Education Committee gives approval of preferred Ofsted chief
The Education Committee has published its report on the appointment of Sir Martyn Oliver’s candidacy for the role of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) at Ofsted, declaring it is satisfied that Sir Martyn has the appropriate professional competence and personal independence for the role.
A pre-appointment hearing with Sir Martyn, the Government’s preferred candidate to become the next HMCI, was held on 5 September.
Sir Martyn is due to take over from the current HMCI, Amanda Spielman, from 1 January 2024. The appointment is based on a five-year term of office.
Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan said: “I am delighted the independent Education Select Committee has endorsed Sir Martyn Oliver for the post of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills at Ofsted.
“I particularly welcome the Committee’s recognition of Sir Martyn’s experience within schools and as a leader, as well as his focus on improving standards and opportunities for the most disadvantaged children, which I know will be essential in providing strong direction in the future of Ofsted.”
Sir Martyn Oliver, chief executive officer of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said: “I was deeply honoured and hugely privileged to be recommended for this role by the Secretary of State, and am delighted that the Education Select Committee has today approved my appointment.
“Subject to the approval of the Privy Council, I am looking forward to engaging with all parts of the education sector that Ofsted regulates and inspects through a Big Listen, so that Ofsted is very much of the system and by the system for the benefit of children and parents.
“I promise to be empathetic, compassionate and understanding of the challenges that those of us working in education, children’s services and skills face, especially in terms of the recovery post-Covid, and will ensure that we always take a holistic view for the good of all children, especially the most vulnerable and those who are disadvantaged.”
Eighteen schools have been selected to be part of the government’s Language Hubs programme to lead on how languages are taught across the country.
This is the next step in the rollout of the programme, which aims to raise national interest in studying languages and drive more pupils to study them throughout their education from primary schools onwards.
Data from this year’s GCSE entries showed that modern foreign languages have become increasingly popular as a subject, with a 5.1 per cent increase in GCSE entries in 2023 compared to last year and a 9.2 per cent increase compared to 2019.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “Young people who are confident in a second language are at a huge advantage in life. On top of the social and cultural advantages it provides, there are many economic benefits of learning another language.
“That is why I have long called for more pupils to consider studying languages such as German at GCSE and this programme will crucially equip teachers with the necessary training and knowledge to support pupils looking to do so.”
The Language Hubs programme, which will start from September 2023, aims to encourage more pupils to study a language at GCSE as the evidence shows that pupils who do so are more likely to study that language at A Level and have a lifelong interest in languages.
Speaking an additional language can also increase lifetime earnings by two per cent and demand for language skills has increased due to globalisation. For example, a recent survey of British businesses highlighted German as the most widely useful language within their organisations...
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New inquiry into effects of screen time on education
The Education Committee has launched a new inquiry into screen time and the impact it has on education and wellbeing.
MPs will look into how apps, the internet and access to smart phones and tablets can impact children’s education and wellbeing, from the early years to the start of adulthood.
As well as hearing the latest research on the risks and benefits of children’s exposure to screen time, the cross-party Committee will examine the current practices used by schools, and guidance offered to families, about how to manage children’s use of online resources and social media.
Research by the media and communications regulator Ofcom in 2021 found that 99 per cent of households with children have access to the internet, and that by the age of eight a child will typically spend 2 hour and 45 minutes online per day. It rises to over four hours by age 11-12, while a child is still in primary school.
A 2020 report from Ofcom found that 57 per cent of five to seven-year-olds have their own tablet, 14 per cent have their own smartphone and 30 per cent use social media sites. Among 12 to 15-year-olds, 91 per cent have their own smartphone; 59 per cent have their own tablet; and 87 per cent use social media apps/sites. Furthermore, 31 per cent of that age group said they had seen worrying or nasty content online, and five per cent said they had encountered material online promoting terrorism or radicalisation...
Over 87 per cent of schools in England are providing uniforms and clothing to some pupils to tackle the impacts of cost-of-living pressures, a new report finds.
Findings within NFER’s report, Cost-of-living crisis: Impact on schools – pupils and families, reveal the increased pressures on pupils and their families means over 90 per cent of primary, secondary and special schools are also subsidising extra-curricular activities for some pupils. In addition, 70 per cent of schools are reporting providing food to pupils through food parcels, food banks, food vouchers and subsidised breakfasts.
More generally, the majority of senior leaders (over 84 per cent across all settings) report that cost-of-living pressures have increased both the numbers of pupils requiring additional support and the level of need, particularly in the most disadvantaged schools.
According to senior leaders, the crisis is also exacerbating well-being and mental health needs among pupils. Over 25 per cent of pupils in mainstream schools needed extra support for mental health and well-being this year, a significant increase from 2022. This is even higher in special schools at over 40 per cent.
Teachers feel unable to access the support they need from external agencies such as Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS, formerly known as CAMHS) and schools are having to step in to fill gaps in support...
Nine out of ten schools are providing uniforms to pupils
Primary School Keeps Devices at School to Minimise Damage and Improve Learning
Pupils at Richfield Middle School (primary school) come to class every day with charged and undamaged Chromebooks like clock work. And the teachers have nothing to do with it. The Holy Hill Area School District has adopted a model that keeps primary schoolers’ Chromebooks in one central location. Chromebooks are stored and charged in PowerGistics charging Towers in the library and remain there every night.
Primary Pain Points
• Pupils coming to class with uncharged devices
• Poor cord organisation on large carts led to confusion
• Wasted class time due to retrieving or returning devices
• Damage to devices being kept in lockers Solution
• Core16 USB on Rollers
• Devices kept on Towers, positioned in central location
• Organised cords and coloured shelves eliminate device confusion
• Pupils retrieve and return devices in transition time
“They have been fabulous and it has streamlined our process with the Chromebooks and the students.”— Krisi Harwood, Library and Technology Coordinator
Holy Hill Area School District
Serves pupils at the Primary School levels. The schools included are Friess Lake Elementary School and Richfield Middle School.
Ofsted will avoid inspecting schools affected by RAAC
Ofsted has said it will avoid inspecting any education setting that is on the Department for Education’s published list of education settings affected by RAAC this term.
For those settings that are not on the list, but are still impacted by RAAC in some way – for example, hosting pupils from schools that have RAAC, Ofsted has updated its deferrals guidance. This will make clear that it will consider disruption as a result of measures taken to deal with RAAC, when looking at inspection deferral.
If Ofsted has concerns about a school, then it may continue to carry out an inspection, in line with its current policy, regardless of their situation with RAAC.
Reading enjoyment at lowest level in almost two decades
New research from the National Literacy Trust shows that 56.6 per cent of those aged eight to 18 don’t enjoy reading in their free time.
Children’s reading enjoyment in the UK is at an all-time low since the charity began surveying children in 2005, and is down 15.2 percentage points from its height in 2016. Reading for enjoyment – along with reading levels at school and overall literacy skills – is weakest for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, with over 60 per cent of children on Free School Meals saying they don’t enjoy reading in their free time. With rates of poverty rising, we are in danger of seeing an even greater number of children falling behind their more affluent peers in their education and literacy skills, which can go on to affect them for the rest of their lives. This has already been seen in children’s exams results, with over a third of children on Free School Meals leaving primary school without reaching the expected level of reading.
“Sparking a love of reading can change a child’s life,” says Martin Galway, head of school programmes at the National Literacy Trust. “These results must act as a wake-up call for all who support children’s reading for pleasure. A greater focus on reading for enjoyment in the government’s revised Reading Framework (DfE, 2023) offers some measure of hope, but we will need real and immediate impact to change this story for the country’s most disadvantaged children. For children going back to school this September, we need to give them every opportunity possible to fall in love with reading, and to give families and schools the support they need to put reading for enjoyment at the heart of every school and home.”...
Interaction with adults vital to early years education
Ofsted’s research review on early years education highlights that frequent interactions between children and adults are fundamental to developing all young children’s knowledge in the prime areas of learning – communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development (PSED).
Every interaction between a practitioner and a child plays an important role in building the knowledge and skills children will need. Highquality interactions are more likely to take place when practitioners are aware of what children already know and can do and respond accordingly, and when practitioners know the curriculum they want children to learn in advance. High quality interactions are also more likely if all children experience enough planned and incidental interactions with adults to learn what they need to know.
Ofsted says that while high-quality interactions are central to developing children’s knowledge and understanding, they are not sufficient in themselves to guarantee that all young children will learn what they need. By prioritising the prime areas in their curriculum thinking, leaders can ensure children receive an early education that prepares them for what comes next.
Children’s development and success in education depends on securing their learning in the prime areas. Learning in the prime areas is interlinked. For example, more developed language and communication skills are associated with better emotional well-being. The research is clear: prioritising the prime areas is essential to preparing children for the opportunities ahead...
Office for Students must face looming financial crisis: READ MORE
MPBA offers support for schools affected by RAAC: READ MORE
Mentoring programme for FE providers launched: READ MORE
Academy Trusts joining campaign to reach net zero: READ MORE
School crime incidents up 15 per cent on previous year: READ MORE
Government launches physical activity drive to get children active: READ MORE
One in eight new students not protected against meningitis: READ MORE
Over 4,000 hours of PE lost in last academic year: READ MORE
Local authorities chosen to test SEND reforms: READ MORE
One in four teachers provide food to hungry pupils
New research has revealed that more teachers than ever are personally providing food to students due to welfare concerns.
The survey for FareShare by TeacherTapp of 9,000 teachers in England found that one in four brought food into school out of concern for hungry pupils.
The survey also found there is a nine percentage point increase in teachers bringing in their own food for children in more deprived areas compared to affluent areas.
The South West region had the highest percentage, with 29.4 per cent of teachers bringing in food for children.
Thirty-five per cent of teachers said their school already provides food in this situation, with this figure rising to nearly 50 per cent in the most deprived areas of the country
Buzzee Beez is a small preschool in Harlow, Essex, working with young children and families. Kelly Stallwood, deputy manager at Buzzee Beez, said: “We are in a deprived area so...
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Addressing building concerns with innovative construction methods
With the recent focus on unsafe and ageing school buildings, Jackie Maginnis, chief executive from the Modular and Portable Building Association, discusses how a volumetric approach to construction can help remedy the situation and fast-track the school building programme
UK schools are facing yet another unprecedented challenge. As teachers and education leaders fight to get learning back on track, their efforts are now hampered by unsafe structures and a severe lack of alternative learning environments. In the latest list published by the Department of Education (DfE), 147 schools have already been identified as affected by the use of dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their buildings.
RAAC is a lightweight material that is a cheaper alternative to standard concrete but was found to be less durable and with a shorter life span. Some affected schools are having to move to remote learning and others having to change the way they operate to avoid certain areas.
The NAO reported back in June that an estimated 700,000 children are being taught in ageing or unsafe school buildings in England, and that the deteriorating condition of school E
F buildings is damaging pupil attainment and teacher retention.
Action is clearly required. The government has its ten year rebuilding programme, but we need a fast-track approach to get this back on track.
Addressing the poor and dangerous condition of some school buildings is without doubt a massive undertaking. But by using innovative construction methods – it is not unsurmountable.
Back in January 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) launched the £3 billion offsite framework, also known as MMC1.
As an early adopter of modern methods of construction (MMC), after the war the
government used latent munitions factory capacity to cope with a rapid increase in the need for education buildings as a result of the post war baby boom. This was very much the development ground for MMC – backed by thinking way ahead of its time.
Government support has resulted in a significant pipeline of work which has generated more investment and innovation in the volumetric modular sector – advancing the technology and increasing manufacturing capacity. MMC1 together with the requirement to achieve at least 70 per cent Pre-Manufactured Value (PMV) is a driving force in the specification of volumetric technology in public sector projects – particularly in the education sector. ELondon Academy - Algeco
Back in January 2020 the Department for Education launched the £3 billion offsite framework, also known as MMC1
As the name suggests, PMV is the financial proportion of a project’s gross construction cost derived through pre-manufacturing. It is a core metric for measuring the level of MMC in a project and is central to the UK government’s procurement programme. Contractors are required to show that pre-manufacturing will account for at least 70 per cent of all construction costs. This essentially plays to the strengths of a volumetric modular approach.
Increasing productivity is crucial to success. We have the technology, capabilities and capacity, so how can this be achieved? By taking the building process ‘offsite’ into quality controlled manufacturing environments whilst simultaneously, ground and foundation works can be carried out onsite. This approach not only delivers productivity gains but enhances the quality of the final output.
Traditional onsite construction methods often get delayed by bad weather, material shortages, planning issues and even material theft. Whereas modular construction is a highly organised and streamlined process that can see construction project times reduced by up to 50 per cent.
Time is taken upfront to validate the specification of materials to meet the safety and performance standards laid down by the DfE. Thanks to testing regimes and quality control inspections as well as extensive third-party assessments – from concept to completion, the design, manufacturing and installation processes are regulated and controlled.
Technology is ever evolving, and the modular industry is now integrating Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital design specifications with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) E
Miscalculations in traditional construction approaches can send high volumes of unwanted materials to landfill. Modular construction however results in a 90 per cent reduction of project material waste
In the realm of educational infrastructure, the importance of reliability and longevity cannot be overstated. For over 45 years, Bailey has been a trusted name, synonymous with innovative flat roofing solutions that ensure safety, comfort, and lasting protection for educational institutions. Catering to the unique needs of School and Academy Trust professionals, specifiers, and contractors, Bailey’s Flat Roofing Systems not only meet the demands of today but also lay a resilient foundation for the future.
F and Material Requirement Planning (MRP) to improve accuracy, productivity and material usage. This technology permits manufacturing simulation and visualisation, clash detection and virtual onsite assembly modelling/ programming, which can be enhanced using augmented and virtual reality.
The demand for customisation has also led the industry to develop methods for adaptation during the mass production process to meet individual requirements. These modules can be delivered to site pre-fitted with electrics, plumbing, heating, doors, windows and washrooms, thereby reducing the onsite building programme and accelerating the overall construction process.
Miscalculations in traditional construction approaches can send high volumes of unwanted materials to landfill and materials stored onsite are vulnerable to damage or water ingress. But modular construction has put a stop to this, resulting in a 90 per cent reduction of project material waste.
Low carbon buildings
In November 2021 the DfE published a delivery framework so that all new schools and colleges
can meet the same low-carbon, climate-resilient standards as centrally delivered projects. From now on, bids into the governments Further Education Capital Transformation Programme will also be assessed to determine if the new works will be net zero in operation.
According to the World Green Building Council, construction and buildings in use are responsible for 39 per cent of all carbon emissions in the world. This is broken down into two elements with 11 per cent being linked E
MMC1, together with the requirement to achieve at least 70 per cent PreManufactured Value, is a driving force in the specification of volumetric technology in public sector projects – particularly in the education sector
F to the manufacture of materials and construction processes known as embodied carbon emissions and 28 per cent associated with operational emissions caused by heating, cooling and lighting systems when a building is in use.
The challenge is therefore two-fold. Whilst there has been a drive to reduce operational emissions through the implementation of government legislation to improve the building fabric and the wider use of innovative technologies – little has been done to address the carbon inefficiencies in the construction process.
It is now established that a volumetric modular approach is a game changer for the construction industry – reducing build times whilst increasing quality, productivity and safety. But what is not so widely understood is that compared to traditionally built projects, it is easier to control energy use in factory settings than in an open construction site. On average 67 per cent less energy is required to produce a volumetric manufactured building and up to 50 per cent less time is spent onsite, resulting in up to 90 per cent fewer vehicle movements which is less disruptive and reduces carbon emissions.
Not only is the actual construction of the building ‘greener’ but importantly in these times of excessive heating costs, volumetric manufactured buildings are more energy efficient. Through superior insulation and achieving enhanced levels of airtightness – primary energy requirements and in-use operational emissions are reduced throughout the lifetime of the building.
Unlike factory manufactured buildings, there is significant evidence that traditional construction methods do not produce structures that perform as well as design expectations and there is a void between anticipated and actual in-use performance. Findings from studies such as PROBE (Post Occupancy Review of Buildings and their Engineering) reveal that actual energy consumption in buildings is often as much as twice of that predicted in the design.
Bringing a manufacturing mindset to the design and construction of school buildings – with volumetric manufactured buildings all construction data can be validated and coordinated as part of a structured process, which helps provide accurate and reliable
information for clients at the point of handover. Volumetric construction helps ensure client satisfaction and offers product assurances through the certainty and quality embedded into the manufacturing process.
Providing a predictable pathway for education builds, the benefits of volumetric manufactured buildings begin in the factory, continue to the construction site and last through the lifetime of the building.
Representing the industry
The Modular and Portable Building Association plays a key role in supporting all sections of the industry. Leading best practice principles, the association is represented on many committees for the benefit of members. Most importantly, the MPBA ensure evolving government policies and decisions are not made on behalf of the construction industry without due consideration for the impact they may have on the volumetric modular sector. Regardless of the size and type of your business, becoming an MPBA member will open doors to valuable business development, training and collaboration opportunities. L
The importance of specifying the correct flooring for your performing arts space or venue
Professional dancers can spend six to eight hours a day working in a dance studio, it is their place of work and the floor is the canvas on which they develop their creativity.
Having the wrong dance surface can be a significant factor in acute dance injuries and can hinder a dancer’s performance. Research has shown that most injuries occur when a hard sports floor or theatre surface is used, instead of using a sprung dance floor.
Harlequin Floors manufacture, supply and install a range of sprung and vinyl performance floors and stage floors that have been designed specifically for dance and the performing arts. All our flooring is researched through intensive product development and designed and manufactured in association with dance medical professionals and biomechanics experts. Not to be confused with a sports floor, the requirements for dancers are very different to those playing sports.
A dance floor must not be too hard to avoid repetitive strain injuries, but not too soft which can be tiring and cause muscle fatigue. It must also have an appropriate level of traction, too much can block movement and cause the foot to twist, too little can make the floor dangerously slippery. The quality and consistency of both the sprung floor and the dance surface is vital for artistic performance as well as injury prevention. Every dance step and jump on an unyielding surface wears down the resilience of the body and brings about the risk of injury and the prospect of long-term damage.
A dance studio is essentially a dancer’s work environment, the floor being the tool that is a fundamental part of their work. Repeated use of hard floors for dance can result in shin splints, stress fractures and growths on the joints, particularly on the ankle and knees. A sprung floor absorbs shock to reduce the risk of injury and give a softer feel. Provides
the wrong dance surface can be a significant factor in acute injuries. It is therefore recommended to use flooring designed and manufactured in association with dance medical professionals and biomechanics experts
energy return to lift feet when dancing but isn’t bouncy like a trampoline.
Not all performance surfaces are the same, they have varying degrees of cushioning, durability and grip or ‘traction’. It is essential to specify the right surface for the planned activity.
Floors developed for general industrial, commercial or even sports applications do not offer the benefits that dancers need. Only floors developed specifically for dance do.
Dancers may not be the commissioning clients, but they are the end users. Their opinion and their welfare matter and should always be considered. Requiring dancers to perform on floors that are not dance specific present an unnecessary injury risk.
Stage building & refurbishment
Stage floors are integral to performance spaces and today universities and schools, theatre planners and architects are demanding more versatility from performance spaces that enable greater flexibility from the work space, transforming from show to show. As well as increased flexibility there are also advancements in immersive technologies to integrate into the theatre space that offer audiences impressive and ground-breaking performances with the use of water, pyrotechnics and of course digital enhancements.
Black box venues are growing in popularity, usually smaller in size than a conventional theatre, rectangular and black with flexible seating, which means that the relationship between the audience and space is always changing. Black box venues offer a convenient blank canvas on which to create work. Harlequin builds bespoke theatre stages that enable effortless transformations where
lighting rigs, bleacher seating, props and the use of heavy scissor lifts are all catered for. Guildhall, Chelsea Theatre and the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris are all recent bespoke black box theatre venues that Harlequin has installed. For traditional theatre environments Harlequin uses established methods of construction with expertly selected materials. For any stage build or refurbishment Harlequin can deliver the project efficiently, on time and on budget. Our technical team understands the demands of high specification standards in theatre venues and tailor each venue to its specific requirements, taking into consideration the dip traps and service panels, serrapid tracks, rain troughs, revolves, demountable stage extensions, drop storage and facilities to enable pyrotechnics. Our highly experienced technical teams understand the intricacies and individuality of each dance studio, stage and theatre environment, and are qualified to offer bespoke solutions. L
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Decarbonising the education sector
How is the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme assisting the education sector when it comes to reducing emissions and becoming energy efficient?
As the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme enters Phase 3c of its funding delivery cycle, more public sector bodies will be in-line to receive grants and support designed to help reduce the amount of carbon emissions their buildings produce.
While many public sector organisations such as schools and colleges have moved to or made their premises more energy efficient, there remains a large stock of buildings that require retrofitting due to a lack of modern energysaving features.
The education sector itself accounts for around a quarter of the public sector’s total carbon emissions, making decarbonisation in schools an urgent priority if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate goals.
Salix is the body responsible for the delivery of the scheme, with Cheshire College – South and West in the North West of England among the educational facilities to benefit. Their work is proving crucial in helping the wider sector to reduce its collective carbon emissions. E
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F But how is the scheme assisting the education sector when it comes to decarbonising? What is the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and why is it important to decarbonise?
What is the scheme?
The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures, with the funding distributed by Salix Finance, a Department for Energy Security and Net Zero non-departmental public body.
The aim of the scheme is to cut building emissions in the UK by 75 per cent by 2037, compared to a 2017 baseline, a target that was set out in the Heat and Buildings Strategy report, released in October 2021. Meeting it will mark a significant step towards the UK becoming net zero by 2050.
Phase 3 of the scheme was launched in October 2021 and is providing over £1.425 billion of grant funding over the financial years 2022/23 to 2025/26.
£230 million has been made available for the upcoming Phase 3c of the scheme for 2024/25, which is set to help even more education sector buildings decarbonise and become more sustainable. The budget for 2025/26 is set to be announced in the autumn.
Improvements to energy efficiency through retrofitting measures as part of the scheme E
The education sector itself accounts for around a quarter of the public sector’s total carbon emissions, making decarbonisation in schools an urgent priority if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate goals
F can also help to bring about long-term cost savings on energy bills. This can save schools and colleges money, which can be re-invested in equipment that can enhance the overall learning environment.
By cutting carbon emissions, there is a greater chance of lessening the dangerous risks of climate change, and of course, helping the UK on its path towards net zero.
How Salix supports the delivery of the scheme
When it comes to delivering the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, Salix is responsible for the integration of decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures into public sector buildings across the UK.
The non-departmental body administers grant and loan funding to the public sector on behalf of the Department of Energy Security, the Department for Education, and both the Scottish and Welsh governments.
Salix also plays a key role in increasing the awareness across the public sector throughout the UK in the importance of energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation.
When it comes to the delivery of a project, Salix has expert teams across the business that work very closely with schools and colleges across the UK. Once an organisation has been successful in being awarded government funding, Salix will allocate that project to a relationship manager.
During the delivery of the project, the relationship manager, along with Salix’s carbon and technical teams, will liaise with the organisation to ensure it achieves deadlines and reaches important benchmarks.
By supporting the education sector to decarbonise its estate, Salix is supporting E
Improvements to energy efficiency through retrofitting measures as part of the scheme can also help to bring about long-term cost savings on energy bills.
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F schools and colleges throughout the country by providing them with greener, more sustainable buildings that will help their communities to thrive.
Salix’s work with Cheshire College –South and West
Cheshire College – South and West is the largest provider of post-16 education in the North West, with campuses at Crewe, Chester, and Ellesmere Port and over 11,000 students and 1,000 apprentices enrolled.
In April, the college was one of the successful applicants for Phase 3b of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and secured nearly £2 million in funding from Salix.
For Phase 3b, Salix distributed more than £590 million in funds to 144 public sector buildings, with organisations across the public sector in the North West receiving just over £39 million.
In this case, the funding will be used to upgrade the boilers within its Chester campus, which will see the existing end-of-life gas boilers replaced with more energy efficient and ecofriendly air source heat pumps, as well as an electric hot water boiler.
The awarding of £1,962,922 in funding has provided the college with a huge boost when it comes to achieving their ambitious goal of becoming net zero across its campuses.
Salix is delivering this project in conjunction with the College, which will help its Chester campus to follow in the footsteps of the Crewe facility, with the latter already making the transition to air source heat pumps.
Director of programmes at Salix Finance Ian Rodger said: “It’s very important to us at Salix that successful grant recipients like Cheshire College – South and West have the support they need to complete their Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme projects.
“This is why Salix offers dedicated relationship managers to work with projects and to have our expert delivery, finance and carbon and technical teams available to support them.”
Cheshire College has placed sustainability at the heart of its approach and aims to provide students with a high-quality learning experience in an environmentally sustainable way. This has made its receipt of funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and subsequent work with Salix all the more crucial.
Jasbir Dhesi, OBE, principal and CEO at Cheshire College - South & West, explained: “Our College is committed to help improve
the environment. Our pathway to achieving net zero is embedded in everything that we do, from delivering innovative courses centred around sustainability, to investing in state-ofthe-art digital facilities and equipment; we are striving to be greener across all our sites and operations.
“Through this Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grant and collaboration with Salix, we’ll be able to accelerate our pathway to net zero by significantly reducing our carbon emissions.
“Our construction and engineering students will also be able to work closely with contractors to see first-hand the instillation and commissioning of new technologies. This investment in reducing our carbon emissions will benefit generations to come.”
Salix is supporting the College, along with many others in the education sector, throughout its decarbonisation journey and assisting it in meeting net zero targets, as well as benefiting future generations.
Salix’s Ian Rodger commended the College on its net zero progress: “Cheshire CollegeSouth and West is making significant steps and the project illustrates a huge commitment to helping improve the environment and achieving net zero and significantly reducing carbon emissions.” L
Improving learning in schools for more than thirty years
By teachers, for teachers, the International Curriculum for learners aged two to fourteen years old is learnt and taught in over 1,000 schools and more than 90 countries
The International Curriculum guides learning in engaging and developmentally appropriate ways for learners aged 2-14 years old, consisting of the written curriculum, planned curriculum, experienced curriculum, and evaluated curriculum. Developed for schools, by schools, the International Curriculum is consistently enhanced using the latest international research and evidence to ensure that it continues to be the leading curriculum design, structured around seven foundations, created for adaptability to complement the local contexts in which it is implemented in around the world.
The International Early Years Curriculum
The IEYC is a comprehensive and contemporary curriculum solution encompassing all areas of learning relevant to the early years, kindergarten, and pre-school. A perfect tool for the transition phase, the IEYC helps to establish a seamless link between early years and compulsory education.
The International Primary Curriculum
Guided by international and evidenced-based research, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) supports the holistic development of learners aged 5-11 years old with enjoyable, relevant, and rigorous learning, preparing them to be globally competent, socially conscious, and motivated individuals that positively contribute to the world they live in.
The International Middle Years Curriculum
The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) engages learners aged 11-14-yearolds and focuses on the specific needs of the
teenage brain. Guided by brain-based research, it is combined with a progressive pedagogy that encourages teenagers to be informed, globally competent, and future-ready learners. The International Curriculum is complemented by the ICA’s school Accreditation and Professional Development services, that support over 15,000 teachers and leaders globally. Learn more about the curriculum’s here
Accreditation: A global association of international schools
The ICA supports each school on its own unique journey with the International Curriculum through the stages of Recognition and Accreditation. ICA experts and mentors work alongside teachers, leaders and the school community to collaboratively focus on improving learning. Learn more about the ICA here L
A mission to reduce emissions
A new £10 million partnership between Green Future Investments and the Let’s Go Zero campaign will give decarbonisation advice to schools, while also unlocking finance at scale from the public and private sectors. Alex Green, head of Let’s Go Zero and Derek Waterman from Green Future Investments, explain what this means for schools
The UK’s crumbling schools are damaging our children’s education – and, by driving up carbon emissions, putting all our futures in greater danger. Their poor state is one reason schools spend collectively over £2 million a year on energy and generate over a third of all public sector annual CO2 emissions.
There’s no quick fix for a problem this big: according to research commissioned by Teach the Future, roughly £23.4 billion is needed to get all schools in England to net zero. Upgrades required include better insulation and ventilation, as well as new, modern heating systems. Schools are eager to act, driven by their students’ interest in climate issues, but many lack the knowledge and resources to do so.
Supporting those schools is at the heart of a new £10 million partnership between Green Future Investments Ltd (GFIL) and Let’s Go Zero, the campaign for all schools to be zero carbon by 2030. This collaboration will bring advice to individual schools, while also unlocking finance at scale from the public and private sectors.
Let’s Go Zero started in November 2020, a campaign bringing together a coalition of environmental organisations already working with schools, to bring their knowledge and expertise together and support schools to decarbonise.
Schools that sign up to Let’s Go Zero commit to being on a journey to zero carbon by 2030, and to date, more than 2,200 schools are part of Let’s E
F Go Zero reaching more than 1 million students and 170,000 staff. They are given guidance on various ‘action pillars’ including energy, waste, travel, nature, water, procurement, and food, and access to webinars and resources provided by the Let’s Go Zero coalition.
Let’s Go Zero coalition members include specialists in all of these areas, including Global Action Plan which has a free Schools Climate Action Planner and WWF, Fairtrade and EcoSchools, who are developing a schools’ carbon footprinting tool. Other members include the Soil Association, Sustrans, Carbon Trust, The Tree Council, and WRAP (an organisation campaigning on waste reduction).
In July, we announced a partnership with Green Future Investments Ltd which will enable Let’s Go Zero to expand its support for schools in a very personal and hands-on way – with 30 climate action advisors around England working with schools directly on helping them progress their decarbonisation plans. Our work designing the expanded Let’s Go Zero project has confirmed the scale of the challenge. One school energy expert told us they had visited 25 schools in the last six months – and that every one had a leaking roof. But the benefits of taking on this challenge are enormous, from driving down emissions to inspiring students and communities.
A new partnership with Green Future Investments will enable Let’s Go Zero to expand its support for schools in a very personal and hands-on way – with 30 climate action advisors around England working with schools directly on helping them progress their decarbonisation plans
Major carbon savings
Action could deliver huge carbon savings. The TUC suggests a 10-year programme of school upgrades would save 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions (not to mention creating 42,000 green jobs in construction and other sectors). Lower heating bills would also ease pressure on school budgets and schools built or refurbished to have heat-resistant features, such as shading, natural ventilation and other cooling features are also vital.
Action is also needed to create a safe and comfortable learning environment for students. In June the NAO revealed that more than a third of school buildings are past their estimated design lifespan, and that specialists were carrying out urgent checks on almost 600 schools in England at risk of structural collapse because of crumbling concrete. Beyond this, classrooms that are draughty in the winter and sweltering in summer can distract students and disrupt lessons.
School upgrades are a chance to inspire young people with a real-world example of climate action. Students can see how lowering emissions brings immediate benefits, as well as safeguarding their future.
Barriers to progress
The benefits are significant, but so are the barriers to progress. Many schools lack the expertise and data to fully understand their current energy use; a crucial first step to taking action, and to implement change. A shortage of time, and the need to focus on other urgent priorities, is also a barrier to progress. Access to finance is also a major issue. Public funding opportunities cover only a fraction of
the capital required, and schools struggle to access other forms of finance.
Our exciting initiative, focused on schools, colleges and nurseries in England, will have three elements. Firstly, our network of Let’s Go Zero climate action advisors, located across nine regions of England, will give free, unbiased guidance to support key decision makers in schools to take action. They will help school leaders understand impact and progress from quick wins to more intensive actions – linking in to the latest Department for Education Climate Action Plan guidance and reporting requirements.
A second strand will be a long-term collaboration of experts to develop innovative financial solutions for school decarbonisation – bringing together key players in public and private finance to support increased retrofit funding opportunities.
The final element is a Zero Carbon Fund, supporting and scaling existing programmes and organisations working with schools to create even more impact and legacy.
Examples of what can be achieved
Trailblazing projects are already showing what can be achieved by upgrading school buildings. One great example comes from Dalmain Primary School in Lewisham, London. There, major work took place in 2022 to upgrade the walls and roof of the school’s 1980s block– with new air ducts and an air source heat pump installed. They also introduced greening measures such as mature 5m trees, rain gardens and rain planters to reduce flood risk and summer overheating. The school’s scheme has cut energy use by 60 per cent, and they have seen improvements in indoor air quality. Retrofit experts, RAFT, who carried out the work, also joined sessions with teachers and students to talk about how the work was tackling climate issues.
Stony Dean, a SEN school based in Buckinghamshire has also upgraded their school through applying for Salix funding. The school has managed to replace all lighting to LED and install 94 solar panels. This has led to a £300 monthly saving on lighting and a £2700 annual saving due to the solar panels after repaying the loan. E
Many schools lack the expertise and data to fully understand their current energy use, a crucial first step to taking action, and to implement change
F This money can be fed back into the school to support learning and other initiatives. Academy Trusts across the UK are doing amazing work to take climate action and upgrade their schools. St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, based in Derbyshire and the surrounding counties, are a mixture of 20 primary and five secondary schools. They have four strategic aims, one of which is: ‘To ensure that all activities of the trust reduce the negative impacts we are having on our environment and improve sustainability’. As part of this, one of the trust’s secondary schools is creating a Trust Orchard and are aiming to plant 8,000 trees – one for every student – a project which will not just be great for biodiversity, but also provide cool and shade for the students during hot summer months.
But success stories like this are still few and far between – which is where the Let’s Go Zero and GFIL collaboration comes in.
GFIL, a private company founded in 2021, provides funding to enable and accelerate climate positive innovation targeting net negative and net zero solutions.
GFIL’s decision to support Let’s Go Zero originated from an ambition of Brian Meredith, an entrepreneur, business leader and climate activist and grew from partnering with a single local independent school to upgrade their IT system. The engagement with the school subsequently sparked a desire to challenge the effectiveness of their inefficient, costly and unsustainable heating infrastructure.
GFIL began pilot work with Let’s Go Zero, exploring how to achieve impact on a national scale and were Impressed by the drive, commitment and impact Ashden Climate Solutions and the team can have.
Let’s Go Zero’s much expanded staff base means that there will be far more leverage to make sure that the project truly supports and inspires students, staff and school leaders.
The results will be a game-changer in aligning the UK’s school infrastructure with progress towards net zero. Most importantly, it will give our young people the modern, sustainable school buildings they deserve. L
Let’s Go Zero climate action advisors, located across nine regions of England, will give free, unbiased guidance to support key decision makers in schools to take action
Ensuring safety for building occupants
Cornerstone’s CPD training explains the requirements for mould, how it behaves once established, what building owners and occupants can undertake to uphold ‘adequacy’ from a structural perspective, but more importantly, it delivers readily available SMART Knowledge in a recognisable format
We are all aware the Housing Ombudsman is issuing maladministration warnings to a number of social housing landlords but, is that due to genuine administrative matters or, a genuine misunderstanding of root causes for reported issues that can, and does, lead to unfortunate undertakings not delivering the expected outcomes. And is that housing alone? What about the places we attend to work, teach and learn?
Before we head into winter 2023, Cornerstone are conscious of the need for a uniform approach that will serve to deliver credible diagnosis alongside specific guidance for building occupants and structural owners/landlords with particular emphasis on the safety of those who occupy the buildings for periods of time.
Our history surveying and delivering recommendations aligned to reported damp, condensation and mould has enabled landlords to reduce disrepair cases and any re-spend. Plus, property owners have made better decisions when it comes to making improvements.
Our CPD training typically explains the requirements for mould to develop and its behaviour once established, what landlords and owners can undertake to uphold ‘adequacy’ from a structural and atmospheric perspective but more importantly, deliver readily available SMART Knowledge in a recognisable format that can be embraced within responsible organisations. This proactive approach will align with existing management systems and
policies/ procedures simply by enhancing the inhouse knowledge level for those maintaining a healthy building. We divulge what root causes there are and how they can be rectified for the long term with this strategy enabling landlords to maintain their tenant relationships and property owners working closely with everyday occupants alongside an advanced awareness of structural and atmospheric behaviour such that, any rectification is determined prior to and post works to endorse cost- effectiveness.
Access to a ‘did you know’ database enables owners to instantly seek likely reasons for a reported issue at the time of the initial complaint such that key simple guidance can be provided with a systemised follow-up if and where appropriate.
A unique aspect of the training is defining the alignment with current retrofitting and net zero journeys for our buildings with advanced understanding of their likely impacts on structural types and occupancy variations. This underpins confidence with the undertaking of improvements concluded in a defined approach whilst providing bespoke guidance for occupants for an improved healthier internal living, working and learning condition.
Long-term expert support
Long-term expert support embraces a property MOT® surveying system to certify the health of a building in line with all current Acts and Guidelines. It also includes Humidity Calculator Apps for determining compliance with BS5250 2002 and, an Air Change App to determine the desired overrun of an installed extractor to clear a room after use. L
Expert Insight: EV charging in school settings
The emphasis on sustainability is greater than ever in the education sector, and installing EV charge points will play a significant part supporting a school’s environmental goals, as well as supporting staff and visitors that have electric vehicles. But how do you get started? David Butters from E.ON Drive shares some advice
Why is it important for schools to put electric vehicle charge points in their grounds?
The UK Government has a target of 300,000 charge points being installed by 2030. Employers and businesses, including those in the education sector, are expected to play a significant role in this process. Like many employers’, schools face a growing demand for EV charging driven by the steady increase in the number of electric vehicle adopters. The emphasis on sustainability and commitment to climate change is greater than ever. Installing EV charge points will play a significant part in building educational settings which are resilient to climate change, encouraging and supporting employees who have an electric vehicle and demonstrating the school or colleges commitment to sustainability both to the community and its pupils.
With budgets under strain, schools will need to ensure any procurement of chargepoints is good value for money – what advice do you give to schools in terms of funding chargepoints?
The Government’s current Workplace Charging Scheme gives organisations up to £350 per charger towards the installation of EV charging points. This can reduce the cost of charging points by up to 75 per cent and applies up to 40 charging points per company. The Government also offers companies the EV infrastructure grant which can be used in conjunction with the Workplace Charging Scheme. This is capped up to £15,000 to enable a business to put in the infrastructure it might need to install charging points. Additionally, E.ON offers a range of chargers at different price points depending on your business needs and budgets and can offer leasing options to help organisations spread the cost.
What additional opportunities do EV chargepoints give schools?
Investing in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure are not only proving more affordable than petrol and diesel they are giving businesses and organisations including schools many other benefits which support and contribute to their decarbonisation and sustainability targets. Schools who invest will ensure that they are future-proofing the school infrastructure. From 2030, sales of new petrol or diesel cars will cease, thereby increasing the number of electric car sales. Installing EV chargers will mean that schools can provide the necessary facilities needed for employees, the public and fleet vehicles such as a school mini bus. Electric chargepoints can also bring in additional revenue by allowing schools to offer
employees and visitors a simple and convenient place to re-charge. Emerging technologies such as Vehicle 2 Grid (V2G) also allows electric vehicles to feed energy stored in their batteries back to their buildings- or to the electricity grid- opening up opportunities for further savings and income.
Finally, as environment is an important aspect of the curriculum, schools who install EV infrastructure and other energy efficiency measures are demonstrating proactiveness in being sustainable. This invariably contributes to children’s learning and conscientiousness of the environment.
What points do schools need to consider before installing EV charging?
Some of the considerations include the number of chargers needed, which is dependent on the number of employees and whether the chargers will be available for public use. Speed of charging is also key, and will be dependent on who is using the chargers. For example, if you’re a university and can offer it out to the public, you may want to consider rapid chargers that can have the capacity to charge 50kW in an hour. If you’re offering it to your employees who are parking their car for the day, then our fast chargers would be suitable and have the capacity to charge 50kW in as little as 3 hours. Another consideration is electricity supply; for smaller installations we can use the existing supply, however, for larger infrastructure changes civil works is needed to ensure there is sufficient supply to meet the organisations additional energy requirements. Finally we understand organisations such as schools have many health and safety concerns and considerations when making significant changes on site, therefore we can provide flexible installations which cater around the organisations needs. This could mean carrying out installations during weekends, evening or holiday periods when students and staff are off-site.
How E.ON is able to help?
E.ON is the one place for all your organisation’s EV needs. We offer charging and production solutions, expert consultancy, end to end support and have years of experience helping a range of businesses across the UK and Europe make their EV plans a reality. The company’s aim is to help customers save time and money and make choosing and installing EV chargers easy. E.ON can even help apply for government grants to help organisation’s pay for it.
Dave leads the day-to-day operational activities of the E.ON Drive business in the UK, managing the sales, delivery, customer operations and commercial teams. As part of the E.ON Drive management team, he plays a key role in setting and delivering the strategy for the UK business, identifying risks and opportunities and developing our electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions into new markets. He has been with E.ON for over 10 years and has built up extensive experience in the energy industry, especially in the development and implementation of commercial strategies. The E.ON Drive business provides market leading EV solutions, knowledge and expertise. Dave firmly believes that the renewable energy solutions and the work we do at E.ON are changing people’s lives and driving a more sustainable and better future for the next generation.
E.ON also provides additional services to help their customer’s optimise the use of their charge points, including data analysis, reporting and expense reimbursement. E.ON’s chargers are fast and intuitive, and an easy way to charge electric vehicles. They are Wi-Fi compatible and suit a range of EV charging needs.
No matter the size of your project or the level of support you or your employees may need we can offer a tailored package that’s right for you. From home to workplace charging solutions and other energy efficiency products we can cater to your specific needs. L
Smart integrated lighting solutions that supports your decarbonisation journey
For over 50-years, Urbis Schréder has been an integral part of the UK’s exterior and interior lighting solutions
where your employees and students can enjoy the best possible working conditions.
Bespoke and smart connected lighting for your workspace
From classroom to sports field, car park and campus, we are fully engineered to deliver a return on the funding investment for today, and in future, releasing vital budgets for other priorities. We help clients unlock value and deliver carbon and energy savings through connected tailored products and service workspace solutions, helping their journey towards decarbonisation and NetZero by 2050
Schréder technology takes the smart LED
With energy prices relentlessly rising, there has never been a better time for schools and local authorities to reduce overhead costs and increase productivity.
Money is often wasted on poorly designed systems which don’t benefit the health of your staff or your finances, and what people don’t know is that installing the optimal lighting solution for each area of the school also offers significant financial savings too. Not only will your schools benefit from more productive, accurate staff and students, but energy efficient LEDs will cut your electricity bills. Our expertise enables any workplace or industrial environment to be transformed into a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective workplace,
Remote control of each luminaire is possible through our CMS (Control management system), Schréder’s EXEDRA, which allows you to monitor, meter and manage in a lighting network. As a result, this improves efficiency: accurate real-time data and energy savings of up to 85 per cent. Whether it is a classroom, corridor, sports field, or carparks, Schréder’s dedicated systems offer solutions to suit your space. In areas that are not frequently used – such as storage zones – sensors can ensure that lights are only activated where movement is detected. This means energy and money aren’t wasted illuminating areas where no light is needed. Book your free survey and talk to us about your current installations to find out how we can help you. L
FIRE DAMAGE REMEDIATION
LEAD PAINT REMOVAL
Asbestos in schools: assessing the risks
Despite a ban on the use of asbestos in buildings, the risks associated with this material have not gone. Steve Sadley from the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association, discusses the scale of the problem in schools
Asbestos is the generic name given to a range of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. The danger from asbestos comes from the inhalation of the fibres, which can result in the development of various asbestos-related diseases, including asbestos-related lung cancers and mesothelioma, which is almost always associated with asbestos exposure.
Asbestos-related lung cancer is generally linked to prolonged exposure to high levels of asbestos and is typically found in individuals who have worked in the asbestos manufacturing and installation industries. In contrast, mesothelioma can be associated with very low levels of asbestos exposure, leading to more incidents in groups traditionally considered low risk, such as teachers and nurses.
An on-going problem
The risks associated with asbestos are not new and have been reported on since the early 1900s. The first UK regulations to control asbestos were introduced in the 1930s, but it
wasn’t until 1999 that the final uses of asbestos were banned in the UK. Asbestos has been incorporated into a wide variety of products. Some of these products have asbestos bonded within a matrix, such as vinyl to form floor tiles, which are generally lower risk. In other products, the asbestos content is higher and less well bound and thus more likely to release asbestos fibres. This is termed “friability.” The more friable a product is, the greater the risk of asbestos fibre release.
Progressive bans on the use of asbestos during the 1970s and 1980s meant that the installation of the highest risk materials was prohibited. So, at best, the friable materials we encounter in a school environment are at least 40-50 years old, if not much older, underscoring the need for good asbestos management.
Asbestos products were widely used, partly due to cost-effectiveness and partly because of the material’s fire-retardant properties. During the postwar population boom, system-built schools, such as CLASP (Consortium of Local E
F Authorities Special Programme) and SCOLA (Second Consortium of Local Authorities) were introduced, and asbestos products were ideally suited for use within these properties. Recent issues with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) have identified that most of these types of properties are at the end of their designed operational life and require significant maintenance. This can only be undertaken with due consideration to the asbestos that is present in these buildings. It should also be noted that asbestos concealed in the structure of the building may only be uncovered with a pre-demolition or refurbishment survey, which will likely be necessary before work on buildings with RAAC can commence.
Common areas for improvement
HSE has recently reported on its findings from inspections on 421 schools (roughly two per cent of schools) in the “Management of asbestos in school buildings 2022/23” report. These inspections identified some common areas for improvement, which schools should consider when reviewing their own arrangements. Overall, inspections showed that most schools have effective management systems in place to deal with asbestos. However, the report also stated that seven per cent of the
sample had significant enough failings to warrant enforcement action. These failures predominantly relate to asbestos surveys or management systems.
Extrapolating these results across the school estate means that as many as 1,500 schools in the UK could currently be subject to enforcement action. However, no announcements have been made about continuing this inspection program to identify these schools.
What the report doesn’t reveal within its methodology is that, in advance of these site-based assessments, HSE ran a series of workshops to assist schools in understanding the processes for asbestos management and helped schools prepare for these assessments. In addition to this, all of the schools visited were contacted in advance to ensure that the appropriate site personnel would be available during the site visit. The question the report fails to answer is whether the levels of noncompliance would have been higher if not for these initial informative actions.
Knowing what’s expected
It needs to be noted that the requirements that schools are being asked to follow are not new, and the duty to manage asbestos requirements
Overall, HSE’s inspections of 421 schools showed that most schools have effective management systems in place to deal with asbestos. However, the report also stated that seven per cent of the sample had significant enough failings to warrant enforcement action
that these assessments were based upon are almost 20 years old. Yet, seven per cent of pre-notified schools were found to be noncompliant, despite extensive guidance being provided by both HSE and DfE.
Of the seven per cent of schools where intervention was required, HSE noted some other failures. For example, it found that some schools did not have an up-to-date survey on-site that clearly shows the location of the asbestos throughout the estate and highlights any areas not surveyed.
Without up-to-date information on the location of asbestos, it will be impossible to adequately manage asbestos. Contractors and staff rely on this information when undertaking work, and, more importantly, they will need invasive asbestos surveys to be conducted when working on the building fabric. This is especially important given the issues of RAAC.
It also found that some schools had a register that did not clearly indicate if remedial action identified during a survey had been completed and records updated. This is a common observation from asbestos surveyors. Whilst resurveying or re-inspecting premises, they often find actions or recommendations have not been completed. Duty holders are not under any legal obligation to follow the recommendations from
a survey, but they should at least acknowledge these recommendations and outline what they have chosen to ignore. ATaC (Asbestos Testing & Consulting Association) members report that while surveying schools this summer, they have encountered numerous incidents of materials that were recommended to be removed many years ago, but are still in place and being inadequately managed. The research also found that some schools are not regularly monitoring the condition of asbestos-containing materials. This is one of the basic requirements of managing asbestos. Regular assessments of conditions are necessary to ensure staff, pupils, and visitors are not at risk from asbestos exposure. The more friable the material, the more frequently these inspections should be conducted. This requirement applies to all workplaces, but schools are more critical than workplaces, as research has shown that the younger you are exposed to asbestos, the more likely you are to develop an asbestos-related disease in the future.
Managing the issue
In summary, many existing schools contain asbestos, and yet no central register exists to identify these schools or ensure that they have adequate funding to manage the asbestos within them. Currently, the education sector faces an estimated £11 billion cost for backlog maintenance, and the surveys that have been conducted to determine this estimate have specifically excluded the costs of asbestos.
Despite the Parliamentary Work and Pension review on HSE’s approach to asbestos 2022/3 recommending the development of a national database for asbestos, HSE has chosen to reject this requirement. Given the issues that have been highlighted with RAAC and rushed surveys due to the lack of a central register, this may influence the government to establish a central register of asbestos in educational premises. It is important to note that despite a ban on the use of asbestos, the issues associated with this material are not gone, and even a concerted effort to remove all asbestos from schools will take many decades to achieve. Therefore, it is essential that the schools that present the greatest risk to students are identified and efforts are focused on the removal and better management of asbestos on these sites. L
Are you doing all you can to help your students fulfil their potential?
Nviro has developed a new approach to cleaning – one that doesn’t just deliver a clean environment, but one where the outcome supports your students to fulfil their potential
It’s hard to teach or learn in a space that’s dirty. It’s impossible to do so in an environment that damages your health. And feeling unsafe has a direct impact on a person’s ability to think clearly. We all agree that cleaning is important and something we can’t avoid, but are you getting the most out of your cleaning routine? Can you say that it’s really contributing to results? Using our experience over the last thirty years, we’ve developed a new approach to cleaning. One that doesn’t just deliver a clean environment, but one where the outcome supports your students to fulfil their potential.
You can tell when a building is clean. Or can you? Cleanliness is a sensory experience – we see it, we smell it and we can feel it – it looks clean, it smells fresh and there’s no stickiness to the touch. And as long as your building looks, smells and feels clean, that’s your cleaning job done. But not when you work with Nviro. As well as focusing on students, Nviro also enhances your reputation with parents, potential new recruits and your wider school community. Have we got your interest now?
We take it a step further and can prove that your building is healthy and hygienic. Through regular use of protective coatings and swab testing, we can measure the safety of students and prevent them from picking up or spreading infection in the classroom. Reducing sickness and absence and also your budget for cover teachers. That’s got to be a winner!
As well as looking after your students’ physical health, we believe your cleaning company can help improve their sense of wellbeing too. At Nviro, we take steps to focus on the safety and wellbeing of building users using the Nviro Clean, Hygienic and Safe model to reduce anxiety and remove the fear of illness. This means they can focus and concentrate on learning, achieving the best outcome for them and enabling you to say that you have truly helped them fulfil their potential.
If you’d like to understand more about Nviro’s Clean, Hygienic and Safe framework to help you create an environment where your students can thrive, visit the website below. L
Compliance comes in small packages
Property and facilities managers have a lot of assets to manage and compliances to keep current. Some aspects of this can be effectively managed by outsourcing a number of services to one expert provider, says Gary Nicholls, MD of ductwork hygiene and legionella risk experts Swiftclean
The health and wellbeing of the end users of educational buildings increasingly depends on compliance being achieved and maintained in a whole range of areas, particularly in those which govern clean air and water. Some ventilation services, such as kitchen extract system cleaning, and fire damper testing are also essential fire safety measures. Legionella prevention should also be high on the list, as negligence in this area can result in prosecution.
One of the most efficient ways to keep abreast of compliance is to buy a package of expert services. This approach can have several advantages. Firstly, there will be economies of scale which can help to reduce costs. Technicians will often specialise in either air or water services, but, as there are more than one of each type of service, careful planning can save you time and money.
Secondly, if you can appoint one provider for several services, liaison with one provider’s point of contact will also save duplicating effort and resources in communication and organisation, saving the property manager valuable time – and not inconsiderable stress.
Thirdly, with a single provider for several services, you will receive reports for each
service in a similar, easy-to-understand format. This can help to provide robust evidence of your compliance, or at the very least of your efforts to comply with legal requirements. This evidence is increasingly important as property managers shoulder more legal responsibilities. Lastly, the provider of a package of services will help you to plan the required work, making the most efficient use of each technicians’ time, while scheduling your work to ensure that you meet your legal obligations in a timely manner. When buying packaged services, you must ensure that your provider is genuinely an expert. You should select a Legionella Control Association (LCA) member for Legionella control. Similarly, for ventilation cleaning, you should appoint a BESA member who is also a member of the Vent Hygiene Register, administered by the BESA’s certification arm, BESCA. Not only will this ensure that the work will be carried out competently, but only Register members can issue post-clean certification, demonstrating compliance with TR19® or TR19® Grease. L
Keeping school occupants safe from fire
Understanding the UK requirements for fire safety in schools can be challenging. Will Lloyd and Neil Budd, technical managers at the Fire Industry Association, explains what schools need to know
There are over 32,000 schools throughout the UK. Analysis of Home Office data by leading insurer Zurich Municipal shows that in the period from 2015 to 2020, schools in England had experienced 2,300 fires of which 47 school buildings were destroyed. This has a significant impact on not only the local community, but also individual pupils. Keeping both teachers, pupils, and the school buildings safe from fire is of utmost importance.
Understanding the UK requirements for fire safety in schools can be challenging. Fire safety starts with the design of the building and Building Bulletin 100: Design for fire safety in schools (BB 100) is the starting point, alongside
Approved Document B (ADB) volume 2, to establish a good foundation of fire safety. BB 100 was the subject of a government consultation to seek views on a revised version. Some of the questions asked during the consultation included: views on which fire suppression systems (including sprinkler, misting systems etc.) are most effective in a school environment; whether BB 100 should include advice on specific property protection measures; and whether BB 100 should provide greater guidance on meeting fire safety management long-term, to support users to meet the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The consultation on the new revision of BB 100 closed on the 18th of August 2021. The E
Our part in the educational sector…
We pay a large part in the educational sector when it comes to ﬁre protection improvements as well as potential for both building conditional improvements and expansion. Schools have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to site safety and building compliance and that where we come in.
Our involvements as a specialist contractor:
Our provision of systems within school buildings to restrict and control access in and out of the building.
Our provision and installation of ﬁre alarm systems to work towards effectively detecting and warning people of ﬁre and other emergencies.
Asbestos management is the process that we carry out to keep people safe from asbestos exposure. This includes surveys, air monitoring, risk assessments and removal services.
Door manufacture & Installation:
Our main focus in the sector is our provision of quality ﬁre doors. We work to each projects individual speciﬁcation and install on site to the highest standard.
Our secondary focus is our provision of quality ﬁre stopping systems. Our afﬁliation with PFC technical services allows us to implement ﬁre stopping within your building to the highest standard.
F Government has issued a response to the consultation, but the revised guidance has yet to be published.
Approved Document part B is the baseline guidance for fire safety in buildings, and the recommendations of part B will typically be satisfied where the life safety guidance of BB 100 is followed.
One key fire safety element of the building’s construction is the presence of fire doors. Fire doors are used to prevent fire and smoke from spreading to protected routes i.e. protected corridors and stairways. They can also be used to restrict disproportionate damage to the school, as a result of a fire by acting as means of compartmentation, thus limiting the spread of a fire. Therefore, it is fundamental that these vital fire safety measures are subject to a suitable system of inspection and maintenance, as required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. E
As fire doors are one of the key elements of fire safety in a school, it is essential that where they need to be held open in order to allow the free movement of people around the school, they are not wedged open, but rather a suitable alternative method is adopted
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As fire doors are one of the key elements of fire safety in a school (and other buildings), it is essential that where they need to be held open, in order to allow the free movement of students, teachers and visitors around the school, they are not “wedged” open, but rather a suitable alternative method is adopted. This could be in the form of electronic hold-open devices that
are linked to the automatic fire detection and fire alarm system so that they release upon detection of fire. BS 7273-4 is the appropriate British Standard for the interconnection of a fire detection and fire alarm systems and electronic hold-open devices, and anyone employed to install and maintain these devices should be competent. One of the easiest ways of ensuring competence is by the use of third-party certified companies.
Many schools, for security purposes, will implement an access control system to restrict access to authorised people. Where these systems are adopted on doors that form part of the means of escape, under BS 7273-4, BB 100 and Approved Document B, these doors should release upon detection of a fire.
Raising the alarm
All schools should have suitable arrangements for raising the alarm to warn occupants in the event of a fire. A fire detection and fire alarm system, installed to BS 5839-1 by a third-party certified company, provides confidence that a fire situation will be detected at the appropriate time to allow sufficient opportunity for evacuation of all persons from the affected building(s). The size and complexity of the fire detection and fire alarm system will be proportionate to the size and complexity of the school. For example, a small school on one storey with no more than E
With arson being one of the main causes of fire in education establishments, the need to not only protect people’s lives in the school, but also the need to protect property leads to a dual approach to tailor the fire safety measures to the location, use and risks identified
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F 160 pupils may only require a manual system with no automatic detection. Whereas a large multi-storey school with multiple buildings may require automatic detection throughout the buildings and possibly the installation of a voice alarm system complying with BS 5839-8, which may also incorporate a public address system, which will provide both an audible signal and verbal instructions in case of fire.
Many schools are implementing a means to warn occupants of a security situation within the school grounds, whereby there is a need to keep students within designated areas in the building. This is commonly known as lockdown and more recently known as invacuation. The FIA has produced a guidance note on these systems1.
With increased awareness of people with sensory sensitivities, the FIA created a Special Interest Group (SIG) to discuss the needs of those people who may not react in the manner that the specifiers and designers of the fire detection and fire alarm system may expect. The guidance document2 that the FIA have subsequently published is intended to highlight the issue and provide guidance, not only for schools, but for the wider fire safety community. E
With increased awareness of people with sensory sensitivities, the FIA created a Special Interest Group to discuss the needs of those people who may not react in the manner that the specifiers and designers of the fire detection and fire alarm system may expect
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F Dual approach
With arson (wilful fire raising) being one of the main causes of fire in education establishments, the need to not only protect people’s lives in the school, but also the need to protect property (e.g. the IT equipment, education resources and the buildings themselves) leads to a dual approach to tailor the fire safety measures to the location, use and risks identified. The use of sprinklers for property protection is one of the main mitigating factors that can be implemented within a new school building, and even installed retrospectively to existing buildings to protect the property. A fire detection and fire alarm system which satisfies both the property protection objective and the life safety objective, and which includes automatic transmission of alarm signals to a monitored alarm receiving centre (ARC) to summon the fire and rescue service, will assist in early attendance without the need for a telephone call. It is advised that where possible, an automatic signal to the ARC is backed up by a telephone call to the fire and rescue service to provide confirmation of a real fire event. The ARC connection is particularly
important with regards to property protection at night when the school is not occupied. The fire detection and fire alarm system needs to be designed and maintained to ensure that false alarms do not occur, however in practice, this is extremely difficult. Schools may be subject to malicious false alarms and a badly designed system could lead to false alarms from environmental influences. These create disruption to the school day, and where the fire and rescue service attends, wastes valuable time and could be taking resources away from a real fire situation elsewhere.
The FIA has further guidance on how premises management can help to limit false alarms in their buildings.
1 FIA guidance note: Use of fire alarm systems for lockdown (specifically in schools)
2 FIA guidance document: Fire alarm considerations for people with sensory sensitivities
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Debunking the of computer leasing
Shaping the future of education: AI as a double-edged tool
It’s been hard to ignore the buzz around generative AI since the launch of ChatGPT last November. Swiftly followed by other large language model chatbots such as Bard, their ability to create content, simulate human-like interactions, and analyse data has captured the public’s imagination. But what are the pros and cons of using AI in education?Claire Penketh from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, reports
Generative AI is in the spotlight in education because of its potential to revolutionise teaching and learning. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, as the professional membership body for information technology, is well placed to consider the implications of this latest technological innovation.
It recently surveyed the BCS-backed Computing At School (CAS) network of teachers and found
educational establishments unprepared for the impact of AI tools. Overall, teachers felt generative AI should not be banned from the classroom, and instead, pupils should be helped to use tools like ChatGPT appropriately.
As any teacher knows, there’s a large amount of admin in education, and generative AI offers E
the promise of several potential benefits for staff members. BCS recently submitted its evidence to a government consultation on this subject, pointing out that generative AI can quickly produce learning materials, worksheets, assessments and help with lesson plans. It can support struggling students by analysing the individual’s data and adapting teaching materials, pacing, and evaluations to suit each pupil’s unique learning style.
For students, round-the-clock access to AIpowered educational platforms and learning materials will allow the flexibility to engage with content when they want, fostering self-directed learning and taking into account different schedules.
It can also help track performance, allowing teachers to make informed decisions about curriculum adjustments and interventions. This means teachers can identify areas of improvement and carry out effective early interventions.
These are all tasks that teachers already do –but the promise is AI could free up teachers from spending so long on administrative tasks, giving them more time for teaching, mentoring and interactions with students.
Ethical concerns and plagiarism
There are risks, though, as using AI also brings enormous ethical and legal considerations. Most existing AI systems still need to be trained on
student data created by a sufficiently diverse range of school-age students to avoid bias. Plus, there must be significant controls to protect the use of students’ personal and sensitive data. When it comes to students work, there are several potential pitfalls. There are concerns about plagiarism with students using the new technology and saying the generated AI work is their own. Plus, there are doubts that students who use generative AI will engage with learning as deeply as they do when using traditional learning methods. And there are well-founded worries about the accuracy and sources of the information used to produce work from generative AI - the hallucinations - and how students reference it as a source. E
AI can help track performance, allowing teachers to make informed decisions about curriculum adjustments and interventions. This means teachers can identify areas of improvement and carry out effective early interventions
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It’s too early to fully assess the impact of generative AI in the classroom yet. However, BCS has developed a series of recommendations for the government as part of a recent call for evidence on using AI in education.
The first is training for educators. BCS recently recommended that AI become part of teacher training courses. Schools should teach children how to use AI from 11, with pupils working with tools like ChatGPT to understand their strengths and limitations better. The scope of the Computer Science GCSE should include a focus on how AI is built and consider its risks and opportunities. BCS also recommends that young people need a new alternative digital literacy qualification to the GCSE, emphasising AI and other modern digital skills.
The second recommendation is for schools and colleges to train staff to use AI ethically and effectively.
The third recommendation is to consider the importance of human judgement. This should be done by retaining and enhancing the importance of human expert assessment to maintain academic integrity and address nuances that automated systems might overlook. The role of highly trained expert assessors can play an essential part in mitigating against misuse of AI in education. They can examine authenticity, consistency, and coherence and detect nuances that automated systems might miss.
Where there are doubts about authenticity, forensic analysis techniques should be used to examine metadata, file properties, or digital footprints for signs of tampering or AI generation. There should also be randomised spot checks, as this can identify anomalies that need deeper investigation.
Rigorous identity verification is also needed. Use robust verification to confirm the identity of each person submitting evidence. While this doesn’t E
When it comes to students work, there are several potential pitfalls of using AI. There are concerns about plagiarism, with students saying the generated AI work is their own
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directly address using tools like ChatGPT, it could protect against more advanced forms of AIbased cheating, such as deepfakes, in the future. There should also collaboration between educators, exam boards and technology providers to share information, best practices, and emerging techniques for detecting AI-generated evidence. Collaborative networks can enhance the collective ability to identify and address threats.
The BCS also calls for continuously adapting teaching and assessment methods to address emerging AI-related risks, and for there to be clear policies. BCS welcomes guidance from the Joint Council for Qualifications: AI Use in Assessments: Protecting the Integrity of Qualifications. BCS agrees that, as the guidance states, exam centres must now develop a coordinated approach and policies to address
AI risks and misuse. Schools should also update existing plagiarism policies to account for AI, which will be effective if communicated to learners and staff so everyone understands what is expected of them.
The human touch
Another unintended consequence could be undermining the one-to-one connection between teachers and pupils in areas such as personalised learning. The emotional aspect of education, such as mentorship, encouragement, and empathetic understanding, might be otherwise compromised.
Niel Mclean, BCS head of education, said:
“The integration of AI into education presents a unique opportunity for enhancing the learning experience. However, it’s crucial to approach its implementation with a balanced perspective. While AI can certainly offer tailored support to students and facilitate administrative tasks, educators must remain at the heart of the educational process. The emotional connection and mentorship teachers provide are irreplaceable and contribute significantly to a holistic learning journey.”
Generative AI has the potential to revolutionise education, but schools need to approach its integration into learning and assessment cautiously. The role of AI is to augment, not replace, the human touch in education.
In conclusion, educators need to be well-trained, and clear policies must be in place to harness AI’s benefits while safeguarding against pitfalls. L
BCSistheprofessionalbodyforinformation technology.InadditiontotheInstitute’sprofessional communityof70,000plusmembers,BCSactivities include‘EducationandPublicBenefit’,forexample supportingthousandsofcomputingteachersaspartof itspeer-to-peernetworkthroughComputingAtSchool (CAS).Additionally,its‘LearningandDevelopment divisiondevelopsandmaintainsprofessional standardsandcertification,andisanOfqualregulatedawardingbody,plusBCSisanapproved apprenticeshipend-pointassessmentorganisation (EPAO).Wealsoaccreditcomputersciencecoursesat 110universities.BCS’keyareasworktogetherto‘Make ITGoodforSociety’andhelpensurethatcurrentand futureITprofessionalsarecompetent,ethicaland responsible,whatevertheirroleorarea.
Another unintended consequence of AI could be undermining the one-toone connection between teachers and pupils in areas such as personalised learning. The emotional aspect of education, such as mentorship, encouragement, and empathetic understanding, might be otherwise compromised
Enhancing teaching and learning with technology
As a former teacher and now education business manager at Jigsaw24, Terri Stockton understands the impact high-quality technology plays in enhancing teaching and learning. Here she discusses the digital divide, diversity in computing, and how schools can be resilient to cyber attack
In what ways can modern technology solutions enhance the way teachers teach and pupils learn in the classroom?
There is no escaping technology, its everywhere and is going nowhere, it impacts our lives daily. By leveraging technology solutions, teachers can adopt efficient and innovative teaching methods that maximise personalised learning experiences, and encourage collaboration and critical thinking, and students can benefit from an engaging, relevant and effective learning environment that prepares them for success in the digital age. One of the most frequent arguments for the exclusion of technology in schools, I experience, is screen time, the perception that students spend hours each day absorbing content passively is fact; but all screen time is not equal. Schools who use technology see enhanced engagement from students, as they utilise multimedia learning that enthuses and encourages learning, allowing them to become creative content makers and not passive users of technology. Adopting collaboration and communication tools fosters teamwork and replicates real life working environments.
Technology is also an enabler for all learners. Devices and software solutions are embedded with a range of accessible solutions that support diverse learning needs – the capacity for truly personalised learning is now a reality! Teachers can design and facilitate learning experiences that will reach all learners and students can independently access all content with technology removing barriers that traditional teaching struggles to overcome and achieve success at their own level. Teaching methods are efficient, reducing paperwork and providing solutions for immediate assessment and feedback.
The pandemic further highlighted that there is a digital divide in society, with some pupils not able to access a device for remote learning. In what ways can schools help with this situation?
The digital divide can hinder students and communities from fully participating in the digital age, accessing online resources, educational opportunities, job opportunities, and various services available through digital platforms. Addressing the digital divide is essential for promoting digital inclusion and ensuring that all members of society can benefit from the opportunities offered by the digital world.
Schools play a pivotal role in addressing the digital gap, those that are developing digital device programmes, ensure equity of access to all learners. By providing access to technology for students, it begins to redress the balance and supports the inclusion of learners with a diverse range of learning needs. Students can utilise these devices for personalised independent learning, remote learning and homework, and ensures access to essential resources. It also builds the digital skills and capacity vital for workplaces. A sustainable finance plan is also vital. School budgets are stretched but meeting the needs of all families, so all students regardless of background and access are enabled to succeed is a priority, therefore adding extra pressure to request contributions from families is not fully inclusive or sustainable. Schools should fully explore the investment they make into technology, identify the environmental savings that can be made with a digital device program, then re-direct physical resource budgets and consider different models of purchase and lease that make device programs more affordable.
It is expected that in 2023-24, 97.7 per cent of UK households are expected to have internet access, but schools can utilise the governments internet
access grant and partner with internet providers, to provide support and solutions to ensure all students can overcome the barrier of internet access.
There is an issue with a lack of females taking up computing subjects at school. Why is this a problem and how can it be resolved?
As a teacher, I spent many years teaching computing, and working with young girls who showed a natural talent and passion for the subject in primary school but very few continued this subject into KS3. Now, as an Education Business Manager at Jigsaw24, I see the impact of this first-hand. The gender imbalance within the technology sector is clearly evident.
In the classroom, technology creates a fluid learning environment that supports expression and communication. The aim is to bridge the stereotypes of STEM subjects and move us towards the ultimate goal of closing the gender gap in technology.
To achieve this, schools should actively seek to bring in female speakers who can address students and offer insightful accounts of their STEM professions. The significance of having a female role model cannot be overlooked. Additionally, schools and colleges can establish partnerships with relevant companies and providers, who may express interest in facilitating student work experiences. Schools and colleges can also identify and recommended bursaries their students can apply for, which would truly elevate a young girl’s educational journey in technology. This is something we sought to deliver at Jigsaw24, where in 2021, we offered a scholarship to a female student from a lower-income household for studying a computer science-focused degree at Nottingham Trent University. Bursaries such as these can be a positive step in the right direction for the industry, and an opportunity for a female student to start their career in tech.
With technology used now more than ever, how can schools ensure they’re resilient to cyber-attack. And how can they help promote good cyber security practices at pupils’ homes too?
By ensuring that learning environments – both remote and in schools – are secure and protected it can go a long way in ensuring the prevention of cyber-attacks. By utilising digital software tools, such as a mobile device management (MDM) solution, schools can keep track of device usage, easily put restrictions on applications
or inappropriate content and quickly react to incidents if/when they occur, wherever the device might be, all controlled by one central location. Alongside the utilisation of technology, educating staff, students and parents about online safety through robust cybersecurity policies is also of great importance. Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity policy and protocol that encompass all aspects of technology usage in schools, ensures the standardisation across the organisation and outlines solutions which can be remedied immediately in instances of cyber-attacks. This should include guidelines for securing devices, accessing sensitive information, and identifying potential threats. Back this up with regular cybersecurity training to raise awareness about cyber threats, safe online behaviour, and how to recognise phishing attempts and other scams. By fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness and vigilance, schools can better protect their digital assets and in turn nurturer a greater acceptance of technology in the classroom by removing the fear. L FURTHER INFORMATION
Terri Stockton, education business manager, Apple Professional Learning Specialist, Jigsaw24
Terri Stockton is the education business manager at Jigsaw24 and a former teacher with over 20 years of classroom experience. She works closely with school leaders and academy trusts to develop and implement high-quality solutions that enhance teaching and learning with technology and embed digital into curriculums. She is a ADE2019 (Apple Distinguished Educator), Microsoft Advanced Educator, Google Certified Educator, Level 1 CEOP Ambassador and NCCE facilitator.
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We offer tailor-made coaching and mentoring cycles as part of a 1:1 development programme to enhance and embed the purposeful use of technology into teaching and learning opportunities.
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The impact of generative AI in education: shaping behavioural and cultural norms
Generative AI is one of those rare moments in time when technological acceleration is reshaping and redefining everything going forward. So what impact will it have on education? DrNeelam Parmar investigates
The educational landscape experienced a monumental transformation in the wake of the pandemic. The new norm of online learning disrupted traditional teaching methods and altered the way education is perceived. The global pandemic swiftly swept through the world, breaking down established barriers of mindset and thinking, and challenged preconceived cultural and behavioural norms. Over time, these transformative changes have become a familiar part of our collective experience, and we have adapted to them.
In the way, the pandemic engulfed the world, a new revolutionary technology of generative artificial intelligence has also emerged, exemplified by large language models like ChatGPT, Microsoft BING and Google Bard. These powerful AI models are at the forefront of catalysing transformative shifts again in education, challenging long-established fixed ideas and beliefs, that were once considered unshakeable. Generative AI is one of those rare moments in time when technological acceleration is reshaping and redefining
Generative AI models have the potential to revolutionise the teacher-student dynamic relationship
everything going forward. The genie of generative AI is unleashed and the path seems to be unintentionally set.
So, how do we envision the profound impact of the force of AI on our education system and the vast possibilities it can hold for the future?
As AI has become a familiar part of our daily lives, from Google Maps’ navigation systems to personalised recommendations from Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, the influence of large language models (LLMs) in education can fundamentally reshape educational cultural norms in potentially three significant ways: through the integration of AI teaching assistants, the promise of AI personalised learning and the emergence of AI hybrid schools.
1. AI teaching assistants: teacher-student relationship
Generative AI models have the potential to revolutionise the teacher-student dynamic relationship by offering support to educators in the classroom. Instead of perpetuating the myth of AI replacing human teachers, we can focus
on developing AI to function as a co-creator and co-assistant, supporting educators in creating personalised lesson plans, offering tailored tutoring support, and providing real-time feedback on student work. This approach places more importance on the educators’ unique role in being able to focus on student’s personal, social, and emotional needs above all while leveraging AI’s capabilities to enhance the learning experience. The role thereby shifts from traditionally led knowledge deliverers to facilitators of an adaptive learning experience that can redefine the way teachers interact with students, and afford them the flexibility to adapt their instructional approaches, according to each one’s needs. E
Open2 elevating smart schooling
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F 2. AI personalised learning: tailored education for every student
Generative AI holds real promise in delivering personalised learning experiences for students.
Platforms like Khanamigo (Khan Academy) are in beta pilot exemplifying the power of AI-driven algorithms to meticulously analyse individual students’ strengths, weaknesses, learning patterns, and preferences. Through
the processing of real-time data, AI-generated technology can potentially look to create tailor-made educational pathways that are suited to each student’s specific needs and development.
The power of an individualised approach to learning can allow students to progress at their own pace, with the aim to facilitate a deeper understanding of subject content and enhance overall engagement. With AI as a guiding companion, students have the option to embark on an educational journey without constraints, free to progress at their preferred level – be it swiftly or gradually – to accommodate their unique learning needs.
This cultural and behavioural shift can accelerate autonomy, independent learning, and lifelong learning skills that challenge the notion of one-size-fits-all education.
3. AI hybrid schools: breaking free from physical boundaries
The influence of generative AI extends far beyond the boundaries of physical classrooms. With AI hybrid schooling, education can break free from the constraints of traditional brickand-mortar settings. No longer confined to a single location, the idea of education can take on a limitless form, where classroom walls E
AI-generated technology can potentially look to create tailor-made educational pathways that are suited to each student’s specific needs
The evolution of technology in classrooms
Keeping up with technology doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive. LapSafe® understands the challenges faced by educational institutions and offers accessible and affordable solutions
Once upon a time, students relied upon a desktop PC to complete their studies. Since then, technology has rapidly evolved within classrooms, transforming the educational landscape. It is crucial to recognise the importance of staying up to date with the latest innovations to prepare students for a digital future.
In the year 2000, the government introduced the ‘anytime, anywhere learning’ program. This meant that schools within England had to teach and use IT, especially via laptops in classrooms. With this development, classrooms faced the challenge of keeping devices powered whilst having limited power sockets in the classrooms.
LapSafe® designed and manufactured the very first charging trolley to store and charge laptops in volume. This all happened over twenty years ago, and as the needs of the education sector change, LapSafe® has continued to stay abreast of classroom technology.
Contrary to common belief, keeping up with technology doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive within the education sector. LapSafe® understands the challenges faced by educational institutions and offers accessible and affordable solutions. Things are moving on from the humble storage and charging trolleys and there
is a move towards self-service solutions. LapSafe® has developed a wide range of products and solutions to make life easier for both staff and students whilst using classroom technology, saving both time and money.
The self-service leaders are dedicated to empowering educators with the tools they need to thrive in a changing educational landscape.
As time becomes more precious, fast deployment of devices is essential to increase productivity and enhance the user experience. A perfect solution is LapSafe®’s brand-new Envoy™.
The Envoy™ provides rapid deployment of devices and plays a key role in today’s digital transformation. All transactions are recorded for accountability purposes, making it the perfect classroom solution.
As leaders in the field of educational technology, LapSafe® invites educators to embrace technological advancements. By keeping ahead of the trends together we can empower our students for a digital future.
LapSafe® has worked with thousands of schools, colleges and universities to enhance their learning experiences. Gain an understanding of the impact smart technology has on classrooms at www.lapsafe.com/case-studies L
F dissolve, and the world becomes the learning environment. Imagine a future where learning knows no geographical limits and never stops. Virtual classrooms, remote learning, blended approaches, and online micro-learning credentials can flourish, granting students access to education from any corner of the globe, transcending geographical barriers and disrupting established physical structural norms. This transformative shift in education fosters a cultural change as students from diverse backgrounds come together, collaborate, and learn, nurturing cross-cultural understanding and empathy. The world can become a global classroom, where the pursuit of knowledge unites students from every corner of the earth, ushering in a new era of interconnected learning.
Navigating the transformative landscape
We have a significant transformation that is revolutionising education. In the aftermath of the pandemic, our educational landscape went through a monumental shift. The new normal, driven by online learning and now the rise of generative AI technology, not only made the impossible possible for many, but it reshaped
and is still shaping teaching and learning, challenging traditional cultural and behavioural norms in education.
The boundless potential of generative AI in education can open up a world of possibilities. While it is prudent to approach AI with a measure of scepticism, we should try to maintain an open mind to the positive impact it can bring to reshaping education. By embracing the potential of AI teaching assistants, personalised learning, and hybrid schools, perhaps we can look to progress toward a more student-centric, flexible, and modern educational system that fosters inclusivity, adaptability, and innovation, catering individually to the unique needs of learners. As a society, it becomes our responsibility to guide the Artificial Intelligence role in education, aligning it with emerging behavioural and cultural norms that are deemed acceptable and appropriate. The future of education lies in our hands and as we embark on this unpredictable journey with a balanced mindset, preserving the human connection in education will always remain paramount, with educators leading and nurturing the next generation of learners. L
Investing in new displays? Save your energy!
From classrooms to canteens – identifying and adopting energy efficient, remotely managed interactive classroom displays and campus-wide digital signage can help ease financial pressures, enhancing efficiencies for smarter, more sustainable teaching and learning
Today, perhaps more than ever, every penny counts, and every investment is scrutinised. With the growing role of technology in education – both for driving more engaging learning experiences in and out of the classroom, as well as preparing students for the digital workplace – the stakes couldn’t be higher. A poor buying decision could have detrimental impacts on performance for both tutors and students alike.
As an education AV/IT manager or decisionmaker, you already know of the various considerations required when selecting and buying digital displays, depending on where they will be used, how, and by whom.
Is the screen big enough to be seen clearly at the back of a learning space? Is the pixel pitch sufficient for viewing content close-up? Is the user experience intuitive enough that teachers and their students feel confident with the technology at hand?
All remain fundamental decisions in creating the desired teaching, learning and communications experience, whether for a handful or hundreds of displays across a single campus or multiple sites. But the market and considerations have changed.
With a growing focus on sustainability, coupled with the escalating pressures of rising utility costs, energy efficiency of displays and the running costs associated with them are becoming increasingly critical factors. Even with various recent government interventions and price caps, short-term outlook and future unpredictability are far from reassuring. Managing costs and a clear ROI have never been more in-focus.
The need for digital displays, whether a creative and eye-catching videowall in reception, or digital signage and interactive displays in classrooms, canteens, corridors and sports halls/stadiums, have not changed. Going backwards is not an option. To reduce the financial burden, though, we now need to take a more strategic approach, taking several factors into account...
The first is to gain a better understanding around the energy efficiency of the product itself. Latest European regulations ensure greater clarity around energy efficiency of electronic displays, supporting more educated buying decisions. Meanwhile, the updated rating structure gives manufacturers greater scope for energy efficiency enhancements and the vision to break boundaries, differentiating with more powerconscious products. Watch this space!
The difference in running costs between Gand F-rated appliances can be substantial, with no impact on desired outcomes. Reducing the use of older, less efficient equipment is worth considering for the long-term. It’s currently estimated that up to 25 per cent of products in the market do not comply with the previous energy efficiency labelling regulations, with around 10 per cent of potential energy savings lost due to non-compliance.
It may seem obvious, but if nobody’s looking at a display, it should be powered down or switched off. Easier said than done in a busy education environment. Or is it? Philips professional displays can be managed
remotely, including content, troubleshooting, and (important for energy management) brightness and power, via the PPDS Wave platform. This can also extend display lifetimes, resulting in lower maintenance costs and less frequent need to invest in replacements. The savings soon add up.
Less is more
Finally, it’s important to choose the right technology. Does the environment really warrant or benefit from 4K? Is LED or LCD the way forward? Direct view LED displays, when comparing like-for-like sizes, can consume less energy than their LCD counterparts. So, replacing old LCDs with dvLED displays could be an immediate cost saver. Philips dvLED displays are designed to deliver proven low energy consumption –between 20 per cent, and in some instances, as much as 50 per cent, when compared to similar products on the market, without compromising on performance. dvLED displays are also modular, allowing for partial replacements for faulty sections, helping to lengthen the product lifespan, too.
It’s important to base buying decisions on the business case – on what exactly the display is needed for. Again, it seems obvious, but we have seen numerous incidents where customers have invested in displays that deliver (and are priced to include) far greater capabilities than will ever be required.
Philips Tableaux, the world’s first Advanced Colour (60,000, including blue) ePaper introduced by a global display manufacturer, provide vivid 24/7 static content while running on zero power. Yes, zero power. For environments where digital signage is desired, either replacing wasteful paper communications or where content on existing digital signage does not need to be dynamic (movies), Philips Tableaux is a game-changing alternative. What’s more, requiring no physical power source, displays can be easily located and relocated for use in almost any indoor location – from the classroom for information, through the corridors for wayfinding to the canteen for menu boards. Food for thought!
Top EdTech trends from the experts at Bett UK
Are you up to date with the latest EdTech trends transforming the teaching and learning experience? With an influx of technology entering the education market, it’s time to get on board or run the risk of getting left behind. But it can be hard to know where to start. The best place? Visit Bett 2024 at the ExCeL in London on 24-26 January for everything you need to know
exhibitors and over 20,000 attendees from the global education community. Here are some of the technology trends visitors can expect to experience at Bett 2024.
To assist with teacher workload, AI can produce learning materials, worksheets, assessments and lesson plans. It can also analyse a pupil’s data and adapt teaching materials to personalise learning for certain pupils. For pupils, AI can give assistance by suggesting edits to work.
There are ethical considerations, however. Plagiarism is a potential risk as students could use AI to generate work and claim it as their own. There are also risks concerning the accuracy and sources of the information used. But AI is here to stay. The Department for Education has acknowledged that AI is going to transform the world around us and so the future workforce must be equipped – schools, colleges and universities will be vital in this endeavour. E
EdTech is widely recognised as a tool with the power to improve pupil attainment, reduce teacher workload and save time on school management activities. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the importance of technology, especially when education cannot happen in person.
biggest week in education
With the popularity of technology rapidly increasing within education, the Department for Education identified more than 1,000 companies active in the EdTech market in England. They also issued a ‘call for evidence’ seeking views on how generative artificial intelligence (AI) is being used across education in England and the opportunities or risks it presents.
Bett is the first industry show of the year in the EdTech landscape, bringing together leading
The Department for Education has issued a ‘call for evidence’ seeking views on how generative artificial intelligence is being used across education in England, and the opportunities or risks it presents
F Gamification and Esports
The gamification of learning is an approach that seeks to motivate students by using video game design and elements in learning. This maximises the enjoyment and interest of pupils as they feel comfortable and enjoy using it.
Examples include Minecraft, which now has an Education Edition created specifically for educators and learners. The platform is particularly good for teaching students how to code but can also assist in other areas of learning. Duolingo is another great platform that makes language learning more interactive. Esports, a competitive form of video gaming, is also rising in popularity in education. Esports can be good at promoting leadership skills, teamwork, boosting social and communication skills, as well as developing problem-solving and decision-making.
Both gaming and esports can be particularly good for those students disengaged with traditional forms of education.
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation that allows users to interact within a three-dimensional environment.
VR can help teaching in many ways. For example, history can come to life by interacting with figures from the past and geography can be enhanced by taking pupils to certain destinations. It can also be used in science to allow students to explore the human anatomy
or carry out chemistry experiments in a completely safe environment.
Bett UK 2024 will be #EvenBetter
Bett 2023 attracted over 30,000 educators, policymakers and industry changemakers, with over 600 EdTechs, and 400 speakers from 123 countries.
During the 37th edition, Bett launched Connect @ Bett, the groundbreaking new meetings programme, which played a pivotal role in generating more meaningful conversations than ever before in Bett’s 38-year history.
Launching at an incredible scale, Connect @ Bett facilitated a staggering 7,000 meetings for 2,500 individuals from 1,500 organisations.
Bett’s journey of digitisation and innovation has only just begun and, in January 2024, Bett will be even better.
Event organisers will be expanding the scope of the Connect @ Bett meetings programme by rolling out one-to-one meetings for everyone as part of the biggest meetup in the history of education.
Roundtable discussions known as TableTalks will be added so educators can learn from and network in highly curated peer groups.
Bett 2024 will also help educators upskill with professional development opportunities to become optimal users of EdTech through Tech User Labs.
There will also be a greater focus on inclusive education, with more on neurodiversity and special education needs and disability (SEND).
Finally, the size of Ahead by Bett, the destination for Higher Education professionals, will triple, with a deeper dive into the impact of AI in Higher Education.
Bett 2024 will be an even more dynamic, diverse and transformative event. Get your tickets now on the link below. L FURTHER INFORMATION
Bett 2024 will help educators upskill with professional development opportunities to become optimal users of EdTech through Tech User Labs
Educating parents about online harms
What can teachers do to help inform parents and carers about the latest risks and online harms? Mubina Asaria, online safeguarding consultant at LGfL-The National Grid for Learning, shares some advice
Many teachers comment on the difficulties they face trying to engage parents in conversations about online safety, but with 7-16 year-olds spending an average of four hours a day online, parents can be the key to keeping their children safe. So what can teachers do to help inform parents and carers about the latest risks and online harms; what their children may have access to; and what they need to be aware of? What strategies can we provide to equip parents to talk to their children about staying safe online?
Ultimately it all comes down to communication. With this in mind, and using the latest information and statistics from Ofcom’s Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes 2023, and Revealing Reality’s Antisocial Media Report 2023, LGfL has put together a ‘free’ ready-to-use PowerPoint, ‘My child’s life online – parent discussion activities using Ofcom statistics’ It’s packed full of helpful advice and resources for parent information sessions and online safety workshops, to build
their skills and confidence to open this dialogue with their children.
An effective way to introduce the subject to parents is to ask how much they know about their child’s life online. Parents are usually familiar with some of the apps their children use, but not necessarily how long they spend on them. The latest statistics on the use of social media apps are guaranteed to fix parental attention and kickstart discussion.
Many parents will be surprised to learn YouTube is the most popular site or app with children aged 3 to 17 – 96 per cent watch E
Parents are usually familiar with some of the apps their children use, but not necessarily how long they spend on them
F videos online – followed by TikTok, Snapchat and WhatsApp. They may be aware of age restrictions – but the latest statistics from Ofcom, showed although 84 per cent of parents knew about age restrictions, only 37 per cent knew the minimum age was 13.
A quarter of the 17 per cent of three to four year olds who have their own mobile phone use WhatsApp. Children aged three to seven, typically use WhatsApp and FaceTime for sending messages or making calls. The majority of eight to eleven year olds have profiles on TikTok, followed by WhatsApp, YouTube and Snapchat. By 11-12 years old, 97 per cent of children have their own social media profile, with almost universal rates of mobile phone ownership for children moving from primary to secondary school.
Starting the conversation
Ask parents if they talk to their children about the sites they use, and what they share. What are their children watching in their rooms, or on their devices at night? Parental supervision typically declines as children get older and are at greater risk of online harm; less than half of parents directly supervised their child’s activity between the ages of five to seven, with this figure falling to 22 per cent as they reached transition.
But what about social media and how children are using it? Most parents believe that apps like Snapchat are just fun, but as with all apps, and especially those with disappearing
Ask parents if they talk to their children about the sites they use, and what they share. What are their children watching in their rooms, or on their devices at night?
messages, there can be a far darker more dangerous side. Revealing Reality’s latest report – ‘Anti-social media: What some vulnerable children are seeing on SnapChat’, explores the harmful content available, and firsthand experiences from children and young people across Britain.
Their accounts are shocking, with young people reporting they routinely view videos of illegal activity – fights, beatings, stabbings, sexual assaults, raids, sex acts involving children and the sale of weapons and drugs online. Some see this type of content so regularly it becomes normalised – one young child refers to the posts as ‘the Evening News’.
They are not viewing this content on the dark web, it is right there on mainstream social media and messaging platforms. It’s not about ‘good apps’ and ‘bad apps’, but the functionality which counts, and parental controls or lack thereof. Alarmingly, much of this content goes unreported – the majority of the children canvassed said that they ‘wouldn’t consider reporting inappropriate or violent content because they have seen what happens to ‘snitches’.
Parents should also be made aware of the impact of accessing pornography on normalising unhealthy relationships. In particular the Children’s Commisioner’s ‘Evidence on pornography’s influence on harmful sexual behaviour among children’, which reveals that the average age that children
first view pornography is 13, sometimes even younger, with many unwittingly accessing it on social media – 27 per cent by age 11 and 10 per cent by the age of nine – on platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Gaming is another area where children and young people can inadvertently put themselves at risk. One of the most revealing and concerning gaming statistics in the Ofcom report is that 25 per cent of children played against someone they did not know previously, meeting them for the first time through the game, with 22 per cent of children also chatting to strangers.
So how can we help empower parents to help safeguard their children at home? We can provide them with information, resources and strategies they can access themselves and share with their children.
LGfL’s ParentSafe site is a great source of information, both for staff-led presentations or to signpost parents to. It features a wide range of videos, the latest statistics, and activities such as story-time ideas, a digital family agreement, conversation starters and tips to reinforce key safety messages and establish shared expectations, with other links to resources from ParentZone, CEOP Education, Common Sense Media, Internet Matters and the NSPCC.
Talking to parents about parental controls and settings encourages them to make decisions about what their children can access. With Ofcom highlighting that only 14 per cent of children have used the reporting flagging function to report threatening or inappropriate material, remind parents to talk to their children about the channels available; whether on the social media platform itself, or by talking to them or a trusted adult in school. And make sure your parents also know they can come and talk to you if they have concerns or are uncertain what to do. L
LGfL’s ParentSafe site is a great source of information, both for staff-led talks or to signpost parents to
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• Additional benefits include FREE funded training courses and FREE procurement advice from our team of in-house Regional Procurement Advisors. Find out more at www.cpl.group/learning
90 years of BESA
UK and international presence
What began as the Educational Exhibitors Association, formed to provide UK exhibitions so that teachers could access assessment books and teaching equipment, has now grown into a membership body of over 450 companies in the educational suppliers’ sector!
Committed to helping members find strong channels to market, BESA founded the BETT show back in 1985, the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) in 1991, GESS Dubai in 2007 and the Education World Forum in 2011. Working closely with the Department of Business and Trade (DBT), BESA helps take companies overseas every year to a wide range of export markets such as the USA, Malaysia and China, providing intelligence briefings, logistical support and bursaries.
BESA also runs the EdTech Exchange, which is Europe’s largest network of EdTech founders.
The BESA Awards
The BESA Awards were inaugurated at our Summer Business Insight Day in July to spotlight the excellence of our members, as part of our 90th year celebrations. This year, over 100 companies entered the awards, and judges were highly impressed by the quality of entries, commending applicants on the work they do to advance standards in the educational suppliers’ sector. The BESA Awards will remain part of the annual calendar of BESA events and we hope to see an entry from you next year.
education suppliers’ industry
Benefits of BESA membership
The BESA membership is a vibrant community of engaged, collaborative knowledge sharers from across the industry. Each member is expected, as a condition of membership, to meet the standards in BESA’s Code of Practice in their relationship with customers.
BESA events are member-led and customised to address the needs of all members. Sessions are led by industry leaders, export partners or government officials, and are useful to both established and emerging players in the sector, regardless of their market niche. Special Interest Groups at BESA, on the other hand, serve the purpose of bringing together those with a vested interest in specific areas of the educational suppliers market.
BESA works as a sounding board and advocate on issues in the sector on behalf of its membership. Alongside this, BESA also publishes over 20 market research reports each year on a wide range of topics, from Education Technology to procurement in multi-academy trusts (MATs) for member companies to utilise.
If you want to learn more about BESA membership, contact our Membership Manager, Sam Butter at firstname.lastname@example.org. L
As we celebrate our 90th year of BESA, we explore our evolution as a trusted advisor for the
The Schools & Academies Show heads to the North
The Schools & Academies Show is the ultimate opportunity to gain valuable insights into the latest priorities that will shape education
Get ready as the Schools & Academies Show takes centre stage at the NEC, Birmingham, on the 22nd of November! After the resounding success of the London show at the ExCeL Centre, we are thrilled to announce that the SAASHOW is heading North, and we can’t wait to deliver another inspiring day, packed with impactful CPD content, key policy updates, and dedicated networking opportunities.
Last May’s event brought together over 3,000 school and academy leaders to connect, ignite fresh ideas, and discuss the most pressing challenges and emerging trends that are shaping the future of education. Now, we are taking it one step further, making the NEC, Birmingham the stage for our biggest and best show yet!
As always, we’ve lined up an incredible array of features to empower our community to drive positive change and enhance outcomes for both pupils and teachers. From brand new show theatres, to pioneering interactive experiences –we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure this event is nothing short of exceptional.
With over 150 of the education sector’s most decorated and inspiring speakers, including representatives from the Department for Education, ISBL, National Governance Association, Education Policy Institute, and more, the SAASHOW is the ultimate opportunity to gain valuable insights into the latest best-practices and key priorities that will power change in education today.
The highlight of this year’s show is the highly anticipated EdTech Summit, which will be co-located alongside the main event. Designed to share the latest developments in education technology, the EdTech Summit will empower educators with innovative strategies to align their teaching and learning approaches with the digital landscape. As the education sector witnesses a growing influence of AI, attending these events becomes even more crucial to stay at the forefront of advancements and adapt to the evolving educational landscape.
Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the conversation and connect with over 3,000 visitors across our dedicated zones and theatres. Engage with exhibitors showcasing the latest advancements that will revolutionise the way we educate and prepare our students for a future full of promise.
The Schools & Academies Show at the NEC, Birmingham, is your platform to empower change and drive the future of education. Be there, and together, let’s create a brighter tomorrow for all learners! L
Register your free place to join us: https://hubs.la/Q01ZL5Nn0
Action Mats, unique PE & Movement resources
Mindful Mats from Action Mats, are design to provide a range of different activities for all children to focus on, helping them regulate, refocus and be ready to learn.
Mini Mats focus on movement and development for Early Years children, encouraging them to work on fine and gross motor skills as well as a range of cerebral challenges.
Inclusion at the core
As the number of learners with additional needs in mainstream schools continues to increase, both specialist and mainstream settings are conscious of the need to provide the best possible academic and holistic provision for all. But what’s the best way to achieve this? Nasen’s AnnaSpeke advises
As professionals, we are driven to do our best for ALL students in our setting, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). At times, however, with increasing pressures of budgets, staffing and resourcing, it can feel that we are stretched ever thinner.
So why does inclusion matter?
We work in education because we want to support, enable and champion young people. All young people. There should be no outsiders, no-one who feels they don’t belong, no-one left behind. As adults in school, whatever our role, we have the vital job of creating an environment where everyone is included and achieves. As the number of learners with additional needs in mainstream schools continues to increase (along with the complexity of those needs), both specialist and mainstream settings are conscious of the need to provide the best possible academic and holistic provision for all.
As well as that moral imperative, of course, it’s the law. The Children and Families Act (2014), the Equality Act (2010) the SEND Code of Practice (2015), Teachers’ Standards, Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants and Ofsted frameworks are all, quite rightly, clear that high quality provision must be in place for young people with SEND. And with the changes outlined in the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan beginning to take shape, the imperative for an inclusive focus in our practice is evident.
Inclusion begins with an ethos, and it must come from the top. It can be hard to pin down exactly what this looks like, but it’s apparent when you walk through the door of a setting. Quickly, you get a feel for how students and adults interact, how learning is facilitated and how problems are managed. E
F More tangibly, there are questions we can ask ourselves as we reflect on practice in our setting. Are students with SEND represented in all areas of school life, and are there high, achievable expectations and aspirations for all? Is the SENCO on the Leadership Team? If not, do they have a close working relationship with SLT, and a seat at the table? Do department heads and subject leads have a good understanding of inclusive practice, and how to support staff, students and families? Is information easily accessible to parents/carers and students? Do all stakeholders work closely together? Inclusion and SEND are everybody’s responsibility, and a truly inclusive setting will have this at its heart.
Physical environments, of course, need to be accessible. We need to ensure that students can move around easily and safely. Are rooms and corridors crowded and overwhelming, or do we have a good balance of sensory stimulation? Sensory audits are a great idea, completed with students to gain an understanding of their lived experience. For some, the bucket of overwhelm is at the very top before they even walk through the gates, so it is important to collaborate with them to create calm, enabling spaces, indoors and outdoors.
Use of visual timetables and images, and clear routines, helps to build independence. We also need to make sure that we are representing a broad cross section of society, including those with SEND, in our resources: the books in our reading areas, the curriculum we design, images
on our teaching materials, displays – everything that we expose students to becomes part of their reality, part of how they value the diversity of human experience. Do they see themselves, and those different from themselves, reflected in all areas?
Relationships & communication
It is crucial not to limit our thinking to physical environments – we need to consider the social and emotional environment as well. Relationships are everything. We must know our learners, understand behaviour as communication and only use ‘labels’ of SEND to inform provision and meet need, not to limit. We must see the whole person.
The key to strong relationships is effective communication. Using visual images, clear spoken and body language, and perhaps some signing (Makaton, for example), we support all learners, particularly those with SEND. By providing multiple ways to engage with learning, we allow students to establish how they work and represent their progress best. In this way, we support them to build independence, resilience, autonomy, and meta-cognitive skills without the need for additional resource or time.
Language matters. How do we greet children who are late? With a curt “Where have you been?” or with a smile and a welcoming “I’m so glad you’re here, it’s lovely to see you?” This simple communication, from the moment a student walks through the door, can set them up for a good day, or a terrible one. It can build their view of school as welcoming, safe and supportive, or hostile and unpleasant. E
Inclusion begins with an ethos, and it must come from the top. It can be hard to pin down exactly what this looks like, but it’s apparent when you walk through the door of a setting.
F How we communicate as adults is also key. Are we open, honest and non-judgemental about each other, and about students? How we speak to children and their families, but also, how to we speak about them. What is the feeling in the staffroom? If there is eye-rolling and comments such as “Bobby’s kicked off again,” then we have work to do. We need to flip the narrative to have an unconditional positive regard for students, even (or especially) those who we find the most challenging to support: “Bobby found lunchtime tricky today. We need to figure out what’s happening so we can support him more effectively.”
Developing professional understanding, curiosity and empathy within our settings is transformative.
As educational professionals, and as humans, every single interaction we have throughout the course of a day has an impact. It’s up to us to make that impact as positive as we possibly can.
To develop that inclusive practice, it’s clear that upskilling all staff is vital.
There is a wealth of training available around SEND, so it’s important to develop a strategic approach, identifying strengths, priorities and areas for development, and building our CPD plan from there. By focusing on the quality of our universal provision and developing high-quality practice, outcomes for learners with SEND improves. Staff learn to be more adaptive and more confident, helping to improve practice without the need for so much additional resource, staffing or time. Of course, some needs will require additional provision of some kind, but the better we can make our universal offering, the more manageable this becomes.
The SENCO will, of course, be vital in helping to develop this CPD strategy, and they need to work alongside the rest of the staff team to ensure that inclusion is a key feature of all work done in school, not a standalone agenda item every now and again.
The way forward
Some staff may find various elements of working with learners with SEND challenging (“but I’ve always taught it this way/had my classroom laid out like this!”) and it’s important to be clear that inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. It’s an embedded, intrinsic part of everything we should be doing in our settings. It may sound idealistic to dream of a time when everyone’s needs are met with the universal offer in our school, but to build a truly inclusive society, isn’t that exactly what we should be aiming for, one step at a time? L
Incorporating inclusive play spaces into the SEN school environment
There are many positive impacts on physical, mental and social development when a pupil has access to an inclusive play space
Themed equipment develops imagination, fantasy and social interactions through opportunities for guided social stories and independent role play. Themed play can take on the form of many different styles of equipment and even be reflected in the surfacing through the use of colourful graphics.
The physical and mental benefits of children having the access to inclusive play equipment are numerous and well documented. Outdoor play especially can be a chance for children of all abilities, genders and ages to come together, be imaginative and socialise.
Multiplay equipment is extremely versatile as play activities happen on the unit as well as around it on the ground. Multiplay equipment offers numerous inclusive play values in one piece of equipment. Ramps, low platforms, ground-based play opportunities and secure steps are encouraged for children with reduced motor skills while the use of play panels and talk tubes can help get every child involved across various height levels.
The spinning movement offers sensory stimulation for users of all abilities. Physical support, wide and recessed seating with lateral protection elements is essential for making children with limited core stability feel safe and secure. Rotating equipment with low or flush to ground platforms offers easy transfer for wheelchair users.
Ground-level trampolines give play opportunities to both wheelchair and nonwheelchair users. Trampolines offer users the opportunity to develop balance, core strength and spatial awareness whilst also providing a unique sensory experience.
With back rests, side panels, handles and foot rests, Springers are quite easily accessible to a wide range of user abilities. They enable the user to feel physically supported during the play activity, even when the rocking quickens.
Swinging has positive effects on the inner ear of children with auditory impairments and a calming effect on children with cognitive disorders. Feeling secure is essential to reassure children with visual or postural impairments.
If you are seriously thinking about a new play space for your pupils to enjoy then please engage with an API (Association of Play Industries) accredited play company at the early stage of the process. Ensure the provider you engage has experience in delivering inclusivity and their equipment is demonstrably inclusive. L
Tes SEND Show returns to London
The Tes SEND Show takes place at the Business Design Centre, London on 13-14 October 2023 and is packed with free-to-attend features, CPD accredited seminars, the latest learning aids – and the entire community together under one roof
There is plenty to get involved with over the two days of the Tes SEND Show that will ensure visitors return to their educational settings full of ideas and learnings to inspire their learners.
You’ll find plenty to get involved with at the show without spending a penny. We have three free-to-attend theatres on the show floor packed with discussions, debate and learning over the course of the show.
The SEND Futures Theatre will allow delegates to listen to informative presentations from the expert editorial team at Tes as they are joined by industry professionals on the frontline of SEND education. They will also be able to take part in a practical, hands-on poetry workshop from former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, and find out who the winners of the Tes SEND Show Poetry Competition 2023 are.
The Exhibitor Workshop Theatre will allow visitors to get to grips with the latest resources and learning aids from our wonderful exhibitors who will be hosting sessions on how they can help you overcome classroom challenges.
The Parent, Carer and Teacher Forum brings together everyone involved with the education of children facing extra challenges. A truly interactive experience, the Forum gives a unique opportunity for parents and carers to air their issues to a panel of SEND experts. The ever-popular TeachMeet returns once again and is a fun, friendly gathering of teaching professionals who are passionate about improving learning outcomes for children with SEND. It’s a completely open forum for education professionals to share ideas and thoughts on how to develop additional support, which tech can help and how to make a positive difference.
Every day should be a learning opportunity and the Tes SEND Show CPD-accredited seminar programme really does deliver! Covering the entire SEND spectrum, this is an unrivalled opportunity to deepen your understanding of the issues you may be facing on a daily basis in your classroom, presented by some of the leading experts in the field.
Join our two free-to-attend Keynote sessions across both days of the show, with Friday’s focusing on improving the outcomes for children and young people with SEND. Panellists include André Imich, SEN and disability professional adviser, Department for Education (DfE); Jon Severs, editor, Tes; Geoff Barton, ASCL general secretary, Association of School and College Leaders, and Leanne Forde-Nassey, head teacher, The Key Education Centre. They will be discussing and debating how we can make forward progress. Active audience participation to drive debate with the panel is positively encouraged and is a great opportunity to get your voice heard.
The strength of the seminar programme at the Tes SEND Show continues to bring visitors back year after year and the 2023 timetable is no exception. We have over 40 fully CPD-certified sessions to choose from covering the entire sector and are a great way to boost your professional learning, get to grips with changes in policy or understand the latest thinking but most of all, to take back practical insights to your classroom or setting to assist your SEND learners. Join Dr Gillian West on Friday for a talk on the importance of language development to behaviour and wellbeing in education. Dr West explores the long-lasting impact language difficulties in children can have and gives attendees practical takeaways in the form of having a better understanding of the importance of language assessment and how it impacts other areas of formal learning and socio-emotional development.
Or book yourself onto an introduction to Dyscalculia and maths difficulties with Rob Jennings and Cat Eadle of The Dyscalculia Network. This session gives you the tools to identify learners who have signs of dyscalculia and maths difficulties and intervention strategies to apply in the classroom.
The Poetry Competition
Now in its third year, the poetry competition continues to inspire students globally to put pen to paper and share with the world how they are feeling. The theme for the 2023 competition is: Inspiring minds: the difference you make to me, and encouraged entries from individuals and groups aged 5 to 25. The judging panel for this year not only includes former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen who will be presenting the prizes at the show on Friday 13 October, but also features a former winner of the competition, Ben Graham, who won last year with his poem, ‘A world with no doors’.
The SEND Leadership Summit
Now in its second year, the Leadership Summit, in partnership with ASCL, is a oneday conference that runs alongside the main show and provides an opportunity for education leaders to learn alongside peers and thought leaders within the sector. This year’s theme centres around ‘leading change in education’ and encourages attendees to challenge current thinking, discuss and debate latest developments in SEND policy and practice and to help shape the education landscape into the future. Summit tickets give you access to the main Tes SEND Show Friday keynote session; exclusive access to the Leadership Summit keynote; interactive workshops run by prominent figures within the sector, plus lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Session titles within the 2023 conference include: Leading inclusion and SEND within and across schools – what works? and: Leading change from the middle – the role of SEND champions. Delegates will have first-hand access to the speakers who will be on hand to answer any burning questions, as well as all presentation handouts from the day, plus it’s a great way to make new contacts with other like-minded professionals. L
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On the River Thames, view one of London's iconic structures from our grounds. Visit our Information Centre, where you can learn how the Thames Barrier was designed , built and works.
The Thames Barrier
On the River Thames, view one of London’s iconic structures from our grounds. Visit our information Centre, where you can learn how the Thames Barrier was designed, built and works.
On the River Thames, view London's iconic structures from grounds. Visit our Information where you can learn how the Barrier was designed , built and works.
Our packages and prices are available on our website
Our packages and prices are available on our website
Our packages and prices are available on our website
Please tephone 0208 305 4188 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview@environment-agency. gov.uk for more details.
Please note there is no access on the Thames Barrier Structure.
Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview @environment-agency.gov.uk for more details
Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview @environment-agency.gov.uk for more details.
Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure.
Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview @environment-agency.gov.uk for more details.
Please tephone 0208 305 4188 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview@environment-agency. gov.uk for more details.
Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure
Please note there is no access on the Thames Barrier Structure.
Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure.
Bringing learning to life
Learning outside the classroom has the most impact when it is delivered regularly and embedded within the curriculum. But it doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive to have an impact. Matilda Miles from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, examines how this can be achieved and what support is available
September heralds the start of a new season and brings with it the promise of a fresh start. For staff and students beginning a new school year, it can be a time of hope and excitement and maybe also apprehension. Here at the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) we have been working on improving our package of support for schools to help you develop your learning beyond the classroom (LOtC) practice, enriching the lives of students and staff alike.
LOtC is now a well-evidenced practice that can deliver a wide range of positive health and learning outcomes. In 2022, two reports published by Natural England confirmed the
benefits of LOtC in natural environments, which included increased motivation and engagement with learning, higher attainment, positive social and behavioural outcomes such as self-esteem and resilience, increase in physical activity benefitting cardiovascular health, and natureconnectedness encouraging the development of pro-environmental behaviours.
The reports also highlighted that LOtC can be of particular benefit to those with lower predicted achievement (who then tend to make the greatest progress), those suffering mental distress, those with low self-perceived social and personal skills, those with a diagnosis of autism, and those with other special needs. E
F Supporting learning objectives
High quality LOtC experiences can support learning objectives by enabling students to become actively engaged in their learning and connect with the world around them. These experiences can have a lasting impact that ultimately help children and young people to become more well-rounded citizens.
It is important to remember that LOtC has the most impact when it is delivered regularly and embedded within the curriculum. It shouldn’t be an add-on to lessons that happens once a term at an off-site visit. Rather, it should be woven into everyday teaching and play a part in school culture. This may seem like too much of a commitment at a time when schools are already under strain, but LOtC doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive to have impact. It can happen almost anywhere – on school grounds, at the local park or high street, it could even include someone coming into school to talk to students
about a particular topic. Put simply, LOtC at its core is about bringing learning to life.
Getting the most out of LOtC
No matter whether you’ve just started your LOtC journey, or you are already embedding it within your curriculum, our Learning Beyond package of support is tailored to meet schools needs. Membership offers free resources, discounts and online CPD. LOtC Mark Direct offers guidance to those who want to assess and develop their current LOtC provision independently. Mentoring offers more in-depth one-to-one support for those new to LOtC or for those who want to enhance and embed their provision further.
Sue Dutton from Sherbrook Primary School, commented: “The new progress trackers that have been designed by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom are really helpful to teachers because it gives them a focus: they can see where they are going, what they’ve got to improve on, and where to go next. And the new mentoring scheme also helps other schools to have someone who has been through that journey and help them along the way.”
Our programme of CPD training for schools gives teachers the tools to succeed and make a real difference in the lives of their students.
Learning outside the classroom is now a wellevidenced practice that can deliver a wide range of positive health and learning outcomes
We focus on building both staff confidence and the necessary knowledge and understanding of how to create opportunities for children to learn beyond the classroom. The programme covers a range of topics, from looking at how to improve your school grounds for learning, to embedding LOtC within a SEND educational setting.
Most sessions are facilitated by one of our inspirational guest speakers who provides advice and support and shares challenges and successes from their own experience.
By signing up to our school membership, your whole staff team can access these sessions for free. Primary schools in England can use their PE and Sports Premium to pay for CLOtC membership, Mark and mentoring as the funding is valid for CPD related to Outdoor Learning.
Last year a selection of schools from across the country took part in the mentoring programme as part of our Waterways, Wildlife and Wellbeing project in partnership with Canal & River Trust. We worked closely with
these schools to support them in developing their LOtC through a structured development framework. After completing the mentoring programme, all the schools involved reported a positive impact on students and staff. Penn Fields School said the programme gave them the “ability to explore new activities and improved relationships with students”. Longford Park Primary said it gave them “flexibility to develop creativity in curriculum planning”.
St Patrick’s Catholic Primary commented that the programme allowed “children to enjoy school more and see the ‘fun’ in every lesson”.
For our latest project with Canal & River Trust, launching this September, we will be giving 100 schools free CLOtC membership. If your school is based within one kilometre of a canal, all you need to do is submit your details and complete a short survey to gain free CLOtC membership. Please email email@example.com for more details. L
Learning outside the classroom can happen almost anywhere – on school grounds, at the local park or high street, it could even include someone coming into school to talk to students about a particular topic
The importance of the arts in primary education
Drama and creative learning can enhance crucial skills – such as creative and analytical thinking, that employees seek in the future. So how can drama be embedded across your primary school? Jackie Tait, primary programme manager at the National Theatre, shares some ideas
Every day it seems we read something in the media about the decline of the arts in schools. Since 2010 we have seen a 40 per cent decline in GCSE Arts Entries and in the past 12 months alone, Drama GCSE entries have declined by seven per cent and Music has declined by 12 per cent. In 2019, a survey of primary school teachers found that two thirds believed arts education was in ‘dramatic decline’, and half felt the remaining provision was poorer than in 2010. However, the National Theatre would argue that the arts in education is more important now than ever before.
Theatre is one of the few art forms which encompasses most other art forms – be that visual art in the form of scenic art and costume design or music and dance in productions. And the benefits of drama and creative learning are wide-reaching with an extremely significant contribution to make to the skills development of all children and young people.
Learning through play
Drama and creative learning are essentially learning through play. By its nature, drama is grounded in story, language, and communication and therefore has significant
impact on listening and speaking. It develops empathy though stepping into the shoes of characters in a story. Participation in drama can be the key to building resilience, selfesteem and confidence. It allows children to experiment, explore and get things wrong. Through this they learn problem solving and critical and analytical thinking skills. It speaks to and draws on children’s inherent curiosity, creativity and imagination. Once this is ignited it has a huge impact on their language skills and the quality of their writing. Learning in this way has a proven impact on the depth and recall of their learning. It is also a great leveller, enabling learners to succeed who may not engage with more traditional teaching methods or who simply learn in a different way.
A teacher at Coopers Lane Primary School in London commented: “It was the freedom in their writing that changed – usually we have a very structured lesson and they produce work by virtually copying our examples, whereas this time they were using their own imagination and producing their own writing using their own style.”
For teachers too, drama and creative learning connects them with their own creativity and ability to play allowing them to be facilitators of a learning journey rather than simply an imparter of knowledge. Drama is a word which often strikes fear into the hearts of teachers. Memories of school plays past or being forced to be a tree, come flooding back. Dispelling this fear and encouraging teachers to learn new skills and consciously embed them in their teaching practice can change drama from an addition to an already heavy workload, into a toolkit that can support them to deliver the whole curriculum.
The future of jobs
In their recent report The Future of Jobs, the World Economic Forum identified the following top five skills which will be of increasing importance in any workplace between now and 2027. These are creative thinking; analytical thinking; technological literacy; curiosity and lifelong learning; and resilience, and flexibility and agility.
The benefits of drama and creative learning align closely with this and illustrate why it is so essential for these skills to be built into children’s education from the moment they start school. The NT works at scale across the UK to fire imagination and inspire creativity and to open up theatre to every young person
growing up in the UK. Increasing access and easy deliverance of arts education can inspire and increase connectivity from an early age as well as developing vital life skills. It is our firm belief that arts subjects need to be taught as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and extended through – not sidelined to extra-curricular activity.
The NT’s Let’s Play primary schools programme is designed to help school leaders and teachers cultivate drama and creativity in their school. The programme is divided into three key areas of work. The first is ‘Let’s Learn’ which uses theatre, drama and creativity to support learning across the curriculum. The second is ‘Let’s Perform’ which creates extraordinary performances as part of lessons, an exciting assembly or a school production. The third is ‘Let’s Watch’, where you can watch high-quality theatre productions –both live and digitally in your classroom. E
Theatre is one of the few art forms which encompasses most other art forms – be that visual art in the form of scenic art and costume design, or music and dance in productions
F It includes industry leading CPD opportunities for teachers, original play scripts tailored for primary schools and crafted content and resources designed to inspire. All of this is now completely free to UK state primary schools for the next three years. A year 4 teacher at Rufford Park Primary School in Leeds said: “Let’s Play is absolutely superb - I cannot praise it highly enough! The CPD was the best I’ve had in over ten years of teaching, with expert advice from professional directors, musicians, artists and choreographers. There’s something for everyone.”
So, as we start this new school year how can you begin to embed drama and creative learning across your primary school? Here are some top tips to help you get started. Sign up to the Let’s Play Network and join the NT’s community of primary schools committed to drama and creative learning.
Sign up to Artsmark – the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England. Build partnerships with local arts education providers. You can find out about opportunities
with local arts organisations through your Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP). You could also sign up to creative learning professional development opportunities at the National Theatre. New to creative learning? Explore the NT’s creative learning resources and download top tips with our ‘5 creative ways’ series. You should also aim for at least one trip to the theatre for each year group each year or sign up for free to the NT Primary Collection – an online collection of productions suitable for primary aged children accompanied by creative learning resources.
Find out if any parents work in the creative industries and would be willing to come and talk to pupils about their job or to run a session or help with a school play. You could also plan a student-led arts week and get the whole school involved. If you don’t already have one, nominate a creative arts lead in your school. Finally, enable pupils to work towards their Arts Award which inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents. L
Drama and creative learning are essentially learning through play. By its nature, drama is grounded in story, language, and communication and therefore has significant impact on listening and speaking
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