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A member of

ISSUE 26.6

Business Information for Education Decision Makers DESIGN & BUILD





How effective ventilation and air purification can reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools



A member of

ISSUE 26.6

Business Information for Education Decision Makers DESIGN & BUILD



Clean air in the classroom With the knowledge that Covid-19 mainly transmits via airborne particles, the pandemic has brought the issue of indoor air quality into sharper focus.



How better ventilation and air purification can reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools


Improving ventilation is one of the safety measures that schools have been asked to do, and now the Department for Education is in the process of supplying schools with CO2 monitors to identify where ventilation needs to be improved. While this move has been received well, unions are calling for funding to actually invest in solutions to improve ventilation and clean the air. The issue of air quality – indoor and out – is nothing new. There are numerous harmful pollutants and infectious diseases that are carried through the air, and using effective ventilation and air purification can help combat them to create a healthy and more pleasant school environment. This issue of Education Business looks at the topic of indoor air quality, asking our Panel of Experts on page 22 what they recommend schools do to keep spaces well ventilated with air clean.

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With COP26 ongoing at the time of writing, the issue of sustainability is tackled by Alex Green from the Let’s Go Zero campaign, which brings together UK schools aiming to become zero carbon by 2030. Find out more about the initiative, as well as practical ways to go green, on page 33. Angela Pisanu, editor

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226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Web: EDITOR Angela Pisanu PRODUCTION MANAGER/DESIGNER Dan Kanolik PRODUCTION CONTROL Lucy Maynard ADMINISTRATION Amy Hinds WEBSITE PRODUCTION Victoria Casey ADVERTISEMENT SALES Raj Chohan, Tara Oakley PUBLISHER Karen Hopps

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Contents Education Business 26.6 19

07 News

37 Design & Build

Bill preventing future school closures put

With the government’s school rebuilding

forward; All new schools and colleges in

programme in progress, Andrew Orriss,

Wales to be net zero carbon; and £4.7 billion

chief operating officer at the Structural

more core funding for schools in 2024-25

Timber Association looks at how structural

15 Procurement

timber solutions can assist in this effort, Sponsored by

Courtney Brightwell from the Department for


Education’s Schools Commercial Team discusses

43 Lighting

the support schools can get when buying

There is so much more to educational lighting

goods and services, so they can procure with

that just cost and energy efficiency. Bob


Bohannon, the Lighting Industry Association’s

17 Procurement

head of policy & academy, shares what should be Sponsored by

Many of us purchase products and services

47 Fire

training to be able to get the best value from

Following 18 months of pandemic disruption,

the purchasing process. Whether procurement is

students at a school near Pewsey will once

a large part of your role or a task you complete

again face a period of uncertainty following

occasionally, there are free accredited courses

a blaze which required 70 firefighters to

available that will help you save time and

bring under control, writes Iain Cox, chair

budget, whilst ensuring quality goods and

of the Business Sprinkler Alliance

19 Indoor Air Quality

A new free loan scheme from the National Centre for Computing Education has made it

ongoing pandemic, and after campaigning from

easier for teachers to explore the possibilities

schools unions, the Department for Education

of using physical computing to bring computing

is supplying schools with CO2 monitors in an

to life. Victoria Temple explains how it works

spread of Covid

22 Panel of Experts: Indoor Air Quality

54 Bett Show Bett is the global community for education technology. The event sparks ideas, creates connections and accelerates trade, driving

With the knowledge that Covid-19 mainly

impact and improving outcomes for teachers

transmits via airborne particles, the pandemic

and learners. For the first time since the

has brought the issue of indoor air quality

beginning of 2020, Bett returns to the ExCeL

sharper into focus. But the issue of air quality

London on 19-21 January 2022 to reunite

much wider than this. We ask our

the global education community in person

Panel of Experts why good air quality in education settings
is so important, as well as

61 Infection Control

how schools can ensure clean air

The Autumn term has started with relaxed Covid safety measures in place, yet schools are still required

33 Energy

to operate in as Covid-secure manner as

The Let’s Go Zero campaign, which brings together UK schools aiming to become


49 IT & Computing

In a bid to keep schools open during the

effort to improve ventilation and combat the


considered when specifying lighting in schools

but not everyone has had recent procurement

services are received


looking at the sustainability benefits

possible. We summarise the latest guidance

zero carbon by 2030, headed to COP26

63 Play

in November to champion green schools

Chair of the Association of Play Industries,

to a global stage. Alex Green gives an

Mark Hardy, says it is essential that schools put

update on the initiative and shares

outdoor play first to help children flourish post-

practical ways that schools can go green

lockdown – mentally, physically, and academically

Education Business magazine Issue 26.6 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Bill preventing future school closures put forward

National School Meals Week to host ‘School Tucker Trial’

A bill protecting future closes has been given an unopposed first reading in the Commons. Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons Education Committee, has argued closing schools had caused too much harm, and wants ministers to consult the Children’s Commissioner on any decisions on closures,

and allow MPs a vote on any plans. The Schools and Education Settings (Essential Infrastructure and Opening During Emergencies) Bill aims to ensure educational settings are classified as “essential infrastructure”. This means they would remain open to all students during any public health or other national emergency. If approved, MPs would then be asked to debate and vote on the issue. If that is approved, the matter would have to return to Parliament every three weeks, in case of a further extension. Halfon said: “Whilst national lockdowns were important to protect the health of the public, school closures have been nothing short of a disaster for our children.” “By ensuring that any decision taken to close schools is done so following the recommendation of the Children’s Commissioner, is agreed and voted on by a majority of Parliament, and is strictly time-limited, we can make sure the best interests of the child are considered at every stage to keep children in school.” CLICK TO READ MORE


Children’s relationships with teachers remained strong during pandemic

Primary schools have played a vital role in supporting children through the significant mental health challenges caused by COVID-19, according to a report from Cardiff University. Over a quarter of 10-11 year olds reported elevated or clinically significant emotional difficulties during the pandemic, up from 17 per cent in 2019, the data reveals. But most children remained well connected to their primary schools, rating relationships with staff positively, the report concludes. Responding to an online survey, 90 per cent of children said they feel cared for and accepted by their teachers, while 80 per cent trusted their teachers and agreed that there was at least one adult in school they can talk to about things that worry them.

The team, from the Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), found that not seeing friends or family and family members becoming unwell with Covid were among the most persistent worries experienced by 10-11 year olds during the pandemic. Children from poorer backgrounds were approximately twice as likely to report elevated emotional and behavioural difficulties compared to those from the most affluent families, according to the survey data. Jointly commissioned by Welsh Government Ministers for Health and Social Services and for Education, the report is part of a project to expand the existing Wales-wide School Health Research Network into primary schools. The new data were compared with a survey conducted by the team before the pandemic, funded by Cancer Research UK, to understand change over time. Researchers say this work will enable them to identify earlier intervention points to understand and support events affecting student health and wellbeing in Wales. CLICK TO READ MORE



LACA’s National Schools Meals Week (NSMW) will be back from 8-12 November 2021, with exciting events and initiatives planned. For the first time, LACA – The School Food People, will be introducing ‘The School Tucker Trial’, which will aim to get as many children as possible back into the dining room and enjoying school meals together. With the event coinciding with the start of the new series of the popular TV programme ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’, the campaign aims to make school meals fun, relevant and enjoyable to all students. Children will have the opportunity to discover new flavours, with some caterers planning to trial new menus to coincide with the week, and others planning to introduce new concepts. Students will also be able to collect stars as they stay for meals throughout the week. Getting children back to eating their hot school lunch is essential in helping them recover from the pandemic. We know that for far too many children their school lunch is their only hot meal of the day. LACA’s campaign will not only encourage children back into the dining room, but also teach them about the importance of eating locally produced, fresh food that provides better nutrition and is more environmentally sustainable. A virtual tour will take place to inspire all those involved with producing healthy and sustainable school meals, with NSMW hitting the road again to showcase the best of school catering during the week. As well as the ‘School Tucker Trial’, there are five theme days for school caterers adapt and run. The first is Mix It Up Monday where schools can create a fun day with a menu packed with fruit and vegetables. It is a great opportunity to demonstrate that vegetarian dishes are exciting and tasty. You can mix up the menu with plant-based alternatives to children’s favourite products and dishes. The Food = Fuel theme is asking school caterers to create a menu to showcase all the important food groups, following the disruption to education over the past 18 months and the importance of nutrition and education. The Great British Roast Dinner highlights local produce and farm-assured meats, plus we look to showcase a vegetarian alternative to keep the day inclusive for all children. The Plant Based Power Lunch theme aims to show how plant-based days on a school menu can have a huge impact on the environment and the wellbeing of children. This year LACA wants to promote all the benefits to children and school caterers. The last day of the week is the School Food Challenge, which is a fun day to educate children about where their food comes from and how it is grown. It is a great opportunity for school caterers to create dishes with hidden fruits and vegetables to help children achieve their five a day. This event will also teach children about farming. CLICK TO READ MORE



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All new schools and colleges in Wales to be net zero carbon All new school and college buildings, major refurbishment and extension projects will be required to meet Net Zero Carbon targets from January 1 2022, Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles has announced. Buildings will be required to be Net Zero Carbon in operation, which means producing zero or negative carbon emissions as part of their operational energy. The first generation of schools and colleges under the new rules will also be required to demonstrate a 20 per cent reduction on the amount of embodied carbon, which is the carbon emitted through construction materials and the construction process, with further reductions required in future, in line with the Welsh Government’s broader net zero carbon plans.

New proposed buildings will also include ambitious plans for biodiversity, active travel and electric vehicle charging facilities. The announcement will help the Welsh Government achieve its commitment to becoming a net zero carbon nation by 2050. Jeremy Miles visited the site of the new Llancarfan Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan. Due for completion in early 2022, Llancarfan Primary will be the first Net Zero Carbon school in Wales, with its own on-site power generation and battery storage. Jeremy Miles said: “We should all be asking ourselves what we can do to help reverse the damage caused by climate change. With Llancarfan, we are already delivering the first Net Zero Carbon school. Making sure our future buildings contribute positively is a significant step we can take.

“At the heart of our new curriculum is our aim to support learners to become ethical, informed citizens, who are committed to the sustainability of the planet. It’s essential we set an example to young people if we are to realise this ambition.” The new Net Zero Carbon requirement will become part of the of Welsh Government’s flagship 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme. From January 1 2022, the programme will be known as Sustainable Communities for Learning. Working in partnership with local authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association, colleges, Colleges Wales and Diocesan directors, it has supported the delivery of 180 new or improved school and college projects so far. CLICK TO READ MORE



Sustainability needs to be a key part of curriculum

Wales to have new national steward to oversee post-16 education

The British Educational Research Association called for sustainability to become a key feature of the curriculum, inspections and other accountability systems in order to enable schools to make environmentally friendly choices. Its final manifesto says that education has a key role to play in creating long-term responses to the social and environmental consequences of the climate crisis. Young people and teachers want to see change at all levels to value sustainability in their schools – not only in teaching and learning, but in the way schools are operated and regulated. It says there needs to be a co-ordinated review of secondary school curricula involving teachers and students across the UK and that the environment should be part of all subjects and school practices. It says that there needs to be sustainability co-ordinators to lead each school to a greener approach. The manifesto says there needs to be

a focus on the environment both outside and inside the classroom – for instance, schools should scrutinise their approaches to procurement and food, as well as continuing professional development for teachers of all subjects to help them gain confidence in teaching about sustainability. There should also be better opportunities for schools to green their own environments, including growing food and other plants, and external accredited awards for students and teachers with an environmental sustainability focus; for older students, these awards should carry UCAS points. The manifesto also points out that there needs to be a community ‘sustainability curriculum’ for groups and parents involved in education, and a campaign to enlist the endorsement of politicians and social media influencers. CLICK TO READ MORE

The Welsh Government will establish a new Commission for Tertiary Education and Research to ensure learners have the support of a coherent sector, focused on widening access and increasing opportunities. This would mark the first time in Wales’ history that all elements of post-16 education – including colleges, universities, adult education, apprenticeships and sixth forms – would come under the one body. The Commission would monitor, register and regulate providers, and set out the standards expected within the sector – including Welsh medium provision. As well as proposing the establishment of the new Commission, the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill – to be introduced at the Senedd – establishes nine national strategic duties. These legal duties reflect the Government’s long-term vision for the sector and will guide the Commission’s future work. As part of these reforms, the existing Higher Education Funding Council for Wales will be dissolved.





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£4.7 billion more core funding for schools in 2024-25

More tutoring needed to close attainment gap in Scotland

As part of the Autumn Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an additional £4.7 billion in core funding for schools in 2024-25, including £1.6 billion in 202223 on top of already planned increases from the 2019 Spending Review, and meaning a total cash increase of £1,500 per pupil between 2019-20 and 2024-25. This additional investment will also support the delivery of a £30,000 starting salary for all new teachers. The funding sits alongside a further £1.8 billion dedicated to supporting young people to catch up on missed learning, following on from the existing investment in catch up for early years, schools and colleges, including for tutoring and teacher training opportunities. The dedicated recovery investment includes a one-off £1 billion recovery premium to support disadvantaged pupils in all state-funded primary and secondary schools, while £800 million will be allocated across the period to ensure all 16-19 students will benefit from an additional 40 hours of education across the academic year - the equivalent of one additional hour a week in school or college. The funding takes the government’s direct investment in education recovery to almost £5 billion, building on the high-quality tutoring for millions of pupils and world-class training for thousands of teachers and early years staff, already being provided. Primary schools will continue to benefit from the same per pupil rate as this year’s recovery premium, while secondary schools are expected to receive nearly double that amount, meaning an average secondary school could attract around £70,000 a year. This extra support in secondary reflects evidence showing the greater gaps in older pupils’ learning and lower amount of time those pupils have left in education. Schools will be able to use the funding in ways that best support their young people to catch up – from specialist small group support in reading and maths, to after-school provision or summer schools. Students in 16-19 settings who have the least time left to recover learning lost will benefit from an additional 40 hours of education across the academic year, equivalent to an additional hour per week. This time will be used for extra teaching and learning - including in English, maths and other subjects - depending on students’ individual needs. This, alongside the 16-19 tuition fund, will help to prepare these students for their future. CLICK TO READ MORE

Gaps in educational attainment in Scotland could be reduced through the rollout of mentoring and tutoring support, a new report from the Poverty Alliance has said. The report, conducted for The Robertson Trust, calls for mentoring and tutoring to be available and targeted to all school-aged children and young people at risk of poverty in Scotland. It showed that high-quality tutoring programmes, in particular, can significantly reduce inequalities in educational attainment. Despite this, the report reveals that the provision of free tuition for young people living in Scotland is sparse. In comparison to the National Tutoring Programme, which provides free tuition for pupils in England and Wales, the Scottish Government has not committed to widespread, accessible tuition as part of Covid-19 recovery. The report highlights the success of

mentoring as an effective intervention for improving self-confidence and raising aspirations amongst young people affected by poverty. Earlier this year, the Scottish Government and The Hunter Foundation committed to the expansion of mentoring and leadership support for care-experienced young people through funding the roll-out of MCR Pathways’ Young Scottish Talent and Columba 1400’s Leadership Academies across Scotland. However, this report reveals a mixed landscape in terms of mentoring provision, with geographical gaps and a lack of provision directed at groups of children and young people who are more likely to be living in poverty compounded by other forms of disadvantage. CLICK TO READ MORE


Ofqual seeks views on accessible assessments

Ofqual has released a consultation, seeking views on guidance on how to make exams and other assessments accessible and user-friendly. The proposed updated guidance will support awarding organisations to design and develop assessments that meet Ofqual’s rules on accessibility. Students with particular backgrounds, needs and disabilities are among those who stand to gain.

Ofqual Chief Regulator Dr Jo Saxton said: “We regulate so that assessments enable every student to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do – without unnecessary barriers. It is crucial that assessments are as accessible as possible for all students.” The draft guidance includes how to use accessible, clear and plain language in producing assessments to avoid any unfair disadvantage, design and develop accessible layout, use source material, context, images and colour in ways that maximise accessibility, and design and develop assessments to meet reasonable adjustments required by disabled students including those using assistive technology. The guidance will help awarding organisations design assessments which comply with Ofqual’s General Conditions of Recognition on accessibility. Ofqual will not make changes to the Conditions themselves, so obligations on awarding organisations will stay the same. The consultation is open and will run for 12 weeks, ending on January 24, with the outcome to be announced in spring 2022. CLICK TO READ MORE



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Enabling Security Innovation in UK schools In 2019, Portsmouth’s Mayfield School received a multimillion pound grant from the Department for Education (DfE) for a complete campus rebuild and a new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM) centre. As part of the rebuild, head teacher David Jeapes, was required to upgrade the school’s CCTV system, which was decades old and semi-operational. After evaluating several vendors, Jeapes chose to invest in Verkada’s cloud-based CCTV solution for its ease-of-use and adaptive technology. Easy to install and use for incident resolution “After a few minutes of using Verkada, the confidence I felt in using the system was tenfold what I felt with our old (CCTV) setup. I’m able to find and share footage right from my mobile phone, instead of burning it onto a DVD to handoff for review.” During initial stages of deployment, the upfront time required to install cameras across campus was a primary concern for Jeapes. However with Verkada’s plug-and-play installation, cloud cameras were online and accessible in minutes. “The best part is that cameras also store footage within the device itself, so we no longer need to run cables back to a central recorder or hard-drive.” Once cameras were installed, Jeapes was able to log into Command, Verkada’s management software, to access, save, and share feeds from a single screen. “The interface is extremely easy to navigate. I can quickly pull up clips from a specific date or time without spending (what was) hours scrubbing through footage. If I don’t know precisely when something occurred, the time lapse feature allows me to review hours of footage in seconds.” Compliant with GDPR requirements “The ability to set granular permissions with (Verkada) has allowed me to grant access to more of my team. Certain faculty members are authorised to view the sites they oversee, and even then, I can set limitations on what they’re able to do with that access.” To ensure compliance with statutory requirements in the UK, Jeapes had to conduct a security audit prior to the implementation of Verkada’s solution. After checking off key GDPR requirements including role-based access, audit logs

and two-factor authentication for identity verification, he felt that the right protocols were in place to ensure data privacy. Intelligent features that aid in emergency response strategies “I’m able to be more thoughtful about our approach to physical safety because Verkada provides a level of insight (about campus activity) that I didn’t have before.” “When we last did fire drills, I used Verkada’s heat map technology and multi-camera playback to analyse how to manage traffic through different corridors, stairways and exits. The ability to pinpoint where blockages exist, then develop solutions as a precaution, makes all the difference for any high-risk situation.” Additionally, features like people counting and bounding boxes makes it simple for Jeapes to visualise how activity varies throughout the day. “Through observing patterns of traffic throughout our buildings, we can identify where we might need additional staffing and where we don’t. I can better allocate the resources we have on campus.” Evolving technology that unlocks new potential “The speed at which Verkada is able to build new capabilities on top of the existing platform exemplifies what we hope to teach our students–that technology allows for limitless innovation.” With software updates that introduce new capabilities, Jeapes sees Verkada as an investment that increases in value over time. “Since using this (CCTV) technology, there have already been a countless number of advancements; when I login, I get notifications of ‘What’s New’ on the platform. It’s free, requires no work on my end and speaks to Verkada’s love for innovation and technology. In a nod to Verkada, the new STEAM building in the school will be named after the company. “We are really looking to partner with companies that are innovative, and are cutting edge, because that’s what we aspire to deliver in those innovation labs that we’ve created. There’s an actual synergy between what we’re trying to teach in our innovation labs and the culture of the Verkada team.” To learn more about Verkada’s easy-to-use CCTV solution, join a weekly webinar session (and get a free YETI mug!).


Schools should do more to prepare students for life events

Lack of skills holds back digital learning and teaching

Two thirds of parents think that schools don’t do enough to prepare young people for life events, with more than half saying that lessons about death, finances and sex should be prioritised, even at the expense of traditional lessons such as algebra and poetry. New research has found that only 29 per cent of parents think schools are currently doing enough to ready students for life experiences, with as many as 53 per cent revealing that they think schools should cover death, bereavement and grief as part of the curriculum. A further three quarters (72 per cent) value personal finance lessons and almost two thirds (60 per cent) say that sex education has a valid place on the syllabus. The survey was conducted by Project Eileen, a new charity working to advance the education of young people and wider school communities about death and

Oxford University Press (OUP) has published a new global report exploring the digital divide in education, following the shift to digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. It finds that limited digital skills are nearly as great a problem as access to technology. The report, Addressing the Deepening Digital Divide, found that poor digital access was the biggest barrier to digital learning, cited by 68 per cent of teachers as a problem. A lack of digital competency ranked a close second, with 56 per cent of respondents reporting that teachers and learners alike lacked the skills to make digital learning a success. Engaging students in online lessons was a bigger challenge than costs, education funding, or digital infrastructure: teachers felt their greatest challenge during the pandemic was engaging students in online lessons – a difficulty reported by six in ten teachers (61 per cent). Disadvantaged students have been significantly affected by the shift to digital learning, with 70 per cent of teachers saying the most disadvantaged students lost learning due to limited or no access to digital devices. 44 per cent of respondents felt that the wellbeing of disadvantaged students had been particularly negatively affected during the pandemic. What’s more, teachers want parents to play a bigger role in their child’s digital learning - half of the teachers surveyed (50 per cent) said a lack of parental understanding of digital tools/platforms limited the effectiveness of support available to their children; and 58 per cent said disadvantaged students tended to receive less educational support from their parents and families. OUP recommended that to address the deepening digital divide, a greater focus on independent learning is needed. Students who take an active role in their learning will be more engaged in their education, leading to better outcomes. Independent learning gives students valuable screen-free time and removes some of the pressures disadvantaged students feel to be online for a full day when struggling with poor internet connection, limited access to a device, or high data costs. The report also calls for the need for digital competency skills among educators, students, and parents: OUP’s report reveals that a lack of digital competency among teachers, students and their parents is holding back digital learning to a worrying degree. A move from sporadic ‘upskilling’ to ‘alwaysskilling’, in which teachers have regular training touchpoints, will ensure that digital knowledge does not become outdated. The report also calls for the targeting of resources to address both ends of the digital divide. The report urges governments to support affordable access to reliable internet connections and devices.

grief, supporting positive mental health and helping teachers and schools manage difficult and sensitive situations. With sex education and financial literacy already introduced as part of the national curriculum, the organisation is now calling on teachers to consider their role in preparing young people for the future through enhanced curriculums and lesson plans, with a particular focus on death, bereavement and grief. The data also showed that life skills and preparing young people for life events are now favoured over more traditional lessons, with fewer than half of parents saying woodwork (38 per cent), algebra (30 per cent), geology (30 per cent) and poetry (26 per cent) should be taught in schools. CLICK TO READ MORE


Exams and qualifications to be reformed in Scotland

Scotland is to have its exams and national qualifications reformed, the Education Secretary of Scotland has confirmed. The qualifications will be developed to ensure learners’ achievements are fairly recognised. It is expected that externally marked exams will remain part of the new assessment approach. Learners studying for national qualifications in spring next year will not be affected by any changes. A wide range of views will be sought on the reforms, with young people and teachers informing how the new system will work. The decision to make changes was influenced by the recommendations in the OECD’s independent review of Scotland’s school curriculum. It was also based on renewed debate about assessment following the cancellation, due to COVID-19, of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in 2020 and 2021. It is also based on a paper by renowned academic Professor Gordon Stobart setting out options on Scotland’s future approach to assessment and qualifications.

The Education Secretary said: “It remains a key priority of this Government to ensure that our approaches to curriculum and assessment are fit for purpose and so guarantee the best possible educational experience for children and young people, not least as we emerge from the pandemic. “I am convinced that given the experience and views expressed over the last two years, the time is right to signal that the Scottish Government supports reform of national qualifications and assessment. “It will be vital when considering reform that we work with all those with an interest, to, as far as possible, build a consensus on this issue. “We will consult on the purpose and principles which should underpin any reform of national qualifications and assessment. This will be the first step in a process which must be done with careful thought and consideration, recognising the importance of national qualifications to learners.” CLICK TO READ MORE






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Helping schools buy with confidence Our aim in the Schools Commercial Team is to support schools to get good value whenever they buy the goods and services they need. We already have a wide range of approved procurement frameworks available via GOV. UK to help schools buy everything from catering and cleaning to energy and ICT. Supporting schools For the last two years we have run two pilot hubs that work alongside schools to support them to buy the things they need. We wanted to understand if there is the appetite for a service that offers hands on support to schools to buy goods and services, particularly those which are complex or high risk to buy. The pilots proved that this type of service is valued by schools. We evaluated the pilots, looked at different ways of providing this service in the future and undertook a consultation with the sector. We concluded that the DfE is best placed to provide this service directly to schools across England. We can recommend frameworks impartially and running the service ourselves gives us the ability to grow and adapt the service over time, based on schools’ changing needs. So, for many months my colleagues and I have been focused on building a DfE service to support schools with procurement. What we bring is experience of designing services that are intuitive to use and based on extensive research with schools. What we lacked was first-hand experience of buying for a school or MAT. Thankfully, around 120 school business professionals and teaching staff at different

levels of seniority and experience have been very generous with their time and helped us start to design and build a service, which we are confident will make buying for schools quicker, easier and cheaper in the future. We’re very grateful to the many school-based staff who have given up their time to help us design and test our new service, we simply couldn’t do it without their expertise, feedback and insight. In service design we never want to assume, we always want to ask. It has been brilliant to design prototype digital services and put them in the hands of people who buy for schools and see how they use them, what questions they have and what they want to do with the results. However, we recognise that means taking up people’s valuable time and we know time is such a scarce commodity for people who work in schools. The design principles we follow say build something small, test it, improve it, test it again and when you’re happy it meets your users’ needs – release it. Let people use it and then gather more information about what works well and what needs further improvement. It’s an iterative process and it’s one where we continually learn what works for our users so we can improve the way we help them. You may have used government digital services in the past, whether for your school or in your personal life, for example services such as registering to vote or booking a Covid-19 test or vaccination. They are designed to be simple, clear and easy-to-follow, with Both the fewest steps

possible to complete the job the user is trying to do. We’re aiming to reflect the best elements of these services in how we support schools with procurement online. Of course, behind the digital service will be a team of procurement experts who will be able to help and guide those schools who need more support.

Get Help Buying for Schools Our service, Get Help Buying for Schools, will be released incrementally over the next year. That will be the start of a new phase for our team and not the end of the process. Once schools start using the service, we’ll be gathering feedback to understand what works well and what we can improve, and we’ll continue to rely on schools to guide us in what to develop next. We’re optimistic that in November we’ll release an online tool that will allow schools to build procurement specifications for both catering and multi-functional printing and scanning devices. Our plan is to release more categories of spend next year. Both schools and suppliers have highlighted the need to have better specifications in order to get the procurement process started right. Following our design principles, we’ll be starting small, learning rapidly and scaling up as we go. As part of the preparations for Get Help Buying for Schools, we are broadening the DfE’s offer in terms of recommended frameworks and we’re revising our online advice and guidance so that it is all in one place and easier to navigate. Next year, once we have schools successfully transitioned schools supplie and currently using our pilot services, we will then be able to open up highlighrs have our supported buying service t e d the need to more widely to schools across h a ve bett specific England. We very much look er a forward to working with those the pro tions to get schools who need hands on c process urement support with buying to get great start quality goods and services they right ed need at the right price and with terms and conditions that protect them, and they have confidence in. To keep up to date with the latest developments for Get Help Buying for Schools please follow our GOV. UK Buying for Schools blog or find us on Linkedin @BuyingforSchools. L

Written by Courtney Brightwell, head of insight and service design, Schools Commercial Team, Department for Education (DfE)

Courtney Brightwell from the Department for Education’s Schools Commercial Team discusses the support schools can get when buying goods and services, so they can purchase with confidence


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responsibility to demonstrate commitment to acting ethically. It is designed to help prevent issues regarding fraud, bribery and corruption, human rights abuses, and the impact of procurement on the environment. This course is completed via the CIPS e-learning platform.

Many of us purchase products and services but not everyone has had recent procurement training to be able to get the best value from the purchasing process. Whether procurement is a large part of your role or a task you complete occasionally, there are free accredited courses available that will help you save time and budget, whilst ensuring quality goods and services are received Good quality training courses often come with a hefty price tag attached but this is not always the case. There is currently the opportunity to attend fully accredited procurement courses which are funded in full by the education sector owned charity CPL Group, for all school, academy, and MAT professionals. You can enhance your procurement skills at a pace that suits you through online learning platforms, so there is no need to commit to a certain day or time. Enabling you the freedom to learn around your needs and learning style. Here are the details of six courses which you can start accessing for free now, there is no need to get any budget sign-off and you can start developing your procurement skills straightaway. An introduction to procurement If you’re new to procurement and you’re looking for a place to start, an online learning programme is available called ‘An introduction to procurement’. It features five e-learning modules that cover the fundamental principles of good procurement practice. The programme has been specifically designed for Business Managers and those new to procurement or with procurement responsibility in an educational setting. It offers a unique learning style and is CPD accredited. On completion, you have the opportunity to download a certificate to evidence your training. Writing a tender specification Learn how to construct and carry out a tender specification. This course explains

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how the requirements for transparency and non-discrimination impact the specification, how to get your criteria and weightings right for the benefit of all stakeholders and CPL Group the importance of life-cycle costing. It also The CPL Group is an education owned charity covers the elements that are non-negotiable that gives back to the sector through the once published and how you can benefit by funding of projects that support teaching factoring in the outputs and outcomes and learning. The Charity is currently of the procurement to the offering the range of courses tender specification. This There detailed in this article at no course is accessed via is curre cost for education sector the BIP Solutions professionals. Please e-learning platform. the opp ntly ortunity see for to atten more information. Evaluation d fully ac Crescent Purchasing techniques Consortium (CPC) This course explains procure credited ment c and Tenet Education evaluation at the o ur which a Services are not-for-profit selection and award re fund ses ed organisations which are stages of public by CPL Group part of the CPL Group. procurement processes, CPC is a purchasing plus you will learn about consortium with over the different evaluation 90 procurement framework approaches to these two stages. agreements designed specifically for This 12 chapter course on the BIP the education sector with a large number Solutions platform details where additional being recommended by the Department criteria may be included in evaluation models for Education. Tenet Education Services and provides examples of legal challenges provides procurement consultancy support to specifications. It also provides you with an to education institutions managing tender understanding of financial evaluation and the process and procurement placements. L standard differential model plus it explains the pros and cons of cost versus price. FURTHER INFORMATION Ethical procurement and supply Ethical behaviour is everyone’s responsibility in an organisation and this e-learning course will help anyone with procurement



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In a bid to keep schools open during the ongoing pandemic, and after campaigning from school unions, the Department for Education is supplying schools with CO2 monitors in an effort to improve ventilation and combat the spread of Covid With research showing that the Covid virus mainly transmits via airborne particles, enclosed spaces likely schools can become breeding grounds for infection. In a bid to keep schools open during the ongoing pandemic, and after campaigning from schools unions, the Department for Education is supplying schools with CO2 monitors in an effort to improve ventilation and combat the spread of Covid. CO2 is released when we breathe out, so higher levels of CO2 means there is higher occupancy and lower ventilation, and can be an important red flag to identify areas of inadequate ventilation. The DfE said at the time that the monitors “will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working”.

Indoor Air Quality

Cleaning classroom air our call for the government to ensure While the announcement of the monitors that high-quality ventilation equipment have been perceived as a step in the right is made available to schools and colleges direction, there have been calls for the where it is needed as soon as possible.” government to fund solutions to improving air quality, such as effective ventilation and Air purification air purification. At the moment, the guidance Schools are increasingly looking at air is to open windows, but of course during purification in addition to ventilation to create the colder months, this is not advisable. good indoor air quality (IAQ). Air purifiers Geoff Barton, general secretary of the can remove harmful particles, pollen and Association of School and College Leaders, other allergens that can cause harm. said: “Our understanding is that carbon The Department for Education dioxide monitors will indicate is currently running a trial of when spaces need ventilating air purifiers in 30 schools thereby reducing the Schools in Bradford, to assess need to keep windows are incr whether they can reduce open all the time. ea the risk of transmission. “This is an important looking singly at air purifica With the first results and reassuring step tion in from the trial due before in the right direction. a d dition to vent the end of the year, E Now we reiterate il

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Indoor air quality While recent headlines about indoor air quality are focused on Covid19 transmission, the harmful effects of poor indoor air quality is widely acknowledged, as is the issue that poor air quality has on children. Children are more susceptible to harmful air pollution as their lungs are still growing and developing. They also breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants. For children with asthma, high levels of air pollution are linked to increased asthma attacks. Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, commissioned The Royal Academy of Engineering to review how we design, manage, and operate buildings and how we can make infrastructure more resilient to infection. The initial report, ‘Infection Resilient Environments: Buildings that keep us healthy and safe’, highlights the importance of good IAQ for reducing transmission of Covid and other infectious diseases. The report calls for clear, consistent communication and advice on ventilation from government and professional bodies to help building owners and operators to manage infection risks. Clearly identifiable measures that can be implemented at moderate cost will help to ensure that adequate ventilation is prioritised alongside more visible measures such as surface cleaning and distancing. Outdoor air pollution Research from City Hall has revealed that more than 3.1 million children in England are situated in schools in areas with toxic levels of air pollution. The research found that children in London are

The Department for Education is currently running a trial of air purifiers in 30 schools in Bradford, to assess whether they can reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission

Indoor Air Quality

 it could pave the way for a rollout of the technology in schools across the country in 2022. The research is being conducted by the Centre for Applied Education Research – a collaboration involving the universities of Leeds, Bradford and York, Bradford Council and the Department for Education. 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.

four times as likely to go to a school where air pollution exceeds WHO limits compared to the rest of England – but still a quarter of schools in the rest of England are exposed to similarly high levels. There are some measures that schools can put in place to improve the air quality around their schools, such as creating no car zones, anti idling campaign and promoting active travel. But to stop the outdoor air pollution from coming into a school, air purifiers can help. Christopher Hatton Primary School and Netley Primary School & Centre for Autism have participated in real world trials with Blueair following the Mayor of London’s School Air Quality Audit Programme. More than three years on they continue to use air purifiers, owing a reduction in absenteeism and sick leave to the units. Alan Murphy, Air Quality Leader at Netley commented: “Our teachers are clearly appreciating the importance of clean air and the role the Blueair units play in helping to achieve it. Polluted air is shown to adversely impact on health and wellbeing, especially for children. It is a major focus for Netley due to HS2 construction and the congested roads around our school. Monitoring has shown very high levels of air pollution inside many classrooms at Netley. The air purifiers installed have dramatically improved the air quality internally.” L FURTHER INFORMATION

Improve indoor air quality with easy-to-use Tinytag data loggers Tinytag data loggers are simple, reliable and cost-effective devices for monitoring and improving indoor air quality in schools and colleges. Manufactured in the UK by Gemini Data Loggers, the Tinytag range includes carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and humidity monitoring solutions. The Tinytag CO2 data logger is a practical device for assessing ventilation rates in classrooms, halls, offices and canteens. Using a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor, the data logger measures the volume of CO2 in the air to an accuracy of +/- 50ppm. A user-programmable LED alarm can alert when CO2 levels breach acceptable limits, enabling pupils and staff to increase ventilation rates. Portable Tinytag temperature and relative humidity data loggers can be used to monitor and maintain comfortable working conditions in classrooms. Temperature,

humidity and CO2 data can be compared in easy-to-use software to determine whether increased ventilation affects comfort levels and energy costs. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to a number of health conditions, including asthma, and to the spread of infections such as Covid-19. Improving IAQ now will be key to the future of public health. To find out more, please contact Gemini Data Loggers or visit our website. FURTHER INFORMATION 01243 813000



Panel of Experts


With the knowledge that Covid-19 mainly transmits via airborne particles, the pandemic has brought the issue of indoor air quality sharper into focus. But the debate about air quality stretches much further than this. We ask our Panel of Experts why good air quality in education settings is so important, as well as how schools can ensure clean air Tim Browning, head of business development, Fellowes Air Purifiers Tim Browning is passionate about cleaning the air we share. As head of business development for air treatment at Fellowes Brands, he manages a national network of approved distributors and is responsible for providing air quality testing and tailor-made air purification solutions for education and other key sectors.

Dr Andrew Larner, chief executive, Larner Associates Andrew is an acclaimed transformation expert not just in the UK but internationally, who has worked with many governments to solve big problems. Andrew has successfully delivered some of the most complex public sector programmes at times of crisis and has recently focused on finding the best solutions for the pandemic. Andrew is also CEO of not-for-profit company IESE.

Chris Brown, head of public sector, phs Group Chris Brown is the head of public sector at phs. He and his team provide advice and support to public sector customers including schools and colleges across the UK. Chris sits on the Period Dignity Roundtable with the Welsh Government and supports the Access workstream for the Period Equality Taskforce, headed up by the Department for Education in Westminster. He has been instrumental in delivering phs’ period equality strategy.

Jonathan Hunter Hill, sector manager for education, SAV Systems Jonathon Hunter Hill is the sector manager for education at SAV Systems, managing the AirMaster Smart Mechanical Ventilation (SMV) product group. Throughout his career, Jonathon has been a passionate advocate for improving indoor air quality in classrooms to improve our children’s health and educational performance.

Jann Kirchberger, chief executive officer, youvee Jann Kirchberger has been appointed CEO of youvee® GmbH, where he is responsible for sales, marketing, product development, manufacturing and administration. He has also been responsible for the operational business of Frenell GmbH as chief operating officer (COO) since January 2020. Previously, he was a senior project manager for many years, playing a key role in the development, implementation and construction of solar thermal power plant projects in Australia, Spain, India and Italy. His technical focus is on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, optics, process engineering and product development. Jann Kirchberger holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Transmission of coronavirus mainly occurs through respiratory droplets generated during breathing, talking, coughing and sneezing. This makes enclosed spaces like classrooms breeding grounds for infection. One of the important measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, therefore, is through improving the air quality inside schools. Good ventilation and air purification in


schools is recommended as it can remove or dilute air that contains virus particles. In a bid to keep schools open during the ongoing pandemic, the Department for Education is currently providing schools with CO2 monitors to assess the ventilation needs of schools. But while Covid-19 has brought the issue of indoor air quality to the fore, it is by no

means a new issue. There are many other harmful pollutants and bugs in the air that can cause harm, especially to children as their lungs are not yet fully developed. Covid in the air As the Covid-19 virus mainly transmits via airborne particles, one of safety measures for schools is to increase


Panel of Experts

ventilation and/or use air purifiers to achieving between three to five changes remove or disperse virus droplets. per hour to ensure consistently clean air.” Jann Kirchberger, chief executive officer Dr Andrew Larner, chief executive of Larner at youvee, explains how the Covid-19 virus Associates, warns of other issues to be aware can spread: “Covid-19 and other viruses of. He says: “Poorly designed ventilation are spread in the air by very small particles will increase transmission spreading virus (aerosols) while breathing and speaking. particles all around the occupied space. These airborne particles can linger in the air “To completely remove the risk of airborne for hours carried by air currents potentially transmission we would have to remove infecting individuals when breathed in. virus particles continuously as soon as they “Without suitable ventilation or air left the infected subjects mouth. As the disinfection measures they can build up air travels from the infected subject to the and thus increase the risk of infection for ventilation system, there will always be the individuals. Therefore air ventilation as risk of transmission if relying on ventilation well as disinfecting indoor air reduces alone. From experiments with Covid the concentration of viruses infected subjects in a chamber and germs in interiors.” with three to four complete Enclose Tim Browning, head of air changes an hour (ACH) business development at has no appreciable effect spaces d l Fellowes Air Purifiers, on the level of viral load i k e c lassroom adds: “Poorly ventilated in the air. Air change become s can classrooms can easily rates of eight to nine breedin ground become breeding ACH do have an g s for in grounds for viruses appreciable effect. f e w c ithout a tion with a single infected “Most buildings ventilat dequate person introducing up to do not have this level ion 70,000 infected particles of ventilation. Mobile purifica and air into the air that can and filtration or purification tion do infect many other pupils. units have been proposed. “If choosing the right Experiments have shown technology, adequate ventilation that two mobile HEPA filter units and air purification systems can remove with a combined filtration of 1,000 over 99.99 per cent of germs and viruses – cubic metre an hour have an appreciable including Covid-19 / SARS-CoV-2, the H1N1 effect on viral load in the air. However flu virus and other airborne contaminants.” they do draw air horizontally across the Tim Browning stresses that understanding room increasing transmission risk to those how ventilation works is important: “When in the room with an infected subject. deciding which system to install, it’s “Even with 8-9 ACH, ideally the air is highly important to check the number of brought in at floor level and extracted at air changes per hour (ACH) it will deliver. ceiling level to minimise cross transmission The more air changes per hour will ensure in the room. The only way to attack the bad air is being replaced by good on a virus particles as soon as they are exhaled consistent basis. As rule, it’s wise to look for is to use a high voltage (over 4,000 volts)

ioniser. A small room filled with virus would take an hour to see an appreciable effect from ventilation at 8-9 ACH, but would be over 99 per cent clear in ten minutes with a high voltage ioniser.” Jonathon Hunter Hill, sector manager for education at SAV Systems adds: “One of the primary causes of the rapid spread of Covid19 was found to be recirculating ventilation systems, such as air conditioners without a fresh air supply. This was particularly evident in the bus and restaurant scenarios highlighted during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, the UK government required recirculating ventilation systems be put into full fresh air mode where possible and disabled entirely where not possible. Alternatively, natural ventilation was to be maximised by opening windows. “Ventilating using fresh air from outside is necessary to ensure that occupants are not breathing air that is carrying potentially dangerous viral particles. Increasing ventilation rates also leads to lower concentrations of particulates, because the existing room air is diluted by fresh air, reducing the risk of contamination and inhalation.” Working in tandem Chris Brown, head of public sector at phs, believes that optimal air quality will be more likely when combining ventilation and air purifiers. He said: “Air purifiers should not be a substitute for ventilation – both should work in tandem with each other. This is not always practical. Schools often have lots of environments which are poorly ventilated and have no way of improving ventilation. In these areas, an air purifier will make a significant improvement to that environment’s air quality. “High-quality commercial air purifiers remove germs, viruses, and bacteria from the air. True HEPA filters are certified and E Issue 26.6 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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The risk to children Children are more susceptible to harmful air pollution as their lungs are still growing and developing. They also breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants. For children with asthma, high levels of air pollution are linked to increased asthma attacks. Jonathon Hunter Hill from SAV Systems explains further: “Children are more susceptible to pollutants for two primary reasons: they are closer to the ground where denser pollutants achieve their highest concentrations, and they breathe at a higher rate than adults, absorbing more pollutants. Furthermore, as their lungs are still developing, their lungs are not able to filter out the pollutants that adult lungs may be able to.” Chris Brown from phs adds: “Children between the ages of five and 16 are more susceptible to allergens such as pollen, mould, and dust mites, which are all pollutants you’ll find in most environments. Children with seasonal allergies, or hay fever, are also at a higher risk of developing asthma. “According to the BSACI, allergies are more common in children than adults. Worldwide one in eight children suffer from allergic rhinitis and this figure is even higher in the UK (one in five). Not only does rhinitis reduce the quality of life for children, but it can also impair sleep and reduce school performance and attainment levels. Highquality commercial air purifiers will remove these pollutants and allergens from the air, as well as any seasonal viruses, providing the optimum environment for students to thrive.”

In August, the government announced that CO2 monitors will be provided to all state-funded education settings, so schools can identify where ventilation needs to be improved, and where it is working correctly. This, they hope, will reduce the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, thus keeping schools open Tim Browning from Fellowes Air Purifiers highlights the issue of absenteeism which can be made worse by poor air quality: “It’s believed that over 42 million school days are lost to pupil absence every year – 22 million to the common cold. Fifty per cent of children in the UK have some form of allergy, with one in 11 suffering from asthma. As microscopic airborne particles rapidly spread all of these ailments, the ability to relieve these contaminants by consistently replacing bad air for good can only help to improve pupil wellness, performance and attendance levels. “Effective air purification will drastically reduce germs, viruses, bacteria, allergens, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and unpleasant odours, resulting in a healthier school environment.” Jann Kirchberger from youvee adds: “Other substances like combustion products including carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides and perspiration of construction chemicals such as formaldehyde, in addition to dust and airborne germs and fungi are contributing to poor air quality in schools. Furthermore, high CO2 levels in the room air may lead to concentration and attention deficits, fatigue and headaches. “However, indoor air quality is extremely important, especially for children that are still developing certain skills and cerebral developments. Higher air exchange and

Panel of Experts

 can remove viruses such as Sars-Cov-2. In all settings, but particularly in nonventilated areas, air purifiers are vital in the fight against COVID and other viruses “In summary, any environment will benefit from an air purifier being installed whether there is ventilation or not, but high airflow will support a commercial air purifier even further. Higher airflow allows for germs and viruses to be removed from the air more quickly.”

ventilation rates (causing cleaner air) have been associated with faster and more accurate student responses to colour, picture memory and word recognition. “Natural ventilation with adequate air exchange rates monitored by CO2 sensors as well as mobile air purification devices wherever adequate ventilation is not possible are effective measures to continuously reduce the concentration of harmful substances in the air. Low CO2 values at the same time (<1000ppm) ensure a concentrated working atmosphere.” Dr Andrew Larner warns that fresh air from outside may not always be the answer to improving air quality if the air outside is polluted. He says: “There are other factors that can have harmful effects on human health, whether that be gasses like carbon dioxide or ozone or particles like pollen causing hay fever or small particles that trigger asthma. Ventilation can reduce these factors by bringing in outside air, but depending on the quality of the outside air, can actually increase them. For example, a day with a high ozone count will draw in large amounts of ozone into the building. The addition of the right type of filter to the ventilation will remove particles and can operate on air entering as well as leaving the occupied space. Similarly a high voltage ioniser removes particles as air enters or leaves the occupied space but within the occupied space too.” E



Hands, face and space – but what about the air we breathe? Air care has a vital part to play in the fight against COVID-19. With evidence suggesting that improved indoor ventilation and air quality will help prevent the spread of the virus, now has never been a better time for schools to invest in air purification, to support learners, staff and visitors so they can keep them safe and remain open.

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 Outdoor air pollution Data from EarthSense shows that 27 per cent of all UK schools are located in areas which are above WHO air pollution limits for the pollutant PM2.5. But there are measures that schools, and indeed councils, can put in place to reduce the pollution levels around their schools. These include having no car zones around schools, anti-idling campaigns and encouraging active travel to school. But to reduce external pollution, schools or councils should first understand the scope of the problem, believes Jonathon Hunter Hill from SAV Systems. He says: “Schools should find out how polluted the area in which they’re situated is. A combined effort would be required from all stakeholders to maximise the efficacy of the potential solutions. “Clean air zones around schools could be established. For example, councils could

enforce no parking zones around schools and limit local traffic. Parents can aid this by walking their children to school to minimise the use of vehicles. Planting has been found to mitigate a great deal of pollution, so schools could create a green boundary between the premises and the road. “Where these methods are insufficient, the school should consider ventilating classrooms with filtered mechanical ventilation, which can remove damaging pollutants from the air.” Chris Brown from phs agrees that schools need to understand the extent of the problem before deciding on what action to take. He said: “While promoting active travel to schools, encouraging children to walk or take public transport, closing roads during the school rush and switching to greener fuel options will all make a difference in the long-term, these steps will take time to make a collaborative impact.

Panel of Experts

“We would advise parents, schools and councils to assess the indoor air quality in their schools to understand the level of the problem and the potential risk to pupil and teacher health. Following this, familiarising themselves with the options available to combat the issues at hand will support schools to take appropriate action. “These steps will mitigate and protect pupils immediately, while longer-term behaviour-change, and community action takes place alongside legislative change.” Dr Andrew Larner comments: “PM2.5 particles, refers to any particle at or below 2.5 microns. Typically, these particles come from vehicle exhausts, and burning wood, heating oil or coal or natural sources such as forest and grass fires. Fine particles also form from the reaction of gases or droplets in the atmosphere from sources such as power plants. Chemical reactions can occur near schools that are miles from the original source of the emissions. “Walking to school can reduce vehicle emissions but can increase exposure. Careful planning of routes to avoid places with high pollution counts is really important.” Increasing awareness of the issue of air quality is crucial in order to spur action, believes Jann Kirchberger from youvee. He said: “Since poor air quality isn’t tangible it can often be dismissed easily. Driving awareness for this issue is crucial and can only be achieved by educating all parties involved - parents, staff and stakeholders. “Mobile air purifiers provide an effortless measure to ensure that children are learning in a safe environment. Air purifiers operating with ultraviolet light are proven to eradicate many microscopic organic contaminants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde amongst other airborne viruses and germs. Air purifiers based on HEPA filter technology significantly reduce the concentration of small particles (>100nm) in the air, but induce the risk of malfunction if not properly maintained or when the filters are not regularly changed – coming along with a potentially health-risky effort in time and costs.” CO2 Monitors in schools As we release CO2 when we breathe out, higher levels of CO2 means there is higher occupancy and lower ventilation, and can be an important red flag to identify areas of inadequate ventilation. In August, the government announced that CO2 monitors will be provided to all state-funded education settings, so schools can identify where ventilation needs to be improved, and where it is working correctly. This, they hope, will reduce the transmission of the Covid19 virus, thus keeping schools open. Chris Brown from phs believes this is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t enough. He explains: “CO2 monitors can advise school leaders and teachers when further ventilation is needed, but they cannot combat the virus itself. “Schools need further support and resources to better understand the very real impact E Issue 26.6 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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schemes/grants to the education sector to enable them to invest in adequate air purification systems. We believe it is essential for the UK government to follow suit and provide funding urgently to ensure the safest of environments for children and staff, as well as helping to enhance pupil performance and reduce absenteeism.” Dr Andrew Larner said: “CO2 monitors will, unsurprisingly, identify where CO2 levels are high. This will identify areas that need increased ventilation. Reducing CO2 will have a positive effect on increasing attention span and learning outcomes. However, increased ventilation that draws air across the room risks increasing virus transmission. In one study or a classroom environment it doubled the number of students exposed to virus particles by introducing ventilation at the rear of the classroom with an infected subject at the front of the classroom. For virus transmission there is Coronavirus particle sensor about to be launched on the market.” Commenting on the DfE CO2 monitors, Jann Kirchberger from youvee said: “This is definitely a step in the right direction. High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in indoor spaces have an adverse effect on the health and wellbeing for both students and staff alike.

The main way indoor carbon dioxide affects our health is linked to our brains. As carbon dioxide levels in a room increase, the gas starts crowding out the oxygen, reducing the amount of O2 we absorb from each breath. “In indoor areas across educational institutions, we are most likely to experience ranges of CO2 levels between 1,000 to 5,000 ppm. At that level, people often experience fatigue, develop headaches and struggle to concentrate. Adding CO2 monitors is a great way to combat this and ensure optimised health and wellbeing of everyone. “Despite this great initiative, reducing the levels of CO2 in an indoor environment does not prevent the spread of airborne viruses. For this, additional measurements need to be taken such as investing in longterm air purification methods and improving ventilation systems, which could be further supported through government funding.” Building design Jonathon Hunter Hill from SAV Systems comments on the effect of building design on air quality: “Studies have been done in recent years to quantify the effect of poor IAQ on the brain. Christian Bohr first documented the effect of CO2 E


Panel of Experts

 of poor indoor air quality, and the huge range of measures that can be taken to make improvements to the air, rather than just highlight when there’s a problem. “Governments should be speaking with academics and commercial organisations to understand what solutions are available and to provide insightful guidance to schools alongside funding to improve indoor air quality. “Following these steps, we strongly believe governments should be moving towards implementing more stringent regulations around the quality of indoor air in education settings. Pupils should be provided with the best possible environment to learn and stay healthy.” Echoing this thought, Tim Browning from Fellowes Air Purifiers believes that government has a role to play in helping schools fund air quality improvement measures. He said: “Budgets are extremely tight within most - if not all schools – and, in our experience, whilst improving indoor air quality via air purifiers is desirable with most leaders in education, it’s sadly unachievable for many due to inadequate funding being available. “Governments in the US, Germany and France have all provided central funding


The Safest Classrooms Have Fellowes In a recent test, Fellowes® AeraMax® Pro AM3 & AM4 air purifiers demonstrated to eliminate COVID-19†, using a combination of smart and integrated technologies - only from Fellowes. For further details, email Tim Browning: or visit

†Fellowes AeraMax Pro AM3 & AM4 air purifiers demonstrated, through independent laboratory testing, to be effective in eliminating aerosolized concentration of SARS-CoV-2 by 99.9999% through a single air pass test of the purifier. In addition, AeraMax Pro air purifiers reached 99.99% airborne reduction of a surrogate Human Coronavirus 229E in a 20m3 test chamber within 1 hour of operation in a separate test. © 2021 Fellowes, Inc.

 concentrations on brain activity in 1904, but buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries had poor air tightness and therefore had a high air change rate. Consequently, the Bohr Effect has not had a great impact on building design. Modern buildings are relatively airtight. Hence, ventilation solutions that can manage indoor CO2 concentrations are now a permanent fixture. A more recent study by Harvard University document the effect in 2015, establishing that CO2 concentrations of above 900 ppm in rooms greatly inhibited cognitive ability. Therefore, it’s vital that CO2 concentrations and IAQ are managed in schools. “The age-old solution has been to open a window, but this leads to draughts. Only mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) can guarantee good IAQ regardless of external conditions. “Whilst this is a step in the right direction, if the Department for Education wish to take this seriously, the regulations governing school ventilation (BB101) should be amended to guarantee that CO2 concentrations in classrooms never exceed 1,000 ppm, regardless of equipment type. Mechanical ventilation should be prioritised to ensure that classroom air is filtered.” Wider benefits of clean air The benefits of clean air are well known, although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the issue into sharper focus. So what are the wider benefits of good quality air inside classrooms? “Many studies have proven that pupils perform better when they are working in clean, organised and well-equipped facilities,” comments Tim Browning from Fellowes Air Purifiers. “This improves concentration, behaviour and general health and wellbeing. And, because it’s not always practical to have windows open due to colder weather or outdoor pollution, or even permanently locked latches, localised purification of the air is important to keep replenishing bad air with clean air – especially in places where VOCs are being emitted from photocopiers and other machines. Open windows also allow entry of allergens that cause great irritation for sufferers of allergies such as hay fever.” Jonathon Hunter Hill from SAV Systems comments: “Poor air quality is said to be the largest environmental threat to human health, so if we can appropriately manage indoor air quality, we should be able to reduce the threat that poor IAQ poses to our children for a large period of their lives: when they are at school. Assuming external pollution levels remain unchanged, ventilation systems that combine a high air change rate with filtration should be used. “The additional benefit of high ventilation rates is management of indoor CO2 concentration, such that cognitive abilities are not inhibited. A study by the Danish Technical University (DTU) in 2019 showed that by controlling acoustics, lighting, and indoor air quality, educational performance could be increase by 10 per cent or greater, resulting in an extra year of education over a period of ten years.”

Expanding on this point, Chris Brown at phs said: “A study at the London School of Economics looked into the link between indoor air quality and exam performance. The study collected air particulate readings in examination rooms and found that exam rooms at the university varied considerably in terms of air quality, and that students performed worse when they were assigned to exam rooms with higher levels of air pollution. “Other studies show that improving indoor air quality goes hand in hand with increased concentration levels and cognitive recall, and this is something we have heard anecdotally from teachers and heads at schools we work with. “Most importantly, cleaner air quality will also unarguably reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis by removing the pollutants and contaminants that trigger these reactions, as well as drastically reducing the risk to students from Covid-19 and other airborne viruses.” Jann Kirchberger from youvee said: “Many diseases can arise from exposure to airborne particles, this includes the infamous Covid-19, as well as diseases such as the common flu, mumps, measles, coughs and tuberculosis, amongst others. Therefore ensuring good air quality is vital to minimise the risk of long term health implications. “One wider benefit of good air quality is reducing the absence of student’s and staff due to lower transmission risk of the cold and flu. This directly correlates to higher engagement in classes, and a better educational experience overall. It also has a great positive impact on students with asthma and hay fever, decreasing the physical burden and discomfort it causes them. “When speaking about monitoring CO2 levels, this has a direct impact on students’ concentration during class. High levels of CO2 in an area can impact our health and wellbeing in a number of ways where one will start to experience fatigue, sleepiness, develop headaches as well as may struggle to concentrate. “The best thing to take away from this is that optimised air quality is the best way to keep schools open and ensure a high level of education for children around the United Kingdom.” Dr Andrew Larner highlights how poor air quality can aggrevate health issues: “Good air quality can removes the airborne causes of short term and long term health effects that include coughing; eye irritation; headaches and allergic reactions. Poor air quality can also aggravate asthma and/or other respiratory illnesses; and in rare cases, contribute to life-threatening conditions such as Legionnaire’s disease or carbon monoxide poisoning. “In the UK, nearly one in 11 children and young people of school-age has asthma, which effects school absenteeism and learning performance. Indoor environmental exposure to allergens (such as dust mites, pests, and moulds) plays a role in triggering asthma symptoms.” L

Jan Kirchberger During the cold winter times, it is impossible to ventilate properly without freezing classrooms and dramatically rising heating costs. Five to six air changes per hour are recommended for an effective avoidance of infection, meaning open windows and thus cold air intake every 10 to 12 minutes, leading to continuous lack of thermal comfort. This is where air purifiers such as the youvee® come into place: Providing six air changes per hour, the youvee® is proven to continuously reduce the concentration of viruses and germs in the air. In addition, the integrated CO2 sensor monitors the air quality and thus supports optimising the ventilation timing, reducing heating costs and ensuring thermal comfort.

Panel of Experts

Final thoughts

Tim Browning If choosing the right technology, adequate ventilation and air purification systems can remove over 99.99 per cent of germs and viruses – including Covid-19 / SARS-CoV-2, the H1N1 flu virus and other airborne contaminants. And when deciding which system to install, it’s highly important to check the number of air changes per hour (ACH) it will deliver. The more air changes per hour will ensure bad air is being replaced by good on a consistent basis. As rule, it’s wise to look for achieving between three to five changes per hour to ensure consistently clean air. Dr Andrew Larner To completely remove the risk of airborne transmission, we would have to remove virus particles continuously as soon as they left the infected subjects’ mouth. As the air travels from the infected subject to the ventilation system, there will always be the risk of transmission if relying on ventilation alone. From experiments with Covid infected subjects in a chamber, 3-4 complete air changes an hour (ACH) has no appreciable effect on the level viral load in the air. Air change rates of be 8-9 ACH do have an appreciable effect. Chris Brown Air purifiers should not be a substitute for ventilation – both should work in tandem with each other. This is not always practical. Schools often have lots of environments which are poorly ventilated and have no way of improving ventilation. In these areas, an air purifier such as AeraMax will make a significant improvement to that environment’s air quality. Jonathon Hunter-Hill Poor air quality is said to be the largest environmental threat to human health, so if we can appropriately manage indoor air quality, we should be able to reduce the threat that poor IAQ poses to our children for a large period of their lives: when they are at school. Assuming external pollution levels remain unchanged, ventilation systems that combine a high air change rate with filtration should be used.





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Energy Written by Alex Green, programme manager, Let’s Go Zero

COP26: Glasgow climate summit fires up green school effort The Let’s Go Zero campaign, which brings together schools aiming to become zero carbon by 2030, now includes 659 members. The campaign headed to COP26 in November to champion green schools to a global stage. Alex Green, the campaign’s programme manager, gives an update on the initiative and shares practical ways that education settings can go green The movement for sustainable schools is growing every day. The Let’s Go Zero campaign, which brings together UK schools aiming to become zero carbon by 2030, now includes 659 schools from Norfolk to Northern Ireland. By pledging to work for a more sustainable future, they are creating a host of benefits – from lower energy bills to more engaged and inspired students. In early November, the campaign headed to Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit, seizing the chance to champion green schools on a global stage. A packed schedule of activities included the Forest of Promises from young people at the heart of the summit. This display of messages revealed what students were doing to tackle the climate crisis, encouraging world leaders to show similar commitment. The campaign also joined events with the Department for Education, who have consulted the campaign on government’s latest sustainability strategy for education. This included giving young people the chance to put their questions directly to policymakers. The campaign is run by a coalition of organisations including Ashden, WWF, The Soil Association, Sustrans and IKEA UK.

The school tries to buy local products and use recyclable options where possible. St Bernard’s has also boosted its total of recycling bins, and given students emptying Actions to boost sustainability responsibilities to help them feel involved. Trailblazing schools taking part in the The school is also making a big effort to campaign show how simple, affordable encourage green travel. The school road and steps can drive down emissions. car park is closed at the start and end of the Those spurred on by COP26 include teaching day, to encourage parents St Bernard’s Primary, just a few miles to ‘park and stride’, while the from the site of the conference. school shares anti-idling Principal teacher Debbie Trailblaz messages on social media. Nelson explains: “With in There are also ‘walk to COP26 being hosted schools g school’ and ‘bike to within our own city of taking part in school’ weeks, while Glasgow, it is more c a mpaign the staff have received important than ever to simple, show how specialist cycle training. raise awareness and afforda Another Let’s promote sustainability steps ca ble Go Zero school is within our school. drive do n Ysgol Bro Dinefwr Our whole city is wn Secondary School in putting in a major effort e mission Carmarthenshire. Assistant and I would like us to s headteacher Ian Chriswick play our part in preparing says that sustainability is a the future generation.” key focus of the new curriculum The school has introduced LED in Welsh schools, and that “rather than lights and holds an annual ‘lights out day’ to just telling the children what to do we save energy, while ‘meat free Mondays’ in need to practice what we preach.” E the school canteen also lower their carbon. Supporters include The National Education Union and The Church of England.



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All students deserve to travel in a quality environment with best in class safety in a zero emission vehicle. With the ever increasing focus on carbon emissions and air quality, often driven by students themselves, it is important that we invest now to demonstrate our commitment to their future health. To this end, Pelican can offer student transportation that is safe and high quality as well as zero emission. Our TCe12 zero emission electric coach offers the following: Safety –All batteries are protected with state of the art nitrogen flame suppression systems and are placed within collision protection cages. Braking is provided by the electronic anti-lock braking system making the Yutong significantly safer than other electric vehicles. Quality – With three point seat belts on every seat, students have access to on


board WIFI and USB charging. The saloon has full air conditioning for optimum travelling conditions. The vehicle is fully wheelchair accessible allowing all students to feel included on their travels. Zero Emission – The TCe12 is the only zero emission coach available in the UK. There are no harmful emissions during the journey or whilst the vehicle is stationary at the school or college. This should be compared to a conventional diesel vehicle that produces: Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Particulate Matter, Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide. An Ultra Low Emission Bus (ULEB) emits about 1kg of CO2 for every mile travelled; old er vehicles emit very much more. A single TCe12 on school work will save in the region of 30,000kgs of CO2 every year. The vehicles are sold and supported by Pelican Bus & Coach, a 102 year old family business who are 100 per cent UK owned. With over 200 zero emissions already either in operation or pending delivery, we are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of electric zero emission buses and coaches.

The vehicle itself is produced by Yutong, the largest bus and coach manufacturer in the world with a 16 per cent share of the global market. There are over 123,261 zero emission Yutong’s in service, with 26.2 billion kms of operating experience already completed. The TCe12 is tried, trusted and proven and standing by to transport our next generation to and from their place of learning as well as introducing young people at an early stage to the importance of zero emission transportation. L FURTHER INFORMATION


Green school case study Greenshaw Learning Trust operates 21 schools across the South of England and, in late 2019, committed to substantially transform its carbon footprint. As COP26 closes the trust has completed the installation of LED lighting in 19 of its 21

St Bernard’s Primary School has introduced LED lights and holds an annual ‘lights out day’ to save energy, while ‘meat free Mondays’ in the school canteen also lower their carbon. The school tries to buy local products and use recyclable options academies [the remaining two already had LED lighting or were PFI projects] and installed 1,800 KWp of photovoltaic panels across its estates with a further 300 kWp planned for completion in early 2022. The Trust Leadership identified the need to do something well in advance of the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The £3 million investment in their estate is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the trust’s electricity consumption by at least 45 per cent and hit the government’s 2035 target for decarbonising electricity consumption for its secondary schools in 2022, 13 years early. The trust developed its Transforming Energy Management strategy with their partner EO Consulting whilst the delivery of the LED and PV projects themselves was completed by Barker Associates. Early data shows the expected savings have been achieved with schools seeing savings between five per cent and 30 per cent on the electricity bills in the first six months, even taking into account the different energy patterns experienced due to COVID. We are expecting greater savings as we go into the winter months. As the photovoltaic panels start to generate electricity, the trust is aware that, in


 This includes a range of measures, including investing in renewable energy. The school has installed solar panels on one building, but hopes to go much further. Mr Chriswick explains: “Within three years we want to be 100 per cent renewably run. Any surplus energy we need we want to top up from the local wind turbine. We are also fitting a bank of electric vehicle charging points for teachers and the wider community – we want to turn the school into a community hub.” Schools can play an important role leading the green transition in their local area. It has already welcomed its local MP to see its sustainability achievements, and wants to show more ministers in the years ahead. Mr Chriswick says: “The added bonus is on teaching the children about new technology and ways of living. At the moment they’re hearing all these scare stories [about the climate crisis]. We have seen first hand the role of action in reducing climate anxiety – the pupils have written letters to staff explaining why they think this is a good idea.” From greening buildings and supply chains to protecting outdoor spaces, there are hundreds of ways for schools to become more sustainable. After the unique opportunity of COP26, the zero carbon schools movement is going from strength to strength. The Let’s Go Zero website features information on signing up to the campaign, news and insights from participating schools, and more. Visit

themselves, they do not make the trust more energy efficient, but they do reduce carbon emissions by about 25 per cent. In addition, they enable the trust to purchase part of their electricity at a fixed price over the warranted life of the panels at 6 pence per kWh where the market rate currently is around 30 pence per kWh. The PV panels are a clear statement of intent of the trust’s ambition to reduce its carbon footprint and have stimulated discussion between staff, students, and the broader community about needing to change behaviors to further improve energy efficiency. Steve Bradford, director of resources, Greenshaw Learning Trust, said: “As an organisation we want to transform the impact we have on the environment, including our carbon footprint, and engage our students in both understanding and finding solutions to the climate crisis. The project, funded by the private sector, should reduce our electricity carbon footprint by over 45 per cent in 2021 and leave a substantial financial legacy for our schools with savings of over £9 million over the lifetime of the programme.” L FURTHER INFORMATION





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Written by Andrew Orriss, chief operating officer, Structural Timber Association (STA)

Improving wellbeing Reducing embodied carbon isn’t the only area that the school rebuilding programme must focus on. As always, such developments must also prioritise building solutions that With the government’s school rebuilding programme in progress, aid the wellbeing of those inside of them. Andrew Orriss from the Structural Timber Association examines Thankfully, structural timber solutions how structural timber solutions can assist in this effort, especially are also able to deliver on this front too, allowing buildings to be constructed with from an environmental and wellbeing point of view high levels of thermal efficiency. In turn, this allows schools to better regulate internal temperatures and create atmospheres that Once completed, the government’s school start is careful consideration of the building are neither too warm, or too cold to learn in. rebuilding programme will help to transform materials specified prior to construction. To this end, a number of studies have education for thousands of pupils across the highlighted the link between comfortable United Kingdom. The landmark project, which Reducing embodied carbon environments and improved learning and aims to deliver 500 rebuilding projects over Widely heralded as the most sustainable productivity rates. In particular, research from the next decade marks a significant new building material and totally carbon-neutral, ‘School Without Stress’ has highlighted that chapter in education infrastructure investment. structural timber can help developers in pupils in timber-clad classrooms tend to reducing the embodied carbon footprints be less stressed and better able Building for the future of forthcoming projects, such as to concentrate than those It is absolutely crucial that those overseeing those on the school rebuilding Structu in alternative structures. the programme build with future demands programme. Likewise, ral Likewise, a number of in mind. For example, at present, the the material can be t i m ber can additional studies have sector risks building structures, which sourced in a sustainable help de found that individuals contribute to the worsening of existing manner from carefully v e l in redu opers who are dissatisfied problems. Most notably: excessive and managed forestries. with thermal comfort unsustainable carbon consumption. What’s more, timber embod cing the ied carb levels are more prone to According to the UK Green Building Council, is able to sequester on footprin suffer from diminished the built environment contributes around 40 carbon dioxide out productivity rates. per cent of the UK’s total carbon footprint. of the atmosphere. forthco ts of m Additionally, by More worryingly, the total operational and Over its lifecycle, projectsing improving thermal efficiency embodied carbon footprint of the built timber trees consume values, developers are also environment equates to around 22 per carbon dioxide through creating structures that need less cent of the UK’s carbon footprint. So, when photosynthesis. To this end, energy to heat, or cool. In fact, at the embarking on major development schemes, one kilogram of timber normally STA, we have several members, including such as the school rebuilding programme, it contains around 500 grams of carbon. Innovaré Systems Limited who have worked is important that the sector looks for ways Therefore, by building with timber, education on education developments, which use E to improve on these figures. A clear place to facilities can help to keep this carbon trapped

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Building for the future with timber

inside the material and mitigate its impact on the environment. As such, structural timber solutions offer an effective ‘carbon sink’ in the battle against climate change.


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 structural timber building solutions to reach the Passivhaus Standard. Such results can help to greatly reduce operational carbon consumption within buildings. If applied across the full range of schools scheduled to be upgraded, this benefit could therefore help to yield significant results on a national level. Speaking on this subject, Innovaré Systems’ director, Gareth Ellison commented: “When delivered as part of an offsite manufactured system structural timber is a highly airtight and thermally efficient building material. These characteristics mean structural timber is ideally placed to deliver to the increasingly onerous requirements in building performance and net zero carbon targets.” Building more effectively Whilst timber as a material has been around forever, the building techniques that normally accompany it across the construction sector tend to be more modern. In particular, structural timber solutions are especially well-suited to modern methods of construction. By the same token, modern methods of construction are ideal for school rebuilding programmes where turnaround times are often very tight and highly dependent on the school’s broader calendar of events and holiday periods. This benefit is of particular note when considered in relation to the ongoing school

Research from ‘School Without Stress’ has highlighted that pupils in timber-clad classrooms tend to be less stressed and better able to concentrate than those in alternative structures rebuilding programme. Given the size of the infrastructure project, the enhanced reliability of building using modern methods of construction can help to ensure projects are completed on time. What’s more, as the vast majority of work conducted under these principles happens offsite, projects become far less weather dependent. This can make a massive difference in avoiding delays and staying on budget. Better environments for all It’s clear that structural timber is able to deliver across a great number of fronts. For one, the building material offers the education sector a way to reduce the embodied carbon levels of its buildings. At the same time, the material is able to deliver longterm, durable structures, which are suited to the demands placed on such facilities. Finally, structural timber solutions can be sourced in a highly sustainable manner.

Once specified, structural timber solutions can help contribute to more efficient building programmes on account of their suitability to modern methods of construction. Likewise, buildings produced with the material are able to achieve exceptional thermal efficiency levels and provide highly conducive spaces for learning. That’s why at the STA we believe structural timber is an obvious choice for those overseeing the school rebuilding programme and can no longer be overlooked by those in charge of the process. Structural timber solutions offer a number of advantages, which are particularly relevant to the scheme and can help to support the creation of a new generation of education facilities that perform better from a sustainability and wellbeing perspective. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Resitrix provides a robust CIF-funded roof at Prince Henry’s High School Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham is undergoing a new roof project, which involves a thermal upgrade to three roof areas, totalling 1100m2, along with an overlay with CCM’s RESITRIX system

Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ Academy for students aged 13-18 that has worked collaboratively with chartered building consultants, PR Associates, and roofing systems specialist, Carlisle Construction Materials (CCM), to secure a Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) grant for a roof upgrade. The project involves a thermal upgrade to three roof areas, totalling 1100m2, along with an overlay with CCM’s RESITRIX system; a single layer system that combines bitumen and EPDM roofing technologies. The roof refurbishment also involves improvements to drainage to address issues with ponding water. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the project is now well underway, with phases one and two complete, and phase three is due to take place during the summer break. Funding bid The school campus is typical of many high schools, with multiple additions to the original main building. Consequently, there are a number of different roof levels and roof areas in varying conditions, with a mix of existing coverings that had reached the end of their service life. In some areas, the roof was leaking and a small roof area over the main entrance was in need of particularly urgent attention because rain was draining onto it, resulting in ponding water. PR Associates advocates CCM’s RESITRIX roofing system for school roof refurbishment projects. The hybrid modified bitumen and EPDM membrane offers torch-free installation

and a certified service life of more than 50 years. The chartered building consultant worked with CCM to develop a technical specification, which contributed to Prince Henry’s High School’s CIF application. “We often find that a collaborative approach between the school, the building surveyor and our technical team at funding bid stage is instrumental in outlining the business case for a CIF grant,” explains Allen Coldrake, director of technical services at CCM. “Carrying out a full condition survey and providing a technical specification at this stage ensures that the bid considers the full scope of works and that the school makes decisions that will reduce future maintenance costs and disruption.” Site audit & specification CCM’s site audit was carried out with the contractor, AJR, present to establish the existing roof build-up and condition. The existing build-up is a profile metal deck, with a vapour control layer, 30mm of EPS insulation, 20mm of fibre board and a bituminous membrane. CCM’s technical team carried out penetration tests to ensure there was no water tracking under the existing coverings. The audit revealed that the majority of the roof areas could be overlaid following preparation with jet-washing, with a requirement to cut out blisters in some areas and carry out patch repairs. For a limited area of the roof, the existing bitumen membrane was so degraded that it had to be stripped out and a new air and vapour control layer (AVCL) was installed, for most of the roof areas,

however, the audit confirmed that the prepared existing roof covering could be used as the AVCL. Allen Coldrake continues: “Compatibility and ease of installation as an overlay are key advantages of the RESITRIX system. This is particularly important for school roof refurbishment projects, because it helps to reduce the length of the programme and potential disruption by avoiding strip-out, provided the existing covering is properly prepared. Using the existing covering as the AVCL also saves time and cost and RESITRIX only needs a primer and a single layer to complete the new roof covering.” To upgrade the roof’s thermal performance as part of the refurbishment, a tissue-faced insulation was specified for installation directly onto the existing roof surface. For the phase one and two roofs, a 130mm flat insulation board has been specified, but a tapered insulation scheme will be used for the phase 3 roof due to issues with drainage, which have been causing ponding water. Once the insulation has been installed directly onto the prepared roof surface, the specification requires application of CCM’s FG 35 primer, which is applied directly into the insulation board. This activates the adhesive on the RESITRIX membrane as soon as contact is made when the system’s release film is peeled off, with no requirement for heat activation or mechanical fixings. The specification requires a 50mm lap for the join between each 1 x 10m roll of RESITRIX laid out onto the roof. Each lap must be sealed using a hot air welding tool and, for this project, an automatic welding tool is being utilised, following a test weld. The roofs involve a range of details, including rooflights (which are being replaced), drainage outlets, a parapet wall and a tank room. A number of rainwater/ overflow outlets will also be installed to CCM installation guidelines. For most details, the AJR team can use offcuts of the membrane to form these details because the RESITRIX material bonds to itself. Building on experience With the specification agreed and the CIF funding secured, the roof refurbishment at Prince Henry’s High School is being carried out as part of a wider programme of works. The AJR team has been trained in installation of the RESITRIX system and CCM’s technical services team is carrying out regular site inspections to ensure project delivery matches the specification and delivers the full performance potential of the system. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Prince henry’s High School in Evesham 01623 627 285



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Illuminating the school environment 2021 is proving to be a very interesting time in lighting for education, with many competing factors all requiring our attention. The most current topic is of course Covid-19 and the return of our pupils and students to the classroom, seminar room or lecture theatre after weeks and months of isolation. For some, working at home online benefitted them, but many more needed the social contact of their fellow students and the stimulus from that inspirational teacher, and this teaches us something very important about lighting – lighting is for people. Educational lighting, especially school lighting too often is driven by just three

things: delivery of a uniform textbook 300 Not only do faces need to be lit, but they lux to the horizontal plane (the desktop), also need to be lit sensitively to prevent energy efficiency and capital cost. But our a person unintentionally appearing hard students didn’t come back to look at the floor or angry. Cylindrical illuminance gives an or the desktop, they came back to average across the face, modelling interact with their fellow pupils index shows how well this is and the teacher – life is lived distributed. This is especially M odern on the vertical plane, not important for children with learning the horizontal. So how hearing impairments spaces does this translate that may rely to a have th need to in good lighting? greater or lesser extent e fl In a word, modelling on lip-reading or to e x ibility to acco (for more information children with a variety m m odate differen see the modelling of conditions that are t index in EN 12464-1). sensitive to perceived and teaactivities mood or response ch method ing (as opposed to actual s mood or response). We can also go the extra mile with some lighting interest, rather than just that grid of lights in or on the ceiling, which may or may not have the luxury of controls for AV or daylight, what about adding just a few spotlights or downlights to pick up artwork or topic work on the walls? The capital cost and energy consumption are tiny compared to the creation of a far more visually stimulating space, with the highlighted artwork giving some contextual pattern – after all a classroom is there to stimulate interest, isn’t it? The use of LEDs for our lighting is now almost universal, with remaining fluorescent schemes being replaced to save energy and maintenance. But those three letters LED cover a huge amount of suppliers from the competent to the less so and a range of products from the excellent to those where value engineering has badly compromised the light fitting or the scheme. Nowadays an LED lit classroom does not need to be cold white to be energy efficient, there is no excuse for using drivers that create flicker and excess glare just reduces both the student’s and teacher’s visual comfort and ultimately learning outcomes and productivity. Students of lighting sometimes dread their lectures on colour, it’s a complex topic. But let me share a few hints and tips. Lower cost LEDs tend to be very poor in rendering reds, so ask whether yours have a good R9 value. We can now change the colour of the lighting using controls, it’s called Human Centric Lighting, some studies claim health and learning benefits, but let us remember E Issue 26.6 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Written by Bob Bohannon, head of policy & academy, Lighting Industry Association (LIA)

There is so much more to educational lighting that just cost and energy efficiency. Bob Bohannon, the Lighting Industry Association’s head of policy & academy, shares what should be considered when specifying lighting in schools


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We should not forget the ancillary areas such as sports and car parks. It is common in infant/junior schools to assemble in the school yard before going into school, and many senior schools are doing this as part of Covid control. So, lighting the school yard or assembly area is necessary and frequently forgotten  one key fact – humans evolved under dynamic lighting. Natural varies from dawn to dusk, from day to day and through the seasons – sitting moribund under a fixed 300 lux with unchanging colour from the beginning of the day to the end is maybe not the best lighting we can provide. Lighting for all spaces Between lessons and lectures we need to learn that almost everywhere is a breakout space, so circulation areas can be impromptu work areas for small group working. This means a good lighting designer should not just look at what a space is called on the 2D CAD plan, but how it is (or could be) used. If it can be a breakout space, then having lighting with the flexibility to create an ad-hoc classroom space can be useful. Lighting is inextricably linked to sight. Children with impaired vision need lighting

levels that enhance their sight. (This may not mean more light but frequently better light, with enhanced contrast and lower glare). As said already, flicker and colour spectrum are important as poor solutions can result in poor behaviour and reduced concentration. Daylight, as it is with all students, is almost universally the best light, when this is not available, use high quality, carefully designed LED. Flexibility Daylight brings us onto another key topic in this year of focus on human induced climate change, especially with COP26 being in Glasgow. Providing solar glare and solar gain are mitigated, daylight is not just the light we evolved in, it is free, it is renewable, and it does not need carbon offsetting. Lighting controls can allow those light fittings near to the window wall to dim


deeper than those nearer to the corridor wall, not just maximising energy saving but ensuring lighting levels are even across the teaching space. A lit space with no one in it is a 100 per cent waste of energy, here automated lighting controls can prevent this – remember that LEDs have no problem with frequent switching or dimming. Modern learning spaces need to have the flexibility to accommodate different activities and teaching methods. This may be by rearranging furniture or by merging spaces (e.g., for two or three classes to work together or for community use after school hours), lighting controls can frequently enable this. The new EN 12464 is also calling for higher light levels for classrooms, from 300 lux to 500 lux to allow their use by older people for adult education in the classroom. To prevent their over-lighting during the day, the young eyes of the average school pupil do not need as much light as a late middle-aged adult, then lighting controls become a prerequisite. Exterior lighting We should not forget the ancillary areas such as sports and car parks. It is common in infant/junior schools to assemble in the school yard before going into school, and many senior schools are doing this as part of Covid control. So, lighting the school yard or assembly area(s) is necessary and frequently forgotten. Exterior lighting, be it for on-site roads, car parks, security or sports pitch needs to be dark sky compliant – meaning that no light is emitted above the horizontal. Excess spill light does not just annoy the neighbours, light falling on the entrance to a bat roost delays their departure for feeding, ultimately leading to declining populations. Light into the sky cuts of our view of the stars, to help this, don’t just ensure that all the exterior lights are designed (and importantly installed) so that no light is emitted above the horizontal, but try to use warm coloured LEDs with reduced blue content – as it is this part of the spectrum that causes most sky glow. Before we end this article and relax, let’s remember that if we are covering higher education buildings, open/free work areas are common. Here we need lighting that mixes the functionality of classroom lighting with the comfort to allow students to work in a less formal space. To conclude, lighting should not be regarded as a distress purchase only to be judged by its capital cost and energy efficiency. In the year of COP26 we must remember that any electricity supporting lighting generated by a fossil fuel power station will need to be carbon offset to achieve net zero, but lighting is also for people. Light delivers a huge percentage of the information many of us perceive, we use it to read, learn and interact with others – good quality, well designed, dynamic, energy efficient lighting is of huge benefit to the pupils and students in our schools and colleges. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Less than two weeks into the new school term and a primary school in Wiltshire has suffered a major fire. Following 18 months of pandemic disruption, students at the school near Pewsey will once again face a period of uncertainty following the blaze which required 70 firefighters to bring under control. The fire at Woodborough Church of England Primary School on 17 September required 10 crews and an aerial platform from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. Whilst the Fire and Rescue service brought the incident under control there was extensive damage to two classrooms and a staff room in the Victorian part of the school. The school had no sprinklers fitted and the impact will be felt by 160 pupils who will have to be temporarily displaced. Whilst the cause of the fire is belived to have started in the roof area, Ben Ansell, Dorset and Wiltshire’s Chief Fire Officer is calling on the government to make sprinkler systems mandatory in all new build and refurbished schools: “As a service, we will continue to promote the installation of sprinklers in new and refurbished school buildings, and I know our fire safety team will be working with the management of Woodborough School to explore all available options for keeping the site safe from fire in the future.” The government acknowledges that missing lessons has an impact on attainment at key stages but is proposing that the requirement for automatic sprinkler protection is removed from its BB100 design guide for most new schools. The impact of school fires such as this and the disruption that they cause can reduce the results of the students, therefore the government’s own statistics affirm this. A small price to pay The blaze in Woodborough comes less than a year after three primary school fires in Derbyshire which are resulting in rebuild costs of £27 million, including the fire service’s costs along with temporary accommodation and alternative travel. None of these schools were sprinkler protected, which is estimated at between two to three per cent of the build costs. It’s a small price to pay to save a vital community building and to protect our children’s continuing education and achievement levels. Often people miss the point that fires do not have to damage an entire school to cause disruption. It is all about educational space, and the loss of two classrooms in this school cannot be made up by using alternative space – there just isn’t enough capacity within a

Written by Iain Cox, Chair of the Business Sprinkler Alliance

Following 18 months of pandemic disruption, students at a school near Pewsey will once again face a period of uncertainty following a blaze which required 70 firefighters to bring under control, writes Iain Cox, chair of the Business Sprinkler Alliance

Fire Safety

School fire brings more education disruption

The fire at Woodborough Church of England Primary School required 10 crews and an aerial platform to get it under control. Whilst the Fire and Rescue service brought the incident under control there was extensive damage. The school had no sprinklers fitted and the impact will be felt by 160 pupils who will have to be temporarily displaced school. The damage to the remainder of the school from such a significant fire means it will remain out of action for a prolonged period of time. Some may assume that schools are designed to withstand the risks they will be exposed to whether through fire, flood, theft, earthquake or storm, etc. Too often a building is conceived without due consideration as to the impact of those risks during its lifespan. Lost teaching time According to a 2020 study by Zurich Municipal, education insurer for half of the schools and universities in the UK, schools in England have been hit by 2,300 fires in the past five years. It estimates that 390,000 teaching hours could be lost in the next year as a result of large fires, causing disruption for 28,000 children.

What’s more, a study by Zurich conducted in 2019 found that two-thirds of schools have ‘poor’ fire protection and are not properly prepared for a potential damaging fire. It also found that schools in England are ‘twice as likely’ to suffer fires than other school buildings. When you consider the huge costs associated with school fires such as rebuilding, temporary relocation, loss of equipment and the impact on pupils’ academic work, why are we not learning the lesson about fires in schools whilst continuing to build them without key resilience measures such as sprinkler systems? L FURTHER INFORMATION



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IT & Computing

Bringing computing to life A new free loan scheme from the National Centre for Computing Education has made it easier for teachers to explore the possibilities of using physical computing to bring computing to life. Victoria Temple explains how the scheme works and how students will benefit Learning computing skills doesn’t have Raspberry Pi 3B+ and Picos to primary to involve a screen. ‘Getting physical’ and and secondary schools across England. learning to use computer science in real life The scheme, launched this term, is backed is a great way to inspire young people. with NCCE training and lesson plans to enable A new free loan scheme from the National teachers and students to make the most of Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) the resources. Funded by the Department has made it easier for teachers to for Education, the network of 34 explore the possibilities of NCCE Computing Hubs based using physical computing to at schools across England E nabling bring computing to life. deliver face-to-face and student “Physical computing online support to primary s to cont is about using a and secondary schools computer or device – and now provide world o rol realb j to communicate classroom sets of e c t s with compu with the real world,” physical computing kits. t e r s in ways that are explained James Dan Elwick, a meanin Robinson, a physical programme manager g ful to the computing expert at the at the NCCE, said: powerfm is a Raspberry Pi Foundation, “This project is such an ul tool one of the NCCE’s exciting opportunity to consortium partners. inspire students of all ages to The NCCE’s new physical learn about computing in new computing scheme lends and engaging ways by providing kit, classroom kits of Crumbles, Micro:bits and content and training for free to schools across

England that have not had the budget or expertise to teach physical computing before. The benefits of physical computing James Robinson explained more about the benefits of teaching through physical computing:“Physical computing is about using that device to create a real-world output, for example through lights, motors or sounds; or sensing something, such as recording temperatures, measuring humidity, or the distance away from the device. “Connecting the virtual world with something that is real, physical and tangible can be a real motivating factor for students who are used to purely screen-based programming.” James explained more about how physical computing can enhance learning. Students might, for instance, use simple electronic components like LEDs and write a program to make a LED blink. “Once you’ve learned how to make an LED blink, you can move on to adding in E Issue 26.6 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


IT & Computing

 a buzzer, multiple LEDs, or maybe even a motor to create movement,” said James, who started exploring the possibilities of physical computing at after-school clubs ten years ago and has been using Raspberry Pi kit in his classrooms since it was launched in 2012. “We tried to use the physical computing context quite frequently throughout the GCSE – we learned the concepts we needed to understand for the GCSE but often used a physical computing angle to explore those concepts.” A powerful educational tool Enabling students to control real-world objects with computers in ways that are meaningful to them is a powerful educational tool. Physical computing kits are now available to borrow free of charge from all 34 Computing Hubs based at schools across England. The kits are available as classroom trays suitable for teachers to get started with physical computing at different key stages: Crumble trays for Key Stage 2; Micro:bit trays for Key Stages 2 and 3; Raspberry Pi Pico trays and Raspberry Pi 3B+ trays for Key Stage 4. The NCCE has produced accompanying guides which detail the resources and training to make the most of each tray, and for those new to physical computing, there are new face-to-face courses to introduce teachers to the Crumble, Micro:bit, and Raspberry Pi Pico. “Physical computing is very engaging. It’s a concrete experience where learners are interacting with the objects that they are then going to program,” said James. “Emerging research suggests that physical computing activities help to support learners’ understanding of programming. In an abstract context, it can be quite difficult to understand a program. But when you’re working with something physical, the physical


The NCCE’s new physical computing scheme lends classroom kits of Crumbles, Micro:bits, Raspberry Pi 3B+ and Picos to primary and secondary schools object can provide lots of cues and hints that help you look for clues about which part of the program is making the LED light up. “Plus, physical computing is a collaborative experience. It gives learners the opportunity to collaborate, and involves them designing and prototyping, as well as connecting with other subjects such as design, science, and engineering. There are definitely opportunities to link with STEM subjects, but also across the curriculum more generally to make interesting and exciting learning opportunities happen.” The STEM connection Those opportunities to explore and link engineering, science and computing are also being explored in primary schools, supported by the NCCE’s physical computing kits. Luke Hammond is a year 5 teacher at Purford Green Primary and is head of computing across three primary schools, teaching computing in every class from year 1 to year 6 across three schools. Luke attended a Crumble training session at Harlow Education Centre and the hub offered Luke a classroom tray to borrow and use in his schools. Using lesson units from the NCCE’s Teach Computing Curriculum, Luke adapted them to build his own lesson plans looking at debugging with Scratch. “We’re excited about using the NCCE’s physical computing kits and have shown

the kits to the children - they’re excited too. We are going to start teaching with them after half term,” said Luke. “We are starting with a project with a Year 5 class where they are going to build bridges that open to allow boats to pass through. “It will allow them to cement what they’ve previously learned from coding. They’ll be building a set of traffic lights and need to make sure that they have the correct sequence. Our computing lessons will be more engaging because they’re going to be able to create a design and see their code working and be able to touch it and feel it. “Physical computing links with other subjects like design and technology and science. It allows children to learn more than just coding and spread that knowledge across different subjects in the curriculum.” Luke, and his pupils are excited about the possibilities. They’re not stopping at bridges and traffic lights. “Our after-school club will be trying to make a car and a merry-go-round. Crumbles give you quite a lot of freedom to be creative, and we’re all set to explore that!” To find out more about the NCCE’s physical computing kits contact your local Computing Hub via L FURTHER INFORMATION


BESA’s LearnED Roadshows provide a forum for teachers to share experiences, showcase best practice and identify strategies that have been used successfully by teachers in schools around the country during lockdown and remote learning

Every time I hear someone talk about ‘school closures’ during lockdown I bristle and remind them that schools were never actually closed. That pupils of keyworkers and those with particular needs, were still able to attend in person, and that crucially, teachers continued to work in schools as well as delivering lessons online throughout. For them, school closures are a misnomer. Last week I met a teacher from a large secondary school in East London who spoke emotionally about the many roles she had taken on during the pandemic. These included IT Support by helping pupils get their laptops working and locating work online, and teacher trainer, which involved supporting other teachers with their IT issues as they got to grips with online teaching. Other roles included examination officer, which involved working out Teacher Assessed Grades for GCSE and A-Level students, and welfare/safeguarding officer, which involved monitoring calls during live lessons to responding to cries for help 24/7, this role became increasingly significant as time went on. Another role was family counsellor – as relationships became frayed at home, as parents juggled work and home schooling, teachers were increasingly relied upon to resolve tensions and diffuse situations.

Whilst I knew in theory the role that teachers played over the last 18 months, hearing it first-hand in this way really hammered home the demands and pressures that many in the profession have faced. For those of us working in offices, who pivoted to working from home, it is hard to comprehend the full extent of the added burdens and responsibilities that were heaped on teachers during this period. Fast forward 18 months and much of life is returning to ‘normal’. Yet in schools we know this is not the case. Whilst bubbles may have gone and schools are fully open, the threat of COVID remains everpresent and the impact undeniable. We have been running our LearnED Roadshows this term and have been struck by just how many teachers have spoken of staff shortages at school due to COVID outbreaks, of pupils dialling in from home again and even of the reimposition of face masks in the run up to half term to try and keep infection rates down. The pressures on teachers have not gone away. Added to the challenges of managing illness, absence and uncertainty on a daily basis, are the longer-term issues of how best to support the pupils who have been most affected by the pandemic. The impact of lockdown There has been a swathe of research into the affects that home learning and lockdown has had on pupils, with much of it reaching the same conclusions: Schools serving the highest proportions of disadvantaged pupils had the lowest levels of pupil engagement; primary teachers were more likely to be in contact with more of their pupils on a regular basis; secondary schools were more likely than primary schools to be covering the full curriculum; schools in some of the northern regions of England had lower levels of parental engagement, pupil access to IT, and the proportion of teachers receiving guidance on the amount of work to be set and submitted, relative to some southern regions; schools with low prior attainment tended to report lower

Moving forwards Whilst measures such as summer schools and tutoring have been put in place, the debate rages on as to how best to resolve these issues. BESA is committed to working together with teachers, educators, government and the wider education sector to address the realities of reduced attainment and student wellbeing. Our LearnED Roadshows provide a forum for teachers to share experiences, showcase best practice and identify strategies that have been used successfully by teachers in schools around the country. When we started them three years ago, we had a vision to shine a light on those schools at the cutting edge, those using technology in ways that were new and unfamiliar to the vast majority of teachers. Now they reflect the shared experiences of the profession and offer delegates the opportunity to reflect on the progress they have made with technology, much of it springboarded by the transition to online learning in 2020. We also hope they will serve as a source of support and guidance that will help us all navigate the choppy waters ahead, as we collaborate to find ways to resolve the long-term impact of the pandemic upon pupils and their educational outcomes. L

Written by Julia Garvey, deputy director General, BESA

levels of pupil engagement; and schools using a virtual learning environment (VLE) to inform pupils about learning activities had higher pupil engagement levels and an increased probability of having highly engaged disadvantaged pupils.

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FURTHER INFORMATION References Department for Education (2020). Planning Guide for Primary Schools, Guidance for Secondary School Provision from 15 June 2020, Get Technology Support for Children and Schools during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dunatchik, A., Wishart, R., Cartagena-Farias, J. and Smith, N. (2018). Regional Differences in Attainment in the Early Years Education Endowment Foundation (2020). Rapid Evidence Assessment Summary: Distance Learning, Rapid Evidence Assessment Summary: Impact of School Closures on the Attainment Gap, Covid-19 Resources: Supporting Schools and Parents to Make the Most of Home Learning Nelson, J. and Sharp, C. (2020). Schools’ responses to Covid-19: Key findings from the Wave 1 survey. Slough: NFER. Walker, M., Worth, J. and Van den Brande, J. (2019). Teacher Workload Survey 2019



Discover the latest education technology solutions shaping the classroom of tomorrow on board the BenQ Bus, next stop Bett 2022!

BenQ’s education roadshow has been touring the UK, supporting education establishments with the adoption of new technology solutions to increase classroom interactivity, student engagement and the move to hybrid learning. The world-renowned technology manufacturer has been taking its portfolio of collaborative technology solutions directly to the doors of education environments including schools, academies, colleges and universities armed with a squad of passionate team members, a playlist of love ballads and a hunger to drive collaboration forwards. Visitors to Bett 2022 will also be able to hop on board to experience the future of the classroom and have the chance to book the BenQ Bus to visit them throughout the rest of the academic year at their own establishment, completely free of charge. Front of classroom touchscreen displays Discover BenQ’s front-of-classroom solutions including interactive flat panel displays, projectors and collaboration devices. These software and platform agnostic solutions increase in-class engagement and allow teachers to annotate lesson slides, connect with students’ personal devices for instant collaboration, upload and download documents to the cloud and stream lesson content, all from one front of the room device. Student Collaboration BenQ’s exclusive collaboration software EZWrite streamlines discussions by making it even easier for teachers and students to share ideas, notes and opinions by working together on the same digital whiteboard simultaneously through the cloud. The BenQ Account Management System (AMS) also enables teachers to access materials stored on the cloud and start lessons immediately without needing a PC, laptop, or HDMI. Discover more about InstaShow™, the plug and play device for easy wireless presenting and collaborating, quite literally at the touch of a button. This unique solution allows students to take the lead by simply plugging InstaShow™ into any device and pressing the button. The plug and play operation requires no driver installation and is compatible with any OS or hardware platform. With InstaShow™, up to four users can simultaneously share their screens to boost meeting engagement and enhance team collaboration. Since it runs

off a standalone network, it can transmit data securely avoiding school networks being intercepted and valuable data from being stolen. Any malware or virus on students’ devices has no opportunity to penetrate or attack your school’s network. Digital Signage BenQ’s range of digital signage allows institutions to deliver visual precision across their full range of communications; from campus wayfinding to advertising and canteen menu boards to delivering updates and alerts. BenQ signage solutions are the perfect all-inone solution with no external media player, speakers, or unsightly cables required. §The world’s first and only Pantone-validated signage with up to 4K UHD quality guarantees eye-catching messages and advertisements in vivid detail. The built-in exclusive X-Sign software with over 150 pre-installed design templates also allows you to create eye-catching content and broadcast it to every display from one central location. Creating a healthy learning environment Every BenQ display also comes with built-in ClassroomCare technology, including a complete eye-care solution with an anti-glare coating, low blue light, and flicker free technology for comfortable viewing from anywhere in the classroom. BenQ’s RM* and RP displays include the addition of an anti-bacterial silver coating that prevents cell replication of bacteria and viruses so staff and students can use shared interactive features without having to worry about the spread of illness. The RP interactive display series also features an intelligent air quality sensor that monitors the humidity, CO2 levels, temperature and the presence of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter. These features

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Next stop, Bett UK 2022 ensure that the only thing students are leaving the classroom with is quality learning. Meet the BenQ Team As well as heaps of exciting hardware and software, you’ll also find a team of technology gurus onboard including former teacher and education consultant, Ben Whitaker, talking about how BenQ are delivering the classroom of tomorrow. Every sector is currently grappling with the challenging task of trying to uncover the best means of achieving successful AV and IT hybridisation. The transition to hybrid models within the education sector, if done incorrectly, risks further disruption to students who have already lost upwards of 61 face-to-face teaching days throughout 2020. By visiting schools, colleges, and universities, BenQ’s technology experts have been able to assist educators as they battle with the difficult task of integrating the right hardware and software successfully into the current education digital ecosystem. Teaching Resources With innovative hardware and software developments as well as new partnerships with the likes of Zoom, Google, and OAK National Academy (the government’s own learning resource platform), BenQ has set its sights on being the education technology provider that will deliver the classroom of the future. Try out all of BenQ’s latest education technology this January at BETT 2022. Find us on Stand SH21. L *part number dependent FURTHER INFORMATION BETT stand SH21



Bett Show Preview

Welcome back to EdTech’s leading reunion Bett is the global community for education technology. The event sparks ideas, creates connections and accelerates trade, driving impact and improving outcomes for teachers and learners. For the first time since the beginning of 2020, Bett returns to the ExCeL London on 19-21 January 2022 to reunite the global education community in person In the past year and a half, we’ve seen the education community demonstrate true resilience and resourcefulness in the face of ongoing disruption. To ensure that educators were connected and supported during the new normal of living, learning, and working remotely, Bett pivoted to a fully digital offering, providing online professional development, expertise from leading voices in education, and solution discovery. Looking forwards, however, schools and institutions are moving beyond crisis response with the aim to turn lessons learned into sustainable, long-term action. At a strategic systems level, what can be retained, developed, and/or streamlined? Here’s one of the multiple questions Bett is dedicated to try and answer at the show. Introducing the Bett 2022 global themes As the education community looks beyond the crisis response, the overarching theme of Bett 2022 is: create the future. When challenged with exceptional, unprecedented problems and barriers to learning during this time of disruption, it has been vital for educators to think outside the box and solve problems creatively. Armed with more EdTech solutions and


The Teaching & Learning Theatre is the place resources than ever before, educators have the to celebrate the best use of technology for opportunity to reimagine traditional models engaging all students, demonstrating creative of pedagogy so that students can plug into a learning experiences that enhance teaching personalised, future-facing learning experience and enrich learning across the curriculum. and become resilient, creative lifelong learners The Leaders @ Bett Theatre is led by who can harness their knowledge and skills institution leaders and their teams. to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. This is the place for policy, Informed by conversations digital strategy, wholewith our audience, Bett’s six A rmed school management, HE global themes will structure with m transformation and more. the three full days of o r e EdTech The Tech in Action content at Bett 2022, before, than ever Theatre in the North & ensuring that education South Halls are a hub stakeholders worldwide have th educators e oppo for practical product can address their most to reim rtunity demonstrations pressing challenges agine traditio to deepen and priorities. nal m understanding and pedago odels of evaluate the efficacy Content gy of solutions. Experience destinations software solutions in at Bett 2022 the North Hall Theatre Discover what you can and hardware and equipment expect from our nine content solutions in the South Hall theatre. features and stages hosting over 90+ The Bett Academy Live Theatres in the hours of free CPD-accredited content. North & South Halls) are a monthly series The Arena is the heart of the show, of CPD-certified sessions for educators. home to the most inspirational, futureThese tutorials are streamed online thinking keynotes and discussions and every month. At Bett 2022, join the Bett hosting household names from the Academy Live Theatres in person! world of education and beyond.


The Teaching & Learning Theatre is the place to celebrate the best use of technology for engaging all students, demonstrating creative learning experiences that enhance teaching and enrich learning across the curriculum Bett Futures meanwhile is the home of the startup where you can discover emerging innovations from EdTechs at the start of their journey. New for 2022 is Esports @ Bett. Experience live gaming demonstrations

and hear from industry experts on how schools and universities can harness this growing industry to engage students, support teaching and learning objectives and identify future skills.

Hop on-board the BenQ Bus to see the latest education technology

Discover the latest education

technology solutions shaping the classroom of tomorrow on board the BenQ Bus, next stop Bett 2022! BenQ’s education roadshow showcases its innovative portfolio of education technology, designed to support education establishments with the adoption of new technology solutions to increase interactivity, student engagement and the move to hybrid learning. At BETT 2022, hop on board the bus to discover the classroom of tomorrow with interactive touchscreen displays that protect the health

and wellbeing of students, presentation devices that make collaborating as easy as pressing a button (literally), and some of the most advanced digital signage with built-in content creator software and a remote device management system. Meet the education technology gurus of BenQ this January and find out how they’re driving collaboration forward. Find us on Stand SH21. L

FURTHER INFORMATION Find out more about BenQ at BETT 2022 on stand SH21 or visit the website at

Bett Show Preview

Bett After Hours As Bett moves to a three-day show, on Thursday 20 January, Bett will provide extended opening hours so that visitors who cannot attend during the day can still experience everything in the evening. Gain professional development and best practice after the school day as part of the Twilight CPD and content sessions; discover the latest solutions from exhibitors; and connect with your peers at Bett evening networking and social events. Bett Hosted Leaders Programme Brought to you by Bett and Learnit, the Hosted Leaders Programme will connect global school, university and government leaders with relevant and thoughtfully selected Solution Providers through carefully curated 1:1 meetings. No random meetings or forced connections, just high-quality conversations between two parties who are perfectly matched to do business. This invaluable initiative provides tangible ROI for all participants. The event has sold out for the previous three years, so book early to avoid missing out. Safe & Secure Your health, safety and comfort is Bett number one priority. As the industry moves forward, Bett is dedicated to delivering events and facilitating trade with health and safety at the top of the agenda. L FURTHER INFORMATION Register here:

Helping pupils with critical thinking

Endoxa Learning makes software to improve school students’ critical thinking skills. It is available as a webapp for desktop, laptop and tablet computers, suitable for use in class and at home. Critical thinking is important in education and in the workplace. However, studies show that students struggle to develop this at school. The problem is that argumentative prose imposes a heavy cognitive load on the reader. Endoxa Learning software solves this by using diagrams to represent arguments. Visualising an argument makes it easier to understand, by dual coding it as both text and images. Our platform is like a library of textbooks for different subjects from KS3 to A level, containing lessons covering the whole specification. Each lesson

works through an argument step-by-step, with automatically marked tasks and quizzes. Facts are embedded throughout, so students gain knowledge while developing their critical thinking skills. A dashboard allows the teacher to set work and view progress in real time. This is not a separate course in critical thinking, but a new way to teach which infuses a critical approach to the subject, improving students’ argumentation, essay-writing and the important life skill of critical thinking. See us at BETT, stand NA11 or find out more on our website. L FURTHER INFORMATION BETT stand NA11



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Critical thinking: why is it important in the classroom? Critical thinking is important in all levels of education, from students grappling with openended problems in secondary school, to mastering arguments at university level. So how can it be taught? Julian Plumley, founder of Endoxa Learning, explains What made you start Endoxa Learning? I am an engineer by training, so I like to draw diagrams. When I studied for my philosophy degree, I ended up drawing arguments to make them easier to understand and learn. When I researched this, I found that there was a lot of academic work supporting using argument diagrams to improve critical thinking, but no practical product that students could use. So I started the company to change this. What is Critical Thinking? ‘Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do.’ The philosopher Robert Ennis’ definition is widely used and captures the idea of critical thinking succinctly. Being “reasonable” means we have to give reasons for what we believe and what we decide to do; that is we have to make an argument for them. Being “reflective” means we think things through for ourselves, raise questions and find information, rather than acting passively. The outcome of a critical thinking process is to produce one’s own argument for one’s own conclusion. There is wide agreement that critical thinking is a set of skills which can be learned, practiced and improved. The consensus view in the literature on which skills are required is as follows: Interpretation: categorising information; clarifying meaning. Analysis: detecting and analysing arguments to identify their conclusion, premise and structure; sorting out irrelevant material Evaluation: judging the truth of statements, the credibility of sources and the strength of arguments; anticipating objections. Argument Creation: supporting premises; formal and informal reasoning; presenting arguments and drawing conclusions; considering alternatives. There is also broad agreement that certain values are necessary to be a good critical thinker: fair-mindedness; inquisitiveness; open-mindedness and confidence. Students will reinforce these values when they practice critical thinking.


Is critical thinking the same as problem-solving? In education, problem-solving and criticalthinking overlap. The extent to which they are the same depends on the subject matter and the level. In STEM subjects, lots of good problem-solving thinking is not critical thinking. But in HASS (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences) subjects, problem solving is often an exercise in pure critical thinking. For example, typical exam problems in A level RE are: “To what extent was Jesus merely a political liberator?” and “‘Good’ is meaningful. Discuss.” They require analysis and evaluation of competing arguments, some interpretation of sources, and the creation of an argument for the student’s point of view. These are all critical thinking skills. Typical exam problems in A level chemistry are: “Calculate a value for the enthalpy of lattice formation of MgO.” and “Explain the bonding in and the shape of a benzene molecule.” These problems require understanding of chemistry, mathematical skill and some creativity, but not critical thinking skills. Put simply, critical thinking is needed when the answer to the question could go ‘either way’ and the student has to make an argument for their point of view. In STEM subjects up to A Level, the correct answer is never in doubt, but in HASS subjects, it is. This is not to say that STEM subjects never require critical thinking skills. All subjects require critical thinking at a high enough level, where there are problems on which even the academics disagree. But in secondary school, the HASS subjects deal with open-ended problems from year 7 onwards. Therefore these are the most suitable subjects for developing critical thinking skills at school. Why is critical thinking important? Critical thinking is clearly important in education. In secondary schools, students are grappling with open-ended problems in HASS subjects. The requirements for critical thinking increase as the student advances through secondary school and on to higher education. At A level, the reforms introduced from 2015 increased the proportion of marks for analysis and evaluation. In higher education, the

requirement to master argumentation is essential, so universities value critical thinking skills very highly. This is also true in the workplace. Critical thinking is identified as one of the most important 21st-century work skills by the World Economic Forum (WEF). As knowledge becomes ever more easily available via the internet, recruiters will look increasingly for thinking skills. This trend is expected to accelerate as technological advances reduce the need for many traditional jobs. Since 50% of students will never enter higher education, it is essential that critical thinking skills are built up during secondary education. However, 85% of teachers thought critical thinking skills were inadequate when students reached post-16 education (TES). Our own qualitative research in schools revealed typical worries that students have such as: losing track of the argument; not planning before starting an essay; including irrelevant information. Examiners’ reports consistently point out the lack of a good argument in exam entries. Moreover, teachers express concern with regards to teaching of critical thinking skills. Students are often much better at learning facts than making a good argument, but there is no time to teach this properly in a contentheavy curriculum. The requirements to think critically have increased, but the textbooks and training have not always kept up. Why is it difficult to learn critical thinking? In school, students are introduced to critical thinking by reading and writing arguments in prose. The textbooks, articles and original sources they read are usually in prose, as are the essays they write. Prose is a very flexible medium, but it is not the optimal way to represent an argument. Firstly, students cannot look at argumentative prose and immediately find the argument. Prose makes no distinction between the sentences which are part of the argument and those that do other things, such as supporting facts and context. So the argument is hidden amongst other information, much of which is distracting. Secondly, prose is linear, but arguments are usually branched. Students cannot


How best can critical thinking be learned? The solution is to express arguments in a different way. An argument graph (or argument map) is a diagram that visualises an argument. This is drawn as boxes connected by arrows. The argument is “chunked” into steps which are chained together, branching as necessary. Context and facts are annotated using clickable buttons, so they do not clutter the diagram. This is an intuitive way to convey how an argument works, avoiding the problems of prose. Only the statements forming the argument are displayed and the structure of the argument is immediately visible. Colours and shapes represent truth, argument strength, coherence and logic. These conventions are grasped quickly, without needing a complex training in argumentation. This method is rigorous; bad reasoning can be spotted immediately. And it is quick for a student to read or a teacher to check; far fewer words need to be read to understand the argument. Argument graphs use the principle of dual coding to reduce cognitive load so that students can analyse and evaluate more arguments, more rigorously and in more detail. There is a large academic literature showing that this method is about twice as effective as traditional courses in improving critical thinking. (Here is a recent review.) Where does Endoxa Learning fit in? We are the first to apply argument graphing to a whole curriculum. Our webapp platform is like a library of textbooks for different subjects from KS3 to A level. Each subject contains 100 – 200 lessons covering the entire specification. Each lesson is based on an argument graph that students go through interactively step-by-step. All

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understand the structure of an argument by looking at the prose. Moreover, the whole structure has to be kept in mind when evaluating the argument. For example, if they find a counter-example to one step of an argument, they need to know the structure to realise whether this defeats the whole argument or just a part of it. For these reasons, argumentative prose imposes a heavy cognitive load on the reader. Students are obliged to work hard to discover how an argument works before they can even begin to critique it. This is especially difficult for those who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia. School students normally create their own arguments by writing essays. Even if they are well-informed they often write a lot of facts without pulling them together into an argument. The very flexibility of prose allows essays to be unrigorous, ambiguous, and irrelevant. Moreover, essays are slow for students to write and slow for teachers to check and mark, limiting the amount of arguments that can be studied in detail. For these reasons, learning critical thinking through school work is difficult and its results are patchy.

One step of an argument graph. The premises are at the top, the conclusion at the bottom, connected by an argument type box.

the background information and relevant facts are included, so the student learns subject knowledge as well as argument, and low-stakes testing is provided using automatically marked quizzes and reasoning tasks. At the end of the lesson, the student can edit the diagram to include their own ideas: counter-arguments, case studies, etc. They make the argument graph their own and it can be used as a visual essay plan, or revision guide. For the teacher, the system is the same for all subjects and levels, so it only has to be learned once. A dashboard allows the teacher to set work and view progress in real time. It is suitable for use in class

and at home. This is not a separate course in critical thinking, but a new way to teach which infuses a critical approach to the subject. I think this is the best way to ensure students leave school having developed these vital skills. L To find out more about Endoxa Learning, visit our website, or see us at the BETT show in London (19 - 21 Jan 2022) – stand NA11. FURTHER INFORMATION BETT stand NA11

Julian Plumley has degrees in engineering from Cambridge and in philosophy from London. He is fascinated with visualising reasoning to make complex debates more accessible to people. He is the founder of Endoxa Learning Ltd, which makes software to improve critical thinking skills.



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ESFA CFO Mentoring Pilot Programme: harnessing effective peer-to-peer support Having won the contract to deliver the CFO mentoring programme, ISBL has already commenced the recruitment and training of mentors, with the first cohort of mentoring relationships commencing during October 2021

As part of the ongoing strategy of developing schools’ capability for effective financial and resource management, the ESFA is running a pilot offering identified school and academy CFOs a unique and cost-free opportunity to further develop their skills and knowledge via a one-to-one mentoring programme. ISBL has won the contract to deliver this CFO mentoring programme and we have already commenced the recruitment and training of mentors with the first cohort of mentoring relationships commencing during October 2021. The next cohort of mentees will be matched with their mentors in December 2021 with their relationships starting in January 2022. The role of the mentor All mentors are being selected for the programme based on their experience as a Chief Finance


Officer, mentoring skills and prior experience of developing colleagues. All selected mentors will be remunerated for their participation in this pilot programme and be contracted directly by ISBL. The mentor-mentee relationship will take place over a maximum of 6 months, with an agreed set of goals for the mentee to achieve agreed and set out in an Action Plan with clear measurables identified. In addition to defined development areas the mentor should be prepared to support, guide and advise the mentee on other aspects of the CFO role should the mentee request this during the duration of their relationship. After working with a mentor, the mentee should be effective in the management of the trust’s finances and should be able to competently carry out tasks around budget planning, monitoring, reporting and in the area of wider resource management. The mentee will be confident in developing and implementing strategies to resource and deliver the trust’s objectives whilst achieving value for money across all areas of spend. You can find out more about the role profile of a mentor by visiting the ISBL

website: CFO-Mentoring-Programme.aspx. Becoming a mentor There is still time to apply to be a mentor. As we are looking to recruit a further ten colleagues to join the programme and benefit from the training and development that will be made available to mentors, monthly, throughout the 12 month pilot programme. If you feel that you have the skills, time and interest to join the programme and provide development support to an existing, new or aspiring CFO colleague then access the application and apply today. Hurry though as we must recruit all mentors by the 15 December 2021. If you would like to find out more then please email us with your questions to the email address below. L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information, visit


Caroline Doherty, head of education strategy at The Key, examines the recent transformation school CPD has undergone and considers where it might be headed next

CPD has come under the spotlight in recent years, and it’s become increasingly clear that the impact of high quality training and development should not be underestimated. For example, the Education Policy Institute recently suggested that by spending an extra £500 per teacher on CPD the government could prevent up to 12,000 teachers leaving the profession every year. It could also boost pupil attainment by an extra two-thirds of a GCSE grade – which in turn, translates to extra lifetime earnings of more than £6,000 per student. While the value of CPD is clear, we know that the last 18 months have been an extraordinary time for schools. They have rightly been focusing their efforts on supporting their pupils and communities through an unprecedented time of challenge and change. It’s therefore no surprise that in our recent survey of school leaders, half (44 per cent) of respondents told us their staff had taken part in less like-for-like CPD in the last 12 months. Despite this, 88 per cent of leaders also stated that they felt CPD was either “extremely important” or “important” to the post pandemic recovery of their school. Indeed, nearly half (44 per cent) said they plan to increase their CPD provision in the coming year. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in evidence-based practice, with organisations like the Education Endowment Foundation, The Chartered College of Teaching, and ResearchED really getting research into the hands of practitioners. So much more CPD content now comes directly from those who are still in the classroom themselves. In fact, many schools now use their own staff to deliver sessions to their colleagues, using research and evidence tailored to their school’s unique circumstances and needs.

With many more people delivering CPD, there has also been an inevitable growth in teachers and leaders sharing their work online, for the benefit of others. Whether that might be on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, podcasts, blogs or webinars. While this is an undeniably great thing, as a consumer of this content, it has sometimes been hard to know where to start, or where the real, tried and tested quality lies. When the pandemic struck, we were all forced to think differently about CPD. Suppliers in the CPD space quickly sprung into action as they sought to rethink the day-long training course model and consider how effective professional development could be delivered remotely. But instead of a CPD drought, there was a veritable flood of people offering up exciting new options. Innovative ways of learning The pandemic has opened our eyes to more innovative ways to learn that rely less on everyone being in the same room and eliminate the stresses around inclusivity, travel and cost to attend conferences and events. Plus, having access to sessions afterwards makes it much easier for attendees to share what they’ve watched with their colleagues. We’ve seen a tendency towards shorter, bite-size learning supported by rich discussion that happens with colleagues in school, about how to “make it happen” in their context. Indeed, the on-demand videos and live streamed events created for our own digital CPD platform - IdeaStream - have been designed with team viewing in mind. Staff can watch as a group and then discuss how they might implement change in their context. Whatsmore, having access

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The evolving landscape of CPD

to a curated library of tried-and-tested approaches from experienced, practising school leaders, means that it is now easier than ever for all staff to tap into best practice and expertise, whenever they need it. It’s clear that the pandemic has rapidly increased the sector’s exposure to online CPD, and it looks likely to continue. Our survey showed that just nine per cent of school leaders have a preference for returning to in-person CPD provision (such as conferences) post-pandemic. Two-thirds (67 per cent) are keen to use a combination of both online and in-person - and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) want to keep their CPD online only in the future. We never know exactly what’s around the corner, but the days of spending hundreds of pounds on day-long conferences and courses are seemingly already behind us. As we move into a new normal, the way staff consume CPD is looking radically different, and despite its challenges, the pandemic and its tech opportunities have breathed new life into CPD delivery. As leaders continue on the winding road to recovery, they can now lean on this innovation and connect with other practitioners across the country, in order to support their staff. L Caroline Doherty is head of education strategy at The Key, a provider of up-to-theminute sector intelligence and resources that empower education leaders with the knowledge to act. For more information about IdeaStream, The Key’s new CPD offering, visit the website below. FURTHER INFORMATION



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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 0800 032 1334



The Autumn term has started with relaxed Covid safety measures in place, yet schools are still required to operate in as Covid-secure manner as possible. We summarise the latest guidance Now the Covid-19 vaccination programme is in full swing and certain Covid-safety measures have been relaxed, schools can enjoy relative normality. Yet certain control measures remain in place. These include good hand hygiene, maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes, keeping spaces well ventilated, and following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19. Hygiene Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice, and schools should continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser. The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to respiratory hygiene continues to be very important. The e-Bug COVID-19 website contains free resources, including materials to encourage good hand and respiratory hygiene. Regarding face coverings, most staff in schools will not require personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond what they would normally need for their work.

number of people using the space, whether they are entering and exiting the setting. Access to handwashing and hand-sanitising facilities is a must. Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is particularly important in bathrooms and communal kitchens. When cleaning surfaces, it is not necessary to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing over and above what would usually be used. In bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly. Ensure suitable hand washing facilities are available including running water, liquid soap and paper towels or hand driers. Where cloth towels are used, these should be for individual use and laundered in accordance with washing instructions. Waste does not need to be segregated unless an individual in the setting shows symptoms of or tests positive for Covid-19. Dispose of routine waste as normal, placing any used cloths or wipes in ‘black bag’ waste bins. You do not need to put them in an extra bag or store them for a time before throwing them away. Schools should put in place and maintain an appropriate cleaning schedule. This should include regular cleaning of areas and equipment (for example, twice per day), with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.

Cleaning Schools need to maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents. Regular cleaning plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of Covid-19. Keep occupied Reducing clutter and removing spaces well ventilated difficult to clean items It is important to ensure schools can make cleaning are well ventilated and that The ‘ca easier. Schools should a comfortable teaching it, bin i tch increase the frequency environment is maintained. of cleaning, using You should identify it’ appr t, kill o standard cleaning any poorly ventilated a c h r e to spirator products such spaces as part of your continu y hygiene as detergents risk assessment and take e s t and bleach, steps to improve fresh air o b very im e paying attention flow in these areas, giving portant to all surfaces but particular consideration especially ones that when holding events where are touched frequently, visitors such as parents are onsuch as door handles, site, for example, school plays. light switches, work surfaces, Mechanical ventilation is a system remote controls and electronic devices. that uses a fan to draw fresh air or extract As a minimum, frequently touched surfaces air from a room. These should be adjusted should be wiped down twice a day, and to increase the ventilation rate wherever one of these should be at the beginning possible and checked to confirm that normal or the end of the working day. Cleaning operation meets current guidance and should be more frequent depending on the that only fresh outside air is circulated.

Infection Control

Helping schools operate virus free

If possible, systems should be adjusted to full fresh air or, if this is not possible, then systems should be operated as normal as long as they are within a single room and supplemented by an outdoor air supply. Where mechanical ventilation systems exist, you should ensure that they are maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations. Opening external windows can improve natural ventilation, and in addition, opening internal doors can also assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors may also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so). You should balance the need for increased ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature. The Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the Covid-19 pandemic and CIBSE COVID19 advice provides more information. CO2 monitors are being provided to all state-funded education settings from September, so staff can quickly identify where ventilation needs to be improved. 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. Testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on Covid-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine). If anyone in school develops Covid19 symptoms, however mild, they should be sent home and they should follow public health advice. If a pupil in a boarding school shows symptoms, they should usually self-isolate in their residential setting so that their usual support can continue, others may then benefit from self-isolating in their family home. For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. If a pupil is awaiting collection, they should be left in a room on their own if possible and safe to do so. A window should be opened for fresh air ventilation if possible. Appropriate PPE should also be used if close contact is necessary. Further information on this can be found in the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settings guidance. Any rooms they use should be cleaned after they have left. The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection. L FURTHER INFORMATION



TRAIN YOUR STAFF IN FOREST SCHOOL SKILLS Learn online with Marina Robb, co-author of ‘The Essential Guide to Forest School & Nature Pedagogy’ and ‘Learning with Nature’.

sessions. From acquiring the skills, to mastering the techniques and getting the right health and safety risk assessments in place.

The ‘Forest School Activities Online Training’ is designed for teachers and practitioners and comes with lifetime access to over 100 step by step inspirational videos and resources.

You will learn to: • Plan and organise engaging and age-appropriate outdoor sessions • Plan activities according to your available space • Adhere to health and safety requirements • Get the insurance you need to take groups outdoors

This video-based online training course gives you everything you need to run engaging outdoor

Cost: £195 (please contact us for licence costs for multiple staff members)


Try our free course before you buy

The Outdoor Teacher Course has enabled us as a school to train several members of staff to a high standard so that they can confidently lead woodland sessions with our young children. This online module-based training has been affordable, flexible and relevant, whilst also ensuring we can train a wide spread of staff to be competent outdoor teachers.

Sarah Cox, Headteacher, Brook Infant School and Nursery, Crawley

01273 086029


Outdoor play is key to recovery post-lockdown Chair of the Association of Play Industries, Mark Hardy, says it is essential that schools put outdoor play first to help children flourish post-lockdown – mentally, physically, and academically Children are more sedentary than ever before. By the time they finish primary school many children have the highest levels of body fat on record. Rates of child Type 2 diabetes are also the highest in our history. Children now sleep less and have the highest level of admissions to NHS hospitals for sleep disorders. Children are also experiencing record levels of mental ill-health. One in six children in England had a mental health disorder in 2021, according to a recent survey by the NHS. The study also showed that there has been a significant deterioration in mental health for children and young people in the past four years, with more than two fifths of children reporting a fall in their mental wellbeing between 2017 and 2021. Lockdowns halted children’s development The restrictions placed on children’s lives during 2020 and 2021 have magnified these already frightening statistics. During lockdowns, children were told to behave in the very ways which had caused problems in the first place: they were told to stay indoors, not to

engage in outdoor activity, not to meet anyone – for hours, days and months on end. This directive to children – to be sedentary, alone and indoors – occurred at critically important developmental periods in children’s lives. The toddlers deprived of their first playmates; the primary school children unable to play with their friends; the teenagers locked in their rooms with only social media for human contact – these are fleeting and yet crucial periods of their lives that young people will never get back. Placing children under house arrest for a large proportion of their young lives will have a marked effect on their development, with disadvantaged children the most profoundly affected. Children from poorer households and from ethnic minorities will be disproportionately affected by this abrupt interruption to their childhood development and will pay the highest price. Play is s With schools closed, access o fundam to space in which to play e n to child tal outdoors was a significant factor in how severely develop ren’s m the lockdowns affected e n t, that to restr children. One in eight i c t play is to restr British households has ic no access to a garden, in all as t progress rising to more than one pe their liv cts of in five households in es London and the percentage of homes without a garden is

higher among ethnic minorities, with black people in England nearly four times as likely as white people to have no outdoor space at home. Semi-skilled, unskilled or casual workers and people who are unemployed are almost three times as likely as those in more skilled roles to be without a garden. Children in deprived areas are twice as likely to be obese than those in less deprived areas, and the gap is widening. Furthermore, obesity rates for children in different ethnic groups vary considerably: 18 per cent of white children are obese compared to nearly 29 per cent of black children by age 10 to 11. The legacy of lockdown It is too early to assess the full impact of the policy to lockdown on children’s development, health and wellbeing, but the legacy it leaves can and should be mitigated by policy going forward. The far-reaching benefits of activity for physical health and mental wellbeing are well-established – and for children, activity means play. Children are two to three times more physically active when outdoors than when indoors: they move more, sit less and play for longer. Outdoor play is therefore the key to their recovery and especially so for the most disadvantaged children. Schools are an important part of the picture Schools, now faced with the idea of children having to play ‘catch-up’ academically, feel under enormous pressure to increase E



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Physical activity boosts concentration, learning behaviours and mood. Children have natural energy and enthusiasm so physical activity needs to be built into the whole school day  classroom time at the expense of allowing children free, outdoor play in the school playground. However, play is so fundamental to children’s development, that to restrict play is to restrict progress in all aspects of their lives, including academically. The British Psychological Society points to research which shows that since 1995, break times in the school day have been reduced by 45 minutes a week, resulting in eight out of ten children now having less than one hour of physical activity per day. They go on to say: “The removal of playtime can have serious implications for children’s development – break times are not only an opportunity to get physical exercise but provide valuable time to make friends and to develop important social skills – experiences that are not necessarily learned or taught in formal lessons. “The erosion of play can also generate further inequalities amongst children, as it has more profoundly negative impacts on children with less access to play stimulation at home, for reasons such as a lack of available space.”

Play boosts learning Providing time, space, opportunity and a positive attitude to play benefits children of all ages. Physical activity boosts concentration, learning behaviours and mood. Children have natural energy and enthusiasm so physical activity needs to be built into the whole school day: physical literacy levels will improve but schools also report improvements in behaviour and wellbeing too. An opportunity to prioritise outdoor play This post-pandemic era is an opportunity to reevaluate our priorities for how children’s time is spent in school and to put play first. Free, unstructured outdoor play should never be a nice-to-have. It is an essential building block in children’s healthy development, protecting the mental and physical health of school children. It is more important now than ever before to make sure school is a space that understands, promotes and prioritises outdoor play so that children don’t just recover, they flourish.

Take your school to new heights School playgrounds help to give children a lifelong love of play and active kids become active adults. Choosing the right play environment for your school is a significant decision so it is important when choosing a provider that they are members of the Association of Play Industries. API members are experienced and ensure your play areas are the rich and stimulating outdoor learning environment your pupils deserve. API members must be reliable, trustworthy and financially sound. They operate to the highest standards and are backed by the API’s Professional Code of Conduct. They will provide evidence of previous work and references and the API Charter ensures they design exceptional, high-quality play spaces for children of all ages and abilities. An API play company will visit your school and, where possible, meet the decisionmaking team. Once work is complete, post-installation inspection and maintenance services will be offered to ensure the safety of your facilities for years to come. Finally, they will definitely want to hear how you are getting on with your new facilities and the impact they have had on your school. To find out more about how API members can help schools, visit their School Zone on the website below. L FURTHER INFORMATION school-zone-schools-get-active/



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