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TRIPS & OUTDOOR LEARNING
TAKING TEACHING OUTSIDE Tips and ideas to get more time outside during the school day
PLUS: INDOOR AIR QUALITY | ASBESTOS | FIRE SAFETY | SPORT | PROCUREMENT | EB AWARDS
Boost your school’s income with one of Kajima Community’s tried and tested lettings solutions Whether you’ve already reopened your school to lettings and could do with a helping hand to streamline your administration, or if you’re yet to discover an efficient way to kick-start your lettings, Kajima Community’s tried and tested solutions can help. Their solutions help schools to not only reduce the amount of time spent administering lettings but will promote your facilities to potential hirers and in-turn, boost your lettings revenue. Kajima’s services are guaranteed to deliver efficiencies on your current system and increase your income: BookingsPlus; software solution – a simple way to manage your lettings administration inhouse, School lettings software BookingsPlus is guaranteed to streamline your workload, saving you time to focus on the other core functions of running your school.
BookingsGuru; admin & marketing service – benefit from an extra helping hand from Kajima’s dedicated team of Gurus. They will handle everything from customer queries to invoicing, collecting payments on your behalf and liaising with your site team. Fully-managed service – if you’re looking to totally outsource your lettings to a professional third-party provider, Kajima will take care of all marketing and admin as well as your site staff and site operations. Kajima currently partner with over 300 schools across the country and know what it takes to deliver an efficient and cost-effective lettings programme for the benefit of your school and your community. To find out how you can start your lettings journey with Kajima, contact Dave and his dedicated customer support team today on 01604 677 764 or email email@example.com.
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Back to school with relaxed Covid rules Schools have welcomed pupils back for the Autumn term with less Covid restrictions.
TRIPS & OUTDOOR LEARNING
TAKING TEACHING OUTSIDE Tips and ideas to get more time outside during the school day
PLUS: INDOOR AIR QUALITY | ASBESTOS | FIRE SAFETY | SPORT | PROCUREMENT
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The ‘bubble’ system has ended and close contacts of positive covid cases no longer have to self isolate for ten days, instead taking a PCR test and isolating if positive. But the pandemic is still ongoing, and disruption to education is expected. Indeed, the government has reintroduced its remote education direction, which places a legal duty upon schools to provide immediate remote learning for pupils unable to attend classes due to Covid-19. This issue of Education Business magazine explains the infection control measures that are continuing in schools despite a relaxation of rules, such as extra hygiene measures and enhanced cleaning. Indoor air quality is also discussed, including the role of ventilation, fresh air and air purification in eradicating virus particles in circulation. And with less chance of catching the virus outside, the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom gives tips and advice on how schools can increase the amount of time they spend outside during the school day. Elsewhere in the magazine, we give an update on the government’s School Rebuilding Programme, looking at some of the newly confirmed schools, as well as the building projects selected during the first wave of funding. Meanwhile, John McClean from the Joint Union Asbestos Campaign discusses the dangers of asbestos and what needs to happen to tackle the invisible killer. Angela Pisanu, editor
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Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Contents Education Business 26.5 17
Study finds teachers not at increased risk of
Most schools and academies use framework
severe Covid; New £75 per pupil grants to get
agreements to get best value for money on
pupils connected; and Three million children going to schools in areas with toxic air
15 Infection Control
their goods and services, but there is so much more to frameworks than that. If you’ve never used a framework before or you would like to
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought
understand how to make frameworks work for
significant challenges to the education sector,
you, CLP Group offers this following guide
the newfound appreciation for proper cleaning practices and protocols will undoubtedly
benefit cleanliness standards in schools in the long-term, writes Tony Sullivan, environmental and decontamination manager at the NHS Deep Cleaning
43 Funding Not-for-profit charity CPL Group provides an overview of its latest funding round for student events, activities and learning resources, plus insight into three projects
17 Indoor Air Quality The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the issue
which have been granted funding
of indoor air quality into sharper focus, as
47 Cyber Security
ventilation and air purification have been
Technology is key for the smooth running of
shown to reduce the spread of the virus. We look at recent measures to improve the indoor air quality of education settings
21 Design & Build
education settings, but cyber risks, such as ransomware attacks, must be managed to prevent disruption. By following five practical steps, school leaders can significantly reduce
A further fifty schools have been confirmed
their chances of falling victim, writes Sarah
for the government’s ten-year rebuilding
Lyons from the National Cyber Security Centre
programme, which seeks to invest in schools in England in the worst condition
29 Design & Build
Modular buildings are helping to resolve
50 EB Awards Review Presented live online by celebrity host Jeff Brazier on 8 July, the Education Business Awards,
many of the problems encountered by the
sponsored by Philips, recognised the outstanding
education sector when undertaking new build
work, commitment and achievements of schools
or refurbishment projects. Jackie Maginnis from
and academies across the country
the Modular and Portable Building Association, explains how
55 Trips & Outdoor Learning
Over the 2021 summer term, many teachers opted
Some twenty years on from the full ban on asbestos in construction, its presence
in response to Covid guidelines. So what can
in many older school buildings remains
we learn from this, and how can more outdoor
a national problem. John McClean, Chair
time be incorporated into the school day?
of the Joint Union Asbestos Campaign, discusses the dangers of asbestos and what needs to happen to tackle the problem
37 Fire Safety Tilden Watson, Zurich Municipal’s head
to take their teaching beyond the classroom walls
61 Sport & PE The DfE has confirmed that it will continue to fund the PE and Sport Premium next year, with a £320 million investment, and that any money
of education discusses new guidance for
leftover from the grant this year or last can be
designing in fire safety in schools, and
used by until 31 July 2022. We look what the grant
shares practical tips for reducing fire risk
is trying to achieve and how it should be used
Education Business magazine
www.educationbusinessuk.net Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
We used Venesta’s Unity SGL range as it’s a proven high quality, durable product from a trusted provider that we have worked with for years.
- Mark Norton, Chartered Construction Manager of Gray Baynes and Shew
Unity and Vepps specified at Magdalen College School, Oxford. A full height cubicle range with sleek fittings, set back pedestals and low floor clearance for maximum student privacy, Unity provided Magdalen College School with a seamless, durable washroom cubicle solution. With discreet emergency release indicator bolts, Unity is an ideal choice for education environments, where safety is paramount. The school was able to ensure installation was completed quickly and to the highest standard by specifying Vepps. The industry-leading metal framed pre-plumbed system offers even faster installation than plain panel alternatives, even easier ongoing maintenance and a wide range of sanitaryware options, all at a lower cost. Read the full case study at www.venesta.co.uk/projects
Call 01474 353333 www.venesta.co.uk email@example.com
D A V F E
Study finds teachers not at increased risk of severe Covid
Tech to improve air quality and disinfect classrooms funded in Wales
Teachers are not at increased risk of hospital admission with covid-19 and are at lower risk of severe covid-19 compared with other adults of working age in the general population, a new study has found. The study by the Wellcome Trust was published by the British Medical Journal
and used Scottish data from March 2020 to July 2021 to compare the risk of Covid19 among teachers and their household compared with healthcare workers and adults in the general population. They found the risk of hospital admission was 50 per cent lower for teachers and their households in the spring and summer of 2020 than the general population. When schools remained closed during the winter period, teachers and their households again showed a 50 per cent lower risk of hospital admission than the general population, but during school reopenings in autumn 2020 the risk of hospital admission for teachers increased more than twofold – reaching similar levels to those in the general population. The summer term saw a smaller increase as rates increased by around 1.7 times, possibly due to the uptake of vaccinations. There was no accompanying increase in the relative risk of severe Covid among teachers or their households during the period in which schools were open. CLICK TO READ MORE
Tutoring scheme expands to offer greater flexibility
Schools will have greater flexibility to offer 15-hour tutoring courses that meet the needs of their pupils, in a major expansion of the National Tutoring Programme backed by £1 billion. The programme is expected to reach up to six million pupils across the country in total over the next three years to make sure students that need it receive quality catch up support. Schools can now sign up with this year’s external tuition providers, covering the
whole country and expected to reach over 500,000 students this year. New guidance has been published to support schools to offer their own teacherled tuition, expected to reach over one million students this academic year. Academic mentors are being placed in selected schools across the country to work in small groups with over 250,000 students most in need of support this year. The three National Tutoring Programme routes have been developed to complement one another, allowing students to potentially access up to all three areas of support at the same time. The government is also investing £102 million in 21/22 through the 16-19 Tuition Fund to support hundreds of thousands of young people to catch up in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects. This is in addition to the £96 million made available in 20/21 to deliver vital support for those 16-19-year-olds who needed it the most. CLICK TO READ MORE
The Welsh Government has announced a new investment in technology to improve air quality and quickly disinfect classrooms. £3.31m will be provided for new ozone disinfecting machines, to reduce cleaning times, improve disinfection and reduce costs. The funding is expected to supply more than 1,800 machines, at least one for every school, college and university in Wales. The time and cost of cleaning rooms was identified as an issue for schools and colleges early in the pandemic. To address the issue, the Welsh Government asked Swansea University to establish an Ozone Classroom Decontamination Project, backed by Welsh Government funding. Scientists at the university have developed an Ozone disinfecting machine, now in production, which can be deployed for this task. The machines can be used to quickly disinfect classrooms when clusters of Covid-19 or other communicable viruses are identified, such as norovirus. What’s more, £2.58m will be provided for over 30,000 CO2 ‘traffic light’ monitors, for teaching and learning spaces such as classrooms, seminar rooms or lecture halls. CO2 monitors include sensors which provide a visual signal of deteriorating internal air quality. The monitors will alert teachers and lecturers when CO2 levels rise, notifying them when air quality needs to improve, thereby aiding the control of ventilation during the winter. This will help maintain comfortable temperatures for learners and staff during colder periods, reduce heat loss and save on energy costs. Dr Chedly Tizaoui of Swansea University, part of the team who designed the ozone disinfection machine, said: “I am delighted that the ozone technology we developed at Swansea University will support efforts to eradicate Covid19 in Wales. Reducing the spread of coronavirus in our educational institutions is vitally important, so our children and students can get back to the classroom. “Ozone is potent against Covid-19 virus and due to its gaseous nature, it kills the virus whether be it airborne or adhered to a surface. Thanks to the support received from the Welsh Government and the Active Buildings pioneered by SPECIFIC, our research demonstrated that buildings can be Active on the inside and the ozone treatment developed here can be incorporated to support cleaning and disinfection of public buildings.” CLICK TO READ MORE
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
New £75 per pupil grants to get pupils connected
The Department for Education has unveiled details of a new ‘Get help with technology programme’, where schools can receive
funding to support them with costs of getting children access the internet. All eligible settings will be able to apply
in January 2022 to cover costs incurred between 1 September to 31 December 2021. The new programme was unveiled after a temporary direction which places a legal duty upon schools to provide remote learning for pupils unable to attend schools due to Covid-19 was reissued by ministers for the 2021-22 academy year. The DfE expects claims to be up to the equivalent of £75 per pupil or student claimed for, although costs higher than this may be approved where reasonable supporting information is provided. Guidance has now been published on how the scheme will work. CLICK TO READ MORE
Support to embed anti-racism across the curriculum in Scotland
Support for newly qualified teachers who had their training disrupted
A new package of support materials for teachers and staff in Scotland will embed anti-racism and race equality into all aspects of school life. Education Scotland’s resource will ensure children and young people see language, content and imagery that reflects the diversity of culture, identities, and experiences, including their own. Guidance from anti-racism charity the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights has also been published, as well as a teacher toolkit published by Scotdec, one of Scotland’s Development Education Centres, both of which will further support teachers in embedding anti-racism across the curriculum. Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Racism of any form has no place in Scotland which is why embedding anti-racism into the ethos and practice of our education system is imperative. “This new Education Scotland guidance builds on existing resources available and was developed in collaboration with a range of young people, education practitioners and organisations with lived experience of racism and expertise in addressing it.
“Our schools and our curriculum seek to promote and inspire a sense of belonging, inclusion and social justice for learners, practitioners and the wider community. Having an education system that provides an opportunity for anti-racism learning, debate and leadership is crucial in our attempt to eradicate racism in wider society.” Education Scotland Chief Executive and HMI Chief Inspector of Education Gayle Gorman said: “It is essential that all our children and young people develop an understanding of the world around them and how it has been shaped, as well as an appreciation of the contribution made by people from a range of cultures and identities. “Our new resource will support the profession to teach and build a society which advances equality and actively rejects and challenges racial discrimination. We hope that our whole-school approach to race equality and anti-racism will help children and young people develop as responsible global citizens.” CLICK TO READ MORE
New teachers in Wales who saw their training disrupted by the pandemic will receive a term of employment to help them into their new roles. With schooling disrupted by the pandemic many trainee teachers across Wales missed the opportunity to gain experience with in-classroom training. As schools switched to providing services digitally, teachers in training delivered lessons online. The Welsh Government has allocated an extra £1.7m in funding to ensure newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) have a term of employment to support their transition into teaching. The funding will support NQTs throughout the autumn term, providing them with the training, experience and confidence they need. As well as giving NQTs more opportunity for training and mentoring, the support will also allow schools to increase capacity and free up other teachers to provide extra help to vulnerable learners. The new support is open to NQTs who have not already found full-time employment with a school, and more than 400 have been placed in schools across Wales.
CLICK TO READ MORE
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
How a historic university uses CCTV technology to improve staff efficiency Bath Spa University is a public university with seven major campuses and a number of teaching sites that span across the city. As Head of Facilities and Services, Andy Williams works alongside colleagues in the Estates Department to ensure that maintenance and operations across campuses provide a pristine environment for quality learning. The challenge The legacy Milestone system was installed and replaced over a decade in an ad-hoc manner due to various changes across the estate. Much of the system wasn’t GDPR compliant and coverage spanned across areas that might be considered intrusive or unnecessary. Additionally, the DVR system performed unreliably, which resulted in undetected downtime and extended gaps in coverage. Unpredictable costs associated with service fees and replacement parts that made maintaining the system incredibly expensive. “I needed a solution that was more manageable in terms of budgeting and operability; that, alongside the need to follow GDPR requirements, prompted me and my team to evaluate new CCTV vendors on the market.” Given the expansive campus and the number of faculty that needed access to cameras, Williams found Verkada’s hybrid cloud-based CCTV solution to be effortless to manage at scale. The ability to group cameras by sites and sub-sites, and grant role-based levels of access, removed much of the bottlenecks he experienced with the former DVR solution. “Because I can curate and control who has access to which feeds, it’s easy for me to ensure that data is guarded with utmost security. (Verkada) provides the necessary protections that allow us to be fully GDPR compliant.” Simple to install across campus One thing that greatly impressed Williams about Verkada was how simple the cameras were to install and bring online. With the exception of cameras that were installed at height, Williams and his team completed the deployment in a matter of days. By connecting cameras
to a single PoE cable, all feeds were instantly accessible via Command, Verkada’s cloud-based platform. “The desktop experience and app are both incredibly easy to use. I’m able to do everything, end-to-end, from wherever I am: activate the cameras, assign permissions, find footage, archive clips, or share feeds with outside folks.” Best of all, Williams and his team were able to adjust and position cameras in real-time. “In the process of mounting the cameras, we were already looking at the live feeds. Before getting off the ladders, we were able to make sure that everything was pointed in the right direction and covering the right angles.” Future-proof solution with immediate ROI With cost as one of the primary factors during the vendor evaluation process, Williams found Verkada’s straightforward pricing model and the 10-year product warranty to be highly cost-effective. “What I didn’t want to have to do in five or six years time was another rip-and-replace. The partnership (with Verkada) is something I know will sustain in the long-run. The speed at which we’re getting new features now, is just a glimpse at how the system will get better over time.” “My aim is to have fewer people on the ground and more of a reliance on the camera system. The ability for the existing team to access footage and respond immediately from wherever they are, makes this highly possible.” Williams is looking forward to the continued deployment of cameras across main and remote sites. Once CCTV systems are centralised on Verkada’s platform, he hopes to build a control room where his team can easily monitor cameras at a high-level and make greater use of the extensive features of Verkada’s software. To learn more about Verkada’s easy-to-use CCTV solution, join a weekly webinar session (and get a free YETI mug!).
DESIGN & BUILD
Sixty five building projects share funding to improve T-Level spaces and facilities
Three million children going to schools in areas with toxic air
£50 million will be invested in colleges, schools and sixth forms delivering T levels across England from 2022 to improve and expand teaching spaces and facilities. Sixty-five building projects will receive a share of the funding, where they will get industry quality equipment for hands-on experience right from the start of their training, and high-tech classrooms. The funding will be used to refurbish buildings and facilities, including upgrading classrooms and creating specialist spaces such as teaching wards, and building or improving laboratories for health and science students. West Suffolk College is one of the providers to receive a share of the investment, to refurbish and create new facilities to deliver Digital T Level courses, including a mixed reality suite to explore uses of coding, and specialist classrooms and collaborative teaching spaces to enable informal learning. Tameside College will create a health skills ward to support teaching on the Health and Science route, and Birchwood Community High School in Warrington will refurbish spaces to create a new laboratory and other spaces to teach Health and Science. Dr Paul Phillips, CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College Group said: “The successful application for the T Level Capital Fund Building and Facilities Improvement Grant has enabled Weston College to transform facilities and develop new opportunities for learners to work with state of the art resources. As we move forward with the government’s skills strategy via the White Paper, funding such as this is paramount to realising the highly positive aims and objectives from central government.”
CLICK TO READ MORE
Analysis by London’s City Hall has found that 3.1m children are attending schools in areas of England exceeding WHO limits for PM2.5. What’s more children in London are four times more likely to go to school in areas with pollution levels that exceed World Health Organization (WHO) limits, than children in the rest of England. This poor air quality stunts the growth of children’s lungs and worsens chronic illnesses, such as asthma, lung and heart disease. This new analysis has found 3.1m English children are attending schools in areas exceeding WHO limits for PM2.5. There are two main air pollutants of concern in London, based on their impact on human health: nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5). While the Mayor’s bold actions have led to a substantial reduction in the number of Londoners living in areas exceeding legal limits for NO2
and significant reductions in the levels of PM2.5, tens of thousands of Londoners still breathe polluted air and 99 per cent of Londoners live in areas exceeding the WHO recommended guidelines for PM2.5, which are much stricter than the legal standards. This new analysis of the national Government data for annual average PM2.5 in 2019 also shows that, before the pandemic, more than 1.2 million children in London attended schools in areas that exceeded WHO limits for PM2.5 – more than 700,000 of them are of primary school age. Ninety-eight per cent of state primary and secondary schools in London were in areas that exceeded WHO limits, compared with 24 per cent outside of London. On average, PM2.5 concentrations were a third (33 per cent) higher at schools in London than in the rest of England. Of the 30 local authorities with the highest PM2.5 at schools, all but two were London boroughs. The average concentration around schools in London (12 µgm-3) is more than double the average concentration in Cumbria (5.2 µgm-3), the local authority with schools in the areas with the lowest concentrations of toxic air. CLICK TO READ MORE
Extra funding for teacher recruitment in Scotland The Scottish Government has announced that temporary Covid recovery funding of £80 million that helped to recruit 1,400 teachers and 250 support staff is to be made permanent. The funding will be allocated annually to the local government settlement from April 2022. This will allow local authorities to offer sustained employment of additional teachers and support staff, while meeting local needs and benefitting Scotland’s children and young people. This is in addition to the £65.5 million permanent additional funding announced on 9 August for local authorities to recruit a further additional 1,000 teachers and 500 support staff. It will also be allocated annually from 2022 onwards. Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Our priority for COVID education recovery is to ensure the highest quality of learning and teaching. Our schools have shouldered significant disruption as they tackle the unparalleled challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. “This is why it is imperative that we do everything we can to support councils to recruit permanent teachers and
support staff. This funding will provide local authorities with the certainty they need in order to plan their future permanent workforce requirements.” COSLA Spokesperson for Resources, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said: “I welcome this additional baselined funding that will support councils to better plan and resource for education recovery even better than they are already doing. The educational needs, as well as the health and wellbeing of our children and young people, are an absolute priority for all of us. Having the ability to recruit with greater certainty both teachers and support staff is a key element of how councils can ensure the delivery of the most effective experience for all. “As I have previously said, we do, however, look forward to continuing to work with Government to address broader recruitment and retention needs that councils are facing so that we can continue to deliver the highest all-round quality of education to all.” CLICK TO READ MORE
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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All schools to receive carbon dioxide monitors
Computing fastest growing STEM A level
CO2 monitors will be provided to all state-funded education settings from September, so schools can identify where ventilation needs to be improved. The new monitors, which are backed by a £25 million government investment, will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working. What’s more, letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and is important in preventing the spread of Covid-19. The majority of c. 300,000 monitors will become available over the autumn term, with special schools and alternative provision prioritised to receive their full allocation from September given their higher-thanaverage numbers of vulnerable pupils. The government has also launched a trial of air purifiers in 30 schools in Bradford,
which is designed to assess the technology in education settings and whether they could reduce the risk of transmission. CO2 monitors are portable so schools and other settings will be able to move them around to test their full estate, starting with areas they suspect may be poorly ventilated. The programme will provide schools and other settings with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across the indoor spaces in their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. More details will be available following the completion of procurement, however all schools and colleges are expected to receive at least partial allocations during the autumn term, enabling all settings to monitor areas where they believe airflow may be weakest. CLICK TO READ MORE
Poor digital access for teachers holding back remote learning
The Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) and Dixons Carphone have released research revealing that almost half of teachers lack adequate tech provision at home to enable them to teach remotely. With remote learning likely to continue in some capacity for many schools and being a daily fact of life for ill or excluded children, the research suggests major challenges with the UK’s readiness to support remote education. The findings come from new research among 700 teachers in 200 schools across the UK which revealed that 47 per cent said they did not have adequate technology at home to enable them to carry out teaching work remotely. Broken up, 24 per cent had internet access, but they did not have a suitable device on which to work; 16 per cent had reliable internet, but only had one suitable device at home that had to be shared with others in their household; and seven per cent said their internet
connection did not have adequate data. Many respondents also lacked access to a suitable device for home working, with 20 per cent saying they had access to a mobile phone but no other suitable device. 66 per cent had access to a laptop and 11 per cent said they had access to a desktop computer. Just 53 per cent said their home internet set-up was fully suitable for home working. If these results were representative of the wider UK teaching population, this would mean between 250,000 and 295,000 teachers are lacking suitable means to deliver remote teaching from home. According to Ofcom research from April 2021, digital poverty affects millions, with 1.5m UK homes still having no internet access. On top of this, during the pandemic, 20 per cent of children did not always have a device for online learning while schools were closed, and four per cent of school-age children had to rely solely on mobile internet access during the pandemic. This means that low-income families have additional costs to consider in order to make sure their children have access to online learning. The results of this survey will form part of the guidance that the DPA uses as it seeks to work with government, business, charity and not for profit stakeholders to drive a national digital poverty strategy. As part of this, the DPA will be launching a Community Board and digital community platform this autumn to bring together key voices in this area. CLICK TO READ MORE
Record numbers of young people have been awarded Computing A-level and are choosing to study computer science at degree level, analysis by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, reveals. This year sees record number of students placed on Computer Science degree courses, with an increase of five per cent from 2020, according to UCAS data. Data also show that the number students placed on Computer Science degree has increased 60 per cent over the last decade. BCS, has welcomed the rise, which has also seen a nine per cent increase in female students placed on undergraduate Computer Science degrees in the UK. There are variations across the UK countries, with the number of students from England placed on Computer Science degree courses up by six per cent; from Scotland up five per cent; Wales remains the same, and Northern Ireland down 14 per cent. The numbers of young people awarded computing at A level across the UK has also risen, with an increase of 11 per cent from last year. Computer Science is the fastest growing STEM A level, with numbers in England rising by 12 per cent (compared to 6.4 per cent overall for STEM subjects; Maths and Further Maths, Computer Science, Biology, Physics and Chemistry). In Scotland, Computer Science is also increasing in popularity with data showing a seven per cent increase in the number of students awarded Computer Science Higher. More female students than ever took Computer Science A-level this year, with these figures showing an increase of 13 per cent on 2020. The numbers of female students choosing Computer Science A-level in 2021 has increased by over 350 per cent since 2015, according to analysis of A-level results data by BCS. In Scotland, 17 per cent of Computer Science Highers have been awarded to female students this year. Women now make up 15 per cent of all A level entries and are also achieving high grades – with more than 51 per cent (45 per cent in 2020) of female students receiving a ‘high’ (A-A*) Computer Science grade in 2021, compared with 43 per cent (35 per cent in 2020) of male students. CLICK TO READ MORE
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Creating an environment that is clean, hygienic and safe How can educational facilities ensure that they are providing clean, hygienic, and safe environments when their students and staff return in September? Nviro is convinced that the three areas each establishment needs to focus on are personal hygiene, air quality and protected surfaces Following the success of the vaccination programme roll out across the country, we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Yet uncertainty is rife amongst the education sector who are responsible for the section of our community that have not been vaccinated. We have all been warned that the Coronavirus is with us for the foreseeable future and likely to remain an issue for schools, colleges and universities through the autumn and winter months. In addition to this the usual winter bugs will also be ever present. So how can educational facilities ensure that they are providing clean, hygienic, and safe environments when their students and staff return in September? Nviro have been ahead of the game throughout the pandemic as they already employed so many of the technologies, methodologies and products needed to keep their educational partners safe through this unprecedented time. As a professional cleaning service, they are continually looking for the next step and are convinced that the three areas each establishment needs to focus on are personal hygiene, air quality and protected surfaces. Personal hygiene The pandemic has reminded us that the best way to protect ourselves is through prevention, a key part of this is practising good personal hygiene. This involves frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a hand sanitiser before and after touching common surfaces like door handles, handrails, and shared kitchen facilities. Follow physical distancing guidelines where possible, and use a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand. Air quality Throughout the pandemic schools had to resort to turning up the heating and opening all the
windows and doors to ensure ventilation. The obvious concern with this was the impact on the environment, with heat conservation literally out the window and school’s budgets being pushed to the limit and beyond. But the impact on the educational attainment of our children and young people has been overlooked by those outside of the sector. Children learning in coats and gloves were a familiar sight, but this is not an environment conducive to learning and we all want to do what we can to ensure we mitigate the detrimental affect the need for ventilation has on education this coming autumn. Through air filtration and 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 and less drowsiness. Air filtration is often a cost neutral solution as it is offset against the savings in energy bills. Cross-infection viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19, are known to be higher in enclosed spaces with multiple occupancy and inadequate external ventilation. Viral particles, usually contained within tiny liquid droplets, are expelled by infected people every breath. Where the droplets are sufficiently small, air currents have a greater effect upon them than gravity, and they can remain suspended in the air almost indefinitely, posing an infection risk to others in the same space. Ensuring adequate protection is complicated by the fact that infected persons are typically most infectious before symptoms arise. Reducing the risk of airborne transmission requires the dilution of viral particles that are in the air and can be achieved through air filtration by installing air purifiers to remove airborne contaminants like bacteria from
the air, or through air sterilisation which uses ultraviolet technologies to kill airborne pathogens and harmful viruses and bacteria. Bio shield technology Antimicrobial coatings are increasingly being deployed across the educational sector to protect all building users. Using electrostatic technology to spray and wrap the chemical over and around surfaces and touchpoints, the bio shield layer forms a lasting protective coating on all targeted surfaces, which prevents viruses and bacteria from attaching, breeding, or surviving on the surface. This layer remains on surfaces for a whole month or more, continuing to destroy the pathogens upon contact, whilst also allowing cleaning to continue with no degradation to the effectiveness of the protective layer. Antimicrobial bio shields are suitable for a wide range of surfaces. The product’s strong bond to the surface ensures a lasting hold and neutralises a range of bacteria and viruses as well as fungi, algae, mould, yeast, and spores. In effect, bio shields provide an inhospitable surface for pathogens to live or grow on. Conclusion COVID-19 has undoubtedly been a challenge for us all, with the adverse effect on education through lost days being well publicised. As a nation we are more aware than ever of the importance of reducing the impact of viruses in our schools, colleges, and universities, be those seasonal illnesses or an outbreak. The cleaning industry has worked in partnership with the education sector in maximising attendance rates and minimising budgets that are stretched through the need to finance cover teaching. This work has been underpinned by a range of hygiene reporting methodologies to evidence the effectiveness of the above, providing reassurance to building users and stakeholders that they are in an environment that is clean, hygienic, and safe. L Our team are available to provide advice and support at this time. Should you have any questions or feel we can help please contact us below. FURTHER INFORMATION firstname.lastname@example.org 0800 032 1334 www.nviro.co.uk
BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR DECISION MAKERS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION | www.educationbusinessuk.net
While health and safety has always been one the top priorities for schools, it took on a new meaning during the pandemic: students had to stick to their bubbles, follow strict one-way routes and teach remotely when students needed to self-isolate. It’s fair to say these measures took some getting used to for most of us, however, a new perspective on cleaning and hygiene could be the fundamental change we need when it comes to preventing the spread of infection in schools. The future of cleaning in schools When it comes to the cleaning routines adopted by schools after the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important we understand what our school leaders want. In a survey conducted by the NHS Deep Cleaning and Advisory Service with our education contacts across the country, it was found that cleaning regimes and products were a top priority for schools when they reopened in March, with 63 per cent saying it was their highest priority. What is even more encouraging is 80 per cent of school leaders surveyed want enhanced cleaning regimes (such as those provided by the NHS Deep Cleaning and Advisory Service) to stay in place after the pandemic. These findings are really promising. While almost all school leaders surveyed recognised the importance of cleaning and hygiene during the pandemic, it seems this newfound appreciation of cleanliness standards is here to stay. Education is just as important for staff as it is for students Another key finding from the survey is that 77 per cent of schools believe it would be beneficial to teach students about the importance of cleaning, for instance giving them guidance on proper handwashing techniques.
Even the basic skills like handwashing make a massive difference when it comes to preventing the transference of infection in schools. Furthermore, the younger children are when they learn these techniques, the more likely they are to continue practicing those techniques, as they grow older. After all, who was washing their hands for 20 seconds while humming ‘Happy Birthday’ prior to the pandemic? Now, practices like this should simply be habit for the most of us. While we all appreciate the lengths cleaners go to keep public spaces safe and hygienic, I believe it is vitally important that everyone have at least the basic knowledge when it comes to cleaning practices. In schools, that includes teaching staff too. After all, cleaners cannot be in the classroom every hour of the day to conduct a deep clean, so it is those extra precautions like wiping down desks and touchpoints in between lessons that make a real difference.
In addition, surfaces should be cleaned using a figure-of-eight motion, ensuring all areas of the surface are disinfected. In order to stay updated with the latest cleaning techniques, its important sufficient training on best cleaning practices is extended to teachers as well as cleaning staff, too. Cleaning ‘the NHS way’ While cleaning has become a top priority for not only schools during the pandemic, but also the general public on a whole, it is important people invest in a reputable cleaning provider for professional support and guidance. For example, the NHS Deep Cleaning and Advisory Service has worked with hundreds of schools across the UK to extend the official NHS protocol for cleanliness. By providing its training course, Cleaning the NHS Way, which was developed within the NHS and is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), it sets an official standard that can be measured and audited against. Investing in such training offers reassurance to staff, students and parents that their schools are cleaned in line official set standards of cleanliness and adhering to the ever-changing policies and procedures during and after the pandemic.
Touchpoint cleaning So, what exactly is touchpoint cleaning? Touchpoint cleaning is the process of disinfecting surfaces and key features that people make contact with frequently throughout the day – in a classroom Touchpo Future-proofing cleaning that could be cleaning int To summarise, while the Covidanything from a is 19 pandemic has brought whiteboard to the pro significant challenges to a swivel chair. disinfec cess of t in the education sector, the The touchpoint g s urfaces and key newfound appreciation for cleaning f e a tures th people proper cleaning practices and process a t make co protocols within the wider eliminates n t act with fre community will undoubtedly the presence q through uently benefit cleanliness standards of pathogens out the in schools in the long-term. and prevents day While the current focus for schools their transference has been to prevent the spread of from one surface Covid-19 within the classroom, enhanced to another, ultimately levels of hygiene will likely help to reduce helping reduce the spread of sickness levels for both staff and students by infection within that environment. preventing the spread of infections we often However, in addition to identifying your expect to spike each winter, such as norovirus key touchpoints in a classroom, it is also and influenza. Ultimately, by enhancing the important for teachers to know how to frequency and standard of cleaning regimes clean them properly. This all comes down within schools now, we are making a huge to knowing the right technique. Perhaps step in future-proofing cleaning practices in most importantly (and what many people the education sector for the long-term. L do not realise) is that a new cloth must be used for each surface you clean. Without following this simple rule, you run the risk FURTHER INFORMATION of cleaning one surface and contaminating www.deepcleaning.nhs.uk each additional surface cleaned thereafter.
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Written by Tony Sullivan, environmental and decontamination manager, NHS Deep Cleaning and Advisory Service
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges to the education sector, the newfound appreciation for proper cleaning practices and protocols will undoubtedly benefit cleanliness standards in schools in the long-term, writes Tony Sullivan, environmental and decontamination manager at the NHS Deep Cleaning and Advisory Service
A new perspective on cleaning and hygiene
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The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the issue of indoor air quality into sharper focus, as ventilation and air purification have been shown to reduce the spread of the virus. We look at recent measures to improve the indoor air quality of education settings Indoor air quality has received greater attention during the Covid-19 pandemic, as ventilation, fresh air and air purification have been shown to reduce the spread of the virus by removing air that contains virus particles. As such, the government has announced that education settings will be provided with carbon dioxide monitors from September. The new monitors will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working. The majority of c. 300,000 monitors will become available over the autumn term, with special schools and alternative provision prioritised to receive their full allocation from September given their higher-thanaverage numbers of vulnerable pupils. CO2 monitors are portable so schools and other settings will be able to move them around to test their full estate, starting with areas they suspect may be poorly ventilated. The programme will provide schools and other settings with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across the indoor spaces in their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time.
Indoor Air Quality
A spotlight on indoor air quality
Thirty primaries are involved in the randomised trial, with a third equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, a third with UV purifiers and the final ‘control’ group continuing without any special equipment. In the schools with devices, the kit will be placed in any room that staff or children are spending substantial time in. It is hoped the air purifiers and UV lights will also help reduce absence due to cold and flu infections, and improve the air quality for those with asthma and hay fever.
Healthier classrooms The Welsh Government will be investing £2.58m for over 30,000 CO2 ‘traffic Schools and colleges are expected to receive light’ monitors, for teaching and at least partial allocations during the autumn learning spaces such as classrooms, term, enabling all settings to monitor areas seminar rooms or lecture halls. where they believe airflow may be weakest. As CO2 monitors include sensors which provide the monitors are rolled out the Department for a visual signal of deteriorating internal air Education will provide guidance on their use. quality. The monitors will alert teachers and lecturers when CO2 levels rise, notifying them Air purification trial when air quality needs to improve, thereby The government has also launched a trial aiding the control of ventilation during the of air purifiers in 30 schools in Bradford, winter. This will help maintain which is designed to assess the comfortable temperatures for technology in education settings learners and staff during and whether they could reduce The colder periods, reduce the risk of transmission. governm heat loss and save With the first results from e n t has ann on energy costs. the trial due before the o u n ced that ed What’s more, end of the year, it could £3.31m will be pave the way for a rollout settingsucation wil provided for new of the technology across provide d with l be ozone disinfecting the country in 2022. carbon dioxide machines, to reduce The research is being cleaning times, conducted by the Centre for from Se monitors ptembe improve disinfection Applied Education Research r and reduce costs. The – a collaboration involving funding is expected to the universities of Leeds, supply more than 1,800 Bradford and York, Bradford Council machines, at least one for every E and the Department for Education.
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Indoor Air Quality
school, college and university in Wales. The time and cost of cleaning rooms was identified as an issue for schools and colleges early in the pandemic. To address the issue, the Welsh Government asked Swansea University to establish an Ozone Classroom Decontamination Project, backed by Welsh Government funding. Scientists at the university have developed an Ozone disinfecting machine, now in production, which can be deployed for this task. The machines can be used to quickly disinfect classrooms when clusters of Covid-19 or other communicable viruses are identified, such as norovirus. Dr Chedly Tizaoui of Swansea University, part of the team who designed the ozone disinfection machine, said: “I am delighted that the ozone technology we developed at Swansea University will support efforts to eradicate Covid-19 in Wales. Reducing the spread of coronavirus in our educational institutions is vitally important, so our children and students can get back to the classroom. “Ozone is potent against Covid-19 virus and due to its gaseous nature, it kills the virus whether be it airborne or adhered to a surface. Thanks to the support received from the Welsh Government and the Active Buildings pioneered by SPECIFIC, our research demonstrated that buildings can be Active on the inside and the ozone treatment developed here can be incorporated to support cleaning and disinfection of public buildings.”
The government has launched a trial of air purifiers in 30 schools in Bradford, which is designed to assess the technology in education settings and whether they could reduce the risk of transmission around schools. Measures include ‘no car zones’, no idling campaigns, and the promotion of active travel on the school run. Schools are also encouraged to make use of “The Clean Air Schools Framework”, a free online tool that gives teachers,
headteachers, parents and local authorities a bespoke blueprint of actions for tackling air pollution in and around the school. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.gov.uk
Harmful pollutants Data that was revealed on this year’s Clean Air Day revealed that over a quarter (27 per cent) of all UK schools are located in areas which are above World Health Organization (WHO) air pollution limits for the pollutant PM2.5 (10ug/m3). The data collected by EarthSense is the most comprehensive and up-to-date sample of air pollution taken from all schools across the UK and is based on data input from a 2019 annual average data set. The data measures concentrations of PM2.5 (Particulate Matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less). PM2.5 is formed of tiny particles that can cross from the lungs into the blood and then move around the body causing conditions such as heart and lung disease. The WHO Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) offer global guidance on thresholds and limits for key air pollutants that pose health risks. Of the 7,852 schools above the WHO PM2.5 limit of 10ug/m3, including nursery, primary, secondary and sixth forms, 98 per cent (7692) are in England. In London, 25 per cent of schools (1973) are above the WHO PM2.5 limit - with notable boroughs including, 158 in Lambeth & Southwark, 146 in Romford, 129 in Croydon, 119 in Twickenham, 116 in Brixton, and 95 in Ilford. Starting in the womb, toxic air can harm children’s health, causing or triggering asthma, damaging lung development, and as revealed on Clean Air Day 2020, it can even affect their ability to learn. Schools and councils are encouraged to adopt measures to reduce pollution
BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR DECISION MAKERS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION | www.educationbusinessuk.net
Towards a greener classroom next semester with Philips monitors The pandemic showed that technological equipment in most educational institutions was inadequate for today’s computerised world. What’s more, the climate emergency has become more apparent than ever. So before equipping schools and universities with up-to-date technology, decision-makers must certainly factor in this crucial point
After a disruptive year that challenged the education sector, pupils and teachers have now returned to their physical classrooms. During the past year, the expectations of teachers, pupils and students changed quite a lot. With remote working and teaching, the importance of computers, displays and related devices became abundantly clear and e-learning, which was underutilised in the past, became the primary means of education. Now that “the genie is out of the bottle”, many realised the benefits and shortcomings of remote learning. However, this development will change how we think about education, forever. Philips monitors is ready for the next step. Innovative solutions, such as the 24” Philips 243B9H monitor with a built-in webcam, turned out to be one of many future-proof solutions that were in high demand to meet today’s challenges. With the increased need of webcams, a built-in webcam is a lifesaver in remote learning classes. Now, as the education system has returned back to classrooms, another challenge is waiting for the institutions. The pandemic showed that technological equipment in most of these institutions was inadequate for today’s information-focussed, computerised world, and in dire need of catching-up. Furthermore, our planet has another large – or even the largest by far – problem, the climate emergency. So before equipping schools and universities with upto-date technological gear, decision-makers must certainly factor in this crucial point. Philips monitors created some of the most environmentally-friendly displays available, the greenest monitor series, which
includes the 24” Philips 242B1G and the drafts, writing formulas in the math/physics 27” Philips 272B1G. Not only are these classes, interacting with dynamic multimedia monitors as proficient as regular screens content for a more comprehensive learning with their IPS panels and ergonomic session, these are all possible with touch stands, they are packed with several displays. Philips monitors has an extensive energy-saving features. Thanks to their touch monitor portfolio, with options new LED backlight technology, the monitors especially suited for educational institutions. maintain brightness and colour with The 24” touch-display Philips 242B1TC significantly less energy (8.6 W in ECO uses the Advanced In-Cell Touch technology mode), and are certified with the new Energy alongside a modern and slim look with thin Label Class C. Furthermore, all body plastic bezels as well as an anti-glare surface – parts, metal chassis parts and packing perfect against bright school lighting. This materials use 100 per cent recyclable Full HD monitor with its IPS panel supports materials, and up to 85 per cent postsimultaneous 10-point touch input, which consumer recycled plastics are used. Also, means all fingers can be pressed at once the PowerSensor and LightSensor features and recognised precisely. The touch input can reduce the power consumption even is supported natively in Windows 10. The more and lengthen the life of the product. innovative Philips SmartStand uses a Z-type To underline this green approach, structure with smooth tilt, height adjustment Philips monitors plants trees in Tanzania and folding capabilities. Users can set the in collaboration with ForestNation, a stand in an upright position for better touch foundation that encourages natural control or recline it backwards, making it and sustainable reforestation. More easy to draw or annotate. It even allows the than 50.000 trees are to be planted in screen to be put almost flat on the table Tanzania’s Usambara region, which for some applications when required. experienced heavy deforestation in the Whatever the model, it is apparent that past 15 years. By creating jobs in tree educational institutions benefit from nurseries, planting sites and involving the updating their gear to get in line with local students in the planting process, today’s challenges, and Philips monitors the campaign has a positive impact not is here to support this process. L Shield_RGB_2013 only on the environment but it is for the benefit of the local communities as well. FURTHER INFORMATION Affordable options Institutions that need to level up their equipment in large numbers might prefer to focus on affordable options with great value, such as screens from Philips monitors S1 line. The reliable and essential 24” Philips 242S1AE is equipped with an IPS panel offering vivid, natural colours and features a slim, modern look and a fully ergonomic stand for each pupil or student to adjust it to their comfort. Similar to the green monitors, the S1 line also uses 100 per cent recyclable packaging and uses up to 85 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic. With all these great features, this model’s cost doesn’t even go past the £150 mark. It is now as clear as day that Gen Z has experience with touch-sensitive displays from a very early age. In fact, it might be the first and the primary method of interacting with digital content for them. So why not implement this intuitive input method into the classroom? Drawing shapes and
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Upgrading school buildings in need
Design & Build
A further fifty schools have been confirmed for the government’s ten-year rebuilding programme, which seeks to invest in schools in England in the worst condition. We look at some of the new schools chosen and get an update on building projects selected in the first round of funding The School Rebuilding Programme, which was launched in June 2020, aims to deliver 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade. The first 50 projects were confirmed in February 2021, supported by over £1 billion in funding, and now the second 50 projects have been announced, which included primary, secondary and special and alternative provision schools. The rebuilds and refurbishments will create modern education environments, providing new facilities from classrooms and science labs, to sports halls and dining rooms. The new school buildings will also be net-zero carbon in operation, helping meet the Government’s net zero target. Funding for individual projects in the School Rebuilding programme will be determined when the scope and delivery plans at each school are developed. Projects will range from replacing or refurbishing individual buildings through to whole school rebuilds. The most advanced projects from the first round of the programme will begin construction in autumn 2021, and the majority of the confirmed projects are expected to complete within three to five years. Commenting on the confirmation of the next 50 projects, Education Secretary,
Gavin Williamson said: “The environment children are taught in makes such an enormous difference to their education. “This programme will give thousands more young people the chance to learn in world class school facilities, levelling up opportunity and making sure every young person has the chance to succeed, progress and fulfil their potential. “As we build back better after the pandemic, with buildings that are net-zero in operation, this major ten-year rebuilding programme will help to shape the education of not only children now, but for years to come.”
Baroness Berridge to raise the case for Orchards. A petition was presented in the House of Commons calling for the site in St Mary’s Road to be rebuilt and was signed by 1,333 people. Speaking on the announcement, Trott said: “I am delighted. I know from my visits just how urgently repair is needed, and it has been wonderful to see the local community truly getting behind this campaign. “The pupils and teachers of this school deserve a safe and inspiring building in which to learn. I am over the moon the government has listened to our campaign and will rebuild Orchards Academy.” The other schools in Kent to receive funding are St Mary’s Primary, Pilgrim’s Way Primary and Wrotham School.
Investment in Kent Four schools in Kent have been chosen to be on the rebuilding programme. Orchards Academy is one of them, after local Much needed funding MPs and school and council Projects Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow, leaders ran a campaign to Essex, is another school improve the school. in the that has been selected Laura Trott MP, School Rebuild for a rebuild as part who formed part in g Program of the programme. of the campaign, me range f says she lobbied Commenting, rom rep will lacing o education secretary Ms Helena Mills refurbis r hing in Gavin Williamson CBE, CEO of BMAT dividua b u il d ings th l and minister EDUCATION, said: E
ro whole s ugh to choo rebuilds l
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Four schools in Kent have been chosen to be on the rebuilding programme. Orchards Academy is one of them, after local MPs and school and council leaders ran a campaign to improve the school “We are delighted that Burnt Mill Academy has been chosen as one of the next 50 schools to be rebuilt through the Department for Education’s Schools Rebuilding Programme. “This is fantastic news for our pupils, staff and the wider community in Harlow. This much-needed investment, in an area of high deprivation, will enable all of our children to learn in modern purpose-built school designed for 21st century learning.” Trinity Academy Bradford, has also been chosen to have their school rebuilt. A spokesperson for the school said: “Trinity Academy Bradford are excited to announce that we have been selected by the Government as part of their national School Rebuilding Programme. “This means that the school buildings will be replaced or refurbished providing modern, state of the art facilities from classrooms and science labs, to sports halls and dining rooms. “We are excited for the students of Trinity Academy Bradford to finally receive the world class facilities that they deserve.
Next steps will be announced soon.” Spon Gate Primary School in Coventry has been included in the latest 50 schools to benefit from the programme. Cllr Kindy Sandhu, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We are thrilled that Spon Gate Primary has been included in the second phase of the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme. “It means Spon Gate Primary School will be rebuilt/refurbished, providing modern, sustainable, energy efficient education provision, supporting teachers to deliver a high-quality education. “This project is another example of investment into Coventry’s schools for the benefit of our children.” Little Reddings in Bushey has also been selected to be on the School’s Rebuilding Programme. Oliver Dowden, Hertsmere MP and Culture Secretary, said: “It is fantastic news that Little Reddings Primary School has been selected as one of the next 50 schools to be improved through our rebuilding programme.
“I am committed to ensuring that our children receive the education they deserve and this announcement will mean that the staff at Little Reddings Primary have the facilities they need to teach the next generation of Bushey children.”
Design & Build
Progress for the first rebuilds Littleborough Community Primary School in Rochdale was chosen to have a rebuild in the first round of the funding. Now plans have been submitted for a replacement building, which proposes to demolish the old building and build a two-storey building with 14 classrooms, a library and multi-use games area. It has been designed to be one of the first ‘net-zero carbon in operation’ primary schools in the country, with measures including the use of high efficiency air source heat pumps, natural ventilation and LED lamps. Work at the three-acre site is to be carried out in phases to minimise disruption and allow the school to continue to run as normal. St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan was also chosen for a rebuilding in the first round of funding. The school is awaiting planning approval for a new three-storey teaching block and sports hall, as well as new multi-use games areas, car parking, and hard and soft landscaping works to improve access across the site. It is hoped that planning approval will be secured in December and building work will begin in January. The new school should be completed by September 2024. E
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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.
The company can offer a variety of highly respected brands, including Luxonic, which has been manufactured to the highest UK quality standards at their Basingstoke HQ for the last 34 years, and proudly bears the ‘Made in Britain’ marque.
Lighting accounts for around half of the electricity used in a typical school. - www.gov.co.uk -
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Construction firm Wates has created a virtual walk through of the building. Headteacher Alison Rigby said: “We are so excited to see the plans, especially the animated tour where the new school looks amazing! “This is such a fantastic opportunity for the school, creating innovative teaching and learning spaces and raising aspirations across the community. “This new-build project will boost our curriculum offer and provide fantastic facilities in which our learning community will continue to flourish. “Just watching the animated tour brings the new developments to life and hopefully this will help our young people feel even more and invested in and – ultimately - loved.” Rossendale high school has put forward proposals for the whole school to be demolished with the exception of the Sports Hall which is to be retained without any alterations. A new L-shaped building will accommodate the teaching block, school hall, dining areas and staff offices. The building will vary in height between two to three storeys with a flat, green roof created on the new teaching block. Between the new school building and the Sports Hall, there will be a landscaped communal courtyard with a covered external dining/teaching facility, a proposed structure to house pv and around the perimeter of this area will be a seating wall with a landscaped embankment behind it. There will also be a Performance Space Amphitheatre with
Design & Build
The Department for Education has launched a consultation to gather views on how to prioritise schools for the remainder of the programme, following calls for more transparency on how schools are chosen terraced seating in the embankment. Two grass football pitches have also been proposed and the existing grassed playing fields and hard surfaced multi-use game areas will remain. The redevelopment has a 2023 target completion date. Lytham St Annes High School in Ansdell meanwhile has submitted proposals to build a new large two-storey teaching building and a new sports centre at the site. Plans also include relocating the car park as well as two sports courts. Consultation on future rounds The Department for Education is also launching a consultation to gather views on how to prioritise schools for the remainder of the programme, following calls for more transparency on how schools are chosen. The first 50 schools were identified in data collected by the department in the Condition Data Collection and verified through collecting additional condition information. The CDC was commissioned by the
department and collected data is the only comprehensive and consistent set of data on the condition of schools in England. The department says it defines rebuilding need, in order of priority, as structural or safety issues that mean a building is not fit for use, or is likely to become unfit for use soon, because it poses a risk to users. Building need is also assessed by whether there is severe deterioration in the main building fabric meaning that the most efficient way of returning a building to good condition is to rebuild it or carry out a significant total refurbishment. Another factor in rebuild consideration is if mechanical and electrical systems are close to failure and could cause a school building to close in the near future, but only if this would require a major refurbishment to rectify, or if there is other need in the building fabric that makes a refurbishment/rebuild most efficient overall. Calls for more transparency There have been calls for more transparency in how the schools are chosen, given E Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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that the government had not published national data or ranking of schools. The headteacher from Framwellgate School in Durham was one school leader calling for more transparency. The school was due to be rebuilt under Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme but was cancelled when the scheme was cancelled. Some of the school’s buildings date back to the mid-1960s, and the site suffers from flooding, leaks, and problems with heating. 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”. The consultation on the future of prioritising schools, which closes on October 2021, says: “We want to hear the views of schools and those responsible for school buildings, in particular, on the proposals we have developed to ensure we replace the buildings most in need.” Investment in Wales The Welsh Government has announced an additional £50m towards improvements to school buildings across Wales. The capital funding will allow local authorities to focus on large-scale maintenance projects, such as replacement roofs, new window systems or heating and ventilation works, rather than small scale routine repairs. The funding is in addition to the Welsh Government’s 21st century Schools and Colleges programme, which has seen 170 new schools or colleges built in its first phase, with a further 43 projects already approved for its second phase. Further Education colleges have already been allocated an extra £10m for maintenance and small scale projects this year. Councillor Ian Roberts, Welsh Local Government Association’s Education Spokesperson, said: “We welcome this extra £50m funding which will help local authorities to maintain their school estates. This is in addition to the wider 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme, which has seen so many new buildings being
Littleborough Community Primary School in Rochdale was chosen to have a rebuild in the first round of the funding. Now plans have been submitted to demolish the old school and build a two-storey building with 14 classrooms, a library and multi-use games area built in communities across Wales to enhance learners’ education experience. “Such a transformative work programme would not have been possible without strong partnership working between local authorities and Welsh Government, and I look forward to continuing that joint effort into the next phase of the programme.” T-Level facilities and spaces The Department for Education has announced it will be investing £50 million in colleges, schools and sixth forms delivering T levels across England from 2022 to improve and expand teaching spaces and facilities. Sixty-five building projects will receive a share of the funding, where they will get industry quality equipment for hands-on experience right from the start of their training, and high-tech classrooms. The funding will be used to refurbish buildings and facilities, including upgrading classrooms and creating specialist spaces such as teaching wards, and building or improving laboratories for health and science students. West Suffolk College is one of the providers to receive a share of the investment, to
Design & Build
refurbish and create new facilities to deliver Digital T Level courses, including a mixed reality suite to explore uses of coding, and specialist classrooms and collaborative teaching spaces to enable informal learning. Tameside College will create a health skills ward to support teaching on the Health and Science route, and Birchwood Community High School in Warrington will refurbish spaces to create a new laboratory and other spaces to teach Health and Science. Dr Paul Phillips, CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College Group said: “The successful application for the T Level Capital Fund Building and Facilities Improvement Grant has enabled Weston College to transform facilities and develop new opportunities for learners to work with state of the art resources. As we move forward with the government’s skills strategy via the White Paper, funding such as this is paramount to realising the highly positive aims and objectives from central government.” L FURTHER INFORMATION www.gov.uk
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Meeting the demand for bigger and better schools The demand for new school places is a Quicker and Safer pressing issue for councils all over the UK. Last year the Wernick Scottish division The situation is starting to improve thanks to experienced its busiest summer to date, government funding, but councils still face tripling its turnover. Summer 2019 is a number of challenges. With the increasing expected to be even busier following the focus on the environment and growing Scottish Government’s announcement energy costs, councils are under more of a £1 billion fund for rebuilding and pressure than ever to deliver energyrefurbishing Scotland’s schools efficient spaces, within stringent in November 2018. Modula budgets and timescales. Edinburgh and The r Safety of pupils and Highlands Council took schools minimising disruption receipt of nineteen new , delivere d during term time, modular buildings t o s it segmen e in remains a pressing and from Wernick last ts over two or three d challenging issue. summer. Installation ay This need to focus on fit out and inspection to resolv s are helping a myriad of challenges took place over the e many problem of the including the task of summer vacation and s encou ensuring the future the buildings were ntered by the educatio sustainability of schools ready for pupils upon n in their area, means returning to school. sector. that councils are uniquely Ben Wernick, director placed to take advantage of of construction at Wernick modern methods of construction. explains: “Modular building projects Modular schools, delivered to site in can be completed up to 50 per cent quicker segments over two or three days are than traditional construction methods as helping to resolve many of the problems the factory controlled ‘offsite’ construction encountered by the education sector. And process can take place alongside site and new frameworks are revolutionising the foundations work which also means very school building procurement process. little delay due to the weather. Finishing
Polegate School Photo ©Wernick
buildings over the summer holidays means no disruption to teaching and no risk to pupils.” Changing Perceptions More and more schools are switching on to the speed of factory manufactured buildings, but what about the aesthetic? The characterless demountables of the past have given way to digitally-led, modern designs, indistinguishable from traditionally constructed buildings and lauded by architectural firms such as ÜberRaum and Glancy Nicholls. “The preconceptions are there but the reality is that when people walk into a modern modular building that Wernick has manufactured, they realise this is a big step up from what they’re used to,” commented Chris Hart, who has found that old feelings towards modular buildings die hard: “I’ve heard of teaching staff trying their best to avoid moving into the new building. Once the building has been handed over, they are trying to get in there first! They’re warmer, cleaner, bright and airy. From a teaching perspective, it’s a considerable improvement on a lot of the accommodation the teachers are currently working in.”
Written by Jackie Maginnis from the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA)
Modular buildings are helping to resolve many of the problems encountered by the education sector when undertaking new build or refurbishment projects. Jackie Maginnis from the Modular and Portable Building Association explains how
Design & Build
Quality Control Constructing buildings offsite, in a controlled environment, means that a building can be made water-tight and weather resistant with quality controls ongoing throughout the build. Modern modular buildings are simple to maintain, well insulated and achieve high EPC rating. Sustainable technologies can be easily incorporated into the design to further support their eco credentials. Chris Hart says that the feedback on Wernick’s projects has been overwhelmingly positive, adding: “Using factory construction, we can build faster, to higher standards, and at any time of the year. There are also environmental benefits with reduced waste and less emissions. In modular construction we can really meet a lot of the requirements in the education sector – that’s why we think it’s a perfect match.” L FURTHER INFORMATION www.mpba.biz
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Providing a safer environment for your students and staff
With decades of experience in the Education Sector, Lucion Environmental can be your perfect partner for asbestos management and ongoing compliance at your educational facility. Find out more about our work to prevent exposure to asbestos and other hazardous materials in educational establishments. Contact us today: 0345 5040 303 | firstname.lastname@example.org | lucionenvironmental.com
Helping schools and higher education establishments with asbestos-related safety and compliance
At Lucion, we take our role as risk management and safety specialists very seriously, with decades of experience in the Education Sector. We partner with clients throughout the UK, providing asbestos management and ongoing compliance. We live in a world where asbestos exposure in schools and higher education facilities is a real danger, with the possibility of harmful airborne asbestos fibres being present in educational buildings and classrooms risking the safety of staff and pupils alike. This can lead to damaging health effects and in severe cases, leading to fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos. Sadly, 2,400 people die from Mesothelioma each year in the UK alone. The number of teachers (22 teachers died in the UK last year) dying from mesothelioma is increasing and the risk posed to children in schools is currently unknown. Thousands of schools built between the 1950s and 1985 are particularly at
risk, before the UK outlawed the import and use of some types of asbestos used in building materials and products, it was used extensively in the construction of schools during this period. The range of construction ages and types in this sector is vast, not to mention the various different types of CLASP buildings still occupied and used today. This makes it vitally important that experts in asbestos consultancy, such as Lucion, with an extensive range of specialist building knowledge within this sector, are engaged to accurately assess the risk within each premise individually depending upon the ages and build type. Lucion has worked with over 60 individual local authorities in the last two years, independent schools and higher education facilities, who have seen the benefits of the innovative technology that Lucion provides to manage the risk of asbestos. This enables Lucion’s clients to take the next step in managing the risk of asbestos safely within their estates, moving beyond compliance to best practice. Utilising the advanced technology unique to Lucion, working practices that
our clients typically require in this sector, the flexibility to work outside normal working hours and the ability to respond efficiently to emergency situations makes us the perfect partner in your journey to a safer environment for your staff and pupils. In addition, to safeguard those who use your properties, everyone that works for Lucion is DBS checked every two years, in smart liveried uniforms and vehicles and wearing photographic ID cards that make no direct reference to asbestos, to minimise any alarm this may cause. If you would like to talk to one of our team about how our services could help you and your organisation, or if you just want to learn more about managing asbestos in your schools or higher education facilities, please contact us today. Submit an online Enquiry or email email@example.com and our team will get back to you within 24 hours.L FURTHER INFORMATION www.lucionenvironmental.com/ sectors/education
Asbestos Written by John McClean, Chair, Joint Union Asbestos Campaign (JUAC)
Calling for the phased removal of asbestos Some twenty years on from the full ban on asbestos in construction, its presence in many older school buildings remains a national problem. John McClean, Chair of the Joint Union Asbestos Campaign, discusses the dangers of asbestos and what needs to happen to tackle the problem Asbestos was used by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans in a number of products that helped control heat and fire. The use of asbestos in the UK grew with the industrial revolution. As a natural mineral it was found to be both a very good thermal and sound insulator and was used extensively in many everyday objects, such as stands for hot irons due to its resistance to heat. By the late 19th century and early 20th century it was becoming obvious that manufacturing asbestos into household and industrial products was causing respiratory problems and early deaths in factory workers due to excessive dust exposure. A government commissioned report, the Merryweather report, in 1930 led to the first asbestos in factories regulations, though enforcement of these and other hygiene standards were notably lax.
in school building throughout the 1950s and The use of asbestos in buildings could be said 1960s. Indeed the demand was so great that to have come into its’ own after the second a process was developed known as System world war. Most major industrial cities Built Schools whereby classrooms suffered extensive bombing were fabricated off site and which resulted in a post war then assembled as adjoining building boom in both Childre n ’s rooms to facilitate a quicker social housing and lungs a building method. public buildings. As a r e still gro These usually contained relatively cheap, and wing an therefo large amounts of easy to use material, d asbestos many of which often sourced from likely to re more are still in use today. the Commonwealthd e v e respirat In 1965 it was usually Canada, ory diselop from ex scientifically established it was used very a posure ses that there was a clear link publicly in the asbesto to between asbestos exposure building of “Homes s and the development of fit for Heroes”. Mesothelioma, an incurable As the post war asbestos related lung disease. population grew there was a However workplace health and safety dramatic increase in the number of regulations were not developed to reflect E children being born, necessitating an increase Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
This situation has however been exacerbated by the austerity policies adopted by the coalition government from 2010. This did not just effect funding for refurbishment of schools but also a deregulatory agenda in respect of the health & safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which suffered a loss of funding and the exodus of experienced inspectors. In addition proactive health and safety inspections now exclude education premises even though the DfE’s own estimates state that over 80 per cent of schools contain some asbestos.
JUAC would like to see the resumption of proactive inspections in schools, a greater skilling of asbestos surveyors, clarification on the role of the Duty holder, and an open and transparent policy on asbestos control in schools for parents, pupils and staff this growing awareness and really only became slightly relevant with the overarching Health and Safety at Work regulations 1974, but without specific asbestos legislation, only with a general “Duty of care” approach. Historical asbestos use There has been a major shift in industrial working life over the last century. From being the manufacturing centre of the world for ships, trains and infrastructure, the UK has been overtaken by much of the developing world. Allied to the ban on the use of asbestos in 1999 this has resulted in the nature of asbestos exposure changing. Unfortunately this has not meant that exposure to asbestos has diminished, only that it has changed with the deindustrialisation of society. Previously those industries categorised as “Heavy” such as ship building, train building, construction and demolition which involved known exposure to asbestos fibres with inadequate regulations in place to protect the workers, the changing face of work means that those are less relevant today. Currently a worker is more likely to be exposed in a building where asbestos has not been managed safely or time and other factors such as disturbance or weathering has caused the release of asbestos fibres into the building environment. This may well be unknown to those being exposed! Asbestos in schools campaign When Gina Lees, a teacher, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, her husband Michael
was confused and distraught as many asbestos victims families often are. After her untimely death, Michael in 2007 with the help of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) , now the NEU, started the asbestos in schools campaign. This was a relatively loose grouping of asbestos victims, their families, teaching trade unions and solicitors, with only limited resources. In 2010 a new group, the Joint Union Asbestos Campaign (JUAC) was formed. This comprised of the head teacher trade unions, the teacher trade unions and the education support staff trade unions. It was felt that with specialist health and safety officers and a collaborative approach that more progress might be made in raising awareness on the issue of asbestos in schools. Why concentrate on asbestos in schools? Schools are not like any other workplaces as they contain children who by their nature do not act as adults do. They move in large groups are often curious and boisterous. And as the government committee on carcinogenicity concluded in 2013, their lungs are still growing and therefore more likely to develop respiratory diseases from exposure to asbestos. While many public and occupied buildings contain asbestos they are not under the direct control of the Department for Education (DfE) and subject to ministerial edict or funding controls. It would be fair to claim that successive governments have failed to take the issue of asbestos in schools seriously.
The scale of the problem A major problem when attempting to determine how much asbestos is still present in UK buildings is that no reliable records on how much was used were kept. Over the years with refurbishment and demolition some has been removed, but much remains. Following pressure from JUAC, the DfE carried out a voluntary survey to establish the extent of the problem, but the results were inconclusive, partly due to the fragmentation of the education estate. Another major issue with asbestos exposure is the long latency period from exposure to developing an asbestos related disease- anything from 20 to 50 years, which means we are still dealing with the history of industrial exposure. For over 25 years the HSE have stated that deaths from asbestos exposure are reaching a peak but they remain at over 5,000 per annum with mesothelioma contributing over 2,500 of these, more than those from road traffic accidents. A way forward The consequences of failing to deal with asbestos are twofold. Firstly the longer the asbestos is left in buildings the greater the deterioration of the asbestos with a greater release of the deadly fibres into the environment, And secondly the longer it is left” in situ” as recommended by the HSE the more expensive it becomes to remove and dispose of properly. JUAC recognises these problems and has consistently called for a phased removal of asbestos starting with asbestos that is in the most dangerous condition. We would also like to see the resumption of proactive inspections in schools, a greater skilling of asbestos surveyors, clarification on the role of the Duty holder with managerial responsibilities including better information, training and guidance, and an open and transparent policy on asbestos control in schools for parents, pupils and staff. In conclusion Obviously this is a major, albeit almost hidden, problem that needs a clear strategy and adequate resources to deal with. This will require a change of mindset to acknowledge and address this. JUAC remains committed to helping overcome the many obstacles that still exist in this awful situation. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.the-juac.co.uk
Understanding how a property’s assets contribute to efficiency performance, and how individual assets perform against technical criteria for sustainability, has never been more challenging
Finding the right path to sustainability The DfE cites good management as typically saving between 10 per cebt to 30 per cent of a school’s energy costs, but a shift to electric under Government plans has new implicit costs (both capital and operational). So identifying better, more relevant options is becoming increasingly important if energy spend is to be better managed while positively affecting budget. In light of the Government’s commitment to attaining Net Zero by 2050, the pressure is on for organisations receiving public sector funding to actively demonstrate what sustainability looks like across their estates. Securing expert support is therefore invaluable when it comes to identifying opportunities for efficiencies to lower energy consumption, reduce operating cost and lower or completely remove your estate’s carbon generation.
Constantly challenging performance, the Department for Education’s (DfE) is expected to increase the focus on propertyrelated efficiency, especially in terms of delivering sustainability across the estate. But understanding how a property’s assets contribute to that overall performance, and how individual assets perform against technical criteria for sustainability has never been more challenging. This demands a strategic approach, which requires informed knowledge to set real world targets. That can be a considerable challenge when faced with the complex, technical issues that surround commercial grade domestic hot water (DHW) and heating applications within schools. Not only are there physical limitations when it comes to technologies on offer, there are considerable variances in capital expense and ongoing operational costs that without doubt contribute considerably to the annual costs of running a school. Plus, there are wider concerns over how valuable space is best utilised and ensuring new works pose no risks to pupils and staff. All of this before we consider the environmental impact of the actual systems. The challenge of meeting sustainability goals In November 2020 the Government announced its first major investment package to create a “green industrial revolution”. What was very clear in that published ten step plan was the drive to make schools greener, warmer and more energy efficient. In particular, schools were singled out as part of the aggressive target to install 600,000 heat pumps every
year by 2028. There is no doubt that the broad majority of this immense number of installations would be focused on domestic housing, but the expectation is for public sector funding to be targeted to drive adoption in schools as well. Though relatively quick and easy to install, even now, the domestic market is struggling to identify where the large number of competent, approved installers for these hundreds of thousands of heat pumps is coming from. Given that the demands of a commercial grade system based around a heat pump is decidedly more complex than that of a domestic installation, and simply opting for just heat pumps which provide a lower grade of heat is also not always the most practical alternative, we expect that challenge to be more deeply felt in the education space. For education sites which typically exhibit a large DHW load, there remains a strong argument for employing gas-fired water heating. And, just as electricity is becoming greener, so too can the gaseous fuels when blended with hydrogen and other synthetic fuels. With publicly funded organisations increasingly being mandated to demonstrate clear and real investment in sustainable and low carbon technology schools face a complex, real-world and political challenge. Schools’ estates already recognise a need to understand how they use energy as a process for minimising waste and better managing these valuable, costly resources. This is already driving a need to identify opportunities and then deliver new, ongoing operating efficiencies throughout the estate to create more sustainable schools.
Bespoke Application Design Far too often, school hot water systems suffer from poor application design leaving them oversized and demanding more appliances, ancillaries, space and complex installation than necessary. Inefficient and less environmentally friendly, such systems will prove more costly to build and operate for their entire lifespan. Oversizing inherently comes from a lack of understanding of different types of hot water system. When faced with school DHW systems that have too many variables and decisions on diversity, sizing programmes will oversize to prevent perceived hot water problems. Understanding the application demands – from intense peak/all storage, to continuous demand/all power – is critical when sizing a dynamic hot water system. At Adveco, our dedicated application design team provide accurate, bespoke sizing, for both new build and refurbishment projects. Once correctly sized, we can recommend, supply, commission, and service the optimal appliances whether they be gas, electric or a mixed hybrid approach that incorporates low carbon and renewable technologies such as solar thermal and heat pumps. This is the best way of ensuring schools hot water demands are met in the most cost-effective and sustainable manner. L FURTHER INFORMATION https://adveco.co/sectors/education
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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School Fencing and Gates – St George’s C of E School St George’s Church of England School in Broadstairs, Kent, caters for 1800 children from the age of 4 to 19. The school has two sites – for primary and secondary education – with a public footpath separating both playing fields. The fields are often shared by the schools, so it wasn’t necessary to have a fence between them. However, with fencing now commonplace within schools, a decision was made to install fencing to increase safety and security. The fencing needed to create an environment conducive to learning, suit the surroundings, and match the colour and style of the existing fencing. Solution Jacksons Fencing was chosen to manufacture and install over 650 metres of 1.8m high EuroGuard® Flatform mesh fencing. With their own powder coating facility at their headquarters in Kent, they were able to match the style and colour of the existing fencing, ensuring that the new boundary blended seamlessly with the old. To provide access between the school sites, they manufactured and installed matching double leaf gates. Both the fencing and gates were zinc alloy coated for long-lasting protection against rust and corrosion and coated black or green depending on the site. Schools are at risk of multiple threats, so it is crucial that fencing is secure and fit for purpose. Jacksons’ mesh
fencing systems feature unique panel-to-post connectors with anti-tamper fixings. This is a key advantage over other similar styles of fencing. The panels can be easily removed using standard screwdriver bits from the outside of the fence, which is not possible with our fence panels. The fencing and gates are supplied with Jacksons’ 25 year service life guarantee, so the staff and parents can be confident that their children and pupils will be safe and secure at the school for many years to come. Adam Mirams, Head Teacher of St George’s Church of England School commented “Jacksons have been superb from start to finish. Their installation teams have been great, and we are really happy with the fencing and gates.” Nick Bishenden, Senior Marketing Manager, Jacksons Fencing, commented “It is a real pleasure to work with schools like St George’s who show phenomenal passion and commitment to making sure their pupils are provided with the best options and value for money available to them. Not just thinking of the project as ‘a fence’, but also the aesthetics, the impact on the students, and the environment, as well as caring about the future of the school, and opting for a product that has a long guarantee and will provide the school with the longest lifetime value. We were able to fit the brief perfectly.”
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An alarming number of school buildings pose a high fire risk. However, many schools are poorly protected against a potential blaze. Of more than 1,000 school inspections carried out by Zurich, 66 per cent were rated as having ‘poor’ fixed fire protection systems, often omitting sprinklers, which are proven to significantly reduce the damage caused by fire (inspections carried out between January 2017 and December 2019). Just 14 per cent were rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Unless Ministers bring England into line with other parts of the UK, where sprinklers are mandatory, large fires will continue to blight schools. This is unnecessarily harming children’s education – already severely disrupted by the pandemic - and potentially putting lives at unnecessary risk. The review of Building Bulletin 100: Design for Fire Safety in Schools, which closed on 18 August, was therefore a unique opportunity to set a trend of improving the risk profile of the school estate in the long term. Not only from an automatic fire suppression systems perspective but also a range of other measures including the use of combustible cladding, the provision
of vertical means of escape, and minimum standards in fire detection and alarm systems.
proportion of the school estate. This will create a two-tier system of safety, which is arbitrary and ill-thought through. School sprinklers As predominantly single-storey buildings, The original BB100 guidance, when first primary schools will be hardest hit, released in 2007, acknowledged the especially as they already suffer nearly important role of sprinklers and stated that twice the rate of blazes as secondary “all new schools should have fire sprinklers schools. Pupil safety and education will installed except in a few low-risk schools.” become a lottery based on school height. However, the new draft non-statutory We welcomed Prime Minister Boris guidance which was published Johnson’s June 2020 £1 billion for consultation proposes that pledge to fund a decade Of long school rebuilding and automatic fire suppression more th repair programme and systems – such as 1,000 s an the announcement of sprinklers – should inspect chool a further £560 million only be installed in early August 2020. in new special out by ions carried Zurich, However, it costs schools, boarding 66 per cent we far more to repair accommodation, r having e rated as fire-ravaged schools and new school ‘p than it does to install buildings over 11 fire pro oor’ fixed sprinklers. Unless metres tall, effectively tection minsters change the law four storeys or higher. s y stems on sprinklers, much of this By limiting sprinklers funding will be wasted on to schools above 11 repairing the fire damage that metres, the Government is sprinklers could have easily prevented. E effectively writing off a significant
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Written by Tilden Watson, Zurich Municipal’s Head of Education
Tilden Watson, Zurich Municipal’s head of education, discusses new guidance for designing-in fire safety in schools, and shares practical tips for reducing fire risk
Protecting school buildings from a potential blaze
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Vertical means of escape The new version of BB100 says “new, multi-storey school buildings must have at least two staircases and single escape stairs are not acceptable”. This is a sensible and long-overdue measure as effective school design must fully accommodate the large numbers of occupants that use a building and be reflective of the behaviour and levels of control associated with large numbers of pupils using those facilities. Fire detection and alarm systems As well as expanding vertical means of escape in school buildings BB100 now also recommends a minimum level of automatic fire detection and alarm system provision. Given that the previous versions of BB100 did not, this is another welcome and long-overdue step.
The government must update building regulations so that they clearly mandate the implementation of sprinklers in all new build and majorly refurbished schools Safety should be an absolute priority and it is deeply concerning that England’s minimum protection standards fall below those of Scotland and Wales, where sprinklers are mandatory regardless of a building’s height. It makes no sense to invest millions of pounds in public assets without adequately protecting them. The Government must fundamentally rethink its approach and update building regulations so that they unequivocally and clearly mandate the implementation of sprinklers in all new build and majorly refurbished schools. It should not take a school fire fatality for the Government to address this disparity. Tips for preventing fires in school It is essential that adequate measures are taken to combat these potential losses and minimise any disruption to the start of the new term. The good news is that a few simple steps are all that it takes to protect a school: 1. Increase vigilance Simple measures, such as getting teachers and site-staff to increase vigilance on the schools’ grounds, switch off any electrical appliances after use and lock-up the building securely, are an important part of protecting schools and preventing incidents from happening in the first instance. Look out for signs of malicious damage on site and signs that unauthorised people have been using the site, such as the construction of timber ramps and jumps for boards and bikes. Ask a local Police liaison officer to arrange for increased patrols where appropriate.
Combustible cladding BB100 also considers combustible materials in the external walls of buildings. Encouragingly, the consultation document recommends high fire protection (class A2-s1,d0 or better) on buildings 18 metres and above. However, for buildings below 18 metres it only recommends a lower class of protection (B-s1,d0 or better). Given that developers are likely to design to the minimum standard, it is essential that any minimum baseline is raised. We would also suggest that having differing class of cladding between schools of different heights will again create a two-tier system. The draft guidance also suggests that “where school buildings are prone to vandalism, as determined by a security risk assessment at feasibility stage, any cladding to ground floor walls should achieve Class A2-s1,d0 or better”. This erroneously suggests that vandalism and wider anti-social behaviour are a static phenomenon. Schools once deemed not prone to vandalism may ultimately become prone to vandalism due to changing socio-economic conditions and may, therefore, be at increased risk of fire as a lower standard cladding has been applied at the design or construction stage.
2. Keep the property secure A zero-tolerance towards unauthorised people on site should be applied. Carry out checks to ensure fencing is intact, with no holes or footholds evident. It’s worth checking gates are fitted with suitable locks and that bolts, hinges and handles do not act as easy footholds/scaling points. Ensure intruder alarms systems and all other security measures are put into operation and make sure the responsibility for doing so is actively agreed. School buildings are often open for staff access but without reception areas being supervised. Occasionally teachers will also be in training sessions leaving the school site open but large parts of the buildings empty. It is important that staff are reminded to keep all external doors and windows to unattended areas secured whilst inside the buildings so intruders are unable to walk in without being detected. 3. Combustible waste There is a potential for the amount of combustible waste to increase at this time of year due to packaging following the delivery of new educational resources and staff clearing out rooms in preparation for the new academic year. It is important that any combustible waste is not left near to the buildings but disposed of via secure waste bins and compounds which should be sited at least eight metres from the buildings. 4. Make the most of CCTV surveillance Good security measures can help deter and prevent break-ins and acts of vandalism or arson. 5. Work closely with contractors Monitor contractors on site to ensure they are following arrangements and not leaving skips and bins against the buildings. Make sure contractors leave their work area in a safe and secure condition at the end of each day. Once finished, carry out an inspection with the contractor to ensure the work has been completed satisfactorily and that all waste materials have been cleared away and that appropriate, robust and effective controls are in place for hot works being carried out by contractors. 6. Carry out health and safety inspections The start of the new school term is the perfect time to inspect fire extinguishers, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and ensure safe storage of flammable liquids and waste control. Often fire alarms and sprinklers get disabled by contractors or visitors during the summer break - it’s worth checking these are fully functioning. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.zurich.co.uk/municipal
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Recommended as part of the DfE’s deals for schools
Are you looking to replace your multifunctional print devices or existing printers? Introducing the new National Education Multifunctional Print Devices and Digital Transformation Solutions Framework. Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) have developed this new framework to bring improved print technologies and associated services to support the ever evolving needs of the education sector.
Additional benefits of using this framework are: • Full compliance with the UK Public Contracts Regulations. • Access to a wide range of new print technologies and supporting services. • Help desk support.
Schools & Aca demies Help Guide a vailable to download from mfdframewo rk.co.uk
• Lease and outright purchase options. • Significant discounts against standard market prices.
For further information please contact the framework help desk: Call: 08450 179908 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR DECISION MAKERS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION | www.educationbusinessuk.net 40 Visit: mfdframework.co.uk
Procurement Written by CPL Group
How to use framework agreements successfully Most schools and academies use framework agreements to get best value for money on their goods and services, but there is so much more to frameworks than that. If you’ve never used a framework before or you would like to understand how to make frameworks work for you, CLP Group offers this following guide A framework is a list of approved suppliers quality and service are all evaluated to that have been through a robust procurement ensure it offers best value for money. process to obtain a place on the framework. Frameworks give you access to approved The framework sets out the terms suppliers that have been assessed (particularly relating to price through a comprehensive tender and quality) under which process by the purchasing When individual purchases (callconsortium, which provides a frame offs) can be made. A more assurance of their w ork is set u school or academy can capabilities and quality. select their provider Some frameworks factors p, various s u or ‘call off’ without allow you to direct c h as quality going through a full award so that you can and ser price, all evalu vice are procurement process. buy directly from a ated to Each framework supplier without going e it o f f e rs value nsure covers specific into a mini-competition goods or services between all suppliers, money for such as IT hardware other frameworks only or building cleaning allow for mini-competitions. services. When a framework A mini competition is when is set up by a purchasing you invite all eligible suppliers to consortium, various factors such as price, respond to your purchasing request.
Why is using one important? All public sector organisations including schools and academies are bound by the Public Contract Regulations (PCR). These regulations set out a series of rules that organisations must follow when purchasing using public money. The PCR apply to purchases over certain financial thresholds, for most goods and services this is currently £189,330. When spending above the threshold, the PCR allows you to buy either via a framework or conduct your own procurement exercise advertised on the UK’s Find a Tender Service portal and in compliance with the PCR rules. Should your institution have in-house procurement expertise, a fully advertised tender process may be feasible, but it takes a significant amount of time and expertise to complete. This is where a framework comes in because by using a framework that has been set up E Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Procurement in compliance with the PCR, your purchase is compliant and the time it takes to complete the exercise is much shorter and it has little or no expense. When spending less than the threshold, you may purchase in accordance with your institution’s financial regulations and using a framework for this is the perfect way to obtain the quotes and/or tenders required from suppliers that have already been vetted and get best value for money. Benefits of using a framework agreement There are many benefits to using a framework particularly saving you time and budget. Framework prices are often more competitive than in the open market due to economies of scale. Using a framework means you can simply focus on achieving best value for money for your institution. You get a wider choice of suppliers and there is no need to assess them as this has been done for you. The best suppliers in the market have already been selected so you know the maximum number of responses that you will receive and you won’t have to give the whole market access to the tender documents. This can save a lot of time at the evaluation stage. The competition between suppliers on the framework will deliver some truly innovative approaches to meeting your requirements. Using a framework can be faster and simpler than completing a full tender process. You can control the timescales which are much less than PCR tender timescales so contracts can be awarded quicker. You can call on the expertise of the purchasing consortium and use their template tender documentation. Frameworks have pre-agreed terms and conditions meaning you don’t need to spend
time negotiating these with suppliers and you can also be assured of legal safety. How to use a framework agreement Join a purchasing consortium and browse the range of frameworks available. Once you have found what you are looking for check to see if you can directly award your business to one of the suppliers based on the fixed prices already secured by the purchasing consortium. Alternatively, you can use the purchasing consortium’s online quote tool (many are quick, easy and free to use). Using the tool, you will be able to write your purchasing specification and dispatch it to all suppliers on the framework electronically for a bespoke quotation. Detail all your requirements in writing, be as specific as you can but avoid using brand names. State what you do and don’t need, use quantities where possible plus include your required timeframes and deadlines. Add in plans and photos when relevant in addition to any background information you feel appropriate. Don’t leave anything relevant unsaid as suppliers may make assumptions. Giving yourself enough time for the entire procurement process is essential. Consider what you are asking the suppliers to do and ensure you allow enough time for them to respond, for yourself to evaluate the bids once returned and for an implementation period before the contract starts or the items are delivered. Evaluating supplier bids Use the evaluation template provided with the framework when evaluating bids for more complex purchases as this will help you take account of all the tender questions, weightings and scoring procedures.
Set up an evaluation panel of interested parties to give different people the opportunity to share their view on a score for a particular question, allowing discussion with the entire panel. This will help achieve consensus on the final score and help eliminate mistakes and mis-assumptions. Keep all your notes, scoring and evaluation comments and use them in feedback letters, it saves time. Don’t evaluate based on what you already know. This can easily take place when you are evaluating a current supplier. You must only go on the submission and any clarifications received. There is no need to take up references on suppliers when using a framework or evaluate their experience as the purchasing consortium has already done this for you. CPL Group CPC and Tenet Education Services are notfor-profit organisations which are part of CPL Group, an education owned charity that gives back to the sector through funding of projects that support teaching and learning. CPC is a purchasing consortium with a complete range of framework agreements designed specifically for the education sector and many are recommended by the Department for Education. Tenet Education Services provides procurement consultancy support to education institutions managing tender process and procurement placements. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.thecpc.ac.uk www.tenetservices.com www.cpl.group
Reinvesting into education Not-for-profit charity CPL Group provides an overview of its latest funding round for student events, activities and learning resources, plus insight into three projects which have been granted funding Funding applications have been successful for 73 schools and academies which applied to the not-for-profit charity CPL Group, which is owned by the education sector. The charity comprises Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) and Tenet Education Services and it works together with suppliers to provide opportunities to give back to the sector. Both organisations operate solely within education providing a range of framework agreements and procurement consultancy services. The Group provides an overview of their latest funding round for student events, activities and learning resources plus an insight into three of the projects which have been granted funding. CPL Group’s aim is not only to be the procurement services partner of choice for the education sector but to help the sector to enhance teaching and learning. We fully understand the financial pressures that the whole of the education sector is currently facing and we are delighted to be able to support schools through the provision of grant funding opportunities. Funding student events Each year the CPL Group Board approves an allocation of the charity’s surpluses to be granted to CPC members (membership is free for schools and academies) to fund projects that either: deliver an improvement to teaching and learning, provide a positive impact on the learner’s experience of education, or support the learning of economically disadvantaged learners and minority groups. Applications closed for the latest funding round in July 2021 and we were set to invest a total of £200,000 but as we received applications for grants totalling over £1m (far exceeding our expectations), we were delighted to increase the funding pot by £100,000, allowing us to part or fully fund all qualifying project applications. Grant funded projects Although our criteria for funding is deliberately wide in scope, we found that applications broadly fitted into three key themes: ICT hardware for disadvantaged students, student wellbeing programmes, and innovative learning technology. We thought you may be interested to hear the types of projects schools are embarking on in the upcoming academic year. ICT hardware for disadvantaged students The impact on the delivery of education to children during Covid-19 lockdowns encouraged educational establishments to embrace inspiring new opportunities in the way they could teach children. Online learning became the optimum tool in conveying excellent education. However, for those
environment. As part of a wider project families who face financial hardship or where to invest in innovative IT equipment to there are multiple siblings in education, facilitate outstanding teaching and learning, they can be at a disadvantage as they might they applied for funding to purchase a lack suitable electronic devices to enable premium streaming device which is a their children to access the online teaching combined 360-degree camera, high quality available. An example of a project we have microphone and speaker. This technology been asked to fund is for a school who provides a hands-free immersive experience are setting up a Chromebook loan scheme and is ideal for using in large classrooms. whereby families experiencing financial The streaming device is going to provide hardship, or lacking access to a suitable the opportunity for Subject Leads device would have access to individual and specialist teachers to Chromebooks that their child stream their lessons to other could use at home. The school CPL classrooms. They will be invested heavily in purchasing able to move around Chromebooks for children Group is the classroom, answer to use at school but having delight e d pupil’s questions a loan scheme will mean t o b able to e and share best these children will have s schools upport practice with other access to the same teachers all whilst learning opportunities the pro through vision o streaming live using as their peers outside grant fu f the Trust’s online the school environment. n d i n g learning platforms. The school will maintain opportu nities The lessons will be the Chromebooks as recorded to ensure part of the scheme. students can access them if unable to watch the live Student wellbeing sessions and will provide an added programmes value revision catalogue of learning. The During and post lockdown many schools will streaming device will also be used by the have seen a significant decline in the mental Trust’s specialist Sport Enrichment team who health of students. One school that applied have developed a broad PE curriculum which to us has seen an increase in anxiety levels can be delivered virtually and the technology and low self-esteem as well as an increase will further assist the reach of these lessons. in verbal and physical tics amongst their pupils. They are addressing this through a New opportunities for funding number of methods but applied for funding Applications will commence during the to support a partnership approach with their Autumn term of 2021 when qualifying local alternative education provider who has educational organisations which have been an impressive track record at successfully a CPC member for more than a year, will be engaging students back into education. The able to submit their bids in support of projects project is for the provision of art therapy which that will enhance the lives and learning will be based onsite, one afternoon a week for opportunities for students across the UK. some of the school’s most emotionally affected CPL Group is committed to making students. These students could be facing a difference to the lives of all students emotional distress from losing family members and through the support of its due to Covid-19 or due to the anxiety and members looks forward to being able uncertainty that has surrounded them during to reciprocate that support back to the last 18 months. The impact of the art the education sector in the future. therapy is to reduce some of the student’s Managing Director Darren Lowe said: “Our emotional distress and successfully help charity’s vision is to be the procurement engage them back into mainstream lessons. It services partner of choice for the education will be provided by specialist teachers from the sector and through our work, help the sector alternative education provider, but it will also to enhance teaching and learning. We aim be supported by some of the school’s teaching to deliver outstanding procurement services assistants who will learn skills that they can across the CPL Group, and support our continue to use when the programme is over. members by reinvesting surplus reserves back into the education sector by providing grant Innovative learning technology funding opportunities and free to access A multi academy trust with a nationwide procurement training and resources.” L spread of schools has faced geographic challenges when getting their Teaching & Learning Director and/or Subject Leads FURTHER INFORMATION into as many classrooms as possible to www.cpl.group support teachers and enhance the learning
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Resourcefully leading change This year’s ISBL national conference is set to see an explosion of professional discussion as we gather to share experiences and collectively consider the inevitable and significant change set to come post the pandemic
With the pandemic having sent a shockwave through the world, we are still feeling the aftershocks as everyone recalibrates to the new normal and welcomes and adapts to the significant and progressive change that has occurred across our working practice. School business professionals (SBPs) have been the architects of solutions throughout the crisis, leading the developments required to see the agile switch from face-to-face learning delivery to remote and hybrid solutions, ensuring education as a front-line service has remained open, while growing and adapting throughout the pandemic. This year’s conference will provide the opportunity for school business leaders to look ahead at what the future of education requires and offer a necessary pause for colleagues to reflect on their strategic priorities. Much has changed as we emerge into the new academic year and consider our strategic planning and the effective use of school resources to ensure the best possible outcomes for the pupils we serve. Many schools have seen their ancillary income significantly disrupted, and this may take time to stabilise and recover. The Secretary of State for Education made an announcement in April this year indicating multi-academy trusts were the preferred route and schools should be
considering more formal collaboration. The new early years foundation stage (EYFS) will commence this autumn and will see a greater focus on play and an emphasis on language development. As SBPs, you will be considering all of the above while also contemplating the impact on your biggest asset – your people – and how the crisis has made everyone reassess their work–life balance and the opportunity for a more flexible approach to both learning and working practice. Many school leaders will be expecting that requests for flexible retirement or working could significantly increase at the start of this term given that colleagues have had time to reflect over the summer. Programme content This year’s programme has been specifically developed to help SBPs look ahead at what the future challenges may be and consider how these issues can be navigated or mitigated. ISBL is delighted to be able to offer a wealth of renowned specialist speakers who will help delegates contemplate their approach to these perceived challenges. Speakers include Jaz Ampaw-Farr, who will speak about how an individual’s impact is far wider than they can ever imagine. She will take delegates on a transformational journey around leading themselves and others into bravery, increased impact, and greater influence – skills that will be required as we all approach the world post the crisis. The conference will offer 16 workshops, all responding to the topics described in this article and led by either ISBL Fellows who
can offer real-life good practice or sector specialists who will be working with an SBP to develop the content to ensure it speaks to the needs of the SBP audience. Our workshops include ICFP and contingency planning, led by Andrew Hamilton, FISBL and ISBL School Resource Management Adviser. The workshops will also cover attracting and developing future talent through transformational performance management led by Karen Greenwood from BlueSky Education, as well as developing a risk management framework led by Alison Moon, FISBL. There will also be a workshop on the new era of technology: embracing change and developing future opportunities, led by Neil Limbrick, FISBL. To access the full programme and the complete list of workshops, visit www. isbl.org.uk/National-Conference. Hybrid delivery ISBL are creating conference opportunities that once again allow rich discussion facilitated and inspired by leading sector specialists through panel discussions and evidence-based, practitioner-led workshops. While we have high demand to attend in-person events, this option may not suit all colleagues, whether due to capacity, costs, or remaining concerns. Therefore, the event will provide virtual or physical attendance to suit your needs. Having now successfully delivered two live, in-person test events over the summer, in Taunton and Portsmouth, we are confident that we can deliver highquality content in a safe and engaging environment, and feedback from delegates at these events confirms this. Denise Gommo from Huish Academy Trust commented: “It’s so nice to get out of my hutch and meet others and have healthy debate and discussion on moving the sector forward. The landscape for education has shifted again, and we need informed managers and leaders to help the sector transition to where it needs to be – ISBL is helping enormously to facilitate this.” Book your place There is high demand to in-person events, and we already have 150 delegates booked to attend, so don’t delay booking as we are limiting attendance this year to just 250 delegates to allow social distancing for everyone’s assurance. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.ISBL.org.uk
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. BESA was recently asked to contribute to the government’s consultation on the use of mobile phones in schools. The consultation question was ‘What challenges would or do you face in banning mobile phones from the school day and do you have any concerns about banning phones from the school day?’ Perhaps the question should really be ‘why are we still debating whether or not to ban mobile phones from the school day’. Are there many schools that need a central policy on the use of mobile phones? Pretty much every secondary school I have ever visited has a set of behaviour guidelines in place for phones, ranging from locking them away in lockers for the day, to permitted use in playgrounds only, and out of sight during lessons. Mobile phones are very much embedded in everyday life now and any moves to ban them from schools completely are likely to be met by strong parental opposition. Phones are considered an essential item for keeping children safe on the journey to and from school. So, what is driving this call for phones to be banned? Fears around student behaviours is one factor – bullying and online safeguarding immediately spring to mind; it is impossible to ignore the potentially harmful impact of social media on students’ wellbeing. Possibly the fear is that phones act as a source of distraction, and that they contribute to a reduction in concentration.
These arguments however ignore the vast amount of good that phones can do. If managed correctly, phones can be used to serve as a learning aid for the masses. Early on during school closures last year, the only devices many children could use to access online learning resources were mobile phones. Banning mobile phones is likely to have a negative impact on disadvantaged children and attainment – phones can fill the gap where schools are unable to afford all the technology they require. And since online learning resources have now been embedded in many schools to the degree that they are unlikely to turn away from them once Covid is no longer a threat, students will still need an easy way to access this. For some scenarios such as exam revision, using a mobile app while on the go is a distinct advantage, allowing students to make use of otherwise dead commuting time to refresh their memory and test their knowledge. Research by online learning provider Tassomai found that between September 2020 and April 2021, students completed 906,871 hours of work on their platform in English, maths and science – with up to 80 per cent of this done on mobile phones. What’s more, students’ attainment in knowledge recall improved by 13.6 per cent (verified via a pre/post comparison study). Murray Morrison, CEO of Tassomai, puts it very succinctly when he says: “Through Tassomai’s app, students can drop in at any time and do meaningful, impactful practice on the go: at the bus stop, at the breakfast table, or in their lunch break. It seems an extremely ill-advised and retrograde step to unilaterally take access to tools like ours away from schools with sensible, considered phone policies. The effect will be to force students to withdraw
from EdTech at school right when they need it most, causing them to miss out on the tremendous educational benefit that good technology confers.” Tassomai is but one provider of learning materials that are accessed regularly via mobile devices – the list includes such stalwarts as BBC Bitesize, GCSEPod, Gojimo and CGP revision books. And that’s without mentioning the wealth of related productivity and reference materials available such as dictionaries, online books, music applications or science applications. A quick glance at the Educational App Store will help put into perspective the wealth of materials out there to support teachers and students. We shouldn’t also forget that education is about more than just passing exams, it is about preparing students for work and giving them the life skills the need for their future success. Mobile phones can help older students navigate the job market and provide all children with the understanding of how to use this technology in a safe and responsible way. Now that the consultation is complete, my hope is that feedback from schools and evidence from suppliers will lead to the conclusion that an outright ban on phones in schools is not required, and instead move the focus to helping schools embrace new technology in a way that benefits all. L
Written by Julia Garvey, deputy director General, BESA
What is driving the call for students’ phones to be banned in school, and are they justified? Julia Garvey, deputy director general of BESA, takes on the argument
Should mobile phones be banned from use in schools?
FURTHER INFORMATION www.besa.org.uk
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Technology is key for the smooth running of education settings, but cyber risks, such as ransomware attacks, must be managed to prevent disruption. By following five practical steps, school leaders can significantly reduce their chances of falling victim, writes Sarah Lyons from the National Cyber Security Centre Over the past 18 months, many schools and colleges will have seen their reliance on technology change during the pandemic, with new IT practices and online services required to keep staff and students connected and to ensure core business can continue. However, regardless of whether you’re working remotely or in the classroom, your institution’s networks, devices and data play a crucial role in everyday business running smoothly. Given this dependence on technology and connectivity, it’s important for senior leaders to have an understanding of the risks they face and their education setting’s cyber security. Unfortunately, we know cyber criminals attempt to take advantage of networks at schools and colleges, and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has reported an increase over the past year in education institutions being hit by cyber attacks – specifically ransomware attacks, which can have very severe impacts including costly remediation and forcing institutions to close.
one of the main external threats to schools and colleges comes from cyber criminals and ransomware, in particular, is a growing issue facing organisations in all sectors. In a ransomware attack, malicious software (or malware) is deployed on a system preventing you from accessing it or the data held on it. Those responsible will usually send a ransom note demanding payment to The issue of ransomware and cyber recover the data, and more recently cyber security generally may seem to be an criminals have been threatening to release overwhelming challenge for senior leaders, sensitive data if the ransom is not paid. but institutions can significantly reduce While it may seem unexpected, schools their chances of falling victim to an attack and colleges can seem like attractive and limit adverse impacts by following targets to criminals because the NCSC’s practical advice. settings hold plenty of sensitive As data, including names and Understanding addresses of students and the threat a new parents, bank details It’s important to a c ademic and medical records. remember that not year be Cyber criminals are all cyber incidents g i ns, senior l often motivated by necessarily start with encour eaders are financial gain and malicious intent. For aged to act opportunistically, example: a teacher the opp take targeting organisations might write down o r t unit review where they think their email password their cy y to they have most on a post-it and leave b e r security chance of successfully it by their laptop to extracting a ransom. help remember it – but As a new academic year this could still be exploited, begins, we strongly encourage senior potentially allowing unauthorised leaders to take the opportunity to review E access to data in their emails. However, Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Written by Sarah Lyons, deputy director for economy and society engagement at the National Cyber Security Centre
Taking steps to prevent cyber incidents
Why content filtering and monitoring are important With filtering and monitoring being a statutory requirement for schools, it’s hard to exaggerate just how much inappropriate content for children exists online, and the importance of keeping it away from students. Exa has been providing schools with high quality content filtering since 2004 monitored, and for Chromebooks it is a Chrome extension deployed via G Suite. XT incorporates the highest level of monitoring functionality, including keyboard and application monitoring in real time; online and offline monitoring (Windows only; and keyword highlighting. Technology is changing the dynamics of education, especially the relationship between teachers and students. Today schools have created a technology-driven environment by implementing the use of computers, tablets and other devices in lessons. This has allowed for more effective learning, collaboration and more. However, while the internet may be helping the development of digital skills in young people, how safe are they really from the dangers of the internet? It has never been more important for schools to keep their students safe online. With filtering and monitoring being a statutory requirement for schools, it’s hard to exaggerate just how much inappropriate content for children exists online, and the importance of keeping it away from students. How do content filtering and monitoring differ? Content filtering is the practice of blocking access to web content that may be deemed offensive, inappropriate, or even dangerous. Blocking these websites can help protect students from graphic content (including pornography and violent images), hate speech and radicaclisation etc as well as sites which may just be counter productive whilst in school such as social media sites. Content filtering helps to mitigate these risks by making such content inaccessible. Where filtering blocks access to sites which may be inappropriate, monitoring enables schools to identify and intervene when access to inappropriate content has been attempted. For example, monitoring services like Securus will alert your safeguarding team and keep a record of all instances deemed a breach of your safeguarding policy.
are complementary solutions which work together to cover all bases. Ultimately keeping your students truly safe online. How can SurfProtect Quantum and Securus help your school? We’ve been providing schools around the country with high-quality content filtering via our SurfProtect service since 2004. SurfProtect Quantum is designed to make filtering content more convenient, improving levels of visibility, clarity and effectiveness for the user, through a cost-effective solution. SurfProtect Quantum also provides schools with full Active Directory integration and HTTPS filtering. SurfProtect lets you easily create a filtering policy that matches the requirements of your school. Schools can change settings in realtime, using different settings for different user accounts, for example, year groups can be given different access permissions from one another as well as separate access rights for staff accounts. Securus works perfectly together with SurfProtect to keep children safe from possible online threats. Securus XT Monitors Chromebooks and all Windows based PCs, laptops & tablets. For Windows devices the agent is installed on each device that is required to be
Securus NET Monitors all browser activity for all other devices - at a network level. When used in conjunction with Securus XT in mixed device/OS environment, NET provides complete 360° eSafety coverage for the whole estate of devices. This network based solution provides multi-platform safeguarding coverage; it covers all devices connected by Wi-Fi, provides support for BYOD, and uniquely generates screenshots (Captures). Securus AMS If your school does not have the resource to review Captures generated by Securus, this Securus AMS add-on will send the Captures obtained from your school to a team of professionals who will review them on your behalf. If they spot something that requires immediate attention they will contact your Safeguarding Lead (or designated persons) with the relevant information. If you’re interested to see how SurfProtect Quantum and Securus can benefit your school, get in touch with Exa Networks on 0345 145 1234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0345 145 1234 email@example.com
Why do you need content filtering and monitoring? Appropriate filtering and monitoring are required to fulfil the guidelines for KCSiE and The Prevent Duty. Unfortunately, whilst technology in schools can improve learning, it has also become a platform that facilitates harm. Filtering and monitoring provide different levels of e-safety, meaning they
1. Bringing senior leaders on board It’s a common assumption across organisations that cyber security is ‘just’ an issue for IT specialists. But that’s not the case, and staff in education institutions will use a variety of networked services, from teaching resources to canteen payment systems, from door access control systems to telephony. Cyber security is therefore essential to the overall operation, and it should be strategically managed by governors and boards of trustees. To help start these conversations, we have published questions for senior leaders and governors to discuss about cyber security so they can create a strong foundation from which to build up their school or college’s resilience. We have also published a blog post about what board members should know about ransomware specifically as part of our Cyber Security Toolkit for Boards. 2. Invest in staff training When it comes to protecting your networks, people can be the strongest first line of defence against attacks so it’s vital all staff members – regardless of how technical their role is – are shown what good cyber security practice looks like and what suspicious signs to look out for. Our free school training package covers both of these points, by using real case studies of cyber incidents at schools to illustrate common threats and then offering tips on how to defend against them: staying alert to potential scam messages, using strong passwords, securing devices and reporting concerns.
The issue of ransomware and cyber security generally may seem to be an overwhelming challenge for senior leaders, but institutions can significantly reduce their chances of falling victim to an attack and limit adverse impacts by following practical advice 3. Talk to your technical experts Whatever the arrangements are for the provision of IT systems and support at your setting, it’s important for leaders to speak to their provider about the measures in place to mitigate ransomware attacks. Our technical guidance on mitigating malware and ransomware attacks offers steps to take to help prevent attacks and further pointers can be found in our updated ransomware alert to the education sector. As a more general guide, education settings with dedicated IT support can find guidance in our Ten Steps to Cyber Security and schools and colleges might want to consider getting Cyber Essentials certification, which recognises organisations that have five key controls in place to reduce the risk from cyber incidents. 4. Make and practise incident recovery plans We urge all schools and colleges to take action to reduce their chances of falling victim to attacks but unfortunately there is no guarantee an incident won’t take place. It’s therefore essential to plan and then test your response to identify areas of improvement. We recommend leadership teams use our free Exercise in a Box toolkit for this, as it contains scenario-based exercises designed to help organisations practise their response to incidents, including one scenario where a phishing attack leads to a ransomware infection.
their cyber security practices and protections – and to take action as necessary. By following the five key steps below, leaders can help to defend themselves online, prevent disruption to students’ education and keep day-to-day operations running.
We strongly advise checking whether your Business Continuity Plan includes cyber incidents and taking action to rectify if it’s not included. Further advice on how to effectively respond to incidents can be found in our Response and Recovery Guide and the final module of the Toolkit for Boards. 5. Backup, backup, backup! Since every setting should think in terms of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ they are affected by a cyber incident, the importance of backups cannot be overemphasised. As a senior leader, asking your IT specialists about your backup policy and the frequency of testing whether staff can restore from backups might be the most important conversation about ransomware you can have. However, it’s also vital to ensure the backup is recent enough to be useful, and that it is completely detached from the network. It’s worth knowing the 3-2-1 rule: have at least 3 backup copies, on 2 devices, and 1 offsite, and remember the importance of having at least one backup offline. This is especially pertinent for ransomware attacks as malware is often on networks for some time before an attack is deployed, meaning any online backup could also become infected. We have published advice on making backups on our website including in our blog post Offline Backups in an Online World. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.ncsc.gov.uk
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Education Business Awards
Presenting the 2021 Education Business Award winners Presented live online by celebrity host Jeff Brazier on 8 July, the Education Business Awards, sponsored by Philips, recognised the outstanding work, commitment and achievements of schools and academies across the country Schools have had a difficult time navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic, balancing the need for a Covid-safe environment while still educating pupils and ensuring they catch-up on any lost learning caused by the closures. What’s more, they are expected to provide quality remote learning for those self isolating. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we continue to recognise their achievements and to acknowledge the vital role schools play in helping the country to bounce back after the pandemic. The Education Business Awards celebrates the outstanding work, commitment and achievements of schools and academies across the country. Taking place online due to social distancing measures, the awards were presented by celebrity host Jeff Brazier on 8 July. Outstanding progress The primary school that scooped the Outstanding Progress award was Eldersfield Lawn CofE Primary School in Gloucestershire. With just over one hundred children or roll, Eldersfield puts a range of experience based learning opportunities to good use in order to meet the needs of pupils. It has adopted the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development as a key curriculum driver, which gives a real context to the children’s learning and will enable them to make informed decisions as they move through life. After school clubs cover a range of sports and physical activities as well as helping pupils with real-life experiences. The secondary school that was presented with the Outstanding Progress Award, sponsored by Junckers, was City of Norwich School. Established in 1920, City of Norwich School puts its students at the heart of everything it does. Two awards from SSAT’s Framework for Exceptional Education for Curriculum Design and Professional Learning indicate that the school is amongst the most exceptional in the country, with particular attention paid to the professional development of staff. CNS works in partnership with the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is home to the Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians (NCYM). St. Mary’s School Ascot in Berkshire meanwhile was awarded the Outstanding
The ICT Facility Award is awarded to the educational establishment that has made outstanding progress in the provision of a first class environment for the teaching of ICT and related subjects. The 2021 winner went to Smithdon High School in Norfolk. The latest phase of a £1m facelift at Smithdon High has seen students return from lockdown to a complete library redesign which includes capacity for one-to-one learning, a quiet reading area and the school’s fifth computer suite, with room for an entire class of students. Originally Innovation It is planned for the summer, the in IT and essentia school saw closure as an computing acknow l we opportunity to accelerate The ICT improvements and prepare for Innovation vital rol ledge the e a growing number of pupils. Award, s c h o i n helpin ols play The Environmental sponsored by g Practice Award, sponsored Philips Monitors, bounce the country b by Philips Monitors, was was awarded the panack after awarded to Worle Community to Highgate d emic School Academy in WestonSchool in London. super-Mare, Somerset. The The CyberFirst school has been praised across Girls Competition the world in a competition involving provides a fun, challenging 105 nations. Climate Justice Revolution, environment to inspire the next which has grown from four pupils in 2019 generation of young women to consider a to over 20, won a commendation for career in cyber security. A team of four girls Social Media Champions as well as being from Highgate School were crowned the semi finalists in the international Global winners after beating more than 6,500 rivals Social Leaders competition involving over in a nationwide competition - which was 600 teams. The school has also recently held virtually and saw teams of 12 and 13 installed two electric car chargers. year olds from 10 schools participate in a series of cryptography, logic and networking School buildings and security challenges to work through a fictional The School Building Award, sponsored scenario where a number of internet of by Honeywell Commercial Security, was things (IoT) devices, including smart kettles awarded to the Broxbourne School in and mirrors, were infected with malware. Hertfordshire. Completed five months The Remote Learning Award is presented ahead of schedule, the state-of-the-art to the educational establishment that has Broxbourne School comprises multiple delivered a successful remote learning buildings which feature a range of exciting programme which has enabled students to new facilities including a new indoor sports continue to progress during the Covid-19 hall, 3G football pitch, a multi-use games pandemic. Repton School in Derbyshire won area and a music centre, which will be the award for the commitment of its teaching available for use by the whole community. and support staff, as well as a new integrated The School Security Award went to Leighton IT system, which ensured that continuity of Park School in Berkshire. With flexibility education was provided since day one of in the length of the school day the school lockdown. A pupil wellbeing survey conducted requires stringent perimeter security all year in January this year confirmed that 96 per cent round. Access control used at the door to of pupils reported either no or very low levels the school theatre was designed primarily of anxiety as a result of home schooling. Progress Award in the independent school sector. Founded in 1885, St Mary’s School Ascot continues to be internationally recognised as a forward thinking school for girls between 11 and 18 with superb boarding, academic, extra and co-curricular facilities set on 55 acres of land. Proud of its academic and extra-curricular achievements, the school provides each of its 390 pupils with a friendly, stable and caring learning environment.
A part of the community The Community Award, sponsored by BigDug, recognises schools working in partnership with other public sector bodies on projects that bring specific benefits to the local community. The 2021 winner was Castledon School in Essex, which, in the last two years has dedicated 144 working days to its local nature reserve. A variety of students help the local ‘happy hub’, a charity that supports the community by providing help to the homeless and people struggling with mental health.The school also runs a community cafe called Poppies. The School Recruitment Award was presented to High Hazels Academy in Sheffield for its methods to address recruitment and retention challenges. The school’s leadership team undertook a programme of initiatives, including mentoring, continuing professional development (CPD), succession planning and flexible working. Strong communication has been central to the success of the new flexible working strategy. Voluntary staff turnover rates have reduced significantly in the same timeframe, dropping from 12.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent in 2019 for Key Stage 1, and from 10.9 per cent to 4.9 per cent for Key Stage 2. Recruitment costs have been reduced accordingly and in 2020, just two new teachers were required. The School Procurement Award recognises an individual project where a school has worked with an outside agency or local authority to refine its buying practices and increase value to the taxpayer. Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council / Revolution scooped the award this year. The commercial trading arm of Dudley Council worked alongside their procurement colleagues – as well as those in adult social care and children’s services - to source, order and supply thousands of items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The effort across the whole council ensured it was safe for all staff and children to return to schools, colleges and early years providers across the borough when the time was right. Ensuring that the IT provision was sufficient to allow teachers to deliver online lessons, a scheme to distribute laptops and devices to vulnerable youngsters in the borough was devised.
The School Catering Award was presented to Overdale Junior School in Leicester for making lunchtime a positive experience and increasing the uptake of school meals. Last year, Overdale Junior School became the first school in Leicester to achieve the prestigious Gold Food for Life award from the Soil Association. The school constantly promotes free school meal entitlement and strives to increase the general uptake of school dinners. Parents are invited to taster sessions and the school held its inaugural ‘Lunchtime Companion Get Together’, which gave children the opportunity to socialise and chat over lunchtime with older people. The STEM Award was awarded to Ramsden Primary School in Nottinghamshire for its STEM Club which makes a big difference to pupils at a school in an area of high deprivation. The club is often over-subscribed, with creative activities including experiments with sound and investigating gases. The club has partnered with the BBC, the Royal Microscopy Society and local businesses, and was referenced in the school’s latest Ofsted Report. The Art & Craft Award is presented to the educational establishment that can provide first class learning environment and modern, flexible facilities for students of art & craft. The winner was St. Mary’s School in Cambridge for offering an exceptional environment for the teaching of Art & Crafts. Junior school students now have an opportunity to explore different techniques and materials in a specialist Art space, guided and inspired by the school’s Artist in Residence. Senior School and Sixth Form students benefit from specialist teaching in Studio 47, the schools Art and Photography Centre. Space to play The Play Space Award, sponsored by Community Playthings, recognises the outdoor playground environment and spaces in nurseries/primary schools where innovative equipment creates opportunities for learning. Kentmere Academy and Nursery in Rochdale won the award for its investment in outdoor facilities to promote fitness, learning outdoors, wellbeing and mental health. All classes from nursery to year 2
have outside classroom areas to help promote learning and independent study / challenge areas. It provides a playing field, sports court, outdoor playing equipment including soft floor play, gym equipment, games for fun and learning, a reading hut, track, polymer climbing frame, forest area, outside growing beds, scooters, and sports equipment. Children also use this space after school at the Reading Enrichment Club, supported by ‘Reading Ambassador’ students. Telford Priory School in Shropshire scooped the School Music Award after receiving Sir Elton John’s seal of approval for their version of ‘I’m Still standing’. The rock legend said he had been “blown away” by the school’s version of the track and had “loved” their version so much he had watched it three times, and invited them to a gig when he plays in England after the coronavirus crisis is over. Since the video was published, students have seen their story go around the world, with interest from US, Australian and New Zealand TV networks, as well as legendary music publications Rolling Stone and NME. The SEN Provision Award was presented to Bramfield House School in Suffolk for its inclusive approach to learning. Bramfield House School takes boys from a wide catchment who have failed in several settings and who have significant social, emotional and mental health needs. The curriculum offers a range of activities not usually accessed by boys in settings of its type, ranging from rock climbing, sailing and archery to bi-annual ski trip. A school farm, horticulture area, construction and motor mechanics facilities are all on site and combine to help offers a sense of belonging as well as therapeutic approaches to building boys confidence and sense of self worth. Over subscribed for the last two years, Bramfield is now looking to expand and build in the next year. Heathfield Junior School in Middlesex won the School Sports Award for its work overhauling its PE provision during lockdown. Many after school clubs cater for all abilities and ages, including athletics delivered by GB athletes Jonathan Barbour and Josh Grace. L
Education Business Awards
to give disabled individuals easy access. This door is controlled by a long-range reader which picks up the presence of the disabled individual (via a token) and opens the door automatically. The school also required barriers to be installed at the front entrance, giving controlled access permission to regular visitors as well as monitoring the flow of traffic in and out of the school grounds. The School Safety Award went to Ulverston Victoria High School in Cumbria for its well organised and highly successful lateral flow testing programme, which has helped to break the chain of transmission of COVID19. More than 4,500 lateral flow tests were carried out across nine days in the school sports hall - equal to three tests per pupil – which meant a huge scaling up of the school’s testing programme.
FURTHER INFORMATION www.awards.educationbusinessuk.net
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Covid restrictions have had a dramatic impact The Covid-19 pandemic may be winding on children’s wellbeing. Just before returning down but the challenges facing schools to school in 2020, 58 per cent of 2,000 young and pupils are as daunting as ever. The people in a Young Minds survey described pandemic has been hugely their mental health as poor, this rose disruptive to learning, to 69 per cent after returning to health and wellbeing, Taking school in September. 74 per and to relationships learning cent of teachers agreed that between pupils and beyond schools being closed to teachers. However, classroo the most students before the it also provided summer had had a negative an opportunity valuabl m is a e impact on the mental to take look at t o o suppor health of their students. how and where ting stu l in dent wellbei A recent study published children learn best. ng duri in the BMJ Open journal, Over the 2021 l e s s on time ng noted the impact of poor summer term, mental health on pupil many teachers opted performance at GCSE level – to take their teaching children experiencing poor mental beyond the classroom health are three times more likely not to walls, often for the first time, pass five GCSEs compared to their peers. The in response to school operating guidelines. study argued that improving young people’s Doing so not only helped the school to mental health could narrow the attainment gap. manage the learning environment, it helped to make the curriculum active How can schools support student thus supporting wider health issues that wellbeing during lesson time? arose during the pandemic. It also enabled The benefits of spending (and learning) outside students to work together in a way that are well known. Natural England’s ‘People wasn’t possible within the classroom.
and Nature Survey for England’ found that 60 per cent of children had spent less time outside than before the pandemic, with 48 per cent reporting that ‘being worried about catching/spreading coronavirus had stopped them from spending more time outside’. Yet 83 per cent of children in this survey reported that being in nature made them very happy and 70 per cent of children wanted to spend more time outdoors with their friends when things start to get back to normal. Forty-four per cent also wanted more time outdoors at school. In addition to this, findings from a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggest that adding green space to tarmac-covered playgrounds helps expose children to nature. It also increased daily activity levels and promoted social wellbeing. Taking learning beyond the classroom is a valuable tool in supporting student wellbeing during lesson time. It is a universally accepted low-cost intervention that can bring benefits to pupils and teachers in terms of improving mental and physical health. Seventy-five per cent of respondents to a snapshot Twitter poll run by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) said they had taken learning outside more often as a response to Covid-19. However, evidence from CLOtC highlights that most teachers and senior leaders lack confidence E
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Written by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
Over the 2021 summer term, many teachers opted to take their teaching beyond the classroom walls in response to Covid guidelines. So what can we learn from this, and how can more outdoor time be incorporated into the school day?
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How to get more outside time in the school day Rather than adding to an already packed curriculum, taking learning outside the classroom is changing how and where you teach rather than what is taught. While it could be argued that virtually every subject can be taught outside, there are ‘better’ places to teach specific topics. When planning a lesson, CLOtC recommends teachers start with the question ‘where is the best place to teach this?’ From this, different places, spaces and locations can be assessed for their effectiveness in meeting the learning objectives. Six ideas to incorporate more outside time Schools could create an outdoor classroom by providing shade, shelter and a multi-use learning and play space.
A designated wild area within the school grounds could also be created. Let the grass grow, create bug hotels, and encourage children to climb, discover and play in the area. PE can be taken outside; as well as having more space to run or for game playing, exercising outside has a host of additional benefits from increasing Vitamin D levels to improving sensory skills. Schools can visit local parks, open spaces, canals or nature reserves – discover the green or blue spaces in your local learning area and use these spaces as part of your lessons. Schools can also incorporate a regular walk in their school day and encourage students to make observations about the environment. This increases natureconnectedness and aids wellbeing. Making use of the school’s own grounds is an easy way to bring give children the opportunity to connect with nature, however a day or residential trip can encourage greater exploration, encourage pupils to work in teams, become more responsible and to support each other. What to consider when planning an educational visit Day or overnight educational visits help students become more confident and independent. Many studies have also shown that the change in dynamic from in-school lessons to out-ofclassroom experiences can boost self-esteem, spark conversations and ignite new interests.
Domestic educational visits are permitted for schools in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Department for Education has stated that for schools in England, overseas visits can recommence from 5 September 2021. The Department for Education also advises that when planning off-site educational visits, schools use a learning provider, place or venue that holds the LOtC Quality Badge (lotcqualitybadge.org.uk). This national accreditation encompasses risk management (including infection control) and the quality of education provided meaning teachers can travel or visit with confidence. When planning an off-site visit, have a look at the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel’s (OEAP) website (oeap.info). The OEAP produces the National Guidance regarding learning outside the classroom. As well as being able to see the latest guidance regarding off-site educational visits and trips, there are handy checklists of what to consider when planning a visit and things to check when arriving at your accommodation, if it is an overnight visit. Whatever the time of year and whatever the subject, turning learning inside out can help schools to ‘build back better’. It can support children, re-engage them with learning and help them to reconnect with each other and the world around them. L
Trips & Outdoor Learning
in moving more of their learning beyond the indoor classroom. Organisations and charities such as CLOtC provide guidance and support to help teachers develop their knowledge and confidence to take learning outside the classroom. Teachers can find a wealth of guides outlining what to consider and how to plan lessons using different locations for learning on its website (lotc.org.uk). CLOtC’s new mentoring programme also gives teachers peer-topeer support as they start their journey to develop a whole-school culture of learning in different places and spaces.
FURTHER INFORMATION www.lotc.org.uk
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Choosing induction mentors for early career teachers With the arrival of the new early career framework (ECF) this September, leaders will be expected to support each early career teacher (ECT) with an induction mentor. Simon Clark from The Key explains the role of an induction mentor, how you can identify the best candidates and ways you can support them in their role experienced science teacher, who has worked in several schools, may be able to provide more impactful professional guidance and more effective feedback. A science teacher can still broker subject-specific support from a history teacher, so ECTs don’t lose out if their mentor is from a different subject.
From 1 September 2021, newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction is being replaced by a two-year early career teacher (ECT) induction, underpinned by the Early Career Framework (ECF). All ECTs going through induction must have both an induction tutor and an induction mentor. As indicated in the DfE’s guidance, the role of the induction mentor is to regularly meet with the ECT for structured mentoring sessions to provide targeted feedback; work with the ECT and colleagues to make sure the ECT receives a high-quality early career framework-based induction programme; and provide, or broker, effective support, including subject or phase-specific coaching. Their role is also to take prompt action if the ECT is having difficulties. Induction mentors must provide their support to ECTs within a single school setting. Multi-academy trusts (MATs) will need to provide an induction mentor for each school individually, rather than use a mentor to support ECTs at schools within the trust. Mentoring is a new role and you’ll need to allocate one member of your teaching staff to act as mentor. The only stipulation is that they’re expected to have qualified teacher status (QTS). The guidance is also clear that mentors and tutors should not be the same person if this can be at all avoided. However, to support mentors in their role, you should work to ensure good communication between induction mentors and induction tutors. Although these are distinct roles, tutors can provide insight and context to an ECT’s issues that will help mentors to tailor their own approach. Arranging time for tutors and mentors to meet regularly will help
mentors to see the bigger picture, and pre-empt any issues the ECT may face. Experience is key As part of mentoring, mentors should be able to guide ECTs in growing the skills highlighted in the DfE’s ECF. In its own words, the ECF underpins what all ECTs ‘should be entitled to learn about and learn how to do’. Anyone who holds QTS can act as an induction mentor – but realistically, a less experienced teacher will not have the professional insight required to provide effective support and coaching. Where possible, choose a mentor who has at least three to four years’ teaching experience. Teachers who have worked in a range of settings and across phases will also have more practical experience than those who have only held positions in a single school. Remember, a mentor needs to provide structured support – and the more experience a teacher has, the better suited they are to the position. Induction mentors are there to support new teachers learn about the craft of teaching, as much as the practicalities. The best candidates for mentor roles can share their knowledge and guide ECTs to become rounded teachers within your school. Good teaching is good teaching – regardless of the subject A subject teacher may seem like an obvious mentor for a subject-focused ECT, but avoid this assumption. Mentors are there to support ECTs as they become better teachers in general – not to simply provide subject-specific tips and help. A history teacher may appear to be a good mentor for a history ECT, but a more
Understand the time commitment Mentoring will require 20 hours for mentoring sessions across the second academic year, with a funded five per cent timetable reduction. You need to consider how your choice of mentor will impact regular teaching. It’s also important that the teacher chosen to mentor actually wants to do it. Mentoring is an important role and speaking to your teachers about how they feel will help make sure everyone’s on the same page. Use the mentor training you’re offered Mentor training is an essential part of offering an ECF-based induction. Schools that choose the funded provision approach will receive online and face-to-face training for mentors, with additional funding available for the time mentors spend on training. This will consist of 36 hours of time over 2 years per mentor. Schools that use DfE-accredited materials to deliver their ECT induction will also receive mentor training guidelines and training session outlines. These materials will provide the framework for mentors to guide and support ECTs. Schools that choose to develop their own materials must also develop mentor training materials based on the ECF’s 8 standards and the evidence and practice statements. Remember mentor training is not a one-time thing. Retain all mentor training materials and make sure they’re available to mentors, or those who might act as a mentor in the future. L Simon Clark is a content editor at The Key, a provider of up-to-the-minute sector intelligence and resources that empower education leaders with the knowledge to act. The advice in this article is taken from The Key’s resource “ECT induction mentors”. FURTHER INFORMATION www.thekeysupport.com
How to ensure that your staff receive mental wellbeing support that’s top of the class Read Randstad’s top tips for opening up a conversation with your staff about mental health and wellbeing to ensure they receive the support they need
For many people, work is a huge part of their lives because it’s the one place where they spend most of their time, which is especially true for the education sector: working in a school is far more than a 9 to 5 job! Due to this, working in education can understandably take a toll on staff mental health, and this has been more evident since the start of the pandemic. In a recent survey of 1,097 teachers and support staff, we discovered that 48 per cent said that Covid has had a negative impact on their mental health. Forty-four per cent don’t feel comfortable speaking up about their wellbeing at work without the worry of reprisal or stigma, and 43 per cent feel that there are not enough support structures offered by their employer to help them with positive health and wellbeing. As an employer, there are many ways you can support the mental health of your teachers and support staff and that starts with opening up the conversation. Whilst Covid has turned our worlds upside down, the silver lining is that it’s highlighted the need and importance of addressing mental health at work, both during the pandemic and moving forward. For some, this can be a bit of an uncomfortable task especially if you’ve never done it before so
we’ve listed a few practical steps you can take to let your employees know that you are looking out for their mental health and wellbeing. Check in with employees Carry out informal meetings to check in with your employees on a regular basis. Go beyond asking ‘how are you’ whilst being careful to avoid being overbearing or pushing them to disclose how they feel. If they do open up, listen and engage non-judgmentally, be compassionate, help identify potential stressors and offer support. Over time, this will help you build trusted relationships with your teachers and support staff and you will likely become more alert to shifts in their mood because you’ve taken the time to get to know them better. For example, if you notice someone who is usually quite chatty and bubbly withdrawing from conversations, this might indicate that something is wrong. Have an open door policy An open door policy enables your staff to approach you and talk about something that is causing them stress and/or affecting their mental health without the worry of being judged. It’s down to you to create a supportive environment and let your employees know
that you are available to schedule a chat whenever they need it, whether that’s faceto-face or virtually. Following on from the point above about checking in, you might find this actually helps to facilitate your open door policy because your employees trust you more. You don’t need to literally keep your door open at all times, but letting people know they can drop in for a chat and a cuppa whenever they need to can go a long way! Create a wellbeing toolkit A wellbeing toolkit is extremely useful as it can be used for both prevention and management of stress and mental wellbeing. The overall idea is to equip employees with strategies to cope with the pressure of working in education, develop skills such as resilience and signpost free resources or professional support. Your wellbeing toolkit can contain whatever your employees need so it might be worth carrying out a survey to ask them. As an example, at Randstad, we provide all employees access to a 24/7 mental health helpline. For further information on wellbeing toolkits, check out Mental Health At Work. Create peer support channels Even with regular check-ins and an open door policy, the reality is that not all employees will want to talk to you about their mental health. They might prefer to confide with fellow colleagues who are likely to have similar experiences and so an understanding of how they’re feeling. Of course, employees can communicate with each other without the need for you to facilitate this but having work specific peer support channels will ensure that you’re sending across the message that it’s ok to talk about mental health and be there for one another at work. A peer support channel could be in the form of a face-to-face monthly support group or an online group chat. Creating a mentally healthy environment at work is not a luxury, it’s an expectation. It can feel daunting not knowing where to start but remember even the smallest changes can make a big difference and go a long way in helping teachers and support staff who may be struggling. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.randstad.co.uk
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Advertisement Feature Rubb Buildings Ltd joined forces with construction giant Balfour Beatty to deliver a custom-made sports structure containing a mix of spaces, as well as a main sports hall as part of a £16m academy in Ipswich. The split level 20m span x 70m long multi sports complex boasts a 7m high x 33m long playing area based on a four-court badminton hall. This area, situated at the rear of the building, can also be converted to one basketball court, one netball court, one tennis court or one 5-aside football pitch. A 4m high x 37m long amenities block completes the front of the facility and includes an entrance lobby, a dance studio, executive studio, changing facilities, four storerooms, a seminar room and a construction zone. Visitors to the building enter via the main aluminium, glass panelled entrance which is operated electrically. Steve Hawley, Estates and Facilities Manager, said: “Rubb provided an ingenious solution for our new school; they were able to offer a design for a school sports facility that met our requirements and those of the planning authorities for a contemporary sports facility, but which was affordable and deliverable within the original planning timelines.
“Our new sports hall is an eye-catching design, occupying a dominant location in the local area. The sports hall offers light, airy spaces that inspire great physical activities and learning about health, sports and PE. The facility is widely used by the community and is creating a real impact within our community groups and is becoming a great source of community pride for us; it is a very popular venue. I would recommend Rubb to anyone considering investing in new sports facilities; it is a company that offers great solutions that in my experience are delivered on time and to budget.” The sports structure features Rubb’s traditional galvanized internal BVC type steel frame. Rubb’s Thermohall® insulated cladding completes the upper walls and roof. Thermohall® cladding is a composite structure consisting of a durable PVC layer and noncombustible glass wool high density insulation core inside an air-tight pocket and a self-cleaning PVC inner layer. The insulated panel system provides a full vapour seal which reduces infiltration losses, minimises thermal bridging, reducing condensation on framing members and improving insulation efficiency. To learn more, contact the Rubb team today.
Sport & PE
Securing improvements in PE and sport The DfE has confirmed that it will continue to fund the PE and Sport Premium next year, with a £320 million investment, and that any money leftover from the grant this year or last can be used by until 31 July 2022. We look what the grant is trying to achieve and how it should be used The PE and Sport Premium, which has been confirmed for the next academic year with the value of £320 million, is designed to encourage children to play more sport, increase their social skills, and improve their physical activity after lockdown. Schools will also be able to improve the quality of their teaching and make longer-term, sustainable changes to their lessons. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, ring-fencing arrangements were relaxed in the 2019 to 2020 academic year to allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2020 to 2021 academic year. In June 2021, the Education Secretary announced a further relaxation of ring-fencing arrangements for the PE and sport premium. This will allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2021 to 2022 academic year. Any underspends carried forward from the 2019 to 2020 academic year, and the 2020 to 2021 academic year, will need to be spent in full by 31 July 2022. Schools should factor this into PE and sport premium spending plans. Why physical activity is important A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can build a lifetime habit of participation. Physical activity has numerous benefits for children’s physical health, as well as their mental wellbeing as it increases self-esteem, and lowers anxiety and depression.
the significant impact which PE and Sport has had in many primary schools across England. Commenting on the confirmation of the grant for next year, Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “We welcome the confirmation of further PE and Sport Premium funding for the next academic year. Their time at school is a huge part of how children can engage with the activity they enjoy, and which can What’s more, children who are physically also support them to focus and learn. After active are happier, more resilient and more a year of significant disruption to children’s trusting of their peers. Ensuring that pupils activity levels and schooling, a high-quality have access to sufficient daily activity PE and sport offer, boosting their health and can also have wider benefits for pupils wellbeing, has never been more important.” and schools, improving behaviour as well Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO of Association for as enhancing academic achievement. Physical Education, said: “The Association for The School Sport and Activity Action Plan, Physical Education is delighted that the Primary which is due to be updated this year, sets out PE and Sport premium will continue for an government’s commitment to ensuring that additional year, and that schools will be able children and young people have access to at to carry over any underspend. This will enable least 60 minutes of sport and physical activity schools to plan for sustainable solutions to per day, with a recommendation of 30 minutes ensure that all their children will be able to of this delivered during the school day (in access high quality PE and physical line with the Chief Medical Officers activity. Now more than ever, it guidelines which recommend an is critical that we place PE average of at least 60 minutes Physica l front and centre in schools, per day across the week). activity to prioritise all children’s The PE and sport has num physical, emotional, social premium can help primary and cognitive wellbeing schools to achieve this benefit erous and development – and aim, providing primary children s for we believe schools schools with £320m of ’s physi cal health, will be a key driver government funding in achieving the best to make additional and as their as well m outcomes for all.” sustainable improvements wellbei ental Ali Oliver MBE, CEO of to the quality of the PE, ng the Youth Sport Trust said: physical activity and sport “The confirmation of the offered through their core Primary PE and Sport Premium is budgets. It is allocated directly to such welcome news. The importance schools so they have the flexibility to of daily physical activity, weekly physical use it in the way that works best for their pupils. education and regular opportunities E The PE and sport premium survey highlighted Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Advertisement Feature 5-a-day Fitness is the ultimate fun fitness resource for primary schools. Increase daily physical activity in your school with 5-minute exercise routines designed specifically for projection onto classroom screens. The online resources can be used at any time of the day to enhance learning with ease. There’s no need to rearrange the classroom or change into PE kits. 5-a-day provides the perfect opportunity to get pupils up and active first thing in the morning, a mid-lesson brain break, a refocusing tool, or to use up any excess energy they may have after lunch or break time. There is also a collection of 2-minute chillout routines concentrating on relaxation, imagination, coordination and mindfulness. There’s no teacher preparation required. Simply watch, join in, have fun, get fit and learn! The themed fitness routines are also available with Modern Foreign Language voice-overs and on-screen translations, making 5-a-day a great cross-curricular PE and language learning resource. Many of the videos are already available in French, Spanish and Welsh. Each routine utilises both audio and visual instructions and demonstrations. The music and choreography are written, created and licensed by 5-a-day Fitness with education and school appropriateness in mind. The Primary School Sport Premium Funding can be used to purchase 5-a-day Fitness for your
school. Designed with this in mind, the resource steadily ticks many requirements within the Government Schools Sports Premium. 5-a-day Fitness aims to help schools meet the Government target of providing an extra 30 minutes of daily exercise for pupils within their obesity strategy. Offered as a yearly package, subscribing schools get unlimited access to 5-a-day’s easy to use videoon-demand service. 5-a-day Fitness is passionate about getting school children and young people active throughout the school day and beyond. Schools can support whole families to stay active by upgrading to Pupil Home Access, allowing pupils and parents to engage in fun, easy to follow, 5-a day Fitness routines at home. Over 1000 primary schools now subscribe and have access to 5-a-day’s proprietary video-on-demand service (hosted at www.5-a-day.tv) for an annual price of just £380! Access to the 5-a-day Fitness Pentathlon is included with every annual subscription. Teachers and pupils can track progress and achievements and assess pupil fitness year after year by participating in this easy-to-use, multiskills pentathlon. Individual competitor and class physical education progress can be monitored at three different points throughout the year whilst promoting intra-school competition.
The Education Secretary has announced a relaxation of ring-fencing arrangements for the PE and sport premium. This will allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2021 to 2022 academic year
How to use the PE and sport premium Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE, physical activity and sport they provide. This means that schools should use the PE and sport premium to develop or add to the PE, physical activity and sport that your school provides and build capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years. Schools should use the PE and sport premium to improve engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity, for example by providing targeted activities or support to involve and encourage the least active children, and encouraging active play during break times and lunchtimes. They can also establish, extend or fund attendance of school sport clubs and activities and holiday clubs, or broaden the variety offered. Schools can also improve engagement by adopting an active mile initiative, and by raising attainment
in primary school swimming - Every child should leave primary school able to swim. The premium should be used to raise the profile of PE and sport as a tool for wholeschool improvement, for example by actively encouraging pupils to take on leadership or volunteer roles that support the delivery of sport and physical activity within the school (such as ‘sport leader’ or peer-mentoring schemes). They can also raise the profile by embedding physical activity into the school day through encouraging active travel to and from school, active break times and holding active lessons and teaching. The funding should also be used to increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of staff teaching sport and PE. This can be done by providing staff with professional development, mentoring, appropriate training and resources to help them teach PE and sport more effectively to all pupils, and embed physical activity across your school. They can also hire qualified sports coaches and PE specialists to work alongside teachers to enhance or extend current opportunities offered to pupils.
Sport & PE
for all children to enjoy sport has never been more important to young people’s wellbeing, education and development. This investment and the opportunities it will support should be recognised as an important contributor to our national recovery. Not only will it help accelerate young people’s physical recovery but it should also bring fun, enjoyment and reconnection, as well as supporting their re-engagement in the classroom.”
The premium should also be used to broaden experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils, for example by introducing a new range of sports and physical activities (such as dance, yoga or fitness sessions) to encourage more pupils to take up sport and physical activities. It can also be broadened by partnering with other schools to run sports and physical activities and clubs, and providing more and broadening the variety of extracurricular activities after school, delivered by the school or other local sports organisations. Increasing participation in competitive sport should also be an aim for using the grant, for example by increasing and actively encouraging pupils’ participation in the School Games, and organising, coordinating or entering more sport competitions or tournaments within the school or across the local area, including those run by sporting organisations. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.gov.uk/guidance/pe-and-sportpremium-for-primary-schools
for Primary & Secondary Schools Full range of equipment specifically designed for Children, for PE lessons they’ll love! Provides fun & active breaktimes too, increasing physical activity through the day. Enhance fitness, emotional wellbeing and social interaction. Develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance. Increase physical literacy across the school with this gender neutral facility. Ideal use of PE & Sport Premium. Additional funding available.
T: 01483 608860
Issue 26.5 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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