Education Business 27.1

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TEACHING DIGITAL SKILLS How do schools know that their computing provision is meeting the demands of the 21st century?

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ISSUE 27.1

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TEACHING DIGITAL SKILLS How do schools know that their computing provision is meeting the demands of the 21st century?

Super energy-efficient with brilliant performance

Protecting face-to-face education During the current surge in Omicron cases, the education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has appealed to school leaders to do everything in their power to protect face-to-face learning and keep schools open. Acknowledging that operational challenges could be caused by workforce shortages, an open letter by Zahawi encourages schools to consider implementing a flexible approach to learning, and is urging retired teachers and those that have left the profession to come back to the classroom.


Keeping schools well ventilated to reduce the spread of the virus has become a major focus in schools. As the virus is mainly transmitted by air, keeping spaces well ventilated can dilute the virus, while air cleaning technology is also being investigated. Read the latest on ventilation and air purification on page 23.

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Digital skills are increasingly important for young people’s future, but how do schools know that their provision is meeting the evolving demands of the 21st century? Page 53 shares how schools can develop their computing provision with a new evaluation tool from the National Centre for Computing Education, called the Computing Quality Framework (CQF).

Angela Pisanu, editor

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Contents Education Business 27.1 13

07 News

53 Computing

Over £100 million to make schools in

Digital skills are increasingly important for

Wales Covid-secure; Call for ex-teachers to return to work to cover Covid absences; Low attendance remains a stubborn barrier

know that their provision is meeting the

to catch-up learning, finds Ofsted

evolving demands of the 21st century?

13 Energy

59 Bett Preview

Supported by

The COP26 summit encouraged schools to get engaged with climate action and encourage conversations about the environment and


young people’s future, but how do schools

energy efficiency. Here’s what schools got up to

17 Design & Build

Supported by

Bett 2022 will reunite the global education community on 23-25 March at ExCeL London, giving them the opportunity to learn, trade, network and look positively to the future of teaching and learning

Planning Learning Spaces in Practice was launched to help schools translate their educational vision into learning space design principles, enabling them to create new, or refurbish existing spaces that actively support their learning goals

68 Trips The School Travel Forum shares some advice on planning overseas educational visits during the pandemic

23 Air Purification Enclosed spaces like schools can become breeding grounds for the Covid-19 virus, which can linger in the air. The focus for schools now is to increase ventilation, as well as adopt technology that can eliminate virus particles from the air

39 Cleaning Frequent and thorough cleaning should now be



regular practice for schools in the fight against Coronavirus. We summarise the latest guidance


in light of the Omicron variant


40 Fire Safety The National Fire Chiefs Council believes that there should be an overarching requirement for all schools to have sprinklers, aligning policy across the UK

43 Grounds Maintenance It’s paramount that green spaces and outdoor surfaces are maintained and that the appropriate maintenance tasks are carried out at the correct time of year, writes Stephen Ensell from the British Association of Landscape Industries

47 Procurement A contracts database is an essential tool in your


procurement kit. So how do you create one? Education sector charity CPL Group explains how

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Over £100 million to make schools in Wales Covid-secure

£18m to support for children with additional learning needs in Wales

The Welsh Government has confirmed £103 million in funding to help them operate in a Covid-secure manner. £50m will be provided via local authorities to help schools carry out capital repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation. The funding will also be used to support decarbonisation. £45m of revenue funding will also help support school budgets, assisting schools as they continue to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and to prepare for

the requirements of the new curriculum. An additional £8m will be provided to further education colleges, to ensure learning can continue safely and ensure the most disadvantaged learners are not further impacted by the pandemic. Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, said: “I know schools and colleges have faced a very difficult time and everyone across the workforce has worked incredibly hard to meet the challenges of the pandemic. This funding will further support our schools and colleges to keep settings as Covid-secure as possible. “While we want to support the sector in recovering from the pandemic, we also have to make sure we continue to plan for the future, and help all education settings across Wales fulfil our collective goals of making Wales a net-zero nation. “The funding will help us to ensure sustainability across the sector, be that the environmental sustainability achieved through decarbonisation, or sustainability in provision.” CLICK TO READ MORE


Schools badly impacted by Covid can ask to defer inspections

Ofsted has said it will encourage early years settings, schools and colleges that are significantly impacted by COVID-related staff absence to ask for their inspection to be deferred. This is part of temporary measures to protect face-to-face education and minimise disruption during the spring term. What’s more, Ofsted will not ask inspectors who are also school, college and early years leaders to undertake inspections, so they

can focus on their leadership responsibilities at this critical time. This will be a temporary measure from the start of January. Ofsted has already confirmed that it will not be inspecting secondary schools during the first week of term in January, as schools undertake on-site pupil testing. CLICK TO READ MORE

The Welsh Government has announced new £18m funding to support children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN). The funding will be made available to provide extra support for children and young people with ALN who’ve been affected by the pandemic and to help educational settings as learners move to the new ALN system from this month. £10m of the funding will be used to support learners with ALN affected by the pandemic and to improve their wellbeing. During the pandemic, many disabled children and young people, including learners with ALN, continue to experience a negative impact on their mental health and difficulties accessing education. The funding will add to existing support for ALN learners, such as intensive learning support and speech and language therapy. The funding can also be used to provide extra resources to target the impacts of the pandemic, such as mental health support and tailored support to help with attendance. £8m will be allocated to schools, nurseries, local authorities and Pupil Referral Units to move learners from the old Special Educational Needs (SEN) system to the new ALN system, as the roll-out of the Additional Learning Needs Act continues. The new ALN system, being rolled out over three years, will ensure children and young people with ALN are identified quickly and their needs are met. The Act makes provision for new individual development plans, designed to put the views of learners at the heart of the decision-making process, alongside those of their parents or carers. Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles said: “We are determined to deliver a fully inclusive education system in Wales – a system where additional needs are identified early and addressed quickly, and where all children and young people are supported to thrive in their education. “Schools and nurseries are already doing a fantastic job of supporting their learners, but we know they need more resources to do this. That’s why I’m announcing this additional investment to support learners to overcome the effects of the pandemic and prevent the entrenchment of inequalities on their education, employment opportunities, their health and wellbeing.” CLICK TO READ MORE



See Us At Bett 2022 Stand SB51


Breakfast clubs have positive impact on pupil attainment

Call for ex-teachers to return to work to cover Covid absences

Research published by Family Action and Magic Breakfast shows strong evidence that breakfast clubs - run in schools to provide free, healthy breakfasts to children from low-income families have had a positive impact on pupils’ behaviour, educational attainment and their eating habits. The new report has revealed that of the schools who hosted breakfast clubs, 94 per cent felt better supported with their pupil’s behaviour. It also showed that 95 per cent found the pupils attending benefitted from better eating habits, and 94 per cent felt better

supported with educational attainment. Ninety-four per cent felt better supported with nutrition; and 79 per cent found better engagement with parents due to the programme’s support. To date, more than 1,200 schools have signed up to the new National School Breakfast Programme to run from next September to 2023, run by Family Action. CLICK TO READ MORE


Additional 7,000 air cleaning units for schools Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has announced an additional 7,000 air cleaning units to be provided to early years, schools and colleges to improve ventilation in teaching spaces in a bid to continue face-to-face education. The 7,000 new air purifiers will be for areas where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible, such as being able to open a window, and will help to improve ventilation in schools. This builds on the 1,000 air purifiers announced for special schools and alternative provision settings. Feedback from schools suggests that the 350,000 carbon dioxide monitors rolled

out across the country are also acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation. CLICK TO READ MORE


Free school meals in Wales to be extended to all primary pupils

The Welsh Government has made a commitment to extend Free School Meals to all primary school pupils for three years. The Welsh Government has begun the work of constructing an approach to implementation with its key delivery partners, including local authorities, schools, food producers and suppliers, and relevant voluntary organisations. This includes work to better understand the capacity of the workforce and kitchen and dining facilities within Wales.



Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “We are very keen to make progress at the earliest opportunity. Our early discussions with partners suggest it is likely that the remainder of the 2021/2022 academic year will be necessary to put the delivery arrangements and capacity in place. We are also mindful of the challenges local authorities and schools continue to face in operating during the pandemic.” The aim is to begin implementation in September 2022 with the youngest learners in primary receiving free school meals. The Welsh Government would then look to continue the roll-out in September 2023 so that all learners in primary schools can benefit from a free school meal. This will allow sufficient time for planning and preparation of the required infrastructure to best ensure success. CLICK TO READ MORE

The Government is asking former teachers who have the skills and time to return to the classroom to sign up to help cover staff absences caused by Covid. Those who are recently retired, or trained as a teacher and moved career are being encouraged to apply. Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “It has been my absolute priority since day one in the role to do everything in my power to protect education – which is why I am asking any teachers no longer in the profession to come forward if they are available to temporarily fill absences.” Supply teacher agencies across the country will continue to manage local supply and demand to help make sure schools and colleges do not need to close as a result of lack of staff. Former teachers are encouraged to approach those agencies identified on the sign up page as being registered on the Government’s framework. This guarantees fair business practices and the agency’s support in completing pre-employment checks to ensure they can be placed in schools and colleges as soon as possible, but those eligible can approach any agency they prefer. The Government is providing social media and communications support to schools and colleges, trusts, local authorities, teaching unions, supply teacher agencies, and sector organisations such as Teach First to help them engage with their networks and contact databases to reach those who are most likely to be able to answer the Education Secretary’s call. The Government will also be working to reach former teachers through its own communications channels, including through Get Into Teaching, the Teacher Pension Scheme and internet search advertising. The Disclosure and Barring Service has confirmed it will be ready to meet any spikes in demand for its service, continuing to meet its current turnaround times of 80 per cent of Enhanced Checks issued within 14 days, of which 30 per cent are issued within a day. The Government is also working with Teach First to explore how those of their alumni who have trained as teachers but currently work outside the profession could make a temporary return to the classroom to support the resilience of the wider school workforce this year. CLICK TO READ MORE



“Everyone’s started talking about net-zero.”

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Low attendance remains a stubborn barrier to catch-up learning, finds Ofsted

Fears workload from Early Career Framework putting new teachers off

Ofsted has been looking at how the pandemic continues to impact on children and students’ learning and personal development, and the approaches education providers are using to help them catch up. It has found that schools are effectively helping children recover from missed learning. Catch-up strategies include regular, informal assessments; identifying pupils who need additional, one-to-one support; prioritising practical work that wasn’t possible via remote learning; and recapping on the previous year’s curriculum to cover what had been missed. Some schools have also extended their hours to offer after-school, before-school or Saturday sessions for those who needed extra support. However, despite positive progress, it is clear from Ofsted’s inspections that low attendance remains a stubborn concern. Schools report that much of the absence is for reasons related to COVID-19, including pupils testing positive for COVID-19; COVID19-related anxiety among both parents and pupils; and poorer mental health among pupils as a result of the pandemic. Some schools also reported they had more COVID-19-related absences among disadvantaged pupils, those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and specific year groups, for example, Year 8, Year 11 and sixth form. Repeated lockdowns have particularly affected the newest intake of pupils, who are arriving at school with lower starting points compared with intakes from previous years. School leaders told inspectors that these pupils struggle with their behaviour and attitudes to learning, and take longer than usual to settle in with school routines.


Union NAHT has surveyed its members on their experiences of and views on the rollout of the Early Career Framework (ECF), which is a new mandatory two-year induction period for newly qualified teachers (now known as Early Career Teachers or ECTs), effective from September 2021. The survey reveals that, although there is a fair amount of support for the new two-year induction period, there are serious concerns about the new workload and a worrying risk that this might increase rather than decrease

the number of teachers dropping out. Just over half (55 per cent) of school leaders agreed or strongly agreed with the decision to move to a two-year induction period for Early Career Teachers. Almost half (49 per cent) feel that the ECF will have a positive or very positive impact on the professional development of ECTs. 40 per cent think the ECF will deliver a positive impact on the quality of teaching. An overwhelming majority (95 per cent) said that the ECF had increased workload for a newly qualified teacher (64 per cent said the ECF had significantly increased workload). All respondents (99 per cent) said that the ECF has had an overwhelmingly negative impact on the workload of mentors. Over eight in ten (81 per cent) said that the workload of mentors had significantly increased. Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents told us that the ECF will have a negative or very negative impact on the work life balance of ECTs. A third (32 per cent) of school leaders feared that the ECF will have a negative impact on retention rates for ECTs. Just under a third (28 per cent) reported that mentors did not want to continue their mentoring role as a direct result of the impact of the ECF. CLICK TO READ MORE


£10m for maths and literacy catch-up in disadvantaged areas Over £10 million of funding will go to programmes identified by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to help disadvantaged pupils catch up, as part of the government’s Accelerator Fund. The fund, originally announced in February and worth a total of £22m, aims to ensure pupils have the best chance of catching up following the pandemic. Just under half (£10m) of this funding has already been used to focus on English and Maths catch-up sessions. The other half will prioritise three regions that have experienced significant learning loss according to research commissioned by the department the North of England, East Midlands & Humber, and West Midlands. Schools Minister Robin Walker said: “Strong maths and literacy skills are fundamental in unlocking young people’s futures, setting them up for later stages of education, training and the world of work. “This work with the EEF will provide focused support to those most in need, complementing our already ambitious recovery programme including high quality tutoring and world class teacher

training, helping to ensure no child is left behind from the pandemic.” The EEF will support a number of programmes for schools in these three regions, particularly those showing the most promise in increasing student attainment. The EEF will also ensure programmes are ready to be accessible at a larger scale, whilst maintaining their high quality and impact. CLICK TO READ MORE






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We have also set up recycling stations in every classroom for paper, we plant trees which are free from the Woodland Trust and have a walk to school week. In addition, we’ve had conversations with our school kitchen staff about reducing single use plastics and introducing re-usable straws.”


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Sustainability initiatives Westerings Primary Academy has been creating innovative ways to deal with The COP26 summit encouraged schools to get engaged reducing plastic. Adam Stainsbury, the school’s with climate action and encourage conversations about the Principal, said: “Our pupils have created various innovative sustainability initiatives environment and energy efficiency. Here’s what schools got up to within the school, such as ‘Plastic Free Fridays’ and ‘Meat Free Mondays’. This pupilled approach has enabled true ownership Following the COP26 summit in November carried out their own investigations into food of the various initiatives, and fully embeds 2021, teachers and leaders from schools across waste, travel to school, electricity use, and the importance of taking responsibility for the country shared how they are playing have presented further improvement ideas looking after the world around them.” their part in creating a sustainable future. and held the school to account.” The school is also concentrating Greatwood Community Primary & Nursery The school also made small on improving biodiversity. Adam School established a team of Eco Rangers changes to make the Stainsbury explained: “Our to takle the school’s energy usage and lead school more sustainable. South pupils have planted over its environmental work. Jonelle Yeoman, the Jonelle Yeoman said: Molton 400 trees and installed two school’s headteacher said: “At Greatwood we “To encourage Commu compost zones within our have a team of Eco-Rangers, who are pupils sustainability, n it y P rimary School’ school grounds. We’ve from years 1-6. They have been carrying out every class has s ‘No E lectricit days ha also created a wildlife a ‘Year of Waste Challenge’ where they are two ‘power down y ’ ve a hu walk within the woodland set monthly challenges by the Trust Leader/ champions’ who g e im on how areas of the school. The CEO. So far, they have focused on waste crime, turn off electrical pupils t pact hink centrepiece of the wildlife clothes production and reducing the school’s equipment when about a nd use walk is the addition of E carbon footprint. The children have also it is not being used.

electric ity




Supported by

The Let’s Go Zero Campaign meeting with the Education Secretary

 pupil-made bird boxes which can be viewed from their newly installed bird hide. As well as encouraging wildlife walks, we also have ‘walk to school’ initiatives to get pupils to travel to school more sustainably, by walking, scooting, or cycling.” Gemma Cottingham, headteacher of Parkwood Academy explained the school’s approach to reducing plastics: “We’ve implemented a school-wide initiative to reduce the amount of single use plastics. We looked at the number of plastic bottles, plastic cutlery and polystyrene cups being used daily in the canteen and encouraged all pupils to keep reusable bottles. Every pupil has now been given a Parkwood Academy reusable water bottle and the academy has become completely plastic free.” Energy usage Examining their electricity consumption, South Molton Community Primary School decided to implement termly ‘No Electricity’ days, which headteacher Tom Parkin said have had a huge impact on how pupils think about and use electricity. The school also took inspiration from the recent Earthshot Prize, to design its very own Environmental Prize in school. “This encourages pupils to design an idea to help the school become more environmentally friendly,” Tom Parkin explained. “We will be hosting an awards ceremony, which will identify two winners, who will receive £500 towards achieving their ideas.” King’s Academy Ringmer has been working to improve the biodiversity of its grounds. Sarah Pillar & Emma Holmes from the school said: “At Ringmer we have appointed eco reps and have a dedicated eco team. We have been concentrating on biodiversity and one of our initiatives for Spring 2022 is the rewilding of the school grounds. The aim is to


The Let’s Go Zero campaign has been at the heart of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow – spreading the message about the power of zero carbon schools to world leaders, global organisations and others with the power to create change encourage wildlife onto the site, by planting indigenous species hedgerows and orchards and digging a wetland and pond space.” Engaging the wider community Lyndon School is taking its environmental work to the community. The school’s principal said: “Some of our pupils have formed a Climate Action Group, where they work closely with the Borough Council. The group will be taking part in an event focusing on generating local agreement on what should happen to help combat climate change within Solihull. They have also recently conducted a Climate Action Survey, provided by the InterClimate Network, to inspire and enable the school community to tackle climate change.” St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust has also shared its work with the community. Angela Spencer & Margaret Land from the Trust said: “We recently hosted a Climate Summit, which was an exciting opportunity for children to hear live from the UN Climate Change Conference and to quiz our leaders about the work they are doing to encourage sustainability. Pupils sent leaf messages to Westminster, supporting the WWF’s Schools’ ‘Promise to the Planet’ campaign. Their messages included asking world leaders to stop burning fossil fuels, plastic pollution, and deforestation.”

Let’s Go Zero The Let’s Go Zero campaign, spearheaded by climate solutions charity Ashden, is getting schools to commit to being zero carbon by 2030. The campaign has been at the heart of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow – spreading the message about the power of zero carbon schools to world leaders, global organisations and others with the power to create change. Representatives from the campaign met with the Deparment for Education, and handed its call for school climate action to education secretary Nadhim Zahawi, calling for policies and funding to make all UK schools zero carbon by 2030. Zero carbon means that no carbon emissions are being produced from the school. Net-zero carbon means that while some emissions are still generated, these are being offset elsewhere. Although off-setting will be a key part to decarbonising UK schools, at this stage the campaign focuses on supporting schools to focus on carbon reduction. L FURTHER INFORMATION For futher information, visit


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Future proofing your school for net zero Now more than ever, schools have a responsibility to demonstrate a proactive approach to reducing energy use and tackling climate change

The publication of the UN IPCC report in August, heralded as “a code red for humanity”, coupled with the landmark COP26 conference in Glasgow, has sharpened the focus on the net zero debate. But, armed with a wish list of energy efficiency measures, compounded by budget pressures, where do you start to holistically transform your school buildings to create a space conducive to learning, that limits its environmental impact and meets ambitious energy and carbon saving targets. For many schools, the legacy of old buildings limits energy efficiency, but there are opportunities that offer a fast return on investment without derailing any future decarbonisation plans. Lighting Lighting typically accounts for around half of a school or college’s electricity use, offering a significant opportunity for savings. Upgrading fluorescent lighting to modern LED technology can offer savings of between 40 per cent and 50 per cent, with a typical payback period of eight years. Lighting upgrades

can also offer aesthetic improvements, along with reduced maintenance costs since LED lighting is typically rated for 50,000 hours, compared to just 10,000 – 15,000 hours for fluorescent lighting. Match heating times to building occupancy A quick win for schools and colleges is to ensure that heating time is aligned to occupation time. Reducing the heating time by even half an hour can have a significant impact on energy consumption and, since the building will retain heat, heating can be switched off before the end of the learning day. However, it is also advisable to turn the heating on before the start of the day too to warm up the fabric of the building, since how warm we feel is down to about one third the air temperature that is around us and about two thirds due to the surrounding surface temperature. Typically, a 1-degree reduction in temperature can achieve an 8 per cent heating saving, so it is important to consider heating requirements in different areas of the building.

BMS optimisation Building Management Systems (BMS) can help to ensure that heating time matches your building occupancy, as well as offering the opportunity to optimise your hot water and ventilation too. A commonly occurring challenge, particularly where controls are manual, is that schools and colleges will make changes to their settings for summer and half-term holidays but fail to do the same for public holidays, weekends and overnight. A BMS will overcome those issues to deliver immediate savings. Implementing this can reduce gas consumption by as much as 25 per cent through simple control system changes, such as ensuring the plant is not operating when the school is not in use, and that settings match the school’s requirements. The payback period of optimising existing systems can be within a year, and within 10 years when replacing legacy controls with modern technology. Behavioural change Energy awareness training to improve staff knowledge of the operation of services can be very beneficial. It is recommended that this takes place annually, as this activity often becomes a short-term focus. Today, IT accounts for a considerable proportion of energy use in schools and colleges, but savings can be made by ensuring that technology is switched off and not left on standby, which can be more easily achieved when using central power adaptors that can shut multiple devices down with one switch. Encouraging staff to close doors and windows and not heating excessively can offer savings of 5-10 per cent. In summary, we all have a responsibility to act now on reducing energy use to tackle climate change. Energy education will soon be a part of the school curriculum in 2023 when all pupils will be taught about the importance of conserving and protecting our planet; they will want to know what measures their school is taking. Meanwhile, school leaders need to consider the types of technology and infrastructure to invest in to maximise their limited resources while future-proofing their buildings. They will need to select trusted partners that can help them make those decisions and plot their net zero roadmap. L FURTHER INFORMATION Zenergi is here to help with all the solutions discussed in this article, contact us at bepositive@ | 023 8028 6300





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Spaces to support learning goals Planning Learning Spaces in Practice was launched to help schools translate their educational vision into learning space design principles, enabling them to create new, or refurbish existing spaces that actively support their learning goals Planning Learning Spaces was published in guided through a reflective process, building October 2019 as a guide for anyone involved the link between curriculum and design in the planning and design of learning via a structured framework. Focusing on environments. The book brought together the school’s vision, values and ethos, the educationalists and innovative school process helps translate learning behaviours architects from all over the world to and activities into design principles. pool their collective expertise and inspire the design A new approach Focusin of more intelligent to design g on the learning spaces. Trumpington Park Primary s c h o ol’s values a To support this, School, part of Cambridge Planning Learning Primary Education Trust, the pro nd ethos, cess he Spaces in Practice was invited to participate lp translat was launched in the global pilot of e learnin s behavio to help schools this Planning Learning g urs in translate their Spaces in Practice project. design to educational vision Offering a new approach principle into learning space to learning space design, s design principles, the Planning Learning enabling them to Spaces team is working create new, or refurbish with the Cambridge school to existing, spaces that actively help colleagues align their physical support their learning goals. Schools are learning environments with their educational

vision, in a way that supports the children’s personalised and independent learning. The school was heralded as state-of-the art when it opened its doors in September 2017. Entering the central hall of the school, which opens onto the galleried double-height ICT and library resource centre, it is easy to see why. However, the staff were still presented with the inevitable standardised classrooms (measuring approximately 55m2 for up to 30 children) in which to work, and school leaders were looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to transform these standard-issue rooms into inspirational learning environments. One advantage to a new school like Trumpington Park Primary is that not all classrooms are in use for the first few years, so by joining the Planning Learning Spaces in Practice pilot project the school has the opportunity to develop its learning spaces in alignment with its educational vision. Meetings and workshops were held with the Planning Learning Spaces team to define the school’s vision, values, ethos and current practice. The school has then used the Planning Learning Spaces Design Framework to develop what it wants to do next, looking at every aspect of school life, and how this relates to the design of learning spaces. “We started from the heart of our ethos and our values, and looked at those in E Issue 27.1 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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The Planning Learning Spaces in Practice process is suitable for schools looking to repurpose old spaces, or for those designing new buildings, and helps to ensure a successful transition into these purpose-designed learning spaces  terms of what we wanted to achieve in our teaching and learning, but then assessed the constraints of the current classrooms we have in being able to get that vision to work,” said Mel Shute, headteacher at Trumpington Park Primary School. “Whilst we want to emphasise collaboration and ownership of learning, this can sometimes feel restricted by the furniture and fixed features of a space and make it harder for children to be able to do some of the things we feel are fundamental in their learning. From there, we have looked at different models to enable children to be able to work in different ways in that space.” The effect of social distancing With social distancing in place, Mel revealed that “children have been more separated than we would want, bearing in mind that one of our key values is collaboration, and one of the key drivers of the space”, but she is focused on the expected longer-term impact: “What we anticipate, and what we have seen from small groups of children using the space at this time, is being able to have a high level of flexibility around the organisation of a space will have a huge impact on the way in which teaching and learning happens there. Now we are looking at all the different learning

that can happen in that space in very different ways, and teaching children how they can have an impact on their independence and ownership within that space. Having the children as a very central part of the classroom environment will, I believe, make a significant difference to their overall development.” She added: “You look at a classroom and you take it as it is, particularly in a new build. This project has really forced our hand to look at that space in a very different way, go in with a different pair of glasses, and this has been refreshing.” The impact of learning spaces Terry White, project director and co-author of Planning Learning Spaces, explained the philosophy behind the overall project. “We know the impact learning environments have on educational outcomes, yet the majority of school classrooms are over 40 years old and even new builds fail to learn the lessons of research like The Clever Classrooms report,” he said. “The project involves spending time engaging with the teachers to help the school effectively recreate their learning spaces so that they align with their vision for learning and teaching. We have developed a structured framework

that enables the school to reimagine their future environments for learning.” The Planning Learning Spaces Design Framework builds consensus throughout the teaching staff and the wider school community to support sustained change, empowering schools to be creators of a new, ongoing relationship between pedagogy and space. UK Lead Project Facilitator Bhavini Pandya works with key staff and students throughout the process to ensure all views are accounted for, and that the newly-designed spaces can be used as effectively as possible for all learning opportunities. As a former teacher herself, Bhavini understands the clear link between pedagogy and space and how this can lead to better learning outcomes. Professor Peter Barrett, author of the Clever Classrooms report, is monitoring the project to see how the learning outcomes of pupils are affected by this ‘hands on’ approach to creating their own learning environments. “The Planning Learning Spaces approach represents common sense about the positive articulation of spaces and pedagogy,” he said. “Delivering a methodology that makes this connection explicit, and ultimately driven by educational imperatives, is a really important potential contribution and I look forward to being involved in the rigorous assessment of outputs from this project.” The Planning Learning Spaces in Practice process is suitable for schools looking to repurpose old spaces, or for those designing new buildings, and helps to ensure a successful transition into these purpose-designed learning spaces. L

Design & Build

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Health and safety messaging has evolved considerably since the start of the pandemic as we continued to learn more about the virus. Now, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that there is no doubt that Coronavirus can be transmitted via aerosols in the air. This discovery has led to more scrutiny on ventilation and indoor air quality, particularly in densely populated environments such as schools. At the time of writing, the UK Government has just published a framework on the use of air purifiers in schools, focusing on reducing additional threats posed by the new Omicron Coronavirus variant, and is set to reintroduce onsite testing at secondary schools after the Christmas holidays. For 2022, the priority for school leaders should be helping ensure schools are as safe as possible and well-ventilated. However, medical and scientific professionals have warned that current ventilation could be inadequate in many indoor settings, including schools. So, how can schools help to protect their staff, students and visitors from the transmission of airborne viruses, during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond? The answer is air purification. The impact of air purifiers Current guidance recommends that schools balance the need for increased ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Opening windows and internal doors is not always practical for many reasons,

especially during spells of colder weather. Research conducted by Rentokil Initial in 2021, found that 30 per cent of workers said they would refuse to go back to work after the Coronavirus lockdown unless employers provided assurance on air quality; a luxury of choice that isn’t afforded to many key workers, including teachers. Late last year, the Department for Education announced a trial to assess how air purifiers and ultraviolet (UV) light helps to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses. The outcome of this trial recommends air purifiers should be rolled out across the country. As such, the government has recommended HEPA filters that capture ultrafine particles of bacteria in the air and launched an online marketplace for schools to buy purifiers to tackle Covid directly. While the recommended air purifiers include HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters are a good starting point, there are more comprehensive options available that schools should consider. Initial Washroom Hygiene is distributing a solution called VIRUSKILLERTM, which kills 99.9999 per cent of viruses with a single air pass, including Coronavirus*. Unlike traditional air purification systems, the solution uses patented ultraviolet-C (UV-C) technology which provides a photochemical deconstruction of the RNA and DNA of microorganisms. This deactivates their reproductive processes so that the Coronavirus, and other viruses, can no longer spread, before the clean, purified air is released back into the room. The UV-C lamps inside VIRUSKILLERTM air purifiers are surrounded by a mesh of chromed nano titanium dioxide tube filters that are polished with activated carbon. The emitted UV light reacts with the mesh, and in a process

called ‘photocatalytic oxidation’ produces hydroxyl radicals, which act as a disinfectant and break down the organic molecules. The benefits of clean air don’t stop at Coronavirus While air purifiers are a powerful solution in helping to tackle the spread of Coronavirus via airborne aerosols, the benefits of good air quality reach far beyond the pandemic. Clean air can also help boost overall wellness and help to reduce the possible long-term damage caused by air pollution. A recent study by City Hall suggests that almost every London school (98 per cent) is in an area where air pollution levels exceed WHO limits. Across England, this amounts to a total of 3.1 million school children. This isn’t the first time the spotlight has been cast on poor air quality in schools. In May 2018, London Mayor Sadiq Khan published the findings of an extensive indoor air quality research initiative, known as the Mayor’s School Air Quality Initiative Audit. This found that children, parents and teaching staff in the worst affected London Boroughs were exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution on the school run, outdoors in the playground, and most shockingly in classrooms. Following this audit, one school in an affected area, The Gower School – already hailed as a ‘green school’ – set about tackling indoor pollution to create healthy learning environments. The school deployed VIRUSKILLERTM units in areas such as the science room, reception area, classrooms and staff room.

Written by Jamie Woodhall, Technical & Innovations Manager at Initial Washroom Hygiene

Medical and scientific professionals have warned that current ventilation could be inadequate in many indoor settings, including schools. So, how can schools help to protect their staff, students and visitors from the transmission of airborne viruses, during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond?

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Last words The latest scientific evidence shows just how important good ventilation and air purification can be in helping to prevent the airborne transmission of viruses and illnesses when people are indoors. In school environments, it’s vital that a health and safety strategy includes air purification alongside ventilation. Technology such as VIRUSKILLERTM can help to create a safer environment and break the chain of airborne transmission. But, it should be used in conjunction with broader hygiene protocols to provide a safer environment for all. L * When independently tested against Coronavirus DF2 (a surrogate for Coronavirus), Adenovirus, Influenza and Polio, the unit was found to kill 99.9999 per cent of viruses on a single air pass. FURTHER INFORMATION viruskiller-air-purifiers/



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Ventilation and air purification during Covid times Enclosed spaces like schools can become breeding grounds for the Covid-19 virus, which can linger in the air. The focus for schools is to increase ventilation, as well as adopt technology that can remove airborne virus particles. But what help and support is available for schools? Schools are being asked to keep their premises well ventilated to combat the spread of the coronavirus. This is because the Covid virus mainly transmits via airborne particles, and so enclosed spaces like schools can become breeding grounds for infection. Well ventilated spaces meanwhile dilute the virus, reducing the risk of spread. In the latest operational guidance, schools are asked to identify any poorly ventilated spaces as part of their risk assessment and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas, giving particular consideration when holding events where visitors are on site, for example, school plays. Mechanical ventilation is a system that uses a fan to draw fresh air or extract air from a room. These should be adjusted to increase the ventilation rate wherever possible and checked to confirm that normal operation meets current guidance and that only fresh outside air is circulated.

temperature, especially now If possible, systems should be adjusted to in the winter months. full fresh air or, if this is not possible, then systems should be operated as normal as CO2 monitors and air purifiers long as they are within a single room and CO2 monitors are being provided supplemented by an outdoor air supply. to state-funded education settings, Where mechanical ventilation systems so staff can quickly identify where exist, you should ensure that they are ventilation needs to be improved. maintained in accordance with the CO2 is released when we breathe out, so manufacturers’ recommendations. higher levels of CO2 means there is higher Opening external windows can improve occupancy and lower ventilation, natural ventilation, and in and can be an important red addition, opening internal flag to identify areas of doors can also assist with Schools inadequate ventilation. creating a throughput should The DfE said at the of air. If necessary, balance time that the monitors external opening the need fo “will enable staff to doors may also be r i n c act quickly where used. However, r e a ventilat ventilation is poor schools should ion wh sed ile mainta and provide balance the need for in reassurance that increased ventilation comfor ing a existing ventilation while maintaining t a b le temper measures are working” E a comfortable a





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 Feedback from schools suggests that the 350,000 carbon dioxide monitors rolled out across the country are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation. The Department for Education is also supplying air purifiers for schools where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. Air purifiers can remove harmful particles, pollen and other allergens that can cause harm. Last year, the DfE announced 1,000 air purifiers for special schools and alternative provision settings, and have recently announced 7,000 more for other schools. Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, has said it’s not good enough however. She said: “Seven thousand more air purifiers is something, but it is completely inadequate for what should be a basic human right, the provision of clean air in every classroom in every educational setting. The fact that the Government has provided the extra purifiers shows that it recognises the problem but with over 300,000 classrooms in England it has failed to provide an effective solution.” The DfE has also launched an online “marketplace” for schools not eligible for DfE funded purifiers to buy their own. Trialling air purifiers 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 transmission.

A report by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC) calls for clear, consistent communication and advice on ventilation from government and professional bodies to help building owners and operators to manage infection risks 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 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. Professor Mark Mon-Williams from the School of Psychology, at the University of Leeds said: “Research has suggested that children have lost as much as half

a year of schooling because of the disruption caused by the pandemic. “There is an urgent need to identify technologies that could be adopted by schools to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. We know that good ventilation can help disperse the aerosols that can cause infection, but in a busy classroom ventilation alone will not be enough. “Environmental technology offers a potential solution - it will enable schools to operate as normal as possible and hopefully reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading among pupils.” Bowling Park Primary School in Bradford is one school taking part in the study. Headteacher Matthew Langley said: “Good attendance is key to children being successful at school. As for many schools, COVID-19 caused huge disruption to Bowling Park Primary School. Repeated lockdowns created very real challenges E Issue 27.1 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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The technology The devices used in the Bradford trial use HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. These trap unwanted particles such as dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses and hair from the air while allowing clean air to be pushed back out into the environment. The other technology used is Ultraviolet light (UV-C), which is a well-established method of disinfection that has been used for decades to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. It can clean air, surfaces, objects and water by breaking down the DNA or RNA (ribonucleic acid) of microorganisms, rendering them harmless. All bacteria and viruses tested to date (many hundreds over the years, including various coronaviruses) respond to UV-C cleaning. The device is designed to clean the air during day-to-day activities while people are present. Ventilators pull the air from the room inside the device which then filters and cleans it. The project is not expected to report back until the first half of next year. Buildings resilient to infection A recent report by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC) has shown that good ventilation inside public building is essential to reducing the risk of Covid-19 and other infections.

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 transmission. The research is being conducted by the Centre for Applied Education Research Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, commissioned the report 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 indoor air quality (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. The report also warns that there is an urgent need to plug skills and knowledge gaps and put in place the training, re-skilling and recruitment needed to fill them. Even in sectors such as hospitals have levels of skill and competence that vary. Professor Peter Guthrie OBE FREng, Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chair of the NEPC infection resilient environments working group, says: “Buildings make an enormous difference to people’s health and we have often neglected this in the past, which is bad news in a pandemic, because they are one of the most significant levers that we have to control infection. We must take action

Air Purification

 for our children, families and staff as we all worked together to continue learning from home, but the greatest problems were caused by individual cases of COVID-19 that led to bubbles, classes or groups of classes, being closed for up to 10 days at a time. “Despite our very best efforts, our school had over 30 bubble closures last year. “We are delighted to be part of this pilot study. All our classrooms are now fitted with air filters designed to remove airborne viruses and improve air quality for children and staff. It feels like a real step forward for us as we return to normal and try to make school as safe, consistent and positive for all our children, families and staff.”

now to make sure that good practice in ventilation is widely understood and applied across workplaces and public buildings. “Longer term, this is a real opportunity to transform the way we design and manage our buildings to create good, healthy and sustainable environments for those who use them. We must also integrate this with thinking on infection control into our approach to Net Zero, to prevent inadvertently hard-wiring a susceptibility to infection and other health risks into our building stock and management practices.” Dr Hywel Davies, technical director at the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, says:“Clear communication on ventilation is essential – we need to support owners and operators with clear and simple guidance, emphasising the importance of improving ventilation while maintaining wider good practice on infection control. “Our aim should be to enable everyone who has responsibility for managing buildings or transport to understand how to respond in a practical and timely manner, and to establish an appropriate balance of measures to manage infection risks alongside thermal comfort, air quality and energy concerns.” Schools in Wales The Welsh Government is investing £3.31 million to improve ventilation in schools, colleges and universities in Wales. The funding will be used to improve ventilation in education settings such as school classrooms, colleges and lecture halls in a move to reduce the risk of spreading E



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 COVID-19 and create safer learning environments for pupils, students and staff. CO2 monitors are also being rolled out in educational settings across Wales. The new CO2 monitors which include sensors will notify teachers and lecturers when CO2 levels rise, so they can identify where ventilation needs to be improved. This will help maintain comfortable temperatures for learners and staff during colder periods, reduce heat loss and save on energy costs. The Welsh Government has also recently announced that £50m will be available to schools via local authorities to help schools carry out capital repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation. Improving indoor air quality The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and its affiliate member Mitsubishi Electric have created a ‘Beginners Guide’ to improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), which has gained

the support of one of the UK’s most high-profile child health campaigners, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. The ‘Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality’ offers advice and guidance to a broad audience, including school leadership teams, given the importance of good air quality in schools. The digital publication is designed to give a comprehensive, but nontechnical introduction to the subject and can be downloaded for free here. The Beginner’s Guide will also be of interest to engineers and specialist firms involved in designing, commissioning, and maintaining indoor environments because it provides a useful overview of the main topic areas. It would work as a starting point for anyone looking to set up a strategy for tackling the poor IAQ that is having a detrimental impact on thousands of UK buildings and their occupants. With an introduction from Kissi-Debrah, the Guide, which includes a wealth of

information provided by BESA’s Health & Wellbeing in Buildings group, explains how the ventilation and building services industry is able to turn buildings into ‘safe havens’ to protect occupants – particularly children who face the greatest risks – from the worst impacts of contaminated air. “This guide is an invaluable non-technical introduction to the issue of IAQ and explains how we can make our own indoor environments safer and healthier for us and our children,” said Kissi-Debrah, who is also honorary president of the BESA group. The guide is designed as a jumping off point from which anyone affected by the health and wellbeing implications of poor IAQ can engage with specialists to start addressing their problems. It explains how good ventilation and air filtration along with accurate measuring and monitoring of particulate matter are the keys to an effective IAQ strategy. It also includes information about the main sources of air pollution and the contaminants that affect indoor spaces and explains why IAQ is often many times more damaging to human health than outdoor pollution.

Air Purification

The Welsh Government has also recently announced that £50m will be available to schools via local authorities to help schools carry out capital repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation

Outdoor air quality Natural ventilation by opening windows can sometimes lead to other problems, if the air quality outside a school is poor. 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 E



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their way to cleaner air within and around their buildings. MANN+HUMMEL started out in producing fabric air filters for the Volkswagen Beetle. After eight decades, the company is a leading global expert in filtration with over 80 locations on all continents. By separating the useful from the harmful, MANN+HUMMEL became the market leader for clean air in operating theaters and cleanrooms. MANN+HUMMEL delivers both mobile indoor air purifiers, as well as retrofitting and updates to existing ventilation or filtration systems tailored to the need of the respective building and its users. Thanks to individually-tested HEPA H14 filters, more than 99.995 percent of viruses, their mutations, bacteria and other micro-organisms are captured. What is more: The same process applies to outdoor places. take nursery playgrounds next to a busy road. The fine dust burden is bound to be higher than tolerated limit values. MANN+HUMMEL’s Filter Cubes draw in the polluted air and bind over 80 percent of the nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. This is how MANN+HUMMEL ensures with state-ofthe-art filtration technology that children, teachers and educators can finally breathe safer again.

 are 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 campaigns and promoting active travel. 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

Air Purification

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. Children in London are four times as likely to go to a school where air pollution exceeds WHO limits compared to the rest of England






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Within Sentinel, air is fed through a close-dose, single-pass Plenum Chamber. Here intense irradiation of 254nm pure UVC is focused on the airstream.

Intense dose UVC causes a dehydration synthesis reaction fracturing the DNA structure de-activating any virus, bacteria or pathogen. The process is simple and instant.

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Fluid Dynamics Principles

High velocity air is Based on room volume, Within Sentinel, air is fed Intense dose UVC discharged overhead into the airflow can be adjusted to through a close-dose, dehydration syn breathing zone creating a alter the number of air single-pass Plenum reaction fracturing lower pressure underneath it, changes per hour. The quiet, Chamber. Here intense structure de-activ drawing air down in a centrifugal fan draws air into irradiation of 254nm virus, bacteria or p In the rolling UK, the majority of the built the environment has been designed to retain heat, usually at cycle to the base base of Sentinel via four pure UVC is focused on The process is s the expense of Sentinel. fresh air ventilation. Where ventilation they are simple of the particulate filters. systems exist, very theoften airstream. and instan

mechanical re-circulation designs, reheating and recirculating the same air

pack. These pre- filters primarily function to ensure the internal plenum chamber retains its high reflective efficiency. However, the resulting reduction in particulate content is measured under test conditions to be over 70 per cent. The pleated carbon exit filter cassette enables the removal of pollens, VOC and oxidation products, also absorbing nitrogen oxides and traffic fume pollutants, delivering a secondary air-purification benefit to the primary air-sterilisation function.

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*Laboratory results confirmed. The chemical reaction between amino acids

This approach is disastrous in light of a pandemic with airborne pathogens as the primary source of infection. Yes, UVC makes it possible, and Sentinel provides the solution. UVC is natures greatest gift in the fight against airborne pathogens. Researched conducted The photobiological ability of UV light by was discovered asSchool far back as of 1877Tropical by two Liverpool scientists Downes and Blunt. In 1903, one (August 2021) of the first Nobel Prizes for Medicine was awarded to Nials Finsen for his work on the treatment of medical disorders using concentrated light radiation therapies. By the 1930s hospitals began deploying the newly patented UVC lamps to eradicate airborne pathogens in operating theatres, and by the 1960’s the industrialisation of UVC begins with the mass adoption of UVC for water sterilisation by the major public utilities. ‘Every glass of tap water in the UK you will have ever enjoyed will have been sterilised using UVC.’ This exact same tested and proven technology is now being applied to air sterilisation. The total de-activation of an airborne pathogen is achieved when a sufficient dose of UVC is delivered to the airflow through a UVC loaded plenum chamber. The continuous process provides a stream of sterilised air into the breathing zone. In addition, if you de-activate an airborne pathogen, you remove the opportunity for it to settle onto surfaces reducing this secondary infection route. Sterilisation at the speed of light, making safe the air that we share The process is simple and instant. 254.7nm UVC penetrates the outer protein membrane of the cell triggering the production of peptide bonds within the cells DNA/RNA structure.

releases a water molecule (H20). It is this molecular dehydration synthesis that fractures the RNA/DNA structure rendering the cell sterile and unable to reproduce. De-activated.

De-activates SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in controlled laboratory setting.

Ventilate or irradiate! It requires a UVC dose delivery of 37.5 (J/m2) Medicine to de-activate Coronavirus-2 Covid-19. The Sentinel M320 unit provides up to 181 (J/m2) of 254.7nm UVC delivering single pass continuous airflows of sterilised air at selectable volumes between 350m3/h and 650m3/h. Sentinel medical grade UVC emitters do not produce any ozone. The ability of Sentinel can best be demonstrated in a classroom of 30 students 30 students +Teacher breathe 11,800 litres of air an hour. Sentinel processes and delivers up to 650,000 litres per hour of sterile, pathogen free air. That is over 55x the volume of air the classroom can consume per hour, delivered directly into the breathing zone. Sentinel will be the quietest thing in the classroom The system benefits from extensive sound deadening materials resulting in class leading noise reduction and decibel ratings that ensure the Sentinel M320, whilst improving the air quality and safety of the shared air, will not dominate the occupied room space. A 70 per cent reduction in particulate matter also purifies the air Filtration to F7 is provided by four inlet pre-filters and a carbon cassette exit filter


Protecting teachers and students The British designed, engineered and manufactured Sentinel M320 was awarded an ERD grant supported by the Liverpool school of Tropical Medicine to fund the laboratory validation of its efficacy against Coronavirus-2 Covid-19 and its variants. All variants of Coronavirus-2 Covid-19 will respond similarly to UVC de-activation as the variants evolvement does not alter the susceptibility of its DNA/RNA to high dose UVC exposure.



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The Sentinel M320’s primary function is air-sterilisation Excludes VAT & Delivery The high UVC dose delivered by Sentinel ensures that beyond Covid-19, all the other seasonal airborne pathogens that contributed to absenteeism before the pandemic are also mitigated. Sentinel M320 is a mobile/portable, plug and play UVC air-sterilisation system comprising a unique internally enclosed UVC plenum chamber containing 4 x 80w Sentinel 254nm high output medical grade UVC emitters. This makes Sentinel the most powerful UVC air-sterilisation available to the market. Designed and engineered for 24/7/365 management free use, with replacement lamps and carbon filter every 9000 hours. Sentinel sets the benchmark for performance and safety standards in what is an unregulated market space. Sentinel can be purchased directly from the manufacturer and capital or operational lease models, which include service and maintenance packages including up to 4-year warranty support, are also available. L FURTHER INFORMATION 0333 242 3961





ULTRA LOW ENERGY HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATION FOR CLASSROOMS ✔ Patented variable mass heat exchanger ✔ Maintains thermal efficiency at 100% and 50% airflow ✔ Fully compliant with BB101 2018 ✔ Up to 82% efficient energy reclaim ✔ 100,000 hour long life, low energy EC fans ✔ Low profile, only 300mm in height ✔ Low sound levels ✔ Inner city filter ePM 2.5 (F7) ✔ Trend Bacnet control ✔ Space heating option

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There are many opportunities to improve the Indoor Air Quality of classrooms by replacing or upgrading existing Fan Convector with SmartVector and Classmaster products Dunham-Bush have been designing, manufacturing and suppling Fan convectors for installation in schools for more than 60 years. Multiple studies have confirmed that fan convectors are ideally suited to this application as they respond quickly to changing heat loads and occupancy. Durability, low maintenance, and reliability are standard features of Dunham-Bush Fan Convectors. Dunham-Bush has embraced new technology in terms of fan/motor combinations, heat exchange technology and controls. While simple EM controls are still available, more intelligent controls are now offered. These offer improved efficiency with associated energy savings as well as additional features such as ‘Boost’ and ‘Eco’ modes along with CO² monitoring and control for units with Fresh air introduction. Dunham-Bush has always offered models with fresh air introduction controlled by dampers. With the recent attention to indoor air quality, Dunham-Bush has been involved in several projects where an existing Fan Convector installation has been upgraded to add fresh air introduction and CO² monitoring and control. Part of these upgrades will include the use of fans with variable speed EC Motors, which are able to deliver the required quantities of fresh air to maintain CO² levels below the required level. Pre-occupation purge and free cooling are additional features available with ‘SmartVector’ and ‘SmartVent’ products. Air quality in classrooms has a major bearing on the academic performance and productivity. Released by the government in 2018, BB101: ‘Ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality 2018’ has been instrumental in the most significant changes in ventilation design, regulation and guidance in schools since 2006. Working in parallel with BB93: ‘Acoustic designs for schools, performance standards (2015)’, they provide guidance on how to achieve acceptable internal environment in schools. The Dunham-Bush Smart-Vector range of fresh air fan convectors offer further innovative options to the client, ensuring recommended

indoor air qualities (IAQ) are achieved. SmartVector provide demand-led tempered fresh air and heating using a stand-alone controller with local setpoint adjustment. Multiple units can be operated together in larger spaces. There are five models in the range: floor standing front outlet and top outlet, high wall and ceiling mounted as well as a floor standing ducted tall cabinet front outlet model. With nominal outputs ranging from 1.4kW to 14.6kW, the air volume flow rate through the unit will adjust automatically to maintain comfortable conditions as well as air quality by controlling a modulating fresh air damper. Smart-Vector units are supplied with a wall mounted digital controller with integral CO2 and air temperature sensors. In addition, the controller can be integrated into a Modbus or BACnet BMS. Each unit is complete with a frost protection thermostat and spring return actuator, 2 or 4-port valve and actuator, energy efficient EC motor. Maximum fan speed is infinitely adjustable to attain the necessary air flow without excessive noise on each unit. Stand-alone and master units also have low temperature cut-out (LTC) and temperature setback for use during unoccupied periods. The Smart-Vent controller is used in conjunction with Smart-Vectors and allows Building Managers to enable free cooling and purging of the space before occupancy. Smart-Vent is specifically designed for projects with multiple rooms or spaces that require independent control. In addition to the functions shared with the stand-alone system, the Smart-Vent controller will provide both day and night free cooling and a pre-purge period, as selected by the Building Managers, using simple on/off enable switches. Where fresh air introduction is to be combined with Heat Recovery the Dunham-Bush VHR Classmaster range is available The Classmaster range of ventilation units has been developed for any building where indoor

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Dunham-Bush Fan Convector Upgrade to introduce fresh air into classrooms

Air Quality and Heat recovery is required. The VHR 260 has been designed specifically for classrooms and along with all the VHR range of units now available from Dunham-Bush. It complies with the current BB101 and BB93 guidelines. With nine chassis sizes and airflows ranging from 50 to 600l/s, this range of products delivers the very highest standards of air quality to meet every requirement. The unique configuration of low resistance heat exchangers, used in conjunction with long life, low energy EC fans, delivers minimal sound levels and an impressive heat reclaim efficiency up to 89%. In line with the latest BB101 guidance bulletin, the Classmaster range of VHR units have the option of ePM2.5 (F7) filters for inner city installations. With a low-profile height of only 300mm, Classmaster units can be installed within a ceiling void or surface mounted. Space heating options are available across the complete range of Classmaster VHR heat recovery and ventilation units, with a comprehensive range of frost and heating coils pre-installed in insulated casings and matched flanges to fit directly onto heat recovery units. Dunham-Bush VHR units are offered with a range of versatile control arrangements for stand-alone operation or integration with the BMS system installed at the installation. Additional ultra-low energy summer trickle mode and a full space heating facility using a recirculation damper and LPHW coil are included in the programming. The result of several years’ research and development, these innovative products offer a proven solution to the requirements of BB101: 2018, available throughout the UK and Southern Ireland, from Dunham-Bush.L FURTHER INFORMATION



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An introduction to estate decarbonisation and how to approach it in schools Although the decarbonisation of a school estate is not the only task a school faces in seeking to becoming environmentally sustainable, it is likely to prove the most challenging, on account of being the most disruptive and expensive. It will prove to be the work of some years The first task is to draw up a plan: this is known as a decarbonisation plan. It needs to be comprehensive, to be of any use. It needs to identify quick-wins, and longer-term objectives: the latter likely to be those projects that will either be expensive or intrusive on the school estate. This article explains the main items that the decarbonisation plan needs to cover. It is not exhaustive. Most schools will need external support in drawing up this plan, because they will not have the expertise in house. Note that the UK government is now running successive rounds of grant funding to pay for these plans to be drawn up. Likewise, the programme of projects arising from the decarbonisation plan will be eligible for further grant funding, provided the work has been scoped and specified to the necessary standards. Salix Finance administer the grant schemes and will judge each application on its merits.

The Principles Every school estate has its own unique circumstances but school estates across the UK are subject to broadly the same challenges. Furthermore, the principles behind decarbonisation of a school estate are valid for all schools and although the energy sector in the UK is complex and can seem daunting to consumers, the task can be simplified conceptually. There are three categories of energy usage on a school estate: these are power, heat and transport. The essence of estate decarbonisation is to render all the usage of power, heat and transport zero-carbon; or if true zero-carbon cannot be achieved, then go for net zero-carbon – which means that shortfalls are made up by some sort of carbon-offsetting. Buy well Buy 100 per cent renewably-sourced grid power. This can now be achieved at no extra

Preparing to insert the ground loop into a vertical borehole for a ground source heat pump project.


cost compared to buying so-called ‘brown’ energy (derived from fossil-fuels). Buy Well, for power, is the easiest objective to achieve because with one contractual change all the school’s use of gird power becomes zerocarbon. Unfortunately the same commercial trick is not available for buying heating fuel: the only true zero-carbon option for heating is to move away from combustion methods altogether; (see ‘Generate Well’). Use well Make the estate energy infrastructure as efficient as possible. The cheapest, cleanest energy is energy not used. There are some well-established measures to achieve this. For example: all lighting should be converted to LEDs as soon as possible; buildings need to be well insulated; and heating (and cooling) controls need to be set up correctly. An energy efficiency survey by an external assessor should determine and explain all the options in enough detail to justify grant-funding applications. Schools also need to encourage energyefficient behaviour by the occupants. Behaviour campaigns are usually best championed by carefully selected staff and students who have a marked passion for the cause. Unfortunately it will not be enough to run the campaign for just one year: it needs to be maintained year after year as part of the way of life at the school. This part of the ‘use well’ task need not cost money: there is plenty of generic open-source material available, and several charities run framework schemes to guide schools. Generate well Given that the national grid is decarbonising so fast, the ‘generate well’ tasks mainly apply to heating and transport systems, where the aim is to cease using fossil fuels. Nonetheless, on-site power generation is still relevant, largely to support the heating conversion task. Converting the heating is the most challenging project, by some measure; but if not tackled, the school will never achieve net-zero. The technology options are currently heat pumps or biomass. Much is spoken of hydrogen; but it’s wishful thinking to see it as a solution for heating buildings en masse in the UK. There is not the space here to


Power Even though net-zero grid power is now easily purchased, it is also usually an advantage to install on-site power generation, possibly combined with power storage. This reduces the school’s reliance on the grid; and in time will reduce operating costs. With or without additional power generation on site, available grid capacity can prove to be the defining issue in decarbonising heat generation on the estate. Everything that can be done to reduce peak loads will help but it may still prove necessary to enhance the supply of grid power to the estate. This needs to be considered early in the scoping of low-carbon heat projects: it tends to be one of the defining issues in the design concept. Transport. If the school has any integral transport it will need to be converted to electric vehicles. Charging points will also need to be installed. New-builds Resolving issues within the existing buildings will inevitably be the most time-consuming and expensive part of the task, given that by 2050 (the UK’s overall net-zero target date) an estimated 80 per cent of buildings in the UK will still be from the current building stock (i.e. not very energy-efficient). However, it is also vital that all new-builds are specified to high standards of energy efficiency and use low-carbon technologies for energy generation. It would be counterproductive for any new-builds in UK schools to be designed with fossil-fuel systems as their primary means of energy generation. System controls Systems will increasingly need to be integrated so that they work to each other’s advantages. For example, solar PV arrays on site will not only provide power for functions such as lighting and IT: they will provide supplementary power for running the heat pumps. Spare power will be used to charge up EVs: but conversely, EVs will also function as power storage systems, which can push power back into circulation

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go into the detail, but green hydrogen is much more likely to find its commercial role as a fuel for requirements such as heavy transport: shipping and trains, for example. Every school will need a detailed site survey by an appropriate expert to determine the optimum technology and design concept. Where possible, heat pumps are likely to be preferred. This is partly to avoid the logistic burden associated with biomass refueling; but heat pumps are also the cleanest means of generating heat. They have no emissions on site; and if powered by renewably sourced electricity they are effectively zero-carbon. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for a building to be stripped out, re-insulated and have underfloor heating, for heat pumps to work. There are plenty of examples of ‘energy-leaky’ buildings where heat pumps function well. The important thing is to get the specification right and then ensure the installation is built asspecified; with no short-cuts by contractors.

Heat pumps and thermal storage newly installed in a school plantroom.

when journeys are not required. Time-of-Use tariffs will be in use on the school’s grid supply contracts, meaning that grid power is bought when at its cheapest, then stored in batteries (or the EVs) ready for use at peak-demand times; or the cheaper grid power is used to run the heat pumps, which in turn store heat ready for use later, so that the heat pumps do not need to be running when grid power is at its daily price peak. System controls will increasingly be the key to operating a cost-effective and economical system. This is the main reason why a holistic approach to decarbonisation is required: without it, opportunities to save money or generate revenue could be overlooked. Priorities The textbook approach is to tackle the energy efficiency first, before converting the heat generation from fossil-fuels to a low-carbon alternative. This makes obvious sense because it will reduce operating costs all the more quickly. However, there is a further reason: if the heat demand can be reduced then a smaller low-carbon heating system can be installed, thus reducing the capital outlay. This matters, because low-carbon heating technologies are relatively expensive compared to the fossil-fuel systems they are replacing. However, schools tend to have complex estates, with multiple plantrooms and widely varying build standards. Resolving all the efficiency issues within the existing buildings will inevitably take many years, whilst some buildings will possibly never be that efficient. In this situation it may be necessary to compromise and run concurrent programmes to improve energy efficiency and at the same time begin the conversion to low-carbon heat generation. Under this approach, the new lowcarbon plant would be sized to meet most of the demand, but not the current peaks, with some retained fossil-fuel plant operating as back-up. Over time, as the concurrent energy efficiency programme continued across the estate, energy usage would reduce and usage rates would become aligned with the

capacity for low-carbon heat generation, meaning that the remaining fossil-fuel plant could then be phased out altogether. Prudence with projects It is easy to waste money on complex retrofit conversion projects, especially for the heating systems. This work is equivalent in scale to any major new-build project and an iterative risk reduction process is essential. Careful scoping, planning, and project definition by a qualified third-party will pay dividends. Likewise, it is essential to have independent external support to run the tendering and installation phases, first to secure the right contractor(s) for the right price, then to supervise their work. Recent experience in the Education Sector has shown that project costs can be reduced by as much as 25-30 per cent by judicious and diligent project management. Conclusion There is much to be done, in reaching netzero. If you would like further advice on any of the points raised in this article, or want to book an estate decarbonisation plan, please contact the author – Nigel AylwinFoster on L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information, visit AUTHOR: NIGEL AYLWIN FOSTER Nigel is a director at ReEnergise Projects Ltd.



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Cleaning and the fight against Coronavirus Cleaners can use a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine or a household detergent followed by disinfection (1,000 ppm If an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, ensure that it is In kitchens, as a matter of good hygiene effective against enveloped viruses. practice, anyone handling food should wash Avoid mixing cleaning products together their hands often with soap and water for as this can create toxic fumes. Avoid creating at least 20 seconds before doing so. splashes and spray when cleaning. Crockery and eating utensils should not Any cloths and mop heads used be shared, and frequently touched surfaces, must be disposed of and should such as tables, should be cleaned regularly. be put into waste bags. Schools should continue to ensure that When items cannot be cleaned using pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be detergents or laundered, for example, done with soap and water or hand sanitiser. upholstered furniture and mattresses, The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to steam cleaning should be used. respiratory hygiene continues to be very If cleaning after an individual has Covid important. The e-Bug COVID-19 website symptoms or has tested positive, the contains free resources, including minimum PPE to be worn is materials to encourage good hand disposable gloves and an and respiratory hygiene. Frequen apron. Wash hands with t ly soap and water for 20 Cleaning after a touche d seconds after all PPE positive case surface s should has been removed. Public areas where a wiped d If a risk symptomatic person has own tw be a day, a ic assessment of the passed through and spent e these s nd one of setting indicates minimal time, such as hould b that a higher level corridors, can be cleaned ea beginn of virus may be thoroughly as normal. ing or t t the he present (for example, All surfaces that the end of the where someone symptomatic person day unwell has spent has come into contact the night at a boarding with should be cleaned and school) then additional disinfected, including all potentially PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, contaminated and frequently touched areas mouth and nose may be necessary. L such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab rails in corridors and stairwells. Use disposable cloths or paper roll FURTHER INFORMATION and disposable mop heads, to clean See the latest guidance for cleaning all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door during the pandemic here: handles and sanitary fittings – think one site, one wipe, in one direction.

Frequent and thorough cleaning should now be regular practice for schools in the fight against Coronavirus. We summarise the latest guidance in light of the Omicron variant Regular cleaning plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of Covid-19. Schools should increase the frequency of cleaning, using standard cleaning products such as detergents and bleach, paying attention to all surfaces but especially ones that are touched frequently, such as door handles, light switches, work surfaces, remote controls and electronic devices. Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is particularly important in bathrooms and communal kitchens. As a minimum, frequently touched surfaces should be wiped down twice a day, and one of these should be at the beginning or the end of the working day. Cleaning should be more frequent depending on the number of people using the space, whether they are entering and exiting the setting. When cleaning surfaces, it is not necessary to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing over and above what would usually be used, unless cleaning an area where someone has tested positive (more below). 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.



Fire Safety Written by National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)

Fighting the spread of fires The National Fire Chiefs Council believes that there should be an overarching requirement for all schools to have sprinklers, aligning policy across the UK At the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) we’ve long been calling for the installation of sprinklers in all schools in the UK, including the retrofitting of sprinklers in existing school buildings when relevant refurbishment takes place. We continue to make this case because fire sprinklers are widely recognised as the single most effective method for fighting the spread of fires in their early stages – and the evidence backs this up. The NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) carried out research to investigate the effectiveness and reliability of sprinkler systems and we found that operating sprinkler systems extinguish or contain fires on 99 per cent of occasions. This focus on schools is important because of their increased risk of fire. Analysis of data by Zurich Municipal shows the average fire risk in schools is almost double that of nonresidential buildings. Schools were also found


to be three times more likely to fall into the a legal requirement, in England sprinklers ‘high’ fire risk category compared to 2.92 are not mandated. Even within England million non-household properties. some regions have a more robust Between April 2015 and April approach than others due to 2020, there were 1,467 the absence of an EnglandAnalysi primary school and 834 wide legal requirement. s of data secondary school fires but For example, Derby City Zurich M by only two per cent were Council and Derbyshire unicipa shows fitted with sprinklers. County Council l signed a statement fire risk the average A safety postof intent regarding i n schools almost code lottery mandatory sprinklers i s d We believe that in new-build schools of non- ouble that resid there should be an and those undergoing building ential overarching requirement renovation. Similarly, s for all schools to have Suffolk County Council has sprinklers, aligning policy also taken steps to ensure across the UK. Yet the current that all Special Educational reality is a post code lottery across Need (SEN) schools have sprinklers. the different nations and regions. Whereas Contrasting the outcomes of these Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have policy decisions is stark. Zurich’s research


A devastating impact We know that sprinkler systems can contain and limit the damage to the school building, but without sprinklers, even a minor fire can quickly develop into a major fire. Fortunately, death and injury caused by school fires is rare, but fires can still have a devastating impact. There is a significant expense to the public purse in terms of rebuilding and refurbishment, replacing equipment, and paying for temporary accommodation. In the last five years, school fires have destroyed the equivalent of 1,100 classrooms and damaged more than 74,000 square metres of teaching facilities. Original guidance released in 2007 stated that all new schools should have fire sprinklers installed ‘except in a few low-risk schools’. However, the current draft regulation BB100 does not mandate sprinklers. This

Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council signed a statement of intent regarding mandatory sprinklers in newbuild schools and those undergoing renovation. Similarly, Suffolk County Council has also taken steps to ensure that all SEN schools have sprinklers watered-down approach would leave a loophole that exposes schools in England to ongoing risk. Furthermore, it appears to permit the use of combustible materials on external walls in buildings under 18 metres – which is the category most schools fall under – rather than banning the use of combustible cladding in all schools. Lasting disruption The hidden cost of school fires is the impact on students’ education, in terms of disruption of classroom teaching, displacement to temporary accommodation, and potential overcrowding if placed in alternative schools. In 2019 alone, 20,000 students were displaced as a result of school fires. Parents who are left juggling childcare and work can also feel the impact. Zurich estimates 390,000 teaching hours could be lost in the next year due to large fires, which would cause disruption for 28,000 children. Absence from school has an adverse impact on attainment at Key Stages 2 and 4, as the Department for Education’s own 2016 statistics illustrated ‘every extra day missed was associated with a lower attainment outcome’. Taking every step to minimise this risk is crucial, especially given the disruption children have already experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many already

Fire Safety

highlights this huge discrepancy in school fire safety approaches between Scotland and England. In Scotland 29 per cent of schools are rated ‘excellent’ for fixed fire protection systems, compared to only five per cent in England, and the southern region being deemed the least safe for pupils. The Department for Education’s 2021 consultation ‘Building Bulletin 100: Fire Safety Design for Schools’ is an opportunity to close the current loopholes and ensure that schools in England have the same level of fire protection as the rest of the UK. We submitted a response to this consultation, which closed in August, and now await the Government’s response. The NFCC isn’t alone: a wide cross-sector of organisations have been united in making the call for sprinklers in schools, including Zurich, the Association of British Insurers, the National Fire Chiefs Council, the Fire Brigades Union, the National Education Union, the National Association of Head Teachers, the Fire Protection Association, European Sprinkler Network, and the Business Sprinkler Alliance.

struggling to catch up after schools were closed during lockdown. These impacts are most keenly felt in lower socio-economic areas, where home schooling meant less access to online tools and equipment, and the loss of free school meals. We believe that sprinklers should be mandatory in all schools, but there are some schools which pose particular fire risks. For example, bigger and older schools, including those with a canteen, and secondary schools that have more complex and dangerous equipment. In the case of SEN schools there is also a need to factor in the challenge of finding alternative accommodation that has the required specialist facilities for students in the risk of a fire. In the case of boarding schools there is also the consideration of sleeping accommodation which carries additional risk. We will continue to call on the government to future proof school buildings by closing this loophole and making sprinklers mandatory in all new and refurbished schools. You can read our response to the Building Bulletin 100: Fire Safety Design for Schools consultation on our website. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Groundscare & Landscaping

Winter care for school grounds It’s paramount that green spaces and outdoor surfaces are maintained and that the appropriate maintenance tasks are carried out at the correct time of year, writes Stephen Ensell from the British Association of Landscape Industries The importance of maintenance cannot be over-emphasised. We maintain our cars, heating systems, machinery, our houses and even our health, because we recognise a regular maintenance schedule prolongs the life of those items and helps reduce the risk of things going wrong and potentially injuring people. The green spaces and sports surfaces that surround our schools and businesses are no different, especially in terms of safety and prolonging the life and use of these areas. These spaces are often the first thing that people see when they arrive, and we all know the importance of first impressions. But it’s more than just aesthetic reasons that we need to correctly maintain these areas. We are very good at making sure these spaces are well looked after through the spring and summer, but often neglect them come the winter months when we are not using them as much. It’s paramount these living spaces and surfaces are maintained and that the appropriate maintenance tasks are carried out at the correct time of year,

Celsius, so mowing may continue into the months that are unseasonably mild, subject to the weather and areas being dry enough. Leaves and plant debris will need to be removed from grassed area to prevent lawns from dying and from walkways and hard surfaces to prevent pedestrians slipping and the surfaces becoming stained. Plant and shrub growth will need to be checked and cut back appropriately if it is overhanging walk ways, cars parks or obscuring lines of sight for vehicles and pedestrians on the property. Rejuvenative pruning can take place through the winter, this presents an opportunity to cut back hard those deciduous shrubs that have become overgrown and give them a chance to produce young new healthy growth, which in turn will produce a healthier shrub with improved flowering. Evaluate any areas of soil that have been used as a cut through and may have become compacted leading to soil erosion or uneven surfaces, alleviating compaction through cultivation should take place and replanting or grass seeding can then follow in the spring.

so if you haven’t already done so a yearly maintenance schedule should be created to help you keep on top of these areas and plan for the maintenance activities that will need to take place at different times of the year. Plant growth cycles need to be taken into consideration, this will influence when watering, mulching, pruning and plant replacement takes place at the correct time of year. It’s So, whilst we are entering a that tim dormant period, remember e of yea there are still tasks that could hr when we need to be carried out to keep everything snow a ave a lot of not only looking year sa nd ice. Last aesthetically pleasing, but safe for the people cent ris w a 52 per e that use and travel trips du in slips and through these areas. ri

Dangers of ice and snow It’s that time of year when potentially we could have a lot of Ice and snow, last year saw a 52 per cent rise in slips trips and falls during icy ng such and snowy conditions. conditio A close eye should be kept Tips for winter ns on the weather, checking for maintenance warnings concerning potential ice Grass will continue to grow at a and snow on local weather channels. E minimum temperature of 14 degrees Issue 27.1 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Groundscare & Landscaping

 There are specialty BALI contractors that focus on preventative and reactive gritting and snow clearance services so that outdoor settings don’t pose a hazard when conditions take a turn for the worse. If you have good sized trees, now is the time to check for dead and diseased branches and have them safely removed by a reputable Arboriculturalist. Edges are something we take for granted, but we are very reliant on them for guiding us and helping us navigate, whether that be the edge of a path, a road, a grassed area or planted border. When these become overgrown or obscured this increases the chance of injury from slips, trips or falls and damage from vehicles that can’t see where they should be travelling or parking. So, make sure they are well maintained and clearly defined. Safety checks of playgrounds Playground equipment and surfacing should be checked on a regular basis, but with these areas perhaps being a little less used at this time of year, it’s an ideal time to carry out a thorough check through visual checks for signs

of damage and wear and tear, along with a tactile test. Timber play equipment should be checked for cracks and anything exceeding 8mm should be reported. Moving parts should be checked and lubricated as necessary. Make sure the safety surface areas are clear of debris and trip hazards and check for sign of wear and tear and replace as needed. A professional inspection should take place at least once a year. If serious defects are detected, then equipment should be immobilised and repaired as soon as possible. All play equipment and surfaces should comply with European Standards of Play Equipment (EN1176) and or Surfacing (EN1177). It’s also a great time to check sport’s surfacing. Continue to keep surfaces free of debris, and in frosty conditions and when snow has settled, keep off artificial grass as walking on the surface can damage the artificial fibres. It is also best to try not to remove snow once its settled but allow it to thaw as removal can again damage the fibres. Avoid applying rock salt or grit as this, once dissolved can cause contamination and damage to the surface. Specialist PDV salts and antifreezes can be applied by contractors

to help prevent ice and snow settling, but is not appropriate for all surfaces, so specialist advice should be sort for your type of surface. One of the biggest problem’s artificial surfaces face at this time of the year is the potential to flood, as a build up of contaminates water will be slow to drain, therefore regular brushing and replacement infill materials is essential to keep the areas draining adequately. If flooding and standing water persists, then contractors may need to be contacted to carry out a deep cleaning process and restore the correct drainage properties. If ignored this will only continue to worsen as times goes on. A BALI registered company that specialises in grounds maintenance will create a bespoke maintenance plan and carry out the maintenance all year round for your green space, search for your local member on Landscaping careers for pupils The landscape industry is facing a skills shortage, to this end BALI have set up an initiative that dispels the myths surrounding the industry and promotes landscaping careers to school pupils and career changers, it’s a great time to join the industry, we may have industry ambassadors in your area that are happy to talk to pupils about the exciting world of landscaping, please visit for more information. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Rubb’s MUGA facilities have you covered SAPCA has launched a new code of practice for the design and construction of multi-use games areas to ensure you get the most from versatile sports facilities

Building Systems

For the past 20 years MUGAs (multi-use games areas) have been a popular option for facility owners and operators looking to add to their outdoor sports offering. Due to their small size, MUGAs are a great option when it comes to converting small spaces into durable sporting areas. As they are smaller than full-sized pitches, they are mainly used for recreational use and are an ideal solution for schools, leisure centres and parks. SAPCA has recently (September 2021) published its new code of practice for the design and construction of MUGAs. “MUGAs offer a cost-effective solution for communities, schools and other facility providers with a wide range of sporting demands and limited space or budgets. The most commonly played sports on MUGAs are tennis, netball, basketball, football – including small-sided and walking football and futsal – and hockey,” says SAPCA Project Manager, Colin Corline. “Other sports that might also be played include rugby training, rounders, athletics training, volleyball, and other recreational physical activity. When correctly designed they can provide an asset that enhances the local sport and physical activity provision.” The guidance is divided into four sections Section 1: Defines what a MUGA is, the different surface types and how the surface types are compatible with different sports. Section 2: Details the general construction requirements for MUGAs and offers design guidance and minimum standards for construction. Section 3: Offers insight into the maintenance and management of

facilities once they are in use. Section 4: Outlines a checklist to consider when planning, designing, and constructing a MUGA. The Prime Minister also announced earlier this year an additional £50m for community football pitches, to boost the wave of national interest in EURO 2020 and Women’s EURO 2022. Some of that funding will be made available for MUGAs. Rubb can support organisations with our alternative solutions Rubb previously worked with Northern Ireland’s Belfast City Council and Heron Bros to design and construct a MUGA cover for Brook Leisure Centre. As part of the £15 million project, Rubb contributed a 30m span x 60m length BVE MUGA cover. The local community was consulted on what sports they would like to see represented in the new facility. To meet these expectations, Rubb developed a MUGA cover to enclose three pitches to support the numerous sports available at the centre. The pitches can be comfortably used no matter the weather with the protection of Rubb’s PVC cladding. This will be the case for many years to come, as the PVC membrane has a life expectancy of up to 25 years, and the hot dip galvanised framework can last 30. Rubb is proud to have played a part in this project, which has resulted in an amazing state-of-the-art leisure facility for the community. Another successful MUGA More recently, Rubb and Heron Bros have completed their third facility.

As part of the £8 million project, Rubb has supplied Avoniel with a 30m span x 60m length x 4m leg height BVE MUGA cover. The transformation of the former Avoniel Leisure Centre site aims to address the lack of 3G pitches in the area, while also providing flexible indoor space for the community. New facilities include an intermediate standard 3G football pitch; three covered and two uncovered 3G five-a-side pitches; an outdoor 3G seven-a-side pitch; multi-purpose rooms; meeting rooms and changing rooms. Rubb’s covered pitches can be comfortably used no matter the weather with the protection of Rubb’s PVC cladding. This will be the case for many years to come, as the PVC membrane has a life expectancy of up to 25 years, and the hot dip galvanised framework can last 30. Belfast Councillor Nicholl said: “This is one of seven new and upgraded leisure facilities that make up Belfast City Council’s £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme – the biggest investment of its kind in the UK. This investment demonstrates our commitment to getting more people more active, more often. “When it opens, Avoniel will welcome sports clubs, groups and individuals from across Belfast and further afield. It will also play a vital role in improving health and wellbeing in the local community, one of the key objectives of the Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan.” L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information, visit



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Open Banking brings reassurance to student payments In education, Open Banking is allowing education providers to invoice students via an omnichannel payment experience, offering students a secure, speedy way to pay their fees online, directly from their bank account Open Banking is allowing businesses to send a payment link or QR code to customers with all the correct information preembedded to the individual. This eliminates any chance of information being entered incorrectly or lengthy admin time linking payments with customers. In education, Open Banking is allowing education providers to invoice students via an omnichannel payment experience. Offering students a secure, speedy way to pay their fees online, directly from their bank account. Benefits for education providers Typically, reconciliation has been a laborious process, prone to human error. Setting up payments traditionally involves populating many fields manually – and it takes just one small slip to enter a number or letter incorrectly. With hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students paying for tuition and accommodation fees, reconciling invoices can be a significant drain on resources. Pay with Bank transfer (PwBt) can significantly ease the administrative burden on education providers by embedding the Student ID or Applicant Reference number directly into the payment process for easier reconciliation. With the pre-populated information in place, each payment is automatically attributed to the correct student account. In addition, education providers also benefit from a low-cost payment method, a seamless SCA compliant customer experience, and instant payments with no chargebacks. For students, PwBt offers a seamless and accurate payment method. Pay with Bank

transfer powered by American Express is one of the first Open Banking initiatives in the UK from a globally recognised and trusted brand. The service can be used by current account holders at major UK banks, from high street banks such as Barclays and HSBC to neobanks such as Revolut. It’s powered by American Express but open to everyone. Payees can benefit from bank-grade security PwBt uses embedded identifiers that are instantly matched to the payee’s account, removing the requirement to manually enter payment information. Students, their parents or sponsors click the ‘Bank Transfer’ payment option either embedded on the university’s payment portal or included in a digital invoice and select their UK bank. They are then automatically redirected to their bank’s webpage or app to authenticate and approve the payment. No passwords or account details are shared or stored ever. Payees can also see their balance before they approve the payment and benefit from bank-grade security. International students and UK banking International students make up 21% of the UK student population and qualify to have a UK bank account. But opening a high street bank requires many documents, such as a three-month bank statement history from their home bank, proof of address and a university acceptance letter. Whereas opening a digital bank account (e.g. Revolut) doesn’t, making it significantly easier for international students to open a UK bank account and pay their fees without having

to wait for a debit card to be issued. Furthermore, not all international banks or platforms are supported across universities. Which makes PwBt a welcomed solution for students whose home banks are not supported by their university. Moreover, PwBt offers international students an alternative to credit and debit cards which can charge foreign exchange fees and are prone to human error if details are inputted incorrectly. International students and tuition fraud Pay with Bank transfer provides reassurance to international students by reducing tuition fraud. Which is necessary because increasingly these students are being contacted in person or through social media by fraudsters offering to pay their university tuition fees for a reduced rate or even award them a bursary. When this happens students are often asked to use ‘third party facilitators’ and supply their bank details. PwBt removes this risk by giving universities the opportunity to use digital invoicing to send bespoke links to students to pay so they know their payments are secure and going to the right place. Pay with Bank transfer is currently available for consumer current accounts with the major UK banks, including: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Danske Bank, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Monzo, Natwest, Nationwide, Revolut, RBS, Ulster, TSB and Santander, with more banks joining all the time. Automated payee set-up at Lancaster University Lancaster University, one of the UK’s top-ranked higher education institutions, adopted Pay with Bank transfer to help streamline its payments process. Before, students were required to manually set-up and enter all payment information. PwBt has helped automate the payee set-up. “Lancaster University sees PwBt as an exciting opportunity to further improve our payment experience for students, parents, and alumni, whilst at the same time delivering processing and financial benefits to the university,” commented a spokesperson from the University. L FURTHER INFORMATION Find out how Pay with Bank transfer can support education providers by visiting pwbt or email:



Procurement Written by CPL Group

The importance of a contracts database A contracts database is an essential tool in your procurement kit. So how do you create one? Education-sector owned charity CPL Group explains how A contracts database or contracts register is a centralised, searchable, tagged repository for all the contracts your institution is responsible for, as well as information relevant to their status, approval process, legal onus, and fulfilment requirements. A contracts database is an essential tool in your procurement kit. It will enable you to organise your contracts, keep track of costs and keep an eye on contract end dates. A well-managed database will help you to plan procurement activity in advance which will assist you in avoiding out of contract rates and reduce the risk of getting a financial penalty for noncompliance with the procurement regulations. What are the risks of not having a contracts database? If you don’t have a database for your institution’s contracts there is a risk that one or more of your contracts may go out of date and you may not realise. Your out of contract rates may be much higher than your original contract

process, you may be able to use a framework rates, an example of this would be a gas and agreement for your procurement instead to electricity supply contract, due to the variable save time as you won’t need to advertise the energy market your institution could move on requirement on the Find a Tender service. to a much higher tariff. An out of contract If you’ve not used a contracts rate could provide a risk of going database and haven’t over budget and funds may then allowed enough time for a be required from another procurement process to get budget which could A wella service in place ready impact on other areas manag for your contract end within your institution. e databa d date you may not have Without a wellthe services in place managed contracts help yo se will when your institution database there is also procure u to plan needs them. It could the risk that you may ment a also put pressure on not have enough time in adva ctivity nce your relationship with to complete a full tender your current supplier. process. Certain complex Being out of contract requirements, such as those also provides a risk of nonfor an outsourced catering or compliance with the Public cleaning service, may take up to Procurement Regulations 2015. Nonsix months to procure and the database compliance could also have a negative effect will act as a reminder to start those processes on your institution’s reputation. E early. If you haven’t allowed the time for a full Issue 27.1 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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 How do I create a contracts database? You can create a contracts database by adding details of all the contracts your institution has into a spreadsheet which is stored electronically and centrally. Alternatively, if you have an e-tendering provider you could ask if they have an online contracts register and management module that you can use. The database will act as your central repository providing details of all the contracts that your institution has in place. It will need to include details for each contract such as the start and end date, supplier name, supplier contact details, procurement methodology used in creation of contract (i.e. tender or call-off from framework), spend and the type of process. Additionally, you could add a column which highlights the date you need to review the contract to allow yourself enough time to a complete a tender process. To get started you could download an example Contracts Register from www.felp. then look on Contracts Finder for any of your previous tenders then download your notices and add the details into your database. Also, if you have used framework agreements you may also be able to find details of your awarded quotes on your framework consortium’s website. Once you have all of your contracts recorded in the database, set up a process to ensure that all effective dates of contracts, contract values and contract issues are logged and monitored regularly with robust KPIs. Make sure only Executive or SMT can provide sign-

If you don’t have a database for your institution’s contracts there is a risk that one or more of your contracts may go out of date and you may not realise. off. Also save a copy of each original contract on file electronically with the database in the event that a contract is queried. What are the benefits of a contracts database? A contracts database will benefit your institution as it will help you to identify when a contract is coming up for tender in advance and assist when planning resources for procurement. It will help you to ensure there is sufficient time for the procurement process which will help to increase competition to drive down costs, helping you to receive the best value for money for your institution. Using the database will help you to ensure that contracts are in place for key spend areas, that legislative obligations are met and that commercial opportunities are maximised. It will help you to manage and mitigate risks at your institution including the risk of being tied into high tariff rolling contracts or being non-compliant with procurement regulations. A well-managed database will also assist with providing a visual of your contracts and costs when your institution is audited or if

your institution applies for grant funding and you need to provide evidence of spend. CPL Group The CPL Group is an education owned charity that gives back to the sector. We provide services that promote good practice and enhance procurement activities, helping to advance education and research in procurement. Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) and Tenet Education Services are not-for-profit organisations which are part of the CPL Group. CPC is a purchasing consortium with over 90 procurement framework agreements designed specifically for the education sector with a large number being recommended by the Department for Education. Tenet Education Services provides procurement consultancy support to education institutions managing tender processes and procurement placements. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Green classes of the future by Philips monitors With remote learning and sustainability top education priorities, Philips monitors offers the technology to help the education sector be ready to face current and future challenges

The past two years showed once again how adaptable and flexible we can be if needed. Due to the challenges caused by the pandemic, video conferences became a regular part of our lives, so much so as remote working, and even remote learning and teaching. Simultaneously, we are facing an even greater challenge as the world struggles to lower its carbon footprint before the unforeseeable effects of the climate change become irreversible. Industries such as the education sector can have a tremendous positive impact by opting for greener and more eco-friendly technology. Even beyond the pandemic and the climate crisis, the UK’s education system has entered a new era in which its digital technologies play a key role in keeping the industry fit to develop and support talents. Why not kill three birds with one stone? Philips monitors offers the technology to help the education sector get ready for current and future challenges. Philips monitors come with a smart solution: USB-C docking displays with energy-saving features. The Philips 24” 243B9 and the 27” 276B9 come with a USB-C input for video connection. Whether in a computer lab, or at home, this input allows users to connect their own laptop or tablet via USB-C. This connection will allow users to transfer the video signal to the monitor via USB-C, while also charging the device up to 65W, in the meantime allowing the mobile device to access any peripherals connected to the monitor. Students taking notes on their tablet during the class, can

stretches out from the early stages of the production line to the end of the product’s lifecycle. With the partnership international non-profit organisation PACT, Philips monitors contributes to improving responsible sourcing of minerals, to make sure the procurement of materials in the supply chain is sustainable, both in terms of environment as well as economics and well-being of the communities around them. To ensure sustainability towards the end of the product cycle, Philips monitors teamed up with Closing the Loop, supporting a project that expands a certified solution that makes electronics waste-neutral to include monitors as well, setting new standards for the industry. Philips monitors’ great portfolio includes further monitors with features convenient for today’s world, such as the video conferencing monitors, in 24” 243B9H, 27” 276B9H. For educational institutions, teachers and students aiming to catch up to today’s simply connect it to their monitor via USB-C and future’s standards with a sustainable and continue to work on their subject after approach, Philips monitors’ B Line and P Line the class, while charging their device. monitors offers a variety of USB-C docking This offers a great solution to today’s capable, webcam-equipped displays, which challenges, but of course, one can (and uses recycled and recyclable components, and should) raise the following question: What is offering low running costs with minimal energy the impact of this to the environment if we consumption. It’s an important reminder that equip our schools with multiple new displays the display sector can be sustainable while suited for hybrid working/teaching/learning? delivering a brilliant, innovative solutions, fit for Shield_RGB_2013 Philips monitors doesn’t shy away from the upcoming generations. L the answer, because they fully know what it takes to build the “greenest” monitors FURTHER INFORMATION in their portfolio. The 24” 242B1G and 27” 272B1G are monitors with an outstanding energy efficiency. Thanks to a new backlight technology, these monitors consume just 8.6W (in Eco mode). Built from 85 per cent recycled plastics and using 100 per cent recyclable packaging material, these monitors underline the fact that innovation and latest technology can simultaneously be sustainably created. The aforementioned USB-C monitors 243B9 and 276B9 are also similarly built from 85 per cent recycled plastics and using 100 per cent recyclable packaging, showing a low energy consumption of 12.8W (in Eco mode). All of the four models also include an infrared using PowerSensor which will detect the user’s presence or absence and dim the brightness accordingly to save lifespan and reduce consumption. In the end, this means noticeable energy-savings, while making the least dent possible to the environment. In fact, if we go deeper, we’ll see Philips monitors’ commitment to sustainability



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IT & Computing Written by Victoria Temple, National Centre for Computing Education

Ensuring pupils have the right digital skills Digital skills are increasingly important for young people’s future, but how do schools know that their provision is meeting the evolving demands of the 21st century? Computing skills provide exciting career opportunities, but schools may not always know if they are on the right track to deliver outstanding computing education. The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) is helping schools to develop their computing with its new evaluation tool, the Computing Quality Framework (CQF). The CQF is its new free online tool which helps schools to review their computing provision, access free support and resources, and celebrate success. It’s been created by the NCCE’s computing education experts and is backed up by support delivered through its network of 34 Computing Hubs based at schools across England. Claire Garside, senior lead facilitator at the NCCE, explains more: “The CQF gives schools the strategic oversight to ensure all their students receive computing skills and knowledge they need for the future,” she said.

need to deliver innovative computing “We have a supportive team available and provision – as well as to access the right easy-to-follow resources. We’re thrilled training and resources from the NCCE. to be supporting schools to provide top The CQF is not just about a quality computing education school’s computing provision. There and also to recognise and are opportunities to involve celebrate their success.” The the whole school and look at A school’s progress Nationa digital skills and education through the CQF, via l Centre across subject areas. self-assessment Compu for and tracked with ting Educati Computing automated reports, o n i s accessible to all helps busy teachers helping schools Excellence is recognised to save time, d e v elop th compu with the award of a school and schools can e i r t i n Computing Quality Mark. access support for new ev g with its aluation At the Vale Academy in the CQF from its Brigg, North Lincolnshire, network of Computing tool computing is a thriving subject, Hubs, based at schools which has now been recognised across England. The team with an NCCE Computing Quality Mark. at the Hubs can also help Computer science teacher Damian Burrin E schools to identify what support they Issue 27.1 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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 explained how their approach to computing achieves success across the school. “We offer Computer Science to all students irrespective of ability and promote it as a subject open to all,” said Damian. “We try hard to debunk the myth that it’s a ‘hard subject’ and we support students of lower ability to achieve. Success in Computer Science is more about passion from students and teachers and a willingness to keep trying rather than a student’s starting point or ability levels. “We try to ensure that we apply no gender bias to our lessons, content and delivery style and normally have a good gender split at GCSE with the current Y10 close to 50/50.” The school offers hour-long Computer Science lessons at KS3 focussing on Computing Skills, IT and E-safety and makes use of the iDEA digital award in Y7 and Y8 to encourage skills development outside of school. “At KS4 we don’t insist the students have completed CS at GCSE to complete the A-Level course and work with the students to help them make the most appropriate choices to reach their end goals.” As a school, they’ve now been able to evidence that success by being one of the first to take part in the CQF.

It has helped them to identify areas which needed further development, evidence the need for new resources or changes needed to the curriculum. “The CQF is a great initiative. Other subjects have a subject mark to show they deliver a high-quality curriculum. I know we deliver a good curriculum that supports our local needs and enables students to achieve at the highest standard,” said Damian. “It’s nice to have the opportunity to have this recognised and hopefully it will encourage more students to complete a Computing based qualification. It also gave us the opportunity to self-evaluate, take stock of what we do and how we do it and adjust our approaches to ensure they remain valid and relevant.” Keeping computing up-to-date At The Chase School in Malvern, computing and digital skills are also a priority. Teacher John Palmer is computing lead at The Chase, Malvern, one of the first schools to receive a Computing Quality Mark. “Malvern has sometimes been referred to as “Space Mountain”, due to the number of local companies such as QinetiQ, so provision in Computing and

Technology is an area of interest for our parents, and one of our school’s unique selling points,” explained John. “A high-quality computing education is vital for our students – being able to use computational thinking and creativity will allow them to understand and change the world for the better. “The CQF has allowed us to gain vital external validation of our computing provision, so that we know it aligns to latest best practice. Nothing stays still for long in computing and education,“ he said. “We have large numbers of young people taking computing at GCSE and A level, including many girls. The key to that success is the effort we put into making the KS3 computing curriculum interesting and relevant and we use the NCCE’s Teach Computing Curriculum in our KS3 provision. “Review and self-evaluation is a vital part of my role. Going through the CQF in detail gave me confidence that if Ofsted undertakes a computing “Deep Dive”, we’re able to demonstrate our strong computing provision.” The Chase school at Malvern is also home to the NCCE Computing Hub offering support to schools across the West Midlands. “We’re working with schools across the area to adopt the CQF and review and extend their computing provision,” said John. “As a first step, schools should visit and contact their local NCCE Computing Hub to find out more about what’s on offer.” L

IT & Computing

The Computing Quality Framework has been created by the NCCE’s computing education experts and is backed up by support delivered through its network of 34 Computing Hubs at schools across England




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Rethinking education in the digital age How education can benefit from the latest technology to reach a wider audience The adoption and widespread use of technology across different sectors of industry and of society has been gathering pace in recent years, with digital natives and millennials showing an unquenchable appetite for innovation. The pandemic has accelerated technology adoption by business and the public sector, driven by necessity, following the now prevalent hybrid work and remote learning practices. According to a recent report by ResearchAndMarkets, the Europe EdTech and Smart Classroom Market is expected to grow from US$ 20,571.2 million in 2019 to US$ 61,250.6 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 14.6 per cent from 2020 to 2027. The report underlines how, despite the negative impact of COVID 19 outbreak on economies of some countries, the demand for EdTech and smart classroom solutions has seen an upward trend owing to increasing demand for e-learning, virtual classrooms, and other digital technology solutions for uninterrupted delivery of education to students across Europe. Often, regrettably, educational establishments don’t have in-house expertise and resources to select the best technology and to maintain it and upgrade for optimum results. This is where the IT solutions providers and their partners like Nuvias can contribute precious expert consultancy to help schools, colleges and universities orienteer in the complex maze of technology options available in the market today. The education sector faces challenges across three fundamental areas: network, security and community. Network Fundamentally, the educational network’s main function is to secure a stable app experience. Networks supporting educational establishments share key challenges, such as irregular traffic with high bursts (for example in between classes, when students have breaks), and BYOD, which applies to most students, who bring their own devices into the school, from laptops, tablets and smartphones. Another challenge is that remote


learning requires higher levels of bandwidth than are typically available. Security Ensuring secure data access to students and teaching staff alike, both inside and outside the classroom is not an indifferent challenge today; there are many key obstacles surrounding cyber security, as summarised below. Education is a primary target for ransomware attacks, due to the availability of large amounts of precious personal data, pertaining to students, teachers and staff. During 2019 and 2020, ransomware attackers noticed something that has drawn them to try their luck against the same sector in other countries: education is no longer simply a public service and has become a business. Granted, universities are full of IP, but they also have increasingly demanding customers who pay thousands of pounds of year for a place. Even a small disruption to the services these people depend on can harm a university’s reputation and tight business model. Another challenge is rrivacy and security: reconciling the need for personal data to stay private and protecting individuals is not always an easy exercise. Then there is internal hacking: students are sometimes smart enough to be able to hack the network (to intercept exam papers or alter grades, for example). Community Education for anyone, anywhere, anytime is the new prerogative for education in the digital era. Every educational establishment serves a community of people and is dutybound to protect it and serve its needs. The most common challenges include cyberbullying: intercepting attacks within the community and intervening to protect the victims is a priority to secure the wellbeing of the student and teacher population. IT as a distraction is another challenge: IT needs to be used to support learning rather than shifting the focus from it. A further challenge is accessibility: technology can help resolve some of the

accessibility challenges experienced by less able students (for example through voice-enabled packages that assist students unable to read due dyslexia) We talked to five popular providers of network and cybersecurity technology solutions to get their recommendations for the best way to implement stable and effective solutions for education. Cambium Networks Cambium, a provider of secure and reliable wireless broadband solutions, warns about the dangers of connectivity silos, with a large percentage of students experiencing connection issues (36 per cent). It is important to have connectivity solutions that encompass separate buildings on campus and shared bandwidth with nearby communities is also a good practice to eliminate connectivity gaps and improve access for all. When it comes to selecting the best technology standard available for wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 offers the best performance and coverage, connecting all devices and offering management options. Across many educational establishments we see a mix of WiFi 5 and 6, depending on requirements and implementation cycles. Kapersky A global leader in cybersecurity solutions and services, offering premium protection against all cyber threats, Kaspersky warns of ransomware threats being on the increase and targeting the education sector. Attacks are getting more sophisticated, for example through spear phishing, a more targeted type of phishing, leveraging social engineering. Ransomware is no longer limited to encrypting files but can actively alter settings in the background to gain admin privilege, to intercept start-up scripts and delete back-up files for example. Additionally, ransomware as-aservice now extends accessibility to cybercrime to an extended audience of non-tech-savvy perpetrators. Multiple cases have been publicised recently, from the University of Northampton to the University of Sunderland as well as tens of primary and secondary schools in London and Essex. 90 per cent of threats encountered tend to be traditional ones, such as ransomware, trojans and worms; 9.9 per cent belong to the advanced and targeted category, including zero-day malware for example, and only 0.1 per cent are advanced, persistent threats. For each of these categories there are solutions


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from automated prevention, automated detection and fast response remediation. Being alert and educating users is essential, especially as the most sophisticated ransomware packages are now available to the less technically astute. CheckPoint CheckPoint, a provider of IT security solutions, including network security, endpoint security, cloud security, mobile security, data security and security management, reflects on how the current circumstance, where students need access from any device, anywhere – translates into an extended attack surface that presents a security challenge. The increasing numbers of network services, hybrid network design and variety of cloud- based apps creates a complex picture that hackers look to exploit. From inconsistent security policies and fragmented data visibility to overstretched resources and budgets, IT teams in education providers face an increasingly complex challenges that put their users at risk. Proactive prevention is the answer, with cloud-delivered security for remote learners. Unifying the types of protection into one integrated solution that incorporate all elements, from email security to endpoint protection, is the most accessible and safe option. Barracuda Networks Ransomware activity over the past couple of years has intensified, with the average ransomware pay-out rising from US$115,123 in 2019 to $312,493 in 2020, a 171 per ent year-over-year increase. Ransomware attacks have evolved, they are thoroughly planned and they leave little room for manoeuvre for the victim. Barracuda Networks provides security, networking and storage products for network appliances and cloud service including protection against email, web

surfing, web hackers and instant messaging threats such as spam, spyware, trojans, and viruses. They confirm that ransomware is till the primary concern, with MSFT Office 365 as the top target for cyber criminals. Many erroneously believe no back-up is required for MSFT 365 and leave themselves open to considerable data loss with no recourse. Barracuda offers a cloud-to-cloud SaaS solution that removes the need for customers to install and manage any hardware or software, protecting popular elements for the education sector such Teams, Outlook, One Note and Sharepoint. This is a popular solution for the public sector, including education and healthcare, removes the onus to provide and maintain IT infrastructure from the organisation in question. Nescout NETSCOUT is a market leader in DDoS Mitigation and threat protection. The issues faced by the education sector include a complex technology landscape, with thousands of options to choose from, limited specialist staff to manage IT, escalation in the number and sophistication of cyber-attacks and limited budget to fight cybersecurity breaches. Education providers must ensure student privacy and protect academic assets, and that implies high-availability, well-secured systems. Continuity is an important element for education, where even a small disruption from a DDoS attack lasting a few minutes can cause the widespread disruption. Such is the simplicity of launching DDoS attacks today there many examples of students launching attacks during exams and lessons to disrupt the day and get home early! What the education sector needs are simplified, integrated and automated solutions that do not require internal resources to manage but prevent growing incidents of DDoS attacks.

NETSCOUT provides visibility across platforms and locations in order to assure continuous availability for network services which critical applications rely on. In addition, NETSCOUT’s Arbor Edge Defence provide state-of-the-art DDoS protection to ensure fast, secure access for students, professors, and staff. Nuvias As a specialist NetSec distribution partner for the IT channel, we enable providers to build multi-vendor, multitechnology solutions specifically engineered to address the needs of the customer and the vertical in which they operate. Through our network and security technical and pre-sales teams we work with the partners and their education end-users to thoroughly investigate issues using health checks and surveys, we recommend solutions from our best-of-breed technology portfolio. We offer demos and proof-of-concepts to enable partners to demonstrate the solution and give their customers peace of mind that they are making the right investment for them. Then finally our services team provide post-sales support, finance solutions and managed services on behalf of your chosen channel partner to ensure that solutions are deployed effectively, maintained correctly and can be afforded within your budgetary requirements from CapEx to OpEx expenditure. If you are an education provider needing advice, support or recommendations on how to address your IT challenges please call email with some details on what you are looking to achieve or where you have challenges and one of our Solutions Engineers will be in touch. L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information, visit or email



We make it

Accessible & affordable digital education for everyone! All pupils should have the right to equipment that allows them to succeed, such as the such as the Dell Latitudes or Microsoft Surfaces. In doing so, young people can achieve based on their talents. Class Technology Solutions have teamed up with Dell and Microsoft to provide a revolutionary new way for students everywhere to access the high-quality technology they need, with a portal called Easy4u. Easy4u is an affordable way for Parents and Students to get the technology they require. That equipment must be high-quality, complete with full insurance and protection and the process must be easy for everyone involved. All of this is possible through Easy4u. Easy4u is a full-service subscription platform where parents and students can subscribe to access market leading Laptop devices and select the right device for them.

Why schools choose us

1:1 device scheme tailored to meet your school and teacher’s needs

No management or admin overheads – the subscription is completely managed by CTS

No school investment, no budgetary impact

An affordable and worry-free offering to parents/guardians

We’ll be at the BETT Conference – 23-25 March (Stand NK63)

Zero risk – all payments, repairs, insurances, warranty, loan devices covered by the scheme

Your partner for laptops in education

Address the digital divide and offer a device to every student

Contact us: | Class Technology Solutions Ltd, Registered in England and Wales (Registration no 5683597) – VAT No 974988731. Registered Office, Class Technology Solutions Ltd, Frazer House, 14 Carfax, Horsham, RH12 1DZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 948794).


Authorised & Regulated

Financial Conduct Authority

Bett Preview

Gathering the global education technology community Bett 2022 will reunite the global education community on 23-25 March at ExCeL London, giving them the opportunity to learn, trade, network and look positively to the future of teaching and learning Following the rapid escalation of omicron cases across the UK and around the world, the Bett show has been postponed to 23-25 March 2022, and will continue to take place at the ExCeL London. Holding Bett in-person at the end of March presents an important opportunity for the education and technology community to come together to learn, trade and network and to look positively to the future of teaching and learning. Long-term action 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? This is one of the multiple questions Bett is dedicated to try and answer at the show. The Bett 2022 global themes As the education community looks beyond the crisis response, the overarching theme of Bett 2022 is “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 resources than ever before, educators have the opportunity to reimagine traditional models of pedagogy so that students can plug into a

personalised, future-facing learning experience and become resilient, creative lifelong learners who can harness their knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. Informed by conversations with our audience, Bett’s six global themes will structure the three full days of content at Bett 2022, ensuring that education stakeholders worldwide can address their most pressing challenges and priorities. The six themes are: Leadership; Futures; Inclusions; Wellbeing; Skills; and Innovation. Leadership The role and remit of education leaders have seismically evolved during a time that demanded technology throughout all aspects of whole-institution management, teaching, and learning. With EdTech becoming an absolute necessity in ensuring that learning never stops, education leaders are now presented with a range of challenges and priorities when driving forward long-term digital transformation. Schools need to look at what practices, EdTech solutions, and tools they should retain from their time during the pandemic, and what else needs to be embedded going forwards. Schools also need to look at how to streamline their core infrastructure, data systems, and learning platforms specific to their setting so that they can optimise efficiencies and rebalance workload. To unlock successful digital transformation, the need for human connection and collaboration has never been so apparent. It is vital to recognise the enhanced role and importance of parents, peers, industry, and the wider community Followi in delivering n teaching and the rap g learning. As escalati id the global omicro on of education nc

community transforms lessons learned into long-term strategy, investing time in developing partnerships and meaningful, human connections with these stakeholders have been – and will continue to be – integral in ensuring education for all. Bett 2022 will provide three full days of free-to-attend, dedicated leadership content hosted in the new Leaders theatre. Hear from a range of education leaders, experts, and solutions providers as they discuss and showcase best practice and innovations to overcoming common leadership challenges, arming you with the tools to lead and empower your learners, staff, and community through future disruption and transformation.

Futures Over the past 18 months, educators and institutions have had no option but to become ‘future-ready,’ as they adopted new hybrid learning models to continue to support their students. Whilst some schools may already have had supportive learning environments in place, others had to leapfrog into the world of blended learning: updating their digital toolkits, rethinking the structure of their curricula, and adopting technology at scale. This shift has been disruptive. But not without opportunity. It forces us to question: how can we continue to transform our learning environments and facilities to ensure we develop future-ready schools? How can we stay reactive to shifts in industry, to new education models and pedagogy, and to new technological advances to further benefit our students and enhance learning outcomes? How can we keep pace alongside a continuously evolving digital landscape to prepare our students for the future of work? Bett’s expert speakers will aim to address all of these questions across our conference programme this year. The overarching theme of ase the Bet Bett 2022 is ‘Create the Future’, t show s, signalling the huge importance been p ostpon has we place on supporting our to 23-2 ed not only our future educational 5 leaders, teachers and students, March but the EdTech start-up community who hold the power to disrupt and catalyse the education landscape. Bett Futures was launched to nurture emerging start-up companies, and this year our programme will continue to provide a platform for small companies with big ideas, offering the opportunity to accelerate their growth by launching their game-changing products to our future-facing audience looking for the next big thing. E Issue 27.1 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Wellbeing In any classroom across the UK, three students will have a diagnosable mental health condition. This aligns with the figure that 90 per cent of teachers have seen an increase in the number of students showing lowmood, anxiety, stress and depression. This may not come as a shock to many given the rise in social media, tougher exams and negativity felt by current affairs, are all drivers of the increase in mental health disorders. Educational institutions are faced with a crisis as, while staff are doing all they can to support their vulnerable learners, the lack of additional funding and services means that the remit of schools is limited. Counselling services are overstretched and waiting lists for outside services grow longer each day. Recent figures from HSJ show that in 2018, of the 11,482 children that needed treatment in 2018 over 50 per cent had to wait more than 18 weeks. By rebalancing your curriculum to incorporate more wellbeing and pastoral initiatives, you are further increasing the chances of academic success and should therefore be a staple in an educational establishment. It is not just students who benefit from good wellbeing structures but also teachers and lecturers as well. In a hyper-competitive environment in which students’ academic success is paramount and parents are more demanding, teacher wellbeing is seen as a nicety but not always essential. With a burgeoning recruitment crisis and increases in workload, staff feel demotivated and overstressed leading more to leave, exacerbating problems further. Up to one in five teachers plan on leaving the profession in the next two years. Creating an establishment-wide wellbeing culture will ensure a working and learning environment that encourages students and staff to flourish and channel a healthy and positive mindset. Wellbeing played a central role at Bett 2020, which will be the same for Bett 2022, as it remains one of the six key global themes. By coming to Bett, visitors are able to gain new knowledge and practical strategies to create a fully encompassing wellbeing system which leaves no one vulnerable. Build your students resilience and encourage them to talk openly and honestly about their mental health, while easing staff workload and making sure they are happy in their role. Skills What skills do we need to teach our children? What skills will be essential for the workforce of the future? We’re living through a time of great change, technology is transforming and disrupting industries, new jobs and roles are emerging and the skills required are changing too. According to research by

The theme of Bett 2022 is ‘Create the Future’, signalling the huge importance we place on supporting not only our future educational leaders, teachers and students, but the EdTech start-up community who hold the power to disrupt and catalyse the education landscape

Bett Preview

 Inclusion Ensuring the provision of equal access to high quality education so that all learners can fulfil their potential and that the curriculum is truly inclusive and representative. SEND covers a broad spectrum of student learning difficulties and are grouped in the following areas; communication and interaction difficulties; cognition and learning; social, emotional and mental health needs; and physical and sensory needs. DfE state that there are 1.4 million pupils in England with SEND with the percentage of pupils with SEN support has increased, from 12.1 per cent in 2020 to 12.2 per cent, continuing an increasing trend. Ensuring that your SEND pupils feel welcome, included, supported and enabled to learn is a considerable challenge, especially against a background of budget cuts and staff recruitment. Class teachers, especially newly qualified teachers, need support to understand each of these broad areas of need, but more importantly to understand how they can adjust their teaching to support all students in their class. Technology can and is playing a vital part in improving accessibility, with every major operating system now coming with assistive technology built in as standard. Assistive technology products and services can provide support for children, young people and adults, helping them to develop independence, and develop life skills. Bett has programmed a series of talks with a SEND and Inclusion at their heart with a particular focus on Friday, where there will be a concentration of CPD sessions and keynote talks, covering primary education through to higher education and beyond. Experts and educators will speak to the challenges giving practical advice, case studies, inspiration and useful information. There will also be a SEND and Inclusion Trail to guide you around the show floor to discover specific products and suppliers.

the World Economic Forum, more than one in four adults reported a mismatch between their skills and those needed for their job role. How do you teach and measure soft skills or ‘21st-century skills’ such as collaboration, problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, people skills and good communication? If taught well, these skills could enable students to adapt to change more easily, gain a greater understanding of people and the world around them, and ultimately progress further in their chosen career. Soft skills take time to develop and are more complex in nature, but perhaps they’ll turn out to be more beneficial in the long term. To compete in the future job market, workers – even those in occupations less directly affected by automation, will need to update their skillsets, a report from the World Economic Forum says. Which is why, in a fastchanging world, education and training jobs are expected to increase – at number six on the Future of Jobs report list of growth sectors. Innovation Innovation as a theme for Bett 2022 will cover smart solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing teaching at all ages across a variety of settings. From K-12 through to Higher and Further Education - teaching and learning are constantly evolving and new methods and approaches are required to keep up with the pace. E

A new way for students to access high-quality technology

Class Technology Solutions (CTS) is a leading Education ICT solutions provider that provides consultancy, infrastructure services, network development and upgrades, and managed support services to educational establishments throughout the UK. CTS seeks to develop and bring to market innovative solutions and has introduced to the UK the Easy4U subscription service. CTS have teamed up with Dell and Microsoft to provide a revolutionary new way for students everywhere to access the high-quality technology they need, with a portal called Easy4u. The FCA approved Easy4U subscription service assists schools/MATs, colleges/ Universities by offering a

personalised, full-service education laptop to their students, with a customised school-web shop, a self-service portal, and full-servicing and repair cover. The whole process is seamless, with parents requiring no credit-checks and the Easy4u school laptops are affordable and robust, selected specifically for the education sector. Why do clients choose Easy4U? ­A choice of outright purchase or rent – Provision of digital education for everyone. ­Security – accidental damage and theft insurance. ­Continuity – thanks to the provision of laptops on loan during repairs. ­Convenience – a single point of contact for service. ­Delivery & support – collection at school and on-site support.




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of work. Innovation is the key to changing this around, and at Bett, we provided answers and showcased solutions to help educational institutions globally face the challenge. Content destinations at Bett 2022 There are nine content features and stages hosting over nine hours of free CPD-accredited content at Bett 2022: The Arena is the heart of the show and home to the most inspirational, future-thinking keynotes and discussions and hosting household names from the 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. The Leaders @ Bett Theatre is led by institution leaders and their teams. It is the place for policy, digital strategy, whole-school management, HE transformation and more. The Tech in Action theatres are a hub for practical product demonstrations to deepen understanding and evaluate the efficacy of solutions. Experience software solutions in the North Hall Theatre and hardware and equipment solutions in the South Hall theatre. The Bett Academy Live Theatres is a monthly series of CPD-certified sessions for educators. These tutorials are streamed online every month. Bett Futures 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, which is the epicenter of all things esports. 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. Bett After Hours As Bett moves to a three-day show, it 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 one-to-one 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. L FURTHER INFORMATION

The go-to company for audio visual solutions and equipment

Furniture and play equipment for primary schools and early years

Simply AVS have been supplying Audio-Visual solutions and equipment since 2001. Simply’s knowledgeable staff have the knowledge and expertise to help customers select and integrate technology solutions and equipment to best meet their needs. Simply predominantly works with education customers to deliver cost effective solutions. For large installations we offer finance options to spread the capital investment across multiple financial years.

Children need simple, natural environments that promote openended, imaginative play. Since 1947 Community Playthings, has designed and manufactured wooden furniture and play equipment, drawing on expertise from childcare professionals across the UK and internationally. Made in our workshops in the UK, the solid wood construction and robust joinery make for products that last decades. All our items are FSC certified and the finish we use on our products is water-based and solvent-free making it safe for your children. Our furniture is mobile and adaptable, enabling you to change and configure your environments to suit the needs of each child and staff member. What’s more, our flexible Roomscapes divider system can be used to create protected areas for children with special educational needs. We offer a comprehensive service from pre-sales advice and

Simply AVS supply a full range of service, from supplying and installing interactive displays in each classroom, to supplying a replacement lamp for a single projector. Simply are the go-to company for audio-visual solutions and equipment. Already have something we can help you with? Contact us for a no-obligation consultation. L


Bett Preview

 Being innovative with pedagogy encourages teachers and students to discover, investigate and use their skills more broadly to learn new and exciting things. At Bett 2020, we showcased examples of how educators are looking at problems differently and how diverse thinking processes can help students to develop their core skills, including creativity and problemsolving. In addition to this, we highlighted how education as a whole could benefit when educators take risks, experiment with pedagogical approaches and utilise new methods to enrich the learning experience for students. We showcased the latest innovations in technology through the many solution providers we had as part of the Expo and content at Bett. These companies were leading the way in developing new and innovative solutions to the challenges being faced in education today. From teacher workload to student retention and engagement, we helped our visitors make sense of these innovations and ensure they are making the right choices when it comes to trying new things in the classroom. From new technologies, curricular enhancement, course design and assessments, visitors were able to discover which innovations are having the biggest impact to the sector and learn from the experts who are already using these innovations in practice. Educational institutions are at a point where they must innovate to stay ahead of the curve and to keep up with ever-changing student demands. Earlier this year, Pearson released the results of a new survey that found 51 per cent of UK students reported that university had not sufficiently prepared them for the world

space planning to installation and follow-up support. Our free room layout service assists clients in setting up their classrooms by considering the age of children, class size, educational ethos and budget. Our Outdoor furniture is designed to stay outside in all weather. All our products come with a 15 year warranty. Come visit us at the BETT show on Stand NN55. L




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Advertisement Feature

How to handle staff wellbeing concerns Milenka Stevens from The Key explores how, as a line manager, you can approach wellbeing concerns and effectively support your staff

Be proactive in spotting concerns While looking out for staff wellbeing is important at any time, it’s likely that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will have exacerbated existing challenges, or given rise to new ones, for some of your team. It’s important to keep an eye out for changes in behaviour of members of staff, beyond what you’d expect - given the current circumstances. You might also pick up on comments from staff wellbeing questionnaires or staff welfare checks that raise concerns. Or, you could be approached by a member of staff directly, to say they’re struggling with their wellbeing. Approach concerns sensitively As a line manager, it’s your responsibility to listen non-judgmentally to any concerns your staff have and take them seriously. Nevertheless, as every staff member will experience and be impacted by these problems differently, you’ll likely need to tailor your response depending on the individual’s circumstances, need for support and wishes on how you should go about addressing the issue. Refer to your school’s staff wellbeing policy (if you have one) to make sure you’re taking appropriate action. A good starting point is to arrange an informal chat to discuss the issue with the staff member – be sure to agree on a time and place where they’ll feel comfortable. Encourage them to voice the problem in their own words and let them lead the chat so they feel in control. Try to avoid making suggestions or decisions on their behalf, as this could cause more stress

and anxiety. Instead, ask how you can support them – this could include helping them to prioritise tasks or cut down on internal meetings to reduce workload. Consider next steps and support needed Based on what you discussed in your chat, you’ll need to decide on appropriate next steps. If the individual needs support, then, depending on the nature of the support and the impact it’ll have on the rest of your team, inform your own line manager of this, too. However, you don’t need to go into specific detail about the concern or involve your manager in providing the agreed support. If the staff member doesn’t need or want support, arrange to check in with them in a week or two to make sure the concern doesn’t get worse. If it does, you’ll be there to offer further support. If they come back and say they want support, ask them how you can help. Try to be flexible and offer some options. Remember ‘escalating’ a concern doesn’t necessarily mean reporting to senior staff. Whether you report a concern to senior staff will depend on things like the nature and severity of the concern, what support your staff member needs and your school’s context and leadership style. Certain decisions, such as offering significant time off to a staff member to deal with a crisis, may need to be approved by a senior leader. Meanwhile, helping the staff member reassess their workload, or pointing them towards counselling services, don’t usually need to be reported.

Only share concerns with those who need to know Unfortunately you can’t always promise full confidentiality, as you have a responsibility to report concerns if there’s risk of harm or if you believe the staff member really shouldn’t be in school. As mentioned above, you may also need approval from senior staff for some types of support. If the staff member is worried about you reporting their concern, or if you need to break confidentiality because you think there’s risk of harm, make sure you approach the topic sensitively. Explain that it’s necessary for you to share the concern so you can get support in place to help them, and make it clear you’ll only share the concern with those who need to know, e.g. someone on the SLT and/ or HR. Reassure the staff member that you won’t share any details of their concern. Make sure you’re speaking to the staff member in a quiet place where they feel comfortable and where you won’t be overheard. Share wellbeing resources with staff Remember that you’re not expected to provide the support a mental health professional would. Instead, where appropriate, point the staff member towards professional help and resources. Members of The Key for School Leaders can access our staff wellbeing toolkit for line managers, which includes downloadable resources and wellbeing action plans. L FURTHER INFORMATION



SUPPORTING THE PUBLIC SECTOR with providing disbursement and hardship payments We’ve helped the public sector distribute over £120 million in hardship funds. Find out how we can help you support local families in need this winter.


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The provision of free school meal vouchers As a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s Voucher Schemes framework, Sodexo is able to support local authorities and educational establishments across the UK via the provision of food vouchers, hardship payments, free school meal vouchers, local voucher schemes. Here’s how

Last year, the Coronavirus pandemic impacted many families across the country. Throughout these unprecedented times, we supported local authorities and educational establishments across the UK in providing much needed support to vulnerable members of their communities. Since March 2020, we’ve worked in partnership with over 150 clients and distributed over 1.3 million free school meal vouchers and over £120 million in funds from public sector bodies in the shape of hardship funds and customer payments. As one of 13 suppliers on Crown Commercial Service’s Voucher Schemes framework, we’re able to continue to support public sector organisations via the provision of food vouchers, hardship payments, free school meal vouchers, local voucher schemes, consumer reward and survey completion incentives. We pride ourselves on our ability to bring people and organisations together in a way that makes a real difference to people’s lives and being on the framework ensures that support continues for our public sector partners. We provide public sector bodies with access to an end-to-end voucher delivery system which is not only secure, but simple to use! All our customers benefit from a fully managed service with dedicated scheme management and customer care support. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our customers, North Aryshire and Highland Councils, had to say about working with Sodexo: North Ayrshire Council “Alongside North Ayrshire, we developed a multi-store voucher solution allowing recipients to select from the main supermarket retailers depending on which was local to them. A voucher ordering form was created so the council could easily place orders every two weeks. Once the order was received, parents would receive the

vouchers within a 48-hour window or less.” To help parents and carers understand the scheme, we created a demonstration video alongside a step-by-step guide on how to redeem their voucher. Our Customer Care team was also on hand to help any parent that had questions. Here’s what Neil McAleese, business planning team manager for North Ayrshire Council, had to say about working with us: “Our requirement for the services of Sodexo came on the back of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We had to implement a solution quickly which was flexible in terms of frequency of the vouchers, continuing to provide a workable solution for parents, and meeting our own budgetary pressures. Sodexo have been excellent throughout, with fantastic client service managers who provide continuous support. “From the outset, Sodexo were transparent in how they charged for the service which allowed for a streamlined procurement process for both parties. From a parent’s perspective, the choice of retailers has been warmly received and this has undoubtedly contributed to the overall success of our pandemic food voucher programme. Sodexo have provided a flexible, practical and easy system which has been of huge benefit to North Ayrshire families” Highland Council Due to the closure of schools last year, the Highland Council needed to ensure that they could continue to support local families across their county. We worked with them to provide a multistore digital voucher scheme that would allow vouches to be issued to eligible families to purchase food at their selected supermarket. They placed bulk voucher requests with our team, which were then released to them

to be distributed locally to their families by email. Once notified, parents could then log on to our platform to redeem their voucher code for an e-voucher to spend at their chosen major supermarket chain. To ensure that the parents and carers understood how to access the scheme we created a tailored communications campaign which included an e-book, factsheet, and an information sheet for parents. Our customer care team was also available to assist with any queries from the Council’s Welfare Resilience Team and parents and carers. Here’s what Shelia McKandie, Head of Revenue and Business Support for The Highland Council, had to say about working with us: “We knew that we needed to implement a fast-paced solution to support thousands of families in Highland, with minimal disruption for parents and carers. Sodexo have been wonderful to work with throughout the whole process! The availability of the helpline and how quickly any issues were resolved was a big plus for us. We’ve had really positive feedback from the families we support, across a diverse and vast geographical area, in what has been a really challenging health and economic crisis.” If you’re looking to provide vouchers to specific customer groups - we can help! We provide flexible voucher choices to suit your requirements, a choice of over 100 retailer brands, an easy-to-use platform backed by award-winning customer support. L FURTHER INFORMATION Get in touch today to see how we can support you. You can learn more at: or contact us on 01908 303477 or



School Trips Written by Justine Lee, the School Travel Forum

The time is now to plan and book your 2022 overseas school visit The School Travel Forum shares some advice on planning overseas educational visits during the pandemic There’s no denying it, the continuing pandemic restrictions and changes to travel advice for imminent departures means that planning educational visits or school trips, particularly overseas ventures, may not be at the forefront of teachers’ minds. However, it takes between nine and twelve months to plan and organise a successful overseas visit and many venues and operators are reporting reduced capacity for the future, therefore the time is now for schools to make future plans to ensure their students have the chance to visit the more popular destinations and locations. Between quarantines, virtual and hybrid learning, and social distancing, students have had a far from normal educational experience recently, and travel restrictions mean their horizons have been considerably limited compared with their older peers.

often based on the country’s own vaccination which is held by all members of the School policy for children and whether children are Travel Forum, is the only award that covers risk travelling with a fully vaccinated adult. management, including infection control, and If you are travelling with young people under the quality of education provided. the age of 18 it is important to do your Most countries have clear research so that you are clear on the policies regarding the details and have all the information entry requirements for As you need. Remember, your School vaccinated and nonyour tra Travel Forum member (who is vaccinated adults. vel date ap also an ABTA member) will be For children, entry p r o aches, it is imp able to help you with this. requirements are or

aware o tant to be travel g f the latest uida regulat nce and ions

A powerful impact School residentials have a powerful and longlasting impact on pupils and teachers. For many pupils, their school residential is their first opportunity to visit a museum, go to the theatre, travel on a ferry or aeroplane, or to visit another country. Research also shows the overwhelmingly positive impact that educational visits have on student learning, understanding, confidence and independence. School trips give young people the chance to experience other cultures, understand different communities, connect with their past, see geography in action and more. For many young people it is their first time abroad, and these trips are instrumental in helping young people to broaden their horizons. While schools are allowed to book future visits, many teachers and group leaders will, quite naturally, be cautious about taking groups away on overnight visits. There is a real desire within schools and amongst organisations that provide educational experiences and trips for students to enjoy a rich broad educational experience once again. Organisations such as the School Travel Forum are doing everything possible to give school leaders the confidence to plan and book overnight visits. Planning an overseas trip The Department for Education recommends that schools choose a travel/tour provider or venue that holds the LOtC Quality Badge for off-site educational visits or trips. This accreditation,



Protection when travelling abroad The team at STF has also worked with ABTA and AXA Insurance to put together a bespoke travel insurance product specifically for pupils travelling with a school or youth group. STF Travel Sure, which is available to schools and youth groups booking with a STF member, includes Covid-19 cancellation cover should anyone in your group test positive for the virus or be required to self-isolate, and access to a travel companion app for medical assistance when out of the country. Add link to ABTA/STF/AXA web page. Many schools can also access a governmentbacked alternative to commercial insurance, the Risk Protection Arrangement, which aims to protect schools against losses due to some unforeseen and unexpected events. You should talk to your senior leadership team and/or business manager about the most appropriate cover for your group – private travel insurance, such as STF Travel Sure, or RPA.

Over the past year, the STF has been working with its members to ensure future trips are delivered to the highest of standards and that every stage of the journey has been newly risk assessed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic What to think about when planning your educational visit Once you have decided on the destination for your school or group trip, there are a number of factors to consider. For example, you should read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office travel advice for the country you are planning to visit. Here you will find a wealth of information including entry requirements, health advice and other mandatory requirements. They also generally link through to the destination authority’s website where the further information can be found. You should also read the TravelHealthPro fact sheet for travelling with children, which can be found here as well as the ABTA website.

School Trips

Over the past year, STF has also been working with its members to ensure future trips are delivered to the highest of standards and that every stage of the journey has been newly risk assessed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What you need to check As you approach your travel date, it is important to be aware of the latest travel guidance and regulations both in the UK and in your destination country. Here is an overview of some of the information that you need to check, more details can be found on the websites mentioned above. Are children permitted to enter the country when travelling with a fully vaccinated adult or are they only permitted to enter the country with a fully vaccinated parent? Are children required to take PCR or lateral flow before travel or are they exempt from pre-departure tests? Are children required to take PCR or lateral flow on arrival in the destination or are they exempt from tests? What COVID tests do you need to book – based on the ages of children within your party? Do you and other group leaders need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated? Do children over the age of 12 need to provide proof of part-vaccinated status? Make a risk assessment for a situation where a pupil/teacher tests positive in resort. Understand what your insurance policy will and will not cover you for. Once you have booked your travel arrangements, keep up to date and read all the literature provided to you by your travel provider. Remember to check the current rules for returning to the UK for children – based on the ages of the children within your party. When returning to the UK, each national has their own advice: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Where to get further support? For the latest information and guidelines when organising educational visit or overseas trip, schools can contact their local Outdoor Education Adviser. The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel regularly revises its guidance relating to overnight visits within the UK and your local Outdoor Education Adviser is on hand to provide practical information and advice. You can find details of your local OEA at FCDO has advice on travelling with children and the Department for Education regularly updates its website with advice and guidelines regarding Covid-19. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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