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Short Ofsted checks Ofsted is seeking views on its proposals for short inspections. The new approach will give schools that may be at risk of decline more time to improve following a short inspection, while retaining their good rating. Inspectors will continue to convert short inspections, within 48 hours, where there are serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the standard of education. But when inspectors are not confident that a school is still good but the standard of education remains acceptable, and there are no concerns about safeguarding or behaviour, the inspection will not convert. Another inspection will then take place at a later date. Read the full news story on page 7.


This is not the only change that may occur to Ofsted inspections. The decision by a high court judge to quash an Ofsted report on Durand Academy that would have put the school in special measures, has called into question Ofsted’s complaints procedure. The chairman of the Durand Academy’s board of governors, Sir Greg Martin said the report would have “destroyed” the school.

Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @EducationBizz

We feature the case of Durand Academy versus Ofsted on page 75, where Luke Green and Joe Orme from law firm Hill Dickinson examine what powers schools have to challenge Ofsted Judgements and what should be taken into consideration before going down that route.

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, Charlie Paulinski PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Vickie Hopkins, Charlotte Casey 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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Consultation on shorter Ofsted inspections launched; Greening sets out measures to replace ‘outdated’ school funding system

Attendees at EduTech 2017 will discover a wealth of resources and practical advice for strengthening their e-safety messages and delivery in school


Education Business reports on the new special free schools that are to be created across England


BP’s Ultimate STEM Challenge is inviting students to find ways to help reduce our impact on the environment


The Education Estates Show focuses on the funding, design, build, management and maintenance of schools



EduKent brings together hundreds of school leaders from across the region to learn from education leaders


Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, school unions have called for the government to survey all schools for combustible cladding and fit fire sprinklers


What powers does a school have to challenge Ofsted judgements and what should be taken into consideration?

47 BETT 2018 PREVIEW 51


Bett 2018 will once again gather the global education community to discuss the future of education

Cashless systems are slowly becoming the norm in schools, making it easier for payments to be processed



National School Meals Week (NSMW) takes place 13-17 November and is a week celebrating all that is great about school meals. Here’s what’s planned for this year

What might schools do to encourage take-up of Computer Science? Niel McLean from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, shares some recommendations



There have been calls for a better balance between winning medals and the welfare of athletes, a message that can be communicated at school

Teaching computing well requires degree‑level knowledge of the subject, but with tech firms also fighting for computing professionals, schools need to be creative about sourcing talent


Megan Deakin discusses how school trip safety fears should not stand in the way of student learning potential


The use of virtual reality and immersive learning technology is growing in schools as it allows teachers to explain difficult‑to‑grasp concepts



Has the introduction of Ebacc and Progress 8 put arts subjects at risk?

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Consultation on shorter Ofsted inspections launched Ofsted has launched a consultation seeking views on proposals aimed at bringing greater clarity to the short inspection process. The new approach aims to give schools that may be at risk of decline more time to improve following a short inspection, while retaining their good rating. If this is implemented, the changes would allow those schools the opportunity to seek appropriate support, for example from within their multi-academy trust, local authority or other school improvement bodies The consultation asks for views on three changes to the short inspection process. Inspectors will continue to convert short inspections, within 48 hours, where there are serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the standard of education. Parents need to know as soon as possible if the quality of education at a school has declined to inadequate. When inspectors are not confident that a school is still good but the standard of education remains acceptable, and there are no concerns about safeguarding or behaviour, the inspection will not convert. Instead, Ofsted will publish a letter setting out the school’s strengths and

areas for improvement. A section 5 inspection will then take place at a later date, typically within one to two years. This will give the school time to address any weaknesses and seek support from appropriate bodies. In the meantime, the school’s overall effectiveness judgement of good will stand. When inspectors have reason to believe that a school may be improving to outstanding, Ofsted will publish a letter setting out the school’s strengths and priorities for further improvement, and confirming that it is still good. A section 5 inspection will then be carried out later, typically within one to two years. This will give the school time to consolidate its strong practice. However, requests for early inspections will be considered. The consultation is published alongside Ofsted’s response to the summer consultation on short inspections, which proposed changes to make the conversion process more manageable. READ MORE:


Over a third of women bullied at school said it affected their mental health, report shows The Impact of Bullying Report produced by distance learning provider, Oxford Open Learning Trust has revealed that 75 per cent of women who were bullied at school, said it affected their self-confidence. This is compared with 63 per cent of men. The new research considers the long‑term effects of bullying on UK adults, discovering who they were bullied by and how often, based on a survey of 2,104 adults. Of those polled by YouGov, 67 per cent of those who had experienced bullying at school, were bullied by other people in their year. A third of women bullied (33 per cent) admitted to being bullied by their friends, compared to 26 per cent of men, whereas men were most likely to have been bullied by older children (45 per cent versus 29 per cent of women).

Bullying was more likely to affect women’s self-confidence than men’s (75 per cent versus 63 per cent). Those who admitted to being bullied in the past, also stated it affected their ability to make friends (37 per cent versus 31 per cent) and their mental health (35 per cent versus 27 per cent). The online research also looked into the issue of cyber bullying. Over half (55 per cent) of 18-24 year olds surveyed said that they have seen other people bullied on social media, and of those polled it was men who have been ridiculed the most on social media platforms, in comparison to women (11 per cent versus eight per cent). READ MORE:

Exam boards shut down fake exam certificate website

Education Briefer


A website selling fake examination certificates has been shut down, the BBC has reported. According to the Joint Council for Qualifications, the website was selling fake GCSE and A Level certificates for £400. The website is now showing details of an injunction ordered earlier this year. Exam boards have said that the website is now legally barred from providing fake certificates.



Plans to raise education standards in Wales revealed The Welsh education secretary Kirsty Williams has revealed details of a plan to raise standards in education in Wales. It aims to reduce the attainment gap and deliver an education system that is “a source of national pride and public confidence”. Objectives also include introducing a new accountability model and ensuring strong and inclusive schools committed to excellence and well-being. The plan sets out the actions the Welsh Government will continue to take to keep improving the education system, including reducing class sizes; reforming teacher training; establishing a national approach to long-term career development for teachers; and investing £1.1 billion to upgrade the quality of school buildings. The education secretary also set out a revised timeline for introducing the new Curriculum for Wales, with statutory roll out to schools now set to begin in 2022 to give the teaching profession and schools more time to help develop, and prepare for, the changes. The new curriculum will be introduced from nursery to Year 7 in 2022, rolling into Year 8 in 2023, Year 9 in 2024, Year 10 in 2025 and Year 11 in 2026. All schools will have access the final curriculum from 2020, to allow them to move towards full roll-out in 2022. READ MORE:





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Greening sets out measures to replace ‘outdated’ school funding system

Harmful contact in rugby should be banned by schools

Education secretary Justine Greening has confirmed details of a new fairer funding system for schools in England. It aims to put an end to the “historic postcode lottery” that saw huge differences in funding between similar schools in different parts of the country. The National Funding Formula (NFF) is set to ensure that, for the first time, funding is based on individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. The publication of the final NFF for 2018-19 and 2019-20 follows two major consultations, generating more than 26,000 responses, and Greening’s announcement in July of an additional £1.3 billion boost to the front line school budget. Greening said: “Standards are rising across our school system and a fairer funding formula will ensure we can build on that success. It will replace the outdated funding system which saw our children have very

different amounts invested in their education purely because of where they were growing up. “That was unacceptable and we have now made school funding fairer between schools for the first time in decades.

“It’s a long overdue reform and our £1.3 billion extra funding means every school can gain.”

Tackles and scrums should be banned on school playing fields, experts have said. According to an opinion piece published by Allyson Pollock and Graham Kirkwood from the Institute of Health at Newcastle University, most injuries in youth rugby are down to the collision elements of the game. Allyson and Graham state in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that ministers should “put the interests of the child before those of corporate professional rugby unions”. The publication also argues that rugby, along with ice hockey and American football, has the highest concussion rates. It also suggests that strategies to reduce the risk of concussion, such as the use of mouth guards, are weak. The researchers have called on the UK’s chief medical officers to advise the government to remove “harmful contact” from the game.





Ten benchmarks to transform practical science in schools published

SATs for seven year-olds scrapped as of 2023

A new report outlining ten benchmarks to transform practical science education in England has been published by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Good Practical Science, led by Sir John Holman, details recommendations to help schools achieve world-class science education. The report looked at more than 400 secondary schools in England to look at the status of practical science, and visited world-leading nations including Finland, Germany and Singapore to learn what was done differently internationally. John Holman, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of York and a former headteacher, said: “Time and time again we have seen that practical science is key not only for learning, but also for inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians. “The benchmarks presented in this report reflect world-leading standards and we hope to empower our teachers by giving them the tools to include practical science in a greater proportion of their lessons.” The research found that in more than a

quarter of schools (28 per cent) teaching A Level in England, some science pupils have had a teacher who has had no more than an A Level themselves in the subject themselves. John continued: “So too often our teachers are being asked to deliver practical science that is outside their comfort zone.” Despite its global perspective, the Good Practical Science report presents achievable goals to help schools on the journey to achieving world-class science education, even in the face of tight budgets. John added: “By far the greatest cost in delivering good practical science is teachers’ time, a cost that schools are already committed to, so in the end, it is for headteachers and science heads to decide. “Our benchmarks show what needs to be done to deliver practical science that is world class. By achieving that, we will engage students, whether or not they pursue science in the future, in the essence of what it is to be a scientist.” READ MORE:

Education Briefer


SATs tests taken by seven year-olds in England are to be abolished by 2023, however, nine year-olds will still have to sit the controversial exams under new plans. According to the BBC, the government said that children would have a “baseline” check in reception at the ages of four and five. The education secretary said that this would allow progress to be tracked and would help to “free up” teachers. However, times table tests for pupils in Year 4 will be implemented in 2019-20.






Ofsted ‘recognises the challenge of running tough schools’

Ofsted Chief inspector Amanda Spielman has recognised the excellent leadership and management it takes to turn around schools in areas of high disadvantage. Speaking at the Learning to Shape Birmingham conference, Spielman was keen to debunk the “myth” that schools in more deprived areas are disadvantaged when they are inspected. She said that schools in the ‘good’ category, those with the toughest intakes are twice as likely to be rated ‘outstanding’ for leadership and management than those with more advantaged intakes. She also commented that schools in the ‘Requires Improvement’ category with the toughest intakes are two and a half times more likely to be graded good for leadership and management than those with the most affluent intake. She said what Ofsted can do “is recognise that it takes a very effective

£1.4 million pilot to improve mental health of Welsh pupils

leadership and management team to turn around those schools.” Spielman said: “We recognise the challenge of running tough schools; it comes through clearly in how we judge the effectiveness of leadership and management. And we will be putting more emphasis on this particular judgement than we have done in the past, to make clear that no head, manager or teacher should be penalised for working in a challenging school.” She continued: “I’d like to ask for your help with this, to tackle the myth that Ofsted does not recognise the challenge of running disadvantaged schools. And to spread the word that we to want to encourage ambitious, talented people to work in our toughest schools.”

A £1.4m investment to strengthen the support from specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in schools has been announced by the Welsh Government. Dedicated CAMHS practitioners will be recruited to work with pilot schools in three areas across Wales. They will provide teachers with on-site help and advice, ensuring pupils experiencing difficulties such as anxiety, low mood, and compulsive self-harm or conduct disorders receive early help in schools from suitably trained staff, preventing more serious problems occurring later in life. The pilot will help teachers to better understand childhood distress, emotional and mental health problems, and reduce stress experienced by teachers concerned about their pupils, by up-skilling them to recognise and deal with problems. It will also ensure that when issues that are outside teachers’ competence and skills, a specialist liaison, consultancy and advice is available to enable the young person to be directed to more appropriate services. The pilot will also ensure systems are in place to share appropriate information between CAMHS and schools, shared care arrangements are agreed for those young people requiring more intensive support, and that arrangements are in place to escalate/de‑escalate as the young person’s needs dictate. Initially operating as a pilot programme, the initiative will commence by the end of 2017 and cover two full academic years, concluding in the summer of 2020. The results will be evaluated, and take into account a broad range of measures from the perspective of both teachers and pupils.



Education Briefer



Parents concerned about cost of sending children to school, survey shows Over 78 per cent of parents believe the cost of sending children to a state school is increasing, new research shows. According to a survey carried out by PTA UK, 55 per cent of participants believe that this is an area of concern. Overall, half were concerned about the costs of school trips and on average 48 per cent worry about the cost of uniforms. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent), worry about the cost of school meals. The cost of technology, as well as materials and equipment for music, art, and sports, are also a cause for concern for a fifth of parents. Further findings from the research also show that 42 per cent of parents have been asked

to donate to the school fund compared to last year’s 37 per cent. For example, six in 10 parents in London (61 per cent) compared to only a quarter of parents in the East Midlands reported to being asked to contribute to their school fund. On average, £8.90 is donated by all parents monthly. Out of all parents surveyed, nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) state they do not want to donate to their school fund, with parents over 45 (45 per cent) and those with children in secondary school (40 per cent) or further education (45 per cent) the least willing to contribute in this way. READ MORE:



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The learning of Spanish and German to be promoted in Wales

Children lack literacy skills to spot fake news

Welsh education secretary Kirsty Williams has launched the Welsh headquarters of organisations that promote Spanish and German. The Spanish Embassy Education Office & Goethe Institut Offices will be based at Cardiff University. They have each received £10,000 of Welsh Government funding to set up in the city. In December, the education secretary signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Spanish government, which included an agreement to support, increase and improve the teaching of Spanish in Wales. The Goethe-Institut promotes the study of German abroad and encourages international cultural exchange. In the UK German Teacher Awards 2017, two of the three winners were teachers from Wales. The support is part of the Welsh government’s Global Futures plan to promote modern foreign languages for pupils and students.

A new report by the National Literacy Trust stresses that children and young people in England do not have the critical literacy skills they need to identify fake news. The report, Fake news and critical literacy: an evidence review, shows that fake news is a serious problem for children and young people, threatening democracy, confidence in governance and trust in journalism. It highlights that the rise of digital and social media has enabled fake news to spread at an unprecedented rate and that one child in five believe everything they read online is true. According to the trust, in order to identify fake news, children and young people need strong critical literacy skills and primary and secondary school teachers are ideally placed to help children develop these skills. However, the report that a lack

of teacher training, resources and confidence is prohibiting this. Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “In this digital age, children who can’t question and determine the reliability of the information they find online will be hamstrung – at school, at work, and in life. We believe that teachers are the key to boosting children’s critical literacy skills, but they can’t do this without the proper training, support and resources. “By bringing together the greatest minds and authorities on fake news and education, the new parliamentary commission gives us a fantastic opportunity to make the case for critical literacy to sit at the heart of our education system.”



Take-up of GCSE arts subjects falls to lowest level in a decade

Applications open for second round of school improvement fund

The amount of pupils taking GCSE arts subjects has declined to the lowest level in a decade. Analysis by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), has shown that the take-up of GCSEs in arts subjects, including design, drama, theatre, music, and dance has seen a drastic decline. Researchers from the EPI looked at the impact of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) on subject choice, which was introduced in 2010 to counter the “dumbing down” of GCSE choices and promote “core” subjects. It looks at the amount of pupils in a school that has received five or more GCSEs graded A* to C in English, maths, two sciences, a language and history or Geography. Critics say the decline is down to teachers encouraging bright students to enter for Ebacc to boost school ratings. E See drama feature on page 91 READ MORE:


Schools have until October 20 to apply for the government’s £140 million strategic school improvement fund. They should explain what they intend to do with the money and why they deserve it through an online form on the government’s website. The money is intended to provide additional funding to schools that need to improve performance and pupil attainment. It can be used to help with areas that need improvement such as leadership, governance, teaching methods or financial health. Applicants need to be designated teaching schools, multi-academy trusts or local authorities, and each application

Education Briefer



must support a minimum of four schools. In order to qualify for the funds, schools have to meet certain criteria such as an ‘inadequate’ rating from their most recent Ofsted inspection, receiving a warning notice during the past three years, or having an overall Progress 8 score of less than -0.25. Schools must also set out the expected costs and outcomes of prospective projects. The National College of Teaching and Leadership, which runs the scheme, said individual applications should “typically be in the range of £100,000 to £500,000”. READ MORE:



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DfE deal for schools to save on IT equipment

The Department for Education (DfE) is offering schools the chance to save on tablets, laptops and desktop devices. The second in a series of bulk buying deals for schools considering buying new tablets, laptops or desktop devices has now started. Schools may be able to save thousands of pounds by using a deal developed by DfE and Crown Commercial Services (CCS). To take part, schools will need to submit their requirements for new devices to CCS at aggregation@ by 6 October 2017. A video explains the process in more detail.

CCS will then work with suppliers to get the best price and notify schools after they award the contract on 10 November 2017. Schools will be able to place their orders for delivery in

summer and arrange payment at the agreed price. Future buying opportunities have been scheduled for spring 2018. READ MORE:


Inquiry into Alternative Provision launched by Education Committee The House of Commons education committee has launched an inquiry into alternative provision. Robert Halfon, chair of the committee, says that the aim

of the inquiry is to establish whether pupils educated through alternative provision are receiving the “best possible support”. He continued: “Students in alternative provision are far less

likely to achieve good exam results, find well-paid jobs or go on to further study. Only around one per cent of young people in state alternative provision receive five good GCSEs. “As a Committee dedicated to promoting social justice, we are committed to examining these issues in our inquiry and pressing government, local authorities, schools and others to do all they can to improve educational outcomes and life chances. “Every student, whatever their background, should be given the chance to climb the educational ladder of opportunity.” In addition to looking at the quality of their education and the outcomes of these students, the Committee will also look at safeguarding and resources within AP, provision of AP within schools and regulation of independent providers. READ MORE:


First new free school announced by LocatED LocatED, a private company that was established by the Department for Education last year to produce new sites for free schools, has announced its first project. GEMS Kingston primary academy in south London is to be designed by Architecture Initiative and will be run by the GEMS Learning Trust. The company was given a £2 billion budget to help with the government’s commitment to new school places by securing sites for an additional 110 free schools. The project will be a two‑form entry primary which will have 420 pupil places and 11 residential units.

Education Briefer




Science is not being given enough priority in primary schools, research shows Three in 10 primary teachers did not get any support in teaching science, according to a study commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. The study revealed that many UK primary schools are teaching science for less than two hours a week. In addition, it revealed that barriers to teaching science in primary schools include the fear that children would ask a question that they would not know the answer to; it’s a messy subject; and that it is time-consuming and reliant on heavy facts. Findings by CFE Research and the University of Manchester also shows that on average, primary schools dedicate an hour and 24 minutes to the teaching of science each week. The report concluded that across all primary school year groups, 58 per cent did not get two hours of science each week. The figures are based on two surveys of teachers, including one of staff who led on the subject for their school. READ MORE:




Date announced for National Reference Test 2018

Ofqual has announced that the next annual National Reference Test will be held between 19 February and 2 March next year. The test supplier, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), is contacting around 350 schools that have been selected to take part in this year’s test to make arrangements. Commenting on the first annual test held in February and March 2017, Sally Collier, Ofqual’s chief regulator, said: “Thank you again to all the 341 schools and nearly 18,000 GCSE students who took part in the first test, earlier this year. “We have completed the analysis of this year’s test and we are very satisfied with the quality of the information that it has provided. “Nearly all schools that had been asked to take part did so and this was a major contributor to the quality of information we obtained. “I would ask all schools that are contacted

for the test in 2018 to take part. Thank you in advance for your support.” Every year, a sample of GCSE students will take the same test so it will show over time, if there is any change in how students perform at a national level. Results from the test will only be used to measure changes in performance nationally. There will be no results for individual students or schools. Ofqual stated that it expects to see an improvement in early National Reference Test results as student and teacher familiarity with the new English language and maths GCSE increases. In addition, the exams watchdog states that it expects it will be 2019, at the earliest, before exam boards will start to use the information from the test when they award GCSEs. READ MORE:


£1.28m to be invested in reducing teacher workload in Wales

Education Briefer


An investment of £1.28 million has been announced by Wales’ education secretary Kirsty Williams, which aims to help reduce unnecessary workloads for teachers. The funding will support the creation of new school business managers in eleven local authority areas. The two-year pilot will see groups of primary schools having a school business manager to provide dedicated support for head teachers and teachers so they can better focus on raising standards and the needs of pupils. School business managers can help organise and run a range of non‑teaching activity in a school, from finance, administration, and procurement, freeing up head teachers and staff to focus on leadership and teaching. The project is part of a range of Welsh Government actions to help address teachers’ concerns over their workload, including a new guide launched today on how teachers can reduce unnecessary activity, with advice on planning lessons, marking and assessing and collecting data. Williams said: “I am delighted to announce funding of almost £1.3 million to fund new school business managers to take on some of the non-teaching responsibilities. This will free up heads and teachers to focus on what matters most – their pupils. “We are working closely with the profession to help teachers be the best they can be for the benefit of pupils. I want to get the basics right and let teachers get on with teaching so we can continue to raise standards. “Reducing unnecessary workload and enabling teachers to spend more time supporting pupils’ learning is so important. The resources developed with unions and others and published by Estyn today will help ensure that workload issues are considered and we will continue to take action in this area.” READ MORE:


Teachers to receive additional training following £75m investment Thousands of teachers are set to benefit from additional training following the announcement of a £75 million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. Six organisations, including the Teacher Development Trust, Teach First and the Institute of Physics, will share a fund worth nearly £17 million as part of the government’s drive to support and spread great teaching. The successful organisations, which will benefit from the fund, aim to increase existing teachers’ skills, confidence and knowledge in a range of areas including

leadership and phonics and early reading. In addition, there will be a focus on sharing best practice in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths and the creation of five professional development excellence hubs across the country. These hubs, due to be set up in Blackpool, Birmingham, Northumberland, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and West Sussex, will all support individual schools in developing and retaining the high-quality staff they need. Education secretary Justine Greening said: “We want to ensure every young person

can reach their potential, regardless of their background or where they are growing up, and great teachers are at the heart of this. “The new fund proves our commitment to creating a culture of high-quality ongoing professional development throughout a teacher’s career. I hope that thousands of teachers across the country will benefit and I’m particularly pleased that we are targeting the schools where it is needed most.” READ MORE:



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Performance management should be ongoing, strategic and meaningful, therefore having a simple, easy to administer and engaging system which is also robust and transparent is paramount Drawing on nearly 20 years of experience in appraisal and performance management in schools, Educate School Services understand the changes that have seen the need for PM processes to be reviewed and enhanced. Through understanding the changes and needs of school leaders for a simple, yet effective PM solution, rather than a meaningless, once a year tick box exercise, the company discovered there was a need for a solution that ensures schools and organisations can: strategically target development priorities; provide governors and Ofsted with simple, effective summaries; make robust performance related pay decisions; and show impact of progress in the quality of teaching and learning, and school improvement targets. Educate realised it was hard to find, especially something simple and easy to use, whilst still being effective and impactful on school improvement and staff performance; and also, not too time consuming or too complex. STANDARDS TRACKER Educate wanted to make performance management easy, so they created Standards Tracker. Standards Tracker is now one of the leading online staff performance and school improvement management systems. Staff are the biggest cost of any school, upwards of 80 per cent of the budget. Protect and get the best out of your investment in them with a robust and transparent tool that transforms performance management and goes beyond appraisal. All too often, performance management and appraisal is seen by teachers as an exercise that is done to them, that doesn’t provide effective feedback or result in any career development. Standards Tracker readdresses that balance and makes performance management a two‑way process where staff feel empowered and in control of their career development. SAVE MONEY ON CPD Standards Tracker enables you to see where different strengths and weaknesses occur within all your staff – teaching, support,

office and operations. Good practice is shared and staff can be paired for mentoring purposes. Standards Tracker can help you to easily support your staff using the skills and talent within your own organisation. Using Standards Tracker enables you to easily identify staff with excellent practice to use the skills and talent within your school to better implement personalised and whole school CPD for other staff. As part of their own development, your strong staff members can mentor, coach and lead individuals, groups or run whole school training sessions at zero cost.  By utilising the existing talent already in your school, your CPD budget can be protected for when external provision is required. SAVE MONEY BY RETAINING STAFF  OECD studies show that 71 per cent of teachers reported a moderate or large change in their confidence as a result of feedback, and over 60 per cent reported a moderate or large change in their teaching practices and levels of job satisfaction. Standards Tracker provides a tangible source of support and guidance to staff; meaning there is no second guessing, trying to remember what was said, not knowing what is expected when and by whom, or surprises for anyone in the process. Staff feel more valued and the culture in school becomes more enabling and rewarding. Levels of job satisfaction and staff morale increase. Staff are more likely to remain in post and seek additional responsibilities in a nurturing and comfortable environment. Feedback is key, as is support when needed. Standards Tracker enables these opportunities

continuously throughout the school year and appraisal/performance management cycle. SAVE TIME Save hours and even days of administration time for your staff and school leaders, meaning they can focus on other important priorities. One headteacher told Educate that within just a few months of using Standards Tracker, they had saved over 14 hours per team leader.  Another headteacher said that Standard Tracker has saved six hours when reporting internally, and four hours when reporting to governors every time. DEMONSTRATE IMPACT The quality of teaching and learning, and effectiveness and impact of leadership and management decisions are evidenced through triangulation, assessment and feedback; matching school requirements with staff talent and expertise, as well as informing SEFs and SIPs / SDPs. The reporting functions within Standards Tracker give you solid evidence to show governors, boards and inspectors on how the school is progressing and improving against key performance indicators. Provide visual representation and evidence for the impact of CPD and performance management of staff. Request a free online demonstration and consultation to see how Standards Tracker can impact your school.L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0203 422 6500




Rolling out new special free schools On 12 April 2017, the Department for Education (DfE) announced the approval of 131 new free schools, which included the approval of plans to launch a special free school competition across 19 local authorities which would allow sponsors to apply to launch the new schools. It will mean 19 new schools across Bedford, Blackpool, Bradford, Cheshire East, Croydon, Doncaster, Enfield, Essex, Hampshire, Havering, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Manchester, Portsmouth, Redbridge, Sheffield, South

Gloucestershire, Suffolk, and Sunderland. being called to apply to one of the 19 local The aim is to provide high-quality provision authorities, setting out how they will be for children with special educational able to meet the specification for the project. needs and disabilities, and the Criteria has been set out by the local schools will be built through authorities, in conjunction with S c hools the government’s free the DfE, to ensure that they will pro schools programme. meet the needs of each local v i d high-qu e Organisations such community and provide as Multi‑Academy much-needed places provisio ality Trusts to specialist for Special Educational n for children charitable Needs and Disability w i t h SEN an disabili organisations are d (SEND) pupils. E t

Written by Andrea Pluck

Over 1,600 new special free school places are to be created across England, and 19 local authorities are inviting applications from organisations to run them. Education Business reports on the proposed schools

Design & Build


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Design & Build


What is a free school? Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the local council. They have more control over how they do things. They’re ‘all-ability’ schools, so can’t use academic selection processes like a grammar school. Free schools can set their own pay and conditions for staff and change the length of school terms and the school day. They do not have to follow the national curriculum. Free schools are run on a not‑for-profit basis and can be set up by groups like charities; universities; independent schools; community and faith groups; teachers; parents; and businesses.  The new schools are part of a recent wave of free schools that were previously approved, and is separate from government plans to open 30 free schools in partnership with local authorities. Schools system minister, Lord Nash, said in a statement: “Free schools are providing many good new school places in response to the needs of communities across the country. This process will give local authorities the chance to identify expert organisations with proven track records in SEND provision to run special schools that will help hundreds of children fulfil their potential.“ The closing date for bids is midday, 24 November 2017. After this, the successful sponsors will be chosen. BEDFORD Bedford’s local authority has set out specifications for a 200-place school with both early years and post-16 places for pupils between the ages of three and 19. According to the Borough of Bedford, there has been a predicted rise in the demand for SEND school places due to the Children and Families act in 2014. As a result, the council aim to provide a multi-agency package of support in a “wraparound service to maintain the opportunity for children and students to live at home and access education locally within the borough”. At the moment, the council are not able to place all new students in its two designated special schools and, as a result, have had to consider provision elsewhere. The proposed school would create a sustainable provision that will help to support the most vulnerable pupils. The new school building will be funded through EFA capital funding.

Manchester City Council is planning a 100-place special free school, which would include places for pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties and ASD HAMPSHIRE Hampshire County Council has outlined the need for a new 125-place school for pupils between the ages of four and 16 with social communication needs and Autism spectrum disorder. The council has already identified the location for the new school at the former site of Chineham Park Primary School in Basingstoke. The free school is aiming to be opened in September 2020, providing necessary approvals are met. At the moment, feasibility work and an

outline design is being undertaken by the council and the successful proposer will work alongside them to ensure that the building is built to the required standard and meets the need of the “modern curriculum”. DONCASTER Doncaster has released details for a 100‑place school with post-16 provision for pupils between the ages of five and 19 with complex communication and interaction needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other social and mental health needs. The school will primarily be for children E



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A 150-place school for early years and post‑16 provision has been outlined by Croydon Council. It will be for pupils aged between two and 19 with ASD. The school is expected to be based in New Addington  and young people with Autism, specifically high‑functioning ASD and Aspergers. Working with the DfE, the school is expected to be on the Hungerhill Enterprise Park site and would have 80 places filled by the council, with the remaining 20 offered to neighbouring authorities. In addition, the school will be closely associated with another secondary school to allow pupils to have access to the mainstream curriculum where it is possible. Cllr Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member

for children, young people and schools, commented: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide our young people and those across South Yorkshire, who have special educational needs and disabilities with the kind of education and support they deserve. “We have worked with the Department for Education to develop the specifications that must be met by potential operators when applying to run the school. It is vital that these specifications address the need for additional

Design & Build


SEND provision in Doncaster, which is why they have been so carefully put together.” CROYDON A 150-place school for early years and post-16 provision has been outlined by Croydon Council. It will be for pupils aged between two and 19 with ASD. The school is expected to be based in New Addington, of which capital funding for the construction of the new build has been confirmed by the DfE. The facility will be the latest in a series of brand new schools to be built by Croydon in recent years as part of what has been the largest school expansion programme in the UK. The borough also has the largest youth population of any London borough, and since 2010 has seen the number of young people with special educational needs for whom the borough maintains E



SPECIAL SCHOOLS  an education, health and care plan increase from 1,800 to 2,500. This has made it a priority for the council to invest in more local places to ensure young people with SEN have an effective education pathway to support them in making progress, achieving independence, and gaining employment. Cllr Alisa Fleming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, Croydon Council, said: “We are delighted the DfE have included Croydon in this exciting project and we’re keen to hear from any organisation which has the skills and expertise to deliver the specialist services needed by many young people in the borough.” Subject to the outcome of consultation on the Croydon local plan it is hoped planning applications for the preferred site could be submitted by the middle of next year. The scheme will be put together in close liaison with parents and carers through Croydon’s Parent Forum, which is run by voluntary sector organisation Parents in Partnership (PIP). The borough is looking for a provider with a track record in using an evidence‑based approach to educating children with autism to improve their futures and help get them into employment.

Design & Build


BLACKPOOL Blackpool Council has outlined its specifications for its new special free school, which is expected to accommodate 48 pupils between the ages of 10 and 16. Young people attending the new school will have an Education and Health Care plan, which will be subject to review on at least an annual basis. It will be for pupils who have Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) E

First new free school announced by LocatED LocatED, a private company that was established by the Department for Education last year to acquire new sites for free schools, has announced its first project. GEMS Kingston primary academy in south London is to be designed by Architecture Initiative and will be run by the GEMS Learning Trust. The company was given a £2 billion budget to help with the government’s commitment to new school places by securing sites for an additional 110 free schools. GEMS Kingston Primary School will be a two-form entry primary which will have 420 pupil places and 11 residential units.




Off-site construction battles the on-going school place crisis in Greater Manchester We were first made aware of the school place crisis we were going to encounter back in 2009/2010. On the back of this, strategic plans were put in place in terms of school extensions, new builds, academies and free schools. So where are we now? Well, in Greater Manchester the problem continues to grow with a 12.5 per cent increase in primary school place requirements from 2013 – 2019 and a 19.3 per cent increase in secondary school place requirements from 2013 – 2020. One in 10 infants are now being taught in oversized primary classes. So what is the solution? One solution is the use of off-site construction. As the manufacture of the building is taken out of the critical path on the programme, site works including foundations, services and external works can be completed simultaneously with the construction of the building itself, taking place in the factory. Off Site construction works on a Lean production process with materials and labour in place and the buildings moving down the flow line, far faster than walking round a building site. And as construction takes place inside, there are no rain, frost or snow delays. All of this means

that programmes are dramatically improved. Premier Modular Ltd has a factory site in East Yorkshire giving 130,000sq ft of manufacturing space, operating out of five factories. Working a single shift they can produce a minimum of 1800m2 of building per week. This equates to a 2FE primary school every two weeks. Acceleration of programme doesn’t mean compromise in other areas though: Modules are constructed to exacting quality levels in the controlled factory environment, thermal values are around 30 per cent higher than building regulations and exceptional airtightness ratings can be achieved. As much as 75 per cent of the buildings are manufactured offsite using overhead cranes rather than working at heights therefore the risk of accidents on site is greatly reduced. Disruption is minimised, transport to site is reduced and waste minimised as materials can be cut to size, returned to store or recycled more easily. Premier Modular Ltd has recently completed a standalone classroom block extension in conjunction with ISG Construction for Manchester City Council. A further form of entry was required at

St Margaret’s C of E Primary School, therefore a two-storey building of approximately 270m2 was required to accommodate the nursery and foundation stage classes. This meant that space was freed up in the existing building to extend the sports hall facilities. The building was finished in modern coloured panels fitted off site and finished with canopies and a linkway. As the building sat in the existing school playground, off site construction was considered the best solution to minimise disruption. FURTHER INFORMATION

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SPECIAL SCHOOLS  problems and will also benefit those limited to speech and language and Autism. According to the council’s specifications, there is currently no SEMH specialist school in the Blackpool Local Authority area. The Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in the area is over capacity with a number of pupils remaining in alternative provision for an entire key stage or more. The site of the new school will provisionally located to the east of Blackpool in the Clifton ward of the borough. All buildings on the site were demolished in 2013, and therefore is currently vacant. The site is readily available for work to begin. BRADFORD Bradford’s proposals for a new special school, subject to planning permission, would see the school build on the former Rhodesway playing fields site on Lower Grange, Bradford. The 72-place school will have a 12-bed residential facility and will be dedicated to people with SEMH needs. Michael Jameson, strategic director

of children’s services, commented: “Getting this funding from central government has involved a lot of work and planning from a number of partners. “It’s good news for the district that we are able to expand provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities.” CHESHIRE EAST The specifications for Cheshire East is for a 40‑place school which will accommodate pupils aged between four and 16 with SEMH needs. Cheshire East Council have stated that by working with the winning proposer it will reduce the need for children with complex needs to travel too long distances,

Design & Build


“often to out of borough independent and non-maintained special schools”. ENFIELD The free school competition will see a new 70-place build be developed near Ark John Keats Academy in Enfield. It will cater for those aged between 11 and 18 with SEMH needs. Twenty of the school places will be provided for 16-19 provision. It will be constructed on an off-site playing field and a sub-lease for the site will be granted to the Educational and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The council has also stated that “depending on the site secured”, they would “welcome the co-location with other services that E

The free school competition will see a new 70‑place build be developed near Ark John Keats Academy in Enfield. It will cater for those aged between 11 and 18 with SEMH needs



 would enhance support not only to pupils but to their families as well”. ESSEX Essex County Council’s specifications for its new special free school will see it provide 64 places. It is anticipated to be built on the former St Peter’s College site in Chelmsford for pupils with SEMH needs. The prospective new free school follows the approval of plans for two other new government-funded special free schools in Essex in April. In addition, up to £85 million, including £42 million from the Essex Schools Forum and up to £43 million of capital funding from the council, has been allocated towards creating more special school places in the county over the next three to five years. Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education commented: “We already have some excellent special schools in the county, however, more capacity is still needed to reduce the distance children have to travel to school and ensure Essex has the range of expertise needed to meet

Design & Build


Essex County Council’s specifications for its new special free school will see it provide 64 places. It is anticipated to be built on the former St Peter’s College site in Chelmsford for pupils with SEMH needs all pupils’ needs. This new free school will be a big boost to our ambition of creating a strong network of special schools that the county can be proud of and will complement our own investment programme.” Meanwhile, Havering London Borough plan to create a special school for 60 children with Communication and Interaction Needs (C&I), as well as SEMH needs. The school will be for pupils aged between three and 16.

including Autism. It will provide places for 50 people on the proposed site, which is adjacent to Hereford Sixth Form College. It aims to provide a community facility outside of school hours; enable internships and work experience; support students in other educational facilities, including mainstream schools, colleges and training providers; and provide a resource hub for staff working with SEN children and families.

HEREFORDSHIRE Herefordshire Council will be working with the DfE to provide a new special free school for 16 to 19-year-olds with severe and complex learning disabilities,

HOUNSLOW The London Borough of Hounslow has stated that its specifications for a special free school will see the development of a 70-place school E




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There are great advantages to be had for schools expanding their catering facilities. Some of its many benefits include reduced queuing times - adding an additional catering unit can significantly reduce queues at key times. Pupils are able to buy their food and snacks more quickly and easily, giving them added time to enjoy their lunch and break periods. They can also help to reinforce the school’s brand – a fully branded catering outlet is a highly attractive addition to any school playground and a real talking point for pupils. Other benefits include expanding the range of food on offer; it encourages more pupils to stay on site; can avoid pupils missing lunch; boosts revenue; and is convenient for staff. Educational establishment are under constant pressure to perform, and feedback has shown time and time again that the benefits of school catering kiosks are real,

increasing school meal uptake and catering revenue, reducing queue times in the main canteen, supporting the stay on site policy and supporting the recommendations highlighted in the School Food Plan 2013. With a wide range of units available, from standard to custom-built sizes and designs, kiosks are both low maintenance and affordable and are constructed to meet the needs of any building application. Mounted on steel pallet bases, each unit can be moved easily and, when painted and liveried, can provide powerful brand exposure in any location. UK Kiosks’ expert team will work closely with each school to provide a bespoke service ensuring all requirements and functions are satisfied. For further information, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION

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SPECIAL SCHOOLS  for secondary school ages. Fifty of those places will be specifically for those aged between 11 and 16 and the remaining 20 will go to 16 to 19-year-olds. The new school development will be located on Hanworth Road, Hounslow, on a site already owned by EFSA. It will have a social emotional and mental health area of expertise. MANCHESTER Manchester City Council is seeking a sponsor for a 100-place special free school, which would include places for pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and ASD. Ninety of the school places will be commissioned by Manchester City Council and the remaining 10 will be commissioned by Salford City Council. The development will be aimed at three to 11-year-olds. It is expected to provide access to

The London Borough of Redbridge is seeking a sponsor for a 64-place school for pupils aged between two and seven. It aims to support pupils with special educational needs such as: SEMH; Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SCLN); and cognition, learning, communication and interaction difficulties specialist facilities such as sensory rooms, soft play areas to children with SEND who attend local mainstream primary schools and resourced provision on a sessional basis during school hours. PORTSMOUTH The development of a 40-place school, offering eight places for junior aged pupils, 24 for secondary pupils and eight places for post-16 students, has been

Design & Build


outlined in Portsmouth City Council’s special free school specifications. The new special school academy will cater for children with Autism, social communication difficulties and associated challenging behaviour and sensory needs. It is scheduled to open in September 2020 and work on plans for the building has started, with initial building due to start in 2018. The academy will be a stand-alone E


SPECIAL SCHOOLS  school, co-located with Redwood Park academy on their school site. REDBRIDGE The London Borough of Redbridge is seeking a sponsor for a 64-place school for pupils aged between two and seven. It aims to support pupils with special educational needs such as: SEMH; Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SCLN); and cognition, learning, communication and interaction difficulties. The school will focus on planning moving pupils to a mainstream school at the age of seven and will provide opportunities to explore early intervention places for Early Years Children. SHEFFIELD Sheffield City Council’s development will consist of 40 to 60 places for pupils with SEMH needs and Autism. It will be aimed at ages seven and 16 and may provide up to four to six residential places following consultation with the chosen sponsor for the special free school. The aim is for this new school to improve the diversity and quality of the local offer and meet a gap in the current provision. More than 30 Sheffield children aged 7-25 with ASD/SEMH needs attend high cost independent placements

Sheffield City Council’s development will consist of 40 to 60 places for pupils with SEMH needs and Autism. It will be aimed at ages seven and 16 and may provide up to four to six residential places following consultation with the chosen sponsor for the special free school as no direct alternatives exist. It is expected that this new school will reduce demand for these placements. The school will also help give parents more choice and give young people opportunities to pursue qualifications in line with their academic potential. SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE The special free school development in South Gloucestershire will be aimed at young people with SLD and Profound and PMLD. It will provide schooling for up to 112 pupils, from nursery-age to post-16 education, and is expected to open as early as 2019. Over the next few months, bidders are invited to submit proposals to meet the criteria set out by the Department for Education. Those plans will then be jointly assessed by

Design & Build


the council and the Department for Education and the preferred option will be passed to the Secretary of State for Education for approval. SUFFOLK & SUNDERLAND A 60-place school has been outlined for the Suffolk area, aimed at pupils with SEMH needs and Autism. The build is expected to be located in Ipswich. Sunderland City Council has set out specifications for 96 additional autism school places for those aged between five and 16. This complements the seven special schools currently operating in the city. The former Bishop Harland CE VA Primary School site in North Sunderland has been identified as the sire for the new school. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Giving the education sector the ‘wow’ factor As a specialist UK carpet manufacturer, Heckmondwike offers a wide range of heavy contract carpets, fibre bonded carpets and carpet tiles along with specialist entrance area carpet ranges. With a wide choice of colours and finishes, the education sector is recognising the opportunity to cost‑effectively create the ‘wow’ factor with a durable, fibre bonded carpet that is the perfect choice for areas of heavy wear and tear in schools, colleges, universities and beyond. The company is proud of its tradition of supporting UK manufacturing and has a strong heritage of tradition and quality workmanship for which its products are renowned. The company has in-house research and development facilities, which includes providing technical support to customers. All products are supported by a strong aftersales team and a

dedicated technical department offering product advice and r ecommendations across the entire carpet range. The company has achieved the ISO14001 environmental standard and its production processes are carried out to meet ISO 9001 accreditation. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01924 410544



1-2 November 2017, Manchester Central



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Education Estates


The Education Estates Show, which takes place 1-2 November in Manchester Central, focuses on the funding, design, build, management and maintenance of schools, academies, colleges and universities across the UK Whether you are preparing for an upcoming project or looking for solutions and ideas to current challenges, Education Estates – the largest gathering of education buildings professionals from across the UK, will enable you to achieve your objectives. Mike Green, director of ESFA Capital and DfE Commercial Education and Skills Funding Agency, says: “The Education and Skills Funding Agency is fully supportive of Education Estates. This is a key industry event for the sector which provides best

practice, the sharing of ideas, and a platform for discussion and debate. “A key focus for 2017 is the drive for greater efficiency and better asset management.” The Exhibition is a unique marketplace where manufacturers and providers can meet decision-makers and specifiers, make new contacts, generate leads and new product

ideas, and identify current and emerging opportunities in the education sector. The conference features over 90 speakers, with specialist content streams for schools, colleges & universities and asset management and maintenance. Lively and authoritative, it’s The professional gathering for everyone concerned with education’s built environment. E

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 SESSIONS This year’s sessions include: Designing Educational Spaces for Young People with Autism, with Lucy Healy, architect at HLM Architects; Designing for Efficiency with Paul Gott, practice team leader for architecture, Atkins; Designing Knockroon with Rupert Goddard, partner at Sheppard Robson; Achieving an “Outstanding” Level of Consistency Across the Tauheedul Estate with David Holland, executive director: Capital Programmes – Tauheedul Education Trust and Robert Paterson, senior project manager at Turner & Townsend. Other sessions include: The Science Centre, Uppingham School with John McRae, Co‑Owner, Orms; The School Sites Challenge – Design and Build Implications with Claire Jackson, education director at Galliford Try; New School in the Green Belt – How We Did It with Jeremy Hinds, planning team director at Savills; Designing for Learning in Urban Contexts with Richard Sharp, director at Rock Townsend; and School Estate Management – What Does “Good” Look Like? This is a joint EFA Capital presentation by Catherine Jenkins, head of capital efficiency and capability and Victoria Baker, head of strategic projects and casework. To view the full two‑day conference programme and the speaker list go to

Education Estates


The Exhibition is free to all visitors and delegates. The conference is complimentary for those directly employed in schools, colleges, universities, national and local government (includes governors and independent schools) ATTENDING The Exhibition is free to all visitors and delegates. The conference is complimentary for those directly employed in schools, colleges, universities, national and local government (includes governors and independent schools). Delegate rates apply for everyone else wishing to attend the conference. Exhibitors enabling the creation of the next generation of learning spaces include: Armstrong Ceilings, ATKINS, Caledonian Modular, Dulux Smarter Spaces, Ecophon, Elliott Group, Faithful+Gould, Forbo Flooring, Galliford Try, Heckmondwike FB, Kingspan Insulation, LHC, Mars Drinks, McAvoy Group, Net Zero Buildings, PAGABO, Pegasus Group, Profile 22, Radmat Building Products, Sports Facilities Group, Screwfix, The Garland Company, Thorlux Lighting, Trend Control Systems, Turner & Townsend, VELUX, and many more. The annual Education Estates Awards Dinner takes place on the first night of Education Estates at The Mercure Manchester Piccadilly.

The night is a fantastic occasion celebrating excellence and achievement in the education sector with the prestige and glamour of a Black Tie event. The After Dinner Speaker is John Simonett who is a former schoolmaster and sportsman. He obtained a First Class Honours degree from Bristol University, majoring in psychology, and achieved the rare distinction of captaining a Scottish rugby team to a victory over England (albeit at the U19 Group level). L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Campaigning for cladding checks and sprinklers Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, school unions have called for the government to survey all schools for combustible cladding and to fit all schools with fire sprinklers The National Education Union (NEU), National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and Association of School & College Leaders (ASCL) have published joint guidance for school leaders on fire risk assessments in schools in the light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The appalling fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 brought into sharp focus wider questions about fire safety. This has understandably caused widespread concern throughout the education sector about how many school buildings have cladding which is not fire resistant. Pupils, parents, staff and the wider community who use educational buildings need reassurance that they are not being exposed to a similar fire risk.

It is important to emphasise that the Grenfell Tower fire occurred in the middle of the night in a building without a common fire alarm system. In contrast school buildings are occupied during the day, have a common fire alarm system and, unlike in tower blocks, practice evacuation procedures. A tower block may be constructed with only one staircase whereas only the smallest school building would be allowed to be built with only one escape staircase. While the risks may be lower, a fire involving combustible

Fire Safety


cladding on the outside of a school has the potential to cause harm and so the threat must be taken seriously. Now is a good time for schools to consider fire safety issues more broadly and to revisit fire risk assessments in the light of what happened at Grenfell Tower. To assist school leaders in understanding the risks to schools and how best to address these, the NEU, NAHT and ASCL have published joint guidance to answer common questions and advise on how best to review fire risk assessments to ensure that children and staff are kept safe. THE NEED TO SURVEY SCHOOLS Two schools required urgent inspections by the Fire and Rescue Service following the Department for Education’s (DfE) limited programme of cladding checks to identify school buildings which are 18 metres or higher, or providing residential accommodation, and which are fitted with Aluminium Composite Material cladding. The NEU, NAHT and ASCL are calling upon the government to survey all school buildings to determine whether any inappropriate cladding has been used in their construction. Given that nearly 90 per cent of schools also contain asbestos, the DfE should also use this survey to establish the location and E

The Grenfel l Tower fi r e has caused c o n c ern abou school t how many bui claddin ldings have gw is not fi hich resistanre t


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FIRE PREVENTION  condition of all asbestos in our schools to prevent any exposure to this deadly material. Rachel Reeves MP, who chairs the Asbestos in Schools Group, is concerned that asbestos may be disturbed if cladding is removed. She has written to education secretary, Justine Greening, urging her to ensure that the specifications for this work make full and thorough provision for the risk of disturbing asbestos in any school where works may take place. The three unions are also urging the government to introduce a legal requirement that all new and refurbished school buildings are fitted with a sprinkler system. CAMPAIGNING Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “In the aftermath of the appalling fire at Grenfell Tower, attention has rightly focused on others who could be at risk, including children and school staff. We have campaigned successfully to stop the government weakening guidance on school fire safety The National Education Union will continue to hold the government to account to ensure that this guidance is adhered to. All new and refurbished schools should be fitted with sprinkler systems and a review of cladding on all schools needs to take place. Such a review should also focus on identification

Fire Safety


Unlike Grenfell Tower, school buildings have a common fire alarm system and practice evacuation procedures. Nevertheless, a fire involving combustible cladding on the outside of a school poses a risk to children and staff which must be taken seriously of asbestos and lead, in the longer term, to a programme of phased removal.” Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Parents rightly expect school buildings to be safe and secure places for their children. The dreadful events at Grenfell Tower highlight the importance of building safety, and we now urge the government to review all school buildings to determine that their cladding is safe. We also need a concerted effort to identify the existence of asbestos within schools and, as a minimum, all new and refurbished schools should have sprinklers fitted as standard. School leaders take the safety of buildings very seriously, and we need the government to provide the right support and investment the school estate so desperately needs.” Geoff Barton, general secretary of the

Association of School and College Leaders, said: “School leaders take the issue of safety extremely seriously, and already have programmes and procedures in place to ensure that schools are safe places in which to work and learn. But they need expert support in identifying and addressing the risks associated with issues like cladding and asbestos, and the government must provide that support. We are urging the government to carry out a comprehensive survey of the whole school estate so that it can identify where any risks exist and then to take action to deal with those risks. Parents must be reassured that schools are as safe as we can possibly make them.” L FURTHER INFORMATION View the guidance here:



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Bett 2018


Bett: The meeting place for education change-makers Bett 2018 will take place from 24 to 28 January and will once again gather the global education community to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education Over the past 35 years, Bett has evolved into the world’s meeting place for those passionate about education, bringing 850 leading companies, the best edtech startups and over 34,700 attendees from the global education community together in 2017 to find inspiration and discuss the future of education. The event is underpinned by the belief that everyone has a role to play in transforming education. INSPIRATION FOR EVERYONE The Bett Arena is home to some of the inspirational talks, big stories and developments in technology in education. The programme of content for 2018 will be announced in October and to help address the perennial issue of demand versus supply, popular Arena sessions will be screened in areas around the show.

SERVING THE NEEDS OF SCHOOLS The Bett schedule includes a wealth of talks, keynotes and interactive sessions specifically for primary and secondary educators at every level. They each will give insights into education through a programme of world class speakers sharing amazing stories about new approaches to pedagogy and the application of cutting edge technology in a school setting. Topics range from being effective with budgets, managing teacher workload and dealing with teacher recruitment and retention issues to solutions to manage pupil progress and attainment and methods of creative teaching.

Some of the key tech themes being explored at the show this year will include the effective assessment of computing learning, demonstrating the value of tech to senior leadership teams, infrastructure and having the bandwidth and systems in place to support good tech in the classroom. Practical experience is the key theme for the Workshop, new to Bett and designed to allow primary and secondary education to get more hands-on with the latest developments in pedagogical and infrastructure technology. The E

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EVENT PREVIEW  opportunity to touch, test and evaluate resources is perhaps one of the most valuable features of Bett, particularly when purchases need to demonstrate clear value to schools for whom budgets are under pressure. FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION This specially designed agenda, growing on last year’s successes, will appeal to influential practitioners and leaders in technology as well as institution leadership. The 2018 programme will deliver sessions targeted to the key objectives of its audiences including: Building 21st Century skills, adaptive learning, the use and potential of artificial intelligence and analytics and the latest in flipped and blended learning. For further education, additional topics will include e-Portfolios, tracking attendance and engagement and the use of remote learning to meet the needs of all pupils. WORLDWIDE PARTNER Bett 2018’s worldwide parter is Microsoft. The firm’s mission in the education sector is to empower every student to achieve more. It has been a major player in this market for many years and its focus is on helping students and teachers to gain the most from the technology they often already have in schools, thereby improving student outcomes. Microsoft has very high awareness generally,

The Bett schedule includes a wealth of talks, keynotes and interactive sessions specifically for primary and secondary educators at every level, giving insights into education and improvement but it regularly launches new products and initiatives to support teachers and students. Its challenge is to continually demonstrate how its products make a difference in UK classrooms and compete with many new players in this fast-moving market. “What makes Bett unique is the community. Over 45,000 people come to the show every year and they are all eager to learn how technology can help them in their schools, and no other show offers that,” said Tim Bush, education marketing manager at Microsoft. HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2016 Last year, Bett hosted some inspirational speakers such as Sir Ken Robinson, Heston Blumenthal and Ed Stafford. Unsurprisingly, Ed Stafford’s session saw people squeezing in around the edge of the arena to catch sight of the renowned adventurer, explorer and broadcaster. Ed shared his views on why the spirit of exploration is so important in today’s world, and underlined the importance


= FUN Change the culture of your classroom.



of technology in encouraging children’s natural desire to learn. He also gave all attending visitors ideas on how to ignite this inquisitiveness in their students. Along similar lines, Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at International Centre for Leadership in Education, revealed his innovative research‑based practices; giving teachers ideas of how to implement these to bring back a sense of awe to learning. Throughout the session he stressed the importance of instilling this wonderment in the classroom. Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal may not be an obvious speaker at Bett, but his session probably attracted three times more people than there were seats. He spoke passionately about creativity in education and the opportunity it brings to explore and discover. He encouraged teachers to welcome questions and failure in the classroom, believing this is the basis for constructive learning. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Making pupils think outside the box in maths Numberella™ is a card and dice maths game which makes learning and teaching maths more enjoyable – and as a result, changes the classroom culture around the subject, increasing engagement and enthusiasm. Introduced at BETT 2017 as a prototype, it was enthusiastically received and has now been trialled at 20 schools across the UK receiving rave reviews from teachers and pupils alike. Andrew G, of Misterton Primary School said that Numberella is “making children think outside the box and do maths for a reason and with purpose”. Beverly L of Leopold Brent said that Numberella “has a positive impact on the children” and is giving them “more confidence in maths”. Callum I, a student at the EGS SEN school near Coventry said: “Thankyou so much for sending this

game to us. It was amazing.” Whilst Jennifer, from year 5 at Bowes Primary said: “I loved Numberella… it lets you challenge yourself and test your maths skills.” Launching in January 2018 with accompanying software that allows league creation, house formation, and online interaction which deepens the penetration of the Numberella effect – Numberella will transform the way your students relate to maths, sharpen their skill sets, and change the culture of your classroom. FURTHER INFORMATION



Advertisement Feature


Schools are looking for an app that helps them effectively engage with parents as studies have shown the more engaged the parent, the better the student performs From the safeguarding perspective, getting messages through to parents can be costly if you’re dependent on text messages and unreliable if you’re using social media – so when someone says, “there’s an app for that,” it sounds like the perfect solution in this smartphone generation. With so many apps to choose from it has become a minefield to negotiate. School budgets are already constrictive, so making an informed decision is key to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. STREAMLINING THE BACK-OFFICE The speed of technology growth for parent communications has resulted in schools contracting with many different providers. This forces parents to numerous websites to receive and respond to information about their child(ren). However, there are now some very good, reliable systems such as Schoolcomms, the market leading one-system solution that brings all parent interactions into one place. A simple, but sophisticated system that integrates fully with SIMS and the School Gateway app by Schoolcomms has led the innovation in parent engagement technology

pièce de résistance is that they also provide a parent app – for free. BEWARE DESIGN OVER FUNCTIONALITY Many apps on the market focus on the style of the app and even offer you the option to brand with your school logo. However, scratch the surface and you will generally discover that there is no substance to these and you may as well just use your website as this probably gives you more functionality. It’s better not to be swayed by looks and go for an industry recognised app (would you trust a banking app if it wasn’t?) and when it comes to information about their children, parents are looking for the same level of integrity. School Gateway by Schoolcomms is a great example of a nationally recognisable and most importantly, trustworthy app. VALUE BEYOND THE HYPE What gives an app value? The synergy between Schoolcomms and School Gateway is the best example of integrated functionality, making it the UK’s best parent app. It has seamless integration with SIMS – a nifty feature meaning you only record your data once. To help you keep text costs down, it identifies parents who have the app and automatically converts the text to a free app message. It cuts time, every day, chasing unauthorised absences. Schoolcomms not only reads attendance information from SIMS, but allows parents to respond via School Gateway and these responses can be written back into SIMS. Achievement and behaviour can be set to automatically alert parents with a

notification to let them know there is new information to view and parents only see what is relevant to their child(ren). Schoolcomms gives control over what you want to share, so you can customise it in line with your own policies. Sharing reports and timetables direct from SIMS and being able to instantly publish to the app is another nice feature, completely eradicating printing costs. Plus, there’s a host of functionality around breakfast and after-school club booking, payment collection for dinners, parents evening and more. CHECKLIST No two apps are the same, so outlining how hard you want your app to work for you is a good place to start. Some blue sky thinking to cover the ‘must have’s’ and the ‘nice to have’s’ will give you a good framework to be able to compare app against app. All suppliers of these systems should be able to offer you a live  demonstration using your own school data before you commit. So, don’t be afraid to ask them and do probe into the detail. L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0333 332 7147

“School Gateway genuinely gets me more engaged and involved at home with my daughters schooling. 10 out of 10 from me!” Rohan, parent (Queen Elizabeth’s Exeter) Volume 22.8 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Preparing for SATs: how schools meet the challenge What do schools spend on SATs preparation? Discovery Education and Schoolzone recently asked some primary school leaders about their approach to getting children ready for SATs. The survey revealed a range of different approaches, and issues.

• Schools typically spend around £2,500 on additional resources for SATs prep Everything costs money. Past papers, revision materials, digital - it all adds up. We seem to spend more on Y6 than the rest of the school put together. A bundle of SATs Booster Test Books for each child costs £8 per bundle.

• Most employ extra staff for booster lessons, costing at least £3,000 Staff do give up their own time, of course, but there’s only so much to spare, so we employ a specialist teacher for a block of time, costing us over £6,000 – mainly just to practise the SATs papers. Our Saturday and Easter schools cost us thousands.

• Photocopying, incentives for attending, and meals adds another £1000 There’s a whole eco-system around SATs preparation: we provide lunches for those doing extra classes and snacks for pupils staying after school.

What are schools doing to support pupils to prepare for SATs? Boosters and catch-ups Not all schools approve of preparing children for SATs exams, but these tend to be those for whom success comes relatively easily. The rest use a wide range of approaches, typically to support the lower attaining students, but also, increasingly to extend the higher attainers too. Most commonly these are lunch or after school sessions, often with staff employed specially for the purpose, but many run Saturday sessions or open the school for Easter classes.

Alternatives? Some schools are looking more carefully at their existing digital resources to see if they could make better use of them – for example, practising answering SAT-focused questions at home, maybe with parents helping. Others are looking for the first time at adopting online subscription services because then the SATs work they do in school can be carried on afterwards.

What’s the impact of all this SATs preparation? Schools are obviously very keen to ensure that all this expenditure – especially the teacher time required – has the desired effect on SATs results.

Key priorities Changes to accountability measures, the curriculum, teacher workload and declining budgets all need to be addressed.

Here’s what schools told us were their priorities:

Supporting all pupils It’s no longer enough to buy in support for the lower attainers – all pupils need to practise their skills and develop understanding. There aren’t enough staff in most schools, so other means need to be found.

Supporting parents Primary schools are increasingly looking for parents to support their children, but it can be very difficult to engage them because parents can be worried about getting in the way, or not having appropriate resources available at home.

Supporting extended learning Over the past five years or so there has been a growth in the use of home learning in primary schools. The prevalence of internet in the home has led more and more schools to feel able to use web-based activities to extend learning beyond the classroom, especially for practice activities such as answering exam style questions. Schools reviewing their digital subscription services now commonly consult with parents to ask them about what they need too.

What do schools want? In summary, teachers need access to online planning schemes to help their pupils with revision and additional resources for those on the borderline.

Discovery Education Espresso Discovery Education Espresso equips teachers with everything they need to prepare for SATs. Schools benefit from access to webinars and online planning tools, enabling them to select SATs-matched content and ready-made lessons, instantly. All teachers can access the service from home, allowing them to plan and prepare lessons when convenient, pupil home access is also available. With over 23,000 multi-media resources including practice questions, videos and activities, the Discovery Education Espresso platform provides schools with everything they need to get ready for the assessments. It also gives teachers much needed support, equipping them with the tools and expert insight to approach the tests with confidence. Teachers using the service are also part of the Discovery Education Community, a vital source of networking, idea sharing and pre-SATs support.

Start your SATs journey today! Request a free trial of Discovery Education Espresso at:

About this research: Schoolzone, in conjunction with Discovery Education, conducted online interviews with senior leaders from 14 primary schools around the UK in 2017.


The growing digital economy in the UK continues to require more high-quality computer science graduates, a need that will not be met without more coming through schools. So what might schools do to encourage take-up? Niel McLean from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, shares some recommendations This summer’s GCSE results provided an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in introducing computing into the curriculum. Firstly the good news: since the introduction of the new curriculum, the numbers taking GCSE Computer Science have increased each year with over 67 000 or roughly 12 per cent of candidates taking the exam this summer and the majority of secondary schools entering candidates. However, there are causes for concern. Firstly, the scale of the year on year increases since 2013 have not been repeated in 2017, rising by just 10 per cent this year, rather than doubling as in previous years. Secondly, the decrease in numbers taking GCSE ICT, which ends this year, have not been compensated for by the increase in Computer

Science entries. Thirdly, the proportion of girls taking Computer Science is far too low. This matters for two reasons. The growing digital economy in the UK continues to require more high-quality computer science graduates, a need that will not be met without more coming through schools. More importantly, significant numbers, especially girls, are missing out on the great careers available to them and the opportunities to take an active part in shaping the digital world rather than being shaped by it. If we are to open up these opportunities to more young people, it’s essential to work together to increase the take up of Computer science at GCSE. So what might schools do?

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DEVELOPING YOUNG PEOPLE’S MINDS Before looking at the practical steps that schools might E

CAS Master Teacher for Consett Academy Students at Consett Academy and neighbouring schools will benefit from extra support that their teachers will receive – thanks to computing teacher Jim Green. Jim Green has been appointed as a CAS Master Teacher, a volunteer teacher trained to help teachers learn how best to teach the computing curriculum. Jim, who is head of technical and vocational and learning leader for computing’ at Consett Academy has been at the Academy for nine years. Jim will support local teachers to deliver the computing curriculum which was introduced to schools in England in 2014. He explains: “The best person to support a teacher is another teacher. I decided to become a Master Teacher because I really love my subject. I enjoy making things happen and showing others what a computer can do. As a Master Teacher, I am there to be a champion of computing, to spread the word about how it can be taught and to enthuse people. I became a Master Teacher through our local regional centre at Newcastle University. It’s great – I get to meet lots of other teachers and see how they are embedding Computer Science in their schools. I also get to use their ideas and share mine with them.” Master Teachers are men or women who are experienced teachers who are keen to share their knowledge and understanding with other teachers. They deliver local, face to face, Continuing Professional Development to both primary and secondary school teachers.


Written by Niel McLean, Computing Education CPD senior manager – BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Increasing uptake of computer science

IT & Computing




Supporting schools with ICT solutions specifically geared for the education sector Atomwide is now in its 30th year of supplying ICT solutions for schools and the wider education sector. Back in 1987, BBC Micros and Acorns were the computers of choice for schools, and Atomwide built and developed solutions for them. Things have changed since then, and Atomwide is now an award‑winning company that designs, develops and supports a range of over 50 products and services specifically geared for education and now in use by over two million staff, pupils and parents in over 3,000 schools nationwide. Technology has a growing role to play in schools, helping prepare pupils for their future careers, driving pupil outcomes and the quality of teaching. Not just for the classroom though, the right communication and administration tools can greatly help in the school office too. When creating new products and services, the customer is at the heart of what Atomwide does, thereby ensuring that its products and services continue to meet the needs of schools and colleges. Atomwide maintain strong dialogue with teachers, SLT members and local authority advisors to ensure they are kept up-to-date

with the latest school requirements and that their ever-expanding product range continues to be relevant. This includes web filtering; email filtering; wireless networking; VoIP telephony; CCTV and ANPR; audio visual; antivirus; remote backups; school technicians; SIMS services; and network management and more. As a very customer-focused operation, Atomwide is proud of the outstanding service delivered to its customers, who rightfully have high standards and expectations and limited budgets. Atomwide present a simple model to help schools here, the more services you

bundle together, the more savings can be made. What’s more – it works! Atomwide’s ongoing Customer Support Survey yields a constant supply of positive feedback and shows a current, very high Net Promoter Score of 89. To give a flavour of the great IT services and exceptional value offered by Atomwide, they suggest schools set up OpenCheck - a free service available for all UK schools from Atomwide. Undoubtedly many schools will have experienced the frustration of needing to close in the event of an emergency or bad weather. OpenCheck gives schools a variety of ways to conveniently and quickly let parents know if a school has had to close for any reason, via a dedicated website or a push notification sent straight to a parent’s mobile, helping reduce the burden on the office when the phones are likely ringing off the hook. To find out more about OpenCheck or any of Atomwide’s proven IT services, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01689 814700 @Atomwide

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 take, it is worth reviewing the four key contributions that studying computer science makes to a young person’s education. By developing ‘computational thinking’, the ability to apply the ‘thinking tools’ of computer science such as abstraction, decomposition and algorithms, young people extend their intellectual toolkit. Programming solutions to problems encourages the development to personal attributes such as tenacity. An understanding of the underlying concepts helps young people understand the systems that underpin their digital world, and, of course the career opportunities are vast. A first step in increasing the take up of Computer Science is ensuring that young people, form tutors, the senior leadership team and, of course students and their parents understand these

IT & Computing


By developing ‘computational thinking’, the ability to apply the ‘thinking tools’ of computer science such as abstraction and algorithms, young people extend their intellectual toolkit benefits. The Senior Leadership Toolkit available from Computing At Schools (CAS) provides more information on this. MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE When the purpose of Computer Science is understood, the next two steps are to ensure that students make well informed option choices and that the school has teachers who can respond to any increased demand. Young people choose qualifications

they view as interesting, valuable and achievable. Taking each one of these in turn, young people’s experiences at Key Stage 3 are paramount in shaping their views of how interesting a subject is. Setting computing teaching in real contexts does a great deal to increase young people’s, interest in the subject, and this is especially the case for girls. Are they taught, even if only in principle, how, for example, the algorithms that sit behind the services they use select the options presented to them? E



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IT & Computing

COMPUTER SCIENCE  Do they understand, again, if only in principle, the opportunities and issues around new developments such as driverless cars? Examples of interesting activities can be found on the CAS website, and the employer led materials developed by the Tech Partnership give a real flavour of how computing is shaping the ways we live. For young people and their parents, the value of a qualification is often judged by the career opportunities it opens up. TechFuture Careers, provides young people with an insight into the huge diversity of career opportunities within the tech sector itself, as do visits by tech ‘ambassadors’; people who work in the sector. Of course, young people will only choose a subject if they feel they can succeed at it. Here the experience at Key Stage 3 is particularly important. Without teachers with a real understanding of how to teach computing effectively, young people will vote with their feet. The Network of Excellence in Computer Science is a DfE funded programme, led by BCS and CAS, aimed at ensuring computing teachers develop their understanding of computer science and, crucially, their skills as teachers. All teachers can join CAS and access the support available from the Network of Excellence. It takes time to establish a new discipline in schools. The start schools have made is impressive, but, given the scale of the

challenge, there is still some way to go to provide all young people with access to the computing education that will able them to take on active roles in the digital world as digital citizens and in the workplace. The next few years will be critical, but the support is out there. Join

CAS, engage with the Network of Excellence and look at the resources developed by teachers, employers and others. L FURTHER INFORMATION

RM Broadband – delivering excellent educational experiences to thousands of schools The Internet can offer massive benefits to education, it aids curriculum development, and opens up opportunities to be more efficient, flexible and collaborative. With the Internet now playing such an integral role in the school, it’s now more important than ever that you partner≈with a trusted broadband provider that understands the very distinct needs of the education market. Why choose RM? By choosing RM as your service provider you are choosing to partner with the leading supplier of Internet connectivity to educational establishments in the UK. RM currently works with 3,500 existing broadband customers and have a further 5,000 schools receiving a variety of other online digital services. A long established and deeply experienced education specialist, dedicated to creating and maintaining an extensive range of innovative ICT solutions and services. The company works exclusively in education allowing them to be 100 per cent focused on delivering excellent educational experiences for the thousands of schools that choose RM as their ICT partner. 

Stuart Jarvis, network manager, Hedingham Secondary School, said: “We didn’t treat changing our broadband provider as a money saving exercise, the change was purely about reliability, and we just happened to save money in the process. The reliability is so much better, I no longer have to worry or even think about the Internet working anymore. In the past, if we were doing online exams I’d be worrying about the likelihood of

the Internet going down, I’d have to put together a contingency plan. I don’t have to worry about that anymore, it’s just one less thing to worry about, no need for a plan B.” To find out more about RM’s Internet options for your school, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 046 9802




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Teaching computing well requires degree-level knowledge of the subject, but with tech firms also fighting for computing professionals, schools need to be creative about sourcing talent, writes Russ Shaw In 2014, the UK government created the new computing GCSE in an attempt to instil them in the next generation of tech minds. This new syllabus aims to introduce teenagers to concepts such as coding and programming. The planned crackdown on immigration following the Brexit vote is set to rip the heart out of Britain’s tech sector, particularly as around a third of all technology jobs are held by those from overseas. Now more than ever, we need to develop our domestic talent. The new computing GCSE is a step in the right direction, but ultimately does not even scratch the surface of the issue of the skills shortage in Britain’s tech industry. It is an admirable attempt to equip young people with the skills they need to be tech professionals and computer scientists, but the new qualification faces serious challenges in its current form.

Engineering and computer science degrees are more vocational and geared towards their respective industries than maths, which is more open in terms of where it can lead. In other words, it is the misogyny in the tech industry that is putting women off of these courses, rather than a lack of talent or potential. The government has a duty to increase the number of women in STEM, and this starts with encouraging more women into these qualifications, like computing, at GCSE level. Women are often apprehensive about entering the sector, due to its reputation for it being male dominated and misogynistic, with a lack of female and non-stereotypical role models available. Making more information available to women and girls is essential in challenging these negative stereotypes about the industry. Teachers need to be instructed to actively encourage female participation in these subjects. Rather than just introducing this qualification, the government must play a pivotal role in ensuring a greater female uptake. Gender While the issue of gender equa imbalance in technlity in the ol

GENDER INEQUALITY The computing GCSE does not go far enough in tackling gender inequality. The mere introduction of the new computing GCSE still fails to address the elephant in the room in tech: gender inequality. Just 16 per cent of those taking the qualification are girls. Fundamental tech skills must be instilled at school age, so the ogy is impe government and the industry need r a t i v the sec to do more to ensure that girls are tor’s sue to taking these qualifications in equal ccess. O therwis measure if we want to iron out e , i t ri alienati gender imbalance in the industry. ng half sks Encouraging girls to go into STEM the UK of fields must happen at a societal level rather than just an individual one. workfo rce Greater gender equality in technology is imperative to the sector’s success. Otherwise, it risks alienating half of the UK workforce, missing out on an untapped pool of talent. Figures from the US suggest that women hold about 40 per cent of mathematics degrees, but only 18 per cent of engineering and computer science degrees. What this demonstrates is not a natural propensity towards less technical subjects, but a degree of social influence.

TEACHING EFFECTIVELY There is also a lack of teachers actually qualified to deliver this relatively demanding course. The requirements of doing so far exceed that of an ICT teaching post, and teaching it effectively requires at least a degree-level knowledge of computer science. If the information is not being delivered to students effectively and accurately, their digital skills are unlikely to be at the level required to enter the sector. The issue already seems evident: in 2017, just 41 per cent of students achieved a B or higher in the course, which is below average in comparison with other subjects. At school, every one of us had a teacher who inspired a love for a particular subject. Having knowledgeable and inspiring teachers is clearly essential for increasing uptake. As a relatively new and challenging qualification, more needs to be done to encourage students to study it – particularly female students. Although the 2017 intake was up nine per cent on that of 2016, this is smaller than the difference between 2015 and 2016. The rate of progress is, quite simply, not good enough. We need teachers that are confident in the course, and that can make learning computing an exciting prospect. The problem here, however, is that the education sector is competing with tech firms for top computing talent. As motives for going into tech are often financial, it will be near on impossible for schools to match tech firms’ handsome graduate salaries. The industry should take inspiration from programmes such as Teach First and Now Teach, which take highly qualified individuals and put them on a two-year teaching contract. Teach First takes recent graduates from top universities and puts them on a fast-track teacher training course in struggling E


Written by Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates

How to make tech education fit for purpose

industry is not necessarily solved at the level of education – in the US, only one in seven women with a STEM degree actually works in that field – ensuring that a more equal number of men and women possess technical skills at GCSE level is certainly a start.

IT & Computing



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COMPUTING  schools. Their variety of corporate connections and partnerships, such as Accenture and Goldman Sachs, lure in graduates who view the programme as a stepping stone to another career. Now Teach is similar to Teach First, but works in reverse – it takes people who have had a successful professional career, and retrains them as teachers. There are many skills developed in teaching, such as leadership, social skills and the ability to work under pressure that tech firms could significantly benefit from. As a result, they should reach out to and partner with programmes like Teach First and Now Teach. This is an essential investment, not only in developing current graduate employees, but also by shaping young tech minds that could go on to drive the sector in the future. WHO CAN SOLVE THE ISSUE, AND HOW? The difficult in developing top tech talent is an issue for us all; a strong tech sector is becoming increasingly essential for a thriving economy. Particularly, given the hurdle that Brexit poses to recruiting international tech talent, cultivating tech skills in young people is imperative. In introducing the new computing qualification, and a curriculum that requires computing skills to be taught to pupils as young as five, the government is heading in the right direction. However, more can and

There is also a lack of teachers actually qualified to deliver this relatively demanding course. The requirements of doing so far exceed that of an ICT teaching post, and teaching it effectively requires at least a degree-level knowledge of computer science needs to be done – for example, in making sure the qualification is better marketed, particularly to women. Providing teaching resources to schools is another way of furthering the impact of the new course, to ensure teachers are up to scratch and fully supported in delivering it. The British Computing Society (BCS) has implemented a scheme to update the skills of ICT teachers, but only has enough funding to reach 20 per‑cent of schools. Increased government funding in this area would be a long-term investment: a well-equipped technology sector would bring astronomical returns. However, no one body can solve the issue alone, and the industry itself should be doing more to source and cultivate tech skills and talent. One such way of doing so would be to set up and fund digital skills colleges, such as female-led Ada, which are focused

IT & Computing


on training up future tech workers and software developers. Companies themselves can fund apprenticeships, training young people who have potential in the industry but may not have had access to computing knowledge at school or university. The industry as a whole should make more of an effort to promote women to higher positions, and to reach out to young women who might be interested in tech, to help cultivate a new pool of specifically female talent and address the gender imbalance in the sector. The introduction of GCSE computing was a brave and necessary step by the government, but it needs to be overhauled if it is to deliver its goals and avoid worsening the challenges that already face the industry. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Is your school paying for things they don’t need and overspending on ICT? Against a backdrop of budget constraints, schools can’t afford to risk overspending on any equipment that doesn’t raise attainment, save time, support teaching and learning or positively impact on engagement. Investing in new technology can be a risk if it’s not properly planned and implemented. If you don’t have the in-school knowledge to fully leverage the benefits of the technology you’re bringing in, or a clear plan of how it’ll support teaching and learning, it’s likely your shiny new hardware will end up in a store cupboard. Plus, the ever-increasing external threats to your data security, the imminent changes to GDPR (that could mean a severe financial penalty for non-compliant schools) and the increasing pressure on budgets, senior leadership teams need to demonstrate that their IT provision is cost efficient, safe, resilient and future-proofed through professional IT management. These risks seems relatively obvious, but are too frequently overlooked. When schools

haven’t taken an objective, methodical approach to implementing technology to support teaching and learning – rather than bringing in the latest devices and trying to shoehorn them into your pedagogy – schools risk paying for things they can’t use or don’t actually need. Having a small local team in charge of this critical responsibility feels like a really high expectation. Too often, schools can be inadvertently misled by their IT teams who advise on procurements based on a

small field of expertise, without considering the full range of resources and platforms available, resulting in biased advice that may have high costs, both financially and strategically. From software to interactive whiteboards, to gleaming new iPads, we’ve seen thousands of pounds worth of technology effectively go down the drain, because of a lack of pedagogy, leadership, ICT expertise or foresight. A full audit of your IT systems and software will help you determine how you can be more efficient, and reveal what you need, and what’s potentially draining your resources. Philip Cartwright, services architect at RM Education, states that if schools think that they have made all of the cost savings they can, then they should think again. To explore the ways you might save money on ICT, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION



Halewood Academy, Liverpool


Virtual Reality


Teaching in another dimension The use of virtual reality and immersive learning technology is growing in schools as it allows teachers to explain difficult‑to‑grasp concepts and take pupils to places that they couldn’t normally go. Education Business examines this trend The results of BT’s Tech Factor 2017 competition revealed that schools are increasingly looking to bring new, sophisticated technology products into the classroom, in particular virtual reality (VR) headsets, robotics and coding tools, and sound recording equipment. Schools requesting these forms of technology were up from 2016, which saw a focus on products like cameras, fitness trackers, and drones. This year, the majority of schools asked for tablets or laptops, while over a third asked for products associated with robotics, coding and drones. The number of schools asking for virtual reality technologies increased threefold from 2016, as a clear trend for using VR headsets to enhance learning emerged over the last twelve months. So why is interest in this type of technology growing within schools? The simple answer is that it enhances the

teaching and learning experience in a way that text books and practical lessons can not. It enables students to visualise and experience concepts of science and explore sites and scenes from history. Vassili Philippov, CEO of MEL Science, a company that has created virtual chemistry lessons, explains how VR can help teach difficult concepts. He says: “Where VR is irreplaceable is in showing kids invisible science, such as placing them inside a chemical reaction, where molecules fly all around them and they see how those molecules interact with each other. We can let kids play

with atomic orbitals and encourage them to touch the orbitals, build their own atoms and molecules, and see what happens.” GOING ON A ‘TRIP’

Virt Virtual reality is being used reality ual students on ‘trips’ enables tototake explore landscapes for student geography or to historic s t o visu sites for history. They can experie alise and even venture to places nce con they couldn’t normally cepts of scien go, such as inside the c e and explore human body, into outer si space, or back in time. scenes tes and Google Expeditions works fro where students explore history m the ‘trip’ using a virtual reality viewer that works with a smartphone, while their teachers guide the trip using a tablet. E




EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY  The company has recently added 58 new destinations, giving a choice of 500 expeditions to choose from.   Google Expeditions has recently partnered with the British Museum to create a ‘trip’ exploring the Mayan Ruins of Quiriguá, Guatemala. A collaboration with the National Trust for Scotland also allows pupils to tour a Victorian era printing factory. What’s more, students can explore the deep oceans of Bermuda, Canada, and the Sargasso Sea. EXPLAINING DIFFICULT CONCEPTS Halewood Academy in Liverpool uses Google Expeditions to teach history and science. Tom Gilbertson, the academy’s STEM coordinator, explains how the headsets have allowed him to explain difficult concepts easier. He said: “I have been able to deliver lessons with and without Google Expeditions and the difference is stark. Without, I am having to rely on my explanation being clear and suitable; very often I find myself explaining a concept two or three different ways. With Google Expeditions I have been freed up to provide more specific support and stretch my students – often beyond the level they need for an exam. “In short Google Expeditions gives students the opportunity to explore topics and understand them in a way that works for them. I feel more efficient as an educator when using Google Expeditions.” LANDMARKS AND LANDSCAPES Students at Ormiston Venture Academy in Great Yarmouth used Google Expeditions to transport them across various landscapes, landmarks and world wonders, from Machu Halewood Academy, Liverpool



Virtual reality is being used to take students on ‘trips’ to explore landscapes for geography or to historic sites for history. They can even venture to places they couldn’t normally go, such as inside the human body, to outer space, or back in time Pichu, The Great Barrier Reef and the Yellow stone National Park, to erupting volcanoes and outer space scenes. Students of all year groups at the academy had access to the experience, enhancing learning in all academic subjects from geography lessons to maths. Mr Scotney, director of Mathematics at Ormiston Venture Academy, said: “The experience provided the students with an outstanding opportunity to put their learning into the wider context of places that they would never normally see first-hand. It was a great example of how technology can aid learning experiences in the classroom, and it was brilliant to see all the students so excited to get involved.” ADVANCING TECHNOLOGY Another reason that virtual reality is growing in popularity in schools is that costs are coming down, as the technology advances. Bett 2017 saw many exhibitors showcasing their virtual reality and immersive learning solutions. RedboxVR, for example, attended Bett this year, showcasing their Google Expeditions kits, which can be used with lessons plans linked to the curriculum

that Google designed in collaboration with TES and TWIG. Veative, meanwhile, launched its all‑in‑one virtual reality headset at this year’s Bett, which it claims is the first educational headset to include a wireless controller and a built-in mobile device – eliminating the need for a separate mobile phone. The headset is currently available with biology, chemistry, physics and maths modules, all of which can be adapted for any language and any curriculum. Students can sit down to use the headset, and use the wireless controller and movement from their heads to control the device. This allows them to explore, interact with, and manipulate objects in the virtual world. They can even carry out virtual experiments. Avantis Systems launched ClassVR at Bett, its first virtual reality set designed specifically for schools. The kit comes with fully integrated headsets, a charging and storage unit, classroom controls for the teacher, over 500 VR and AR activities, structured curriculum-aligned lesson plans, unique gesture-based controls and a team of educational specialist ready to help schools implement the technology. L



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As Edtech gathers momentum and we look to a future of artificial and virtual learning environments, we take a look at the unglamorous world of what award‑winning AV/ICT mount manufacturer UNICOL would call metal origami With over 50 years of manufacturing and boasting over 65,000 products, UNICOL has continued to innovate mounting solutions to the ever growing AV market, from screen and projector mounts to video walls, from schools to airports to the high street. Managing director David Jopling says that organisations are putting collaboration and communications technologies such as interactive displays and video conferencing into modern workspaces, characterised by open plan layouts and paper-thin or glass walls and a requirement for mobility. This is especially true of the education sector. Jopling explains: “It is essential to consider how to mount the technology at the outset. Then you won’t find they’re looking to put a large interactive display on a wall that wouldn’t take a clock. Nowadays we have to consider spatial design and the flexible environment of where screens, projectors and racks are to be placed, so that both staff and students benefit from systems that make the learning environment a happier and less stressful place, where collaborative working towards common goals can be achieved”. It’s all about setting and meeting customer expectations says Jopling: “When integrators involve us at an early stage, we can advise what is achievable, suggest options and find cost effective solutions that meet their requirements in all respects - usability, price and ease of install.” “We’re happy to invest our time in this process – to understand what they want to achieve, share our knowledge and suggest ways to fulfil customer needs. Four to six hours of consultancy from us pre-tender makes sure the end-user gets what they want and the integrator meets if not exceeds their expectations.” RANGE IMPROVEMENT Whilst UNICOL equipment has always been used in schools to support screens and projectors, a decision was made a number of years ago to concentrate on a range of products specifically for the education market. After consulting ICT departments it was clear that the range should consist of plug and play large screen trolleys that

could nest together reducing their footprint when stacked, trolleys to support 98 inch screens such as the MS Surface Hub, Smart and Clevertouch displays and height adjustable lecterns and collaborative tables with full video conferencing facilities. One thing that was at the top of the list for everyone was short and realistic lead times. All of this was implemented and by working closely with the operators of the equipment, work to improve the range continues with illuminated logo provision being the latest incarnation. CHANGING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Jopling explains that sales of standard 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 age bracket – the learning environment is changing. It is forecast that the use of 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. “There are so many different makes and models of AV/IT control equipment, the only way to satisfy customers is to provide an element of custom design into each product” says Jopling.

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 and smart devices). EDTECH 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”. Organisations can also be comforted in the fact that after BECTA, UNICOL sat on the British Standards Institution steering committee to introduce BS8590 – Code of Practice for the Installation of Audio Visual Equipment and all their products comply. With their own in house design teams and manufacturing in the UK, UNICOL can produce a solution for any project, whether it’s from their range of standard products or a totally bespoke solution. “One of the reasons installers love working with Unicol”, says Jopling, “is because they can pick up the phone, tell us their problem and we solve it." L FURTHER INFORMATION




Keeping pupils safe online with e-safety at the edutech show

EduTech 2017


There are specific requirements in the curriculum statements that cover all aspects of e-safety, but these permeate into other computing requirements, and indeed across the whole curriculum With the advent of the 2014 computing curriculum, the issue of e-safety has been brought sharply into focus. The National Curriculum for England states that KS1 should use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private and identifying where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. KS2 should use search technologies effectively and appreciate how results are selected and ranked, while be discerning in evaluation digital content. For KS3, pupils need to understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognising inappropriate content, contact and conduct and knowing how to report concerns. KS4 should understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to identify and report a range of concerns. E-SAFETY IN SCHOOLS The delivery of e-safety in schools should happen more than for just a few days each February. This E-Safety week is a good time to focus on certain aspects of e-safety, and to run a series of dedicated activities, but the day-to-day messages need to be getting through to the children every time they use technology. If children are creating mobile apps that will be downloadable

by parents, what are the e-safety implications? If they are creating a narrated slideshow about World War II, do they understand about copyright when saving images from the Internet? Outside organisations can help with this, and teachers will discover a wealth of resources from groups such as CEOP or the NSPCC. We must realise, though, that e-safety is a broad church, covering everything from sexual exploitation and online grooming, to discerning Internet research and copyright issues. This does not necessarily mean that teaching e-safety should be done in isolation, but that the message relevant to what the children are doing across the wider curriculum. Attendees at EduTech 2017 will discover a wealth of resources and practical advice for strengthening their e-safety messages and delivery in school.

There are no fewer than nine e-safety themed sessions across the two days of the conference. The speakers and workshop leaders come from a range of organisations and associations, including: NAHT, ChildNet, E-Safety Training, Engage E-Safety and Gooseberry Planet. We will also hear from practitioner Laura Knight of Birkhamstead School. ONLINE SAFETY SEMINARS One such seminar will be taken by Lydia Vye from the NAHT. She will explore the teaching of online safety within the curriculum and how teachers can ensure that they are successfully supporting the children and young people in their school. Will Gardener from ChildNet will give an update on key issues facing young people online today, such as an E

Attend at EduTees e 2017 w ch ill discove r a w ealth o f re s o u r c e s practica a l advice nd strengt for their e-hening safety



Providing enhanced learning experiences

Switching students onto STEAM learning with AR

Building on their success across the Middle East, Specktron has been offering display solutions in the UK and across mainland Europe since 2014. Specktron educational interactive software (supporting Windows and Mac) comes with a perpetual license, with no further costs. By offering a comprehensive selection of general tools as well as more subject specific content for maths and sciences, Specktron’s easy to use products lay the foundations for enhanced learning experiences. All backed by a five-year onsite warranty for the Interactive Displays. With a sleek yet durable construction, a metal bezel and anti-glare tempered

Peapodicity is an award-winning EdTech company bringing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) learning to life using the power of Augmented Reality (AR) through its app, AugmentifyIt®. The free app works with specially created, augmentified products, including cards, stickers and primary science AR lesson plans. The app is available to download on the App Store; Google Play and Amazon App Store. Peapodicity was co-founded by CEO Ahrani Logan, a former BBC science and education TV producer and CTO Brett Haase, a tech product developer and NASA Social contributor. Ahrani’s work as a STEM ambassador for UK charity, STEM Learning, has included work with The Prince’s Trust and on BBC Facebook Live. She is often called on to attend schools to speak with teachers about improving STEM engagement and to assist classroom learning.

glass, Specktron’s new UDX interactive panels now offer 4K resolution at all sizes. Premium panels improve the products’ reliability, while Specktron displays are also equipped with very responsive infra-red touch technology that enables fluent writing and content manipulation. Specktron offers two different sizes of ceramic surfaced Interactive White Boards in the IRB series – 82” and 92”, now delivering 10 Point touch.   To complete the picture, Specktron offers an Interactive Ultra Short Throw Laser projector, delivering an 85” image with the projector less than 24 cm from the wall. FURTHER INFORMATION

Peapodicity’s curriculum-friendly AR learning tools are designed to make teachers’ lives easier. AR technology can transform the learning experience to bring science subjects to life with exploration and discovery. AR may hold the key to reaching a new generation of tech‑savvy students, through a mix of digital and physical worlds, switching students onto STEAM. For more information and to request a school visit, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Inventors ... Peapodicity is an award-winning EdTech company bringing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths (STEAM) to life using the power of Augmented Reality (AR) through their New app AugmentifyIt®. The free app works with specially augmentified products, including cards; stickers & Primary Science AR lesson plans.

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EVENT PREVIEW  update on key policies and educating and empowering children on online safety. Charlotte Aynsley from RM Education will take a session on how schools can develop a best practice whole school approach to online safety. It will demonstrate how schools can show their compliance with KCSiE through a mixture of educational, administrative and technical solutions. Traci Good from E-safety Training will be giving a talk on how to get a common sense approach to online safety. For too long, the approach to online safety has been ‘don’t talk to strangers’ and ‘don’t share photos while wearing your school uniform’. The reality is that our students are talking to strangers and the miracle that is GPS means their location is embedded in most of the pictures they take. This seminar will look at why it is important that our educational message is one that is right up to date, will empower students and will ultimately allow them to make safer choices about their own online activity. WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS Those who are looking to further strengthen their policies and practice will do well to attend as many of these sessions as they can. Topics and themes will include delivering the National Curriculum requirements; involving, engaging and supporting parents and current union advice. Topics will also include empowering children and teachers with

EduTech 2017


Children are far more comfortable using new and emerging technology than many teachers are. What they rarely do, however, is question what the implications are of what they are doing. Teachers have the job to encourage this questioning so that children have a greater understanding a common sense approach; developing links between practical strategies and safeguarding principles moving beyond ‘box-ticking’. Other topics to be discussed include peer-to-peer strategies; supporting young people with sexting and cyber-bullying; moving towards Ofsted ‘Outstanding’; and addressing online safety though gamification and mobile apps. In addition, there will be a session on compliance with Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). What is clear is that, as we move further and further towards digital learning environments, where our students are encouraged to create and publish digital content, in environments which utilise the power of the Internet in such a way that it becomes commonplace, the need for them to become responsible digital citizens becomes stronger.

Children are far more comfortable using new and emerging technology than are many teachers. What they rarely do, however, is question what the implications are of what they are doing. Teachers have the job to encourage this questioning so that children have a greater understanding and are equipped with the tools they need to help them deal with uncomfortable or tricky situations which may arise, both in and out of school. The seminars, workshops and master classes at EduTech 2017 seek to address many issues surrounding e-safety in both primary and secondary schools and are expected to be some of the stand-out sessions of the event. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Teaching coding and STEM-related skills When teaching coding, there’s nothing like the excitement of seeing real-world physical devices such as robots, alarms, and games come to life. Tech Camp are showcasing their ‘Invent!’ system at the Edutech Show 2017, which allows the teaching of both programming skills and physical systems. The clever click-together modules allow an advanced robot to be constructed and programmed in minutes so you can quickly focus on real‑world problem solving and programming skills and the innovative drag‑and‑drop software is compatible with PCs, Macs and even Linux computers. A driver‑less connection also means that it works out of the box with minimal or no IT support. Designed around the needs of busy teachers, there is full curriculum material available. You won’t need to reinvent the wheel to get started with the system as it can be used with the included lesson plans, worksheets

and assessment schemes straight away. Introductory videos are also available for both students and teachers. Developed collaboratively by both engineers and teachers at Tech Camp in the UK, it is the result of decades worth of experience teaching young people coding and STEM-related skills. It has been designed to be simple enough to be embraced by novice users but advanced enough to allow even the most technically gifted student to be stretched with creative extension activities, and open-ended exploration. FURTHER INFORMATION



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Did you know that we offer custom programmes that are tailored to the education sector? We cater to your school’s unique requirements and to your budget, saving you time and money. When it comes to being a trusted one-stop-shop for your school’s essentials, you could say that we pass with flying colours. With a dedicated account manager to ascertain the best approach to meeting your needs, you’re guaranteed the products and services you require at a specialised price. We also have a range of eco-friendly options so you can keep your environment as green as possible. If that sounds easy, it’s because it is.

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Taking on the STEM challenge In partnership with the Science Museum and STEM Learning, the BP’s Ultimate STEM Challenge is inviting students aged 11 to 14 to use their STEM skills to help reduce our impact on the environment and create a more sustainable future

In March this year, twelve teams from secondary schools around the country descended on London’s Science Museum for the Ultimate STEM Challenge final. This national competition from the BP Educational Service challenges students aged 11-14 to develop energy efficient solutions to real-life challenges faced by BP. By exploring the practical uses of science, the challenges help to inspire young people to consider further study and careers in STEM. The students work in groups of two to four at a STEM club, in class or as an independent project, before submitting their project via PowerPoint or YouTube. STEM Ambassadors from STEM Learning are also available to guide and inspire students as they take on the challenge.

only to help young people aspire to and understand the careers they can go into, but to ensure companies like ours have a future talent pool that they can use.” But the Ultimate STEM Challenge is not just about traditional science skills. Alongside innovation, the judges look for creativity, teamwork and strength of communication. Developing these skills is appealing for teachers and students alike. The eventual winners, Bredon Hill Academy in Worcestershire, revelled in the platform it gave them to present and work as a team: “Our confidence has grown so much, from practising our presentations in front of our year group last week to presenting to a room full of people today.”

The Ultimat e STEM C h a llen will de monstr ge to yo ate how ST ung people E helping M is vital in more suto create a stain future able

CREATIVE STEM Speaking at this year’s final, BP’s UK schools education manager Samantha Bulkeley said: “By investing in STEM education, BP and other industries certainly do benefit in the long-term. It’s vitally important, not

THE FLYING DRACO LIZARD Bredon Hill’s winning entry drew inspiration from nature, with the team basing their design for an energy efficient wing on the flying Draco lizard. The judges praised E



Wellington College, Belfast: how we built a robot arm prototype At this year’s Ultimate STEM Challenge final, Wellington College in Belfast wowed the audience with a prototype robot arm. Here’s how they did it. The college was tasked with creating an energy-efficient design for a robot arm prototype. The challenge was based on BP’s day‑to‑day use of remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) to inspect and maintain seabed equipment. These ROVs use hydraulic or motorised robot arms to grip and manipulate tools and controls. Before they got started, they looked at how muscles control arms, elbows and fingers, relating that knowledge to how our robot arm might grip and manoeuvre. The college first approached the project using a pre-bought kit, but found that its capabilities and overall strength were limited. After experimenting with the kit, they came up with a design using four separate motors that could efficiently manoeuvre the central load. The prototype is computer controlled and, to allow for control of the direction of our motors, we used motor controllers. To accomplish our control system, we used a Raspberry Pi 3. This was partly due to its relatively good compatibility with Python. Python is also useful as it allowed us to create an intuitive user interface which is wirelessly controlled. The prototype is fully functional and we think it presents a cheaper, more efficient alternative which could be quick to implement. However, we have also proposed a number of new features to be added to the control programme, rather than to the prototype. For example, we’re looking to embed a new feature which allows the user to program a set of instructions which the motors can then execute automatically. We would also like to add an electromagnet that can be turned off and on via the computer. At this year’s Ultimate STEM Challenge final, the school enjoyed being part of a bigger project, knowing that schools across the country were competing on the same project made it an exciting task. The competition was also great in developing its teamwork skills as it gave them the chance to bounce ideas off each other.



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 their innovative solution, excellent method, strong communication skills, creativity of thought and passion for STEM. Through their involvement, the team came to see how, “STEM can be a gateway to so many things.” Teachers see the competition as an opportunity to supplement their delivery of STEM subjects, either for those who seek an extra challenge or those who may otherwise struggle to engage. Philip Lynch, physics teacher at Colyton Grammar School in Devon, explained how, “the Ultimate STEM Challenge is perfectly designed to encourage those students who perhaps don’t already have an interest in STEM. Having taken part in this process, we can see them pursuing STEM careers because they now see it as a real option.” PERSONALISE AND LOCALISE LEARNING The Ultimate STEM Challenge is informed by the concept of ‘science capital’, developed in part through Enterprising Science, a five-year partnership between King’s College London, the Science Museum and funded by BP. Enterprising Science investigated how schools and teachers can engage more young people in STEM. This recently established term applies the concepts of social and cultural capital to a scientific context. We can help encourage young people to see science as ‘for them’ by providing personalised and localised learning opportunities in the classroom which help science learning to resonate with their everyday lives.

Prof Louise Archer, director of Enterprising Science, spent time experimenting with ‘science capital’ learning techniques around the UK. She recalls how 15 year‑old Kyle, at an inner-city school in the north east of England, dismissed science as “boring” and “pretty useless”. “Kyle and his friends couldn’t see how science relates to their everyday lives. These views illustrate a key problem facing science education”, Louise explained. “While policy makers and industry stakeholders worry about the STEM skills gap, teachers are faced with the unenviable

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is not just about traditional science skills. Alongside innovation, the judges look for creativity, teamwork and strength of communication

challenge of engaging students with the often-abstract nature of science.” Their work shows that the “personalise and localise” approach is bringing about an increase in student engagement: “Our analysis also suggests that this approach can boost career aspirations across science.” As teachers recount, relatable science teaching can create “lightbulb moments” when students “suddenly sit up and engage”. SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES Now in its fourth year, the Ultimate STEM Challenge is back with three new challenges on the theme of ‘My Sustainable Future’. Teachers and students can choose one of three sustainability challenges which will see them generating electricity from moving water, generating biomethane from food waste, or conserving water with sustainable methods. With the world’s ever-increasing demand for natural resources and global warming one of today’s biggest environmental threats, the focus on sustainability is more relevant than ever. By switching young people on to the need to reduce our environmental impact, the Ultimate STEM Challenge will demonstrate to young people how STEM is vital in helping to create a more sustainable future. HOW TO GET INVOLVED Teachers and students can choose from three brand new challenges: Handy Hydro, Parched Plants and Brilliant Biogas. The deadline for entries is 12 January 2018, with winners receiving an Ultimate STEM experience day, £500 to spend on science equipment or field trips, and Science Museum goody bags. For full details on the competition, access to STEM Ambassadors and to download the Ultimate STEM Challenge resources, please visit the link below. L FURTHER INFORMATION




for school recruitment With ÂŁ56m spent on recruitment advertising by secondary schools alone, can you afford not to change? As unfilled vacancies and recruitment costs continue to rise, the impact on the budget worsens. Chapter offers an alternative to costly advertising and time-consuming processes, helping you to build a strategy for the future. Get in touch to find out how we can help you turn the page on ineffective recruitment.

Contact Us V V V 020 7427 8273


New inspiration for running your school Each year, the popular EduKent brings together hundreds of school leaders from across Kent, Sussex and other neighbouring countries to learn from education leaders and policy makers Are you looking for new inspiration on creating an exciting and dynamic education environment? Could you save time and money by discovering innovative products and services? Would you benefit from sharing ideas with your counterparts from other schools in your region? If the answer is yes, make sure you have Wednesday, 8 November in your diary for this autumn, to join 400 education leaders, managers and policy‑makers at the Kent Event Centre for this year’s EduKent Expo & Conference. Over the past decade, this free one‑day event has become a key platform for the promotion and development of effective school management, learning and teaching – offering a range of inspirational speakers, practical workshops and an extensive showcase of specialist suppliers for the schools and academy sector. Each year, the popular EduKent event brings together hundreds of school leaders from across Kent, Sussex and other neighbouring counties to learn from leading thinkers and policy-makers, to find new ways to stretch their budgets further and share ideas that will improve outcomes for their pupils.

The event is completely free to attend for all members of the school leadership team, including head teachers, deputy heads, bursars and finance directors, business managers, facilities managers, department heads, governors and PTA representatives from the state, academy and private sectors. Plus there’s a complimentary lunch and free refreshments throughout the day. CONFERENCE The free educational programme at the EduKent Expo & Conference provides a perfect forum for sharing experiences and learning from experts in the field. Free for all pre-registered delegates, the multi‑streamed programme offers a comprehensive range of inspirational keynotes, fresh perspectives on common challenges, real‑life case studies and practical workshops on a range of school-related issues. Schools can send as many delegates as they like – for the whole day or just the morning or afternoon – to benefit from a wide range of engaging content and to catch

EduKent 2017


up on all the latest developments and new resources for the learning environment. PURSUING HARD EVIDENCE This year’s opening speaker is David Laws, executive chairman of the Education Policy Institute since 2015 and an outspoken politician during the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition. In a fascinating keynote session, David will present a compelling case for why government needs to apply more hard evidence (and less ideology) when making key decisions about the future of education in the UK. Using rigorous research and a huge repository of data, David and the Education Policy Institute are developing a clear and detailed vision of how a world-class educational environment should function if the UK really wants to deliver the best possible outcomes for young people of all backgrounds. David is well-placed to campaign for innovation and change in the education system, having acted as economic adviser and director of policy and research for the Liberal Democrats and served in the coalition government from 2010 to 2015: as chief secretary to the Treasury, schools minister and cabinet office minister. Whilst schools minister, he was responsible for policy areas that included all capital and revenue funding, the Pupil Premium, accountability and policy on teachers and leadership. INSPIRATION FROM ELITE ATHLETICS Later in the day, the afternoon keynote will be presented by sporting legend Roger Black MBE, Olympic medallist, two-time world champion, TV presenter and a past contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, Celebrity Master Chef and numerous popular quiz shows. As one of the country’s most successful sportsmen, Roger abandoned a career in medicine to represent Great Britain at the highest level of world athletics. Over the next fourteen years, he won fifteen major championship medals in the individual 400m and 4x 400m relay and is particularly admired for battling serious injuries and a rare heart valve condition in his quest for sporting excellence. In a lively session on applying the lessons from elite athletics to pursue excellence in the classroom, Roger will share techniques and ideas on how to overcome adversity, build a high-performing team and inspire future generations of young people to reach their full potential.

This one‑dayfree has bec event key pla ome a the pro tform for m develop otion and effectiv ment of e manage school ment

FURTHER HIGHLIGHTS In between the main keynotes, attendees can choose from a range of interactive E




EVENT PREVIEW  workshops from an impressive line-up of education trailblazers, policy‑makers and industry experts. In a special update from Ofsted, HMI Mark Cole will update delegates on the current priorities for schools in the south east of England and explain what Ofsted is doing to support improvement through its inspections. Mark will discuss the ongoing evolution of Ofsted’s inspection framework, together with recent changes and new developments in the inspectorate and the impact these have had on the department’s work. Simon O’Keefe, CEO of The Stour Academy Trust will describe their journey from stand‑alone school to a successful Multi‑Academy Trust of eight primaries, with growth predicted to double over the next three years. He will cover the many lessons they have learned along the way and show how the Trust’s model of close collaboration and succession planning aims to secure and improve future educational performance. Social media trainer Zoe Cairns and primary school teacher Ria Cairns will present a highly topical workshop about internet safeguarding and schools’ important role in protecting pupils against the various dangers of the online world. Using recent case studies, Zoe and Ria will show how e-safety can be integrated into school lesson plans and the overall curriculum,

The free educational programme at the EduKent Expo provides a perfect forum for sharing experiences and learning from experts in the field highlighting emerging threats for young people in the rapidly evolving websphere. Plus, additional sessions on a range of highly topical subjects such as school budgeting and finance, transforming staff well-being, using virtual reality for teacher training, and making science assessment work in the primary environment. The impact of arts subjects on school performance and spotting and addressing the behavioural effects of drug-taking amongst your pupils will also be addressed. SUPPLYING THE SOUTH EAST While you’re at the event, you will also get chance to meet and chat to over 140 specialist suppliers to the schools and academies sector, in a major exhibition of innovative products and services designed to make your school even more efficient in the future. With many exhibitors featuring hands-on demonstrations, special at-show discounts and practical advice on how to stretch your budget further, this is a great chance to compare and contrast the latest offerings in the market. A wide range of experienced suppliers participate

every year and there are several significant announcements planned for November. Amongst the various products and services on show, you will find state‑of‑the‑art classroom equipment, exciting extra‑curricular activities, outdoor learning, school catering, finance and payroll, HR and recruitment, legal and compliance, health and safety, ICT hardware and software, buildings maintenance and refurbishment, landscaping, facilities and asset management, utility providers, SEN provision, early learning, pastoral care and safeguarding, leadership training & professional development, vehicle hire, photography, website design and management and much, much more. This free-to-attend event is organised in association with Kent County Council to provide a single one-stop-shop for school leadership teams in Kent, Sussex and neighbouring counties – so please make sure that your school, college or academy is represented on 8 November. L FURTHER INFORMATION

A shake-up of school recruitment is needed Many UK schools reported starting September with the highest number of unfilled vacancies for years, against record highs in school advertising spend. This is becoming an all too familiar story. As schools do everything they can to fill vacant positions, already shrinking budgets are being further drained – the question is, what has to be sacrificed to pay for the ever-increasing costs? Despite the mixed reports around the extent of the teacher shortage, the general consensus is that teachers are becoming increasingly harder to find. This isn’t helped by the fact that reports point to the government missing their teacher training recruitment targets for a fifth year in a row. Outdated recruitment methods add to the challenge. In a digital age, job seeking behaviour has changed significantly. Essentially, the whole



recruitment process needs an urgent shake up. Chapter offers valuable recruitment insights, along with a range of innovative advertising marketing and software solutions. This helps schools select the right approach, tackling their immediate challenges and building a strategy for the future. Turn the page and give your recruitment a fresh beginning with Chapter. FURTHER INFORMATION


Following Durand Academy’s successful High Court challenge against its Ofsted report, which would have placed the school in special measures if upheld, Luke Green and Joe Orme consider what powers a school has to challenge Ofsted judgements and what should be taken into consideration In Durand Academy Trust v Ofsted, the academy trust brought a claim for Judicial Review following an ‘inadequate’ judgment being made against it. With a grade 4 judgement being issued, Ofsted recommended that the school be placed into special measures. Upon application for Judicial Review, the High Court found that Ofsted’s complaints process was defective because it did not permit a substantive challenge to the most serious criticisms, namely, when a school was found to have serious weaknesses or requiring special measures. Ofsted has sought permission to appeal. At the time of writing, it is not yet known how this matter will conclude. The Academy had ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ ratings up until its first social care inspection in June 2015, where it was judged to be ‘requires improvement’ (grade 3). The inspection subject to challenge was undertaken over two days in November/ December 2016. The Academy was judged to be ‘inadequate’ with a recommendation that it be placed into special measures. The draft report was provided to the Academy for a factual accuracy check on 6 January and subsequently went through Ofsted’s quality assurance procedures. The judgement was maintained. The Academy pursued a formal Stage 2 complaint. However, because the school had been judged to require special measures, it was expressly precluded from being dealt with at Stage 2. This carve out in Ofsted’s complaint’s procedure prevents those school’s given the most serious criticisms from challenging the determinations of the inspection team. PREVENTING PUBLICATION The Academy proceeded to issue a claim seeking an interim injunction preventing publication of Ofsted’s report along with permission for Judicial Review. The Academy argued against the rationality and fairness of the complaints procedure. It was asserted that if there was to be an internal complaints process, as was the case with Ofsted, the complainant should be afforded the opportunity to make a substantive challenge with the possibility of having the decision changed, if appropriate. It was noted that the more serious the criticism

made about a school, the less chance it had of challenging the inspection analysis. The Academy also argued against the inspectors’ assessment of it being inadequate, claiming that the decision was unreasonable.

compliance to be in the best possible position should an unannounced inspection take place. Robust systems can help maintain compliance, but a thorough and critical check at least once each academic year will keep schools sharp.

PUBLIC INTEREST Ofsted argued that there is an important public interest in ensuring that schools cannot seek to delay the publication of a report when it has found serious weaknesses. Ofsted also relied on its staged quality assurance procedures to moderate inspection judgements, along with its internal review process to consider if its complaints policy and procedures had been followed correctly. The Court found that the absence of any ability to effectively challenge the report rendered the complaints process unfair, and that the report, on substantive review, should be quashed. The Court therefore did not go on to determine the Academy’s second argument. Challenging an Ofsted Judgment can take the form of a complaint or litigation through the Courts. A complaint through Ofsted’s own procedures is certainly the most cost effective route of challenge. Durand Academy Trust reportedly spent £300,000 in order to pursue its challenge through the Courts. Whilst it is arguable that the matter could have been pursued for much less, the reality is that litigation is a very costly exercise, with the risk that the losing party will be exposed to pay the legal costs of the successful party.

GET TO KNOW THE PROCEDURE It is recommended that schools get to know the Ofsted inspection handbooks. This knowledge will allow senior leaders to question inspectors and raise concerns over inconsistencies during the inspection, rather than after the event. On inspection day(s), issues should be raised with inspectors at the earliest opportunity. All those involved with the inspection should keep notes as to how the inspection unfolds, including any conversations held with the inspection team, evidence asked for and when it was supplied. If there are concerns raised regarding non‑compliance by the inspectors, these should be addressed before the end of the inspection as far as possible, with evidence being brought to the attention of the lead inspector. In the event of a questionable judgement, the school must begin preparing the basis of its complaint and immediately detail down its collective account. Judicial Review of an Ofsted Judgment is possible, but as Durand Academy Trust’s challenge illustrates, it can be very costly. Schools need to be clear on the risks involved and how the litigation will be funded. If governing bodies or proprietors are determined to challenge an unfair Ofsted judgement, they should be clear on what grounds they seek to challenge. Relevant parties may need to provide their prior written approval to use public funds in this way. From the outset of any claim for Judicial Review, the Court will need to be convinced that there are legitimate grounds to allow the claim to proceed. L

Written by Luke Green, Partner and Head of Schools Team, and Joe Orme, Associate at Hill Dickinson

A change in direction for Ofsted complaints?



Judici Review al o an Ofst ed Judgf ment is po as Dura ssible, but n Trust’s d Academy illustratchallenge e be very s, it can costly

PREPARING FOR OFSTED Senior leaders should take the period before an inspection to perform a rigorous self‑evaluation. Evidence at the inspector’s finger tips in a self-evaluation file makes it much easier for schools to assert that they were able to demonstrate compliance. An objective set of eyes often highlights areas of weakness not initially identified by the internal team. If highlighted before an inspection, steps can be taken to secure compliance. It is also good practice to annually self-audit





The benefits of a cashless canteen Cashless systems are slowly becoming the norm in schools, making it easier for payments to be processed and saving administration time. Education Business explores this trend Many schools have changed their payment methods by introducing systems that allow parents to pay online or at a local pay point for items such as school trips and lunches, without the need to send pupils in with cash and cheques. This heavily cuts down on administration time and costs and allows parents to top up an account either online or at a local pay point. The cashless era began in 2003 and the following year Croydon Council launched a project to use a cashless system from ParentPay to pay for school meals. The council found a number of benefits to this method, and since, 80 per cent of secondary schools in the area have become cashless as well as 75 per cent of primary schools. One particular area which has seen benefits from these systems, is the school canteen. For example, a survey conducted by ParentPay revealed that only six per cent of parents still pay for school meals in cash, which highlights the significant impact that cashless methods have made. The Income

Collection Survey had responses from more than 800 schools and showed that 48 per cent of parents now pay online or via an alternative method, with 46 of parents saying they pay for meals solely online. PUPIL BENEFITS With children bringing cash into schools, a number of issues are likely to occur. For example, money can get lost and even become a trigger for bullying. Cashless payment systems eliminate this problem as the money would be safe and secure in the individual’s account, allowing them to purchase food without any hiccups. It can also remove the stigma surrounding free school meals as it would be impossible to point out which children were entitled to free dinners, which again, can help reduce bullying and improve social

mobility. Not only this, it can help reduce the amount of unhealthy food that children are consuming. For example, parents are likely to have concerns that the cash given to their children is not being spent where it is meant. Pupils may spend their change in the local corner shop on unhealthy snacks, instead of on a healthy meal at school. Cashless payment systems ensure that money is being spent where it is intended.

Cashless Schools


GEORGE SPENCER ACADEMY George Spencer Academy is one of the schools which has noticed the benefits of a cashless system. Former academy vice principal, Chris Haggett stated that he saw how much money pupils were spending on their way to school on unhealthy food and drinks, and that by allowing parents to pay for meals on the cashless sQuid system, pupils were coming to school with less money in their pockets, meaning it was spent more responsibly. As a result, the school saw an increase in canteen takings and healthier choices for pupils, as well as making substantial cost savings and reduced administration time.

Only six per cent o still pay f parents meals i for school nc highlighash which signific ts the cashlesant impact CHEAM FIELDS s metho PRIMARY SCHOOL d s have m Cheam Fields Primary ade School in Sutton started

to go cashless in 2011, which School Business Manager, Nicky Gillhespy, says has been “one of the best decisions” the school has made. Nicky said: “We no longer accept cash or cheque payments – all payments are made online using debit or credit cards. “For families without internet access, we enable them to pay through PayPoint shops, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s a ‘win-win’ situation all round where everyone benefits – the school, parents, teachers and pupils.” She continued: “In September 2010, we decided to do one term of online payments for school meals. We gave parents the option to continue paying with cheques and cash but, within half a term, 80 per cent of parents preferred to use the online payment method.” After the initial first term, the governors decided to go completely cashless and now have 470 pupils, with just five families preferring to pay through a pay point. Nicky maintains that the system is a more convenient way for parents to pay, not just for school meals, but other areas such as school trips. E Volume 22.8 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Cashless Schools


FINANCE  She said: “It is very similar to internet banking in that parents have 24/7 access to their account and can pay at their convenience. Previously, the major problem was when parents gave their children money to take in and it was lost or misplaced. “This would lead to disagreements because the school would ask for the money again, and the parent would insist they had already paid. Bouncing cheques was another big problem.” With all payments being made online, the school and the parents can see what has been paid for and when. Nicky’s team used to spend a lot of time manually compiling reports in Excel but, now that it is all managed online, a variety of reports can be printed whenever they are needed. This has also helped reduce administration time spent chasing payments and other related problems.


With children bringing cash into schools, a number of issues are likely to occur. For example, money can get lost and even become a trigger for bullying. Cashless payment systems eliminate this problem Nicky adds that the benefits “far outweigh” the initial set-up costs of installing an online payment system. “There’s no more handling envelopes of cash, no classroom collections, which means there is less work for the teachers because they are no longer involved in any cash collection.” RIPLEY ST THOMAS CHURCH OF ENGLAND ACADEMY Healthy eating has been a huge benefit for Ripley St Thomas Church of England

Academy in Lancashire, since the school decided to go cashless. Sue Edwards, the academy’s director of business and finance, says the cashless system allows parents to see how their children are spending their money, which enables them to keep a check on what they are eating. Sue also maintains that the system means that parents can pay in advance as much as they choose, which “has got to be better than scrambling for change for dinners each morning”. L





Respect for the great school lunch National School Meals Week (NSMW) takes place 13-17 November and is a week celebrating all that is great about school meals. Here’s what’s planned for this year National School Meals Week (NSMW) takes place 13-17 November and is a week celebrating all that is great about school meals. Run by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), there will be a number of high profile activities taking place, with a mixture of political activity and engagement with school caterers, pupils and parents. In previous years, the event saw governments in Westminster and Cardiff be served a selection of dishes from school menus to highlight the quality of the food and the importance of children having a hot nutritious lunch. HOST A SCHOOL CHEF The Ritz hotel in London will be offering a placement on NSMW’s ‘Host a School Chef’ programme. Now in its fourth year, the scheme offers school chefs the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the catering industry, in some of the most celebrated restaurants in the country. John Williams MBE, executive chef of the Ritz London, said: “We are delighted to support LACA National School Meals Week and believe it is a great initiative. School chefs are often the unsung heroes of the catering industry, yet do a vital job in ensuring that millions of children every day are eating a heathy, nourishing meal. “I am a firm believer in sharing knowledge and improving skills, which ultimately benefit all. My team and I are greatly looking forward to a school chef joining us during National School Meals Week and we can assure them of a warm welcome and a unique culinary experience whilst they are with us.” Also involved are the two Michelin star L’Enclume restaurant and hotel in Cumbria, two Michelin star Raby Hunt Inn and Restaurant near Darlington, Rick

Stein’s two Michelin star Seafood Restaurant in Padstow and the Michelin star Walnut Tree in Abergavenny which was voted Wales’ Restaurant of the Year in 2014. POWERED BY SCHOOL FOOD Karen Robinson, a team member of NSMW, will be running the equivalent of five marathons in five days during the week, powered only by school meals. All ten LACA regions are supporting the events with schools acting as fuel stations along the way.

Karen is looking for LACA members and staff and pupils from the schools involved to join her on the run for a mile or two as she passes through all ten LACA regions. LACA Chair, Tim Blowers commented: “We are all excited about what is one of the most ambitious and high profile projects LACA NSMW has undertaken and I think the marathons will provide a fantastic platform for positive press messages regarding the value of a nutritious school meal at lunchtime. I am also really pleased that the marathons will help raise awareness, and E

Host a Schoo Chef of l fers school c h efs opportu nity to the w with th e bigge ork st names i n the cate r industr ing y BHF Regional Fund Raising Manager, Leah Goodhind, NSMW team member and Marathon runner, Karen Robinson and LACA Chair Tim Blowers



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Exceptionally high standards Extremely tight deadlines That all-important personal touch For some this may sound like an unachievable wish list. To us it is just business as usual. To find out more about how Crystal can help you prepare and maintain your school facilities for the new educational year, call us on 0845 459 3157 or email us at info@crystal

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SCHOOL MEALS  no doubt funds, for my chosen charity.” It is a long-standing tradition that each Chair chooses a worthy cause to support and Tim has chosen the British Heart Foundation to be the beneficiaries of his term in office. Leah Goodhind, BHF Regional Fund Raising Manager for Cheshire, said: “I am really excited to work with Tim and LACA in the next year and for the BHF to be part of NSMW. We wish Tim every success in his year as LACA Chair and I want to say a special thank you to Karen for her brave commitment to run five marathons in the five days of NSMW and help to raise vital funds for the BHF.” ROAST DINNER The Soil Association’s Food For Life programme will be running its National Roast Dinner Day on Wednesday 15 November. Schools and nurseries across the country are encouraged to open their doors to parents, grandparents and members of their local community to enjoy a freshly prepared, locally sourced roast dinner together. Food for Life will be marking the occasion with lots of great competitions to get involved in. They have also created some great resources to help schools promote their Roast Dinner Day, such as posters and menus. “Roast Dinner Day is all about celebrating fantastic school catering staff as well as celebrating how far we’ve come in improving school meals across the country,” said Jeanette Orrey, Co-Founder of Food for Life.



National Roast Dinner day encourages schools and nurseries to open their doors to parents, grandparents and members of their local community to enjoy a freshly prepared, locally‑sourced roast dinner together KRAFT HEINZ National School Meals Week 2017 is sponsored by Kraft Heinz Company. They will be promoting their No Added sugar and reduced salt baked beans and tomato sauce range. Gemma Jones, national accounts manager for The Kraft Heinz Company said: “I am so excited to be part of LACA’s NSMW; it is such a fantastic event. Kraft Heinz involvement is a great opportunity to showcase our products to the education catering sector and to be part of such high profile activity is terrific. LACA’s continued commitment to children eating healthily is to be commended and Kraft Heinz shares its goals.” Jones continued: “We have dedicated years of expertise to carefully craft the new and delicious No Added sugar and reduced salt products, a new variety of the nation’s favourite, and we are sure children across the country will really enjoy them as part of their school meals, as we have ensured that the products tick all the boxes

regarding the School Food Standards.” LACA chair of events Neil Porter commented: “LACA is delighted to be working with such a household name as Kraft Heinz and it is a terrific endorsement of our work on National School Meals Week that they are so enthusiastically supporting our activities. On behalf of the LACA Board, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Kraft Heinz and offer our thanks to them for their much-valued sponsorship.” LACA are asking for picture tweets showing the best examples of school meals with a prize of £500’s worth of marketing resources or equipment for the winning entrant. Entry to #cookeditmyselfie this year is also open to parents and pupils as well as school caterers. Individual LACA regions and schools will also be organising their own local events for NSMW. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Incoming LACA Chair Tim Blowers (centre) and NSMW team member and Marathon runner, Karen Robinson (right) and BHF Regional Fund Raising Manager, Leah Goodhind (left)


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School Sport


There have been calls for a better balance between winning medals and the welfare of athletes, a message that can be communicated at school to ensure younger generations understand the importance of mental wellbeing during sport Over the last 20 years, the top-end of British sport has undergone a dramatic transformation. Not only has the performance of Team GB rocketed from 35th place in the medal table at the 1996 Olympic Games to an astonishing 2nd place at Rio 2016, but the structures, systems and innovations have all been developed to facilitate this change. young athletes, coaches and officials from a Although some, such as team sports, may range of sports. There was a desire to bring feel that they have not had opportunities to together young people from across the field achieve such heights, the success has been of play to explore issues which transcend almost universally heralded as an achievement all roles in sport and reveal complex moral for the nation to be proud of. Businesses, dilemmas and ethical debates across coaches, charities and schools have all paid attention athletes and officials. As part of the shared to the success, and terms such as ‘marginal curriculum developed for the camp we chose gains’ became commonplace, to focus around 20 per cent of their time seeking to understand and exploring their own ‘moral compass’. g n i t emulate the approach This challenging section of the r o Sp and mentality required camp required young people to s e u iss in order to make the explore their views on a range ng critical performance of situations in competitive for you chools difference. and performance sport, s n i people striving for and test these with their e d SEEING peers. The scenarios u l n inc fectio r THROUGH THE were always real, some e p ‑ y d ia bo d e CRACKS better known than others, m l a However, recent on soci use of cracks are threatening and to remove the gloss from the focused approach. Accusations of bullying, doping, racism and discrimination have emerged in a number of sports, and in spring 2017 the CEO of UK Sport, Liz Nicholl, described it as, “a wake-up call for sport”. On a wider scale, we see issues for young people in schools such as striving for body-perfection on social media, its impact on wellbeing, as well as increased use of diet supplements, based on both body image and sports performance enhancement. The Youth Sport Trust developed and ran a bespoke and highly targeted National Talent Camp from 2007-2016, each year bringing together around 300 of the most talented

and these sessions provoked demanding debate especially along the blurred line of what you would do to win, or to ensure fairness. For example, would you ‘throw’ a match earlier in a tournament if it gave you a theoretically easier route to win a medal? As a result of this and of the current issues within the sporting world we chose to make ‘Moral Compass’ and ‘Sporting Behaviours’ the focus of the Athlete Education Programme of the 2017 School Games National Finals at Loughborough University. By bringing this focus into the heart of a highly competitive and high profile event, the Youth Sport Trust sought to challenge sport to discuss and probe these issues when they would genuinely be put under the spotlight. Through athlete mentor workshops this education programme was integrated with the preparation, competition, debrief and recovery environment of the young athletes to create an intensive and memorable experience. E

Written by Will Roberts, director of operations, Youth Sport Trust

Sport and its moral dilemmas

ents supplem


School Sport


Young people are supported to develop the confidence to stay true to their values when under pressure  DUTY OF CARE IN SPORT In April 2017 following the publication of the DCMS Strategy and the emergence of a number of high profile issues in sport Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson published her comprehensive study into Duty of Care in Sport. This report made recommendations in a number of areas including education, transition between athlete career phases, participant’s voice, equality, diversity and inclusion, safeguarding and mental health. The definitive focus of the report is a call for a better balance between winning medals and welfare of athletes. The educational underpinning of school sport gives us the opportunity to set the tone for this more balanced proposition of sport for younger generations. The YST is asking itself, what more can we do to create school sport environments that are explicit about the importance of fun, friendship, tolerance, fair play and inclusion? This focus on how we experience activities rather than what the activities are have also been shown to appeal most to the late-millennials in education today. If you want to do the same for young people in your school check out the YST Talent resources and e-learning online at This content helps young people know their own values and make decisions in accordance with these on and off the playing field. By exploring their own values and recognising the values of others, young people are supported to develop the confidence to stay true to their values when under pressure. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Each year, hundreds of schools have the same problems relating to road safety, from tackling speeding motorists, to bad parking and air pollution. Dave Nichols, community engagement manager, at road safety charity Brake, looks at ways to tackle the issue Whether you’re a long-standing headteacher or new to school management, it’s inevitable that road safety has been a topic you have had to tackle. Each year, hundreds of schools across the UK have the same problems. It could be tackling speeding motorists who don’t think it matters for them to slow down around your school. It could be putting an arm around an upset crossing patrol person because a driver has shouted abuse at them for daring to help the kids cross the road safely. It could be irate parents exchanging words as they vie for the closest dropping-off space. It could be campaigning for safer routes for your children, staff and parents to walk and cycle safely. And for the unfortunate, it could be having to deal with that dreaded scenario of having a child killed or seriously injured. As a road safety charity that supports bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims, we know only too well the heartache and suffering caused by such incidents. More than five children are seriously hurt or killed every single day on British roads. That’s a classroom full every week. So, although the battleground antics of parents squabbling, drivers ranting and children aimlessly running can sometimes seem comical for the poor teacher who is on traffic duty that day, the truth is these daily occurrences are putting our children’s lives at risk.

walking and cycling too. Ironically parents don’t feel it’s safe for their child to walk or cycle due to traffic and pollution, so take the car instead – only adding to the problem. Brake believes the most effective way to ease these problems is through government investment in public transport opportunities, and active travel (walking and cycle routes) to enable parents to leave the car at home. And for 20mph to be the default speed limit in urban areas as children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it’s safe to cross when it’s not.

COUNCIL SCHEMES Some councils have come up with the answer by banning vehicles from outside school gates. Hackney Council is one of a number of local authorities running such pilot schemes this term. Its School Streets project will see the road outside a number of schools closed to traffic during opening and closing times. Five schools are taking part in the trial because they experience road safety issues and, in some cases, poor air quality. The aim is to improve local air quality and encourage healthy lifestyles by encouraging more people to walk, cycle or use public transport for journeys to school. The temporary pedestrian and cycle only zones will last for around half an hour at set times in the morning and afternoon, meaning vehicles cannot enter unless they have been AIR QUALITY given an exemption. This is where, in my The impact of poor traffic management opinion, the schemes could prove to be tricky. goes beyond potential physical injuries. Having a ban is great and Hackney Council It’s estimated that poor air quality causes and the like should be applauded for taking 40,000 premature deaths every year in this initiative. But the exemptions mean the UK, and exposure to nitrogen there could be confusion over dioxide has been linked to a what vehicles are travelling range of respiratory diseases. along these roads and e t e l p m o Having so many vehicles on children think they don’t c A ing the road puts children off need to pay attention on driv

n, ban hool ru ea c s e h t for good idnot a h g u o alth st may so u j , y r o in the verywhere, work e ust invest in we m routes safe

SAFER ROUTES A complete ban on driving for the school run, although a good idea in theory, just may not work everywhere. That is why we must see more investment in safe routes – segregated paths, safe crossings and better public transport for those who live further away from school. And school heads shouldn’t be afraid to take the lead with this. You will be surprised at just how much support you can muster up in your local community and campaigning is a great tool to help teach the children. Why not integrate a road safety topic into lessons? You can get children to hone their persuasive writing techniques by penning a letter to their local MP, or give them a greater understanding of politics by explaining why all schools don’t have 20mph limits outside.

Dave Nichols, Community engagement manager, Brake, the road safety charity

Safe roads around schools

when crossing. If too many local residents, traders or staff end up using their cars during this period, then it could deem the project pointless. Hopefully not, and I am really excited to see the outcome of these projects. If schools and councils want to learn how it can be done, they should look no further than social movement projects such as Playing Out, where neighbours close their street to through traffic for a couple of hours, creating a safe space for children to play out. These are great initiatives, as it not only improves road safety and reduces dangerous air pollution, but it helps promote exercise for kids and parents alike.

Road Safety


LOCAL INITIATIVES At Brake, we’ve seen fantastic initiatives by schools over the years to tackle the common theme of traffic outside the school gate. Some have teamed up with local businesses so parents can use their car park and walk to school, even if it’s just 100m. Pavement and street artwork helps make the trip exciting too. Children can design “parking tickets” for local police to give to drivers, or take part in a Walk to School scheme. Whatever you decide, put the kids at the heart of it. They can be real advocates for change and very persuasive. After all, it’s their health and lives at risk. Consult parents, governors and local residents as soon as possible so they feel empowered. And timing is key. Why not use an event such as upcoming Road Safety Week (20-26 November) to focus attention? Brake creates free school resources to help you get those messages home. L FURTHER INFORMATION




ACTIVITIES THAT TEACH CHILDREN ESSENTIAL LIFE SKILLS KidZania offers children an indoor city where they can take part in activities designed to teach essential life skills such as financial literacy, teamwork and independence KidZania London, based in Westfield London Shepherds Bush, is a 75,000-sq.ft indoor city built just for kids, where 60 real life activities are available for children to engage with. Whether these activities take place in the bank, on stage or in the fire station each real life experience is crafted to teach essential life skills including financial literacy, teamwork and independence. A visit is suitable for children aged between four and 14 and blends learning and reality with entertainment. Every activity has been developed and supported by qualified teachers and can be cross-referenced to the National Curriculum. Integrity, responsibility, respect and solidarity are just some of the values teachers can expect their students to learn via roles in KidZania’s fire & rescue, veterinary service and police. E.g. roles of firefighter, vet, police officer and paramedic are available to try on for size. DEVELOPING SKILLS The KidZania paramedics will learn collaboration by discovering that they need to rely on each other to assist in emergencies. They will also develop communication skills by informing patients of the treatment they will receive. Critical thinking and self‑knowledge are also aptitudes to be gained. Firefighters, meanwhile, will learn basic safety and prevention procedures. Like paramedics, the firefighters must work together collaboratively to complete their training, know how to respond in an emergency and respond successfully to a call out. There’s also the chance for pupils to take on the role of a police officer and go out on patrol to maintain the safety and order for all KidZanians. In these positions of authority children will protect residents, respond to anonymous tips, follow mysterious clues, interview witnesses and crack a case. EVENTS KidZania has some great events taking place over the coming winter months, all programmed to entertain and teach children in equal measure. This October join The Creakers, a new pop



up activity aimed to get kids creative. Based on a spooky and magical tale about monsters known as Creakers who live in a mysterious underground world under the bed. Explore the imagination of singer, songwriter and children’s author Tom Fletcher and see The Creakers brought to life at an exclusive pop-up activity designed to celebrate the launch of Tom’s brand new book. Visitors to the mini-city throughout 5 to 21 October can step into the giant bedroom of lead character Lucy Dungston to craft their very own fiendish Creaker using glow in the dark paint. Designed to encourage children to read and use their imagination, the exciting month-long activity will unleash the creativity in every classroom. This November 14-16, there is a unique opportunity to take part in UK Parliament Week at KidZania. Featuring a pop-up ‘Parliament Square’, kids can dress up in speaker’s robes, become a decision maker for the day and step into the shoes of their local MP. Children will be able to vote with their voice and their feet by making decisions on questions that matter to them. There will be a series of short talks and

Q&A sessions with MPs, members of the House of Lords and staff from Parliament, among other fun activities to aid children’s understanding of Parliament and democracy. CHRISTMAS Moving towards the festive season, the indoor city brings Christmas to life from around the world. Celebrating global Christmas traditions, kids will experience how children from other countries celebrate this magical time of year. Follow a new Christmas trail throughout the city to learn fun facts about each country’s unique festive traditions. KidZania will take on a seasonal twist with a Christmas parade and festive face painting among other fun activities.  To find out more about booking a school visit to KidZania, see below. L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0330 131 3335


Written by Megan Deakin, Rayburn Tours

Debating risks and trips Megan Deakin discusses how school trip safety fears should not stand in the way of student learning potential It is widely reported that learning outside the classroom brings considerable positive impacts for students of all ages. Whether it be a visit to a local museum or a residential trip, such experiences can transform pupils’ learning by developing their skills and understanding, improving achievement and enhancing confidence and relationships. “When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving students’ personal, social and emotional development,”Ofsted says. A study conducted by the action research project, Learning Away, concluded that residential trips provide opportunities for schools to enhance vital study and life skills, as well as promote resilience and responsibility. What’s more, they determined that ‘a residential learning experience provides opportunities and benefits that cannot be achieved in any other educational context or setting.’ But the impacts don’t end with pupils, staff also benefit from delivering outdoor learning experiences. Learning Away highlights that teachers’ involvement in trips offers

opportunities to try different approaches to teaching, as well as strengthens relationships with their students. These experiences have the most impact when integrated with the curriculum, and are reinforced once back in the classroom. This message is reiterated by Tim Hoyle, head teacher at Huddersfield Grammar School. As a school, they’re committed to offering pupils a rounded education by supporting indoor learning with inspiring experiences beyond the classroom: “It’s improving their horizons, it’s improving their teaching and it’s improving their relationships with the children. Everything about going away on tour is a positive learning experience.”

The Hea and Saf lth Executi ety fully re ve (HSE) learnin cognises that g classroooutside the the currm brings icul to life um

BARRIERS TO OVERCOME Whilst the benefits are evident, there are barriers to teachers taking their students out of the classroom. Information compiled by the School Travel Forum highlights that for 64 per cent of teachers, safety and risk are a concern when organising a school trip. Student safety is therefore a significant issue for teachers considering an educational visit. The safety and protection of students

School Trips


whilst under the care of school institutions has to be of paramount importance, but with the right measures in place these concerns can be eased. A strong supporter of outdoor education, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) fully recognises that learning outside the classroom brings the curriculum to life, as well as helps pupils develop their risk awareness and prepares them for their future. The HSE states that ‘striking the right balance between protecting pupils from risk and allowing them to learn from school trips is essential for realising all these benefits in practice.’ CONSIDERING RISK When recently asked about the risk involved in schools taking pupils on trips, chief executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC), Elaine Skates, asserted: “To anyone who thinks that school trips are too risky I would ask them about the risks of not taking children outside the classroom for learning, the risks of not expanding their horizons, the risks of not helping them to achieve all they can.” Elaine recommends that anyone arranging a trip should put their learning objectives at the centre of the planning process, rather than starting with a risk assessment. “Think about what you are trying to achieve for your young people, what their needs are and what the learning objectives are.” In doing so, teachers and students will gain the most E





Information compiled by the School Travel Forum highlights that for 64 per cent of teachers, safety and risk are a concern when organising a trip  benefits from the opportunities they are given. She goes on to say that pupil safety should be carefully considered through effective planning and prudent selection of providers: “As long as you plan the school trip effectively and you are using venues and providers who you know are of good quality, perhaps because they hold the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, if anything does go wrong you will be recognised as having done everything possible.” The safety of young people is a fundamental consideration when organising experiences beyond the classroom, but ultimately it is learning that should be at the heart of planning a visit. Pupil safety should not deter teachers from offering their students opportunities to learn in

a real-world setting. It’s these very experiences that enable students to put their knowledge and skills into practice in a new way, as well as gain considerable benefits as they develop as young people. Through effective planning and careful selection of providers, concerns over safety and risk can be mitigated. The Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge – a national accreditation awarded by the School Travel Forum on behalf of CLOtC – giving trip

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organisers confidence and peace of mind in the educational quality and safety of experiences provided. The majority of Local Authorities in England & Wales accept the LOtC Quality Badge which minimises or eliminates the amount of paperwork required, meaning you can spend less time form-filling and more time travelling. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Advertisement Feature


Castle Minibus is launching ‘Greater than 8’ - a national campaign and online government petition aimed to end confusion and close loop-holes by changing the law to require all drivers of 8+ passengers to pass full D1 driver training test The aim of the ‘Greater than 8’ safety campaign is to change the law to require all drivers of 8+ passengers to pass the full D1 driver training test and is asking the government to assist in the funding for training. AIMS The launch of Greater than 8 has three main aims. The first being to raise awareness of the risks associated with not having a full D1 licence holder driving minibuses whether for schools or communities such as; no medical checks, eye tests, theory or practical training. To petition the government to remove the exceptions of volunteer drivers and weight of the vehicle so all drivers of 8+ passengers must hold a D1 licence. And so that driving all minibuses in the UK matches the same level of safety standards that is required in the other 27 countries of the European Union. Currently, in the UK, there are exceptions for volunteer drivers and vehicles under certain weights which mean organisations like schools and community groups that use minibuses can choose to drive up to 16 passengers without any medical checks or additional training, putting the lives of their passengers and other road users at risk. The campaign already has the backing of ROSPA and hopes to gather more high profile supporters. REMOVING EXCEPTIONS Castle Minibus wants the law changed to remove all exceptions so no teacher involved in a collision becomes the legal test case as to whether they were a volunteer driver or not. Chris Maynard MD of Castle Vehicle Leasing Ltd comments: “The UK D1 licencing rules are a real fog, especially for teachers and schools; the crux of the issue focuses on whether members of staff can be classed as volunteer drivers and weights of vehicles. We want to raise awareness, get the exceptions removed so that all drivers of 8+ passengers have taken the medical, sight, theory and practical tests required for the full D1 licence and have parity with the rest of Europe.”

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS Castle Vehicle Leasing Ltd is based in Bicester and specialises in minibus leasing, hiring and driver training for the educations sector. In 1997, the D1 licence was introduced in the wake of a tragic minibus accident on the M40 in 1993 that claimed the lives of 12 children and one teacher. The EU introduced the new licence for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of over 3.5 tonnes (with an extra 750kgs allowance to add wheelchair access), but the UK made exceptions for volunteer drivers. Since the days of LDV, no manufacturer produces a minibus with 16 passenger seats less than 3.5 tonnes so most minibuses, without wheel chair access, are converted from panel vans, to keep them under the 3.5 tonne weight limit and avoid the need for a full D1 licence. These panel vans leave the factory built to carry goods not children. As a comparison, the current factory built Ford Transit 14 and 17 seat minibuses, have a gross vehicle weight of 4.1 and 4.6 tonnes respectively and includes many additional passenger safety features over a converted panel van. Hertfordshire County Council’s legal advice states that teachers are not volunteers but are paid employees. Evidenced by the fact they would face disciplinary action for

any misconduct while driving the minibus, that insurance for school trips requires an employee to be present and that teachers would not be driving the minibuses if they didn’t work for the school. WHO ARE CASTLE MINIBUS? Castle Minibus specialises in serving schools and educational establishments, taking care of all their transport needs where minibus leasing, daily hire and driver training is concerned. From ensuring you are compliant for your section 19 permit, to making sure everything concerning your minibus is taken care of with the least inconvenience to you. From pick up and drop offs, D1 and MiDAS driver training, daily hire for a car, van or minibus, and a dedicated account manager looking after your account. All schools want to be compliant with safe and reliable minibuses and Castle understands each kind of school has different needs, considerations and expectations too. It’s why the firm is proud to be a trusted advisor to over 1,250 schools and colleges throughout the UK.L FURTHER INFORMATION



Drama & Arts Written by Andrea Pluck – THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION


The decline of drama and the arts in schools There have been increasing concerns that the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) and Progress 8 has put arts subjects at risk, with GCSE arts entries falling A report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), which examines entries into arts subjects at Key Stage 4 over the past decade, shows that overall the average number of arts entries per pupil has fallen since 2013. The author of the ‘Entries to arts subjects at Key Stage 4’ publication, Rebecca Johns, has stated that the findings show that entries to arts subjects by Key Stage 4 cohorts have declined over the past couple of years, following several years of gradual increases, with the 2016 entry rates being the lowest of the decade.



The average number of entries overall per pupil has fallen since 2013, standing at 0.70 in 2016, which is lower than any other time in the period under review and comes after an increase between 2010 and 2013 from 0.75 to 0.80. In addition, the report shows that the proportion of pupils taking at least one arts subject fell in both 2015 and 2016, reaching 53.5 per cent. This

is the lowest figure for the decade and follows an increase between 2010 and 2014, from 55.6 per cent to 57.1 per cent. Johns also suggests that the decline in the take-up of arts GCSEs is set to carry on declining in the coming years as provisional data relating to 2017 exam entries indicates the trend will continue. PUPIL ATTAINMENT Before the initial decline in 2013, pupils with high prior attainment were more likely to enter for at least one arts subject, in comparison to those with medium or low prior attainment. However, this trend has reversed and those with medium or low prior attainment are more likely to have at least one arts entry. The report suggests that this could be because high attaining pupils were the first to be encouraged by their schools to enter the EBacc, whereas lower attaining pupils may have been steered away from vocational qualifications in the direction of the arts. In addition, the findings show that there is a “clear and consistent” north-south divide into the entries of arts subjects, with Southern regions showing higher entry rates than Northern. In 2016, the north‑east had a sharp drop in entries, with the proportion

al Financi , issues nd cc a the EBa 8 have s Progres as some of ted been ci ctors placing the fa re on arts pressu jects sub

of pupils entering at least on arts subject ranging from 57.3 per cent in the south‑west and 47.8 per cent in the north east – a gap of 9.5 percentage points. INFLUENCES Financial issues, the EBacc and Progress 8 have been cited as some of the factors placing pressure on arts subjects following evidence from teachers and school leaders. However, the report states that the extent to which these have impacted on school arts provision “depends on the precise combination of these factors within the school’s specific context”, and the extent to which school leaders “are able or willing to prioritise arts subjects under these subjects”. The introduction of EBacc was intended to raise the quality of academic education available to pupils. Existing research suggests that these aims are being met, with pupils at schools that substantially increased their EBacc rates showing higher average attainment in GCSE English and maths and lower probabilities of leaving education after the age of 16. Also, pupils who meet the criteria for pupil premium funding benefited the most from the change in the curriculum at these schools. However, the EBacc element of Progress 8 is often cited as a key threat to the arts subjects as it limits the number of option subject slots that can be filled by non-EBacc subjects.

The report goes on to state, however, the Progress 8 has an “element of protection” for arts subjects because it includes three slots which can be filled by a variety of subjects including the arts. Therefore, schools which achieve high grades in arts subjects are incentivised to continue to offer them. CONCLUSION The publication concludes that EBacc does not “bar access” to the arts for those who take it, but it does limit the number of option subject slots that can be filled by non-Ebacc subjects, such as drama, media, and film studies. The report indicates that pupils with high prior attainment have been affected the most as they are more likely to enter EBacc. The EBacc initially sought to improve literacy and numeracy skills and the report states that “it may be achieving these aims, at least in schools which have made significant changes to their curriculum offer in response to the measure”. A study of 300 schools which increased their EBacc entry rates between 2010 and 2013 found that pupils’ average attainment in GCSE English and maths increased following the curriculum changes and that pupils at these schools were also less likely to have left education after the age of 16, than peers at other schools. However, the report says that the government needs to acknowledge that at the same time, the EBacc and Progress 8

Drama & Arts


have “brought increased pressure on arts subjects” and to “consider the impact which reduced access to the arts is likely to have both on pupils and on the creative industries more widely”. The report predicts that “over the coming years, it will be important to monitor pupil’s access to the arts at Key Stage 4 and the impact of existing and future policy initiatives on this”. Commenting on the report, Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: “The arts are under‑valued and under threat, both from the accountability system and funding cuts. “School leaders strive to do the right thing in the interests of the pupils in their schools, which means providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The EBacc offers too narrow a vision of academic excellence and disregards the importance of creative subjects that many employers value highly. “The EBacc is not suitable for all, and the obsession with it will mean that children who would benefit from an arts or technical education will miss out. School leaders know the value of arts subjects - every day they see first-hand the difference it can make to children”. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Life Changing Stories from Rocksteady – Tom’s story Tom didn’t like school much, he was always different from other kids due to living with ADHD. He used to drag his feet going to school and couldn’t find many clubs or activities which suited his needs. When he first signed up to Rocksteady he was quite unpredictable, easily frustrated and lacked confidence. Tom was the guitarist of the band and gradually over time he became so comfortable with the routine and his instrument, he actually started to enjoy himself! So what changed? Tom grew in confidence through his Rocksteady music sessions and made friends with other band members. Instead of being known for being different, he was now considered a Rockstar amongst the other children. This new found confidence helped him exceed expectations in his Year 6 SATS exams. “In his 7 years of primary school Rocksteady is only one of two clubs my son was able to access, due to his special needs. Thank you for the work you did helping him” Kathy, Proud Parent To find out more about Rocksteady and book your school a free Rocksteady assembly simply email your name, school name and postcode to: •





Delivering high-quality teaching in maths

The UK has been battling a maths teacher shortage for five years. eMathsMaster is a complete online learning management system which quickly and effectively trains non-maths teachers, following the Shanghai Mastery model. This ensures that teachers deliver high‑quality maths lessons from Key Stage 2, all the way to the higher tier of GCSE. Also available by eMathsMaster are pupil and school editions for a complete maths education software solution, accredited by The Dean Trust. Results have shown that eMathsMaster will create teaching capacity in schools, reduce teacher pressure,

stress and burn out, better teacher retention, boost learning outcomes, increase pupil engagement, increase ROI for schools and make maths fun and engaging for the entire classroom and more. eMathsMaster keeps teachers teaching with an easy-to-use, accessible and convenient learning process, delivering the best outcomes for the school, teachers, pupils and parents. eMathsMaster is available on all devices and provides everything, for everyone, at every level. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3245 2558

Empowering education with innovative 3D tech Central Scanning uses its industry-leading knowledge of all things 3D to bring the best of 3D printing and 3D scanning technology to education facilities and establishments across the UK. The firm has already sold 3D scanning systems to the University of Leeds, Sheffield Hallam University and Oxford University for diverse applications, from engineering and archaeology to earth science. Central Scanning has two packages in conjunction with Stratasys reseller Tri-Tech3D (Part of Stanford Marsh Group), ideal for educators looking to have 3D technology available to use at their school, college or university. The first package is available for £8,460 plus VAT, or £199 per month over five years, and includes the MakerBot Replicator Plus with 12 months warranty, Artec Eva LITE 3D Scanner with a two year warranty included, and twenty seats of Artec Studio



Exposure to solvents and aerosols can have adverse effects on students’ health. Immediate side effects can include sneezing, coughing, slurred speech, vomiting, double vision, and drowsiness. For people who are more sensitive to certain chemicals, the impact can be serious. Unfortunately, solvents can’t be completely avoided as they’re in many school art and science materials including adhesives, paints, lacquers, varnishes, paint removers and aerosol sprays. So, respiratory protection is vital. The best protection is to remove toxic fumes from the air. For this, you’ll need a local exhaust ventilation unit (LEV). An LEV unit captures, contains, and expels fumes, over-sprays and dusts produced during practical lessons. A COSHH assessment will help you decide if your school needs it. For advice on LEV units call BenchVent.

In 2003, EZFacility was created with a vision to build a great company – one that changes the way businesses are run through cutting edge technology; one that delivers real value to customers; one that creates substantial rewards and opportunities for its employees; and one that is an enjoyable place to work. As the firm has grown to become one of the largest providers of feature rich management software for the sports and fitness industries, it remains true to this vision and is proud of its progress. EZFacilty has earned the trust of thousands of businesses around the world and has built a workforce that cares about its customers’ success. Whether you have a small sports centre or a large sports department within an educational facility, EZFacility has the perfect software for your sports facility. Its user-friendly web-based solution streamlines the

Keeping pupils safe when working with solvents



Their technician can advise you regarding the appropriate unit to use for fumes you produce. BenchVent air filtration and extraction cabinets are used worldwide within all types of educational establishments, particularly secondary schools, colleges and universities where they are used in science labs, D&T, and Arts departments. BenchVent offers readymade or bespoke units to meet your school requirements. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01432 790039


12 Professional Lifetime licenses with two years of updates and a hard case. Plus, you receive training at Central Scanning. Package two is £21,330 plus VAT, or £489 per month over five years. For this price, you’ll receive a UPrint SE Plus including wash tank with 12 months warranty, the Artec Eva 3D Scanner with texture capture and a two year warranty included, 20 seats of Artec Studio 12 Professional Lifetime licenses with two years of updates, and a hard case, as well as training at Central Scanning. There is also an an ever‑growing range of in-house 3D printers and 3D scanners to hire at Central Scanning FURTHER INFORMATION

Enhancing business efficiency in schools

operation of your facility, enabling you to focus your efforts on retaining and attracting clientele and increasing your profits. Facilities will have full access to its spotlight features including class and pitch scheduling, client management, invoicing and payments, payroll and commission tracking and its comprehensive point-of-sale system. No matter what your facility needs are, big or small, EZFacility is here with you every step of the way to help you succeed. Reach out today to see how EZFacility can enhance your business efficiency. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0203 3270 480



IPC Electronics Ltd. is a company specialising in school and university physics laboratory instruments. The company has been one of the leading manufacturers of this specialist equipment for in excess of 30 years and supplies the whole of the UK as well many countries within the EU and beyond. The firm works with all the leading science education distributors and have developed a close working relationship with many, providing bespoke solutions. All the products are designed and manufactured in the UK and the company is continually looking to expand its range and diversity. IPC Electronics is looking to the requirements of the national curriculum and ensuring its range of products meet the specifications required for the experiments stipulated and match the requirements demanded from the Examination

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire have highly-qualified and knowledge-rich economies that support a wealth of rapidly growing professional, scientific and technical businesses. However, local and national government studies reveal that employers in the region are concerned about the shortage of technical and higher level skills available locally. School leavers are considered unprepared for the world of work and lack opportunities for work experience. The region has a lower-than-average uptake of apprenticeships and is in the bottom-third nationally for the number of girls aged 16+ studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). To tackle these issues, Science Oxford has developed a programme of opportunities to connect students from local secondary schools with STEM businesses. This programme is called the STEM World of Work

Essential equipment for any school physics lab

Board experiments. IPC has a range of power supplies from the general-purpose Student Power Supply, to the variable, smoothed or regulated units. In addition, its Signal Generator models are best sellers and essential requirements of any school physics laboratory. Its digital meters are very distinctive and they are ideal for use on the work bench. IPC Electronics will be exhibiting at the BETT Show on the 24 to 27 January 2018, so please come along and visit the firm. FURTHER INFORMATION

Science Oxford launches STEM World of Work



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

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

Toying with technology to make education fun

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

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and Oxon and Bucks schools are invited to get involved. Through extended work placements, careers days and workplace visits, the STEM World of Work enables students to engage with STEM employers in an increasingly meaningful way throughout their secondary schooling. It increases their understanding of the sector, helps develop skills and encourages them to consider STEM careers and opportunities in their local area. If you are a secondary school teacher interested in this programme, see below. FURTHER INFORMATION schools/secondary-schools

Drone technology that brings coding to life

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




Is a browser-based Governance, Risk & Compliance Management Solution which supports Compliance with EFA, DfE, Ofsted and other regulatory obligations

• Structured & Systematic approach to Risk Management - Based on global risk management standards • Extensive Repository of Risks and Associated Controls - Informed by Education Professionals • Comprehensive Reporting

Contact Website: Email address: Office: 0208 944 9990


The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service ANT Education 48 ATL 70 Atomwide 52 BAFE 44 Bayer Cropscience 40 Bench Vent 92 Blue Frog Media 92 CalQRisk 94 Canopies UK 34 Castle Minibus 89 Chapter Education 74 CMC Catering Management 80 Crystal Facility Management 80 Davies Sports 84 Discovery Education 50 Educate School Services 21 Efteling 8 Elite Systems 26 EMathsMaster 92 ETeach Inside Front Cover EZFacility 82 Frontier Software 12 Heckmondwike 36 Imperial College London 88 IPC Electronics 93 ISS Mediclean 6 Lighting Fire Systems 45 LMG Networks 58 Longshot Kids 86



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Welcome to our simple yet sustainable solutions

“Reducing Environmental Impacts with added Economic Benefit”

The eeMGee system improves the fuel in the pipes ahead of your boilers and CHPs to give you efficient combustion, generating the same kW output with less fuel.

The ENiGMA Electronic Water Conditioning and DeScaler System provides a proven, simple and cost-effective method to reduce hard water problems and costs.

Meet with us at EMEX - London Stand D74 01843 572 574 @MaximusGreenLTD






0871 282 5126



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Education Business 22.8  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Education Business 22.8  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers