Education Business 26.3

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ISSUE 26.3

Business Information for Education Decision Makers DESIGN & BUILD




RECOVERING LOST EDUCATION A spotlight on the government’s Covid catch-up support plans

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ISSUE 26.3

Business Information for Education Decision Makers DESIGN & BUILD





RECOVERING LOST EDUCATION A spotlight on the government’s Covid catch-up support plans

Cleaning with a conscience

Providing safe, clean and hygienic environments so that our customers can thrive. PLUS: ENERGY | PROCUREMENT | PLAY | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY | SECURITY

Playing catch-up A study by the Education Endowment Foundation has found that the attainment gap between disadvantaged primary school pupils and their classmates in maths has grown by one month since the onset of the pandemic. The study also shows that the attainment gap did not widen or shrink during the Autumn 2020 term when schools were open, suggesting that gaps caused by Covid are unlikely to close without intervention. The government has outlined what it believes this intervention should be, and has acknowledged that catch-up measures need to focus on long-term recovery, as well as the here and now. Tutoring, summer schools, and free teaching resources make up part of the plan, and Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as Education Recovery Commissioner to oversee the education catch-up programme, and take a longer term view. Staying on the theme of long-term education recovery, a new study, called COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities (COSMO), will follow the outcomes of year 11 students across England to find out how the pandemic has affected them in terms of educational attainment, wellbeing, longer-term educational and career outcomes, and socio-economic inequalities in life chances.

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Page 15 of this issue of Education Business takes an in-depth look at the government’s catch-up support plan, while page 47 focuses on how education technology can help pupils recover lost learning. Page 60 meanwhile outlines how play can reduce the negative impact school closures had on pupils, and how it should not be sacrificed due to pressure to increase classroom time. Angela Pisanu, editor

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Contents Education Business 26.3 15

07 News

40 Air Quality

Plans for long-term underperforming schools to join academy trusts; Teacher CPD would boost pupil attainment and earnings; New law to make school uniform costs more affordable

Good indoor air quality has come to the fore as

15 Covid Recovery The government’s recovery support package has been designed to help pupils catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic, and includes measures such as tutoring, summer schools, resources and the appointment of a new Education Recovery Commissioner


19 Health & Safety Fiona Riley, Chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Education Group, looks at the changes in health and safety brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the latest advice on keeping schools virus-free

25 Design & Build


The first projects under the School Rebuilding Programme should start from this autumn, following site inspections and planning work. Education Business looks at the programme’s progress

29 Design & Build


A smart classroom is a learning space designed to offer endless possibilities for individual learning needs, taking into consideration pedagogical, environmental and digital factors

33 Landscaping

from the threats posed by Covid-19. But this isn’t just a pandemic issue, writes Martin Fahey

43 Cashless Schools Cashless payment systems have moved on from simply being a means to pay for school food or trips, to becoming fully integrated data solutions at the heart of a school - with some surprising benefits. BESA’s Julia Garvey explains

47 Education Technology Throughout the pandemic, technology has played a central role in supporting blended learning. 
With this in mind, it is worth considering how such resources can also help effectively address lost-learning, as well as ensure pupil wellbeing

53 IT & Computing Computing Hubs, led by schools and colleges with top computing expertise, are a key part of the National Centre for Computing Education’s programme to deliver a world-class computing education in all schools in England. So what does it mean to be a Computing Hub school and what impact do they have?

58 Procurement The Social Value Act places a duty on contracting

As spring progresses, schools should review green space maintenance and management plans to review which works should be taking place over the next quarter, to ensure outdoor areas remain safe, healthy spaces to use

authorities such as schools and academies to

35 Security

threshold. CPL Group provides practical tips

In a rapidly changing world where security threats are becoming more prevalent and diverse, it is essential schools consider and routinely review their security arrangements, policies and plans

36 Energy


an essential way to keep students and staff safe

and/or environmental wellbeing on the community when procuring service contracts that exceed the procurement regulations to get schools started with social value

60 Play Outdoor play is vital for children’s physical, mental and emotional health, and postlockdown, outdoor play will be essential

As part of the government’s climate targets, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme has been launched to cut harmful emissions from public sector buildings, including schools

Education Business magazine

consider how to improve the social, economic

in helping children to recover. But as the number of public playgrounds continues to decline, Mark Hardy explains why schools’ play facilities are more important than ever Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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Plans for long-term underperforming schools to join academy trusts Further new interventions to encourage and support schools to join a strong multi-academy trust include an expanded £24 million fund due to launch in May to develop more, and grow existing strong multi-academy trusts, providing more capacity for trusts to take on and support schools converting into academies Updated guidance for trusts and prospective academy converters has been published, which sets out how strong trusts improve educational outcomes, how local authority schools can convert and the support they can expect to receive A pilot programme has also been launched, in partnership with the Church of England and Catholic Church, to set up new faith academy trusts, as well as a new turnaround trust to support Catholic schools in need of intensive support.

The Education Secretary has stated his ambition to bring schools with a history of long-term underperformance, which have had three consecutive Requires Improvement or worse judgements, into multi-academy trusts. In his speech to the Confederation of School Trusts annual conference, Gavin Williamson said the government’s vision is for the school system to continue to move towards a single model built on strong multi-academy trusts as its foundation, rather than the current “pick-and-mix system” of local authority maintained and standalone academy schools. The DfE says the pandemic has brought to the fore the benefits of strong multi-

academy trusts in providing outstanding support for both children and staff, through their collaborative approach and being able to pool resources and knowledge. Williamson committed to fully consult with the sector on his ambition to bring schools with a history of long-term underperformance into strong multi-academy trusts. All schools will now have the option to ‘try the academy experience before they buy’ – associating with multi-academy trusts for a defined period to experience the benefits for themselves and their students, with no commitment.



Thousands of reception pupils to take part in early language programme

Autumn exams to be offered for all subjects, says Ofqual

Two-fifths of primary schools in England have signed up to take part in Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) - a programme to support four- and five-year-olds whose early language and literacy development has been most affected by the pandemic. 62,000 reception-age pupils in 6,672 schools will take part in the programme, which is regarded as the most wellevidenced early years language programme available to schools in England. The programme was offered to state-funded schools with Reception pupils at no cost by the Department for Education (DfE) in response to disruption to schooling caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is managing the scale-up, which has been funded under the DfE’s wider COVID-recovery efforts. The DfE has announced additional funding to expand the rollout to more schools for the 2021/22 school year, to be delivered by the Nuffield Foundation. Developed by the Universities of Oxford, Sheffield and York, NELI involves scripted individual and small-group language teaching sessions delivered by a trained teaching assistant or early years educator to children identified as being in need of targeted language support. So far, close to 20,000 teaching assistants and teachers have received online training designed by the University of Oxford and provided via, the leading social learning platform, to deliver the NELI programme to pupils.

Students who receive a teacher assessed grade this summer will be eligible to take GCSE, AS or A level exams in the same subject in autumn 2021, Ofqual has confirmed. This also applies to those students who exam boards believe would have sat exams in summer 2021 had they not been cancelled. These decisions follow a consultation which closed on 9 April. Ofqual has also decided that exam boards will have to offer exams in all GCSE and A level subjects and AS exams in biology, chemistry, further maths, maths and physics; exam boards will be able to offer AS exams in other subjects if they wish. Exams will be in their normal format, with no adaptations made.

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “The impressive reach that the Nuffield Early Language Intervention has achieved in its first year of delivery shows how teaching professionals are embracing evidence-informed approaches to maximise their pupils’ progress.


Grades will be determined by a student’s performance in an exam for all subjects, except for art and design qualifications AS and A level exams will be held in October, while GCSE exams will take place in November and December Separately, Ofqual also published its decisions document on Consultation on autumn assessment opportunities for Vocational and Technical and Other General Qualifications. Ofqual has confirmed the details of the framework, which will require awarding organisations that normally provide assessment opportunities between September and January, to make those assessments available to learners who were eligible to receive a result through a teacher assessed grade if they wish to improve on it. Where awarding organisations do not normally provide assessment opportunities between September and January, Ofqual will require them to provide those opportunities where they reasonably consider there is sufficient demand and would be manageable to both the awarding organisation and centres. CLICK TO READ MORE

“Whilst reported concerns around school starters’ language and communication development are of course worrying, it is reassuring to know that the NELI programme is available to meet pupils’ needs. CLICK TO READ MORE



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Teacher CPD would boost pupil attainment and earnings

Providing teachers with a right to highquality training and development would boost pupil attainment and earnings, and may tackle retention problems in the profession, a study from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has shown. While continuing professional development (CPD) can be important to ensuring teacher quality and progression, there is currently no formal entitlement to high quality support offered by the government. Teachers in England currently participate in less CPD than their international counterparts, while the quality of CPD programmes on offer often fails to meet government standards. The new report, commissioned by Wellcome, finds that a well-implemented policy of 35 hours a year of high quality

CPD for teachers would lead to significant benefits for pupils, including an extra two-thirds of a GCSE grade – improving their lifetime earnings by over £6,000. The EPI cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that in total, a CPD entitlement programme costing £4bn would generate a net societal benefit of around £61bn through higher earnings – a benefit 19 times the cost. However, these considerable gains are dependent on the policy being rolledout effectively on a national scale. In the immediate term, a policy of CPD entitlement could also significantly improve retention, leading to up to 12,000 extra teachers remaining in the profession a year. A retention boost of this scale would help to ease the Department for Education’s recurring recruitment problems. Typically, it falls short by around 3,000 teachers a year. The government is currently exploring plans for improving the CPD offer for teachers as part of its long-term plan to tackle learning loss experienced by pupils as a result of the pandemic. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced this month that training and development for teachers would be “central” to the government’s wider

education recovery plan, which is currently being led by the Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins. As the government formulates this longterm programme to support both pupils and teachers, this study provides timely evidence of the high returns generated from wellimplemented, high quality teacher CPD. The report found that professional development can be crucial for teachers, but the quality of programmes is mixed and England lags behind other countries. Secondary school teachers in England spend on average just 43 hours a year on CPD – well below the OECD average of 62 hours a year. Despite teachers in England undertaking less CPD than their international counterparts, they still do more than the proposed entitlement of 35 hours each year. However, it is likely that the majority of CPD currently being provided in England does not meet the criteria for high-quality CPD. A recent Wellcome CPD pilot showed that just 11 per cent of CPD taken up by teachers met the government’s quality criteria. CLICK TO READ MORE


International use of digital education to be examined Education experts at Leeds Beckett University are leading a new international project to harness and further develop the advancements in digital education that have been seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. The collaborative team – made up of partner universities and schools in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Hungary – will pool together new research and insight from each country to collectively strengthen the inclusivity of the education systems across Europe through digital learning opportunities. Professor Mhairi Beaton, of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett, and one of the leaders of the project, explained: “It is extremely important that we make sure that all children are included in an excellent education. COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on education worldwide - and the use of digital technology has expanded vastly across all stages of education. “It is very exciting to be working with our partners across Europe – whilst we are geographically different and have differing educational policies, we are facing many of the same challenges. By working together and pooling our knowledge, we can improve education here in the UK and make it a truly 21st century education for all children.” The team will collaborate with

young people, parents and teachers across Europe to find out what has been working, and not working, for them, in terms of digital learning. Rachel Lofthouse, Professor of Teacher Education at Leeds Beckett, and coleader of the project, said: “We have seen many instances of creative digital education developed by teachers during the pandemic. Rather than starting with a blank slate, we want to acknowledge this innovative practice and develop them further - providing not just guidance for digital practice, but resources to support changes in thinking, understanding of

dilemmas and possible ways to develop solutions within digital practice.” The key aims of the project are to increase educators’ abilities and confidence in providing effective and inclusive digital learning opportunities and to support educators’ abilities to manage change in their working practices. It also aims to help the wider community – including parents, carers and other family members – to understand and support educators and young people in digital learning contexts. CLICK TO READ MORE



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New law to make school uniform costs more affordable

Ofsted publishes first in a series of subject reviews

A new law has been passed which will require schools to follow new statutory guidance on uniform costs, instructing them to keep prices down. The cross-party support for the Bill recognised the costs parents face for school uniform, particularly for branded items, and the statutory guidance will tell schools to consider high street alternatives. It will also include measures on encouraging secondhand uniform, schools’ arrangements with suppliers, and ensuring parents have access to clear information about uniform policies. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “School uniforms are important in establishing the right ethos in a school. They also help to improve behaviour and a sense of belonging and identity. But we want to be sure they are affordable for parents. This new law will help to save families money and ensure the cost of a blazer or shirt is never a barrier to accessing the best possible education.” The new law, introduced as a Private Members’ Bill by Mike Amesbury MP and given Government backing, enables the Government to set statutory guidance for schools to consider about costs for uniforms. The Department will publish the statutory guidance in the autumn this year, which will focus on ensuring costs are reasonable for families of all backgrounds and giving parents the best value for money. It will also advise schools to make sure that when they take up contracts with uniform suppliers, they are competitive and transparent in order to keep costs down. Matt Easter, Co-Chair of the Schoolwear Association said: “As the leading schoolwear industry body, we welcome the Bill and the help it will provide for schools looking for further guidance on their uniform policies, to ensure the process of choosing a uniform supplier is as robust, competitive and easy as possible. “In particular, we welcome the Government’s recognition that the quality and longevity of garments should be considered alongside their cost. Whilst the vast majority of schools already work hard to keep their uniforms affordable, this Bill is an important step to help them continue to make the best decisions on their uniform policies and offer the best support to parents.”


Ofsted has published the first review in a new series looking at what makes for a high-quality education in different subjects across the curriculum. The first review focuses on science. It explores a range of research and evidence to identify factors that can influence the quality of science education in schools in England. It also highlights some of the barriers that prevent their implementation. The review recognises that there is no one way of achieving a high-quality science education. Rather, it considers a number of key principles that can play a central role in shaping the quality of school science.

In the review, Ofsted identified a number of principles that literature suggests can contribute to high-quality science education. These principles include the importance of planning the science curriculum so that pupils build knowledge of key concepts and the relationships between them over many years; this prevents pupils from seeing science as a list of isolated facts. It highlights the importance of pupils remembering long-term the content that has been taught; this is because building domainspecific knowledge leads to expertise. Starting curriculum planning right from the early years by introducing pupils to wide-ranging vocabulary to describe the natural world is also recommended. Ofsted’s next step in this project will be to look at how science is being taught in schools and will publish a report in spring 2022. CLICK TO READ MORE


Survey to give parents termly ‘snapshot’ of behaviour The Department for Education has announced that a new National Behaviour Survey will be launched to give parents a termly snapshot of the state of behaviour in schools, including disruptive behaviour and bullying. The DfE has said it will not be an “accountability tool”, but will provide parents and stakeholders the data they need to build a picture of behaviour in schools over time and improve the

government’s ability to support schools with any challenges they are facing. The new National Behaviour Survey builds on the £10 million Behaviour Hubs programme, which pairs up the best multiacademy trust leaders and academy heads with partner schools and trusts to help improve behaviour policies and outcomes. CLICK TO READ MORE


Labour calls for ‘catch-up’ breakfast clubs to support pandemic recovery Labour is calling on the Government to introduce ‘catch-up’ breakfast clubs, to give kids more time with friends and teachers to support their recovery from the pandemic. Kate Green MP will set out Labour’s plans for every primary and secondary child to be offered a free healthy breakfast at school to ensure they’re ready for learning, in a speech to the Confederation of School Trusts annual conference. Breakfast clubs would support children’s wellbeing with extra time to socialise, while also giving schools extra time to provide targeted tuition or catch up support. Evidence shows

breakfast clubs can boost children’s educational attainment with positive impacts on reading and writing. Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Labour wants children to be at the heart of an ambitious national recovery from this pandemic. Breakfast clubs would give every child a healthy meal to start their day, more time to play with their friends and extra time for teachers to provide targeted catch-up support, ensuring every child is supported to reach their potential.” CLICK TO READ MORE



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Ofqual confirms details on submitting evidence for exam grading Ofqual has confirmed details of how data and evidence of a student’s grades will be submitted in this summer’s exam grade awarding. Once student grades are submitted by schools and colleges (centres), they will be asked to provide samples of student work, as described in Ofqual’s recent blog, so exam boards can check teacher assessed grades. Centres should retain the work and records of marking or grading judgements as exam boards will request samples after 18 June. It will also be needed if a student wishes to appeal their result. Interim Chief Regulator Simon Lebus said: “This year we are awarding grades without exams taking place. The arrangements we have put in place offer the fairest way forward and it is important that students, parents and the wider public have confidence in these results.

“We have asked all schools and colleges to send in samples of students’ work so that exam boards have evidence from every centre available as they carry out quality assurance after 18 June. It will also avoid the need for exam boards to contact centres after the end of term when teachers should be taking a

much-needed rest during the summer holidays. “We are very conscious of teacher workload. The sample is relatively small and should not take too long for exams officers to submit.” CLICK TO READ MORE



Study launched to track pandemic’s effect on student life chances

Bids for summer school catch-up funding opens

A new study will be launched to follow the outcomes of year 11 students across England to find out how the pandemic has affected them. It will investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic affects educational attainment and well-being, longer-term educational and career outcomes, and socioeconomic inequalities in life chances. The study, called the COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities (COSMO) Study, will receive £4.6 million from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It will be led by researchers from the UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities and the Sutton Trust. It will recruit a representative cohort of young people who are in year 11 in the academic year 2020-21. The Sutton Trust has commissioned an additional sample of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who showed academic potential before the pandemic, to look in more depth at the impact on their chances for social mobility. Dr Jake Anders, from the UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities, who is leading the study, said: “COVID-19 and its aftermath are a generation-defining

challenge – the disruption to education will have long-lasting effects on young people’s life chances, with the most disadvantaged children facing the largest effects. The COSMO Study will provide vital new evidence on these unfair consequences, allowing us to plan how best to respond to this challenge.” The team will study how young people’s outcomes have been affected by disruption to their schooling, particularly how students from less well-off backgrounds have been more likely to experience difficulties with home learning, such as lack of access to computers and internet for online learning, gaps in confidence, and less parental support. Young people and their families will be invited to take part by letter in September 2021. They will be asked to complete questionnaires and interviews about their experiences and attitudes towards home-schooling and cancelled examinations, attitudes to the pandemic, health and wellbeing impacts in the home, and future educational and career hopes. The young person’s school will also be contacted to find out about the school’s experience of the pandemic and lockdowns, including the challenges faced and the services they were able to offer. The study is funded to follow up the young people over at least two years, with aims to continue collecting data from the participants into their adult lives. From September 2022, the first step in this will be to re-contact the young people to track their progress through apprenticeships, employment, Further Education and A Levels. CLICK TO READ MORE

Schools can now bid for a share of £200 million in government funding to design summer schools for students who have experienced the most disruption to their learning during the pandemic. Summer schools will include a variety of activities from group activities such as sports to mental health support and academic catch up such as maths and English lessons. A longer-term plan to help all students recover from the impact of the pandemic is currently under development, led by Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins. Schools can sign up via an online form on to confirm their plans, with flexibility for schools to target funding at other groups of students dependent on their local circumstances. Parents should expect to hear from their schools over the course of May and June as they progress with their planning, but it remains at the discretion of schools which students they target their summer school offer towards. Incoming Year 7 students will predominantly be encouraged to get involved, to help them navigate the important transition between primary and secondary school following a year of disrupted learning. The government anticipates that a two week summer school will give students an opportunity to make up some lost academic ground before they start a new school. Summer schools should also offer an opportunity for schools to support students’ wellbeing, and schools should include activities such as team games, music, drama or sports activities, in their plans. Schools will need to determine how best to use the funding and staff the scheme to ensure that the extra time is used effectively. CLICK TO READ MORE



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Covid Recovery

Education recovery for pupils The government’s recovery support package has been designed to help pupils catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic, and includes measures such as tutoring, summer schools, resources and the appointment of a new Education Recovery Commissioner The government’s recovery support package has been designed so that children and young people in England can catch up on missed learning and development due to the pandemic. The measures, made possible this year through £700 million government funding, focus on an expansion of one-to-one and small group tutoring programmes, as well as supporting the development of disadvantaged children in early years settings, and providing summer provision for those pupils who need it the most. As part of the package, a new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium has been allocated for state primary and secondary schools to support disadvantaged students, building on the Pupil Premium. This will help schools to bolster summer provision for their students, for example laying on additional clubs and activities, or for evidencebased approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils from September.

To develop a longer-term education recovery Tutoring plan, Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed £200 million will go towards helping pupils as Education Recovery Commissioner. He to catch up through tutoring and one-to will lead the longer-term engagement work one support. £83 million will go towards with teachers, school and college expanding the National Tutoring leaders, educational charities Programme for primary and and families to review secondary schools, which has To how evidence-based been shown to boost catch d evelop interventions can be up learning by as much as a longe used to address the three to five months at a r t erm recover impact the pandemic time. £102 million will has had on learning. go towards expanding Kevan Cy plan, Sir o A range of online the the 16-19 Tuition l l i n s has been ap resources is also Fund for a further year to p o inted a Educati available for all support more students in s on Reco teachers and pupils, English, maths and other v C o m m starting from the vocational and academic issionerery summer term and subjects. Meanwhile £18 throughout summer million will go towards holidays. These are provided supporting language development by Oak National Academy, in the early years – £10m for a preto help give pupils the confidence they reception early language programme and are ready for the next academic year. £8m for Nuffield Foundation to deliver E Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


bridge the attainment gap with the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). As an approved NTP partner, Randstad can offer schools access to programmes of catch-up tuition subsidised by 75%. As part of this, schools will receive: top quality tutoring with specialist, qualified tutors 15 hour blocks of tuition available on a 1:1 and 1:3 basis, face-to-face and online secure online referral portal and session tracking a dedicated schools partnerships manager as your single point of contact

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Summer school provision Schools can now bid for a share of £200 million in government funding to design summer schools for students who have

It is up to schools to determine which students they target with their summer school offer, but the government is recommending incoming Year 7 students are involved experienced the most disruption to their learning during the pandemic. Summer schools will include a variety of activities from group activities such as sports to mental health support and academic catch up such as maths and English lessons. The government anticipates that a two week summer school will give students an opportunity to make up some lost academic ground before they start a new school. Summer schools should also offer an opportunity for schools to support students’ wellbeing, and schools should include activities such as team games, music, drama or sports activities, in their plans. It is up to schools to determine which students they target with their summer school offer, but the government is recommending incoming Year 7 students are involved, to help them navigate the transition between primary and secondary school. However there is flexibility for schools to target funding at other groups of students dependent on their local circumstances. Schools will also need to determine how best to use the funding and staff the scheme to ensure that the extra time is used effectively. Schools can sign up via an online form on to confirm their plans. Longer term recovery As part of the government’s commitment to develop a longer-term education recovery

Covid Recovery

 the Nuffield Early Language Intervention for reception children. Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) said: “School closures, as a result of the pandemic, have had a devastating impact on the poorest children and the youngest in society. “The evidence shows how tutoring can play a significant part in the education recovery, so it is great the government has committed to funding tutoring - including through the NTP - beyond this academic year. We hope it will have a longterm role in closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates. “The NTP has been working with thousands of schools and children across the country during the latest school closures to deliver expert tutoring, and will continue to do so throughout the spring and into the summer.” Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins said: “The National Tutoring Programme has already put us on the right path by enabling tens of thousands of young people to benefit from the highquality support that tutoring offers. “We know that ensuring all children and young people can make up for lost learning will be a longer-term challenge, and the range of measures announced today are an important next step. “But this is just the beginning and I’ll be engaging with the sector, educational charities as well as families, to ensure this support is delivered in a way that works for both young people and the sector and to understand what more is needed to help recover students’ lost learning over the course of this parliament.

plan, Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as Education Recovery Commissioner. He will lead the way on longer-term engagement work with teachers, school and college leaders, educational charities and families to review how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact the pandemic has had on learning. Sir Kevan is a prominent figure in education, having worked in the sector for over 30 years as a teacher, a Director of Children’s Services and most recently as Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation. Sir Kevan’s work will include addressing factors such as curriculum content and quantity of teaching time in the coming months, to ensure the impact the pandemic has had on learning is addressed as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Sir Kevan brings a wealth of experience in education policy that I know will be invaluable in supporting all the young people who have been impacted by the pandemic. “He will be a tremendous asset to those young people, their families, and everyone working in education who have my lasting gratitude for their efforts to support young people throughout the pandemic.” L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Health & Safety

Health and safety during Covid Fiona Riley, Chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Education Group, looks at the changes in health and safety brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the latest advice on keeping schools virus-free Keeping workplaces safe HSE guidance on ‘Coronavirus (Covid-19): We have seen regular bulletins from the HSE working safely’ can be found here. regarding protecting home workers, social Many school staff may themselves be distancing in the workplace, risk assessment clinically vulnerable and having to try to and being ‘Covid-secure’, managing workmanage their workload while working related stress, cleaning and hygiene. These remotely. Advice from the Institution should all form part of a school’s Covid-19 of Occupational Safety and Health risk assessment. Its latest information includes (IOSH) on adapting to a lone working guidance on how to keep workplaces safe environment and how to manage as restrictions are eased, Covid spot checks remote workers is available here. and inspections, vulnerable workers and the importance of talking to your workers. Adapting to the current climate Ventilation and air conditioning are an Schools are experienced in managing important factor, as adequate ventilation helps seasonal outbreaks of infectious illness such reduce the risk from aerosol transmission, as rashes, gastrointestinal and respiratory and many employees are concerned about infections, so tend to be agile and resilient. this at work. The HSE has made However, they haven’t had to clear that assessing ventilation manage anything on the same requirements is a vital part scale required by Covid-19. Official of the Covid-19 workplace So, they have had to guidan c risk assessment that adapt quickly to changes e explain must be carried out in guidance, focusing s actions the prior to resuming resources on testing and school leaders workplace operations managing the results. sh – and risk assessments They have had to cope minimis ould take to should be carried with changes brought by e the ris k of transm out in consultation the tier system – which is with workers or their saw varying restrictions Covid-1 sion of 9 in th representatives. All of the placed on geographical E




Written by Fiona Riley, Chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Education Group

There has been a significant change in the challenges faced by both schools and pupils while living with Covid-19. Many pupils have suffered bereavement, uncertainty or loss, which could be anything from not being able to see friends and family to a change in household financial circumstances. Those children who have previously had significant interaction with grandparents may be feeling isolated while they’re unable to receive this additional family support. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has also been difficult for school leaders to deal with. School leadership teams have had to manage the everyday challenges of providing a safe school, both internally and externally ensuring legal compliance. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been advising schools for some time of the need to manage pedestrian and vehicular movements around their sites. The daily drop-off and pick-up are usually congested. Added to this is the need to manage social distancing, the balance of other road users and stagger collection times, which all add to the risk. Schools also need to incorporate all new Covid-19 training requirements alongside the normal health and safety training, such as first aid, fire safety and staff inset training.


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Health & Safety

Schools are experienced in managing seasonal outbreaks of infectious illness such as rashes, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, so tend to be agile and resilient. However, they haven’t had to manage anything on the same scale as Covid-19  areas as they moved up and down the tiers – on top of the practicalities of providing a quality education be it in school, remotely or, in most cases, a combination of the two. Pupils and teaching staff have also had to cope with the uncertainty caused when someone has tested positive for the virus, taking them out of the classroom and back to home learning for their period of self-isolation. This has also left some parents frustrated. Many young people who were receiving support for mental and physical health problems prior to the pandemic may have seen disruption to this support or not been able to access it at all. We have inevitably seen a decrease in non-Covid-related hospital treatment for non-emergency cases resulting in people having to manage and try to continue working while awaiting surgery to improve mobility and health conditions. Many children may be living in challenging home environments, which have increased during the pandemic. We have seen disparity in those children able to benefit from private outdoor space and parents able to support their home learning. Many key workers have chosen not to remain in the family home to avoid transferring any risk, which must add to their children’s worries. We have seen great efforts to ensure children not in school are still able to benefit from support, from eating nutritional meals to assistance with technology to

enable them to work remotely. For those pupils attending school, the classroom has been a very different place, with measures introduced to limit social interaction. For many children, school may no longer feel the safe place it once was with the introduction of face coverings, social distancing measures and the inability to interact with their classmates as they previously did. Reviewing assessments The Government has very clearly outlined the operational guidance that schools must put in place. The guidance, which includes public health advice endorsed by Public Health England, clearly explains the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in their school. Schools should be regularly reviewing and, where necessary, updating their risk assessments. They must ensure there are following the hierarchy of control – the order within which risk control types are prioritised – to minimise the risk of infection. This includes planning for asymptomatic testing, ensuring their emergency plans have contingency arrangements in place for outbreaks or changes in restrictions and how they communicate these processes to parents and carers. Most schools will have had these arrangements in place since the 2020 autumn term but there have been some changes. Schools’ Covid-19 operational guidance can be found here.

Safety measures need to be sensible and proportionate but adequate to manage the risks. Other areas of consideration may include rethinking office layouts and whether certain jobs can be done remotely; and any training or other requirements of new staff members conducting risk assessments. In addition to the vast amount of Government information, IOSH has produced a comprehensive list to signpost to useful resources. IOSH has also held a number of informative webinars to assist with educating about the risks from Covid-19 and the controls required. In June 2021, we will see the introduction of ISO 45003 Standard which, although voluntary, clearly signposts what an organisation needs to have in place to improve psychological health, safety and wellbeing. We have seen warnings that the potential legacy of Covid-19 will be an entire generation of people with poor mental health. Hopefully, we will see a greater emphasis on wellbeing for both pupils and staff post-pandemic. School-specific information, produced by IOSH in collaboration with the World Health Organization, can be accessed here, and the full Covid-19 suite of resources can be viewed here. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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New data revealed to help improve safety and hygiene levels in UK schools Nviro took over 1,200 swabs across schools in the UK, enabling them to identify areas which are commonly forgotten in cleaning and can develop into bacteria and virus hotspots chemicals or cleaning products to ensure they will not react with products currently used. Avoid anti-bacterial wipes Anti-bacterial wipes are not only expensive, but they contain high levels of plastic which are damaging for the environment. Single-use plastic pollution has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic with the increased use of chemicals as well as single use masks. We would suggest paper based wipes that can be recycled and safer chemicals, or reusable washable microfibre cloths where facilities are available.

Research undertaken by the specialist cleaning company, Nviro, highlights some important lessons to be learned in cleaning across the education sector. Using stateof-the-art ATP testing, Nviro took over 1,200 swabs across schools in the UK, enabling them to identify areas which are commonly forgotten in cleaning and can develop into bacteria and virus hotspots. Some of the most shocking results showed 99 per cent more bacteria on the staff kitchen tap compared with the visitor toilet door in one school, and 95 per cent more bacteria on the staff room coffee machine compared with the boys’ toilet in another. ATP testing measures the amount of organic material on a surface, allowing the user to strategically develop their cleaning regime to combat these hot spots. ATP tests are carried out before, and after cleaning, ensuring environments are cleaned efficiently and according with their usage. After identifying the high-risk areas, an electrostatic sprayer can be used to apply a cover of disinfectant to all surfaces, combating invisible bacteria in under a minute. For further protection, a bio-shield layer can be applied stopping envelope style viruses, such as COVID, from being allowed to survive on any surface, ensuring that all areas of buildings are kept hygienic, protecting building users. The technology charges the chemical particles which result in the spray mist forming a wraparound effect that covers all surfaces, providing frontline workers with a targeted, fast and safer way of deploying chemicals. This strategic approach to cleaning allows for both a more time efficient and financially effective cleaning regime to be implemented. Brian Warren, managing director at Nviro, said: “The impact of COVID-19 means we are


all more aware of sanitising touchpoints, such as door handles. However, our research found that there are often high traffic areas that get forgotten and these are generally areas in schools or workplaces that the end user is expected to clean and maintain themselves, such as hot desks, telephones and kitchen equipment. “Our research showed that staff areas typically held more bacteria compared to classrooms, and even toilets. Keeping staffonly areas safe and hygienic is essential, not only to keep staff safe, but to save money by reducing the number of temporary or supply teachers required due to staff sickness.” Within their research, Nviro revealed factors that can aid the spread of viruses in the air, including temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. To combat the wide range of factors aiding the spread of viruses, Nviro recommends air cleaning solutions that can both monitor and kill organic cells. Air sterilisation units can be installed in areas where air filtration units would not be a practical solution. This has been proven to offer highly effective targeted cleaning in washroom locations. By employing the use of ultra-violet lights, they breakdown organic cells and effectively kill them. Brian Warren’s tips to avoid common cleaning mistakes Never mix chemicals. Throughout the pandemic we have seen individuals bring their own cleaning products to supplement cleaning by their cleaning provider at work or in school. Mixing products can be extremely dangerous and cause a chemical reaction, particularly if you use bleach. Always check with your cleaning provider before introducing new

Check cleaning products Cream cleaners, aerosol sprays and products which contain high levels of bleach, soap or alkaline can be dangerous to the health of the user if used over a long period of time. Instead, use products that are health, environmentally and COSHH friendly. These regularly come with a kill log of three, making them highly effective at protecting classrooms, staffrooms and homes. Consider air filtration Current government guidelines suggest that whilst we are spending more time inside, we should be keeping the windows open to allow fresh air to flow throughout the building. Being able to provide effective ventilation and heating to all rooms is a challenge. By working with a partner in air quality, you can not only improve air quality by the means of purification systems, but also assess what areas of your building need attention through air monitoring systems. Through targeted purification you can achieve significantly improved air quality and save significant money on heating bills. It has been proven that improved air quality not only reduces the risk of air-borne viruses and bacteria but also improves the environment to induce higher concentration levels.

Download the full findings from our recent research. If you would like more information about improving safety and hygiene on your site, please contact us below. L FURTHER INFORMATION 0800 032 1334


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From major redevelopment schemes of prestigious universities to small refurbishment projects for village primary schools, we have a wealth of experience working with a wide variety of educational establishments. Our experience is your assurance that we understand the flexibility required to accommodate term times, and the knowledge and skill needed to deliver a first-class installation in sometimes inaccessible areas such as internal courtyards. Why SureSet for your school paving? It’s a SuDS compliant paving, environmentally friendly,

accessible, smooth, easy to maintain, hardwearing and UV stable option. Our extensive range of colours and creative Installations allow you to incorporate logos or key messages into your school paving, reflect the internal decor and create sensory areas that encourage students to be environmentally aware and creative. Permeable school paving allows areas, previously unusable due to poor drainage, to become a functional part of the school.

Design & Build

Insight into the School Rebuilding Programme The first projects under the School Rebuilding Programme should start from this autumn, following site inspections and planning work. Education Business looks at the programme’s progress The School Rebuilding Programme, announced in June 2020, will see school buildings in the most need of care to be refurbished or rebuilt. The first wave of the programme is complete, with site inspections and detailed planning work with the 50 schools meaning the first rebuild projects will start from this autumn. Further details about the the second wave of the School Rebuilding Programme will be set out later in 2021. The department also plans to consult this year to gather views on how schools are prioritised for future rounds of the long-term programme, including how evidence about schools’ condition need may be provided to support prioritisation.

to bring the school into the 21st century. A new grassed pitch will be created where the old buildings were located to compensate for the area of playing field lost due to the position of the new teaching building. The existing 109 car parking spaces will all be retained or re-provided on site, together with five new accessible parking bays and two minibus spaces, and dedicated cycle parking. Dr Louise Newman, Principal of Hartshill School said: “Securing this investment is fantastic news for Hartshill School and the local community, and we look forward to hearing to everyone’s views before taking our next steps. “It is our intention that school life will Project proposals continue uninterrupted on the same Hartshill School in Nuneaton has unveiled site during redevelopment and that the proposals on what the new-look school will school will move into its new building look like, following the allocation of when it has been completed.” funding under the programme. Lytham St Annes High School in It will be based in Ansdell has submitted proposals The a single building with Fylde Council to build Departm developed adjacent to a new large two-storey e n t for Edu the existing premises teaching building and a new c plans to ation and will provide sports centre at the site. If a welcoming and accepted, the school would views t gather his year secure environment build the new buildings how sc with open spaces and then demolish the hools a on re and wide corridors existing ones. It would prior

also relocate a car park as well as two sports courts as part of it redevelopment plans. The plan states: “The development of the site layout has been informed by a number of factors; the constraints and setting of the site and the operation of the school. “It also allows the building to be placed at a considerable distance from nearby residents.” There will be no change to staff and pupil numbers, which would stay at 1,650 pupils aged 11-16 and 160 staff. Littleborough Community Primary School in Rochdale is another school to be rebuilt under the programme. Plans are for the existing primary school, dance studio and children’s centre to be demolished. The current infant block will be retained however and the children’s centre will be moved into there. The sports centre will not be affected by the plans. During construction the school will remain fully open, but two temporary classrooms may be needed during building work. Once the 420 place school is complete it will have 14 classrooms, a sports/ assembly hall and a 26 place nursery. E

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Return to school after lockdown serves as a reminder of the importance of entrance control management

The easing of restrictions that saw the mass return to the classroom for primary and secondary pupils across the UK should serve as a reminder of the importance of regularly reviewing entrance control processes and perimeter systems for schools. The call comes from Heras – Europe’s leading end-to-end supplier of permanent and mobile perimeter protection solutions – after its dedicated team for the education sector saw media reports of the ‘bedlam’ outside some school gates as pupils returned to the classroom for the first time since before Christmas. Roger Markham from the company – which has its UK head office in Doncaster – said that there were a number of stories from his network of industry contacts about the


challenges that schools faced as they opened up in line with the government’s programme of easing the restrictions that were put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19. He said that the vast majority of schools opened without incident, but there were a few cases he heard about that prompted him to make the call for schools to review their entrance control management procedures and equipment. This is especially important as schools are now operating staggered site access times and are using multiple entrances and exits to manage the safe flow of students, parents and teaching staff. “After such a long time being closed, it’s understandable that we have heard stories anecdotally of near misses as pupils and traffic enter and leave sites at the start and end of the school day,” said Mr Markham. “Thankfully, there was nothing serious, and as things get back to normal for schools, they should take the opportunity to review their entrance control management as part of their safeguarding responsibilities. “This falls into two distinct areas: the first relates to the procedures and guidelines that schools have in place about entering the site in the morning and leaving in the

afternoon. The second is testing the hardware of perimeter fencing and gated systems to make sure they are in working order.” Mr Markham’s point is especially pertinent, as Ofsted has announced that it is to resume onsite inspections of schools from May – and safeguarding forms a fundamental part of a school’s responsibilities to keep children safe in education. “Given that schools have had to contend with a shift towards online learning, the creation of class bubbles and the introduction of lateral flow testing for pupils, they should be applauded for what they have done,” added Mr Markham. “Reviewing entrance control management – including calling in experts to service and maintain perimeter systems and gates – is a quick and simple process that adds to their robustness in making sure pupils can enter and leave the school site safely.” FURTHER INFORMATION


Design and Build

 How are schools prioritised? 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. But there have been calls for the condition data to be more transparent. Framwellgate School in Durham was due to be rebuilt under Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme but was cancelled when the scheme was scrapped in 2010. Much of the school buildings date back to the mid-1960s, and the site is prone to flooding and leaking roofs. Headteacher Andy Byers has called for clarity: “What we don’t know and what we’ve never seen is any ranking against other schools. We don’t know where we stand in the queue, that’s been the biggest frustration.” Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL school leaders’ union, said it was “pretty poor that school leaders are left with so much vagueness over an initiative which is very important and which involves very large sums of public money”. 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.

Annual allocations provided to maintain school buildings will increase by over 20 per cent to £1.8 billion this financial year, the Department for Education has announced. Funding will be used for schools to keep on top of their maintenance and repair Rise in funding for school maintenance and repair Annual allocations provided to maintain school buildings will increase by over 20 per cent to £1.8 billion this financial year, the Department for Education has announced, with funding used for schools to keep on top of their maintenance and repair. This is on top of the £560 million announced by the Prime Minister last year to improve the condition of school buildings. Local authorities, larger multi-academy trusts and Voluntary Aided school bodies, such as dioceses, have been allocated condition funding in accordance with the latest data on their estates. Smaller academy trusts and sixth form colleges schools have been able to submit bids to the department for funding through the Condition Improvement Fund process. In addition, all schools have been allocated individual funding in accordance with their size. Schools Minister Baroness Berridge said: “I know teachers and heads are spending every hour of the working day thinking about how they can make sure the students

at their schools recover from the impact of the pandemic, and making sure all children and staff remain safe following the welcome return to face to face teaching. “Alongside our ambitious rebuilding programme for the schools in the worst condition, this government is making sure every school has the investment and financial support it needs to build back better for its students.” However, some in the industry believe the money being pumped into repairing school buildings is not enough. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “Before the pandemic there was an urgent need to repair the school estate – the National Audit Office put the amount needed at around £7bn. School funding has been declining in real terms since 2010, meaning many schools have had to put off or cut back on maintenance work. The need is even more urgent now if we are to provide learning spaces that have safe ventilation and are environmentally sustainable.” L FURTHER INFORMATION



Design & Build

Challenging the traditional classroom layout

spaces to obtain motivating environments that encourage discovery. As the authors of the UOC-led study point out, it’s the skills and learning needs of today’s pupils that not only oblige us to rethink our teaching practices or the inclusion of digital resources, they also require changes in the learning spaces in general. Guillermo Bautista demonstrates this with an example: science tells us that we learn better by collaborating, and therefore the space must favour this collaboration and interaction, also taking into account what research tells us about collaborative learning. A smart classroom is a learning space designed to offer If we organise the activity with groups of endless possibilities for individual learning needs, taking into four students based on a challenge or a project, it would be logical that the space consideration pedagogical, environmental and digital factors should be suitable to enable the group to collaborate and also enable a certain amount of autonomy for using the resources The image of rows of chairs and desks in terms of methodology with the place in it needs, for moving, looking around, facing a teacher at a blackboard has been which we’re going to put that into practice,” experimenting, and self-organising, and so on. a reality for decades. However, research said Guillermo Bautista, member of the “This means that not all of the groups reveals that this way of organising the Smart Classroom Project research group will be doing the same thing at the same classroom furniture in schools is not of the UOC and principal investigator in time, and the same resources will not be optimal for the learning process. the study. That’s why we need to make the necessary for everyone. The activity in the This is especially the case if the needs Smart Learning Space a reality: “A space that classroom is diverse and the space must of 21st-century students are taken into meets any learning need or proposal, that is constantly respond to this organisational account, who, according to the OECD, flexible and not zoned, in which physical and diversity of use, resources, require a social environment that fosters psychological well-being are prioritised movements,” he explained. autonomy, flexibility, decision-making as the foundations upon which the However, the strong capacity and the connection of knowledge by learning activity can take place, Science assumption upheld individual students or through teamwork. in which the pupils play a tells us for decades that the What’s more, six out of every 10 teachers proactive and autonomous we lear that classroom is as it believe that changing the design of the role,” said Bautista. is, has resulted in classroom is key to improving learning. This by colla n better b o us proposing few was the result of a recent study conducted Changing the r a t i n and the g, changes. And when by researchers of the Universitat Oberta de learning space classroo refore a these are finally Catalunya (UOC), Universitat Autònoma de Several studies have m must being proposed, Barcelona (UAB), Universitat de Barcelona already acknowledged favour the direction of (UB), Universitat de Vic (UVic) and the benefits of a suitablyt c o l l a boratiohis these changes is not Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), in which designed classroom. This easy to decide upon, 847 preschool, primary and secondary school was one of the reasons interact n and “and that is why our teachers from 40 schools participated. why the Consorci d’Educació ion research is necessary, to help “We assume that’s what the spaces should de Barcelona started replacing establish criteria so that the space be like without giving it much thought or the furniture in 487 classrooms a is changed with guarantees,” he said. E without connecting what we’re innovating few weeks ago, whilst also reorganising the

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Lighting for Education

The importance of education cannot be overstated. Education provides children, young people and even adults with the knowledge to navigate life and sometimes to turn dreams into reality. Education provides students with confidence, self-dependency, understanding of their role and responsibilities in society, and the ability to contribute to the economic growth of the country. A correctly illuminated space allows teachers and students to communicate better and clearly see information on their desks or on blackboards.

Luminaires with glare control optics can prevent headaches, and colour changing technology provides the ability to improve atmosphere, concentration, productivity and feeling of well-being. Energy efficient lighting enables substantial energy cost savings, allowing educational institutions to re-invest their finances on education related matters. Glamox Luxonic is a Carbon Trust Accredited Supplier that embraces sustainability, energy saving and LEAN Manufacturing.

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The Smart Classroom Project was born out of the necessity to rethink the learning spaces needed to implement new educational methodologies, enhance learning experiences, and offer physical and emotional wellbeing to those that use them The study also showed that teachers are especially critical when it comes to the integration of technology in the classrooms But in the opinion of the authors of the study, this data is not surprising as “it is precisely the new technologies that are threatening the traditional times and spaces, and therefore demand great flexibility and a constant adaptation to change, as well as a reformulation of the learning spaces,” said Sánchez-Martí. She added that the possibilities that technology offers in terms of creating new ways to learn “completely clashes with the very standardised design derived from the idea that schools must be based on classrooms per se, when this does not necessarily have to be the case.” What is a smart classroom? A smart classroom is a learning space designed through a co-design process focusing on three dimensions: pedagogical, environmental and digital. These dimensions are based on scientific evidence obtained

Design & Build

 Secondary school classrooms Currently, most teachers negatively rate the organisation of the environment in their classroom. This is one of the findings of the study, whereby low or moderate scores were obtained regarding the suitability of current classrooms to serve as comprehensive learning spaces. But differences exist between year groups, as the design of preschool and primary education learning spaces is generally more flexible, collaborative and personal. “It is precisely in the infant and primary stages where teaching trends such as those applied since the early 20th century (in which the spaces, their layout, furniture, etc. were already linked to clear educational meanings) have been most present and usually more visible,” said Angelina SánchezMartí, researcher of the Smart Classroom Project and Serra Húnter professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. On the other hand, the traditional layout of the spaces is much more established among secondary school centres and teachers. That’s why the authors of the study positively value the fact that during the study it was confirmed that there are teachers and centres from this stage of education who are aware that their spaces do not correspond with the methodologies that they want to implement. “The Smart Spaces that we have implemented as part of the research are co-designed, applying a thoroughness, rigorousness, and seeking to meet the highest objectives and results for learning proposed by each centre. And these spaces are needed in all of the stages,” said Bautista.

from research. Smart Classrooms enable learning in an environment that cares for everyone’s wellbeing which responds to any pedagogical need. This ensures a rewarding learning experience and student’s all round development. A smart classroom does not set aside specific areas for different activities. Instead it offers endless possibilities in the same space adapting to the learning needs. A smart classroom enhances the learning experience by creating an environment that cares for people and their physical and psychological wellbeing. A smart classroom also allows for a personalised and autonomous learning process and for different dynamics to develop at the same time. Learning is developed through movement, proactivity and collaboration between teachers and students. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Trees - Managing Your Assets It is well documented that trees play a significant role, providing numerous aesthetic, social, environmental and health benefits, as well as helping us respond to climate change.

Trees can also sometimes pose a risk to people or property, and landowners have a Duty of Care to take reasonably practical steps to manage their tree risk The Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) system applies established and accepted risk management principles to tree safety management and provides a numerical basis for the application of a threshold of tolerable and acceptable risks.

• .

TreeWise Solutions have a team of experienced and qualified Tree Inspectors who carry out surveys in order to identify any risks and to recommend works to reduce that risk to an acceptable level. TreeWise manage the Tree Works on behalf of their clients to ensure that any works resulting from the survey are carried out to the required standard and specification, within time and budget constraints.

Treewise Solutions work with large landowners, schools and universities across the UK and is an NHS SBS Approved Framework supplier. For more information please email Telephone 01228 561000

The last 12 months have seen green spaces of all sizes act as sanctuaries and a means of escape from the COVID pandemic and associated restrictions on movement. Parks and gardens represented one of the few places individuals were able to meet friends and family when restrictions permitted, and attendance of schools represented a return to normality for young people. Many educational centres have promoted the use of green spaces and encouraged their use as outdoor teaching areas. Such spaces are likely to have higher volumes of visitors and increased use, particularly as the weather improves and movement restrictions ease throughout the year. Now is the time to begin making sure these areas are ready and safe for use. Social distancing Regardless of seasonal maintenance, consideration should be afforded to pedestrian traffic and movement in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Close attention should be given to ‘pinch points’ at entrances and exits, using appropriate signage with movement guidance as reminders. There may be the need to consider the use of marshals, stewards, or their equivalents at busy times of the day and in popular areas. This should all be considered in the production of a risk assessment in line with each of the areas that are being used. If there is an expectation of increased volumes of people using premises, a range of measures may need to be considered. For example, pathways could be widened to allow people to safely pass each other. This can be achieved by close mowing strips on either sides of paths or using longer grass to separate spaces and routes. A one-way system could be created, reminding people to follow the signage, and be aware of alternative routes if restricted entrances have to be closed. Temporary paths could be introduced to reduce pedestrian numbers. Obstacles (for example, planters) which may hinder social distancing guidance, could be removed. Schools could consider putting in place hygiene stations where people can access facilities to wash their hands. What’s more, schools could introduce time-tabling the use of areas and staggering

times of access to reduce numbers, as well as marking out designated areas for users. If the areas contain sports facilities and playgrounds, the government has produced specific guidance for managing these facilities. The increase in the use of these areas is inevitably going to bring the need for additional and more Playground equipment regular maintenance, The Playground equipment and including the hygienic increase surfacing should be checked cleaning of these in use of o on a regular basis in line areas, including u t side are due to with risk assessment and touch points, a s Co manufacturer guidance. on a regular going t vid is inevitab ly o bring This is likely to include basis and the the nee for add visual checks for signs of potential increase d it ional an damage and wear and of litter. This d more re tear, along with a tactile should begin with gular mainte test. Timber play equipment reminding people nance should be checked for cracks to respect other and anything exceeding 8mm people and protect the should be reported. Moving parts natural environment. should be checked and lubricated as necessary. Make sure the safety surface areas Review green space maintenance are clear of debris and trip hazards and check As spring progresses, managers should review for sign of wear and tear and replace as green space maintenance and management needed. A professional inspection should take plans to review which works should be taking place at least once a year. If serious defects place over the next quarter, to ensure green are detected, then equipment should be spaces remain safe, healthy spaces to use. immobilised and repaired as soon as possible. Grass cutting should be underway Also, care needs to be given to regular with mowing heights set to reflect cleaning and monitoring of use in line with weather conditions and pedestrian traffic government guidance concerning numbers, levels, particularly if the pattern of drier signs, and social distancing when in use. springs and summers continues. A BALI registered company that Consideration may need to be given to specialises in grounds maintenance will applying a weed, feed and moss killing create a bespoke maintenance plan and regime on lawns that are particularly infested carry out the maintenance all year round and may begin with the warmer weather. for your green space. Search for members Areas of turf that have become worn or in your area on the website below. L damaged may be replaced during the early season to encourage new growth more resilient to potentially higher volumes of FURTHER INFORMATION pedestrian traffic. Seed or turf may be used, depending on the desired speed of recovery, budget, and maintenance available. If there are large areas of thatch or areas of the lawn that have been compacted, consider aerating to improve drainage and reduce thatch. Plant and shrub growth will need to be checked and cut back appropriately if it is overhanging walkways, cars parks or obscuring lines of sight for vehicles and pedestrians


Written by British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI)

As spring progresses, schools should review their green space maintenance and management plans to understand which works should be taking place over the next quarter, so that outdoor areas remain safe and healthy spaces to use

Landscaping & Groundcare

Preparing your green spaces and outdoor areas

on the property, as well as allowing pedestrians to safely pass one another. Perennials and ornamental grasses can be cut back, along with specimen plants grown for winter stems, and summer-flowering shrubs should be pruned in the spring to encourage new growth and flowering, together with the correct form. The removal of dead, diseased or dying growth may also be undertaken during this period. Pruning activities carried out after March must only be carried out after a check for nesting birds. Mulch may be applied to beds to supress weed growth and help retain moisture or cultivated by hand where time allows. Remove and replace any plants, shrubs or trees that have died during winter with an appropriate choice. Plant specimens with spring colour interest such as Primroses and Bellis for instant colour and add summer bulbs for additional colour throughout the summer. Check for early signs of pests and disease and control with a method appropriate to the site. Check irrigation systems are in working order, with no leaks or blocked nozzles.


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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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In a rapidly changing world where security threats are becoming more prevalent and diverse, it is essential schools consider and routinely review their security arrangements, policies and plans While schools continue to be amongst the safest places, they should not ignore the potential threat of security related issues, such as vandalism, arson, cyberattack, or a serious incident involving a weapon or terrorist attacks. Based on guidance from the Department for Education, a school’s security policy should “reflect the balance between maintaining an open and welcoming environment for learners, parents and the wider community and protecting them from harm”. It should also help create a culture in which staff and students recognise and understand the need to be more vigilant about their own and the safety and security of others, and demonstrate an understanding of the issues that could impact on your school or college and wider community. Plans and supporting procedures should be based on a realistic assessment of the threats relevant to your school or college, and should demonstrate that there is a shared and common understanding about how to respond to identified threats. It should be very clear about what is expected from the staff, students and the local community should an incident occur, and draw on experience and expertise provided by your local authority, academy trust, police and others, such as local resilience forums. Whilst serious security incidents in schools and colleges remain relatively rare, this article, based on Department for Education guidance, is intended to help you consider your security arrangements and put in place measures that are sensible and proportionate to the security threats you have identified. Identifying security risks Schools should be familiar with, and understand how to undertake, a health and safety survey and risk assessment. When considering security, the same approach can be followed. In summary, you should determine the type, frequency and probability of an incident or event happening and then put in place measures either to eliminate or reduce the risk of it occurring. You should also be aware of the indicators which may signal that students are at risk from, or are involved with, serious violent crime. All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage these. Criminal activity that a school may become victim to may include arson, theft, vandalism, trespass, malicious damage,


Reviewing security policies and plans

decision should be reviewed within a reasonable time, decided by the school. Removing individuals from school premises Section 547 of the Education Act 1996 makes it a criminal offence for a person who is on school premises without legal permission to cause or permit a nuisance or disturbance. Trespassing itself does not constitute a criminal offence. To have committed a criminal offence, an abusive individual must have been barred from the premises or have exceeded their ‘implied licence’, then also have caused a nuisance or disturbance. If a school has reasonable grounds to suspect that someone has committed an offence, then they can be removed from the school by a police officer or a person authorised by the appropriate authority such as the governing board, local authority, or proprietor of that school.

graffiti, protest, kerb crawling/loitering, drug dealing/drug abuse, threats from former pupils/residents, and carrying and use of offensive weapons, especially knives. Preventative measures could include CCTV to monitor and record activity within and around the estate as well as integrated access control systems to control, monitor and deny access when necessary. Intrusion detection systems, for A secu example effective perimeter fencing to protect against policy s rity intruders, security lighting reflect t hould and security glazing and betwee he balance intruder alarm systems, welcom n maintaining should also be used.

DfE templates and checklists This article, based on DfE guidance, highlights some of the main threats facing schools to a in give schools food and pro g environmen t for thought when it Controlling access tecting comes to developing a to the school from ha people rm new policy or reviewing Schools are private of an existing one. property and people do DfE guidance has not have an automatic right templates and checklists to enter. Parents however have which can assist schools with an ‘implied licence’ to come on to the following: emergency planning; risk school premises at certain times, such as for assessment; business continuity planning; appointments, to attend a school event, and evacuation; bomb alert or threat; invacuation; to drop off or pick up younger children. lockdown; and post incident support. L So what should schools do if someone is found trespassing? The Department for Education’s guidance on the matter says: FURTHER INFORMATION “Trespassing is a civil offence. This means that schools can ask someone to leave and take civil action in the courts if someone trespasses regularly. The school may want to write to regular trespassers to tell them that they are potentially committing an offence.” The guidance says that schools can bar someone from the premises if they feel that their aggressive, abusive or insulting behaviour or language is a risk to staff or pupils. It’s enough for a member of staff or a pupil to feel threatened. The school should tell an individual that they’ve been barred or they intend to bar them, in writing. Letters should usually be signed by the headteacher, though in some cases the local authority, academy trust or proprietor may wish to write instead. The individual must be allowed to present their side. A school can either bar them temporarily, until the individual has had the opportunity to formally present their side, or tell them they intend to bar them and invite them to present their side by a set deadline. After the individual’s side has been heard, the school can decide whether to continue with barring them. The




Energy efficient environments As part of the government’s climate targets, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme has been launched to cut harmful emissions from public sector buildings, including schools The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. Delivered by Salix Finance, it has been launched to make public sector buildings, including schools, greener as part of measures to bring all UK greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The funding can be used for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures across the public sector, central government departments and non-departmental public bodies. The confirmed projects for phase 1 of the scheme have been announced, with 324 public sector organisations, including schools, awarded funding for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation, valued at £977 million so far. Greater Manchester Combined Authority will receive funding for 36 schools to get extensive green upgrades, including new air source heat pumps, solar panels and new lighting systems. Leicester City Council will upgrade 56 schools with energy efficiency measures, including replacing natural gas heating with air source heat pumps, installing LED lighting, installing solar panels, and improving the insulation of the buildings Seventy four schools under Hertfordshire County Council will become greener


carbon footprint by the middle of this decade. By reducing the council’s energy usage the measures will save 3,951 tonnes of carbon and save money for vital frontline services. After identifying a number of ‘shovel ready’ green projects in 2020, Leeds successfully bid for the funding as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Decarbonising schools in Leeds 3560 kWp of solar photovoltaic Leeds City Council has secured £25.3 panels will be installed across thirty million to decarbonise 38 publicly five leisure centres, primary schools, owned buildings, including schools, civic and other council-owned buildings. buildings, leisure centres, children’s centres, The funding will means that innovative homes for older people, and offices heating technologies such as heat pumps – This is expected to slash the city’s carbon which extract low carbon warmth from the emissions by nearly 4,000 tonnes. air or ground – will be installed at thirty two The buildings will all benefit from a range primary schools and council buildings. The of low carbon heat and energy upgrades pumps will minimise the use of gas boilers carried out by the council and partners. which, in addition to saving energy and Air source heat pumps, new carbon emissions, will also help connections to the district to improve local air quality. heating network, solar The Additionally, thousands photovoltaic panels, LED Public S of LED light bulbs will be lighting, and double Decarb ector installed across fifteen glazing will all be o buildings. Switching to installed by the Scheme nisation p low energy lighting is end of the year. r o v g i d r ants to es one of the easiest and The council has decarbo fund heat cheapest upgrades to a bold ambition to n save money and energy. reduce Leeds’ direct energy isation and effi Councillor James emissions to net-zero measur ciency Lewis, Leader of Leeds by 2030 and halve es City Council said: “We’re the authority’s own through the installation of heat pumps, battery storage and solar panels, as well as double glazing and cavity wall insulation. Applications for phase 2 of the scheme have now closed, with confirmed projects due to be announced shortly.


Becoming heat efficient Leven Valley in the Lake District National Park has become the first Primary School

The funding received by Leeds City Council will means that innovative heating technologies such as heat pumps – which extract low carbon warmth from the air or ground – will be installed at thirty two primary schools and council buildings to use interest-free funding from Salix to install a ground source heat pump, transforming its heating infrastructure. Over the last decade, the school has demonstrated its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of its estate, creating a sustainable, heat-efficient environment and preparing for the decarbonisation of heat. As part of the school’s carbon reduction strategy, sustainable and natural building materials were maximised where possible, allowing the building to be transformed into a warm and welcoming learning environment. Despite the old building structure, the school also adopted a series of energy efficient measures in order to continue with the delivery of its carbon strategy. Steps included replacing insulation, adopting solar PV (Photovoltaic) and LED lighting, and installing a ground source heat pump (GSHP.) Leven Valley has used funding from Salix Finance to upgrade its heating system from an oil-based system to a 30.12kW borehole ground source heat pump (GSHP). In this case, a GSHP was the most robust, long-term approach for minimising carbon emissions and was an ideal replacement for the school’s oil-based heating system. This ground source heat pump project is expected to save Leven Valley an


delighted to have been allocated more than £25 million from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. “Upgrading dozens of schools and council buildings to be fit for the future mean that we’ll be able to spend less on fossil fuel energy, and more on protecting vital frontline services. “This investment will also protect and create hundreds of skilled green jobs in local businesses, jobs that will be increasingly important as we work to build a sustainable economic recovery.” Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development said: “This announcement is great news for the environment and good news for Leeds. “We’re on track to halve our own emissions by 2025 and by the end of the year, some of our most historic buildings will soon become our greenest. “More than a dozen primary schools will also benefit from this funding – paying less for energy so that they can spend more instead on educating the next generation.” Steve Wilkinson, Head of Commercial Projects for Cenergist said: “Cenergist are delighted to partner with Leeds City Council to deliver this ambitious programme of decarbonisation projects. Decarbonisation of heat represents one of the biggest challenges for local authorities to overcome to achieve net zero targets, and through our extensive experience we are able to support Leeds City Council delivering a range of heat decarbonisation measures including Air Source Heat Pumps and water efficiency improvements.”

estimated £5,110 per year and reduce carbon emissions by 77 per cent. Ian Nicol, head teacher at Leven Valley Church of England Primary School, said: “We are a very small school… but I hope you can see that we think big and act green. The buildings have become part of our educational ethos, values and provision and work in sympathy with our location within the Lake District National Park.” Leven Valley’s holistic approach to energy efficiency allows a smooth transition to achieving a low carbon future and the savings made can be reinvested into further energy efficiency projects or resources for the school such as learning materials. Sinead Desmond, programme manager at Salix, said: ‘We’re delighted to see Leven Valley implementing so many carbon reduction measures and we’re pleased to have been able to support them with the delivery of multiple energy-saving technologies. The school is another great example of how public sector organisations across the UK are leading the way to a sustainable future.” L FURTHER INFORMATION




Cut carbon, cut costs



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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, carbon-neutral 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 net-zero 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



Air Quality Written by Martin Fahey

The importance of good indoor air quality in schools Good indoor air quality has come to the fore as an essential way to keep students and staff safe from the threats posed by Covid-19. But this isn’t just a pandemic issue, writes Martin Fahey While recent conversations have largely been governed by when schools can reopen their doors, creating healthier classrooms for pupils to return to must also be on the agenda, and clean, fresh air is the bare minimum we should be providing to ensure student health, happiness and success. From primary school through to university, we should be focused on whether the right measures are in place to protect students and teachers alike from the adverse effects of poor indoor air quality. The negative impact of poor IAQ Before considering how to improve IAQ in schools, it’s important to understand


furnishings, cleaning supplies and aerosols, why poor air quality can be so damaging, dust, carpet fibres and photocopy residue and the negative effects it can have. are all commonly found in schools, and are Cognitive performance has been found to all examples of Volatile Organic Compounds reduce by 50 per cent when individuals are (VOCs) which add to the concentration of exposed certain levels of CO2 during harmful pollutants in the air. Aside a working day, a level which can from levels of CO2, Public Health be lowered significantly via Cogniti England has also noted the ventilation. Alarmingly, perform ve link between these VOCs high CO2 levels are and overall health and not uncommon in has bee ance wellbeing, as they can UK classrooms n f o t u o reduc nd negatively impact decision when the principle e cent wh by 50 per making and productivity. ventilation is via Studies have also found opened windows. are expen individuals osed ce that poor IAQ can impair Synthetic building rtain levels teaching effectiveness materials and

o during f CO2 the day


The current picture for schools Now we understand why poor indoor air quality is so dangerous, let’s put that into context and consider the current design of schools. Decades of under-investment in school buildings has been brought sharply into focus by the pandemic. School managers had very few weapons at their disposal with which to fight the virus and what budget they did have was largely used up on social distancing signage, improving handwashing facilities and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). When it became apparent that the virus is spread through the air, most had no adequate mechanical ventilation and reverted to opening windows to try and increase airflows. Now that schools are reopening, they are at least armed with greater knowledge about how the virus moves around indoor spaces, but few have the means to act on that knowledge. In fact, many can’t even open all their windows, and most urban schools should not because of their location next to busy roads making them vulnerable to air pollution and noise. Some schools have previously invested in hybrid ventilation – low powered fans that are encouraged to move air – but this is often not an effective way to ensure fresh air is being circulated. These fans are classed as ‘natural ventilation’ because of how low the power level is, and do not move

Synthetic building materials and furnishings, cleaning supplies and aerosols, dust, carpet fibres and photocopy residue are all commonly found in schools, and are all examples of Volatile Organic Compounds which add to the harmful pollutants in the air air consistently. This model also mixes the incoming air from outdoors with indoor air, in order to make it a more comfortable temperature. During- and following - the pandemic, air entering the classroom should be filtered, and not mixed with their air being breathed in by students. The national media usually turns to architects when addressing any buildingrelated issue, but they are not the profession charged with making buildings work, live and, in effect, breathe. That is the responsibility of engineers. Architects tend to focus on the aesthetics and how the spaces work. This can give them an affinity to natural ventilation, which they also champion as part of the net zero carbon agenda. However, if you are forced to open windows during the colder months, you will be watching your energy bills soar and carbon footprint grow as expensively generated heat escapes. In

Air Quality

and instructional practices which in turn affect student’s academic achievement.

any case, opening windows or using lowpowered ventilation does not guarantee the air change rates needed to reduce viral loads. The use of ventilation So, what can be done to improve indoor air quality in schools and educational settings? Ventilation is one key factor, but just opening windows isn’t always enough. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery should therefore be present to ensure a steady stream of fresh air throughout the school and university buildings. These systems remove stale air, filter pollutants and bring in fresh air from the outside, helping to keep occupants alert and capable. They also do not mix air flows – overcoming the issue posed by hybrid ventilation systems. But in these days of energy consciousness, particularly in the education sector, it is also important to find ways of minimising energy wastage. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems can recover up to 80% of valuable heat energy from the outgoing air, meaning less energy is needed to bring the incoming air to the required temperature. Not only can schools, colleges and universities benefit from the energy efficiencies these systems provide, but they can also be confident that their classrooms are optimised for maximum student health and productivity. Before the pandemic, local authorities were facing growing community pressure to address the air quality issues around school buildings caused by traffic pollution. Now, in the wake of Covid-19, the focus has moved inside and, if we want people to feel more confident about returning to any communal building, then this issue needs to be properly addressed. A good starting point for anyone struggling to get to grips with the IAQ in their building is the new ‘Beginner’s Guide to IAQ’ jointly produced by BESA and Mitsubishi Electric. It offers advice and guidance for employees and visitors to commercial buildings and, with so many people now working from home, includes some easy tips for optimising IAQ in residential settings. L

Martin Fahey is head of sustainability at Mitsubishi Electric FURTHER INFORMATION Find the ‘Beginner’s Guide to IAQ’ at



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Cashless Schools Written by Julia Garvey, deputy director general, BESA

The surprising benefits of being a cashless school Cashless payment systems have moved on from simply being a means to pay for school food or trips, to becoming fully integrated data solutions at the heart of a school – with some surprising benefits. BESA’s Julia Garvey explains Cashless payment systems have been around for a while now, but they are no longer simply a means to pay for school trips or send in dinner money. Initially, they owed much of their popularity to the fact they made life easier for parents, reduced dinner-money related bullying incidents and reduced the paperwork burden on office staff. In recent years they have evolved, moving away from hardware-based systems to cloud-based software that enables schools to manage their income and catering provision in real time. With new technology and full data integration with the school management system, these systems offer schools more control over their resource allocation and staff time. They are also helping to address two significant safeguarding risks. Saving time and money Whilst a cashless payment system won’t increase the school budget, it can help schools

school and multi-academy trust level live to manage their budgets more effectively and payment tracking and full financial reporting, reduce waste, which in the current climate is enabling them to make informed decisions on welcomed by many Head Teachers. The latest everything from dining menu-choice based research* by the British Educational on meals purchased, to preferred Suppliers Association (BESA) payment methods based on shows that 92 per cent of parent behaviour, making schools are facing budget Whilst this an essential tool for the uncertainty for the next a cashle budget manager. academic year, with paymen ss many facing budget t s y stem won’t in Reduce the deficit or needing c r e a s e the school b risk of Covid to use their cash Cashless payment systems reserves to make help sch udget, it can oo have also played a big essential purchases. their bu ls to manage part in helping schools Whilst there are d gets adapt their operations some indications that effective more during the pandemic. per-pupil funding will ly Over the last 12 months, grow in 2021/22, schools dining processes have had to still need to maintain a change significantly. At the height of tight hold on their financial social distancing, keeping bubbles of pupils management. Cashless payment and staff separate was imperative but E systems offer the senior leadership team at Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Cashless Schools


 the school canteen was a potential highrisk area. With high traffic, it can be difficult to keep pupils apart so schools had to rethink the way lunches were served, and cashless payments proven central to this planning. Paul Greathead, divisional sales director at Civica told BESA: “Some schools implemented split service times, with cleaning between cohorts, while some repurposed other areas of the school, serving a reduced menu directly to classrooms or moving tills to the gym, for example. The additional cleaning required saw a shift away from biometric ID methods – around 20 per cent of our customers implemented swipe cards to avoid having students touch the fingerprint readers.” Cashless systems also enable pupils to select their meals in advance, from any device, again reducing queuing times. And by being able to select from multiple delivery points the system can help keep bubbles separated. Paul points out that this feature provides additional support for the school budget going forward. “We anticipate that preorder solutions will become more common, even after the pandemic, as they allow schools to prepare much more effectively, reducing waste and speeding up service.” Ironically, many cashless systems still have an option to accept cash, so during lockdown these options were turned off and contactless cards were introduced in order to reduce cash handling, but there was also another more high-tech option made available, for those schools willing to adopt something new. Tony Walsh, director of IdXtra provided BESA with more detail: “During the lockdown, we introduced facial biometric recognition to our cashless system EventPOS and to our visitor management system VisiTapp. This was to reduce the chances of physical contact (when purchasing a meal), to zero and therefore reduce the chance of spreading Covid.” Once set up, the system can recognise the faces of pupils as they stand in line, thus reducing waiting times and keeping the queue moving. So far take up of facial recognition is still small, but it is expected to grow over

By integrating allergen information with the school management system, that data is cross-referenced against each pupil’s profile at point of sale and if an allergen is found, the system issues a warning message and prevents the purchase the coming years as we become more familiar and trusting of this type of technology. Reducing the risk from allergens In July 2016 Natasha Ednan-Laperpouse collapsed on a flight from London to Nice and died after having an allergic reaction to a baguette she had purchased at the airport. The bread contained sesame seeds, to which she was extremely allergic, and which were not listed on the packet. Following her death Natasha’s Law was created and will come into law from October 2021, compelling all purveyors of pre-packaged foods to label them fully, listing all ingredients including the 14 most common allergens. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, as Walsh says, ‘What use is that for all of the other food and beverage sold in schools and colleges?’ It doesn’t go far enough to eliminate all the risks for schools. The case of Karanbir Singh Cheema, 13, who died from a cheese allergy whilst at school highlights the dangers and the safeguarding issues that food allergies pose. Whilst Karanbir’s case is different from Natasha’s, no school wants to put their pupils at risk, or to put their staff in a position where they have to deal with a potentially lifethreatening reaction to something the student has purchased on school grounds. Cashless catering systems are adapting to help solve this problem. Every food and beverage product can be flagged against the

14 most common allergens. By integrating with the school management information system that data is cross-referenced against each pupil’s profile at point of sale and if an allergen is found the system issues a warning message and prevents the purchase. The pupil will not be able to buy any food or drink containing a known allergen. This same technology can be used to help manage cultural, religious and dietary preferences such as halal, kosher, vegetarian or vegan diets, eliminating the chances of accidentally eating a hidden ingredient that does not comply. 56% of people between 16 and 29 have tried a vegan diet, according to research by Kelloggs in 2018*, and this trend is set to increase due in part to the influence of social media and high profile climate campaigners such as Greta Thunberg. Being able to give students confidence in the choices they are making with their meals is becoming increasingly important. Cashless payment systems have moved to become full integrated data solutions at the heart of the school, connecting parents, staff and pupils and saving time, money and, potentially, lives. L

*Resources in English Maintained Schools Report, January 2021 * Vegan Life, 30 May 2018 FURTHER INFORMATION


The pandemic has highlighted how schools would benefit from a flexible system that can be used for in-person learning, remote instruction, or hybrid classes – making them ready for any situation

Technology in education At the minimum, an effective teaching session requires three platforms for the teacher. First, a classroom management solution that gives the teacher the authority and the tools to keep students in check and maintain their attention. The second is video conferencing software to serve as the primary means of visual and audio communication. And lastly, a learning management system (LMS) to manage the cloud storage for school and study-related documents. This includes school and student records, course syllabus, subject materials, activity books, and other data. Virtual classrooms A typical online class session involves the teacher multi-tasking and handling multiple tasks and challenges at the same time. This includes ensuring all students are present and accounted for, making all course materials and activities ready for the sessions, managing the classroom, minimising disruptions, and running the video conference meeting. Given the limited class hours, teachers are fighting a losing war with technology in education. Instead of devoting most of their teaching hours to educating, online sessions often mean more time spent managing the technology and making sure everybody stays connected. Then, there’s the matter of managing the students’ devices. In an ideal world, the prevailing technology in education means each student reports to the class using the same laptop that the teacher uses. In reality, issues in infrastructure and the limited availability of affordable computing machines mean varying network quality and device types.

Advantages of flexible learning systems In most teaching systems, the learning management system is where the class syllabus and materials are stored and managed. It’s designed to ensure that students and teachers alike have access to data anywhere and anytime. While LMS features an efficient way to manage information, it often does not provide an embedded communication system that teachers can use to talk to their students. Hence the need for a separate video conference software. A modern approach to education in technology involves integrating the functions needed by teachers to successfully conduct an online class. This means providing a cloud-based distance learning platform that combines classroom management and video conferencing capabilities and access to learning management systems. Flexible distance learning solution Distance learning solutions often come with an integrated video conference system that provides better means to manage

the classroom. Using distance learning solutions, educators can provide personalised instructions and assistance. Each student’s monitor can be accessed at any time, and the system allows teachers to engage in 1:1 sessions. Teachers can also use and share interactive virtual whiteboards and launch websites. Classroom management solutions also allow the simultaneous transfer and sharing of files during sessions. This facilitates better collaboration between teachers and students, just like they do face-to-face. Modern distance learning platforms can manage numerous devices running different operating systems, meaning students can use their computers or mobile devices without worrying about compatibility and ease of use. OEM device manufacturers and vendors are looking for a cost-effective solution to bundle their hardware offerings with these scalable classroom management applications.

Written by By Nadav Avni, marketing director at Radix Technologies

The pandemic effectively displaced 1.2 billion students from receiving classroom instructions in 2020. The Coronavirus caught many schools and teachers by surprise. Consequently, many institutions received little time and resources to transition the shift from in-class training to online. This isn’t saying that technology in education, specifically remote learning, is a new concept for schools. However, most schools had to come up with a plan to change their mode of learning from in-person classroom to fully remote. How did different technologies help this rapid transition from traditional to virtual classrooms? How can a fully-featured classroom management solution help resolve issues?

Data security concerns A crucial issue that took a back seat during the early days of the pandemic is data security. School administrators need to ensure that students’ data are kept secure and confidential. With online classrooms, data keeps flowing back and forth between participants with minimal network protection. On top of that, teachers require continuous access to school records that contain private information. Ideally, the teaching system should be compliant with existing policies regarding student data privacy, such as the provisions listed in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Both parents and teachers can feel better knowing that the cloud software used by students is FERPA-compliant and ensures secure connections during every session.

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In-class, remote, or hybrid learning? How technology in education can help

The future of remote learning While the future is still uncertain, most school systems are expecting a surge of students in the classrooms within the next few years. But what happens to remote learning when the pandemic dies down? The choice of remote teaching systems becomes crucial once schools realise that they will have to accept new methods of delivering classes at some point. In particular, schools can benefit from a flexible system that can be used for in-person learning, remote instruction, or hybrid classes. Investing in a learning system that can handle all three methods provides the school with the advantage of being ready for any situation. L FURTHER INFORMATION




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Education Technology Written by Al Kingsley

The unlocked potential of education technology Throughout the pandemic, technology has played a central role in supporting blended learning. With this in mind, it is worth considering how such resources can also help effectively address lost-learning, as well as ensure pupil wellbeing When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK, reading and maths and ImpactEd’s ‘Lockdown schools were forced to shut their doors for Lessons’ points to similar effects in the many of their students and adapt to teaching secondary sector. It is now more crucial than and learning from home. As we pass the one ever that education providers and schools year anniversary of the first national lockdown, work together to reduce the attainment gap. the country is beginning to emerge from the However, I believe that student catch-up pandemic, assess the impact and tentatively should not be prioritised over, or achieved, at look to recovery. What is clear, is that schools, the expense of wellbeing. In fact, I believe the students and teachers have been hugely two main issues are linked as the wellbeing of impacted and as restrictions ease, schools both students and teachers is key to delivering will need to do much more than simply return change within a school and must come before to the classroom to regain their footing. any attempts to close the attainment gap. Over the coming months, education leaders face complex issues including closing the The role of EdTech attainment gap and addressing and supporting The first priority for teachers, leaders and student and staff wellbeing. Throughout school staff should be to find ways to create the pandemic, Education Technology time and capacity. EdTech has proven (EdTech) has played a central role to be a hugely effective tool in supporting blended learning, for teachers throughout EdTech something we envision will be the pandemic and this has pro in place for the foreseeable learning should not to be a ven future. With this in mind, be lost. By using it is worth considering technology that effectiv hugely e how these resources can allows teachers to t o o t e l achers for also help quickly and share resources t the pan hroughout effectively address these online, host legacies of Covid-19. parents’ virtual this lea demic and rning The most pressured of evenings and devices not be should these issues is the need with software that lost for students to ‘catch-up’, allow them to easily with suggestions from central transition between school government of lengthening the and home teaching and school day and shortening the summer learning, teachers will have the holidays to help address the attainment gap. opportunity to be more efficient and flexible. New research from the Education Endowment Thus, giving them the headspace and time Foundation suggests primary-age pupils to support their students as they readjust to have significantly lower achievement in both school life and start planning for the future.

For students, their first priority should be to reconnect and build on their relationships with friends, peers, teachers, staff and family. Reforming and strengthening these bonds will help to improve their wellbeing and support them as they deal with the challenges created by the pandemic. Facilitated by increased capacity, schools should provide time and space for these social interactions where possible. Only once students feel more comfortable and settled in school, can the process of mitigating any learning loss. Parents will also play a key role in helping students restore their wellbeing and catch up with their learning. EdTech helped arguably further integrated parents into the educational experience, as parents could more readily access online platforms to see what their child was learning and how they were progressing. Other technologies such as videos, FaceTime and live streaming also allowed parents, especially those who are isolated or less involved in school life, to speak with teachers, read important updates and watch school events. Schools must now harness these technologies to bring parents with them on their journey to recovery, making sure to regularly communicate and support them too. As part of the process of returning to school, leaders would benefit from conducting online surveys to monitor student, parent and staff wellbeing and analyse how they are finding the transition back to the classroom. This will enable schools to regularly review and adapt their offering to ensure they are providing the best and most appropriate support possible. E Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Scanning in Education By scanning and deploying a document management solution, education establishments can more efficiently manage all their paper and digitally born material. By embracing digital transformation the ability to better manage business peaks and ensure smoother workflows and processes is enabled. Further key benefits include: • Centralised storage with enhanced security of all information, including client records, authorisations, contracts, identification and invoices. • Enhanced compliance (GDPR) throughout all departments with all regulatory guidelines; address efficiently and timely your Subject Access Request and comply to retention periods

• A business process agility that can lead to productivity gains and cost savings. • Faster access to client and staff information, leading to improved monitoring and execution, better engagement and empowered decision making.

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Gaining IT skills While there are concerns that some of the students’ skills will not have developed at the

EdTech has played a central role in supporting blended learning, something we envision will be in place for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, it is worth considering how these resources can also help quickly and effectively address the legacies of Covid-19 same rate as their peers during the pandemic, education technology has shown that there is a range of new skills that students have rapidly acquired, including IT and computing skills, creativity, online communications and critical thinking. These are all essential skills for preparing students for their future careers. So, while there is no doubt that some skills may have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic, there are other skills that have increased which are important for the learners of 2021. Schools will need to find ways to incorporate developing these new skills into the curriculum moving forward. The year ahead holds many challenges for the education sector but there are beacons of hope from the last year including the amazing resilience of pupils and teachers and the unlocked potential of education technology. From 1-2-1 device rollouts to virtual classrooms, sharing best practice and

Education Technology

 There will not be a one-size-fits-all approach and the requirements will be different for every student and school based on a range of factors including the regularity of access to a laptop, computer or tablet. Schools will therefore need to look at and personalise learning and interventions for each student. Education technology can facilitate this process, playing a vital part in helping schools to track, monitor and assess attainment on an individual basis and across the board to create a baseline through effective spot testing at secondary level and recording observations at primary level. Until baseline tests are conducted and teachers have time to reflect and review lessons learned, the true extent of the attainment gap is not known. EdTech will also be a critical tool in supporting students to close the attainment gap. For example, secondary schools can use AI (artificial intelligence) to support personalised learning and retrieval practice while primary schools can create additional online resources that children can use at weekends or holidays. Some schools may also use the catch-up fund from the government to purchase additional teaching resources for extra tutoring. There are a whole host of education programmes that can enhance engagement and support learning through non-traditional methods such as Minecraft or Sim City that help do develop additional skills such as critical thinking.

progress tracking apps, EdTech has the power to play a key role in solving the challenges of wellbeing and the attainment gap. However, digital technology will need to be understood and implemented correctly to work effectively. Many schools will require a combination of tools and programmes to overcome their hurdles and achieve their goals and will need to work closely with expert organisations and education technology providers to do so. EdTech could transform the way teachers deliver lessons and open the door to a much more creative and stimulating way of learning for pupils - schools just need education leaders and government funding to unlock the way. L

Al Kingsley is chair of a multi-academy trust, author, group managing director of NetSupport, speaker and member of Forbes Technology Council.

Supporting ‘E- Governance’ – Governor Development by BMS School

As an independent business management consultant, I have worked with over thirty governing bodies during a twentyyear career. I am also chair of governors at my local primary school, currently in my seventh year as a governor. In the year prior to the pandemic, I had started working on a governor training and development programme in an attempt

to improve the experience of governance. The idea came about following an inevitable moment during a September meeting where link roles and governor responsibilities were being distributed. ‘Right, so who wants to be health and safety governor?’ Who in their right mind would volunteer for this? Most people have no idea what the role would entail let alone how they would go about managing and having an impact. Yes, there is information available through certain governor support packages or through the National Governor Association and the Local Authority offer training, but it’s all very dry and can appear daunting and/or intimidating. The development programme includes a set of pre-written termly tasks for each of the Link roles, detailing suggested tasks, questions and who to speak to. This meant that whoever took on the role was given a definitive steer on what to do in three visits across the academic year. By completing the pre-written sheet they were able to evidence their involvement and feedback at governor meetings. What I didn’t realise at the time was how invaluable this would become during school closures. Governors could continue their involvement by completing the tasks with school staff via email, virtual meetings or by telephone.

The link roles fit into the wider Governor Development Programme which includes: Governor Development Plan – a set of priorities linked to the School Development Plan and Governor Skills Audit. Governor Development Meeting - a separate summer term meeting to set priorities for the for the coming year. Governors Annual Schedule - a schedule of meetings, governor visits, school activities along with a checklist of Governor responsibilities spread across the year. Link Governor Tasks – as previously mentioned.

Paul Jackson is managing director of BMS Schools Ltd, providing consultancy support for finance and governance. He also offers a mentoring program for finance governors, school business managers and head teachers wishing to improve their financial knowledge. For further information please contact Paul on the details below. FURTHER INFORMATION 07757 061501



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Empower learners to make the most of their technology A device is a tool of potential, like a car with a full tank of fuel. If driven safely, it can take you to places that a bike cannot. Knowing how to drive the device and its capabilities will empower learning

With federal aid and other resources, local education authorities have found a way to provide most students a device for school purposes. Most refer to this as a 1:1 device to student ratio. Some may claim that this is providing equitable access, yet there is more to it than a device. The true magic begins when the learner and educator create a serendipitous relationship where devices are used as tools to empower the learning authentically. An important topic for schools to analyse is how to leverage devices for student achievement. The truth is that a device is a tool of potential, like a car with a full tank of fuel. If driven safely, it can take you to places that a bike cannot. Knowing how to drive the device and its capabilities will empower the learning possibilities. “Empower” is one of those buzzwords in education. It gets used in a million different ways; such as, “Our goal is to engage and empower students’’ or “This is how I empower students to learn.” Educators and administrators need to understand how that actualises with learners. It’s important to

unpack what empowered learning looks like. Firstly, create the conditions for an empowering learning environment. We really cannot make learners do anything, but we certainly can provide an environment where our learners can take us up on building characteristics of an empowered learner. Provide learners an environment where their voice matters and they belong. This entails knowing your learners and providing activities and support to build on assets from their culture, family background, outside engagements, and other parts of their lives. Provide various platforms to share and be heard in a format that is meaningful and authentic. Teach empathy. Encourage and integrate stories and real life experiences that are relevant and pertinent. Allow for critical thinking, conversation, and analysis of community and social scenarios. Co-design with the learners. Lift up their ideas and opinions when designing the learning process such as unpacking standards

and planning learning targets. Provide strategies to learners to create individual goals and a plan how they will achieve them. Do pre-planning to dismantle any barriers in the learning process. Start with your most vulnerable students and think of what needs could arise. Provide an abundance of tools to support learner variability, and scaffolds to lift learners into the academic expectations. Facilitate the learning process by providing opportunities for formative feedback from the educator, peers, and self. When learners can engage in the act of metacognition, they have a chance to see opportunities of growth and build their own internal learner profile. View learning as a continuum of readiness. Share this viewpoint with learners acknowledging that we are all ready at different stages of development. Humanity is so variable; therefore, celebrate our growth and achievements! Provide choice as much as possible. This can eliminate compliance and build student agency. It also provides opportunities for students to practice decision-making and its results. Build a community where learners take risks and fail. Create an environment where students feel safe and encourage students to take risks. Success is often the result of multiple failures and the perseverance to continue onward toward a goal. Praise them for their effort and determination. Model vulnerability and acknowledge your own mistakes. Give students time to pause and reflect - that is when the learning happens. Time to pause and reflect helps students stay focused, reflect on what they are learning, and organise their thoughts. To wrap things up, have high expectations for your learners. When you believe in your learners, they will be more apt to meet and exceed those expectations. If you co-design the learning with your learners, they will create high expectations by designing goals and actions that lead to their very own success. This is empowerment!! PowerGistics is providing a playbook to support local education authorities and schools to implement a plan to build a digital environment. The amounts of digital tools and programs that are available today to support learning needs is exponential. Teaching learners of these tools and strategies will allow access and engagement in the learning process. This, ultimately, leads to empowered learners!L FURTHER INFORMATION



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John Warner improves network coverage and security with smart, WiFi 6 cloud-networking To support its significant expansion over the last ten years, John Warner school needed to improve its wireless connectivity and future-proof its network

The John Warner school has improved wireless connectivity and future-proofed its network for the next ten years with a new next-generation WiFi 6 solution from education wireless experts Redway Networks. The transition to Cisco Meraki has given the school a hyper-secure wireless network that delivers faster speeds and more capacity for its high-density environment with simple cloud-based network performance monitoring. John Warner has 1,332 pupils who benefit from its many facilities and with


numerous school-owed and bring your own devices (BYOD) connecting to the network simultaneously, it was vital that the school created a robust, secure wireless network infrastructure that would improve mobility and enhance its learning environment, whilst keeping students safe online. Chris Baker, IT network manager at John Warner School says: “Our school has expanded significantly over the last ten years and keeping everything connected has increased so we needed a more superior network that would provide reliable wireless coverage and secure network access for students and teachers with the classroom engagement and technology resources they deserve. We also wanted to move to a next-generation WiFi 6 solution that would support multi-user capacity with improved performance and speed. In addition, we wanted a cloud-based WiFI solution that would be easy to manage without compromising on performance.” John Warner chose a Cisco Meraki WiFi 6 solution from Redway with an 11-year centralised cloud-managed licence (which delivers automatic firmware upgrades) and services including wireless survey, design, engineering and configuration. Due to COVID-19, Redway’s engineer conducted the WiFi survey remotely using the school’s building plans to model the wireless network environment and

determine access point positioning, coverage and performance with the design verified using Ekahau’s visual heat mapping software. Chris says: “I was really impressed with the service we received from Redway Networks and we are now benefitting from a well-designed, high performance wireless local area network that delivers seamless connectivity and has improved network security. From an administrative point of view Meraki is simple to use so managing network devices or checking and updating access points can be done easily on the spot through the mobile app. Hence, I’ve saved a considerable amount of time in network management which has given me more time to look at enhancing our school’s technology needs. Meraki has also given us an extra layer of network security as before we’d always had issues with students and staff getting through the network restrictions we’d put in place and Meraki has stopped all that.” In partnership with Cisco Meraki, Redway Networks can provide a special offer to UK schools which includes 10 years for the price of 5. To find out more email us below. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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

ting ub attra c t e d s from a taff ra backgronge of unds

IT & Computing

What does it mean to be a Computing Hub school?

September 2021. We are also delighted to see more girls taking the subject with a third of the cohort being female.” They’ve also seen a broadening in the appeal of computing in teachers too, with the NCCE’s training courses offered via the Computing Hub attracting staff from a range of backgrounds from Cardinal Hume, other schools across the region and school-centred Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers. “Seven non-specialist teachers have completed the Computer Science Accelerator programme at Cardinal Hume and more are keen to take part next year, both in Cardinal Hume and among our Trust,” said James. Computing Hubs, led by schools and colleges with top computing “The Computing Hub has helped build expertise, are a key part of the National Centre for Computing capacity in the department. This in turn has supported me as Computing Hub lead. Education’s programme to deliver a world-class computing I’ve reduced my teaching commitments so education in all schools in England. So what does it mean to be a that I can focus more on leading the Hub, Computing Hub school and what impact do they have? knowing that pupils are in good hands.” One of those non-specialists is Claire Reed, a trainee business studies teacher who came to Cardinal Hume in September It’s two years since Cardinal Hume Growing the department 2020. Claire completed the NCCE’s Computer Catholic School in Gateshead became a Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead Science Accelerator programme and went Computing Hub School – a role which is the NCCE’s Hub for Gateshead, Newcastle, on to achieve the BCS certificate in GCSE has led to a doubling of the numbers of Durham and Cumbria. It’s a role which Subject Knowledge. She’s now applying to A level computing students, a vibrant has brought opportunities for both the be a Business and Computing teacher. network of educators, and opportunities school’s staff and students, and across “Being given a teaching placement for primary and secondary teachers from the areas they support, says James who at a Computing Hub has been across the region, says teacher James is also Secondary Lead for the Hub. fantastic,” said Claire. Dixon, head of computing at the school. “Prior to being awarded Computing Hub “It gave me opportunities far greater The network of Computing Hubs, led by status my department was made up of than I could have imagined as a nongreat schools and colleges with computing three teachers. Since becoming a Hub the specialist. I had little prior expertise, is a key part of the National department has grown. We now knowledge but felt really Centre for Computing Education’s (NCCE) have six teachers who deliver supported by the facilitator programme to deliver a world-class our computing curriculum Cardina and the Hub and realised computing education in all schools in and uptake from our Hume f l o I had a real passion England. The 34 Hubs provide primary and pupils is growing fast. u n d that the for the subject.” secondary schools and colleges in their “Our A level cohort t r a ining courses She’s not alone in area with high-quality CPD supported by doubled in size this adding computing to generous bursaries; teaching and learning year and looks set via the offered Compu their specialisms. E resources; and school-to-school support. to double again for H


Advertisement Feature Top features education establishments look for in communications and collaboration solutions As the world tentatively re-opens, schools have been back in person for a number of months. From localised bad weather to a global pandemic, it can be hard to predict what may lead to a school closure. Personal circumstances among individual pupils or staff may also mean that the option to learn or work outside of the school premises is a requirement, aiding accessibility and inclusion. Below are the top features that education establishments like yours look for when considering communications and collaboration solutions for virtual and hybrid lessons, remote guests, remote staff meetings and training, and remote cloud telephony. Ease of use Staff and students don’t have to think about the action of delivering or attending an in-person lesson. We believe delivering or attending a virtual lesson should be frictionless. Technology should not be a barrier to learning. In fact, 98 per cent of surveyed educational institution, government, and charity users agree that GoToMeeting’s ease of use and reliability are better than the competition. Free to attend lessons and meetings Education is a right. Pupils and staff do not pay to join a lesson or meeting with GoTo. However many attendees there are, all they need is a mobile or internet connection. Accessibility options Restating our belief that technology should not be a

barrier to learning, the GoTo Suite includes critical accessibility features including high-contrast mode, meeting transcripts and captions. Enriched online learning experiences. Share materials like handouts, workbooks, and external links – before, during and after meetings. During meetings, empower pupils to engage with the content in real-time using polling, surveys and chat. Plus, use cloud storage for storing classwork, handbooks, tests, and more. Protect your students Support your duty of care with TLS encryption and 256-bit AES encryption at rest, which protect sensitive chat, session, recording, notes, and more. The GoTo Suite includes secure features for meeting hosts include password protection and meeting locks, alongside full-control over attendees (to monitor, mute or remove someone). “GoTo collaboration solutions have helped us widen access to our expertise and improved our ability to collaborate with partners and businesses. As a result, we have increased the number of life science products we support onto the market, and increased the number of businesses we can help to grow.” To find out more how the GoTo Suite has enabled Swansea University Medical School to enhance its teaching in advanced medical sciences click here.

A blended model Going forward, Cardinal Hume Computing Hub expects to adopt a blended model, delivering a mixture of remote and face to face courses. The outreach role of the Hub remains a key part of its work. As James says: “My favourite part of being a Computing Hub Lead is having the opportunity to engage with and support so many great teachers and to work with our fantastic subject matter experts and computer science champions.” Regular meetings of primary and secondary meetings of the grassroots teacher-led network Computing at School (CAS) enables resources and ideas to be shared, and the Hub’s work with primary schools is also key. Vicky Dodds is Primary Lead at the Cardinal Hume Computing Hub. She said: “I have been amazed at the resilience of the teachers to develop their subject knowledge during what has been potentially the most challenging year in education. Through my role at the hub and combining this with my role as a CAS Community Leader/ Barefoot Ambassador we have managed to reach out to communities of teachers through online learning and make it more accessible to them.

IT & Computing

 Adapting during the pandemic Of course, over the last year the impact of Covid and the lockdown has been enormous. Teachers and students at Cardinal Hume adapted quickly and an online learning portal was created. “We have learnt many new skills and teaching and learning will benefit from these for many years to come,” said James. “Our school’s learning portal was such a success it continues to be a great way of co-ordinating work with pupils whilst at home. This year has really highlighted the importance of good digital skills in our school community and Computer Science lies at the heart of this.” Face-to-face CPD was replaced with remote delivery and facilitators were rapidly trained on the use of Adobe Connect. “I wasn’t sure how well the remote courses would be received by participants, or how many would have time to fit in CPD in the current circumstances. It became clear very quickly that I didn’t need to worry. Teachers booked on to our courses in great numbers and the feedback was positive.”

It’s two years since Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead became a Computing Hub School – a role which has led to a doubling of the numbers of A level computing students, a vibrant network of educators, and opportunities for teachers from across the region “Teachers are keen to look at how to improve the delivery of computing and embed it in their curriculum. Liaising with the hub has allowed them to develop their computing curriculum, access training needed to address gaps in knowledge and build a support network that they can access when it is needed. Primary schools are eager to develop their knowledge and access training to hit the ground running in September. “ Ongoing support The CAS network offers ongoing support and engagement to teachers across the region, said Sarah Zaman, Primary Subject Matter Expert for the North East at Cardinal Hume and CAS Outreach manager for the North East, Yorkshire and Cumbria. “I’ve been able to fully engage with and support primary schools in terms of their computing needs, as not only do schools receive support from my role as an SME but they attend courses through the Hub and then have continued support from their local CAS communities which I can signpost them too.” James agreed and said that the Hub had built strong relationships with many schools and he’s proud of how much computing provision has improved in the area.

“A number of primary and secondary teachers who attended our courses in our first year are now facilitators and run courses on behalf of Cardinal Hume at their school. It has been brilliant to see that through their support and their networks, we have been able to increase our reach and engagement.” The pupils are also reaping the benefits of a vibrant computing education. Kieran, a current year 13 A Level Computer Science Pupil, said; “Computer Science is everywhere! I love having an understanding of Computer Science to appreciate the digital world we live in. Computer Science enables me to develop skills that are going to be in huge demand in the future – it’s so exciting.” As Owen, a fellow student said they’re learning skills which will leave students well placed for the future. “I really enjoy Computer Science,” he said. “It is exciting being part of something so huge. I want to understand and be a part of the technology that is shaping the world around us. “L FURTHER INFORMATION

Cardinal Hume Catholic School’s Computing Hub in gateshead



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Cost-effective IT strategies to support remote learning With only five per cent of state school teachers saying that all their students had access to a suitable remote learning device in January 2021, how can IT departments support the new norm of learning? Customise corporate IT donations During Covid-19, schools and colleges have been receiving donated IT equipment from businesses to help with funding gaps. However, these machines have not always been compatible with the programmes that students need, for instance Microsoft Teams. If your IT devices are missing crucial software updates, you can take them to an IT specialist who can reprogramme the SSDs and reinstall the operating systems. This is a great way to make the most of existing IT equipment and you might be surprised by how low the cost can be.

Since UK students went back to school in March 2021, all education organisations are required to provide a quality remote learning experience for those who cannot be on school grounds. This is a challenge for today’s educators who are already facing IT shortages, budgetary constraints, and in some cases are relying on corporate donations. With only five per cent of state school teachers saying that all their students had access to a suitable remote learning device in January 2021, and two thirds of parents concerned about their children’s education during the pandemic, how can IT departments support the new norm of learning in a cost-effective and sustainable way? Reassess the traditional approach Once IT devices like laptops and PCs have been in use for a few years, it is common to experience slower loading times and application freezing. This is an obvious detriment to both remote learning and learning within the classroom. Traditionally if you wanted to improve IT performance, you would replace your existing IT device with a newer model. This is what IT managers across all industries have been doing for decades. However, the latest research has revealed that there is a much cheaper, more convenient, and sustainable option. Make use of what you already have The average laptop actually provides up to seven years of quality performance when properly upgraded. Considering that the average school refreshes their laptops every few years, this is something that often surprises people. This performance boost is thanks to component level upgrades, which enable the


same performance as new for laptops, desktops, PCs and other IT devices. First IT specialists will assess which parts of your machine need upgrading (usually the RAM or SSDs). They will then upgrade these components and ship your devices back to you. Upgrades can be carried out in large batches in between term times, or as and when you need them. Upgrading your IT equipment is much cheaper than buying expensive new devices every time you need a performance boost. It is also the most environmentally friendly solution available. Firstly, reusing what you already have keeps quality technology in use rather than ending up in landfill. Secondly, it avoids the need to manufacture new IT equipment, which involves mining unsustainable metals illegally or in unsafe conditions, generating tonnes of carbon emissions in the process. In other words, choosing to upgrade is a win for your CSR goals as well as your budget. If you are interested in seeing how laptop upgrades are carried out, check out our video. Smart purchasing With the power of upgrades in mind, before you buy IT hardware it is worth assessing how easily these devices could be upgraded or repaired. Devices that contain RAM and SSDs like laptops and desktops are going to be much easier to amend in comparison to tablets as one example. If IT devices are being bought for remote education purposes, it is likely that they will be passed between different students during their lifespan and will require updates every few years or so. Assessing exactly what you need and futureproofing wherever possible is always best practice.

Get your students involved One of the most exciting things about managing IT in education is that you can get creative with it. When upgrading your existing technology, why not get your students involved? This is a great way to demonstrate best practice, educate young people about sustainable technology, and teach them a new skill. One school we worked with even developed their own internal refurbishment program for mini computers and taught students how to replace SSDs and RAM. From assessing what you already have to keeping IT devices in use for longer, there are several ways to maximise your IT budget and support remote learning in 2021. Over the past 15 years our team has helped thousands of schools, universities, and organisations to navigate these options and extend their IT life cycle wherever possible. For help making changes in your organisation, get in touch with Techbuyer today. L

Techbuyer is a sustainable IT provider founded in Harrogate, UK. We have over 225,000 new and refurbished servers, storage and networking equipment, laptops, desktops, and components in stock across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific. As well as providing IT hardware, we also extend the life cycle of IT equipment by refurbishing, upgrading, refurbishing or replacing it. FURTHER INFORMATION


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Introducing BESA’s Catch-Up Challenge School Support Scheme BESA’s Catch-Up Challenge School Support Scheme will see the association’s members pledge their support free of charge to help schools implement their improvement plans

For those schools working towards improving their Ofsted rating, the last 12 months have done little to ease their anxiety or workload. Whilst full scale inspections might be off the table for now, the pandemic and its resultant partial school closures have brought new challenges and, in some cases, heaped additional pressure onto an already stressful situation. Most of the research that has been conducted into the impact of remote learning on pupils has shown the presence of a ‘digital divide’, with vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils falling further behind. School improvement plans now need to be rewritten to address the needs of these pupils, and to demonstrate what measures are being taken to narrow the worsening attainment gap.

Whilst nationally there has been talk of ‘catch-up’ support with tutoring, summer schools and free classroom resources all mooted as a possible options, none of these approaches address the particular requirements of those schools who are aiming to secure a good or outstanding Ofsted rating. For those schools, the interventions that are selected must deliver specific and measurable results in precisely the areas that matter. We would like to help. BESA represents over 400 educational suppliers who are all committed to helping raise the educational outcomes of pupils. Our members provided over £36m of free resources and support from March-June 2020 and were on hand to help teachers adapt their practices to support home learning. These same members are now coming together

to support our Catch-Up Challenge School Support Scheme which is launching this week. The Catch-Up Challenge School Support Scheme is designed to help you identify targeted support for your students matched to the key Ofsted inspection criteria of: quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; and leadership and management. Our members are pledging their support free of charge, to help you implement your school improvement plan. Each participating member is offering a limited number of hours of free tailored advice matched to the Ofsted criteria that are of most importance to you. These conversations are designed to help frame your requirements and guide you towards tried and tested services that will address your priorities. The Catch-Up Challenge School Support Scheme will be run via our portal – the same site we have been using to provide free home learning resources over the last 12 months. There is no charge to take part and we hope to match all schools who need it with at least one hour of free consultancy, but this will be subject to demand. This hour is designed as a springboard to further activity, and we hope will provide reassurance and help to those schools most in need, at a time when you need it most. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Procurement Written by CPL Group

Putting social value at the heart of procurement The Social Value Act places a duty on contracting authorities such as schools and academies to consider how to improve the social, economic and/or environmental wellbeing on the community when procuring service contracts that exceed the procurement regulations threshold. CPL Group provides practical tips to get your institution started with social value Step 1 – Identify the social values Step 2 – Translate these values of your institution into verifiable requirements Social value is built into many educational Consider if it is possible to translate your institution’s mission statements or in policies social values into verifiable requirements and procedures such as environmental in your tender specification. Consult policies. Some institutions have key with both the supply market, your stakeholders such as community engagement institution’s key stakeholders and your local officers who are a great source of community prior to starting a knowledge on the key social procurement procedure. value agendas in institution’s It is important that any Consid local communities, schools social value requirements e r i f it is p and charities. Your local are relevant to the ossible to tran authority is also a contract subjectkey stakeholder who matter (do not your so slate cial val will have a stake in impose unnecessary ues into ve social value agendas burdens that will requir rifiable in your region. deter suppliers from

em your te ents in specific nder ation


bidding or that will have serious negative impacts on costs or disadvantage non-local bidders). Engage with the market before the procurement commences about your social value objectives as it will help identify and mitigate risks. You can set out specific social, economic or environmental requirements that you want delivered or you can define your service using desired outcomes. Some examples of requirements that you could adapt and use in your own service design specifications are as follows. Regarding community, you could specify in your outsourced catering contract tender that a supplier is to engage with a local foodbank to ascertain what produce left over from the delivery of the contract could be donated from your institution to a local foodbank. For skills, training and recruitment, you could require that when a contract involves a supplier’s employees working onsite at your institution, the supplier is to provide additional social value through its recruitment to positions associated with the service. This leaves it open to the bidder to identify how they can add value to the community. Should you be situated in an area with a large armed forces presence you could require the supplier to employ a diverse workforce including the employment of veterans and service spouses, see An alternative approach is to require the supplier to generate employment and training opportunities for targeted groups you may have identified through work with your local authority through the delivery of this contract. Regarding the supply chain, should you have any contracts that involve sub-contracting by the main contractor, such as a works contract for buildings, you could encourage suppliers to


Step 3 – Choose your route to market to maximise social value Evaluate your procurement options and whether this can have a positive impact on your institution’s social value objectives before starting a procurement. An example of this would be if one of your institution’s social objectives is to reduce its impact on the environment in terms of carbon reduction and greenhouse gas emissions. You could look at the way you procure goods that are delivered regularly to your premises such as paper, stationery, janitorial goods, PPE and teaching supplies. After reviewing this you could consider ways to reduce delivery frequency such as procuring goods collaboratively with other local organisations and appointing a single supplier with co-ordinated delivery schedules. It is advisable to consider if there is an existing framework agreement in place you could call off from. Many frameworks will have already considered social value in relation to the subject matter of the specification. It could also provide you with an additional opportunity to determine if you want to know more from bidders at the call off stage.

You could require the supplier to work with you to identify opportunities to introduce innovation, reduce cost, reduce waste and ensure sustainable development is at the heart of their operation Most suppliers have social value offerings, you now need to encourage them to tailor this for the benefit of your community. Step 4 – Evaluation of a supplier’s ability to meet your social value objectives It is mandatory to use the Cabinet Office Standard Selection Questionnaire which includes an evaluation of a bidder’s social value obligations in terms of breaches of relevant legislation when conducting procurements above The Public Contracts Regulation threshold. You could consider setting similar minimum standards in lower value procurements which need to be achieved before evaluating a bidder’s tender. You can include social considerations when deciding on your award criteria to determine which bidder will win the tender. The procurement regulations explicitly allow social considerations to be included in award criteria provided they meet certain principles that all criteria must adhere to: best price-quality ratio, being related to the contract’s subject matter and conforming to the principles of procurement; proportionality, non-discrimination and transparency.


publish supply chain opportunities associated with the contract on Contracts Finder to remove or reduce participation barriers for VCSEs and SMEs. Regarding environmental management, you could require the supplier to work with you to identify opportunities to introduce innovation, reduce cost, reduce waste and ensure sustainable development is at the heart of their operation. Working with third sector organisations is a good way to identify these opportunities.

Step 5 - Ensure the social benefits are fulfilled through contractual performance Contract performance clauses set out how the contract should be performed. It is possible to include social, employmentrelated and/or environmental conditions where appropriate, providing they are linked to the subject-matter of the contract and had been previously indicated in the procurement documents. These obligations must be accepted by the successful tenderer and relate to the performance of the contract. They should not play a role in determining which tenderer gets the contract (provided the successful supplier has met the conditions). Contract performance clauses are generally the most appropriate stage of the procedure to include social considerations relating to employment and labour conditions of the workers involved in the performance of the contract. They may be intended to favour on-site vocational training, the employment of people experiencing particular difficulty in achieving integration, the fight against unemployment, to recruit long-term jobseekers or to implement training measures for the unemployed or young persons. It is important to verify that contractors are complying with any social obligations and legislation through effective contract management procedures. Conclusion We trust this article has given you some food for thought in terms of how you might be able to embed social value in your procurements and not just for high value service contracts where the Social Value Act requires you to consider what could be achieved. CPL Group Crescent Purchasing Consortium and Tenet Education Services are not-for-profit organisations which are part of CPL Group, an education owned charity that gives back to the sector through funding and support. CPC provides frameworks designed for education covering a variety of products and services with many recommended by the DfE. CPC membership is free of charge to all education institutions. Tenet provides procurement consultancy support. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Play Written by Mark Hardy, chair of the Association of Play Industries

Why school play areas are more important than ever Outdoor play is vital for children’s physical, mental and emotional health, and post-lockdown, outdoor play will be essential in helping children to recover. But as the number of public playgrounds continues to decline, Mark Hardy, chair of the Association of Play Industries, explains why schools’ play facilities are more important than ever Away from home, playgrounds are the most popular spaces for outdoor play at least once a week, closely followed by green spaces, and they are also the third most adventurous place for children’s play. According to a new national survey from the University of Reading of 1919 adult respondents, children on average spend more time playing in playgrounds than any other place. Despite this, playgrounds are hugely under-funded and are disappearing fast. If playgrounds continue to decline at the current rate, our communities could look very different very soon and once a playground disappears it is usually gone forever. We are in danger of short-changing children, particularly those from the one in eight UK households without gardens and those in the most disadvantaged areas. Schools in lockdown Throughout the lockdowns, the constantly changing guidance for schools has been confusing and challenging, to say the least. However, one critical fact has emerged over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, that playing outdoors poses a negligible risk to children: indeed, the risks to their mental and physical health of not playing outdoors are far greater.


Schools, now faced with the idea of children having to ‘catch-up’ academically, may feel under pressure to increase classroom time at the expense of allowing children time to play outdoors freely in the school playground.

need for play should not get overlooked. Children will be better equipped to learn if they are given the time and space to play freely in schools’ outdoor play areas.

Summer of Play The Association of Play Industries is joining What the lockdowns taught us other organisations and experts in an urgent During one of the most difficult periods in call for play to be central to children’s recovery recent times, parents have relied upon public from the restrictions placed upon them. playgrounds to keep their children mentally We are calling for everyone to help make and physically well. As with so many aspects this summer a #SummerOfPlay for of our society, the lockdowns children across the UK, to shift have forced us to see what To the focus away from ‘catch up’ really matters – that play introdu and to prioritise the basic is vital to the healthy requirement of children to development of children more p ce hysical play outdoors with friends. and playgrounds activity in are essential. t o the school p All UK children For more than a laygrou day, nds and outdoo need and deserve year, children across r a promise on play the UK have been to deliv spaces need er outst The Government is forced to spend time an play op now presented with indoors, inactive and portunit ding a rare opportunity to isolated due to Covidies mitigate the damage to 19 restrictions. There has children caused by lockdown been an unprecedented and to support their health increase in children’s mental and wellbeing for generations to health problems, drastically come, with one simple yet powerful public reduced physical activity and a rise in screen health measure: the UK urgently needs time. Now that schools are open again, the



a national network of sustainable public play spaces to support children’s health. Scotland’s First Minister has promised a £60m fund to renew every play park in Scotland, so that all children have access to a place to play in their own community. The Association of Play Industries has written to the Prime Minister, the Health Minister and the Minister for Housing, Communities & Local Government, urging the UK Government to match this commitment to children’s outdoor play throughout the entire UK. We have also written to the new Children’s Commissioner for England in the sincere hope of a fresh approach to tackling the serious issues facing children and young people. We have appealed for a strong emphasis on prevention and highlighted the protective nature of outdoor play in dealing with children’s mental health and childhood obesity. It is essential that the Government sets out a clear plan for investment in outdoor play, so that all children from all backgrounds across the UK have access to community, doorstep playgrounds. There is a real danger that these spaces could disappear for good with catastrophic effects on children’s mental and physical health unless the Government acts now. School playgrounds matter As vital as the campaign is for central funding for community playgrounds, school playgrounds also have a critical role to play in children’s health and wellbeing. Almost one third of parents said they rely on school playgrounds to get their children active and 66 per cent of parents said that outdoor play facilities are important when choosing their child’s school. In addition, school can be the only safe place for some children to play, providing their only outlet for physical activity, socialising and fun. With one in three children overweight or obese by year 6 and child mental

Schools, now faced with the idea of children having to ‘catch-up’ academically, may feel under pressure to increase classroom time at the expense of allowing children time to play outdoors freely in the school playground health problems at record levels, highquality outdoor play equipment in schools is now more important than ever. Play is fundamental to the development of pupils’ physical and mental health. Free, outdoor play boosts learning, concentration, physical literacy, creativity, resilience, confidence and social skills. How schools can prioritise outdoor play When schools improve their playgrounds and outdoor facilities, positive things happen. Physical activity levels increase for a start, important at a time when childhood obesity and physical inactivity are rising and time spent outdoors is falling. To introduce more physical activity into the school day, school playgrounds and outdoor spaces need to deliver outstanding play and learning opportunities. Welldesigned, high-quality outdoor facilities for play, learning, sport, PE and physical activity make a huge impact on school life and children’s educational experiences. Children have natural energy and enthusiasm so schools can make the most of this by building physical activity into the whole school day. Playgrounds and outside spaces get children moving during lesson time, break and lunch times, before and after school, and for extracurricular activities, as well as

during sport and PE lessons. Physical literacy levels will improve and many schools report improvements in behaviour and wellbeing too. Active kids become active adults School playgrounds help to give children a lifelong love of play. Choosing the right play environment for your school is a significant decision so it is essential to get it right when choosing a provider. As the UK’s leading play companies, API members are reliable, trustworthy and financially sound. They operate to the highest standards and are backed by the API’s Professional Code of Conduct. They will provide evidence of previous work and references and design exceptional, high-quality play spaces for children of all ages and abilities. The API Charter encourages members to design fun and challenging play spaces with elements of built-in risk. This drive for innovation ensures API members are always at the forefront of new thinking in play value, inclusivity, safety, diversity, educational value and landscaping. L FURTHER INFORMATION To find out more about how API members can help schools, visit their School Zone: school-zone-schools-get-active/



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COV I D - 1 9

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