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BETT 2017

A showcase of the latest education technology that is transforming teaching and learning



Seven steps to make academisation a smooth and successful process


Rhobus Huddle collaboration table



NEST-STAR teaching aid trolley

From screen and projector mounting systems to teaching aid trolleys to AV collaboration furniture – UNICOL has the answer As a manufacturer of AV mounting equipment for more than 50 years, Unicol has been adding to its portfolio with new designs for the ‘classroom of the future.’ These include innovative collaboration furniture, lecterns, teaching aid trolleys & desks – all able to be customised with branding in school or college colours. With unified communications and collaboration the education buzzwords Unicol has responded to these needs.

AV/IT service teams are not only called upon to respond to teachers’ requests for new technology and services but also to come up with intuitive ideas to satisfy increasingly tech-savvy students. To work effectively students need to have available the technology they use in their daily lives so they can relate to it during class. Unicol works closely with integrators and installers to satisfy AV/IT department custom build complete solutions. It provides the AV sector with support to carry out implementations effectively while giving guidance on quality, functionality & cost, prior to supplying the solution required. In 1963 UNICOL made the first AV Trolley for UK schools and continues the tradition with AV furniture, trolleys & lifters for screens up to 98” including Microsoft Hub, Smart-board and CleverTouch; all VC compatible and conforming to BS8590.

Rhobus Huddle – Stand & Meet model Sales of traditional mounting products for projectors and screens continue for new builds or refurbishments, but the learning environment is changing. A recent study revealed that the use of remote learning technologies in teaching is expected to rise significantly, and real-time video collaboration and mobile devices will be the primary way students engage with content by 2025.

MS Surface Hub 84” on Rhobus Trolley

Canterbury Lectern

Principal– Teaching Aid Desk

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A member of


Business Information for Education Decision Makers DESIGN & BUILD




BETT 2017

A showcase of the latest education technology that is transforming teaching and learning



Seven steps to make academisation a smooth and successful process




A fair funding formula? The proposed new funding formula aims to spread out money more fairly across schools in England, with money moving from areas that are well funded to schools in areas that receive less money. But the proposals have met widespread criticism from many groups, including MPs, governors, teachers, unions and industry bodies. The Education Policy Institute released a report which says the proposals are unlikely to satisfy many local areas which have been relatively lower funded, and that actually, the funding formula will shift funding away from the most disadvantaged pupils. A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) meanwhile says that the new funding formula could imply further cuts to per-pupil spending of seven per cent for around 1,000 schools after 2019-20. The IFS report does say, however, that given current inequities in funding, the National Funding Formula is a ‘long overdue and welcome change’. But it also acknowledges that the system should have been reformed in the 2000s ‘when there was more money around.’

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The results on the consultation will be published this summer and will no doubt spark a strong reaction from the industry. 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 EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Andrea Pluck PRODUCTION CONTROL Ella Sawtell PRODUCTION DESIGN Jo Golding WEBSITE PRODUCTION Victoria Leftwich ADVERTISEMENT SALES Raj Chohan, Yara O-dulaja, Richard Dawkins, Kathy Jordan PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Vickie Hopkins REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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New funding formula could cause further cuts after 2020; Northern Education Trust failed to secure urgent school improvements; guidance on excluding and expelling pupils to be consulted on

All too often, digital work is carried out by pupils only to be left to sit on a server with no teacher assessment. Pheasey Park Farm Primary School however has given its pupils’ online work a chance to shine by projecting it on a 40‑foot digital wall in a public school corridor


Becoming an academy is a huge change for any school and so it is important that the process is well-thought-out. The Key’s John Davies outlines seven steps to help academisation run smoothly

42 BETT 2017

Bett 2017 presented some of the most effective and innovative new technologies in education, as well as talks by motivational speakers and education practitioners


While grammar schools, teacher workload and funding have dominated education headlines in recent months, the ongoing challenges in teacher recruitment and retention continue to provide difficulties for schools


As well as helping pupils get to school, community transport enables students to access opportunities outside of the classroom, writes the Community Transport Association



Embodied carbon is the total greenhouse gas emissions generated to produce a building and is a vital consideration when commissioning a sustainable new school, writes the UK Green Building Council

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With reports that schools are having to find innovative ways to raise money and deal with funding cuts, energy charity Carbon Trust has found ways schools can cut back and save money on energy, as well as reduce carbon emissions


Falling foul of fire safety legislation can mean thousands of pounds in fines that could have been avoided if the correct steps were taken


By using code to control another object, such as a robot, computing can be brought to life, writes Phil Spencer

There are many schools demonstrating excellent and inclusive SEND practice, but there is still more to do to ensure that children are experiencing consistent, high quality provision across England. Dr Adam Boddison, chief executive at nasen, discusses some recent developments


With warmer weather upon us, schools should review their outdoor play facilities and upgrade those that are worn or fail to excite children. API Chair Mark Hardy shares some advice on what to consider when planning outdoor improvements


A rounded curriculum that balances ‘traditional’ academic study with creative subjects will ensure that future generations are effectively prepared for the realities of the world of work

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Introducing Office Outlet As a major supplier to education professionals, we appreciate that your budget and resources need to go further than ever. Staples stores recently changed ownership and are now called Office Outlet. We are committed to bringing you low prices, new ranges and great service. To find your nearest store please visit or call our Customer Service team on 0333 300 0078


GCSE and A Level exam appeals in decline

New funding formula could cause further cuts after 2020

According to data released by the exams regulator Ofqual, 355 appeals were made against GCSE and A Level results in 2016, in comparison to 466 in 2015. The 24 per cent decline is expected to be as a result of the drop in the number of GCSE and A Level entries, and decline in the number of requests for reviews of marking in 2016 compared to 2015. In 2016, 211 (3.2 per cent) of grades challenged at appeal led to a grade change. In comparison, 49 per cent (0.7 per cent) of grades were changed as a result in 2015. The data also shows that there has been an increase in the number of successful appeals, from 31 in 2015 to 46 in 2016. This follows a pilot run in 2016 which tested new grounds for appeal in three subjects. For AS and A level geography, physics and religious studies the grounds for appeal following a review were extended to allow an appeal on the grounds of a marking error that was not corrected during the review. Traditionally, exam boards have only accepted appeals on the grounds of a procedural error.

According to a report published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, around 1,000 schools could see further financial strain as a result of the new funding formula. The consultation over the new finance strategy closed on 22 March, and the government believes the new formula will ensure that schools in different parts of the country receive a similar level of funding. The report states that moving to a single funding formula “inevitably creates winners and losers”, and so the government has put in place transitional protections for schools. The plans will ensure that no school sees a fall in its budget of more than three per cent in cash-terms until 2020. Around 1,000 schools will still be more than seven per cent above the funding level dictated

by the main formula which could see them see cuts when the protection period ends. As a result of such protections, only 60 per cent of schools will be on the main formula by 2020. The government has also placed a cap on the gains schools can experience of 2.5 per cent in 2018–19 and a further three per cent in 2019–20. The net cost of these transitional arrangements is around £290 million in 2019­ –20, which temporarily boosts spending per pupil by about 0.7 per cent in cash-terms. The government has provided no guidance to schools about what will happen after 2019­–20.



ATL and NUT join for a “stronger voice”

Pupils in deprived areas lack the work experience they need

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has voted in favour of joining to form a new union. The union will be called the National Education Union and will come into existence on 1 September 2017 with over 450,000 members. They will be representing the majority of teachers and a voice for the education profession, including support staff, lecturers and leaders working in state-funded and independent schools and colleges. It is set to be the fourth largest trade union in the UK and the biggest union of teachers and education professionals in Europe. Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary said: “With nearly half a million members, we will speak with a stronger voice on behalf of education professionals and the children, young people and adults they support. “The government will need to listen when we speak on the key issues facing education – funding cuts, excessive workloads, the recruitment and retention crisis, the chaotic exam reform, and accountability.” READ MORE:


According to a government-commissioned report, children from poorer areas are not getting the relevant work experience they need to prepare for the future. The Work Experience and Related Activities in Schools and Colleges report stated that overall, satisfaction with work‑related activities and work placements was high among schools and colleges. However, it also stated that staff working in schools in high deprivation areas were “significantly less likely to feel that their school or college offered students enough placements of the right type”.

Education Briefer



Forty-two per cent of staff in schools in areas of high deprivation revealed that they did not offer enough work experience placements, in comparison to the 58 per cent that stated they did. Out of schools in low deprivation locations, 74 per cent also said they did offer enough placements, while 26 per cent said they did not. The majority of people who took part in the research stated that extra funding was needed. READ MORE:



Dyson technology for education. Engineered to create better learning environments. In schools, colleges and universities, it’s important to create an environment where students can thrive. Poor lighting can cause eyestrain1 and affect task performance, while unhygienic hand dryers or indoor air pollution can affect wellbeing. This is the thinking behind Dyson technology. Efficient lighting that can provide optimal visual conditions for study. Intelligent purifiers that remove pollutants. And fast, hygienic hand dryers that reduce environmental impact and energy costs.

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The latest Dyson technology is available to buy or rent, for more information: Call: 0800 3457788 or visit: As per the Illuminating Engineering Society`s (IES) The Lighting Handbook Tenth Edition. Reference and Application, publisher: Illuminating Engineering; 10 edition (July 30, 2011).




Northern Education Trust failed to secure urgent school improvements

UK schools to introduce translated Chinese maths textbooks

The Northern Education Trust was selected for a focused review because of Ofsted’s concerns about the performance of a number of its 20 schools. The watchdog found that trustees are a “considerable way from fulfilling their published aim for all schools to be good or be better within three years of joining the Trust”. In addition to this, key performance indicators were found to be “unrealistic and unachievable in the planned timescale, given the current outcomes in many of the schools”. Only half of the schools that have joined the trust have improved at their most recent Ofsted inspection and the rest have remained the same or declined.

Of the 18 schools that have been inspected since they joined the NET family, one is outstanding, five are good, eight require improvement and four are inadequate. Ofsted stated that “too few pupils attend a good or better school within this Trust”. The inspectorate also criticised the trust for the “especially poor” achievement of disadvantaged pupils. It found that teacher assessment information was “inaccurate” in many of the schools and that a “lack of

direction” from trust leaders had “stymied progress”. Despite this, the report stated that the Trust was “supported well” by its finance and HR systems, and relationships with academy leaders were positive. Ofsted has recommended “as a matter of urgency” that the Trust should establish an effective strategy to bring about sustainable improvement. READ MORE:


National funding formula will shift funding away from most disadvantaged pupils, report says The impact of the proposed national funding formula will result in large real-time cuts for half of primary and secondary schools by 2019, according to a report published by the Education Policy Institute. The implications of the

national funding formula for schools report found that the government’s proposals are “unlikely to satisfy many local areas which have been relatively lower funded and have campaigned vocally for a new formula”.

The research states that the plans to allocate more funding to disadvantaged and low attaining pupils will mean lower funded authorities are unlikely to see increases they had hoped for. Despite a greater share of funding proposed to be allocated to disadvantaged pupils, the research finds that the overall impact of redistributing the schools budget results in shifting funding away from the most disadvantaged pupils “towards what is considered the ‘just about managing’ group”. Also highlighted in the report, the most deprived primary and secondary schools with over 30 per cent of pupils receiving school meals will receive a small net gain of £5.6 million overall, however the most deprived secondary schools will actually see falls. READ MORE:

Education Briefer


Pupils in the UK could soon be using Chinese maths textbooks following a deal between HarperCollins and Shanghai publishing house. The deal could see UK schools using the translated books in a bid to improve maths ability in British pupils, as China produces some of the world’s top-performing students in this subject Harper Collins’ education division signed an agreement to release a series of 36 maths books at the London Book Fair and the China Daily reported the deal as “historic”. READ MORE:

WELL-BEING Female primary teachers have higher risk of suicide, statistics show Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that women teaching in primary schools are 42 per cent more likely to commit suicide. The data shows a breakdown of suicide figures by occupation and found that there was 2,544 suicides among women in England between 2011 and 2015 and of these, 102 were primary or nursery teachers. Fewer suicides were reported among women in secondary education, which means that the overall risk of suicide for female teachers was 31 per cent lower than the national average for women in England. The report also reveals that there were 139 suicides among teaching and education professionals between 2011 and 2015. Male teachers were less likely to be at risk of suicide.




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Guidance on excluding and expelling pupils to be consulted on

The government has launched a consultation on revised guidance for excluding and expelling pupils. The DfE claims the guidance aims to “clarify” areas that were “causing confusion in the system”, rather than change existing policy. It also includes “corrected descriptions of legal requirements” that it said were not clear enough in the previous guidance, which dates from 2012. The proposed changes are due to come into effect in September 2017. They come two years after the government dropped new guidance weeks after it was issued, due to problems with “process”.


Immigration has raised school standards in London

Education Briefer


At an international education conference, Gove said that migrant parents had “high expectations” for their children and that London school’s have performed better than the rest of England in exams as a result of this. He told the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai that there is a lot of evidence to show that London “having become more diverse has contributed to educational standards rising”. Gove also said that it was “undeniably the case” that there were parts of England which had lower levels of migration and lower educational performance. However, he said there was costs as well as benefits from migration. Gove added: “There have been rising class sizes and difficulty for some people getting their children into the school they wanted as new arrivals from other countries have made that more difficult.”

The proposed changes to the guidance include certain clarifications, such as that schools cannot extend a fixed‑term exclusion. Instead, they must issue a further fixed-period exclusion. Appeals from parents with SEN pupils will also be consulted on, as will the standard of proof to base a decision on. The government has also issued new documents for headteachers and parents about the exclusion system. The consultation runs until 25 April. READ MORE:



School transport change-up leads to increase in complaints There has been a 63 per cent increase in the number of complaints regarding school transport following changes to council transport policies. According to a report from the Local Government Ombudsman, complaints from parents and carers are rising as they struggle to find alternative ways

to get children to and from school. However, local authority leaders have argued that it’s becoming more difficult to provide transport because of “sustained financial challenges”. The report shows that in 2015-16, 261 complaints and enquiries about school transport were made, in comparison

to the 160 in the previous year. It shows that the complaints relate to failing to consult or inform parents of proposed changes and inadequate communication decision‑making. READ MORE:





Ofsted issues a warning over suspicious email

Demanding workload pushes teachers to become private tutors

Ofsted has issued a warning over spam emails which have been sent out from an email account claiming to be the watchdog group. The phishing email is said to ask for payment details to be confirmed via PayPal. Ofsted is therefore asking for people to be vigilant and understand that the group would never ask for fees to be paid by PayPal. In a statement, they said: “If you receive a suspicious email like this one, please delete it immediately and take no further action.”

Almost half of private tutors (47 per cent) have revealed they left teaching because of the hours they had to work. According to research carried out by Bidvine, a website for the hiring of trusted local service professionals, out of more than 2,000 private tutors, 67 per cent said they quit teaching because of its workload. A third (32 per cent) of participants admitted

that they left due to unrealistic targets set for students and 18 per cent said unrealistic pay pushed them to become tutors. Thirteen per cent also cited poor treatment from students as the main reason they left teaching.



Languages should be compulsory in Northern Ireland primary schools, report says

Mental health and well-being should come before exams, teachers say

According to the Review of Current Primary Languages report, commissioned by the Northern Irish Languages Council (NILC), age-appropriate resources to support language teaching in primary schools should be developed. Other recommendations include introducing a funded specialist qualification in primary education with modern languages in initial teacher education, along with funded support from modern languages in continuing professional development programmes. It was also suggested that there should be more effective area-based planning to “ensure better linkage between the languages offered in primary and post-primary schools”. READ MORE:


The focus on exams in schools is being prioritised over the well-being of pupils, according to a survey by the charity YoungMinds. Around 80 per cent of teachers agreed that the focus on exams is becoming “disproportionate to the overall well‑being of students”, the survey suggests. Seventy per cent think that the government should rebalance the education system to focus more on student well-being. It was also found that 91 per cent of teachers would welcome greater recognition of the work they do to support well-being, and almost three-quarters would welcome a change to the Ofsted framework so that student well-being is given a greater focus. A separate survey of 1,003 parents across Britain also showed that 92 per cent of respondents think schools have a duty to support the well-being and mental health of students, while more than half said they want more information about what their child’s school is doing to promote this. Around three-quarters of parents revealed that they would choose a school where children are happy, even if past exam results have not been good. YoungMinds stated that the survey results

Education Briefer



suggest that the current education system is “fundamentally unbalanced”, with an “over-emphasis on exams and too little focus on student mental health”. A Wise Up campaign has since been launched, alongside the National Children’s Bureau, which is calling for teachers, parents and pupils to sign an open letter addressed to Theresa May, urging her to rebalance the system and make well-being a priority for schools. Charity chief executive Sarah Brennan, said: “There is a mental health crisis in our classrooms. “Children and young people today face a huge range of pressures, from exam stress to cyberbullying to finding a job when they finish education, and all the evidence suggests that the situation is getting worse.” Brennan continued: “School are critical in helping prevent mental health problems escalating, in building well‑being and resilience and helping young people learn the skills they need to cope in today’s world.” READ MORE:




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Becoming an academy is a huge change for any school and so it is important that the process is well-thought-out. The Key’s John Davies outlines seven steps to help academisation run as smoothly and effectively as possible Opting to become an academy is one of the most important decisions a school can make, so it’s essential that those considering taking their school on this journey know what to expect and how to get it right. While the government is no longer forcing every school to convert, the general direction of travel hasn’t really changed – the Department for Education (DfE) remains in favour of schools becoming academies, particularly as part of a multi-academy trust (MAT). Despite this, almost half of schools (44 per cent) in England feel there isn’t enough information available to support decisions on

joining or forming a multi-academy trust (MAT), according to new findings in The Key’s latest annual State of Education report – soon to be released. This comes at a time when the government has withdrawn the £384 million it had previously earmarked to fund the conversion process and schools are needing to find £3 billion in savings by 2020 to counteract cost pressures. Against this backdrop, many schools may lack the resources to fully explore academy conversion.  So, if conversion is a step your school is thinking of taking, here are seven considerations, from The Key’s John Davies to help make the process run as smoothly and effectively as possible:

It might be tem to beco pting academ me an you fee y because l it every s s something c eventuahool will lly h to do ave

HAVE A CLEAR VISION Different schools will have varying reasons as to why they convert, but you should have a clear vision as to what you want your school or MAT to look like after you make the change. How do you see the culture of

the school changing? If forming a MAT, what will the trust’s values be? And how will schools in the MAT work together? It might be tempting to become an academy because you feel that this is something every school will eventually have to do, but this line of thinking can prevent valuable consideration of the real pros and cons of conversion for your school. Questions like those suggested above can be intimidating to think about when starting the conversion process, but it’s important to take time to carefully evaluate your direction of travel and feel in control of the change and all its implications for your school. One MAT in south London, held an away day with the CEO, as well as the three headteachers of the schools forming the MAT and focused on considering academy conversion and working through these questions. Asking an education consultant or local MAT leader to help lead the day could also be helpful.

Written by John Davies, senior researcher, The Key

Academy conversion: seven steps to consider



BE CLEAR ON LEVELS OF AUTONOMY If converting to a standalone academy, the potential for greater autonomy in certain areas of school life may be one of your key motivations. Schools that are joining or forming a MAT, however, can often be concerned that they will lose autonomy. Every MAT must have a scheme of delegation that sets out how it distributes decision-making and how much autonomy it gives to individual schools. If you are considering joining one, you should conduct due diligence on any potential MATs before you make your decision. Ask to see the MAT’s scheme of delegation document, so you can be sure what responsibilities you will keep and which will be held at board level. Equally, if you are forming a MAT with other schools, everyone must be clear on how delegation will work. Lack of clarity can create problems later on, as schools can be surprised that they no longer E


CONVERSION  have the power to make certain decisions which are now made by the board. Creating a clear scheme of delegation for your MAT, which sets the responsibilities of the board, senior leaders, heads of school and local governing bodies, is essential. You could look at examples from MATs for inspiration, but it’s important this reflects your own vision. SCHOOL SUPPORT The DfE requires schools proposing to form a MAT to provide evidence of how the stronger schools in the trust will help the weaker schools to improve. This is a fundamental aspect of how MATs work, so you need to have a robust plan. It may be that you want to share staff between schools, so that an outstanding maths teacher, for example, supports schools struggling in that subject. Alternatively, you may want to share arts or sports facilities. Take time thinking this through as it should be a leading part of your vision. One trust encourages subject leaders to consult and share ideas with their counterparts in the MAT’s other schools, thus deepening their own knowledge and skills. RUN AN EFFECTIVE CONSULTATION In carrying out such a big change, you need to make sure that the whole school community is involved. It’s better if people feel they are part of the change, rather than having change done to them. A former director of governance at a large MAT, says you should aim to get staff “on board” with the decision, as they are most likely to be the people parents will ask about the process. Schools are required to carry out a consultation process when considering applying to become an academy. It’s important to explain why the school wants to take this step, give all interested parties enough time to respond, take into consideration their views, and then report back on the school’s response. Typically, schools will send out a ‘consultation pack’, which includes the school’s rationale for converting, an FAQs page and a list of questions for stakeholders to respond to. It’s a good idea to also hold evening meetings where parents can ask questions directly to senior leaders and governors. Staff, parents and pupils will all have views to share, and you should make sure that decision makers are seen to, and do, listen. CHOOSE SKILLED LAWYERS Once your application is accepted and the conversion process begins, a lot of the legwork will be undertaken by your solicitors and your DfE project lead. You need to be able to have faith in your legal support and work with them effectively. Ask three or four firms to pitch to you so your choice isn’t limited and you can be confident of securing good value for money. When considering your options, think about each firm’s past experience in handling conversions, whether you ‘get on’ with them, and whether they are able to support you post-conversion. Some firms have dedicated education teams and specialise in conversion; you may also find it useful to talk to other schools that have been through the process. You should aim to find out how much they estimate the conversion to cost, how their experience will help and how long the process will take.



Changing the legal status of your school is complex, but leaving the most headache‑inducing issues to the last minute can derail the process. Make sure you have clarity over what is happening with the school’s contracts a MAT can risk becoming a distraction from the core focus of delivering a high standard of education. Keeping school improvement at the heart of all decision‑making throughout the conversion process, and in day-to-day school life while the process is happening, will help you ensure that school performance doesn’t drop at any stage. Keep referring back to your school improvement plan and targets for attainment and progress, and don’t let the conversion process dominate all discussions with the senior leadership team and wider school community. Delegating conversion‑related tasks evenly among those involved will also help to ensure that no one loses focus from their core role. L

John Davies is a senior researcher and blog editor specialising in academy conversion at The Key, a company providing an information service for school leaders. FURTHER INFORMATION

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TACKLE TRICKY ISSUES HEAD ON Changing the legal status of your school is complex, but leaving the most headache-inducing issues to the last minute can derail the process. Don’t put off working out what will happen with your PFI contract or resolving confusing land ownership issues. Equally, make sure you have clarity over whether you are continuing with all of the school’s contracts with suppliers after conversion. Points like this can be tricky to navigate after conversion, or delay the conversion process itself, if not tackled head on. Getting this work done early will mean that after conversion you can hit the ground running. FOCUS ON EDUCATION It seems like an obvious point to make, but all of the work involved in becoming an academy or joining/forming

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While grammar schools, teacher workload and funding have dominated education headlines in recent months, the ongoing challenges in teacher recruitment and retention continue to provide difficulties for schools, writes Richard Sagar from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation While grammar schools, teacher workload and the pupil funding have dominated education headlines in recent months, the ongoing challenges in teacher recruitment and retention continue to provide difficulties for schools. With an increasing number of pupils, and the demand for new teachers increasing, there are few signs that the problem will get any better in the short to medium term. With this in mind, the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) figures for 2016 to 2017 make for a sobering read. Geography, biology, PE, primary and history have fared reasonably well, with all meeting or exceeding their teacher supply model (TSM) targets, but many non-EBacc secondary subjects are facing significant shortages. In the case of computing, only 68 per cent of places were filled. How the government can square this with an industrial strategy that places

digital and tech as vital sectors for the UK economy is a matter that deserves serious consideration. If the lack of places filled in computing is concerning, the number in design and technology is cause for alarm: with less than half the number of trainees required for two years in a row, it is uncertain for how much longer the subject is viable. APPLICATIONS ARE DOWN Recent UCAS teacher training applicant and application statistics show that applications appear to be down throughout the country. Not only are the figures bad overall, there is more cause for concern for applicants

There are maj teachin or shortag g staff case of es – in the c only 68 omputing, of placeper cent s we filled re

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX A perfect storm of greater demand for teachers, fewer people entering the profession (particularly in key subjects), severe pressures on schools funding and a restrictive migration system, means E

Written by Richard Sagar, policy advisor, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation

The demand for new teachers

under the age of 22. Respected academic Professor John Howson has described “a haemorrhaging of applications”, with almost 1,000 fewer applications compared to comparable 2016 figures. The demonstrable difficulty in attracting enough people to train as teachers is unlikely to be offset by an increase in migration to fill teaching vacancies. Despite evidence from REC members that shortages remain throughout a wider range of subjects, across much of the UK, and particularly in the south‑east and London, the Migration Advisory Committee partial review into teacher shortages published last month recommended that chemistry should be removed from the shortage occupation list (SOL). This means that the resident labour market test will need to be satisfied before a teacher from outside the EEA in this subject can be offered a Tier-2 visa. There was some positive news, with general science, mandarin, and computing recommended for inclusion to the Shortage Occupation List, but there is continued uncertainty around teachers from within the EEA, following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.





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Ednex, The Education Career Network It’s safe to say that our education system is going through some recruitment and retention struggles right now. This has driven us to find a solution. Ednex is an innovative professional network for teachers and schools, supporting our education system for a better future. A platform to enable efficient connection between teachers and schools, in time, eliminating the need for agencies, reducing the cost to schools and increasing the available funds to pay supply to the correct scale. FIND OUT MORE If you would like more information on Ednex please visit or email

Some facts from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Conference •

For posts with a teaching and learning responsibility payment (TLR) and Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), only 14% of respondents filled their vacancies with ease.

The growing struggle to recruit means that nearly half of schools now use recruitment agencies to recruit their permanent roles, and 69% of those said that they do so as they have failed to recruit previously. This is adding to schools’ recruitment costs which average £3,000 per vacancy but can run up to £10,000.

Overall a very high proportion (79%) of those who had advertised vacancies said recruitment was problematical; 59% recruited with a struggle and 20% were not able to recruit at all.

The main reasons given why schools struggle to recruit are the overall shortage of staff (in 52% of cases) and the suitability of staff applying for vacancies (47%).

HUMAN RESOURCES  that schools are having to think outside of the normal channels of recruitment to more flexible staffing models to cope with these challenges. Recruitment agencies can develop effective resourcing and recruitment strategies to help relieve this burden. Supply teaching is also proving an attractive option for teachers who feel overwhelmed with the workload associated with being a full-time teacher. Supply teaching offers teachers a better work life balance, and a greater degree of flexibility to determine their own workload, this can be essential for people who have caring responsibilities. Alongside this increased flexibility, it provides an opportunity for teachers to gain a wider range of experiences working in a variety of different schools. Importantly, it also provides the opportunity for retired teachers to re-enter the workforce on a flexible basis, avoiding onerous planning and marking. During a time of teacher shortages, additional staffing resources can prove crucial for schools struggling to find teachers. Supply agencies are helping to bridge this gap. It is worth noting that people choosing to work in a more flexible way is not restricted to teaching – the REC has observed that this phenomena is occurring throughout much of the labour market, with working on a temporary basis being increasingly common in people’s career paths. RETENTION Alongside recruiting new teachers, a greater focus is being given to the retention of teachers within the profession. The primary factor raised by teachers as to why they leave the profession is their workload (it seems that the impact of the workload challenge has been marginal at best). But as a recent education select committee report on recruitment and retention of teachers recognises, the government shouldn’t underestimate the impact of high-quality continued professional development. This is why more than 75 per cent of REC members offer CPD opportunities to their supply teachers, with over half of our members doing so for free. For schools struggling to fill vacancies, there may be a superficial allure to what the NUT has described as a ‘Tinder-like apps’ for teachers, which use online technology to link schools to supply teachers. As schools and unions are increasingly recognising, there are serious concerns as to how stringent the checks they are undertaking are. Particularly concerning is that in some instances they are failing to verify candidates face to face. By using a supply agency, schools can be sure that face to face verification happens, and there are a raft of other checks which an REC member must undertake. These include: obtaining an enhanced DBS check, a separate barred list check, ensuring a candidate is not on a prohibited list, verifying the person’s right to work in the UK, a check as to whether they are disqualified

under the childcare provisions, and verifying their professional qualifications. This is in addition to all other the agency regulations which REC members must abide by. PUTTING PUPILS FIRST Unlike apps, compliant supply agencies provide critical support to schools supplying staff who are fully qualified and properly vetted at very short notice. All REC members must comply with a Code of Professional Practice and pass a compliance test bi‑annually. Through our essential guide to safeguarding and good recruitment practice in the sector, ‘Putting Pupils First’, the REC is not only ensuring that schools are aware of safeguarding and agency regulations, but also trying to make sure they are aware of what they should expect from a good recruitment provider. One concern raised about supply agencies, is the claim that agency spend has a big impact on squeezing school budgets. However, upon close scrutiny, this claim proves to be untenable. When one considers that supply



teaching staff make up less than three per cent of school staffing costs, compared to the almost seven per cent spent on administrative and clerical staff, it’s clear that agency spend is a minor factor in the budgetary difficulties some schools find themselves in. To ensure the highest standards for recruitment in the sector, the REC operates REC‑Audited education which is the gold standard for agencies wishing to demonstrate that they are not only compliant with the law, but also that they operate best practice in customer service, staff development, diversity and client management. It can also give schools the confidence that they are using an accredited supplier who is accountable to the leading professional body for the recruitment sector. For more information on safeguarding and good recruitment practice in the education sector. Please read the REC’s ‘Putting Pupils First’. L FURTHER INFORMATION

A perfect storm of greater demand for teachers, fewer people entering the profession, severe pressures on schools funding and a restrictive migration system, means that schools are having to think outside of the normal channels of recruitment to more flexible staffing models to cope with these challenges



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Embodied carbon is the total greenhouse gas emissions generated to produce a building and is a vital consideration when commissioning a sustainable new school, writes Natalia Ford from the UK Green Building Council If you’re involved in the procurement and running of buildings, the chances are you know something about operational carbon emissions – the level of emissions produced from activities including heating, cooling and lighting buildings. But embodied carbon is less well understood. However, as improvements are being made on operational emissions – through the introduction of energy efficiency measures in existing buildings and smarter design practices in new ones, coupled with de‑carbonisation of the grid – the relative significance of embodied carbon emissions on overall emissions related to buildings is increasing. At the UK Green Building Council (UK‑GBC), our mission is to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment, by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and

operated. In our newest publication, we’re looking to provide guidance to those that procure buildings on how to commission an embodied carbon assessment. WHAT IS EMBODIED CARBON? Embodied carbon is the total greenhouse gas emissions (often simplified to ‘carbon’) generated to produce a building. This includes emissions caused by extraction, manufacture/processing, transportation and assembly of every product and element in that building. In some cases, (depending on the boundary of an assessment), it may also include the maintenance, replacement, deconstruction, disposal and end-of-life aspects of the materials and systems that make up the building. It excludes operational emissions of the building.

In the ilt bu UK, the nt sector me environ s to find a need er cent p 9 3 r furthe on in carbon reducti issions em

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? The imperative for tackling climate change is clear. We must reduce our emissions globally to minimise the impacts of climate change and protect the environment for future generations. Governments across the globe are waking up to this, and last year saw the Paris Agreement come into force. This historic international agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels is a great commitment, but now we need to make it happen. In the UK, the built environment sector needs to find a further 39 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from the 1990 baseline in order to meet the government’s target to reduce carbon emissions in the sector by 50 per cent by 2025. Longer term, deeper reductions will be needed to reach the UK’s Climate Change Act target of 80 per cent reduction by 2050 from a 1990 baseline.

Written by Natalia Ford, sustainability officer, UK Green Building Council

Embodied carbon in building projects

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SCHOOLS AND EMBODIED CARBON With the public purse strings pulled tight, those involved in commissioning E © Walsh, Hawley School


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With finances tight, those involved in commissioning buildings for education will be keen to demonstrate value beyond the bigger picture benefit of tackling climate change  buildings for education will be keen to demonstrate value beyond the bigger picture benefit of tackling climate change. Many schools are already targeting environmental building standards such as BREEAM for their projects, and measures to reduce embodied carbon can count towards these certifications. At the moment, consideration of embodied carbon hasn’t entered the mainstream for public procurement, this means that placing a requirement on the supply chain to reduce embodied carbon levels will encourage consultants and suppliers to step up to innovate and deliver a project that breaks new ground. Using fewer materials is often an effective way of reducing embodied carbon, this means that the design team must design efficiently. This principle of requiring efficiency in design may also translate into cost savings for the client. Recognising the importance of embodied carbon also sets a school apart as a leader in sustainability issues. As public awareness around issues affecting climate change increases, a commitment to measuring embodied carbon demonstrates to parents and pupils that the school is committed to sustainability. WANT TO KNOW MORE? UK-GBC’s latest guidance is designed for those who need to write effective briefs for commissioning their first embodied carbon measurements. The guidance is appropriate for any capital investment intervention in the built environment including new build, refurbishment and renewal. The guidance provides further information on embodied carbon and an overview of the reasons for choosing to assess embodied carbon. It gives practical advice on commissioning an assessment and provides example wording to work from. Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK Green Building Council comments:

“UK‑GBC’s vision is of a built environment that is fully decarbonised. This has to include both embodied and operational carbon. As operational carbon reduces, the relative significance of embodied carbon increases. So we will continue to advocate for embodied carbon to become a mainstream issue in building design, construction and maintenance. “Indeed, we will be encouraging our client members and other clients in the industry to create their own embodied carbon briefs by making effective use of this guidance. “Also, through our work with cities and other local and national authorities, we will be encouraging the assessment of embodied carbon within the public sector planning and procurement process.” You can access the UK Green Building Council guidance on the website below. L FURTHER INFORMATION

School funding in Spring Budget 2017 As announced in the 2017 budget, the government plans to extend the free schools programme by investing £320 million to help fund up to 140 schools. The schools will be located where they are most needed, and 30 of them are expected to open by September 2020. In addition to this, £216 million will be invested in school maintenance to improve the condition of the school estate. However, an earlier report from the National Audit Office has calculated that £6.7bn is needed to bring existing school buildings in England and Wales to a satisfactory standard. The Department for Education meanwhile has also said that councils will get at least £500,000 in funding for specialised classrooms, lifts and other modifications in schools over the next three years as part of a drive to improve access to good school places for young people with SEND.



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Becoming more energy efficient in schools With reports that schools are having to find innovative ways to raise money and deal with funding cuts, energy charity Carbon Trust has found ways schools can cut back and save money on energy, as well as reduce carbon emissions The proposed national funding formula aims to ensure that funding is consistent in schools throughout the country. However, there are concerns that if this were to be implemented, some schools would face significant changes to their finances, which could leave some institutions worse off. This, added to the apparent education funding crisis, teacher retention and recruitment issues, means many schools are potentially feeling the pressure to save money where they can. In light of this, there are a number of ways in which schools can tweak their energy usage in order to cut down costs, while at the same time become more environmental friendly. A report by the Carbon Trust explains that UK schools could reduce energy costs by about £44 million per year. It is estimated that schools could prevent around 625,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere if this cut-back were to take place. This would not only help tackle the growing financial constraints of schools but also encourage them to become more eco-friendly. LIGHTING According to the Carbon Trust, lighting accounts for around 10 per cent of the total energy used in schools, but there are ways savings can be made. General advice to help schools to keep on top of their energy bills would be to encourage staff to switch lights off where possible. For example, instead of having the blinds down and the lights on, use the blinds to direct daylight onto the ceilings and walls. This should minimise the need for electric lighting whilst reducing glare. Suitable lighting controls should also

be considered in order to ensure that lights are switched off as and when they need to be. Time switches with a manual override for teaching areas and occupancy sensors in intermittently occupied spaces would be beneficial. Priorlee Primary School in Telford previously had under-lit classrooms as a result of recessed light fittings. But, the local authority later invested in more efficient ceiling-mounted lighting and new occupancy daylight controls. As a result of this, lighting costs were reduced by 30 per cent, and light levels were increased.

on annual heating costs, so it is important to ensure that boilers and pipework are maintained. Gas-fired boilers should be serviced once a year and oil-based ones should be serviced twice a year. Generally, hot water tanks, pipes and boilers should be properly insulated in order to prevent heat escaping and payback for this measure can usually be expected within a few months, yet again making savings. Heating system controls can also pose a problem if they are old and not updated. Upgrades can sometimes pay for themselves through energy and cost savings. A compensator is a form of control for heating systems that automatically regulates the heating temperature based on the weather. There is also an optimum start controller, which learns how quickly the building can reach its preferred temperature and turns the heating on at optimum time prior to building occupancy, again depending on the weather. An example of this is Richard Whittington School in Bishop’s Stortford. The school had not updated its system since 1977 and so controls were old and incorrectly set. Thermostats and timers were also broken or faulty making the system inefficient. A £6,000 investment in boiler controls helped to improve the school’s heating costs by reducing them by 21 per cent in operational savings. The initial cost to install the system was ultimately paid off within four years. This method not only helped the school E

UK sch could reools energy duce about £ costs by 44 per yea million prevent r and 625,000 around ton of CO nes 2

HEATING Usually, heating is the largest and most expensive energy user in schools, and savings in this area can have a positive impact on energy bills even through introducing simple low-cost measures. Heating requirements change throughout the day so it is important that the heating system’s operating hours match the times in which it is required. Teachers are advised to review time settings every month in order to make sure that they are correct. Systems can function inefficiently if a short-term adjustment is made and not put back to the original settings, so in addition to checking the levels, fitting a tamper-proof thermostatic radiator valve can stop this from happening. A serviced boiler can save up to 10 per cent



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EFFICIENCY  to save energy, but the money that was spent was regenerated back into the school’s funds. HOT WATER Wasting hot water actually penalises a school twice over. Once for the energy used to heat the water, but again for the actual water used. However, there are ways to ensure that pupils are not wasting water when they do not have to, without compromising their hygiene. Percussion taps can be fitted which means that the water will turn off automatically, eliminating the need for pupils to make sure that taps are turned off. Schools should also consider dealing with dripping taps and leaks to prevent water wastage. Insulating hot water storage tanks and their distribution pipework can help minimise heat up time for water, which reduces the amount of energy used and money required. Other tips include fitting and checking time switches to ensure that water is heated only when needed; rationalising the system to reduce long distribution pipe runs, and providing cleaning staff with point-of-use water heaters for use during the holidays. BUILDING FABRIC Around two-thirds of heat is lost through the building fabric in a typical school building, so making improvements to walls, floors and

ceilings is important if savings are to be made. The best way to keep on top of needed repairs is to compile a checklist to address where energy is lost in the building structure and appoint a member of staff to check the school regularly. This would include checking window panes and frames, skylights, roofs and skirting. Any gaps found should be repaired straight away and draught stripping can be installed to windows and doors. Any doors which are unused could potentially be sealed shut to ensure that a draught is not entering the school and heat is not lost. In addition to this, draught lobbies can be installed at frequently used entrances in order to reduce heating costs and draughts. They should be large enough to provide unrestricted access and enable one set of doors to be closed before the other is opened. An example of this is Welsh primary school, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraes, which suffered from cold draughts through external doors at each end of the main corridor. The doors were regularly opened to allow pupils to come through to other classrooms and as a result of this draught, lobbies were put in place. The initial cost of the investment is expected to be paid back within four years. CATERING EQUIPMENT School kitchens can consume a lot of energy as the equipment needs to be powered



and water needs to be heated. However, there is still potential to make savings in this department without spoiling the quality of food for pupils. Large amounts of power is needed to operate ovens and hobs because a large secondary school typically uses this equipment for more than 10 hours a week. In order to save energy and money ensure that ovens, grills, fryers and hobs are switched off immediately after use. In addition to this, make sure that they are not turned on too soon before they are needed. Most catering equipment can reach its maximum temperature quickly, so label equipment with its preheat time to best understand when to switch equipment on. IMPROVING SCHOOL OPERATION To sum up, schools should ensure that there is an understanding of its energy use, identify where savings can be made, and seek specialist help where required. In addition to this, schools need to discuss energy efficiency, make the needed changes and measure the savings, and continue to manage the school’s energy use by enforcing necessary procedures. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Falling foul of fire safety legislation can mean thousands of pounds in fines that could have been avoided if the correct steps were taken, writes the Fire Industry Association Knowing and understanding what fire safety legislation means for schools can get complicated. However, it is vital to understand and comply with fire safety legislation as it is in place not only for the safety of everyone within the building, but also for the security of the school. Falling foul of fire safety legislation can mean thousands of pounds in fines that could have been avoided if the correct steps were taken. At worst, failure to comply with legislation may lead to an actual fire that could devastate not only the building, but the lives of those inside. Fire safety legislation applies to all non‑domestic properties such as businesses, shops, schools, hospitals, church buildings,

festival halls, and leisure centres, for example. But it can also apply to housing associations, landlords, student halls of residence, and care homes. This is not an exhaustive list but it gives an idea of the scale of the need for everyone to understand, apply, and comply with fire safety regulations. FIRE SAFETY ORDER In England and Wales, the relevant legislation is called The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, different legislation applies: Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the associated Fire Safety (Scotland)

Regulations 2006 for Scotland, and The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 respectively for Northern Ireland. Each sets out what employers, business owners, and landlords must do to comply with the legislation. They are referred to in the legislation as either the ‘Responsible Person’ (England and Wales), the ‘Duty Holder’ (Scotland), or the ‘Appropriate Person’, (Northern Ireland). To simplify things, we will only refer to the Responsible Person in this article. In order to ensure compliance with the legislation, it is vital to have a good understanding of what the duties of the responsible E

Written by the Fire Industry Association

Understanding what is expected of you

Fire Safety


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 person or duty holder are. In all cases, the conducting of a thorough fire risk assessment is a mandatory requirement. An unsatisfactory or uncompleted fire risk assessment could potentially mean a breach of the legislation and a fine, so it is important to carry out a robust and thorough assessment. Knowing how to conduct a fire risk assessment is a technical skill, and whilst anyone can carry out an assessment, fire safety legislation states that the person completing the assessment must be ‘competent’. However, many find the process daunting and do not often know where to begin or what needs to be included in the assessment (and therefore, perhaps, may not be deemed ‘competent’ enough to complete the task). Thankfully there is plenty of advice and help available to get businesses and other non-domestic properties started. GETTING SUPPORT The Fire Industry Association (FIA) is a not-for-profit organisation with a wealth of information and technical advice for anyone wishing to gain information about fire safety requirements as well as how to begin with a fire risk assessment. Born from a merger of two age-old trade associations in 2007, the FIA has a history of giving fire safety advice and guidance stretching back 100 years. Indeed, this year is the 100-year anniversary of the FIA’s humble beginnings. Since 2007, the FIA has more than doubled the number of members in the last four years alone to around 700 companies. The Association is now the prime technical resource for the fire industry, providing a safe platform for industry stakeholders to come together to resolve industry issues and produce best practice guidance documents for those in the fire safety industry as well as giving guidance to business owners on their fire safety responsibilities. Expert knowledge from fire safety product

Fire Safety


The FIA aims to raise fire safety standards across the whole of the United Kingdom as well as give assistance to the public, business owners, and responsible persons/duty holders of their fire safety responsibilities managers and manufacturers is utilised to ensure that guidance given is as accurate and as detailed as possible whilst maintaining simplicity and accessibility to all. RAISING STANDARDS The FIA aims to raise fire safety standards across the whole of the United Kingdom as well as give assistance to the public, business owners, and responsible persons/duty holders of their fire safety responsibilities. The Association writes and publishes guidance documents and handbooks as well as produces videos on their YouTube channel in order to give the best possible guidance both to industry professionals as well as the general public in a way that can be easily read and understood. Education of the public as well as business owners about fire safety is a huge priority and making it accessible to all is a key factor in the role of the FIA. Guides written by experts in the field are designed to simplify the legislation and make the steps towards compliance with the regulations as simple and easy as possible to understand and follow. The FIA even advises and collaborates with government ministers to give them the best possible information if any legislative changes are proposed. As such the Association is able to best advise employers, business owners, schools, hospitals, and landlords of any legislative changes that are due to come into force, and what steps may need to be taken in order to ensure that all fire protection equipment such as

fire alarms as well as fire risk assessments are compliant with the regulations. RESEARCH AND RESOURCES As a not-for-profit organisation, all funding goes straight back into leading research projects, providing CPD days, and giving vital seminars and training to keep people up‑to‑date with the latest changes to the industry and legislation. The results of the research are published on the website along with a wealth of news and information surrounding fire safety requirements, including a selection of useful ‘mythbusters’ to help reduce the amount of confusion surrounding common misconceptions about fire safety requirements of responsible persons or duty holders. All of the downloadable resources that the Association produces, such as guidance documents and handbooks are available free of charge on the website, including a dedicated section just to explain the obligations of duty holders and responsible persons according to the legislation. A video introduction to fire risk assessments is also available, and is a good starting point for the average novice on the requirements of fire safety legislation. It is worth familiarising yourself with the material as it is a hugely valuable resource that aims to make compliance with the legislation as simple as possible. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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If a teacher lacks ability or confidence in delivering computing, the subject can come across dry. But using code to control another object, such as a robot, the subject can be brought to Obit,Phil elitSpencer, eum doloriatur sam reprae QuiInstitute officiis cum life. senior lecturer fromvoluptatur? the Sheffield of escipicipsam hit exerferi quibus, exceaqui omnis sinctatem. La Education, explains how to put this into practice non non nossi ute dis rest dolupta acescipsant everum que nis The advent of the new national curriculum for computing caused considerable concern amongst school teachers used to delivering ICT rather than computing. The skills and subject knowledge were obviously going to be an issue and although bodies like Computing in Schools and the BCS were and remain keen to promote computing in schools, the reality of learning a new subject, with its different pedagogical delivery style has made this transition a difficult one for most schools to embrace. Restrictive training budgets and the pressure of time has made it difficult for existing teachers to retrain to take on board the new skills to deliver complex courses. The only option for some teachers is to give their own time in the evenings and weekends to seek help and training. Recruitment and training of new computer training is woefully behind demand, impacting on the ability of schools to deliver the new curriculum. Subsequently, training and support has

been frequently on a good will basis. Universities are keen to support schools in the development of computing, especially where it will enable strong bonds to be formed enabling students to see a progression route into studying computing in one of its various guises within its institutions. Schools that have taken advantage of this have seen a positive impact within their classes, those who have not engaged may have found this transition more difficult, or may have avoided it totally. LACK OF SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE Computer programming continues to be seen as a difficult skill for both students and teachers to master. The lack of subject knowledge of many teachers when it comes to programming can often lead to a lack of confidence when

teaching students. Many teachers withdraw into the safety of pre-made worksheets or directing students to the internet for support thus hiding from their own limitations whilst claiming to promote independence without giving the skills to the students to be independent. However, as we all know, this is not teaching, its a cover for the poor subject knowledge of the teacher, handing the responsibility for teaching over to the students themselves, which means that very few students can make effective progress. This is not to say that we don’t want the independence of our students, we do; its a hugely important skill for computer programmers to develop. Our role as educators must be to get the key skills over to the students, to give them the confidence to both fail and achieve in equal measure which will give them the confidence to then move towards the discovery learning cycle. This is where the use of robotics in the classroom to aid programming has proved to be very beneficial.

A DYNAMIC APPROACH TO CODING Restrict The delivery of computing can be ive training dry for a number of reasons. The budget fact that the language may be difficult to access may E pressur s and the e o f tim made i t difficu e has existing lt for retrain teachers to and board ntake on ew skills

Written by Phil Spencer, senior lecturer, the Sheffield Institute of Education

Stimulating Dummy headline to fit this space intellectual curiosity tight as possible

IT & Computing




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Copying of code does not result in the ability to code, just the ability to copy. The issue is therefore how to raise the confidence and ability of the teacher combined with the stimulation of a student’s intellectual curiosity  be a stumbling block. The confidence of the teacher in the delivery of a new topic may result in lessons being more copy the code down rather than getting the students to actually understand what they are doing it and letting them apply it to a scenario. The result can therefore be that a programme may work, but neither the teacher nor the student knows why. Copying of code does not result in the ability to code, just the ability to copy. The issue is therefore how to raise the confidence and ability of the teacher combined with the stimulation of a student’s intellectual curiosity. An effective way to achieve this is via a more dynamic approach to programming, using the code to control another object, in this case a robot. For the sake of the outreach sessions done with university partner schools, the sessions have been conducted using Pololu 3Pi robots programmed using C. The assumption is that, when we arrive at the school, the students who are participants in the session will have been selected by the teachers and will have had some basic experience of programming, be it using Scratch, Small Basic, or in some instances, Python. In terms of delivery, it tends to be mainly hands on, but built up from the bottom in terms of the programming skills. In order for students to complete the final task, the students will have to understand how to control the motors, to get the robot to accelerate and decelerate and to turn. But to get there, the students have to master sequence, selection and repetition as well as engage in a considerable amount of discovery learning. The most important aspect of the sessions is that the students can see the direct impact of their programming on the robot, a huge motivational factor. The students

also work in paired teams which again has a successful motivational aspect. SOFTWARE SKILLS The software skills are demonstrated to the students in a traditional learning cycle of demonstration, with the gap between the demonstrations getting wider as the students confidence grows and the tasks increase in complexity. Once the students have all the skills they need to complete the tasks, they are then given their first scenario, a drag race where the robot has to travel a few meters, turn and return over the finish line, and the first one over the line stays on. This sounds fairly straight forward, but the students soon realise that there are a range of other factors which impact on their robots, such as the fact that the motors, being man made, tend to not operate at exactly the same speed causing robots to go of course. Speed and acceleration are also impacted on by the floor that are operating on. As they have no direct control over distance in terms of a direct instruction to the robot, the students have to work out distance via the combination of speed and time. Discovery learning and the competitive element are therefore at the heart of this activity. The second activity is a repeat of the first, with the added complication of students having to programme a robot to carry a marble on top of the robots batteries. This added factor means that the students have to work out how to accelerate and decelerate without losing the marble. RISING UPTAKE But what of the long term impact of these and similar activities on the take-up of computing at GCSE and A level in schools? Overall, the impact of participation by schools in university lead robotics sessions has been positive. This is further boosted if schools also participate in activities such as the Lego

Challenge and Games Britannia. Data from one Derbyshire School (Lady Manners in Derbyshire) illustrated this impact, especially with the long standing issue of girls taking up computing. Over the past three years intake to GCSE there has been a considerable increase in uptake and girls now make up 30 per cent of the cohort in GCSE and 40 per cent at A level. Paul Sloane, the head of department at Lady Manners made some interesting observations about the impact of the sessions He believes that the robotics sessions had a greater impact on the girls than the boys. The boys consider themselves to be good at the subject and will take computer science regardless of any available evidence. The girls need more encouragement to see that they have an ability with computer science. The robotics sessions, particularly the single sex ones, helped the girl’s confidence. Being selected to go to the robotics sessions, especially if held at the university, convinced a number of them that they must be good at the subject. This is further compounded by their positive experience in the university, especially as they were also with their friends.

IT & Computing


WINNING THE COMPETITION An interesting aside to the gender issue in the robotics session is that no matter which age group and what gender split there is within the group, the girls, once their confidence is established, nearly always win the competitions and usually come up with effective solutions first giving them time to refine and fine tune. Another interesting observation revolves around student success in this activity. Many schools chose to send high achieving students to these events believing that they will benefit from it and be able to engage easily with the tasks. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that this may not always be the case. These students are used to getting things right first time and frequently with little effort. However, in a new environment, with a new subject, it’s the students who have the resilience who frequently shine – those students who are used to working through problems to a successful conclusion having first got things wrong, those who are willing to use discovery learning when they have secured the facts. If the student is used to getting things right all the time, getting it wrong can prove a significant turn off. Maybe we need to rethink how we teach computing and how we identify students who may be better than we first thought. L

Phil Spencer is a senior lecturer and course leader for the PGCE Computing Course at Sheffield Hallam University. He is actively involved in the promotion of computing as a subject in schools as well as providing support for existing teachers new to the topic. FURTHER INFORMATION




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A living digital wall “I just pressed save and now I can’t find my work,”echoes frequently around classroom walls – even in the best equipped and well run technology enabled classrooms across the UK. Over recent years, schools and education technology companies have collaborated to enable some really innovative classroom hardware and software solutions; but one major hurdle still to be overcome is storing, retrieving and assessing pupil digital creations. Quite rightly, the Welsh Government has highlighted the need for pupils to manage their digital creations as part of their new Digital Competencies Framework. It states, that by year 3 pupils should be able to “save files to a specific location using an appropriate file name, e.g. select a file name that would be searchable at a later date and understand the importance of saving work periodically to avoid losing work.” In practice, all too often, digital work is well planned by teachers, carried out by pupils, only to disappear to the specific app’s storage – be left languishing on an old server network drive or (in more enlightened schools) sit on an online platform. It is rarely assessed. Pheasey Park Farm Primary School in Walsall wanted to find a new way of saving, retrieving, valuing and assessing pupil’s digital work. Their journey has been a fascinating one utilising the latest digital wall technology. VALUING PUPIL’S DIGITAL CREATIONS Do you ever worry that your pupil’s digital work is not valued by school management and formal inspection services as highly as pupil work created using traditional pen and paper methods? Think about it – the teaching profession has had over 100 years to develop highly efficient and sophisticated ways of marking and assessing and moderating work written in exercise books or folders. Is our assessment and feedback of pupil digital work so highly developed? We seem to produce digital work; but it is difficult to find robust examples of the effective assessment of it. This is creating an artificial “glass ceiling” over the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning in the UK. The Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit rates the effect of digital technologies as +4 months impact, whereas effective feedback has an effect of +8. Imagine if the effect of both could be combined? Pheasey Park Farm Primary wanted to create a digital equivalent of “Book Trawls” for standards, subject

coordinator moderation and most importantly a “live” shared interactive digital display of pupil work for feedback and assessment. A LIVING DIGITAL WORK DISPLAY Headteacher Sally Lanni and digital learning coordinator Gareth Hancox had clear ideas about what they wanted to achieve in their school. Pupils and teachers were regularly using technology and digital work was regularly showcased in assembly; but the bulk of the digital work carried out by pupils in classes was not seen nor fully valued. They wanted it to be valued by other pupils and teachers and to be assessed and moderated. The school was keen to build on recent whole school initiatives on positive marking, pupil peer assessment and recognition (by Ofsted) in their recent school inspection that “technology is used effectively to develop collaboration between pupils.” They sought to create a “live” display wall of pupil digital work which could be contributed to from any classroom or any device from within their large three form entry primary school. The digital display wall needed to be in a public school corridor area to be seen by the maximum possible number of teachers and pupils. Finding the technology to deliver this was quite a challenge. Fortunately for the school – the inventors of the SMART board (Nancy Knowlton and David Martin) had just bought to market the Nureva Span system. It offers a 40 feet expansive digital canvas onto which pupils and teachers can contribute digital work, images, digital sticky notes and much more, in real time. It can be accessed from existing classroom displays and enables contributions from a whole range of pupil devices. Although it is a software service – Span works best with its own bespoke linked projection and digital wall hardware. It is this total solution that Sally and Gareth chose to

A “live” ll wa display digital l of pupi can be work to from d e t u b i contr classroom any device or any

The technology The Nureva Span system offers a 40-foot expansive digital canvas onto which pupils and teachers can contribute digital work, images, digital sticky notes and much more, in real time. It can be accessed from existing classroom displays and enables contributions from a whole range of pupil devices. Although it is a software service, Span works best with its own bespoke linked projection and digital wall hardware. One of the great benefits of the Span solution is the number of scenarios that can be created, from single solutions through to quadruple Span implementations. Nureva Span helps transform learning environments, creating ‘living digital displays’ and facilitating student led collaboration and project‑based learning.

Written by David Whyley

All too often, digital work is carried out by pupils only to be left to sit on a server with no teacher assessment. Pheasey Park Farm Primary School however has given its pupils’ online work a chance to shine by projecting it on a 40‑foot digital wall in a public school corridor

IT & Computing


install. A detailed school site survey showed that there was a suitable shared area at the junction of three corridors, right next to the main playground exit. A 20‑foot Nureva Span system with twin linked projectors was fitted into an L-shape where two walls joined. This meant that 20 feet of the 40‑foot digital canvas could be seen at one time with the other parts of the canvas accessible by a simple scrolling technique. The installation of this technology has created the living digital display that the school wanted and has transformed a forgotten corner of the school into a central hub for showcasing school digital work. THE DIGITAL DISPLAY IN PRACTICE The first trial of the system involved connecting every class in the school from Reception to E



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IT & Computing

AUDIOVISUAL  Year 6. Gareth created a template canvas around three e-safety issues which he wanted all classes to contribute to. Following on from a morning assembly to launch the idea, each class took time during the morning to respond by submitting their ideas, work and digital e-safety posters to the shared canvas. A group of pupils from year 5 worked in the corridor space at the system, curating the canvas, moving and organising the work once it had been submitted. A digital flip chart tool was inserted onto the canvas to enable the next stage of the process. By playtime the canvas of whole school contributions was complete and could be seen by pupils as they walked out to play. Many pupils stopped to look at the digital work and also leave their contributions via the digital flip chart. The corridor was buzzing and the living digital display wall was born. At the end of the day, the whole canvas was reviewed by Sally and Gareth. They were able to see and evaluate the range of e-Safety work across their whole school. The first part of their vision had been achieved. COLLABORATIVE WORKING The next step was to develop other scenarios for use, in order to transform the assessment of digital work. Year 4 created a year group digital canvas to share their project based learning on environments. All three classes

contributed their work which had been created on iPads, laptops and Interactive whiteboards to a shared canvas which the year leader could then review and assess for consistency across classes. Year 6 created a shared canvas to enable all three classes to collaborate towards their understanding of English work relating to Macbeth. Year 5 showcased their word-processed poems which would otherwise have been consigned to a dusty folder on the learning platform. In each case the Headteacher Sally Lanni was able to log on to the same canvas and watch work across her whole school being created live in front of her very eyes – and what is more – she was able to interact with the process too. Also, at play times and dinner times, this work is made very visible by the 20‑foot display system. As part of assessing the work, pupils are encouraged to add evaluations and work improvement suggestions to the canvas. To see year three boys giving up their playtimes to read and comment Year 5 poetry has been an unexpected positive outcome. WHOLE SCHOOL MODERATION Two teachers responsible for maths coordination in the school, who were walking past the display, approached Gareth Hancox

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to suggest another use for the innovative technology. They asked if they could use system to collect and moderate fractions work from across the school. Just days before, they had presented an updated fractions policy to school governors and wondered if they could use the system to moderate work instead of using the traditional book trawl. Having set up a structured Span canvas, the two teachers were able to stand in front of the digital learning wall and watch, as during the Tuesday morning maths lesson, selected digital and traditional work was uploaded to the canvas from all classes. The two teachers made their moderated assessments and then used the canvas to feed back to staff and governors. Pheasey Park Farm Primary has not completely solved the problem of assessing digital work, but using the digital wall, they have made the digital work in their school much more visible and have elevated its status to equal traditional pencil and paper work. That is not a bad start. They now plan to share their canvases with pupils and teachers in the US and Canada. L FURTHER INFORMATION

About the author David Whyley is internationally recognised as one of the pioneers of mobile learning. He specialises in the fields of technology change management, developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning and embedding integrated technology hardware & cloud based solutions. He is CEO of his own successful technology consultancy company and currently works with a number of UK and global clients, including schools, educational establishments and multi-national tech companies. Having over 37 years of experience as a teacher and educationalist in the City of Wolverhampton means his work is firmly rooted in hands on pedagogy. He is a former Primary Headteacher and leader of the BETT award winning Wolverhampton City Learning Technologies Team. Regarded as one of most significant innovators in his field, his individual contribution has been recognised with an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Wolverhampton University. He has also received the Mobile Learning Impact Award (USA), two BETT awards and the inaugural lifetime achievement award from the e-Learning Foundation. He has been a NAACE board member and is a judge for the innovation section of the e-Assessment awards. He is also a member of the Global Education Futures Forum. FURTHER INFORMATION





What Bett 2017 delivered

Bett 2017 hosted some of the most effective and innovative new technologies in education, as well as talks by motivational speakers and education practitioners With a history spanning over three decades, Bett is known for bringing together everyone with a passion for improving the future through education, and showcasing the very best the global education marketplace has to offer. Bett 2017 took place 25-28 January and once again offered invaluable insight to everyone in the education sector – from teachers and school leaders to policy makers, suppliers and industry experts. Expert speakers covered a range of topics, such as governance, educational technology, and special educational needs (SEN), to name a few. IMPROVING THE EDUCATION SECTOR More than ever teachers are looking for ways to efficiently and effectively improve what they do, so it was no surprise that the free CPD seminars were very well attended. The Bett practitioner-led Learn Live CPD seminars and workshops addressed key issues in contemporary education and provided useful insight into the latest research, practices and policies affecting education worldwide. Sessions ranged from the practical ‘hands on’ ideas to enhance your teaching sessions, to major electrifying speakers such as Sir Ken Robinson, Heston Blumenthal and Ed Stafford. Unsurprisingly, Ed Stafford’s session saw people squeezing in around the edge of the arena to catch sight of the renowned adventurer, explorer and broadcaster. Ed shared his views on why the spirit of exploration is so important in today’s world, and underlined the importance of technology in encouraging children’s natural desire to learn. He also gave all attending visitors ideas on how to ignite this inquisitiveness in their students.

ideas of how to implement these to bring back a sense of awe to learning. Throughout the session he stressed the importance of instilling this wonderment in the classroom. Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal may not be an obvious speaker at Bett, but his session probably attracted three times more people than there were seats. He spoke passionately about creativity in education and the opportunity it brings to explore and discover. He encouraged teachers to welcome questions and failure in the classroom, believing this is the basis for constructive learning. Looking at the ‘teacher‑led’ sessions, Maarit Rossi and Kazaya Takahashi hosted a panel discussion made up of Global Teacher Prize winners

17 Bett 20 e on ac took pl uary and an 25-28 J invaluable offered everyone in to insight ucation sector the ed covered a and topics f o e g n ra

WONDERMENT IN THE CLASSROOM Along similar lines, Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at International Centre for Leadership in Education, revealed his innovative research-based practices, giving teachers



and finalists, discussing what makes a world‑class teacher. This was a lively event with the audience getting involved in a debate, offering suggestions, comments and ideas. Meanwhile, the School Leaders Summit, explored the most significant challenges facing senior leadership teams (SLTs) and addressed how these can be tackled. This summit provided an opportunity for school business managers and senior leaders to network and collaborate to come up with forward-thinking solutions to improve school leadership. David Langrish, marketing director at event organisers Ascential Events, said: “Bett is a community that has grown over its 33 years to encompass educators from across the world, and it’s their expertise and passion that underpins the event each year. I applaud the event’s 800 plus exhibitors, speakers and visitors for continuing to drive the development of education in the UK and around the world. I remain in awe of the passion and commitment of educators everywhere.” TECH FOR THE CLASSROOM Bett 2017 played host to some of the most effective, innovative new technologies in education, including those based on virtual and augmented reality. More than 700 companies showcased their innovative products and services. Bett 2017 showcased Groupcall’s technology, such as Messenger, its all-encompassing

admin portal integrating award-winning parental engagement tools. Emerge is the app offering schools access to data and processes on mobile devices, and has been extended to include Emerge Desktop, a teacher dashboard giving staff access to data and tools to streamline their administrative processes. Avocor was on hand showcasing its interactive displays and audio visual technology. The newly launched X Series is a 75‑inch screen powered by a Windows 10 operating system. It has InGlass touch technology and white board software which allows users to write on the screen. Lessons can be made more interactive and collaborative by wirelessly connecting personal devices and sharing content from group sessions instantly. LocknCharge launched its new Joey 30 and 40 storage carts. With budgets being a genuine concern for many schools who do not want to compromise on choosing the right mobile device charging station, LocknCharge has developed a new range of cost-effective products. For under £900, the Joey Carts allow schools to charge, store and transport between 30 devices at an entry level price. LocknCharge recognises that not all schools are the same, and the Joey Carts have been designed so schools only need to pay for features they need, with a clever ‘bolt on’ system. HUE products on show included the HUE HD Pro document camera, which helps teachers to engage students in STEAM topics and MAKER SPACE activities, vlogging, video

Bett 2017


Sessions ranged from the practical ‘hands on’ ideas to enhance your teaching sessions, to major electrifying speakers such as Sir Ken Robinson, Heston Blumenthal and Ed Stafford chats, collaboration, sharing and interactive work. HUE Animation Studio was also on display, which is a starter kit for movie making for children aged 7-13. With the click of a button, students can animate their favourite toys, LEGO figures and clay creations to a 2D drawing; they can also edit images, add sound, text, and special effects. Trackit Lights showcased the first interactive whiteboard adaptation of the commonly used traffic lights behaviour wall chart – and it is completely free to download on the website. Designed by a teacher and behaviour specialist in Leeds, Trackit Lights offers a child-friendly digital interface that’s always on the board. It requires no instructions or training and takes just three clicks to give class points or log a behaviour event during a class. It builds up a profile of every pupil and class producing graphs trends and statistics, designed to improve behaviour, reduce teacher workload and help schools monitor and evidence behaviour more holistically. BETT FUTURES Bett Futures is a platform designed to nurture emerging edtech start-up companies. This year it hosted more than 100 innovative start-ups, all looking to share their ideas, insights and solutions with educators from across the world. The aim of this year’s Bett Futures was to showcase budding businesses that promise to be game changers in education. The initiative was run in association with the

British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and the Times Educational Supplement (TES), along with other partners. Celebrating brave thinking, innovative pedagogy, new products and education game changers, Bett Futures 2017 presented a one‑of-a-kind opportunity for emerging learning solutions to hit the ground running by inspiring attendees with practical ideas on how to improve their own educational practice. One such company was Studytracks, a company that created a music app which merges music with study materials, using lyrics relating to a specific exam theme or topic. Other Bett Future’s exhibitors who attracted large numbers of visitors included MeeTwo. This is a digital solution that provides teenagers with a supportive, 100 per cent moderated, community where they can ask awkward questions anonymously, and safely share their concerns. Educational resources embedded within the platform allow young people to go deeper into specific topics. They are also invited to submit creative content for inclusion in the app. Curious Chip meanwhile was showing Ada, a computer designed for kids to enable them to get started with programming, electronics and other forms of digital creation, such as art and music. Ada combines hardware, software and learning materials in a simple and easy to use package. L FURTHER INFORMATION



As well as helping pupils get to school, community transport enables students to access opportunities outside of the classroom, writes the Community Transport Association The Community Transport Association (CTA) is the national body working with the providers of community transport helping them to remain relevant and responsive to key areas of public policy and make a big difference for people and families in the communities they work in. Out of our 1,600 membership across the United Kingdom, there are currently almost 400 CTA members that are connected to education. These members are able to access CTA services which support them to deliver safe and legal transport. CTA membership enables schools to demonstrate their commitment to providing accessible and inclusive transport to their students. In addition, there are around 2,200 organisations with a link to education, that have registered with the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) which enhances minibus driving standards by assessing drivers abilities, raises their awareness of passenger needs and gives them the tools to carry out their roles effectively and safely. In this article, CTA highlights the role community transport plays in providing vital transport services that enable young people to access educational opportunities outside of a classroom setting.

From our data, and conversations with our members, we know how invested community transport operators are in providing transport to young people with specific transport needs. Often community transport operators will utilise accessible conventional minibuses to do amazing things. As you may have seen from our latest #lovetransport campaign, where we asked members to reflect on their experiences of providing community transport, access to services was a key theme. Paula Woolven of CTLA Community Transport based in Lewes, East Sussex told us she loves community transport because “it gives people the wheels to the world.” As well as conventional home to school transport, many of our members provide services that enable students to access opportunities outside of the classroom. For example, North Norfolk Community Transport runs daily services to schools and colleges across North Norfolk, Broadland and Norwich. In addition, they support schools by renting out their minibuses for outings and sports activities.

CTA highligh the rolets com transpo munity providi rt plays in that en ng transport abl to educ es access opportuational nities

STATE OF THE SECTOR Community transport can be a key feature of the variety of services that students are able to utilise to get to and from school, and access educational opportunities outside of the classroom. Our most recent State of the Sector report illustrates that 34 per cent of all community transport journeys are specifically to help people to access education. In addition, this report illustrates that 85 per cent of users of community transport have a disability.

MORE SUPPORT As well as the work that is currently going on in schools, there are two government initiatives that we believe can support, and strengthen, the work our members are already doing in schools. These are the Minibus Fund Round 2, and the Total Transport initiatives, launched by the Government in 2016. The government recognises the vital role accessible and inclusive transport plays in connecting young people to a multitude of opportunities and committed £2 million funding for new minibuses in England. The fund criteria sought applications from services that support education outside of the

There has been a 63 per cent increase in the number of complaints regarding school transport following changes to council transport policies. According to a report from the Local Government Ombudsman, complaints from parents and carers are rising as they struggle to find alternative ways to get children to and from school. However, local authority leaders have argued that it’s becoming more difficult to provide transport because of “sustained financial challenges”. The report shows that in 2015‑16, 261 complaints and enquiries about school transport were made, in comparison to the 160 in the previous year. It shows that the complaints relate to failing to consult or inform parents of proposed changes and inadequate communication decision making. Councillor Richard Watts, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, commented: “Local authorities take their responsibility to provide home-to-school transport for those in need very seriously, with councils continuously looking at innovative approaches to enable them to provide a coordinated and high quality service for children and their parents. “Councils continue to face significant funding pressures, amid further cuts to funding by central government. “Local authorities are working hard to ensure suitable travel arrangements are made for children who could not reasonably be expected to walk or otherwise find it difficult to attend school because of distance, mobility, special educational needs or the routes they have to take.” Watts added: “However, this is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of such sustained financial challenges.”

Written by the Community Transport Association

Accessible and inclusive transport

Local Government Ombudsman releases report on school transport



traditional classroom setting. The successful applicants will be announced in 2017 and the CTA will be supporting these organisations for the first two years of their award. This funding will enhance the accessibility of our transport networks, to ensure E



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The government recognises the vital role accessible and inclusive transport plays in connecting young people to a multitude of opportunities and committed £2 million funding for new minibuses in England  community transport can continue to play a vital role in supporting educational opportunities. The Total Transport Pilots will help ensure that this work can be targeted, coherent, and be as impactful as possible. Thirty-seven local authorities were awarded funding through Total Transport Pilots to integrate transport services, including school transport. ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE TRAVEL As local authorities look at the potential for integration, it is possible to imagine how the already vital role community transport plays in an educational setting could be strengthened. This could either be through new imaginative funding arrangements by local authorities and schools, targeting funding toward students who have the greatest transport needs, or through providing new support to local communities to create their own grassroots transport schemes. The Community Transport Association is a national charity. We are for, and about, accessible and inclusive transport. Our vision is of a world where people can shape and create their own accessible and inclusive transport solutions so everything else in life can be accessible and inclusive too. We support our members in a number of ways. We lead the sector with authority and responsibility, sharing good practice on our blog ( and through our twitter account (@CTAUK1) providing insights into the work of the sector, and curate information that can support innovation. We highlight the vital work of community transport across a number of settings, to gain support for the sector, and ensure the work it does is recognised by a wider audience. We provide an advice line where our members can access the support they need to run their services within a safe and legal framework. Our dedicated staff team work to ensure that community transport operators have the confidence in running their services, so they can concentrate on their vital work, ensuring that young people are able to get to school and take part fully in school life. Finally, as a sector we are committed to continuous improvement and provide training to our members. Our MiDAS and PATS courses support the providers of school transport to operate their minibuses safely, and to assist passengers in accessing services. These training courses are particularly important where there may be vulnerable service users, as in school transport. Community transport continues to plays a vital role in providing school transport where other services may not exist. In a recent blog CTA Member Harborough Community Bus told us that they exist to “help people locally who otherwise would have difficulty getting out.” This is particularly important in school transport, where young people are supported by motivated organisations to get to where they need to be, and to ensure that transport is never a barrier to their educational attainment. The CTA is proud to support and celebrate those organisations that spend every day in schools across the country working to provide indispensable transport services. If you would like more information about the Community Transport Association and our membership benefits contact us at L FURTHER INFORMATION




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Written by Dr Adam Boddison, chief executive, nasen

SEND: an update of recent developments There are many schools demonstrating excellent and inclusive SEND practice, but there is still more to do to ensure that children are experiencing consistent, high quality provision across England. Dr Adam Boddison, chief executive at nasen, discusses some recent developments

Since 2014, the focus for the Department for Education (DfE) has very much been on the 2.8 per cent of the school population – the percentage of pupils with a statement or Education, Health and Care plan (EHCPs) – and the process of transferring them to the new system of EHCPs by the deadline of March 2018. For special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs), this is just one aspect of the EHCP administration that continues to take up a disproportionate amount of their time. Although EHCPs are still high on the DfE’s priorities, it is clear that greater attention is now being paid to the 11.6 per cent of the school population who are classified as SEN Support (formerly School Action and School Action Plus). nasen represents the views of its members through a wide range of SEND stakeholder groups including the National SEND Forum, the DfE’s SEND Advisory Board, the Special Education Consortium, and Special Schools Voice. During 2016, these groups have considered a whole range of policy areas with implications for the SEND sector. The Fairer Funding

Formula and High Needs Funding Formula have both generated significant debate and it is expected that there will shortly be a second round of consultation about this.

Special Educational Needs


While there a still som re to be re e issues it is cle solved, collabo ar that r moving ation is right di in the rection

ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT There are also issues about wider changes to education policy that are incongruent with the SEND reforms; notably those policies in the areas of accountability and assessment. Progress-8 and the EBacc, alongside statistical accountability measures, are sometimes forcing school leaders to make a choice between developing inclusive practices or meeting the criteria for a successful and improving school. For example, there are concerns that some children with SEND are not included within Progress-8 data because they have no Key Stage 2 data. Also, the removal of less-academic options from the curriculum to focus on those that

contribute towards the EBacc has resulted in less appropriate options for some SEND children. There is a general agreement among education professionals working with children and young people with SEND that the notion of outcomes should be broader than just qualifications.

EMERGING TRENDS FOR SCHOOLS Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have been jointly inspecting the SEND provision of local areas and this is helping to build up a picture of how the SEND reforms are being implemented across the country. An analysis of the first seven inspection reports has demonstrated some emerging trends for schools. Firstly, in addition to Local Authority (LA) services, special schools have been supporting mainstream schools in developing specialist knowledge and provision. Secondly, the effective identification and meeting of needs of children and young people is a mixed picture E



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SEND PROVISION  with different levels of support available in different areas. And lastly, there is a growing concern about the mental health of children and young people. This last point is particularly pertinent given that child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are operating beyond capacity in most parts of the country. One of the key aspirations of the SEND reforms is greater collaboration between education, health and social care. While there are still some issues to be resolved, such as the complexities of data sharing and professional supervision, it is clear that collaboration is moving in the right direction. The strategic financial element of collaboration is complex and not currently working as well as it could be, with the education sector too often picking up the costs for health and social care interventions. With the shrinking of statutory duties on LAs and the increasing number of free schools and academies, it is not always clear where responsibility and accountability will sit. For example, LAs will retain a range of statutory duties for SEND, but school improvement will be a school-led responsibility, which begs the question about who will be responsible and accountable for SEND school improvement. This is part of a bigger cultural challenge, in which SEND is still seen as separate to, rather than a fundamental part of, the education system. Too often, policy and practice has to be adapted for SEND rather than being fit-for-purpose from the outset. Part of the issue is that the word ‘inclusion’ means different things to different people. Some believe that inclusion is about integrating all children into mainstream schools, others believe it is about having different types of school that are designed to meet different needs. My own view is that inclusion is not a place, but an approach. It is about person‑centred provision and we need a robust universal offer for teacher development to help our education system become more inclusive. OTHER KEY DEVELOPMENTS The DfE has funded a number of initiatives in 2016 to support the implementation of the SEND reforms and one such project was the Whole School SEND Consortium, led by the London Leadership Strategy (LLS), with nasen as their strategic partners. The Whole School SEND Consortium is a coalition committed to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND by better scaling and embedding what we already know works. Using LLS’s SEND Review Guide ( as a basis, nasen is mapping existing national resources and content and facilitating school to school sharing of best practice through the SEND Gateway ( Early indications are that this school-led and sector-led initiative will be incredibly useful for education professionals supporting children and young people with SEND. The other significant development in 2016 was the publication of the Rochford Review, which made 10 recommendations about statutory assessment for children operating below the standard of the national curriculum tests at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. The DfE intends to hold a consultation on the recommendations in the early part of 2017, as part of a wider discussion about primary assessment. While nasen is broadly supportive of the review and its recommendations, we recognise the challenge in developing an inclusive approach to assessment through one system that works for all children and young people. LOOKING AHEAD Looking at 2017, nasen will continue to support its members through publications, resources, webinars, webcasts and policy representation, but we will also be looking to increase our offer for teacher training providers and the early years sector. On 7 July, nasen will hold its annual conference, nasen Live, at the ICC in Birmingham. This popular conference brings together policy, practice and research for education professionals supporting children and young people with SEND ( To summarise, progress is being made in terms of implementing and embedding the requirements and ambitions of the Children and Families Act 2014. However, it is the wider political, economic and

Dr Adam Boddison

Inclusion is not a place, but an approach. It is about person‑centred provision and we need a robust universal offer for teacher development to help our education system become more inclusive cultural contexts that are resulting in an inconsistent picture across the country. 2017 needs to be the year where we strive to achieve consistent high quality provision for all children and young people. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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With warmer weather upon us, schools should review their outdoor play facilities and upgrade those that are worn or fail to excite children. API Chair Mark Hardy shares some advice on what to consider when planning outdoor improvements The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the winter months are warming into spring. It’s the perfect time of year to throw open the classroom door and head outdoors. If you thought learning through play and outdoor learning were just for the Early Years Foundation Stage, think again. There is plentiful evidence that outdoor learning delivers a raft of developmental and educational benefits for children of all ages and abilities.

WHY IMPROVE YOUR FACILITIES? If you need persuading that improving your outdoor facilities is a good idea, here are some good reasons. Children of all ages learn through play. Learning through play is a Trojan Horse for all the learning experiences that will follow in a child’s school life. Without even

There’s to no need. Your ar travel f rounds, g school d or playing un playgro an open up a field c of exciting world learning new ences experi

Written by Mark Hardy, Chair, API

Spring means making the most of the outdoors

realising, children develop knowledge, skills and lessons for life, from confidence and endurance to communication and leadership. Providing time, space, opportunity and a positive attitude to play benefits all children. Physical activity also boosts concentration, learning behaviour and mood. Children have natural energy and enthusiasm. Make the most of it by building physical activity into the whole school day. Use your playground and outside spaces to get children moving during lesson time, break times, before and after school, and for extra-curricular activities, as well as during sport and PE. It’s not just physical literacy levels that will improve; schools report improvements in behaviour and well-being too. What’s more, for some children, often from deprived communities, school is the only safe place to play and be physically active. Schools should also be aware that there is government funding to improve school sport and PE provision. The Primary PE and Sport Premium is designed to help schools improve the quality of physical activity provision and maintain those improvements. Outdoor play equipment promoting physical activity and movement skills is E

Play Facilities


THE SCHOOL GROUNDS There’s no need to travel far. Your school grounds, playground or playing field can open up a world of exciting new learning experiences. Having a large outside space is every head teacher’s dream but for many schools, this simply isn’t possible. If your school has limited outside space, don’t despair. Small outside spaces needn’t limit opportunities for children to play, learn and be active. With expert planning and creative design skills, the accredited member companies of the Association of Play Industries (API) are here to help. Whether transforming an unused spot into a hub for outdoor learning or designing brand new play and sports facilities, you’ll get great advice and customer service from the UK’s leading play companies. Improving your outside space can be a significant investment so you want to be sure the company you choose knows what it’s doing and has the experience and expertise to provide the right solution for your objectives and budget. You can be sure that those criteria – and many more besides – will be met by API members. API member companies are reputable, committed to high standards and quality, abide by a Professional Code of Conduct, and agree to be rigorously checked for financial stability and security as part of our membership criteria. In short, using an API member guarantees peace of mind.



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OUTDOOR PLAY  also eligible for Sport Premium funding. The government has announced a boost to this fund in recent months following introduction of the new soft drinks levy. Many local communities lack high‑quality facilities for sport and physical activity. Opening your facilities to clubs and the local community outside the school day raises the school’s profile and could generate an additional income stream. IS IT TIME TO UPDATE YOUR FACILITIES? How can you tell if it’s time to update your outside facilities? API members have identified three tell-tale signs that indicate that an upgrade is in order. The first is if your equipment has come to the end of its usable life, poses a safety risk or is dangerous. Rotting timber, rusty metal and broken parts all signal the need to replace equipment. The second sign is if facilities are failing to support children’s learning and development, and the third sign is if children have lost interest. Tired spaces and equipment with limited play value hold little appeal for children. If these tell-tale signs ring a bell, it’s time to take action – and that means consulting a play professional. WHAT TO CONSIDER? When planning outdoor improvements, schools should first consider its aims and outcomes: what do you want to achieve from your outdoor facilities and how will you know if you’ve achieved it? The budget needs to be thought about, and whether making CAPEX investment or fundraising for improvements, the API website’s funding section is a good place to start. The next point to consider is capacity – how many children will use the facilities at any one time and what will they use it for? Play equipment standards are based on minimum user numbers, not large numbers of children playing at the same time. API member designs are based around maximum usage. Surfacing needs some thought too. Safety surfacing protects against injuries and can

Play Facilities


Despite evidence of the benefits of play to child development, health and well-being, the government is yet to acknowledge play as a priority. The API campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition of the value of play be used to create different themed areas. From man-made options to natural surfacing, API member companies advise clients on the best options for their brief and site. Risk assessments do need consideration but needn’t restrict children’s enjoyment of playing and being active. Children enjoy and actively benefit from a degree of risk when playing. API members reject ‘cotton wool culture’ and build challenge into every design. When commissioning new play facilities, it is important to make sure play equipment and surfacing conforms to relevant standards – they are viewed as best practice. Avoid contractors that dismiss standards. Before children use new equipment, a post-installation inspection should take place. A registered, certificated Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII) inspector should check facilities before use. The last point to consider is repair and maintenance. Regular servicing and replacement of worn out parts is essential to keep play equipment safe and compliant with standards. API members provide nationwide maintenance and repair services. IMPROVING OUTDOOR PLAY Every year, hundreds of schools choose API member companies to help them improve their outdoor facilities. When asked recently what their school customers had to say about the benefits of improving their outdoor facilities, members said that schools want to help children be as active as possible. The top three objectives for school customers to improve their outdoor facilities are to increase opportunities for active outdoor play (85.7 per cent), physical activity (68.5 per cent)

and outdoor learning (62.8 per cent). Children move more when schools improve their outside space – 68.5 per cent said schools report an increase in children’s physical activity following outdoor improvements. Behaviour and classroom learning improve too – 45.7 per cent said schools report better behaviour and 28.5 per cent report more positive attitudes to learning as a result. Enquiries from schools are increasing – over a third (34.2 per cent) say increasing numbers of schools are getting in touch for advice on how to make more of their outside space. ADVICE FOR SCHOOLS For schools wanting to make outdoor improvements, it can be difficult to know where to turn for advice. To help, the API has developed a dedicated hub for schools. At Schools Get Active you’ll find a host of useful advice, information and case studies, plus details of local API members. Despite evidence of the benefits of play to child development, health and well-being, the government is yet to acknowledge play as a priority. The API campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition of the value of play. At a time when physical inactivity poses as big a threat to public health as smoking, it’s hugely important that children have time, space and opportunities to be active. Schools have a vital part to play in getting children moving more and the API is here to help them achieve that. L FURTHER INFORMATION


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Design & Technology Written by Catherine Ritman-Smith – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION


Creative education is a balancing act A rounded curriculum that balances ‘traditional’ academic study with creative subjects will ensure that future generations are effectively prepared for the realities of the world of work, writes Catherine Ritman-Smith, head of learning at the Design Museum With the rhetoric of EBacc it would be easy to imagine that creative subjects in schools are optional ‘fun’ alongside the core subjects. This is a mistake and the status of creative subjects needs to be rebalanced. They are key to ensuring future generations can play a full and active part in society and the economy. Using data from the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Creative Industries Federation estimates that the creative economy employs one in every 11 working people – this includes related support functions as well as creative roles. This is clear evidence that the creative industries are vital to our economy and support the imperative to invest in creative education for all. Since 2008, the creative industries have continued to be the fastest growing sector of our economy and continue to create new jobs at a faster rate than the economy as a whole. Evidence suggests that this growth will continue; this has implications for our priorities within the school curriculum and the education policy landscape. Only a rounded curriculum that balances ‘traditional’ academic study with creative subjects will ensure that future generations are effectively prepared for the realities of the world of work that they


will join. The UK commission for Employment and Skills suggests that by 2030 workplaces will move towards flattened hierarchies where individuals have increased responsibility and autonomy. Technology will be central to successful businesses and collaboration will be critical. But when the CBI tells us that 69 per cent of UK businesses are not confident that there will be enough skilled people to fill jobs in the future, one wonders if the balance of the curriculum is right. EMPLOYABLE CITIZENS Creative approaches to teaching and learning, with wide access to practical creative subjects such as design and technology and art and design is critical. Creative subjects play a key role in preparing young people to be employable and empowered citizens of the future. The critical thinking, problem solving, ideation and reliance needed for design provide brilliant ways of building the essential skills that we know will help young people in their future studies, lives and careers. Practical opportunities to make and create things enable students to apply their knowledge from across the

Technol ogy will be cent r successal to busines ful ses and col laborat io will be critical n

curriculum, showing its relevance and helping them to see how their learning can be used. A SUBJECT IN DECLINE It is therefore alarming to see that these are the very subjects that are in decline. Organisations such as the Cultural Learning Alliance, the National Society for Educators in Art and Design and the Design and Technology Association have separately gathered evidence that clearly shows a fall in the number of candidates taking creative subjects at GCSE and A Level. The reasons for the decline are complex but each organisation points to the EBacc as a major force behind this decline. Design and Technology is particularly suffering, with a 41 per cent decline in GCSE candidates since 2007-8. Curriculum time is being squeezed, able students are being diverted away to focus on EBacc subjects, and resources are withering. It is not an easy time to be teaching creative subjects in schools and colleges. These trends are not universal: there is excellent investment, innovation and growth in some contexts, but anecdotes about struggle are becoming too frequent. This is why it has been both surprising and heartening to see that 10,000 young people aged 13-16 have participated in Design Ventura 2016.  DESIGN VENTURA Design Ventura is the Design Museum’s award winning, national enterprise and design project. Taking place annually since 2010, it is run in partnership with Deutsche Bank through their Born to Be programme, supporting employability skills for young people. Design Ventura invites school students to develop design ideas for a real business – the Design Museum Shop – challenging them to develop ideas that can be made and sold. The Design Museum provides materials, films and learning resources online to support schools to run the project at their own pace. Through museum-based workshops and online activity, schools have opportunities to engage directly with industry experts from business and design who can provide support, advice and inspiration to students and teachers alike. A competitive process involving leading figures from design and business as judges, leads to one idea being developed with the winning team of students and professional designers. It is manufactured and eventually sold in the Design Museum shop. The proceeds from the sale of the product are then donated to a charity identified by the winning students themselves, providing them with an insight into the positive impact that creative enterprise can have on issues that matter to them.  Design Ventura provides a tangible real-world context for learning, and enables students to

Design & Technology


About the author Catherine Ritman-Smith is head of learning at the Design Museum. Her responsibilities include the museum’s formal programme for schools, FE, HE as well as the informal programme for children and young people. She founded Design Ventura, the museum’s award-winning project which has reached over 46,000 learners since 2010. Prior to joining the Design Museum, Catherine was head of education at Enterprise UK, leading a nationwide campaign of creative enterprise education. Before this she was head of learning at Open-City, the leading architecture charity. Catherine is a fellow of the RSA and is a director for the London Design and Engineering UTC. use their design skills, problem-solving ability and enterprise thinking whilst working in a team to respond to our brief. Since 2010 over 47,000 young people have taken part in this free project and the Design Museum team has worked with a diverse range of schools to ensure it continues to meet the needs of teachers and learners alike. So much has changed in this period, from the fall of the Labour Government shortly after the project’s launch, to the dramatic revision of the National Curriculum and the overhaul of GCSEs and A Levels over the last four years. Through all this, Design Ventura has continued to grow, providing a real world context in which students can develop and apply their skills and knowledge. From the project’s inception, an academic partner has provided independent evaluation to facilitate insight into the impact of the project on students’ creative and business skills. Since 2014 the partner has been Goldsmiths College in the University of London. Their most recent report examined data gathered in 2015 when 10,000 students from around 250 schools participated. The report revealed that through participation in Design Ventura, over 90 per cent of students experienced an increase in creative skills such as explaining design ideas, responding to a brief and working with a team. The evaluation also revealed that the project supported students to understand the business context of design and engaged them in the process of making business decisions too. The project was carefully planned at a time when the agenda to support enterprise education in schools was still strong. Whilst funding structures and policy priorities have changed, the need for entrepreneurial individuals has remained. We still need confident communicators with sound financial and business understanding, a can-do attitude and the ability to work collaboratively. The outcomes of Design Ventura, as evidenced in an extensive long-term evaluation programme, have borne this out. Responses from teachers and learners reveal increases in design and enterprise skills such as awareness of marketing, development of communication skills including presenting, pitching and using design tools to share ideas.  

Team work is central to Design Ventura. Individuals cannot enter the competition alone – they must collaborate with between four and five other people aged 13-16. This is because team work is central to innovation across many business sectors and especially in the creative industries. Sadly, it often poses a challenge in class if each student needs to be individually assessed. There are lots of easy solutions but it does require breaking away from established ways of running a class. Designers and other creative professionals work collaboratively. Employers in many sectors tell us that working with others is a key skill, and we know as adults that it’s not always an easy thing to do. Data gathered through Goldsmith College’s evaluation of Design Ventura shows that students find it very difficult and need more support. A successful project should also have partnerships with industry. Each year we set the brief in collaboration with a leading designer. In 2016 we worked with architect and designer Asif Khan, an East‑London based designer whose portfolio is a brilliant example of business collaboration and creativity. His input into the Design Ventura brief helps us to understand how bridges can be built between school and the world of work. Schools can do the same – whether it’s with a local small business owner, someone from a multinational corporation or a member of the school staff with a business background. There are many ways to engage employers effectively. In these turbulent times, many of our long-standing assumptions about the future world are being challenged. In the world of work the creative industries are at the heart of this change – new jobs and new ways of doing work are emerging all the time. We need future generations to have the confidence, resilience, and independence to adapt to this changing landscape so that they are equipped to seize opportunities. Good design education is one way to achieve it. L FURTHER INFORMATION

DESIGN AND BUSINESS Of course there have been a few unexpected outcomes of the project too. The partnership between the Design Museum and schools has provided another valuable opportunity for design and technology departments to communicate the value of the subject to parents, students and senior managers. The integration of business and design in the project lifts it beyond a nice creative experience into an important part of a young person’s experience of the world of business and work. Design Ventura gives young people direct personal experience of how design and business can work together to realise creative ideas.  TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS Design Ventura is not rocket science. But here is some advice. Set a ‘live’ brief for participants. Design Ventura challenges young people to design a new product for its shop. Instead of asking students to develop another fantasy project, or something for which they can’t see the point, Design Ventura offers a context in which students can research and inform their work online or in person if they visit the museum. This is an essential part of the process and gives students a taste of the process that professional designers and creatives would take.

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Volume 22.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE 19/01/2016 17:25




The Zowi is a friendly robot that will teach kids that technology can be fun. Zowi is an open-source robot; the design, the code and the app are openly available so anyone can learn from it and expand it. Zowi walks, dances, dodges obstacles, emits sounds, and makes mouth gestures, making it perfect for children. Zowi can communicate and be controlled via Bluetooth using the Zowi Android app and there are a range of different games and activities in the app with new functions that unlock as the children play and develop through the levels. The Zowi robots’ Zum reprogrammable board means it can be endlessly taught to do new things using an icon block driven programming tool – Bitbloq. Zowi can be found on the Daemon3D website. Daemon3D Print stocks and supports, 3D printers, filaments, accessories and spares from

Using exciting drone technologies, DRONEdays offer exciting hands-on experiences for children in Key Stages 1 to 3 that bring coding to life. The company believes that the most effective, engaging and memorable learning experiences are those that offer pupils the chance to experiment with coding using physical devices. Pupils can then more easily see the cause and effect of their coding decisions and this encourages them to debug and develop their algorithms. DRONEday sessions cover many aspects of the core computer science elements of the computing curriculum and also provides excellent STEM opportunities. ​Every DRONEday package includes: full access to a range of ground and aerial drones; iPads running “Tynker” or “Tickle” for pupils to create and debug their code; small group work to ensure that every pupil gets hands-on

Toying with technology to make education fun

leading manufacturers of 3D print technology. The firm supplies to a range of industries including the education market. At Daemon3Ds’ heart is in depth knowledge delivering post sales support, ongoing service and unbiased recommendations. Daemon3D Print ship within the UK and all over the world and support a range of applications and budgets. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01233 213756



Established in 1986, Mindsets has a long history of creating innovative resources, many of which are manufactured at the company’s premises in the UK. Mindsets’ products and ideas help both adults and children of all age groups and abilities explore concepts like smart materials, electricity, rockets and robotics. The Crumble controller is an example of one of the firm’s most successful products. It is an easy-to-use programmable controller that is perfect for getting started in robotics. It can drive two motors forwards and backwards at variable speeds. It has four IO (Input/Output) pads which allow connections to switches, servos, LDRs, LEDs and so on. The free Crumble software runs on PC, Mac and Linux (including the Raspberry Pi). Inspired by MIT Scratch, programs are simply built by snapping blocks

Teachers, headteachers, PTAs and clubs. Delve into the Initiatives Fundraising Solutions, a company which does the hard work for you! Time is precious, the Initiatives Fundraising’s method helps you create your own school aprons, tea towels or bags with children’s drawings on. Initiatives Fundraising will provide you with a quick and efficient way to create your fundraiser with a guaranteed quality product. Raise funds for all events: be it school year, keepsakes, mother’s day, Christmas or summer fair! The starter pack includes, free samples, picture frames, felt tip pens, an advice leaflet and parents order form which will help you raise awareness of your fundraiser and take pre-orders from parents. This allows you to order just the quantities ordered by parent. This way you will avoid being left with any unsold items. This method is made to make your life easy so all

Helping adults and children explore robotics


Drone technology that brings coding to life

together on screen. Sending a program to the Crumble is almost instant, allowing rapid experimentation. The Crumble can also digitally control fullcolour LEDs, called Sparkles. The Crumble controller has been successfully used from KS2 to KS4 and has powered robots made from plastic tubs, as well as some intricate laser-cut designs. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01992 716052


expereince; focused diferentiated challenges; a customised DRONEday schedule to suit your school; and an experienced education consultant. DRONEday experiences are exceptional value at £295 for a full-day and £200 for a half-day. The firm is based in the Midlands, serving Coventry, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Birmingham. Bookings outside of these areas can be considered but may incur additional travel and accommodation costs. Please see our website for further details or to book. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 07590065590

Experience the headache free fundraisers!

you need to concentrate on is to get the children to draw on a decent sized piece of paper which is provided. You will not be asked to worry about creating a document, cut out drawings to size, calculate, glue or allow for margins or anything technical untoward like that! To find out more about how Initiatives Fundraising could help your school achieve effective and headache free fundraising, please visit the company website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0845 609 02 06 www.initiatives



Autron natural convection LST (Low Surface Temperature) radiators provide the ideal heating solution for schools and nurseries, in fact anywhere where effective and energy efficient heating needs to be delivered with an emphasis on user safety. As a result Autron LSTs have been widely specified for many years throughout the UK education sector. Thanks to its low water content, an Autron natural convection radiator can typically start to deliver effective room heating within two minutes, compared to up to 20 minutes for conventional panel radiators. This responsiveness means that heating only needs to come on when required. The reduced need to ‘buffer’ the heating can deliver significant fuel cost savings and contributes to a more comfortable learning and teaching environment. For extra peace of mind all

Does your school have adequate security arrangements for its grounds and buildings? Implementing an access control system to your existing doors, gates and barriers will help to ensure your educational establishment is not only a more secure environment, but will also help you meet Ofsted inspection guidelines focusing on the security of children in schools.   Access control solutions from Reader Options can monitor the whereabouts of pupils, staff and visitors.   The firm provides systems which can be easily integrated with any existing database systems you may have, including SIMS. It’s also a quick and easy way to monitor attendance and punctuality with easy to use reporting capabilities.   You can program cards so that access can be given or restricted

LST radiators with lower running costs

Autron heat emitters have been independently tested by BSRIA, the respected building industry standards consultancy, in accordance with BSEN 442. A short video is now available to watch covering the benefits Autron LST radiators can deliver, supported by a number of recent school installation case studies. This is available at   FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01952 290498

System solutions that safeguard your school

where necessary and certain doors can be securely locked at certain times of the day. If you choose a Mifare based solution, it’s simple to integrate cashless vending, ‘Follow Me’ printing and library solutions, and for the systems to seamlessly work alongside each other. Reader Options aim to provide the most suitable and cost-effective solution to your access control needs. Call a member of the team for more information and arrange a free site survey at your school.   FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 08008174259



Tutoring to support classroom learning

Spectacular views of the Thames Barrier

JK Educate is a premium educational consultancy, founded and run by two former teachers who have held senior roles within schools, including SENCO and deputy head teacher. The company specialises in bespoke support for children’s learning, including a high quality tutoring service. JK Educate works closely with schools to ensure that its teaching complements classroom learning and every tutor receives ongoing training, monitoring and support. The firm works with a number of primary schools, delivering after-school tutor groups, primarily to prepare those children facing entrance examinations for selective senior schools. JK Educate’s unique educational assessments measure both current achievement and future potential, which informs discussions about future schools. JK Educate work with children from 5-18 years old, whatever their academic ability and

The Thames Barrier is one of the largest moveable flood barriers in the world. It protects over 45 square miles of London and protects over 375,000 properties, historic buildings including the Houses of Parliament, offices, power supplies, tube lines and hospitals, to name a few. Visit the Thames Barrier Information Centre to view this amazing structure and find out how it was designed and built, and how it works. If your group would like to learn even more about the Thames Barrier, then a Group Talk is recommended. One of The Thames Barrier’s Information Assistants will guide you through the centre, and give a talk about the River Thames and the Thames Barrier. Its café overlooks the Barrier,

whatever their goals, from preparations for 7+ and 11+ school entrance exams to A Level tuition in every subject. Complementary services include workshops, mock examinations, and interview preparations. The company also offers free educational resources, and support and advice for parents, teachers and children. Professionalism, integrity and an intense commitment to providing the best possible service underscores everything JK Educate does. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3488 0754

Products & Services


so you can enjoy the view and the hot and cold snacks and lunches on offer. Onsite parking is also available and coaches park for free with any groups visiting the Information Centre. Please telephone or visit the website for opening times. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 8305 4188 the-thames-barrier




The tools to improve the mental health and wellbeing of everyone working in education The latest YouGov research which was commissioned by leading support charity, Education Support Partnership, has found that nearly half (44 per cent) of teachers and school leaders want to see better workplace support for their personal wellbeing. But whilst many of the 865 school leaders and teachers told the charity they are considering leaving, very few (just seven per cent) said “nothing” would persuade them to stay. Anxiety and stress consistently remain a top concern for many throughout the sector and the charity supports thousands of staff every year who have reached a crisis via its free, confidential helpline. In Education Support Partnership’s last health survey published in 2016, 84 per cent of respondents said they had suffered from some form of mental health problem in the last two years. As stress levels in the sector soar and many struggle to cope, the vast majority in the YouGov survey identified reduced workload and greater support as the biggest positive influencers to staying in the field.

The charity is dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of everyone working in education and in addition to its helpline, offers a range of services, online information and support as well as tools for schools and their leaders to help improve professional and organisational development. With student and staff wellbeing rising up the agenda, it is now well recognised that without the tools to build better resilience, recruitment and retention of staff is likely to suffer. Education Support Partnership’s Positive Workplace Survey is one of its services that can help head teachers to take the temperature of their organisation and gain

an invaluable indicator of staff engagement. It’s a great place to start, specifically designed for schools to help to look at progress, recognise success and identify where things are working well and where improvements or a different approach could make a difference. It builds on strengths and focuses on priorities and goals. With effective planning, this can and will help to improve morale, engagement and effectiveness among staff and pupils. As Julian Stanley, chief executive of the charity comments: “In challenging times we are heartened by the fact that there is growing recognition and understanding that good wellbeing is fundamental to every aspect of our lives. “If we are to create happy, thriving schools and colleges, pupils and students, we need to start with well-supported staff.” Find out more about the charity by their websites. To request more information about the Positive Workplace Survey or any other aspect of the charity’s work get in touch. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 02076972750


The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service 4Imprint 51 AllPlay (Ireland) 54 Avocor FC Bytsyz E-Learning 41 Castle Minibus 44 Castles Education 18 Checkmate Fire Solutions 30 Contour Casings 61 Daemon3D Print 60 Delaware North 47 Drone Days 60 Dyson Technology 8 Ebuyer UK 14 Ednex 20 Education Support 62 Elite Systems GB 24 Eteach 4



Evac Chair 28 Fresh Air Fitness 54 Gerflor 52 Herts Full Stop BC Hue 38 Initiatives 60 Intratest 29 Jaderberg Krais 61 Kpc Book Protection 59 Life Enviromental 32 Mindsets UK 60 Mystrica 38 National Structures 25 Nec Display 36 Oki Systems UK 56 & 57 Pet-Xi 40 Reader Options 61

Red Kite Vehicle


Smoothwall 12 Southern Land Services




Studytracks 38 Suk Retail


Thames Barrier


The Kings Ferry


Thorpe Park Resort


Unicol Engineering


Universal Education Serrvices 54 Valutech 34 Venesta 10 Wildwood PR


Yeoman Shield


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Profile for PSI  Media

Education Business 22.3  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Education Business 22.3  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Profile for psi-media