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Building a greener school estate The first 50 schools have been chosen for rebuilding work under the government’s ten-year programme, which aims to create a fit-for-purpose and greener school estate. This issue of Education Business looks at the first wave on the rebuilding programme, as well as some of the schools that have won funding, on page 15.


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At the time of announcing the programme, it was said that rebuilding projects will be greener, helping meet the government’s net zero target. On page 23, Alex Green, schools manager of the Let’s Go Zero campaign, explains how a growing number of schools are signing up to become zero-carbon by 2030. A school’s energy use is a major factor in this journey and so Alex shares tips on how old school buildings can implement energy saving measures, while new builds can embed energy efficiency within their fabric. Schools have now welcomed back all pupils following the second round of closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and rapid virus testing procedures are now in place. But while children and young people are back in the classroom, schools must still ensure that they can switch to remote learning in instances where children have to self isolate, or there is an outbreak in their school. On page 51, computer science teachers and computing lead teachers share tips about how to make remote education work well, and what changes are here to stay. Page 45 meanwhile gives advice on how to make a school’s IT infrastructure fit-for-purpose. Angela Pisanu, editor

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Contents Education Business 26.2 15

07 News

51 IT & Computing

More mental health support teams for schools; £72m to support pupils in Wales as they return to school; no evidence to show school staff at greater Covid risk

In the last year, remote education has become routine for students and teachers, and months of online teaching is set to leave a lasting legacy. Computer Science teachers and computing lead teachers in primary schools share their tips about how to make remote education work, and what changes are here to stay

15 Design & Build The first 50 schools have been chosen for rebuilding work under the government’s ten-year programme. We look at the first wave of the programme and some of the projects involved


23 Energy Lowering energy use in old buildings, or ensuring new ones are energy efficient, is one of the main routes to zero carbon schools. Alex Green, schools manager of the Let’s Go Zero campaign shares some energy efficiency tips

27 Fire Safety The National Fire Chiefs Council continues to argue the case for fitting sprinkler systems in all new and refurbished schools in England, and has engaged with the Department for Education who are shortly to launch a consultation of its revised draft Design Guidance for Fire Safety in new schools


31 Asbestos


The Department for Education’s recent guidance on asbestos includes information on the risks asbestos poses, how to manage the substance during maintenance or building works, as well as what funding is available to have it removed

59 Sport There needs to be an urgent focus on sport and physical education at schools to combat the high levels of inactivity during lockdown, writes the Youth Sport Trust

63 Outdoor Learning At a time when Covid has so disproportionately affected the nation’s children, outdoor education has a unique role to play in helping to restore and rebuild their confidence and mental health, writes Andy Robinson, chief executive of the Institute of Outdoor Learning and member of UK Outdoors

67 Catering The Covid-19 pandemic and the repeated closure of schools for the majority of children has highlighted the social, economic and educational importance of school food. Stephen Forster, national chair of LACA, reflects on the challenging start to the year and looks forward to schools being open to all children once more


33 Cleaning Extra and more robust cleaning, as well as strict hygiene measures, have become the norm in schools operating during the pandemic. We catch-up on the latest advice on cleaning during Covid

37 Procurement Many schools and academies outsource services such as cleaning, catering and ICT support. Here are five key areas to consider when starting a tendering exercise for an outsourced service

45 IT Infrastructure


Good equipment, the right online platforms, support and training for teachers and students, along with digital skills and connectivity all now play a vital role in education. But is your IT infrastructure working well for your school, staff and students?

Education Business magazine


www.educationbusinessuk.net Issue 26.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE




More mental health support teams for schools supporting nearly 3 million children. Mental health support teams work in a variety of ways, including enabling children to text their local support team, with a health professional responding within an hour during the school day offering them advice, or providing families with tips on how to spot that the children and young people are struggling with their mental health. The teams also help staff within schools and colleges to provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing through training sessions for parents or workshops for teachers. Access to community mental health services will also be expanded, giving 22,500 more children and young people access to help and support by 2021 to 2022 – including talking therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy.

The government has announced a £79 million funding boost for mental health support for children and young people, which includes an increase in mental

health support teams in schools. The number of mental health support teams in schools and colleges will grow from 59 to 400 by April 2023,



Consultation into assessment of GCSE modern foreign languages

New ‘action group’ discusses improving mental health in schools

Ofqual has launched a consultation on the future assessment arrangements for modern foreign language GCSEs in French, German and Spanish. These proposals relate to the revised subject content that the Department for Education (DfE) is proposing in a public consultation. The proposals will likely come into effect for first teaching from September 2023, and assessments in 2025 at the earliest. Ofqual is proposing that the assessment objectives reflect the updated content, and that assessments are still tiered at foundation and higher tier, with students only entered for one tier. Ofqual is also proposing that non-exam assessment continues to be used for the assessment of speaking skills, and that it continues to count towards 25 per cent of the total marks for the qualification.


A new mental health ‘action group’, made up of health and education experts, has met for the first time to look at the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of pupils and education staff across England. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was joined by ministers from across government, as well as Youth Mental Health Ambassador Dr. Alex George, to discuss how best to respond to the mental health issues of greatest concern including the increase in eating disorders and self-harm among young people, and how to help education staff manage their mental wellbeing. The coalition agreed to take forward more action across a range of areas, including


boosting the support available to help children and young people move between schools and year groups, and looking at how schools and colleges can target funding and recovery support to ensure that support reaches pupils who need it the most. Group members also shared ways to improve training, where to focus investment and how to make wellbeing a core part of the school curriculum, as well as considering early years settings and development, university support, and sector-wide widespread mental health and wellbeing training opportunities. CLICK TO READ MORE





£72m to support pupils in Wales as they return to school Education Minister for Wales Kirsty Williams has announced a further £72 million to support learners as they return to school after closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding will be used to continue the Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards programme into the next academic year, extra learning resources and support for foundation phase learners in schools and childcare settings. There will also be targeted support for learners in years 11, 12 and 13, to provide additional help with their transition into the next stage.

Funding will also be used to support 1,400 trainee teachers currently in Initial Teacher Education, enabling them to complete their practical experience in the autumn, complete their qualifications and move into full-time teaching. Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said: “I know that extra help is needed, especially for learners at key stages in their academic careers and in their lives. As learners continue to go back to face-to-face learning, we are providing this additional

funding to ensure support is in place when our young people return to the classroom.”



Schools to benefit from £5m fund to tackle air pollution

Many schools are set to benefit from £5 million government funding for innovative projects to improve air quality. The money, from the government’s Air Quality Grant, helps councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities from air pollution.

Bedford Borough Council has won funding for schools to encourage behaviour change for reduced car journeys and antiidling, as well as organise school street closures at pick up and drop off times. Cherwell District Council will use funding for an anti-idling campaign at schools, level crossings, hospitals and doctor’s surgeries.

Liverpool City Council meanwhile will deliver a project on particulate matter in schools, supported by Air Quality data gathered by pupils with portable monitoring devices. Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010 but remains the greatest environmental risk to human health. “This funding demonstrates our commitment to improving our air and also our openness to innovation, through pioneering initiatives such as campaigns to encourage greater use of electric bikes and education programmes teaching children about the harms of fine particulate matter. “We know local authorities are in the best position to address the issues they face in their areas. These projects demonstrate how they can deliver innovative solutions for their communities and we will continue to work with them closely to offer ongoing support.” CLICK TO READ MORE


Report calls for review of free school meal eligibility A new report from the Food Foundation, released as part of the #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford, provides further evidence that the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the UK’s most vulnerable populations. The report found that free School Meal vouchers have represented a vital lifeline for eligible children and their families during Covid, but a series of issues with provision during school closure left many eligible children unable to rely on a regular, quality meal. It also highlighted how many children not currently eligible for Free School Meals face the daily stress of not knowing where their

next meal comes from, while an increased number of children reported they or their families visited a food bank this Christmas compared to during the summer holidays. The report is recommending an urgent and comprehensive review into Free School Meal policy across the UK. To support all low-income children and families in the aftermath of the pandemic, the review should ensure Free School Meals are delivering maximum nutritional and educational impact and promoting children’s learning and well-being throughout the school day. It should review the current eligibility threshold to make sure no disadvantaged children are missing out on the benefits of a Free School Meal.




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New legislation to address bullying in Northern Ireland

No evidence to show school staff at greater Covid risk

Legislation to address bullying in schools will come into operation in Northern Ireland on 1 September 2021. The Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (NI) 2016 will bring renewed focus for schools on the issue and deliver greater consistency and impact in the treatment of all forms of bullying. Announcing the introduction of the new legislation, the Education Minister Peter Weir, said: “I am pleased to be able to finally bring this important piece of legislation, which was supported by all parties, into law. “Bullying is a complex issue with no single, easy solution however, we all have a part to play in creating a society and an education system in which bullying behaviour is always challenged and dealt with effectively, as soon as it rears its head. “Schools must be welcoming places and therefore issues such as bullying must be dealt with to ensure that all young people enjoy their school days and make the most of their time there to ensure they reach their full potential.” The legislation will provide a legal definition of bullying; introduce a requirement for schools to record all incidents of bullying; and require Boards of Governors to take direct responsibility for developing and monitoring the effectiveness of Anti-Bullying policy and practice within schools. CLICK TO READ MORE

According to data collected by the Schools Infection Survey (SIS) during the Autumn term, teachers and other school staff show similar levels of antibodies for the COVID19 virus as other working age adults. The survey carried out in schools over December 2020, suggests the proportion who were positive for COVID-19 infection among participating staff and students on site was lower than the surrounding community, and antibody tests showed no evidence to indicate participating school staff are at greater risk of infection. The survey aims to examine the prevalence of current infection and antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 among staff and students, monitor COVID-19 absences, and assess measures by schools to control the virus. In round two of the survey, 7,089 students and 5,114 staff in 121 schools (41 primary

and 80 secondary) from 15 local authority areas were tested at least once in December 2020, when schools were still open. They were tested for both the presence of the virus using nasal swab PCR tests, and antibodies through blood samples from staff and saliva swab samples from students. They found that the proportion of staff who tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, which indicate a past infection, was 14.6 per cent of primary staff, compared to 15.7 per cent of secondary staff. The prevalence of antibodies in school staff was similar to that of working age adults in the local community, and no evidence was found to suggest that school staff were at significantly higher risk of infection. CLICK TO READ MORE


£50m for school building improvements in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced an additional £50m towards improvements to school buildings across Wales. The funding will allow local authorities to focus on large-scale maintenance projects,

such as replacement roofs, new window systems or heating and ventilation works, rather than small scale routine repairs. The funding is in addition to the Welsh Government’s 21st century Schools and

Colleges programme, which has seen 170 new schools or colleges built in its first phase, with a further 43 projects already approved for its second phase. Further Education colleges have already been allocated an extra £10m for maintenance and small scale projects this year. Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said: “Our 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme has seen new school building projects developed right across Wales, providing first class facilities for our learners. “While we continue to invest in brand new schools, I also recognise the pressures local authorities are under to maintain our existing school estate. This funding will help local authorities undertake urgent work to keep our school estate in good shape for the future.” CLICK TO READ MORE



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upgrade the school’s CCTV system, which was decades old and semi-operational. Also attractive with a Hybrid Cloud solution is that it makes planning for the school year simple. Verkada’s pricing model is as simple as it gets: cost of camera and cost of software. With an industry leading 10-year product warranty and free system updates, always have the latest in security without affecting forecasted budgets. Due to the large student body and expansive campus, it’s imperative for David Jeapes and the 200 staff on campus to be trained and aligned in response to emergency situations. “When we last did fire drills, I used Verkada’s heat map technology and multi-camera playback to analyse how to manage traffic through different corridors, stairways and exits. The ability to pinpoint where blockages exist, then develop solutions as a precaution, makes all the difference for any high-risk situation.” With seven major campuses and a number of teaching sites that span across Bath, and surrounding areas, Bath Spa University has embraced Verkada’s Hybrid Cloud solution in order to improve visibility across campus. By centralising camera feeds into an easy-to-use platform that requires no onboarding, security and facilities staff can find incidents of interest quickly. In emergency situations, users can share live feeds instantly via SMS or link and quickly get footage into the hands of first responders.

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STEM teacher bursary scheme to continue in Scotland A STEM bursary scheme in Scotland that encourages people to train as secondary school teachers in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computing Science, Technical Education and Home Economics is set to continue. These are the secondary school STEM subjects with the greatest demand for teachers, and 150 bursaries will be available for career changers to apply for the £20,000 bursary in the next academic year while studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Skills Development Scotland will open the bursary scheme for applications on 5 April, 2021. Scotland’s Education Secretary John Swinney said: “The success of the scheme demonstrates that teaching is recognised as an attractive profession and I am pleased that we will once again be providing bursaries of £20,000 to career changers to support teacher training in certain STEM subjects where demand is at its greatest. 150 bursaries were awarded during the 2020/21 scheme.

“Those that decide to apply for the bursaries will step into a rewarding and exciting new career. We need fresh talent that can share their passion and wealth of expertise with young people. STEM is an integral part of our future economic and social development, and education,

training and lifelong learning have a critical role to play in enthusing and encouraging everyone to build a strong base of STEM skills and knowledge.” CLICK TO READ MORE



Mayor of London launches school pollution helpdesk

Funding for disadvantaged learners to double in Wales

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched the new London Schools Pollution Helpdesk - a free to use service for all London schools for advice, alongside a website which will be a source of information on air pollution, offering the best resources and case studies for schools. This builds on the Mayor’s School and Nursery Air Quality Audits Programme which has delivered audits at 50 schools and 20 nurseries across the capital’s most polluted areas. The Mayor provided £10,000 per school and £4,500 per nursery in funding to help them implement measures. In partnership with environment charity Global Action Plan and Impact on Urban Health, the London Schools Pollution Helpdesk will support schools across the

capital to deliver air quality audits and will prioritise the remaining schools in areas of London still exceeding or nearly exceeding legal pollution levels. In addition, Global Action Plan will be coordinating the Schools Forum developed to support the audit programme and share best practice. The charity recently launched the Clean Air Schools Framework that helps any school to work out which air pollution actions are best for them. It provides guidance and resources to help implement the plan, building on the knowledge from the Mayor’s audit programme and will complement the London Schools Pollution Helpdesk. CLICK TO READ MORE

Wales’ Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced that more than £10m will be made available to extend a programme that provides support to the most disadvantaged learners in Wales. Funding for Wales’s Pupil Development Grant Access scheme will be doubled to cover additional year groups and will be extended to allow the purchasing of laptops and tablets in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The funding of £10.3m – an increase from £5.1m in 2019/20 – will allow the Welsh Government to extend the scheme to provide support for those in years 1, 5, 8, 9 and 11, at a rate of £125 per learner. Introduced in 2018, PDG-Access helps families cover the costs of school uniforms and sports kits, as well as equipment for activities outside of the school, including sports clubs and trips for outdoor learning. It is funding that goes directly to the families who need it most to help with some of the costs of the school day. To complement the scheme, the Welsh Government commissioned Children in Wales to produce a set of guides for schools covering key aspects of the cost of the school day. The guides focus on opportunities to change culture in schools around disadvantage and provide strategies for addressing particular challenges around the cost of the school day. The Price of Pupil Poverty guides are available on the Welsh Government website. CLICK TO READ MORE








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School Furniture Collection 2021

Design & Build

Making the school estate fit-for-purpose The first 50 schools have been chosen for rebuilding work under the government’s ten-year programme. We look at the first wave of the programme and some of the projects involved Last June, the Prime Minister announced a ten-year rebuilding programme for schools, the first major rebuilding programme to be launched since 2014. Schools in England in the worst condition will benefit from additional investment, and schools and colleges will also receive funding to refurbish buildings. The programme aims to deliver 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade. The rebuilding programme kicked off in February this year, with the first 50 projects being confirmed, supported by over £1 billion in funding. Projects range from replacing or refurbishing individual buildings through to whole school rebuilds. The first 50 schools chosen include primary, secondary and specials as well as a sixth form college in West Yorkshire, with more than 70 per cent of the schools in the North and Midlands. The initial rebuilds and

of schools following site visits last year, so refurbishments will create modern education construction can begin on the first projects environments, providing new facilities from autumn 2021. The majority of the first from classrooms and science labs, to sports 50 rebuild projects under the programme halls and dining rooms. The schools are expected to be completed will also be greener, helping within three to five years. meet the Government’s The The programme will net zero target. program also help create jobs, When announcing apprenticeships and the first 50 projects, allows me training opportunities Education Secretary projects for across England, with Gavin Williamson r a n g from re ing suppliers offering training said: “The rebuilding refurbis placing or and apprenticeships projects are just the hing in as part of their work start of our major d building ividual on the rebuilds. ten-year programme, s t h rou to who The investment of transforming le scho gh over £1 billion to support hundreds of schools o l rebuilds the first round of the School and improving the Rebuilding Programme comes education of tens of on top of £1.8 billion earmarked for thousands of children.” school repair and upgrade projects over Project planning for the 50 this coming year. E rebuilds is already advanced on a number Issue 26.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Sports facilities The government also investing more than £10 million for school sports and swimming facilities in England. This funding will be distributed through Sport England and will build on existing funding to help schools open their facilities outside of school hours, and encourage pupils to be more physically active. The sports facilities funding will be distributed through Sport England and their county level networks, Active Partnerships, who will work with local schools to identify who are most in need. Schools in disadvantaged areas, or areas with high inactivity among children, will also be given the opportunity to bid for funding. The investment can also support schools with opening in a Covid-secure manner, such as with additional signage, touchfree entry and cleaning equipment. The funding can also support facilities to improve accessibility, especially for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This could include buying adaptive sports equipment, like sensory balls for the visually impaired or wheelchair-accessible equipment. Free schools As part of the programme, there will be 21 new free schools, with ten opening in some of the most deprived areas. Unity Howard Director of New Schools Network said: “This is fantastic news for communities across the country. Free

schools have an incredible track record of driving up standards, and we have seen over the past decade just how popular free schools are with parents. “The groups planning these new free schools should be proud; the free school application process is demanding, and this year they have dealt with additional uncertainties owing to the pandemic. I wish them the very best of luck as they begin working towards welcoming children through the doors of their new schools in the years to come.” The 21 new free schools reflects the government’s continued commitment to the free school programme. 558 free schools have already opened across the country to date. Get the most from the funding Speaking about how to get the best out of the funding, RIBA President Alan Jones said: “Well-designed schools have the power to shape society – improving the attainment, behaviour, health and wellbeing of every child. “As the government’s ten-year rebuilding programme gets underway, it is crucial to focus on the delivery of good quality design, sustainability and safety. “To ensure the best outcomes for students, teachers and the taxpayer, the government must commit to monitoring the performance of the new buildings once they are in use through Post Occupancy Evaluation – and use these findings to ensure each project is better than the last. “Furthermore, vital safety measures including the installation of sprinklers must also be prioritised in the design of new and maintenance of existing school buildings. Alongside the CIOB, RICS and NFCC, the RIBA is continuing to call for this to be mandated. “This is a critical opportunity to have a transformative impact on the lives of future generations – the government must get it right.” Warwickshire secondary schools Three of Warwickshire’s secondary schools had successful bids under the government’s programme. Kineton High, Southam College and Hartshill School will all undergo major

Design & Build

 Prioritisation of schools The first 50 schools were prioritised either because they have buildings of specific construction types that require replacement, or their buildings have the highest condition need, identified in data collected by the department in the Condition Data Collection and verified through collecting additional condition information. For the next projects later in 2021, the DfE plans to publish details of the prioritisation process, as well as consult on its approach for later rounds in the 10-year programme. In future rounds, there will be opportunities for the bodies responsible for school buildings to submit supplementary information about severe condition need, where it is not fully captured in the Condition Data Collection.

rebuild and development at their sites, with an investment of around £60 million. The work will be funded and projectmanaged by the Department of Education, while Warwickshire County Council will facilitate the delivery of the rebuilds. These rebuilds will sit alongside other major school projects such as the forthcoming new All Through School at Oakley Grove in Warwick, the new Houlton School in Rugby and The Warwickshire Academy in Bedworth. The announcement also follows news that Higham Lane North secondary school will be built in Nuneaton, offering 900 places as part of the Government Wave 14 Free School Programme. Cllr Hayfield, Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning said: “We are delighted to secure the success of Kineton High, Southam College and Hartshill School with the Government’s scheme. Warwickshire secured funding for three schools out of 50 which is a tremendous success rate. “This is no coincidence. Our approach was enabling and removed any blocks to progress. Not only will this help us to meet the increasing need for secondary school placements, it will do so with highquality facilities that are fit for purpose for this generation of students.” Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School in Coventry was also selected for a rebuild as part of programme. The school, which was originally built in 1969, will become a modern education environment with new state of the art facilities. Headteacher Ms O’Connor said: “This school benefits from such fantastic staff whose commitment to the community is outstanding. “To be able to serve the parents and students in a state of the art, purpose built school is something everyone deserves.” John Teahan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Holy Cross Catholic MAC, said: “We are really delighted and very excited to be embarking on this project. “The new building programme will be enhanced by the current £4million investment for a new canteen block due to be completed in June. “Together they will give our students a fantastic new learning environment to develop even further the many successes and strengths of the school.” State of the art classrooms Under the programme, the King Edmund School in Rochford, Essex, will demolish one of the current blocks of classrooms later this year, replacing it with new stateof-the-art facilities and 30 classrooms. The school was forced to close in October for four weeks because of over-running building works. Repairs to the front of the school were due to be completed in August but overran and temporary classrooms were set up. Jonathan Osborn, headteacher at the school, said: “We are thrilled that students will have access to modern, first-rate facilities in the very near future. E Issue 26.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Schools in need of investment St John Fisher Catholic High School, The Byrchall High School, Fred Longworth High School and St Thomas’ CE Primary School in Wigan have been chosen for rebuilds as part of the programme.

Alison Rigby, headteacher of St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan, said: “We cannot express our sheer delight that our young people will have access to modern, state-of-the-art facilities in the future. We all know buildings don’t educate children, people do, but the environment in which children learn and are encouraged to grow is vital in producing decent human beings. “It is great that our school has been identified for this investment – we have a unique sporting heritage – we have produced international Rugby league, Rugby Union and Netball players and athletes – despite our modest sporting facilities! “This new build project will boost our curriculum offer and provide fantastic facilities in which our learning community will continue to flourish, and, most importantly, build confidence in our young people because they will feel valued and invested in and – ultimately, loved.” Alex Gallimore, director of business and finance at Fred Longworth High School, said: “This is fantastic news for the school and will enable us to provide the modern, state-of-the-art facilities that our students and staff deserve. “A lot of hard work and planning has taken place over the past two years to put the school in a position to replace our building stock, most of which are mid-sixties ‘Intergrid’ style blocks. “We are currently well under way with a £3.3m project to replace the maths and humanities block following a successful bid for funding early last year and now we can

confirm that we are receiving additional funding to replace the remaining buildings. “Great things already happen here at Fred Longworth and this next phase of rebuilding will complete our property strategy to create a modern, efficient and engaging learning environment to enable us to raise the bar even higher. It’s certainly going to be an exciting few years at Freddie’s as we see the new school develop.” In Lancashire, Tarleton Academy, Lytham St Annes High School and Whitworth Community High School will benefit from the rebuilding programme. At Tarleton Academy, the school is to be knocked down and a replacement state of the art school will be built on a new site within its grounds. Headteacher Lesley Gwinnett said: “We are so pleased that in the next few years our students and staff will have access to modern, state-of-the-art facilities. Current plans will retain our existing sports hall, but we are looking forward to a brand new swimming pool. “The new school will be set much further back on the site, around where the existing sports hall is situated. We are taking seriously the impact on our neighbours and careful planning will ensure that the new build will be an improvement for everyone in the village and surrounding areas.” L

Design & Build

 “This will provide a great boost to students’ education, allowing us to further develop the breadth of our curriculum offer, and will also enhance the educational opportunities available to younger students in the local area as they reach secondary school age.” It is hoped the new block will be ready to open by September 2023, at the beginning of the 2023/24 academic year. Meanwhile, three schools in Rochdale have secured funding to have new sites built as part of the rebuilding programme. Littleborough Community Primary will be having a whole new school, while Kingsway Park High and Newhouse Academy will both be benefiting from substantial building work. The new Littleborough Community Primary School building will deliver a replacement new school with 14 new classrooms, new sports/assembly hall, nursery, for a 420place school (60 places in each year group) and a 26-place nursery. Work on the new site is due to start from September 2021. Louise Woodman, head teacher at Littleborough Community Primary, said: “I am delighted that we have been chosen for a new school. This is going to be really exciting for us and the wider community. Our children will be so thrilled and this is going to be hugely beneficial for them.”


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This 5230m² school roof received 544 solar panels generating daytime energy to reduce costs. Architect: Sheppard Robson Main contractor: Morrison Construction Approved contractors: • Q9 Cladding Solutions • PV installers: EJ Parker

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Meeting the UK Government targets to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and deliver net-zero Bauder can help schools and colleges start their net-zero journey by upgrading their roof and adding renewable energy generation

Transitioning school buildings and estates into the resilient, energy efficient, carbonneutral properties they will need to become, as set out in law by the UK Government to be achieved in the ensuing decades, will be a significant challenge. Support is at hand through initiatives like the UK government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which is proposed to be available annually, to provide funding to achieve these aims. Where to begin and how can you advance your responsibility to net-zero? To ensure our buildings are well constructed, resilient, and efficient is a vital starting point and this begins by taking a fabric-first approach. This is engaged by architects designing new structures, and broadened by specialists, including manufacturers of high-performance external envelope solutions reviewing existing buildings and the way in which they operate. A key step forward towards net-zero for the education sector with property or establishments within its proprietorship is to appraise the generation of on-site renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaic solutions that provide significant savings both in carbon reduction and financial savings. Prominent in the sector is Bauder, a roofing solutions manufacturer and supplier that has supported numerous schools, academies, and Trusts in getting the correct solution for their needs with technical advice, guidance on the right solution,

full design service and assistance with funding applications. Bauder focuses on the roofing element of buildings and in particular flat roofs where carbon reduction goals can be achieved, from a single source, through the inclusion of the right insulation within a waterproofing system and the addition of a rooftop PV array. The UK government has pledged to bring all carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, with a 68 per cent reduction against 1990 figures by 2030. Many local authorities and government bodies have already set-in motion carbon reduction plans with an ambition of a much closer date. Bauder can help to reduce and offset the carbon emissions of educational buildings by helping to develop roadmaps for robust decarbonisation action plans for existing buildings. Bauder can also identify and secure financing options for retrofit projects such as insulation upgrades and installing solar PV arrays. What’s more, the company can design thermally efficient insulation schemes for new or refurbishment projects. The heating and cooling of a school building are large contributing factors to the carbon footprint of the site. By taking a fabric-first approach and improving the efficiency of the building envelope a huge step forward is achieved towards netzero ambitions and three elements can be assessed when it comes to the roof. Efficient insulation The right insulation with robust detailing will not only provide the rooms below with sound absorption and noise reduction for an optimum learning environment, the correct insulation selection, designed correctly will ensure the building is performing thermally as well. This is a key step to becoming carbon neutral. Bauder’s high quality insulation

provides solutions for demanding acoustic requirements, refurbishment challenges such as overlaying profiled roofs whilst working towards a net-zero outcome. Renewable energy Even a school with a high-performance envelope will be a significant consumer of energy. Adding a renewable energy source to power the school will lower that consumption and provide an additional benefit in that excess energy can be exported offsite to further offset carbon footprint. A flat roof is the perfect surface area to receive a PV array. Bauder’s PV solution, BauderSOLAR, will maximise generation from your flat roof whilst minimising the impact on your buildings structure and ensuring there is no impact on roof warranties. Green roofs This living roof provides an additional barrier against heat gain and heat loss. As well as creating a more energy efficient building, a green roof can create a biodiverse habitat for the local wildlife, contribute to the reduction of the urban heat island effect where localised temperatures rise because of solar heat gain reflected or ‘stored’ within the hard construction materials. Green roofs also improve air quality and help to manage storm water run-off to reduce flooding. On an educational level, when these vegetated or recreational spaces are installed on school buildings, they have proved to be valuable learning tools for students. Bauder is one of the leading European manufacturers of flat roof waterproofing, insulation, green roofs, and solar PV arrays. The company has been designing environmentally conscious roofs for many years, including projects that have achieved environmental accolade (BREEAM Outstanding status) and can assist in the pursuit for net-zero by 2050, or sooner. Within Bauder’s comprehensive consultation and design service, the company helps to secure funding for your project through the most appropriate channels. Bauder systems can only be installed by Bauder approved operatives and works are routinely inspected by its site technicians to ensure quality workmanship. This also means that upon completion and sign off, a guarantee can be issued for the roof. Book a meeting now to discover how you can start your net-zero journey with upgrading your roof and adding renewable energy generation, call Bauder on 0845 271 8800. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.bauder.co.uk



Let’s Go Zero is a national campaign away by the enthusiasm of schools and other coordinated by climate solutions charity partners to join the campaign. Despite the Ashden, uniting UK schools working to extra workload of Covid, 165 schools had eliminate their carbon emissions by 2030. A signed up by the beginning of March and 26 key challenge is how to tackle the abysmal local authorities had recommended Let’s Go energy efficiency of many school buildings. Zero to local schools. Their efforts will create Lowering energy use in old buildings, or a huge impact beyond the school gates: we ensuring new ones are energy efficient, is one know schools can be pathfinders, showing of the main routes to zero carbon schools. society the route to a low-carbon future. Schools can start with simple techniques such as making sure heating systems and Energy efficiency expertise other utilities have smart meters, and move Richard Smith, director of School Energy up the green scale – retrofitting buildings Efficiency CIC has conducted energy audits by insulating walls and roofs, producing at over 130 schools around UK. He has also renewable energy on-site, and mentored more than 200 schools ensuring brand new buildings through Ashden’s Less C02 are as green as possible. schools’ programme. He said: Let’s There’s plenty of support “I go into school buildings to out there. Solar Schools investigate energy use with Go Zero and Energy Sparks are a thermal camera and is a nat organisations dedicated data monitor controls. i o n a c l ampaig to improving school Ideally, I take children UK sch n uniting energy efficiency, with and staff around with o great activities and me – it’s great fun to elim ols working i n lesson plans – while doing the measurements a t e th carbon Eco Schools, Transform together and finding emissio eir Our World and the Green out how they use the n s b y 2030 Schools Project offer school. Do they leave more tips and resources computers on overnight? on school sustainability. Are open doors letting all Since Let’s Go Zero launched in the heat out? Does the school’s November last year, we’ve been blown site manager know how to set the

What’s the deal with Passivhaus? The Passivhaus design system makes clever use of materials, ventilation, insulation and other non-mechanical approaches to create ultra energy-efficient buildings. There are 13 certified Passivhaus schools in the UK, constructed from a range of materials and to differing budgets. The Passivhaus for Educational Buildings Campaign is spreading resources and information to inspire the creation of even more Passivhaus. After an arson attack in 2010, Wilkinson Primary School in Wolverhampton embarked on a green rebuild with Passivhaus-specialist architects Architype, previous winners of an Ashden Award for sustainable building. The structure is a timber frame design with an airtight thermal envelope – an airy and uplifting building made from sustainable low-carbon or recycled materials. It is positioned north-south to maximise natural daylight. Natural ventilation systems keep everyone cool in summer and carefully positioned window shading prevents overheating. In winter, the mechanical ventilation system (which also recovers heat before it lets out the moist air) uses a CO2 detection sensor to ventilate the rooms the children are in. Triple glazing also massively reduces heat loss in winter. The school achieved energy reductions of E


Written by Alex Green, schools manager, Let’s Go Zero

Lowering energy use in old buildings, or ensuring new ones are energy efficient, is one of the main routes to becoming a zero carbon school. Alex Green, schools manager of the Let’s Go Zero campaign, explains how best to reduce energy and cut carbon


Tips for cutting carbon and slashing energy bills

heating controls? I’ve seen examples of new heating systems not commissioned properly and losing £50k per year.” He points out that there is now government guidance to help academy trusts comply with their legal obligations through the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting system. “At last the government is shining a light on energy efficiency. But schools need time, funding and support, which is why Let’s Go Zero and the Less C02 programme are both so useful.” “With more teachers involved in Let’s Go Zero we can really make a difference,” insists Richard. “The kids are energised about the climate emergency – so we need to harness this enthusiasm. It’s an immense task, but if the last year has taught us anything, we are all capable of extraordinary things.” See the box on the next page for Richard’s top green building tips.



External cladding at Harris Academy Sutton © Architype / Jack Hobhouse

An expert’s green building tips Richard Smith, director of School Energy Efficiency CIC, shares his top five school retrofit tips: 1. Insulate: A lot of schools leak heat dramatically. Prioritise insulation in the roof space, then external walls insulation, to lower energy use and costs. This will also keep the school cooler in summer. Double or triple glazing also provides immediate energy and cost savings. 2.Change to LED lightes: Moving to LEDs from old fluorescent tubes is a low-energy no-brainer. Staff always say how much better the learning environment is after LED installation too.

 around 90 per cent compared with industry benchmarks from the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers. Architype say the school’s Passivhaus requirements incurred no additional design or construction costs. Wilkinson saves £40,000£50,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs compared to a conventional school. Architype have also built other Passivhaus schools in the Midlands, plus Ysgol Trimsaran Primary school in Camarthen, Wales. Trimsaran school uses materials that reflect the areas heritage and landscape such as domestically-grown timber, welsh slate tiles and a sedum roof. The first year of post occupancy monitoring showed Ysgol Trimsaran to be using less than half of the primary energy of a comparison school designed to meet building regulations only. Architype also built Harris Academy in Sutton, London, which was the UK’s first Passivhaus secondary school and the largest Passivhaus school in the UK. They expect to save as much as 90 per cent on their heating bills compared to standard school buildings. Heat pumps and LED lighting Patrica Opalko, co-head at St. Edmund Campion Catholic Primary in Maidenhead, says a host of measures are driving down energy use at this Berkshire primary. She says: “We wanted our school buildings to be as sustainable as possible. We had some grants to install the solar panels on the nursery and school roof. Any electricity produced that is not used by the school (for instance during school holidays) is sold back to the electricity company giving us extra income. In addition, the main school is heated by a biomass boiler using wood pellets. It’s been a fabulous method of heating the school. We had an oil burning boiler before and the school never felt warm.


“The nursery and reception block are heated by a ground source heat pump, with the heat being pumped from under the school field through what we call big ‘slinkies’. We therefore have underfloor heating and the only thing we’re paying for is the pump. “All the building features are sustainable: panels are made from crushed glass, timber from sustainable forests, recycled door mats and carpets, recycled insulation and lots of glass for maximum sunlight. Even the spoil from the shallow foundations has become one of the play areas, instead of going to a landfill site. We also have sun pipes (mirrors reflectors) in some classrooms and LED lights everywhere.” Audits, solar, smart meters, and student-led energy efficiency St Francis Xavier School, one of 17 schools in the St Margaret’s Academy Trust, has been slashing its carbon over the last few years, directed by its sustainability lead, Margaret Land. The entire Trust is now signed up to Let’s Go Zero. St Francis Xavier School started with an energy audit involving its active student eco team and staff. 48 solar panels were installed in Jan 2016 – this 11,000kwh system combined with behaviour change, reduced energy use in 2017/18 by 74,000 kwh compared to 2014/15, saving the school approximately £8k each year. The feed-in tariff payments from government contributed a further £1,500 a year. Student involvement has been key. “The EcoTeam revealed in a virtual school assembly that if every monitor (90 in the school) was left on overnight and throughout the weekends for a whole school year, this would cost the school in the order of £4k,” says Ms Land. “The students, teachers and board now understand that everyone has a role to play in saving energy.”

3. Understand and use your heating, lighting and equipment controls: A smarter heating control system that is thermostat-driven ensures the space is heated appropriately (there’s no need to have the sports halls as warm as classrooms, for instance, or warm at all when it’s empty). Lighting for areas that are often empty such as toilets and corridors can work on motion-sensors. For water heaters and chargers, timers are the answer, saving energy at night, weekends and holidays. 4.Use natural cooling methods: With hotter, longer summers more likely in the future, simple external shading boards over classroom windows are very effective. Combine these with cross-ventilation within classrooms and across the school site. Energy-guzzling ventilation units are not the answer. 5. Move to renewables: Photovoltaic solar panels are usually the best renewable energy for schools – they’re simple, low-maintenance and can drastically cut electricity costs. Decarbonising school heating systems is the zero carbon golden ticket, and solar will greatly enhance the efficiency of ground-source heat pumps. Hydrogen boilers are a future option, but are unlikely to be a game-changer by 2030. On their to-do list is increasing smart metering across the Trust’s schools, and to keep inspiring students and staff to switch off technology when not in use, by having live energy-use displays. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.letsgozero.org


There are occasions when schools need extra space quickly, cheaply and with minimal disruption. TG Escapes modular offsite process means they can deliver projects that would not normally be achievable. Rather than temporary or volumetric solutions, TG Escapes’ designs are bespoke and provide inspiring learning spaces that have a real impact on a school setting. Smaller buildings can be completed on site in as little as 6 weeks and the construction areas are self-contained with deliveries managed to minimise disruption to the school. They offer a free bespoke building design to all customers in education which can support funding applications like CIF bids without obligation. From single classrooms or breakout rooms to chapels, canteens, sports pavilions and performing arts studios, all buildings can be net-zero in operation. They enhance well-being by following biophilic design principles; • incorporate natural elements • provide easy access to the outdoors • use materials and textures that reflect those in nature • maximise penetration of and exposure to natural light • provide a healthy level of interior air quality • provide views of the natural world outside Schools benefit from energy saving in the long term as well as an eco-friendly addition to the school estate. Buildings can include living roofs, sun pipes, covered

decking for easy outdoor access, flexible partitions, multiple access points and separate security. Customer feedback shows that they become very special spaces in an educational setting. The calming, natural buildings are good for student and staff well-being and enhance educational outcomes. “This building has a real ‘Wow factor’ that lifts the whole school. I am over the moon with the final result. It is a great building and we are incredibly proud of it.” Bursar “You are in effect getting a permanent building for half the cost of bricks and mortar. We were intrigued by TG Escapes’ different approach to learning environments and after visiting their other projects we were blown away.” Head of Finance Their fully inclusive fixed price turnkey service also includes • planning permission/ building regulations • foundations and clearance • service connections TG Escapes’ eco-buildings are fully compliant, their sites are managed with safety first and more than half their business comes from recommendations. Members of Construction Line Gold, ISBL and BESA, they have built over 700 eco-buildings and customers score them 4.9 out of 5 based on 151 reviews. Buildings range in price from £60k to over £2m and larger sizes can cost from as little as £1500 per m2.

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Another False Fire Alarm? “Where break glass call points are provided, vandals can be deterred by fitting liftable covers with audio alarms.”*

More than 3,000 false fire alarms were maliciously activated across England in 2019/20 - as we return to the classroom it is imperative to maximise teaching time and minimise the disruption caused by false fire alarms.  www.sti-emea.com  info@sti-emea.com  01527 520 999     *Source: “Design for fire safety in schools: Building Bulletin 100”

Fire Safety

The National Fire Chiefs Council continues to argue the case for fitting sprinkler systems in all new and refurbished schools in England, and has engaged with the Department for Education who are shortly to launch a consultation of its revised draft Design Guidance for Fire Safety in new schools The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) can escape. Fire and rescue services enforce know it is vitally important that schools, this Order; this may include Fire Inspectors and the people inside them, are protected auditing schools, providing advice and from fire. This begins with how schools taking enforcement action if required. are designed and is a life safety Building Regulations and the Fire objective that forms the Safety Order are shown to be minimum design standard effective in achieving this Zurich in the UK and is as it is rare for people to Insuran encapsulated within come to harm in a school c e found t Building Regulations. fire. However, it does h 1,000 s at of In short, schools, like not stop fires in schools chools inspect any building, must from happening and ed, two be built in such a they are surprisingly t were ra hirds way that if a fire common. Across ‘poor’ fi ted with occurs, an alarm is England in 2019/20, r e pr raised, occupants fire and rescue services measurotection are warned, and can attended 524 primary e s safely escape. Most fires in educational would consider this to be premises. Of these, 19 per a fairly low bar to achieve. cent were started deliberately. NFCC have been engaged This is a high ratio that reflects with the Department for Education in the well-established trend of arson in England who are shortly to launch a schools increasing outside of term time. consultation of its revised draft Design This is when the risk to life is less however Guidance for Fire Safety in new schools. there will be fewer people on site to We continue to call for the mandatory take immediate action and additionally fitting of sprinkler systems in all new many schools also lack the equipment and refurbished schools, as is the case and adequate fire protection needed to currently is in Scotland and Wales. prevent small fires becoming major fires. This is often why fires in schools tend Ensuring occupants can escape to result in large-scale damage and The person responsible for the school is loss. The Association of British Insurers accountable for the safety of those within estimate that a typical large-loss school it. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order fire may on cost on average £2.8million 2005 places the legal obligation on the to address. A school fire of this size occurs responsible person to assess the fire risk and every two-weeks. It has been suggested then to manage and reduce it. Again, the that this scale of damage may be due primary focus is to ensure that occupants to the poor state of some parts of the

educational building stock and the degree of the fixed fire protection measures that are provided. As an illustration of this, Zurich Insurance found that of 1,000 schools inspected, two-thirds were rated with ‘poor’ fire protection measures.

Written by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)

A call for the mandatory fitting of sprinklers The greater price The costs are not just financial. Potentially a greater price is borne by the 90,000 students in the UK per year whose education is disrupted by a school fire. A large fire may result in missed lessons, temporary teaching accommodation, school transfers, damaged coursework, cancelled examinations, extracurricular activities being withdrawn and a loss of the inter-personal and student-tostudent interactions that are so important. Staff morale is also seen to suffer as is the children’s general well-being. There is an additional cost to the wider society. Many schools offer their buildings for community use therefore other groups are disadvantaged. Parents and care-givers also suffer financially and professionally as they take time off work to look after children. Insurance does not compensate for these losses. The case for sprinklers Fire Sprinklers are a solution to preventing firespread in schools and the harm that is done. Research carried out by NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network has shown sprinklers to be highly reliable and effective. When sprinklers operate, they will control or extinguish a fire in 99 per cent of cases. Typically, this limits damage to one room or area. This vastly reduces the disruption to students and often means that the school can carry on with their normal activities largely uninterrupted. In March 2007, Jim Knight MP, the then Minister of State for Schools and Learners endorsed the benefits of sprinklers and their role in protecting schools. He stated that; E Issue 26.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Fire Safety

Research carried out by NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network has shown sprinklers to be highly reliable and effective. When sprinklers operate, they will control or extinguish a fire in 99 per cent of cases.  “it is now our [Department for Children, Schools and Families] expectation that all new schools will have sprinklers fitted. Any exceptions to this will have to be justified by demonstrating that a school is low risk and that the use of sprinklers would not be good value for money.” This was written as the Foreword to a design guide called Building Bulletin 100: Design for fire Safety in Schools. BB100, as it is known, explained that the losses which are felt by students, staff and society require that sprinklers are provided to afford schools with a higher level of protection. This exceeds the legislative requirements described at the beginning of this article; perhaps for this reason, the uptake has been mixed. NFCC reported that initially, the statement of expectation had the desired effect as 70 per cent of new schools in 2007 were fitted with sprinklers. Since then however this figure has subsequently fallen to 15 per cent. The NFCC is campaigning to strengthen this expectation of sprinklers so that it becomes legislatively mandated.

It is pleasing to note however that the education sector and local authorities are starting to respond to the risks and recognise the value that fire sprinklers give. In November 2020, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council signed a joint Statement of Intent committing to fit sprinklers and the right fire safety measures in new build schools and primary and secondary schools undergoing significant renovation, refurbishment or extension. This followed a spate of three large-loss school fires in Derbyshire. It is hoped that other local authorities will make the same policy decisions. For anyone who wants to know more about fire safety in schools, they should begin with the HM Governments fire safety risk assessment for educational premises. Alternatively we would encourage schools to your local Fire & Rescue Service for advice. L FURTHER INFORMATION

More than 1,100 classrooms destroyed by fires in five years School fires have destroyed the equivalent of 1,100 classrooms in the last five years, according to analysis of Home Office data by Zurich Municipal. Fire crews have been called to tackle 2,300 school blazes in England, which completely gutted 47 primary and secondary schools, and seriously damaged 230 others. More than 74,000 square metres, an area equivalent to 10 football pitches, of teaching facilities have been damaged by fire in this time. Zurich Municipal now estimates 390,000 teaching hours could be lost in the next year as a result of large fires alone, causing disruption for 28,000 children, who may already be struggling to catch up following school closures during the pandemic. The findings – based on Home Office data from all 44 fire authorities in England – has led to renewed calls for mandatory sprinklers to be fitted in new and refurbished schools, bringing the country into line with Wales and Scotland where they are already compulsory.




Providing a safer environment for your students and staff

With decades of experience in the Education Sector, Lucion Environmental can be your perfect partner for asbestos management and ongoing compliance at your educational facility. Find out more about our work to prevent exposure to asbestos and other hazardous materials in educational establishments. Contact us today: 0345 5040 303 | info@lucionservices.com | lucionenvironmental.com

Helping schools and higher education establishments with asbestos-related safety and compliance

At Lucion, we take our role as risk management and safety specialists very seriously, with decades of experience in the Education Sector. We partner with clients throughout the UK, providing asbestos management and ongoing compliance. We live in a world where asbestos exposure in schools and higher education facilities is a real danger, with the possibility of harmful airborne asbestos fibres being present in educational buildings and classrooms risking the safety of staff and pupils alike. This can lead to damaging health effects and in severe cases, leading to fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos. Sadly, 2,400 people die from Mesothelioma each year in the UK alone. The number of teachers (22 teachers died in the UK last year) dying from mesothelioma is increasing and the risk posed to children in schools is currently unknown. Thousands of schools built between the 1950s and 1985 are particularly at


risk, before the UK outlawed the import and use of some types of asbestos used in building materials and products, it was used extensively in the construction of schools during this period. The range of construction ages and types in this sector is vast, not to mention the various different types of CLASP buildings still occupied and used today. This makes it vitally important that experts in asbestos consultancy, such as Lucion, with an extensive range of specialist building knowledge within this sector, are engaged to accurately assess the risk within each premise individually depending upon the ages and build type. Lucion has worked with over 60 individual local authorities in the last two years, independent schools and higher education facilities, who have seen the benefits of the innovative technology that Lucion provides to manage the risk of asbestos. This enables Lucion’s clients to take the next step in managing the risk of asbestos safely within their estates, moving beyond compliance to best practice. Utilising the advanced technology unique to Lucion, working practices that

our clients typically require in this sector, the flexibility to work outside normal working hours and the ability to respond efficiently to emergency situations makes us the perfect partner in your journey to a safer environment for your staff and pupils. In addition, to safeguard those who use your properties, everyone that works for Lucion is DBS checked every two years, in smart liveried uniforms and vehicles and wearing photographic ID cards that make no direct reference to asbestos, to minimise any alarm this may cause. If you would like to talk to one of our team about how our services could help you and your organisation, or if you just want to learn more about managing asbestos in your schools or higher education facilities, please contact us today. Submit an online Enquiry or email info@lucionservices.com and our team will get back to you within 24 hours. FURTHER INFORMATION www.lucionenvironmental.com/ sectors/education


The Department for Education’s recent guidance on asbestos includes information on the risks asbestos poses, how to manage the substance during maintenance or building works, as well as what funding is available to have it removed Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, which was incorporated into a wide variety of materials used in the UK up to the year 2000. As a result, most school and college buildings contain asbestos. If managed actively and safely, the presence of asbestos should not pose a risk to occupants, but poor management of the substance can pose serious health risks. Undamaged, sealed materials will not release fibres, but if disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and breathed in by building occupants. This is more likely to happen as asbestos materials age and deteriorate. The activities most likely to lead to the disturbance of asbestos materials in schools and colleges are building and maintenance work. Depending on their nature and location, asbestos materials could also be disturbed through vandalism and other everyday impacts on the asbestos material. Everyday activities can disturb asbestos, including physical damage to asbestos materials, water damage, and air movements (over asbestos which is already in poor condition and unencapsulated). Encapsulated materials within clad structural columns and areas such as ceiling voids can also be disturbed in these ways. Asbestos exposure puts individuals at risk of contracting several serious diseases in later life, including mesothelioma, which is an aggressive cancer most commonly caused by long-term-low-level exposure to asbestos fibres, and lung cancer. Asbestos management during maintenance or building works There are specific actions that you must take where work is carried out on the premises, which might disturb asbestos materials, including upgrading, refurbishment or demolition. This

includes any work that disturbs the fabric of your building, whether it is small-scale repair work done in house or a large-scale project that is being contracted out. When commissioning construction work, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 require you to determine whether there is a risk that the work might disturb any asbestos materials, including any unidentified, presumed or hidden asbestos materials. Where this work will disturb the fabric of the building, you will need to arrange for a relevant refurbishment or demolition survey to be carried out. This is a more intrusive type of survey which involves destructive inspection by a trained specialist to identify all asbestos materials. You must pass on the findings of both types of survey and details of any known or presumed asbestos materials in the work area to those who will be doing the work. You should also make sure that they use the correct risk control measures. This could be done by implementing a ‘permit to work’ system. Some small, short duration tasks can be carried out by non-licensed workers provided they have received appropriate training and the correct risk control measures are used. This is unlikely to be appropriate in any school setting. Typically, all work on asbestos should be done by a contractor licensed by HSE. HSE has published advice on the types of work considered to be licensable and non-licensable, notifiable and non-notifiable. Those undertaking the work should confirm that the information provided is sufficient. Once work is appropriately authorised, contractors should be prepared for the unexpected presence of asbestos materials. If further asbestos materials or suspect materials are uncovered, the work should stop, the area made safe and the work reassessed before continuing.


Asbestos and when it becomes a risk

Where safe and reasonable to do so, school or college staff may check that work is proceeding safely and in accordance with the agreed method. You should check that those undertaking the work have undertaken appropriate post work checks to ensure that the area is safe for re-occupation. If licensed asbestos works have been undertaken, this should include clearance and air test certificates. It is essential that following any work to asbestos-containing materials, that the asbestos register and management plan are updated accordingly. Asbestos-containing waste must be properly contained and disposed of in accordance with the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005. If you have contracted out the work, disposal is the responsibility of the contractor, although you will have responsibility for obtaining a waste consignment note to confirm that the asbestos was appropriately disposed of. Schools and colleges should ensure that all staff and other stakeholders are informed of the proposed works. Trade union health and safety representatives should be consulted in a timely manner on matters relating to the planned work as required by the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (as amended) and the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (as amended). Funding for asbestos works Capital funding is allocated to maintain and improve the condition of school buildings, including removing or encapsulating asbestos, where appropriate. In addition, through the Priority School Building Programme, the DfE is rebuilding or refurbishing buildings in the worst condition at over 500 schools across the country. Asbestos was a factor in prioritising buildings for the programme. Typically, asbestos works are undertaken in conjunction with other condition related works, or will require significant associated works. For example, removal of an asbestos ceiling will generally require replacement of the lighting and potentially other electrical, fire alarm, IT and CCTV work. Capital funding for further education colleges has been devolved to Local Education Partnerships via the Local Growth Fund since April 2015 and will amount to over £1 billion over the period 2015 to 2016 to 2020 to 2021. An additional £200 million was provided to all further education colleges in 2020 to 2021 to improve the condition of the estate. As independent corporations, colleges are expected to budget for managing asbestos within their premises. In implementing capital works to existing premises, colleges are expected to undertake any asbestos remediation works needed to deliver the project. Colleges should therefore ensure that appropriate asbestos surveys are undertaken to identify costs of addressing asbestos remediation and budget for this within overall project costs and funding bids, where applicable. L FURTHER INFORMATION See the whole guidance here



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The need for regular and enhanced cleaning Extra and more robust cleaning, as well as strict hygiene measures, have become the norm in schools operating during the pandemic. We catch-up on the latest advice on cleaning during Covid As transmission of Covid-19 often occurs As a minimum, frequently touched surfaces when contaminated surfaces are touched should be wiped down twice a day, and one and introduced into the mouth or eyes of an of these should be at the beginning or the uninfected person, the need for enhanced end of the working day. Cleaning should be and regular cleaning, as well as strict hygiene more frequent depending on the number of measures, are paramount to prevent an people using the space, whether they are outbreak of Covid-19 in a school. entering and exiting the setting So how should schools and access to handwashing Frequen approach cleaning? Firstly, and hand-sanitising facilities. t ly they should increase the Cleaning of frequently touched frequency of cleaning, touched surfaces is surfaces s h using standard cleaning particularly important o u ld wiped d b products such as in bathrooms and own tw e ice a day, a detergents and bleach, communal kitchens. paying attention When cleaning these sh nd one of ould be to all surfaces but surfaces, it is not at the beginnin especially ones that necessary to wear g o r e nd are touched frequently, personal protective of the w orking such as door handles, equipment (PPE) or day light switches, work clothing over and above surfaces, remote controls what would usually be used. and electronic devices. Reducing In bathrooms, frequently clutter and removing difficult to touched surfaces should be cleaned clean items can make cleaning easier. regularly. Ensure suitable hand washing

facilities are available including running water, liquid soap and paper towels or hand driers. Where cloth towels are used, these should be for individual use and laundered in accordance with washing instructions. Waste does not need to be segregated unless an individual in the setting shows symptoms of or tests positive for Covid-19. Dispose of routine waste as normal, placing any used cloths or wipes in ‘black bag’ waste bins. You do not need to put them in an extra bag or store them for a time before throwing them away. Cleaning after a confirmed case If there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 in your school, the minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning is disposable gloves and an apron. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed. If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of virus may be present (for example, where someone unwell has spent the night (such as a boarding school dormitory) E Issue 26.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



 then additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose may be necessary. Public areas where a symptomatic person has passed through and spent minimal time but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids, such as corridors, can be cleaned thoroughly as normal. All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with should be cleaned and disinfected, including all potentially contaminated and frequently touched areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab rails in corridors and stairwells Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings – think one site, one wipe, in one direction. Cleaning can be done with either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine (ppm av.cl.), or a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants. If an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses. Avoid mixing cleaning products together as this can create toxic fumes, and avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning. Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below. When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example,

All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used. Personal waste from individuals with symptoms of Covid-19 and waste from cleaning of areas where they have been (including PPE, disposable cloths and used tissues) should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. This should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known. This waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. It should not be placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours. If the individual tests negative, this can be put indisposed of immediately with the normal waste. If Covid-19 is confirmed this waste should be stored for at least 72 hours before disposal with normal waste. If during an emergency you need to remove the waste before 72 hours, it must be treated as Category B infectious waste. You must keep it separate from your other waste and arrange for collection by a specialist contractor as hazardous waste. There will be a charge for this service.

Hand washing Schools are asked that everyone washes their hands more often than usual, particularly on arrival, when returning from breaks, when changing rooms, and before and after eating or handling food, as well as after touching your face, blowing your nose and sneezing or coughing. Pupils and staff should be told to wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub/sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered. The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to respiratory hygiene must be communicated to pupils and staff. This involves covering your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If one is not available, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand. Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately clean your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser. All education, childcare and children’s social care settings should follow the PHE guidance on cleaning for non-healthcare settings, which has been summarised in this article, and can be found below. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.gov.uk

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The vaccine rollout is progressing across the various age ranges, yet a fifth of NHS staff have not had their first injection. Sadly, priority has not been given to teachers, key, or frontline workers, which makes them vulnerable. Who will spread Covid-19? Children are not being vaccinated & scientific research shows that vaccinated people can carry the COVID-19 within their nasal passages, airways and lungs, so both could become ‘spreaders’ that could infect unvaccinated people like teachers or family, even when masks are being worn. Is there a safe disinfection product that will reduce the effects of COVID-19? Yes, Anolyte ANK is our Electrically Generated Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) that can continually disinfect the air we breathe within a controlled environment. It eradicates airborne viruses, pathogens, or bacteria, & reduces viral transmission rates between infected and non-infected individuals. Is there a safe deployment method for the HOCL? Yes, Envirolyte ECA UK Ltd can provide a dry invisible disinfection aerosol deployment method that uses only 12.5 ml/hour of HOCL, to safely kill COVID-19 within the ambient air you breathe. No haze or fog is produced within the room or space, which ultrasonic humidifiers can create, when using circa

400 ml/hour. Our reduced HOCL volume usage can provide significant cost savings. A person breathing in disinfected ambient air will retain residual protection within their nasal passages, airways, and lungs, so if they ingested the COVID-19 virus, the residual HOCL would kill the invading virus. Scientific proof is available to show a HOCL concentration of 500ppm via our deployment method is completely safe, for humans & animals. Ideally suited for locations where people gather for work, education, shopping, leisure, or pleasure, like small classrooms, or larger buildings like schools, universities, hospitals, office complexes, cinemas, theatres, leisure centres, concert halls, plus any methods of mass transportation where people are placed close together, like airports, train stations, planes, trains, buses, coaches and cars. A 24/7 prevention and disinfection protocol Implementing a 24/7 disinfection protocol to reduce the COVID-19 airborne transmission route, will eradicate any infected aerosols that people expel from their nose or mouth, during person-to-person contact situations. Safe ambient air disinfection by breathing in HOCL, is a game changer, when used within indoor environments. Using this approach offers people a long-term prevention method, which could allow us to make positive progress towards returning to the normality of safely living our lives in an unhindered and unrestricted way. HOCL surface cleaning & ambient air disinfection Before manual HOCL disinfection is carried out on hard surfaces, the removal of visible

dirt, plus adequate surface coverage using a cleaning detergent, with sufficient contact time being allowed to release any invisible particles or biofilm. Once completed the HOCL is applied, again a sufficient contact time is essential to ensure maximum efficacy against any viral or bacterial load. The spraying & immediate wiping of surfaces is a no, no; this is the wrong approach and will never provide suitable cleaning or disinfection results. A properly cleaned & disinfected surface subjected to the 24/7 protocol will retain a cleaner and disinfected surface environment for longer, as the HOCL has ongoing surface contact. This can extend the time between cleaning schedules, saving time & money. We do recommend that Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) swab testing is used to verify that surfaces are remaining clean & disinfected. When a surface fails the ATP swab test, then it is time to reclean & disinfect. The aerosol deployment method will not raise the room or space relative humidity (RH) by more than one per cent to two per cent RH. As HOCL aerosol floats & remains suspended within the ambient air, creating an invisible 3D grid pattern or matrix, providing a residual disinfection barrier to eradicate any airborne contaminants. The aerosols can float for up to six hours, then falls downwards, to land on people’s clothes, skin or any hard or soft surfaces, to provide secondary disinfection. The matrix is topped up by using a timed based programme or an on/off control method, to ensure the 3D grid pattern is maintained, during periods of occupation. This aerosol method could stop people having to wear a mask, when they constantly breathe in disinfected air over a long period, as they retain a residual efficacy within the nasal passages, airways and lungs. Residual protection of people against Covid-19 sounds too good to be true, but it really does work, by breathing ambient air disinfected with HOCL, within a controlled environment. Please contact us to find out more or obtain 1-litre trigger spray samples of our HOCL & Catholyte Surface Cleaner. L

Written by John Ware, AMRSPH, director, Envirolyte ECA UK Ltd

John Ware from Envirolyte ECA UK explains how COVID-19 can be prevented by using hypochlorous acid

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Protect your school with ambient air disinfection to eradicate airborne COVID-19

FURTHER INFORMATION www.envirolyte.co.uk john@envirolyte.co.uk



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Many schools and academies outsource services such as cleaning, catering and ICT support. Here are five key areas to consider when starting a tendering exercise for an outsourced service Should you be thinking about outsourcing an in-house service or have a service which is outsourced and the contract end date is fast approaching, this article by CPL Group is for you. There are many aspects to consider when tendering or retendering a service to ensure you get the right service provider. Here are five key areas to consider when starting a tendering exercise for an outsourced service with supporting hints and tips. 1. Preparation There are plenty of suppliers in the outsourced services marketplace but to get the best results you need to gain maximum interest in your contract. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to prepare and ideally plan to start the tender process at least nine months before your contract is due to expire. Prepare and develop your specifications for your Invitation to Tender (ITT) well in advance of the ITT issue date. The time taken to involve all stakeholders in the drafting of the specification will pay dividends in how well the contract performs and meets your institution’s expectations. Consider warming up the marketplace by talking to potential suppliers in advance of issuing your ITT to let them know the opportunity may be coming their way. Make sure you allow sufficient time between issuing your ITT and the tender deadline because the most common feedback from suppliers is that they are not given enough time to return a quality tender proposal. 2. Route to market All public sector organisations including schools and academies are bound by the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR). These regulations set out a series of rules that

institutions must follow when purchasing using public money. The PCR apply to purchases over certain financial thresholds and currently for service contracts it is £189,330 over the contract duration. The PCR allow you to spend above the threshold when you either buy via a framework agreement or conduct your own procurement exercise advertised on the UK Find a Tender Service and in compliance with the PCR rules. Your institution may find it feasible to run your own tender in compliance with the PCR if you have in-house procurement capability but it takes a significant amount of time and expertise to complete. This is where a framework agreement (also known as a deal) comes in. A framework which has been set up in compliance with the PCR ensures your purchase is compliant and quick as the process is much shorter than running your own tender plus giving the added value of having little or no expense. Should you choose to use a framework agreement or not, when tendering complex outsourced service contracts, you may decide to appoint a specialist procurement consultant to run the process on your behalf. Make sure you select one with knowledge of the PCR, the service in question and the education sector. 3. The right time to go to market Try to avoid the “silly season” between March and June as most educational institutions will go out to tender at this time to seek a summer contract start date for outsourced services. This puts pressure on the marketplace and can reduce the number of suppliers who bid for your contract. Should you go out to tender during this busy season it’s important to ensure you have allowed sufficient time between issuing the tender and the tender deadline. We advise a six

Written by CPL Group

Tendering for outsourced services

4. Tender documents Your ITT is your ‘shop window’ so make the content as attractive as possible to encourage interest from suppliers. A poor tender will give the message that the buyer isn’t engaged or lacks knowledge. Contractors are attracted to enthusiastic customers! Provide information within your ITT that will entice the contractor to bid. Examples to consider include your aims and objectives – what would you consider to be a successful appointment? Make sure instructions on how to bid and what to include in the bid are clear and well defined for the bidder and avoid mixing instructions to bidders in with the detail of the service specification. Aim to make it easy for bidders to identify the information you want and the required format as this will increase the quality of the bids you receive. Service contracts will often involve the transfer of employees from one contractor to another under the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE). Facilitating the provision of TUPE information within your tender documents will result in a smoother implementation of the contract and ensure there are no amendments to the contract price later in the tender process.


week tender period for complex outsourced service contracts, especially if your bidders need to visit your institution to assist with their understanding of site operations.

5. Tender evaluation Score bids exactly how you say you will in your ITT, be transparent and ensure your tender evaluation criteria complies with the necessary public sector procurement regulations. Bidders have very good memories and have the right to challenge you on the award of a contract if they believe you have breached public sector procurement regulations. Ensure that your feedback relates to the award criteria only and detail the reasons for their lower score when debriefing unsuccessful suppliers. Conduct debriefing in writing rather than face to face. Finally, once you have selected the winning supplier, do make sure that all points of clarification and any contractual issues are dealt with before you sign the contract. CPL Group CPC and Tenet Education Services are notfor-profit organisations which are part of CPL Group, an education owned charity that gives back to the sector through funding and support. CPC provides framework agreements designed for education including for outsourced cleaning and catering services. CPC membership is free of charge to all institutions. Tenet provides procurement consultancy support and are experts in cleaning and catering outsourcing. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.cpl.group www.thecpc.ac.uk www.tenetservices.com



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Giving you a helping hand on all your procurement contracts – from facilities management to utilities YPO has created a Contracts for Schools offering – a handpicked range of contracts, frameworks and DPS agreements to help save schools time and money. YPO’s Ash Cartwright answers the most frequently asked questions around contracts for schools and how YPO can help you

We understand that you’ve got a million and one things to think about when it comes to running your school. So here at YPO, we’ve created a Contracts for Schools offering, where we’ve handpicked a range of contracts, frameworks and DPS agreements to help save you time and money. Our recently established education team is dedicated to simplifying the procurement process for primary and secondary schools across the UK.


Research carried out by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) found that 40 per cent of schools currently believe that their procurement process is not cost-effective. With education budgets increasingly tight, our Contracts for Schools team offers customers a way to maximise their buying power and simplify the procurement process while also remaining compliant with public sector procurement regulations. Since YPO was first established in 1974, we’ve helped drive public sector efficiency savings through our bulk buying power for product supplies and centralised contract services initiatives. Our newly established team offers schools direct access to these benefits completely free of charge, reducing

the need for costly in-house administration and procurement consultancy support. Ash Cartwright, Education Business Manager answers the most frequently asked questions around contracts for schools and how YPO can help you. How did YPO come up with this offering? Our research showed that some school business managers didn’t know where to start when it comes to contracts. Do you start looking at your utilities or catering? Where are your quick wins for saving money? How complex is this procurement? How do you write a specification? How much would it cost to get a consultant in to do this? The list goes on.


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That’s why we’ve handpicked a range of contracts, frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) agreements to help save you time and money. Lots of our education customers are already using them, so we’ve been able to create over 40 solutions, knowing the challenges and budget restrictions you may be facing. Our team will help completely free of charge, totally impartial, and you don’t have to use YPO frameworks. We’re just here to give you the care and support you need. Can a school hand over all thing’s procurement to YPO’s education team and is there a cost? So how does the Contracts for School offer work I hear you say? Well… we’d first look at the needs and wants of your school and what you’re wanting to achieve. It might be an array of things such as your contract is running out in the next six or 12 months, or you may be wanting to switch suppliers. You may need help writing a specification or need help with your supplier management. Or it might be that you are looking at the prices that you’re paying. As a team, we work out exactly what you’re trying to achieve and where we can give you support. So, whether it’s that simple piece of looking at specifications or that full end to end process of carrying out the procurement. What we do then is come together, give you some advice, put a proposal together to see the timelines and what your expectations are and then take it onto the next level. Does YPO have a benchmark figure of what a consultant would cost against YPO’s free of charge service? It depends on the size of what your project is. We’ve found that if it’s large scale projects like catering or cleaning, some consultants have been charging £5,000 upwards just to do a little piece of work. Whereas because we’ve already got those frameworks set up and we’ve got procurement qualified staff, it’s sort of incomparable to a consultant. And because we work on a free of charge service, we can offer that advice which ultimately will save on the bottom line for the school. Our team is there to give schools impartial procurement advice, we want you to view us as an extension to your team, an impartial hub of specialists that are there to support and advise on best practice of purchasing. A member of our team did a secondment in a MAT as a free impartial procurement advisor and the good thing for YPO is if we do put our staff into a school and we haven’t got a certain framework for them, we’re learning as well. We’re getting that insight on what can be beneficial for schools first-hand and then we can put a solution in place to meet that need. Recently a school came to us asking about a contract for school uniforms, which we didn’t have at the time, but we’re now in the process of pulling that offering together. Where would YPO help us, where do you start? We’ll start by asking you ‘if you would like us to start putting together a procurement pipeline? So, what would you like to do over

the next 12 – 24 months?’ And then what we’ll do is advise that if you’re wanting to make big savings, we’ll start by looking at your utilities, your photocopiers, carry out a catering review etc. So that we can start planning out projects for you to review over the next 6, 12, 18, 24 months and then map out what needs to be completed when, and hopefully help the school become more efficient and make some savings. How has COVID-19 effected procurement in the education sector? When COVID-19 started to affect our day to day lives back in March, the government put in place some emergency procurement rules and changes. These changes meant that schools could extend current contracts they were in at the time, rather than having to do a new procurement. We helped a lot of customers do that and get the best value. We also helped schools’ emergency award their contacts, whereas previously a school would have to do the full tender process to award but if it were related to COVID-19, you could bypass the standard regulations. This was used for schools to get some emergency deep cleans done at their school or purchase essential cleaning equipment. What if a customer is completely new to procurement, doesn’t understand the procurement jargon? Can you help? Some of the frameworks that customers see in the public sector seem very complicated. We have changed the titles of our contracts to make it easy to understand, reviewed our user guides and created a standardised template for each stage of a schools procurement project so you know exactly what stage your project will be at. Procurement in general can be quite daunting as it encompasses an array of things. The team can help you with underperforming suppliers, if you’re paying too much money for something, or if the price of a service has gone up. The team can also help if your contracts need renewing, or you’re completely new to procurement and need help with where to start. We can also help with pulling together templates and checklists. We can help with supplier credit checks, insurance checks and third party contractors. In addition, YPO can advertise your procurement for you, hold supplier opening days, take suppliers around your premises, and work with you to answer any clarifications a tendering supplier may have. We can

work with you evaluating the tenders or leave it completely to you, it’s your choice That’s why we’re here to help you with your needs and wants. Once we’ve got your background information, we’ll pull together some recommendations and guidance to see how we can help you, and how much support you need. A customer might be someone who has been involved in procurement before that can just pick it up and or, or maybe its somebody that requires more handholding. That’s fine we can help both! We’d ask those high-level questions like how big is your premises, how many times will you need it cleaning, who is your current supplier, are they private, public sector or through your local authority, how many staff members do you have on-site, how many pupils? Our team have a checklist of essential criteria we need to check to support you. We’ve also put together templates we can give to customers so we can support them through the journey and say this is a general thing you need to be able to put something out there. So with setting up a CCTV contract, for example, you’ll need to know the point of entry within the building, the quality of camera you’re needing, your broadband speed to link the CCTV equipment up to, so we can start putting together certain things that they need and paint a picture with them or on their behalf. Another thing we can do is supplier management, so over the life of the contract, we can help support them through. We’ve got a sales team that can help, they can be on-site, they can help stabilise that new supplier, ensure that they’ve got a physical presence on the ground. We can do that full end to end support. Does YPO have any DfE recommended frameworks? We have two DfE recommended contracts including our gas and electricity offering and MFDs. We also have our Home to School App, which helps parents monitor their children’s journeys on school buses. Featuring alerts and automated messages, the app uses real-time tracking to notify schools and parents of delays, route changes and absences. This has also been an approved route to market by the DfE. For more information on Contracts for Schools and how the YPO team can help you, visit the website below L FURTHER INFORMATION ypo.co.uk/contractsforschools



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Open Banking is streamlining student payments Initiatives like Open Banking are giving consumers more control over their financial information. In education, these changes are bringing benefits for students by providing a secure, speedy way to pay their education fees online, directly from their bank account, while finance teams at education providers can leverage them to overcome the challenges associated with financial reconciliation. As we enter the fourth year of Open Banking, American Express conducted new research in partnership with YouGov* which reveals that 2021 is set to be the year that Open Banking goes mainstream as consumers are demonstrating an eagerness to embrace its benefits. 41% of respondents indicated they have already made an Open Banking payment in the past six months or would be open to do so in the next twelve. Typically, payments have been a challenge for education providers, as it’s often a very manual process, prone to human error. Setting up these payments also involves many fields to fill out - and it takes just one small slip to enter a number or letter incorrectly. With hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students paying for courses and education costs, reconciling payments can be a significant drain on resources. Pay with Bank transfer powered by American Express is one of the first Open Banking initiatives in the UK from a globally recognised and trusted brand. The service can be used by current account holders at major UK banks, from high street banks such as Barclays and www.americanexpress.com/pwbt

HSBC to digital banks such as Monzo, and they don’t need to be an American Express® Cardmember. Pay with Bank transfer almost entirely removes the requirement to manually enter payment information, by using embedded identifiers that are instantly matched to the right student account. This makes it an easy and accurate payment method for students while significantly easing the administrative burden on education providers. Lancaster University, one of the UK’s top-ranked higher education institutions, adopted Pay with Bank transfer to help streamline its payments process. Before, students were required to manually set-up and enter all payment information. Pay with Bank transfer has helped automate the payee set-up. This includes a bespoke integration of student IDs that is pre-populated, meaning that each payment is automatically attributed to the correct student account. “Lancaster University sees Pay with Bank transfer as an exciting opportunity to further improve our payment experience for students, parents, and alumni, whilst at the same time delivering processing and financial benefits to the university,” commented a spokesperson from the University. *YouGov surveyed 1,013 members of the UK general public who manage their finances with online banking and have made an online purchase in the last six months. The survey was nationally representative on key demographics of age, sex, region and social grade. Fieldwork took place from 4th – 7th January 2021.



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Print Marketplace – making small prints jobs as easy as online shopping for the education sector Crown Commercial Service (CCS) have launched a new self-service Print Marketplace to make buying printed materials less like procurement and more like online shopping. Dave Duncan, head of document management and logistics at CCS, explains more.

The first public sector Print Marketplace is now live. Developed in response to customer demand, a range of printed materials can now be ordered online quickly, simply, and compliantly. Traditionally, schools, colleges, and universities who want to purchase print must contact three suppliers for a quote before finalising artwork requirements and arranging delivery. Print Marketplace means you can now do all of that - from defining your requirements and comparing prices to selecting a supplier and managing your project - with a few simple clicks. What can I expect? We understand that across the education sector, print is purchased by a variety of professions. Each has different requirements and levels of knowledge, yet all are short on time. For that reason, Print Marketplace has been designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. If you ever need help, sectorspecific support is on hand via a live chat. To access Print Marketplace, you simply need to provide us with a few details, so we can create and verify your account. This means we can ensure only public sector organisations can enjoy the benefits of the system. Minutes later, you’ll receive an email confirming your account has been set up. You’re then free to get started.

journey. In just a few simple steps, you can define your requirements and decide which design option best suits your needs – whether that’s choosing from a range of preloaded templates and uploading your artwork, customising an existing design, or utilising our team of designers. Once you’ve selected the route for you, our instant pricing platform then provides quotes from a wide range of pre-approved suppliers while providing the functionality to retain preferred local suppliers. You can then compare quotes and use the filters to find the best solution for your needs – whether that’s the lowest price, the most local supplier, or the quote with the lowest associated CO2 emissions. Social value It’s incumbent on all educational institutions to lead the way when it comes to promoting social value. As an active member of the National Social Value Taskforce, Crown Commercial Service is working with buyers and suppliers to make it easier for public bodies to measure the social value they are helping to deliver through their procurement. And many schools, colleges, and universities are developing strategies to ensure they do just that. For that reason, Print Marketplace doesn’t just make it easy to order print; it also gives you the power to meet a range of social value obligations when purchasing print.

Supporting SMEs - over 80% of the companies on Print Marketplace are SMEs, helping to level the playing field for smaller businesses. What’s more, if your current supplier is not registered with Print Marketplace, they are also encouraged to join so they can benefit from the opportunities it presents Carbon Net-Zero - our carbon impact calculator recognises the environmental impact of each job and provides the option to offset the carbon product CO2E cost Prompt payment - Every time you pay, you can be sure suppliers get paid promptly - meaning you both meet your obligation to be a prompt payer and help strengthen the UK economy Modern slavery - every supplier on Print Marketplace has to provide a Transparency in Supply Chains statement to CCS along with a yearly report setting out the steps it takes to ensure slavery and human trafficking does not happen in its supply chain Get started If you want to save time and money on every print job while meeting your social value obligations, it couldn’t be simpler to get started - click here to register for your account. Alternatively, if you’d like a demo from one of our expert team, book it here. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.crowncommercial.gov.uk

How it works With nothing to install and no license needed, it’s easy to get started. Once you log in, you will be guided, step-by-step, through the print-buying



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How a circular economy can support the UK’s post-pandemic recovery As the UK recovers from the pandemic, a shift to more sustainable waste management can save resources, reduce emissions, and play a part in preventing future pandemics. The education sector produces 250,000 tonnes of waste every year, with just 23% of the material generated being recycled. It has been suggested that as much as 89 per cent of the waste generated at UK Schools can be recycled. However, with the unique environment Schools present, this can seem easier said than done. With decades of experience providing waste management solutions to educational institutions, Bywaters’ environmental experts work with facilities to increase recycling rates and lower their carbon footprint. This approach goes beyond the safe segregation and disposal of waste, working together to increase sustainability whilst exploring opportunities to reduce costs. The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow Many future global challenges are linked to the climate crisis. In fact, a report from IPEBS found the root causes of pandemics are also the driving force behind the erosion of biodiversity and climate change. It found that if there is not real change, then the risk of more frequent and more devastating pandemics increases. It’s fundamental that the next generation is equipped with the knowledge to affect change. To achieve

this goal, Bywaters hold regular school tours of our specialist materials recovery facility, using stateof-the-art virtual reality headsets. This interactive digital tour forms part of one of our on-site Waste Awareness Days. Not stopping there, we carry out engagement sessions with Schools, staging talks reaching thousands of pupils across the capital. A circular economy approach will pay dividends With the UK government’s new Waste Management Strategy setting out ambitious aims to move toward a circular economy model, innovation is required to move from the linear approach broadly adopted. The circular economy aims to reduce waste by keeping materials in use. In doing so, resources are protected, reducing energy, labour, and material across a product’s life cycle. Increasing recycling is a great start, ensuring that virgin material production decreases. However, Bywaters continue to implement specific circular economy initiatives, such as our Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme, introduced at two London Universities, and our ongoing partnership with Reyooz, finding homes for unwanted items, including furniture and electronics. Find out more Bywaters’ vision is to lead the UK to a sustainable future. If you would like to find out more about our services, please get in touch.

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A report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education examines what was learnt about education technology in 2020. Here BESA picks out some of the report’s highlights

you will be keeping once the pandemic has passed? The adoption of education technology has taken a step change in the last 12 months. Whilst many of the products and systems schools turned to already existed, their implementation has been drastically accelerated by the pandemic and in many cases schools will not return to life as it was before. In person parents evenings may well be a thing of the past and students on long term sick leave or otherwise unable to attend school will now have far greater opportunities to be remain connected to classroom learning than might previously have been possible. I would encourage you to read the full report yourself and to whet your appetite have pulled out three of the conclusions for your consideration; Lesson 1 Schools should not just seek to replicate classroom teaching online but should embrace the pedagogic advances that EdTech allows. A timetable of live lessons is not necessarily a gold standard; there is a role for teacher-led video lessons, both live and pre-recorded, as well as for content produced by the educational supplies sector, and peer and collaborative study. Of course, remote learning should also encourage and incorporate non-screen-based activities, including reading books, putting pen to paper, arts and crafts and physical exercise.

Written by Julia Garvey, Deputy Director General, BESA

It seems somewhat extraneous to write in an article for senior school leaders that much has changed over the last 12 months, but I feel compelled to take a moment to pause and reflect now that schools have reopened for all students. Despite what was repeatedly stated in the mainstream press, we all know that schools have been open throughout the last year, but we also recognise it has been far from business as normal. What is causing this period of reflection is the recent publication of a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education Technology (APPG for EdTech) ‘Lessons from Lockdown: what we learned about Education Technology in 2020’. The APPG was founded in September 2020 and is chaired by Damian Hinds MP with the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) providing secretariat support. Since it was established the APPG has had several expert panel discussions and overseen a Call for Evidence into which remote learning technologies and practices proved effective during lockdown. It is from this evidence that this report was born. As you would expect, the report paints a vivid picture of the digital divide; the difficulties experienced due to a lack of connectivity and access to devices, both of which have been well documented elsewhere. However, it also goes on to examine the broader context of how technology was used to deliver curriculum content, the impact on pupils with SEND, safeguarding challenges, and both pastoral care and student wellbeing. There is a discussion of staff support and training. You may find it useful to compare your own experiences with those that are highlighted here and reflect upon your own conclusions – what has worked well in your context, and what proved more difficult. Are there any technologies that

Lesson 10 Initial Teacher Training and the Early Career Framework must equip teachers with the knowledge and confidence to source and deploy effective EdTech solutions to support both the teaching and learning process and to drive efficiencies across school management. Schools should also provide inset or equivalent training and guidance for teachers as part of regular CPD. At the same time, the technology must be made considerably easier to find, procure and integrate too. I know the APPG is extremely grateful to the teachers, schools, experts and tech providers who submitted evidence and have helped to shape the findings of the report. We at BESA will continue our work to support schools and teachers during the challenging months ahead. We are not back to normal, not by a long stretch. So while you begin the task of getting students back on track, on helping them fill the gaps in their skills and knowledge, and helping them reconnect with their peers, we hope there might be ideas and guidance in the report that offers additional support for you and your team.

Education Technology

Lessons from Lockdown

You can download a free copy of the APPG Report ‘Lessons from Lockdown: what we learned about Education Technology in 2020’ here FURTHER INFORMATION www.besa.org.uk

Lesson 4 As schools reopen, they should ensure traditional classroom teaching is coupled with the use of EdTech as a matter of routine, to enrich the variety of pedagogic approaches. This more blended style of learning would be on campus, within the school setting, but not necessarily always in the classroom.



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IT Infrastructure Written by Victoria Temple, The National Centre for Computing Education

Tips to ensure your school’s IT infrastructure is delivering Good equipment, the right online platforms, support and training for teachers and students, along with digital skills and connectivity all play a vital role in education. So now is the time to consider if your IT infrastructure is working well for your school, staff and students High quality tech and connectivity is playing Foundation, recommends starting an increasingly important role in schools with looking at devices and access to and, while children have returned to the computer equipment at your school. classroom, it looks like a blend of remote “Think about what the equipment capacity and classroom teaching is set to continue. is in your school community,” he says., Good equipment, the right online platforms, He suggests looking closely at dedicated support and training for teachers and computer suites, any banks of students, along with digital skills devices and even opportunities and connectivity all now play to embrace Bring Your Own It’s a vital role in education at Device schemes, so that importa all stages. In this article, devices are available for nt to take we offer some thoughts timetabled Computing a s on how to make good lessons as well as c h oolwide ap choices and get the best for other subjects. p r o ach to adop out of the technology. With regards to educati ting an devices, Duncan o PCs, tablets, and says; “Laptop loan to gain n platform computer suites schemes can be useful maximu The coronavirus but look carefully m benefit pandemic has exposed at ensuring these the ‘digital divide’ with are adequately insured many children unable to and that acceptable use access remote education at policies are in place as part home. While most children are now back of a home-school agreement.” in classrooms, good access will remain “Think about using Raspberry Pi vital for accessing learning at home and desktop kits / All in 1 Pi400. These are a any future periods of self-isolation. lower cost alternative and simply require Duncan Maidens, Director of Computer an additional screen and headset to Science Education at the Raspberry Pi become a fully functioning device.”

“Bear in mind that tablets and iPads are not a complete answer. Children need access to PCs to develop a full range of skills and access opportunities.” Government-led initiatives are available, offering funding to improve access. In England, there’s the Department for Education’s get help with technology scheme with over £400m invested, the provision of 1.3m laptops and 54,000 4G wireless routers for pupils. In Scotland, there is help to get online and a specific £25m investment to support digital inclusion amongst learners. Wales has the ‘Stay safe, stay learning’ scheme and Northern Ireland has loan scheme plans to help with devices, internet access and support to provide remote education. Connectivity When it comes to connectivity, Duncan offers a few more useful pointers: “Look at your wireless coverage. Are your Meshed networks able to cope with multiple colocated users? Good internet access speeds are crucial to IT infrastructure and there’s a real need for a fibre connection. Look at installing FTTP - Fibre to the Premises. Ensure any old infrastructure E Issue 26.2 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


IT Infrastructure

Government-led initiatives are available, offering funding to improve access. In England, there’s the Department for Education’s get help with technology scheme, with over £400m invested, the provision of 1.3m laptops and 54,000 4G wireless routers for pupils.

 such as hubs are replaced with switches and core connectivity has sufficient capacity.” The right platforms It’s important to take a consistent, schoolwide approach to adopting an education platform in order to gain the maximum benefit. “Look at using a Learning Management System,” said Duncan. “This needs a school-wide approach to ensure it is embraced by all staff with common ways of working and accessing centralised resources.” Supporting teachers and IT support staff to understand and use technology is also vital part of digital investment. Duncan suggests a look at the wide range of courses available through the National Centre for


Computing Education (NCCE), from ones for newcomers, such as “How Computers Work: Demystifying Computation”, through various pedagogy and programming courses, as well as “Teaching Computing in Schools: Creating a Curriculum for Ages 11-16“. Connect with other teachers Sharing ideas and experiences with other teachers and schools through networking can be a great way of ensuring that you are making the most of your technology, and can help you to make well-informed decisions about platforms, devices and infrastructure. The DfE’s Ed Tech Demonstrator Programme provides peer-to-peer support on the effective use of technology in primary

£15m for education technology in schools in Wales The Welsh Government will invest a further £15 million in educational technology for schools in the next financial year. The investment is the continuation of the Hwb EdTech programme, which has already seen an investment of over £92 million by the Welsh Government over the last two years, and will further support the transformation of digital infrastructure of all maintained schools in Wales. Funding will also be used to ensure ongoing MiFi connectivity for digitally excluded learners, to the end of the current school year in July. So far, the Hwb EdTech programme has provided over 128,000 devices since the start of the pandemic, with another 54,000 being delivered in the coming weeks. It has funded software which has allowed around 10,000 re-purposed devices to be issued to ‘digitally excluded’ learners and provided 10,848 MiFi devices for learners without internet access at home. It has also enabled local authorities to purchase over 300,000 digital infrastructure products, including cabling, switches and WiFi devices.

and secondary schools with its network of 50 ‘demonstrator’ schools and colleges. The programme includes advice, guidance and training on topics such as the use of online learning platforms, digital safety, supporting the needs of pupils with SEND. Computing at School (CAS) is a teacherled network which supports the NCCE and brings primary and secondary teachers together in its regular community meetings. These meetings cover a whole host of topics, including advice on using different platforms and IT infrastructure. “Through the CAS network, we have continued to see huge demand from teachers for support in technology platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. We are supporting thousands of teachers to explore how to use these platforms for lessons and to share practical tips on what works in the context of teaching and learning,” said Julia Adamson, director of education at BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT, which backs CAS. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.teachcomputing.org


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Philips monitors with USB-C connectivity and built-in webcams will ensure remote teaching and learning is at its most effective, while reducing both environmental and financial costs

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been a year already since the lockdowns started throughout the whole world and the scope of social interaction changed completely. Especially the education sector was certainly taken by surprise and was mostly not equipped for an immediate transition to online school, which is true for both teachers and the students. Especially with younger pupils, being left behind from their fellow pupils means a lot and it’s now even harder to catch up the loss of effective teaching time due to the Covid19 pandemic. Unfortunately, schools and educational organisations were also slow to adapt to the new changes. According to the research by education technology company RM, 79 per cent of teachers and 70 per cent of parents recognised that their school’s use of the technology pre-Covid was insufficient. Teachers stated a lack of training, time wasted setting up technology, and also lack of suitable devices in their homes. If we go deeper, we see many shortcomings. First, the teachers and students did not have the appropriate setup and hardware in their homes. Just in few weeks from March 2020, every sector including the education sector had to invest in new computers (desktop and laptop), new monitors, webcams and more. This brought a great challenge to the manufacturers to provide for the demand, but moreso to the users who lack these hardware. Webcams, for example, are still sold out or overpriced even after a whole year passed by. In this difficult situation, it’s important for schools, teachers and parents to invest in appropriate hardware, if possible.

Philips monitors’ innovative monitor line-up comes to help and delivers what teachers and students need wrapped up in a great package. One of the major challenges for anyone working or studying from home is using a laptop only. This is not ideal in a desk setup. The low position of the laptop display is not ergonomically efficient for longer use, which can lead to bad posture and other health issues for teachers and students. Additionally, the small screen of the laptop is not enough for teachers to both see and interact with their pupils’ video conference streams, while teaching at the same time. In this case, Philips’ USB-C supporting displays are a great problem solver. With just one USB-C cable, teachers can connect their laptop directly to these monitors, widening their screen space and enabling multitasking such as teaching and monitoring their students. The Philips 24” 243B9 and the 27” 273B9 are first and foremost impressive monitors with great image quality and wide viewing angles, thanks to their Full HD IPS panels. The wide viewing angles also allow teachers not to lose contact when they get up and demonstrate some points visually. The ergonomic stand with 150 mm height adjustment, swivel, and tilt options also offer a comfortable use for long hours. But most importantly, the

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The new “classroom” experience USB-C input makes everything easier! The laptop is easily connected to the monitor with a single cable, transferring video, data, while the USB-C port also powers/ charges the laptop (up to 65W). An easy, clutter-free setup on the teacher’s desk with improved multitasking and proper use of technology by their teachers is exactly what the students deserve in post-Covid times. Another crucial challenge is the webcam. Most teachers and students were not equipped with one at all when they were forced to start online school. High demand made adequate supply almost impossible for the first months of the pandemic at least. Another concern is the privacy. By now, we’ve already witnessed several funny moments with webcams left open accidently. Users, both teachers and students had to adapt to take care of their privacy even more when their webcam is turned on for a significant portion of their days. Philips’ web-cam equipped models come to the rescue in this case. The 24” Philips 242B1H with Full HD resolution and the 27” Philips 275B1H with QHD resolution, both come equipped with a built-in, pop-up webcam. The pop-up functionality is a great life saver, which enables users to tuck the webcam behind the panel after its use and avoid such accidents. The 2.0 MP Full HD webcam with microphone also supports Windows 10 Hello, which means users can login to their systems without typing their password by simply using the facial recognition option for Windows. It both speeds up the login process, reduces security risks (by not requiring to type any password), and also adds another security layer. The rest of the display is also just perfect for a WFH use case, thanks to the ergonomic stand with height adjustment, an IPS panel with good colour accuracy, wide viewing angles, and great connectivity with HDMI, Displayport, VGA, DVI-D inputs as well as a 3-port USB 3.2 hub for extra peripherals. In this day and age, it’s crucial for teachers and pupils/students to catch up with today’s technological advancements. The Philips monitors with USB-C connectivity and built-in webcams are perfect opportunities for them to ready up their arsenal, while reducing both environmental and financial costs by combining their needs in a single package.L FURTHER INFORMATION www.philips.co.uk



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St Augustine’s RC High School future-proofs its network with WiFi 6 from Redway Networks

St Augustine’s school has improved wireless connectivity and future-proofed its network with a new Cisco Meraki WiFi 6 solution from Redway Networks. The school needed to replace its existing WiFi infrastructure with a robust solution that would provide superior quality and performance and support its additional technology. To future proof the network, St Augustine’s decided to take the leap to WiFi 6 and was recommended to education wireless experts Redway Networks.


Paul Bowie, ICT manager at St Augustine’s says: “When I spoke to Redway Networks I was instantly put at ease and knew they would be the right company to work with. The advice and technical product knowledge I received was firstclass and once we’d gone through our requirements we decided on Cisco Meraki as it was the best fit for our school and I was impressed with the power and simplicity of its dashboard interface.” Redway Networks provided Meraki’s MR36 cloud-managed WiFi 6 access points (AP) with an 11-year centralised cloud-managed software licence and WiFI services including survey, design, configuration and support. With the school being closed, Redway conducted the survey remotely via school plans to determine AP positioning, coverage and performance with the results verified using Ekahau’s visual heat mapping software. Paul says: “The work Redway’s engineer did with the WiFi survey software was amazing, I’ve never seen Ekahau in action before and I was really impressed.” St Augustine’s now has a hyperreliable Meraki WiFi 6 solution that delivers seamless connectivity, greater

coverage and complete network security and visibility. Paul says: “If a device or application goes offline, I’ll get an email alert and I can go to the cloud-controller and fix the problem without having to go to the physical device – being able to do this has saved me considerable time and has reduced support calls.” The staff at St Augustine’s have also noticed the improvement in the WiFI. Paul says: “Staff have commented on how much better the WiFi coverage and speed is which means they are using it a lot more now in MS Teams meetings. Users can also access and download digital learning resources much faster which has improved information sharing, collaboration and the student experience.” Paul concludes: “Meraki has exceeded all our expectations and has the capacity to support our future EdTech needs. Redway Networks was very knowledgeable, and I was really impressed with how smoothly the project went from start to finish.” FURTHER INFORMATION www.redwaynetworks.com


Children may be back in the classrooms but with local lockdowns and periods of they are returning to an education that’s been self-isolation, it is still possible; “Schools changed forever by the Covid pandemic. are likely to continue to rely on remote In the last year, remote education solutions. It is likely that schools will has become routine for students and incorporate aspects of remote education teachers, and months of online teaching into their teaching after the pandemic.” is set to leave a lasting legacy. While classroom learning is The wisdom of teachers underway, it is likely that Computer Science teachers and some remote education computing lead teachers in The DfE will remain. The primary schools shared their stated i Department for tips about how to make Education stated remote education work, and report t n its hat wit in its report on what changes are here to l o h cal lock Remote Education stay. There’s a wide variety downs and pe in January that, of experience and expertise rio

isolatio ds of selfn teachin , remote g is possible still

A lasting impact Remote education has left a lasting impact, whether that’s tracking progress, giving feedback, communicating with parents, or indeed raising the profile of digital skills and computing as a subject. Digital skills have developed over the last months out of necessity, said Dave Gibbs, senior computing and technology specialist at STEM Learning and part of the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) consortium: “There’s some hope that this sets teachers and learners in good stead to make more use of digital tech in future. There certainly should be improved understanding of the impact of technology on society,” he said. E


Written by Victoria Temple, community engagement officer at the National Centre for Computing Education

In the last year, remote education has become routine for students and teachers, and months of online teaching is set to leave a lasting legacy. Computer Science teachers and computing lead teachers in primary schools share their tips about how to make remote education work, and what changes are here to stay

IT & Computing

The lasting legacy of remote education

about what works well online; such as whether to have cameras on or off, or to deliver live or recorded lessons, and how to boost student engagement with remote education. “My biggest tip is a shorter lesson with an activity that everyone can take part in such as a shared game,” said Melanie Dennig, lead teacher for Computer Science at Exeter Mathematics School. Melanie also knows what works for her students and doesn’t insist they keep their cameras on. “I know that many students are self-conscious about opening a window into their personal space,” she said. Different approaches suit different schools and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of knowing students well and responding to their needs. Teachers are best placed to make decisions about how to deliver remote education in a way that meets those needs. Knowing your students well is key.


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Keeping a close eye on security during distance learning It goes without saying that the vast majority primary and secondary education institutions saw widespread disruption for much of the 2019–2020 academic year and into the 2020–2021 year. The COVID-19 pandemic lead to nationwide school closures, and regular periods of self isolation for both teaching staff and students. One stand out difference to previous closures was the enabling effect that the mainstream use of domestic broadband and online communications & collaboration platforms had on the ability of institutions to activate distance learning: both teaching staff and students could “work from home”. The education sector suddenly had to contend with technology issues introduced by pupils using their own devices (possibly shared with family members) and having to log in to online platforms instead of simply arriving at an allocated classroom and answering their name when the register is taken. In essence, one teacher’s Internet connection suffering poor bandwidth or one forgotten password, and a class could be cancelled or missed. Addressing the concern around forgotten and unsecure passwords is one way in which schools can develop a robust environment in which staff

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 Online working is likely to drive innovative approaches to tracking progress and giving feedback. Melanie Dennig said: “I think that outreach work online will remain. When we look at the way that we have adapted so quickly to using Microsoft Teams, I think this will continue as a really agile way of giving feedback to students.” Alice Pinches, head of Computer Science at Exeter School said: “I’d like to see mixed work projects remain and the use of technology better to record progress. We could see a decline in the endless use of paper and the obsession with printing something out and putting it in a folder. We could have better systems of recording progress that use technology and suit the task better. Hopefully we’ll also reduce paper and printing!”

James Jerrold, a primary and secondary school teacher in Buckinghamshire, said that technology will now improve communication and that the relationship with parents has changed. “There’s a lot more frequent interaction, often informally. I expect that will continue, with parents wanting to interact more regularly throughout the term,” said James, who is also a Computing at School Community Leader for Beaconsfield. “I think we’ll see an increase in the use of flipped learning techniques too which is particularly useful if we see schools continuing to adopt a reduced timetable to reduce the numbers of pupils in the classroom,” continued James. Collaboration Remote education opens up new opportunities for collaboration too, which are likely to become increasingly common

IT & Computing

For years we have talked about flipped learning, working from home, and collaborative editing. Covid has forced us to turn that talk into action. We will emerge from lockdown with a renewed appreciation of the richness of face-to-face conversations – but also new ideas, new skills, and new ways to collaborate

in the classroom. Third party websites are great tools for boosting engagement. Virtual ‘school trips’ to museums, galleries, educational resources around the globe will become part of the school experience. Teachers are increasingly looking to share ideas and techniques, and organisations like Computing at School (CAS), a grassroots network which is supporting the National Centre for Computing Education, have proved to be valuable. CAS enables teachers to reflect on how to make the most of online education and its regular community meetings have seen high attendance throughout lockdown. Hollie Newell teaches Y1 at a primary school in Leicester, says that there’s been a “huge leap in confidence” around remote education among parents, senior leaders and in the children. Hollie, who is also leader of a Computing at School community in Leicester delivered live lessons twice a day through the lockdown period. Around 98 per cent of the pupils at Hollie’s school have English as an additional language, which makes live interaction with the teacher additionally important. Her school provided home learning packs to the children, including ‘word mats’, phonics charts, white boards and more. “Going forward I think there’s been a real shift in our school community. It’s raised the prominence of computing as a whole. I’m hopeful that teachers will feel more confident using technology across the curriculum,” she said. “We’ve seen a ‘can do’ attitude in staff, children, and parents, and that’s been fantastic. It’s been all about problem-solving.” Julia Adamson, director of education at BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, one of the NCCE’s consortium partners, says that while teachers and students will be focussing on adjusting to being back in the classroom, technology will play an increasingly valuable role. “Schools will continue to think about taking blended approaches and the key is to make the time spent online really impactful. Finding the right resources is also key. The National Centre for Computing’s resources such as its Teach Computing Curriculum are designed for both remote and classroom delivery,” she said. “Many schools and teachers have shown great innovation, and now is the time to share good practice in professional networks and shape a strategic approach to remote teaching,” Julia added. It’s been a hugely challenging year for everyone involved in education, but it has revealed new ways of approaching education and delivering change. As Simon Peyton Jones, chair of the NCCE said: “For years we have talked about flipped learning, working from home, and collaborative editing. Covid has forced us to turn that talk into action. We will emerge from lockdown with a renewed appreciation of the richness of face-to-face conversations – but also new ideas, new skills, and new ways to collaborate. Let’s make the most of them!” L FURTHER INFORMATION www.teachcomputing.org



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Providing access to remote learning via digital devices Getting pupils access to equipment for remote learning has always been challenging, even more so in current times. As a result more schools are seeking solutions, either to make up the shortfall in the number of devices they have been allocated, or to overcome concerns about how they manage the hardware and future-proof their IT infrastructure in subsequent years

Access to digital devices in education has been the subject of much media scrutiny in recent weeks. After England moved into its third national lockdown on 5 January, all schools and colleges are closed to most pupils and educators have switched to remote learning. The government’s priority is to get pupils back in the classroom “as soon as possible”. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that schools will not reopen until the success of lockdown measures can be assessed whilst being mindful of any other possible changes in the coronavirus pandemic. At present, schools are restricting classroom places to children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable. This has prompted concerns that some schools are being inundated with pupils without

laptops, which is impacting their ability to keep school attendance figures low to limit the spread of the virus. In the longer term, the learning gap between children from different social backgrounds may widen and academic futures may be hindered, unless more parents have access to digital devices to support home learning activities. 1.5 millions pupils still lacking access to a device According to recent government figures, an extra 300,000 laptops and tablets have been purchased to help disadvantaged children in England learn at home, in addition to the 560,000 devices that had been given out to schools in 2020. But Ofcom estimates there are up to 1.5 million pupils without suitable digital devices in their homes, forcing some secondary school students to

write essays on their mobile phones while parents of two or more children are faced with difficult decisions about who gets access to the home’s only digital device. The BBC’s national ‘Make a Difference Give a Laptop campaign’ is working with local charities to collect and provide free laptops to children who need them. Local businesses throughout the UK have also launched initiatives to donate unwanted laptops and IT equipment. Furthermore, major mobile network operators are allowing families to continue to learn from home without using any of their mobile data allowance until the end of the academic year. Whilst these generous schemes will take some of the strain off schools and overwhelmed parents, schools are still struggling to access devices for their students. A problem that will continue long after lock down ends. 1-2-1 learning schemes – a smarter solution to a longstanding problem? Getting pupils access to equipment for remote learning has always been challenging, even more so in current times. As a result more schools are seeking solutions, either to make up the shortfall in the number of devices they have been allocated, or to overcome concerns about how they manage the hardware and future-proof their IT infrastructure in subsequent years. Where funding is available, schools are having to choose between the provision of devices over the training and support of teachers who are new to online teaching and the upgrade of WiFi access to ensure a robust delivery of the service. To bridge the technology gap, some alternative finance specialists offer 1-2-1 / bring your own device (BYOD) schemes to enable schools to support digital learning by allowing parents to spread the cost. Under these schemes, schools can select a range of devices from one of the finance



provider’s approved suppliers or an existing supplier of their choice. These are then put into a branded online catalogue to allow parents to select the device best suited to their child’s needs. Parents can then spread the cost over time via monthly direct debit and the collection of payments can be managed by the finance company in conjunction with the online portal provider - as offered through the partnership between Wesleyan Bank and parent portal system specialist, edde education. There are various benefits to 1-2-1 / BYOD programmes. Pupils can gain access to devices quickly and it also offers a way for parents to spread the cost over time, crucially helping to free up a school’s budget for other important areas. For peace of mind, there is the ability to access additional services including insurance, device management and monitoring to ensure that equipment is protected and used safely inside and outside of the classroom. Schools may also elect to use the pupil premium to subsidise equipment for families who are experiencing financial hardship. This can mean that a pupil can have access to a device for around £10 a month including cover, which compares competitively to current retail prices. Depending on the equipment supplier and the decision making process, schemes can be established in as little as three weeks. A case in point – St Ambrose future-proofs its IT infrastructure and transforms student learning St Ambrose Barlow Roman Catholic High School and 6th Form College (St Ambrose) wanted to give its students access to the latest technology, without being constrained by the time and costs of such a project. St Ambrose initially piloted Google Workspace, a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration solutions through its IT managed service provider RM Education. The school concluded that lessons needed to be conducted in the school’s ICT suite and that all students needed access to their own laptops to take full advantage of the technology’s capabilities. To raise awareness of its technology ambitions and bring teachers, students and parents together, the school launched ‘Ambrose Anywhere’, a tailored Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme with the goal of creating a collaborative 1-2-1 learning environment for all students. But in order to succeed, St Ambrose needed to overcome its funding challenges to make it simplistic and affordable for students to adopt the Chromebooks device and enhance the school’s IT infrastructure.

To overcome reductions in capital funding and achieve more with less, St Ambrose met with RM’s recommended financing and leasing partner, Wesleyan Bank to review its options. Wesleyan Bank created a bespoke qualifying, operating lease plan in line with Government legislation to allow parents to spread the cost of the Chromebook over a three-year period. As the tailored finance solution forms part of a three-year rolling programme, St Ambrose has the flexibility to upgrade the Chromebooks at the end of this period or switch to a device from another ICT manufacturer. “Together, RM and Wesleyan Bank provided us with the freedom to access the technology resources the school needed immediately without having to pay a significant lump sum upfront and dip into vital cash reserves, significantly contributing to the success of the Ambrose Anywhere scheme. Some finance solutions can be confusing but Wesleyan Bank took the time to thoroughly explain all of our options which made for a quick and simple process,” comments Malcom Walker, Business Manager at St Ambrose. An increasing number of schools in the UK have adopted Chromebooks integrated into G-Suite for Education to create a seamless transition to student resources with applications and school work securely stored in the cloud. Thanks to the support of RM and Wesleyan Bank, St Ambrose has fulfilled its ambition to join these leading schools by transitioning over 250 students from consumers of information to creative producers and owners of knowledge. The feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive. From the ability to access and edit their school work from anywhere there is an available internet connection, to receiving timely and formative feedback from teachers.

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Ofcom estimates there are up to 1.5 million pupils without suitable digital devices in their homes, forcing some secondary school students to write essays on their mobile phones while parents of two or more children are faced with difficult decisions about who gets access to the home’s only digital device

“This is just the start of our technology journey and we are already looking forward to the next exciting chapter of St Ambrose’s future in partnership with RM and Wesleyan Bank. Transforming our IT environment is assisting our students and teachers to embrace transformative uses of technology, enhancing students’ engagement and promoting the development of self-directed and life-long learners,” concludes Malcolm Walker. As a key partner of Wesleyan Bank, RM have worked with their supply chain to ensure good stock of devices across the next few months, including thousands of Chromebooks available within January and February. Are you struggling to access devices for your students? If you would like more information please contact our subject matter expert Lindsay Screen at bankcommercialsales@ wesleyan.co.uk or 07725 602 555. L

Wesleyan Bank acts as a broker and a lender. Depending on the circumstances and where required by law, loans will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Consumer Credit Act. FURTHER INFORMATION bankcommercialsales@wesleyan.co.uk 07725 602 555 www.wesleyan.co.uk/commercial/ Wesleyan Bank Ltd (Registered in England and Wales No. 2839202) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services register No.165116). Registered Office: PO Box 3420, Colmore Circus Birmingham B4 6AE. Tel: 0800 358 1122. www.wesleyanbank.co.uk . Calls may be recorded to help us provide, monitor and improve our services to you.



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School Business Leadership

The importance of networking to deliver growth As we enter this new phase of education delivery in the UK, school leaders will need to consider the most effective use of their resources, including personnel, to deliver the greatest opportunities for pupil progress. Thankfully, the ISBL regional conferences will re-commence from 30 June 2021 for much needed professional development and networking

How can a professional gain assurance of their knowledge, skills and competency without interaction, discussion, or engagement with others in their field? During the pandemic, we have drawn on those around us for insight and collaboration as we have faced new and emerging challenges as well as digesting significant and changing guidance. There were little in the way of opportunities to attend conferences and events as we had done previously. This meant missing out on engaging and rich dialogue with colleagues during the networking opportunities which coffee breaks allowed us. Technology however, has allowed us to continue our interactions with colleagues via multiple platforms and we’ve seen growth of virtual meetings and events. These opportunities have been significantly supportive during the crisis in sharing people’s strategic approaches, gaining reassurance or alternative suggestion on how to approach challenges that have been presented. These ‘virtual’ interaction haven’t replaced the need for face-to-face contact – but they have opened the many engagement methods available to school business professionals, including social media. They have allowed colleagues from across the country to meet and interact more regularly and of course share good practice. As we move further into 2021 with renewed hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight, we should be considering what positive aspects and

opportunities learned from the pandemic we want to retain in our strategic planning. It is a time to look closely at what is happening within our sector, through consultation, and engagement with colleagues to share ‘quick wins’ which have been achieved to further develop and enhance the learning opportunities for the communities that we serve. As school business professionals you will be working with the leadership to identify the actual financial impact as you claim government grant income for testing and FSM and review the lost income and how quickly this can be recouped. Personnel will also feature on the immediate ‘things to do list’ as you reflect on the long-term impact that the pandemic has had on their working patterns, and any anxiety or stress they may have but also the opportunities that flexible learning may now provide. As schools continue full reopening and staff return to full-time, on-site working the reality of the last 12 months may materialise in potentially increased stressrelated illness. The wellbeing of staff was essential during the pandemic and will continue to be front and centre as we rehabilitate to post pandemic working. There will also be increased consideration about flexible / remote working and learning as colleagues, parents and pupils have seen the success that has been achieved in a hybrid model of learning. School leaders will want to consider the opportunities, particularly in secondary schools where specialist non-practical

subjects could be more accessible and cost-efficient through remote learning. School leaders across the country will be discussing and considering these opportunities and challenges right now and this is where our events and networking offer access to thought leadership discussions, practitioner-led insights, and impact-orientated developments. They also bring insights into how this change management and cultural shift have been achieved. ISBL recognise, through the discussion with our members, that the last 12 months has seen a halt to much of the strategic thinking and development in schools as leaders have had to focus on the immediate issues that the pandemic presented. Now, as we emerge as sector leaders, we want to reinvigorate ‘development’ and ‘growth’ while still ensuring that we meet the needs of our community and that both are possible with the available resources. ISBL are creating conference opportunities for school business professionals that once again allow rich discussion which is facilitated and inspired by leading sector specialists through panel discussions and evidence-based, practitioner-led workshops. Our events will provide virtual and physical attendance. These events will focus on navigating the new horizon, lessons learned from the pandemic and the growth opportunities presented, particularly through flexible learning and working. As we enter this new phase of education delivery in the UK, school leaders will need to consider the most effective use of their resources, including personnel, to deliver the greatest opportunities for pupil progress and development. The ISBL regional conferences will commence again from 30 June 2021, following the successful navigation by the country of the government milestones, and the ISBL national conferences will be back in November 2021. Visit www.isbl.co.uk for full details of our conferences and events. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.isbl.org.uk



Advertisement Feature 5-a-day Fitness is the ultimate fun fitness resource for primary schools. Increase daily physical activity in your school with 5-minute exercise routines designed specifically for projection onto classroom screens. The resources can be used at any time of the day to enhance learning with ease. There’s no need to rearrange the classroom or change into PE kits. 5-aday provides the perfect opportunity to get pupils up and active first thing in the morning, a mid-lesson brain break, a refocusing tool, or to use up any excess energy they may have after lunch or break time. There is also a collection of 2-minute chillout routines concentrating on relaxation, imagination, coordination and mindfulness. There’s no teacher preparation required. Simply watch, join in, have fun, get fit and learn! The themed fitness routines are also available with Modern Foreign Language voice-overs and on-screen translations, making 5-a-day a great cross-curricular PE and language learning resource. Many of the videos are already available in French, Spanish and Welsh. Each routine enhances kinaesthetic learning and utilises both audio and visual instructions and demonstrations. The music and choreography are written, created and licensed by 5-a-day Fitness

with education and school appropriateness in mind. The routines are differentiated by complexity. The language learning resources each have 3 levels of difficulty making 5-a-day Fitness an amazing crosscurricular Physical Education and Modern Foreign Language learning tool for Key Stage 1 and 2 (K-6+). 5-a-day Fitness helps 100,000 school children around the globe get active every day! Our routines are used 3,500 times each day by 1,000 schools. That’s 17,500 minutes, or 291 hours of extra physical activity per day, equalling 55,290 hours of extra physical activity in classrooms per year (based on the UK requirement of 190 school days per year). Since 5-a-day Fitness was launched in 2008, our schools have used our fun fitness routines on 5-a-day TV over 8,200,000 times! Offered as a yearly package, subscribing schools get unlimited access to 5-a-day’s easy to use videoon-demand service. Schools are able to support whole families to stay active by upgrading to Pupil Home Access, allowing pupils and parents to engage in fun, easy to follow, 5-a-day Fitness routines at home. Over 1,000 primary schools now subscribe and have access to 5-a-day’s proprietary video-on-demand service (hosted at www.5-a-day.tv), for an annual full price of just £380!



Getting kids active after lockdown There needs to be an urgent focus on sport and physical education at schools to combat the high levels of inactivity during lockdown, writes the Youth Sport Trust More than two in three parents have of children aged 18 and under was carried said that their children’s physical activity out in February 2021 by YouGov. It found levels decreased during lockdown, that 69 per cent of parents believe that according to research commissioned their children are less physically active by children’s charity the Youth Sport now compared to a year ago, before the Trust and conducted by YouGov. Coronavirus pandemic. Only 15 per cent The survey found that only a said their children’s activity levels had minority of parents (21 per cent) not changed and 12 per cent thought believe their children are currently their children were now more active. active for at least the recommended When asked about their children’s activity average of 60 minutes every day. levels, almost four in five parents (79 per The Youth Sport Trust has said that cent) reported that their children were the findings show the urgent need for currently doing less than 60 minutes every a renewed focus on sport and physical day. Three in five (60 per cent) say their education now schools are back in school. children are active, but for 30 minutes or Four in five parents (81 per cent) say it less. A further 11 per cent say their children is important that schools ensure are currently doing no activity at all. every pupil is active for 30 The research also found a minutes every day and lack of awareness among Four 78 per cent say they parents as to how much should have at least physical activity children in five two hours of weekly should be doing. The parents s physical education. Chief Medical Officer a y is impo it The research guidelines recommend r t a n t schools that among UK parents that children should en

pupil is sure every ac 30 min tive for u every d tes ay

be doing an average of 60 minutes of physical activity every day, however only 38 per cent of parents are aware of this target with 44 per cent believing the target to be 30 minutes or less. A renewed focus on physical activity The Youth Sport Trust and other sporting organisation have called for the remainder of this academic year in schools to be positioned as an active recovery term for young people, characterised by a renewed focus on sport, physical activity and physical education, and time outdoors. Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver MBE said: “We know that the last year has taken a significant toll on young people’s wellbeing. That so many parents have seen a decline in young people’s engagement in physical activity is extremely concerning. It is especially worrying that as many as one in ten parents believe their children are now completely inactive. E



Sport  “Active young people are healthier, happier and better equipped to learn. Pupils that have returned to the classroom are in need of support rebuilding their confidence, sense of belonging and wellbeing. After a year of huge disruption and inactivity, schools’ essential role in getting them active and nurturing their enjoyment of sport and movement again will never have been more important. “Schools and teachers who have so brilliantly kept things going during a turbulent year, play an essential role in nurturing the healthy habits and lifestyles that are so crucial to young people’s development. “To support schools and teachers, the Youth Sport Trust and partners including national governing bodies of sport, charities and activity providers have united behind the concept of an Active Recovery term, characterised by daily physical activity, time outdoors and a greater focus on physical education and sport. Together we will be making ideas, content and resources which support engagement, learning and recovery, easy to access and free to use.


“We are pleased to be working with Sport England to address the many challenges we know children and schools face and it has been encouraging to have recent engagement with the Secretaries of State for Education and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on this issue. “In the longer term, we continue to call on the government to make a bold and courageous commitment to a national ambition for our young people to be the happiest and most active in the world. This should be underpinned by a renewed national strategy to tackle inactivity and recover young people’s wellbeing.” An open letter to children An open letter to children has been written, praising the resilience of a generation who have had their lives and education disrupted by the pandemic. More than 400 schools and partner organisations have added their names to the letter which pledges to help young people recover by giving them time and space to

play and be active, and offering them greater opportunities to purse their passions. Schools across England are sending the letter home to pupils, publishing it on their websites and social media feeds and using it as the basis for return-to-school assemblies. The letter has been co-ordinated by Well Schools, the movement of schools working to put wellbeing at the heart of education, which is powered by the Youth Sport Trust and Bupa Foundation. As well as schools and parents, signatories to the letter include Youth Sport Trust ambassador Dr Radha Modgil and organisations like Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), 1851 Trust, Anna Freud Centre, National Governance Association (NGA), The Children’s Society, Confederation of School Trusts, What Works Wellbeing Centre and the Chartered College of School Leaders. See the letter here. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.youthsporttrust.org


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Helping students develop their argumentation skills Many students focus on factual learning and struggle to link what they know into a strong, coherent argument in their essays and exam answers. Endoxa Learning provides an innovative solution to this

At A Level, students need to make strong, coherent arguments in order to get the best marks. Although argument is paramount to A Level success, many students focus on factual learning and struggle to link what they know into a strong, coherent argument in their essays and exam answers. Endoxa Learning provides an innovative solution to this problem. Traditionally, students learn the facts first and then start to think about the key arguments. Endoxa Learning puts the arguments at the forefront of learning and embeds facts and contextual information only where and when it is needed. This learning method is designed to help students in developing their argumentation skills, whilst also learning all of their academic material, ensuring students are more confident analysing and creating strong, coherent arguments within essays and exams. Let’s have a look at an actual example of an argument your students could learn within the Endoxa Learning software and find out how you can get involved.

Current Affairs - Donald Trump At Endoxa Learning we are constantly updating our content with new case studies and topics regarding current affairs, to allow your students to stay up to date with the world around them. This is where Endoxa Learning really stands apart from traditional study materials. Unlike text books, we can constantly update our materials meaning that no case study is outdated. Let’s have a look at our newest case study within A-level politics to give you an example of how your students can easily master topical debates in class. Below you can see a segment of an argument graph, the visual diagrams that make up the lessons within Endoxa Learning’s software. This argument graph discusses the very topical debate surrounding the second impeachment of Donald Trump. Although the argument for Trump’s impeachment is fairly complex, the visual methods used by Endoxa Learning show the argument in its simplest form. The graphical representation of the argument makes the core structure of the argument immediately clear to students and reduces the amount of text a student would have to read if this argument were represented in prose. These powerful argument graphs provide a visual medium for students to learn all of the academic arguments they need, think critically about academic content and create their own persuasive arguments; skills which are critical for student exam success. See more about the Trump argument here.

The argument graph clearly breaks down even the most complex of arguments into manageable and easy to understand “chunks”, which we call argument steps. The lessons within the Endoxa Learning software move through an argument graph at their own pace one argument step at a time, meaning that all abilities can understand even the most complex of arguments. This step-by-step approach also clearly demonstrates to the student how they would go about writing an argument effectively, showing the need for supporting evidence, counter arguments and strong, coherent conclusions. Here comes the fun part. Once the student has got to grips with the core arguments within the lesson they can now use the software interactively to create their own unique argument graph. The student can edit the graph in two ways, they can either change the provided argument graph to align with their own point of view or they can add arguments and case studies they have been learning in class. This personalised argument graph then forms their visual essay plan for essay, assignments or revision, allowing them to nail their argument conclusion and avoid unnecessary “waffling”. Students can submit their amended argument graph directly to their teacher for feedback within the Endoxa Learning system which allows for two-way communication between student and teacher. Our work with schools We are working closely with schools to help them to introduce Endoxa Learning’s A-level content to their classes. If you would like to trial the Endoxa Learning software within your school, we are currently offering a 14 day free trial and fully comprehensive training sessions to all teachers. Get in touch today via our website. In addition to our success with A-level content, Endoxa Learning is currently testing with year 8 students. The aim of this test is to demonstrate that the use of Endoxa Learning’s software within a classroom environment improves students’ ability to think critically about the subject material across all age groups. We hope to roll out KS3 and GCSE material across all of our subjects later. We are looking for more schools to carrying out testing, drop us an email today if this is something your school would be interested in. L FURTHER INFORMATION teachers.endoxalearning.com teachers@endoxalearning.com



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Road to recovery: supporting children’s mental health in schools Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people been more important. Randstad Education is supporting schools’ focus on the pastoral and academic needs of children as they transition back to full-time education over the coming weeks

It is widely accepted that the recurring school closures caused by the Covid crisis have had a detrimental effect on the mental health of many children. A study from the NHS in July 2020 revealed that a staggering one in six children have a probable mental health condition. Since the study was published, the country experienced two further lockdowns so it’s extremely likely that the damage caused to children’s mental health is now far greater. As schools have reopened, they’re consciously trying to understand how children have been affected, how to support their mental health needs as well as re-engage them in learning and make up for lost time.

broken services can have a devastating impact on the mental health of children, inevitably causing further deterioration and prolonging recovery. This places further emphasis on the importance of speeding up the roll out of in-school counselling. In a recent report, the Children’s Commissioner stresses: “It is vital that these counselling services are available for every school as quickly as possible. When we see what the NHS has achieved within the last year, it shows what can be done with the right level of ambition and determination. It should not have to take another decade to create a decent mental health service for all children.”

The call for government support While the government has invested in online resources and charity grants to help schools respond to the impact of coronavirus on mental health and wellbeing, they must do more and quickly. Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England has warned that the Government’s current plan of rolling out NHS-led counselling in schools by 2023 is not ambitious enough. In addition to this, current wait times for children’s mental health services via external NHS bodies can typically be several months for an initial review. These long delays in trying to access

Parent and carer concerns Nearly three in five parents and carers surveyed by Randstad Education felt anxious about what impact the return to school would have on the wellbeing of their children. For many, school is not just about learning. It serves as a place to socialise, develop emotionally, enjoy extra curricular activities and also escape troubled family life. After experiencing major disruption to two years of education and daily routines, children will be feeling these changes deeply and be anxious or afraid about the return to school. Parents and carers are looking to schools to ensure that the right type of support

is in place to help their children re-engage and succeed in education while their mental health and wellbeing is taken into consideration. Creating mentally healthy environments Children who are supported at school and given time when needed are more likely to be happy and therefore academically successful. Dr Alex George, A&E Doctor and newlyappointed Youth Mental Health Ambassador by the Prime Minister has said that teachers should allow children days off for their mental health. While it is the responsibility of schools as a whole to create mentally healthy environments, the roles that individual teachers and support staff play are hugely important. They must be equipped with the necessary skills to recognise youth mental health issues as well as receive signposting in order to direct children to the help they need. Further support for schools Randstad Education is supporting schools’ focus on the pastoral and academic needs of children as they transition back to full-time education over the coming weeks. We’re running online workshops for school stakeholders, parents and carers on promoting resilience in children and supporting a safe return to school Reserve your workshop slot. We can provide mental health and wellbeing professionals and counsellors in schools, available for short-term and longterm bookings to help support children Book a mental health practitioner. We can provide workers for covid support and administration roles Find out more. What’s more, our database has short-term and long-term teachers and teaching assistants with intervention and behaviour management experience (available nationwide) Get in touch. About Randstad Education Randstad Education, one of the leading education recruiters in the UK, provides high quality teaching, leadership, support and non-teaching staff to primary, secondary and SEN schools, multi-academy trusts and federations. Visit our website L FURTHER INFORMATION www.randstad.co.uk



Children and young people have been among those most impacted by the Covid pandemic. All have missed vital school hours and valuable time with friends, while being confined to their houses with limited access to the outdoors and the life enhancing experiences it can bring. Outdoor education is a vital resource for all schools. At a time when Covid has so disproportionately affected the nation’s children, outdoor education has a unique role to play in helping to restore and rebuild their confidence and mental health. This is particularly true for disadvantaged children and the thousands of inner-city schools, students and parents for whom outdoor education is a unique and life changing experience. The importance of outdoor education Outdoor education and adventure are engrained in our DNA. It is part of British education. Every child’s first trip away from home is such an important and formative experience. A residential outdoor programme, or extended expedition, can go on to offer young people the chance to engage in adventurous activities in new and challenging environments far away from their local area, with unique opportunities for personal and social development. They are often amongst the most memorable experiences of a young person’s development and can lead to a lifetime of involvement in a new activity. Over the years, schools engage with a range of high quality outdoor learning and

personal development and purely, for many, visits beyond the classroom that help to the experience itself, so important for many both support the delivery and enrich the of our young people who will lack many curriculum. Such visits are often at locations of the opportunities available to others. far away from school and support more complex field work requirements or involve Outdoor education’s visits to sites of national significance. Of role in the recovery course, the opportunity to stay overnight As we recover from this pandemic, outcomes allows for travel further afield in support of associated with high quality outdoor education this, as well as providing for visits abroad on such as increased self-confidence, enhanced tours and expeditions that open up a whole new world of opportunity for young people. peer to peer relationships and strengthened With over two million children a year taking teacher/pupil trust and understanding, have part in outdoor education, the benefits to never been more important. We need to help health and wellbeing and to socio-emotional children across the UK regain these valuable learning outcomes (including self-confidence, learning experiences and benefit from the teamwork and resilience) have been wellunique role outdoor education can play. evidenced. Over the last year, so many children In our daily contact with schools, we and young people have been locked down in have seen how keen they are to return to cities and towns with restricted opportunities outdoor education. School leaders recognise to connect with each other or with nature. This that immersive, fun and curricular-relevant is particularly true for disadvantaged children opportunities provided by educational visits and the thousands of inner-city schools; schools and residential outdoor education experiences that are too often the only route for children offer particular benefits for children and to engage with and benefit from the great young people as schools and youth groups outdoors. The inequalities between groups of plan for post-pandemic provision. Opening children accessing these benefits are widening. up the opportunity for schools to travel and It is also worth highlighting that many of take young people on residential educational these experiences play a valuable visits will provide schools with role in terms of extra-curricular enrichment opportunities that activities and enrichment will address some of the key Over opportunities so important negative impacts that the the last in the development of health emergency has so man year, children and young had on young people. y c h i l dren have be people. Here the It is clear that the down en locked focus may well be on pandemic has had a E

Written by Andy Robinson, chief executive of Institute of Outdoor Learning and member of UK Outdoors

At a time when Covid has so disproportionately affected the nation’s children, outdoor education has a unique role to play in helping to restore and rebuild their confidence and mental health, writes Andy Robinson, chief executive of the Institute of Outdoor Learning and member of UK Outdoors

Outdoor Education

Outdoor education for a post-Covid world

towns win cities and i opportuth restricted n connec ities to tw nature ith



Persona Life Skills e-learning Boost wellbeing for Year 9 to 13 Develop social-emotional life skills Unique personality insights approach “The Persona Life Skills resources couldn't come at a better time.” www.persona-life.com

Equality & Wellbeing Lead, Eastbury Community School, Barking

Wellbeing case study: Ansford Academy adopts Persona Life Skills e-learning for pupils

Ansford Academy, a mixed comprehensive school of 640 students in Somerset, was the first school in the UK to adopt the social-emotional e-learning platform Persona Life Skills as a whole school wellbeing solution. The personality insights framework at its heart made Persona Life Skills a unique new resource for Ansford. Led by inspirational Headteacher and resident blogger for Teaching Times, Shonogh Pilgrim, Ansford Academy has adopted Persona Life Skills e-learning as a whole school wellbeing resource. Shonogh said: “Very glad to have been introduced to this fantastic resource. There is no greater gift we can give to our students than the skills to truly know themselves. Persona is a great way to give that gift.” Before lockdown, Ansford launched Persona Life Skills by collapsing the timetable to give over half a day for Year 9-11s to focus on themselves, an illustration of the school’s strong determination to prioritise wellbeing. Over 350 students


found it easy to sign in to their personalised Persona Life Skills accounts, using an array of devices to access the web app, from Chromebooks and tablets to mobile phones. Ansford teachers are encouraged to follow their own style to deliver learning, in the same way students influence their own learning. Whilst some practitioners led from the front, guiding students through each activity, others enabled greater agency, allowing students to work more independently. As an e-learning platform that is equally accessible in remote learning as in the classroom, Ansford was able to continue working with Persona Life Skills during lockdown. Persona’s online life challenge modules can be taught synchronously, semi-synchronously or asynchronously. In remote asynchronous learning, the teacher can unlock modules for individual students who are ready to move on. In synchronous or semi-synchronous learning, the teacher can unlock modules for an

entire group, such as a PSHE class or tutor group, with a single click of the mouse. Ansford has chosen different modes of delivery for different year groups, from tutor time and PSHE lessons, to crosscurriculum delivery for specific activities. Ansford will also be using its one-to-one coaching sessions to discuss students’ unique mix of personality styles. This tutoring and coaching will help students with self awareness and understanding their experiences in different situations. They will be better able to identify how they might adapt to reach more positive outcomes, using their new-found insights into their own ‘Persona’ – and importantly, other people’s.

About the author: Dr Leila Khouja Walker has been working in the education sector for 25 years. An ex-teacher and pastoral deputy head, she is now a respected edtech and pedagogy thought leader, leading development of the personality insights e-learning app Persona Life Skills, at the Bristol based edtech company Persona Education Ltd. FURTHER INFORMATION www.persona-life.com


Outdoor Education

 magnifying effect on inequalities of access to the benefits of engagement with the great outdoors for children and young people. Making well planned and delivered outdoor education available to all schools and youth groups will contribute towards levelling up and reducing that impact. The roadmap for restarting The pandemic and the Department for Education’s guidance have been catastrophic for the sector, but with the right support and guidance, the sector can play an invaluable role in the recovery. The industry has formed a critical part of the School Travel Sector Stakeholder Group (STSSG) which submitted to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State, and the Department for Education, a roadmap for the restart of domestic educational visits during the Summer term. The proposals, which have been developed by a consortium of 12 industry groups, seek to ensure that the sector is able to safely restart school visits and includes a number of elements. Firstly, it includes a request for amended guidance to allow domestic day and overnight educational visits to resume, and a call for the development of a Covid-safe operations protocol in consultation with Public Health England to allow centres to operate safely and within existing school bubbles. The proposals also call for the development of a government-backed insurance policy to reinstate COVID-19 pre-trip cancellation cover in both commercial

insurance policies and the Department for Education’s Risk Protection Arrangement. The stakeholder group has also requested access to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Culture Recovery Fund, the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 30 September 2021 and improved access to existing BEIS grant funding through local authorities. These proposals are bold in their simplicity to get residential visits restarted. The power needs to be put back in schools’ hands to working with trusted, experienced and accredited providers to assess risk and undertake

overnight educational visits with a clear framework for reducing the risk of transmission. This roadmap to restart provides a clear and prudent proposal for a phased restart of the outdoor education sector during the critical summer term. The roadmap can save jobs, businesses and the future of a sector with a huge role to play in the Covid recovery. The roadmap is the route forward for the sector and the government. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.outdoor-learning.org

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The Covid-19 pandemic and school closures Minister announced a third national lockdown, for the majority of children has highlighted the which saw schools closing for the second social, economic and educational importance time in England the following day. Our of school food. There has never been a more industry had not been pre-warned and had important time to provide free school meals only stocked food that was appropriate as more and more families struggle for hot school meals. Many pupils financially with the economic had returned to school for There impact of the pandemic. just one day. Following Our members have risen the announcement, our has nev e r to the challenge. They have members subsequently been a more worked tirelessly to ensure had to quickly adjust im portant that children continue to our service in order to time to provide receive nutritious school provide food parcels meals, either through to all children entitled meals a free school s more a food parcel if they to free school meals. m ore fam a are learning at home, or The majority of ilies stru nd through a hot meal if they our members rose ggle financia are a child of a key worker to this challenge and lly at school. I cannot thank provided thousands of our members enough, whether fantastic food parcels at they are local authority providers, short notice. Despite this, a small contract caterers or a supplier, for the number of food parcels produced in role they have played in ensuring that no the first days of the new lockdown were not child goes hungry at this most difficult time. up to the standard that we as an industry expect. The images that were circulated A tough start to the year on social media were not acceptable. The start of 2021 posed the toughest challenge LACA acted quickly and issued a statement yet for our industry. On 4 January, the Prime making it clear that the parcels in question


Written by Stephen Forster, national chair of LACA

The Covid-19 pandemic and the repeated closure of schools for the majority of children has highlighted the social, economic and educational importance of school food. Stephen Forster, national chair of LACA, reflects on the challenging start to the year and looks forward to schools being open to all children once more

Funding issues The Department for Education also rightly recognised that the funding levels for food parcels were too low. LACA managed to secure a £3.50 uplift per parcel, reflecting the labour and food costs needed to produce them. Following the uplift, LACA – with input from the Department for Education and Public Health England – decided to review and strengthen the food parcel guidance. We also set out a number of principles for providing lunches over the five days each week where children are learning from home. We are pleased by the positive response this has received. The need for a funding uplift has demonstrated that the existing average of £11 funding, per week per child, for free school meals served in schools is not sustainable to provide a service that meets the school food standards and the high standards we as an industry measure ourselves against. This is all the more apparent when set against the £15 value of free school meal food vouchers. This was not addressed in the Budget on 3 March, but LACA continue to call on the government to ensure that the funding for school meals, and in particular Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM), is set at a sustainable rate. We have called for this in three ways. First, the funding rate for each meal delivered in school should rise from £2.34 to at least £2.51, which is in line with inflation, to ensure providers can continue to deliver UIFSM successfully. Second, for the UIFSM funding rate to rise annually in line with inflationary indices reflecting cost parameters for the service. Third, LACA also supports the call for UIFSM to be extended to all children whose parents are E


Welcoming back hot and healthy school meals

did not meet the guidelines we helped to write in conjunction with the Department for Education and Public Health England. The Department for Education subsequently set up a hotline for any parents who had concerns regarding the quality of their school food parcels. Despite there being a limited number of calls to the hotline, the industry recognised that one call is one too many.


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 in receipt of Universal Credit, as recommended in the National Food Strategy’s interim report. As an organisation, we want to ensure that no child falls through the gap as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to exert further pressure on family finances. In addition, the school meal industry employs upwards of 100,000 people. If no further funding is provided for UIFSM it is likely that some service providers would face financial difficulty, pressuring them to make difficult decisions. Looking forward Encouragingly, there is now hope for many on the horizon. The vaccination programme is progressing well. The Prime Minister has set out his roadmap for easing restrictions. From 8 March, all pupils returned to school. More importantly, this will allow for the return of hot food served in school for all pupils. The National Voucher Scheme has been a useful stop-gap, but nothing beats a hot and healthy meal cooked in school. At the most recent LACA Webinar, I was delighted to launch the LACA Marching Back to School Campaign. This is a new national campaign

to encourage schools to restart the serving of hot lunches, and to reassure parents in sending children back to the dining room. I encourage all readers of Education Business Magazine to get involved and back this fantastic initiative. More information and resources can be found on the LACA website. Lastly, I am delighted that the roadmap also means that LACA can confirm that two of its most loved setpiece events can take place this year. First, the LACA School Chef of the Year Competition will showcase the extraordinarily talented and dedicated school chefs that we have working in our industry. This year the event has a new sponsor, Quorn Foods. The entry deadline for aspiring champions closes on 23 April, with regional finals starting in June. Second, the LACA Main Event will take place from 12-14 October at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. This is the only national event dedicated to the school food sector, and after months of being only able to see so many of you through a virtual means, I cannot wait to catch up in person, enjoy hearing from a terrific line up of speakers and meet all the exhibitors. To conclude, our members cannot wait

to get back to providing hot, healthy and nutritious meals for children in school each day. The return of all pupils to the classroom, in a safe and Covid-secure manner, cannot come soon enough. In the meantime, LACA will continue to champion its members, help represent the industry and contribute to the Government’s agenda for the future of school food provision. L


LACA’s Marching Back to School Campaign aims to encourage schools to restart serving hot lunches, and to reassure parents in sending children back to the dining room.





Ensuring school transport supports your present and future needs

With students returning to school, staff will be under pressure to plan the safe reopening and reintroduction of in-person learning under the latest restrictions. Kura is making sure school transport doesn’t add to that burden. Kura combines leading edge proprietary technology with the best local vehicle operators nationwide, enabling schools to maximise student safety and well-being on the school run whilst driving down congestion and emissions. One school to benefit during

lockdown is Abacus Belsize Primary, who Kura has been supporting in its commitment to remain a car free, walking school. Headteacher, Vicki Briody says: “Kura has been truly helpful, resourceful and professional in ensuring we can offer the best school run service to our children.” To celebrate the launch of its new technology only option, available to buy at any time of year, Kura is offering schools a free 20-minute virtual consultation to help identify areas where school transport could work harder to support your admissions strategy and serve next year’s intake. Kura can also advise on PSVAR options to ensure compliance by deadline. Each school will receive a one-page summary with practical actions to improve its transport operation.

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Education Business 26.2  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Education Business 26.2  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

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