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DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY Teaching the skills needed in a post-Brexit UK



Understanding the links between light and health


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Education’s priorities Theresa May’s call for a snap election to be held on 8 June has seen all parties in a flurry to air their intentions. May will no doubt continue with her pledge to allow new grammar schools to open, and if she gets voted to remain in power, will be in a stronger position to push this forward.


DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY Teaching the skills needed in a post-Brexit UK



Understanding the links between light and health

School leaders’ union NAHT has, however, been vocal in saying that more grammar schools should not be priority in party policies. Instead the union has suggested five key education priorities for political parties to include in their general election manifestos.


The top priority is for education to be funded fully and fairly, “reversing” the £3 billion cuts that schools are facing and providing enough money to make the new national funding formula a success. The second aim put forward is to tackle the teacher recruitment and retention crisis with a national strategy, followed by adopting fair methods of assessment, recognising that test and exam results are only part of the picture. The fourth priority is to make a broad range of subjects available in the school day, and finally, for schools to be supported by health and social care services. Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @EducationBizz

Does this cover the main educational priorities for you? Email your thoughts to Angela Pisanu, editor

P ONLINE P IN PRINT P MOBILE P FACE TO FACE If you would like to receive 11 issues of Education Business magazine for £250 a year, please contact Public Sector Information Limited, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055, Fax: 020 8532 0066, or visit the Education Business website at: PUBLISHED BY PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION LIMITED

226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 Web: EDITOR Angela Pisanu 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

© 2017 Public Sector Information Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any other means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the editorial content the publisher cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1474-0133

Education Business is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact Michael Lyons or Angela Pisanu on 0208 532 0055. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit



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More grammar schools should not be priority in party policies; teachers subject of online abuse

Niel McLean examines the importance of teachers in creating digitally-skilled pupils



Julian Stanley shares some tips for teachers on dealing with stress, as well as advice for leadership teams on the role they can play




A review of Bett Academies, which launched on 16-18 March at the NEC in Birmingham

A look at the £216 million that the government has earmarked for refurbishing existing schools



Leonie Greene and Holly Stower from the Solar Trade Association discuss the cost and carbon savings from solar PV systems


Peter Hunt looks at the link between lighting and health


Linda Cregan examines how to keep up the momentum of healthy school food; Lisa Bainbridge from Coeliac UK explains the importance of supplying gluten‑free options; Education Business looks at how schools can cut down on their energy use and save money by changing how they use their catering equipment





Ali Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust discusses the need for physical education to adapt in today’s school environment

Christian Lickfett examines why indoor air quality can be ten times poorer than outside in schools



A review of the Education Show, which took place from 16-18 March at the NEC Birmingham

Jessica Cumming considers the process of becoming an academy and explores the practical steps towards conversion


Does the government’s recent digital strategy include schools in its broadband plans? Education Business investigates

High-quality school security measures are key components of obtaining a good Ofsted report, writes James Kelly from the BSIA

School sports flooring plays a pivotal role in keeping pupils fit and safe


What are the controls that can be put in place to prevent infection from spreading?

Members of the School Travel Forum offer advice on how to manage the costs of planning UK-based school trips



BALI’S Denise Ewbank considers how schools can be innovative in the use of their outdoor space

Design and technology should be valued and nurtured in a post‑Brexit UK, urges Dr Julie Nugent


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More grammar schools should not be priority in party policies, union urges

Teachers subject of online abuse by parents and pupils, report shows According to research by union NASUWT, nearly one-third of teachers have reported being abused online in the past 12 months. Half of those targeted also said that parents and not just pupils were “authors of the abuse.” The union surveyed 1,507 teachers and 31 per cent said they had been abused online in the last year. Eighty-five per cent of insulting comments made by parents about teachers were on the topic of professionalism and teaching, 26 per cent were regarding character and appearance, and 20 per cent were threats. Of insulting comments made by pupils, 52 per cent were regarding character or appearance, 45 per cent was focused on professionalism and teaching, and 38 per cent featured pictures or videos which were taken without consent. The survey also revealed that 29 per cent of abuse goes unreported because teachers do not think their complaints will be taken seriously; 18 per cent of teachers have had uninvited comments posted by pupils/parents to their personal social media accounts; and 38 per cent have chosen to stop using social media for reasons linked to their profession – mainly to ensure details of their private life remain confidential.

School leaders’ union NAHT has suggested five key priorities for political parties to include in their General Election manifestos, and grammar schools in not one of them. The union believe that a top priority for the education sector should be to fund education fully and fairly, by reversing the £3 billion real terms cuts that schools are facing and providing enough money to make the new national funding formula a success. There should also be a national strategy for teacher recruitment and retention that recognises teachers as high-status professionals and guarantees enough teachers for every school. The union also urges for fair methods to hold schools to account, recognising that test and exam results are only part of the picture when judging a pupil’s success or a school’s effectiveness. NAHT also calls on political candidates to value a broad range of subjects in the school day so opportunities are not limited. The union’s final point is to make sure that schools are supported by health and

social care services to allow schools to fulfil their role to promote pupil wellbeing. Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary said: “Education is near the top of the national agenda at the moment – as it should be. Our five priorities reflect the real challenges affecting schools and young people right now. Parties hoping for the support of parents, teachers and school leaders need to have something to say on these key areas. These will underpin future success.” Hobby added: “We have chosen to focus on the issues that really matter to higher standards for all children. Further change to structures, like the expansion of grammars, would miss the point. Academic selection at eleven makes outcomes worse for the majority of children in that area. We cannot afford such an elitist policy in the twenty-first century.” The suggestions will be unveiled at NAHT’s Annual Conference in Telford on 28 April.



Nutrition charity launches training platform for primary teachers

“Hidden costs” act as a barrier to educational opportunities in Scotland

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has launched a new professional development platform for primary school teachers. The course – Teaching food in primary: the why, what and how – delivers seven different training modules. The BNF hopes that the online training will provide much needed additional education for teachers. This is in response to the results of research which shows that many teachers are getting little training in the area of nutrition. John Reilly, professor of physical activity and public health science at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Lifestyle in childhood and adolescence is not ‘just’ about health, but is also important to academic attainment. “The brain is affected by levels of physical activity, body fatness, and physical fitness. Using new evidence on the effects of lifestyle on the brain might be a way of improving educational attainment in the future.” READ MORE:


Union NASUWT told the Scottish Trades Union Congress that the increasing costs families face in sending their children to school are acting as a barrier to children and young people’s participation in activities and educational opportunities. A recent NASUWT survey found that in Scotland, 57 per cent of parents said that school uniform had to be purchased from a particular supplier and that restricting the purchase to one supplier often means the items are more expensive. In addition, the poll found that one in ten said they were required by their child’s school to purchase computer equipment such as a tablet or laptop, and seven per cent said that the cost of equipment affected what subjects their child chose to study. Nearly one in ten (nine per cent) said they were unable to allow their child to participate in an educational trip or visit in the last year due to the cost and 17 per cent said their child was unable to participate in non-curriculum related trips due to cost. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) said they had been in arrears or debt to their child’s school for payments for things such

Education Briefer



Chris Keates, NASUWT

as lunches or activities, with over a third (36 per cent) saying that the situation was not dealt with sensitively by the school. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “It is clear that families are facing significant substantial hidden costs in supporting their children’s education and that access to the full range of educational opportunities is becoming ever more dependent on parents’ ability to pay. “These costs have the potential to entrench the inequality which children and young people from lower income families already experience and undermine attempts to close the attainment gap.” READ MORE:



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MPs fear three million children could go hungry during school holidays

Labour promises to bring back Education Maintenance Allowance

MPs are calling on the government to use the tax on sugary drinks on schemes to help feed hungry children outside of term. According to a cross-party panel of MPs, up to three million children are at risk of going hungry during the school holidays. The group has said that the government should use grants of £100,000 raised from the tax on sugary drinks to help councils support schemes to feed hungry children when they have no access to school canteens. The parliamentarians heard evidence about children who existed on a diet of crisps and others who were so hungry that they were unable to take part in a football tournament, because “their bodies simply gave up”.

The Labour party has revealed plans to re-introduce the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), and raising corporation tax in order to fund it. The EMA is aimed at supporting pupils from low‑income households who are in education between 16 and 19. The fund was scrapped in 2010 by the coalition government, however, it was carried on in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Labour pledged to bring back the payments last August and the party has now re-affirmed its commitment to the policy. READ MORE:

The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on hunger said that Whitehall should place a duty on councils to work with schools, churches, community

groups and businesses to tackle the problem. READ MORE:


Schools spending more than necessary in PFI contracts An investigation by Tes has revealed that schools are locked into PFI contract which forces them to pay more than they should for everyday items. According to Tes, in what are dubbed “life-cycle costs”, schools are charged over the duration of PFI contracts, which results in even modest monthly payments mounting up over the years. One teacher, who did not want

Education Briefer


to be named, has stated that the school in which she works, which is a PFI school, has been paying £88 each year for the installation of a new sink for 14 years as a result of the contract. She totalled that with nine years left on the contract, the sink will cost £2,024. In addition to this, a single blind for a room is expected to cost up to £8,154 at Bristol


Opportunity for primary school pupils to win feedback from top authors

Metro Academy under PFI. Oasis Academy Brislington is set to pay more than £2,000 for an external water tap. Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, in north‑east London, told Tes that the companies that profit from financing PFI deals were the “legal loan sharks of the public sector”. She wants an inquiry into PFI “before even more schools and hospitals are saddled with debts they can’t pay”. Concern over the value for money in PFI deals – or the lack of it – has prompted the National Audit Office to launch a new investigation into PFI schemes, with schools one of the areas being looked at. The government watchdog will examine the costs and benefits of PFI, as well as how they are managed and how savings can be made.

The Authorfy competition will give pupils the chance to have their stories critiqued by writers including Cressida Cowell, the author of the How To Train Your Dragon series. The award-winning author of the Varjak Paw novels, SF Said, is also one of the novelists who will be analysing the children’s writing, as well as Laura Dockrill, author of Darcy Burdock. Key stage 2 teachers can enter their school in the competition and every teacher is entitled to participate, meaning a single school can have more than one entry. Five winning schools will be selected and each allocated an author. Teachers in these schools can then select one pupil’s story to be critiqued by this author.





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Exam regulator urges schools to report suspicions of cheating

Ofqual is calling for schools, parents and students to report evidence or suspicions of cheating, malpractice or wrongdoing. In order to spread the message, the exam regulator is sending posters to secondary schools across England, which are also available for download. A spokesperson for Ofqual said: “It’s our job to ensure that standards are maintained and to promote confidence in qualifications. Cheating, malpractice or wrongdoing undermines the hard work of students, teachers and schools.

“As well as sending out posters to schools, we’ve made improvements to our processes to make reporting easier, simpler and quicker. “If anyone has concerns about qualifications we regulate then we would urge them to contact the appropriate exam board or us straight away. All reports are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. If you see it or suspect it, report it.” READ MORE:


Corbyn’s four day bank holiday promise to include teachers

Education Briefer


Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to give workers an extra four bank holidays and confirmed schools and teachers would not be exempt from the additional days. At the moment, schools are currently required to open for 190 days to pupils each year, and an additional five days for teacher training. Schools would therefore only be required to open 186 days a year for pupils, instead of 190, with teachers attending school for 191 days, as opposed to 195.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party



National School Meals Week date confirmed The Lead Association for Catering (LACA) has announced that this year’s school meals week will take place 13-17 November. Usually National School Meals Week (NSMW) is scheduled for the first week in November, however, LACA states that in recent years, the autumn half term has been “something of a moveable feast

within local authorities, with dates differing between the end of October and beginning of November”. Moving the date is expected to give all schools across the country the chance to take part. The week will involve a number of high profile activities, with a mixture

of political messages and engagement with school caterers and pupils. This year’s agenda involves a National Roast Dinner Day, theme days, the NSMW daily marathon, and the “host a school chef” event. READ MORE:



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Radicalisation is the top IT security concern in UK schools

Phonics is the best way to teach reading, research shows

Radicalisation is seen as the top concern in schools, overtaking cyber bullying and child grooming, research shows. According to research carried out by Barracuda, 43 per cent of those responsible for technology in schools do not feel equipped to safeguard pupils from radicalisation. The firm conducted a survey of attendees during the Bett Show in London. They found that despite the relaunch of the government’s Prevent duty in 2015, which helped organisations protect pupils from radicalisation and extremism, many people did not know what it was with 26 per cent saying they had never heard of it. In addition to this, more than 52 per cent of respondents said that the Department for Education has not provided enough information and support on using technology to safeguard children against the issues covered by Prevent duty.

Research by the Royal Holloway University of London shows that learning to read by sounding words improves the accuracy of reading aloud. Researchers from Royal Holloway and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit tested whether learning to read by sounding out words is more effective than focusing on whole-word meanings. In order to assess the effectiveness of using phonics, the researchers trained adults to read in a new language, printed in unfamiliar symbols, and then measured their learning with reading tests and brain scans. In England, the provision of systematic phonics instruction is a legal requirement in state-funded primary schools. The impact of phonics is measured through a screening check administered to children in Year 1. The results of this screening check have shown year-on-year gains in the percentage of

children reaching an expected standard – from 58 per cent in 2012 to 81 per cent in 2016. However there are objections to the use of systematic phonic as many practitioners argue in favour of a “less-prescriptive” approach, consisting of a variety of phonic- and meaning-based skills. One common objection is that while phonics may assist reading aloud, it may not promote reading comprehension. Professor Kathy Rastle, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway said, “The results were striking; people who had focused on the meanings of the new words were much less accurate in reading aloud and comprehension than those who had used phonics, and our MRI scans revealed that their brains had to work harder to decipher what they were reading”.



Trainee teacher bursaries should be replaced with new “forgivable fees”

Obesity Action Scotland calls for improvements to school meals

According to a report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), bursaries for trainee teachers should be scrapped and replaced with a new system of forgivable fees. The think tank has called on the government to scrap bursaries for trainees and replace then with a promise that their tuition fees would be wiped after 10 years working in teaching, also known as forgivable fees. HEPI believe this would encourage trainees to stay in the profession. In addition to this, the report says it would also “release a quarter of a billion pounds per annum” which is currently spent on bursaries to could be spent elsewhere in education. The report also includes a series of proposals aimed at tackling the lack of teachers, EBacc pressures in certain subjects, and potential falling overseas recruitment that may be triggered by Brexit. READ MORE:


Obesity Action Scotland (OAS) is calling on Scottish local government election candidates to “transform” school meals to cut down child obesity. Two-thirds of primary school pupils in Scotland eat school meals and OAS said this provided a “unique opportunity” to drive dietary change. According to the group’s report, children are being offered puddings high in sugar and menus regularly offer processed foods. It found that Scottish primary schools serve

Education Briefer



puddings more often than soup and these puddings have an average of 14g of sugar. The OAS is asking that election candidates commit to change school meals “from a feeding culture to an eating culture”. The organisation said it wanted unprocessed or “minimally processed” foods used wherever possible and vegetables, soup and salads prioritised over puddings. READ MORE:



Supporting administration and improving the learning experience

As schools, colleges and universities attempt the tricky balancing act of cutting costs while improving service levels, more and more are discovering the benefits of deploying Fujitsu scanners in the classroom and administrative offices. Fujitsu offers a wide range of scanners, including sheetfed, flatbed and overhead models. Different models are suited to different applications, but all perform the same essential function, the conversion of printed and handwritten information into digital images that can be shared, stored and distributed digitally. Visit to find out more

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Please scan here for a YouTube hosted video featuring teachers talking about using scanners and the benefits of them in the classroom and for admin


How can teachers be expected to adequately support children’s mental wellbeing without support themselves? Julian Stanley CEO at the Education Support Partnership shares some tips for teachers on dealing with stress, as well as advice for leadership teams on the role they can play

STRESS We all experience stress as we adjust to a continually changing environment. Positive pressure can of course be energising, sometimes just what we need to help us reach our peak performance. However, too much pressure can turn to stress and it is prolonged exposure to pressure that can be harmful to both physical and mental wellbeing. There are a wide range of sources of stress. These include day to day hassles to major life events, home and work factors. Home stress factors might include relationships, money problems, children, sickness and housework. Work stress factors meanwhile might include work overload, difficult relationships, a fast pace of change, deadlines and unrealistic demands.

Last the Eduyear, TIPS TO cati Suppor MANAGE STRESS t Partneon helped rship Work out priorities: keep a list and make tasks 30,000 more than possible. Prioritise them e d profess ucation in order of priority and tick them off when called i ionals who ts done. Include important in a stahelpline people in your life as te o priorities and attend to crisis f these relationships first.

As the only charity providing mental health and wellbeing support services to all education staff and organisations, Education Support Partnership is only too aware that whilst teaching can be one of the most rewarding careers, there’s a growing impact from increasing stresses and strains at every level, from school leaders, teachers and support staff to lecturers. The demands of ever-greater accountability, smaller budgets, the growing testing culture and monitoring – as well as spiralling workload in schools, is clearly affecting the wellbeing of many students and staff alike. Earlier in the year, the Prime Minister’s public recognition and commitment earlier to deliver better mental health services was welcome, if long overdue. But aside from the fact that schools alone cannot solve this enormous issue, how can teachers be expected to adequately support children’s mental wellbeing without support themselves? If teachers and senior leaders are to successfully ‘lead by example,’ an ‘oxygen mask’ approach is surely what is needed to help stem this crisis.

FEELING AT YOUR BEST We are here to help all education staff and organisations and it is our firm belief that everyone in education deserves to feel at their best. Indeed, last year we helped more than 30,000 education professionals who called our confidential helpline in a state of crisis. Such damage to wellbeing continues to lead to high rates of sickness absence and staff choosing to leave the profession. As illustrated by our last annual health survey of more than 2,000 education professionals, 84 per cent told us they had suffered from some form of mental health problem in the last two years and over half (53 per cent) felt that their ill health had impacted on pupil’s studies. More recently, in our YouGov TeacherTrack survey, a quarter of senior school leaders (27 per cent) said they don’t expect to be working in education beyond the next one to two years. But at the same time, nearly half said that better workplace support for their personal wellbeing could help keep them in the profession. Enabling what is increasingly referred to as ‘self-care’ to help teachers build resilience and tackle crippling workloads

Written by Julian Stanley, CEO, Education Support Partnership

Looking after teachers’ minds

won’t solve long-term issues but is one way you and your school can make a great difference to your own and the wider team’s wellbeing now and for the future.

Teacher Wellbeing


You should also identify your stress situations by making a list of events or tasks that leave you emotionally drained, with one or two ways to reduce stress for each. When they occur, use them as a chance to practice stress-reduction techniques and keep notes on what works for next time. Another tip is not to react to imagined insults – it is a waste of time and energy to be oversensitive to imagined insults. Give people the benefit of the doubt and talk it over with someone you trust. Teachers should also think before they commit. People can often perform tasks merely to feel accepted or liked by other people. Practice saying ‘no’ to requests that are unreasonable or more than you can handle at the time, rather than suffer subsequent regrets and stress. Another good tip is to just move on: don’t dwell on past mistakes. Feeling of guilt, remorse and regret cannot change the past and make the present difficult by sapping your energy. Make a conscious effort to do something to change the mood, employ mindfulness techniques for example or do something active when you feel yourself drift into regrets. Learn from it and have strategies in place for next time. Another way to control stress is to not bottle up anger and frustrations. Express and discuss your feelings to the person responsible for your agitation. If it’s E



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Pupil wellbeing and attainment as well as school performance depends largely on your own wellbeing and that of your staff. By investing in this crucial area, you may reduce absence, boost recruitment and increase productivity  impossible to talk it out, plan for some physical activity at the end of the working day to relieve tensions. It’s also best to let go of grudges. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Set aside time each day for recreation and exercise. Gentle repetitive exercise like cycling, swimming and walking are all good stress relievers. Meditation, yoga, pilates and dance are also excellent. The trick is to find what suits you best. Hobbies that focus attention are also good stress relievers. Take up a new activity totally unrelated to your current occupation. It is also vital to get enough rest. Everybody copes better with stress if they’ve had enough sleep. Wind down an hour or two before bed and ban paperwork or digital devices from your bedroom. If you’re struggling to clear your mind, try planning every day in advance with a list you can tick off the next day. THE PAPER BURDEN It’s a good idea to organise your paperwork. Many teachers recommend colour-coding storage in the classroom by theme, year group and level so you can find things more quickly. Set aside time every day (or if not feasible, each week) to move paperwork from ‘to file’ to the relevant place in your filing system. Another simple but effective tip is to think positively. Smile whenever you can. It’s an easy and effective way of improving how you feel. Try and find something positive to say about a situation, particularly if you’re going to find fault. Visualise situations you’ve handled well and hold those memories in your mind when you’re going into stressful situations. THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP TEAMS Pupil wellbeing and attainment as well as school performance depends largely on your own wellbeing and that of your staff. By investing in this crucial area, you may reduce absence, boost recruitment and increase productivity. It’s important to recognise the signs of workplace stress in your teams. As a leader you can encourage employees to periodically ‘unplug’ from workplace stress by taking time off and curtail too many long days on the job. You can commit to CPD and encourage skill development to help your teams manage new challenges. You can also plan monthly ‘stress busters’ which might include social events, stress-reduction workshops or motivational speakers. Team leaders should also be quick to praise positive thinking and initiative, and tell staff about Education Support Partnership’s free and confidential helpline specifically for anyone working in education. You can ring 24 hours a day on 08000 562 561. The charity’s Positive Workplace Survey can also be a quick and helpful way to benchmark how staff are feeling and indicate areas that could be worked on. Hannah Matthews, wellbeing lead at City of London Academy commented that having worked with Education Support Partnership, “wellbeing is now on the whole school development plan and factors into decision making. Our retention rates have improved and staff report that the school is a more positive place to work.” In such challenging times, it is important to make you and your staff’s wellbeing a priority, to know that support is available and to access it. It really can and does make a difference. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Based on the Keeping Children Safe Online guidance, RM Education has put together four key themes which you should be considering when it comes to reviewing your online safety The prevalence of new technologies in education is creating a generation of engaged and inspired pupils, learning in ways they’re most comfortable. Cheap and durable devices, such as Chromebooks, have created a wealth of opportunities for learning to be extended beyond the school gates, and Cloud productivity tools, such as G Suite and Office 365, have created opportunities for real-time collaboration that is dramatically changing the way students learn. However, these exciting Cloud-based devices and tools can also present safeguarding issues and schools must constantly be ahead of the curve. How do you ensure that encouraging the use of these new technologies doesn’t put your students at risk online? ONE: POLICY AND PRACTICE Does your school have a Safeguarding Policy in place which includes online safety? How often do you update your policies? Does your school have clear, and regularly updated, Acceptable User Policies (AUP)? It is recommended that online safety be included within your Safeguarding Policy. It is suggested that a structured, modular approach be adopted, having an overarching online safety policy (which is short and easy to review) with separate but linked individual short sub-policies. Any safeguarding issues that occur, which include online safety, should be dealt with according to the safeguarding policies in place at the time. Having a robust AUP is important and all community members need to have read and understood this document. It is vital that this document is updated and reviewed in line with your other policies and practices. It is also recommended that the document be reviewed if any incidents happen in school that cause the documents to be changed and reviewed annually as standard.

in the wider community is an ongoing objective. Every opportunity should be taken to give online safety messages to students and training to staff, to ensure everyone has the tools to support and understand escalation routes. Training can also provide an understanding of the policies and practice in place to support students and staff. Have you thought about accrediting your staff in relation to online safety? This will ensure your school has staff who are up to date and have certification in this area. Appendix B of the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance states that safeguarding leads should receive up-to‑date training every two years, this could be CEOP Ambassadors programme or EPICT. THREE: REPORTING Is there a clear method that parents, staff and students can go through to report issues to the right people within the school? Can they do this anonymously? Do you record issues in a manner which allows you to identify patterns, and put appropriate interventions in place? It is recommended that all schools use a flowchart incident management diagram. This can be displayed in the staff room, making sure staff are familiar with what they need to do in the event of an online safety incident. Using a risk register to record all possible activity can illustrate that the school

proactively considers the use of technology and makes informed decisions as to what level of risk to accept. It can also allow you to identify patterns and areas where appropriate interventions can be actioned. FOUR: FILTERING AND MONITORING Does your internet filtering enable you to differentiate filter rules for different users? How does your school currently monitor online behaviour? It’s important to offer age appropriate filtering, ensuring the lower end of the school have more protection online than your older pupils. The DfE recommend ‘age appropriate filtering without overblocking’ so every school needs to be sure they have the control to be able to meet this requirement. It is also essential that schools have monitoring in place to complement their filtering. Monitoring will highlight themes that can then be addressed through online safety training with staff, students and parents. As the leading provider of technology to UK schools, RM Education has a duty to provide schools with the technology essentials to help keep children safe online. Take a look at the full range of consultancy, filtering and monitoring that RM provides. L

Written by Kat Howard, Senior Educational Consultant & Online Safety Lead, RM Education


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TWO: TRAINING What training is offered to staff and students to support online safety issues? How does the school educate and support the wider school community? Embedding online safety in school and



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School and academy supplier YPO is working in partnerhip with MATs to offer expertise that can help with efficiency, while assisting with cost savings and improving educational outcomes

As a multi-academy trust, you know the benefits of working together to create something great – it’s central to what you do every day. YPO understands this principle too, and are working in partnership with MATs across the county to offer their expertise. HELPING YOU BUY BETTER YPO is the largest supplier to schools and academies across the UK and for over 40 years, have been providing a range of 30,000 classroom and office products, as well as service agreements that can be tailored to your specific needs, including gas and electricity, HR, facilities maintenance and IT. YPO is 100 per cent publicly-owned so all the profits are returned to the public purse, meaning the company can focus on solely supporting you and giving you access to great savings and expert advice. Last year, over £2 million was given back to thousands of schools and academies, helping them in their mission to continually improve and develop. TOP TIPS TO BUYING BETTER YPO has a range of advice to assist with better buying for your institution in order tobecome more efficient. The firm has said that there should be collaborations with other academies and trusts; to plan ahead with ordering and deliver; and to look for added value such as customer service, free advice and guidance and reward schemes. In addition to this, YPO say that you should be compliant by using a public sector buying organisation to ensure legalities; fundraise and spend wisely for income generation; and to continuously improve by reviewing your contracts regularly and going out to tender. SERVICE AGREEMENTS AND ICT Centralising your key services and contracts could be the first step in your aim of achieving your efficiency objectives. YPO is a procurement partner that can support you on your journey in becoming a successful, sustainable and exemplary multi-academy trust. Across your MAT you might have 10, 20, 100 or thousands of different ICT systems or processes in place, all with critical roles to play in managing the

everyday running of your academies. YPO is committed to staying current and helping you keep up to speed with the latest technologies.The firm can provide you with access to service agreements for photocopiers and printers, computer hardware and software, ink cartridges and print supplies, and postal and courier services. FOOD AND CATERING It’s likely all your academies have many different suppliers that provide a range of food and catering services. Some might already be providing fresh, locally-sourced food and others might not. Through a YPO service agreement you could even access the same suppliers, but at a much better price. You could also explore new options and suppliers that might better meet your needs. YPO can provide you with access to service agreements for groceries and frozen goods; fruit and vegetables; fresh and cooked meats; morning goods and sandwiches; management software; equipment; disposables; and catering workwear. ENERGY Complicated tariffs and efficiency pressures are without doubt a daunting complexity for any MAT. Centralising your electricity and gas contracts could save you a significant amount. You might even be considering renewable energy. The firm can provide you with access to service agreements for: electricity and gas; heating systems; lighting; solar panels and wind turbines; water; and fuels. BUSINESS SUPPORT Your people are your most valuable asset, so making sure your HR systems, insurance and other support services are effective will

help you to retain and protect them. YPO has access to some of the best recruiters, financial and support services in the country. Therefore they can help you locate service agreements for: supply teachers; insurance; banking services; translation and interpretation; and vehicles (minibus). FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Combining high capital expenditure with complex building and safety regulations can often make for challenging procurements. YPO has developed agreements that can help you design, build, refurbish and maintain your buildings and grounds. They can help you locate service agreements for: grounds maintenance; building materials; painting and decorating materials; UPVC windows and doors; fire safety equipment; washroom services; and first aid. Commenting on YPO’s services, Clive Hammond, head of procurement at Academies Enterprise Trust, said: “As a large multi‑academy trust, we rely on organisations like YPO to support us when making cost-effective purchasing decisions. YPO supplies a large range of products to all our academies which help save time and money, allowing us to better focus our resources and attention on our future generations. “ Hammond added: “We are pleased to have chosen YPO as one of our approved suppliers and procurement partners.” If you’d like to find out more on how YPO can help your MAT save time and money – on everything from school meals to energy – see below for more information. L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01924 834 960





Jessica Cumming

The government’s forced academisation plan may have been scrapped, but it remains a requirement for some failing schools – and a choice for others. Jessica Cumming, solicitor at Gordons law firm, considers the process and explores the practical steps towards conversion Academy conversions generally fall into one of two categories; voluntary conversion, where the governors of the school voluntarily apply for academy status, and forced or involuntary conversion where a school is eligible for intervention and is issued with an order to close and re-open as an academy with an external sponsor. The general process of academy conversion is broadly the same for both voluntary and involuntary conversions, although there are of course differences specific to each conversion. Here are some practical tips if you are considering exploring voluntary conversion, including a summary of differences for involuntary conversions. PREPARATION IS KEY For schools looking to voluntarily convert, it can be extremely useful to speak with other schools that have recently gone through the conversion process. This will provide you with an opportunity to discuss the process, any particular issues they encountered and advice they may have. It is also important to consider the structure you are looking to adopt from an early stage. Will you establish a single academy trust, a multi-academy trust (MAT) or will you look to join an existing MAT? The Department for Education (DfE) has published various guidance documents, all available online, to help with this decision. It generally takes approximately three to four months to convert from the date of an academy order so consider your preferred date for conversion – along with the resources needed to achieve conversion (both in terms of manpower and financially), professional advice required and the stakeholders you will need to consult. REGISTER AN INTEREST The recommended first step for voluntary conversion of a school to an academy is to complete an online registration of interest form with the DfE, at which point the DfE will allocate a project lead to provide support and guidance to the school throughout the process. Consultation with stakeholders as to whether the school should convert is an important part of a voluntary conversion. Education legislation states that this may

take place before an application for academy status is made and must be completed before a funding agreement is entered into with the Secretary of State. The consultation is about listening to the views of interested parties and ensuring their questions are answered. Of course, in reality the consultation should inform the governors’ decision making, which means it is prudent to consult before an application for academy status is made to the DfE. A formal consultation process is recommended, which provides key stakeholders with all necessary information such as why the conversion is being proposed and what changes will occur as a result. There is no statutory requirement to consult with any specific party, however the government recommends that this should include staff members, parents, carers, pupils and the wider community. Depending on the school’s circumstances, the school may also consider consulting with other local stakeholders and if the school is looking to join a MAT then consultation with the MAT must take place as the DfE will require confirmation that the MAT is happy for the school to join them. Evidence of consent will also be required from the school’s trust/ foundation and from the diocesan board/ religious authority where appropriate. Further to consultation taking place, if the governing body feels that it is in a position to decide to convert to academy status, it will need to be documented within minutes of a meeting. This will be required as evidence when an application is made to the DfE for conversion to academy status.

where professional advice will be required. The next step involves completion of the DfE’s online ‘application to convert form’ at least three months before proposed academy opening date. You will need to attach a signed copy of the minutes of the governors meeting during which they resolved to convert to academy status. If not already done so, now would be a good time to notify your local authority of your plans to convert and to ask them if they have any internal processes or timescales you need to take into account. The due diligence process should also commence now, notifying the school’s land owner of your decision to convert and asking them to collate the legal ownership/ land registration documentation in preparation for conversion. As the school’s staff, assets and contracts will transfer to the academy trust upon conversion, it is also recommended that you start to collate details of these including details of any assets and contracts you would like excluded from the transfer. Also collate details any service level agreements, shared use arrangements, licences and grants from Sport England and/ or the Football Association, as arrangements will need to be made for the academy trust to take over such arrangements. It is imperative you start thinking about the appointment of legal advisors at this stage as they will play a crucial role in the next stage of conversion.

Written by Jessica Cumming, solicitor, Gordons law firm

The method to a successful conversion

For schools loo convertking to extrem , it can be to spea ely useful k schools with other t gone thhat have r the pro ough cess

A TIMETABLE As part of decision to convert, governors will need to look at pulling together a timetable for conversion, allocating roles and responsibilities to certain governors and members of staff and undertaking a skills audit to ascertain the elements of conversion

POST‑APPROVAL STEPS Once you have received your academy order, you will need to apply for the grant towards conversion, which is intended to cover legal HR costs, including costs involved in TUPE. There are a number of key steps which need to be taken to achieve academy conversion, involving a variety of legal documentation. These steps and required documentation may vary depending on the type of school converting, but generally should include E



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CONVERSION  the TUPE consultation process, which must begin in preparation for the transfer of school staff to the academy trust, and drafting a funding agreement/funding agreements which document the conditions of funding that apply to the academy trust. If you are setting up a single or multi‑academy trust (a company limited by guarantee) then the memorandum and articles of association will also need to be drafted and the company incorporated at Companies House. Where a school is joining an existing academy trust this step will not be relevant. Also included at this stage will be a land questionnaire, report on title and arrangements for the transfer of land/ grant of a 125 year lease or other property interest to the academy trust. Completion of a commercial transfer agreement to transfer the assets, contracts and staff to the academy trust is also required. PRE-OPENING There are a number of additional steps which need to be undertaken before the academy opens, including setting up a bank account, undertaking enhanced DBS checks against staff and governors, notifying suppliers and creditors of the change in legal status/new name and arranging for any necessary insurance to be put in place. This would include insurance cover such as public liability, employer’s liability and premises and contents insurance.

If applicable, you must also register a restriction and option against the school land in favour of the Secretary of State, as well as notifying the ICO that the academy is opening and the appointment of an accounting officer auditor and chief financial officer, and don’t forget that contact will also need to be made with Edubase so they can issue your academy’s new unique reference number (URN). It is worth noting that where the school joins an existing academy trust, the academy trust’s solicitors often take the lead with the above steps, which means the school’s involvement will be less involved than if it was setting up its own academy trust. The key for schools joining existing academy trusts will be to assist with the due diligence exercise prior to conversion. INVOLUNTARY CONVERSION Of course, this all applies for voluntary conversions but for schools who are forced to convert, some of the above steps will not apply. For example, there will be no need to register an interest or apply for an academy order. The DfE will consult with certain entities such as a school’s foundation governors or appropriate religious body regarding conversion, however, there is no legal obligation or right for the school to undertake a consultation with its stakeholders. Instead, legislation requires



the academy’s sponsor to communicate plans for improvement to the parents of registered pupils at the school – and in reality this is likely to be joint effort. The governing body of the school and local authority are required to take the reasonable steps that are required to facilitate the conversion. As with schools voluntarily joining existing academy trust’s, the sponsor’s solicitors will take a lead role in the academy conversion and the school’s role will mainly be limited to assisting with the due diligence exercise. The key legal documentation will still be required. Although the academy trust will already be established, there will be a need for a local governing body of the school to be set up, the TUPE process will need to be undertaken, a supplemental funding agreement and a commercial transfer agreement drawn up and arrangements made for granting the academy trust with an interest in the school land. Many of the pre-opening steps will also be required although responsibility for registration with the ICO rests with the academy trust, the academy trust may make arrangements for the necessary insurance to be in place and will also already have appointed an accounting officer and chief financial officer. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Investing in the school estate

Since the Chancellor announced in the Spring Budget that £216 million will be invested into refurbishing existing schools there have been concerns over whether this sum will be enough The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Spring Budget that £216 million will be invested in order to rebuild and refurbish existing schools. However, there has been scrutiny over whether this sum will be enough to bring all schools to an acceptable standard, and even more criticism over “wasted” funds being allocated to build free schools. IS £216 MILLION ENOUGH? The investment into improving old schools is said to take the total sum which is being used for this purpose to £10 billion. However, according to the National Audit Office (NAO), a property data survey by the Department for Education suggests that it would amount to £6.7 billion to return all school buildings to a

satisfactory or better condition. Not only this, in order to bring parts of school buildings from a satisfactory to a good condition, it will cost a further £7.1 billion. According to the NAO, the most common major defects in schools which need attention are problems with electrics and external walls, which means it is highly important that these problems are fixed. It is also estimated that the cost of dealing with such defects will double between now and 2021, even with current levels of funding because many buildings are

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near the end of their useful lives with most of the school estate being over 40 years old. In addition to this, 60 per cent of the estate is believed to have been built before 1976. The National Union of Teachers commented on the investment at the time saying that the money proposed for school refurbishment will be welcome “providing it is actually new money and will be spent on ensuring that schools are fit for purpose and safe from dangers of asbestos”. They also referred to the NAO’s findings saying that despite the initial funds announced, they will “require much more substantial investment from the government”.

The mo commo st major d n in schoo efects need at ls which te problemntion are electric s with externa s and l walls

ROLLING OUT FREE SCHOOLS In addition to funding for the refurbishment of schools, Hammond announced that there would be £320 million allocated to open 140 new free schools, 30 of which are expected to open by September 2020. This announcement received mixed reviews from those in the education sector, which included the general secretary of the National E




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 Union of Teachers (NUT), Kevin Courtney, who described the move to put funding into free schools as an “irresponsible waste of money”, saying there is “absolutely no need” for it. He went on to say that the government is going to “pour” extra funding into the opening of new free schools and grammar schools instead of tackling the “crisis of their own making”. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of union ATL, is also on side with the NUT, stating that the “government persists in wasting money by allowing free schools to open in areas where there is no shortage of places”. She added that the National Audit Office (NAO) found that it costs “far more” to create a place in a free school than it does in a mainstream school, saying that teachers and heads in existing state schools “will be dismayed to see the chancellor throwing more money at free and grammar schools”. Dr Bousted did go on to comment, however, that it is “good news” that the government is providing £216 million to improve the quality of school buildings. Despite industry concerns, Prime Minister, Theresa May stated that the rolling out of new free schools is part of her “personal mission” to “increase the capacity and diversity of the school system so that there is a good school place that caters to the individual needs and abilities of every single child”. Education secretary Justine Greening is also in favour of rolling out free schools, and in a statement, she said that this plan will ensure that “schools work for everyone.” She went on to say that the free schools will create the extra school places that

The National Union of Teachers commented on the investment, saying that the money proposed for school refurbishment will be welcome “providing it is actually new money” children need and offer a “real choice, and a real diversity of schools”. Greening concluded that the free schools programme is “vital” in order to make sure that parents continue to have the education choices that they want for their children. CREATING A PROPERTY FIRM Following on from the recent announcement to invest £320 million into the construction of free schools across England, a new public property company has been appointed by the government to assist in building the new schools. The government-owned firm, LocatED will acquire land and buildings across the country to help build 500 new free schools by 2020, and create 600,000 new school places by 2021. They will operate with a £2 million budget, which makes it one of the largest purchasers of land in the UK, and will act on behalf of the government to secure the right to sites they believe are suitable as a school ground, at the right price in order to enable the free schools to open. At the time, School Systems minister, Lord Nash, commented that LocatED has the skills and expertise to find and secure land and buildings in order to ensure that the “free school’s ambition becomes a reality”.

He added that “with 29 per cent of free schools inspected rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted - LocatED will play a vital role in helping us create thousands more good and outstanding school places for future generations of children”. The pressure to build hundreds of free schools is part of the government’s aim to improve social mobility and good school places across the country. ATL’s general secretary, Dr Bousted, believes that the creation of LocatED is a result of the government “finally” recognising that the expansion of the free schools programme has “got out of hand and well over budget”, and that the firm would not have been needed had the government “allowed local authorities to have the control over the planning for the additional school places they need”. She added: “We hope that LocatED will behave more responsibly with tax payers’ money when purchasing land and buildings for the new schools that we need. “We also hope they will be accountable if costs are excessive, such as the £7.3 million spent on an unsuitable site which was only worth £3 million, or the extortionate rents paid by the Bolton Wanderers Free School.” L FURTHER INFORMATION




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Cashing-in on sunlight Written by Leonie Greene and Holly Stower, Solar Trade Association

Leonie Greene and Holly Stower from the Solar Trade Association discuss the cost and carbon savings that can be achieved from solar PV systems, how to finance them, and if there is a way around the recently introduced rise in business rates for microgeneration There are over 1,000 schools in the UK that have chosen to go solar. Schools usually have plenty of roof space that can be put to work to help to reduce energy bills and CO2 emissions. At the same time, solar engages pupils meaningfully in an exciting technology and the very real challenge of combatting climate change. ENERGY BILLS Cost reductions in solar PV have been unprecedented. Installed prices have fallen by over 70 per cent since 2010. Recent government predictions expect solar to get even cheaper. This has meant that even as government support has reduced, solar PV systems can still offer good value for money, particularly as energy bills are on the rise again. The main benefit of going solar is that it can be a cheaper way of getting electricity

compared to buying in power from the grid from your usual supplier. For example, if you assume that you are purchasing power from the grid at around £100 MWh, a solar system with a Power Purchase Agreement – where you contract to buy the power from a third party installer – might be able to supply you with electricity at £70-80 MWh. The Feed-In Tariff (FIT), which pays a set amount per unit of energy generated, continues; meaning schools are still receiving a handsome income for the energy their roofs produce. However, caps on deployment can make them harder to qualify for and lower (FIT) rates mean there is less of a

business case for solar. But, schools have a big economic advantage. Schools can use solar energy as it is being produced, in the daytime, and so displaces high levels of grid power. Clunky panels are a thing of the past. Solar panels are getting slimmer, sleeker and more efficient. For example Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), these ‘panels’ fit seamlessly into the architecture by replacing conventional building materials. Their marginal extra cost is offset by the production of renewable energy.

The benefit main solar is of going be a ch that it can of getti eaper way compar ng electricity ed in poweto buying rf the gridrom

HOW TO FINANCE YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM There are several business models that can be used to pay E



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 for a solar installation. The simplest is to pay for the installation outright and earn your investment back over time through energy bill savings, FIT tariffs and guaranteed payments for any exported solar. However, if the school doesn’t have funds available to pay for the system outright, there are other options which provide great opportunities for creativity. The case study below of Liss Primary School is a delightful example where pupils and parents fundraised to crowd-fund not only their own solar school, but a partner school in Uganda so it could benefit from electricity for the first time. There are many other inspiring examples of crowd funding approaches on the 10:10 Solar Schools website. Another option is financed or funded solar. This is where an external investment company pays for the installation and sells the power to the school at a competitive rate. The school pays nothing upfront and buys the electricity generated by the system from the investment company more cheaply than grid electricity through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Maintenance is usually covered for the duration of the term. Here are some key questions to ask before entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). What is the PPA rate? What is the price per kWh of electricity offered? How does that compare with what you pay at the moment? How does it inflate each year? Is there a guarantee to ensure that the PPA will not be higher than the prevailing market price for electricity? Schools should also ask if they have to buy all the electricity generated even if not used on site? (Some PPAs will require the building to buy 100 per cent of the electricity even when it doesn’t use it all.) BUSINESS RATE CHALLENGES The STA has been dismayed by the shock rise in business rates for solar on state schools and hospitals under the new 2017 ratings, which came into effect this month. We continue to lobby for corrective legislation to permanently exempt microgeneration (under 50kW), as well as rooftop solar cells and panels. We were delighted to be joined by pupils from the Eleanor Palmer School in Camden to present a Greenpeace petition of 200,000 signatures to the Treasury opposing the tax hike. Schools now face a business rate tax of 300-400 per cent which applies specifically to solar that is owned by the school itself and where the majority of the power generated is consumed on-site. For example, a school with a 50kW system will pay a £807 business

Case studies

rate tax per annum where previously it paid nothing. As the legislation currently stands microgeneration has only a limited exemption in England and Wales for one business review rate term (usually five years). However, microgeneration is permanently exempt in Scotland so most schools in Scotland with solar will continue to pay nothing. It is truly bizarre for government to penalise on-site self-supply, which is the most efficient use of solar power. But we are where we are. The good news is there are ways around this by effectively setting up a separate legal entity that can sell the power back to the school – contact an STA member if you want to know more about this. Power that is mostly exported qualifies for a much lower rateable value. Of course, if you have PPA-contracted solar then you will not be liable for business rates. It’s a great shame that schools that did so much to raise funds for their own solar will be penalised in this way. Do get in touch if you’ve been affected and you’d like to lobby government with us to change this. SOLAR THERMAL To date the biggest solar market has been for solar panels that generate electricity. However there is also the alternative option of solar thermal hot water heating. Schools have significant hot water requirements for showers and catering. Solar thermal hot water installations are typically cheaper than solar PV panels, and they are supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which means that the technology has similar rates of return on investment and similar payback periods as solar PV. Contrary to misconceptions, solar thermal relies on light, not heat, to heat the water, so can continue to work even with outside temperatures below freezing. HOW TO MANAGE AN INSTALLATION Most school solar systems will be 50kW or below. Therefore you should get at least three quotes from a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) certified installer. If your installation is over 50kW you don’t need an MCS certified contractor but most will be – certainly all STA members are. If you are over 50kW you still need ROO‑FIT accreditation in order to claim FITs, but a competent installer will accredit the system for you. Make sure your installer has good experience of installing larger systems beyond the domestic scale. The government has a simple checklist and

In 2015 Liss Junior School in Hampshire raised £10,000 for Liss to go Solar. They enjoyed them so much they decided to continue to raise money for even more panels – this time for their partner school Kafuro primary school in Uganda. Over a year Liss raised £1,000 for Kafuro to get electricity for the first time. The School is the first building in their village to have electricity so is open after school for pupils to do homework and for local businesses. Electricity also means another barrier to communication between Liss and Kafuro has been broken, increasing the opportunities for learning and sharing between schools. Saint Lukes Junior School, Learning with solar. With the help of 10:10, a climate change charity, Saint Lukes in Brighton installed 40 panels on their school canteen. They raised the £13,000 off their own backs by hosting book sales, sustainable clothes swaps and a sponsored cycle using a pedal powered generator. They also elected pupils as energy saving ‘Eco Councillors’ and hosted energy saving and solar panel building workshops. From conception and fundraising to installation and monitoring, environmental education opportunities were woven throughout. Today their 9.7kW system is estimated to save 5 tonnes of carbon per year for the next 20 years and so will provide invaluable education opportunities for many years to come. Wallacre Academy meanwhile had an ambitious 430kW array installed in September last year. The Greater Manchester based school’s energy needs will be almost entirely met with solar power. Eden Sustainable is the group who hold the PPA with Wallacre and should save the Academy up to £2 million over the 25 year lifespan of the panels, enabling the funds to be funnelled back into education. route map online. However if you want to be empowered for better informed project management check out the Solar Trade Association toolkit called the Commercial Solar Rooftop Confidence Checklist that will give you a very good idea of all the factors a quality installer will consider. This is freely available from the STA’s website. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Lighting Written by Peter Hunt, COO, The Lighting Industry Association and President of LightingEurope – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION


The human reaction to light A new understanding of the links between light and health have led to ‘humancentric’ lighting, which boosts vitality, promotes well-being and enhances productive capacity and concentration. Peter Hunt from the Lighting Industry Association explains more

No-one can have failed to notice that inefficient light sources have been phased out over recent years paving the way for new, more efficient technologies. The need to reduce our energy consumption in the face of rising prices and scarcity of supply along with intelligent use of daylight is now widely accepted. Growing importance is attached to good efficient lighting in educational establishments incorporating modern light sources and luminaires incorporating intelligent control systems for optimal use of daylight. In a modern intelligent lighting system sensors monitor the daylight levels and adjust the artificial lighting which saves energy. Presence controls can detect when people enter or leave a room and switch lights off when not required. The adoption of these controls alone can reduce energy consumption by as much as 50 per cent without taking into consideration the fact that modern LED lighting is already considerably more efficient that previous technologies and lasts much longer thereby reducing replacement and maintenance costs. THE BENEFITS GO FURTHER There are still a great many outdated inefficient lighting installations in use today however. Over time accumulation of dirt and ageing of materials can halve the light output of older lighting installations. The payback period for switching to a



more efficient modern system is often just a few years but the advantages go further than simply energy efficiency. Light is good for us, all human life depends on light and as the clocks go forward in Spring, we enjoy more of it, feel invigorated and generally more cheerful. This tells us that we need light for more than just vision. Light controls the internal clock that controls our bodies in a 24 hour rhythm. Without light as a cue our internal clock become out of sync resulting in lethargy, tiredness, mood swings and in some cases even a weakened immune system. For many years it has been known that the eye contains two types of receptor, rods and cones which react to light and enable vision. A relatively recent discovery by scientists is a third receptor which reacts to light but is not linked to vision. These receptors are particularly reactive to light with a blue content and they are responsible for setting our internal clock or circadian rhythm. This discovery has spawned a new understanding about light and health and today the use of ‘humancentric’ lighting as it has become termed, can supplement daylight as required and support the human sleep/wake cycle, boosting vitality,

promoting well-being and enhancing our productive capacity and concentration. LIGHTING IN SCHOOLS You can start to see why this is of particular interest in the teaching environment. Modern education is about encouragement and challenge. Much of the learning process is visual so it is logical that good lighting plays a crucial role in creating the right environment for learning. The non-visual effects of lighting can be classified into three groups – feelings, functioning and health. Feelings include our mood, vitality or state of relaxation. Functioning refers to our state of alertness leading to increased concentration and vigilance and cognitive performance including memory, comprehending languages, reasoning, problem solving, creativity and decision making. Health effects relate to the sleep-wake cycle, the rhythm of rest and activity controlled by our biological clock which is essential for optimised functioning by day and good recovery sleep by night. SAD, ADHD and schizophrenia have all been linked to biorhythmic disturbance. Studies have shown that during winter months up to 40 per cent of northern Europeans suffer from lack of drive and mood swings that can develop into depression. In schools, specific lighting solutions can significantly improve concentration and cognitive performance and lead to improved test results. Research carried out in Sweden suggests that error rates dropped from a first to a second test by about 45 per cent (comparison group with conventional lighting only 17 per cent) and cognitive speed improved by nine percent (comparison group only five percent). In addition, such lighting solutions can reduce motor restlessness, support alertness in the morning and improve social behaviour. Furthermore healthcare costs were reduced by 10 per cent due to reduced ADHD effects, efficacy of treatment for mental disorders improved by 18 per cent and staff turnover was reduced.

Much the lear of process ning so it is is visual lighting logical that p role in c lays a crucial TIME SPENT re INSIDE right le ating the We spend on a r n i n g e n v i ro n average around 87 ment per cent of our time

inside buildings much of it under artificial light which lacks the dynamism of natural daylight. It therefore seems logical that we should emulate the effect inside the built environment. We know that the colour and amount of light we use and how long we are exposed to it are important considerations. Daylight is not static, it changes throughout the day. It produces bright blue-rich

There is evidence to suggest that ‘light showers’, short bursts of blue rich light, can have an energising effect and promote concentration light in the morning to send us a ‘wake up’ signal but exposure to that same blue light at night can be disruptive to sleep. In the evening daylight provides a lower level warm light which prepares us for rest. Light is a form of medicine and we should use it wisely. This understanding is relatively new but already researchers are able to develop light ‘prescriptions’ that can alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and help reduce depression. A little more about the human circadian rhythm. Shortly before we wake, our body temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate rise. After about an hour the body begins the production of stimulating hormones and this is the time of day when our ability to solve brain teasers like Sudoku, for example, is at its best until about noon. Naturally this is also the best time for exams or assessment tests. Between noon and 2pm the production of stomach acid peaks which aids digestion of the midday meal, however, this process consumes so much energy that the body feels fatigued afterwards. Even if we skip lunch, the body still experiences a performance low. In the early afternoon

our body and minds begin to pick up again and those engaged in sport, for example, between 4 and 5pm will derive more benefit than at any other time of the day. As the evening progresses we begin to feel tired and sleep follows. THE THIRD RECEPTOR Following the discovery of the third receptor in the eye, experiments showed that a particular colour of light surpressed production of the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin by sending a message to the hypothalamus. Melatonin makes us feel drowsy and slows down bodily functions and activity to facilitate a good night’s sleep. It also slows down a number of metabolic processes and reduces body temperature ahead of the release of growth hormones which aid cell repair while we sleep. In the morning light triggers the third receptors to send a message suppressing the production of melatonin in the pituitary gland while the pituitary steps up production of another hormone called serotonin. Seratonin works to elevate our moods and motivation, helping us to achieve performance peaks throughout



the day. If our body receives insufficient light during the day we do not produce enough melatonin to support a good night’s sleep. Returning to artificial light there is evidence to suggest that ‘light showers’, short bursts of blue rich light, can have an energising effect and promote concentration at certain times of the day and studies have shown this concept can deliver positive effects in schools. Recent technology advances in LED lighting enables the lighting industry to support the move to dynamic interior lighting as luminaires fitted with appropriate controls can deliver a wide range of white light tones. This allows a simple and efficient switch from cooler blue tones that promote concentration to warmer tones that sooth and help us relax, all the time responding to changing daylight levels. More research is clearly needed but as our understanding of the human reaction to light improves so does the need to consult specialist lighting designers to ensure the right system is installed to match the requirements of a space. For too long energy efficiency has been the driving consideration in lighting installations in the teaching environment but now we can provide a better lit environment to enhance the well-being and performance of teachers and students alike. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Years 1986 - 2016


In light of the government’s ‘super inquiry’ into urban toxic air, Christian Lickfett examines why indoor air quality can be ten times poorer than outside and what schools should be doing to protect pupils from air pollution Four Commons committees are joining forces to tackle the scourge of air pollution, which hangs – often very visibly – over the UK. In this ‘super inquiry’, MPs from the Transport, Environmental Audit, Health, and Environment Food and Rural Affairs committees will examine the scale of harm caused by the exposure to airborne contamination. This will finally shine a spotlight on the toll of air pollution on health and life, after years of inaction, which have seen the government sued in the High Court over its failure to come up with a plan to radically improve the quality of the air we and our children breathe.  No doubt this inquiry will consider

evidence – mounting since the 1990s – that reveals children are especially vulnerable to irritating and harmful air contaminants. Poor indoor air quality has also been linked to a reduction in the ability

Scho should ols more p expect r parents essure from future, in the near a around s awareness of poor the effects air qu grows ality

Written by By Christian Lickfett, air pollution expert & founder of Commercial Air Filtration

How’s the air quality inside your school?

to concentrate, calculate and memorise. Furthermore, exposure to general air pollution during developing years is associated with decreased respiratory function later in life. There is also compelling evidence it can cause verbal, perceptual, motor and behavioural disabilities as well as hearing impairment, irritability and developmental delays.   Here’s why schools should be watching for the outcome of this inquiry.   EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTION  Unicef published a damning report in October last year, Clear The Air For Children, which revealed 120 million European children are living in areas where toxic fumes exceed the limits deemed internationally safe and 20 million reside where air pollution is more than twice the international limit.   The report also warned diseases and infections linked to air pollution claim the lives of 4,000 children under five in Europe every year. Children’s breathing rates are higher in relation to their body weight than adults, so they are particularly susceptible to the effects of ultra‑fine PM2.5 particles. Their lung development has been shown to be directly affected by exposure to air contamination.   Hot on the heels of the E

Air Quality




HEALTH & SAFETY  Unicef publication was a Guardian exclusive report which revealed 802 UK schools, nurseries and colleges – out of 3,261 – are located within 150 metres of areas where levels of nitrogen dioxide breach EU legal limits.   However, in December last year, a British Lung Foundation petition delivered to 10 Downing Street suggested that 3,000 schools are, in fact, situated in locations with illegally high levels of air pollution. The charity’s chief executive, Dr Penny Woods, said: “There is strong evidence that pollution can stunt the growth of children’s lungs, cause flare-ups in conditions like asthma, and increase rates of coughs and bronchitis in children.   “We have a duty to ensure these children can breathe clean air. The next generation can’t be allowed to grow up with damaged lungs simply because the air they inhaled daily was filled with toxic levels of pollution.”   A 2014 meta-analysis of 10 European birth cohorts including the UK, published on EHP, found evidence for an association between traffic-related air pollution and pneumonia, and some evidence to suggest an association with middle ear infections. INSIDE SCHOOL WALLS  Indoor air pollution, including school buildings, can be even worse.   Unicef’s report also revealed three quarters of the 4,000 European child deaths caused by diseases and infections linked to air pollution can be attributed to indoor air pollution.   In the USA, EPA studies have found that pollutant levels inside can be two to five times higher than outdoors. But during, and for several hours immediately after, certain activities – such as paint stripping – levels may be 1,000 times higher than outside.  In newer school buildings the trend towards tightly sealed construction design – to reduce noise for example – plus the use of certain synthetic building materials, toxic paints and varnishes, and items of furniture and carpets that off-gas chemicals such as formaldehyde, all contribute to indoor air pollution.   In older school buildings, lead, asbestos and radon contaminations, mould spores, carpet fibres and dust from crumbling walls all contribute.   A lack of funding has seen many schools turn off their HVAC systems, or fail to properly maintain them. Meanwhile, outdoor pollutants such as vehicle exhaust, pesticides and factory emissions make their way inside.   This school year, children will spend 1,300 hours in school buildings. We know schools care deeply about the welfare of their children, but there will be many who’ve never even considered the health impact of air quality on youngsters, and especially not that the air inside their school building could be harmful.    WHAT TO DO? Given this is about to become a hot topic in the news headlines, schools should be looking at their own strategies for protecting children from toxic air, as part of health and safety procedures.   Schools – particularly those located in urban areas and close to busy roads – should consider how they might answer the following questions: Does the school currently monitor indoor and outdoor air quality? If the school has an HVAC system, is it regularly inspected and maintained? Are there routine inspections for moisture and mould, and has the school established prevention and remediation plans? Does maintenance staff remove dust with a damp cloth and vacuum using high efficiency and leakage free (HEPA) filters daily? Does the school use safe, non‑toxic cleaning products? Is the school certain that building materials and furniture are not releasing unnecessary and harmful chemicals? Is the school willing or able to invest in air filtration units that will effectively remove harmful and toxic airborne contamination? Are pupils and/or teachers demonstrating any of the symptoms of ‘sick building syndrome’? WHAT IS SICK BUILDING SYNDROME? Sick building syndrome tends to occur in buildings that have air-conditioning and that are fitted with automated heating and ventilation systems for circulating air.



There is no single known cause for SBS but factors that may be involved include pollutants such as dust, fungal spores and carpet fibres, as well as ozone emitted from equipment such as printers. VOCs such as formaldehyde, which may be an off‑gas from furnishings, including carpets. Outdoor air pollution penetrating the building, such as vehicle exhaust fumes entering buildings next to busy roads, can be a cause, as can poor lighting and glare from computer screens and poor ventilation. The symptoms of SBS are many and varied. Schools should be attune to these symptoms which include tiredness (often extreme), lethargy, irritability, dull headaches, dizziness, nausea, aches and pains, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, a dry and/or sore throat, a stuffy nose, sensitivity to odours, poor concentration, skin rashes, dry and itchy skin, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. SUMMARY Growing public awareness around air pollution is creating a crossroads for schools at which they must be seen to act. There are several measures that can be implemented to safeguard and improve the respiratory health of their pupils, staff and visitors. This includes overhauling and improving cleaning practices, installing proper air filtration systems that use leakage‑free HEPA filtration, adopting careful construction practices and deploying considered interior design. In light of the cross committee super inquiry, schools should expect more pressure from parents in the near future, as awareness around the effects of poor air quality on their children’s health grows, and the need for fast, effective solutions becomes all the more apparent and urgent. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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In schools, colleges and universities, it’s important to create an environment where students can thrive. Technology company Dyson gives advice on how to maximise learning and improve classroom environment In 1978, James Dyson became frustrated with his vacuum cleaner’s diminishing performance. Five years later and 5,127 prototypes later, he had invented the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner. Today, Dyson is a global technology company, selling products in more than 75 countries. James Dyson’s ethos and values remain in the company today, with Dyson engineers working tirelessly to invent new and better technology and solve the problems that other people ignore. They transform every category they enter with radical and iconic reinventions that work, perform and look very different. This includes technology for businesses. Dyson has developed a range of technology for public, leisure and work spaces. Each machine is designed with productivity and wellbeing in mind – helping to improve the experiences of your employees and guests. In schools, colleges and universities, it’s important to create an environment where students can thrive. Poor lighting can cause eyestrain 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 studying. Intelligent purifiers that remove pollutants. And fast, hygienic hand dryers that reduce environmental impact and energy costs. DYSON LIGHTING Poor lighting can cause eyestrain and headaches, as well as drops in task performance. Dyson lights are engineered to solve these problems. They have invented the first LED light with an effective cooling system to maintain brightness for longer. And with precise positioning control, they’re designed to create optimal lighting conditions for learning and studying.

Dyson lighting creates powerful light precisely where you need it – light isn’t wasted, so energy and costs are saved. Suspended Dyson Cu-Beam ™ suspended lighting creates efficient illumination and long‑lasting brightness to enable optimal lighting conditions for learning and studying spaces with reduced running costs. Dyson CSYS ™ task lighting provides localised illumination for specific tasks allowing students to create their preferred learning environments. DYSON HAND DRYING In 1907, paper towels were introduced to washrooms. The electric hand dryer made its first appearance in 1948. But both can be expensive, unhygienic and harmful to the environment. At Dyson, our engineers didn’t think that was good enough. So in 2006, they revolutionised hand drying methods – with the invention of Airblade™ technology. Hygienic hand dryers that are better for the environment. Dyson Airblade™ hand dryers are the fastest to dry hands hygienically. They are powered by the Dyson digital motor V4. Its small size and power density

are what have made our hand dryer technology possible. Dyson Airblade™ hand dryers have HEPA filters installed as standard, which capture 99.9 per cent of particles the size of bacteria from the washroom air. So your student’s hands are dried with cleaner air, not dirty air. Dyson hand dryers can significantly reduce your running costs and carbon footprint. The Dyson Airblade V hand dryer costs £31 a year to run, up to 80 per cent less to run than other hand dryers, and up to 98 per cent less than paper towels. It is the most hygienic hand dryer that is now 35 per cent quieter allowing for less noisy distractions and more studying. DYSON PURIFICATION Indoor air pollution can be up to 5 times worse than outdoors. The Dyson Pure Hot + Cool uses Air Multiplier ™ technology to combine purification with temperature control. It enhances comfort and enables students to create their preferred and personal learning conditions. From light levels to hygiene, every detail can affect students’ wellbeing, ability to concentrate and overall study experience. L FURTHER INFORMATION




While impressing inspectors in terms of the quality of teaching and learning environment is a large part of obtaining a good Ofsted report, ensuring that school security measures are of a high quality are also key components, writes James Kelly, chief executive of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Educational establishments can face a wide range of threats year round, including potential bomb and gun attacks, walk-in thefts, threats against students and staff as well as theft of personal data and assets. As such, school officials have a duty of care to protect their staff and pupils from such threats, as well as a responsibility to provide a safe place in which to teach and learn. Failing to provide such an environment can have detrimental effects on a school, not just in terms of potentially life threatening situations, but also in terms of reputational damage. In fact, this year, there have already been reports of schools failing their Ofsted inspections due to a lack of efficient security. In January, Barton Clough Primary School in Stretford was put into special measures due to security failures. Having previously been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors, Manchester Evening News reported that the school had failed in their duty to keep

children safe. This assessment was made due to the fact that security checks on staff working with children did not meet requirements, policies on child protection were out of date and the monitoring of visitors entering the school was inadequate. SECURITY FAILURES Following that, in March, two separate schools in Cumbria were also placed into special measures by Ofsted due to security failures. Kirby Stephen Grammar School, a small secondary school, failed their Ofsted due to a lack of appropriate perimeter security; the News and Star reported that despite being praised for almost all aspects of its education, the school was penalised for their inadequate site security. Ofsted criticised school leaders for neglecting to put in place the appropriate security measures that would minimise identified

potential risks to pupils, with the school being too accessible to the public. This decision came after the Queen Katherine School in Kendal was also placed into special measures due to safeguarding and security issues. According to the Westmoreland Gazette, in their report, Ofsted inspectors noted that “arrangements for safeguarding are not effective” and “people are not safe.” Perimeter security appeared to be an issue, as the inspection came just one day after an incident at the school where police were called after three teenagers had managed to enter the grounds. As a result of the decision, the school is now moving forward with £30,000 plans that will include a perimeter fence in order to improve security. While arrangements are being made to make improvements, Ofsted’s decision has been E

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

Security measures that make the grade



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SAFEGUARDING  met with disapproval by school officials. According to the News and Star, after Kirby Stephen Grammar School failed their report, headteacher Ruth Houston and chairman of the governing body, Simon Bennett, sent a letter to parents stating that they believed the decision was “a failing of the inspection system, not the school, if an overall judgement is defined by a lack of a fence or not enough locks on doors, rather than the excellent teaching, leadership, behaviour and outcomes of the school.” While they may not agree that security should be reflected in the report, these outcomes do go to show that school security must be taken seriously, with security measures being a key aspect of a school’s design from the word go.

identify the risk register. The risk register is a key risk management tool that can help a business identify the day-to-day risks that it faces and the best ways to counteract them. Security consultants can provide independent and professional support to ensure that any security measures required by the client will correspond to both existing and emerging threats, whilst complementing a schools’ environment and operation in order to protect students, staff, building, assets and reputations. Once the risk register is identified, the consultant can make recommendations as to which type of security measures will be best to mitigate risks – whether it is access control, intruder alarms or physical security measures around the perimeter.

Ofsted criticised school leaders for neglecting to put in place the appropriate security measures that would minimise identified potential risks to pupils, with the school being too accessible to the public CONSULTING THE EXPERT Schools can be very complex in their nature, with transient populations and diverse in their designs. As such, considering all of the different security risks and selecting security measures that fit seamlessly with the design of the building, can be a somewhat difficult process. Rather than simply choosing measures to try and pass an inspection, it is essential to choose security products and services that have longevity and will effectively secure both people and assets. While it is important to make a school safe, having extremely overt or intimidating security measures can also potentially leave people feeling unsafe. Therefore, it is important to choose measures that integrate with the building’s structure. In these cases, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of a security consultant to help identify the best products and services to suit the school. A reputable, professional security consultant can carry out a range of services, including threat and risk assessments, security audits and reviews, development of security policies, procedures and strategies, crisis management and business continuity planning. RISK REGISTER In order for a school to fully understand the different risks it faces, it is important to firstly

THE PRICE VS QUALITY DEBATE When it comes to sourcing security solutions, in times of economic uncertainty, financial pressures can mean that key decision makers let price and cost savings dominate when procuring security solutions. As such, corners can be cut when it comes to the quality of a product. For schools, however, the safety of staff and students should always be a top priority and low value solutions could put these factors in jeopardy. With this in mind, earlier this year, the BSIA commissioned a white paper titled The (Real) Price of Security Solutions – a white paper on the challenges of buying and selling high-quality security solutions. The paper is authored by Dr Terence Tse, an associate professor of finance at ESCP Europe Business School, and explores the price versus quality debate from the perspectives of both buyers and sellers of security solutions, in order to identify the relative advantages and disadvantages between low-priced and high-quality solutions. Unsurprisingly, one of the headline findings of the paper suggests that end users would find it far more beneficial to invest in high‑quality solutions. It also pointed to the fact that security providers would be better off collaborating with their customers in order to develop a good understanding of the buyer’s needs, that way, they can provide

them with suitable solutions that not only meet with specifications, but perform well over time. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and low-cost solutions can mean they are low-capacity, creating further unwanted costs down the line should an incident occur. Such costs can include direct losses, such as financial costs associated with the incident, and indirect costs, such as costs over and above the immediate costs. Even if a major incident does not occur, other costs can arise down the line, such as premature replacements where new systems are needed sooner than expected. THE RISK OF AN INFERIOR SOLUTION The ‘real’ price of a security solution can come to light when something goes wrong, such as a failure in footage being recorded or an alarm not correctly alerting the right staff to an incident. This can compromise the reputation and safety of a school and defeats the whole purpose of investing in a security solution in the first place. However, shrinking budgets can often push these risks to the side-lines, and it is not just end-users that are putting price first, but suppliers may also respond to budget constraints by offering lower-priced solutions, often at the expense of standards and quality. Talking about this issue, Pauline Norstrom, former chairman of the BSIA who spearheaded the white paper, commented: “I have been in the industry some 16 years, and before that, in tech marketing across a broad spectrum of industries. During that time, I have watched and experienced the manufacturers race to the lowest selling price, compromising on materials and functionality to do so and often at the cost of UK jobs in the process. I have seen the industry rush to the cheapest price to win the bid, with companies offering solutions at very low margins and being left with substantial additional costs they cannot cover. In addition, end users are often provided with an inferior solution which does not solve their problems.” The white paper hopes to communicate to security buyers the valuable benefits of procuring solutions on the basis of quality, emphasising the importance of considering the wider business impact of security purchase decisions. “I hope that the paper will educate the security buyer as to the art of buying a specialised security solution, rather than a bunch of part numbers or just cost per hour; instead to consider the value of the sum of the parts bringing a larger benefit than those parts working in isolation. It is the concept of the whole system, whether a service or product offering that the security industry needs to explain to the security buyer, and I hope that this white paper achieves that,” Pauline added. The full white paper can be downloaded from the BSIA’s website free of charge on the publications page of the website. L FURTHER INFORMATION




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Gallagher’s integrated access control solution helps creates a safe and secure environment for students. General manager for student accomodation at the University of Birmingham, Timothy Owen, speaks of its sucess The University of Birmingham educates over 30,000 students, with more than 6,000 doors providing access to student accommodation. Gallagher’s integrated access control solution is responsible for providing operational continuity and creating a safe and secure environment for students. The University recently completed its new state-of-the-art student accommodation development, Chamberlain, which consists of a 19-storey tower and three low-rise blocks. An essential requirement was an integrated access control system, reducing the need for keys. Timothy Owen, general manager of student accommodation at the university says, “We wanted to move away from using keys as students are prone to losing them and trying to manage thousands of locks and associated keys was a constant administration and financial drain.” In order to minimise the complexity of managing a new system, the university required a solution that integrated with, or was an extension of, their existing campus access control and accommodation management systems. “We need to maintain control over access to our buildings, while ensuring a duty of care to our residents and staff so that they can go about their business as required,” says Timothy. “Fundamentally, we needed a system that gives both us and our resident’s confidence in the security of the accommodation.” ADAPTABLE ACCESS SOLUTIONS With a large and complex estate with buildings of different construction and age, the university needed a solution that was flexible enough to accommodate their unique requirements. Gallagher Command Centre, together with the Aperio® wireless locking technology by ASSA ABLOY Access Control, was selected as the university’s preferred choice, meeting their security needs in a cost effective way while still delivering to the overall specification. Timothy says, “The completion of our new state of the art Chamberlain development was extremely close to the date of the first student arrival, so the team had to be dedicated and work flexibly to ensure it was ready in time – which it was.”

IMPROVED STUDENT EXPERIENCE The Gallagher Command Centre integration allows for the access key and student ID to be combined in to one card, offering a number of benefits to both students and staff. Previously the accommodation arrival process required students to arrive at the university with their contracts and queue up so that a member of staff could sign them in manually and hand them the keys to their accommodation. From there students could head to their room. “Arrivals is always a busy time but with the help of the Gallagher solution we’ve not only improved the student experience but also the administration process,” says Timothy. “Now the student ID and accommodation key is encoded on to one card so it can be posted out in advance and access to the room automatically granted via the accommodation management system. Students no longer need to queue for keys, can get to their rooms instantly, and spend more time enjoying their arrival experience.”

under the age of 18, and one of the safeguarding requirements is that the university can monitor their whereabouts on a daily basis. Timothy adds, “This can be difficult to achieve with many students to track, but Gallagher Command Centre can easily confirm the time and location of our resident’s last door access, providing peace of mind that students who may be uncontactable are in fact on site.” University staff are also seeing positive improvements since the installation of the new system – particularly at the start of the year. The arrivals process is now less congested and more relaxed. The team have far fewer issues than with physical keys, enabling them to spend more time on the overall student experience. Since the installation of the first 800 bedrooms at Chamberlain, the university has already extended the system by a further 900 at Mason, with plans in place for an additional 1,500 bedrooms this summer.

DUTY OF CARE The simple act of swiping an access card automatically checks the student in and a report can be generated to show who has arrived and who hasn’t, allowing staff to follow up accordingly. If the room is no longer required it can be quickly and easily re-allocated to another student, resulting in improved occupancy rates. Using Gallagher Command Centre together with the university’s accommodation management system allows staff to check on the well-being of students by monitoring the use of their access card. The University also houses students

CREATING BUSINESS VALUE “Replacing keys with a combined access and student ID card has reduced our operational costs as we now have far fewer keys to purchase and store,” explains Timothy. “The student experience has improved and staff are now free to deal with urgent matters and offer a more personal service. “We can easily create reports to help us audit access and have generally provided a much more modern and secure place to live and work.” L FURTHER INFORMATION



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What can schools do to prevent infections spreading? Fiona Riley, chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Education Group and health & safety manager at a large independent day school, examines the controls that can be put in place The importance of good hygiene in schools cannot be overestimated. A raft of measures can be used to prevent infections, ranging from good hand hygiene to strict controls around the keeping of pets in the building. While most school settings will have considered the need for protocols for dealing with the cleaning of blood and body fluid spillages, clinical waste, laundry and the use of personal protective equipment, consideration should also be made on the impact to those more vulnerable to the risk of infection. Some medical conditions make children vulnerable to infections that would not normally be serious by reducing immunity. These conditions may include children who are suffering from cancer and those who are taking steroids. Such individuals are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox and measles. During pregnancy, German measles (rubella) and slapped cheek disease (Parvovirus

B19) can occasionally affect an unborn child. Additionally chickenpox can affect the pregnancy if a woman has not already had the infection. It is important to remember that not all pupils may have current vaccinations.

SETTING PROTOCOLS Infectio When setting protocols to n control deal with blood and d body fluid spillages and just nee oesn’t clinical waste, the key conside d to be areas that the policy r e around d in and needs to include and premise the school help employees to s. What understand are the types ab when ch of blood‑borne viruses ildren g out that exist; the types of o off‑site? work where exposure to a blood‑borne virus may occur; and how blood-borne viruses can spread. Other areas that need to be included are the legal duties of the school (as the employer) and employees; the action to be taken after possible infection with a blood‑borne virus; and the special considerations to be taken by employees who are trained first aiders. In addition to the above protocols, prevention and control measures are the

most effective way of managing the risk. This includes ensuring the prohibition of eating and drinking in working areas where there is a risk of contamination and the prevention (where possible) of open wounds, cuts and abrasions, especially in the presence of blood and body fluids. The use of, or exposure to, sharp objects such as needles, glass and metal should be avoided. If use or exposure is unavoidable, care will be taken when handling and disposing of these objects. Devices which incorporate safety features such as safer needle devices and blunt-ended scissors should be used. Waterproof dressings and suitable gloves where employees have breaks in skin that may be exposed to a blood‑borne virus, should be used. Visors or goggles or safety spectacles and a mask should be worn where splashing may occur, as should water-resistant protective clothing. Compliance with good basic hygiene practices, such as hand washing is essential, as is the use of disinfectant where contamination of surfaces may occur.

Written by Fiona Riley, chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Education Group

Preventing and containing outbreaks

Infection Control


GOOD WASTE MANAGEMENT IS KEY Employees who come into contact with contaminated materials and those who are E



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HEALTH & SAFETY  required to dispose of the materials will be required to cover any cuts or grazes they have with a waterproof plaster or dressing prior to the handling and removal of the materials. They must also wear protective disposable gloves and an apron if contaminated materials need to be handled, as well as dispose of contaminated materials in specially-adapted containers. The school will provide suitable containers appropriate to the contaminates that are to be removed. Those involved must also place all contaminates, including personal protective equipment (which may also be contaminated), into two bags (double bag) and place in a yellow plastic refuse bag. KEEPING THE AREA CLEAR One of the most effective tools for preventing the spread of infection is to ensure that both pupils and staff remain away from the setting for the recommended periods (usually 48 hours) following an infection. By returning too soon following an illness, the rate of further outbreaks can climb considerably and this regularly results in further absence among fellow pupils and staff. This can be particularly problematic in the early years sector, where parents often do not have alternative childcare arrangements and are keen to return their child to the setting at the earliest opportunity. Be mindful of when the likelihood of infections occur in the academic year and

introducing targeted reminders to all pupils and staff can impact on the likelihood of outbreaks of common issues such as norovirus and seasonal influenza. For example, posters in toilet areas reminding of the importance of good hand hygiene and ensuring that consumables are always fully stocked is a good start, as is an increased frequency in housekeeping attendance. At our school, one area we saw considerable benefit in was the positioning of hand sanitisers in communal areas. For example we ensure that all pupils have clean hands before entering the dining hall. Meanwhile the cleanliness of water fountains and water machines, including drip trays, is paramount as these are high-traffic areas. Regular infection control audits can help to ensure housekeeping standards are being met, while regular disinfection of items in communal areas such as play equipment, toys and sand pits can also assist. OFF-SITE VISITS AND PETS Infection control doesn’t just need to be considered in and around the school premises. What about when children go off site? When undertaking external visits it is important to clean your group’s shoes, pushchairs and so on after farm or countryside visits, to avoid contaminating cars, toys, nursery floors or other surfaces.

Outdoor shoes should be changed in environments where children are crawling. Laundry is a key area for hygiene control. With the increased use of wash cycles at lower temperatures this may not be enough to actually kill bacteria. It is important that you do not handle soiled clothing by hand. Place it directly into a named plastic bag or container and seal to prevent further handling, prior to the child’s parent or guardian collecting. The parent or guardian should be advised that the clothing is dirty and should be washed at the highest possible temperature for the fabric. There are of course other potential infection threats, such as supervising children when exposed to pets. Pets must be clean and healthy. Exotic (non-domestic and unusual) animals, such as reptiles should not be kept as nursery pets due to the high risk of salmonella, which they carry. Rodents are also not recommended (if in a childminding setting, they should be excluded from the area children are cared for). Pet living quarters must be kept clean and away from food areas. Activities such as farm visits, or bringing animals into childcare settings, or having pets can expose children to a range of potentially harmful germs including E. coli O157. All animal droppings should be considered infectious. L

Infection Control



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Design and technology is the study of how to think, develop and make a better world, and should be valued and nurtured in a post-Brexit UK, urges Dr Julie Nugent, chief executive of the Design and Technology Association In a recent conversation with a young entrepreneur, I was told that his company’s school programme was born out of frustration with an education system that sends him double first engineering graduates with no practical experience, many of whom had never even held a spanner. His frustration is shared by many employers who bemoan an education system that struggles to develop the practical skills and problem-solving abilities that our industries need. Many UK business leaders talk of a skills crisis, where a shortage of talent in critical industries – advanced manufacturing, creative and digital – is already impacting on

The D and Tec esign (D&T) A hnology passion ssociation is a role tha te about the t ed plays in ucation develop the young pment of eople

our global competitiveness. Add to this concern the challenges that UK businesses will face post-Brexit, and it becomes even more important to invest in a strong and competitive education system that will support our young people in the development of their potential, and ensure that our growth sectors have access to the skills needed to address their current and future employment needs.

Written by Julie Nugent, chief executive, Design and Technology Association

Skills for a fast changing society

DEVELOPING YOUNG PEOPLE The Design and Technology (D&T) Association is passionate about the role that education plays in the development of young people, helping them meet and embrace an ever‑uncertain future. We believe that the benefits offered by design and technology merit serious consideration like never before. Since its introduction as a mandatory curriculum subject in 1988, design and technology has evolved into a rigorous academic subject with clear aims, attainment goals, and benefits. Design and technology is the study of how to think, develop and make a better world: innovating new products, services and experiences from concept through to design, manufacture and use. The subject draws on the principles of design, mathematics and science and applies them to a practical purpose in the real world. It can introduce pupils to a vast range of new technologies, encouraging them to think about and be inspired by the myriad of career opportunities available now and, importantly, in the future. E




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 IMPROVING SKILLS FOR PUPILS Throughout the primary and secondary curriculum, the subject encourages both individual initiative and team work; it supports academic and vocational learning; introduces critical thinking and reflective practice; and promotes creative learning – so important in fostering lifelong skills of innovation, resilience and the ability to be flexible. It also provides the opportunity for young people to engage with tools, equipment and materials, giving them the practical capability and confidence employers state is lacking. Research into design and technology teaching shows that the subject improves pupils’ self-esteem, their motivation and achievement, and their numeracy and literacy skills. More widely, the subject can inspire young people to consider and develop careers in key growth sectors, including engineering, manufacturing, creative and digital industries. A 2015 report by the National Foundation for Education Research identified that a higher proportion of students who undertake design and technology A level pursue an engineering degree than those who don’t: 19 per cent compared to five per cent. Additionally, a higher proportion also study degrees in creative arts and design (26 per cent in comparison to nine per cent) and architecture (nine per cent against one per cent). STAYING CURRENT WITH TECHNOLOGY Although design and technology covers an extremely broad variety of knowledge and skills, the subject may suffer from what James Dyson referred to as an “image problem”.Too many people have an outdated notion of a subject which is low tech and craft‑based – missing the connection to the vast array of new and existing technologies

When the world around us is changing at an exponential rate, a subject that teaches our younger generations how to imagine, design and implement improvements is surely one that educators must consider investing in? such as robotics, computer control, CAD/ CAM, including the use of 3D printing, laser‑cutting and so much more. Our provision of high quality continuing professional development for teachers is designed to help them keep up to date with use of new technologies available for the subject. Related teaching resources, often developed with industry experts and sponsors, support the use of up to date skills and equipment, as well as providing teaching and learning resources that contextualize their use. Well taught and resourced design and technology offers young people the opportunity to develop relevant skills and knowledge and through designing and making, experience the application of a range of technologies. These include electronics, engineering, materials and textiles technology and the application of computing. At this juncture in British history, when the world around us is changing at an exponential rate, a subject that teaches our younger generations how to imagine, design and implement improvements is surely one that educators must consider investing in? Of course, the issue is complex. We want our schools and colleges to develop young people who are: high achievers, critical thinkers, rounded individuals, responsible citizens, ambitious business people, skilled workers, innovators and entrepreneurs. The

challenge for government is to balance educational needs and provision with business opportunity. Accepting that the digital revolution will transform all areas of industry and society, with jobs replaced by automation and artificial intelligence, the question of the government’s long term education strategy becomes more pressing. PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE In this context, a subject that is committed to developing the curriculum in line with technological progress, and that seeks to equip pupils for the future by bridging the aims of education and the needs of industry can play a pivotal role. Every year around six million young people study design and technology, and the D&T Association works closely with government, advising on curriculum and teacher issues. Most recently, we have advised on the content and structure of the new GCSE and A Level curriculum, due to be implemented this year. This new curriculum has been developed with the needs of industry in mind, with specific A Level D&T routes of product design, engineering and textiles and fashion. However, as in many areas of education, there are challenges that need to be overcome. The introduction of the Ebacc and Progress 8, has led to a marginalisation of non‑core subjects. The impact of this E



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DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY  emphasis on academic over creative and practical subjects is having a profound effect on the take up of GCSE and A level design and technology. As a consequence of its perceived devaluing, prospective teachers of the subject are not applying for teacher training. Indeed, in 2016, both the 59 per cent initial teacher training shortfall and 10 per cent drop in GCSE uptake were the most dramatic in the history of the subject. The reaction from our partner organisations – Edge Foundation, EngineeringUK, Dyson Foundation, Creative Industries Federation – was immediate and positive in their support and call for government investment: the UK needs design and technology. The recognition of the subject’s value was reflected by a parliamentary campaign in which over 80 cross party MPs supported a call for design and technology to be given greater consideration as a core subject. More recently, MP Neil Carmichael, chair of the Education Select Committee has voiced his support of including skills, such as engineering, in the Ebacc. INVESTING IN EDUCATION AND SKILLS The UK’s skills shortages across engineering and manufacturing, creative and digital sectors demand a long-term integrated approach to investing in education and skills. As we move forward in a post‑Brexit world, the UK needs to proactively ensure that it retains its reputation for innovation and creative leadership, and takes steps to nurture and sustain its design, engineering and manufacturing sectors. The Design and Technology Association supports the recent Industrial Strategy, but urges a more integrated approach to the development of an education and skills infrastructure that can support this vision of a competitive and prosperous UK. Whilst the strategy includes a significant focus on reforming post-16 technical education, there is more to be done to link this with the world of pre-16 education. We need to nurture the interest and engagement of young people from an early age – better linking the school curriculum with post-16 learning and skills opportunities, including apprenticeships and higher education. The Association is keen to position design and technology at the forefront of world class creative and practical approaches to learning, where pupils of all abilities are empowered to consider how they can make a direct and positive impact on the world around them. For this reason, we want to engage more employers and investors to work with us and schools to make the links between industrial needs and practical D&T activity in the classroom. This includes the setting of real world challenges with related support. We see this partnership between education and industry as critical to ensuring that we teach the skills that will empower young people in a fast-changing society.

AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE Societies the world over are considering the impact of the ‘digital revolution’ – where transformation is happening at an exponential rather than a liner pace. The impact of emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, bio-technology, autonomous vehicles and 3-D printing will be unprecedented: disrupting and transforming all areas of society as well as entire systems of production, management, and governance. Young people today face an uncertain future: changing political and economic alliances, the impact of Brexit and shifting global alliances. We need to give them the skills and the confidence to embrace these changes – and nowhere is this more appropriate than through the study of design and technology. In this context, it is helpful to remember that the UK was the first country in the world to make design and technology mandatory across primary and secondary education and, as a result, we are recognised internationally as educational pioneers who have successfully produced generations of world leading innovators.



The subject’s emphasis on creative learning, enterprise and entrepreneurship attracts many international clients looking to adopt a future‑focused design and technology curriculum. China, Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are all adopting our approach to design and technology in the curriculum with a stated intention to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and develop business‑critical skills in pupils from an early age. As we commit to preparing our young people for a future that we cannot fully predict, the Design and Technology Association holds an optimistic belief in the ability of our young people to achieve their potential. But to enable this, we need to create the education system our current and future younger generations and businesses need. We encourage educators and policy makers to embrace the words of Lord Baker, chairman of the Edge Foundation, and design a “21st century education for a 21st century economy”. L FURTHER INFORMATION

As we move forward in a post-Brexit world, the UK needs to proactively ensure that it retains its reputation for innovation and creative leadership, and takes steps to nurture and sustain its design, engineering and manufacturing sectors




Producing tech literate teachers The launch of the government’s UK Digital Strategy at the start of March provides a welcome opportunity to reflect on the progress we are making, ensuring that young people develop the digital skills they need. This is central to the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT) ambition to make IT good for society, and its support for Computing At School (CAS), the grass roots movement that is doing much to support hard pressed computing teachers. DIGITAL CAPABILITY A key insight in the Digital Strategy is that, while technology is important, the key component is people. Everyone needs the ‘digital capability’ to participate in the digital economy, and an ever-increasing number need the specialist skills to support increased productivity, innovation and growth. The way to achieve this at scale is through the education system. The Digital Strategy recognises this, re‑stating government’s commitment to the place of computing in the national curriculum. It’s a truism to say that the digital world is fast changing. Existing skills become outdated and new ones in demand. So how can education, which is traditionally built on disciplines with a degree of permanence, come to terms with such a rapidly changing landscape? It turns out it does it in exactly the same way as in every other part of the curriculum, by focusing on the big ideas that underpin the subject, and not just the way those ideas are applied currently. Developing an understanding of algorithms, data structures and programming, ensures that the young person can adapt to new technologies as they develop.

emerge from formal education as not just consumers of, but as the potential producers of new digital products and services. Governments and national curriculum documents do not teach students; teachers do, which brings us back to people. This is underpinned by the fact that the Digital Strategy recognises that the computing curriculum will only succeed if teachers have the skills and confidence to ensure young people leave school suitably skilled to take their place in the digital world. GIVING TEACHERS CONFIDENCE The important role in helping equip teachers with these skills and confidence played by the Computing at School Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science (the NoE) is also noted in the Digital Strategy. The NoE is funded by the Department for Education (DfE), managed by BCS and CAS, and supported by a wide range of tech companies, volunteers and teachers. Its purpose is to enable teachers in England to become confident, effective and enthusiastic teachers of computing,

A key insight the Dig in Strateg ital while te y is that, importa chnology is nt compon, the key en people t is

Written by Niel McLean, BCS Academy of Computing

Niel McLean examines the government’s digital strategy and how it recognises the critical role of teachers in developing skilled pupils ready to take their place in the digital world

and to develop and articulate a vision for computing teaching at national level. When the NoE was first set up by CAS in 2012 its peer-to-peer model of providing computing teachers with training and support through a network of CAS Master Teachers was relatively new. Now the idea of a ‘self-improving school-led system’ is part of mainstream educational policy. Teachers learn best from other teachers, and CAS Master Teachers are first and foremost great computing teachers with a passion to share their subject with other teachers. CAS Master Teachers understand the needs of their colleagues and, importantly, have the credibility that comes from being school-based. Pete Marshman is a CAS Master Teacher, teaching at Park House School, Newbury. As well as his teaching commitment and the enrichment activity he leads in his school (including breakfast clubs, Teen Tech events, Digigirls and World Technology Skills), Pete also coordinates the local area CAS hub, supporting teachers across five counties. As well as this, he also organises training sessions in his school which are attended by teachers from 12 nearby primary schools.

IT & Computing


CAS MASTER TEACHER MODEL IMPACT The impact of the CAS Master Teacher model is impressive. The statistics gathered from the feedback of teachers who have been supported show real impact. Two thirds reported that their subject knowledge or understanding had improved. The average confidence of the teachers had increased by nearly four points on a 1-10 scale. Virtually all the teachers felt that they could implement what they had learned and that it would improve their teaching. Within 10 weeks, half the teachers said that their students learning had improved. The evidence of this increased confidence has been seen in the year-on-year E

COMPUTING CURRICULUM As the Charted Institute for IT, BCS worked with teachers and employers to ensure these big ideas were included in the computing curriculum. That curriculum unapologetically goes beyond basic user skills. In the same way that when teaching literacy we want children to learn to write as well as read, we want young people to



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DIGITAL STRATEGY  increase in the numbers of young people studying Computer Science at GCSE. CAS REGIONAL CENTRES Of course, the Master Teachers need support as well. Again, using DfE funding, CAS and BCS have established a national network of 10 CAS Regional Centres across England. These centres are based in universities with a commitment to supporting computing teachers, many of which have complemented the DfE funding with their own resource. These Regional Centres provide a point of focus for schools and teachers in their region, and as well as being highly respected within their communities, they are also effective at galvanising engagement. One CAS Regional Centre is run by the School of Computer Science at Manchester University, which has a world class reputation in the field. Over 100 computer science undergraduates venture into a network of over 500 schools, to help teachers in the classroom. The Manchester team are committed to inclusion, taking their message out to local events, and have carried out ground-breaking work on engaging girls with computing. MEETING TARGETS Between April 2016 and March 2018 the NoE has to meet some demanding targets.

These include recruiting an additional 200 CAS Master Teachers, and providing 30,000 hours of training and support to 8,500 teachers in 2,500 schools this year. The programme is well on track, having recruited 79 CAS Master Teachers and provided 25,600 hours of support to 7,800 teachers in the first three quarters of this year. This is significant progress, but the size of the challenge is huge and, important as it is, the NoE is only one part of the picture. The Digital Strategy rightly identifies that ‘employers and companies – national and local – all have a role to play’. Tech giants such as Google and Microsoft have both played their part in providing real support for CAS, as has BT, who fund and run the Barefoot Computing Project. This project was set up by BCS and CAS in partnership with BT, to provide free computer science teaching resources and volunteer‑led workshops to primary school teachers. Again, the impact is impressive. So far, the project has reached 33,000 teachers and the survey of 400 schools carried out by BT and Ipsos MORI shows that teacher confidence levels have increased – and this is even more the case amongst those that have engaged with Barefoot. Most encouragingly, ‘teachers firmly believe that tech literacy will underpin the next generation’s future prospects. They see it as

a crucial part of their job to prepare their pupils for a digital world.’ BCS, CAS and great programmes like Barefoot have a crucial role ensuring that teachers can do that job well. L

IT & Computing



Would an extra £26,000 fill any gaps in your school budget? RM’s IT support can help save money With an in-house team of two or more ICT support technicians working alongside a network manager, then it’s likely that you’re paying too much for your IT staff costs, especially when you consider the ever-increasing national insurance and pension liabilities. Add on to this the extra cost of any support contacts you have with third parties, such as your infrastructure or wireless, and any consultants you might use occasionally for that expert opinion, and your IT budget could easily be at least £26,000 overspent. Very often, schools with in-house ICT support teams simply don’t have the resources at their disposal to effectively support every technology the school has, or wants. If you are paying high salaries, or recruiting extra staff or consultants to ensure that you can cover all of the skillsets needed to support your school, then you may find that elements of co-sourcing or even outsourcing your ICT support to a partner such as RM will prove much more cost effective, and allow you to focus

more resources into the classroom. If you have stable broadband and properly configured filtering, switch, server and wireless systems, then the opportunity to use RM’s remote engineers to resolve complex issues becomes a highly cost-effective option that can also deliver service improvements. RM is able to deliver a faster, more efficient and more cost-effective support service by providing remote support to resolve issues that can be dealt with over the internet, and to support your in-house IT team with advice and guidance on how to resolve the root cause of issues.

Additionally, RM’s proactive checks team start work at 3am, running over 205 separate checks to identify and resolve around 15 per cent of all your ICT issues before you even start your school day, reducing the workload on your in-house team. This means you can reduce your operating costs by downsizing your IT support team or redeploying your IT technicians to provide more classroom support, helping teachers make the best use of existing software, devices and peripherals. Compared to a national IT support provider like RM, a small local IT support provider or an in-house team simply can’t have the same breadth of expertise, and often also do not have the skills, time, connections or experience to fully diagnose an issue and identify a solution, and end up fixing symptoms not root causes. To find out how much money you could save see below. FURTHER INFORMATION





A strong IT backbone

According to BESA research, only 44 per cent of primary schools say they are well-resourced when it comes to broadband. So does the government’s recent digital strategy include schools in its broadband plans? Education Business investigates In January this year, it was reported that poor broadband puts children’s education at risk in rural areas. The report by Rural England said that pupils who grow up in rural communities are at a disadvantage compared to pupils in urban areas, as they are less able to access online learning resources and carry out research. Brian Wilson, director at Rural England, who wrote the report, said: “A lack of a fast broadband connection is an issue in a lot of rural places. “Schools are increasingly using online learning materials, children are expected to do a lot of homework online. A slow connection at home makes it harder to do homework, particularly research based tasks, projects which involve trying to download attachments or large document.”

when it comes to broadband access and that every home and business can have access to fast broadband by 2020. “It is vital that this also includes schools, as our latest research shows that currently only 44 percent of primary schools say they are well-resourced when it comes to broadband.” “In order to ensure that we remain world‑leading in developing a workforce for the future – increasingly digital – economy, it is vital that teachers

The ment govern a range de has mas and advice of tool e to make it l availab to identify easier ectivity conn ges challen

THE DIGITAL STRATEGY The UK’s Digital Strategy, which was released by the government in March, states that it will include the whole of the UK in its “digital revolution.” It says the strategy “is not limited to one place or idea – it is penetrating the length and breadth of the UK, from Cornwall to the Highlands, from Wales to Northern Ireland, and we are determined to ensure that nowhere is left behind.” That strategy acknowledges the vital role connectivity plays in the success of the UK. It says: “Digital connectivity is now a utility, and modern life is increasingly impossible without it. Connectivity drives productivity and innovation, and is the physical underpinning of a digital nation.” The strategy goes on to say the government will invest over £1 billion to accelerate the development and uptake of next generation digital infrastructure – including full fibre and 5G. Caroline Wright, director general of BESA, commented: “It is encouraging to see the government reiterate its plans to ensure that no-one is left behind



are adequately equipped with both the necessary infrastructure and resources.” WORKING LOCALLY The strategy says that local communities are best placed to identify the connectivity needs of their local area and that they should work with communications providers to shape the roll-out of digital infrastructure. The report says that “a locally-led approach by supporting partnerships between residents and local community bodies, including schools and public libraries,” will be encouraged. The government has made a range of tools and advice available to make it easier for communities to identify their connectivity challenges and to establish community broadband solutions. This support includes the government’s Go Superfast Checker website, examples of delivery models, technologies, financing options and case studies from similar communities in the UK. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) also supports local authorities who want to jointly fund investment with communities to enable new infrastructure projects to go ahead. This is done in a number of different ways, for example by extending the scope of existing contracted plans by sharing the full cost of going further into high-cost areas.

Whilst schools get a mention here, they are not overtly referred to in the government’s broadband plans overall, with the focus being on households and businesses. SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS In order to adequately teach the computing curriculum, schools must have a robust IT infrastructure supporting them. Different schools will have different requirements from their broadband connection. Each school’s requirements will vary greatly due to a number of reasons, such as the size of the school, the number of staff, the number of connected devices, the type of applications being used and different teaching methods. Before considering different broadband and network options, a school should ensure it fully understands its needs, including the ICT based applications used for teaching, learning and administrative roles. Factors to consider include: School office functions; video conferencing; staff email; pupil email, staff internet usage while teaching, which can include using online applications such as YouTube and iPlayer; the school’s online portal or website; if the school utilises a virtual learning environment (VLE); individual pupil internet use, such as research and downloads for projects and classwork; and

IT Infrastructure


Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) also supports local authorities who want to jointly fund investment with communities to enable new infrastructure projects to go ahead the use of any laptops or handheld devices that may put further stress on the connection. This list is not exhaustive, and many other applications may require connectivity. Every school should consider any and every application that currently requires an internet or network connection, as well as any additional requirements expected in the near future. INTERNET SAFETY The government is also working on an Internet Safety Strategy, and a green paper is expected to be released in the summer. A report has been commissioned to provide up to date evidence of how young people are using the internet, the dangers they face, and the gaps that exist in keeping them safe. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is leading the drive. She said: “The internet has provided young people with amazing opportunities but has also introduced a host of new dangers which children and parents have never faced before. “It is increasingly clear that some behaviours which are unacceptable offline are being tolerated or even encouraged online – sometimes with devastating consequences. “We are determined to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online, and to help people protect themselves from the risks they might face. “To do that we want to understand the full scale of the problem and explore how everyone – including government, social media companies, technology firms, parents and others – can play their part in tackling it.” L

Internet Safety Strategy The government is working on a Internet Safety Strategy, with the aim of making Britain the safest country in the world for children and young people to be online. A report has been commissioned to provide up to date evidence of how young people are using the internet, the dangers they face, and the gaps that exist in keeping them safe. Ministers will also hold a series of round tables in the coming weeks with social media companies, technology firms, young people, charities and mental health experts to examine online risks and how to tackle them. The work is expected to centre on four main priorities: how to help young people help themselves; helping parents face up the dangers and discuss them with children; industry’s responsibilities to society; and how technology can help provide solutions. A green paper is expected in the summer. FURTHER INFORMATION publications/uk-digital-strategy





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As a long established UK manufacturer, SilverNet are recognised as specialists in the indoor and outdoor wireless transmission field. After success supplying products to local authorities, councils, government and the police, SilverNet have found there is an increasing need for good quality wireless infrastructure across all industries A key area SilverNet has identified is the Education sector. Many universities have good wireless infrastructures in place, however, secondary and primary schools lag behind. We have all seen vast changes in the classroom from the days of black boards and chalk to interactive white boards, tablets and laptops being used as the main tools within the classroom. Yet many schools still have little in the way of a wireless infrastructure. The modernization of our schools requires planning and the need for secure and reliable wireless infrastructures. SECURE WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURES SilverNet are able to assist schools in the planning of your wireless infrastructure. The firm can also assist you with any external wireless transmission requirements you may have with regards to wirelessly linking up your CCTV network for security, negating the need for costly civil engineering work. SilverNet also specialise in rapid deployment Wireless transmission for those temporary events you may wish to stream such as sports events or school plays and shows. If the education sector does not move forward to include good quality secure wireless infrastructures it restricts our children from accessing the largest educational resource ever created – the internet. Limiting the types of tools our teachers can use, and negatively impacting the education of our children. Of course, with any wireless infrastructure comes the questions about security. IMPORTANCE OF SECURITY SilverNet understands that security is of paramount importance when selecting the

right Wi-Fi solution for your school. Our data encryption means that your data is encoded so that confidential information cannot be accessed or stolen. As wireless data can be received by anyone with a wireless device, the data encryption is even more important. SilverNets Wireless transmission equipment is multi layered, allowing differing levels of access to students, visitors, staff and senior management teams within the school. Ensuring your children are only able to access age appropriate sites and resources. SilverNet equipment uses government approved 128bit AES encryption ensuring it is highly secure. ENCOURAGING STUDENTS Secure wireless mobility is playing an ever‑increasing role in providing students and staff with the flexibility and user experience they need. This could allow teachers the opportunity to create a virtual classroom almost anywhere, encouraging students to learn in new and exciting ways and making lessons interactive. One of the many benefits of a good wireless infrastructure is that today’s students love technology so they are sure to be interested in learning if they can use the tools they love. COST-EFFECTIVE RESOURCES The educational opportunities presented with good quality Wi-Fi in schools is endless. School budgets are very tight and with class sizes steadily increasing it is more important than ever to make the best use of your space and resources. Including anything that can assist teachers inside or outside of the classroom. Schools can not necessarily

afford to have dedicated IT suites with 30+ PC’s in one room. But 30 tablet devices stored in a secure cupboard which could be used in any classroom is not only more cost effective but also allows greater flexibility in how and where lessons can take place. Students can have access to digital textbooks which are regularly updated and are cheaper than those old heavy school books. PREPARATION FOR THE “REAL WORLD” Technology helps teachers to prepare students for the real world. A world which is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and even students who have no interest in IT based subjects will need a good understanding of the most recent technologies to become successful adults. It is important that school wireless networks keep up with ever-changing technologies in order to keep up with our students. From communicating with their teachers via e-mail, to quickly accessing information online about a particular topic they have been studying in class. Whether you require internal Wi-Fi solutions for your premises or an outdoor wireless connection for the transmission of CCTV, or to network a new building to an existing one via a wireless bridge, SilverNet has the products and expertise to provide you with a complete solution. Get in contact to find out how SilverNet can help you. L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0871 2233067 (Support) Tel: 0800 6521629 (Enquiries) Email:



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What theheadline Dummy to fit this space Education Show tight delivered 2017 as possible

The Education Show


Obit,Education elit eum doloriatur reprae The Show tooksam place fromvoluptatur? 16-18 MarchQui at officiis the NECcum escipicipsamand hit exerferi exceaqui omnis sinctatem. La Birmingham enabledquibus, everyone involved in education non non nossi ute dis dolupta everum que nis to come together andrest share ideasacescipsant and innovative practices The education sector is always evolving, and in turn, so are the challenges faced by schools, leaders, teachers and pupils. It’s therefore no surprise that schools and their staff are continually searching for guidance, insight and resources to help them address these challenges in and around the classroom. Year-on-year, The Education Show has been the must-see event for everyone involved in education, providing a platform for teachers, school leaders, suppliers and experts to come together and share ideas and innovative practices. The 2017 show that took place at the NEC Birmingham from 16-18 March proved no different. As always, there was a wide range of exciting opportunities to get involved with, whether it was testing the latest and greatest classroom resources, or attending one of the many free continuing professional development (CPD) sessions available throughout the event. This year’s theme celebrated creativity in the classroom, and with the huge amount of information and content on offer, it’s no doubt that the event attracted a vast number of visitors looking to revive their enthusiasm and spark new ideas for innovative teaching. Here, we take a look at some of the highlights from this year’s show.

insight from Roehampton University’s principle lecturer in computing education, Miles Berry, as he discussed assessment, specifically linked to computing. His session explored the challenges currently facing leaders relating to assessment skills, knowledge and understanding with computing. Renowned children’s author, Michael Rosen, also appeared at the show on the Saturday, presenting a very well-attended discussion on the role of arts and poetry in education in the Early Years and SEN Theatre. Teachers took to Twitter to share their appreciation, with one stating that it was an “honour” to listen to his talk, and many others expressing how inspired they had been by his thoughts. His overarching question of “who owns literacy?” was met with the resounding answer of “we all do!”.

MAKING THE BEST Th show h e OF TRAINING Of course, keynote a must- as been see eve speeches were not the for eve nt only source of inspiration r yone in educati at this year’s show. o of the most cited platformn, providing a One reasons for attending f to come or experts the show was the access to to a wide range of CPD and shagether opportunities, including re leadership and management, ideas teaching and learning, special

INSPIRING TALKS The Central Feature theatre played host to a number of incredible speakers. On the Thursday, former principal dancer for the Royal Ballet, and judge for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Darcey Bussell CBE, gave a speech about the benefits of dance fitness and the importance of physical literacy in schools, and respected educator Toby Young took the stage to discuss the future of education reform. School leaders also gained advice and

educational needs (SEN) and more. One such CPD session was run by consultants Joy Beaney and Kay Al Ghani, who encouraged visitors to change attitudes around autism in their schools by promoting peer awareness. The session ran through how schools can create Autism Champions, by essentially teaching groups of student volunteers about the ins and outs of autism, as well as how they can support their peers both in the classroom and in the playground. Of course, while developing support networks for children of any background is important, it’s also critical that this is not neglected for staff members. In his session, ‘Managing mental health – a

resilience toolkit’, Robert Whitelock of Garforth Academy revealed the shocking figure that 25 per cent of school staff are susceptible to mental health problems. As a former headteacher and a National Leader of Education in 2009, Andy Buck offered valuable advice on improving educational outcomes for pupils by supporting great leadership development. He discussed the benefits of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, where students are challenged to demonstrate community service and personal development, as well as taking part in outdoor expeditions, and how these could be applied to various other areas of education. One of the favourite quotes from the session was: “I’ve found that the determination you need to complete the expeditions can be applied to exam revision”. Magali Ellis, head of Trinity School, took to the stage in the Early Years and SEN Theatre to talk to visitors about her insights into the alternatives in teaching Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). During her session, she explained the most effective way to teach MFL in primary schools, and covered areas including ‘how frequent and how long the lessons need to be’, ‘which teaching method to choose’ and ‘how to untangle the complexity of setting up your language provision’. With literacy at the heart of government standards, Michelle Larbey was invited to host a seminar in the Early Years and SEN Theatre. In the session, she demonstrated just how phonics can be taught in a fun and memorable way through the use of real books. She highlighted the importance of a multi-sensory approach in order to help E




Providing pupils with innovative BIC resources needed to master standard handwriting skills Having attended the Education Show for the fifth year running, world leading stationery brand, BIC®, debuted a lively and educational stand. The firm displayed both their BIC® KIDS and Handwriting tools, reinforcing their primary focus of providing quality products that are robust, long lasting and specifically designed to play an integral part in each student’s educational journey. BIC® presented their range of innovative products to teachers and parents alike through an array of interactive displays which included a vibrant spinning wheel, colouring stations and handwriting tasks. Show-goers were ushered around the stand by BIC® staff members while learning about the products and collecting learning stickers for the chance to win a selection of BIC® products or £100 worth of stationery for their school. Four exclusive product kits complete with lesson plans were also available for purchase, each designed to provide teachers with everything they need to take their students from their first scribble all the way through to essay writing. BIC® expressed its plans to further partner with schools and

BIC Lifecycle for PSi.indd 1



teachers to aid pupil learning, and shared the stand for a second-year running with charitable partner, Start-Bee®, the proven handwriting scheme for schools that teaches every child how to master handwriting to the Standards and Testing Agency’s expected outcomes for KS1 and KS2. Across the three days at the Education Show, BIC® Assistant Product Manager, Rebecca Huda, and Bec Wakefield from Down Hall Primary School presented a series of in-depth talks about the Start‑Bee® partnership and the difference the pair has been making in the development of

handwriting in primary school children. The duo covered all aspects of the Start‑Bee® handwriting process and Key Stage Indicators, from forming the horizontal strokes needed to join letters in most of their writing for KS1 to maintaining legibility, fluency and speed in handwriting in KS2. Start-Bee® founder, Melanie Harwood was on stand to discuss how the support of globally recognised brands such as BIC® affects a developing company like Start‑Bee®, with both companies understanding that the right tools matter in combination with an effective teaching method. Start-Bee® highlighted that statistically, one in three primary school students are currently failing to meet the Department for Education’s handwriting requirements, a figure Start-Bee’s handwriting programme is successfully tackling in schools across the UK. Thanks to BIC’s sponsorship, this year, five more schools are using Start‑Bee® to help their teachers ensure their pupils leave primary school with fluent and legible handwriting. FURTHER INFORMATION

2017/04/21 10:46 AM

EVENT REVIEW points at this year’s show, with several exhibitors looking to improve schools’ provision when it comes to online safety. Launched in January, Smoothwall’s Visigo monitoring solution was presented on stand G81; the proactive software monitors keystrokes to detect unsuitable behaviour both online and offline, meaning that schools can intervene when students are potentially creating inappropriate content. In addition to The Education Show, this year, Bett Academies was also launched with the aim of providing the best advice and guidance for academies, MATs and schools considering academisation.

The three-day event allowed school leadership teams and teachers from across the UK to discover new ideas, test resources and products, and build on existing knowledge through CPD programmes on offer  make lessons more exciting and appealing to the whole class, ensuring every type of learner is included and engaged. The critical issue of staff recruitment was addressed in Mark Robinson’s session. The founder of FindEd considered the fact that schools are currently paying recruitment agencies between £1,000 and £10,000 per role when it comes to finding new staff members. Visitors were given some invaluable insight on how to avoid these costly procedures and to find the best possible staff members for their schools. Another session that proved popular was Nasir Quershi’s CPD talk on overcoming the challenges for KS2 SATs. The director of SATs Companion covered the key issues that teachers face when it comes to new assessments including: curriculum coverage, differentiation, saving time and money, and gap analysis. He also spent time offering advice on how to ensure children obtain a full and rounded understanding of each topic, which in turn, helps to build their confidence in their ability to be masters of their own learning. AROUND AND ABOUT AT THE SHOW This year, the show floor was host to a number of colourful characters, including William the Maths Bear from Conquer Maths, The Phonics Fairy and the fearful Dalek guarding the BBC Teach stand, as well as the super-talented dogs of Canine Partners. Another stand-out feature was the bright yellow Betty Bus, home of the Betty Collective, a company that supports young girls in

dealing with the pressure of growing up. Fresh Start Education also drew visitors with its inspiration wall, asking people to write about who and what inspires them, with one answer stating: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, we must teach the way we learn”. The range of exhibitors at this year’s show was, once again, filled with exciting innovations and interesting ideas. Stand N70 showcased the innovative OhBot, a robotic head that can be programmed to speak and perform facial expressions, and on stand F36, the Girlguiding Activity Centres stand offered

The Education Show


WHAT DID THE TEACHERS THINK? The three-day event allowed school leadership teams and teachers from across the UK to discover new ideas, test resources and products, and build on existing knowledge through the CPD programmes on offer. Visitor feedback was incredibly positive, with one group of teachers from Whitley Academy, Coventry, who said: “We have come to find new ideas and we’ve certainly found many”. Lisa Freeman, a teaching assistant from Heronswood Primary School in Kidderminster, also commented: “It was great to see all the new innovations in education and I found that every area of education was covered. I’ve got some great ideas to take back to the classroom”. Each year, thousands of education professionals gather to test and compare the latest resources, discuss policy and practice, and form vital collaborative links with their peers. What is interesting when you speak to visitors, is that chatting with other teachers and educators at the show was actually the most valuable benefit. On top of all the other things on offer at The Education Show, striking up a conversation with

What is interesting when you speak to visitors, is that chatting with other teachers and educators at the show was actually the most valuable benefit. On top of all the other things on offer at The Education Show, striking up a conversation with others, sharing ideas and experiences was often the most valuable part of the day young visitors the chance to have a go on their Treadwall, a motorised climbing wall. Elsewhere, the internationally acclaimed dance company, BalletBoyz demonstrated its PE and GCSE dance resource, MoovBank, which provides a digital toolkit for teachers to deliver high‑quality and inspiring dance lessons. Security and safeguarding were also focus

others, sharing ideas and experiences was often the most valuable part of the day. The Education Show is an annual event held in March at NEC Birmingham. The Education Show 2018 will take place from 15 to 17 March 2018. L FURTHER INFORMATION





What can academisation achieve? Academisation is a relatively new education structure for schools and with this comes the need for schools, academies and multi-academy trusts (MATs) to share experiences and advice. It is for this very reason that Bett Academies launched at the NEC, Birmingham on 16-18 March

School and academy leaders from across the country spent a day at the show to gain new perspectives and insight from their peers. More importantly, in this time of squeezed budgets, entry to the show and all continuing professional development (CPD) seminar sessions were free of charge. One of the most debatable sessions was based on the success of the Aspire Academy Trust. Presenter and CEO, Andrew Fielder, was looking for a healthy debate when he shared his views on how academies and MATs should be structured. His session started by reminding the audience that despite recent debate in the press, the objective of academies and MATs remains the same: to create a world-class Trust, providing children with an outstanding education for generations to come. During his presentation, he reminded visitors of the opportunities that this new educational landscape offers academies and MATs, which includes having a shared vision, identifying



A CHANGE IN CULTURE Other seminar sessions included one delivered by Cathie Paine, deputy chief executive of REAch2 Academy Trust. Cathie shared her advise with visitors on how to facilitate a change in culture within academies. She drew on experience from her expertise as a leader who has gone through this process, giving visitors ideas and insight. Another motivational session was delivered by Rob Tarn, the regional chief executive and national leader of education at the high-performing Outwood Grange Academy Trust. Tarn outlined the Trust’s model for rapid transformation in struggling schools. He explained how to bring about a drastic culture shift in schools in special measures so that, within just seven short weeks, they can climb the ranks and become ‘good’ and even ‘outstanding’ schools. He has worked as a headteacher at six schools in special measures, and has seen these schools improve beyond recognition. The presentation proved to be an eye opener for many visitors. ACADEMY PROGRESS Academy stakeholders including national schools’ commissioner, Sir David Carter and the Rt Hon David Laws were also at Bett Academies. Sir David opened the show by providing an update on ‘academy progress’, while Rt Hon David Laws looked at the role that academy schools play in achieving a world-class education for all children. He guided attendees through the evolution of the academy schools programme, and the impact it has had on various areas of performance and achievement. With informed and practical advice on how to work within an academy to achieve a world‑class level of education, this proved to be a highly informative session for all academy and MAT leaders and teachers. Despite its name, Bett Academies wasn’t just designed for the needs of academies and MATs. Those schools that do not yet have academy status attended the session presented by Tom Rees, headteacher and director at Northampton Primary Academy Trust (NPAT). He explained how he used to feel, not wanting to be absorbed by a large MAT but equally having no desire to start a new one. Wanting to take the step towards academisation on his own terms, he joined other schools in Northampton who started working together to form NPAT as equal partners, not built on the back of a top-down sponsor. Teachers, leaders, governors and bursars, from schools, academies and MATs all left the show with more understanding of the possibilities that academy status can achieve. L

A motivat session ional delivere was d Tarn fro by Rob high‑pe m the Grange rforming Acade Trust my

and removing barriers, learning from past mistakes, renewing and reshaping governance and, of course, developing a multiskilled workforce that is flexible, fast-moving, and looks beyond each individual school. Some of his more controversial points included the need to embed responsibility and accountability systems deep into every classroom and office, and the importance of identifying and then removing superfluous burdens from school staff to enable them to improve teaching and learning outcomes with pace and certainty. He outlined his vision for all schools to have teacher networks; using IT to enable shared staff meetings, planning session, lessons, resources, moderation and social networking. But probably his most controversial point was that this infrastructure removes the need for governing bodies and headteachers.




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As an award-winning manufacturer of AV mounting equipment for more than 50 years, and boasting more than 65,000 products in its range, Unicol has added a number of new products to its portfolio With greater demand for flexible, multi‑device compatibility, and the way students communicate, interact and absorb information fundamentally changing with the use of smart devices, the design of AV/IT furniture has also changed. Information gathered outside the classroom via new media can now be easily shared for students to collaborate and discuss, not only within the teaching space, but across the world using video conferencing. INTERACTIVE APPROACH TO LEARNING With the introduction of interactive ultra‑high definition 4K displays up to 84”, many educational institutions are recognising the need to transform traditional teaching models to accommodate high-resolution dynamic multimedia content for a more interactive approach to learning. These displays are expensive, so having one in each classroom eats into already stretched budgets. This is why Unicol has produced its NestStar Teaching Aid Trolley which can support up to 110” displays, can be customised with control equipment of choice and nested together with others, to reduce the collective storage footprint, then deployed into the teaching space when needed. “The need to develop collaboration areas definitely seems to be growing and areas are being designated for ‘huddle spaces’,” explains UNICOL managing director David Jopling. “In addition to this, continued uniform implementation of teaching aids from interactive screens to lecterns seems to be on the rise, in order to keep all training rooms the same and to make it easier for lecturers to use the latest technology – rather than having to relearn how things work in a different room.” CHANGES TO LEARNING Jopling explains that sales of traditional mounting products for projectors and screens is continuing for new builds or refurbishments, especially with laser light source projectors of 4,000 lumens and 20,000 hours life now reducing maintenance costs massively. However, with mobile technology now in the hands of two-thirds of UK adults – the majority of which are in the 16-24 year bracket

– the learning environment is changing. It is forecast 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. When it comes to designing new products, Unicol embraces end user requirements through its large customer base of installers and integrators. EDUCATION AUDIENCE “There are so many different makes and models of AV / IT control equipment that the only way to satisfy customers is to provide an element of custom design into each product,” says Jopling. At the 2017 Integrated Systems Europe exhibition, reputedly the largest in the world for AV equipment vendors and service suppliers, Unicol showcased its Rhobus Huddle Stand-to-Meet table, Canterbury Lectern and Principal teaching aid desk. Many Universities visited the Unicol stand, including those who were responsible in advising on the specification. Tessa Rogowski, Assistant Director IT Services [Client Services], University of Essex, noted that there is awareness among ISE exhibitors of the importance of the education audience. “ISE set up chances for all of SCHOMS [the professional body for Senior Managers working within UK HE] to visit exhibitors and talk specifically about enterprise‑ready technology that we can adapt to our needs. This has proved invaluable to my university – as we are currently deploying AV over ethernet as a specific example.” A ‘SMART CAMPUS’ Now, much of the edtech supply chain is focused on the area of ‘Smart Campus’ (building automation, smart lighting,

physical security and digital signage) as opposed to the ‘Smart Classroom’ (which introduces the Internet of Things in the form of sensors and wearables). A Smart Campus is perhaps better described as the ‘Connected Campus’ where hundreds if not thousands of devices are connected and controllable over the network. Software that enables the management of all AV devices provides the ‘Connected Campus’ status as they can centrally manage, monitor and control devices irrespective of campus size or spread. It also integrates, with the building management solution, and with the room booking/timetabling platform, to provide greater efficiencies in room utilisation.” According to Jopling the implementation of edtech widens the services and equipment that Unicol can offer. “As a manufacturer of mounting solutions, we produce equipment that can be used in any market segment and then allow the channel to decide which market segment will purchase it. The differentiator is usually price because of the additional functionality of the equipment, but green credentials are also now important and we have adopted policies to recycle all component materials and packaging whilst electrical power consumption is provided by an award winning Biomass renewable energy supplier. In 1963 UNICOL made the first AV Trolley for UK schools and continues the tradition by satisfying customer requirements with custom and standard equipment. Whether it be AV Furniture, projector mounts, interactive display trolleys or digital signage solutions UNICOL’s motto of Supporting You carries through in both equipment and service.L FURTHER INFORMATION



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The School Food Plan must not become a document which just sits on a shelf. With that in mind, how do we keep up the momentum of healthy school food? Linda Cregan, chief executive of the Children’s Food Trust, investigates Providing good, healthy food that children want to eat has always been a challenge for some schools. With food and labour prices going up, things are getting tougher, budgets are getting tighter, and schools are having to be even smarter when it comes to making dinner time a success. But it can be argued that it’s now more than ever that our young people need this vital resource. Today, more than a fifth of children are either overweight or obese by the time they join reception class, rising to a third in Year 6.​ During the school years, we learn many of the habits we will take with us through life. We look to our peers and our teachers to help form our ideas and behaviours – our likes and dislikes. Schools, and the communities they create, have more contact with children during their first two decades in life than any other public institution. This is why it’s so vital that schools have the support they need to provide healthy, desirable food in their dining halls, and to adopt a culture where healthy lifestyles are promoted, explored and practiced everywhere else. And they do – school’s across the UK are doing a fantastic job. KEEPING UP MOMENTUM But it’s crucial that we continue to build upon this good work. A key phrase in the government’s childhood obesity plan is that ‘many school canteens are unrecognisable from those 20-30 years ago. Many, but by no means all. Despite the success of the School Food Plan, schools continue to need ongoing support, access to finance and time to improve the whole experience of food for children in school, and create an environment that enables healthy habits. Schools cannot do this alone. At the Trust we

have a whole range of resources to support schools online. From example seasonal menus and recipes to specific advice for schools catering to less than 100 pupils. Our excellence award, which was highlighted in the government-commissioned School Food Plan as a way to build the reputation and take-up of school food, is a great way for schools to show off their commitment to children’s nutrition to parents. For external school caterers, we also have our menu checking service. SCHOOL FOOD PLAN The School Food Plan was a shot in the arm to remind politicians, local authorities, schools and others that the job of giving every child a great lunchtime at school is far from finished. There’s much more to do to make great school food the norm for every child – and that means it must remain a priority for government, and schools must continue to get the support they need on this. The School Food Plan mustn’t become a document which just sits on a shelf. With that in mind, how do we keep up the momentum? Each school community has its own unique needs and there is no one size fits all solution, but we believe there are four steps that could get us closer towards healthy school food being accessible for all children, regardless of their backgrounds. MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS Firstly, we need to level the playing field for school food. All schools, without exception, should be required to meet national standards. The loophole that allows

Written by Linda Cregan, chief executive of the Children’s Food Trust

Keeping healthy food a priority

a particular group of academies (those formed between June 2010 and September 2014) to not have to comply is a nonsense. That’s more than 3,800 schools in which food remains technically unregulated. Even though these schools are being encouraged to support the standards voluntarily, the majority haven’t made their position clear and there’s no requirement for them to do so. There shouldn’t be one rule on for some schools and another rule for the rest – every child has the same right to healthy food at school.   ​ The second point is to make sure all schools have a packed lunch policy.​ Research consistently shows that many packed lunches still contain chocolate, crisps and sweets, so anything which helps make lunchboxes healthier is a good thing. Families often choose packed lunches as simple reassurance that their children will eat something during the school day. Fussy eating is a huge worry for so many mums and dads. But when it is foods high in sugar, salt and fat that kids are asking for in their lunchboxes, we’ve got a problem – they’re filling up on empty calories which won’t leave kids feeling at their best. Putting a packed lunch policy in place can be tough, but every school allowing packed lunches needs one if we’re going make life easier for parents and give kids a consistent message.



INVESTMENT The third step is to ensure continued investment: give schools the time, incentive, finance and support to continue improving school meals. The Capital fund of £415 million to improve health and wellbeing in schools would help in the push for kitchens and dining rooms being good spaces that encourage the cooking and eating of healthy food. And finally, there must be incentives. We should celebrate schools and caterers providing excellent food, through schemes such as our own, and from within the industry. ​The government’s healthy rating scheme, highlighted in the child obesity plan, could be a route to this. We know that when children eat better, they do better, so it’s in the best interests of schools and the government to be prioritising good school food as we attempt to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity in our country. With the right support, schools can make a monumental impact when it comes to addressing the growing health crisis which represents a ticking time bomb for this and future generations. L

Each school its own has needs, bunique ut we believe t h e r e ar steps th at coulde four Linda Cregan is the chief executive us close of the Children’s Food Trust, r towar get co‑chair of the School Food Alliance healthy ds school and an advisor to government. food FURTHER INFORMATION




Creating a 100 per cent gluten-free environment during production Middleton Foods has opened a new 5,000 square feet stand‑alone gluten free factory at its site in Willenhall, West Midlands. Dedicated specifically to manufacturing gluten free products, the building took six months to complete and can produce over 100 tonnes of naturally gluten free products per week. With the gluten free market growing significantly, Middleton Foods was eager to create an environment in which all wheat products were removed, giving full control over manufacturing and eliminating the risk of cross‑contamination completely. In addition to this, Middleton’s have launched a full range of gluten free products, including bread and pizza mix, muffins, cookies, custard, pancakes, scones, waffles, batter mix, curry and gravy mixes, plus Middletons own gluten free flours for those wishing to make their own from scratch. These mixes are perfect for those with dietary needs i.e. suitable for Coeliacs.

They are ideal for using in schools where special dietary requirements are a key consideration for the catering team. Paul Stanley, Middleton’s Food service manager said: “The product most in demand and still our top selling gluten free product is a dual white bread and pizza base mix. “We have found that many customers are moving to a one product for all dietary solutions and this dual mix fits the bill.“

Stanley added: “Secondly our next top selling product is our gluten free Muffin mix, this superb quality product is currently our fastest growing product; it really is one of those products that you have to try to believe just how good it is.” For the caterer, this development not only means additional peace of mind that the products they are buying are 100 per cent gluten free, but it also creates a wider range of products to choose from and helps to bring the cost of gluten free ingredients down. Paul states: “We believe that the rapid growth of gluten-free is set to continue for at least three years. With our new high quality gluten free mixes, catering businesses will be able to offer gluten free options on their menus much more easily”. For more information, samples and recipe ideas see below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01902 608122



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Written by Lisa Bainbridge, head of campaigns at Coeliac UK


The need for gluten-free More than 1.3 million Britons are now on a gluten‑free diet, yet parents continue to report problems with getting trusted gluten-free food for their children when at school, writes Lisa Bainbridge, head of campaigns at Coeliac UK Coeliac UK’s 2017 Awareness Week 8-14 May will start with the launch of the Gluten-freevolution and they’re eager for schools to join. The Gluten-freevolution is aimed at making sure everyone on a gluten-free diet can find something safe and suitable to eat, with a specific focus on public service catering in schools and academies. Coeliac UK wants to help remove some of the frustration felt by parents when trying to ensure their child’s food is safe for them to eat, with plans to educate and motivate catering teams on why people need gluten-free food, free of cross contamination, and how caterers can provide dishes that are both safe and trusted. THE NEED FOR GLUTEN-FREE The gluten-free diet is currently the only treatment for coeliac disease, a lifelong autoimmune condition linked to an intolerance to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Some children and adults are also sensitive to oats. While coeliac disease is not an allergy, cereals containing gluten is one of the 14 main allergens that are subject to food information regulations across the EU due to its adverse effects on the

health of people with coeliac disease. In the UK the number of people on a gluten‑free diet is on the rise, with the diagnosis of coeliac disease increasing fourfold over the last two decades. And others are opting for the gluten-free diet to help with the symptoms of conditions of irritable bowel syndrome or because they have non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.

that the experience of eating out has improved considerably over the last three years, 73 per cent continued to find the overall experience frustrating. On accessing gluten‑free food at school, around half of parents told Coeliac UK that they find it difficult to find a suitable meal for their child. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF GLUTEN? For people with coeliac disease, accidentally eating gluten is described as being “glutened.” If this happens, children are likely to experience symptoms like stomach pain, cramps, bloating and vomiting and diarrhoea over a number of hours or days. It does not cause a life threatening reaction or anaphylactic shock. Managing the food safety risks for gluten-free can be controlled with minimal costs, once you know how. As part of the Gluten-freevolution, Coeliac UK has developed a range of help and advice get your schools catering team ready to go gluten-free. E

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WHAT IS THE SCALE OF THE ISSUE? It has been estimated that there are now more than 1.3 million Britons on a gluten-free diet, yet parents continue to report problems getting trusted gluten-free food for their children when at school. Some parents have even opted out of universal or free school meals due to the lack of gluten-free options. To help get a sense of scale of the issue, Coeliac UK surveyed over 900 parents of children with coeliac disease last year, gathering views on accessing gluten-free food when eating outside of the home. While over 85 per cent of parents said




No one wants to see children excluded from school activities, excursions or meals simply because they’re on a gluten-free diet. So making sure catering teams know how to produce safe gluten-free food is essential for any school  WHAT CAN SCHOOLS DO? No one wants to see children excluded from school activities, excursions or meals simply because they’re on a gluten-free diet. So making sure catering teams know how to produce safe gluten-free food is essential for any school providing meals. The rules around the provision of school meals, including catering for medical conditions or specific dietary needs, varies depending on where you live in the UK. For example, schools in England must have a policy on how they support children with medical conditions and an individual healthcare plan for any child with coeliac disease, which should highlight the need for gluten-free food to be provided. While in other parts of the UK, schools have more general duties to ensure children are provided with a suitable meal. A good rule of thumb is to make sure there is a gluten-free menu option at school meal times. School caterers may be cautious about providing gluten-free dishes due to the potential food safety risks or perceived pitfalls, but it is not difficult or complicated, and there’s lots of free help and guidance available to help. One of the best sources of information available to schools are parents and carers.

A campaign to raise awareness Considerable effort has gone into creating a step change in the diagnosis of coeliac disease over the last few years, with a wide ranging campaign highlighting the symptoms and how to go about getting tested. Coeliac UK launched the first ever online assessment for coeliac disease in 2015, which has been used by over 90,000 people.

School staff and catering teams should work closely with parents of children on a gluten‑free diet to make sure their children are included at meal times and the food they are served is safe and free of cross contamination. Coeliac UK has produced guides for parents and schools, for every part of the UK, on the rules and expectations on schools to help ensure no child is excluded due to coeliac disease or the need for a gluten-free diet. For further details please see WHAT DOES GLUTEN-FREE MEAN? Only foods and meals that contain 20 parts per million (ppm) or less can be labelled or served as “gluten-free”. Caterers must also provide allergen information for all dishes or menu options on service. This means if a recipe uses any cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley and oats), or any other of the 13 other major allergens, then this information must be provided to anyone who asks for it. It is important that all staff, both kitchen and service staff, can talk to pupils about your gluten-free options and the kitchen controls in place to prevent cross contamination with gluten. Good communication is key. If schools outsource catering services,

Parent shares her concern



“I started raising concerns with the school in March 2016 that Imogen was being given jacket potatoes most days. This is important because poor nutrition can have an impact on children’s growth, wellbeing and concentration at school. “In June 2016 I withdrew Imogen from school meals, as advised by St George’s hospital as she had not grown in height or width for 6 months.” Sara, Coeliac UK member and mum of Imogen, who has coeliac disease. it is important to include the need for safe gluten-free food as part of any procurement process or contract. HOW CAN COELIAC UK HELP? Coeliac UK is the charity for everyone living without gluten. We carry out research and campaign for better diagnosis and a fairer deal for people on a gluten-free diet. We provide independent, trustworthy advice and support. And we do it all so that one day no one’s life will be limited by gluten. To help schools meet the needs of pupils on a gluten-free diet, Coeliac UK has produced new guidance entitled ‘Catering gluten-free: how to get it right.’ This new free guidance for catering teams has been produced in collaboration with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and it has all the information schools need to start producing food that is labelled gluten-free. And leading the Gluten-freevolution charge will be Cyril the coeliac duck, who, along with his fellow quacktivists will be helping to spread the word. Coeliac UK will be releasing four films featuring Cyril during Awareness Week, showing people how coeliac disease affects him and demonstrating how caterers can achieve safe and trusted gluten-free food.

Posters and leaflets aimed at parents with young children were recently added to the campaign, and are now available for schools that want to do more to promote health and wellbeing with parents and pupils.

HOW CAN SCHOOLS GET INVOLVED? Coeliac UK is on a mission to make sure all public service caterers are ready to produce safe and nutritious gluten‑free food. Whether catering for children in primary or secondary education, catering teams should be able to provide food that ensures the safety and wellbeing of everyone. Join the Gluten-freevolution by downloading the new gluten-free guidance for caterers, getting to know the gluten-free basics with Cyril, enquire about Coeliac UK GF Accreditation or training. L

Contact Coeliac UK for a campaign pack at





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Cutting back on energy use in a school kitchen A number of reports have indicated that schools can cut down on their energy use and save money by changing what catering equipment they use and how they use them Schools are continuously trying to find new ways to become more energy efficient and cut back on costs where it is possible. A report by the Carbon Trust has determined that school kitchens are one of the main culprits behind excessive energy use as they require large amounts of power in order to operate. According to the energy charity, school kitchens are a major consumption area as energy is needed in order to power the catering equipment that is used, as well as heat hot water. But, the Carbon Trust has stated that these are two areas which can offer cost savings, which will not affect the quality of the food. HOT SPOT FOR ENERGY CONSUMPTION The energy used for catering facilities amounts to around 10 per cent of a school’s energy costs, according to the Carbon Trust. However, energy savings of up to 50 per cent have been found in some school kitchens by enhancing the efficiency of a school’s catering equipment.

It is believed that a large amount of energy is consumed in a kitchen, despite only a small proportion of this energy being utilised to cook the food to be served in schools. In addition to this, cold storage equipment such as refrigerators and freezers are in continuous use and as a result, require much more energy to run. A review of energy efficiency by BSRIA, a research and consultancy organisation, states that cooking ranges and fridge-freezers are obvious “gas guzzlers”, in addition to dishwashers and good preparation equipment. With this in mind, the Carbon Trust says that managing energy use in the school canteen can result in additional benefits of improving the quality of food produced as well as the working environment for kitchen staff.

DOS AND DON’TS Most modern catering equipment can reach its maximum temperature quite quickly, therefore it is important not to switch appliances on too soon in order to avoid running equipment that is not being used at the time. In line with this, it is also important to ensure that all ovens, grills, fryers and hobs are turned off immediately after use. A good way to avoid wasting energy through this is to label equipment with its pre-heat time and ensuring education staff only switch on when they need to. It is also advised that kitchen equipment is not used to warm the area when staff arrive as the school’s heating system should do this effectively, and if it does not, it is worth finding out why. Other tips to avoid squandering power in the school kitchens include keeping fridge and freezer doors closed, and defrosting them regularly to save energy and prolong the equipment’s life; reducing drying times on dishwashers and allowing residual heat to finish the drying process; moving storages fridges and freezers into well ventilated areas; and to avoid using open boiling water steriliser systems because they can be dangerous and wasteful.

Catering Equipment


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EQUIPMENT EFFICIENCY Despite gas-fired equipment being an expensive alternative to electrical and steam equivalents, savings on this type E



ENERGY EFFICIENCY  of appliance made on running costs makes it a much more efficient option. This is because the equipment automatically switches off, which can result in 25 per cent savings in energy costs. It’s also wise to select ovens with large double glazed viewing windows to avoid having to open the doors to check on meals, saving energy yet again. Gas equipment is not the only method for reducing energy. Sub-meters measure the amount of energy that is being consumed and can also benefit a school in terms of identifying cost savings and justifying any investment that is needed in order to reduce running costs. This can be useful if catering is provided by a separate company because they may not be aware of the importance of energy efficiency in a school. They allow for budget allocation and charging to take place and can also act as an incentive for kitchen managers to reduce energy costs by providing rewards for doing so. Heat recovery is also another beneficial route to go down for schools. School kitchens expel large volumes of warm air, and many kitchen managers do not realise that more than 50 per cent of this heat can be recovered by using heat recovery devices, which can also reduce energy costs. The most effective device is usually an air‑to-water device because it

The Commercial Kitchen Show The Commercial Kitchen Show will be returning to the NEC Birmingham on 6-7 June and will host ten expert panels and a series of interviews. A number of speakers for the 2017 event have already been confirmed which includes world-renowned pastry chef Claire Clark MBE, and Robert Queham, formerly of The Ivy and now head chef at The Redwood Bistro at Bishopstoke Park – the UK’s first retirement village to be awarded an AA Rosette for its food. Other speakers include Chris Knights, group executive at Young’s Pubs and Geronimo Inns, and Kumour Uddin, group executive at Anglian Country Inns. They will be talking about innovative equipment and design and how they play an important role in delivering speed, quality and consistency in a kitchen environment. The next wave of seminars is also set to be announced in the coming weeks and will cover food-to-go kitchens, foodservice kitchen design, and kitchens in education, among other topics. For further information, and to register to attend Commercial Kitchen, visit can preheat hot water, providing a year‑round use for the recovered heat. FINAL TIPS A large secondary school typically uses cookers for more than 10 hours in a week. In order to minimise consumption pay attention to the tips mentioned previously. Also, where possible, make it a policy to use microwave ovens as they use less energy and are much quicker. In terms of refrigerators, regular maintenance checks are important as well as the monitoring of consumption. In order to do this, set the thermostat at the right level

for the contents of the fridge, and settings might need adjusting when it is empty. It may also be useful to note that freezers operate more efficiently when they are full. In addition to this, check that seals are intact so that cold air does not escape; encourage staff and students not to open doors when it is not needed; defrost regularly; and turn off fridges during school holidays when it is appropriate. If this cannot be done, consolidate the contents of fridges so that some can be turned off. L



Temporary Catering Facilities for Education Mobile Kitchens Ltd specialises in the hire and sale of temporary catering facilities and foodservice equipment. We regularly provide our services to clients in the education sector when, for example, they are undergoing a kitchen refurbishment or carrying out other building works that necessitate the closure of existing facilities. We offer a free design service, and project management from concept through to delivery and installation on site, plus full technical support throughout the hire period.

Other past clients include Godolphin & Latimer School, Radley College, Sevenoaks School, Harrow School, Merton College, Bath College, West Kent College, Leicester College and many more…

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Fix the cost of parent payments and communications. At a time when budgets are being squeezed and the pressure on schools to save money whilst continuing to provide high quality education for their students pushes on, we look for simple ways to maintain control over what we’re spending whilst continuing to raise attainment and support learning WHERE SHOULD I START? We know parents play a vital role in every child’s education. We know parents are often busy people working a full-time job, possibly with two or more children at different schools. We also know that 93 per cent of adults use a smartphone. Putting these facts together presents schools with an opportunity – use smartphone technology to interact with parents. Parents are already using smartphone devices comfortably, so schools can connect with parents through a platform they already know and use in their everyday life. With a good texting system, schools can send texts home about attendance, homework, upcoming tests and conversation prompts about the school day to have at home after school. But consider looking for more than just a texting system. Some systems provide a means for schools to request parent payments via their smartphone or tablet too, so parents can make payments to school direct from their device or via a website. This is handy to keep parent payments up to date for trips, dinner money and clubs. But also, it opens up the option for the school to become cashless. WHY? Because parents like it – a recent study asked parents if they were happy with the number of texts they were receiving form school. Nine per cent said they didn’t think they were receiving enough, eight per cent said too many, 83 per cent said it was just right. As well, experience has shown that the vast majority of parents are happy with a cashless system, according to VISA Europe (2016) ‘74 per cent of British consumers are ‘Mobile Payments users’ – people who manage their money or make payments using a mobile device’. Because it works – results from the Parental Engagement Project run by the Education Endowment Foundation and Harvard University show that texting parents about tests and homework can improve exam results and reduce absenteeism. Results also show a ‘positive impact’ on attainment and demonstrate that texting

parents is the most ‘cost-effective’ method of improving attainment. A cashless payments system also removes the amount of cash kept in school and it means prompter payments as it’s far easier for parents to see money owed and make quick payments whilst at home, work or on the move. SAVING MONEY FOR YOUR SCHOOL One fundamental benefit of a good messaging and cashless payments system is the amount of admin it saves. Think how much time is spent requesting and chasing overdue payments, updating parents of their balances, processing payments and reconciliation, chasing pupil absences and homework. This can all be administered within a few clicks in one, easy parent engagement system.

provide clear, concise instructions on using the system and downloading the app so they can see how simple it is; run a campaign to get parents signed up to the system with their contact details; highlight the benefits to both parents and school up front; have staff at a computer station at parent’s evenings or other events who can set parents up with a cashless account on the spot; and have a computer available in reception where parents can make payments. L FURTHER INFORMATION If you’d like a fixed cost quote for a messaging or payments system, or the full suite, call Schoolcomms on 0333 332 7147 or visit

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS? It’s also important to consider the total cost of moving to a cashless system. It’s not only the cost of the licence, the transaction charges are also a key element to take into account. But if you choose a system with a fixed transaction fee, there’s no hidden costs, making annual budgeting easy. A fixed transaction fee of 16p from Schoolcomms is the lowest on the market. For an average parent payment of £30, a fixed transaction percentage of 1.29 per cent would cost 40p, 24p more than the fixed fee option. Taking into account the average number of payments made by parents each year, and the average amount paid each time, the total transaction cost could become substantial. The same goes for your messaging system, you can fix the cost of communicating with parents too. With texts costing up to 6.5p per text, choose a software system which includes a parent app and offers free instant app messaging. You can switch off texts and stick to instant app messages to ensure costs are fixed and avoid substantial text bills. QUICK TIPS TO GET STARTED Tips for getting parents on board with a texting and/or cashless system: Let parents know in advance, give them plenty of time to ask questions and know the system;





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Written by Ali Oliver, CEO, Youth Sport Trust


PE for a changing world Ali Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust discusses the need for physical education to adapt in today’s school environment and provides insight into Play Unified – a campaign using sport to break down barriers for young people with intellectual disabilities

The world, and the UK in particular, is entering a fascinating period of change. Whether you look at politics, the environment, the technological revolution or health, the sense of change is inescapable and that is the same for schools across the country. Funding from the sugar tax levy will provide around £320 million a year to primary schools from September 2017-2020 through the Primary PE and Sport Premium. If this is invested well, it could not only help to tackle obesity and inactivity in young people, but also contribute to improvements in social and emotional wellbeing – two significant challenges facing the next generation. While this is excellent news, at the Youth Sport Trust we are equally aware of the need for a spotlight on secondary provision with an emerging trend towards declining curriculum time for physical education and a lower emphasis on extracurricular provision.

Aside from the worrying rise in childhood obesity, recent reports have found that secondary school pupils are suffering from stress and anxiety in the run up to exams, on top of the natural pressures of developing as a teenager. Daily physical activity, an hour in which hearts are racing for all the right reasons, can help young people manage levels of anxiety and help improve overall concentration. At the same time, our sport inspired programmes have proven helpful to young people both in developing resilience and coping skills which can impact on improved classroom, and exam performance.

MODERNISE THE PE CURRICULUM At the Youth Sport Trust, we believe that young people have never had a greater need for PE – for their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. However, physical education and school sport are heading towards a cross‑roads. Either we will reach a point where it is understood that PE has to exist for young people to be well enough to learn and equipped with the interpersonal skills needed to succeed in their school lives and beyond, or PE could completely disappear from the curriculum. E

Aside from th health b e school enefits, valuabl sport is a develope vehicle for skills th ing off-pitch pupils tat stay with hrou their liv ghout es



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PHYSICAL ACTIVITY  This is an opportunity for schools to modernise their PE curriculum, with PE standing for Physical and Emotional education and PE lessons focused on high levels of physical activity that maximise the ‘teachable moments’ that arise from sports endeavour. For too long, PE has lacked a clear and widely understood purpose for pupils in the UK. Change is overdue. PE can be a huge force for good in schools and it should be treated as such. Aside from the obvious health benefits, school sport is a valuable vehicle for developing off-pitch skills that stay with pupils throughout their lives, from fair play to tolerance and courage. There is a wealth of research demonstrating the positive benefits of sport. Sport England recently declared that: “Participation in physical activity and sport has been shown to be effective for reducing depression, anxiety, psychological distress, emotional disturbance. Taking part in sport, and spectating, have a positive impact on the wellbeing and happiness of individuals.” EMPOWERING THE YOUNG At the Youth Sport Trust, we have created the concept of ‘CARE for their future’, The four pillars of CARE are creativity, aspiration, resilience and empathy. These are the attributes we know sport can build and have an emerging evidence base of the impact of our programmes and teacher training on these outcomes. We believe that critical success factors in terms of a new era for PE are the development of young people’s voice, leadership skills and ultimately their empowerment. We believe that empowering young people to be the architects of the change they want to see, and then becoming peer leaders bringing that change to life, is an incredibly powerful way to move the subject on and create real meaning and value for the next generation. By putting young people at the heart of PE and school sport, young people, teachers, whole schools, and the wider community will become more engaged and enriched.

“Participation in physical activity and sport has been shown to be effective for reducing depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and emotional disturbance” PLAY UNIFIED One example of this in practice is Play Unified, a global movement developed by Special Olympics and delivered domestically in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust. Play Unified ultimately hopes to create the ‘Unified Generation’, a generation where there will be a level playing field for young people with and without intellectual disabilities. The crux of Play Unified is simple, bringing young people with and without intellectual disabilities (ID) together, both on and off the field of play. In doing so, the campaign hopes to break down barriers and tackle intolerance faced by young people with ID. Play Unified is inspired by the principle that training together and playing together is a quick path to understanding, acceptance and friendship. This is already being shown in action in schools across the country. We have started small with Play Unified, working with 200 schools, both mainstream and special schools. I have been blown away by the engagement levels of these establishments. The campaign is already oversubscribed, our two-year target was to sign up 200 schools, something which we completed within the first six months of the campaign. Clearly Play Unified has struck a chord with young people and schools in the same way it did with the Youth Sport Trust. Play Unified’s first year results have far exceeded our expectations both in terms of demand and enthusiasm. We have recruited 544 Young Ambassadors, 5,400 practitioners (teachers, learning assistants etc) and reached more than 18,000 young people through a series of summits up and down the country.

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Play Unified gives me real hope for the future and feeds my belief that sport really can change the world. While the focus of Play Unified is a more accepting and unified world for young people with intellectual disabilities, what it is showing us is that the tolerance, understanding and mutual respect that is so desperately needed in today’s world can be achieved through sport. Playing together really can mean growing together. This generation is characterised by so many characteristics that make young people inspiring and a powerful force for good. Today’s young people are more altruistic, more informed, more world aware than previous generations and if ever there was a time for the ‘Unified Generation’ to be forged, it is now. At a time where the emotional and physical wellbeing of our young people is so important, particularly for equipping them as effective learners, the Youth Sport Trust is committed to driving change so that PE becomes an integral part of the curriculum. A changing world demands a new style of PE. Play Unified is just one shining example of the role that school sport can play in changing young people’s outlook, if they are empowered to drive that change. The Youth Sport Trust will continue to advocate sport at every possible opportunity for young people. I said earlier that this is a ‘sink or swim’ moment for school sport – and we are determined to ensure that PE prevails. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Withstanding a daily pounding The importance of sports and games in schools encompasses more than just the benefit of physical activity. It delivers an increase in self-esteem and mental alertness making school sports and games necessary for every schoolchild. Today, with health and fitness even more important than ever, it’s fundamental that children spend more time being active rather than solely sitting in front of a computer screen or games console. It is imperative for school age children to have access to sports and games. Not only does it empower youth and promote higher self-esteem, it also motivates and potentially enables better grades. Numerous physical benefits include; maintaining a healthy weight, preventing chronic diseases, learning the skills necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle after leaving school and learning about the importance of team work. The role played by providing the correct, fit-for-purpose sports flooring cannot be ignored or diluted in its importance to the overall performance for both the pupils/students and the school itself. Bearing all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that Sport England recently released a statement outlining that they were investing up to £3 million per year in schools, colleges and universities as well as investment that aims to keep young people active through key transitions in their lives. They want their investment to ensure that more children are better equipped for a physically active future.

market is constantly changing. New products and techniques are developed as different sports become more popular. The economy also fluctuates, together with changing liability concerns that may come into play. All these factors should affect design decisions. The newest choices in flooring focus on sustainability. The market shows increasing interest in sports flooring with sustainable characteristics and the ability to conserve energy. More attention is being paid to flooring that saves natural resources, reduces energy use, and includes recycled content. Floors with daily mopping routines and occasional automatic scrubbing with an environmentally friendly detergent demand a lot less energy than those which need to be sanded, stripped, screened, and refinished periodically, however, there is always a place for wooden floors. Floors with the least amount of cleaning downtime also help schools use their facilities to the max. Floors with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) also support the effort to create a healthier environment and allow facility managers to not worry about venting the space because of fumes from the floor, its adhesive, finish, or paint applied for game lines or logos. An additional consideration is safety, including improving finishes that minimise the risk of friction burns and help prevent bacteria and micro-organism growth and skin-related infections.

More attentio n is being p a i d to flooring t h a t s natural aves r reducesesources, use, and energy inc recycledludes conten t

DECISIONS Each year, local education authorities and school sports specifiers are faced with decisions. Which styles to choose? What trends to follow? Does this fashion have actual staying power, or will it be outdated in a few years? When installing a new sports facility, decision-makers should think about getting the most for their money and building something that will look great for many years to come. At the same time, it’s also important to think about trends. Every industry has fads and fashions, and forward thinking school sports designers are no exception. The

VINYL FLOORING Vinyl flooring for school sports and athletic applications is available in both solid colours and wood looks, and comes in sheet formats. Sports PVC vinyl has good shock absorption properties, the correct coefficient of friction and ball rebound qualities, with some vinyl providing great all-round protection. A crucial factor where children are concerned. If the flooring used in sports facilities is too hard, it will be less effective in reducing strains and injuries during physical activities. That’s a simple fact. Many sports activities involve jumping, turning around and twisting and only the correct specification of sports flooring can help prevent or minimise injuries when students fall. From early year’s

multi-use halls, to senior school sports halls, the primary concern in the specification of school sports facilities must surely still be the prevention of injuries. Outside of the traditional flooring used in sports halls, there are good solutions for gyms, aerobic rooms, locker rooms and common areas. Some vinyl is also suitable for wet areas for barefoot and shoe applications. There is a limited number of flooring material choices for basketball courts. Since basketball courts have a lifespan of up to 60 years with proper care, specification shouldn’t be made lightly. Maple is the most common choice for basketball courts, accounting for an estimated 95 per cent of the wood used and almost all professional and school playing surfaces. Oak and bamboo are utilised as well. Some professional stadiums are oak, though few compared to overwhelming use of solid maple.

Written by Nick Egan, UK technical manager, Gerflor

School sports flooring plays a pivotal role in keeping pupils fit and safe, says Nick Egan

LONGEVITY AND PERFORMANCE In today’s economy, school specifiers and local education authorities are bottom line conscious, but surprisingly, not all are choosing the cheapest way of doing things, say many contractors and installers. They are interested in a finished product that will last longer and work better even if it might cost a bit more up front. An emerging trend is where schools are more open to looking at their choices in terms of both longevity and performance. Education authorities seeking the right flooring must weigh factors such as upfront costs and life-cycle costs, durability, and maintenance requirements. That’s just part of the equation. Other factors include the need for ‘multi-use’ sports flooring which facilitates different lessons and room uses, together with flooring for a variety of spaces in a school or outside area, as well as the aesthetic appeal. Then there’s green factor – and all of this in environments that take a pounding every single day. Whether you’re designing a new facility, or re-designing an existing one, we can never underestimate the impact that flooring can have in terms of design, sustainability and bio-friendliness and of course protecting those that use the facility. Whilst flooring must be practical, affordable and meet the specific programme and application needs, it must also be safe and user friendly. L FURTHER INFORMATION




Members of the School Travel Forum offer advice on how to manage the costs of planning UK-based school trips and get the most value for money One tried and tested way to minimise costs for your pupils and school is to approach other subject leaders to collaborate on a cross-curricular trip, whether they sit in your department or not. A trusted school trip organiser will be able to provide you with an educational trip that ticks the boxes for learning outcomes. Some schools may limit the number of trips run annually, which means this option not only supports students but teachers through a collaborative approach. MAXIMISE COACH SPACE When travelling within the UK, schools will typically opt for the coach option. Some coaches may vary in size so if the coach has space for 47 it may be worth opening the trip to more students. Not only will it widen the opportunities for other students to experience learning beyond the walls of the classroom, but the cost of the trip per student can be spread across the group to lighten any pull on the purse strings. Remember an increase in students may mean a need to bring extra staff so find out the maximum number of seats on the coach. Nichola Dixon, operations manager, WST

Travel, offers more tips on how to get the most from a UK-based school trip: “Every school trip is different so your tour operator should always work with you individually to get the best value for your money. However, when planning a UK trip you could look out for ways to save such as looking out for free visits. There are plenty of excellent free museums and galleries across the UK. “Most places in the UK can be explored in a day meaning you can save on accommodation costs. “Smaller group sizes can sometimes benefit from cheaper transport costs by using the train. “You should also look out for special offers such as early booking discounts, free places and multi tour discounts.”

Written by the School Travel Forum

Money saving tips for trips

destination for your next educational trip. UK destinations are growing in popularity, with the increasing number of accommodation providers such as Travel Lodge and Premier Inn providing safe, School Travel Forum audited and affordable accommodation within easy reach of most major city destinations. “The gentrification of many former industrial locations has revitalised what UK cities can now offer schools – a good example of which is Hull, which is the European City of Culture for 2017. Another good example is Belfast, which is a much underrated destination for humanities departments, with numerous opportunities to cover both current history and geography curriculum – WW2, industrialisation, the Troubles, human rights, and conflict resolution. With the Giants Causeway, North Coast Road and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, you have a world class location to experience tectonics and coastal erosions, and the impact of tourism. “UK tours also benefit from more accurately quoted tours, as they avoid both flight costs and volatile currency exchange rates which are at times difficult to predict during the early planning stages. Dietary requirements and disabled access are often better provided for in the UK than in overseas destinations, and of course there are no language barriers. “One of my personal favourite trips is to the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, a superb visit for history students studying ‘medicine in war’ topics.” E

School Trips


One wa minimis y to for you e costs is to ap r school pr subject oach other to colla leaders b cross-c orate on a urricula r trip

UK BOUND Darren Davies, educational tours manager at Travel Places, explains the benefits of staying in the UK for a school trip. He says: “It is definitely a good time to consider a UK




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TRIP PLANNING  MAXIMISING VALUE Offering further ideas to maximise the value of school trips within the UK, Tim Jenkins, educational travel specialist at Travelbound, says: “Whether it is your first or tenth school trip, the cost of the experience on your students and their families will undoubtedly factor in your planning. However, it is important not to compromise on the quality of your trip. Through your trusted school trip organiser, you should seek assurances over the health and safety aspects of the tour. Though you may be travelling within the UK, Travelbound is accredited with the LOtC Quality Badge, is a member of the STF and is fully bonded by ABTA and ATOL. This ABTA and ATOL protection means Travelbound follows the strict Codes of Practice to offer support, financial protection and expertise while travelling. Once you’re happy with the standards and protocols that exist to support your school, you may look to the ideas in this article to manage costs.” PEACE OF MIND Aside from cost, the greatest value added, is peace of mind knowing your students will be safe. Whilst price is important, it is more important that your students are protected when they travel. You can have peace of mind when travelling with a School Travel Forum tour operator knowing that

they follow strict health & safety guidelines when operating every tour. Schools are financially protected if something does go wrong, due to unforeseen circumstances, thanks to travel associations such as ABTA and ATOL. You also have a 24-hour emergency helpline should you require any assistance. What’s more, schools can rest assured that the coach and hotel companies have been safety audited. THE MARK OF TRUST The LOtC Quality Badge is an invaluable tool for school trip organisers, whatever the subject area or country they plan on visiting. This kitemark takes care of standards of learning and safety in a single, easily recognisable and trusted accreditation scheme. However, 22 per cent of school trip organisers choose to overlook the benefits that travelling with a badged provider brings and still opt for a ‘DIY’ approach to arranging school trips. Sadly, if cost cutting is the motivation, this can often be a false economy, as non STF members do not offer the same levels of financial protection, for instance against a firm going bust. An important part of the work of the STF and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is to make it easier for schools to take pupils on trips, removing paperwork and taking steps to reduce teachers’ fears of legal action. It’s important

School Trips


to ensure that the chosen tour operator acknowledges the importance of maintaining health and safety standards and goes above and beyond their duty of care, after all, this is the number one priority. GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED School party leaders can select STF members displaying the ‘STF Approved’ logo. Alternatively, they can access the STF website at www.schooltravelforum. com. The website will enable schools to verify a tour operator’s membership of the STF and the site contains full information on the STF Code of Practice, as well as offering a wide variety of useful information and links for party leaders. As the national awarding body of the LOtC Quality Badge, The School Travel Forum ensures that each holder has passed a stringent assessment process designed to ensure that they are meeting schools’ learning and risk management needs. This takes an immense amount of pressure off teachers, reduces paperwork demands and helps teachers to identify opportunities for learning to help make the visit a positive and rewarding experience for teachers and pupils alike. L FURTHER INFORMATION


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Landscaping Written by Denise Ewbank, the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI)



The space to learn and grow Denise Ewbank from the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) considers how schools can be innovative in the use of their outdoor space to enable children to learn and grow Back in the early sixties I attended my local North London primary school – all red brick, tall windows, asphalt playground complete with hopscotch markings, and what seemed like an endless school playing field. The field was surrounded by horse chestnut trees, which each autumn delivered the most enormous conkers for hard fought conker fights – no-one had heard of risk assessments then. Whilst most of our lessons were, I recall, indoors, I

distinctly remember during the summer term weekly storytelling sat under those glorious trees. Playtimes were spent belting around the playground, letting off steam, and huddling in friendship groups that changed with the wind. The point is, I remember very little of the indoor space of either my primary or senior schools but I do remember the grounds of both and the experiences – play, learning, sporting achievement – enjoyed in them.

Play is ild’s a ch vital to being well pment elo and devough thr rmative their fo ars ye

‘NOWHERE TO PLAY’ This April, the Association of Play Industries (API) published its report on the current state of playground provision in England – ‘Nowhere to Play’ ( nowhere2play‑campaign). It bemoans the fact that local authorities faced with crippling budget cuts are closing public playgrounds at an alarming rate – over 200 have already been closed and a further 200+ are earmarked for closure. The report’s opening paragraph states what we all know to be true: “Play is vital to a child’s wellbeing and development through their formative years. It is through play and activity that children learn to engage and interact with the world around them. Much has been written about the benefits of play on children’s happiness, physical activity, cognitive skills, social and emotional learning, and it is now seen as fundamental to a happy childhood.” If children are denied access to play and learning experiences in the public realm then it is even more important that their school environment delivers

Hermitage Primary School in Uxbridge has an outdoor learning zone, created by Ground Control


opportunities to learn and grow outdoors. Members of the British Association of Landscape Industries ( – landscapers and designers, grounds maintenance contractors, and suppliers of industry-related products and services – are working with schools across the country to ensure their grounds are used to their full potential within the necessary constraints of the school’s grounds maintenance or project-based budgets. Play areas with colourful safety surfacing, timber play structures, and installations that challenge children visually, physically and emotionally, in terms of problem solving and working as part of a team, are replacing the soulless asphalt playgrounds of my youth. TRANSFORMING SCHOOL GROUNDS Award-winning BALI-registered contractor Ground Control Ltd ( based in Billericay, Essex, has earned a reputation for transforming school grounds to create exciting play and learning environments. At Hermitage Primary School in Uxbridge, Ground Control designed and created a new and engaging play space for pupils of the school, including an outdoor learning zone. The scheme included a range of features designed to brighten the environment and engage the children. One of the features is hard surfacing – new resin bound and self‑binding surfacing was installed at the school entrance and in the outdoor classroom areas amongst existing trees, providing a warm and naturalistic character to the school’s frontage. The main play areas feature a range of play surfaces for differing play value including a bike track from contrasting coloured surfacing and a mix of wet pour and artificial grass surfacing amongst the new play equipment and shade sails. MUGA, a new polymeric multi-use games area with rebound fencing was installed, set into the bank of the site and marked out for football, netball and basketball. In addition to this an early years play area was installed, which included a new bike track, grass play area, and multi-coloured shade canopy providing an engaging play setting. A playground was also put in place, incorporating a large, open ‘run and play’ area. It also features a large, bespoke climbing tower and a series of coloured shade sails that provide different break-out areas for the children. There is also a willow tunnel, bug hotels and wildlife-friendly planting. Not only this, an outdoor learning area was added, set amongst the shelter of the existing mature trees on site, this area involved the creation of new mounds, seating and planting areas, utilising a mix of planting to provide seasonal and sensory interest. Soft landscaping was also used – the boundaries of the site include wildflower mixes to create a buffer and wildlife area to the edges of the sports field, and a new orchard. Surrounding the play

The practice of using outdoor space to facilitate the teaching of STEM subjects is increasingly widespread and providing areas for outdoor lessons, where the ‘green’ environment has such an impact on wellbeing, is vital areas, the planting provides seasonal structure and a range of forms, including a herb bed and more plants designed to be touched, smelt and heard, with selection appropriate for the school setting – so nothing poisonous or spiky. STEM The practice of using outdoor space to facilitate the teaching of STEM subjects is increasingly widespread and providing areas for outdoor lessons and storytelling, where the ‘green’ environment has such an impact on wellbeing, is vital – it is good for the student and the teacher. The impact on health and wellbeing from having plants in offices, and in hospitals where recovery times are hastened in patients with access to plants or simply with a view of a green landscape, is well documented. Using the great outdoors as a learning environment makes complete sense. Whilst BALI contractors are busy adding value to their services by creating wildlife ponds and hibernacula (refuges for reptiles and amphibians), installing bird boxes and insect hotels, and sowing wildflower areas for their school clients, they are also increasingly being asked to construct raised vegetable beds and greenhouses so that children can learn about the food they eat, how to grow it and then how to cook it. GARDENING The RHS Campaign for School Gardening ( supports schools to give children gardening opportunities and to develop sustainable gardens within the school environment. Registration is free and a welcome pack provides seeds, plant labels, stickers, posters, and much more. This campaign is important, not least because

the horticulture and landscape industry is suffering from a crippling skills shortage. Not enough young people are coming into the industry – and this threatens a sector that contributes £10.4 billion to GDP. BALI has over 900 members and these businesses will be seriously compromised if the supply of skilled young people choosing the landscape industry as a career path is not increased markedly. BALI’s GoLandscape initiative is designed to promote the landscape industry to school children, and their parents and teachers, from Year 9 onwards. A comprehensive, interactive website at golandscape. provides information on the many career opportunities, from landscape operative to landscape architect. It carries case studies about real people working in the industry, and lists the qualifications and career paths open to those who want to work in designing, building or maintaining our cherished landscapes. GoLandscape Ambassadors – BALI members with many years of industry experience – are available to talk to school groups and attend career fairs to introduce the landscape industry as a real career option. It was BALI members who built the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – the largest urban park in Europe and the largest to be built in the UK for over a century – and our members who now maintain it into legacy. Children should know, as they learn and grow, that they, too, through their career choice, can play a part in providing a landscape legacy. Learning outdoors from an early age is an important step in developing that love of our outdoor environment. L FURTHER INFORMATION




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Adviza delivers impartial, professional careers guidance to over 125 schools in the South of England. The organisation’s qualified careers advisers work with you to devise a bespoke careers guidance programme that meets your unique needs and budget. Schools choose Adviza because of the quality and flexibility of its service and the additional support they offer. As a not-for-profit organisation, Adviza bids for funding in order to offer innovative, intensive programmes free to some partner schools. Adviza also provides a range of tried and tested careers products to help your students make informed career decisions. eCLIPs is a student-friendly online resource providing profiles on over 1,400 careers, supported by live-streamed labour market information, plus a wealth of information on education and employment choices. It has been

Frontier Pitts is the British manufacturer of security gates, automatic rising arm barriers, rising and static bollards, road blockers, pedestrian control gates, and turnstiles. Frontier Pitts has supplied automatic rising arm barriers to schools and universities nationwide, providing 100 per cent duty rated traffic control solutions to their sites. From the United Kingdom headquarters in Crawley, Sussex, Frontier Pitts can provide a complete range of services including design, free site surveys, manufacture, installation and maintenance, spares, repair or refurbishment and full project management. As both the manufacturer and supplier, the firm feels that maintenance is an integral part of your equipment. Its range of maintenance contracts are designed to suit individual site requirements and include response times

Professional careers guidance for schools

trusted by schools and careers professionals for over 25 years for the quality of its information, its simplicity and great value. For your younger pupils, Adviza offers Careers Planet, a fun space-themed game designed to get pupils in Years 5-7 exploring careers at an early age. For more information or to request Adviza’s latest brochure, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0118 402 7050

Successfully securing schools nationwide


IT & COMPUTING is a content creation platform that enables teachers to make interactive lessons in minutes. Wand’s easy to use technology provides teachers with all the resources they need to engage students and spark their curiosity. is all about collaboration, discovery and the sharing of best practices and resources. While creating their own interactive content, teachers will be able to deliver their lessons on any device and get actionable data on their students’ progress. Wand’s platform has ready‑made learning templates, where learning content can be quickly filled in. Using its ever growing media library of illustrations, videos and 3D objects, teachers can create learning activities in just a couple of steps. is designed for use in all curricula areas, covering all K-12 subjects.

Working in thousands of schools all over the UK, iTeach enables amazing teaching and learning with iPad through the delivery of outstanding teacher training. The company supports schools to make impact and change with superb, free initiatives such as coding and programming with iPad with iCode. The firm also empowers pupils with its national Digital Leaders programme and provide teachers with certification and recognition through iTeach Awards. Everything iTeach does is centred on enabling, recognising and sustaining excellence in education. Its bespoke, flexible, impactful training is delivered by experienced staff, every one of them a qualified teacher and Apple Education Trainer.

Helping teachers to spark curiosity in their pupils

Creating beautiful lessons doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Wand’s standard subscription is free – not free trial, but free forever. Should you need further storage or additional features, such as advanced analytics or premium support, additional packages are available. To create your free account, see below for more details. FURTHER INFORMATION registration/product/create

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of just four hours, giving you complete peace of mind. Accreditations include ISO 9001, Secured by Design, CHAS and Safe Contractor and PSSA (Perimeter Security Suppliers Association) Verified. For schools and universities with a particular asset, the High Security Anti Terra Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) range has been successfully impact tested to the International IWA14 & British PAS68 specifications. FURTHER INFORMATION solutions/by-industry/ schools

Technology to sustain excellence in education

Custom options from ‘on demand’ training to a sustained programme tailored to the specifics of a School Development Plan ensure it delivers what’s right for each and every school they work with. iTeach provides training, support, deployment, initiatives and resources for a truly holistic approach to achieving real change with iPad. That’s iTeach. To read more and sign up to its initiatives for free, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION






Ozone Lighting Solutions supply, design, install and maintain all types of low energy lighting and lighting control systems to all industries. Based in Greater Manchester, Ozone has extensive experience and provides a reliable, cost effective service throughout the UK. The firm offers multiple types of lighting solutions that are required to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment, and ensure each environment is suitably lit for its use. The company uses the latest products which operate at less than half the wattages of traditional systems, leading to a substantial reduction in energy costs. All of its products are manufactured in the UK and come with extensive warranties. Ozone is an accredited supplier of the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Fund and a fully accredited member of the NICEIC,

Marigold Catering Solutions has 30 years of experience within the catering industry and pride themselves on providing the complete catering solution package for busy kitchens that require complete reliability and stability. Marigold is committed to providing the highest quality and competitiveness in sales, services and installation of commercial catering and refrigeration requirements, and work closely with leading catering equipment manufacturers to reduce running costs and increase efficiency within your kitchen. Marigold’s services include sales, design, and installation, as well as preventative maintenance and service contracts (contract clients entitled to discounted price for any additional breakdowns). Other services include repairs and testing, gas safety inspections and gas certificates, and supplying and installing extraction gas

Creating a comfortable learning environment

SafeContractor, CHAS, ISO9001, ISO14001 and Constructionline. Its installation company, Konect Electrical Services, is an established electrical contractor that has been providing electrical services, installations and technical solutions for commercial and industrial clients throughout the UK for over 20 years. Konect’s specialities include the design, installation and maintenance of all types of electrical lighting, mains and small power systems, cable management solutions and fire and security installations. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 035 3234



Head teachers are under more and more pressure to save money, business managers are looking for new ways to cut costs, and PE co-ordinators have enough on their plates without having to spend hours searching for sports equipment. Every year, schools require new sports equipment, but here is your problem - those huge catalogues filled with thousands of products and hundreds of options. Are you missing out on savings? It can take hours to search through these catalogues and place each order. This quickly turns into a time-consuming, expensive and confusing task. But what if there was a way to make this process faster, simpler, and easier than ever before, whilst saving your teachers’ time and school money? Welcome to Sports Made Simple, your trusted experts in primary school sports equipment. When you order your sports equipment with

A new online platform to help improve the delivery of PE and sport within primary schools has been launched. SPIRALPE™, developed in partnership with senior teaching professionals and physical education specialists, provides schools with a practical and highly efficient way to engage, develop and measure progress in PE and school sport. At the heart of the platform is a teaching framework and curriculum including 252 lesson plans which work together in a ‘spiral’ to build and develop the full range of physical literacy within an overarching spiral framework. Other features include video tutorials, an assessment framework, an activity and impact report, a teacher self‑assessment tracker, and a comprehensive SLT report. Nick Powell of SPIRALPE™ says: “Teachers are under huge pressure in other subjects and

Save money on sports equipment for schools


Catering solutions for busy kitchens

Sports Made Simple, you get to search and place orders up to 80 per cent faster and benefit from great savings. Sports Made Simple only shows you the equipment that is relevant to your primary school setting. Using thier simple online ordering service, you place your sports equipment order 12 weeks in advance, everything is made to order so they can pass on fantastic savings to you. Order online today to see how much you could save. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0161 425 6336


interlock and proving systems, which are required by the current gas regulations. The firm’s engineers are fully qualified to work on all catering equipment, gas, electric and refrigeration. Marigold covers all catering appliances from combi ovens, ranges, and fryers to dishwashers, cold‑rooms and ice machines. All the engineers are Gas Safe Registered and have completed Enhanced DBS Checks. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01206 870863

Improving PE and sports delivery in schools

often lack confidence in their general planning, delivery and assessment of PE. “SPIRALPE™ provides a ready‑made, carefully planned solution at the touch of a button with the ultimate aim of improving the effectiveness of PE and sport for staff and pupils.” Interested schools can carry out a FREE three week trial. For more information, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0113 322 6115



Grafityp supplies high quality sign making vinyl for every type of application. With new legislation coming in 2018, the big emphasis now is for more environmentally friendly materials, and Grafityp Colibri Series of ecological films already have the answer. Standard sign making films generally include the use of chlorine and disposing of standard vinyls can be an issue as they can still contaminate the environment if they are buried of incinerated. Grafityp Colibri films are free of chlorine and plasticizers and are also Class 1 BS476-7 fire resistant. They are a perfect environmental solution. Colibri films come in a wide range of matt and gloss finishes, they have a pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive and are 70 microns thick. Colibri films provide a safer alternative to traditional sign vinyl’s and are safe for use on food packaging and children’s

DiffX is a powerful nonchlorine disinfection system which eliminates all surface contamination including spores, bacteria, viruses and pathogenic organisms. The patent protected formulation of disinfection represents a new generation of disinfection. It is not deactivated by soiling, it works through the dirt. The powder is contained within a water soluble sachet, which when dissolved in warm water creates a disinfecting agent which outperforms chlorine based disinfectants, especially under the most extreme conditions. DiffX kills MRSA and viruses, C diff spores 100 per cent, TB and Mycobacteria. It is non chlorine based, has a corrosive inhibitor and is pH neutral. DiffX is low risk – COSHH; cleans and disinfects working through dirt; effective against C. diff, MRSA and Norovirus; cleans and disinfects

Environmental friendly signmaking films

toys, whilst also specified by the nuclear industry for labelling pipelines due to the none corrosive nature of the products. These films are produced to the highest standards by Grafityp in Europe and are REACH compliant, as well as complying to new emissions legislation for interior use. We all want to help the environment and Colibri sign making films are priced extremely competitively and are an excellent choice. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01827 300500

Innovative antimicrobials for infection control



The one day seminar by the Teachers’ Retirement Agency is an ideal way to help teachers prepare for their retirement, both emotionally and financially. It contains the latest information on pension regulation changes and advice. It is never too soon to make sure that the right steps are being taken, as the wrong ones can have serious financial consequences. This is particularly important for higher earning staff as they could be seriously affected by the Government’s “back door”raid on pension funds. The course is not just for those who are about to retire soon. Many of the steps that the company suggest could take five to ten years to ensure an individual’s pension fund will be sufficient to meet their retirement needs in the most tax efficient way. Some of the issues addressed in the seminar include:

UFA is a national education charity, and over the past 20 years they’ve worked with over 750,000 young people, trained 5,000 teachers and supported 2,000 schools. Using elements of the challenge framework, metacognition and effective feedback in their programmes, UFA offer students in all key stages the chance to develop necessary leadership skills by giving them a voice within their school. UFA can work directly with teachers to offer INSET days and whole school transformation, as well as lead practitioner programmes enabling teachers to deliver UFA programmes themselves. Top Tutors is a tuition agency delivering high quality, expert tuition to London and the Home Counties. Working with both parents and schools, Top Tutors offers 1-1 and group tuition to all ages and subjects – as well as booster revision

Helping teachers prepare for retirement financially

paid work after retirement; money management and budgeting; changing status and relationships; health; annual allowance and lifetime allowance; early retirement and maximising state pensions. Carolyn Barker, headteacher at Barbara Priestman Academy, said: “The seminar was a really helpful day, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.” Visit the agency’s website for dates, venues and to download a free guide. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 03456442585 www.teachersretirement

Products & Services


in one at the same time; improves cleaning standards; is patient, staff and visitor friendly; and safe in the environment. DiffX saves money by keeping wards clean, disinfected and infection free. It also maximises the use of materials being non-corrosive saving money on replacement cloths and mops. For further information, call to speak to an adviser, or visit the MTP Innovations website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01484 505615

Giving pupils the tools to develop leadership skills

sessions when needed. As a wholly owned subsidiary of UFA, all profits from Top Tutors go back into the charity. All tutors have access to UFA’s learning and development programmes through a calendar of training events, enhancing their professional development and their students. If you’re a school looking to offer extra support to your students or a teacher who’d like to join the Top Tutors team, see below for more details. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0121 766 8077 Tel: 0208 349 2148





At Scotts we believe a building designed for education should be without compromise. A healthy space, with natural light and ventilation, an even temperature and great acoustics. A building that inspires and is kind to the environment.

CLASSROOMS & NURSERIES from concept to completion

For more information or to arrange a site visit please contact us:

t: 01832 732366 e:


The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service Adviza 91 Alton Towers Resort 84 Ascential Plc 63, 65 and 66 ATL 17 Axis Europe Plc 25 Bic UK 64 Bushboard Washroom 28 CadCam Technology 50 Carillion Plc 6 Dyson Technology 39 Eden Group 30 Education Support Partnership 16 eTeach 4 Fresh Air Fitness 80 Frontier Pitts 91 Fujitsu 14 Gallagher Security 43 Garran Lockers 32 Grafity P 93 Green Air Monitoring 38, 47 Herts Full Stop BC International Inn 86 Intratest 35 iTeach 91



Konect Electrical Services 92 Leicestershire County Council IFC Lovair 44 Marigold Catering Solutions 92 Middleton Foods Products 70 Mobile Kitchens 77 Monarch Partnership 26 MTP Innovations 93 Nationwide Hygiene Supplies 36 Norse 46 OKI Systems 90 Pan Publicity 80 PE Partner 92 Phoenix Sporting Goods 78 RM Education 18 Rapid Online 52 Red Kite Vehicle Consultants 74 Rock UK Adventure Centres 87 Schoolcomms 77 Scotts of Thrapston 28 Silver Net 60 SIVECO 91 Skooler IBC

Smooga 62 Sports Made Simple 92 sQuidcard 22 SUEZ Recycling and Recovery 72 SUK Retail 10 Swiftclean Building Services 16 Teachers Retirement Agency 93 TEN TEN Systems 54 The Scout Association 86 Gerflor 82 Thomas Ridley Food Service 68 Thorpe Park Resort 48 TM Electronics 47 Totaljobs Group 24 Totnes Rare Breed Farm 86 Touchstar 40 Unicol Engineering 67 Universal Education Services 25 University of the First Age 93 Venesta 12 Wasp Barcode Technologies 56 YPO 20

Skooler is a Microsoft partner, making Office 365 relevant for Education Skooler provides » Cloud based learning tools inside Office 365 » Unique Microsoft Add-ins create the easiest way to hand in and mark homework » Planning tool with National Curriculum learning goals integrated with OneDrive » Enhance data integration with Skooler Data Sync + » Parent Portal

Sharing the Skooler way “We choose Skooler as it is the most effective way of extending Office365 as a learning tool and to establish a better learning dialogue between staff, students and parents.” Mark Bland, Headteacher at Abbotsfield school for Boys

“Having recently trialled setting assignments using Skooler, it proved to be a great way of setting whole-class tasks, an easy way of collecting the completed work in, but, most importantly, a speedy way of giving feedback to the students.” Mark Harrison - Geography teacher at Wymondham

Contact: + 44 (0) 7375453475 / 10 John Street, London, WC1N 2EB E-mail:

For more information, see Follow us on social media:

Need expert advice on your next project? Our industry experts take the time to understand your vision, whether it’s upscaling to improve sixth form intake or creating an interactive learning environment in a nursery.

Call us on 01707 292 30 0 to arran free sit ge a e surve y

• Managing school projects for over 60 years • CAD drawings • 3D renders • Space planning • Extensive range of products to suit every budget “Herts FullStop have supplied all the furniture for our new school building both in the classrooms and administration areas, in addition to installing a library and refurbishing existing classrooms. We have received fantastic support and advice throughout the project and are delighted with the workmanship and quality of the installations; their team of installers are very efficient and extremely accommodating.” Catherine Franchi, Buisness Manager, Selborne School

01707 292300

Education Business 22.4  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Education Business 22.4  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers