or discovered objects. Local geological investigation is also enhanced through practical application and, with the right landscaping, opportunities for local ‘digs’ can be built into your school grounds. Building an understanding of soil and soil structures and remediation are also all excellent opportunities to explore your local landscape. A school grounds landscape that is rich in natural materials and allows students to take and analyse samples will contribute enormously to the delivery of the Science curriculum.

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

HISTORY In Scotland a programme called ‘Outdoor Journeys’ take students on a tour of their local area and asks them to apply their local knowledge and understanding to broader historical themes to help them understand how local culture and community evolved. On their journey students pose and answer questions about the human and the economical journey and story of the landscape they are passing through. One way to begin to use your locality as a catalyst for historical enquiry based learning is by taking students outside to an appropriate point and asking them to guess the ages of the different buildings that they can see. Landscapes that offer viewing points of the local area and that provide spaces for observation and recording will support this. ENGLISH Using the outdoors and the natural environment in particular is a great way to provide inspiration for creative writing projects as well as giving new ways of exploring elements of literature. For example, physic gardens, either planted in your school grounds can be a great way to learn about the importance of plants in the writing of some of our great authors. Shakespeare made great use of plant derived poison in many of his tragedies. The use of labyrinths for the contemplative exploration of ideas and reflection can inspire a deeper level of thinking on a subject. Labyrinths can be large scale and landscaped in or they can be created by the students. Being outdoors provides a far wider range of multi-sensory experiences than can be reproduced in the classroom, this gives much fuel for poetry and descriptive prose and creates a deeper and more meaningful context to creative works. School grounds that are rich in multi-sensory experience and beauty will offer a wealth of resource for the creative writing aspect of the curriculum. Journeys in and around the school grounds can give the context for a story line or narrative, school grounds that have been landscaped to offer a variety of different, interesting spaces rather than a uniform tarmac expanse will add to the creative possibilities of your site. EXPRESSIVE ARTS The rise and rise of flash-mobs as a form of artistic expression shows us the impact of scale and environment on this kind of activity. Most performances can

Case study: Bellahouston Academy Bellahouston Academy in Scotland had a geography project which was carried out during the school timetable as an integral part of the Geography curriculum, with connections being made to other subjects such as Expressive Arts and Science. The project was also linked to the John Muir Trust awards. Pupils spent time during each Geography period up to the summer holidays (over a sustained ten week period) experiencing a green part of the grounds away from the main school building. Additionally, pupils were asked to study a natural area near where they lived during the spring/summer seasons and discuss the changes that were taking place. Pupils looked at improving the habitats for nature in the school grounds. This included planting hedges and wildflowers (such as lavender, sweet rocket, aster and sunflowers), to attract bees, butterflies and birds. Pupils carried out a litter pick, recorded the different types of ‘unnatural’ things they found and also studied the effects of litter and waste recycling. They considered the importance of ‘taking only photographs, leaving only footprints’ – our impact on nature. Pupils shared their work through poetry, drawings, leaf sketches, models and slide shows. Some selected pupils also ran a workshop session on the John Muir Award for a school open day showcasing Global Citizenship Education. The aim was to show how outdoor learning and direct experiences of nature can help ‘bring to life’ sustainability issues such as biodiversity, pollution, waste management, and health and well-being. be re-formatted to a dynamic outdoor installation which gives students the chance for public performance and the experience of managing unpredictable environments. Versatile performance space built into the landscape design can offer a large scale stage for students to work in, even small grassy amphitheatres can be used in a multiplicity of ways. Static art installations are a very powerful way of students having impact on, and ownership of, their school grounds, small plinths and hidden corners can offer ideal display opportunities. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.ltl.org.uk


Outdoor Learning

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Written by Stacey Aplin, Groundwork

Inspiring the next generation of green leaders Outdoor learning can improve a child’s attainment, health and well-being, as well as inspire them to become future green leaders. Yet according to the government, less than 10 per cent of school children have access to outdoor learning. Groundwork’s Stacey Aplin looks at what support is out there to help get schools teaching outside The potential for outdoor learning to support academic success is a view shared by many parents, teachers and academics. Recent research from psychologists at the University of Derby suggests pupils with a strong connection with nature tend to perform well in Key Stage 2 SATs, while the Association of Teachers and Lecturers recently voted to urge the government to put gardening on the primary school curriculum, noting that doing so would be a good way to combat obesity. The government are also looking at ways to boost outdoor learning and have announced plans for every schoolchild to visit a national park as part of measures to connect children and the environment, with environment minister Liz Truss remarking that ‘our children should be climbing trees, not walls’. HANDS ON LEARNING Groundwork has championed this idea for 35 years and during that time the charity has worked with schools to make outdoor learning a reality for their pupils and has found that nothing brings a subject to life more than giving them the opportunity to experience the environment first hand. Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s chief executive, said: “The school environment is one of the most influential environments children experience. After all, they spend almost half their waking day at school, they will develop social interaction skills, make or break friendships, in short, grow as people.

“We have found that taking lessons outdoors is extremely valuable, particularly for pupils who find the formal environment of the classroom isn’t working for them. It’s a really good way for teachers to reconnect with switched off learners.”

officer, who oversaw the development, said: “It’s important to engage children from the get-go and the workshops were the perfect way for this to happen. The space has enabled the academy to encourage outdoor learning and allowed children to connect with nature.”

FOREST SCHOOLS One of the ways in which children are being introduced to outdoor learning in a school setting is through ‘forest schools’, an outdoor resource where children have regular access to an outdoor environment that provides an interactive, educational outdoor experience. The forest school ethos promotes outdoor education that provides a stimulating experience and enables both learning and access to nature, which is a rarity for some young people, especially those who live in the inner-cities. Groundwork supported the development of a forest school based at Manchester Communication Academy in Harpurhey. The Moston Brook site, adjacent to the school, has helped to provide a consistent approach to outdoor education as well as helping pupils to develop confidence through hands-on learning in an outdoor setting. To ensure that pupils were fully engaged with the project, three workshops were arranged with 20 pupils in years seven, eight and nine to allow them to experience what the forest school can offer them. Julie Hyslop, Groundwork’s senior project

FRUIT ORCHARD As well as the forest school, pupils were also involved with the academy’s on-site fruit orchard, and an ecologist from Greater Manchester Ecology Unit was involved with the workshops, giving the pupils involved professional, hands-on guidance and practical skills to maintain the trees. An outdoor classroom was also built on the Moston Brook site, allowing further opportunities for outdoor learning. Julie says: “Both the forest school and orchard have provided the pupils with a space to learn new things that they wouldn’t learn in a classroom environment. By encouraging this, it’s more likely that pupils will pass on their positive feedback to their peers which will help ensure that children will utilise the space for years to come.” The forest school development has helped to cement an arrangement across seven local primary and secondary schools in the area, all of which will now have access to the forest school, providing much needed outdoor resource. Julie added: “I’ve seen first-hand the benefits that come from giving children regular access to greenspace, especially those who live in inner-cities, so this agreement will help to make sure this becomes a reality.”

Univers ity of Derby s u pupils wggests ith strong connec a tion with na t u r e t to perfo e rm wellnd in Key Sta ge 2 SATs

THE SUBJECT OF SUSTAINABILITY If we pushed the boundaries further there is space to allow a more prominent !

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HEALTH & WELL-BEING ! and more powerful approach to outdoor learning that not only teaches, but instils the importance of environmental sustainability into the minds of pupils. In the Midlands, Summerbank Primary School in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, became more sustainable with the introduction of a ‘Living Green Wall’, an innovative concept that’s designed to recycle used rainwater in order to grow plants. Pundeep Kaur, Groundwork’s sustainable education co-ordinator, supported the school to install the green wall. By installing the wall, pupils have been able to see the installation of a wall that’s both visually appealing and gives them an outlet for learning outdoors. Kaur commented: “We were able to teach pupils of different ages how to get involved with gardening which is good for their health and well-being. “The children really enjoyed the practical learning element of the session and the message we were trying to get across. The importance of gardening and sustainable drainage systems, was digested by the pupils amazingly. “The first-hand experience of growing in the session is a novel and memorable way of learning. The message goes beyond Groundwork and the children we work with them to become little eco warriors who educate their peers.”

and we have already had some amazing ideas and sketches. This is a fantastic opportunity to involve the children in shaping and improving their environment.” The new design of the garden will also be accessible to the children at the school with special educational needs, creating a learning environment that all children can enjoy.

Helen concluded: “By taking the children’s learning outside, we are able to create fun and memorable experiences which complement our classroom teaching.” "

Outdoor Learning

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FURTHER INFORMATION www.groundwork.org.uk www.groundwork.org.uk/tescobagsofhelp

“We have found that taking lessons outdoors is extremely valuable, particularly for pupils who find the formal environment of the classroom isn’t working for them”

BAGS OF POSSIBILITIES Times are, of course, very tough in ‘Austerity Britain’. Usual sources of public sector funding for these types of projects can be much harder to come by. Groundwork believe there is an opportunity for the private sector to step into the breach and points to Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ community grants scheme as an example of major corporate organisations supporting schools, community organisations and charities to create and improve green spaces in their communities. The scheme, which is funded by the government’s 5p carrier bag charge and is administered by Groundwork, has so far provided £11.5m of grants to nearly 1,200 groups – just over 300 of which were school projects – including sensory gardens, bee-keeping, pond-dipping, forest schools and outdoor classrooms. Winnersh Primary School in Wokingham is one of the schools that have received £12,000 of funding and intend to build a sensory garden for pupils in their outdoor space. This will include creating new pathways and raised beds to plant flowers and herbs and allow the school to utilise an overgrown pond area so that pupils have a safe and enriching outdoor environment to learn in. Helen Powell, head of Winnersh Primary School, said: “There has been lots of excitement at the school since we heard the news that we have been awarded funding. The children have been busy planning what they would like to see in the sensory garden

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Energy

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SOLAR ENERGY

Setting the case straight for sunshine schools Written by Sonia Dunlop, communications and public affairs manager, Solar Trade Association

Solar panels can be beneficial to buildings, with current campaigns existing to support solar on schools. Sonia Dunlop of the Solar Trade Association examines how to fund school solar and things to watch out for when considering the energy source Schools need to be thinking about their energy bills and how they might be able to cut costs just as much as any other business or homeowner. One example of how to do that is by installing solar PV on a school’s roof. The cost of solar PV has come down by 80 per cent over the last five years, an almost unprecedented drop due to manufacturing efficiencies and a maturing UK supply chain. A typical 50kW system that today would cost less than £50,000 would have been more than £150,000 just five years ago. Solar is a great match for a school’s daily electricity demand profile. Due to the short school day, between say 8.30am and 4pm, a school needs the most power in the middle hours of the day. This is exactly when solar PV generates the most too, with solar generation continuing for about an hour or so after school ends. This means that instead of buying in electricity from the grid at 10-15p/ kWh you can be using your own free electricity from your roof, and getting support from the Feed-in Tariff on top of that.

The lessty i electric o buy dt you nee e grid, the th in from your energy lower be. A typical ll bills wi ol might be scho to save able 00 £2,0

HOW TO FUND YOUR SOLAR There are three ways that a school can benefit financially from a solar installation. Firstly, through bill savings. Any electricity generated and used by the school itself will offset electricity bought from the grid, which a school will typically paying 10p/kWh for or more. The less electricity you need to buy in from the grid, the lower your energy bills will be. A typical school might be able to save £2,000 or more on their electricity bills, although this will vary a lot from project to project. The second financial benefit for schools involves the export tariff. The system owner is paid an additional rate, called the export tariff, for surplus electricity that is sold back to

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the grid. Depending on the size of the system, this exported electricity is either measured or simply assumed (deemed) using an assumption of 50 per cent self-consumption. This is currently set at 4.91p/kWh, roughly the wholesale price of electricity. Thridly, the generation tariff means that the system owner is paid a subsidy payment for every unit of electricity (kWh) that is generated. At the time of going to press a system under 50kWp in size will get 4.53p/kWh and an installation bigger than 50kWp will get 2.38p/kWh. You will have probably seen in the news that the Feed-in Tariff rates for solar PV were cut as of January this year, after a major national campaign. We were delighted that, further to the evidence we put forward, the government only cut the tariffs by 64 per cent instead of the original proposal of an 89 per cent cut – still a major cut but nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Although this means that tariffs are lower than before and are slowly decreasing, and the new quarterly caps system means that you may have to wait several months before you start receiving payments, there is no doubt that solar PV can still be a good investment for a power-hungry school to help bring its electricity bills down. There are various different ways in which a solar installation can be paid for. The first, and simplest, is to pay for the installation outright and earn your investment back in the three ways described above. It can take as little as 10-15 years for the system to pay back the initial cost, depending on factors such as installation size, price, roof orientation and location. If the funds aren’t directly available to pay for the system, borrowing the money may be

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

possible. Capabilities for schools to borrow depends on the type of school you are, so the best thing to do is make some enquiries to see if this is a route you can go down. Another way is to have the cost crowd-funded, such as with the 10:10 Solar Schools campaign (see below). This relies on people not expecting a financial return on their donations, but can be a good option if you are confident that you can inspire people to donate to the solar system. Finally, there is the so-called ‘free solar’ or ‘rent a roof’ option. In this case, an external company effectively rents your roof, installs solar panels on it and retains the subsidy payments. The school pays nothing upfront and buys the electricity from the installation through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). HOW TO SELECT AN INSTALLER You can find a local installer by entering your postcode into the installer search on the Solar Trade Association’s website. It may also be worth considering taking on an independent consultant who can draft a technical specification, liaise with an installer as well as inspect the finished system prior to handover: this should give you some additional peace of mind. If you wanted to deal direct with your solar installer, the box on page 41 gives some key questions to ask. The Solar Trade Association’s Commercial Rooftop Solar Confidence Checklist is also a useful tool when a school is undertaking a solar project. SUPPORT FROM NATIONAL CAMPAIGNS Solar Schools, a project run by the climate charity 10:10, provides a package of resources to support schools crowdfund to help meet the cost of the solar panels. This helps them not just pay for the panels but do so in a way that gets the whole community involved. Amy Cameron, community crowdfunding manager, explained: “Our campaign began to help schools overcome the financial barriers to installing solar. We provide a package of support to help schools raise


the funds they need and bring renewable energy to the heart of the community. So far, we’ve worked with 65 schools around the country who’ve raised over £440,000 saved over 2,000 tonnes of CO2.” A LEARNING TOOL As well as a purely economic decision, solar on your school’s roof can also be used as a learning tool and as a starting point for a discussion on energy, climate change and how to live in a more sustainable way. It also demonstrates the school’s commitment to put its teaching on sustainability into practice and can attract certain groups of parents to the school’s ethos. If teachers are looking for new ideas for days out, it is worth mentioning that members of the Solar Trade Association that specialise in solar farms are always happy to help organise school trips for local schools to go and visit a solar farm, to see how generating clean energy, protecting local wildlife and grazing the land can go hand in hand. Feel free to get in touch with the STA and we can point you in the right direction. Finally, although most people focus on electricity generation solar photovoltaics, there is also an alternative technology in the form of solar thermal hot water panels which generate heat for hot water. The installations are typically cheaper than solar PV panels, and are currently subsidised through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which allows solar thermal to have similar rates of return and payback periods as solar PV. Solar thermal can be a great option for schools with large hot water heating requirements, such as

Key questions to ask before entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Key questions to ask your installer before you decide who to use

1. What is the PPA rate (i.e. what is the price per kWh of electricity offered)?

Can you see sample risk assessments and method statements from previous similar projects?

2. How does it inflate each year?

Can you see design statements covering lightning protection and fire risk assessments?

3. Is there a guarantee to ensure that the PPA will not be higher than the prevailing market price for electricity? 4. Does the school have to buy all the electricity generated even if not used on site? Some PPAs will require the school to buy 100 per cent of the electricity even when it may not use 100 per cent. 5. Who will be the installation contractor? catering, showers or swimming pools. Note however that the government is currently consulting on proposals to cut solar thermal out of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme as of approximately April 2017. You can help us urge the government to re-think this proposal through our #KeepSolarThermal campaign, but it is certainly a reason to try and install the technology sooner rather than later. Solar is a great option for schools to help green their operations and reduce their energy bills. We are keen to see a new generation of sunshine schools – and sunshine pupils. ! FURTHER INFORMATION www.solar-trade.org.uk

As well as a purely economic decision, solar on your school’s roof can also be used as a learning tool and as a starting point for a discussion on energy, climate change and how to live in a more sustainable way

Energy

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Can the installer confirm that the roof will be assessed and signed off by a qualified structural engineer? Can you see samples of all structural and structural design assessments undertaken for similar projects and confirmation they will actually be provided for the project in question? Request detailed justification (including energy modelling) of the system as designed including component selection (panels and inverters)? Will the operatives working on-site be directly employed or subcontracted, will they be DBS-checked? Will the contractor obtain permission to connect to the grid under G59 and provide that before the works commence? What system monitoring will be provided, and will they install a public display so the children can see how much is being generated? If the system is below 50kW in size, is the contractor a member of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC)? Is the contractor a member of the Solar Trade Association? Membership of a trade body often demonstrates a commitment to the long-term reputation of the industry and to customers.

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Lighting Written by Jo Jackson, Lighting Industry Association

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Well-lit spaces for learning A well-designed lighting scheme can not only save on energy bills, it can have a positive impact on a child’s performance and well-being at school, writes Jo Jackson from the Lighting Industry Association Lighting accounts for 20 per cent of the energy cost of running our schools and yet this can be halved by installing energy efficient LED lighting and reduced even further by the use of intelligent controls. LEDs save up to 90 per cent of the energy consumed by traditional filament lighting technologies and are now considerably more efficient than fluorescent lamps, but the advantages go further. LEDs can last up to five times longer than fluorescent lamps which add to the savings through reduced maintenance. Being a digital light source, LEDs are also perfectly placed to work in harmony with sensors and controls which can dim the lights in response to fluctuating daylight or switch off altogether if there is no activity in an area. Sensors working together can detect someone entering a corridor and switch on the nearest light while alerting the next light that someone is coming and that it should switch to 50 per cent output before they arrive and so on along the chain. In recent years LED technology has improved dramatically so that it is now more efficient than ever while the quality of light has also improved. No longer are LEDs a cold blue hue, they can now replicate warmer colours or daylight and are even colour tunable. What’s more prices have been steadily falling which has considerably reduced the payback period. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Well-lit spaces are essential for an effective teaching and learning environment. However, there is considerable scope for making savings by implementing some simple good housekeeping measures. Staff and students should be involved in making savings – this can be achieved through raising awareness during assembly and non-teaching class time, placing stickers above light switches and posters around the building. Let’s not forget the glare from the sun often results in blinds being closed and the

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use of artificial light whereas

installation of daylight blinds We can effectively channel the n o sunlight to the ceiling spend per 7 8 where it does not cause e g a aver our time visual disturbance. the energy cent of dings which That’s pitch over, actually l i u d inside b e are shielde most people ‘get’ the energy saving means wa major part benefits of LED lighting m fro but what I want to ffect of of the e ight discuss is the additional benefits of a welldayl

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

designed lighting scheme.

A WELL-DESIGNED LIGHTING SCHEME Let’s start with well-being. Most of us can recognise bad lighting in a space through dim work areas, glare, cold colour and inadequate or no controls. On the other hand whilst we recognise a good feeling when we walk into certain rooms, we may not be consciously aware that it is due to good lighting. Nevertheless, little is known in public and politics about human centric lighting. A general consensus in society that good lighting is essential for a person’s well-being has prevailed for a long time. But discussions have been superficial and are often not driven by facts. This is the result of the challenges of separating causes and effects, which often seem vague and depend on individual appraisal of surrounding conditions. After the 2001 discovery of a third photoreceptor in the human eye, in addition to rods and cones, effects on circadian rhythms could be related to specific light conditions. This represented a major leap forward, facilitating further research and development activities by both academia and industry. Today, specific lighting solutions can be produced and installed in ways that specifically support the human circadian rhythm, enhance concentration, prevent sleeping disorders and improve overall well-being.


NON-VISUAL EFFECTS OF LIGHTING The non-visual effects of lighting can be classified into three groups – feelings, functioning and health. Feelings include our mood, vitality or state of relaxation. Functioning refers to our state of alertness leading to increased concentration and vigilance and cognitive performance including memory, comprehending languages, reasoning, problem solving, creativity and decision making. Health effects relate to the sleep-wake cycle, the rhythm of rest and activity controlled by our biological clock which is essential for optimised functioning by day and good recovery sleep by night. SAD, ADHD and schizophrenia have all been linked to bio-rhythmic disturbance. A PRESCRIPTION FOR LIGHT In schools, specific lighting solutions can significantly improve concentration and cognitive performance and lead to improved test results. For example, research suggests that error rates dropped from a first to a second test by about 45 per cent (comparison group with conventional lighting only 17 per cent) and cognitive speed improved by nine per cent (comparison group only five per cent). In addition, such lighting solutions

Lighting

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Lighting solutions can be produced and installed in ways that specifically support the human circadian rhythm, enhance concentration, prevent sleeping disorders and improve well-being can reduce motor restlessness, support alertness in the morning and improve social behaviour. Furthermore healthcare costs were reduced by 10 per cent due to reduced ADHD effects, efficacy of treatment for mental disorders improved by 18 per cent and staff turnover was reduced. We spend on average 87 per cent of our time inside buildings which means we are shielded from a major part of the effect of daylight. It therefore seems logical that we should emulate the effect inside the built environment. We know that the colour and amount of light we use and how long we are exposed to it are important considerations. Daylight is not static, it changes throughout the day. It produces bright blue rich light in the morning to send us a ‘wake up’ signal but exposure to that same blue light at night can be disruptive to sleep. In the evening daylight provides a lower level warm light which prepares us for rest.

Light is a form of medicine and we should use it wisely. This understanding is relatively new but already we are able to develop light ‘prescriptions’ that can alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and help reduce depression. This article serves to highlight that there are benefits over and above energy savings from installing good lighting and controls. It is clear that further research is needed but lighting systems are already available which can support the circadian needs of pupils and staff to create well-being and improved cognitive performance in schools. What is also clear is that this cannot be achieved by changing lamps alone and the services of a specialist lighting designer should be sought in order to maximise the benefits. ! FURTHER INFORMATION www.thelia.org.uk

T: +44(0)1869 322500 E: info@thezetagroup.com W: www.zetaled.co.uk

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DELIVERING ROOFING EXCELLENCE

Cedars Upper School, Bedfordshire

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Academies

LEGISLATION

Tina Allison discusses what schools need to be aware of as they move towards academy transition, and what it means to have responsibility for finances without local authority support The Chancellor’s pledge to make every school in England into an academy shows a continued effort to place education into the hands of head teachers and teachers rather than bureaucrats, despite the heavy distraction of the European referendum. Under the plans, schools will either have to have converted by 2020 or have an Order in place to commit them to converting by 2022. Those schools who do not meet these deadlines risk an intervention by the government and control of their organisation surrendered. Transitioning schools will face responsibilities far more expansive than in their current form including legislation – meeting the needs of both the Companies and Charities Acts - and managing their finances without local authority support. The academies model is attractive to boards of governors and school leaders as there is greater flexibility with setting curriculum outside the constraint of the National Curriculum, staff pay scales and admissions procedures. FUNDING Whilst the government may believe converting all the remaining schools in England into academies will provide a better platform for the transformation of poor performing schools, there needs to be careful consideration of the additional investment needed in the funding budgets for the sector as a whole. Many existing academies are looking at the forthcoming academic year’s budget and are wondering how they

will make their finances break-even. Good schools, however they are constituted, need to continue to attract talented teachers and inspirational leaders to succeed. Without a much stronger funding model, this will not be possible and it is doubtful that the standard within our publicly funded schools will be improved. Depending on a school’s position before they enter academy status for some, managing their own finances and meeting the demands of legislation may be a significant challenge. State funded primary schools currently receive a significant amount of support with their finances from the local authority. Many have never prepared full financial accounts, most only keeping a note of payments made. In the first place they will need skills in-house to help with the basic concepts of bookkeeping and managing a budget. For any small school the challenges that come with more regulation are impractical to undertake as a single entity; they will be much better placed to join a Multi Academy Trust and share in the central support functions they can supply. For other types of school often when

Written by Tina Allison, head of education, Crowe Clark Whitehill

Calling schools to transition to academies

they have needed additional financial support the local authority has been their first point of call. A number of existing academies still use the local authorities in this way, in particular for payroll services. The advantage academy status brings is that going forward they will have more choice in finding outsourced suppliers which should make for a more competitive market. This must be balanced against the challenges of finding good quality, sustainable business partners to work with the school and the time involved in undertaking due diligence to make sure the businesses they engage with can meet the organisation’s needs.

The advanta academ ge brings i y status s forward that going have m they will o finding re choice in outs supplieourced rs

LEGISLATION As exempt charities limited by guarantee, they will need to meet the requirements of both the Companies and Charities Acts. The wider responsibilities which come with being a charity trustee are often not well understood. As a trustee they have ultimate responsibility for the charity and its property. This means: making sure the charity complies with its governing document and charity law; acting responsibly and in the interests of the charity and its beneficiaries; and using reasonable care and skill in acting in charity matters. !

Volume 21.4 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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London’s leading Digital Signage Event returns for it’s 8th year, Millbank Tower, 18th and 19th May 2016 We are delighted to announce the annual NEC Display Solutions Showcase will take place on 18 and 19 May 2016 at Millbank Tower, Westminster, London. Uniquely presented within real-life scenarios; the showcase allows you to experience first-hand, engaging visual display solutions in primary, secondary and university education settings that bring the curriculum to life for a positive learning experience. Mark the dates in your diary, register for this FREE event and join us for lunch at the Showcase. www.showcase-nec.com/registration

Twitter @NECShowcase

LinkedIn NEC Display Solutions UK


LEGISLATION ! This includes drawing on personal skills and experience and knowing when to seek professional guidance. The most significant problems are often encountered with governance arrangements. On occasion, the awareness of what it means to make sure all business transactions are in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries are not understood. Whilst well meaning, it is not unusual for boards to find themselves encountering conflicts of interest by either using board member’s

PERFORMANCE Measuring the improvement made in academies can be challenging. It is important that management and the governing body are skilled at measuring their progress. The government’s plans to make every school into an academy are predicated by the fact they believe this will make significant improvements in the educational outcomes. However, it has to be noted that some educationalists have commented that by changing the status of a school to an academy

The academies model is attractive to boards of governors and school leaders as there is greater flexibility with setting curriculum outside the constraint of the National Curriculum, staff pay scales and admissions procedures companies or close contacts to support the school. It may well be that these are the most suitable companies for the school to be dealing with but the Boards need to use procedures which demonstrate a degree of rigour has been used when selecting suppliers. A good school board needs to have a diverse mix of skill sets, experience and business knowledge. Unfortunately, poor governance can act as a hindrance to the school’s performance, in some instances leading to a breakdown in the relationship between trustees and school management.

in itself is no guarantee to the improvement in educational outcomes. We have yet to see evidence that proves academies are working; not all academies have reached a good or outstanding status, some are failing. THE LANDSCAPE GOING FORWARD As every school becomes an academy we will see further Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) evolve. For many of the reasons already outlined above the new responsibilities will be too burdensome for many small schools and they will find the only way to

Academies

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balance the benefits and responsibilities of academy status will be to join a MAT. That in itself will have challenges. In any working partnership, for it to be successful for all, there needs to be synergies around ethos, culture and values. Finding a MAT in the right geographical location, that shares the school’s vision and has the resources and infrastructure in place to take on these additional schools, may be difficult. Looking to the future, for this initiative to be successful the sector as a whole will need to be better funded, the educational outcomes will need to be able to be measured more accurately and an improved basis for comparison between MATs identified. This is because often the academies joining MATs are of varying success and therefore measuring progress between them without knowing the exact position of each academy within the group is difficult. Many additional academies will also put greater pressure on the sector’s regulator, The Education Funding Authority and the newly established Regional School Commissioners. The number of schools they will be responsible for within their jurisdiction could grow exceptionally making it very difficult to monitor the progress of their academies, one of the key purposes of their role. "

Tina Allison is the head of education at audit, tax and advisory firm, Crowe Clark Whitehill. FURTHER INFORMATION www.croweclarkwhitehill.co.uk

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Catering

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

HEALTHY HABITS

Written by Linda Cregan, Children’s Food Trust

What’s on your plate? With a propsed sugar tax on soft drink makers, a new-look EatWell plate to help us all eat a better diet, and a childhood obesity strategy on the way, it seems steps to help children eat better are never far from the front pages. So what more can schools do to create healthy habits for a lifetime? Linda Cregan from the Children’s Food Trust gives her tips As the most recent statistics on childhood obesity were released – which, incidentally, showed that around one in five children is overweight or obese as they start school, rising to around a third of children by the end of primary school – we launched a white paper setting out what we want to see in the forthcoming national child obesity strategy. In there, we had a whole section on why schools must be at the very heart of the strategy – and why they need the right support to help every child eat well. Apart from home, no other institution has such intensive contact with children during their first two decades. Children eat at least one, and sometimes two or more meals per day there. For some pupils, a school lunch is the main meal of the day, providing a critical nutritional safety net. And what children learn about food and eating at school, they transmit home: children can influence their parents’ behaviour and environment, reinforcing those healthier messages in their life away from school. So we have to tap into that influence, and give all schools every chance to help children to learn the habits they’ll need to be far healthier adults than we are.

always as much as you might expect if you think outside the box). Some of you are trying to reduce the amount of food and energy being wasted in your kitchen and dining room, and others know procurement processes could be much better. Meanwhile others are still having sleepless nights about the finer details of your contract with your caterer. GETTING IT RIGHT But there are so many ways in which investing time to get your school food right will make your life easier. Your school will be getting more income – make

For upils, some p unch is ll a schoo n meal of the maiproviding a , the dayl nutritional critica ety net saf

A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE Fundamentally, we want mealtimes at school to be a great experience – an aim that I know school caterers share. School food is not just about what’s on the plate: schools continue to need support, access to finance and time to improve the wider experience of food for pupils. That means giving children the time they need to eat; a dining space which appeals to and inspires them; and the input they should have to design their school meal service, as its customers. But of course, that doesn’t come easy – I spent many years working in school catering, so I know how tough it can be to create the school food service and the food culture you want to have. So many business managers tell me they’ve got concerns about parts of their service – some of you are struggling with management or financial planning and controls for your catering. Others are finding it hard to get underneath the real costs involved for your school to ‘do’ school food better (not

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EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

the experience better for the kids, and more of them will want to eat with you. It’s a great advert for your school: parents talk, so make sure they’re talking about how great your food is. You’ll feel more in control of the financials, you’ll have less admin time spent on school meals and your school will be more efficient, with less food and fuel going to waste. You’ll feel confident to pass control of budgets and quality to your kitchen team. Your lunchtime will be more organised; less supervision in the dining room means more time for other things. Your teachers will be teaching more focused pupils


Does your catering need attention? How do you know when it’s time to look at your catering service more closely? The number of pupils opting to use your canteen is falling or takings drop. The number of children taking up their free school meals at your school declines. Costs of your service are going up. You’re getting complaints. You’re noticing more children bringing a packed lunch or buying food en route to school to keep for lunchtime.

in the afternoon. Plus, if more children want to use your dining room, you’ll cut the amount of litter from packed lunches. DOES YOUR CATERING NEED ATTENTION? So how do you know when it’s time to look at your catering service more closely? It could be because the number of pupils opting to use your canteen is falling or because takings drop. Perhaps the number of children taking up their free school meals at your school is declining, or the costs of your service are going up. Perhaps you are getting complaints. Or maybe you have noticed more children bringing a packed lunch or buying food en route to school to keep for lunchtime. Reviewing your school food service – whether it’s a local-authority-wide contract serving lots and lots of schools, your own individual contract with a private caterer or a service you’re running in-house – is your chance to think big and go shopping. It’s your blank piece of paper to sketch out what you want your school food service to deliver – not just the practical elements (though they’re important), but also how you’ll want it to fit with the ethos of your school, the environment in which you want your students to eat, and how your work on good food can help the wider community too. For example, you might want to open your kitchens for community training or cooking clubs, or champion the example of good school food to promote better choices by the whole family. What do you want to do differently? What should stay the same? Is there anything new you want to try?

Show off your success

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The Children’s Food Trust Award is a great way to help you focus on school food improvement, and to show off your commitment to parents. The Good Food Award is given to schools meeting national school food standards, who can show how they intend to keep improving the food experience for children. The Outstanding Food Award is given to schools meeting tough criteria on their food policy, menus, the dining experience children have, staff training, giving children opportunities to learn to cook and how actively staff encourage children to eat healthily. All award-holders can use the award logo, are named on the Children’s Food Trust website and have access to information, news and resources throughout the year to help them maintain high standards. For more details, visit www.childrenfoodtrust.org.uk/award

It’s often said of project management that if you invest the time to come up with a really clear brief, you’ll reap the rewards in the delivery. That’s why reviewing your catering service and your vision for food at your school, and coming up with a strong specification, is so important. It’s easy to get hung up on things that you’ve always done (or always wanted to do). But get talking to parents and children; give yourself some head-space to get creative; try to erase what you already know and design the service you’d want if you could wave a magic wand. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. ! FURTHER INFORMATION www.childrenfoodtrust.org.uk

MEETING STANDARDS The recommendations we made for schools in our white paper show just how much schools can contribute to children’s nutrition: we want to see all schools, without exception, meeting national standards for school food. We want to see the free meals for all infants scheme being used to measure the impact of universal school food for children’s public health. Giving schools the time, incentive, finance and support to continue improving school meals, including ongoing investment in better kitchens and dining rooms, is crucial. And we need to ensure that our free school meals system supports children living in poverty all year round: given that our poorest children are statistically most likely to be obese, we need to use every possible route to help them eat well, even when school’s out. Plans to extend holiday childcare options, and requests to schools to help provide this, open up many opportunities here if the right funding is available.

What children learn about food and eating at school, they transmit home: children can influence their parents’ behaviour and environment, reinforcing those healthier messages in their life away from school Volume 21.4 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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MOBILE TECHNOLOGY

IT & Computing

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Plugging in to the potential of mobile technology

Despite some conflicting opinions, technology seems destined to play an increasingly prominent role in the classroom. Education Business examines the role of mobile technology and how schools can fully harness its potential A recent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report deemed that schools across the developed world have failed to ‘take advantage’ of the potential of technology in the classroom. The report, entitled ‘Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection’, was the first of its kind to provide an internationally comparative analysis of the digital skills that students have acquired and of the learning environments designed to develop these skills. According to the OECD’s analysis, 96 per cent of 15 year-olds in OECD countries had a computer at home as of 2012, while only 72 per cent reported to use a desktop, laptop or tablet at school. The report found that students who use computers moderately at school tended to have better learning outcomes than students who rarely used them, but the worrying discovery was that students who use computers ‘very frequently’ at school do much worse, even after accounting for social background and student demographics. While this could be seen as damning proof that technology does not have the capability

to improve educational outcomes, and instead provides a platform for students to be become distracted from learning, Andreas Schleicher, OECD director for education and skills, concluded that schools systems ‘need to find more effective ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning’. According to Schleicher, educators need to be provided with learning environments that ‘support 21st century pedagogies’ and can provide children with the skills they need to succeed in ‘tomorrow’s world’. While the OECD’s research highlights failings in the implementation of technology, the social shift towards an increasingly connected world means that it can not simply be discredited as ‘not suitable’ for the classroom and must instead be better utilised to support students’ learning, while simultaneously developing their digital skills. Schleicher commented: “Technology is the only way to dramatically expand access to knowledge. To deliver on the

Studen who us ts comput e ers modera t e l y at tended to have school learning be outcom tter than s es who rartudents ely u them sed

promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change.” MOBILE TECHNOLOGY Techknowledge for Schools, formerly ‘Tablets for Schools’, was set up in 2011 to monitor the adoption of mobile technology in UK schools. Techknowledge for Schools believes that technology can be used as a tool to encourage children to take a more active approach to their education allowing them to personalise their experience and equipping them for a ‘digital future’. It has conducted extensive research into the barriers to adoption and implementation of technology in schools, with a specific focus on mobile technology and 1:1 provision. The OECD report highlighted that, while desktop computers remained the most common form of computers in schools in 2012, the share of students with access to mobile devices is increasing, with 43 per cent of students, on average, having access to laptops at school, and 11 per cent having access to tablets. The report notes that laptop and tablet computers offer ‘greater flexibility’ to teachers and students, and Techknowledge for Schools !

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AV MOUNTING SOLUTIONS From screen and projector mounting systems to teaching aid trolleys to AV collaboration furniture UNICOL has the answer Unicol has been designing and manufacturing a comprehensive range of mounting equipment for over 50 years either as standard assemblies or as custom made items, from ‘one-off ’ specials to large scale projects from education to airports to retail.

ICT EXPENDITURE INCREASE

The UK education sector is renowned as a leader of introducing technology into the classroom and as the cost of technology has fallen in real terms should be in a good position to maximise investment. The widespread decentralisation of UK government policy towards ICT procurement for schools is offering more choice and freedom. So how does this impact on a company designing and manufacturing AV mounting systems, which already boasts a portfolio of over 65,000 products? Well, the increase in ICT expenditure means an increase in the spend on specific audio visual equipment and the new wave of thinking on the learning process, as a consequence, opens the door to new designs for the classroom of the future.

FUTURE CLASSROOMS As technology asks questions of future teaching methods the classroom of the future may not be a classroom at all, just an open space that provides a focal point for students and teachers who are already connected via their phones. This space may be used for discussion, planning or collaboration. It is probable that these spaces will require more TV displays and video walls / LED panel arrays. Such AV installations need to be flexible so the space can be populated with devices when the need arises and when numbers of students dictate it.

Bring Your Own Devices have been with us for a number of years and presenting your work is all important so our presentation units provide the perfect platform. Video walls show off technology for all to see and the Unicol pop-out mounting system packed with innovative features makes installation and maintenance safe and easy.

BS8590 Did you know there is an AV British Standard? BS8590 – The code of practice for the installation of audio visual equipment. Unicol mounts meet this standard but your installer should also be following this code.

COLLABORATION Schools around the globe are engaging in collaborative learning projects and Unicol’s Rhobus Huddle (shown above) can be expanded for video conferencing to connect teachers and students. Even the most fundamental collaborative device, the humble dry-erase board has been replaced by an electronic equivalent, the Smart Kapp board, for which Unicol have designed and manufactured a trolley.

BYOD

Nest-Star space saving trolleys. Up to 84” can be mounted including the Microsoft Surface Hub

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MOBILE TECHNOLOGY ! suggests that mobile technology can hold the key to creating equal opportunities for all pupils, giving them access to the best teaching the world, no matter their background. Techknowledge for Schools acknowledges that the adoption of mobile technology can be ‘risky for schools’, but, when implemented effectively, can facilitate a bespoke learning experience to enhance students’ learning. 1:1 PROVISION A large portion of Techknowledge for Schools’ research has been based on the provision of 1:1 mobile devices in the classroom. A research summary covering findings from the last four years argues that 1:1 technology enables pupils to be more creative, independent and collaborative. Pupils interviewed by Techknowledge for Schools displayed greater motivation and interest in schoolwork when using 1:1 mobile technology, with pupils expressing satisfaction with learning and taking pleasure in the interactive nature of tablets. Honywood was Techknowledge for Schools’ original research school, being one of the first in the UK to introduce 1:1 mobile devices. Research from 2013 showed that 87 per cent of students at Honywood found learning easier because of their tablets, while 72 per cent felt that their work had improved as a result of using 1:1 mobile technology. Pupils felt that using tablets would have a direct impact on their academic achievement, with 68 per cent believing their grades would be improved. Tablets were also found to greatly improve independent learning, with 100 per cent of pupils reporting that their tablets helped them to do research for school work, and 88 per cent reporting that tablets enabled them to work at their own pace and not worry if others are working faster or slower than them in lessons. Additionally, 92 per cent also felt that working on tablets helped them to share their work with others in lessons. Techknowledge for Schools stresses the importance of extra freedom granted to pupils by the use of personal mobile technology, as it allows them to conduct their own individual research. This is a benefit for teachers as they do not have to book resources in advance, and also facilitates more opportunities for pupil-led learning. There are also benefits for children with behavioural problems, as Techknowledge for Schools has found the use of mobile technology made them more motivated to work. Additionally, tablets have been found to benefit pupils with special educational needs (SEN). The intuitive nature of a touch screen interface helps SEN pupils to engage better with learning, and a wide range of applications are available specifically designed to support SEN pupils, which can

IT & Computing

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Schools must ensure they have sufficient Wi-Fi coverage at the planning stage to avoid technical issues and costly improvements after mobile devices have already been rolled out be used on a more regular basis when a pupil has their own personal device. SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION Techknowledge for Schools has outlined a number requirements to successfully implement mobile technology in the classroom. The first is support. The educational charity highlights that the adoption of tablets is not always an easy process, and so the drive and determination of school leaders is important to facilitate the change needed for support staff to

successfully implement the technology. Following on from this, it is important to engage teachers in the process from the start. The research has shown that teachers become more enthusiastic about the adoption of mobile technology as they begin to understand the full potential, so supporting this understanding from an early stage is vital. The majority of schools interviewed by Techknowledge for Schools stressed that the need for teacher training cannot be overstated. Another important consideration is IT infrastructure. Schools must ensure they have "

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So advanced you’ll only ever touch the surface What you can’t see inside a Clevertouch Plus touch screen is the innovative, rich technology that sets it apart. Technology that creates a truly unique and immersive user experience. Our latest Android powered operating system has been designed to reflect the tablet interfaces that we are all familiar with, allowing you to simply turn on and teach. With a focus on Education, our operating system gives you the freedom to connect, upload, share and collaborate with effortless ease – knowing the proven technology is adaptable & dependable. If you are looking to engage with your students, Clevertouch Plus can dramatically alter your classroom dynamic. Bursting with full ad-free versions of your favourite apps, as well as a comprehensive software package for lesson building and collaboration, all for free for the life of the product, Clevertouch is the full solution.

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MOBILE TECHNOLOGY

The adoption of mobile technology can be ‘risky for schools’, but, when implemented effectively, can facilitate a bespoke learning experience to enhance students’ learning

! sufficient Wi-Fi coverage at the planning stage to avoid technical issues and costly improvements after mobile devices have already been rolled out. Each school involved in Techknowledge for Schools’ research had to invest in improvements to technology infrastructure to ensure that the bandwidth could cope with the increased demand. Schools should also consider breakages to the technology. Robust covers can be a good way of extended the lifetime of mobile technology and protecting it for accidental damage. Techknowledge for Schools also suggests that schools consider the possibility of having a repair centre close at hand, possibly within the school. Schools may also consider insurance plans, although these can prove to be costly and many schools do manage without. Involving parents from an early stage can also be essential to successful implementation. Parents were involved in over 60 focus groups organised by Techknowledge for Schools and voiced concerns over costs and security. Some felt that if their children had their own tablets to work on, it would mean they never get a chance to switch off of school work. The charity takes these concerns seriously and advised that schools should encourage parents to impose limitations on their children’s mobile technology use at home, to ensure they have suitable ‘down time’. Providing training and information can also help to engage parents with the process, making the introduction of mobile technology a much smoother process

IT & Computing

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BARRIERS TO IMPLEMENTATION Online safety has been highlighted as a key concern for parents. The roll out of personal devices gives pupils more time in contact with the internet and makes it harder for teachers and parents to monitor this activity, which could result in pupils being more vulnerable online and more likely to view content that isn’t age appropriate. Interviews with over 7,000 children and young people aged between seven and 18 in 2015 found that 50 per cent of primary pupils and 70 per cent of secondary pupils are taking internet enabled devices to bed with them. In addition to this, 34 per cent of primary and 40 per cent of secondary pupils admitted to sometimes feeling ‘addicted’ to the Internet. Additionally, 48 per cent of 11-12 year olds admitted to feeling distracted by other things on their mobile device while doing their homework. This increased with age, with 67 per cent of 16-18 years olds saying they felt distracted. This gives further credence to the advice that parents should set limits on the time children can spend on connected devices. While increased use of mobile devices in schools could further compound these issues, Techknowledge for Schools’ research did find that 87 per cent of secondary "

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IT & Computing

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY ! and 81 per cent of primary students said that their schools had blocks on certain websites, including domains or apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. 93 per cent of secondary and 89 per cent of primary students also said that their schools talk to them about being safe online. In fact, 51 per cent of secondary pupils and 60 per cent of primary pupils felt that using a tablet or other device at schools every day made them more aware of using the internet safely. Besides safety, the other biggest barrier to adoption is financial concerns. Having questioned 21 schools that had adopted 1:1 mobile devices, the research found that 80 per cent had incurred additional IT costs, which covered things such as additional IT staff, upgrades to wireless access, storage and charging facilities and mobile device management systems. In addition to this, 53 per cent of schools felt that they required external help with Wi-FI. While research has shown that the increased roll out of 1:1 mobile devices could have the potential to improve learning outcomes and help schools to better take advantage of the connected world we now live in, the successful implementation does face a number of barriers. Cost is always a key consideration for schools, and until mobile technology can more clearly demonstrate tangible results, it is likely many will be put off

Cost is always a key consideration for schools, and until mobile technology can more clearly demonstrate tangible results, it is likely many will be put off the implementation of 1:1 personal devices the implementation of 1:1 personal devices. For those that do wish to move towards such a programme, it is clear that guidance for schools is essential to ensure that the proper infrastructure and safety measures are in place, as well as ensuring that

school leaders understand how to properly engage all relevant parties in the process, from teachers to pupils to parents. " FURTHER INFORMATION techknowledge.org.uk

An experienced provider of quality school ICT services, flexibly tailored to your specific needs In the majority of schools today, teachers and support staff are the ones logging IT issues for support providers to fix. While that model may have been appropriate for previous expectations of education, in today’s technologically driven world your learners’ user experience with ICT is critical for their full interaction and engagement. So who hears the voice of your learners? Until recently, this big data has not been used to improve teaching and learning, however there is now a simple way to give pupils a voice when it comes to their personal experience of ICT. On any school network, every time a user logs on to a device, they leave behind a trace of that action. When that school has even the most basic level of support from RM Flex, this anonymised trail of data can provide sufficient information to compare the user experience of every pupil in your school against thousands of other pupils.

This means you can start to ask questions that improve your ICT effectiveness for both service and budget. Questions include: why is it taking over two minutes for Pupil X to log in, when logins for other users on comparable devices takes under 30 seconds?; why are all the tablets logging in wirelessly in classroom Y taking twice as long as classroom Z?; which devices are being used the most, and which are underutilised?; in a controlled trial,

which hardware upgrade would provide users with the most improved experience?; and how do internet download speeds compare to other schools? RM Flex will monitor over 20 million login events this year. This means that rather than relying on the shared learnings of a team of two or three people, these experts have the capability to compare data from hundreds of schools and thousands of users, interpreting this into a bank of collective ICT intelligence that gives a proactive voice to your learners for the first time. Big data can’t give us all the answers, but it can tell us the right questions to ask to make a difference to the real-life events in your school. Please visit the website to find out more about what RM Flex could do for your school. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0808 172 9534 flex@rm.com www.rm.com/edbusinessICT

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Case Study

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

Award winning Gratnells taking school storage solutions into the digital age Gratnells, leaders in classroom storage for over 40 years, has introduced an innovative new product range designed to store, charge and sync up to 30 USB devices at ultra fast speed. The company has launched two new ICT products, PowerTray and PowerTrolley, keeping portable devices organised, secure and always charged ready for use. The PowerTrays come in two sizes - a shallow tray and an extra deep version, and can each store 10 tablets. The PowerTrolley can adapt to house either three tiers of shallow trays, charging 30 devices at any one time or two tiers of extra deep trays, charging 20 units. The deeper trays also feature a lid to protect the contents and can be used as a standalone unit, transportable between classes. Based on the company’s established expertise in producing efficient, robust and colourful tray/trolley combinations which are compatible with standard school and office furniture, PowerTray and PowerTrolley take these features into the digital age. The trays continuously analyse the appetite for power from USB electronic devices such as

phones, tablets and data loggers, responding with an optimised rate of charge and syncing between them to produce a complete storage, charging and syncing solution. The average charge time from empty to 100 per cent is between two and four hours. In addition, the PowerTray has an integral fan and air vents to keep gadgets cool. The PowerTrolley is specially designed to securely store and charge devices using the new PowerTrays and has useful built-in features such as lockable castors and optional handles. To maintain security, complete units

are lockable and, of course, mobile for easy deployment to storerooms or cupboards. PowerTrays are available in white and come in two alternative heights, while PowerTrolleys offer five contemporary colours to complement or contrast with décor and furniture. Both are futureproofed, universal and firmware updatable to be compatible with changes in technology. Gratnells has responded to the universal adoption of technology in the education and office environment with storage systems that are compact, lightweight and versatile while providing security and additional functionality. PowerTray F2 and F25 Charge models are available in both Charge Only and Charge and Sync. In addition these new products add a further dimension to the company’s ‘Learning Rooms’ philosophy, helping to create a healthy, safe and inspiring environment for children’s education. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 169 6854 trays@gratnells.co.uk www.gratnells.com

Storage power for the digital age! The PowerTrays come in two sizes – a shallow tray and an extra deep version, and can each store 10 tablets.

The Gratnells PowerTrolley stores up to three PowerTrays in a secure, lockable unit giving you the power to charge up to 30 devices at once. Fitted with lockable castors and available in a number of tray/trolley colour combinations, the PowerTrolley is compatible with standard school and office furniture. Gratnells PowerTray is designed to store and charge up to 10 USB powered tablets at ultra fast speed in a robust storage tray. With lockable doors, Gratnells PowerTrolley protects your investment in technology now and for the future.

The PowerTrolley can adapt to house either 3 tiers of shallow trays, charging 30 devices at any one time or 2 tiers of extra deep trays, charging 20 units.

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IT & Computing

AUDIO VISUAL

Written by Dave Smith, chair, Naace

Transforming the learning landscape Technology is no longer restricted to just the ICT classroom, with many schools using display and projection equipment to enhance learning activities in every subject. Dave Smith, chair of Naace, discusses the history of audio visual technology in schools and how it improves the learning experience Technology has been gradually transforming the education sector over the last 10 years. The increased variety of equipment and software has expanded the use of technology far beyond the boundaries of the ICT classroom. Many schools are now using audio visual (AV) equipment to enhance their pupils’ learning experience through visual and interactive activities. But with the continuous evolution of technology, schools are feeling the pressure to keep up with recent trends. The last 15 years has seen massive investments in technology for classrooms. According to the ICT in UK State Schools report from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), in 2000, we saw the number of computers in schools increase to over 800,000, a third of which were laptops. In addition, nine in 10 schools had access to the internet and by 2003 schools were expected to spend around £65 million through dedicated ICT budgets.

However, possibly the most prominent evolution in classroom technology was the implementation of around £200 million worth of interactive whiteboards, which had reached 58.3 per cent of schools by 2004, and is now the most commonly used piece of AV technology in classrooms. To make a comparison, there are on average only two interactive whiteboards per school in Japan, whereas in the UK, almost every classroom will feature a digital front-of-house display. But a new wave of innovation in educational technology has begun. Schools today are now benefiting from

a huge variety of new equipment, devices, and software helping to diversify lessons and improve student engagement.

THE NEW LANDSCAPE As OF TECHNOLOGY most pu The improvement of touch screen have gr pils technology has allowed for the o wn up surr development of many new o u technol nded by AV products and there is now a wide array of solutions for more imogy, its even schools to choose from in p schools ortant for order to update their classroom technology. For example, some with te to keep up chnolog schools are transitioning from the of interactive whiteboards to trends ical flatusepanel displays, which use the LED

screen technology found in modern TVs. The main advantage of this technology for schools is the heightened detail of the display, presenting the opportunity for more accurate work. For example, in maths, when presenting a graph, the greater clarity !

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Unique School App

A fully integrated communications & resources ecosystem Your School is a community. At the heart of this community are the Students, their Parents & Guardians and the Teachers. School life is a hive of activity with class work, exams, study, extra curricular activities, sports events, concerts, fundraisers, outings, competitions, to name but a few. Keeping everyone connected and communicating in a meaningful and relevant way is critical. Providing information in this ever-changing environment is a challenge for all schools. Our School App has been specifically developed to provide schools with a new platform with instant, targeted communications and important information and resources at the fingertips, including School Calendar, School Rules, Extra Curricular Activities, Payments Function, Social Media, Canteen Menu, Bullying, Healthy Lifestyles and User Profiling.

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AUDIO VISUAL ! will make grid lines far more visible and allow for greater precision in interacting with the screen. Flat panel displays are much more energy efficient and require little maintenance. They also produce very limited heat or noise and, unlike interactive whiteboards, the TV-style screens mean that teachers no longer have to squint through the beam of the projector while delivering lessons. TIME TO GO MOBILE The use of tablets and handheld devices has also become more popular with schools looking to increase student engagement with the classroom front-of-house display. Interactive whiteboards provided the opportunity for students to stand at the front of the classroom and control the material on the screen, but more recently, mirror image apps have been created

that connect devices to the display so that children can view and interact with the material remotely from their desks. Apple TVs have been fairly popular in this way, as an increasing number of students now have iPads with which they can interact with the display. However, there are alternatives, such as the SMART 15 software, Promethean ClassFlow and Reflector 2, which all create a two-way interface between the user’s device in the classroom and the front-of-house display. These can be accessed through smartphones or laptops using the school’s Wi-Fi connection at a fraction of the price of an Apple TV. Another benefit of tablets is the ability to capture the outcomes of work digitally using screenshots and photographs. This allows work to be annotated and stored on the school network, helping to create a detailed record of work while reducing paper trails in the process.

Tablets are likely to become even more popular as they become more efficient and user friendly. Because of the large number of students who already have access to this technology, classrooms will most likely be able to adapt to using tablets in the classroom quickly and enthusiastically. In fact, according to BESA’s Tablet and Connectivity report, the low cost and mobility of tablets has led to a forecast that in 2016, 37 per cent of all computer hardware in schools will be tablet devices: a 13 per cent increase on the predictions for 2015.

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PROJECTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES Another option for projection in the classroom is the use of visualisers and document cameras. These work very similarly to traditional overhead projectors, transferring real-time "

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AUDIO VISUAL ! digital images of documents or objects to the front-of-house display. The concept of visualisation has remained a prominent feature of teaching, but specialist visualiser hardware has taken a hit in the market due to the development of mirroring software and apps. Tablets can now be used in place of this technology, positioned in the classroom to capture and project various skills and methods, for example, presenting a science experiment or demonstrating a particular art technique up close. This visual form of teaching still has powerful instructional value and still has its place in the classroom. Schools that have already invested in visualisers can still make use of them, as they can project images without the need for photographing and converting them for use on the display. WEIGHING UP THE POSSIBILITIES When it comes to schools investing in new classroom technology, there are two main considerations: price and longevity. The interactive whiteboards used in most schools will now be over 10 years old, so when weighing up the costs and benefits of upgrading, one of the most common questions asked by governors is ‘how long will it last?’. The standard warranty and expected life span of flat panel displays is between three and seven years.

According to BESA’s Tablet and Connectivity report, the low cost and mobility of tablets has led to a forecast that in 2016, 37 per cent of all computer hardware in schools will be tablet devices At the same time, new technology does come at a cost. For example, replacing the bulbs in a whiteboard projector every two to three years is far cheaper at £250, whereas investing in a flat panel display with touch screen capabilities and a life span based on hours of use, will cost around £2,000. But these costs are dropping, and if the trend continues, schools will find that purchasing new technology and devices will not be as expensive as they may have thought. The same is true of tablets. The majority of schools often provide shared devices, as they cannot yet provide a 1:1 ratio of devices to students. However, as many more children are gaining access to personal tablets, iPads and smartphones, some schools are considering a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model for the classroom. There are safety and security risks to this, as well as discrimination considerations and pricing policies that need to be established

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for the strategy to work well, but this could be a viable option in the foreseeable future. KEEPING UP WITH TRENDS When purchasing new technology, the most important thing is to think long term; the expense may be off-putting in the short term, but in the long run, you will benefit from a higher quality product, and the total cost of ownership will be more than parity. Now that most young pupils will have grown up surrounded by technology, it is even more important for schools to keep up with technological trends. By adopting new equipment and methods, schools can revitalise lessons and increase that all-important engagement factor in the classroom. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.naace.co.uk

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Skills… Learning… STEM… Use the Arts to improve skills in Maths.

The Wolf Trap Foundation in the USA has proven that combining STEM and the Arts into one programme significantly improves maths scores. Teachers said students particularly benefited from the use of music, movement, and drama to give them greater confidence in learning the basics of maths. Help promote the Arts with STEM subjects and encourage the next generation of Designers & Engineers.

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TABLET TECHNOLOGY

Written by Mark Rosser, British Educational Suppliers Association

An update on technology in schools Over the next two issues of Education Business, Mark Rosser, membership manager at the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), will examine research on the current levels of resources and budgets in schools. This month he starts by looking at technology resources with a particular focus on tablets

Like Goldilocks in the fairy tale, schools are currently unsure about what is the right sized budget for their specific needs. You may remember for Goldilocks, the first chair, bed and bowl of porridge were too big, the next ones too small and, finally, the third ones were just the right size. Schools’ opinions as to whether their budgets are the right size currently appear to be polarised; for some it’s too small, for others it’s just right. Back in January, we worked with our technology partners, Naace, to explore schools’ views in relation to investment in technology. BESA’s survey of 1,204 school leaders (719 primary and 485 secondary) supported this notion of a divide between schools; revealing that 39 per cent of primary schools and 45 per cent of secondary schools felt their budget was big enough and that they were likely to maintain their planned ICT investments. So far, so clear. Until we then find that a relatively comparable 46 per cent of all schools feel they are unlikely or definitely not able to maintain their spending in ICT. While 1,204 responses makes for statistically viable research, it is also healthy to look at

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the findings from BESA’s Resources in English Maintained Schools (January 2016) survey to compare results. Respondents to this research are again divided, but a little less positive. The findings show that over the last year, there has been an increasing number of school leaders identifying gaps in the sufficiency of resource provision. When we look at these opinions in more detail it is the primary schools that are more optimistic about future funding than secondary schools, but both record less optimism than in previous years.

rural areas not having sufficient bandwidth, in most areas it has increased steadily over the years. Despite this, schools’ perception is that they are under-resourced; as a greater amount of learning content is used and speed expectations rise. In other words, the hungrier you are, the smaller the bowl of porridge may appear. However, it was when we investigated the resources that ranked as having the lowest level of provision, namely tablets, that we saw that this is not necessarily the case. Despite demand for tablets increasing, 68 per cent of primaries and 59 per cent of secondary schools feel under-resourced with the technology. Is this also a case of an increasing expectation? Apparently not. As we have touched upon earlier, some schools, generally those based in more rural areas, lag behind in the strength of their Wi-Fi connectivity and broadband provision !

Over r, yea the last been an s there ha g number n increasi ol leaders of scho ying gaps identif ufficiency in the s source of re ion provis

PAINTING A FAIR PICTURE OF REALITY? What we have noticed over the years is that the opinion of being under-resourced is not always directly linked to the actual provision. One good example to demonstrate this is broadband. Aside from the unacceptable issue of many schools in

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TABLET TECHNOLOGY ! (Information and Communication Technology in UK State Schools, BESA, 2014). It is certainly of concern that children in these more rural schools may be denied access to the latest, most innovative digital education learning content because of a mismatch in broadband and connectivity, as the findings of our research implied. In a 21st century online economy, classroom connectivity to a digital world of knowledge and resources should be a right for every student in their place of learning, not a regional lottery. While there was a slight improvement last year, levels are still unacceptable. Many of these same schools also report low levels of tablet adoption because without acceptable levels of bandwidth, the effective use of tablets is compromised. AN ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT? But this is not the only reason for under-resourcing in tablet technology. John Graham, head of public sector sales at BESA member, ICT Direct, believes it is also linked to the perceived benefits of mobile technology, and where tablets may fit in an educational setting. He said: “Tablets have their place in schools but they are often considered an additional investment. When school budgets are tight, this extra investment can be a major challenge.” Huw Williams, marketing director at another BESA member, LearnPad, agrees: “As outlined by the latest BESA and Naace research earlier this year, the majority of schools are feeling under resourced, with only a few devices to share across multiple year groups. But with the time, effort and additional resources needed to manage tablets, schools are currently assessing whether making an investment from their already ‘squeezed’ budget, is worthwhile. Without doubt, the schools that have invested time and effort into embedding tablets into everyday lessons are reaping the rewards and have already purchased more devices.” HALF OF THE PROBLEM While at BESA, we continue to encourage schools to consider the total cost of ownership and not just the initial price tag, it is important to remember that there are lower cost tablet devices available, rather than having to pay the premium price tag for the big name consumer brands; some offer schools the ability to purchase twice as many devices for the same cost of another brand and as long as they are BESA members they are more likely to be good products. As John Graham advises,:“One route many schools across the UK have chosen to take is investing in refurbished computer equipment. By purchasing high quality business grade computers and servers at a fraction of their original cost, schools can then invest the money they have saved into tablet technology. In fact, in several cases the schools have used

Curriculum Resources

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The world of technology is fast changing and it is often difficult to keep pace with new developments let alone contemplate how they will benefit teaching and learning the remaining budget to invest in equipment throughout the coming year, replacing old or obsolete kit as and when required.” But, as with any purchase, making sure the device, associated software and implementation is the right fit for the school’s requirements should be the overarching factor in any tablet purchase. However, as Huw points out: “There are a number of schools that have not seen a rise in engagement, nor a positive upturn in attainment. These schools are not only questioning if they have invested in the correct device but also if they have used the correct strategy to support their staff in embedding the tablets into their lessons.” As outlined in the BESA Tablets and Connectivity report (June 2015), only 38 per cent of primary schools and 21 per cent of secondary schools have successfully integrated tablets into lessons. This means a change in approach is needed if they are going to invest further in tablet technology. Best practice schools reference teacher controls, device management and the ease of

delivering differentiated content and activities as keys to a successful implementation. Having the correct management tools that are not overly complicated and are created for all levels of technical ability is definitely a must for any school looking to make an investment. John Graham adds to this list by recommending that schools consider the cost of rugged cases and secure storage to protect tablets from damage. He also stresses the importance of taking out good warranties with tablets, as they are sealed units and therefore more difficult and costly to fix than a standard desktop computer. The world of technology is fast changing and it is often difficult to keep pace with new developments let alone contemplate how they will benefit teaching and learning. At a time when schools’ porridge bowls appear to be getting slightly smaller, we recommend you turn to BESA members for their advice to ensure you are investing wisely and getting the most out of your budget. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.besa.org.uk

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School Websites

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

ONLINE INFORMATION

Ensuring that you have an Ofsted-ready website Last September, Ofsted published the latest in a set of guidelines about what information a maintained school must include on its website. Education Business summaries the requirements

A school’s website is a digital representation of the school. It often provides the first impression to parents, new staff, and even potential pupils. Visually therefore, it has to be attractive and represent the school’s brand and values. But the information it hosts is key. Parents and staff will visit on a daily basis to get information about the school and its pupils. And last September, Ofsted published the latest in a set of guidelines about what information a maintained school must include on its website. In particular, from September 2015, Ofsted made it obligatory for schools to publish details of its governors online. This has to include their duties, details of each governor’s business interests, financial interests, governance roles in other schools, and the structure and responsibilities of the governing body and committees. The statutory guidelines from Ofsted also require a school to publish information on its admissions arrangements. This must explain how it considers applications for every age group, including arrangements for selecting the pupils who apply, its over-subscription criteria, and an explanation of what parents should do to apply. If the website does not publish this information, it must point parents in the direction of its local authority site where they can find admission arrangements.

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A school’s website is a digital representation of the school. It often provides the first impression to parents, new staff, and even potential pupils. Visually therefore, it has to be attractive and represent the school’s brand and values SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS A school’s website must publish a report on its policy for pupils with special educational needs (SEN). This must include admission arrangements for pupils with SEN or disabilities, the steps taken to prevent pupils with SEN from being treated less favourably than other pupils, and details of access facilities. It must also include the accessibility plan the governing body has written in compliance with paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010. CURRICULUM AND EXAM RESULTS A school’s website must publish the content of the curriculum in each academic year for every subject. It must include the names of any phonics or reading schemes being used in Key Stage 1 (KS1), a list of the courses available to pupils at Key Stage 4 (KS4), including GCSEs, as well as how parents or other members of the

public can find out more about the curriculum. A school’s website must include information on exam results. For Key Stage 2 (KS2) results, information must include the percentage of pupils who achieved level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths; the percentage of pupils who have improved by two or more levels in reading, writing and maths between KS1 and KS2; and the percentage of pupils who achieved level 5 or above in reading, writing, and maths. Regarding KS4 results, the school must publish on its website the percentage of pupils who achieved grade C or above in GCSEs (or equivalent) in five or more subjects, including English and maths. It must also include the percentage of pupils who achieved the English Baccalaureate, as well as the percentage of pupils who have achieved at least the minimum expected levels of progress in English and maths between KS2 and KS4.


Website checklist PUPIL PREMIUM AND OTHER FUNDING A school’s website must publish details of how the school spends its pupil premium funding and the effect this has had on the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding. It must include details on how much funding was received for this academic year and how it will be spent, including reasons and evidence. This information must also include details of how the school spent the pupil premium funding in the last academic year, and how it made a difference to the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. The funding is allocated for each financial year, but the information you publish online should refer to the academic year, as this is how parents and the general public understand the school year. As schools won’t know how much funding they’re getting for the latter part of the academic year (from April to July), they should report on the funding up to the end of the financial year and update the information when they have all the figures. If a school receives PE and sport premium funding, it must publish details of how it spends this funding and the effect it has had on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment. This must include how much funding was received for this academic year, as well as a full breakdown

of how it was or will be spent. They must also include information on the effect it had on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment, and what efforts will be made to make these improvements sustainable. Likewise, if the school receives Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding, it must publish online details of how it is spent and the effect this has had on the attainment of the pupils who attract it. Details must include how much was received for this academic year, details of how the funding will be spent, details of how funding was spent in the last academic year, and in what ways it has made a difference to the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding. OTHER INFORMATION A school website must also include information on the school’s charging and remissions policies, including the activities or cases for which the school will charge parents and when it will make an exception on a payment. Finally, as well as contact details, a school’s website must include a copy of the school’s most recent Ofsted report or a link to it, as well as the school’s behaviour policy, and a statement of the school’s ethos and values. If a parent requests a paper copy of the information on a school’s website, then they must provide it free of charge. !

Check list: information that must be published online.

School Websites

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School contact details Admission arrangements Ofsted reports Exam and assessment results Performance tables Curriculum Behaviour policy Pupil premium Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium PE and sport premium for primary schools Special educational needs (SEN) report Governors’ information and duties Charging and remissions policies Values and ethos

FURTHER INFORMATION www.gov.uk/guidance/what-maintainedschools-must-publish-online

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Advertisement Feature

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PROCUREMENT

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SPEND, IT’S THE WAY THAT YOU SPEND IT!

When it comes to procurement, how can you get the very best value for your school or academy? We put some commonly-asked questions to YPO’s executive director, Paul Smith HOW OFTEN SHOULD OUR SCHOOL REVIEW OUR SERVICE CONTRACTS AND WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR? I would say that as a minimum, schools should review all contracts annually, but preferably more frequently. Start by looking at the relative importance of all of your contracts, and ensure that the most important ones get the most attention. Look in all areas – catering, cleaning, insurance, electricity, grounds maintenance, etc. Anywhere where you spend money. There are a number of things that you should look out for. Understand when a contract is due for renewal and ensure that it is not automatically renewed. If there is a minimum notice period on the contract, make a note in your diary to give notice in time. Most importantly, do you know that you are getting good value and good service? How do you know? Don’t rely on suppliers telling you that you are getting a good deal. Test the market by asking other schools or running a benchmarking exercise (or getting a public buying organisation like YPO to complete one for free). CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IS MEANT BY A PROCUREMENT ‘FRAMEWORK’? Whenever public money is spent, it is best practice to ensure fair and open

competition for suppliers and value for money. When a lot is being spent, it is the law to conduct a thorough tender process. Frameworks help achieve this by ensuring public sector organisations, including schools, achieve best value, and enable fair competition between suppliers. A framework is a public sector contract where a professional purchasing organisation, such as YPO, has already carried out a compliant process to appoint suppliers for a particular need, which are required by lots of schools or public sector establishments. This can be for anything from playground equipment or ICT equipment, to electricity and insurance. As a framework is accessed by lots of public organisations, it aggregates their buying power and achieves better pricing. It saves organisations the time and resource of conducting their own tender processes, which can often take a long time. It also makes it much easier for you to award a contract for your school without worrying about whether you are getting a good deal, managing a supplier throughout, and terminating a contract if it’s not meeting the needs of the school. APART FROM THE GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION, ARE THERE ANY LEGAL ISSUES TO CONSIDER? [i.e. a school governor offering a good deal – demonstrating transparency] Yes, there are the EU procurement regulations that apply to all public bodies (including all schools) which ensure that suppliers are selected in a fair and transparent manner, and that public money is being spent efficiently. (More information on procuring effectively for your school can be found at https://www.gov. uk/government/collections/buying-for-schools.) CAN WE SAVE MONEY BY PURCHASING AS A MAT OR BY WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS? Almost definitely. In fact, collaborative purchasing bodies already exist to do some of this work for you (such as YPO). It is a great idea for schools to buy together to

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achieve the best prices, and YPO has been doing just that for over 100 years. We work with schools all across the country so we are able to leverage a better deal for everyone. HOW CAN WE GUARANTEE GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY WHEN WE’RE CONSTANTLY CHARGED WITH CUTTING COSTS? Again, working with a collaborative buying organisation such as YPO is a great way to ensure good value for money in an efficient way. Everything that we do is compliant with the regulations and is designed to deliver great value for money on all the resources and services you need to run your school. For example, schools have saved up to 40 per cent on their printing costs by using our mult-functional devices (printing and photocopying) framework (Ref RM1599). Developed specifically to help schools (after the media reported that many schools were being stung by large bills) the framework helps protect schools from unscrupulous suppliers. Frameworks are an ideal way of ensuring you aren’t tied into contracts for lengthy periods that don’t meet the needs of the school. All the documentation is already drawn up, so you don’t need to worry about hidden charges. WE NEED TO PUT OUR PROJECT OUT TO TENDER – IS THERE ANYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS PROCESS? It depends on the value of the project. If it is very high value you will need to follow more regulations. However, be aware that there may already be frameworks in place that could cover your requirements and save you the time and effort of doing more than you need. Consult with YPO or another professional buying organisation to discover how they can help. !

YPO has over 80 procurement frameworks on everything from ICT to playground equipment. To find out more about their procurement service and to get advice on how you can make the most of your school budgets. FURTHER INFORMATION Contact YPO on 01924 664 664 or visit www.ypo.co.uk/contact to place an enquiry.


Highlights from the Education Show 2016

The Education Show

EVENT REVIEW

On17-19 March 2016, thousands of educators came together at the NEC, Birmingham, for the 26th Education Show, looking to gather new ideas and insights to improve teaching and learning

As the recognised event for the latest and most innovative developments in education, the Education Show is a key event for teachers each year, with an extensive programme of free continuing professional development (CPD) and advice from hundreds of leading education providers. This year, the Education Show furthered its mission to provide educators with the highest quality free continuing professional development (CPD) and resources, by partnering with non-profit organisation, the Teacher Development Trust. The Trust helped to curate the free CPD programme for the Education Show 2016 in line with new standards for professional learning. With technology still high on the agenda in UK schools, the show’s dedicated ‘Learning through Technology’ zone returned to the show floor, providing teachers with insight into the most innovative technologies and practices, and guidance on how they can be used to enhance learning. FREE CPD PROGRAMME The show also welcomed a number of education visionaries to speak across the four different theatres, with visitors gaining insight into some of the most challenging topics currently facing educators. Here’s a snapshot of some of the key speaker sessions. Robert Winston, doctor, writer, broadcaster and professor of science and society at Imperial College London, spoke in the Central Feature Theatre in a seminar focusing on ‘Learning Values’. His session discussed how we learn and how learning can be improved for all, and touched upon the science of learning. Kathryn Asbury, professor and author at the University of York, addressed genetic research in teaching and learning during her session. Kathryn’s session entitled ‘G is for Genes: What does genetic research have to offer to education?’ discussed why pupils differ from each other and what that might mean in education. Kathryn lectures in psychology in education and is co-author of ‘G is for Genes’, which examines the genetic influence on academic achievement.

T show w he e a numblcomed er educati on visioof naries to spe the fou ak across r dif theatreferent s

The winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off 2015, Nadiya Hussain, also took to the Central Feature stage to speak about ‘Growth Mindset and Education’ in a question and answer style session, which was extremely popular with visitors. Every year, the Early Years and SEN Theatre is dedicated to exploring the key challenges faced by professionals specialising in this area. This year was no different, with several inspirational speakers from the education sector taking to the stage to provide practical advice on meeting the needs of these children. Sessions included a talk from Rosie King, storytelling activist and winner of Emmy’s Kid Award, who presented ‘What’s great about Autism?’

Kirsty Tonks, assistant principal, and Jen Devaney, project manager, both from Shireland Collegiate Academy, discussed the ‘Flipped classroom: Reinventing your maths lessons’. During the session, they addressed MathsFlip, an Education Endowment Foundation funded project which looks at the impact of adopting a Flipped Learning method with Year 5 and 6 pupils in mathematics, and demonstrated how using technology to deliver this methodology can accelerate and deepen learning.

SHARING STEM SUCCESS In the Maths and Science Theatre was The Big Bang ‘Meet Me’. The event brought together teachers and employers so that they could share ideas, stories and best practice for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) events. The session included an exciting discussion from EngineeringUK about how employers and teachers can encourage more young people to explore STEM professions. Visitors to the Education Show 2016 once again had access to an inspiring programme of free CPD and training, with sessions taking place throughout the show, in a number of theatres across the show floor. On Thursday, James Lissaman, assistant head teacher at De Lisle College, led a session on ‘Life after levels: How are your peers progressing?’ in the School Leaders’ Summit. The focus of the session was on how primary and secondary schools have faced the challenge of the removal of levels and its victories so far. James discussed how to incorporate the key elements of a good assessment system into the classroom; how to ensure practitioners are challenging pupils effectively and setting appropriate targets; and how attainment can be tracked effectively and used to demonstrate progress for Ofsted, governors and parents.

LATEST PRODUCTS AND RESOURCES The three-day event also provided education and teaching professionals with the opportunity to get hands-on with hundreds of innovative products and resources, from over 300 exhibitors, all offering a wealth of knowledge and experience in their field. B Squared presented Evisense, a brand-new web application that captures key events in a child’s journey through their education – from early years into early adulthood. Evisense stores evidence of a pupil’s progress and achievements via photos, videos, school work and associated comments. Visitors had the opportunity to see the Connecting Steps software, which tracks progress across all subjects of the new National Curriculum, and includes GCSE tracking across Key Stages 3 and 4 as well as a new assessment for profiling autism. Educater, a person-centred communication and tracking system built specifically for the education sector, was on-hand to offer advice and guidance to visitors at this year’s show. The product is designed to dramatically reduce the administration burden within several key areas, including school tracking and assessment and SEND paperwork. One of its latest modules includes STATonline, the only tracker specifically !

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EVENT REVIEW ! designed to manage STAT Sheffield content. The partnership between STAT Sheffield and Educater has enabled them to create an online system which is designed to be intuitive to use, quick to deliver the needs and requirements of staff and has the potential to impact directly on teaching and learning. Memory Owl also exhibited at the Education Show. It offers a new and unique way of learning times tables using memory techniques and is aimed at Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils. The product has been created based on the concept that there is no need to remember numbers, and instead encourages children to remember short stories about Memory Owl and his friends in the wood. Available in a book, colouring book, teachers’ resource pack, flash cards and website, schools can also become members to have access to a web app, including narrated stories and a quiz, reduced price books and resources. Created by a team of qualified teachers, SATs Companion is a unique, comprehensive online resource to help pupils prepare for the new 2016 Key Stage 2 SATs at home or at school. The system has an advanced question and test bank that allows differentiated questions, contents, and styles – just like the real exam. It offers timed practice test sets, printable worksheets, digital micro lessons, a revision bank, advanced reporting, instant marking, pupil rewards system, and progress trackers.

SHARING RESOURCES Supplier of quality stationery products for over 35 years, STAEDTLER celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Education Show. The company showcased its top selling stationery items and also introduced new products including the Teachers Marking set, in bright on-trend colours. Avantis showcased its multi award-winning LearnPad tablets, 65” interactive displays, tablet management software and a host of new classroom technology. Visitors to the stand also had an opportunity to see the revolutionary wireless charging solution, ClassCharge for iPad along with ClassBoard, a free, intuitive parental engagement app. ClassBoard is a free, simple and innovative solution that engages parents in their child’s learning; it allows teachers to securely share images, videos and documents, giving parents a view of their child’s education as it happens. Any schools who registered at the stand received a free goodie bag. SuperStickers showcased its new Teacher’s Sticky Notes, sparkling sticker designs and stationery sets at this year’s show. The company is passionate about praising and encouraging children at school in order to boost their self-esteem and support their academic development, as a ‘Well Done’ sticker, ‘Teacher’s Award’ badge or ‘Super Effort’ stamp may seem small, but they

make a child feel really proud of their achievements, spurring them on to work harder. SuperStickers also offers personalised rewards, and colourful classroom display posters and time-saving resources for teachers. The Targeteers range of stickers covers every target across the primary curriculum, and handy Learning Records provide an at-a-glance log of a child’s progress and attainment at Key Stages 1 and 2.

The Education Show

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

SHARING SEND KNOWLEDGE Nasen, the UK’s leading organisation supporting those who work with or care for children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities, helped to curate the show’s three-day SEND CPD programme. The seminars and workshops were free to attend and gave education practitioners the chance to share and discuss outstanding methodology for pupils with SEND and best practices. To help exhibitors plan their route around the show, the British Educational Supplier’s Association (BESA) was once again on-hand at the BESA Show Information Point. The association’s knowledge and experience helped visitors plan their time at the event and ensure they got as much out of it as possible. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.education-show.com

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Engagement Written by Emma Williams, executive director, PTA UK

www.educationbusinessuk.net – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION

SCHOOL MANAGEMENT

Want to improve your school? Start by engaging with others As the changes facing schools become more vast and intricate, it is crucial that schools build relationships and effectively engage with external influencers, says Emma Williams, executive director of PTA UK It’s important to maintain solid processes and practices within a school. However, it’s just as crucial to develop and build strong relationships with those who have a personal interest in the performance of a school and its pupils, whether that’s governors, existing or prospective parents, or the local community. As schools face continual change, greater scrutiny and restrictions on resources, it’s more important than ever for school senior leadership teams (SLTs) and governors to engage effectively with parents and other stakeholders. For a school, one of its top priorities is the well-being of its students, ensuring that they feel comfortable in a safe and secure environment. Being able to cater for their needs, as well as providing an effective place for learning will reassure parents and other stakeholders. Making sure this happens isn’t down to the school alone; schools do not operate in a vacuum and this is why it’s important for school business managers and senior leaders to build and maximise relations both within the school and outside of it. Creating a strong network with stakeholders – be it parents, pupils, staff, community, governors or neighbouring schools – has always been regarded as important. But with the increasing demands and reforms, it is more crucial now than ever before. But the question is, why is this important? WORKING ALONGSIDE PARENTS Successful schools meet the educational needs of the communities they serve by growing existing student attainment and appealing to prospective pupils and parents. As such, emphasis for schools should be placed on maintaining a positive profile and reputation throughout the local community.

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It is widely-recognised that parents hold a very influential role in a child’s educational journey. Therefore, they should be considered a principal stakeholder in every school. In PTA UK’s summer 2015 Parent Insights Survey, 85 per cent of those parents surveyed

is Emphasols for schoplaced be should intaining on ma e profile v a positi putation and re ghout throu cal the lo ity n commu

EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 21.4

stated they want a say in education with 79 per cent wanting to actively support their child’s school. Furthermore, 96 per cent also told us that being consulted makes them feel included in their child’s education. These statistics clearly highlight the desire and need for schools to consult with and involve parents. Keeping parents updated from an early stage on any proposed


Case study: Queen Elizabeth School

As schools face continual change, greater scrutiny and restrictions on resources, it’s more important than ever for school senior leadership teams and governors to engage effectively with parents and other stakeholders changes to the school may also reduce the number of concerns or uncertainty from parents later on in the process. It is the responsibility of the school business manager to ensure that the school works alongside parents, the local community and business leaders in order to establish a culture of parental participation and various stakeholder engagement. Having them on board creates a like-minded community that encourages others to get involved, or at least allows them to understand and recognise the value these relationships can bring to the school. There are a range of ways in which schools can support parents: from becoming a community hub for parent training or services, to encouraging a culture of volunteering and forging partnerships; all of which will help to achieve the school’s mission and drive better standards. Many organisations and parent bodies aim to build awareness of the benefits that can be gained from schools, communities and parents working together in partnership, whether that’s supporting children’s learning in the classroom and at home, or helping to improve overall school life and processes. Working together as a strong and unified entity will provide huge benefits to the school community, as well as demonstrating to pupils that both their parents and teachers truly care and are invested in their educational futures. Engaging with stakeholders is not only important to a school itself, but gaining parental feedback is also a critical element for Ofsted analysis. Giving parents a voice has become an integral part of the inspection and regulation, influencing its decision on whether or not to inspect a school. Therefore, welcoming the opportunity for them to have a say and listening to and acting on real needs and requirements is a powerful driver for self-improvement. BUILDING A STRONG NETWORK Bodies like Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are an invaluable way of encouraging stakeholders to be proactive in improving the school, and subsequently every child’s development. Having a strong network within schools creates an influential community that is able to raise funds for aiding children’s attainment and educational experience, as well as providing a forum for engaging a wide variety of parents on developments at school. In 2015 alone, PTAs across the UK raised over £120 million for schools through fundraising,

allowing for a more enriched education for children, which would have otherwise been taken from other budgets, or not been possible at all. Although this is extremely valuable, this success in fundraising should not mask the role PTAs can play in involving the wider community that a school serves as well, contributing directly to advancing education for the benefit of all. It’s through these strong relationships that value is proven to be far more effective than simple financial support. School business managers should seek opportunities within the school that help to establish a culture of parental participation and stakeholder engagement throughout the school. PTA UK, the leading membership body for parent bodies across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has joined forces with the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) to develop a guide providing advice and top tips on how to engage parents and other stakeholders to improve your school. !

To download the resource for free, visit: http://tinyurl.com/zuorseg FUTHER INFORMATION www.pta.org.uk Emma Williams executive director, PTA UK

Engagement

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

When Queen Elizabeth’s School opened PTA membership to stakeholders of all kinds, there were benefits for the pupils, the school and the wider community. Queen Elizabeth’s School set their sights beyond the usual group of fundraising parents by welcoming a variety of stakeholders to create QE Family, a diverse organisation capable of great things. Peter Trueman, the school’s business development officer, explained why the Family was needed: “We have seen how children learn more and have a better quality of school life when everyone in the school community makes a contribution.” The Family aims to strengthen links between students, staff, families and communities to enrich school life, and ensure that the school is a local hub. The group also fundraises and provides business links and volunteers. Involving communities Events such as business breakfasts and an annual awards ceremony promote links with the working world. The school leadership team has organised activities with several organisations including Dorset Police, NHS Dorset CCG, and the Youth Sport Trust. To maintain the high standard it has set itself for facilities and enrichment, the school’s SLT has looked to alternative sources of income. QE Family hopes that by engaging the community it can draw on a wider range of fundraising skills and contacts. Stephen Jones, chief operating officer, commented: “Working differently is essential for our school’s financial security and continued academic success.” Winning with PTA UK QE Family recently entered a PTA UK competition and won £500 and a day’s volunteering from staff at Lorica Insurance Brokers. They decided to spend the £500 on prizes for their annual presentation and are considering how to deploy the volunteers. Sue Sparks, chair of QE Family, said: “We were thrilled to win the Lorica award, not just in itself, but as a start of a supportive new relationship for the school as a whole, working together with Lorica as part of the local community.”

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School Trips

PLANNING

Written by Gill Harvey, general manager, the School Travel Forum

Dummy headline Peace-of-mind to fit this space planning tight as possible Gill Harvey, general manager of the School Travel Forum, offers advice for making school trip planning as thorough and worry-free as possible Obit, elit eum doloriatur sam reprae voluptatur? Qui officiis cum escipicipsam hit exerferi quibus, exceaqui omnis sinctatem. La non non nossi ute dis rest dolupta acescipsant everum que nis

School trips demand more than just financial investment from parents, they require the investment of teachers’ time and energy to ensure that every aspect is carefully planned from start to finish. The prospect of travelling overseas with 40 or more pupils is very daunting, even more so for newly qualified teachers, but fortunately there are nationally recognised schemes that make the planning process as streamlined as possible. Parents also benefit from peace of mind knowing that their child is travelling with an accredited provider and are also assured of a return on their investment, as the educational value of the trip is guaranteed. Whilst we all know that Learning Outside the Classroom opportunities are invaluable and Ofsted recognises their importance, teachers need a trusted way to deliver safe school trip experiences. Since 2003, the School Travel Forum (STF) has been helping to ensure that children can experience a wide range of LOtC activities by enforcing stringent health and safety measures that allow them to do this safely. Our members are required to adhere to a rigorous Code of Practice and Safety Management Standards, which cover all the component parts of a school trip, including activities, accommodation, transport, emergency and accident management and training, and that they are externally verified each year by a leading independent health and safety consultancy. This is a major help for teachers as they can rest assured that their STF accredited provider is compliant on all levels. TAKING CARE OF STANDARDS The LOtC Quality Badge is an invaluable tool for school trip organisers, whatever the subject area or country they plan on visiting. This

kitemark takes care of standards of learning and safety in a single, easily recognisable and trusted accreditation scheme. The STF can help teachers with a wide range of issues, freeing up their time to focus on the needs of the school and individual pupils taking the trip. From delivering content, to catering for the specific needs of pupils, i.e dietary or medical requirements, to ensuring best in class health and safety, every aspect is taken care of.

and taking steps to reduce teachers’ fears of legal action. It’s important to ensure that the chosen tour operator acknowledges the importance of maintaining health and safety standards and goes above and beyond their duty of care, after all, this is the number one priority. It is common sense that schools should always demand transparency with regards to their chosen provider’s health and safety credentials.

In today’s glo climatebal travel been m , it has never o for schore important o 24/7 su ls to have ROUND THE the eve pport in CLOCK SUPPORT nt In today’s changeable emerge of an global travel climate, ncy

REASSURING PARENTS Parents often experience high levels of anxiety at the thought of their child going away for a duration of days, and when that trip is abroad that worry can intensify. The need for careful and thorough planning and clear communication from the start of the booking process to the moment the tour party returns back home goes a long way to allaying parental concerns. STF members offer help with communicating with parents and the reassurance 24 hour emergency help when overseas. Proper planning can ensure health and safety and risk assessments are carried out appropriately, that every child’s needs are catered for, and that parents are appropriately informed of all relevant details of the trip. TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF PLANNING An important part of the work of the STF and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is to make it easier for schools to take pupils on trips, removing paperwork

it has never been more important for schools to have 24/7 expert support in the unlikely event of an emergency. It’s reassuring for teachers to know that should an incident happen, they have round the clock access to the resources, expert knowledge and support of their provider. In fact, our 2015 school trip survey showed that 95.5 per cent of more than 2,000 secondary school teachers viewed 24/7 emergency support whilst on tour as an essential or important requirement when booking a school trip.

OVERCOMING BARRIERS Whilst some schools are deterred by health and safety, financial and workload concerns, an Ofsted report, entitled Learning outside the classroom: How far should you go?, found that schools that have curricular provision classed as ‘outstanding’ or ‘improving’ !

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Sprinkle a little magic onto your curriculum

Combine storytelling and dance in your classroom Fit to Dance is a programme of creativity and activity which uses a visit to Disney On Ice as a starting point for inspiring imaginative stories, before sharing them through dance. It’s a fun way to address a number of Key Stage 1 curriculum objectives and gives you a host of helpful teaching support tools to plan your lessons too.

All of the children, no matter the ability level, developed their storytelling skills and improved their writing skills as they were writing for a purpose. Vicki, reception teacher

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School Trips

PLANNING ! generally overcome these barriers, so statistics prove that it’s worth seeing beyond these concerns. Encouragingly, our recent survey has shown that 81.3 per cent of schools said that they run the same amount or more trips compared to two years ago. Indeed, 96.6 per cent of secondary schools currently take residential trips, with each organising an average of 2.6 a year, so figures prove that the educational benefits of LOtC are valued by the majority of teachers. ASSURED TRAVEL METHODS The STF works closely with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), the recognised industry body, which also provides training to our members on transport issues. This ensures that our coach audit and guidance papers on long distance coach travel are constantly updated. Coaches are the most widely used mode of transport for school trips and statistically speaking, are six times safer per mile than cars (Transport Statistics 2000: DETR). This is due in part, to the installation of seatbelts. It’s important for teachers to firmly explain to pupils that seatbelts must be worn while travelling. School trips organised through STF and LOtC assured tour operators mean that the safety standards of the coach and its drivers have been thoroughly checked, providing extra reassurance

for teachers, pupils and parents. By choosing to travel with an STF member, schools can feel confident that their tour operator complies with all national, local, trade and other laws, regulations, rules and codes of practice. The contract that members adhere to also stipulates a robust set of safety standards regarding drivers’ hours, driver vetting, insurance cover, sub-contracting and vehicle age. WHY SCHOOLS CAN TRUST THE BADGE STF members organise over 16,000 school trips each year and statistically the school trip environment is one of the safest for children to be in. Having the backing of the assured support procedures and wealth of experience that STF Assured Members offer provides vital reassurance for parents, teachers and schools. School party leaders can select STF members displaying the ‘STF Approved’ logo.

Alternatively, they can access the STF website at www.schooltravelforum.com. The website will enable schools to verify a tour operator’s membership of the STF and the site contains full information on the STF Code of Practice, as well as offering a wide variety of useful information and links for party leaders. As the national awarding body of the LOtC Quality Badge, the School Travel Forum ensures that each holder has passed a stringent assessment process designed to ensure that they are meeting schools’ learning and risk management needs. This takes an immense amount of pressure off teachers, reduces paperwork demands and helps teachers to identify opportunities for learning to help make the visit a positive and rewarding experience for teachers and pupils alike. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.schooltravelforum.com

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RESIDENTIAL TRIPS

Educational trips can broaden students horizons. Jane Cooper, of the Countryside Education Trust in the New Forest, regularly witnesses how school trips can connect people with the countryside. Having hosted thousands of school visits over the last 40 years, she shares her experiences Take a minute, close your eyes and think: I can almost guarantee you will remember a school trip from your childhood. To the beach, or the mountains, somewhere exotic or just out of sight of home, all of us have such memories. I lived in the East End of London, busy, noisy, dirty and home. The school was very ethnically mixed, and somewhat segregated, but somehow these barriers broke down when we were away from school. Going into the countryside was particularly exciting for inner city kids. I remember flinging myself down a hill with my heart in my mouth, wondering if I would or could stop: I left my sandwiches on the train and my classmates shared their food, much more exotic than mine; and after the trip new friendships remained. That is the point of a school trip in a nutshell, different scenery, new experiences, and better relationships; all catalysts for change. As a teacher, or a head teacher, residential school trips are undoubtedly

a challenge. The responsibility of bringing children into a new environment, not only new to the children but often to the teaching staff as well, can be a significant deterrent and that is before paperwork strikes, with risk assessments, county council requirements, and making sure that the destination itself can meet all the school’s needs, both educational and social. Parents worry about everything: money, homesickness, separation, whether their children have the right equipment. Heads worry about SATs results. Governors worry about risk. So at the end of it all, why bother? REAL BENEFITS The Paul Hamlyn Foundation published its final report in May 2015 into its ‘Learning Away’ experiment, which evidenced what many in the education sector already knew. Both at the secondary and primary level, relationships were improved by the residential experience. In long term follow up at Key Stage 2, for example, 79 per

n Childre er w have fe es to be i nit opportus: 33 per cent r outdoo lies spend less of fami utdoors than time o previous in the ration gene

cent of children felt that they knew their teachers better, and 71 per cent claimed that they had better relationships with their peers as a result of the residential. At secondary the figures were even more impressive, with 80 per cent feeling that relationships both with peers and teachers had improved. In terms of achievement, in both age groups there was an improvement in confidence about exam outcomes, which translated into actual improvements. Staff noticed that this was particularly true for previously low achievers and for boys’ literacy scores. Benefits were not restricted to pupils: staff felt that the residential experience enabled them to develop new pedagogical skills, and that it had impacted on their practice and that of their colleagues.

Written by Jane Cooper, Countryside Education Trust

Falling on the side of the great outdoors

School Trips

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NEW OPPORTUNITIES Ofsted’s 2015 inspection framework takes into account ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’. Aspects of all of these can be explored through school trips, to complement !

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RESIDENTIAL TRIPS ! the work done in school. Here at Home Farm, for example, the children eat our own meat, harvest vegetables from the garden and collect eggs from our hens. As a result, every day there are conversations about ethics, fairness, vegetarianism, and religious beliefs about meat which arise naturally because of the environment. Physical and mental well-being is similarly enhanced. Children have fewer opportunities to be outdoors than their parents enjoyed – 33 per cent of families spend less time outdoors than in the previous generation. Here in the woods, visiting children learn new skills such as map reading and shelter building, they walk between activities, they often get wet and the resilience they learn as a result and the confidence they gain in handling new situations is palpable. Watching birds, lying on the grass looking at the sky, or drawing trees all connect with a more spiritual side. Feeding our livestock or clearing up after dinner depends upon good communication and teamwork. While school residentials add great value to learning, enabling new approaches for staff and students alike, there are challenges. We see a wide range of schools and over the last forty years we have developed some strong, evidence based thinking about why some visits are more effective than

School Trips

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

The responsibility of bringing children into a new environment, not only new to the children but often to the teaching staff as well, can be a significant deterrent and that is before paperwork strikes others. Designing a good residential is a matter of being clear early on about the objectives for the students, the staff and the school, and how those can best be met. CLARITY AND CREDENTIALS It is vital to be clear about the purpose of any residential, so that the right partner organisation can be identified. Create a set of learning objectives and make sure that everyone understands them. In an ideal world, this is not only the teacher planning the trip, but any colleagues coming with the group, the provider and the young people themselves. Residential trips should offer a real enhancement to curriculum based classroom work so that the two are fully integrated. Due diligence is good for everyone. Check the background and qualifications of the providers’ staff as well as insurance documentation and risk assessments. Risk

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assessments drawn up by providers are more reflective of real risk, as the staff run the same activities multiple times over the course of the year. Utilise that specialist knowledge. Understanding what skills a residential requires is important. Sometimes, all the specialist support comes from the provider, and all the pastoral work is implemented by the school, but this can vary. A confident staff team can imbue the whole group with a greater sense of resilience and independence; the converse can also be true. RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PROVIDER Take advantage of pre-visits. These occasions provide an opportunity to understand site dynamics, to explore potential issues around individuals, to make sure that any special needs are fully accommodated and to start to build a working relationship with the provider. Understanding what can "

r best For ouplease price te quo

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School Trips

RESIDENTIAL TRIPS

! (and can’t) be delivered is constructive in finalising plans. Research shows that involving students in planning delivers real benefits in learning outcomes. Technology is a great benefit in this regard, as staff can show the students where they will be staying, what it looks like, how each day will run and what the expectations will be in terms of their involvement and behaviour during the trips. Even younger participants can help to set the objectives themselves, especially on a social level: for example, in terms of acceptable manners, the use of mobile phones, bedtimes and looking after each other. BRIEFING PARENTS Brief parents early and fully. Make sure they know contact procedures, as carefully managed contact with children makes life better for everyone. Where a parental contribution is requested, ideally offer different payment plans. Supply a kit list but keep it short, as this is often a source

of anxiety. And talk about special needs as soon as planning is underway so that, for example, food allergies can be identified. When it comes to rules, draw up a code of conduct for participants, and involve them. Have a similar code for staff. What is your alcohol policy? And smoking? Make sure that if your partner organisation has guidelines about appropriate outdoor wear, staff abide by them: it much harder to persuade a 10 year-old into waterproofs if a member of staff is wearing shorts. LEAVING YOUNG PEOPLE BEHIND The Department for Education’s policy is clear: no child should be excluded from an activity simply because his or her parents are unwilling or unable to pay. Especially where a trip will extend classroom curriculum focused work it is really important, and equitable, to ensure high take-up. Socially too, it is vital to encompass as many kids possible; 12 per cent of children who have not been able to afford to go on

a school residential have been bullied. Obviously this is one valid use of the Pupil Premium, and subsidies or even funding may be available from providers. Here at the Countryside Education Trust we fundraise ourselves to help schools to try to ensure that cost is not a barrier. All the equipment required is available to our visitors, including water proofs, wellies, tractor suits and backpacks, to obviate additional cost and allay parents’ concerns. Ensure that there is a mechanism in place for measuring the success of the visit, both educationally and socially, ideally repeated after a few weeks. Use the information in inspections, with governors and prospective parents. Be sure to feedback appropriately to the provider too. We see many schools repeatedly over the years and knowing what has worked well and less well means that we can adjust appropriately to suit our customers. The words of Michael, one of our young visitors, sums up why all this hard work is worthwhile: “I learned how to milk a goat, it’s funner than I thought, how to measure different parts of a stream, how to set the table and a lot more. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t know half the stuff I know now.” " FURTHER INFORMATION www.cet.org.uk

FARREKIENG P

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CCTV

Security

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Why is surveillance coming under inspection? CCTV in schools has the potential to split opinion - necessary safety measure or intrusion of privacy? James Kelly, chief executive of the British Security Industry Association, explores how new smarter security systems are making schools safer

ACKNOWLEDGING THE BENEFITS While the move to internet protocol systems may have been sluggish, given the recognition of the practical and financial benefits, it has become very much the norm for surveillance,

with the roll-out of even more ambitious, intelligent and powerful solutions. One of the crucial real-world advances that IP CCTV offers is the capability for locations, whatever their size, to see the ‘bigger picture’ for the security and safety of their operations, by incorporating different CCTV elements across a school or even from numerous campuses. But the benefits to be gained through moving to IP video are not just those of scalability; HD (high definition) video, could not be attained traditionally through the use of analogue cameras, and in many cases, typical definition IP video systems did not offer an adequately strong tangible advantage over their more successful, low light sensitive CCD (charged coupled device) based analogue counterparts – in order to encourage a shift in technology. The responsibility to manage the strain placed on the networks has been brought into focus, even more so with the advent of HD CCTV, which is offering a better level of detail in high risk areas and by its very nature, if not managed correctly may inflict challenging burdens on a networked solution. This may lead to calls for investment in greater bandwidth capacity. Thankfully, this is not necessarily the case and this issue can be readily addressed by taking a look at where high resolution evidential quality images are stored, and then using methods such as transcoding to distribute lower resolution footage on demand. The above-mentioned situation is becoming a reality today, as open

platform network electronic systems develop to the point of exceeding outdated individual proprietary electronic security devices. Freed from the restrictions of old-fashioned CCTV technology, a network-based system can be customised with a variety of devices from different manufacturers and can be expanded or upgraded either system-wide or one camera at a time. There are IP CCTV products suitable for installations of all scopes. The versatile technological mix of the most up-to-date and robust components, with no need for hardwiring, provides a very economical solution. IP CCTV systems enable installations that are flexible and scalable with the ability for growth, changes and additions. IP CCTV can ensure maximum security and a future-proof investment. IP CCTV gives a big increase to upgraded CCTV system functions and operations, offering an increased level of identity verification, encryption and credentialing. Smart card and biometric technologies in conjunction with CCTV strengthen the verification factors. Traditional proprietary CCTV systems come with limitations, require costly cabling and restrict system incorporation. Using open interface IP CCTV, the common and uniform digital environment has the potential to create numerous opportunities to integrate not only video but intrusion detection and a host of other systems such as building management, HR systems, perimeter control, fire detection, etc. !

Th importae having nce of eye ove a watchful school r all areas o gro f be unde unds cannot these turstated in rbul times ent

Volume 21.4 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Written by James Kelly, chief executive, British Security Industry Association

As funding becomes more scarce, the utilisation of funding to protect schools is extremely important, and those in education must look towards using smarter technology to achieve more for less money. The importance of having a watchful eye over all areas of school grounds cannot be understated in these turbulent times. Making sure that your CCTV system is up to date and integrated with the rest of your security equipment is extremely important, not only to the security of the school but also for general day to day operations. The London borough of Barnet is one the latest to introduce CCTV cameras to its schools. The reasoning behind it is not vandalism or violence but rather parking. Barnet has placed the cameras in and around the schools to prevent traffic congestion and increase road safety. The cameras include automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and an analytics function to spot cars that spend far too long in a spot where they cause an obstacle, raising an alert that is then recorded into the system. The evidence is then transmitted back to the council. The system is intended as a warning to people driving carelessly or parking on yellow zig-zag markings while dropping off or picking up their children from the schools. The cameras will be situated at points where they can also spot cars making illegal U-turns, blocking yellow box junctions, and defying ‘no entry’ signs. This simple but effect use of CCTV is proof that it can play many roles in benefiting schools.

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Elliott builders win £30m contract through EFA Elliott, part of the Algeco Scotsman Group, world leader in modular space solutions, has been awarded a contract of over £30 million by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), an executive agency of the Department for Education. Elliott will serve as the main contractor in the Priority School Building Programme Modular Primary Schools procurement scheme and will be responsible for building up to 10 new schools to accommodate around 3,000 pupils across Southern England. As part of the scheme, Elliott will be responsible for building a new school on each of the existing sites using a modular construction solution. Lee Jon Newman, CEO of Elliott, said: “I am extremely proud and pleased to have been awarded this highly prestigious government contract to provide new schools using our modern methods of off-site construction. “With the Elliott Hybrid and

Ibex construction solutions we can reduce the build programme considerably allowing each of the schools to take a much earlier occupation of their new building than if they were using traditional methods of construction. This contract strengthens our presence and credibility in government programmes.” Elliott has over 50 years experience of providing permanent and temporary building solutions with a strong reputation in the education sector. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01543 40 40 40 Marketing@as.elliottuk.com www.elliottuk.com

Security For Your School Our remote alarm-activated CCTV, Access Control and Intruder Alarms can protect your school, staff and pupils. Our team has many years of experience installing, maintaining and remotely monitoring CCTV and Access Control systems for schools in London and the South East. In the last 12 months we have installed new systems throughout 5 schools in the Newham area of London alone. The move towards formation and expansion of Trusts is demanding a cohesive approach so we work closely with schools, advising how best to achieve their security goals.

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CCTV ! SHARING DATA In addition to system interoperability, what most consumers are asking for is simple database data exchange. There is the huge demand for connection of data from intrusion alarms, video surveillance, card access, visitor administration, asset tracking and other systems to share data and intelligence across an existing network infrastructure. Driving bigger business and revenue is proof that the industry is no longer being held back by the history of a CCTV system that is reliant on having each device hardwired into one central unit. An IP CCTV system streamlines the entire process. Using IP, one controller for each camera is connected to the local network through a regular network switch. The PoE (Power over Ethernet) supported link at each camera eliminates the need for separate power cables for the cameras. The cost of additional IP-based CCTV systems on the network is far less than the several serial networks required when cabling back to a central unit. In addition, support for uninterruptible power supply makes it possible to avoid needing a battery back-up for camera equipment. Traditional CCTV systems lack flexibility and tend to restrict the consumer to one single product manufacturer. When expanding traditional CCTV systems, the process is complicated and expensive. An IP CCTV system can be a mix of the best equipment available from a variety of vendors. Overall, an IP CCTV system is easier to install. The joint technologies efficiently stream live video to multiple users at once and enable operators to monitor entry of personnel to schools in real time. Improved functions such as facial recognition are accessible and controllable from anywhere with an internet connection and include advanced deployment tools such as auto-discovery and provisioning. Audio/visual identification and remote entry control is possible for both small installations and demanding enterprise systems. Additional features are that an IP CCTV system amplifies security and capability to respond to cases while leveraging the existing network for integrated security functionalities and support for third-party devices. Having standard network topology that aligns with the IT industry is really beneficial in the new network security world. A united solution that looks and feels the same across all security devices and hardware contributes significantly to ease system administration. System management is made from any computer in the network, and the structure allows for the remote control of system devices and remote interactive monitoring of facilities. Looking ahead, there is little doubt that IP video surveillance is now very much at the front when it comes to the delivery of CCTV, with its growth prompting a much better consideration of the best practice

measures that need to be adopted in order to continue broadening the scope and the potential of this technology. With these impressive advances in technology it is imperative that schools utilise this technology to their benefit. Keeping a school safe through CCTV is extremely beneficial and cost saving. Relying on the expertise and advice of quality security providers is essential to

Security

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net

ensure the longevity and reliability of a system and provides a better long-term return on investment. Members of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) meet strict quality criteria and have a wealth of experience in the planning, design, installation, operation and maintenance of CCTV solutions. " FURTHER INFORMATION www.bsia.co.uk

While the move to internet protocol systems may have been sluggish, it has become very much the norm for surveillance, with the roll-out of even more ambitious, intelligent and powerful solutions

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Advertisers Index

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SERVICE MANAGEMENT ICT

SCHOOL TRIPS

ICT is playing an increasingly important role in today’s education and, with user expectation growing, technical support departments are now expected to oversee facilities like commercial businesses. FITS is a management tool specially designed for schools, which helps manage ICT implementation, its day-to-day performance, and provides technical support. It also allows users to take as much or as little from its broad range of ICT management solutions, tailoring to your specific requirements. FITS encourages long-term structuring of your ICT systems big or small so you can make the most of this vital resource. FITS helps you, your teachers and your students concentrate on what’s important – teaching and learning. Making FITS part of everyday education could be one of the best ICT decisions you ever make. FITS gives schools the

Chaucer sits alongside Shakespeare as a key literary figure in history, yet the great bard gets much more attention in the classroom. Ryan Perry, lecturer in Medieval Literature at the University of Kent, believes Geoffrey Chaucer should be more prominent in the national curriculum. Perry said: “He imported and adapted metrical forms such as iambic pentameter and rhyme royal into English literature for the first time – structures that would become a crucial part of the literary repertoire of future generations of English writers. “When we read Chaucer’s profoundly witty and humane fiction, we are both given a window into the fourteenth century world and a mirror of universal human characteristics. He is essential reading.” If you’re keen to cover Chaucer’s work with your class, plan a trip to The Canterbury Tales. With five of Chaucer’s

The Framework for ICT technical support

confidence to engage ICT in meeting objectives and realising even the most challenging aspirations. The FITS Framework helps you save money, improve reliability and teacher confidence, reduce disruption caused by technical breakdowns, focus on teaching and learning and improve inspection outcomes. One head teacher said: “If you want a consistent approach to your ICT technical support, then FITS is the way to go. It’s protected our investment, it’s ensuring that teachers know exactly where to go for their technical support.” FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01562 740695 www.thefitsfoundation.org

Chaucer’s work remains of great literary importance

most entertaining tales brought to life, pupils will discover the sights, sounds and smells of the medieval era. Catering to Key Stage 2 and 3 classes, four exciting workshops are available in conjunction with a Canterbury Tales visit, all of which have been designed to engage pupils in a practical activity which will further their learning objectives. To find out more or to book your school trip, visit the website or contact Vicki Lyden. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01227 784600 vlyden@canterburytales.org.uk www.canterburytales.org.uk

ADVERTISERS INDEX

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London’s leading Digital Signage Event returns for it’s 8th year, Millbank Tower, 18th and 19th May 2016 We are delighted to announce the annual NEC Display Solutions Showcase will take place on 18 and 19 May 2016 at Millbank Tower, Westminster, London. Uniquely presented within real-life scenarios; the showcase allows you to experience first-hand, engaging visual display solutions in primary, secondary and university education settings that bring the curriculum to life for a positive learning experience. Mark the dates in your diary, register for this FREE event and join us for lunch at the Showcase. www.showcase-nec.com/registration

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