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THE RIGHT BALANCE What can be done to ease the pressures on teachers and other school staff?


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THE RIGHT BALANCE What can be done to ease the pressures on teachers and other school staff?


Tackling workload this new academic year Education Secretary Damian Hinds has pledged to reduce workload in schools with a series of measures to remove some of the more burdensome responsibilities on teachers. This came about during Hinds’ speech at the Association of School and College Leaders’ annual conference in March, where he made clear that neither the government nor Ofsted required teachers to spend time filling out templates for individual lesson plans, or “triple marking” every piece of work. According to the DfE’s Snapshot Survey, 73 per cent of surveyed school leaders and teachers say their school has already taken action to reduce unnecessary workload, such as an overhaul or reduction of marking practices.

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The subject of tackling teacher workload is covered on page 15, where Imogen Rowley from The Key shares advice on how to ease the pressure on teachers, and indeed other school staff. Much in line with the government’s push to champion the profession and reduce workload, Imogen cites adopting flexible working practices and lessening the reliance on pupil performance data as part key things that schools can do.

Angela Pisanu, editor

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Contents Education Business 23.7 15

07 News

37 Education Estates

England and Wales warned of pupil place shortfall by 2023; Toolkit to help schools save money on non-staffing costs; Academy primaries achieve better SATs outcomes; Fifty-three new Free Schools open this September

The UK’s leading education buildings and learning spaces event is back with over 100 exhibitors and speakers, five stages and seven interactive feature areas

40 School Facilities

15 Staff Workload

Funding cuts, changes to the curriculum and increased accountability mean that teachers are squeezed tighter and pushed further every day. But there are things that can be done to ease that pressure, finds Imogen Rowley from The Key

19 Academies


The National Audit Office (NAO), the government’s spending watchdog, released a report early this year which looked at the academy conversion process of maintained schools, including the robustness, cost and speed of converting

23 Procurement

Careful preparation can help a school or academy’s budget go further by gaining the best value for money, as well as other benefits such as a reduction in administrative time and increased safety. The Crescent Purchasing Consortium reveals how this can be achieved

27 Design & Build 33 48

The National RIBA Awards celebrate architectural excellence across the UK, and this year, several educational buildings were selected. Education Business takes a look at the winning schools

33 Lighting

The lighting design for a school needs to provide a lit environment which enables students and staff to carry out their particular activities easily and comfortably in attractive and stimulating surroundings. Iain Carlile President of CIBSE’s Society of Light and Lighting, explains what to consider

Research from The Key shows that many school and academies are opening up their doors to the community in order to raise much needed funds. Education Business investigates this trend

43 Sports Facilities

While the prospect of developing a brand new sports facility or redeveloping an existing one is exciting, it can also be a daunting task. From finding funding, securing approvals and getting the design right, to making sure there is minimum disruption, there is plenty to consider

48 School Trips

Is learning outside the classroom part of your strategy to improve the outcomes for pupils at your school? If not, it should be, writes Kim Somerville, interim head of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

51 Catering

LACA, the Lead Association for Catering in Education, is working to ensure that the school food industry is playing its part in tackling childhood obesity. Michael Hales, LACA chair, explains how

57 IT & Computing

GCSE Computer Science grades are improving, but BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, says more needs to be done to support teachers and pupils in this subject to improve uptake

64 Bett Preview

As the new academic year begins, it is time to start thinking about the new and exciting technology that will help enhance teaching and learning, many of which are on show at bett 2019 on 23-26 January at London’s Excel



Education Business magazine Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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England and Wales warned of pupil place shortfall by 2023 The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, has warned of a secondary place shortfall “emergency” in the next five years. LGA analysis reveals that nearly 134,000 children will miss out on a secondary school place by 2023/24 as a result of the surge in primary school pupils, unless new places are created. The LGA analysis reveals that unless more secondary school places are created, 13 local authorities will face a secondary school place shortfall in 2019/20.

This will rise to 25 in 2020/21, 46 in 2021/22 and 54 in 2022/23. By 2023/24, a total of 71 councils (52 per cent) face not being able to meet demand for 133,926 places. To address this, the LGA is calling for government to give councils the power to open new maintained schools where that is the local preference; and hand back the responsibility for making decisions about opening new schools. It should also give councils the same powers to direct free schools

and academies to expand that they currently hold for maintained schools.




Academy primaries achieve better SATs outcomes

Nine out of ten new teachers positive about their training

This year’s Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Assessments – commonly referred to as SATs – show that schools that have academy status have had particular success in improving outcomes for pupils, with results improving the longer a school has been an academy. The figures showed that academies that have been open for the longest have the highest results. At converter academies open for one year, 65 per cent of pupils reach the expected standards in reading, writing and maths; this figure rises to 71 per cent in converter academies open for seven years. At sponsored academies that typically converted because of poor performance, those that have had academy status for one year saw 53 per cent of pupils meet the expected standards in reading, writing and maths, rising to 62 per cent after seven years. The gender gap between boys and girls has remained stable, with girls outperforming boys by eight per cent. London is the best

performing region with Richmond Upon Thames the best performing local authority in the country, followed by Trafford.



Toolkit to help schools save money on non-staffing costs The Department for Education has released a new toolkit to help schools save money on non-staffing spend, which last year was estimated to cost £10 billion across England. The guidance includes information on how to work collaboratively with other schools to drive down costs on things like stationery, energy and water bills, as well as supporting schools with staff recruitment and retention. The toolkit provides free online training materials, audit tools, practical examples and model policies – developed and tested by school leaders and teachers. Stephen Morales, CEO of the Institute of School Business Leadership, said: “ISBL welcomes the Department’s guidance on

excellent school resource management. We believe that the effective review of the school’s resources by the whole leadership team across pedagogy, governance and business will help to ensure that schools reach appropriate recommendations for the effective use of their resources. We would recommend that school leaders use this guidance to help to steer and focus their discussions when considering how to reduce cost pressures and optimise the use of available resources.” READ MORE

In the last academic year, 23,100 newly qualified teachers joined the teacher workforce and, in a survey, ninety-one per cent said that they were confident their training has equipped them well for the classroom. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb: “It has never been a better time to join the teaching profession. This survey demonstrates high levels of satisfaction with teacher training. Despite the challenges of recruiting graduates in a strong economy with fierce competition for graduates in other professions and industries, last year we recruited over 32,000 trainee teachers, up three per cent from the previous year. We have recently announced a 3.5 per cent pay rise for teachers in the early part of their careers, and there are ample opportunities for promotion.” Last year 32,710 trainee teachers were recruited – up by 815 (three per cent) on the previous year. What’s more, 98.7 per cent of this new generation of teachers have a degree or higher, which has risen by 4.4 percentage points since 2010, and nearly one in five trainees in 2018 has a first-class degree.





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Ofsted shares how it will regulate Technical Qualifications Ofqual has published the outcomes of a policy consultation on its approach to regulating the new Technical Qualifications, which will sit within T Levels. It is now launching a further, technical consultation, to give interested parties an opportunity to feed back on the detail of Ofqual’s rules. Following feedback, Ofsted will require an awarding organisation to provide a minimum of one assessment series for the Core and the Occupational Specialisms; with the option for an additional assessment series, if appropriate. Awarding organisations will not be required to issue certificates for the Technical Qualifications. Instead, certification will be for the overall T Level.

However, a statement of achievement will be implemented for students who do not successfully pass all elements of the T Level, to ensure students are not disadvantaged and that their achievements are recognised. Ofsted will require that the core knowledge and understanding elements are assessed by an examination and marked by the awarding organisation. However, in exceptional circumstances, rules will allow for centre marking of core skills assessments and Occupational Specialism assessments. Ofsted consulted on setting a requirement for Occupational Specialisms to have a ‘Working Towards’ grade below Pass, but will not proceed due to its limited value. Ofsted is holding three events in September to support its technical

consultation, aimed at awarding organisations interested in developing Technical Qualifications.



Celebrities relive bullying experiences for new campaign

A host of celebrities are reliving their experiences of being bullied at school for the Diana Award’s #Back2School Campaign. New names this year include: Millie Mackintosh, Nigel Owens, Cel Spelman, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Andrea McLean, Brian

Whittaker and anti-bullying campaigner Lucy Alexander whose son Felix tragically took his life as a result of bullying. The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Campaign gives young people, professionals and parents the skills, confidence and training to tackle all forms of bullying as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. The campaign is encouraging the public to join in across social media channels by sharing their old school photo along with their advice for young people who are returning to school and if they choose to, text a donation

to support the training of young AntiBullying Ambassadors in every school. As well as reliving their personal experiences of being bullied, celebrities will give their advice and raise awareness of the need for Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in every school. The Diana Award is also providing #Back2School advice and support online at and through their social media channels. READ MORE



Fifty-three new Free Schools open this September

Half of pupils afraid to raise hand in class because of bullying

Fifty-three new free schools and one University Technical College have opened their doors this September and together they have created up to 40,000 new school places across the country. The schools range from primary schools to sixth form colleges, with some tailored specifically to provide technical education. The new openers include Saracens High School in Barnet, which is a mainstream secondary school which will provide 1,130 places, including a 230 place sixth-form. This will be the first school opened by a The Saracens Multi-Academy Trust, which includes Saracens Sport Foundation and Middlesex University. Bolder Academy in Hounslow has been set up by a group of local headteachers and has teamed up with Sky to deliver inschool and extra-curricular activities in sport, media and technology. It will offer 1,150 places, of which 250 will be sixth-form. John Taylor Free School in Staffordshire will

be the first new 11-18 secondary school to open in Staffordshire for a generation. The school will offer 1,440 places and form part of the successful John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust, which has had strong results with some of the highest performing schools in the region. Red Kite Special Academy in Northamptonshire is a special provision school for 100 pupils with severe learning difficulties and those on the autistic spectrum. North East Futures University Technical College in Newcastle meanwhile will specialise in healthcare science and digital technology. The new openers take the total number of these schools open to 520 since 2010 and means more than 120 in 152 local authorities now have at least one free school, studio school or university technical college in their area. READ MORE

A poll commissioned by the Diana Award has revealed that 40 per cent of young people are bullied for their academic ability, with over half (51 per cent) afraid to put their hand up in class because of bullying. It shows that over a third (39 per cent) say bullying affected their school grades and attendance (38 per cent) and nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of young people have changed school because of bullying. The poll, by Survation and YouGov, also shows that nearly half (46 per cent) of young people worried about going back to school after the holidays because of bullying, and nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of parents say that head teachers aren’t doing enough to stop bullying happening in schools. READ MORE Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Ofsted calls for early years experts to attend forum

Education Show and bett to be co-located

Ofsted is setting up a forum for academics, practitioners and researchers to talk about a wide range of early years issues. The Early Years Pedagogy and Practice Forum will debate how young children learn to read; the best way for them to develop physical skills; and how theory can translate into practice in the nursery, the childminder’s home and the Reception year. Ofsted is calling for academics, practitioners and researchers to express their interest in attending the forum, which is an opportunity to help shape Ofsted’s policy and priorities. The forum will meet to talk about early

years teaching theory and practice, and to review the kinds of topics that Ofsted will consider in planning its survey programme. Interested parties must have a track record of early years leadership, be willing to take part in constructive debate, and be able to present evidence to support their views at the meetings. Register your interest in attending the Early Years Pedagogy and Practice Forum by 5pm on Friday 28 September on the link below. READ MORE


Only 60 per cent of teachers stay in profession over five years The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has released a report assessing the state of the teacher labour market in England. The report finds that exit rates have increased, and are particularly high early on in teachers’ careers. Only 60 per cent of teachers remained in state-funded schools five years after starting. For ‘high-priority’ subjects like physics and maths, this fiveyear retention drops to just 50 per cent. The report finds that pupil numbers have risen by around ten per cent since 2010 – while teacher numbers have remained steady. This means that pupilto-teacher ratios have risen from around 15.5 in 2010 to nearly 17 by 2018. Teacher training applications are down by five per cent, while training targets have been persistently missed in maths and science.

Teacher pay has declined by about ten per cent in real-terms since 2010 – but the recent announcement of pay rises of up to 3.5 per cent from September 2018 will halt this real-terms decline. The report also found that levels of teacher quality in secondary schools vary considerably depending on the subject. Under 50 per cent of maths and physics teachers hold a relevant degree. These subjects, with the lowest proportion of highly‑qualified teachers, are also those with the greatest recruitment and retention problems. Languages also struggle to secure teachers with relevant degrees: just 40-50 per cent hold one. READ MORE


Government consults on banning energy drink sales to children The government is seeking views from the public on ending the sale of energy drinks to children and young people in England. The consultation proposes that a ban would apply to drinks that contain more than 150mg of caffeine per litre and stop all retailers from selling the drinks to children. The consultation will be asking whether the restrictions should apply to children under 16 or under 18; and whether the law should be changed to prevent children from buying them in any situation. Energy drinks are already banned for sale to children by many major retailers, but children can still buy them from

vending machines and many independent convenience stores, for example. More than two-thirds of 10 to 17 year-olds and a quarter of 6 to 9 year-olds consume energy drinks. A 250ml can of energy drink can contains around 80mg of caffeine – the equivalent of nearly 3 cans of cola. On average, non-diet energy drinks also contain 60 per cent more calories and 65 per cent more sugar than other, regular soft drinks. READ MORE



The Education Show is moving date and location to be positioned in Excel, London for 24-25 January 2019, coinciding with its sister show Bett. While Bett is all about edtech, the Education Show continues to focus on all other school equipment and supplies. With both events under one roof, school leaders, business managers and teachers will save time, by being able to purchase school essentials in one place. Caroline Wright, Director General, BESA, SAID; “Today’s cost pressures on schools mean that school leaders need to focus to make every purchase count. The exciting news that the UK’s two premier education exhibitions are to move alongside each other means that schools now have a one-stopshop opportunity to experience the full school range of products, services and support all under one giant roof at Excel London.”



One in four 14-yearold girls self-harm Twenty-two per cent of girls aged 14 said they had self-harmed last year, according to a new report by The Children’s Society. One in six (16 per cent) surveyed reported self-harming at this age, including nearly one in 10 boys (nine per cent). The charity’s annual Good Childhood Report surveyed 11,000 children. The report looked at the reasons behind the unhappiness which increases the risk of children self-harming. The Children’s Society estimates that nearly 110,000 children aged 14 may have self-harmed across the UK during the same 12-month period, including 76,000 girls and 33,000 boys. Almost half of 14-year-olds who said they had been attracted to people of the same gender or both genders said they had selfharmed (46 per cent). Four in ten of these children had shown signs of depression (38 per cent) and three in ten had low wellbeing (30 per cent) - both compared with one in ten (11 per cent) of all children. READ MORE Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE




Record high for young Scots in education, training or employment The proportion of young people in Scotland in education, training or employment has increased to a record 91.8 per cent, a 0.7 percentage point increase over the last year. The number of young people not currently in education, training or employment also fell to 3.4 per cent, a 0.3 percentage point decrease since 2017. The figures also showed that 87.1 per cent of 16-19 year olds from minority ethnic groups are participating in education, 15.8 percentage points higher than the national average.

The participation gap between those living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas and those in the 20 per cent least deprived areas has continued to narrow, from 11.5 per cent in 2017 to 10.8 per cent in 2018. Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “These record figures show that our efforts to encourage and support young people to stay in learning, training and work are working for the vast majority across Scotland. “As well as a continued reduction in the

participation gap for those living in the most deprived areas, reflecting the impact our commitment to delivering excellence and equity for all is having a positive impact on participation rates, I am particularly pleased to see a record increase in the number of young people from minority ethnic backgrounds in education.” READ MORE



Scottish Government to fund free sanitary products

Motorists favour no diesel zone near schools

The Scottish government has made £5.2 million available to provide free sanitary products to pupils at schools, colleges and universities across Scotland, with the aim of ending ‘period poverty’. Partners of the initiative include the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Colleges Scotland, Universities Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council. Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “In a country as rich as Scotland it’s unacceptable that anyone should struggle to buy basic sanitary products. I am proud

that Scotland is taking this world-leading action to fight period poverty and I welcome the support of local authorities, colleges and universities in implementing this initiative. “Our £5.2 million investment will mean these essential products will be available to those who need them in a sensitive and dignified way, which will make it easier for students to fully focus on their studies.” READ MORE


One-in-ten want to punish school-run pavement parkers

A survey by online parking portal has found that more than one-in-ten respondents would like to fine pavement parkers up to £100. Some wanted even harsher punishments; community service was backed by two per cent, three points on a driving licence was given support by five per cent of people, while driving awareness courses

were favoured by four per cent. Overall, almost half of those surveyed wanted some sort of fine or punishment for motorists caught parking on a pavement. Harrison Woods, managing director at, said: “Pavement parking provokes strong opinions, with a sizeable number of Brits baying for harsh punishments. “A number of motorists think there’s nothing wrong with stopping on a pavement but for others it’s a definite no-no because of the inconvenience it can cause to pedestrians.” Motorists parking on pavements gave various reasons for doing so, with almost one-in-five saying it was because there was nowhere else to park, while two per cent said it was due to being in a rush. The Department for Transport is considering a review of current traffic legislation which could make the whole of the UK the same as London where it is illegal, forcing those on the school run to look for alternative parking spaces. READ MORE

A new opinion poll, commissioned by law firm Slater and Gordon, has revealed that 79 per cent of British motorists support the idea of a diesel vehicle exclusion zone near schools, with more than 60 per cent expressing concern about the air their children are breathing. The law firm, which is representing 45,000 motorists in a group-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the emissions scandal, carried out the survey to measure how motorists now see their vehicles following the 2015 ‘dieselgate’ scandal. The poll of 2,000 drivers found that 29 per cent support the idea of barring the fuel type from all roads, while another 23 per cent were in support of restrictions within built-up areas and city centres. Displaying dissatisfaction among the public in diesel, seven in 10 drivers said they believe diesel cars were ‘missold’ to the UK market as ‘clean’. READ MORE



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Excessive workload is a major factor contributing to the thousands of teachers leaving the profession every year, and tackling it should be top of every school leader’s list. Funding cuts, changes to the curriculum and increased accountability mean that teachers are squeezed tighter and pushed further every day, but there are things that can be done to ease that pressure and help to keep more teachers in post. And it’s not just teachers – headteachers, SBMs and admin and support staff are all drowning in work, but are too often forgotten in the workload debate. Here are three strategies to help tackle workload for everyone in your school.

Lessen the reliance on pupil performance data In a recent poll, The Key found that excessively reporting pupil achievement data was in the top five low-impact things that school leaders have stopped doing that have most reduced teacher workload. Ofsted has warned against an over-dependence on data to assess pupil performance because it’s not always reliable, yet still many SBMs and teachers across the country are tracking every move their pupils make. It’s hard to avoid it, especially under the current accountability system, but here are some ideas about how to start making smarter data decisions and open discussions with your staff and stakeholders.

Firstly, move away from trying to make precise predictions of individual pupil outcomes. A study by Ben White, a secondary school research lead who contributed to the DfE research group on data use, found that only 29 per cent of 600 teachers’ predictions about exam results were correct. Instead of predicting individual grades, use a wider banding measure to reduce the reliance on false precision and still get a good sense of how well a cohort will do in exams. You can also measure progress against a specific statement or a knowledge test of key concepts, terms or facts, rather than predicting progress 8 scores Other advice is to not stick to rigid flight paths. They may be broadly accurate for an aggregated group, but prior attainment gives only a rough idea of individual performance, and so many pupils will wrongly be classed as over- or under-performing for much of their school life. Instead, trust teachers to quickly assess understanding in lessons, which will not only provide interventions quicker but also establish the rough position of pupils relative to others. The third strategy is to provide multiple sources of evidence for Ofsted to assess pupil progress, such as lesson observations, discussions with pupils and work scrutinies. Ofsted will want to check the performance of different groups of pupils, such as disadvantaged pupils or the most able, but some Ofsted groups are just too small has wa to make any meaningful r n e d against inferences about the a n depend overgroup as a whole. Everyone has a part data to ence on a s to play in making sure s e s perform s that data is used well, ance be pupil cause so don’t be sceptical it’s not alw or wary of making reliable ays changes to how your school handles data: the evidence, the government and Ofsted are on your side.

Written by Imogen Rowley, content producer, The Key

Funding cuts, changes to the curriculum and increased accountability mean that teachers are squeezed tighter and pushed further every day. But there are things that can be done to ease that pressure, finds Imogen Rowley from The Key

Staff Workload

Strategies to improve staff work-life balance

Introduce flexible working It’s hard to shake off the impression that flexible working just ‘won’t work’ for teachers, even if it is proven to reduce stress, provide greater satisfaction with work and improve a sense of work-life balance in other industries. Three-quarters of respondents to a 2015 NASUWT survey said that they felt their wellbeing wasn’t important to their employer, but currently only eight per cent of teachers E Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Staff Workload

 say that flexible working is encouraged at their school. In an industry struggling with chronic recruitment and retention issues, it would make sense for schools to be more open to allowing flexible working as a means of keeping excellent teachers from ditching the profession altogether. However, we need examples of schools who are doing it and doing it well before we can take the plunge ourselves. Manchester Communication Academy has offered flexible working since it opened in 2010, with 12 of its 100 teachers working flexibly. It is able to do so thanks to its formulaic timetable: the school is organised into six faculty areas, and each year group is timetabled to one faculty area per period. This means that an entire faculty is free for two periods every week – and the school can make adjustments if some teachers need to drop children at school or care for elderly relatives. The academy is also able to offer all staff one ‘flexi day’ off every year. Furthermore, being open to part-time applicants means the academy spends less money on expensive supply staff: it reduced its supply budget by 73 per cent in the last academic year. To make flexible working work for you, see if you can adjust the timetable to allow free or PPA time at the beginning or end of the day. Advertise all vacancies as flexible hours, to attract a wider pool of candidates and make sure you don’t inadvertently put off outstanding teachers. Schools are also advised to facilitate job shares – these can work well, as long as there is shared non-contact time so the teachers can do proper handovers and plan effectively, and if they set clear expectations between themselves for sharing responsibilities like reports and parents’ evenings

Move away from trying to make precise predictions of individual pupil outcomes Inbox management strategies Hectic inboxes and emails arriving at all times of day and night isn’t a problem unique to teaching, but it can often feel like a never-ending, relentless battle trying to keep on top of all the messages from parents, colleagues, and marketers, before the next one arrives and the cycle starts again. Changing your school’s culture around sending and receiving emails can go a long way towards staff feeling they have a sense of control over their time, but it’s important that everyone is on the same page with any new strategy or approach you try to introduce. Just one teacher replying to a parent outside school hours, for example, sets an unwelcome precedent for everyone that it’s OK for parents to contact staff whenever they like. Likewise, the senior leadership team should lead by example and adopt good email etiquette themselves – which includes not emailing staff when they’re at home or on holiday. Further advice about how to keep inboxes in check for good include unsubscribe from anything you haven’t read in the last six months. But be careful unsubscribing to anything in your spam or junk folder, as you could end up receiving more spam by notifying the sender that your email account is active. Set designated times of the day for checking email, and disable all notifications on your phone or desktop so you’re forced to stick to those times and can’t get distracted when you’re doing other things.

Create filters and rules to send emails that meet specific criteria straight to the correct place – so you won’t be distracted with amazing new offers on office stationery while you’re trying to deal with a tricky pastoral issue, and can address less important matters when it’s quieter. Set up an automated reply to let people emailing you know that you only reply at certain times, or that you will reply within the next 48 hours – this eases the pressure on you but also assures the sender that you’ve received their message so they won’t send it again. Use bullet points and be ruthless with how you write – stick to no more than five key issues per email and don’t put multiple things into the same bullet point. It may seem obvious, but clearly stating the action you require from the email at the bottom of the message will ensure it does its job and everyone knows where they stand. Small steps, big improvement Excessive workload in schools won’t go away overnight, and certainly it’ll require a shift in mindset to overhaul many practices that have become so engrained in school life that it seems like there’s no way out. But little by little, everyone in schools can chip away at the day-to-day practices that contribute to teachers’ workload, and make teaching the rewarding and enjoyable profession it deserves to be. L FURTHER INFORMATION Download The Key’s new workload resource hub at






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The conversion process of maintained schools The National Audit Office (NAO), the government’s spending watchdog, released a report early this year which looked at the academy conversion process of maintained schools, including the robustness, cost and speed of converting The academies programme from the Department for Education (DfE) aims to contribute to school improvement. It does this by requiring underperforming maintained schools to convert to academies with a sponsor that is successfully running a group of schools and has capacity and capability to provide expertise and support. It also allows successful maintained schools to convert to academies without a sponsor, and expects them to contribute to wider school improvement. In its March 2016 white paper, the government set out that by 2020 every school would be, or would be in the process of becoming, an academy. However, it has since modified its ambition and no longer expects all schools to become academies. This change means it is likely that there will continue to be a mix of academies and maintained schools for the foreseeable future. In October 2016 the Secretary of State for Education re-emphasised the role of academies in school improvement. However,

the DfE has not formally set out its current policy for converting schools to academies and the broader implications for the school system, the NAO report states.

converted from maintained schools. 72 per cent of secondary schools were academies, compared with 27 per cent of primary schools. The report found that most academies were previously good or outstanding maintained schools. Between 2010/11 and 2016/17, 4,674 schools, mainly those that Ofsted had rated as good or outstanding, became academies without a sponsor. Over the same period, 1,573 mainly underperforming schools converted with the support of a sponsor.

Looking at the arrangements The NAO report focused on the arrangements for converting schools to academies, including the robustness, cost and speed of the conversion process, and the availability of sponsors and multi-academy trusts The to support schools to N A O convert to academies. The time to convert found t report The report found The report found that h is region at there that a much higher the conversion of al variat proportion of failing schools isn’t in ion the ava secondary schools than always happening il ability o sponsor primary schools have quickly. Since April f s lo become academies. 2016, it has been the underpe cated near rfor At January 2018, 7,472 DfE’s policy to make LAschools ming state-funded schools maintained schools rated . were academies (35 per ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted to cent), of which 6,996 had convert to academies, E




 and its aim to have them reopen as academies within nine months. But the NAO found that of the 166 schools branded ‘inadequate’ between April 2016 and March 2017, 105, or 63 per cent, were still under council oversight nine months later. The NAO’s findings also reveals that the DfE has not formally set out its current policy for converting schools to academies and the broader implications for the school system. However, the DfE has recently strengthened the conversion process, the report finds. In designing and implementing the conversion process, the DfE has focused on supporting large numbers of schools to convert, rather than allowing only the strongest applications to proceed. The DfE has improved its scrutiny of applicants’ financial health, and in 2017 the Education and Skills Funding Agency developed new tools to summarise data on financial risk. The Department has also strengthened the standards of governance it expects from academy trusts. The report does highlight that there is scope for the DfE to make the conversion process more effective, particularly in identifying risks. Regional variation There is considerable regional variation in the availability of sponsors located near underperforming schools. At January 2018, 242 sponsored academies were more than 50 miles from their sponsor. The position varies across the country. For example, 19 per cent of sponsored academies in the West Midlands were more than 50 miles from their sponsor compared with five per cent in the North West of London and South Central England. There is considerable regional variation in the availability of potential sponsors located close to underperforming maintained schools that may convert to academies in future. For example, there are relatively few sponsors near each underperforming primary school in the north of England. There also appears to be a shortage of sponsors and multi-academy trusts with the capacity to support new academies.

The Department for Education has modified its ambition and no longer expects all schools to become academies. This change means it is likely that there will continue to be a mix of academies and maintained schools for the foreseeable future. The Department should take more effective action to speed up the process of converting inadequate schools. Converting schools to academies is the DfE’s main intervention for underperforming maintained schools, however, at present, two-thirds are taking more than nine months to open as academies. The NAO also believes that the DfE should improve its understanding of the factors limiting academy sponsors’ capacity to expand, or discouraging new sponsors from taking on underperforming schools. It should also evaluate the impact of the funding it has provided to build sponsor capacity. It should use this information to target initiatives to develop capacity in the local areas where need is greatest.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “It is unclear how feasible it will be for the Department to continue converting large numbers of schools to academies. There is extensive variation across the country, leaving many local authorities with responsibility largely for primary schools. To cut through this complexity, the Department needs to set out its vision and clarify how it sees academies, maintained schools and local authorities working together to create a coherent and effective school system for children across all parts of the country.” L FURTHER INFORMATION

Consistency needed Now it no longer expects all schools to become academies, the report says the DfE should articulate its vision for the school system. Specifically it should set out how it sees academies, maintained schools and local authorities working together to provide an integrated, efficient and effective school system across all parts of the country. The DfE should reinforce and consistently apply tests of financial risk and due diligence to all academies and trustees, building on those used for prospective sponsors. The DfE and the Education and Skills Funding Agency should improve how they share knowledge and expertise. There is scope for the Department to involve the Agency more in assessing financial risk during the conversion process and for both organisations to consolidate the information that they currently hold in multiple databases.



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To help highlight to architects and contractors the implications of designing and specifying perimeter security for schools, Jacksons Fencing has released a special report on school perimeter security. It is the first industry-wide assessment of security in educational sites based on original research in recent years; a comprehensive research project that takes in the opinions of school leaders, teachers and parents, as well as other stakeholders involved in ensuring the safety and protection of pupils and staff. Protecting the future The report, ‘Protecting the Future’ contains a number of alarming findings, such as 27per cent of parents knowing of trespassers coming on to school property. It highlights uncomfortable failings in school security systems across the UK and uncovers a range of serious security challenges facing schools. It also provides key advice

on how to strike a balance between high‑quality and perimeter security, which ensures the safety of everyone on site, with creating an inviting base of learning that avoids a fortress-like environment. Importantly, the report offers solutions to these falling security standards in UK schools, which, as the research has found, is widely caused by a lack of resources and information. One in three school leaders, for example, admitted they wouldn’t know whom to turn to for help with installing security. The report investigates how schools across the UK are facing increasing pressure to keep students safe with diminishing budgets and finds that many survey respondents are not happy with their school’s security measures. 31 per cent of teachers, for example, believe their school wasn’t designed with security in mind. ‘Protecting the Future’ is an indispensable tool offering expert insights from leading industry bodies, Secured by Design and the

Association of British Insurers, as well as real‑life experiences of parents, students and school staff. This collective insight is hugely beneficial in assisting with the design and specification of perimeter security for schools. Managing director of Jacksons Fencing, Peter Jackson, also draws upon his years of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the sector to share his advice on how to ensure school perimeters remain safe while providing adequate access to all site visitors. Introducing the report, Peter Jackson said: “Schools don’t just need classroom walls to keep children safe: they need a comprehensive security infrastructure around them. With schools needing to keep more students present on site than ever before, weaknesses in current school perimeters are a worry to parents and teachers alike. With appropriate planning and execution, most – if not all these problems – are not insurmountable. The first thing to do is simply acknowledge that problems exist.” Jacksons Fencing Jacksons Fencing has been at the forefront of fencing manufacturing for over 70 years, providing schools and all other types of businesses with the best in premium fencing, handmade in the UK. As well as offering RoSPA-approved timber fencing, security fencing and access control solutions, Jacksons carries out design consultations and site assessments to ensure every school is as secure as it can be. With decades of experience designing, manufacturing and installing security fencing in schools, Jacksons Fencing is the only authority to create this special report. ‘Protecting the Future’ gives advice on how best to retrofit older sites to make them safe for contemporary learning, as well as offering guidance to contractors, developers, architects and specifiers working with schools to provide enhanced perimeter security and access control. L FURTHER INFORMATION To download your free copy now of ‘Protecting the Future: Jacksons Fencing’s Special Report on School Perimeter Security’ visit: education-report-download.aspx or to speak to a member of the team call: 0800 408 1359



The Supply Register: Putting technology at the heart of procuring and managing flexible supply staff There’s no denying that in the face of dire skills shortages, schools, academies and multi-academy trusts (MATs) are increasingly reliant on external supply cover to ensure continuity in the classroom. However, against a backdrop of budgetary constraints, these educational establishments must rethink their recruitment and retention strategies to ensure they not only find the right mix of talent, but that they also reduce spiralling supply agency costs. Successful teacher recruitment relies on having multiple channels to reach and engage with candidates, an effective attraction process, a robust employee value proposition, and the ongoing development of talent pools. However, in order to achieve this, technology has a vital role to play. Yet with the rise of new platforms and offerings, educational institutions must ensure they choose a solution that not only meets their needs as the education sector rapidly evolves, but also has a sound infrastructure to support it. This is where The Supply Register comes into play – the leader of technology driven recruitment solutions that connects professionals with schools, academies and MATs.

So while recruitment partners were once the preserve of large institutions, The Supply Register, which has been awarded a place on the established CPC Framework, offers educational institutions of all sizes a total recruitment solution that enables them to connect and engage with qualified and vetted supply staff. By using innovative methods and technologies to transform existing recruitment processes, schools benefit from access to highly skilled and engaged talent pools covering multiple geographies. If you’re seeking a recruitment partner that understands the education landscape and can automate the entire process of procuring and managing flexible staff – from requisition all the way through to invoice and payment – while reducing costs substantially, contact us today. The Supply Register: best in class and first to market technology driven recruitment solution for the education sector.

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Five key areas to make your budget last Careful preparation can help a school or academy’s budget go further by gaining the best value for money, as well as other benefits such as a reduction in administrative time and increased safety. The Crescent Purchasing Consortium reveals how this can be achieved Planning is key when it comes to successful procurement throughout the academic year. Careful preparation can really help your budget go further by gaining the best value and benefits for your institution. Significant budget can be saved both in-house or by using outsourced procurement support. 1. Plan your key purchases Review the contracts you have with suppliers at the start of the year and make a note of the dates that the contracts are due for renewal and plan time to carry out any procurement exercises throughout the year. Consider creating a central contracts register to record all the contractual commitments that are in place and most importantly include the date of when the opportunity will be available to review them. Plan in time to organise new purchases, some may only require a few weeks. When buying other more complex services such as for cleaning and catering contracts, ensure you schedule at least 12 weeks to complete the full process and allow approximately one month for the awarded supplier to mobilise the contract. Four months may seem a long lead time for the process, but the savings you could make from these purchases may equate to extra staffing. This planning time is important as it gives you the opportunity to identify your requirements early enough

to ensure a robust detailed specification that can bring maximum benefits to your institution, as well as ensuring compliance with any timeframes that apply to contracts subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Timing is key to getting the best deal, delivered at the right time for your institution.

difficult to get out of. Using a purchasing consortium deal puts you in control of the buying process and ensures money and time isn’t lost through signing up to unfavourable contract terms or contracts with hidden costs.

4. Introduce efficient and effective competition 2. Get value for money When you are buying a product or Purchasing consortia are set up to get you the service for your institution, your financial very best deal, helping to make your budget regulations normally require you to obtain go further. Deals cover a range of services a minimum number of quotations from a and products required by institutions, from variety of suppliers, but this can take a lot insurance through to desktop hardware. Due of administration time and often the same to buying power and a strong negotiating suppliers are approached each position with suppliers, consortia time. An online quote tool can secure competitive pricing takes the hassle out of Consid and pass these savings on finding and contacting creatinger to you, giving you great new suppliers, as it a central value deals without the does this for you. need to bulk buy. They save you register contracts time and get a to reco all cont rd 3. Buy with safety great value deal The deals that are put from suppliers commit ractual ments a in place with suppliers that have already w hen the n by purchasing consortia been vetted. Using y can b d provide safety. All of the an online quote tool e reviewe terms and conditions are makes the competition d already agreed so there is no fair for suppliers as it need to worry about getting tied ensures all receive the same into contracts that aren’t suitable or information and the tools provide contracts that are extremely lengthy and an audit trail of the purchasing process. E Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Call our professional development team today on 01603 222543 for an informal discussion about whether this qualification is right for you or email

5. Help is available When you are completing a purchase request, whether it be your first order or for a complex contract, expert help is at hand. Some consortia have advisors available who can visit you to talk through your requirements. They can explain more about the deals on offer, demonstrate online quote tools and provide tips to help you make the most of your budget. Purchasing consortia also usually have support desks that can help with questions over the phone if you need an answer quickly. Should you need hands on support with purchasing you can also use a consultancy that have trained professionals ready to support you on a short-term or long-term basis, such as Tenet Education Services who are owned by the education sector. Consultancy services do have a cost but this can often be recovered by the procurement consultant using their skilled expertise to secure additional benefits and cost savings.

Do be aware that some consultancies have hidden costs, ‘free services’ often result in a charge to the supplier that is inevitably passed back to the institution. Ensure that you review the full terms of the contract, hidden costs of five per cent of the contract value are not uncommon and could mean you could pay significantly more indirectly in the long run. Crescent Purchasing Consortium Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) is owned and run by the education sector. CPC

provides safe deals designed for educational establishments covering a wide variety of products and services. CPC’s online Quick Quote Tool is easy to use and CPC’s Regional Procurement Advisors are based nationally and provide specialist advice to members on how to obtain best value for money. CPC membership is free of charge to schools, academies and the FE sector. L


 When you are using an online quote tool you simply add your requirements to a website page and submit it including the date you would like suppliers to respond by. When adding your requirements try not to request specific branded products as this will limit the range of products and options that suppliers can suggest to suit your needs. Being too precise will also narrow the number of responses from suppliers, so instead detail the technical requirements of the product and be open to alternatives. After receiving quotations from suppliers and evaluating which one best suits your needs, an online quote tool can be used to notify suppliers of the outcome and it will be kept as a record to show the process was followed.


Academies Financial Handbook recommends national deals for schools The government’s updated Academies Financial Handbook became effective from 1 September. The handbook, which is updated every year, sets out the financial management, control and reporting requirements that apply to all academy trusts. It balances the need for effective financial governance with the freedoms that trusts need over their day to day business. Compliance with the handbook is a requirement in trusts’ funding agreements with the Secretary of State. Amongst the changes in this updated edition include setting clearer requirements for budgeting and greater emphasis on trustees applying high standards of governance. It also strongly recommends that

academies use national deals for schools, which it says makes buying simpler and quicker, and can provide better value for money in a range of categories. There is also guidance on how to plan and run an efficient procurement process. The CPC has been included in eight frameworks: Building Cleaning Services, Audit Services, Insurance and RPA Services, Desktop Hardware, ICT Solutions, Software Licences, Photocopiers, Printers and Scanners, and PAT Testing, with more to follow. See the guide at



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Sustainable buildings created to inspire pupils Recent headlines show that there is an ever-increasing demand for new, modern classroom spaces. With many schools and nurseries facing this building challenge, Scotts of Thrapston offers a tailor-made solution to provide architecturally-designed creative timber buildings

Established over four generations and with more than 98 years’ experience, the joinery specialist uses its expertise in equestrian buildings, pavilions, and specialist timber products to design and manufacture bespoke education buildings that provide the ideal learning environment. Scotts works hand-in-hand with schools and local authorities to ensure all design and educational needs are met. This results in sustainable, cost-effective and low maintenance buildings that are quick and efficient to construct, meaning there is little disruption to the existing school and its pupils. The beauty of Scotts education buildings is that they can be tailored to suit the proposed setting and designed to meet exact specifications. They also cater for any special needs requirements, accessibility issues or existing structures that must be taken into consideration. A lesson in design Scotts combines traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology to produce buildings that are designed to make the best use of the space available, whilst at the same time providing optimum energy efficiency. To achieve their full potential, pupils need to feel comfortable in their environment and be able to access educational resources effectively and safely. Therefore, the ideal learning environment begins with a building that inspires and motivates by its architectural form. The design service considers all elements of the building including light, ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics. The right amount of light, both artificial and natural, is crucial so Scotts offers advice on door and window positions based on a building’s orientation and can also design rooms that provide air-conditioning. Research has shown that acoustic conditions within schools can have a profound impact on both children’s learning and staff performance. The design team at Scotts works hard to make sure all these factors are addressed. Space is also a huge consideration and a


stand-out feature of its sustainable buildings. Not only do they meet government guidelines for adequate internal floor area, but the spaciousness offered by the volume of the rooms sets Scotts of Thrapston buildings apart from alternative structures. Additional sustainable features can include harvested rainwater, ground source heat pumps and solar panels. Project hailed as top of the class Scotts was asked to design, engineer, manufacture and install the sustainable Lavenham Early Years Centre, which also offers pre-school facilities for children aged two to five years. The project was delivered as part of Scotts’ turnkey solution, providing a service from concept to completion, with the handover taking place seven months after the order was placed, which included a 21-week build programme. The new building was integrated with the current timber-built community centre, with the scale and features purposefully similar to the existing building but made with long-lasting materials. The carbon efficient timber-framed building has the capacity for 48 pupils and includes a bright and spacious purpose-built play space, staff room, office space, toilets and a separate ‘quiet room’ to support children with special educational needs. A large outdoor play area was created using natural resources to enhance the children’s learning and development. The design brief was very specific as certain features were essential for the building, including high-vaulted ceilings. Sustainability and appearance were also important with a more natural aesthetic, externally and

internally, being of paramount importance. In this instance, Scotts’ in-house architectural team managed the project whilst fulfilling the roles of both principal designer and main contractor. As with all projects completed by Scotts, it was a priority to ensure a high level of attention to detail and specification of materials was maintained. The project enabled Scotts to showcase its in-house skills in terms of construction. Different materials were chosen to create interest and emphasis was placed on providing a stimulating environment. The building was designed as a ‘hybrid’, using a traditional panelised timber frame with glulam supporting the main roof structure. The company worked closely with Lavenham Parish Council from the design stage and has since won a RIBA Design Award for the Suffolk region for its innovative work in the design, manufacture and installation of this new Early Years Centre. Scotts provides collaborative design, affordable pricing and short lead times to create a building that is on brief and on time. Scotts of Thrapston can provide a multitude of products, from classrooms and sports pavilions to windows and doors. It can offer the perfect solution for any school looking to provide an extra building or classroom or that is planning a refurbishment project.

A video of this Lavenham case study can be seen at: L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01832 732366


Design & Build

RIBA’s winning educational buildings

Kingsgate Primary Lower School Kingsgate Primary Lower School in West Hampstead scooped a RIBA National Award. Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, this surprisingly generous inner-city school is based on the site of a former industrial estate and its distinct saw-toothed roofline is a reflexion of this. The building is set back from the street, allowing parents to drop-off/ pick-up without causing congestion on the residential street. The public space also opens up a new connection to the neighbouring park, which was once a dead-end The National RIBA Awards celebrate architectural excellence and under utilised green space. The large covered entrance to across the UK, and this year, several educational buildings were the school offers glimpses into the selected. Education Business takes a look at the winning schools playground while providing a protected environment for the children. The arrangement of classes and circulation The National Awards from the Royal Institute construction industry, and illustrating encourages the children to move through open of British Architects (RIBA) celebrate the why the UK’s architects and architecture spaces. Connection to the outdoors is framed best architecture around the UK. Successful have an enviable global reputation. at every turn with generous windows and projects display a commitment to designing “From exceptional mixed-use buildings the north clerestory windows bring excellent and developing buildings and spaces for that bring a community together, and levels of daylight into the teaching spaces. the improvement and enhancement of breathing new life into dilapidated historic The timber surfaces and panelled walls people’s lives. This year, several educational buildings, to getting the best value from conceal storage spaces and a careful buildings were presented with an award. an awkward site or limited budget, every layout of lobby areas for cloaks and Speaking about the awards, RIBA one of this year’s award winners is a storage also buffer the space between the president Ben Derbyshire said: “For testament to the architects’ skill in solving ground floor classrooms and the outdoor over 50 years the RIBA Awards have a range of challenges to create projects play space in the colder periods. celebrated the best new buildings, large that will inspire and delight their users and The grand assembly hall is or small; shining a light on trends in the communities for years to come.” reminiscent of the scale of a Victorian school hall with its The huge volume and pitched Un roof. However, it is much of Kenitversity warmer and far better ’s S Building ibson acoustically. It is flexible largest is the and can be divided and used as a dining and on the building sports hall with plenty though site and is a tful bui of integrated storage lding, with a space for equipment to be tidied away. architecclear tural Kingsgate makes concep successful use of the site, t within a carefully considered masterplan that addressed the adjacent railway line and benefits from a southern aspect, creating a ‘connected’ public space. E

Sibson Building, Penoyre & Prasad © Quintin Lake





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 Marlborough Primary School Marlborough Primary School, designed by Dixon Jones, also picked up a RIBA National Award for its clever building which transforms an urban site into a series of terraces centred around daylight and play spaces. The teaching spaces surround places of congregation and are linked to a central stair arrangement and joining bridge. Orientation and connections are carefully orchestrated around the activities of the building to ensure the daily life of both teacher and student are enhanced. Entry and security are handled with care; students take a vertical external journey to their classrooms in the morning and visitors are welcomed at the opposite corner with close access to the main vertical circulation core. Year groups are cleverly separated by level and there are a variety of communal spaces. External spaces face south east, culminating in a multi-use games area on the roof that is also enjoyed by the community out of hours. The heavy context of brick buildings is mimicked by this piece of architecture, however, fresh colour and geometric openings subtly suggest the different use inside. A winning Scottish school Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh was presented with a RIBA National Award for its impressive compact planning, allowing for large well-lit spaces, excellent acoustic treatment and intelligent ventilation strategy. Designed by Allan Murray Architects, the site is in the heart of the Fountainbridge area, Edinburgh’s Western city centre. It is bounded by the Union Canal to the South, Fountainbridge and Dundee Street, to the North, Gibson Terrace to the West and the Freer Street site to the East. The site has a long history of industry, brewing and manufacturing, which has now moved to new premises and left the site vacant. The teaching areas are arranged around a multi-functional, top-lit atrium space that connects the faculties together. Traditional classrooms offer easy access to break out areas and enhanced facilities for physical activity and external learning, including a roof-top multi-use games area. There is also a new public park connecting the school entrance to the city, along the canal’s north bank, next to the new school building.

The new building can support up to 1,165 pupils, and replaces the school’s current building which sits less than 500 metres away in Viewforth. The RIBA judges were unanimous in their view that this was an exceptional project due to its impressive compact planning, allowing for large well-lit spaces. Excellent acoustic treatment and a very intelligent fire/smoke/ventilation strategy meant that both large multi-height atria are not enclosed by walls or screens. There is an excellent relationship between inside and out at both main levels, and the public realm has been beautifully handled. Sibson Building The University of Kent’s Sibson Building, by Penoyre & Prasad, is the largest building on the site and houses the School of Mathematics and the School of Business. This is a very thoughtful building, with a clear architectural concept which has been rigorous enough to withstand the project development and budgetary constraints. The concept of zigzagging wings helps to integrate the two schools whilst allowing them to have their own dedicated spaces. The central atrium is embedded in the middle of the zigzag and serves not only to bring the two schools together to use the shared facilities such as the café and lecture theatres, but also welcomes the wider campus. The wing concept extends the building across the site, increasing its surface area to maximise the views and to

break down the mass of the building. Set within an area of ancient woodland, the wings dissipate into the surrounding trees, bringing the outdoors inside. The verticality of the anodised aluminium fins on the external cladding further heightens the blurring of trees with building. Natural light pours in to the top-lit atrium, which provides a welcoming entrance and place to socialise. When the RIBA jury visited it was busy and vibrant,with circulation carefully choreographed around pausing spaces. Inside the atrium, the concrete structure is exposed and finished to an very high quality and together with the timber glulam beams brings a lightness and elegance not usually seen in an education building of this scale. These materials are expressed similarly in other public-facing spaces, such as the lecture theatres and, to a lesser extent, the shared break-out spaces which break the length of the corridors. Overall, this is an exemplary education building embodying creativity with an intelligent and responsible approach.

Design & Build

Kingsgate Primary Lower School. Credit: Tim Crocker

University of Birmingham The University of Birmingham’s new sports centre, by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, won a RIBA National Award for its state of the art building that offers use to the wider community. Making the activities inside as visible as possible was key, something which is uncharacteristic of typical sports spaces. Taking advantage of the sloping site, the architects were able to organise the large component parts of the brief (50 metre pool, large multi-purpose hall, squash complex, fitness suites and car park) in a coherent, legible way without becoming over-bearing. A bronze-clad arch frames the main entrance and is extruded along the length of the site - an external marker of the centre’s main axis of circulation that connects to the pool on one side and the multi-purpose hall on the other. Pool and hall are distinguished externally by their brick facades which tie them into the neighbouring student union building and the character of the campus’ original brick nucleus. This simple choice gives the centre an immediate sense of place, avoiding the temptation to fall back on today’s default sports centre palette of high-tech steel and glass. E University of Roehampton Library. Credit: Hufton & Crow



The Xenium System Specifically designed to meet the needs of teachers in a modern learning environment.

It allows teachers to re-arrange a classroom and to deliver whole class learning through: • • • • • •

Elimination of back row syndrome Problem setting Learning by application Role play Interactive group work Whole class lecture & demonstration

Xenium is much safer than conventional service tower and tables. The unique locking system prevents accidental movement but allows flexibility to re-arrange the classroom to suit the lesson. It’s lockable wheels prevent damage to flooring while re-arranging towers and tables, but once in situ and locked forms a sturdy learning environment.

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New library Another building presented with a RIBA National Award was the new library at the University of Roehampton Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the library is a successful civic building, constructed with studious effort that offers its users a number of delightful places to undertake library work. The building successfully holds a new soft water landscape to the east and creates a hard public realm to the west. Entry is naturally located to the south at the end of a boulevard on axis with the primary entrance to the site. The entrance informs the ground plane of the building, taking advantage of the sloping site

Marlborough Primary School also picked up a RIBA National Award for its clever building which transforms an urban site into a series of terraces centred around daylight and play spaces. creating a loggia to the east with the library cafe, only open to library users to the north. On entry the user is welcomed into one of two atria that define the parti along the length of the building. This atria is two stories high offering a generosity in section that leads to a cleverly designed security sequence, a shifted reception desk for both entry and exit. The second atria where the wide main stair is located offers a grand circulation experience as users move up and down the building. Light is welcomed into the heart of the plan and attention to detail is clear at the ends of the atria where glazed balustrades are used to maintain views of the books in the shelving that matches down the length of each floor plate. The building has a strong grid running through it with acoustics, services, structure and structural columns working effectively with the rhythm of book storage and its relationship with the east facade. West Court Jesus College West Court at Jesus College in Cambridge was designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects.

Design & Build

 There is still plenty of glass, though, as well as the large span structures required to cover the volumes but these are simply handled and never allowed to dominate the main spaces. The many smaller rooms (for changing, teaching, offices, fitness suites) are deftly incorporated into the building’s stepped section, which is also used to good effect to open up cross views between spaces. The building’s civic role is celebrated externally by a portico flanking the pool, which marks the campus boundary and guides the visitor round to the main entrance. Within the tall entrance foyer a climbing wall immediately engages the eye, showcasing the building’s activities. In a similar way the entrance café, placed strategically on the building’s most prominent corner, looks onto the pool, so the building’s social and sporting agendas are always visibly intertwined.

This extension to Jesus College manages the difficult trick of feeling entirely old fashioned in its use of hand crafted materials like oak, elm, red clay floor tiles and a soft red brick, while remaining entirely modern in its loose geometry, use of daylight and simplicity of forms. The building facing onto Jesus Lane extends an existing structural frame (the Rank Building) by two floors, providing hotel rooms to generate income for the College. A walk through the building reveals further alterations, extensions, excavations and updates. A new lecture theatre / conference centre is sunk into the basement but is still lined in elm and is side-lit by windows to the street, the faithful replacement of a damaged gable end, reusing the reclaimed stone framing to the window and then a lightweight café / bar that provides a more relaxed social space, with a noisy bar and performance space tucked underneath. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Holcombe Grammar school fitted with floating floor UFH

Situated in its current location since the 1920s, Holcombe Grammar School has undergone significant alterations and developments over the years. The school is currently going through a number of exciting developments, including the introduction of a co-educational sixth form from the 2017/18 academic year. Within these developments, the school is introducing four new classrooms. The school required an efficient, sustainable heating system and to deliver on the brief, main contractors, G A Harper, turned to underfloor heating (UFH) specialist Warmafloor for its technical expertise and full end-to-end design and installation services. Explaining the project requirements, Chris Azzopardi, consultant at G A Harper, says: “Holcombe Grammar comprises several

buildings clustered around the old Holcombe Manor. Over the years, the school has built up around this central building, and at each stage of development the highest quality finish has ensured that the facilities are futureproofed as much as possible. “For this project, the heating system needed to adhere to strict BREEAM standards. It also had to help maximise usable space, have minimal maintenance requirements and be quick and easy to install in a busy construction area. “We therefore turned to Warmafloor for its extensive UFH expertise and ability to design and install complex systems that meet exacting criteria. Warmafloor also offers a 100-year guarantee on its systems.” UFH offers a range of benefits; it keeps floor coverings warm and dry by circulating heated water beneath the surface, minimising the growth of hazardous contaminants like bacteria and supporting the general wellness of building occupants. By removing the need for clunky radiators on walls, UFH also maximises space. In addition, Warmafloor UFH solutions can be used both to heat rooms in cold weather, as well offering a cooling system in the summer months. For the Holcombe Grammar project, Warmafloor was also tasked with

designing a system that addressed some unique project requirements. Jonathan Moran, business development manager at Warmafloor, explains: “The entire project had to meet BREEAM standards, as well as deliver a long-lasting end-result that would benefit the school in the long term. “We developed a bespoke Floating Floor dry system, which offered high structural integrity with minimal down-time once installed. We also used recycled materials to meet BREEAM requirements – for example, we used 100 per cent recycled gypsum and 100 per cent recycled foam. We also provided full performance and environmental data.” Warmafloor’s Floating Floor system requires no drying time, so extension works could resume as quickly as possible. In these systems, the underfloor pipework is fitted into pre-grooved metal diffusion plates and set in polystyrene floor insulation panels, following which dry screed floorboards are laid. The final floor covering can then be installed over the system. Another key benefit of the Floating Floor system is that it offers complete access for any component repair or replacement. FURTHER INFORMATION



BYD Solutions Launch Indoor Air Cleaning Solution Essex based company BYD Solutions Ltd have recently launched a solution to clean your internal air of VOC’s & Bacteria. Following a simple application your internal air will be cleaner and fresher. Officially launched in the UK at the Contamination show in September last year BYD have seen a lot of interest with customers liking the easy application procedures and no building alterations required.

To give you an example of its affect, only 20m2 of ceiling treated with titan effect can remove up to 400’000 litres of ambient air from its pollutants without resorting to complicated and costly techniques.

BYD say this effective and especially economic way to remove air pollutants, bacteria, germs and odours by treating surfaces of premises, preferably ceilings with titan effect. The treatment is totally invisible and works according to the principle of Photocatalysis.

The VOC’s decomposition effect of our titan effect treatment has been verified by a certified laboratory and can be requested any time. BYD say the application will last up to 10 years and not require any maintenance at all. One of BYD’s directors Lee Bywater said: “This unique process is such a simple an affordable way of cleaning internal air. It can be available not only for offices but private homes, restaurants, public transport basically anywhere that requires the need for cleaner fresher air”

With the help of light, titan effect virtually decomposes all air pollutants. BYD adds that in order to produce this effect, daylight transmitted through windows is as well suited as the artificial light from all electrical lighting.

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Use technology to engage hard-to-reach parents and involve them in their children’s education and school life Studies have shown that parent engagement has a significant, positive impact on a child’s learning, even after all the other factors that shape attainment, have been taken out of the equation. Therefore, it’s important to identify effective interventions in supporting parent involvement, particularly with those parents who are either not significantly involved in their child’s learning, or not involved at all. 93 per cent of adults own a smartphone and spend more time on it than with their partner (Source: O2/Samsung ‘Digital Life’ 2013). Exploiting this trend to improve your school’s parent engagement is the obvious route to take. Schoolcomms is the market leading parent engagement solution, offering a sophisticated, but easy to use system that is powerful enough to handle all your parent interactions. The Branded Parent App forms the intrinsic link between school and home, keeping parents fully connected so their child can take advantage of their learning day. As the UK’s best parent app provider, Schoolcomms delivers everything you need to keep costs down and encourage hard to reach parents to become involved. Covering everything from attendance,


homework, achievement, behaviour and reports, to day-to-day communication between school and home. The app creates a school community that all parents can be part of. As it fully integrates with the data you’re already recording in SIMS, there’s no additional administration, keeping everything streamlined and accurate. Improving parent engagement is a challenge that all schools face. Schoolcomms’ Branded Parent App provides schools with the essentials and allows you to build in additional functionality when you need it, further enriching the parent experience. Making information easy to share and access, means parents will use it and by using it, they’re engaging. Whether its messages letting parents know there’s homework or a test coming up, sharing reports so parents can monitor progress or simply sending a newsletter, Schoolcomms continues to lead the way as the most powerful parent engagement system and Parent App. Thousands of schools and millions of parents have already joined the communication revolution and are seeing the benefits of better parent engagement.




Illuminating your school building A well-designed lighting scheme, incorporating both natural and electric lighting, will enhance a space and help to create a pleasant learning environment. Iain Carlile, President of CIBSE’s Society of Light and Lighting, considers the elements that make a good lighting scheme In a school, good lighting is not simply about ensuring staff and pupils can go about their business comfortably and safely. As a minimum it must provide enough illumination to encourage the fulfilment of school activities, but a well-designed lighting scheme, incorporating both natural and electric lighting, will enhance a space and help to create a pleasant learning environment. So what are the elements that make a good lighting scheme? When it comes to providing light in schools the best source of illumination for almost all teaching spaces is natural light introduced through strategically located windows and roof-lights. There is some evidence to suggest that spaces with high levels of daylight can have significant long-term health and wellbeing benefits and may even result in improved academic achievement. Daylight is important in regulating and maintaining biochemical, physiological, and behavioural processes in human beings through their circadian rhythm, or body clock. The primary link to the circadian rhythm is daylight, so it is important that both pupils and staff are exposed to high levels of daylight, particularly in the morning. A lack of daylight can disrupt this system and cause problems such as depression and poor sleep quality, which could lead to more serious problems.

Different requirements result in the use of blinds, which will The amount and distribution of daylight in negate any of its potential benefits. a room will vary depending on the learning Similarly, where teaching is likely to rely environment: typically, art rooms require more on the use of projection onto a screen, daylight while dance studios and lecture it is important to consider the position theatres will require less daylight. In addition, of the screen in relation to daylight computer rooms, which often have high heat sources to avoid blinds having to be loads and high-density occupancy, are best closed when the projector is in use. located in areas within the building that have The most effective lighting designs will limited daylight as this would reduce heat be those where the architectural form and gains caused by the sun. Similarly, a ‘special associated shading system serves to provide educational needs’ (SEN) school may require adequate levels of daylight throughout that some rooms have few distractions a space whilst simultaneously shading it and, as such, views may need to be from undue levels of direct sun. If temporarily obscured by blinds. the design is wrong the space While daylight is dynamic will likely be too dark at While and good for occupant’s the furthest points from dayligh wellbeing you can, the façade and too sometimes, have bright adjacent to the dynami t is too much of a good façade, a scenario good fo c and r thing in both new which typically o c cupant wellbei and refurbishment leads to the worst ’s n g sometim you can, projects. For that scenario of lights on es, hav reason, it needs to be and blinds closed. e too much o considered at the outset To give advice f a of any design or layout on this tricky area good th ing by a lighting designer in of lighting design, order to avoid glare and The Society of Light excess heat from the sun and Lighting has published making the room uncomfortable. SLL Lighting Guide LG10: Failure to properly consider daylight could Daylighting and window design. E Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Keeping control Energy used by electric lighting is currently responsible for about one third of carbon emissions in primary schools and nearly half in secondary premises; for educational establishments operating outside of normal daylight hours the figure can be significantly higher. There are two components to energy use: the power used by the lighting equipment and the number of hours it is in use. The power used by the lighting installation is decreasing as technology evolves. But, no matter how energy efficient a lighting installation is, if the lights are left on when they are not needed then energy will be wasted. The way to prevent unnecessary energy use is to ensure the lighting installation can be controlled effectively. The best lighting designs take account of natural and electric lighting and are controlled to balance one carefully with the other throughout the working day. Within classrooms, for example, detectors can measure light-levels and whether the room is actually occupied. Detectors can be used to control the electric lighting in rows parallel to the window, to allows individual rows to be automatically switched on and off as the daylight levels change across the depth of the room. For optimum efficiency, this system should be set up to be ‘manual on’, ‘automatic off’ to save energy and prevent the lights being left on unnecessarily.

The best lighting designs take account of natural and electric lighting and are controlled to balance one carefully with the other throughout the working day. Surface light The appearance of an interior is affected by its general brightness, which depends on the distribution of light in the room and the lightness of room surfaces. To create a feeling of visual lightness and a pleasant learning environment it is necessary to direct light onto room surfaces, particularly those surfaces that are prominent in the normal field of view. Often these will be the walls but the ceiling may also be included, especially in large rooms. Where workstations are employed using vertical partitions, some light on the partitions will be beneficial and without it the room can appear gloomy and under-lit. The primary presentation wall, containing the whiteboard, should be of a different and complementary colour and darker hue than the other walls. This helps to reduce eye strain as the viewer looks from desk to board-based tasks and back again. Whilst it may be desirable for lighting efficiency to provide higher reflectance surfaces, a deep tone on one wall will provide visual form to the space and reduce glare. In addition to lighting the task and room surfaces it is important to fill the volume of space occupied by people with light. It


 Artificial light Of course, there will be times of the year and times of the day when there is insufficient daylight during normal school hours and at such times electric lighting will be required. The traditional way of artificially lighting a teaching space is with a regular array of ceiling-mounted light fittings. This approach will ensure a uniform task illuminance anywhere in the space, which is useful in allowing the space to be reconfigured easily in order to accommodate different layouts and uses. The downside to this approach is that it will waste energy by lighting all areas of a space, including the areas not in use and may also appear un-exciting. A more energy efficient and visually appealing, although less adaptable, design can be created by focusing the light on the surfaces where it is needed. The colour of the artificial light is important. Colour temperature is a measure of a lamp’s colour. A light source with a colour temperature of 3000K will appear warm, slightly reddish white while one with a colour temperature of 5300K will appear as a cold, blueish white. For educational interiors, a light source somewhere between these two extremes, with a temperature of around 4000k will blend well with daylight. Where discrimination between colours is important, for example in an art studio, lamps will also need to have a high colour rendering index – a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colour of an object faithfully in comparison with a natural light source.

should be remembered that we see the reflected light from surfaces and hence the choice of colour scheme can significantly affect the overall impression of the room. Cost Cost is always a major concern for both new and refurbishment lighting schemes. Capital and running (operational) costs must be considered together, if they are not then a scheme with a low capital cost might have a high operational cost, which could prove significantly costlier over the lifetime of the scheme than an installation with a more expensive capital cost but a low operating cost. If these two cost elements are paid for from different budgets or by different organisations a conflict of interests may arise. The input of a professional lighting designer will help develop the optimum lighting solution to deliver a solution that enables students, teachers and other staff to carry out their various tasks safely, efficiently and in comfort. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Our range of frameworks cover modular buildings, offsite construction, communal entrance door sets, flat For more information on how our roofing and many more refurbishment, frameworks can work for you, get construction and consultancy works. in touch.

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Education Estates

Education Estates, 16-17 October, Manchester Central The UK’s leading education buildings and learning spaces event is back with over 100 exhibitors and speakers, five stages and seven interactive feature areas

Education Estates is going space age this year with inflatable cubes housing the main conference stages on the exhibition floor, and an inflated festival-style arch over the Keynote stage. The event has over 100 exhibitors, more than 100 speakers, five

stages and seven Interactive Feature Areas. Institute. The SEN, Early Years, and Good Over the two-day event on 16-17 October, Estate Management Stages are also open the conference offers four parallel sessions. to all and are positioned on the exhibition The Schools Stage, and Colleges & Universities floor and bursting with content and advice. Stage operates paid-for programmes, which are free to attend for Conference Programme The all those directly employed The event’s conference Departm in schools, colleges, programme is curated by an universities, and national advisory group of experts for Edu ent and local government from top contractors, has con cation t (includes governors and architects and education r i b ut Educati independent schools). establishments, and on Esta ed to several tes for The Keynote Stage is takes on the challenge years a open to all attendees of covering the huge f n u d is lly supp and will feature array of subjects that are the eve ortive of Keynote addresses foremost in the design, nt a from The Education and build, management and in 2018 gain Skills Funding Agency, maintenance of buildings and the Northern Powerhouse, learning spaces for educational LocatEd, and Education Policy use. The programme E



Education Estates  goes beyond that, in looking at the impact of education buildings, whether on the largest of university campuses, small primary schools, or early years settings, on the communities in which they sit, on the experience of those that use them, and the qualities that they convey to future generations of learners. Mike Green, acting director general and chief operating officer of the Department for Education, and lead of the Operations Directorate, will give the opening Keynote presentation at Education Estates on 16 October. The Department for Education is again supporting the event this year, and said: “The Department for Education has contributed to Education Estates for several years and is fully supportive of the event again in 2018. This key industry event for the education sector provides best practice, sharing of ideas, and a platform for discussion and debate for those involved in all levels of education buildings design, maintenance and management, and the design and creation of learning spaces. The ESFA Efficiency Award recognises efficiency in education buildings operation and management, and will be awarded again at the 2018 event.“ Exhibitors Exhibitors at the show include: RIBA, Community Playthings, North West Construction Hub, Turner and Townsend, Department of Education, Net Zero Classrooms, LocatED, Velux, Langley Design, Galliford Try, LHC, Foris Solutions, Faithful + Gould, Portakabin, Kemper, McAvoy Group, Dahua Technology, Lungfish Architects & Sunesis, Franke Water Systems, AkzoNobel. 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). If you’re from the private sector and would like to attend the conference then delegate rates apply. L FURTHER INFORMATION


Innovative roof lighting solutions for schools Daylight and ventilation are key components of optimal learning spaces. The influential Clever Classrooms study (2015) found that they account for the same variation in primary school children’s learning rates as the teachers themselves. VELUX Company Ltd is known worldwide for creating positive spaces with its roof windows – supplying natural light and fresh air to improve and regulate the indoor climate. Its VELUX Modular Skylights range applies this at scale – providing innovative, modular and sustainable solutions for roof lighting in schools, hospitals and commercial buildings. Designed with architects, Foster + Partners, Velux Modular Skylights can be combined in many configurations in a variety of building types. They have strong sustainability credentials, exceptional energy performance, and a long life expectancy. Fully

prefabricated, they save time and resource on-site, meaning construction is completed quicker and more cost-effectively

FURTHER INFORMATION professional/products/ rooflights-roof-glazing/


Scott Leeder, commercial director at VELUX Modular Skylights, looks at how maximising daylight and natural ventilation has helped Inverclyde Council create a blueprint for building design that extends from early learning through to adulthood A commitment by the Scottish Government to increase free early learning and childcare hours available in Scotland from 600 to 1,140 per year by 2020 proved to be the catalyst for creating the inspirational new £3.4m Glenpark Early Learning Centre (ELC) in Greenock. The first thing that strikes visitors is how light and airy the building feels, benefiting as it does from plenty of natural light and ventilation thanks to VELUX Modular Skylights. Glenpark was completed earlier this summer and provides 100 places for three to four year olds and eligible two year olds around the Greenock area, west of Glasgow. It was developed by Glasgow-based main contractor CCG and is part of Inverclyde Council’s £270 million schools estate programme. Bright idea Natural light has been shown to have a positive effect on the psychological wellbeing of children in terms of mood, security and behaviour, and this influenced the design at Glenpark. In particular, Professor Peter Barrett in his ‘Clever Classrooms’ study found that daylight and ventilation can increase children’s learning capacity by up

to eight per cent. Having good natural light and ventilation in a learning environment is also recognised as being beneficial to children with autism spectrum disorder. It’s one of the reasons why The Scottish Government (2017), Health and Social Care Standards states that natural light and fresh air should be available in all main rooms used by children. And of course, they are beneficial to the wellbeing of staff, too. The Scottish Government’s ‘Space to Grow’ report states specifically that natural light should be within the playrooms used by children, and that natural light should be in as many areas as possible throughout the premises. It also states that all opportunities for maximising natural light should be taken. It was felt that the most effective method of accessing these benefits at Glenpark was through the use of rooflights. The architects, Holmes Miller Architects, specified VELUX Modular Skylights because of two unique features of the system: They have in-built blinds, which provides efficient, reliable shade that is easy to control using the VELUX INTEGRA® system. Externally, too, the northlights met the aesthetic

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Let the light flood into your school building

aspirations because they have a tight in plane solution – fitting closer to the 35° slate roof meant less outward protrusion, creating a slimmer aesthetic. Shading is provided by the integrated blinds that are pre-fitted in the company’s factory, saving installation time on site. Light solar shading was specified for the glass. Professional Barrett’s report also highlights that children are particularly vulnerable to all types of pollutants due to their breathing and metabolic rates being high. There is much less volume of air per child in many schools owing to high occupancy density. The skylights at Glenpark create what Clever Classrooms refers to as ‘top openings, which are high in the room, but easy to use, allowing the hottest and stalest air to escape more efficiently’. A growing number of architects are specifying our rooflights because their modular construction reduces installation time on site – they can be fitted up to three times faster than a traditional installation. That is important because it creates a weathertight seal quicker than a component-based system, meaning internal fit-out can begin earlier. Learning from experience The Department for Education reports that pupil numbers in secondary schools will rise by 530,000, from 2.8 million this year to 3.33 million in 2025. This population bulge is already manifesting itself at pre-school and early learning stages, and it will ultimately see pupil numbers in secondary schools increase by 19 per cent over the next eight years. The government has responded with a second phase of the priority school building programme, which aims to rebuild or refurbish 277 schools by the end of 2021. There’s also £50m on hand for councils to expand special schools and improve existing facilities for pupils with special educational needs. Alongside this there is £680 million from existing budgets to create 40,000 new mainstream school places in 2020-21. Over the last few years it has become increasingly clear that the design of these buildings isn’t just an incidental concern, but is an integral part of creating a wellbalanced, inclusive learning and development environment. Central to this is ensuring high levels of daylight and natural ventilation. It is encouraging that projects such as Glenpark attract attention because they set a blueprint for all educational buildings. As a result, more are using this project as a physical manifestation of the growing body of evidence that proves the benefits of natural daylight and ventilation. In reality, we have only just begin to understand these benefits and how they can help a child’s learning, wellbeing, health and social behaviour all the way through to adulthood.

VELUX will be exhibiting at Education Estates – Manchester Central, 16-17 October, Stand D16. L FURTHER INFORMATION products/rooflights-roof-glazing/



School Facilities

Opening the door to different revenue streams

The Department for Education’s Governance Handbook states that accommodating extended and community services can ‘enable schools to make the best use of their facilities, which may otherwise be underused before and after the school day and in school holidays’. Sport England, which has a handy resource guide called ‘Use Our School’, believes that a positive presence on site after school hours can improve community cohesion and be a way of reducing the risk of out of hours vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Being seen as a Research from The Key shows that many school and With community hub also academies are opening up their doors to the community provides a way of many school b developing wider in order to raise much needed funds. Education Business u il d school links, such in in g corpora s investigates this trend as with local t in g state of the a leisure centres, facilitiesrt sporting youth services, , it Forty-two per cent of school leaders surveyed setting up day-care provision police and m a good co k by the Key last year said that they let out and paid-for breakfast and community clubs. mmerciaes sense to l their school’s buildings and facilities to after-school clubs, we also This can reinforce open generate extra revenue, with ten per cent rent out our school hall most your profile and as these u saying they had set up an on-site nursery. nights of the week for anything an important local p Others cited hosting weddings and even from church groups to weddings, asset provider and will using qualified staff to provide fitness classes birthday parties or language schools. promote community safety. to the wider community to raise funds. “All in all, our initiatives bring in   As one headteacher at a primary school between £200,000 and £300,000 a year Sports facilities in Kent explains: “Schools have to look at and this gives us choices - choices that With many school buildings incorporating themselves as businesses, the leaders as aren’t made for us by government. It’s state of the art sporting facilities, it makes entrepreneurs who think creatively about what amazing what you can achieve with some good commercial sense to open these up for opportunities they can capitalise on. As well as creativity, passion and willpower.” community use. Indeed, schools can apply for



Catering Many schools have also opened up their catering facilities to the public. Exhall Grange Specialist School in Coventry opened a new café, which is ran by students to give them careers experience, as well as revenue to the school. The café is based in an old school kitchen that has been completely transformed thanks to a £40,000 Skills for Employment grant from Warwickshire County Council Charlton Manor, who won the Education Business Catering Award this year, also opens their catering to the public. The school chef runs the school café, which is open to parents and the community every day before and after school and on Saturdays from 10am–2pm. They serve food made from fresh produce which is grown in the school garden and community

garden, as well as eggs from the school hens and honey from the school bees. Parking Estimates by suggest that if each school in England was to rent out two parking spaces from Monday to Friday, for six weeks during the summer holidays for £7 a day each, then it would raise £10.5 million. It claims that this is the equivalent to the annual salary of 467 new qualified teachers. With many schools close to public transport or local amenities, their parking facilities are an asset that should be used. managing director Harrison Woods said: “Cash-strapped schools in the right locations are potentially sitting on a parking goldmine. With budget restraints hitting hard on the public purse strings, this could be the ideal way to earn additional revenue from land that is effectively vacant for six weeks or more. “And when you consider how many thousands of schools there are across the UK, then this potentially equates to hundreds of thousands of spare car parking spaces in July and August which could be a rich source of income. “Many schools are located in urban areas and close to town centres and railway stations, making them ideal for car owners looking for somewhere cheaper to park than a traditional car park.” St Richard Reynolds Catholic College in Twickenham, London, has raised over

£2,000 by renting out their spare parking spaces when there is a rugby match on at the nearby stadium. The school charges £15 per space per day, which is half the price of the official stadium parking.

School Facilities

National Lottery funding from Sport England if they open their sports facilities to the public. Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School has impressive sports facilities including a 3G All Weather Pitch, a dance studio and multi-use hall. Previously, the local authority managed the facilities during community hours. But in 2013, the school was looking for a means of sustaining its sports college activity, and the local authority was looking to downsize its leisure services portfolio. In a mutually agreeable arrangement, Cardinal Heenan took over the community use management of their sports facilities, and has lead the school to see financial rewards.

Finances Advice from Sport England says that it is important to be fully aware of your potential income and likely expenditure Once your community programme is established with a sustainable business plan that includes an appropriate pricing policy, it is possible to generate income over and above covering your costs, which can then be used to renew and develop your sports provision. Jake Collin, access to schools manager from Liverpool City Council, shares some advice: “Set realistic income targets – remember some facilities are used seasonally, and don’t assume maximum occupancy levels and maximum hire rates.” Sport England also urges schools to understand what type of community use is best for the school and its vision. Developing a vision for community use will help your stakeholders (including staff, students, governors, parents and community partners) understand and support your community programme. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Kajima Community’s BookingsPlus is more than just a lettings system for your school facilities Almost two thirds of school sports facilities across England are now let for community use, as increasing budgetary pressures force educators to look for alternative and additional revenue streams. While pitches are now popular, many schools do not realise that these lettings can go beyond the playing field. Anything from carparks to classrooms can be let out, and each and every asset owned, including overhead projectors and interactive whiteboards, can increase a school’s value significantly. With such a vast array of lettings opportunities available for schools, choosing the right system to manage and maximise this opportunity is critical. Kajima Community’s BookingsPlus system offers an ‘above and beyond’ service, which focuses on the school’s needs above all else. The software’s quality after-sales assistance and unique additional features foster development, growth and innovation for schools, helping to boost revenues while minimising any associated administrative burden. Schools receive ongoing support and expert marketing advice through a bespoke lettings website, with features such as Search Engine Optimisation enabling schools to maintain a strong web

presence – targeted at the right audience. Legal, regulatory and technological developments needn’t be a worry either. BookingsPlus provides customers with regular software updates, putting schools at ease by ensuring they are not only fully compliant, but operating as efficiently as possible. Recent developments have included a range of new tools to assist with complicated GDPR regulation. Additionally, at a time of stretched resources and budgetary uncertainty, BookingsPlus offers flexibility, with price sensitive structures and a six month, money back guarantee. At Manor Church of England Academy in York, BookingsPlus has been a supportive, streamlined service for the school. Rachel Snowden, lettings manager at Manor Academy commends BookingsPlus. She said: “From first installation and training, through to ongoing operational support, the highly experienced, friendly team is always on hand. “Adopting the system has driven a significant increase in bookings, resulting in a revenue increase of more than £18,500 between 2016-17,” Rachel adds. Care, creativity and quality is what makes BookingsPlus unique. The software

puts schools at ease, empowering them to generate new income and maximise the returns made from letting out their unused space. A proper lettings service can be liberating for schools, taking pressure off stretched budgets while enabling decision-makers to focus on what’s really important – maintaining an outstanding learning environment. FURTHER INFORMATION



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Sports Facilities Written by the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA)

Ten steps to a successful sports facility While the prospect of developing a brand new sports facility or redeveloping an existing one is exciting, it can also be a daunting task. From finding funding, securing approvals and getting the design right, to making sure there is minimum disruption, there is plenty to consider The education sector is a key provider of sports facilities in England. According to Sport England figures, more than a third (39 per cent) of all sports facilities are located on school, college or university properties. For certain types of facilities, schools rule the roost – 77 per cent of all sports halls and 61 per cent of synthetic grass pitches can be found within educational sites. Many schools and educational institutions make their sports spaces available for the general public. Currently, around two thirds (62 per cent) of school sports facilities in England are being used for some form of community activity. While providing suitable facilities for students is the priority for any project, there are many benefits in creating facilities which can be used by the general public. One of the main benefits is that allowing public access widens the options for applying for National Lottery funding from Sport England. The grassroots sports body provides a number of facility grants. These range from the ‘small grants’ programme, which offers between £300 to £10,000 to projects which get communities more active, to the Strategic Facility Fund, designed to finance large-scale facility projects.

With good forward planning, a new sports facility can become a valuable asset, at the heart of the community the school serves. The impact of creating a popular hub – not to mention a revenue generator – should not be underestimated, particularly as many local authorities are facing budgetary challenges in the provision of their public leisure facilities. For those considering making their future (or existing) facilities to the public, Sport England has developed a handy “Use Our School” tool – an online resource to support schools and their partners in the process of opening their facilities for community use ( The ten steps To give a head start on a sports facility project, here is a useful, tenstep guide compiled by Neil McHugh. McHugh is chair of the Professional Services Group at the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) – the UK trade association for the sports facility construction

industry. SAPCA represents specialist constructors – as well as suppliers of sports surfaces – and plays an important role in promoting high standards for the developing of sports facilities of all sizes.

1. Use appropriate professional advice Consultants can help navigate a project from the start – but it’s important to ensure they have the relevant experience. Do they understand the facility requirements set out by sporting national governing bodies? There are also Construction, Design & Management Regulations (CDM) to consider, which have been designed to improve site Knowin safety. Depending on the g everyth scale and the length i ng you nee of time to build, you the loca d to about might have to notify t i o the Health and Safety n o project Executive and appoint is paramf your ount a CDM co-ordinator. in

orde avoid n r to a surprise sty s.

2. Investigate the site The old adage of “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail” rings true in facility projects. E



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3. Get the design right The wide range of playing surfaces, design solutions and facility infrastructure options – such as fencing, lighting, security and equipment – means that it is now possible to create bespoke facilities down to the smallest of details. It is important, however, to make sure the “bigger picture” is clear. What size should the playing surface or facility be? Which sports are to be played at the facility and is there a primary sport? What level of user will the facility target – will it be purely for students or will you look to attract local clubs? If the facility will be used by the public, what will the usage pattern be and will the facility need to be supervised? What about the level of income expected? How will the maintenance be managed and what is the useful life expectancy? The more defined the facility’s requirements are, the easier it will be to navigate the plethora of choices. 4. Tendering There are two forms of tendering – traditional procurement and design and build – and a professional advisor can explain the different options available to you. Depending on funding, there may also be a framework procurement route you will have to take in order to get your funding. For all methods, it can be beneficial to study other, similar installations at other schools or colleges, when coming up with a specification for the design, build and performance requirements. Once there is a clear understanding of whom the facility will

cater for and what the requirements are, it is important to communicate the requirements to those looking to deliver the project. 5. Use an appropriate form of contract Paperwork is often overlooked in projects. Ensure contracts are simple, but include all the relevant information – this could include contractors’ conditions, performance specification and, where appropriate, testing of the playing surface. 6. Select the right contractor When selecting contractors, it is a good idea to look at other projects the candidates have completed. If possible, speak to their previous clients. There is no harm in doing your homework. Make sure to interview each candidate and ask questions – being comfortable with the people delivering your project will make things easier. It is also important to check the financial stability of candidates in order to avoid projects ending up half-finished. 7. Agree a realistic programme Deadlines will help with the management of a project – as long as they are not unrealistic. To avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the project, proper time needs to be dedicated for finding funding, carrying out feasibility studies and planning. Most schools will look to undertake major works during holidays, but as nearly all construction projects are weather dependent, the possibility of running into term time needs to be considered. If work is carried out during school times, coordinating the delivery times of materials and equipment can help minimise disruption at busy student pick up and drop off periods. Even when building work comes to an end, it doesn’t mean that a facility project is complete. The time needed for handover and snagging – and in large projects, testing – should always be factored into a project plan. With the UK climate, it’s important to also remember that installation of certain surfaces is weather-dependent, so build in “slippage” to take account weather delays. 8. Use appropriate supervision Keeping tabs on progress will make identifying issues easier and could potentially help

Sports Facilities

 Knowing everything you need to about the location of your project is paramount in order to avoid nasty surprises. Depending on the complexity of the project, your site investigation might include any of the following: trial pits and boreholes, soil investigations, percolation tests, a topographical survey and the charting of existing records of services, underground workings and flood risks. Other issues to consider include whether the location was a tip site, or if there are drainage outlets, environmental restraints or access constraints – especially those relating to disability access.

prevent small delays becoming major ones. Appoint your own, single point of contact – rather than multiple ones – to help with effective and consistent communication with the contractor. Ensure there is competent project management in place. Log everything in writing, so you have an accurate record of the project progress – such as possible variations in contract – and of any agreements or requests. It is also a good idea to keep a photographic record of progress and stages of work. Be also mindful that, depending on funding sources, they may require you to submit all the tender documents and reports as part of your award of funding. Significant consideration should also be given to site security during the works, in order to protect students. Identifying potential hazards – and highlighting them to students and staff – will be paramount. 9. Comply with the conditions of contract Conditions of contract are there for the protection of all parties. Keeping up your end of the deal can range from putting instructions into writing to ensuring funding is in place to make payments. 10. Maintain the facility to the required standard A successful development project – delivered on time and on budget – doesn’t guarantee a successful facility. To make sure a facility becomes a successful, longterm venue for students – and returns on its investment if in public use – it needs to be maintained properly. All contractors will offer guidance on the maintenance requirements, so make sure you buy the appropriate maintenance equipment and that those undertaking the work are familiar with the maintenance requirements. It is important to also understand the difference between maintenance that can be undertaken by school staff – such as regular cleaning – and when professional help is needed. Maintenance guidelines can be linked to warranties and national governing body performance requirements. By keeping up the maintenance and the performance, you reduce risk to students and players while extending the life of the facility. While regular maintenance is essential, you can avoid damage – and unnecessary, costly repairs – by advising the users on the “dos and don’ts” at the facility. The extra step – help is available Within SAPCA’s Professional Services Group (PSG) there are a number of consultants with the relevant experience and expertise to help out with any aspect of a sports facility project. If you need any assistance with a project, do not hesitate to contact us. Visit the website below. L FURTHER INFORMATION professional-services



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ISBL national conference 2018 will take place on Thursday 15 to Friday 16 November 2018 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. Will you be there investing in your career? This year’s conference will exam both your responsibility as practitioners to engage in professional development and how the sector can better support practitioners in gaining the status and recognition they deserve, in order that other senior colleagues recognise the need for this investment. Despite the growth of the school business professionals’ profile in schools and across the education sector over the last 20 years, many of our members have still cited a lack of equality across the senior leadership particularly for school business professionals, which has been borne out by Dr Fiona Creaby’s research into the profession, which will be published in October 2018 by ISBL. As leaders in schools we need to take some responsibility for demanding equality, especially when it comes to professional development and maintaining our sector knowledge. You can evidence the recognised importance for teaching colleagues to undertake regular training each year and how there is the same necessity for your role, especially given the continuing policy and legislative changes that are happening. The event promises to explore all the issues that SBPs are facing in achieving professional prominence with other school leaders and colleagues. There will be a range of speakers addressing the gathered delegates and numbers already look set to exceed those from last year with 200 delegates already registered. Please do not leave booking your place to the last minute as places are limited.

at NAHT on how we can encourage mutual professional respect across the SLT. The event promises to explore all the issues that are facing school business leadership in achieving professional prominence, whilst also offering professionals productive networking opportunities with other colleagues over the two-days. Workshops There are also over 16 workshops which are provided by experts in their field, who will ensure the school context is front and centre provide delegates with the practical tools and advice for implementation when they return to school. The workshops will cover the role of the financial leader; how to effectively manage a disciplinary hearing; and emotional confidence and resilience. They will also a practical guide to GDPR compliance; the keys to effective and efficient clerking; and strategic financial management. Integral to ISBL’s national conference, more than 90 exhibitors, including training and apprenticeship providers, will be promoting their latest goods and services. This exposure allows delegates attending the opportunity to engage with a range of suppliers, especially with consideration to contract renewals and benchmarking resources that will need to be procured. We know from delegates that have attended in previous years that they find the exhibition hall with over 90 exhibitors a significant benefit of attending the event.

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When building your business case to attend consider the benefits to the school in gaining access to over 90 national suppliers who can help you with resource management and achieving best value; all in addition to all the CPD that the event will offer to you and your school. For the full programme details, speakers and workshops then please visit: and visit the national conference page. We hope you will be able to join us at what promises to be an exceptional event solely focused on school business leaders. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Packages & prices Full conference* – Member: £365 Non-member: £495 Day delegate (15 November 2018) – Member: £195 Non-member: £250 Day delegate (16 November 2018) – Member: £125 Non-member: £170

*The full conference package includes attendance on both days, gala dinner and overnight accommodation on Thursday evening and breakfast on Friday 16 November 2018.

What’s on this year? There will be six inspirational keynote speakers including Dr Robin Bevan, who is the ISBL patron and national education union vice-chair, and will describe his role in raising the profile of SBPs with other senior leaders across the sector. Leora Cruddas, CEO of FASNA, will talk about what we can expect next from the self-improving system and the role of school business professionals. Dr Karen Starr from Deakin University, Australia, will describe how joined-up leadership is developing in Australia and the benefits being achieved. There will also be a panel discussion about common challenges faced by SBPs across the globe, plus solutions, and a talking heads session with Stephen Morales, CEO, ISBL and Paul Whiteman, general secretary



School Trips Written by Kim Somerville, Interim Head of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

The benefits of leaving the classroom behind

residentials further afield, schools can provide an inspiring and memorable curriculum which links knowledge gained inside the classroom to the real world that lies beyond. Here are four benefits of learning outside the classroom (LOtC).

Engagement in learning LOtC can be a fantastic way of enhancing curriculum learning in literacy, science, geography, history, art and maths. Utilised as a ‘wow event’ to introduce a topic, or to consolidate or extend the learning at the end of a topic, there is evidence that LOtC can Is learning outside the classroom part of your strategy to improve attainment and achievement. For improve the outcomes for pupils at your school? If not, example an Education Endowment A Foundation funded research project it should be, writes Kim Somerville, interim head of c l a in 2014 used self-regulation and s s r o the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom environ om memorable LOtC experiences to help struggling writers doesn’t ment Developing the learning outside the classroom essential part of in years 6 & 7 – found a a l w a ys provide (LOtC) provision in your school grounds, their learning and strong positive effect on and you children local community or further afield can have development. the writing outcomes of an enormous impact on enthusing, engaging Learning outside low attaining pupils. with th ng people e real w and motivating your pupils to learn. the classroom experie A classroom environment doesn’t always (LOtC) is the Independence and nces thorld provide children and young people with the use of any space personal development e y need real world experiences they need. In addition beyond the classroom New experiences push children many young people lack everyday experiences for teaching and out of their comfort zone, so they that others take for granted, and this can be a learning, from the school may well be nervous before a school significant barrier to their learning. This is why grounds to local museums, wild trip or residential experience. However, we believe it is vital that every child and young spaces or places of worship. By combining the experience of overcoming their nerves person has the opportunity to experience regular experiences close to home with and trying something new can have a the world beyond the classroom walls as an more occasional educational visits and tremendous impact on their resilience and



Improved relationships Evidence demonstrates that LOtC experiences can have a transformational impact on relationships, and that this can translate into long term impacts back at school. Relationships can be improved between pupils and their peers, but having fun with their teachers can also have an impact which leads to an improved pupil-teacher relationship back at school. Teachers are often pushed out of their comfort zone, so pupils can see that they are human after all, whilst pupils who may not excel at school work or sport have the chance to excel at a new activity and be seen in a different light by their peers and their teachers. Happiness & wellbeing Leaving the classroom behind can be a welcome antidote to the pressures of school for pupils and teachers alike. Research also shows the beneficial effects of LOtC on health and well-being. Many direct experiences cannot happen in a classroom environment

Evidence demonstrates that LOtC experiences can have a transformational impact on relationships, and that this can translate into positive long term impacts because young people need different spaces and activities to help them. LOtC can help young people to experience and understand their emotions, learn how to operate successfully with their peers and with adults and learn coping strategies – all of which will stand them in good stead back at school. The key point for senior leaders to remember is that LOtC is most successful when it is an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities (Ofsted, Learning outside the classroom, how far should you go? 2008). With this in mind, the LOtC Mark was launched in 2012 to help you use LOtC most effectively to raise standards and to demonstrate the effectiveness of your provision. The LOtC Mark is the first national accreditation for schools, nurseries and other educational establishments which recognises and supports the development of learning outside the classroom across all subject areas. Schools are benchmarked at either Bronze, Silver or Gold level, with guidance and support to help schools to progress through the levels and drive up the quality of their LOtC offering. Boston West Academy have the LOtC Mark accreditation at Gold level, and head teacher

School Trips

self-confidence – helping them overcome their fears and insecurities back at school. Parents can also feel anxious when their child heads off on a school trip so point out the benefits of the pupils taking more responsibility for their own property and needs (with support from their teachers of course). This will do wonders for their independence and self-confidence, which they can build on during subsequent experiences.

Mike Schofield believes the impact of learning outside the classroom has led to whole school improvement. He said: “Boston West was in Special Measures when I joined. In particular, it was the children’s bond with the school that needed work; their general attitude to learning was passive, whilst the behaviour of a significant minority was disruptive. Now, the children are engaged, they’re fired up and enjoying themselves, whilst standards reached and have been maintained at a high level.” “Every subject is delivered outside – maths, English, science, history, art – and there is a minimum weekly time expectation, beyond PE sessions, for children to be learning outdoors. We have a framework of skills and knowledge, but with a significant level of flexibility for staff to respond to the children’s needs, interests and what is happening in the world around them. With wellies at hand, learning can always be taken outside to seize the moment.” Free guidance on planning, running and evaluating LOtC experiences can be found at L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Tackling childhood obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing our country. According to the Health Survey for England (2014), nearly a third of children aged two to 15 are now overweight or obese. More specifically, childhood obesity is on the rise particularly among children finishing primary school, with levels of severe obesity in children aged 10 to 11 years at their highest point since records began. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. We know that obesity in childhood leads to stigma, bullying and low self-esteem and is also likely to lead to obesity in adulthood. Overweight and obesity related conditions cost the NHS £6.1 billion in 2015 and the total costs to society – in terms of economic development – of these conditions is already estimated at around £27 billion. I am immensely proud to be starting my term as the National Chair of LACA, the

Lead Association for CAtering in Education and over the next twelve months one of my key priorities will be ensuring that the school food industry is playing its part in tackling childhood obesity. Without doubt the responsibility for reversing these damaging trends falls to many segments of society but in my view LACA, as the voice of the school food industry, has a key role to play.

Government measures Secondly, the government’s updated Childhood Obesity plan, launched earlier this year, should be welcomed as an initial step in the fight against the obesity epidemic. As part of the strategy the government has pledged to “halve childhood obesity by 2030”. This is an ambitious target for which they Ticking the nutrition box will need support from partners across the In the first instance, the government’s food and drink industry and beyond. Included introduction of new nutritional standards within the plan is an intention to update the in 2014 ensures that school meals are sugar recommendations in the School Food nutritionally balanced every day. This stands Standards. LACA welcomes this move in stark contrast to packed and with it the inherent recognition lunches, of which only 1.6 that the School Food Standards per cent meet the same The are an important mechanism in high standards. One in troduct tackling childhood obesity. E of the best ways ion

Written by Michael Hales, Chair of LACA

LACA, the Lead Association for Catering in Education, is working to ensure that the school food industry is playing its part in tackling childhood obesity. Michael Hales, LACA chair, explains how


A school’s role in providing a hot and healthy meal for all

to encourage healthy eating, aside from education, is to feed children a hot, healthy and nutritious school lunch so they can see first-hand what good food looks like. For many children up and down the country a school lunch can be their only hot meal of the day so it is imperative that these continue to be of the highest standards. I can tell you that on a far too regular basis, our members across the country still recount horror stories of children attending school with nothing but chocolate bars, crisps and sugary drinks as their midday meal. School meals are guaranteed to be nutritionally balanced, so ensuring that the greatest number of children possible can have access to them will be at least one strand of LACA activity in the fight against childhood obesity. The more children that take up the option of a cooked school meal (through their parents), the more who benefit from a nutritionally balanced meal every day of the week during term time, this can only be a positive outcome.

of new standar nutritional ensures ds in 2014 meals a that school re nutr balance itionally every da d y



Making the most of SIMS within schools as a cost‑effective solution to monitor school census With an ever-decreasing budget in schools, it’s becoming more important to be able to carry out more work with fewer tools. One of the key applications used in schools is SIMS, which provides vital functions such as attendance, exams, school census and dinner money. However, few schools are aware of the true power of SIMS, and that when fully utilised it can eliminate other high-cost and under-used software. Did you know: SIMS can also maintain your school’s assessment data, allowing you to analyse your pupils’ progress in real time, from nursery to key stage 4 and highlighting any obvious trends or gaps in learners’ knowledge. HR administration may be carried out through SIMS Personnel, with a full range of HR functionality and the ability to feed into FMS. SIMS Personnel is a simple option for your school workforce census, as well as tracking absence and staff development. Attendance reporting is easily handled in SIMS, allowing you to analyse your attendance figures by splitting data into separate groups for advanced reporting. You can quickly monitor information through the selection of criteria such as pupil premium, EAL, SEN and free school

meals. SIMS Attendance is especially valuable for a successful Ofsted visit. Strictly Education’s SIMS support team can assist by taking a look at how you currently use SIMS and help you save time and money by suggesting how best to consolidate your data. As one of only 11 Capita accredited support units, Strictly Education’s customers have consistently provided positive feedback in the bi‑annual service satisfaction survey. Strictly Education also hosts a wide range

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Extending free meals LACA will also continue to campaign for Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) to be extended to all school years. Independent academic research carried out by the Education Policy Institute – commissioned by LACA and published earlier this year – found a raft of benefits relating to the policy including increasing the likelihood of children eating fruit and vegetables and broader health improvements. We will work to extend these benefits to children of all ages. This year LACA’s National Schools Meals Week, taking place 12-16 November, will be an important moment in the calendar to highlight the importance of healthy eating in our schools. It will also mark the 25th Anniversary of NSMW and there will be a lot to celebrate during this Silver Jubilee year to make it an anniversary to remember. As we have done in previous years, LACA will also be taking school lunches to the centre of political power at the Houses of Parliament, feeding MPs the best of school food and giving us a golden opportunity to press our elected representatives on some of the crucial issues facing the industry. So, a busy year ahead to say the least. I will be leading our ongoing campaign work on key issues facing our members costs and where the scourge of childhood obesity is concerned I can say with confidence that LACA stands ready to combat it in any way we can. L FURTHER INFORMATION

The government has announced that it will be extending the standards to all schools, including academies and free schools, something that LACA have long called for


 The government has also announced that it will be extending the standards to all schools, including academies and free schools, something that LACA have long called for and we welcome this initiative as well. Nevertheless, LACA would like to see the Childhood Obesity Plan go further. Whilst extending the school food standards is a positive step, we know that the problem of obesity cannot be solved from within the school gates alone. It Is essential that children eat healthily outside of the school premises too. An issue that I will be focusing on as Chair of LACA this year is the worrying number of fast food outlets in close proximity to schools. Research by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has suggested that the number of fast-food outlets in England grew by 4,000 between 2014 and 2017, with 1,800 schools having at least 10 such retailers within a 400-metre radius. Currently children are coming out of school hungry and find themselves surrounded by multiple fast food outlets serving deeply unhealthy meals and snacks. We need to make it far easier for children to make the right choices about the food they eat. Whilst 20 local authorities have so far brought in some restrictions on fast food outlets, the majority of authorities have complained that they lack sufficient powers and face too much red tape to introduce such stringent measures. This issue needs addressing and fast.

LACA’S response to the proposal to ban the sale of energy drinks to children LACA has responded to the government proposal to ban the sale of energy drinks to children, after fears of how they are affecting health. A consultation has opened to seek views on the ban, asking for views on what age the ban should apply to, giving under 16 and under 18 as options. LACA Chair-Elect, Michael Hales, said: “LACA welcomes the announcement by the Department for Health and Social Care that it is leading a consultation regarding the sale of energy drinks to children. We welcome any moves to improve young people’s diets and a restriction on these very high-sugar drinks would be a welcome contribution. “In-school nutrition can help play a key role in helping children understand and familiarise themselves with the food and drink that make up a healthy diet. But, when high-sugar drinks such as energy drinks are available in

every shop and supermarket outside of the school gates this is undermined. LACA looks forward to responding to this consultation in full.” Energy drinks contain high levels of sugar and caffeine and are often cheaper than other soft drinks. Excessive consumption has been linked to a range of health issues in children, from obesity, tooth decay, headaches and sleep problems, to stomach aches and hyperactivity. The consultation recognised that many larger retailers and supermarkets have voluntarily stopped selling energy drinks to under 16, but say that there are still many retailers who continue to sell these drinks to children. The consultation opened on 30 August and will close on 21 November.



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IT & Computing

Is computer science attractive enough?

energy and enthusiasm teachers have put into giving a great many children the high quality, inspiring computing education they need.” “However, the subject has suffered from too little funding and a lack of awareness, with the result that uptake is still too low. “There is a critical need to improve computer science teaching through better professional development, support and resources. We need to recognise the value of the subject GCSE Computer Science grades are improving, but BCS, the and students, particularly girls, need to be encouraged and supported to take the subject. Chartered Institute for IT, says more needs to be done to support “Equipping young people with good quality teachers and pupils in this subject to improve uptake and relevant computing and IT skills provides a pathway to social mobility. We need to help Record numbers of students achieved grades can unquestionably be relied upon.” ensure all pupils, regardless of background, standard and top grades in their Computer Ofqual will be consulting on how to receive the best possible education and Science GCSE, despite the decision not to assess practical skill from 2020 onwards, the same access to opportunity.” include coursework in the final marking. and the BCS will be contributing. The call was echoed by Sue Sentance, A total of 72,485 students sat the exam this Now the BCS is calling on the government board member of Computing At School, year – an increase of 11.8 per cent on 2017. Of and schools to make Computer Science part of BCS, who said: “If education is those students, 44,650 students (­61.1 per cent more attractive to young people. about helping children to understand the of the total) attained grades 9 to 4, equivalent Although there was an a year-on-year world around them and preparing them to the old A* to C grades. 15,222 students increase in the number of students sitting for the world of work, then Computer (21 per cent of the total) achieved grades 9 Computer Science GCSE, just over 72,485 Science in schools is vital when 90 per cent to 7, equivalent to the old A* and A grades. students took Computer Science in 2018. of future jobs will require digital skills.” In January, Ofqual suspended the non What’s more, despite record numbers Miles Berry, Principal Lecturer in exam assessment component, after it was of students getting top grades in their Computing Education at the University of agreed that the practical component had Computer Science GCSE exams, the number Roehampton, said: “Whilst I’m glad there’s significant shortfalls and a perception that of students with a qualification in computing be an increase in uptake, it’s sad to see malpractice was widespread including has fallen, as far fewer students sat the ICT the end of GCSE ICT, with a consequent programming tasks and solutions examination, which has been discontinued. narrowing of digital skills at this level. being shared and discussed online. There has been a decline of 22,850 – “I wonder if it’s time to look at developing The decision compounded an attainment or 16.6 per cent – of students leaving a broad, balanced GCSE in computing, issue, highlighted in the Roehampton report Key Stage 4 with a qualification in to cover computer science, information on computing education. It suggested that computing-related subjects. technology and digital literacy, just Computer Science was already harder to Yet, the government estimates as our world leading national pass than other GCSE subjects, with students that 90 per cent of all future curriculum does.” T he typically getting half a grade lower in jobs will require digital skills And speaking for governm Computer Science than in their other subjects. and that by 2022 the UK industry, Rebecca e n t e s timat will need an additional 1.2 George OBE, Vice per cen es that 90 Fair assessment million new technical and chair and UK public t o f all futu jobs wil Julia Adamson, director of education at BCS, digitally skilled people. sector leader at r e l The Chartered Institute for IT, said: “It’s vital Deloitte, said: skills an require digital d that b that examination grades are fair and reliable. Little funding and “Equipping young the UK y “The withdrawal of the non-exam awareness people with will nee 2022 assessment component during the 2018 Julia Adamson said: good quality and d1 new an d digita .2m academic year was less than ideal, but it was “Computer Science was only relevant computing lly skilled p necessary to ensure that the students who introduced four years ago and and IT skills eople took the qualification this year, and will do is still a new subject for schools. provides a pathway next year, are treated equally and their final These results are testament to the to social mobility. E Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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IT & Computing

 “Too few teenagers realise how many and varied IT job opportunities there are, and the vital contribution that IT makes to the wider economy.” The A level picture Meanwhile, the A Level scenario remains stable. The number of UK students leaving post-16 education with a qualification in a computing-related subject has remained consistent. But BCS fears this number could slump dramatically next summer, as the ICT A-Level is discontinued, leaving only the more academic Computer Science option. A-Level results show 15,149 students passed an A-Level in either Computer Science or ICT, down very slightly from 15,161 in 2017. The number of students passing Computer Science increased from 7,851 in 2017 to 9,772 this year, which is a rise of 24 per cent. The number passing ICT fell for a fourth consecutive year, from 7,310 in 2017 to 5,378 this year - a 20 per cent decline. The number of students attaining an A-Level in Computer Science overtook ICT in 2017. June 2018 was the last sitting of ICT A-Level examinations in England. Computer Science is the study of the foundational principles and practices of computation and computational thinking, and their application in the design and development of computer systems, and is a subject discipline, on a par with Maths or Physics.

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ICT focuses on the creative and productive use and application of technology and computer systems, especially in organisations. Julia Adamson said: “Twelve fewer students left school with an A-Level in a computingrelated subject this year compared with last. What we need to see is major growth. We need a minimum of 40,000 students gaining an advanced computing qualification every year. “To achieve that, we need to improve Computer Science teaching through better professional development, support and resources. “We welcome government investment in the National Centre for Computing

Education, which will invest significantly in computing teacher training, support and resources and is set launch in the Autumn. “Students who study an advanced computing qualification will benefit from significant payback for themselves, for the economy, and in increased productivity. “As a society, we need to make sure that our young people are leaving education with the digital skills they need to secure their first job, an apprenticeship, or go on to further study.” L FURTHER INFORMATION

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FROM WALL BRACKETS & PROJECTOR MOUNTS TO AV FURNITURE. Unicol have been supporting the AV industry for over 55 years with reliable, durable and dependable solutions. The Education range varies from lecterns, desks, collaboration tables, projector mounts, screen trolleys, stands, projector suspension units and wall mounts - all of which can be branded to suit your requirements. All products have a rapid turnaround time.

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Mounting products for the modern classroom From the first stand to the latest lectern, UNICOL has been supporting the education sector with AV mounting solutions. Every way you would want to mount a screen, projector or whiteboard is catered for, including lecterns, teaching aid desks and collaboration tables Fifty-five years ago this month UNICOL began providing stands to support 35mm carousel slide projectors in schools across the UK. So began the audio visual (AV) industry and the introduction of projected images to enhance the learning experience. Many years later and with the terms eLearning and edtech driving modern thinking, you would imagine the classroom of today would look very different. However, in general the teacher still stands at the front of a room full of students and the blackboard has been replaced with a white board or TV screen. Obviously the curriculum has changed and the ability to have immediate information from across the globe has enriched learning through collaboration and sharing. Has the revolution happened or about to happen? It is estimated that the global eLearning market is worth £120 billion and could double in size over the next decade. But will it help or hinder? Who should benefit? The winners should be both students and teachers but inevitably new technology brings an increase in workload, and with the average UK teacher spending 48 to 52 hours a week, with less than half that time spent on teaching, the added burden doesn’t whet the appetite! One advance that could benefit both students and teachers is the introduction of learning platforms using augmented reality (AR) and computer vision (CV), the field of artificial intelligence that trains what is seen by a camera lens to understand the world it sees. This technology has the power to vastly enhance the learning experience by enabling users to interact with real live objects through, for instance, their smart phone. Hook this up to audio and the phone can talk you through an object it is pointing at with images of its history and the way it works. Whilst this technology is young, it is being developed quickly and the upside for teachers is that once the training spike has been overcome, the workload could diminish. This form of self-teaching is much more beneficial as students learn directly from source through their own actions. The largest impact on a global scale would be to interact with the 750 million people who cannot read, telling them what it is they see. How can an engineering company adept at metal origami help? The UNICOL motto is ‘Supporting You’ and from the first stand to the latest lectern, the education sector has been supported

with AV mounting solutions. Every way you would want to mount a screen, projector or whiteboard is catered for including lecterns, teaching aid desks and collaboration tables. There is a huge range of standard products to choose from and a dedicated special products division will engage with customers to design and build custom items to suit a particular need. In recent years UNICOL has noticed an extra dimension creep into the decision making goals of higher education, especially universities, when buying AV equipment. For many institutions style and branding is now as important as the functionality of the equipment being specified, college colours adorn lecterns and illuminated logos shine out through a dimmed lecture theatre proclaiming the establishment. All of this is catered for in the custom built items that UNICOL produces. Many of the custom prototype designs progress into standard equipment, but with an element of bespoke options such as screen make & model, PC, switch gear, connectivity devices, visualiser and video conference (VC) codec & camera. It is through these devices that the advancements in software, mentioned above, come to life for both the student and teacher. For example, let us assume that a teacher will stand in front of a group of students with a screen to interact with. The environment where this takes place does not have to be

a class room, it could be in a corridor, atrium or just a ‘space’. The constraining factors are an electricity supply for the screen and the mobility of the screen support. The UNICOL Nest-Star trolley is a complete plug and play large format audio visual teaching assistant on wheels that can be deployed quickly and neatly stowed when not in use. It can turn an empty space into an effective eLearning environment as and when required. Collaboration is another area where UNICOL provides institutions with the ability to specify their choice of screens, VC equipment and connectivity. The Rhobus Huddle is a collaborative table with single or multi-screens. The Principal Lectern provides lecturers with a central desk facility to control AV lecture content, screen or projector video sources, audio and lighting levels and more. Both of these units are powered up & down and can be branded. The UNICOL product list is vast and comprehensive and all manufactured in the UK. Wherever the latest developments in education lead us, the passion remains to provide safe, adaptable and dependable mounting solutions ‘Supporting You’. L FURTHER INFORMATION 01865 767676



EduTech Show 2018 is at the cutting edge of the changes happening in the digital and educational world. Here’s a closer look at some of the event’s keynote speakers

Momentum for the EduTech Show 2018 is racing ahead, this year the show is being held on Friday 12 October. Registration is now live and content for the show is drawing interest from a wide range of educational specialist; not just those involved directly with computing. In this preview we will be taking a closer look at our speakers; Kiera Newmark, deputy director of the DfE’s STEM and digital skills unit and Andrew Clarke, deputy headteacher and an ipad advocate in the classroom. Can this all be for free? Yes. Your continual professional development really does matter to the EduTech Show team. Education in a digital world One of the keynote speakers Kiera Newmark joins the show to discuss the opportunities that technology can offer all young people in today’s digital world and how the DFE plans to support school teachers to embrace the changes taking place in the computing world. Kiera will set out the current work undertaken by the DFE team and more excitingly the next steps for education in

both the primary and secondary phase. The DFE’s work is on the cusp of exactly what today’s teachers need and the EduTech Show 2018 is at the cutting edge of the changes happening in the digital and educational world. This year’s Developers Skills Report by HackerRank recognised that out of all the countries included in the report’s survey, the United Kingdom stands out with the highest share of developers who started coding as young as five years old. This highlights the credible work that takes place to ensure our young people are ready for a world of tech. The majority of those developers are now in their 30s and 40s. As educators we relish this culture of forward-thinking education and believe it is picking up further pace in the UK. The report states that we became the first nation to modernise the curriculum, with the introduction of Computing in place of Information Technology. The shift in the curriculum requires children as young as Early Years to take on programming. Kiera’s Keynote session will affirm why STEM is a key factor in the delivery of the National Curriculum in schools. Seminars sessions Turning now to one of our seminar sessions this year we are lucky enough to have Andrew Clarke. Andrew explains that his journey with mobile technology, specifically iPad, has been very exciting. The practical use of this technology has enabled him to

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Casting a spotlight on the EduTech Show 2018 at Olympia, London develop and improve the pedagogy within his school’s classrooms, transform the teaching and learning we provide and improve outcomes for our children. Students have been able to direct and monitor their own learning, improve and develop work from their peers and also form thoughtful verbal feedback using apps such as Showbie. Andrew, during his seminar, will focus in on the simplicity and reliability of ipad devices across all the key stages and how it has become embedded as a curriculum tool for children and teachers alike. For instance, as children now have access to mobile devices with cameras at all times, the concept of using visualisers in lessons has become second-nature and children can share and comment on their own work or work of other pupils by sharing it via AppleTV within the classroom. This approach to technology can be used by all non-specialist computing teachers and with any age group! So if you are looking for a new and easy way to develop a rich curriculum which provides even more opportunities to enthuse children then this seminar session is for you. Digital learning This year’s show will allow teachers to foster their children’s natural curiosity in how digital learning can enhance the curriculum. Andrew will take visitors on a tour of Apps such as iMovie and Clips which allow both staff and children to develop and enhance their creativity in learning. The EduTech Show team aim to see teachers, learning support assistants and students growing and advancing together through the innovation on show this October. Andrew comments: “When all stakeholders are sharing, supporting and developing the skills of using mobile technology together, as well as inspiring and assisting our cluster schools, you realise you have something special flourishing.” Join us Again if you haven’t yet considered registering then please do. Join us on Friday 12 October at Olympia London. The team at EduTech Show 2018 are also spreading the word to the insta-community. Check out, follow and love the edutechshow2018’s instagram page. All you need to do is pre-register in advance to guarantee free entry to seminar and keynote sessions as well as the exhibition. L FURTHER INFORMATION Volume 23.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Bett 2019

The world’s largest edtech show is approaching As the new academic year begins, it is time to start thinking about the new and exciting technology that will help enhance teaching and learning. Bett 2019, taking place 23-26 January at London’s Excel, will showcase the latest tech products on the market At every level of education, the themes for Bett 2019 are based on real needs of the education community; from the tech nervous newbie through to the cool geeky early adopter. We’re creating a learning focused agenda to sit at the heart of the show and to provide practical and inspiration in equal measure that helps over the year ahead. Leaders in education consistently look to Bett to help them with strategy, so we’re pulling together outstanding examples of people, and organisations, who are doing amazing things in, and for, the sector. Also, people whose stories have relevancy for meeting the challenges of contemporary education. We want to help visitors gain insights into every facet of leadership and understand how to improve their institution from the classroom to the teaching staff, and hear the latest trends in EdTech for 2019. 21st Century Skills and Knowledge The next big challenge faced by teachers and leaders is helping their students be ready for an uncertain future. We’ll be bringing to life all the skills that learners today will need to thrive


tomorrow. We’ll showcase the best examples in learning spaces all over the world such of schools and colleges who are challenging as personalised and mobile learning. We’ll their learners to become entrepreneurs and be sharing the stories and insights behind use their abilities to do exceptional things. that best practice in teaching and learning.   SEN and Neurodiversity Classroom tech and resources The growth in visible, and invisible, disabilities Moving beyond the big shiny hardware on and learning needs is becoming more of show at Bett is something that teachers have a challenge across all levels of education. been calling for, we’re going to highlight Especially as more systems move towards large and small examples of innovative tech integrated education which creates a and resources, especially in the run up to the more diverse learning space. Across the show that can help empower show we’ll showcase the products and learning, many of which solutions through trails and our new are free or work for Bett, SEN area. Within the seminar schools on a budget. the wo programme we’ll share best   r largest ld’s practice and inspiring stories Institute to help improve knowledge tech and event, edtech and learning of teachers, solutions  23-26 J takes place anuary leaders and support staff. Operating a 2 019 at London   school that ’s will be Excel and Exceptional Pedagogy uses data and Teachers want to do their very analytics to drive with th co-located e Educa best for their learners, to help improvements in them tap into the latest thinking student outcomes Show tion in improving learning outcomes. and operations There’s remarkable things happening is fast becoming a


Bett 2019

pre-requisite. Additionally, they help with the latest approaches to assessment and workload management. We’ll highlight the examples, case-studies and best practice that can help Senior Leadership Teams and infrastructure management to make the right choices for their institution and make improvements to existing tech. Futures Bett has built a reputation for showing the boundary pushing innovation coming out of the EdTech scene. Across our seminar programme and Future’s area we’re pushing our exhibitors, and speakers to contextualise how the products, services and solutions they present are effective for institutions. More broadly at Bett we’re committed to driving the efficacy agenda forward and working with the leading minds to break it down into much more manageable bitesize chunks and help schools and colleges embed it into their operations. Exhibitors include established brands offering workshops and valuable presentations such as Microsoft, Adobe and Promethean, through to newcomers such as Alef’s VR experience to Mars and First Scandinavia’s Mobile STEAM classroom and flight simulator, where pupils can learn maths, physics and other subjects with the flight simulator. There’s also Lu interactive playground which makes kids move and learn by gamifying physical education in an innovative and interactive playground. WatchX is an Arduino compatible wearable platform for young makers. It helps and facilitate kids to program in any area or purpose. Drone Kids meanwhile is a drone race course that revolutionises the way kids learn physics and quantum physics, maths, aerodynamic forces and other subjects along with learning how to work as team. Education Show to be co-located with bett The Education Show is moving date and location to coincide with its sister show Bett. While Bett is all about edtech, the Education Show continues to focus on all other school equipment and supplies. With both events under one roof, school leaders, business managers and teachers will save time, by being able to purchase school essentials in one place. For 2019 the Education Show is extending its offering to incorporate policy, pedagogy and school management for leaders who want to find the knowledge, resources and suppliers to make their schools more successful. Over two days it will tackle the key challenges facing these leaders, examining how they can manage change and improve efficiency through inspiring presentations and free CPD accreditation for personal development. The range of education suppliers to early years, primary, secondary, HE, FE and MATs, combine with hands-on demonstrations to complete the experience. Education Show and Bett Managing Director, Rohan Marwaha commented: “We’re excited to present the new developments to the Education Show. We’ve had overwhelming support for the change which will see the Education Show provide fresh appeal to those charged with spending budgets as effectively as possible. It will be a national show not only for UK schools, but also for those from overseas, helping school decision-makers see all that they need to equip their schools, achieving the best outcomes for teachers, students and senior leadership teams.”

Caroline Wright, Director General, BESA, added; “Today’s cost pressures on schools mean that school leaders need to focus to make every purchase count. The exciting news that the UK’s two premier education exhibitions are to move alongside each other means that schools now have a one-stop-shop opportunity to experience the full school range of products, services and support all under one giant roof at Excel London. “Bringing the Education Show and Bett together under one roof will allow a national platform for top quality CPD, training and holistic exhibition space dedicated to helping every aspect of school life, from curriculum learning to multi-academy administration. I am excited that BESA is the strategic partner for Bett and the Education Show.” L FURTHER INFORMATION

Bespoke secure broadband for schools Awarded Best Security ISP for the second year running by ISPA, and recently endorsed by the CPC Education Framework as an approved DfE provider, there’s no disputing the quality of service delivered by Schools Broadband is on the up. The company philosophy, from the design of its products to the personal guidance and delivery of its service, is to take complex filtering and security products, making them simple for schools to understand and implement without the need for customers to become experts. Schools Broadband has helped over 1,500 schools of all sizes design tailored, all-inone connectivity, filtering and security packages, meeting their needs and budgets. The company also specialises in services to Multi Academy Trusts and offer both fully managed or self-managed options. Providing broadband connections

from 10Mbps to 10Gbps and firewalls from standard to fully resilient, Schools Broadband is the first education ISP to offer cost effective ultrafast connectivity via, giving 330Mbps download. The company is looking for BETA trialists for and will provide free installation and free broadband for one year. Finally, to save administration time when shopping around for your new provider, Schools Broadband is now approved as a DfE supplier and fully complies with EU procurement regulations. Visit them on stand B281 at bett.

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Edusentials provides a wide range of high-quality school supplies across the UK and beyond. For classroom furniture, storage, staging, catering trolleys, presentation equipment and carpets, view Edusential’s range for a wealth of inspiration and choice. With a well-developed reputable supply chain, Edusentials can offer very competitive prices and save you money on your orders, enabling you to get the very most from your budget – something which is more important now than ever. Furthermore, Edusentials offers free delivery to mainland UK. Visit the website to see the best in educational furniture, all laid out in easy-to-navigate

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Meeting the design needs of the education sector Taraflex® from Gerflor is the most widely specified indoor sports surface in the world and has been the number one choice for over 70 years. Available in 17 colours and three wood-effect designs, it’s perfect for meeting the specification and design needs of the education sector. Developed to suit all performance levels and ages whilst offering comfort and safety, users experience a reduction in injuries from bumps and falls and it offers a feeling of enhanced comfort and protection so both children and adults can enjoy their sporting and exercising experience. Its unique triple action Protecsol® surface treatment offers the perfect compromise between grip and slide, providing safe grip and resistance as children accelerate but allowing their



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IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN. The Ransomes TR320. MADE FOR SCHOOLS. The TR320 is perfect for maintaining school pitches and surrounding areas. With the ability to cut and collect, you can rest assured that a clean, pristine finish will be achieved on cricket and football pitches, as well as longer grassed areas. The winning combination of narrow transport width, a productive width-of-cut and superior manoeuvrability makes negotiating tight spaces, courtyards, and building surrounds a breeze.

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Education Business 23.7  
Education Business 23.7