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A member of


Business Information for Education Decision Makers EB AWARDS





How excellent design can help the government’s capital funding programme stretch as far as possible



A member of


Business Information for Education Decision Makers EB AWARDS





How excellent design can help the government’s capital funding programme stretch as far as possible






The grammar school debate The education headlines have been dominated by talks over whether new grammar schools should or should not be re-established into the education landscape. Whilst no plans have been announced, reactions to the speculation have been strong. On the political side, the new plans are likely to meet strong cross party opposition; Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said that his party will work to block any attempt to lift the ban, claiming that grammar schools are not ‘drivers of social mobility’. Meanwhile Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said that the party would oppose the move. Even Conservative MP Neil Carmichael, who is chair of the Education Select Committee, has voiced opposition to lifting the ban. Considering what the plans would do to the already troubling recruitment crisis, John Howson, an honorary research fellow at the University of Oxford, suggested that teachers could be put off continuing with their job if the brightest went elsewhere. Taking the question to the public, only 38 per cent of people believed that the government should build more grammar schools, according to a YouGov poll. That said, it appears that if you went to a grammar school yourself, you’re more likely to be in favour, with 61 per cent of former grammar goers backing the idea.

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Read more on this topic on page 9. If you’d like to share your own thoughts on the matter, email us at Angela Pisanu, editor

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226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 Web: EDITOR Angela Pisanu PRODUCTION EDITOR Richard Gooding ASSISTANT EDITOR Tommy Newell PRODUCTION CONTROL Sofie Owen PRODUCTION DESIGN Jacqueline Lawford, Jo Golding WEBSITE PRODUCTION Victoria Leftwich ADVERTISEMENT SALES Raj Chohan, Guy Colborne, Sharon Blythe PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Vickie Hopkins REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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A-level results remain stable; 38 per cent of the public support opening new grammar schools, poll suggests; primary school children should be taught about university; SEND pupils are not getting the support they need, says ATL


How can the free schools programme meet the twin challenge of creating more school places and improving educational standards? Sarah Pearson of the New Schools Network shares her views



Efficiency is a word brought up time and again when it comes to financial matters. But what does it really mean – and can it be applied in a school setting? A report by NASBM looks at how working more efficiently can make a big difference on budgets



Finance, training and e-safety issues can put some schools off purchasing tablet devices – Education Business shares some implementation advice from education charity, Techknowledge for Schools


With tablets and mobile devices becoming more popular, the importance of the audio visual (AV) element can easily be forgotten. BESA’s Mark Rosser offers advice to schools on integrating tablets effectively into the learning environment and optimising their benefits with other AV technologies





If schools are to play their part in reducing obesity, they need to develop healthy eating policies that are implemented in every day school life, urges dietitian Dimple Thakrar


ParentPay analyses the progress of cashless payment systems in the education sector, examining the benefits to schools as well as the main barriers to adoption




Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, analyses a number of factors that are contributing to the current recruitment and retention issues facing the teaching profession

With 10,000 more children under the age of four in Hertfordshire compared to a decade ago, the county council shares its strategic approach to making sure every child has a school place


With limited funding available to provide extra school places, and many existing schools in need of a major overhaul, now is the time to look more closely at how excellent design can help the government’s capital funding programme stretch as far as possible, writes Emilia Plotka, RIBA’s policy advisor

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The Grange Hotel in St Paul’s once again played host to Education Business Awards, which celebrated the very best of the UK’s education sector across 21 categories


Stepping inside the home of a significant person from history can bring to life many cross‑curricular topics


The high value of the technology and equipment found in schools is an attractive proposition for criminals. James Kelly, chief executive of the British Security Industry Association, looks at a variety of security solutions available

70 LEISURE INDUSTRY WEEK Leisure Industry Week on 20-21 September at the NEC Birmingham shows how active play can help combat the inactivity crisis in young people, and how schools can improve their sports facilities Volume 21.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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A-level results remain stable A-level results for 2016 have remained stable, with 98.1 per cent of all entries receiving a pass grade of A*-E, the same as in 2015. Despite the overall pass rate remaining the same, the percentage of students achieving the top A* and A grades saw a slight decrease from last year, falling from 25.9 per cent to 25.8 per cent, marking the fifth consecutive year in which the figure has fallen. The results also show that the gender gap between boys and girls achieving top grades has fallen. Boys have received a higher proportion of A* and A grades every year since 2012, but this year marks this first time since 2012 that the gap has begun to narrow, dropping from 0.9 per cent to 0.8 per cent. The results have also sparked concern over the decline in so called ‘minority subjects’, such as modern foreign languages, music, art and design. Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We are concerned about the continuing decline in entries to A levels in modern foreign languages, and other ‘minority’ subjects such as music and design and technology. These statistics reflect the fact that sixth forms and colleges are finding

it increasingly difficult to run courses where there are relatively small numbers of students because of severe funding pressures. “The level of post-16 funding is woeful and urgently needs to be addressed. We are in danger of becoming trapped in a vicious circle where entries to these very important subjects continues to decline

and there are consequently fewer people to teach them in the future exacerbating an ongoing recruitment crisis. The government must invest more money in post-16 education as a matter of urgency.” READ MORE:



Access to Oxbridge dominated by south east

State educated pupils in Scotland less likely to appeal exam results

Schools in London and the south east send a disproportionate amount of students to Oxford and Cambridge compared to the rest of the UK, according to new research. A paper to be presented to a Royal Geographical Society international conference later this month maps the number of pupils sent to Oxford and Cambridge from different types of schools in different areas. It found that inner London sends 1.89 times more to Oxbridge than the national average, with the south east sending 1.46 times more students and outer London sending 1.37 times more students. When the figures were broken down based on school type, the south east was found to send 1.43 times more students to Oxbridge than the national average, with outer London sending 1.24 times as many. When compared to the rest of the UK, this shows that some state schools in London and the south east send more pupils than many private schools in the east midlands and north east. Schools in the north east send 0.44 of the national average to Oxbridge, while the north west sends 0.55 of the national

average and the east midlands sends 0.59. Researcher Sol Gamsu suggests that gentrification in the capital paired with selective sixth forms has contributed to the figures and the rise of ‘super state’ schools. He also commented that rising house prices in London were forcing out less affluent families from accessing high performing comprehensive schools.


Education Briefer


Pupils who study at state schools are less likely to appeal their exam results than their independent school peers, figures suggest. According to statistics from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), 2.1 per cent of results were appealed by local authority run schools in 2015, compared to six per cent of results from independent schools. The figures have been disclosed to Holyrood’s Education Committee and will likely raise questions over the introduction of fees by the Scottish government in 2014. Under the new system, schools are charged £10 for a clerical check to see if marks were added up correctly and £29.75 for a marking review, but the charges only apply if there is no change to the exam grade. Labour education spokesman Iain Gray has criticised the introduction of fees, saying the figures show that they are putting state educated pupils at a disadvantage. READ MORE:





Plan to end ban on new grammar schools faces cross party opposition

38 per cent of the public support opening new grammar schools, poll suggests

Potential plans to lift the ban on opening new grammar schools in England are likely to face cross party opposition in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The ban was introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour government in 1998, but the Sunday Telegraph reported that Prime Minister Theresa May planned to launch a new generation of grammar school by scrapping the ban. While no official plans have been announced, the report suggested that May could make an announcement on grammar school as soon as the Conservative Party conference in October. However, the plans could struggle to come to fruition as Ministers on all sides of the political spectrum have come out opposing lifting the ban. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said that his party will work to block any attempt to lift the ban, claiming that grammar schools are not ‘drivers of social mobility’. Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has also come forward to say that the party would oppose a move, with leadership contender Owen Smith promising to ‘fight tooth and nail’ against any plans to lift them. While Conservative grassroots, along with a number of cabinet ministers, support the move, chair of the Education Select Committee and Conservative MP Neil Carmichael has also voice opposition to lifting the ban. Speaking to Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, Carmichael said: “We have serious issues about social mobility, in particular white working-class young people, and I don’t think that having more grammar schools is going to help them. “I think that the creaming off of the best is actually detrimental to the interests of the most.” Recruitment expert John Howson, an honorary research fellow at the University of Oxford, has also come forward warning that lifting the ban could further compound the teacher recruitment crisis. He described grammar schools as ‘a product of the nineteenth century that lingered overlong into the twentieth and have no place in the modern world’ and said that to introduce new grammar schools without a comprehensive education plan would be ‘unbelievably short-sighted’. However, response to the prospect of more grammar schools has not all been negative. Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley has said that she would immediately write to Education Secretary Justine Greening if the ban on opening new grammar schools is lifted. Speaking to the Herald, Tilley said that she would like to see Oxfordshire get new grammar schools ‘as soon as possible’, claiming that the county has ‘gone right down the education league’ since the ban came into force.

Only 38 per cent of people believe that the government should build more grammar schools and encourage more schools to select on academic ability, according to a YouGov poll. The poll was conducted after it was revealed that Prime Minister Theresa May is considering lifting the ban on building new grammar schools put in place by the Labour government in 1997. The results of the poll suggest there isn’t a huge amount of public support for the idea, but responses were mixed. While 23 per cent of people polled believed that grammar schools should be forced to accept children of all abilities, 35 per cent said they believed that grammars improve social mobility, with only 19 per cent thinking they damage social mobility and a further 27 per

Education Briefer


cent saying they make no difference at all. The results also found that when it came to the more personal choice of which school people would choose to send their own children to, grammars appeared much more popular. 67 per cent of respondents said they would send their child to a grammar school if they had passed an entrance exam, with just 10 per cent saying they would not. The poll also found that grammar schools were overwhelmingly favoured by those who attended them, with 61 per cent wanting the government to build more, compared to 17 per cent who want them all scrapped. READ MORE:


Labour pledges to bring back EMA The Labour Party has pledged to reinstate the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) if it is elected into power at the next general election. The plans were announced alongside a promise to reinstate maintenance grants, signalling that Labour will put education at the forefront of its campaign. EMA was a cash payment introduced by the Labour government in 2004 that supported 16-18 year olds from lower income backgrounds to stay in education by giving them £30 a week to help with their basic needs while studying. The policy was scrapped by the coalition government in 2011 as part of its effort to reduce public spending. Announcing plans, Labour referenced a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which concluded that EMA considerably increased the number of young people staying on at school and that the costs of providing EMA were likely to be exceeded in the long run by the higher wages

that recipients would enjoy in the future. Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Educations Secretary, said: “Today’s commitment to restoring both EMA and student maintenance grants shows that while the Tories continue to burden our young people with debt, the Labour Party is committed to investing in our young people. It is only by investing in education that we can ensure that all of our young people, whatever their background, are able to succeed in whatever they aspire to. “This policy will have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of students. “Bringing back EMA, which the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies said improves both participation and attainment among 16-18 year-olds, would benefit three quarters of a million students.” READ MORE:




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Primary school children should be taught about university Charity Teach First has called for education about university to start as early as primary school to stop poorer pupils missing out It has issued a warning that young people from low income backgrounds will struggle to access higher education without changes to the way universities spend access agreements. These calls are backed up by findings of a specially commissioned ComRes survey of over 1,000 undergraduates which found that almost half (47 per cent) of students from wealthier backgrounds said they always knew they would consider university compared to 28 per cent of those from low income backgrounds. Wealthier students also started planning their applications earlier, with 23 per cent starting during their GCSEs, and were more likely to have taken part in non-academic extracurricular activities to support their applications. Thirty per cent of survey respondents found applying to university difficult, 40 per cent report receiving little support from their school in planning their application, and 38 per cent say they felt intimidated when applying for university

– highlighting the value of supporting young people during the process. Teach First says universities spend over £700 million a year on access agreements, but much of this is on schemes with low effectiveness or as recruitment incentives for those who have already decided to apply. These schemes, therefore, come too late for many young people. Previewing a new report with PA Consulting Group out next month on young people’s progression after school, Teach First is calling for universities to use their funding to engage young people about higher education opportunities from an earlier age. The report

recommends starting with primary level pupils and with a particular focus from 14 years old, a key decision making point. Currently only around 1,200 pupils on Free School Meals go on to Russell Group universities each year, just 1.5% of the 80,000 pupils eligible each year for Free School Meals in secondary schools. The report also says better co-ordination is needed to ensure such schemes reach areas with the lowest university progression rates. In some areas of the country only one in seven 18 year-olds go to University. READ MORE:



Sleeping patterns could affect educational gender gap, research suggests

Positive pupil-teacher relationships play ‘important role’ in pupil wellbeing

The different sleeping patterns of boys and girls could be influencing the educational gender gap, according to new research. A recent paper from the University of California examined the relationship between different gender sleep cycles and educational performance and found that a reason for girls outperforming boys could be linked with the timing of the school day. The study focused on an experiment in one school district that alternated early and late start times for schools. Keeping variables such as teachers and class ordering constant, the schools alternated each month between a 7.30am start time

and a 1.30pm start time. Analysis of over 240,000 grades over this period found that boys enjoyed a ‘boost in performance’ in response to the later start time and closed the grades gap by 16 per cent. The reasoning for this, the researchers claim, is due to the fact that boys have ‘longer circadian periods’, or body clocks, which means that are predisposed to later bed times and later morning starts. Essentially, this means that girls are naturally more likely to be morning people, which could be a contributing factor to the large educational gender gap across the western world. READ MORE:

Education Briefer


A positive pupil-teacher relationship can boost good behaviour and improve wellbeing in young people, a new study suggests. The study, conducted by the University of Cambridge, was the first of its kind to look at the impact of the relationship with teachers on adolescent behaviour. It found that a positive relationship with a teacher around the age of 10-11 can have a marked influence on the development of ‘prosocial’ behaviours such as cooperation and altruism. The impact from a positive pupil‑teacher relationship when a child is on the cusp of adolescence was found to last for up to four years – into the ‘difficult’ teenage years – and significantly reduced problem classroom behaviours. Students with a positive relationship with their teachers showed 18 per cent more prosocial behaviour towards their peers and were up to 38 per

cent less likely to be aggressive towards their peers, compared to pupils who felt ambivalent or negative toward their teacher. Dr Ingrid Obsuth, the study’s lead researcher, said: “Teachers play an important role in the development of children. Students who feel supported tend to be less aggressive and more prosocial, and we now have evidence that this is the case from preschool right through to adolescence. Educational and school policies should take this into consideration when supporting teachers in fostering their relationships with students.” “Ideally, building healthy and supportive teacher-student relationships would become part of the curriculum in teacher training and intervention programmes as a way of improving adolescent wellbeing.” READ MORE:



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New scheme to give children free arts and culture trips

SEND pupils are not getting the support they need, says ATL

A new government scheme will give children free access to a wide range of cultural activities, including trips to theatres and galleries. Speaking at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley addressed the issue of unequal access to arts across the UK and focussed on the fact that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are under represented in the artistic professions. The new scheme looks to address this equality and encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise that arts and culture is just as much for them as everyone else. The Cultural Citizens Programme was first announced by then Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2016 and will be led by Arts Council England, with support from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Pilots will begin in September in Liverpool and will give up to 600 disadvantaged young people the chance to visit local plays, behind the scenes access to museums and galleries, and exclusive trips to world class venues.

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are not getting the support they need, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). A survey of over 600 ATL members working in state-funded schools in England found that 83 per cent of education staff did not think SEND pupils were adequately supported, with 58 per cent stating that pupils who are officially identified as having SEN do not receive the help they need to reach their potential. The new SEND Code of Practice was introduced in September 2014 and means that pupils with complex or severe needs are eligible for extra funding, but those with less complex needs, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, do not automatically receive support. 43 per cent of respondents said that children with SEND in their schools were not eligible for funding, with 71 per cent saying that the new system does not enable children with SEN to be identified fast enough. Additionally, 49 per cent stated that they have not been able to access the support and training they need to enable them to

Education Briefer


meet the needs of pupils with SEND. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said: “Unless the government provides significant and immediate additional funding the worrying situation we see now is likely to deteriorate further. The SEND Code of Practice was an ambitious and well intentioned reform, but until adequate resources are invested children and young people with SEND will continue to be let down. “With the tighter criteria for pupils to be eligible for SEN support, many are slipping through the net and losing their right to support altogether. “ATL members are doing the best that they can, but too many find their hands tied by a lack of time, training and resources. “Education staff should be able to access high quality training on SEND throughout their careers and be given the time to do so. All trainee teachers should also receive high quality SEND training as a core part of their initial teacher education.” READ MORE:


Nick Gibb gets expanded brief in DfE reshuffle


Nick Gibb has been given an expanded ministerial brief as the Minister of State for School Standards following a Department for Education (DfE) reshuffle. The DfE has now formalised its ministerial team following the appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister, who quickly axed then Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and replaced her with Justine Greening. It was thought that Gibb could also be removed from the department, as he was a close ally of Morgan and backed Michael Gove in the leadership election, but Gibb confirmed in a tweet on 17 July that he had been re-appointed to the DfE. The tweet read: “Delighted to be

re‑appointed to the DfE. Passionate about continuing the drive to improve academic standards in schools. #phonics” The finalised ministerial appointments show that he now has an expanded brief from his previous role as Minister of State for Schools. As Minister of State for School Standards Gibb’s responsibilities will include the roll out of the new national funding formula, curriculum and assessment, as well as teacher recruitment and retention. Additionally, he will also steer forthcoming Education For All Bill. READ MORE:


Early years foundation stage profile to remain in place The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) has announced that the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) will remain statutory for the next academic year, despite plans to scrap it. It was thought that the EYFSP would be scrapped along with the reception

baseline assessment, but the U-turn means that schools will still be obliged to complete the profile and share the results with their local authority in 2016/17. In an email to school staff, the STA said the decision to keep the EYFSP, which tests pupils on entry into

reception to track progress through to the end of key stage 2, was to ‘provide continuity and stability’. READ MORE:





The freedom to innovate Written by Sarah Pearson, interim director of the New Schools Network

How can the free schools programme meet the twin challenge of creating more school places and improving educational standards? Sarah Pearson of the New Schools Network shares her views


School leaders are all too used to hearing the statistics about schools in England: we have many brilliant schools in our country, but there are not enough good places to go around. One in seven children go to primary schools that fall short, and at secondary it’s one in four. In many parts of the country, parents have no option other than to send their children to schools that are not good enough. On top of this there is a places crisis looming, with the predicted school age population set to rise over the coming years. Official estimates suggest the school age population will rise by nearly 900,00 to 7.9 million by 2024, which is the highest since the 1980s. Against this backdrop, it is hardly surprising that the free schools policy has been so quickly

embraced. With the government pledge to open 500 more new schools by 2020, there has never been a better time to set up a school from scratch and it is school leaders and teachers that are leading the charge. Over 70 per cent of free schools have been set-up by teachers or existing schools and for these school leaders there is an opportunity not just to add extra capacity to a stretched school system but the chance to set up a school from scratch. Where teachers and headteachers have a different vision – including more music, more

outdoor activity, bilingual lessons, a longer school day, all-through education or using different models of teaching – the policy allows them to realise their ambitions and change children’s lives for the better. STAFF AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT Getting involved in a new school project does not mean leaving a school, or losing your best staff. As schools expanding into Multi-Academy Trusts are learning, new projects – whether sponsoring existing schools or setting up new ones – create new opportunities

es Estimatst sugge age ool the sch n will rise tio popula arly 900,00 by ne illion by to 7.9 mhe highest t 2024 – ce the sin 1980s

Free schools: a summary for teachers and staff and can offer a powerful way to retain the best members of your team. Critically, the impetus to consider such growth can come from a variety of sources, not just the headteacher. Senior leaders or even business managers can and have taken driving roles in creating a new school by bringing together a team of teachers and other professionals and using their knowledge and experience to help bring an outstanding education to more students across their local area. TIME TO STEP-UP? Because of rising demand for school places, many existing schools are expanding. But 71,000 – one in five – of the new places created by expanding primary schools in the last five years has been in a school judged to be Requires Improvement or Inadequate by Ofsted. This isn’t just bad for the children who will be sent to these schools, it actually makes it harder for struggling schools to turn themselves around. Opening new schools is the only way we are going to be able to meet the twin challenge of meeting rising demand for school places and improving educational standards across the country. The free schools programme offers teachers and school leaders an unparalleled opportunity to make a difference to a greater number of lives than ever before. Whether it is the addition of a new school to a Multi-Academy Trust, an existing single school adding to its provision, or a group of schools acting together to fix the need that all of them can see, successful schools and teachers are using the free schools policy to create brilliant new schools. A VIGOROUS PROCESS The next chance to apply to the DfE to open a free school is in September, with the next wave being submitted in March 2017. This is the time to seize the opportunity to make a difference and be part of the system working towards offering a good school place for every child. Make no mistake, setting up a free school is not easy. Any group that wants to propose a free school must show they have the expertise and ability to set up a new school from scratch. They must go through a rigorous applications process and demonstrate support from local parents who will send their children there. Once open, free schools are closely regulated by the Department for Education both nationally and regionally, and are inspected by Ofsted in the same way as any other school. However, although challenging, setting up a free school is achievable. It takes commitment and dedication to turn your vision into a reality but New Schools Network has helped hundreds of groups submit successful free school applications. DIXONS ACADEMY TRUST

The Dixons Academy Trust is currently responsible for eight schools across Bradford and is planning to open a new all-through free school in Leeds. Dixons now has four open free schools. Schools include Dixons Trinity, the first secondary free school to be rated as Outstanding, Dixons Music Primary, which has music incorporated throughout the curriculum, and Dixons McMillan Academy, which was set up in response to Trinity being oversubscribed. Every Dixons school is rooted in their clear mission and commitment to the core values of hard work, trust and fairness. The schools operate strict routines, build relationships at all levels and operate in a ‘no excuses’ culture that pushes every child to reach their full potential. Despite their deprived intake, every Dixons free school has relentless ambition for their students, with every pupil encouraged to ‘climb the mountain’ towards university. XP SCHOOL A secondary school for 11-18 year-olds in Doncaster, set up by a group of local teachers who wanted to pioneer a more innovative style of education, based on the success of High Teach High in the USA. XP School is using its freedoms as a free school to pioneer an Expeditionary Learning style curriculum, which is based around pupils completing challenging projects or learning expeditions that cross over different subjects. Free from traditional constraints, teachers at XP School are able to design creative projects that integrate different subjects, skills and competencies such as problem‑solving, critical thinking and collaboration. So far pupils have looked at the site for the school’s permanent building and worked with local partners to think about what makes a good community. This allows them to learn through cross-subject expeditions rather than separate subjects, although pupils will still sit GCSE exams and every project is mapped to National Curriculum standards. Following the success of the XP school a

Free Schools


There are over 450 new free schools now open or approved to open. Free schools are newly created schools within the state system. When set up, they are much like any other academy, having the same freedoms around curriculum and budgeting, and the same systems of accountability – through Ofsted, the DfE and the EFA. Free schools do not charge, do not make a profit, and they do not select their pupils on the basis of ability. Free schools are performing well – nearly 80 per cent have been judged to be good or outstanding by Ofsted. Free schools offer a way to create more school places and bring new, exciting approaches into the education system. Schools like the London Academy of Excellence have driven up standards for the most academic young people, and helped more students from deprived backgrounds get to Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities.

being failed. It was the first school of its kind in the country, catering for 13-16 year-olds who were failing to thrive at mainstream education, or who were at risk of exclusion. The EBN’s mission is to help them develop the academic and behavioural skills necessary to be successful in further education. The school has a total capacity of 90 pupils and will deliver a mainstream education with a no excuses approach to behaviour. Following the success of their first school, EBN have now opened a second school for students aged 13-16. This will cater for students who cannot attend a

The next chance to apply to the DfE to open a free school is in September, with the next wave being submitted in March 2017 sister school – XP East – has been approved and is currently in the pre-opening stage. EAST BIRMINGHAM NETWORK ACADEMY The East Birmingham Network (EBN) is a group of 12 schools across Birmingham that used the free school policy to meet a gap in the existing provision of the city. They were able to design their own alternative provision to suit the specific needs of the pupils who they knew were

mainstream school due to illness, bullying, disengagement, poor behaviour or other circumstances. Both EBN schools offer a programme of study that encompasses GCSEs in sciences, English and maths, as well as the opportunity to work towards vocational qualifications in a range of other subjects. L FURTHER INFORMATION




PS Financials


Do you consider your school efficient? Efficiency is a word brought up time and again when it comes to financial matters. But what does it really mean – and can it be applied in a school setting? A report by NASBM looks at how working more efficiently can make a big difference on budgets The education sector has grappled with efficiency for a number of years now. Various initiatives have gone some way to improving operational effectiveness and a commitment to value for money, however, the sector continues to administer operations in a very manual and paper-based fashion. Unnecessary levels of bureaucracy and multiple layers of sign-off are adding no tangible value, and perhaps most significantly, the skills of senior leaders are not being optimised. The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) therefore commissioned research into operational effectiveness and efficiency of schools, asking some searching questions of school leaders and their understanding of the strategic deployment of resources and effort. The resulting report – Guidance for Improving School Financial Outcomes – suggests a series of continuous improvement strategies that schools can put in place for better financial outcomes. It suggests that state-funded schools, even those previously considered ‘efficient’, have the ability to make further savings. Even small administrative changes – such as using existing resources more prudently and implementing better time management and staff training – could result in savings of up to 20 per cent on administration costs, the report found. 

EFFICIENCY Examining the idea of efficiency in a school setting, Stephen Morales, chief executive of NASBM wrote in a recent article: “The notion that a drive for greater efficiency is an attack on precious education resources is a result of a narrative perpetuated by a perception that efficiency translates directly into cost cutting, reduced resources and capacity, and ultimately a drop in a school’s ability to improve children’s life chances. “Efficiency should in fact be seen as the opposite. If we subscribe to the definition above, any changes to the level of inputs should not adversely affect outputs and indeed should enhance outputs in a truly efficient system.” AN OUTSTANDING SCHOOL The report by NASBM was part sponsored by Optimus Education and researched and produced by OEE Consulting. Backwell School, an Outstanding school, already measured as

performing highly in a range of administrative areas, was analysed for research into the report. OEE identified where the school was making significant savings compared to other schools and then found areas where other savings could be made. Areas they analysed included leadership time, business management, operations management, planning, performance management, process management and continuous improvement. Wendy Farrier, School Business Manager at Backwell School said: “When we agreed to take part in the study I was confident that we were taking every measure available to be efficient. The changes OEE suggested seemed small and obvious so we were surprised how much money they represented and how easy they were to implement.”

School Business Management


WHAT CAN SCHOOL LEADERS DO? The report says that the school leadership team is in an ideal position to influence the financial results for the school, as well as build a culture that promotes collaboration and good value for effort. It says that governors should hold the school leadership team to account on financial management matters, as well as prudent budget forecasting and planning. Governors with financial skills should therefore be recruited, finance and budget should be a regular agenda item, and governors should challenge financial decisions. This is essential to ensure that the school leadership team does not become solely immersed in teaching and pupil welfare considerations and lose sight of their obligations to manage within their financial constraints.

The school leaders hi is in an p team idea position to influ l ence the fina n c ial results for the school

ADMIN AND FINANCE With schools focused on teaching and student welfare, it is easy to take administration and finance areas for granted and lose sight of inefficient or ineffective processes. However, this can be one of the areas where improvements can be implemented easily without having to worry about the effect on E



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The report suggests the following budget-saving changes for schools: Joining with other schools for procurement to make bulk orders, driving down costs.

 educational outcomes. As well as stressing the importance of getting the basics right, the report makes other suggestions, such as using BACS to pay supplier invoices rather than cheques, which saves time writing cheques, postage costs and bank charges for cheques. It advises to keep a close track on any invoices raised by the school, tightly manage debtor status, and not to let invoices become overdue. Unmanaged invoices increase risk of bad debt and therefore lost income. Accurate student data is critical and can incur a lot of effort to capture and verify. The report therefore suggests trying innovative techniques to maintain accurate student data, such as adding additional fields to the consent forms for school trips and capture this information into the student database on return. It also advises to use a digital payments portal to manage online payments from parents or cash via PayPoint. This will minimise theft and loss of cash, as well as bank charges and cash management efforts. Will Jordan, education sector manager, PS Financials, says: “We are increasingly seeing a number of our clients moving their focus towards driving financial health and efficiency. There are a number of ways in which a robust, established financial management solution can assist in this area. “For example, we have a client who previously was having to manually process and manipulate in excess of ten excel worksheets to produce their monthly report. This, on average, was taking three to four days per month to complete. After streamlining their processes through our software, those lost days can now be utilised by our client for analysing and acting on the results from that monthly report.” EFFECTIVE USE OF TIME School leaders and senior admin staff have multiple intense demands on their time. It is therefore essential that the value and importance of these activities is well understood to avoid spending a lot of time on wasteful or non-essential tasks. It is also important to ensure that necessary tasks are completed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Meetings are commonly time-consuming and ineffective, driving further meetings to address unresolved issues. It takes a concerted effort to break out of this cycle. The report says to rethink how time is used and to not keep going to meetings every week to discuss things. Focus on what you want to achieve and

devise actions to let you achieve those goals. The report recommends looking at your TA resource by understanding how their time is spent and evaluating where and how they add most value. Reconsider how TAs can be used in innovative ways rather than continuing to follow established practice. For example, could using experienced TAs as cover teachers be a more cost‑effective solution than supply teachers? ORGANISATION How admin team leaders and their teams are organised can impact the effectiveness of the teams as well as the cost. A common problem in schools is a desire to retain experienced admin staff who aspire to a higher earning potential. The consequence is the creation of additional (unnecessary) team leader roles and promoting staff into them. This results in teams with very small spans of control and a top-heavy cost structure. Paradoxically, with small teams the level of management of the work actually goes down as the team leader focuses on doing work themselves rather than managing. This whole situation needs to be addressed by resetting team sizes to the optimum span of control of between 8 and 12 to 1. This will be more effective even if the manager then operates across functions. The benefit is the manager can then focus on team quality and performance. PROCUREMENT Diligent procurement and attention to detail offer abundant opportunities to reduce costs from suppliers. Group purchasing arrangements can negotiate much better pricing than individual schools could. There are many government and local authority procurement frameworks available for access by schools. These frameworks have agreed bulk purchase deals with a range of suppliers, are fully compliant with EU requirements and do not require further tendering. Examples include: YPO, ESPO, Crown Commercial Services. NASBM also operates an energy framework and has contacts for others. The report suggests establishing a procurement policy for the school and ensuring that all purchases go through the designated procurement process and are subject to the same rigour and control. It also says that teaching staff should define the requirement and the admin team with sourcing the best supplier.

School Business Management


Training senior leaders to improve their financial acumen and enabling them to make more efficient purchasing decisions. Introducing improved cash management and payment processes. Making better use of non-teaching time by reducing the amount of time staff spend on meetings and cutting unnecessary email traffic. Making the most of technology by refreshing old hardware and reducing print and copy costs. CLUSTER OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS The advantage of schools entering into a cluster arrangement or a multi-academy trust (MAT) are many. For example, a cluster of schools can be run with a single representative school leadership team, reducing the number of senior roles required. There could be a single head teacher for the group located at one site with senior deputy heads at the other sites, and faculty leads could be shared across secondary schools in the group. Considering finance, a cluster or MAT can expect considerable savings from consolidating finance activity. A single finance function can be established to manage all financial activity and reporting for all members of the cluster/MAT. This potentially reduces the number of senior staff required with capacity shifted to lower-cost roles. The consolidation would also reduce volume and costs in a number of areas: reduced invoices and associated payments, single payroll overhead, single financial report, and reduced audit charges. Other options for consolidated teams across the group could include: procurement, timetable planning, exams planning, IT support, and so on. Capital equipment intensive activities could share capital and human resources to reduce investment requirements as well as improve resource utilisation, such as reprographics, groundskeeping, general building maintenance, and catering. What’s more, outsourcing cleaning and catering contracts should enable the negotiation of better rates for a cluster as a single supervisor should be able to manage activities across sites and catering may be able to produce all meals in one location for distribution to the cluster. L FURTHER INFORMATION To view the full report, visit





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Additional help with school refurbishments may not feel like a cost effective option. The extra cost of project managers, designers and specialist FF&E companies can be daunting. Herts FullStop has the right balance of excellent quality and superb value. Our specialist services can make the difference between a mundane classroom and a truly inspiring learning environment Since then the school has extended to accommodate increased numbers of pupils, with the provision of a new administration block, staffroom, conference room, hall and classrooms. Our project was to convert the old staffroom into a Year 4 classroom for 30 pupils. We took this project on as a blank canvas, utilising the existing service points, adding statement furniture and brightly coloured chairs, transforming the space into a light and airy classroom, this modern look was created all within the summer holiday period.

Herts FullStop has been managing school projects for over 60 years. As a trusted educational supplier with experienced project leaders, we provide a tailored solution helping you create your vision, guiding you through each stage of the process. We utilise our extensive access to a network of specialists, guaranteeing that you have the right expertise in place, to deliver your vision on time and on budget. Herts FullStop’s industry experts take the time to understand your vision; whether it’s upscaling to improve sixth form intake or creating an interactive learning environment in a nursery. Our objective is to create practical, functional, affordable teaching environments, by listening to our client’s needs and specifications in every aspect. UNIQUE SERVICE AND PEACE OF MIND We provide the piece of mind and reassurance that your project will comply with the latest legislations and best practice from

Fire Protection Standards to EU Procurement Directives, through to the reuse and repurposing of legacy equipment in your own environment, all within our networks. Our unique service is independent from manufacturers and specialists. Therefore, we are able to support you from project inception, right through to the process of stakeholder engagement, surveys, design, testing, procurement, consolidation, legacy moves, delivery, installation and even post build cleaning. Your success is our success, but don’t take our word for it.

TESTIMONIAL Catherine Franchi, school buisness manager at Selborne Primary School, said: “We have a long association with Herts FullStop. They have supplied all the furniture for our new school building both in the classrooms and administration areas, in addition to installing a library and refurbishing existing classrooms. “We have received fantastic support and advice throughout the project and are delighted with the workmanship and quality of the installations; their team of installers are very efficient and extremely accommodating. I highly recommend Herts FullStop and will be using them again this summer to install a learning wall in our family room.” L FURTHER INFORMATION Call us on 01707 292 300 to arrange a free site survey, where we can discuss bespoke designs, colours, and furniture essentials with one of our team.

CASE STUDY: SELBORNE SCHOOL, PERIVALE CONVERSION OF STAFFROOM TO CLASSROOM Selborne School originally opened in 1936 as a secondary school for boys, which has now transitioned into a primary school for boys and girls.





SOLVING THE SUPPLY PARADOX A low cost collaborative bank first approach will fix many of the issues around securing supply teachers, says The Supply Register There is no escaping the fact that talent supply shortages within the teaching profession are now at crisis levels, particularly when it comes to supply recruitment. But while the reasons behind the current problem may be deep and complex, the solution requires a ‘back to basics’ approach. In recent years we have witnessed long established university teacher‑training courses being systematically replaced with School Direct schemes which many education establishments find hard to sustain as budgets are cut in real‑terms for the first time in decades. Add to that the fact that around 40 per cent of newly qualified teachers are believed to leave the profession within the year, and it’s easy to see why talent pools are beginning to stagnate. In fact, according to the National Audit Office, the number of teachers leaving the profession has increased by 11 per cent over three years and ministers have failed to hit their recruitment target for four consecutive years – despite a £700m annual bill for their efforts. The independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) recently warned that schools in England and Wales face staff shortages unless the government funds ‘significant’ increases in teacher pay. However, at a time when agency supply is outstripping direct supply, it is doubtful that staff themselves will ever benefit from increasing HR budgets. COST OF AGENCY SUPPLY TEACHERS According to the NUT, the cost of agency supply teachers to schools has increased markedly in recent years. Analysis of recent DfE figures shows that the cost to schools of supply staff rose to £1.3bn in 2014-15, representing an increase of more than a quarter in the last two years. The cost for academies and Free Schools rose by 42 per cent in just 12 months. Furthermore, the average daily charge to schools by a supply agency for a teacher can be as much as £100 higher than the actual daily pay rate for that teacher, which goes straight into the agency’s coffers. Supply teaching is often regarded as a positive experience for all teachers but of particular importance for NQTs. Diverse



environments can help professionals to gain a vital blend of experience in inner‑city, SEN, EAL settings, which enable them to become more rounded practitioners. However, when 90 per cent of supply teachers’ pay in England and Wales is not in-line with what they would be entitled to if employed by a school or an academy directly, many are sacrificing around £6,000 a year to sharpen their skills through the variety that supply work offers. SUPPLY PARADOX This climate is creating what some commentators have labeled a supply paradox. As the traditional ‘black book’ approach to supply staffing becomes less feasible, agencies are increasingly called in to source talent. The lower pay and poor CPD support offered by agencies demotivates and discourages teachers – hence contributing to the shortage. Put simply, the agency ‘solution’ is contributing to the problem. A myriad of data shows that teachers would prefer a direct relationship with schools, but increasing compliance coupled with fundamental shifts in the structure of the education system means that this is not always feasible. The solution is a gradual return to easily accessible, local, regional and multi academy talent banks without unnecessary legislative pressures. MAKING CHANGES AND BEING PERSISTENT By making small but persistent changes, schools and academies can become open to working collaboratively as partners to share local talent that can be deployed safely and reliably. With teachers and teaching assistants lobbying regularly because of the unfair pay and treatment they can often receive from agencies, technology platform The Supply Register addresses the problems that commonly arise for professionals who choose to complete assignments through supply. While other technology platforms available in the market often rely on incumbent supply agencies to engage, through The Supply Register, schools can bridge the gap between absence and agency engagement with an ever

growing eco-system of temporary staff. When the bank is unable to deliver the desired personnel the vacancy is cascaded to carefully selected tiers of agencies. The result is that schools can have immediate access to fully vetted, motivated and ethically paid supply teachers. THE FUTURE OF OUR NATIONS TEACHERS One of the most discussed topics amongst policy-makers and school staff is the future of our nation’s teachers. And with pupil numbers in England predicted to rise by eight per cent over the next 5 years, at the same time that there is a demographic dip in the numbers of graduates in their early 20s, this ‘teacher crunch’ shows no sign of abating. Justine Greening’s recent appointment as Education Secretary – one of the few to have held the role to have attended a non-selective state school – will hopefully provide fresh long term resolutions to the ongoing talent crisis. In the meantime, we need a supply recruitment solution that benefits not only school leaders – but also the staff themselves if we are to retain our world-renowned education system. L

Written by Baljinder Kuller, Managing Director at The Supply Register FURTHER INFORMATION 01785 472481


What’s fuelling the teacher supply crisis?

assessment and marking policies are the main drivers of these ever increasing burdens.

is spending £700m annually on recruiting and training new teachers, yet still cannot meet its recruitment targets. The fact is that not even that level of investment, which includes in some subjects the payment of £30,000 golden hellos, can compensate for government policies which have made the profession so uncompetitive and unattractive, generating a teacher supply crisis. Excessive workload is blighting the working lives, health and wellbeing of teachers. 87 per cent of teachers cite excessive workload as their top concern about their job, with three quarters of teachers saying that bureaucratic and burdensome

FINANCIAL INSECURITIES The deep cuts to pay as a result of the government’s policy of public sector pay restraint in operation since 2010 have taken its toll on the profession. Teachers have faced pay freezes and pay caps, year‑on-year pay cuts, all of which have left them thousands of pounds worse off. Starting salaries are now on average 20 per cent below those of other graduate professions. Young teachers struggle to make ends meet, finding it hard to get onto the property ladder, and a quarter of them spend in excess of 50 per cent of their salary on accommodation. Over half of all teachers are cutting back on essential household expenditure, over a third cannot afford the payment of their increased pension contributions and over a quarter of teachers are having to access credit to make ends meet. The government’s de-regulation and its drive to give more freedoms, flexibilities and discretions to schools over teachers’ pay has created a pay system that is like the wild west. The gender pay gap is widening and discrimination and inequality are rife in the system. While all teachers with protected characteristics fair badly, the position of BME teachers, those with disabilities E

Written by Chris Keates, general secretary, NASUWT

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, analyses a number of factors that are contributing to the current recruitment and retention issues facing the teaching profession Parents have a right to expect that when they send their child to school they will be taught by a qualified teacher. Children and young people are entitled to be taught by those who are recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals and have working conditions which enable them to focus on teaching and learning. Yet increasing numbers of skilled and experienced teachers are leaving the profession and highly qualified graduates are opting for jobs in other occupations which better recognise and reward their talents. Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee revealed that the government



Bligh their w ting lives, 87 orking of teac per cent her excessi ve works cite their to load as concern p a their jobout b



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HUMAN RESOURCES  and older women teachers stands out. Is it any wonder that applications to join the profession are down and resignations are up? Teachers’ can no longer aspire to earn anything above their starting salary. A fact which the government has had no choice but to face up to in relation to its proposals to raise the minimum salary for all Tier 2 migrants being hired from outside of the EU to £30,000 from the current level of £20,800. This would include overseas teachers either moving to or already in the UK. If the cap on earnings is not reached in five years, the teachers would be required to leave the country. Given the extensive barriers erected to pay progression it is unlikely that these teachers could reach that salary level in the timescale, leading to thousands of migrant teachers losing their jobs, facing potential deportation from the UK and creating serious problems for schools. Given the current recruitment and retention crisis, the introduction of such needless barriers to the employment of overseas trained teachers makes no sense. Since the NASUWT led the appeal to reverse the policy, the Home Office has remitted the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to investigate teacher supply. The NASUWT will continue to press for these teachers, like nurses, to be exempted from the salary cap. The government has further undermined the status of teaching by removing the requirement for schools to employ qualified teachers. A report by Pearson highlights that the constant denigration of the teaching profession by Ofsted and the government has had a damaging impact on morale. Teachers feel denigrated, demoralised and deprofessionalised. RETENTION In a recent study carried out by Warwick University Institute, a group of young women teachers discussed the future of the teaching profession. One said: “I think what will happen is there will just be a rolling programme of newly qualified teachers starting, lasting two years, getting burnt out, then another group coming in.” She thought that graduates would teach for two years, find they couldn’t manage the workload and stress and then move on. “You won’t get anyone over 30 teaching,” she said. Another young teacher said that the general feeling among her friends was that teaching was only sustainable because none of them had children or families but if they did, this would change. Another agreed and added that ‘the level of burnout is going to increase; it’s getting to the point that you just can’t maintain it, all the changes, the culture, everything, it’s just exhausting.’ Evidence shows that well over three quarters of teachers report they have seriously considered leaving the profession in the last twelve months and a staggering 91 per cent of teachers report they have experienced more workplace stress in the

Research undertaken for the NASUWT revealed evidence that the lack of opportunity to work flexibly is driving teachers out of the profession to pursue opportunities elsewhere last twelve months, with almost three quarters reporting that the job has affected their mental health and wellbeing. LACK OF FLEXIBILITY Poor pay and excessive workload are not the only issues driving people away from the profession. The emphasis on management ‘freedoms’ has led too poor and discriminatory practice. Too many schools, for example, are resistant to flexible working, specifically part-time working and job share. 3,000 cases of teachers requesting flexible working have been analysed by the NASUWT. Nearly a third of these requests were turned down. For teachers in leadership positions or with additional responsibilities, nearly all requests were denied. Some of those who requested flexible working were told that it would mean giving up any promoted post they held. Some were advised that working part‑time showed a lack of dedication and commitment to the school and the pupils. Others were told it would be too costly or that it would have a detrimental effect on their performance and standards of education. Other reasons for rejection included: ‘all the job shares having already been allocated’, implying some sort of artificial quota system, ‘it’s not convenient’, and ‘having two teachers will confuse the children’. One teacher said: “We got a new headteacher about 18 months ago and he had a rule that he only wanted full-time workers in the school, so flexible working requests have been automatically turned down.” Even in the minority of cases where flexibility was granted, teachers reported still being expected to undertake work-related activities on days they were not supposed to be working, invariably without payment. Nearly three quarters of teachers are women, rising to around 85 per cent in primary schools. We know that the majority

of workers who wish to work part-time or flexibly are women, although the number of men seeking similar work patterns is growing. Currently just one in four female teachers work part-time, compared to nearly half of women in the general workforce nationally. This represents a serious barrier to equality for women, and is one of the reasons why the NASUWT launched the Gender Equality Challenge two years ago, highlighting the need for specific actions to close the widening gender pay gap in the teaching profession, to ensure rights of pregnant women at work, and to demonstrate that flexible working is entirely compatible with the job of being a teacher. Research undertaken for the NASUWT revealed evidence that the lack of opportunity to work flexibly is driving teachers out of the profession to pursue opportunities elsewhere where there simply is greater acceptance of the importance of work/ life balance and family-friendly working. DELIVERING HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION Teachers’ pay and conditions of service are inextricably linked to the provision of high quality education for all children and young people. If the Prime Minister is to deliver on her stated ambition to tackle inequality and to ensure that working people are treated fairly, she must address the consequences of government policy, unintended or otherwise, on the teaching profession. The recently appointed Education Secretary Justine Greening has the opportunity to build on the Prime Minister’s words and make them a reality in the education service by starting to value, support and invest in the teaching workforce which enhances the life chances of children and young people and makes an essential contribution to the economic prosperity of the country. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Cashless Schools Research 2016 The Results Do you plan to become a totally cashless school? The results...

Parents • Pay by credit/debit card or through PayPoint


• Book and select meals in advance


• See real-time balances

already cashless

• Get instant communication from school

8 out of 10 parents said they preferred to pay online Here’s why... convenience for balance alerts to stop sweets being brought peace of mind


said it was easier to pay schools online

Did you also know? • 6 in 10 parents think school meals should be free of charge to ALL primary age children • 94% want ALL schools to abide by government nutritional standards • 88% want to see the ingredients used in school meals • 95% want to see how healthy eating is promoted in schools

in partnership with



ParentPay analyses the progress of cashless payment systems in the education sector, examining the benefits to schools as well as the main barriers to adoption The cashless schools revolution began in 2004, when Croydon Council became one of the first local authorities to adopt a fully cashless system which enabled both online and cash based payments through PayPoint. Croydon’s innovative move went on to win awards and lead the way for schools across the UK to follow suit and become cashless. Schools that have given parents truly cashless payment facilities have in return seen increased uptake in school meals and vastly reduced administration burdens. Marianne Lewis, who was responsible for commissioning the cashless project for Croydon Council, added: “It’s been a great success. Schools reported that administration time associated with cash income had reduced by up to 80 per cent in some cases, enabling them to re‑deploy financial and administrative resource to more important tasks in their schools, whilst meal income revenue almost doubled within two years across the LA.” HOW MANY SCHOOLS ARE PLANNING TO GO CASHLESS? What level of appetite is there in schools to meet this high parental demand for cashless online payments? To find out more, ParentPay carried out schools focused research between March and April this year, with 1,110 schools across the UK responding to the cashless survey. The same survey (questions) were answered by schools in

February 2015 with similar response levels; offering a useful benchmark, helping to track the progress of the number of schools who are going cashless on an annual basis. The encouraging news is that in the 2016 survey 72 per cent of schools said they have already taken steps to go totally cashless, with one in five of these schools already reporting they are totally cashless, in comparison to 67 per cent and one in six respectively in 2015. So within the last 12 months there has been a five per cent increase in the numbers of schools who say they are going (or are already) cashless. As in 2015, the 2016 research showed that for some schools (28 per cent in 2015/34 per cent in 2016) it was important that provision was made for cash based payers, allowing children or parents to bring cash into schools for various items, whilst in many secondary schools pupil’s still queue to pay the money into a cash re-filer in the canteen, requiring students to take cash into school.

cashless: 43 per cent said they believed parents prefer to pay with cash; 43 per cent believed parents hadn’t got access to the internet; nine per cent said cost to school; and five per cent stated online security.

Written by ParentPay

How is the cashless revolution progressing?

Cashless Schools

Sponsored by

PARENTS CAN STILL PAY BY CASH WHILE SCHOOLS GO CASHLESS It’s interesting to see that nearly half of respondents believe parents wanting to continue to pay by cash was a barrier to their school becoming fully cashless. Schools can still go cashless and offer cash payments through one of 33,000 PayPoint stores, which enables those who prefer to use cash to pay for their utility bills and school payments without students and the school having to receive, handle and manage this cash. There is a PayPoint store located within a mile of 96 per cent of the UK population. The other misconception and commonly used argument against removing the option to pay with cash is that not every parent is happy or even able to use the internet to make payment; either because they receive their income in cash, don’t have internet access or potentially because of financial difficulties. So many schools, which think they can’t ever go cashless because they have a social demographic of cash based payers, will always have to accept cash even if they do offer online payments. The vital fact that is missed by many schools in these circumstances is that those same parents can and probably already do use PayPoint to make a huge range of cash payments such as utility bills. In addition to this, as 3G/4G internet access via mobile phones is becoming increasingly accessible, with 3G or 4G available to over 90 per cent of the UK’s population, these barriers aren’t as big as some assume. The benefits of direct cashless payments to both parents and schools are numerous. Cash brought into schools by students can get lost, or stolen and can also encourage bullying. It also becomes very obvious which E

Schools can stil l go cash less and off paymener cash ts one of through 33 PayPoin,000 t stores

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO GOING FULLY CASHLESS? School staff stated what they thought the biggest challenges would be in going fully

Figure 1: ParentPay carried out schools focused research between March and April this year, with 1,110 schools across the UK responding to the cashless survey.





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FINANCE  children are eligible for free school meals (FSM). In fact a previous LACA/ParentPay survey revealed that 4.9 per cent of those entitled to a free meal do not take up their entitlement, possibly due to parents not wanting their children to face potential embarrassment and discrimination. On top of this, hundreds of hours of administration time is spent receiving, handling, recording and managing the cash. In fact, in many schools using a cashless payment system a £15,000 per annum saving in administration time and cost has been calculated. Maria Tillett, business manager at Theale Green Community School, joined the school from a background in banking. Immediately surprised by the amount of administrative time that was taken up by collecting money, Maria now has over 85 per cent of parents paying online through the school’s payment system. Coupled with the administrative efficiencies and related cost savings, the school has seen a tremendous increase in those students accessing FSM, (from 50 per cent to 95 per cent uptake) as they no longer feel stigmatised. Ian Buss, head of education at Lloyds Bank adds: “For many schools, change and the management of that change is the biggest barrier. The schools that successfully convert to a ‘cash free’ environment do so by communicating this effectively with parents and staff, and then insisting on the change and refusing to accept payments by cash and cheque from a set date.” By incorporating cash collection systems such as PayPoint, it means that schools can still meet the needs of all parents, including those who prefer to pay in cash, while realising the benefits of not having children bring the money directly into school. Schools can become ‘fully cashless’, removing the need for parents to send cash or cheques to school to pay for school dinners, clubs, trips, fees and other services. Monica Morley, school business manager, and Sara Smithdale, senior finance officer, at St John Payne Catholic School in Essex, explain why the school went fully cashless and the lessons learned in the process. Monica said: “Back in 2008, the time required for collecting, reconciling and banking cash and cheques was almost becoming unmanageable; we had to do something to tackle this issue. “Parents were already shopping and banking online so I couldn’t see why they wouldn’t also want to pay for school items online. In 2008/09 we started to use the online system and within a year we were starting to see benefits. With over £75,000 collected on trips and other items, we saved numerous administration hours, which were put to good use elsewhere.” So if a payment system with PayPoint functionality incorporated removes any of the potential barriers to adoption, are there any other considerations? The only other issue is the cost. Payment systems have to be purchased and online

It can be a good idea to carry out a simple cost analysis based on the time it takes administrators to collect payments and manage the cash debit/credit card and PayPoint payments do carry a small transactional charge. However, with the significant financial benefits realised due to the reduction in administration time and the value added to parents, i.e. protecting their children and cash, the argument against going completely cashless starts to disappear. HINTS AND TIPS We do, however, recommend that schools make the following considerations when selecting and investing in a cashless payment system: 1. Make a business case – it can be a good idea to carry out a simple cost analysis based on the time it takes administrators to collect payments and manage the cash. Suppliers should be able to provide case studies and referrals that may support your arguments. 2. Decide on your final objective – for example ‘going completely cashless by September 2017’, and build a strategy for achieving this. Ask the supplier/s you are considering working with to provide evidence of what is realistically achievable and check this by contacting schools already using the system. 3. Do the maths – build a quote comparison between suppliers for the cost of a cashless payment system, but remember you need to encompass the total cost of ownership, including any annual costs, all long-term costs such as training, support (is the support line at a premium rate?), upgrades and whether you can easily import new student data directly from your school management information system (MIS). 4. Provide for cash based payers – does the solution offer socially inclusive payment options such as PayPoint? 5. Protect against fraud – ensure your chosen system offers a secure payment collection service to avoid the dangers of collecting

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money from parents’ debit/credit cards. Whoever a school uses to collect payments should be PCI compliant, ideally Level 1, so ask for the supplier’s certificate to prove it. Equally, if you chose to take card payment collection responsibility yourself, consider the cost of security compliance training for staff. 6. Reporting – ensure your system allows you to record and report on universal infant free school meals (UiFSM), free school meals (FSM) and paid for meals. A good system will offer a broad reporting functionality including income reconciliation, electronic payment receipts, audit trails and banking reports. 7. Alerts/reminders – providing balance alerts to parents can help reduce the need to chase parental debt and in turn reduces administration time. 8. Healthy supplier – we also recommend checking the financial stability of your preferred supplier. If they are BESA members they will have had to been trading profitably for more than two years and must adhere to a code of best business practice. 9. Best Value – this refers to consideration such as how ‘fit for purpose’ the product is, its ‘value’ (based on the total cost of ownership), service level agreements, such as whether the company issues new, ideally free upgrades through an investment in development and support services including training. A list of all BESA member suppliers can be found at   10. Have a plan – prepare to consult with pupils and parents over a period of transition so that it does not come as too much of a shock. Be prepared to insist on the change to parents if you want to make the move completely – any initial doubters are almost always complete converts in the long run. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Figure 2: school staff stated what they thought the biggest challenges would be in going fully cashless




THE BENEFITS OF MODULAR ECO-CLASSROOMS The chances are, that if you are considering extending your teaching facilities, you have already utilised every available space within the existing school structure and are rather bursting at the seams Staff are probably working at close to full capacity and the very notion of a space consuming, noisy and disruptive traditional building extension is likely to send a shudder down the spine. It is also quite likely that you have a tight budget and a need for speed, which might incline you towards a temporary, mobile classroom. Thoughts of ugly, uncomfortable pre-fab structures, craned into the most easily accessible spot, are often what immediately spring to mind. However, what if you were able to accommodate your requirements for expediency and thrift whilst creating a learning space that is beautiful, healthy and inspiring? THE IMPORTANCE OF ECO-CLASSROOMS A modular eco-classroom, like The Learning Escape created by TG Escapes, can provide a time and cost effective solution that affords standalone, naturally lit and tranquil teaching environments on a site that is best suited to your needs. A separate space can bestow a different feeling from the rest of the school and, if set apart in natural surroundings, will serve to establish a vital connection with nature and the great outdoors. The installation of covered walkways will offer pupils easy access to the outside, particularly important for younger children, whilst the use of the latest environmentally friendly materials, methods and technologies will naturally introduce the subject of environmentalism into the curriculum for pupils of all ages. When an eco-classroom is developed, sustainability and the preservation of the environment should be of paramount importance. The inherent design of the building, together with the adoption of ecologically sound methods of construction and technologies, should ensure that an eco-classroom is highly energy efficient (and thus inexpensive) to run. A typical Learning Escape classroom will be awarded an A rated Energy Performance Certificate which is equivalent to the A rating awarded to the most energy efficient electrical appliances. While the modules are being assembled elsewhere, site work such as foundation



preparation and amenity connection can occur simultaneously. This not only contributes to a shorter overall construction period, but also reduces labour and supervision costs. It also leads to a marked reduction in the amount of people and equipment needed on location, making the on-site process quicker, quieter, safer and generally less intrusive than a conventional build. Furthermore, a modular construction method allows optimisation of both the purchase and usage of construction materials, reducing the detritus of packaging materials such as pallets, cardboard and shrink wrap both on and off site. All materials are stored in a protected environment safe from theft and potentially damaging exposure to the elements. This also eliminates the potential for moisture to become trapped in the fabric of the building leading to superior indoor air quality. Any building project can be enormously time consuming and energy draining, and can create a serious distraction from the day-to day running of a busy school. A complete turnkey service with a dedicated project manager includes all aspects of the build from initial consultation and design through to the creation of preliminary drawings, planning permissions and the construction process itself. BESPOKE SERVICE A bespoke service will ensure that the teaching space is tailored to the specific needs of your school today, making the very best use of the available space with minimal impact on the immediate environment. However, it would be nice to know that the building in which you invest now will not only last for many

years to come, but can also be easily extended should the need arise. The Learning Escape can provide a wide array of learning spaces from nurseries and complex chemistry labs to stimuli controlled SEN classrooms and two storey art studios. And with a 50 year life span and long warranties they also provide peace of mind. Here are just a few thoughts from some of their customers. Hartsholme Academy, business manager: “The Learning Escape offered an exceptionally high quality building that fits beautifully within our outside setting, and had the added advantage of being quick and easy to install.” Shotton Hall Academy, head of finance: “You are in effect getting a permanent building for half the cost of bricks and mortar. We were intrigued by TG Escapes’ different approach to learning environments and after visiting their other projects we were blown away.”  Bickley Park School, director of school development: “Both children and staff love learning and working in the building due to the amount of natural light and space. Free flow access to a covered deck is a huge advantage so that outdoor learning can take place in all weathers.” Loxley Primary School, head teacher: “The clever features of the building have greatly reduced our energy bills and are easy to take care of.”L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information call 0800 917 7726,,


With 10,000 more children under the age of four in Hertfordshire compared to a decade ago, the county council shares its strategic approach to making sure every child has a school place Hertfordshire County Council is committed to providing high quality education for children and young people, and will ensure that every child in the county has a school place. The county council has a successful track record in school planning, and last year 96 per cent of Hertfordshire applicants were offered a place at one of their four ranked primary, junior or middle schools, with 83 per cent gaining their first preference.   However, the process is becoming more challenging each year, with 10,000 more children under the age of four in Hertfordshire compared to a decade ago. Last year, the Hertfordshire Admissions Service received 15,267 applications for reception places, an increase of 392 compared to the year before.   The previous rise in demand for primary places is now beginning to impact at secondary level, and the county council continues to work with secondary schools in a number of areas across the county to deliver additional secondary places to meet forecast demand.

housing developers’ planning obligations to ensure the impact of new housing in an area on the demand for school places can be mitigated. The county council has committed over £245 million into building and expanding schools across the county from 2011 to date. Of this, 71.9 per cent was funded by Basic Need, 12.8 per cent by S106 contributions and 15.3 per cent funded by other income. There are currently 533 schools in Hertfordshire, including 90 academies and six free schools. SCHOOL PLANNING Hertfordshire County Council works with a diverse range of schools across its area in responding to local need. The council considers the permanent expansion of school places in areas where ongoing, long-term need is forecast, and has a preference for schools of a

£17.5 was inv 5m on 810 ested perman additional places a ent primary over 30 nd £1.7m on A SCHOOL PLACE receptio0 temporary FOR EVERY CHILD n place David Williams, Cabinet Member for S e ptembe s for Education, said: “As our population continues to grow, we must ensure 2016 r there is a school place for every child that

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sufficient size to support sustainability and provide value for money. Where possible and in urban areas, the council would look to provide primary schools of at least two forms of entry (i.e. 60 places in each year group), and at least six forms of entry secondary schools offering 180 places per year group.   To ensure effective planning and management of school places in Hertfordshire, the county council produces annual pupil number forecasts to predict the surplus or shortfall of school places in the future. The forecasts are produced four years ahead at primary and 11 years ahead at secondary level, forecasting to both year of admission and total pupil population. The forecast is based on actual data of preschool aged children obtained from GP registrations, data on the existing pupil population sourced from school census and information on new housing. The forecast methodology also takes into account of primary pupils moving on to secondary schools and local trends, including migration to and from other authorities. This information is collated and then compared with the existing places available in each area.   Based on these forecasts as well as other local information, the council identifies the number of school places needed in the area, continually reviewing proposals for additional or reduced places to make sure they are best-tailored to meet the changing forecast of demand.   If the need for more school places is identified, options for best meeting the need are considered by a multi‑disciplinary team of officers taking account of the number of places required, E

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needs one. Hertfordshire County Council is meeting this growing demand, despite the financial pressures we are facing. “We have managed a complex situation well by recognising the need for additional places and taking an strategic approach to ensure the need is met.   “We have invested £17.55m on 810 additional permanent primary places and £1.7m on over 300 temporary reception places for September 2016 on top of spending £170m between 2011 and 2015 and providing more than 3,000 additional permanent and temporary reception places. We will continue to invest to ensure that where the county’s population grows, we’ve got the right facilities in the right places, and that includes school places.” Hertfordshire County Council has funded school expansions through central government Basic Need grants and from

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SCHOOL EXPANSION  location, property and site feasibility, cost, environmental issues, school effectiveness and any town planning constraints. Once viable options are established, these are then considered by elected members through the political approval process. Any school reorganisation change proposed by the county council would involve a public consultation to seek comments and views of the local community before a decision is made. Where the proposal requires new buildings or securing a new site, this decision is conditional upon planning permission which requires a further process and a separate public consultation within the town planning process. SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL EXPANSIONS Having identified a need for more primary places in east and central Hertford based on forecast demand and projections from the Office of National Statistics 2011 census, Hertfordshire County Council looked at numerous sites and existing primary schools to see where new places could be best delivered. This analysis included both the feasibility of expanding existing sites as well as the possible delivery of a new primary school site. An assessment of the options considered whether the right number of places would be delivered in the right location to meet forecast demand, the potential for enhancing school effectiveness and the deliverability of options within the timescale required, taking account of identified challenging site and town planning constraints on a number of existing school sites. Following this assessment, the county council worked with Simon Balle School, a secondary academy, to bring forward proposals for a primary phase on its existing site. Simon Balle is considered well located to meet the demand for places in the centre and east of the town for the future. This proposal was supported by the government’s targeted Basic Need funding as well as funding from the county council to deliver the new facilities and buildings it would require. A consultant team undertook different technical studies at the site to look at traffic, trees, ecology, flooding, drainage, access and town planning issues. A public consultation took place, and a planning application was submitted. The scheme includes new school buildings to the front of the Simon Balle school site offering accommodation for the primary aged pupils along with outdoor play facilities, improved on-site car parking with a revised in and out scheme and an on-site drop off area. A new pedestrian crossing point and improved pedestrian routes were provided to encourage more pupils to walk to school. New trees were planted to soften the building form, and derelict sports courts were updated. AN ALL-THROUGH SCHOOL Following completion of the building works, in September 2015, Simon Balle School, formerly just a secondary school,

To ensure effective planning and management of school places in Hertfordshire, the county council produces annual pupil number forecasts to predict the surplus or shortfall of school places became the second ‘all-through’ school in Hertfordshire by launching a primary phase offering 60 reception places to its first cohort of primary aged pupils. The school now operates as one institution with the same head teacher and site. The school opened two reception classes in 2015 and the school will fill from the bottom up. Head teacher Alison Saunders said: “The school was designed as a two-form-entry primary with an initial 60 students, and as this is a phased approach we will take an additional 60 students each year. We are now at the end of our first year; so our existing children will move up to year one and we are already over subscribed for September. “Our families, staff and visitors comment upon what a special place this is and already we are seeing the benefits of an all-through school. Our vision of the school is incredibly strong; it is a real privilege to be the headteacher of Simon Balle all-through school and we are extremely grateful to Hertfordshire County Council for their visionary approach and support.”     SCHOOL EXPANSION Another example of how the county council has met the increasing demand for school places is a recent secondary school expansion in St Albans. In 2015, the council funded 15 new classrooms at Sandringham School, which included three large science laboratories, a computer science room, preparation rooms and seminar rooms to accommodate 30 new pupils per year. Head teacher Alan Gray said: “The funding for additional accommodation provided by Hertfordshire County Council has allowed the school to successfully admit students and meet local demographic pressures to the north of St Albans. These new facilities are built to the highest standard and will provide and outstanding learning environment for many young people in the future.” FUTURE CHALLENGES Hertfordshire County Council’s essential role in commissioning new school places will face growing challenges, especially in the context of increased housing allocations. More new sites will need to be allocated for educational use and increasing urban centre development and continuing changing demographics may also drive up pupil yields in areas where expansion opportunities are

limited and new sites are rarely available. Additional challenges include the ability to obtain the resources required to negotiate new sites with developers and address development viability concerns, rising construction costs, and green belt constraints. Nevertheless, the Council will continue to meet the growing demand for school places to secure a strong pattern of great schools. GREAT SCHOOLS To ensure the continuation of valued school improvement services to Hertfordshire schools, Herts for Learning, the UK’s largest schools company, plays a role in Hertfordshire’s great schools by providing an exciting and innovative approach to delivering school improvement services across the county. Herts for Learning is a not for profit company, owned by schools and the council, providing a wide range of school improvement and business support services. 92 per cent of Hertfordshire schools have bought a share in the company and the county council has a 20 per cent shareholding.  Hertfordshire is now leading the way with its great schools programme; with nearly 90 per cent of schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, which is above the national average of 86 per cent. In October, the county council will be launching its first ever #HertsGreatSchools campaign to celebrate the fantastic schools in the county, with a week dedicated to the amazing teachers and pupils in Hertfordshire. David Williams, Cabinet Member for Education, concludes: “We have some of the best education facilities in the UK, and to have 90 per cent of our schools rated good or outstanding is testament to the hard work of school leaders, teachers and governing bodies. The school improvement support available from Herts for Learning, the UK’s largest schools company, is second to none. “It is a priority for the county council to make sure young people get the best possible start in life, and we are committed to making sure that every child in Hertfordshire has a place at one of our great schools so they can reach their full potential. We will continue to invest money to ensure that where the county’s population grows, we build the appropriate infrastructure and provide enough school places.” L FURTHER INFORMATION



Integrated Shutter System Windows for Modular and Jackleg Buildings and Mobile Homes “It is as simple and easy to fit as a standard double glazed window unit.” You may not have considered fitting a steel roller shutter to your modular or jackleg building, or your client may not have specified fitting a steel roller shutter, but here are a few points to note. A traditional steel roller shutter is fitted for one reason and one reason only, security and once fitted it is not considered to be the most attractive feature of any building. ISS Window system will actually enhance the look of your building by adding an elegant integrated shutter system which becomes a design feature as opposed to the unsightly traditional roller shutter exterior box system. In effect we are designing out crime. Traditional roller shutters are either operated electrically or manually. Electrically operated systems can be troublesome. Manual ones are heavy to operate, they have to be locked from the outside and open and closed from the outside. You have to be outside. If it is raining it is not the most convenient or safe way to open your shutters. ISS Windows is a complete window system no need for a 2nd fix here, it is all done in one fix, double glazed window and steel roller shutter complete saving time and money with simple and quick installation. Here are a few features and benefits that you are probably not familiar with or aware of. It is operated manually, internally with a simple pulley cord. No need to raise it from the outside it’s all done from the inside. It is locked again internally with a simple locking mechanism, no need for keys, no problem if you loose your keys.  It comes complete with a built in tilt and turn double glazed window. The roller shutter is solar reflective so in the summer months it will keep your office cool protecting against solar gain. In the winter when the shutter is lowered it will actually reduce the heat loss through the window by 50 % thus saving on energy bills creating a “green building solution” It is easy to fit (easier than a traditional window and separate roller shutter). It can be fitted to new buildings or existing buildings already on site, in a factory or in your hire fleet.  It comes complete with internal trim, no need to fit a wooden architrave or sill.  The double glazed unit is K glass and complies with all the U.K. building regulations.  It will improve the security of your building. Remember 2 out of 3 break-ins occur through the window. It is very competitively priced and is considerably cost effective than fitting a traditional roller shutter and window In 2016 every building has a security issue. Everybody should consider security.  When you leave your office you always lock the door, you should be able to lock your window and protect your office and your office equipment. A break-in is a very disruptive element to the running of any business and this will cost you money.  So to recap ISS Windows improve the look of your building, give you peace of mind with a steel roller shutter that can be lowered internally, trouble free without the use of keys or electrics or by having to go outside and lower it manually.  It will give you a sun blind, it will save you money in the winter months through loss of heat through the window with its thermal properties, it can be fitted to new or used buildings or existing buildings either on site or in your hire fleet. 

For more information on our unique system please telephone Mike Chamberlain on 01509 853331 or 07973174463. Why not visit our website


With limited funding available to provide extra school places, and many existing schools in need of a major overhaul, now is the time to look more closely at how excellent design can help the government’s capital funding programme stretch as far as possible, writes Emilia Plotka, RIBA’s policy advisor Schools play an important role in widening our outlook and life chances, and can affect our self-esteem, performance and friendships. The government has committed to providing each pupil a place at a good school, but this key objective is becoming harder to achieve in the face of budget pressures and increasing numbers of children entering the education system. With limited funding available to provide extra school places, and many existing schools in need of a major overhaul, there could not be a better time to look more closely at how excellent design can help the government’s capital RIBA award-winning Mellor Primary School, Stockport, by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects (Photo: Beccy Lane)

funding programme stretch as far as possible while delivering good outcomes. We believe three areas need close attention. The first is improving information and communication flows between the school, government and design and construction teams during a project. The second is adopting a more flexible approach to the rules governing the design and size of new schools to allow for the best possible use of resources. And lastly, we believe there is a need to take a smarter approach to the use of building management equipment that controls the internal environment of modern school buildings.

chool Good s n is desig reating of c capable-effective cost ents that m environ p drive hel ational c u d e p u es outcom

Written by Emilia Plotka, policy advisor, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Tackling the school estate challenge

THE BENEFITS OF GOOD DESIGN Good school design is demonstrably capable of creating cost-effective environments that help drive up educational outcomes, enhance teacher and pupil well being, and limit future running and maintenance costs. It is therefore one of the most important things the government can do to ensure capital funding represents a good deal for pupils, teachers, parents and taxpayers. The RIBA’s latest report, Better Spaces for Learning, hones in on this point to demonstrate how existing funds for new and refurbished school buildings can be spent more effectively without storing up problems for the future. At the heart of our argument is our belief that giving the teams designing and building new schools greater flexibility will enable future schools to benefit from the expertise of the professionals involved. Our research brings together the largest analysis of Post Occupancy Evaluations (POEs) of primary and secondary school buildings in the UK, an independent nationwide poll of teachers about their experiences, and two years’ worth of discussions with leading school building experts, spanning architects, contractors, engineers, consultants, academics, educationalists, teachers and many more involved in delivering government-funded schools. This evidence demonstrates good design makes a noticeable difference to educational outcomes and frees up resources. The POE analysis carried out for us by two leading consultancies using HM Treasury’s guidance E

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What teachers think about school building design More than 9 in 10 teachers believe school design is important. 1 in 5 teachers have considered quitting because of the condition of school buildings. Nearly half of teachers are worried schools they currently teach in are too small (especially secondary). 91 per cent of teachers feel good design is important to good pupil behaviour.





Burntwood School: winner of RIBA’s Stirling Prize 2015

The Burntwood School won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize in 2015 (Photo: Rob Parrish)

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Last year RIBA awarded its prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize to Burntwood School in South West London for the UK’s best new building.

 for capturing value has shown that good school design has a significant and positive impact on pupil attainment, well being and engagement. Similarly, it has a positive impact on school staff’s productivity, with the most comfortable and well-designed schools demonstrating a 15 per cent increase. Good design makes schools cheaper to run and maintain, in some cases by more than several times a teacher’s average salary a year. The researchers have estimated that at least £150m annually is being spent on unnecessary services and maintenance which could have been avoided if schools very better designed, particularly with less complex mechanical and electrical systems which are difficult to operate and have a short lifespan. FEEDBACK FROM BUILDING USERS The POE analysis followed a rigorous scientific framework for capturing evidence and was reviewed by leading academics and industry experts, but we also wanted to find out whether these issues were felt on the ground by the people using school buildings on a daily basis. We therefore commissioned an independent and nation-wide poll of primary and secondary teachers to probe their experiences. What we found was closely aligned with findings from the POE evidence, with an overwhelming majority of teachers (over 90

per cent) believing good school buildings can reduce bullying and misbehaviour and boost attainment levels. Most (over 90 per cent) also felt that the quality of the buildings has a significant impact on their productivity and well being. A shocking 1 in 5 teachers have quit their jobs in the past because of the poor state of school buildings and those who are unhappy with the current condition of their schools are more likely to consider quitting. School design overwhelmingly matters and impacts teachers and their pupils. However, many school building experts we interviewed are concerned that while government is currently succeeding in delivering schools to incredibly tight budgets, its delivery scheme is also proving to be hugely restrictive in terms of the design and time frames allowed for the construction of new schools. This one‑size‑fits‑all approach means that opportunities to innovate or respond to local context to optimise investment are being curtailed. Additionally, we have been advised that in the quest to limit time and costs, the EFA is cutting out key elements from its school delivery programme, which represents a false economy. FOCUSED SPENDING Cost-effectiveness and good design are mutually reinforcing if investment and E

It is a large comprehensive girls’ school in Wandsworth, London. The transformation of Burntwood School reimagines a 1950s modernist secondary school campus for 2000 girls and 200 staff. The architects AHMM created six new faculty buildings and two large cultural buildings linking original buildings by renowned 1950s/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. Speaking at the award ceremony, RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “Burntwood School shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children’s educational enjoyment and achievement. Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, experienced school architects, have created a stunning campus. “They have produced delightful, resourceful and energy efficient buildings that will benefit the whole community in the long term. “With the UK facing a huge shortage of school places, it is vital we learn lessons from Burntwood. I am delighted to present architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris with the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.” Paul Monaghan, director of architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, said: “Schools can and should be more than just practical, functional buildings – they need to elevate the aspirations of children, teachers and the wider community. “Good school design makes a difference to the way students value themselves and their education, and we hope that Burntwood School winning the RIBA Stirling Prize shows that this is worth investing in.”





Daisyworx Director, Brenda Soars, discusses the issues schools face when trying to rejuvenate their buildings and explores possible alternatives to the removal of damaged exterior panels, in many cases containing asbestos.

the problem...

the solution...

In post-war Britain, the majority of state schools were system built using asbestos as insulation and most are still in use today. More than 75% of state schools in Britain contain asbestos, a material known to be harmful if exposed.

There is a need for solutions that tackle both the practical, logistical and the financial obstacles to transforming these shabby buildings into environments that will inspire and foster learning.

In October 2015, the All–Party parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health stated that removal of all asbestos in educational establishments should be done by 2028: it’s likely to take longer and total removal will cost billions. In the meantime, there is a duty for schools to maintain their buildings and ensure the safety of personnel and children, but in doing so they are facing practical, logistical and financial issues. Unaspiring buildings are known to impact learning outcomes and teachers’ motivation. Clearly, a safe and affordable solution is needed until the asbestos and/or the buildings are removed.

As a scaffolding contactor working within schools for over 15 years, we are very much aware of the budgetary constraints schools face, so when the opportunity of working with Sound Environments presented itself, we immediately saw the potential of combining forces to offer an affordable solution: that’s why we created Daisyworx. Anthony Lee - Director TL Safety Systems Ltd & Daisyworx

Our tired looking blue 60s built school was turned into a shiny glowing red new academy. This transformation was vital to our aspirations. As we awaited our new building, we had a learning environment worthy of the 21st century. Sian Carr - Executive Principal The Skinners’ Kent Academy At a practical level, given the lack of school places for children, it’s crucial for schools to keep functioning at 100% capacity while work takes place and therefore renovation companies need to be prepared to work according to term breaks and on the weekend. If work is done during term time, the company must ensure the school can still function fully and safely even when scaffold is in-situ. Safety is obviously top of mind, and companies need to ensure all their staff are CRB checked and provided with clear rules for working around children. Following the strict guidelines for working at height is a key element too.

Learn more at and

the solution... And of course, there is the unavoidable question of budget. Panel removal is costly and schools often struggle to make such a financial commitment. But a patented alternative for covering panels offers a solution that’s achievable for as little as a 10th of the cost of total removal. Offered by Daisyworx, this proven solution protects the existing panels against damage by using a range of safe methods that make the panels look like new.

Without any question of a doubt… this is amazing! James Howarth - Principal The Hathaway Academy

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 spending is focused in the right way. With he right reforms, the schools delivered by government could be much better for teachers and pupils, for the same cost. Our school building experts have outlined three key areas for reform to aid this transition. Firstly, the government needs to ensure that more is done to improve the flow of information between individual schools, the Education Funding Agency (EFA, the government’s school building delivery body), and those bidding for contracts. The EFA’s approach to procuring new schools creates significant time pressures on all involved. At present, government policy aims to deliver a completed design in just six weeks. Quicker, more focused procedures can produce excellent results, but this is dependent on the information needed to inform design and construction processes being available at the right time and to the right standard. Significant reforms will be needed to ensure this, particularly around improving the quality of site assessments and feasibility studies, and ensuring schools are appropriately engaged on building programmes. These will help prevent further costly but avoidable problems cropping up during the construction phase which eat away at budgets allocated

for crucial school amenities, such as hydrotherapy pools in SEND schools. A FLEXIBLE APPROACH The second key priority area for reform relates to allowing a more flexible approach to the design of new school buildings. Each school offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities, and a good design team can help deliver the best outcomes and value if the rules allow it. The EFA needs to be clearer when dealing with its partners about how they want to see its baseline standards and designs for schools used during the design process. Although the EFA has told us the baseline criteria are a minimum, in practice they are treated as a standard to which everything is expected to be built. To get the most out of new buildings, the EFA should encourage bidders to demonstrate how these can be exceeded through innovative approaches on budget. A GOOD LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Finally, there should be a change of focus in how the EFA ensures that school buildings provide a good learning environment. A combination of inappropriate processes and a one-size-fits-all approach means

that many school buildings are being fitted with complex and expensive mechanical and electrical equipment that would not be needed if the right design solutions were adopted. The initial and ongoing costs of these systems can be enormous – and their failure has left many schools struggling with buildings that simply are not up to standard. The reward is huge. By introducing these reforms, we believe government will be able to achieve a capital funding programme that would work much more effectively and efficiently and positive project outcomes would be more frequent. This would not just represent a better use of public money, but have real implications for pupil attainment and teacher productivity. Achieving this more efficient and effective system will be crucial if the government is to meet the challenges of the future – not least in the face of a possible recession following the referendum result. Even though school spending has been protected over the course of this parliament, the school estate challenge remains huge and will continue to grow. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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If schools are to play their part in reducing obesity, they need to develop healthy eating policies that are implemented in every day school life, urges dietitian Dimple Thakrar

The World Health Organization (WHO) regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk of developing various health problems, and are also more likely to become obese adults. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures the height and weight of around one million school children in England every year, providing a detailed picture of the prevalence of child obesity. The latest figures, for 2014/15, show that 19.1 per cent of children in Year 6 (aged 10-11) were obese and a further 14.2 per cent were overweight. Of children in Reception (aged 4-5), 9.1 per cent were obese and another 12.8 per cent were overweight. This means a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese. Data is also available from the Health Survey for England (HSE), which includes a smaller sample of children than the NCMP but covers a wider age range. Results from 2014 show that 31.2 per cent of children aged 2 to 15 were classed as either overweight or obese. The SACN report review found: high levels of sugar consumption are associated with a greater risk of tooth decay; the higher the proportion of sugar in the diet, the greater the risk of high energy intake; drinking high‑sugar beverages results in weight gain and increases in BMI in teenagers and children;

and consuming too many high-sugar beverages increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Schools nee develop d to eating p healthy don’t juolicies that s shelf but sit on a excess weight in are imp t that children and young lem people under 18 years in every ented and improve dietary school day habits, as well as the life time spent being inactive

OBESITY RUNS IN FAMILIES It is well recognised that children who are obese are likely to have obese parents. Obesity that runs in families can be due to environmental factors (such as poor eating habits learned during childhood), or due to relational and behavioural factors (such as poor boundary setting), as well as certain genetic traits being inherited from parents. Therefore, family involvement in interventions is important to ensure improvements in outcomes benefit the whole family and can be maintained. Up to 79 per cent of children who are obese in their teens are likely to remain obese as adults, according to NICE’s guideline on managing overweight and obesity among children and young people. This can lead to health problems in adulthood such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Various diseases or conditions may be associated with obesity in children. Type 2 diabetes, a condition previously found almost entirely in adults, is now being diagnosed in children and young people. Being overweight as a child can also impact on self esteem and quality of life, as well as cause depression. The quality standard is expected to reduce

Written by Dimple Thakrar, media spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association

Nourishing the brains of our future generation



or sedentary. It should also reduce the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and young people, and the use of children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

CAN SCHOOLS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? It is obvious from the evidence above that the childhood obesity epidemic in the UK today is multifactorial, multilevel and involves many agents from health, schools and parents, as well as the leisure and hospitality industry. However, it is very clear that schools, as children spend a large part of their week there, have a vital role and responsibility too. They are in a position to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity from early years and beyond. These issues have to be addressed is several ways simultaneously. A single level, one method approach is not appropriate as this is a very complex issue that requires small but consistent daily messages from all areas of school and home life. Successful school programmes need to include the whole school community, including head teachers and teaching staff, school governors E



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OBESITY PREVENTION  and budget holders, and school children. It should also involve catering staff and suppliers, including vending machines, and parents and Parent Teacher Associations. HEALTHY EATING POLICIES In order to address the reduction and prevention of childhood obesity, schools need to develop healthy eating policies that don’t just sit on a shelf but that are implemented in every day school life. The attitude towards healthy foods should be a very positive and healthy approach to eating and drinking for the whole school community. It is advisable that schools focus on key nutritional messages that have been identified nationally. These include reducing free sugars to 19g/d for 4-6 year olds, 24g/d 7-10 year olds, and 30g/d for 11years and over. Reducing highly refined, fatty and sugary snacks e.g. crumpets and chocolate spread is also crucial, as is increasing fruit and vegetables to increase dietary fibre, vitamin and mineral intakes. Promoting more age appropriate portion sizes and mindful eating is also key. This is all very well I hear you say, but how can this be achieved amongst the job of educating children?



The childhood obesity epidemic in the UK today is multifactorial, multilevel and involves many agents from health, schools and parents, as well as the leisure and hospitality industry Initially, there needs to be a focus and drive on the importance of good nutrition on improving learning productivity. It is well documented that a healthy nourished mind and body will improve concentration through improved mood and a well fuelled brain. This is only evident with the drop in concentration before meals and snack times and is evident in those children who come to school without breakfast. In adults there is growing evidence to suggest that adults who consume a healthy breakfast are less likely to be overweight. This can be explained by drops in blood sugar causing the brain to reduce concentration and focus on a task, resulting in high fat and sugar snacking. However, highly refined fat and sugary snacks and breakfasts cause an energy/ sugar high but then a sudden energy/sugar drop, causing poor concentration and poor

focus. The highly refined foods and snacks often hold very little nutrient benefit as well as being poor long lasting brain fuel. The improvement of snacks provided in school alone can have a major impact on improved concentration and therefore improved education results and Ofsted reporting. It is so obvious and simple: putting the right type of fuel/food in the child’s body will contribute to producing maximum learning results. This can only be achieved if schools make good nutrition and hydration a priority and invest in changing whole school culture and philosophy around healthy snacks and meals to help mindful eating becoming the norm. HOW CAN THIS BE ACHIEVED? This task needs to be addressed in two phases – the educators and supporting adults and then the children. It starts from changing mind set and educating staff to have a healthy attitude to their own diets and health. Management investing in healthy work plan programmes such as The British Dietetic Association Work Ready Programme, which address staff’s thoughts, beliefs, behaviours and habits around food and hydration. Making healthy small nudge suggestions like having fruit in the staff room instead of cakes and biscuits or taking lunch breaks as part of the culture to improve productivity. Work Ready Dietitians, like myself, are trained accredited registered Dietitians and are able to provide workshops/ education groups for education staff as well as parents, ensuring that the nutrition messages are consistent and evidence based. Once the staff’s mind set and correct nutrition knowledge has been addressed, school policy and culture can change to improve the health and wellbeing of the children. Small changes can be implemented like slowing mealtimes down and allowing children to socialise and enjoy the food. Avoid over feeding children by offering age appropriate potions of balanced meals and encouraging eating when hungry and stopping when full to avoiding over eating, as well as ensuring that meals are balanced and provide all the key nutrients. Say no to the clean plate stickers and instead look to implement mindful eating stickers. Schools should also help children to identify their hungry and full signals, a life skill that many adults struggle with, and offer pupils healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables as standard practice across the school. It can also be helpful to encouraging non-food rewards or birthday treats such as stickers or toys rather than sweets or cakes. These are just a few of the E



About the author



Dimple Thakrar is a registered dietitian working in the NHS for 20 years and has recently become a media spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA).

 possibilities and there are many other ideas and resources on the change 4 life page. WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH This whole school approach encourages the whole school to believe, lead and develop a healthy and beneficial attitude to food for life, having maximum input on staff and pupil productivity and reducing child and adulthood obesity collectively. This helps to prevent the overweight/ obese children from being singled out and supports and encourages parents to follow suit, as schools have the power to influence and ultimately change health and educational outcomes for life. A multilevel, consistent, all-inclusive approach to

tackling childhood overfeeding in schools is the only way this huge growing epidemic can be tackled, in my opinion. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Since then she has appeared on BBC breakfast and BBC 24hour News channel live. She has started her own Freelance Dietetic Service, Fresh Nutrition, which uses her training in Neuro Linguistics to transform the way people think about food and their relationship with food. Raising two girls, and really living the practical and emotional challenges that brings, has given Dimple a true insight into the complexities faced with childhood obesity and food choices in today’s world of easy access food.

Avoid over feeding children by offering age appropriate potions of balanced meals and encouraging eating when hungry and stopping when full, as well as ensuring that meals are balanced and provide all the key nutrients

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Technology in your hands Whilst few schools would argue against the benefits tablet devices can bring to education, some are put off by financial, training and online-safety considerations. Education Business shares some implementation advice from education charity, Techknowledge for Schools Since the iPad was first introduced in 2010, schools have been looking at the use of mobile technology in education. Education charity Techknowledge for Schools began to monitor the adoption of technology in schools in the UK in 2011. Its research revealed many positive aspects that mobile learning can bring, such as encouraging children to take a more active approach to their education, personalising their experiences and equipping them for a digital future. However, its research has also highlighted a number of challenges for schools, including financial and pedagogical issues, initial and ongoing training for teachers, engagement with parents and student online safety.

Techknowledge for Schools has made it its mission to help schools understand all the considerations and make the right decisions. SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION The extensive research by Techknowledge for Schools has revealed some key points to the successful implementation of mobile technology. Clearly finance is a huge consideration, but the research has shown that many schools have developed creative ways to ensure that all students had access to a personal mobile device. These ranged from parental contribution towards

the cost of their child’s device through to full funding by the school. However, even when parents were asked to contribute, the schools were willing to be flexible. The contributions could be either full or blended. Some schools developed ‘at home’ schemes where parents only contributed if students took the tablet home. Other schools were able to cover the costs for pupil premium students. Whilst the adoption of tablet devices is not necessarily an easy process, it is the drive and determination of school leaders and their support team which is essential to facilitate the change needed to successfully implement the technology. Teacher engagement is also found to be important, with the research revealing that most teachers are enthusiastic about the new pedagogical model that one-to‑one mobile technology teaching offers. Then comes the technical considerations. Schools need to recognise the need for sufficient Wi-Fi at the planning stage to avoid technical issues and costly improvements after mobile devices have already been rolled out. What’s more, it is essential for schools to get unbiased advice on technology infrastructure. Each school in the research has had to invest in technology infrastructure to ensure that there would be appropriate bandwidth to cope with increased demand. E

IT & Computing


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The Diplomat LMS Self Service Device Loan & Charging Locker Manually loaning out the devices is time consuming and often restricts when the device are available. So how can this service be automated? The LapSafe® Diplomat™ LMS self-service device loan lockers makes device loans easy to manage. It allows users to borrow devices at any time of the day or night offering 24 x 7 x 365 access whether staff are present or not. The Diplomat™ LMS integrates with most library management systems. It always deploys the best-charged device and loans laptops or similar devices just like a library book.

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 Schools should also consider breakages. 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. Most schools are adamant that the need for teacher training cannot be overstated. Teachers need guidance, reassurance and support in order to adapt their teaching. In addition, schools require backup and training as mobile devices cannot stand alone without expert help and support. The research has also revealed the importance of involving parents early, including providing them with training and information to ensure engagement and acceptance. Many parents voice cost and security concerns, which could cause resistance to the introduction of mobile technology. Some parents express concern that children never ‘switch off’ and parents should be encouraged by schools to impose limitations on their child’s mobile technology use at home.

over 7,000 children and young people aged seven to 18 about their use of mobile devices at school and at home. It found that four out of ten (40 per cent) secondary school-aged pupils and a third (34 per cent) of primary school-aged pupils admit to some-times feeling ‘addicted’ to the internet.

E-SAFETY CONCERNS Staying safe online is also a major concern. With mobile technology, students have constant access to social media and other communication tools, leading to concerns over cyberbullying and harassment. Techknowledge for Schools has interviewed

E-SAFETY POLICIES Many schools design and frequently review acceptable use policies to inform students on responsible technology use. Students are encouraged to be actively involved in this process by taking on the role as eSafety champions.

IT & Computing


Looking at how school address the issues of e-safety, 87 per cent of secondary and 81 per cent of primary students said their schools had blocks on certain websites, restricting access to domains or apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Reassuringly around nine-tenths of primary and secondary pupils report that their school

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 the possibility of having a repair centre close at hand Half of primary and 70 per cent of secondary school-aged pupils are taking an internet enabled device to bed with them, an increase from 2014. Feeling distracted by other things on their mobile device while they are trying to do their homework increases with age; two-thirds (67 per cent) of sixth formers (16-18) compared to 48 per cent of Year 7s (11-12) admit to feeling distracted when doing their homework.

talks to them about being safe online, bringing the issue to their attention. Additionally around half of secondary school pupils (51 per cent) and six out of ten primary school pupils (60 per cent) agree that using a tablet or other device at school every day has made them more aware of using the internet safely. In summary, there are benefits, challenges and considerations when implementing mobile technology into the classroom, but with good planning and leadership, challenges can be overcome and pupils, teachers, and parents can realise the benefits. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Interconnecting your IT and AV While we have experienced ebbs and flows in the provision and use of ICT in schools it has continued to expand over the last few years. The introduction of mobile devices such as tablet computers has placed additional emphasis on the potential for new ways to teach and learn. BESA’s Tablets and Connectivity research suggests that by the end of 2016, in primary schools 35.8 per cent of all pupil-facing computers will be tablets, with 31.1 per cent in secondary schools. To support this growth, in May 2016 the DfE announced its facilitation of further procurement through the “DfE Collective Buying Power” framework, to allow schools to buy tablets using ‘sector collective buying power’. The framework encompassed four suppliers, including two BESA members, Microsoft with its Surface Pro and Avantis with its LearnPad. So far so good. However, coupled with this good news we have various reports that suggest the full learning benefits may not be realised. 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. There are sadly still examples of schools that may have been blinded by new and exciting technologies with no consideration of how the purchase fits into any vision or a broader coherent strategy. STRATEGY Managing director of BESA member Think IT, Neil Watkins recognises the mistakes made: “We always recommend that before any technology investment is planned, a school starts by considering the outcomes that it wants for its students and staff. Once you know the outcomes, you can make the right technology and content choices. “When it comes to hardware devices such

as tablets, the technology (hardware) is only the interface between the student and the learning content, and therefore the two must be considered in combination. The content is important because if it’s not useful, relevant or interesting then students will not be engaged and learning outcomes will be minimal.” Huw Williams from Avantis adds: “A focus on how the device will be used and how it integrates with existing technology is also a key contributor in schools with a successful technology infrastructure. They should ask a very simple question: will the technology support our objectives and work with our existing technology infrastructure?”

Written by Mark Rosser, communications and website manager, BESA

With tablets and mobile devices becoming more popular, the importance of the audio visual (AV) element can easily be forgotten. BESA’s Mark Rosser offers advice to schools on integrating tablets effectively into the learning environment and optimising their benefits with other AV technologies

IT & Computing


CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT By using an effective classroom management system, the use of mobile devices can be controlled and their application to learning optimised by providing the link E

Th introdue c of mob tion devices ile tablet c such as has pla omputers ce emphasd additional potenti is on the al fo ways tor new teach


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IT & Computing


 to other AV technologies. One of the few disadvantage of using mobile devices is that the teacher can feel a loss of control of the class. Taking a group of children in the corner of the class, huddled around a tablet as an example, how does the teacher know what they are doing? Some classroom management systems provide the teacher with a thumbnail sketch of each mobile device’s display. The teacher can remotely lock any specific mobile device or send an instant message to offer help or a warning. The teacher can also select to push a specific mobile device’s display onto the classroom digital plasma screen or interactive whiteboard to share good learning practice with the rest of the class. By being able to connect each mobile device with other AV technologies, greater learning benefits can be achieved. The use of technology must be integrated into teaching and learning, rather than the technology being an ‘add-on’. To achieve this requires experience, understanding and training. TRAINING What we hear time and time again is the fact that some schools sadly fail to recognise the importance of training with all ICT investments. Neil Watkins says: “I remember when interactive whiteboards were the new classroom technology. A government framework to encourage the investment of the technology in schools included training in terms of how to switch the technology on and link up the projector, but failed to address the importance of high quality end‑user learner application training. The result was that many interactive whiteboards were used as an expensive projector screen;

By being able to connect each mobile device with other AV technologies, greater learning benefits can be achieved an area of the classroom’s wall painted white, would have been equally effective.” Hopefully over the years, lessons have been learned. 49 per cent of all schools surveyed by BESA last year (632 schools: 335 primary and 297 secondary) stated that aside from of funding constraints, sourcing high quality, appropriate training continues to be a very significant barrier for the adoption of the technology. If we look at the DfE’s latest tablet framework, while it includes a number of associated add-on items to chose from including security marking, covers and charging stations, sadly training is not mentioned. As Huw Williams explains: “Although the tablet initiative had great initial interest from schools across the country, a limited number of schools progressed with the opportunity to purchase, which further highlights that the format for purchasing tablet technology isn’t as simple as looking at a device in isolation. This is why during the summer term we are encouraging schools to consider the other elements to a successful implementation of tablets, including training and continuing professional development (CPD). As tablet technology unlocks a wealth of new teaching and learning opportunities, it’s vitally important that teachers have the support to integrate and adopt the technology correctly, enabling them to gain maximum value from the school’s investment.”

It is through this training and deeper understanding of the potential of collaborative technologies working together that a greater return on investment can be achieved, as Neil Watkins explains: “IT and AV products often fall into disuse as the latest new and shinier technology arrives. The well trained schools will be the ones that re-invent how the technology is applied to learning, re‑purpose it, link up new devices and content and re-train staff. If you follow the three ‘Rs’, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll achieve better teaching and learning.” As John Graham of BESA member ICT Direct reminds us: “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 the remaining budget to invest in equipment throughout the coming year, replacing old or obsolete kits as and when required.” Ultimately, it is about the students: if we are to prepare them for jobs that do not yet exist, we have to achieve the best with the technology we already have, invest in further appropriate technology, and of course, that all important training. L FURTHER INFORMATION




Projection technology enables you to achieve a larger image area at a lower cost, and with laser projection your operational costs are almost non-existent. Requiring no lamp replacement and delivering long lasting consistent brightness, laser projectors are maintenance free. Coupled with lower power consumption, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation becomes even more attractive.



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Educators have been quick to recognise the benefits of laser as a projection light source; with no lamp or filter replacement necessary, operational costs are dramatically minimised offering a compelling proposition for resource-stretched organisations

Until recently, Laser, or SSL (Solid State Light Source) may have seemed a long way from being widely available and the industry was somewhat sceptical about it, however, laser is now proving to be a viable technology for many projection applications. Today, the belief that laser might be a steep investment, that it’s still in its early days, or that handling might be complicated because

a projector, for example hanging from a very high ceiling such as in an assembly hall or lecture theatre, ceases to be a time and resource challenge requiring hire of a cherry picker or scaffolding equipment. Laser projectors are maintenance free and coupled with lower power consumption the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation becomes even more attractive.

Laser has matured very quickly to a point at which it is now an easy to use working technology that quickly delivers an excellent return on investment of laser regulations, are only a myth. The fact is that laser has matured very quickly to a point at which it is now an easy to use working technology that quickly delivers an excellent return on investment. LASER TECHNOLOGY With far longer replacement intervals, laser technology shows its advantages in many ways; firstly the costly lamp no longer needs to be included in the cost calculation – there is no lamp. Offering up to 20,000 hours of operation, equating to nine lamp changes in a traditional lamp-based projector, laser technology delivers long lasting, consistent brightness with no lamp change required. Secondly, the act of replacing a lamp in

BENEFITS Lower power consumption is not only a TCO benefit, but also an environmental one. In addition, by eliminating mercury lamps from the projector, it further reduces the impact on the environment. INSTALLATION Installation of laser projectors has also been made easier, as classification changes mean that specially trained laser officers are not required – previously this would have added complexity to the installation. Now, there are recommendations for health and safety but is it no longer in the realm of laser regulation. For early adopters of laser, this transforms

the installation process, making it easier, more cost-effective and quicker. INVESTMENT From a visual perspective, laser is an investment that is already paying off. Viewers rate the image quality of laser‑based projectors as far better than those of traditional lamp models. Laser light is extremely pure in colour, thus enabling a very wide colour gamut for a vivid and intense colour illumination. Laser Phosphor projectors are relatively compact but nevertheless very bright. In fact, 6,000 to 8,000 lumens with one chip technology and 12,000 lumens for three chip models are easy to achieve and the possible brightness level will be expanded even further in the coming years. New developments in laser technology overcome the myths traditionally surrounding its use and there is clear evidence as to the low total cost of ownership, reliability and advanced nature of the technology, enabling more and more applications to be addressed by a laser light source. The education sector is an early adopter of laser projection and is already reaping the benefits; laser is promising a brighter future! L

Written by Gerd Kaiser, product line manager – large venue projectors, NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH


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Making the right connections at your school Reliable and secure broadband connectivity is now an essential component to teaching, learning and management within schools. Education Business analyses the latest information Schools regularly use large amounts of data from media rich applications and web‑based services, requiring higher levels of security and network performance than most homes and many businesses. As schools adapt to new connected training initiatives and expand their uptake of cloud based storage and learning, the demand on network services will only increase. Therefore, it is important that schools are able to assess their individual broadband and network requirements. If all factors are not properly considered, issues such as loss of internet connectivity could severely disrupt teaching and administration throughout the school. INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS Different schools will have different requirements from their broadband connection. Each school’s requirements will vary greatly due to a number of reasons, such as the size of the school, the number of staff, the number of connected devices, the type of applications being used and different teaching methods. Before considering different broadband and network options, a school should ensure it fully understands its needs, including the ICT based applications used for teaching, learning and administrative roles. It should consider factors such as video conferencing, staff and pupil email, and staff internet usage while teaching, which can include using online applications such as YouTube and iPlayer. A school should also examine its use of its online portal or website, if it utilises

a virtual learning environment (VLE), as well as individual pupil internet use, such as research and downloads for projects and classwork. The use of any laptops or handheld devices that may put further stress on the connection also needs some thought. Every school should consider any and every application that currently requires an internet or network connection, as well as any additional requirements expected in the near future.

and subject lessons. One school may be able to make the estimate of one in ten active users at any one time. However, a school that relies more heavily on connected devices, such as a school that utilises tablets for class research, may have to estimate a much higher number of users. It is important for each school to examine its individual needs. Take for an example a school of 1,600 pupils that has 500 devices. 2Mbps per user for 500 devices would equal 1Gbps (1000Mbps). If the school determines that one in ten users are active at peak times, the basic requirement would be a bandwidth of 100Mbps for the school. This should then be taken as a minimum requirement for that school. However, it is important to consider that many schools now exceed basic bandwidth requirements and have upwards of 1Gbps connections.

UPSTREAM VS DOWNSTREAM Downstream bandwidth is the maximum rate at which data can be received over an internet connection, while upstream is the maximum rate at which data can be sent. The requirements for each are dependent on the type of usage. Using large quantities of online video content, from applications such as YouTube and iPlayer, as well students accessing a large number of BANDWIDTH web pages for research, will use a greater A model suggested by The amount of downstream bandwidth. Education Network (NEN), Traditionally, individuals and in their guidance organisations use more y l A ful ’Selecting broadband downstream than upstream d connectivity for bandwidth. As an estimate, manages an i your school’, is upstream speed will need to e c i v t ser n e that each active be a quarter of downstream. m ele user within the However, if a school uses a lot sential ing high s e v school should be of cloud‑based services, such e i to ach bility and provided with a as Office 365 or a remote VLE, basic connection availa a reliable this will require significantly g of 2Mbps at more upstream bandwidth. ensurin nection peak times of Again, a school must have a con usage. This target full understanding of their use of refers to downstream applications and choose a connection bandwidth, which is the based on their own requirements. maximum rate at which data can If a school determines that it requires a be received over the connection. large amount of upstream bandwidth, it While many people now have access may consider a ’symmetrical’ broadband to internet at a much higher speed than connection, which provides the same this, it can act as a useful benchmark and bandwidth for upstream and downstream. conservative target for calculating the capacity Additionally, a school should ensure that of a school connection. To determine the total their service does not have a data cap. As number of active users, a school will have teaching and learning becomes increasingly to estimate how many individual users will connected, and online applications be on the network at peak times. This will become increasingly data intensive, be dependent on the number of connected it is likely a school will increase its total devices in use within the school, as well the usage over the course of the contract. A connectivity requirements of different teachers service with no data cap will protect the school against large unforeseen costs or a suspended service if the cap is reached. FINDING A SERVICE PROVIDER Once a school has assessed its broadband requirements, the next step is finding a broadband service provider. One option


to consider is broadband services and connectivity offered by their local authority. Local authorities aggregate the delivery of broadband services for schools, working together as part of the Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC). These services are tailored for the needs of schools and are delivered through Janet UK, an infrastructure service designed for use in the UK education community. A key benefit of these services is the capability to support schools working in federations or clusters, allowing them to connect to a secure, privately managed wide area network. This allows individual local area networks to operate as a single network and securely facilitates inter-site working. This type of connection will also be specifically designed to protect children from harmful content and allow schools to access a range of education specific content and resources. Another option is to use a commercial provider. If a school does decide to go to market, the non-statutory government guidance ‘ICT buying advice for your school’ recommends it should take into account ISP standards, including content filtering, e-safety measures and protection against virus attack, which may not come as standard in all commercial service offerings. Schools should request that they are presented with a clear and transparent menu of services and pricing, which allows

them to buy what they need whilst giving them the freedom to pay for additional services or support if they choose. USING A FRAMEWORK Schools can save time and money by buying services through a pre-existing framework. Frameworks are essentially contracts that other organisations, such as local authorities, central government departments or public buying organisations negotiate with suppliers to get the best, compliant deals. These organisations then make these deals available to schools and other public sector bodies. Not all of these contracts will be specifically designed for educational requirements, so schools must take into account any specific needs, such as security, email hosting or online backup, when considering a framework. One place schools can check for an existing framework is the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which provides an integrated commercial and procurement service for government and the UK public sector. NETWORK MANAGEMENT Once a school has determined its requirements and begun looking for a service provider, it is important to take into consideration the management of that connection throughout the duration of the contract. A fully managed service is an essential element to achieving

high availability and ensuring a reliable connection. Schools should look for an uptime guarantee from service providers, which will specify what percentage of time the connection can be guaranteed to be working. Schools should also consider how quickly a provider will be able to restore the connection if it does fail, as well as how much support they can offer if users encounter problems with the service. These can be set out in a Service Level Agreement, which should outline the providers commitments to ensure a fully managed service. A school should look for a provider to promise no longer than four hours to restore access in the event of a disruption. The service should also be supported by a 24/7 operations centre that can monitor connectivity, flag problems and initiate repairs to ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum. Another service schools should look out for is a support desk available for staff to call, preferably with extended opening hours and an online ticket reporting system to trace progress with reported faults. Additionally, an online portal that shows the performance and availability can also be useful, as it allows schools to easily monitor the connection and contact the provider if an issue occurs. L

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EB Awards


Recognising excellence in education

The Grange Hotel in St Paul’s once again played host to the Education Business Awards, which celebrated the very best of the UK’s education sector across 21 award categories While the national media is always quick to point out any failings within the sector, the Education Business Awards highlights the great work of educational professionals up and down the country. It was set up in 2006 to recognise examples of excellence in education and in the turbulent political times that lie ahead, this is more important than ever. With 21 award categories, the Education Business Awards recognise a broad range of successes across the sector. The accolades are not limited to teaching, with caretakers, catering staff, building contractors and those responsible for procurement commended for their contributions to education. 2016 was another successful year for the Awards, which saw a record number of entries and a packed hall of education professionals gather together to celebrate their successes and the successes of their peers. Speaking of this year’s show, Karen Hopps, publisher, Education Business, said: “It is great to see so many people come together to celebrate the great work of the education sector, from teachers, to school business managers, through to catering staff. “As the school year comes to an end the Education Business Awards is the perfect opportunity to look back and reflect on the hard work and dedication of education professionals. This year’s Awards saw a record number of entries and we were thrilled to see so many examples of excellence in education.” OUTSTANDING PROGRESS St Matthias School was one of the big winners of the day, picking up the Outstanding Progress Award in the secondary schools category, sponsored by School Business Services. St Matthias School was recognised for its rapid progress after being placed into special measures following a poor Ofsted inspection two years ago. Under the leadership of head teacher Dean Coombes, the school has improved outcomes for its 475 pupils and is now rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, sitting

in the top 10 nationally for the proportion of lower ability pupils who gain five or more GCSEs at grade C and above. The Outstanding Progress in the primary sector category, sponsored by ISS Education, was topped by Moreland Primary School, which has beaten off criticism by the inspectorate from 2013 which saw the school gain a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating, to achieve its first ever ‘Good’ rating. Moreland was particularly praised for producing ‘exciting lessons’ and now looks towards an exciting future as it moves to a new school building. St Joseph’s College won the Outstanding Progress Award in the independent sector following a victory at the 2015 TES Independent School Awards. With the plan of reducing fees and increasing investment, the college has seen pupil numbers rise and was recognised for an ‘outstanding initiative’ and a ‘strong vision’. Significant investment is paying dividends and the school now stands as an example to the rest of the sector. SUCCESSFUL INVESTMENT IN TECHNOLOGY Technology is an important part of the modern classroom and can be utilised to maximise pupil engagement and attainment through innovative new learning possibilities. With the introduction of computing at GCSE, this is now even more apparent and has been embedded into the national curriculum. Successful investment in technology was on display at the 2016 Awards, with The Studio Schools, Merseyside, picking up the ICT Innovation Award, sponsored by MakerBot. The Studio focuses on developing students’

skills and the knowledge that students require to pursue a career in the digital sector, hosting a monthly series of Coder Dojo events working with primary aged children from across the North West. An industry mentor link shares real world experience and gauges students on a level that the curriculum doesn’t, and a monthly masterclass provides career possibilities. The ICT Facility Award, sponsored by OKI Systems, went to Westmorland Primary School, Lancashire. The school recognised that computing and technology needed to be developed in order to engage pupils using their areas of interest and strengths, which was predominantly ICT. This led to the school investing in an iPad per child, which has allowed students to develop a new interest in specific learning. The use of iPads has seen individual academic progress in literacy, removed the threat of ‘pen and paper’, challenged traditional teaching methods, and resulting in a shared passion and enthusiasm for the ICT across the whole school, which feeds into all learning. The STEM Award, sponsored by Ultimaker, is awarded to the educational establishment that has excelled in the provision of a first class environment for teaching STEM subjects including Maths,Technology and Sciences. It was claimed by Plashet School, London, which places STEM at the heart of its curriculum and has seen its STEM Club, run by science teacher Ann English, gain governmental praise from MP Neil Carmichael, chair of the Education Select Committee.

With 21 awa categor rd Educati ies, the Awardson Business a broad recognise success range of es the sec across tor

CELEBRATING INNOVATION Recruitment issues facing the education sector have been a reoccurring theme over the past year, and the School Recruitment Award recognised the Herts for Learning Recruitment Fair for its innovative approach to E




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 tackle the issue. Held at Hertfordshire Development Centre, the second annual Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair was a huge success, with hundreds of experienced, newly qualified and returning teachers in attendance. A total of 302 Hertfordshire schools were represented by Teaching School Alliances. 79 schools had exhibition stands on the day, with the event featuring numerous CPD workshops on topics including returning to teaching, teaching in the UK for overseas qualified teachers and changing from a teaching assistant to teacher. Advice surgeries were made available for attendees with specific circumstances. The recruitment fair proved to be an excellent method to showcase the strengths of teaching in the county. One high school identified 31 potential teachers, which will all be invited to visit the school. The Academy Partnership Award, sponsored by Ward‑Hendry, is presented to an established specialist academy that can demonstrate benefits to the community through a partnership with an existing establishment, be it another school university or private sector organisation. This year Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, East Sussex claimed the award for the way it uniquely partners industry and education through the Brighton Digital Media Academy. Students from across the city can access this unique programme through both Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, and learn from a curriculum which is representative of the diversity of this vibrant industry. The partnership acts as inspiration for pupils who can gain an insight into the workings of partner organisations, such as Brighton Youth Film Festival and BrightonFilm School. Close links exist between industry and education, resulting in a truly unique partnership which will ensure

OKI helps celebrate excellence at Education Business Awards OKI was proud to be involved in this year’s Education Business Awards which took place in the Grange Hotel St, Pauls on 13th July. Education is a key sector for OKI. The company has extensive experience in delivering printing and document solutions to schools, colleges and universities across the UK. This year, OKI sponsored and presented the ICT Facility Award. The award, given to the educational establishment in the UK that has made outstanding progress in the provision of a first-class environment for the teaching of ICT and related subjects, was deservedly won by Westmorland Primary School, Lancashire, with commendations for Portway Junior School, Hampshire and Clevedon School, North Somerset. OKI would like to congratulate the achievements of all these

EB Awards


that the city’s creative and digital industry needs are fully met. Following the event, Karen Hopps added: “I would like to congratulate all of the well deserved winners, but also those commended for their fantastic contributions. Thank you to everyone who attended and we encourage all schools to share their successes with us so we can continue to recognise the excellent work being done in schools across the UK.” L FURTHER INFORMATION

The full list of Education Business Award winners School Recruitment Award, sponsored by eTeach: Herts for Learning – Recruitment fair Music Award: Lindley Junior School, Huddersfield Sports Award, sponsored by Technogym: Ellesmere College, Shropshire Community Award, sponsored by Fairtrade Vending: Shrewsbury High School, Shropshire Art & Craft Award: University Church of England Academy Ellesmere Port ICT Facility Award, sponsored by OKI Systems: Westmorland Primary School, Lancashire ICT Innovation Award, sponsored by MakerBot: The Studio Schools, Merseyside SEN Provision Award, sponsored by nasen: Parkside Complex Needs School, Norwich SEN Inclusion Award, sponsored by nasen: St James CE Primary, Northamptonshire STEM Award, sponsored by Ultimaker: Plashet School, London Educational Visits Award, sponsored by Rainforest Cafe: Ashby School, Leicestershire Environmental Practice Award: King’s Ely, Cambridgeshire School Security Award: Sir Thomas Abney Primary School, London School Building Award, sponsored by REC: Chalgrove Primary School, London

schools and all the others that won awards or were commended for their efforts on the day. Technology has a key role to play in education, but its main benefit is in adding value to the learning experience for pupils and students. In that way, it’s part of a broader picture of attainment – and the Education Business Awards are great because they identify not just the high-achievers in IT but also those that are excelling across the whole spectrum of education.

School Catering Award, sponsored by Parent Pay: Ballard School, Hampshire

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01784 274 300

Outstanding Progress Award – Secondary School, sponsored by School Business Services: St Matthias School, Wolverhampton

Academy Partnership Award, sponsored by Ward-Hendry: Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, East Sussex Excellence in Health & Safety Award, sponsored by IOSH: Maltings Academy School Procurement Award, sponsored by ESPO: Prince’s Mead Preparatory School, Winchester Outstanding Progress Award – Primary School, sponsored by ISS Education: Moreland Primary School, London Outstanding Progress Award – Independent School: St Joseph’s College, Reading




School Trips


Where history happened Stepping inside the home of a significant person from history can immerse pupils in the past and bring to life many cross-curricular topics, writes the English Heritage’s London Education Team groups will be standing in the environment where a significant person lived.

of the Beagle, where Darwin embarked on a five‑year voyage. New for this year, groups can enjoy Darwin’s newly interpreted bedroom and wardrobe complete with dressing up costumes. Use our new Learning Trail for schools, available to download for free on the Down House School Visits webpage which explores both the indoor and outdoor highlights of this amazing property to enable pupils to become experts in observation!

CHARLES DARWIN Down House in Bromley is the home of Charles Darwin and an internationally famous country villa with recreated Victorian interiors, original pieces of furniture, and grounds which are recognised as a ‘Site of Importance for Nature Conservation’ to explore. Schools can visit Down House for a variety of national curriculum related topics THE ART WORLD from looking at a significant person – Charles For schools situated in North London, Darwin, to exploring the on-site ‘Uncovering Kenwood is the go-to destination to view Origin’ exhibition which explores the first‑hand the great masters of the art world impact of Darwin’s theories, including Rembrandt, Vermeer and Free and the controversy which Turner. It is surrounded by 112 surrounded them. School acres of parkland for schools to scho ols children particularly to have a well-deserved run on a se lf‑led vi enjoy seeing the or to look at science sit, around pupils c full‑scale recreation and nature topics. E a

Written by the English Heritage’s London Education Team

English Heritage is renowned for bringing history for life for school pupils across the country, from famous castles to magnificent mansions in far and remote locations. But for teachers looking to bring history to life for pupils in London, look no further than one of our hugely varied historical sites right in the city. From Kenwood in North London, to the home of Charles Darwin, Down House in Bromley, the great homes of London are free for schools to explore this term on a self-led visit. Pupils can step inside these great homes of London for an immersive experience linked to local history, significant people as well as many other cross-curricular topics from art and design to science and biology. By visiting these famous houses and London landmarks, children will be walking into the places where history happened, rather than being in a museum setting and simply looking at artefacts, school

inside t n step homes hese great of L an imm ondon for experie ersive n to local ce linked history



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New scheme to give children free arts and culture trips

School Trips


A new government scheme will give children free access to a wide range if cultural activities, including trips to theatres and galleries.

A new hands-on expert-led Discovery Visit is available for Key Stage three groups this year, linking Kenwood’s connection to former owner, Lord Mansfield and his influential role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade  The amazing art collections are not all that Kenwood has to offer, from the beginning of your visit, schools are welcome to enjoy the stunning Robert Adam interiors; the Great Library being a must-see for school groups. A library of this nature will help pupils to understand how interiors have changed over time, and how the homes of others reflected wealth and status. Schools can also make use of a bookable education room to leave bags or have lunch. A new hands-on expert-led Discovery Visit is also available for Key Stage three groups this year, linking Kenwood’s connection to former owner, Lord Mansfield and his influential role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. ELTHAM PALACE Moving towards South-East London is the medieval masterpiece, Eltham Palace, with Art Deco inspired interiors and acres of beautiful gardens. The former home to Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, and where Henry VIII spent much of his childhood, the mansion itself was built to adjoin to the incredible medieval Great Hall which schools can walk inside. There are many hands-on elements included in a school trip to Eltham Palace from a 1930s walk-in wardrobe complete with costumes to

the luxury wartime bunker and billiard room in the basement with new interpretation and more costumes to help children understand what these rooms were used for. Pupils will enjoy spotting the quirky details in the house which are dedicated to the Courtauld’s pet Lemur, MahJongg. See if your class can find him in the mural in the basement and in his custom-built cage complete with ladder to the main house. Exploring outside, the palace has 19 acres of gardens and a fantastic travel-themed play area to explore. APSLEY HOUSE Apsley House is the only property managed by English Heritage where the original owners still live. A great location for schools to look at significant people in their locality, in this case, the Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Throughout the house, also known as ‘Number 1 London’, are dazzling interiors which are fine example of the Regency style of the time in which pupils can compare and contrast to the homes of today. Not to forget, the outstanding art collection, some of which is displayed in an impressive gallery which is 28 metres long. Many of these paintings were presented to the Duke by European

Speaking at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley addressed the issue of unequal access to arts across the UK and focussed on the fact that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are under represented in the artistic professions. The new scheme looks to address this equality and encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise that arts and culture is just as much for them as everyone else. The Cultural Citizens Programme was first announced by then Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2016 and will be led by Arts Council England, with support from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Pilots will begin in September in Liverpool and will give up to 600 disadvantaged young people the chance to visit local plays, behind the scenes access to museums and galleries, and exclusive trips to world class venues. rulers who were grateful for his victory against Napoleon. These paintings and grand setting provided the perfect backdrop for entertaining, including the annual Waterloo Banquet which commemorated the great victory. Downstairs, the basement gallery features a new exhibition including medals and shields, all of which represent the national hero status that the Duke had by the time of his death in 1852. Schools can make the most of their day out of the classroom when visiting Apsley House by walking the short distance to nearby Wellington Arch, an iconic monument which was originally intended as a grand outer entrance to Buckingham Palace as well as being a symbol of Wellington’s victories over Napoleon. Today, schools can visit the on-site exhibition themed around the famous battle as well as climbing to the top to look out at the fantastic views across London from the balconies. Groups will be able to identify other famous landmarks, such as London’s Royal Parks, the Houses of Parliament and quite uniquely, they can also take a peek into the Queen’s back gardens from this vantage point. L FURTHER INFORMATION school-visits/



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Protecting sites out of hours

According to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, in 2014 13,003 thefts, burglaries and robberies were reported by schools across the UK. Indeed, a simple search of recent news stories reveals plenty of examples of schools being targeted by criminals outside of hours. One such example explains how a gang of burglars targeted 26 schools across the North West, stealing an estimated £100,000 worth of computer equipment and high‑value items during a three month spree. Of course, it isn’t just the financial losses to the schools and various authorities that will have an impact; many of the computers stolen contained irreplaceable school work which is now lost and will undoubtedly be upsetting for the children it belonged to. Schools must therefore look at how they can reduce the likelihood of being targeted by criminals and at how they can protect their sites when not in use. SECURING THE PERIMETER Making the perimeter of the school site challenging to enter should be a top priority when considering out-of-hours security. Physical security measures such as security fencing combined with gates, barriers or bollards will help deter any unauthorised visitors and will make accessing the site more difficult. When installing security fencing several design factors must be

considered, such as the fencing having sufficient height and strength, the use of climbing impediments and secure ground fixings, as well as the provision of clear areas to facilitate surveillance and maintenance. Enhancing the impact of this barrier is key, and this can be achieved through the use of lighting and signage to indicate the presence of security patrols, alarms and CCTV systems. Undoubtedly, CCTV continues to play an important role in keeping a watchful eye on critical perimeter areas, acting both as a deterrent and an active measure for early intervention. There have been huge technological advances in CCTV. Jacques Lombard, managing director of Syntinex and vice-chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section, says: “The main improvement in CCTV technology is the quality of images as we move into the HD and UHD (Ultra-High-Definition) era. The days of watching grainy, distorted images is a thing of the past, as individuals, businesses and governments have realised the numerous benefits afforded by today’s technology. Higher megapixel cameras mean that the cameras can cover a large area without compromising the picture quality.”

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

The high value of the technology and equipment found in schools is an attractive proposition for criminals. Schools must therefore consider how they can reduce the risk of theft outside of school hours. James Kelly, chief executive of the British Security Industry Association, looks at a variety of security solutions available HD and UHD CCTV systems offer the potential to deliver a much greater level of surveillance at critical or high-risk areas, such as site entrances or exits, and can also provide footage to help secure convictions should a security breach occur. DOORS AND ALARMS Should intruders be successful in breaching the wider perimeter of a site, schools can further hinder the progress of would-be criminals by ensuring that doors are strong, in good condition and comply with British Standard PAS 24-1 ‘Doors of Enhanced Security.’ Doors should be fitted with good quality five‑lever mortise locks or, better still, high security cylinder locks. Locks should also be fitted to windows, especially those that are on the ground floor or accessible, such as from a flat roof. For added security, it can also be beneficial to fit windows with shutters or grilles, especially if high-value items, such as computers, are visible inside. Intruder alarms are an essential means of safeguarding school buildings, providing a deterrent to would-be intruders, as well as alerting those nearby, a remote monitoring E

Mak the per ing i of the s meter site cha chool to ente llenging a top p r should be rior consideity when out‑of‑h ring o securityurs



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ASSET PROTECTION  centre or the police to the presence of an intruder. The reliability of intruder alarms has significantly improved due to the development of new technology and the increasingly stringent standards for manufacture and installation. In the past two decades, the number of false alarm activations generated by security alarm systems has reduced dramatically, from an average of 1.36 per system, per year in 1995 to 0.10 per system, per year in 2013. This significant improvement in the reliability of alarm systems contributed to the development of the Unique Reference Number (URN) scheme, which speeds up the communication process between a URN registered Alarm Receiving Centre and the police command and control room. URN registered systems are operated to such a high standard that they are the only systems that can guarantee a police response, and the success of this system has led to many insurers offering discounts on policies to organisations that have URNs in place. The reliability and resilience of URN registered systems can be attributed to the rigorous vetting that takes place at every stage of the process. All staff involved in the alarm installation and response are security vetted, from the design stage through to installation, handover, maintenance and monitoring, meaning that customers can be assured that every individual involved in the setup and operation of their system are police vetted. MARKING CLASSROOM PROPERTY Asset and property marking is the permanent identification of items to deter thieves by providing evidence that links them to the scene of a theft and enables stolen goods to be returned to their rightful owners. This is achieved either by marking the school’s name onto the equipment, or increasingly, by using technology to enable property to be traced to its origin through a database. Success rates are high and schools are encouraged to mark property and highlight the use of it with signs on school buildings to deter criminals. This type of forensic property marking is



Asset and property marking is the permanent identification of items to deter thieves by providing evidence that links them to the scene of a theft and enables stolen goods to be returned to their rightful owners used to prove the origin of stolen items by painting or labelling them with a solution of forensic codes, modelled on the principles of human DNA. The virtually indelible mixture is visible only under ultraviolet light, but when analysed, shows a unique profile, proving beyond doubt who owns the property. It can be used to protect almost any kind of property, including electronic and computer equipment. Once applied, it is not only invisible to the naked eye, but virtually impossible to remove, with even the tiniest trace sufficient for identification purposes. Many schools are now marking their high-value property with forensic property marking solutions to great success. One example of a particularly successful application in the education sector, is that of Woodchurch High School, Wirral, that marked all of its high-value ICT equipment with BSIA member product, SelectaDNA. In the two years since it has opened, the school has reported zero thefts or break-ins. Ian Lowrie, from Wirral Council’s Community Safety Team said: “We were looking for a product that would not only stop theft happening – but prevent burglars even attempting theft in the first place.” The SelectaDNA solution doesn’t damage the marked property in any way. The unique DNA code in the solution links each item back to the school, meaning that if an item is stolen and later recovered by the police, it can be traced and returned directly to the school. Pete May, a member of the facilities management team at Woodchurch High School said: “All of our ICT equipment is marked with SelectaDNA and we continue

to use the warning stickers that are supplied with each kit on every piece of equipment we mark. We believe this is acting as a very effective deterrent against burglary. CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOLUTIONS Choosing the right security solutions will differ from school to school, but it is clear that all schools should be using a combination of measures to ensure the safety of the premises outside of hours. Obtaining professional advice when assessing security needs can ensure the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of deploying new security solutions. When procuring any security product or service, quality should always be the dominant factor in decision making. It is vital that potential suppliers meet with the relevant British Standards for the products or services that they are providing. The company should be of goof repute, have a good trading history and be members of recognisable industry bodies. Members of the BSIA are required to meet strict quality criteria in order to remain eligible for membership of the association which demonstrates that the products and services they provide are of the highest quality. Choosing a reputable supplier will not only ensure that a superior service is delivered, but may also reduce the spending on security in the long term. The BSIA can help security buyers to make an informed decision on security services and providers in the UK. L FURTHER INFORMATION




Ensuring a fit and active future for everyone Leisure Industry Week on 20-21 September will host educational sessions addressing how play can tackle the issue of inactivity and how schools can develop their sports facilities Leisure Industry Week (LIW) is the UK’s biggest health and leisure trade show and the largest gathering of leisure decision makers, influencers and buyers in Britain, bringing together thousands of like-minded professionals to shape the future and growth of the sector. Fresh off the successful first edition, BodyPower is pleased to introduce the new look LIW, featuring six distinct educational streams, each with a targeted marketing campaign to attract new footfall and reach visitors who had never considered LIW in the past. Featuring seminars on employee engagement, business strategy, social media marketing, and point of use sales, delegates will discover education streams on Health, Fitness, Play, Wet Leisure & Spa, Sport and Facilities Management with a dedicated timetable of industry leading speakers including a host of keynote names mixing celebrity, sport and business. Steve Orton, UK managing director, said: “Our goal is to put on a world class event that provides relevant and worthwhile experience for all roles and positions within the industry. We don’t want people to come for just one seminar, we want visitors to come to LIW and benefit from an entire day of world class education, networking and to see the latest equipment and services on the market. I firmly believe that the new format of LIW will allow us to realise this vision and enable us to put on a comprehensive program that anyone operating in the sector will benefit from immensely.”

range of major topical issues which impact on people’s lives, day in day out. Seminars focus on everything from children through to the ever expanding ageing population, from the impact of physical activity on mental health and how healthy lifestyles can be promoted through positive stimuli. The seminar programme will also highlight the benefits of integrating physical activity into everyday operations and

Play is the vity acti primaryy children for manprovide the and can platform to perfect ple active as get peoernative to an alt gym the

HEALTH Supported by SPORTA, the national association of leisure and cultural trusts, the Health education stream will focus on the impact of physical activity on the nation’s health and how the leisure industry has a huge role to play in driving change. With the aim of tackling the inactivity epidemic and creating a health conscious mindset throughout the population, the Health education stream will cover a wide



how the industry can benefit commercially from an increased emphasis on health practices such as physiotherapy, chiropractorcy and rehabilitation. The link between leisure, physical activity, health, medicine and fitness should be closer than ever, and the Health education stream will cover topical issues that ensure a stronger bond between professionals. FITNESS A world class education programme offers fitness professionals the opportunity to advance their knowledge and education over two action packed days. Listen and learn from the industry’s finest educators, coaches and professionals enabling any level of fitness professional to come away from LIW feeling inspired and motivated. The fitness stream consists of three focal areas: The Fitness Business School, offering business acumen for fitness professionals; Practical Coaching, with theoretical and practical application of topical trends and speaking points designed to improve client’s results; and the Gym Operators conference to support the effective running of a fitness centre. FITNESS BUSINESS SCHOOL The Fitness Business School offers fitness professionals the ability to learn from

the fitness industry’s most prominent coaches and educators that have developed their own businesses successfully. With over 200 years of combined experience, the Fitness Business School will enable you to change your career for the better, through high quality advice, round tables and cutting edge information. There are numerous avenues for a fitness professional to advance in, and the Fitness Business School will ensure you have a rounded view of the industry, helping you understand how to drive your business forward, how you can gain more clients on a commercial gym floor through to understanding how social media and digital media have changed a fitness professional’s life. With over £5,000 worth of knowledge and advice shared, the Fitness Business School is an unmissable event for any aspiring fitness professional who wants to make a difference in the fitness industry. TRAINING AND NUTRITION Two days of world class education will ensure fitness professionals come away having taken on board practical and evidence based information that can be applied on a daily basis in a facility or online with clients. Designed to provide trainers, coaches and industry professionals with workshops,

A world class education programme offers fitness professionals the opportunity to advance their knowledge and education over two action packed days. Listen and learn from the industry’s finest educators, coaches and professionals this will provide hands on opportunities and lectures to increase knowledge. With a focus on the latest theoretical developments in the fields of training and nutrition, the theatre will cover a range of topics including training styles for hypertrophy, female training considerations, HIIT training, macronutrient variations based on gender, coaching contest meal preparation and encouraging lifestyle changes for weight loss. INDEPENDENT OPERATORS CONFERENCE Created specifically to support the owners of independent gyms, the Independent Operators Conference will deliver a host of seminars to improve business performance at low cost. Visitors will discover seminars covering free marketing options such as Facebook and Linkedin, the importance of human interaction in the retention process, optimal staffing to meet core business requirements and the creating a customer culture so your members will never want to leave. PLAY Play is the primary activity for many children and can provide the perfect platform to get people active as an effective alternative to the gym. The Play education stream will tackle the issue of inactivity through the medium of play and will offer practical insight into how play businesses can boost their commercial performance by creating a wider appeal for families. Providing seminars on differentiation, branding, market diversification, safeguarding and training needs, the Play education stream will explain the importance of play to all ages and backgrounds, creating facilities for active and game based play and provide operators with the tools to attract new audiences and boost profitability. The Play education stream is ideally tailored for: hotels; campsites; schools; councils; visitor attractions; country parks; adventure parks; activity centres; and academies. SPORTS The Sports education stream will focus on two main themes – encouraging sporting participation and developing sports facilities. Delegates will discover workshops with a host of leading brands providing practical tools and tips for raising awareness of your sport and creating interest from new groups and demographics.

Leisure Industry Week


The Sports education stream will also tackle the often daunting process of facilities development, offering practical advice on planning, material selection and multi-use considerations. This stream is ideal for anyone working in the sports industry or looking to add sports to their business. The seminar programme is designed specifically for: national governing bodies; schools; universities; sports clubs; sports facilities; local councils; gym chains; golf clubs; functional training specialists; strength and conditioning coaches; groundskeepers; and sports coaches. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Delivered in partnership with Facilities Management Forum and Sport & Leisure Facilities Forum, the education programme will be devoted to all aspects of the design and layout of a leisure facility. Delegates can leave this theatre armed with the knowledge to effectively set up their own facilities to maximise sales and customer experience. Designed to support you in improving customer experience and operational efficiency, the seminar programme will feature topics and discussion on entry systems, energy efficiency, booking software, lighting, flooring, layout, planning and much more. The Facilities Management education stream is ideal for anyone responsible for the day design and maintenance of a facility. The seminar programme is designed for: facilities managers; procurement teams; architects; interior designers; specifiers; pool maintenance professionals; IT professionals; cleaners; and operations managers. SPA & WET LEISURE This stream will focus on increasing swimming participation and improving operational efficiency to increase revenue and drive down costs. In partnership with STA and SPATA, the Spa and Wet Leisure education stream will deliver seminars on effective programming for swimming classes, water treatment, health and safety and filtration, to provide delegates with the tools to save on costs and boost revenue. The Spa and Wet Leisure education stream is targeted at: swimming coaches; water parks; spas; pool designers; swimming pools; gym chains; pool maintenance professionals; engineers; leisure trusts; and councils. L FURTHER INFORMATION






Anthill Health & Safety offers consultancy advice and support in all areas of health and safety, which includes: performance of risk assessments; creation of health and safety management systems; development of method statements and health and safety plans, under CDM, for contractor’s on site work; arrangement of training; conduct of accident investigations to establish causation and prevent recurrence; as well as being available to act as an expert witness in tribunals and court appearances. Located near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire and close to the Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire borders, Anthill Health & Safety will be pleased to support schools in

BY Electrical Engineering Services Ltd offers a total turnkey solution to all your electrical engineering requirements. Whether it is new circuits, electrical testing, including PAT, fixed wiring or fire alarms to security lighting, you can trust BY Electrical Engineering Services Ltd to help you with everything you need. The company is based in Bracknell and covers Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Greater London. The services BY Electrical Engineering Services Ltd offers include: electrical installation works; electrical contracting; emergency light installation, testing and servicing; fire alarm installation testing and servicing; security lighting; intercom systems; audio visual installation, maintenance and

Support in all areas of health and safety

these areas and the surrounding counties of the Midlands. The other areas covered include Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Additionally, Anthill visits the rest of the UK quite regularly and is happy to come out to Birmingham or London, if that is where you are located. The principal consultant of Anthill Health & Safety is Anthony Smith-Roberts MA CMIOSH OSHCR, who will be happy to assist you with any of your health and safety questions. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01296 670 988



Cleveland Sitesafe Limited manufactures a wide range of secure, vandal resistant buildings, stores and amenity structures including pavilions, shops, cafés, kiosks, playground stores, machinery garages, chemical stores, fuel stores and fuel tanks. All products are built to order so products can be designed to the customer’s own required size and layout. Cleveland Sitesafe Limited’s range of Apex modular buildings are used for numerous purposes and manufactured in steel plate for strength and security, but clad in timber, brick, stone or texture coating and with apex tile roofs they provide excellent security and vandal resistance whilst still blending into many different settings. The sales team will be happy to discuss your individual requirements and provide information on the company’s

Contour, the leading safe surface temperature products manufacturer, has announced that it has acquired the Autron heating brand. Established in the 1970s, Autron grew into one of the most respected names in the UK low surface temperature radiators market. The company gained a strong reputation for developing innovative heating emitters and has been widely specified throughout the education sector.   In the 1990s Autron introduced the black dipped high efficient steel plate and tube emitter and subsequently developed the aluminium plate and copper tube emitter. These light weight and highly efficient emitters were offered as standard across the Autron LST range. In addition to the LST ranges, the company was in the process of bringing a trench heating system to market, just prior to its closure.

Secure, vandal resistant buildings and structures


Solutions to all your electrical requirements

wide range of products, including team changing rooms, club houses, public toilets, staff canteens and tool storage. Cleveland Sitesafe Limited also offers bespoke design services and the in house design team will provide drawings, specifications and guidance of the best heating and ventilation systems for your project. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01642 244663


servicing; DATA installation service and testing; portable appliance testing; fixed wire testing; CCTV systems; and alarm systems 24 hour monitoring. All staff are trained and qualified through term served apprenticeships. The company is approved by the NICEIC and can also offer service and maintenance packages from lamp changing to fire alarm testing. All work is fully guaranteed and BY Electrical Engineering Services Ltd also provides security alarm installation and maintenance services for commercial and industrial customers. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01344 308 393

Innovative heating for the education sector

The Autron brand is widely recognised and carries significant credibility with those specifying for nurseries, schools and colleges. Following the acquisition, Contour plans to recommence the manufacture and marketing of existing Autron product ranges from its 32,000 sq ft facility in the West Midlands. Enquiries are now welcome for delivery from mid-September onwards. This should be greeted as good news to existing Autron customers. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01952 290 498



Nom Noms World Food make healthy cuisine for kids and their parents. The company is dedicated to re-defining the chilled ready meal category by introducing healthy, very tasty international cuisines, which are authentically crafted and suitable for the whole family. Everyone can enjoy Nom Noms’ delicious meals at any time of the day. With expertly crafted spice blends to give each dish its own unique signature, the food is boosted with natural, fresh ingredients. Every meal is gentle and authentic in flavour to suit young palates. The food is healthy, convenient and really tasty! All meals are nutritionally boosted with hidden fruit, vegetables and pulses to ensure a balanced healthy meal without adding any sugar, preservatives or additives. Get ready to go on a taste adventure with Nom Noms

The education market has for years been dominated by so called ‘specialist’ providers and the end result is often lock in contracts, high charges and lack of flexibility. Nviron has to earn its customers by delivering value – not by a tick in the box from a framework agreement. So if you are looking for a breath of fresh air, Nviron builds systems using Dell infrastructure and Microsoft components such as Office 365, Skype for Business, SharePoint, VDI and Azure. Nviron and Dell’s influence within the Education sector has already provided many schools, academies and college’s with their core and edge networks, as well as providing a single vendor for both wired and wireless. Nviron is an expert in

Healthy and tasty international cuisines

– supporting a great cause at the same time. Each meal purchased in Britain will feed a hungry child in India. Let Nom Noms take you on magical journey of discovery - around the world and back again! Nom Noms is here to inspire family mealtimes with exciting global dishes made from real, authentic ingredients. Its recipes stimulate the senses and put the happy into healthy. Who knew exploring food could be so much fun! FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0203 755 3741 Twitter/FB: @nomnomsmeals

An expert in ICT infrastructure solutions



Having a fit for purpose estate is crucial to support academic excellence. Reappraise Consulting specialises in helping schools to plan, manage and improve education buildings and infrastructure. It is currently working with business managers at schools just like yours to advise on current and future maintenance needs, compliance, funding bids and managing the delivery of work at schools. Planning for the future is important and Reappraise Consulting works closely with school business managers and senior teaching staff to structure, question and develop asset management plans and future spending requirements. In fact, it can advise on all aspects of your school estate relating to your property needs starting with understanding your requirements, through to ensuring that these are delivered. Reappraise Consulting can also

Over the last 18 years years Roman Tours has been at the forefront of creating exciting educational initiatives for schools, breathing life into the past and making it relevant, relatable and accessible. Roman Tours uses character acting, questioning, role play and artefacts to develop an understanding of the period with the students. The visits offer unforgettable experiences that are exciting, interactive and curriculumrelevant, for Primary to secondary schools, further education establishments and special schools. All of Roman Tours’ team hold full DBS and everything is risk assessed. The company carries £5,000,000.00 public liability and works in partnership with the Grosvenor Museum, Chester. It follows DfE guide

Planning for your school’s future

support you in managing your current contracts by undertaking regular audits of delivery performance to ensure that you are getting what you pay for! Paul Quarrell, principal of Reappraise Consulting, is a Chartered Surveyor with extensive experience in identifying and helping to structure improved solutions for schools. He is supported by two associates who specialise in operational delivery and compliance. Reappraise Consulting is based in London and works across the UK. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3633 0083

Products & Services


infrastructure solutions and cloud services for its education sector customers. The depth of its technology expertise gives Nviron the understanding to recommend, design, build, test, install and support education establishment solutions that guarantee real value. Trust Nviron to deliver your ICT solutions. It is not just another supplier but a respected virtualisation, storage, cloud and security specialist holding the highest level Dell and Microsoft accreditations. Nviron is the proud recipient of Dell’s 2015 Overall Enterprise Partner of the year award. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01928 809 000

A specialist provider of history to schools

lines for working in schools and presentations are keyed to the national curriculum. Roman Tours specially tailor sessions for all schools and cater for disabilities and special needs at all levels. It has a solid reputation for quality in schools across the UK over 18 years. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01978 761 264






Sun-Maid Growers of California has served consumers around the world since 1912. As a co-operative, SunMaid Growers of California is owned by family farmers who grow Natural Seedless Grapes in areas of the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. For over 100 years, Sun-Maid’s famous little red boxes have been enjoyed by children and adults alike. They are an ideal play time snack or lunch time treat.   Sun-Maid California Raisins are 100 per cent natural with no oils or glazing agents added – all we add are ‘Just Grapes & Sunshine’. Raisins contain only naturally occurring fructose sugar and have no added sugar.   Naturally sweet, portable and convenient, Sun-Maid raisins make a healthy alternative to confectionery and an excellent ingredient for many recipes. Sun-Maid California raisins are a good source of essential nutrients such as

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm is a small, family run attraction set on the outskirts of Totnes besides the South Devon Steam Railway. It offers a highly interactive experience where you can meet amazing owls, cuddle a guinea pig, feed the greedy goats and get up close to red squirrels, plus so much more! The pygmy goat kids were born in May, so come and give them a cuddle before they get much bigger. They really are cheeky little bundles of energy! Ducklings and chicks await you in the Hedgehog Hospital and if you are lucky, you may spot one of the farm’s spiny friends. The knowledgeable and friendly volunteers are always on hand to answer your questions and ensure you can make the most of your time at the farm. It is extremely wheelchair

Love Raisins, Love Sun-Maid

An interactive experience with amazing animals

fibre and potassium. Because they do not easily spoil, are available year round, easy to store and transport, they serve as a convenient way to increase fruit consumption.   Sun-Maid Raisins – a convenient, fun way to eat more fruit. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01689 878 779

friendly and the onsite cafe offers a range of tasty, freshly prepared food, with indoor and outdoor seating areas. Totnes Rare Breeds Farm looks forward to seeing you soon and hopes you will have a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. Please visit the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm website for details on directions for parking and ticket prices. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01803 840 387


The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service Anthill Health and Safety 72 Aspect Safety Mirrors 32 Brother 4 B Y Consultants 72 Carecheck 24 Caribbean East Atlantic 24 Cleveland Sitesafe 72 Contour Casings 72 Elite Systems IBC Evac Chair International 68 Fairtrade Vending 40 Fast Key 39 GBSG 66 Genee World FC, 50 Herts Full Stop 20, 21 I.S.S Windows 34 Iiyama International 46 In House Manager 45



ISS Mediclean 12 JJ Food service 42 John Anthony Signs 36 KCS BC KPC Book Protection 24 Kyocera Document Solutions 8 Lapsafe Products 48 Multiple Marketing 44 NEC Display Solutions 54, 55 Nom Noms World Food 73 Nviron 73 OKI Systems 58, 61 ParentPay 26 PS Financials 16 Reappraise Consulting 73 Rock UK Adventure Centre 64 Roman Tours 73 S&B Herba Foods 45, 74

Schneider Electric 10 Schoolbus Notes 62 SCS Marketing and PR 32 Sound Environment 38 sQuidcard IFC Talk Straight 57 Teal 32 TG Escapes 30 The Fire Protection 66 The IET 64 The Institution of Engineering 28 The Snugg 48 The Supply Register 6, 22 The Water Solutions Group 64 Tiga Creative Marketing 52 Totnes Rare Breed Farm 74 Voice 60

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Education Business 21.7  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

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