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BEDFORD Free School has a new gym.. on the roof! see p12

p19 A Mental

Health Model for Schools

p26

You’re not thinking, you’re just being logical

Edition 4, 2017

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How to save time and money by recruiting and retaining top quality teachers

p14 Mark is

leaving BFS and moving on….

www.education-magazine.co.uk - for ar ticles news and pr oducts


Education Magazine Edition 74

Publisher Steve Mitchell

Annual Subscription £10

Production Editor Richard Shrubb

Free to Heads and School Financial Directors

Circulation research Mary Reale

Advertising Sales Team:

Design/Production Amanda Wesley

Tracy Johnson, Martin Petty,

Published by Review Magazines Ltd, 53 Asgard Drive,Bedford MK41 0UR Tel: 01234 348878 Fax: 01223 790191 E-mail: info@education-magazine.co.uk Website: www.education-magazine.co.uk Copyright Education Magazine 2017

Contents 4 9

News

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28

Improving educational attainment with current affairs

By Charlotte Lowe

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By Anna Bassi

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Education Estates 1-2 November, Manchester Central Exhibition, Conference, Dinner & Awards

A Mental Health Model for Schools

20 Turning the page on technology

23 The ‘Da Vinci

Moment’ of Education Technology…

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BEDFORD Free School has a new gym.. on the roof!

14

Mark is leaving BFS and moving on….

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Standing up for the quality and provision of our children’s education If you are building, developing new ideas or have some excellent examples of ‘good practice’, spread the word about them and contact PIR Education Magazine on

01234 348878 or

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Higher education learning to deal with unexpected network security issues By Hervé Dhelin

Inquiry into why children are going hungry How to save time and money by recruiting and retaining top quality teachers by Ian Armitage

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A lesson in digital learning By Paul Hennin

You’re not thinking, you’re just being logical

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Helping primary schools prepare for statutory Sex and Relationships Education

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Managing asbestos in schools Cover Picture: Bedford Free schools new gym ‘on the roof’

By Harriet Gill,

The magazine for Heads and Financial Directors of Academies, Independent and Free Schools

email info@education-magazine.co.uk We are always looking for good news on Education issues. We approve all articles prior to press.

Look forward to hearing from you!

The Publisher holds all copyright and any items within may not be reproduced in any way, for any purpose, without the written permission of the Publisher. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the information contained within this publication is based on submissions to the Publishers who cannot be held responsible for errors and omissions. The publisher does not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors and cannot except responsibility for claims made by manufacturers and authors, nor do they accept any responsibility for any errors in the subject matter of this publication.


NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News

£16 million drive to boost maths skills for post Brexit Britain Sir Adrian Smith review underlines the value of post-16 maths and calls for more action to support young people. A £16 million investment to increase the quality of teaching in post-16 maths is part of major drive to see more students studying the subject after GCSE and ensure Britain’s future workforce can compete in the global marketplace post Brexit. Following a government-commissioned review by Professor Sir Adrian Smith about how to improve 16-18 maths education in England, Education Minister Nick Gibb has set out a series of actions to increase participation. The introduction of a more rigorous maths curriculum, new AS and A level maths qualifications and high quality “core maths” qualifications are ensuring more young people are leaving education with the skills they need to secure their first job, an apprenticeship or go on to further study. While maths continues to be the most popular subject at A level, with 88,000 entries in 2017, up 3 per cent on last year, almost three quarters of students with an A*-C in GCSE maths at age 16 choose not to continue studying the subject. In his review, Sir Adrian makes a strong case for the value of maths skills for all students, whichever route they take. He highlights, however, a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order to drive up participation, including tackling the negative perceptions of maths. He has called on government, employers, universities, schools and colleges to take action so that more students choose to study the subject post-16. This £16 million announcement will boost the capacity of schools, colleges and universities to deliver good quality teaching for post-16 maths courses including Core, A level and further maths. Minister for Schools Standards Nick Gibb said: “A high-quality mathematics education provides young people with the knowledge and skills to secure a good job and to succeed in whatever path they choose. We are already making progress with a more rigorous curriculum and this summer we will see young people collecting results in our new GCSEs, which are benchmarked against the best in the world.

There is, however, more to do to, particularly as we prepare to leave the European Union and compete globally. Sir Adrian’s review will help us focus our efforts and today’s investment is the first step on that vital journey. As well as the investment in teaching, immediate action is already being taken in response to a number of the report’s recommendations including: Working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and the Royal Society Advisory Committee on maths education to ensure the design of the new T levels is based on expert mathematical advice

rise to the challenge of becoming a dataliterate nation. They will contribute to the cultural and structural changes within the education system which are required to enable quantitative skills to flourish at all levels to meet the diverse needs of society and the economy.”

Young Brits to make German connections More British youngsters will be able to learn about German language and culture after a new agreement was made between the Foreign Secretary and the German Foreign Minister.

Working with the Royal Society and British Academy to encourage universities and employers to better promote the value of maths qualifications.” Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London said: “I was delighted to conduct this review. There are compelling arguments for raising participation in students taking mathematics after the age of 16 and to improve skills at all levels. Increased participation could deliver significant payback for individuals, for the economy and in increased productivity. To achieve this will take effort, funding and a range of interventions from government that must be co-ordinated with other bodies. The government has already announced plans to transform technical education in England, this includes developing new T levels, backed by £500 million of government investment announced in the budget, which will help deliver a world-class skills system which spreads opportunity for individuals and drives economic growth. In addition to the immediate actions announced today, the government will consider the report carefully and will set out further details in due course of how it intends to address the range of recommendations outlined in the review.” Frank Kelly, Chair of the Royal Society Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education said: “We welcome Sir Adrian Smith’s review of post-16 mathematics and look forward to working with the Department for Education and the Institute for Apprenticeships to increase access to and participation in maths. Mathematics skills are necessary to a wide variety of disciplines and we welcome the government’s recognition of their importance and commitment to improving opportunities in schools and colleges.” Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Chair of the High Level Strategy Group for Quantitative Skills at the British Academy said: “Adrian Smith’s recommendations represent a positive step towards enabling the UK to 4

Boris Johnson and Sigmar Gabriel have signed off on a doubling of funding for UKGerman Connection (UKGC), which means an increasing the number of places available on the scheme. The funding increase, to around £230,000 and matched by the German government, will expand the scheme’s work in bringing together children and teachers in both countries to learn about each other’s language, history, and culture. The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said: “I’m proud to have agreed with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to enhance and expand the great work of UK-German Connection, including working to increase the number of young people learning German. This agreement shows, once again, that the UK and Germany are the closest of friends and allies. It will allow more young Brits and Germans to benefit in new ways, exposing them to language, culture, and history of both countries. Through this we can make the relationship between the UK and Germany even stronger for the future.” Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, said: “Learning about different cultures is an integral part of education, and initiatives like UK-German Connection give young people first-hand experience of new language and history, which is why we are pleased to support it. continues overleaf u Education Magazine


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NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News The agreement will allow UKGC to expand the range of services they already offer to those in youth groups and in the primary, secondary and further education sectors.” These programmes currently involve visits between British and German schools and youth groups, collaborative projects between students in both countries on our history and culture, creating links between schools including placing German teachers in the UK and the creation of a Youth Ambassadors network looking together at the future challenges faced by the UK and Germany.

Applications open to create 1,600 new special free school places More than 1,600 new special free school places will be created across England as 19 local authorities invite applications to run new special free schools. It will mean 19 new schools, providing high quality provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities, will be built through the government’s ambitious free schools programme that provides choice, innovation and higher standards for parents. Organisations ranging from successful Multi-Academy Trusts to specialist charitable organisations can now apply to the 19 local authorities, setting out how they will be able to meet the specification for each project. Criteria have been developed by the local authorities, in conjunction with the Department for Education, to ensure they meet the needs of each local community and provide muchneeded places for special educational needs and disability (SEND) pupils. Among the special free school specifications published today are:

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A 200-place school with both early years and post-16 places for pupils between the ages of three and 19 in the Borough of Bedford. A 100-place school with post-16 provision for pupils between the ages of five to 19 with complex communication and interaction needs, Autism spectrum disorder and other social and mental health needs in Doncaster. A 125-place school for pupils between the ages of four and 16 with social communication needs and Autism spectrum disorder in Hampshire. A 150-place school with early years and post-16 provision for pupils between the ages of two to 19 with Autism spectrum disorder in Croydon.

Schools System Minister, Lord Nash, said: “Free schools are providing many good new school places in response to the needs of communities across the country. This process will give local authorities the chance to identify expert organisations with proven track records in SEND provision to run special schools that will help hundreds of children fulfil their potential.” The new schools are part of the most-recent wave of free schools approved in April, and are separate from government plans to open 30 free schools in partnership with local authorities – as recently announced by Education Secretary, Justine Greening. Since 2015, the government has committed £5.8 billion of basic need funding to deliver the school places needed by 2020. Applications close on 24 November.

30 hours free childcare launches The government’s 30 hours free childcare offer for working parents rolls out across the country on Friday 1st September.

New 30 hours childcare offer saves families around £5000 per year per child

Around 390,000 families across the country are eligible

Scheme backed by an extra £1 billion per year by 2020

Parents of three and four-year olds who have registered for a place will join the 15,000 families benefitting in the 12 areas of the country that introduced the offer early. The offer should save families around £5,000 per year on childcare, helping them to balance their jobs and family lives, and around 390,000 working families are eligible to benefit. The latest evaluation shows 8 out of 10 childcare providers were willing and able to double their current 15 hours offer. This offer is backed by the government’s record investment of £6 billion per year in childcare, which includes an extra £1 billion per year by 2020 to deliver the free entitlements. It builds on the government’s Tax-Free Childcare offer already available to many families, which cuts childcare costs by up to £2,000 per year for each child under 12 years old. Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “High quality childcare not only helps our children get the best start in life, it supports many parents who want or need to work.

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For too long lots of families really struggled to manage the cost of childcare and that’s why we have delivered on our promise to provide 30 hours free – saving working families around £5,000 a year. Alongside the support we are giving through Tax-Free Childcare and Universal Credit, it will make a real difference to families’ lives.” The 30 hours offer has been delivered early in several areas across the country and an independent evaluation which included a survey of providers and parents in eight of the councils that started the offer from last September found:

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Improved family finances

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There was a better work/life balance

Parents were able to increase their working hours should they wish

Nearly a quarter of mothers (23 per cent) and one in 10 fathers (9 per cent) reported they had been able to increase their working hours as a result of 30 hours; and

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Childcare provider confidence

84 per cent of parents reported improved finances as a result of 30 hours; More than three quarters (78 per cent) of parents reported greater flexibility in their working life as a result of 30 hours;

Providers were willing and able to offer 30 hours and there was no evidence of funding being a substantial barrier to its delivery.

A second independent evaluation of the government’s early roll out programme published today builds on those findings and shows:

• •

Benefits for parents

Majority of providers are willing and able to offer the extended hours

83 per cent of free entitlement providers and 62 per cent of all registered providers were willing and able to offer the extended hours.

Parents reported that they were planning to increase their working hours from September and others said the additional help made it worthwhile to remain in full-time work, while others said it reduced the burden on grandparents.

The providers in the 12 areas across the country that implemented the offer early have helped to share examples of best practice for other providers to follow. This has been bolstered by the work of local authorities across the country in supporting their local early years sector to deliver the offer.

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Improving educational attainment with current affairs By Anna Bassi Talking to children about real world events can be a challenging task; it is however an important one, as new research has found. A new study conducted by leading child development expert, Dr Jacqueline Harding, has found that encouraging engagement with real world news amongst primary school pupils can have a strong impact on educational attainment and wellbeing. Using data from over 1000 children aged 8-15 and their teachers and parents, the study found that such engagement promotes the development of key skills such as intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, which can have a beneficial impact on a child’s ability to learn. Constructive exposure to current affairs also serves to build emotional resilience, which is linked to a successful transition from primary to secondary school. At The Week Junior, we understand the importance of delivering news content to children in an accessible and easily digestible way. Since launching the magazine in November 2015, our editorial team have received regular feedback from young readers, parents and teachers (who use the magazine as an educational tool) that the clear presentation and analysis of complex issues in our magazines is highly stimulating and encourages the curiosity of readers. As this latest report shows, such content can also promote the development of crucial skills and enrich the education of young people. Curiosity and critical thinking Dr Harding’s study found that encouraging children’s natural curiosity to explore issues outside the classroom can help to promote critical thinking skills and improve

Education Magazine

attainment within the classroom. The children surveyed almost unanimously reported that discussing real world events sometimes or always increases their motivation to learn, indicating that when provided with adequate tools children are eager to engage with issues and debates beyond the classroom. This represents an important opportunity for teachers to exploit when enriching the education of their pupils: by integrating current affairs into the curriculum teachers can broaden the scope of young people’s learning, stimulate academic enthusiasm and boost outcomes. Teachers and students alike noted the value of linking real world events to school subjects. Children interviewed as part of the study expressed the view that there should be a greater link between the news and what they learn in the classroom; teachers meanwhile believed that better linking to world events is ‘very possible’ in most subjects. Given the benefits that can be derived from greater critical engagement with real world news items, teachers should be encouraged to make such links between the news and the curriculum. Resources such as The Week Junior can help provide this connection. Resilience The study also found that discussing current affairs with children can help them to build cultural capital and promote emotional resilience. While explaining complex and sensitive news topics, such as the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, to young children can be a difficult task, it is nonetheless a valuable one. Helping children to understand the world around them and to process challenging issues can help to put them in a strong position to deal with challenging circumstances in their own lives. This not only has an educational benefit, but also can help to promote wellbeing and ‘healthy minds’. Emotional resilience has also been strongly linked with success in children’s transition from primary to secondary school. This period of transition can be disruptive for some children, and it is well documented that some pupils also experience a drop in achievement during this period. Our study found that resilience was closely linked to a

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successful transition, with 96.5% of teachers surveyed expressing the belief that resilience promotes a smoother transition to secondary school. Encouraging critical engagement with current affairs can help to build the resilience necessary to make this transition a success, by equipping children with the cultural capital and intellectual flexibility to deal with new circumstances. Recommendations Given the significant value in exploring real world events and issues with young people, the study makes a number of recommendations designed to help educators exploit these opportunities. Most importantly, teachers should be given the support necessary to enable a better integration of current affairs and news into the curriculum. The majority of teachers surveyed in our study expressed the belief that such integration would be possible and constructive; however they felt that the focus on testing and rote learning came at the expense of a more holistic education. Setting aside more time at school for discussion of the news would be a welcome step. The report also recommends greater communication and coordination between parents and schools, so that parents can be better equipped to engage their children in debate on current affairs and ensure that curiosity is also encouraged outside of the classroom. Access to educational resources that can help to present real world events in an accessible and stimulating manner to children can help teachers embed current affairs into children’s education, ensuring they reap the developmental benefits this provides. Publications such as The Week Junior can be used to help promote the key skills identified in the study, such as critical thinking and resilience in young people, ultimately leading to improved educational attainment. To download a copy of the research report, please visit: http://theweekjunior.co.uk/ schools-research Anna Bassi is the Editor at The Week Junior magazine. The Week Junior is published every Friday priced at £1.99. School term time subscriptions are available from £53.33 for 40 issues per year. For more information, go to http://theweekjunior.co.uk/about-junior/


Education Estates 1-2 November, Manchester Central Exhibition, Conference, Dinner & Awards Education Estates has what you’re looking for…. Inspiration – Ideas – Solutions Networking Education Estates focuses on the funding, design, build, management and maintenance of schools, colleges and universities across the UK. Whether you are preparing for an upcoming project or looking for solutions and ideas to

current challenges; Education Estates - the largest gathering of Education Buildings Professionals from across the UK, will enable you to achieve your objectives.

“The Education and Skills Funding Agency is fully supportive of Education Estates. This is a key industry event for the sector which provides best practice, the sharing of ideas, and a platform for discussion and debate. A key focus for 2017 is the drive for greater efficiency and better asset management.” Mike Green, Director of ESFA Capital for and DFE Commercial Education Skills and Funding Agency Why should you attend? To source organisations in the exhibition that can help you achieve your development, refurbishment, or buildings maintenance objectives. To take advantage of the FREE* TWO DAY CONFERENCE PROGRAMME and benefit from the advice and expert opinions from industry leaders. To receive tailored advice and guidance for education projects. To listen, network and share best practice with your industry peers. *The Conference is free for those directly employed in schools, colleges, universities and local authorities (includes governors & independent schools). The Conference features over 70 speakers,

with specialist content streams for Schools, Colleges & Universities and Asset Management & Maintenance. Lively and authoritative, it’s THE professional gathering for everyone concerned with education’s built environment. Conference sessions include: School Estate Management – What Does “Good” Look Like? This is a joint EFA Capital presentation by Catherine Jenkins, Head of Capital Efficiency and Capability and Victoria Baker, Head of Strategic Projects and Casework. The presentation will outline the resources which the EFA is making available to promote good estate management by those responsible for managing school buildings (generally local authorities for community schools or academy trusts for academies and free schools). The School Sites Challenge – Design and Build Implications - Claire Jackson, Education Director, Galliford Try One of the key challenges for current and future school buildings programmes is the identification and acquisition of suitable school sites, to the extent that the Department for Education has now set up its own arms-length company, LocatEd, to source and acquire sites for new free schools.

The MATs Summit 2017 12 & 13 October 2017, The Cotswolds Now in its 3rd year, the MATs Summit 2017 is designed exclusively for MAT leaders. An immersive two-day event which aims to provoke thought, inspire you to move beyond boundaries and enable you to network nationally and build relationships. At this year’s event: •

Hear from national experts and policy informers including Sir David Carter, National Schools Commissioner, Laura McInerney, Editor, Schools Week, Stephen Morales, Executive Director, NASBM, and many more

Take part in two debates discussing everything from school improvement and the DfE’s four-stage improvement model, to MAT accountability and evaluating impact

Network with peers, build relationships with MAT leaders and take some time to relax in our new venue with acres of land, beautiful lakes and an on-site spa and wellness centre

Take advantage of the NASBM surgery and get your multi-academy trust financial and business queries answered by experts

Book your place at www.oego.co/MATsSum17 or call 020 8514 9575. 10

Education Magazine


The shortage of land, particularly in London and the South East, is leading to more sites with considerable challenges being developed for new schools, which has implications for the design and build process. The range of issues affecting new sites includes working with existing planning policies and local challenges, transport considerations, constrained working areas including working around existing schools within temporary accommodation, contaminated land, poor ground conditions, flood considerations and achieving environmental standards with high levels of background noise. Our presentation will look at case studies including:

Harris Invictus Academy, Croydon, designed and built for a Multi Academy Trust with a particular curriculum delivery philosophy, on a constrained urban site, sharing a live site with the temporary school, on a contaminated former hospital site which the local authority had identified to spearhead regeneration in West Croydon. Watling Park Primary School, Barnet, built on a constrained site which was a designated ‘open space’, again sharing the site with the temporary school, bounded by railway lines and a neighbouring residential development with local traffic and transport constraints.

Education Magazine

We will discuss how we have employed innovation and efficiency to overcome the challenges presented by difficult sites, the implications on the school’s design and for construction delivery; and consider lessons learnt for the future. New School in the Green Belt – How We Did It - Jeremy Hinds, Planning Team Director, Savills THE CHALLENGE The King’s School in Macclesfield currently operates from its historic home of two split sites in either side of Macclesfield. Its strategic vision has been to relocate to a new, more efficient, single site that will meet its sporting and educational needs for the next 100 years. Delivering the vision is reliant on funding being raised through the sale of existing land, along with a deliverable planning permission for the new school. RESULTS On behalf of the King’s School, Savills Planning secured consent for the development of a new school in the green belt, along with the redevelopment of two existing school sites as enabling housing development. Savills provided planning and strategic advice and led the three major planning applications.

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Working closely with the local planning authority, Savills secured positive recommendations on all three of the applications, addressing difficult and emotive planning issues including development on playing fields, heritage impacts on listed buildings, landscape, highways, and green belt. Savills evidence in relation to green belt matters demonstrated that very special circumstances existed in support of the schemes. The planning permissions will now enable the School to move forward with its strategic vision. The housing proposals will deliver much needed new homes in Macclesfield in sustainable locations close to the town centre and train station. The 21,000 sq. m new school is on a 22 hectare site between Macclesfield and Prestbury and has been designed by architects Pick Everard. The residential proposals are for up to 450 new homes. Savills also undertook the Environmental Impact Assessment, viability assessment, master planning and landscape and visual impact assessments. Savills has been retained to market the residential sites to housebuilders. To view the two day conference programme and the speaker list go to www. educationestates.com.


BEDFORD Free School has a new gym.. on the roof! Due to lack of space on their site close to the town centre the new gym was built on the roof of the main school building. It completes the school from the perspective of on-site facilities. Mark Lehain speaks about its development and use. Education Magazine (EM) Last time we spoke the new gym was ready to be built. How did it all work out and do you now have the new gym up and running? Mark Lehain (LM) Yes we have! The construction firm handed over the internal elements to us in February of this year and it’s fully in use, appropriately enough for Bedford Free School, the first event we used it for was the Year 11 mock exams. That was really useful because we now have a large enough space within the school where we can hold the exams. We’ve also had a concert as part of an official opening during which Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education popped in to say hello. The building itself takes up about 80% of the roof space, the sports hall is double height, and it occupies about 50% of the new build footprint of which about 2/3rds of it is the hall and the remainder of it is on the third floor and includes changing rooms and an office for PE staff. The fourth floor has the drama studio and an office for the drama teachers. We now also have two extra classrooms, it may not seem like a lot but it is a huge increase in facility for a school like this. It means that we now have the right number of classrooms for the size of the school. EM Who designed, built and paid for it and how did the construction phase go? ML The contractors were a company called T&B and it was a Department for Education project that was effectively the last wave of the building refurbishment programme to make this school complete. As it is a DfE funded project to the value of £1.5 million they appointed the technical advisors. Although we had a lot of input to the design, we were very lucky to have the technical advisors to sign off on everything. There’s a real challenge to putting a steel framed extension onto a concrete framed building because they had to attach the steel framing to the concrete pillars. Because they were opening up the original roof to attach the framework to the existing building, the ensuing noise levels were absolutely horrific. That was not their fault; it’s the laws of physics. This level of noise was particularly challenging for our science department as they are on the second floor. In the end we had to call a temporary halt to that part of the work so we could think about how

The grey building on the roof is the new gym.

we could reallocate classes in line with the work being done. The reason I mention this is because T&B could not have been more flexible and helpful. There was a knock on effect in terms of time and cost, but we knew this was the right thing to do. EM You were also talking about using the new facility as a revenue stream, how has that turned out? And did the DfE help in equipping the new facility? ML We were involved in determining exactly how we were going to use the space inside so we had to pick up the tab for certain fixings and equipment that the DfE would not pay for. We are still considering whether we will open the facility up for public hire. However the biggest challenge is that it is on the third and fourth floor. To make it available to the community we need to get people up there without them accessing other parts of the building and do so in a safe way. We have an idea as to how we can make it work, for instance, we could put locks on a lot of the internal doors. We have just got to work out whether there is a demand for it and if it justifies the cost. Right now we are just delighted to have it. EM What other events and occasions have you have used it for? ML The build has provided us with two large spaces, a nice big hall and a large activity studio. We use the studio for drama every day. We run 52 after-school clubs and many take place in there, and we also run fitness sessions in it. Our GSCE PE students use it when the weather is miserable. All of our school transition events happen there because the Drama studio is a room that can easily sit 70 or 80 people. The main hall can take up to 200 if a larger capacity is required. EM What about staff and their thoughts on it? ML We already had our full complement of PE staff and they are delighted with the new facility. We still use the other sports facilities in the town, for instance the Bunion Centre with their amazing trampolines and basketball courts. We still use the playing fields at King’s Oak primary school because 12

they are phenomenal playing fields and are just a short journey in the minibus. Our use of them also represents an income stream for that school which I love, as the money affords them a new teacher or one-0n-one tuition. What we will use the large hall for, from a sports point of view, is as a back-up if the weather is bad, also for fitness sessions, and indoor cricket. The key thing is we will still use all the brilliant local facilities and will therefore continue to budget for them. When people say we have no outdoor sports facilities we point out that we have access to some of the best sports facilities in the country, though they are not on our site. It is another tool in our toolkit that affords us the ability to give the kids a great education. There is a distinct benefit to this method of operating. We don’t have the cost of a groundsman and so we only pay for what we use. Our Sports Day is held at the nearby Bedford international athletics stadium and we take the whole school down there to take advantage of their fabulous facilities, we could not match them if we had a playing field. We will still use the enormous Park Inn Hotel conference suite just across for a celebration assembly on the last day of the school year because we can’t fit all 600 people who attend the school in our new hall. When we didn’t have our hall to do the exams in, last summer, we walked all the kids to St Cuthbert’s School. We register them here and then march all the Year 11s to the other school as it was lovely and cool and it was big enough, and it was off site so there was no disruption at all. Logistically it was more challenging but it worked really, really well. We had said when planning the school in this building that because it was very restricted in size and ground space we couldn’t build a new block on the site as many other schools can. So we had to use other local facilities such as the Bunion Centre that has just been completely re-furbished and is a fabulous facility. We have access to the top quality local authority swimming pools too. It’s not a drawback to use external facilities, it’s something we have made a virtue out of. Education Magazine


BEDFORD Free School progress update EM In March 2016 you said the last exam results were not stellar but solid. You did say that kids were a third of a grade better off by being here and that you expected the results to improve. How has it all developed? ML When we last spoke the school had had one set of exam results. Since then we have had another set and by a number of measures we were top of the town again by a small margin. Last summer, using the new Progress Eight measure (that I quite like) we came out with a Progress Eight score of plus 0.33. This says that our kids are about a third of a grade better than you might expect, and that put us in the top 15% in the country. It didn’t make us top of the town but it is interesting that in Bedford the schools do quite well in terms of progress. Across Bedford there is still a challenge for kids in terms of attainment and attainment is all that the real world cares about because when you go for a job, no one asks what your Progress Score was. We did really well in Maths and English. It was solid but I won’t be happy until we’re in the 90%’s in terms of most kids getting their Maths and English GCSEs. I’ll be very honest and say that I do not know how we will do this year because of the new Maths and English GCSEs exams. They are rigorous, they make the pupils and teachers think. Next year a load of other GCSEs come in in all the other subjects. They are much harder and I love them. EM What about the non-academic stuff? For instance are you still able to teach kids to play an instrument? ML You can’t be a proper school if you just do academic stuff and don’t give the kids a cultural experience. So every Tuesday afternoon there are about eight kids using my office learning brass instruments with the local Salvation Army. Every kid in Years 7, 8 and 9 has two music lessons a week. We are teaching them guitar or violin as the core lessons. After a couple of conversations

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I had around 18 months ago with the local Salvation Army, we now have 25 kids being taught here twice a week. For the last 150 years the Salvation Army has taught people to play an instrument from scratch and now they’re doing it for our school kids. I’m not an emotional person but when we had our Opening Ceremony for the hall, we put on a concert to showcase all the things our kids had been doing. Seeing our kids playing very jolly tunes, conducted by Nigel from the Salvation Army, brought tears to my eyes. Give it a couple of years and every kid at our school will have played an instrument. Lots of them are also having individual music lessons, and the fact that the Salvation Army are coming here for free (and at no cost to the kids themselves), is just fabulous. Around 20% of our kids now choose GCSE Music and I expect that number to go up over the next few years and we’re really proud of that. A lot of state schools don’t achieve that and there’s no excuse for it. We cannot hide behind cost or curricular constraints. If we can do that with very low funding then there is every reason other schools can do it as well. EM You also said that you were doing a lot of things around what being British means. Are you still doing that? ML It isn’t just about ‘being British’ so much as making them culturally literate. There’s a great American academic called Don Hersch who came up with an idea called ‘cultural literacy’. He said that if you are going to be an active citizen, you need to play your part in the conversation that has gone through the ages. You can only play a part in society as an individual if you also play a part in the society in which you live. You can only do that if your education you receive as a young child and through to your teens if you are pumped full of the best that has been thought and said in your culture. An analogy I was shown is that if you make someone culturally literate, they can not only take part in that conversation but they can enjoy the richness and nuances of what is going on. As a result of this thinking of this we have completely rewritten our curriculum for years 7, 8 and 9 to try to make sure that by the end of Year 9 they have a sense of the best that has been thought and said. We have made sure there is a lot of time for History and Geography, that we are studying Religious Education with a much more

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pThe gym hall is in regular use for exams. tOne of the showers.

rigorous approach. In Art, they are studying Art History so they are developing their art skills in a systematic and methodical fashion. In Year 7 they will learn how to do pencil drawings and then work their way onto other mediums. Alongside that there will be study of some of the greatest artists and pictures. My eldest child, Sophie, was given an abridged set of Shakespeare’s plays a few years back. Recently I showed my four daughters West Side Story. In the opening scene when the Jets and the Sharks were having a dance off, she turned to me and said that this is based on Romeo and Juliet. You can enjoy the West Side Story without knowing about Romeo and Juliet, or the Lion King without knowing it is Hamlet, but when you realise what is going on then suddenly everything is richer. You can enjoy Beyoncé without knowing she’s basically a rip-off of Tina Turner. When you realise that her whole act is built on Tina Turner and Janice Joplin, continues overleaf u


BEDFORD Free School continued and all the acts that have been before her it is that much richer. So we are giving our kids the background to their culture. EM What about the OFSTED report and are you still fully subscribed with pupils? ML OFSTED came in and said we were Good, that was more of a relief than anything because provided you are Good or better you are left to get on with the day job. That opened doors for us such as the Multi Academy Trust. We are not going to be defined by what OFSTED tells us because we are doing what we believe in. We are quite significantly oversubscribed. Our official intake every year is about 100 but in Year 7 we have 120, and in the new Year 7 in September we will have just over 120 as well. So from September we will have a head count of around 550. We won’t always do that with every year group as we need to be realistic about the number of classrooms we have available. We have done this for two reasons. Firstly we don’t like turning people away; the second is that the amount of money you are getting per child isn’t going up. It is flat and in real terms is actually declining. So there is an advantage to taking in new children, and we felt we could do that without compromising on standards. EM Last time we spoke you had a recruitment issue, do you still have it? ML I have been in teaching for 15 years and in my experience recruitment has always been an issue. There are always people who want to teach but there are also a number of people who aren’t what you are looking for. However, it feels like the tide has turned for us as we have had a phenomenal amount of people apply for the openings we have in September. I’ve been blown away that people have approaching us to see if there are openings. People who have been on the Teach First scheme, and one person coming to us who’s studied at both Oxford and Cambridge. I have someone coming to us from one of the top performing schools in the country who had been relocating from London and wanted a job nearer where they lived. It feels like we will have the best set of staff from this September. Part of the reason for this is our track record and that now we are established. Also things are about to change in the Lower, Middle and Upper school systems in Bedford as it goes over the two phase system. There is some irony that we have gone from the risky option for parents’ choice to the safe bet in the last year or so. Parents have come to us, saying that their nearby Middle School has never put children through GCSEs, and the Upper School is taking in Year 7 kids. We are already doing this and have an established track record in it. We also have a great site that is accessible to everybody and a good

OFSTED helps. I think also setting up our Multi Academy Trust (MAT) helps as well because people see we are opening up another Secondary School. EM I can appreciate the financial reasons but why else are you setting up a MAT? ML There are four or five compelling reasons we can see to set up a MAT. We very clearly use the term a ‘family of schools’. We use the phrase because when you see siblings, you can tell they are all brothers and sisters can’t you? They are all subtly different, they no doubt squabble at different times, but if anyone picks on them they come together and work together. Normally there’s a mum or dad about to clip them around the ear if they are getting out of line. That’s how we see our MAT operating. The MAT will be made up of a number of small, autonomous schools. We are not going to stick branding all over them that says ‘Advantage Schools’ or whatever. The reason we are doing this is that although there are financial advantages to being a MAT because of the savings you can make in HR, finance, catering, IT, and so forth. But the real advantage is that it is easier to recruit, because there is the job security of being in a small school that is part of a larger organisation, and so having more career opportunities. Teachers are becoming savvier now about who they work for. There are also advantages in terms of curriculum synergies. Part of our model is that each of our schools all run the same curriculum. The reason I want to do that is that each school can contribute to that curriculum and support one another in its delivery. If you need to move staff around for whatever reason from School A to School B they can immediately pick up from where the old teacher left off. It also means that you can have rigour in your quality assurance programme. School A can check up on School B and School B on C. We can support and pick up on one another just like brothers and sisters do. Sisters can ask each other questions and get an honest answer. That’s how we see it working. Our plan is to set up two more schools, to get all the benefits of this to the staff; you need to be of a decent size.

Mark is leaving BFS and moving on…. EM You’re moving on. You’ve been here six years and there is still plenty to do it would seem, so why move? ML Having now worked out what Bedford Free School are doing in the future as a family of schools, and now we are hopefully on a growth path I took some time to reflect. I needed to think whether I was the right person to take it forward and 14

also whether I wanted to do it. I have always said since I helped start the school up, that when it was time for me to step aside and let someone else do the job I would do just that. I have always used the tale of King Solomon and the two mums arguing over the baby. Not that anyone is arguing over my job – I just want the school to be a success. I asked myself whether I have the skills to be the new Chief Executive, and do I want to do it? I decided that I did quite want to do it, that I would probably have it in me to learn the Chief Executive role, but then I asked myself that after being here for the last seven years and now with another four to go, do I really want to see it to the end? I think now is the best time to get a fresh pair of eyes in. So the Trustees went out and recruited my successor. EM Who is your replacement and why were they taken on? ML The Trustees had decided on their strategy to have a family of schools based on their values with a clear commitment to a knowledge rich curriculum and a few other things. They then decided that they needed an Executive Principal who will run great schools and grow the trust by bringing in other schools. My successor is Stuart Lock. Stuart is currently Head Teacher of Cotham and Village College. He has been there a couple of years. As it happens I know Stuart and was delighted when he got the job, though as you can imagine I had nothing to do with the recruitment process for my successor. I was delighted because he passes the ‘Sophie Test’. My Sophie will literally be here this September. My wife will also be working here part time as an RE teacher from September. He will be a great boss for her (not that I am my wife’s keeper!). EM What are his plans for this school? ML In terms of how he does it from day to day he will have to find his own way. In terms of what his plans are for the Trust, they are the strategic plans made by the Trust. These are to run phenomenal schools, and to grow the Trust to support other schools to come in, to continue to be phenomenal or to become phenomenal, and to do it at a pace and in a way that isn’t going to compromise the existing students or staff at the Trust. With any organisation growing there are benefits to that organisation, but this can be at risk to the existing to that organisation. EM Is there a sort of ideal size that the Trust has in mind? ML Currently no, as no one really knows what the optimal size for MATs is. We know that there are some examples for MATs growing very successfully such as Ark and Harris, and we know that there are some examples of MATs growing quickly and failing. I do know there is a whole lot of work going on in the DfE, within education faculties and within think tanks to try and understand what the different stages of Education Magazine


growth of MATs is. I know the Schools Commissioner David Carter has a cunning plan to get the biggest and most successful MATs to come and coach the next category below them to share with them the lessons they have learned as they grew. This will be at each stage of growth. EM When do you finish here and looking back, what stands out in setting the school up? ML I finish on 31st August. There are many really special moments however one stands out, it was the end of term showcase at the end of our first term and we put on a pantomime at the Trinity Arts Centre in Bedford. There was a moment when there were a load of kids dancing on stage and you looked over and it just looked perfect. There were kids from private and state schools, but there were kids on stage who were elective mutes. That was a pretty special moment. Another special moment was when Richard Fuller, who was until this election our MP. I was at the election count and minutes after he had been told he had lost the seat he was talking to the press, and they said “What was one of your proudest achievements in Bedford?” He said, “Helping Bedford Free School”. It wasn’t just about parents and teachers coming together to form a free school, but he said that we showed there were other ways of running schools locally. If you compare now to five years ago, parents only had seven choices of Upper

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School. As of this September they have 12 differing secondary schools to choose from. The original plans were for eight huge secondary schools of 2000 pupils or more, but this September two former Upper Schools will be opening their doors as secondary schools of a size and curriculum that is very similar in size to ours. That is not to take away from the success they have had but we have changed the game just by being here. EM Looking back and saying “I wish I had achieved that but I haven’t”? ML Probably the biggest thing is, and I think we’re getting close to getting there but not for a couple of years, I wish I’d got the curriculum right in year one. We have always been pretty good, but it is so much better now because of the things we have learned and also that the greater information out there about successful schools. The one thing we haven’t got to yet is being insanely good – being in the 90% range of kids getting their Maths and English. Having a progress measure showing that kids do significantly better because of the way we do things. I think we are getting there, and I am pretty confident that Stuart will be the man to do that. EM Where are you off to carry on with the work? ML I decided to leave without having anywhere to go, and as I suspected I had a

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few offers that came in quite quickly. I am going to have a portfolio. I am going to help open the St Neots school. I’ve said I will stay on as long as I am needed to project manage that. I am happy to hang on and support Stuart Lock. My main focus will be as Director of a new campaign group called Parents and Teachers for Excellence. It was set up a year ago by philanthropists including Dame Rachel De Souza, who runs a MAT of schools in Norfolk called Inspiration Trust. She started her career in Luton. It’s an organisation that is going to campaign to support schools in doing the kind of thing that make every school great. Everyone is saying that every school should have greater autonomy in what they do for the children they serve. The debate has now moved on to how you use that autonomy. We are going to campaign on enabling schools through parents and teachers, to get every school to have really great cultures for behaviour and really rigorous academic curriculum. To be really positive about really hard exams and assessments, but also doing that while exposing every child to a rich culture of clubs and diversity. We will work hard to demonstrate to all the hard work that is going on out there to support other schools and teachers to do that. EM Thank you for talking to Education Magazine.


Standing up for the quality and provision of our children’s education

mention pupil impact and the impact on learning – but don’t get carried away! 2. Write to your local Rotary Club, which is often only too keen to support a local school. 3. Look to your local council for grants – often there are youth grants out there that you may not be aware of. As well as local councils, there are national grants. Parents are great, get them on board.

By Head of Music Content Alex Stevens

4. Perform at local events to raise the profile of music – this is likely to lead to paid gigs. Make sure you say yes when people ask for music. Sometimes it will be a weekend or an evening, but just do it, because it will lead to other things. Not all gigs raise money, but they might lead on to one that does.

There is no doubt that, particularly in state education, music teachers are in an increasingly difficult situation. Often, while budgets are falling across the school, they are finding themselves having to justify their work, their budgets, and even their salaries. If that’s you, it might seem difficult or impossible to take a day for CPD. The chances of you getting it past your SLT may be zero. But if you can, do – the day is entirely free, so all you need to do is register, get out of school, and get to Manchester. For secondary music teachers we have a variety of useful sessions, from music GCSEs in the post-levels world of EBacc and Progress 8, to getting the right balance of extra-curricular activities for a thriving music department (even with limited resources), to all-action teaching skills – like the secret weapons of body percussion and the spoons, or how to run a brilliant gospel vocal warmup from top pro Karen Gibson. If you’re a primary teacher, whether a music specialist or not, there will be something for you. Body percussion and spoons will work equally well with younger children, and if you’re under pressure to demonstrate to your headteacher how investing in music is worthwhile, look no

5. When you are asked to perform, think about whether or not to ask for a donation. If it is a local business, you could offer them free advertising and marketing in return for a donation.

further than ‘A pathway to outstanding’, from the Royal Opera House’s Kim Waldock: context, concentration, creativity – and chopsticks. Private teachers, peris and hub staff will find a wealth of material: the inside line from ABRSM’s chief examiner John Holmes, sessions on creativity in group work run by wholeclass specialist Dan Francis and Microjazz composer Christopher Norton, and the latest on workforce issues from the Musicians’ Union.

6. Get your local paper on-side. Whenever you play at an event, make sure that you tell the press to ensure that your name is out there. This will help raise profile

and could get you more gigs in the future. 7. Hold a fundraiser that isn’t a concert – a curry night, a quiz night, a racing night. These can be a pain to organise and you will need to give up an evening, but you will make some money for music in the process. And when you do have a concert, make sure you have a licensed bar and raffle to enhance what you make on the door. 8. Sell old kit, instruments, textbooks and so on. See what you have lying around and then try and make some money out of it. 9. Ask the students to pay subs to be involved in groups – I don’t personally do this, but it is something I have thought about and I know that my sports department has to do it. £1 per student for the year might just be enough to buy a piece of music. 10. Seek out local sponsors – restaurants, estate agents, whatever – and see if you can get someone to sponsor a show or concert. James Manwaring presents ‘Extra-curricular music: getting it right‘ at Music & Drama Education Expo.

But perhaps the biggest reason to come is to show that your CPD is valued, that music is important, and that, together with colleagues from across the country, music teachers are standing up for the quality and provision of our children’s music education. It’s been another tough year for teachers – all the more reason to come to the Music and Drama Expo in Manchester on 4th October.

All About the Money At a time when budgets are increasingly squeezed, James Manwaring offers his top ten tips for raising some music department disposable income 1. Ask your SLT for more, but present a reasoned argument on one side of A4 paper. Be calm, prepare a good argument, and 16

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Red Panda Workshops

We take our workshops to Primary Schools (key stages 1 to 2), Secondary Schools (key stages 3 to 5), universities, nursery, colleges, SEN, youth projects, independent school, dance school, music schools, extended services, after school clubs, assemblies, council services and private clients. Whoever you are, we are sure we can provide you with a top quality service to suit your budget. We only provide the best professionals for our workshops and we pride ourselves on our ability to provide workshops bespoke to your requirements. We have been trained by extended services in how to teach, engage and get the best out of young people. Each service we provide is tailored to suit you and your requirements. If you need a workshop for children or adults with additional needs, we can do it – or if you need an activities package for the summer, we can do it too! Our workshops range from short half day to full day workshops as well as specialising in full services and tailored packages ideal for arts/activities weeks or the half term holidays.

www.redpandaworkshops.co.uk Tel: 02035605893 / 07851764628

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A Mental Health Model for Schools By Charlotte Lowe on the increased challenges faced by CYP in contributing to the rise and she goes on to quote the impact of social media and increased academic pressures on young people.

The number of children and young people (CYP) requiring support for mental health problems is argued to be on the rise (Lamb, 2017). Schools are therefore finding it increasingly difficult to deliver provision for the large number of CYP experiencing mental distress. Teachers are in an ideal position to identify signs and symptoms of mental health problems given the amount of time children spend in school. However, teachers are not mental health professionals and they should not be expected to fulfil this role. It has been debated whether the number of CYP experiencing mental health problems is actually increasing. Fox (2016) questions the “loose” terminology used in the area of mental health, emphasising the importance of distinguishing between mental health, mental health problems and mental illness. She argues how some CYP would not formally receive a mental health diagnosis as they are simply experiencing the difficulties faced during the adolescent period. Unfortunately this often results in the limited services and resources available failing to reach those most in need. Conversely, Byron (2017) reported

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Health Services (CAMHS) or Children’s Social Care (CSC). This would help to ensure consistency and transparency in a young person’s care. It is advisable for the single point of contact to ensure they have a thorough understanding of the support services on offer outside of school and how to access this support. These services are sometimes available free of charge which is important given the current economic climate faced by schools. Maintaining these close links and being aware of the support available is essential to ensure a CYP is referred for appropriate support when necessary.

Given the rise of mental health problems in CYP schools are under increased pressure to put support in place. What is needed is a whole-school approach to mental health, ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of the students is everybody’s business. The implementation of a mental health model in schools would help to make sure mental health is delivered across school, with both students and staff knowing where to go for further help. It is good practice for schools to routinely follow a mental health policy, making sure this is made available to all staff, Governors, parents or carers.

CAMHS teams across the country are struggling to cope with the demand for services and in some areas waiting times for an assessment have reached forty weeks (Devon, 2016). It is immoral how huge variations exist in terms of the mental health provision available, but what has recently become evident is that schools can now refer directly into CAMHS. It would beneficial for the mental health champion to carry out a brief assessment of a CYP prior to the referral to CAMHS being made. This would help to determine the level of support required and would benefit both the CYP and CAMHS by speeding up the referral process.

What is currently being rolled out in schools across the country is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for school staff. This provides staff with a greater understanding of mental health issues and the knowledge of where to go to access further support for any CYP they are concerned about. Providing school staff with mental health training is essential, not only due to the amount of time they spend with students but also because often a CYP will prefer to speak to them rather than engage with external services. MHFA training would enable staff to feel more confident when faced with any difficult conversations or situations.

The roles of the pastoral staff are vital for the smooth running of any school, and they are in an ideal position to effectively support a CYP experiencing lower level difficulties. Within Lostock Hall Academy (LHA) a number of booklets have been developed to aid staff in providing support to students suffering from less serious mental health issues, such as anger management or low selfesteem. It would be valuable for CAMHS teams to provide all schools with similar resources to assist staff in supporting CYP’s mental health. Peer support systems in schools have also proven to be effective at supporting CYP’s mental health and they help to reduce the pressure placed on staff.

Ideally schools would secure funding to employ a mental health specialist who could work with students in school delivering targeted interventions. However, realistically the school budget does not stretch this far and most schools cannot afford to buy in this much needed support. It is advisable for schools to have a designated mental health worker or champion. They would act as a single point of contact to liaise and make referrals to external agencies for a CYP, such as to a Child and Adolescent Mental

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Schools should help to build resilience in CYP by educating them about mental health, with the aim of trying to build a positive sense of self in young people. CYP need to learn ways to maintain good mental health, build resilience and be able to cope with life’s challenges. Schools should ensure therefore mental health is covered on the curriculum through both assemblies and PHSE lessons. Mental health promotion around school will help to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and will make CYP more aware of where to access further support. Although schools are fundamental in supporting a CYP’s mental health it is essential for parents to come together and work alongside schools. Parents need to be educated about difficult issues such as self-harm, and know how to recognise signs of mental illhealth in their children. They need to be aware of what to do if they are worried about their child and be clear about what support is available. Schools therefore have a pivotal role to play in helping parents to provide the necessary support to their children. It is concerning how the last prevalence study for CYP mental health was carried out in 2004. Consequently exact figures and a true representation of the severity of the problem does not exist. However, what is clear is that schools are facing increased pressure to support those students experiencing mental distress, and there is urgency to develop strategies in order to be able to put this support in place. Charlotte Lowe is a School Counsellor with over fifteen years’ experience of working in children and young people’s (CYP) mental health. This has involved working with CYP in a variety of settings, including in-patient wards, community services, schools and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) teams. These experiences have provided her with the opportunity to become skilled at implementing a range of different therapeutic models and approaches with CYP. This allows the young person to collaboratively decide on the approach to use based on which will be most helpful for them personally.


Turning the page on technology Gary Bryant, discusses the need for a combined approach to education, with the combination of tradition, technology, new skills and key skills that are truly needed for the modern world. In the 20th century, technology helped to redefine how students could visualise education – by projecting images within the classroom with the help of projectors. First introduced in 1925, the Filmstrip Projector could be used depending on the subject being taught, helping students visualise the subject. To help people learn, the radio and the mimeograph were tools that could be used in classrooms to help transform learning. Introduced in 1940, the mimeograph allowed teachers to copy and distribute educational

materials to students, while the radio could be used to transit lessons to other classrooms in other areas. Today, public address system installations have become more advanced, and GPS Installations are leading the way when it comes to systems that help to address the public.

Also known as an old-fashioned ruler, the slide ruler was notably popularised in America. Replacing the mimeograph as a more efficient alternative, the photocopier was also used to help speed up and quantify the distribution of educational materials.

As some of the most successful technological advances in the classroom, these have made a lasting impression:

Tackling the issues behind truancy by Sam Warnes

It has been reported by the Department for Education (DfE) that every day, over 335,000 pupils are missing from school in England. While this figure takes into account those children who may have skived off school for the first (and only!) time in their lives, it also includes those who are persistently absent from school. But why are pupils repeatedly absent from school, and what can be done to reverse the trend? Former teacher Sam Warnes discusses. In short, the reasons are numerous, but rarely have anything to do with a student simply being ‘naughty’. Its one month into a brand new school term, and most teachers will have already sussed out all the students sitting in front of them: the quiet ones, the over-achievers, the ones struggling to keep up, and the ones they’re only likely to see a few times a term. A common assumption to make is that those who are persistently absent are uninterested in school, however, in my experience as a teacher, I find this is rarely the case. For some students, the very thought of going to school is enough to fill them with dread, perhaps because they are being bullied, have mental

1970s. Used as a device to mark exam papers and other question papers, the Scantron machine has lasted to the present day as a way of speeding up the marking process. 1980s. Personal computers were starting to be introduced and learners could use them to help improve their knowledge of a particular subject. 1990s. While replacing traditional blackboards with interactive whiteboards, desktop computers were also becoming prevalent within most households, helping students to complete homework tasks on office-based packages.

The digital classroom As technology in the 20th century became more advanced, the time it took to make these advances shortened, which

1960s. Although it did not become popular within classrooms for another ten years, the calculator

When skiving becomes serious

was introduced in this decade.

health difficulties or simply have disengaged with learning; either way, staying off school becomes an increasingly attractive option. Reasons behind persistent absences It’s easy to spot when a child has become disengaged from school: teachers may see their behaviour worsening, see them becoming disruptive, or completely indifferent; they may be more defiant, refusing to take part in classroom activities or to complete tasks; or they may even become physically or verbally abusive. When a teacher first notices any of these changes in behaviour, that’s the time to act, and to act fast! If you can catch a student before they completely disengage, you stand a much better chance of successfully reengaging them in learning and restabilising their trust in mainstream education. The first thing I would advise any teacher to do, obvious as it may seem, is to go directly to the student in question to discuss your concerns and address any issues they may be having. When you notice students beginning to disappear from the classroom, sitting down with them and talking about what’s causing them to avoid school can help to resolve the problem, and identify the support they need in order to get them back on track. Making their learning journey relevant to them is also key, so it’s important to give them ownership of it as much as possible. Enabling them to see the connection between what they’re learning and how it 20

resulted in more technologies for children to utilise within the classroom. However, with the rise of smartphones, YouTube, tablets and laptops – no one has experienced such dramatic technological changes as those living in the 21st century. Considered as the digital revolution, integrating smart technologies into the classroom has changed the way educators teach and how students learn. In one study, the classroom was split into two groups; groups A and B. Both groups were asked to research a topic and present their findings to the whole group, however, group A were not allowed mobile technologies whereas group B were. What was discovered is that group B divided into sub-groups, whereas group A stayed together. What this suggests is that technology can help aid integrated organisational structures within learning groups, which leads to more specific and concentrated learning, in comparison to the generalised learning and collaboration witnessed in group A.

fits in with their goals, or potential careers they might want to pursue in the future, makes the process more meaningful to them, which in turn, increases engagement. Ensuring that, where possible, learning is delivered in a way they understand and favour is also a good way to make it more meaningful. Most children seem to have a natural affinity for technology and gravitate towards it; therefore, using it as an engagement tool makes sense. Virtual learning platforms offer all students the opportunity to access learning online that adapt to their ability and academic needs in ways unlike ever before. They ensure that students who don’t attend mainstream schools because they might, for instance, experience anxiety, or have mental health difficulties, aren’t left behind. Through these platforms, schools can continue to deliver lessons to support students from afar, while working to re-engage them with mainstream education. Going forward While teachers can work hard to prevent students from becoming persistently absent from school, the reality is that there will most likely always be students who struggle to remain in school. If, however, as educators, we can try to engage or reengage those most at risk early on, we can significantly reduce the number of students that slip under the radar, or worse, drop out of school altogether. For more information about EDLounge, visit www.edlounge.com Education Magazine


Research has suggested that most teachers have responded positively to technology being used in the classroom. In the US, 86% claimed that technology was an essential part of a student’s education. Furthermore, 92% felt that they could have more technology within their classroom to help the quality of their educational delivery improve. When technology is used within the classroom, this allows students to save the money they would spend on text books, whilst helping to improve the quality of a lesson. Electronic copies of eBooks and other digital-based learning materials are 33 – 35% cheaper than their physical alternatives. Increasing their chances of passing an exam, tablets and other interactive digital devices have improved literacy and numeracy skills. Even though many students and teachers feel as though technology has improved the quality of a lesson, some believe that technology is hindering learning. This is because children can be distracted by social media apps and other interactive

games when they should be learning. In a study conducted by A Common Sense Media, it was reported that 71% of teaching staff felt that a student’s attention span had been compromised by smart devices such as mobiles and tablets. What this suggests is that as digital technologies have been adopted into our classrooms, we still haven’t found the correct balance between utilising digital technologies as a source for quality education, and making sure that they aren’t being used to the extent where they become a distraction. Making sure that education is beneficial, and is improving the learning of every pupil, is crucial. This is why the digital revolution has benefited the classroom – even though its impact has been received both positively and negatively. If education institutions can get the balance right between interaction and distraction, there is no reason why digital technologies can’t transform the learning capabilities of young people. Gary Bryant is the UK manager for ITSI,

Digital Health & Literacy - Mitigating Screen Fatigue Up until now, tinted overlays, glasses and screen filters for smart phones, computer screens and tablets have been the only visual aids available for protecting one’s eye from prolonged viewing of sub-optimally calibrated digital devices. Following 11 years of research driven development the S.M.A.R.T. Foundation is launching an early preventative intervention as part of their Digital Health & Literacy Campaign the Dupree Screen Optimiser or DSO. What is the Dupree Screen Optimiser? Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and Screen Fatigue are quickly becoming a global pandemic not only in the workplace, but in almost every setting. Increased hours of computer screen usage causes eyestrain and blurred or double vision. Unless the workers of the future or the children of today are made aware of it and have the tools to mitigate it, what awaits them is a working life-cycle of under-performance by an average of 20% on-screen and incapacitating repetitive stress injuries. The bodies well meaning adjustment presenting as CVS, simply signaling “adaptation exhaustion” or the point where a person’s automatic survival strategy runs out of adaptations. At this point, if not addressed properly, it will resort to discomfort and pain as the body’s attempt to prompt an escape from any unmediated stressor.

reading rate and comprehension in a text based learning environment. The app also aims to help the functionally illiterate children gain better access to text often, prompting a self-modification of their more defensive behaviours.

S.M.A.R.T. Foundation’s Dupree Screen Optimiser is the very first objective and patented DSE Visual Risk Assessment and mitigation tool accessed FREE for educational purposes. Offering an effective methodology that genuinely reduces the risk of screen fatigue by customising the computer screen used by individual pupils / students, reducing visual stress and thereby, as a bi-product, improving their

In order to secure long term funding / sponsorship the S.M.A.R.T. Foundation plans a corporate launch of the DSE Tool-Kit in 2018, as a paid-for self-administered commercial version of the application, but in the meantime everyone is invited to participate in the app’s Beta Trial !

For more information visit screenfatigue.me.uk/

Score My Screen - Screen Risk | Screen Fatigue - Optimise your screen interface ergonomics now! Education Magazine

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A simple and intuitive mobile and web based application At StudentFolder we believe that while traditional VLE’s have their place in the Education Sector, they are not wholly suited to Secondary Education, in particular KS3, 4 and 5. At StudentFolder we like to think that what we offer bridges the gap between traditional paper based documentation and full scale VLE’s. We refer to StudentFolder as a “School Centred Assessment and Learning Environment” or SCALE for short. StudentFolder enables Schools to offer simple electronic school organisers as well as the ability to add additional School Centred Learning and Assessment applications such as documents, video, assessment for learning and quizzes that are Student, Teacher, Parent and Admin friendly. Administrators, Department Heads and SLT have access to homework statistics and can quickly review homework set by Teachers for consistency and quality. No more having to run around asking Teachers to provide evidence. With StudentFolder it is all in one place. Students StudentFolder® is a system that allows students to use a mobile device or the web to access their timetable, homework and school documents that you would normally find in your pupil organiser. Students can also access a wide range of resources including media, documents, mindmaps and quizzes which can be accessed individually or directly linked to homework tasks. Teachers Teachers can set homework for individuals, groups or whole classes and it will synchronise to their mobile device or online web app at the time they make it available. They can also add rich resources such as video, documents, Learning Assessments, Quizzes and Mindmaps using a familiar interface for ease of use. Parents If your child’s school subscribes to the StudentFolder® system, you can Monitor and review their homework to ensure your child is completing it using our mobile app or via the web. Parents can also receive news and announcements directly through the web or mobile application and can send absence reports directly to the School via the app with just a few clicks. Administrators Administrators can see the level of homework set at a glance with our graphical display along with a breakdown of homework set by Teacher or Subject. With a simple to use Administrator area, Administrators can add Teachers, Students and quickly view Teacher class lists and change roles for granular access for different Teachers. OPUS (Observation, Progression, Understanding and Success) At StudentFolder we have been working closely with a local Academy to develop additional functionality

to support Schools and Academies with assessing without levels. Since the end of attainment levels, there have been many different ideas on how to assess without ‘levels’. One particular method has been adopted by Scholastics and Pearson Education; namely the concept of Steps or Progression Scales, whereby subject content is broken down in to strands (and potentially sub strands) and each strand contains a number of steps which contain learning objectives or progression statements; with each step demonstrating progressively greater content knowledge. This concept is not new, with many primary and EYFS settings using similar methods to record a child’s learning journey. (see for example Rising Stars NC14 Assessment Progression Statements here) StudentFolder has taken this concept and created a flexible system which allows Schools and Academies to either adopt the Scholastic STEPS or Pearson Progression Scales or completely define their own Strands, Steps and Progression Statements. In addition to Teachers rating Students against the progression statements, Students can rate themselves against custom designed criteria (eg RAG/RAGB rated) and the system can be made live so that Parents can see the data in real time, leading to greater student and parent engagement. StudentFolder and Scholastic STEPS StudentFolder OPUS now comes pre loaded with Scholastic STEPS. StudentFolder are pleased to announce that the premium version now comes with Scholastic STEPS pre loaded as well as a Scholastic STEPS Starter Kit. OPUS (Observation, Progression, Understanding and Success) is a configurable system designed for Life After levels. With the introduction of Scholastic STEPS, Schools have an out of the box solution for Assessment Without Levels (AwL) for Key Stage 3. Scholastic steps define learning objectives which map to a progression of STEPs from 1 to 9 for 16 subjects at Key Stage 3: Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Drama, English, Food Technology, Geography, History, Languages, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Physics. With StudentFolder OPUS, all classes are directly imported from your MIS and all a School needs to do is add those classes to each subject and have immediate access to RAG or RAGG rated learning objectives and rich data for analysis. Importantly, as well as Teacher assessment, Students can assess themselves against each learning objective providing a feedback loop to engage further with Students and where Teacher and Student assessment varies, an opportunity to identify Student weakness, Teaching gaps or to help identify high attainers or those students with low self esteem.

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But what if I have my own system of Progression Statements or have followed the STEPS guide and “tweaked” my learning objectives True to the spirit of STEPS, a school can quickly and easily override the name of each progression step or mastery stage for each subject to personalize it for your needs. For example rather than having STEP numbers, they can be renamed, so for example, Science might use famous scientists for each STEP, removing further the inference of “Levels”. With StudentFolder OPUS you can override the name of the descriptor; for example, changing STEPS to “Stage”. You can add, edit or remove learning objectives from STEPS or reassign them to different STEPS. Each STEP can be given its own colour and STEPS can be assigned to development categories. For example, STEPS 1 to 3 can be assigned to “DEVELOPING”, STEPS 4 to 6, “SECURE” and STEPS 7 to 9, “EXPERT” Furthermore, each step can be subdivided to provide even greater granularity. Parents have instant and live access to their children’s STEPS and to avoid “levels”, just the development category can be reported, however a School can configure what to show to Parents. Parents can see an overview of the child’s attainment and drill down to each strand to identify gaps in learning and “Next Steps” with a few clicks: If you want, you can just start from scratch and create your own Schema and define up to 12 STEPS or Mastery Stages and up to 8 strands within each subject. This makes it easy to extend the principle of STEPS to KS4 GCSE or BTEC specifications, enabling a consistent system of assessment throughout KS3 and KS4. The system is flexible enough to allow a whole school approach, whereby each subject, Year group or Key Stage has a set number of learning steps and strands, through to allowing each individual subject to create their own number of strands and learning steps. Learning steps can be created by Key Stage, or can be created to span the whole Year 7 to Year 11. Schools and Academies can mix and match. To avoid the temptation to use “levels”, each step for each subject can be named; for example white belt to black belt, or famous scientists rather than step 1 to step 9. Furthermore, development categories such as Developing, Secure, Expert, Mastery can be assigned to each step or a number of steps, which can optionally be shown to parents along with an average step or progression score. Teachers and Administrators can see graphs demonstrating absolute content knowledge for a child, class, subject cohort or year group and as every change is recorded, they can see a flight path of how students are progressing against the selected criteria. Use progression scales or coverage its up to you – StudentFolder OPUS is flexible and allows you to work the way you need to.

Grayson Solutions Ltd t/a StudentFolder Telephone: 01455 442250 email: enquiries {at} studentfolder.co.uk © Grayson Solutions Ltd 2014 - 2016

Education Magazine


The ‘Da Vinci Moment’ of Education Technology… For the first time in history, education, technology, our understanding of how the mind learns, our understanding of how young people interact with technology, is all coming together in a single point. But what does this mean in practice for schools, and more importantly, how will it benefit the teacher in the classroom? Janice Prandstatter, Teaching and Learning Consultant discusses how the explosion of edtech in recent years is aligned to how learning takes place and offers some practical advice on how best to apply these latest technologies in the classroom. In the last ten years more has been learned about the human mind than in the previous 4000 years of human history. And some of the discoveries are both startling, and very exciting. For starters, developments in neuroscience have revealed that the brain is infinitely plastic. It’s constantly changing, it’s constantly re-organising itself and developing. From the cradle to the grave learning continues as the brain endlessly destroys and creates new connections – renewing itself throughout people’s lives. Leonardo da Vinci said: ‘Learning never exhausts the mind,’ and now the science proves him right. From imagination to (virtual) reality One of the most exciting things about VR is that it fits in with many of the latest discoveries in neuroscience and our understanding of how the mind learns, and how it learns best. Introducing VR into the classroom taps into the mind’s fundamental ability to learn in 3D space. For example, using VR the teacher can create objects and landscapes for a student to walk through, filled with information, knowledge, ideas, interactive scenarios, essentially anything that can be imagined can be generated in a virtual environment. From an impact perspective, the spatial and 3D experience massively enhances cognition and learning becomes so much more powerful. Education Magazine

Augmented Reality (AR) is just as powerful. Layering images, information, interactive objects and avatars onto real landscapes provides an equally spatial experience. For example, students could walk through the Forbidden City in Beijing, hold up a smartphone and see the surroundings as they would have looked five hundred years ago, interact with an avatar of a court official from that time, who could explain to what his life was like. While the potential for AR and VR to support the teaching of complex subjects and theories is clear, the challenge for schools and teachers comes in how best to align the technologies with pedagogy. Creating a Modern Classroom environment As with any education technology, it is only ever designed to provide teachers with a tool to enhance the learning experience – and AR and VR are no exception. As an enabler, technology needs to be integrated into the classroom environment as part of a wider teaching and learning strategy.

structured approach should be taken which aligns technology with both pedagogy and the space available within a classroom environment. Increasingly, schools are using the front-of-class display as the ‘connected hub’ of the classroom. As well as providing a focal point for whole-class teaching and collaboration, internet-enabled displays equip the teacher with a central tool for coordinating the use of other complementary technologies – including AR and VR. These same interactive displays support personalised learning and assessment using cloud-based software applications and student device connectivity. In doing so, the teacher literally has powerful teaching tools at their fingertips and can introduce additional technologies to support learning in a stepby-step approach as their confidence and skills to use the various solutions develop. Leonardo da Vinci lived at

However, the explosion of teaching technologies in recent years means schools have more choice than ever before – and with choice also comes challenge. For a truly modern classroom it’s not just about having access to technology but how it’s being used that is crucial to impact. According to ‘The State of Technology in Education Report, 2016’, almost 80 percent of educators have access to VR devices, but these are regularly used by only 6.87% of teachers. While having access to a range of education technology can be important, ultimately it is how it is being used which validates its effectiveness. In order for technology to enrich the modern classroom it must fit with the school’s pedagogy and suit the teaching styles of the teachers. Moreover, support training is critical to ensure teachers can become confident and competent users of the technologies which are available to them. Given the breadth of choice, a 23

a time when the old world was being replaced by a new renaissance, a new world of possibility. It could also be said that there is a ‘Da Vinci Moment’ taking place in society right now, when neuroscience, technology and how we interact as human beings is coming together in a single point of possibility. This makes it an exciting time for education, but we also need to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. The technologies exist and are available to maximise students’ learning potential, but they should only ever be introduced when the time is right for an individual school. It’s more important to establish the foundations of an ICT strategy first, and then look to build on these with new technologies which will truly enhance teaching and learning. Janice Prandstatter is the Teaching and Learning Consultant for global education technology company, Promethean.


Higher education - learning to deal with unexpected network security issues By Hervé Dhelin Modern higher education needs technology. IT drives research projects, it powers administrative systems, and it’s on every student’s desk and in every pocket. The result is a complex, almost chaotic network environment that mixes controlled business services with an uncontrolled myriad of different devices of all ages and all capabilities. There’s no way for higher education to mandate hardware and software; students will always bring their own computers and their own software. Thousands of machines connect to networks every day, using academic resources, connecting to external services such as webmail, playing games, running experiments. If there’s something you can imagine a computer doing, it’s being done on an academic network somewhere. Funding issues make managing these networks a more complex challenge in industry. Years of financial privation have meant that in many cases campus networks are being run with equipment that’s decades old, and without significant IT management support. Updating this infrastructure to cope with the demands of a modern, hyperconnected, student body is essential – with demands only going to increase. Already students and staff are carrying an average of three or four devices, with the number expected to grow over the next few years. Recent attacks on academic networks have shown the BYOD model encouraged by cashstrapped universities can be a problem – not only for the networks, but also for their users. The 2015 attack on JANET left students unable to connect to academic applications, cut off from notes and other teaching materials, and prevented from delivering essays and other pieces of work. So why are academic networks at risk?

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They’re expensive to run. Network infrastructure is never cheap, and upgrades can also require significant building work. The resulting budgetary pressures make it easier to focus on operating costs rather than any necessary capital expenditure. The result is that modern security tools and services aren’t installed, and organisations rely on integrated

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solutions that may not have the security stance of more specialised hardware and software. Networks designed a decade or more ago don’t have the capacity required when working with BYOD at scale. High connection and disconnection rates from devices roaming between wireless access points across a campus results in a heavy load on network services, allowing intrusions to be hidden in the high volume associated with “normal” operations and traffic. The variable demand on academic networks, between term and research time, makes it hard to plan for normal operations. Designing for one operating scenario risks degrading the other, especially as the overall demand is hard to predict from year to year.

Blocking networks and services may seem to be a quick fix solution, limiting access in order to control bandwidth and protect network resources. But like all many obvious solutions, there’s a significant downside, with a risk of false positives as a result of blanket blocks. After all, there’s no black hat hacker more determined than a student who can’t get to their Gmail account. So what’s the answer? The obvious solution is segregating academic and casual traffic, offering separate virtual network segments for administration, for research, for teaching, and for personal use, using access control to switch users from one network type to another, and applying appropriate security controls for each network. Much of this can be done at a low level, using the internet’s familiar IP address system to identify and segregate devices, using them as part of a set of network access control policies. Automatically delivered to every device that connects to a network, their addresses can be used as a key that opens access to appropriate resources, keeping trusted and untrusted devices separate. Modern IP address management tools can automate much of the process, keeping track of devices and ensuring they’re treated appropriately as soon as they connect to a network. Tying these tools to other security features can help solve other problems, for example quarantining devices that don’t meet security standards in networks that only let them download and install security patches. Recent advances in networking technology have made managing complex networks a lot easier. Instead of expensive proprietary network hardware, open standards-based x86 systems as used by cloud providers are quick and easy to deploy, using softwaredefined networking techniques to deliver a 24

network that can be reconfigured on the fly, responding to user demand, and controlling access to protected resources. Technologies developed for the public cloud are now ready for our networks and campuses, bringing the lessons of the Facebooks of this world to academia. The same developments have improved support for many for the common protocols that underpin our networks. Improved security tooling can do much more than the familiar firewall, protecting resources from denial of service attacks, while pinpointing complex intrusions and data thefts. With new data protection regulations, like GDPR, on the horizon, applying these protections to networks stops being optional and becomes essential. It’s also now possible to use automation to manage those network services and protocols more effectively, taking lessons from large scale corporate BYOD deployments. Some, like Microsoft, use a simple web form with an email authentication loop to grant access to visitors and to personal devices, while others use device identification techniques to automatically segregate unapproved hardware onto partially managed network segments, using the same network hardware but unable to access corporate resources. It’s a model that could work well in academia, controlling access to resources via approved devices and giving the rest of a user’s fleet of hardware access to the wider internet. With a wide area campus network, where students and staff share resources, there’s a need to manage costs and reduce risk. It makes sense, then, to consider how a campus network can be both designed and managed, to keep resources safe, and to give as many devices access as possible without increasing costs and risks. Here we can take advantage of modern network hardware and software to deliver a dynamic, responsive, and, above all, secure network – and at a price that doesn’t break the budget. Hervé Dhelin is Senior Vice President Strategy at EfficientIP, a leading provider of DDI (DNS, DHCP, IPAM) headquartered in Europe, North America and Asia, and responsible for EfficientIP’s market development, strategy, thought leadership and product marketing worldwide. He has 30 years of experience in the IT industry of which 20 years focused on Marketing and Business Development. Before joining EfficientIP, Hervé worked at IBM as EMEA Predictive Analytics Marketing Manager and Mercury Interactive (now part of HP Software Division) as Marketing Director Southern Europe. Education Magazine


Education Magazine

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You’re not thinking, you’re just being logical Ian Gilbert is an educational innovator, founder of Independent Thinking Ltd, and author of The Compleat Thunks Book, It’s a curious thing. Whenever I get young people (or their teachers) to think in a philosophical way, I am always met with the same response, ‘My brain hurts!’.

professor Matthew Lipman. The programme focused on two classes – five-year-olds in a leafy suburb; teenagers in the inner-city – and showed the power that thinking about philosophical matters, indeed thinking about thinking itself, can have on very different young lives.

‘invisible’ children that all schools have. P4C was the process by which this group developed confidence and self-esteem, going from ‘invisible’ to leading whole-staff INSET on the importance of P4C, speaking at a national P4C conference and even appearing on Radio 4’s The Learning Curve.

All of my career in education, first as a French teacher and then as a writer, speaker and through setting up Independent Thinking over twenty years ago, has involved helping schools improve the quality of the thinking that takes place in the classrooms. And by thinking I mean real thinking, not just ‘being logical’ as Danish Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr famously pointed out.

Perhaps the fact that the EEF research is showing greater impact for children on Free School Meals touches on similar ground here?

Asked to support a large countywide project in Northamptonshire in the 90s, I visited schools of all persuasions to encourage teachers to explore Philosophy for Children (P4C) as Lipman called his approach, and to open their eyes to what children could do when you change the rules and let them think. The current newly-extended research programme into P4C for the Education Endowment Foundation is showing promising signs and, as is so often the case with research, catching up with what practitioners have known for years – there are both tangible and non-tangible benefits. From an academic perspective, the EEF study shows results to have been positively affected in reading and maths at KS2 and, according to the results of earlier research from Scotland, these benefits will continue into KS3, even if P4C is not continued. From my own experience, I have not only seen children’s reading improve in both skill and confidence but also their writing and speaking. One English teacher told me how his class wrote far more - far more quickly and far more independently – when P4C was used to explore the topics in Macbeth prior to a written task.

It’s a curious thing. Whenever I get young people (or their teachers) to think in a philosophical way, I am always met with the same response, ‘My brain hurts!’. It’s not curious that they experience this transitory, enjoyable, neurological discomfort as a result of questions such as ‘Is it OK to bully a bully?’ or ‘Can you not like your best friend?’ or ‘Does a dog mind what you stroke it with?’. What is curious is that I don’t hear children using that phrase in the course of their traditional lessons. But maybe all lessons would benefit from a bit more of a brain workout? I became a teacher because I was inspired by a 1990 BBC TV programme which described the inspirational work of former philosophy

I have used P4C practices as way into a new topic (looking at genetics in science, we raised questions like ‘If your genetic profile showed you were going to die at 25, would you want to know? Should you be told even if you don’t want to know? Should you not be told even if you do want to know?’); as a way of deeply exploring a current topic (we explored themes in Romeo and Juliet using a piece of Dada art by the same name depicting two crutches handcuffed together); and as revision (applying P4C processes such as eliciting questions to past exam papers in A-level history). As a multi-purpose tool for classroom teachers who know that having children think for themselves is important, I can only commend introducing P4C practices into your lessons. But what about those intangibles? How does P4C get under children’s skin and change them for the better? One project I undertook was with the ‘lost boys and girls’ of one school’s Year Nine cohort. These were the 26

Another intangible I have witnessed is the motivational impact such thinking can have. Recalcitrant year-nine boys (and their teachers) can’t seem to help themselves when faced with questions like ‘Should you say ‘Thank you” to a robot waiter?’ or ‘Is there a safe way to die?’. Children who never normally speak are often the ones speaking most in a P4C session. Such questions are examples of what I call ‘Thunks’. The key here – and perhaps to philosophy as a whole - is that there are no right or wrong answers. The relentless pursuit of answers closes our thinking down and every correct response is a cognitive dead end. Without answers, all we have is the thinking, and unfettered thinking like this does make the brain hurt in an addictive, enjoyable way. One group of children, though, seem less able to enjoy it. Those who seem to have the most trouble with P4C are, in my experience, the academically ‘bright’ ones. They seem the most hungry for certainty, the least well equipped for having no answers and obstinately unable to differentiate the question ‘What do you think? from ‘What do you remember?’ . In a world of increasing complexity, known unknowns and barefaced lies, we need to equip all children with the ability to deal with uncertainty, doubt and never knowing. If schools are pressured to simply teach certainties, the answer ‘at the back of the book’ to any questions asked, we are failing in our duty to prepare children for the wider world. Niels Bohr once sat in the front row of an inaugural physics lecture of a young man called Richard P. Feynman. Albert Einstein was sitting next to him. As Feynman, later involved in the Manhattan Project and also a subsequent Nobel winner, once said: ‘We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty.’ Ian Gilbert is the author of The Compleat Thunks Book, published by Crown House Publishing, and available now on Amazon. www.independentthinking.co.uk https://educationendowmentfoundation.org. uk/our-work/projects/philosophy-for-children 1

Education Magazine


Helping primary schools prepare for statutory Sex and Relationships Education By Harriet Gill,

In March 2017, the Department for Education announced that Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is to become statutory in all schools in England after September 2019. As part of the Children and Social Work Act, Relationships and Sex Education will be taught in all secondary schools and Relationships Education in all primary schools. Age-appropriate SRE lesson themes are set to include healthy relationships, appropriate behaviour and consent, building awareness of online safety, sexting, pornography and sexual harassment. The government will set out the main elements of SRE required but not be overly prescriptive on exactly what should be included and how. New guidance will provide more detail as the government consults with schools, teachers, parents and SRE providers later in 2017, about the best way to deliver this. Just four years ago, an Ofsted report into Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education found that primary schools were ‘leaving pupils ill-prepared for physical and emotional changes during puberty often experienced before children reach secondary school.’ As the leading provider of PSHE education in UK primary schools, at Coram Life Education, we wanted to understand how well schools are prepared to meet their statutory obligations from 2019 and what their support needs are. In partnership with Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, we undertook a survey and focus groups with 85 head teachers, PSHE coordinators and teachers responsible for conducting SRE in primary schools to understand perceptions of SRE, current practice and perceived challenges and issues facing pupils. The findings reveal that two-thirds of schools feel they need more guidance on statutory SRE requirements, a third need more help with identifying children’s needs in relation to SRE, and three-quarters need more advice on consulting parents about SRE. The biggest issue schools say their pupils are facing is friendship issues (83%), followed by low self-esteem (72%) and body image (49%). While the majority of schools say they feel confident in teaching about friendships and family, they want more support in teaching puberty, reproduction, feelings, staying safe and consent. One teacher commented: “I’d like an easy and fun way of teaching this sensitive area.  SRE is embarrassing for the children. I’d like Education Magazine

plans and resources that are easily accessible and easy to follow and teach.”

the NSPCC and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

As a result of our research, we recommend that:

The educator-led workshops for years 4, 5 and 6 will be offered to schools and the content is flexible, designed to meet their varying needs, as identified in our research findings. The themes and topics will cover puberty and reproduction, body ownership - including body image - and relationships, including assertiveness and developing safe behaviours in relationships.

• • •

The design and delivery of the SRE curriculum should draw on evidence of effective practice and be co-ordinated with young people so that it meets their needs SRE should be developed in an ageappropriate way that takes account of the maturity and understanding of pupils SRE should be timetabled alongside other subjects and not confined to a ‘one-off’ session Resources for teachers should not be too prescriptive but enable them to meet statutory requirements, delivering a structured, engaging learning experience.

Insight from this research has informed the development of our new primary school Relationships Education programme, funded by Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and available in primary schools from September 2017. The programme is a comprehensive resource for Years 1-6 (Key Stages 1 and 2), aligned with recommended content set by the Department for Education, and covering all aspects of a balanced SRE programme including relationships, body ownership, emotional health, puberty and reproduction. It reflects not only the needs and requirements identified in our survey with schools, but also, crucially of young people themselves, captured by the Sex Education Forum, the leading authority on SRE. The programme comprises lesson plans and related activity materials, workshops that can be delivered by our trained educators, and teacher guidance films. The lesson plans identify the key skills, attitudes and values children need to develop healthy relationships with their peers, the information they need to keep themselves safe, and how to ask for help when they need it. The programme includes a range of interactive, easy to use teaching strategies and resources, sorting cards, engaging scenarios, true or false statements, storytelling, story boards, realistic body parts illustrations, timelines and drama techniques. It signposts to useful resources and educational films created by other education and prevention charities such as 27

As part of the programme, schools subscribing to CLE’s online PSHE education resources will also have access to 22 short training film clips to support their delivery of SRE. These films model good practice, offer teaching and learning strategies and show how to create a safe learning environment. An interactive booklet will provide teachers with supporting guidance on relationship education and values, how to answer difficult questions, approaches to promoting positive social norms, safeguarding, and working with parents. The guidance also signposts teachers to further resources to advance their knowledge and understanding of effective SRE. When taught well by confident and trained practitioners, SRE is an enriching and memorable learning experience for children, and can contribute to building maturity, empathy, wellbeing and self-confidence. We believe our new programme is an important step forward in meeting children’s needs and entitlement to this education, preparing them with essential skills for life and giving them the best possible chance of achieving their potential. Coram Life Education’s new Relationships Education programme will be available from September 2017 to over 2,000 schools currently working with the charity and to any primary school that subscribes via the charity’s online platform SCARF, promoting great learning across the curriculum, every day. To find out more please visit www. coramlifeeducation.org.uk. Harriet Gill, Managing Director of Education and Wellbeing for Coram, responsible for the charity’s education programmes and online resources, reaching 1 in 8 primary schools across the UK.


Inquiry into why children are going hungry

Experts on children’s holiday hunger from the Healthy Living Research Lab at Northumbria University, Newcastle have been asked to present to a group of MPs who are leading an inquiry into the issue. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hunger is looking into the extent of hunger amongst children during the school holidays, as well as the impact it has on their life choices.

Dr Pamela L Graham, a ViceChancellor’s Research Fellow and Emily Mann, PhD Researcher attended a meeting of the APPG on Hunger on Monday 6th March, 2017. Led by Professor Greta Defeyter, Faculty Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor Strategic Planning & Engagement, the Healthy Living Lab has carried out extensive, nation-wide research on this topic. At the meeting, the Northumbria academics highlighted the findings of their research, which show that holiday hunger is a real issue across the whole of the UK, and one that has a significant impact on the lives of many families.

multitude of venues including schools, church/faith groups, food banks and housing associations, with the majority of provision available in the most deprived areas of the UK. Holiday clubs aimed to support a range of needs but the provision of food, childcare and social activities were identified as areas of priority. When asked about the support needed to deliver holiday clubs, organisations viewed Government funding to be important as well as the provision of a national portal where training and information can be accessed.

evaluating the impact of holidays on summer learning loss, health and wellbeing. The APPG carrying out the inquiry is chaired by Frank Field MP and includes South Tyneside MP Emma Lewell-Buck MP.

Professor Defeyter said:

“Holiday hunger is a very real issue and it’s shocking that in this day and age some parents are struggling to feed their children. The holidays can be a stressful time for many parents, but holidays can be particularly so for families on low incomes, many of whom qualify for free school meals during term time. The additional cost of feeding a family of four during the holiday period is approximately £30-£40 per week. This additional cost has resulted in many lowincome families adjusting their shopping habits; buying less expensive food that is often laden with salt, fat and sugar because it is perceived as being more filling and better value for money than healthier options.”

Over six weeks the APPG on Hunger gathered oral and written evidence in order to gain a deeper understanding of the scale of the problem, its impact on children’s mental, physical and academic development as well as proposals for responding most effectively to it. Research by the Healthy Living team at Northumbria University into holiday clubs, which has drawn directly on the views of children, parents and holiday club staff, has shown that holiday clubs are recognised as a necessary resource to support families during the school holidays. In some cases, parents are skipping meals, pooling food with friends and relying on cheap, processed foods to ensure their children have enough to eat during the holidays. Holiday clubs help to alleviate these issues by offering families regular access to healthy meals. However, for many families the provision of activities and the opportunity to spend time with others is the main attraction of holiday clubs. Families can become isolated during the school holidays, particularly during the long summer break, but holiday clubs give families a place locally where they can meet with other families and participate in activities without having to worry about travel or expense.

The University is currently undertaking further research into the area. One project includes a collaborative PhD programme with Brakes, one of the UK’s leading food wholesalers, evaluating its ‘Meals and More’ holiday club programme which supports the provision of holiday clubs in areas of socio-economic deprivation with food and enrichment activities to enhance the health, social, and educational outcomes of children, young people and their families. Other projects will be focussing on community interventions, mapping of holiday hunger provision, and

A holiday club mapping exercise carried out by the Healthy Living team in 2016 gathered data from over 400 organisations throughout all areas of the UK. The results of the project showed that holiday clubs were planned to take place, or are already up and running, in a

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Frank Field

Mr Fields said: “Holidays for most children are a time to look forward to family outings and adventures with their mates. Clearly for some children though the overriding priority during the school holidays is to find out where their next meal is coming from or how thy will be able to afford more than a fizzy drink and package of sweets each day. “In some parts of the country, schools, and volunteers have already leapt to the defence of those children, by providing free meals and fun activities throughout the holidays. We are now on the lookout for national solutions that can be driven by local communities - with support from the Government, businesses and charities - to ensure no child goes hungry in the holidays. For further information, please contact: Michelle Atkinson, PR and Media Manager Northumbria University, Newcastle

We are always looking for good news on Education issues. Please call us if you have any ideas or articles you would like published. Call

01234 348878 or email info@ educationmagazine.co.uk We approve all articles prior to press. Look forward to hearing from you!

Education Magazine


Temporary Catering Facilities for Education Mobile Kitchens Ltd specialises in the hire and sale of temporary catering facilities and foodservice equipment. We regularly provide our services to clients in the education sector when, for example, they are undergoing a kitchen refurbishment or carrying out other building works that necessitate the closure of existing facilities. We offer a free design service, and project management from concept through to delivery and installation on site, plus full technical support throughout the hire period.

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Education Magazine

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How to save time and money by recruiting and retaining top quality teachers by Ian Armitage Ian Armitage is chairman of SGOSS Governors for Schools, a charitable enterprise offering a free governor search and selection service for schools which need to recruit governors or trustees. SGOSS has an unmatched record over 18 years placing candidates with much needed business experience to enhance the skills of Boards of Governors. Last year it helped 2,047 schools by finding them 2,800 governors. Here he discusses how the recruitment of a governor with commercial Human Resources experience can support teacher recruitment and retention and instil good recruitment habits to help drive the quality and capability of a professional workforce.

Rules of recruitment

Retaining good teachers

The best course of action is to make Human Resources – perhaps now better described as talent management - the first priority of Local Governing Bodies and head teachers.

Every school will face staff turnover – indeed it is essential in a healthy organisation of any type. The question is how to manage turnover of staff to best effect, while minimising the transition costs involved, such as agency fees and the cost of supply teachers, as well as saving the valuable time of the senior staff faced with resolving the situation.

Good educational outcomes are entirely dependent on high quality teaching – which is why the existing shortage of teachers in the UK is of great concern. To add to the problem, thousands of schools are set to lose money from their budgets following the introduction of the proposed ‘fair funding formula’, to be introduced in 2018, which means that additional costs for recruitment will be hard to justify. Last year the English school system spent £200m on recruitment services for permanent positions – and that figure ignores spending on supply teachers.

Then work hard at converting the best candidates into employees by shaping the package to meet the things they value highly, beyond pay and rations. For example research amongst The Key’s membership of school leaders shows that the best candidates want good continuing professional development (CPD) programmes and look for solid evidence of staff progression and development within the school or MAT they join.

This type of expenditure is rising by circa 6% per annum, mostly driven by higher prices for advertising and increased use of specialist search firms which are frequently engaged when advertising fails to work.

Drive suppliers, such as recruitment agencies and advertising personnel, very hard on service levels as well as costs. Ask them for proposals every year, to make them feel they are tendering for the business.

Schools need to be proactive, rather than reactive, in addressing recruitment issues. The starting point is to build a three-year staffing plan based on what is needed to deliver the school’s mission. Getting ahead of the competition will help you get the best candidates, save time and minimise the expenditure on agencies or advertising. There are several areas to address when seeking to improve the flow of appropriately qualified, high-quality candidates. After all, the more applications received, the better the chance of finding the right person. Number one is to build the school’s reputation – in the way companies build their brands. Be clear about what’s on offer and communicate these strengths at all times. Never under sell your school and the opportunities you can pitch to teachers. Your ability to attract and secure great candidates delivers the twin benefits of better teaching and lower cost of recruitment –by reducing the involvement of outside agencies and advertising.

Developing good recruitment habits is essential. It’s important to test different approaches, and then to repeat what works best.

Many UK vacancies have been filled recently by candidates from Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, where there has been an oversupply of NQTs.

Where applicants are coming directly to the school website, make sure the process is as simple as possible, with clear online navigation and forms which are easy to follow.

But we cannot continue to rely on an oversupply from other countries. Nor will EU countries necessarily be able to fill the gaps should the UK appear less attractive post-Brexit.

Ensure there is a clear structure to the selection process and make it comfortable – perhaps even allowing the candidate to choose an interview time and location to suit them. Keep candidates informed throughout the process to reinforce a reputation for being highly professional. Always provide good feedback too.

This demonstrates the urgent need for school leaders to recruit staff in the most cost-effective manner possible and then to retain their high quality teachers as far as possible to save time and money on further recruitment in the future.

By carefully selecting the right person for the job, it is possible to reduce staff turnover and hence the need to recruit. 30

So it’s self-evident that, having appointed the right person, retaining them will save time and money. The best advice here is that schools build and maintain a three- year staffing plan. In this way senior leaders will be better prepared to handle change if events such as forthcoming retirements, maternity and paternity leave have been anticipated. It’s also important to identify those staff likely to be looking for a career move as early as possible. Set milestones to help fill any gaps and remember to offer training and development opportunities to demonstrate career progression is available. Teachers with the highest performance and potential are the ones which make the difference, so keeping them must be your priority. Spend more of your time with them, as opposed to those who you sadly judge cannot meet the standards required, nor have the potential to do so. Understand what teachers value and the reasons why they leave. It is a sobering thought that 60% of secondary teachers leave to join other schools. So it’s vital to make sure that a school’s best teachers are as happy as possible staying where they are. Designing and adapting your package of benefits around staff priorities can help here. For example, we know that young teachers particularly value opportunities for continuous professional development. As Newly and Recently Qualified Teachers are future leaders, it makes sense to spend time on CPD and personalised support, together with some honest discussions about their individual development paths and needs. Where new staff do join a school, be mindful that a great induction process, both formally and informally, is essential in helping new recruits to settle in quickly and feel welcome. And of course follow up on all promises to win trust. Remember the old axiom: “Once you have knowledge of the other person and their trust, great things are possible”. An HR professional recruited to your governing body can bring excellent skills and experience to inform your deliberations around the main drivers of school improvement and your largest cost - your staff. Ian Armitage, chairman, SGOSS – Governors for Schools. Education Magazine


Education Magazine

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A lesson in digital learning By Paul Hennin Ed Vaizey’s vision for a truly digital UK economy by 2020 is fast appearing on the horizon, with education high on the government’s agenda. Britain’s classrooms have experienced a considerable makeover in the past five-to-10 years, but in his mind there is still some way to go; envisaging a future where schools can engage more children at a lower cost. The range of technologies at our disposal is already re-imagining the classroom of the future. And this is only heading further in one direction. Significant headway has already been made in the shape of bringyour-own device strategies, interactive whiteboards, e-portfolios and virtual learning environments – with many new innovations developing by the day. But it’s clear that more could be done to make the most of connected devices and resources. These innovations are all underpinned by WiFi and internet connectivity. When this is poor it hinders the delivery of a lesson. As such there is a growing importance for schools to ensure the right level of infrastructure is in place, to guarantee seamless interactions with technology in the classroom. Otherwise, this could impact a student’s digital learning experience. So what steps can educators prepare today to help them thrive in an increasingly digitised classroom? A new playground The way students learn has undertaken a significant transformation, as teachers are now challenged to be innovative and make use of cutting edge learning practices. UK schools spent £900m last year on technology and recognise the benefits that it delivers, both in terms of the classroom environment and in keeping students engaged. A major change is the ability to further personalise learning. The age-old concern of how to engage a classroom full of varied abilities is becoming a thing of the past. Today a range of platforms are available that help teachers to better assess student capabilities enabling them to develop personalised learning plans. This allows the student to work with the core content and curriculum

in a format that is exciting and impactful to them. Similarly, a teacher can now remotely provide materials, should a pupil be unable to make it to the classroom for any reason, or require additional coaching. From a collaboration perspective, technology development has meant that connected devices and applications can now help group work be more effective in the classroom. Using dedicated applications, students are able to communicate with each other, work in teams and contribute to a project in groups. Skills considered increasingly important in modern working environments The proliferation of devices in the classroom has also altered the face of learning. A recent study by Aerohive found that 75% of schools encourage staff and pupils to use their own devices to establish a better connected learning experience. A teacher can register personal devices and enrol them within the assigned lesson plan, including screen sharing, pushing resources, monitoring and more. The benefits to the learning experience and engagement are certainly vast, but don’t come without challenges. Both in terms of the connectivity issues and the fact that very few schools will have the resource to check programme settings on every device on the network. Working for smooth connectivity So how can schools ensure that teachers are focussed on the lesson and not troubleshooting connectivity issues? IT decisions and network-management strategies are key to ensuring academic success in a digital era. The increased use of Wi-Fi by multiple users, on multiple devices has created a ‘network of the unknown’ in many schools. Whilst most schools encourage students to use their own devices, only 42% have controls in place to manage this influx. It is therefore of little surprise that the biggest frustration with Wi-Fi is the need to balance flexibility with security. Almost two-thirds of IT managers experience pain in this area. Of course schools want to provide flexible learning through Wi-Fi-enabled technologies 32

and applications, but this can raise complex security issues. Often adhering to the highest security standards is neglected in favour of maintaining user experience, meaning that at times it can be unclear who is using the network for what - and with which device. Such poor network visibility is simply unsustainable in an evolving digital climate, calling for schools to introduce newer authentications methods such as a PPSK (Private Pre-Shared Key) to provide a simple yet secure solution to this problem. Most significantly, our study uncovered that half of IT managers believe poor Wi-Fi is holding back children’s digital learning. There are steps that can be made today to ensure that this doesn’t continue into the future. Towards a digital future At BETT this year the Education Secretary agreed that there is undoubtedly a place for technology in helping to raise standards, whether it is helping teachers plan lessons or allowing schools to better measure pupil progress. Technological development will continue to create new educational opportunities for students and teachers alike. Schools now have the ability to personalise their approach and keep disruption to a minimum. But they need to act fast to ensure the best possible teaching experience that will help students develop. After all, the delivery of a lesson plan impacts a student’s learning experience. Each educational institution has its own tech projects and priorities, and will experience varied challenges. But with the right infrastructure in place, teachers can rest assured that they are using technology to its full potential, and focus in on a successful teaching experience. Paul Hennin has been Director of Marketing International at Aerohive Networks since January 2013. As part of his role, he is responsible for demand generation, PR, AR and channel marketing across EMEA, Asia and ANZA. He has previously worked for Proofpoint, Fortinet and FilFree Networks and has built up an extensive knowledge for working for interesting, dynamic, disruptive technology companies at a senior level. Education Magazine


The RRO lighting rules and regulations you shouldn’t ignore By James Thorpe The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, familiarly known as ‘the RRO’, started in 2006. Replacing the fire certification system, the RRO placed the responsibility of fire safety of all buildings firmly in the hands of the occupier. 1

Know your emergency lighting

the testing regime is quite onerous. Every month a ‘function’ test must be carried out to ensure that every emergency light comes on when needed. This can be a costly exercise for a busy facilities manager. Along with this, there is also a requirement for a fullduration, annual test. This involves the whole emergency lighting system being turned on and running for its full-rated duration. In the UK this is usually three hours. 2 The Emergency Lighting Log Book As a rule of thumb, large buildings have bigger problems and can often cause difficulties in scheduling testing regimes. This can lead to the annual test falling by the wayside. You cannot quietly overlook testing. The regulations dictate that every test is recorded in the building’s own Emergency Lighting Log Book. The log book provides an audit trail of testing and maintenance.

The RRO hands over liability to the building owner who is legally obliged to ensure that necessary fire measures are in place. That includes the provision of emergency escape lighting. As always, emergency lighting will have been installed into the building where needed but you can’t just ‘fit and forget’. There is a legal obligation to ensure that all emergency lighting is maintained in accordance with the regulations using regular maintenance and testing schedules, as set out in BS 5266. However, in a complex building, such as a university campus with multiple locations,

3 Smart lighting solution Automatic testing systems can greatly reduce the work load, saving time and money. SmartScan merges Thorlux’s Smart energy efficient indoor lighting controls which are designed with group presence detection and individual daylight-based switching and dimming - with energysaving Smart External lighting controls. It also incorporates Scanlight AT web-based emergency lighting testing and monitoring systems, combining all three into one wireless control system.

Are Your Staff and Students Ready for Lockdown?

must have a working fire alarm fitted by law, but many use the same fire bell to announce class changes. This can lead to confusion, and whilst a bell can provide a clear alert that an emergency situation has arisen, it cannot differentiate between lockdown or evacuation. In the event of a possible violent intruder on the premises, the last thing any school wants is pupils streaming out onto a playground and gathering at assembly points.

Due to recent events, safety and security in UK schools are a paramount concern. There have also been reports of violent attacks on staff and students all over the country. However, it’s not just direct attacks on school property which are causing concern, but other incidents which potentially put staff and students at risk. Examples of dangerous occurrences include armed raiders running into a school after a robbery, a secure unit abscondee on the loose in Conwy, a man wielding a gun outside a Cambridge school and a shooting outside a Liverpool school. All these resulted in schools going into lockdown. It is essential that accurate information is communicated clearly and quickly throughout the school, no matter whether the situation warrants evacuation or lockdown. Schools Education Magazine

To solve this issue, some schools have installed integrated class change and PA systems such as Bodet’s Harmonys, which store a range of different tones, melodies and pre-recorded voice messages. As well as routine announcements such as class change, lunch or the end of school, in the event of an emergency they enable specific alarms to be broadcast across the entire site. That way, both staff and pupils know what’s happening and what action to take. Due to the random nature of these attacks and threats, there is little schools can do to prevent them. However, by having clear and effective communication systems installed alongside robust lockdown and evacuation procedures, schools can be certain they are doing all they can to ensure the safety of staff and students.

Richard Manby is managing director of Bodet Class Change Systems 33

Emergency lighting test timings are set by the user on the SmartScan website to minimise inconvenience to users by testing during hours of low occupancy. The test results are saved and uploaded to a cloudbased server where they can be viewed online using any web enabled device. Useful reminders Another easily overlooked but key requirement of the RRO, is keeping a maintenance log for emergency lighting. Cloud-based platforms store data off site in a secure manner. Failure to comply with the RRO means the person responsible would face penalties including a potential prison term. So why take the risk? Especially when it can be easy to get on top of your emergency lighting regime. For further information, please visit: www.thorlux.com.

Website: lockdown.bodet.co.uk Tel: 01442 418800 Lease Options Lease options for Lockdown Alert Systems are available from Bodet’s financial leasing partner, over varying periods of one, two or three years. Example lease payment: Finance amount: £10,000 plus VAT over 36 months Monthly payments: £284.78 plus VAT

For further details and to obtain a lease quotation for your school, please contact Bodet.


Managing asbestos in schools ‘Sarah Lyons works for the NUT as Principal Officer: Pay, Conditions and Bargaining and has responsibility for the national health and safety work of the NUT, including the asbestos in schools campaign. She represents the NUT on the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC), which campaigns for the removal of asbestos from schools. She is also a member of the HSE’s Mythbuster Challenge Panel and of the European Network for Education and Training in Occupational Health and Safety and is also involved in health and safety work with the European Trade Union Institute and European Trade Union Committee for Education.’ Managing asbestos in schools presents a real challenge to those with responsibility in this regard. Although overall responsibility for managing asbestos lies with the employer, day-to-day management is usually delegated to school leaders. The NUT, together with other unions representing teaching, support staff and school leaders (ATL, NASUWT, VOICE, NAHT, ASCL, GMB Unison and Unite) has serious concerns about Government policy which is generally to leave asbestos in place and seek to manage it in situ, rather than remove it. This causes difficulties for many school leaders who, understandably, may

struggle with this task, particularly as much of the asbestos in our schools is old and in poor condition. Why are we concerned?

• According to Professor Julian

Peto (Cancer Research UK Chair of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) 200-300 deaths per year from mesothelioma (a type of cancer exclusively linked to asbestos exposure) could be due to school exposure during the 1960s and 1970s . We do not know how many people are being exposed in schools today but the fact that many school buildings erected in the 1960s and 1970s are known to be in poor condition is likely to mean that more children are being exposed today. • Almost everyone goes to school and around 86 per cent of schools contain asbestos . Any school built before 2000 may contain asbestos. We also know from the HSE’s Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances, known as the WATCH Committee that young children are 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure than a 30 year old. This is because children are more likely to live long enough to develop mesothelioma after exposure than those exposed in their adult years, since the disease has a long latency period. • The Health & Safety Executive advises that children are highly likely to disturb accessible asbestos in schools and that risk assessments should take account of that fact. However, many schools appear unaware of the HSE guidance and therefore do not remove the asbestos that may be disturbed by the children. Accessible

asbestos in the classroom needs to be removed. Encapsulation is not a satisfactory long term solution. • There is no requirement for duty holders to undergo any training to fulfil their role. Anyone doing a poor job is unlikely to be noticed as the HSE have stopped inspecting schools to see how well they are managing this serious threat. • There are over 24,000 UK schools and nearly half were system built between 1945 and 1976. Many of these systembuilt schools are now in poor condition and have reached the end of their expected life span. Some of these schools contain substantial amounts of asbestos and much of it is integrated into the structure and hidden or inaccessible. It can be readily disturbed by water ingress, contractors and school activities such as opening and closing windows and doors and so must be managed well.

from the recent NUT survey and the latest DfE survey published this year suggests that asbestos management standards are often inadequate.

What does this mean for school leaders?

Following the survey a risk assessment must be undertaken and then a management plan drawn up. All staff need to receive information, instruction and training relevant to their role in the school. Most teachers and support staff are not involved in carrying out repair or maintenance work but they need to know the location of asbestos containing materials so that they can play their part in not disturbing or damaging those materials and so that they understand the importance or reporting any damage that could lead to fibre release. Contractors also need to be made aware of the survey and management plan in advance of any works taking place. A refurbishment and demolition survey is required before any

To protect the future health of staff and children, it is vital that asbestos is managed safely. Successive Governments have failed to institute phased removal programmes so at the current time proper management needs to be the focus for all school leaders whose schools contain asbestos. Unfortunately there is considerable evidence from asbestos consultants, the DfE, and the unions that many schools are not managing their asbestos properly and pupils may be unknowingly exposed every day to significant levels. Since 2015 DfE guidance has improved but monitoring and inspection of standards is ineffective. Evidence

School leaders of course lack funds for necessary maintenance, demolition and renovation involving asbestos. Managing asbestos in some system built schools can be expensive but if it is not carried out because of inadequate funds then the asbestos can rapidly deteriorate and become dangerous. So what can be done? Where asbestos is present or presumed to be present there must be a robust management plan in place to protect pupils and staff. Before this can be put in place a survey needs to be conducted by an accredited asbestos surveyor . The aim of the survey is to produce an asbestos register which records the location, type and condition of asbestos materials.

Product showcase High output, low running cost radiators for schools

RECYFIX® MONOTEC drains outdoor surfaces at Ysgol Gynradd Lôn Las School, Swansea

Autron natural convector LST radiators can start to deliver effective room heating within 2 minutes of hot water entering their emitters. This compares with up to 20 minutes for conventional panel LST radiators. The responsiveness means that heating in a school equipped with Autron radiators, only needs to come on when required. The reduced need to ‘buffer’ the heating can help deliver fuel savings and contributes to a more comfortable learning environment. In addition, the safe-to-touch casings make them ideal for use in schools. A short video at www.autron. co.uk/autron-school-case-studies-video/ explains the benefits of Autron radiators.

The Ysgol Gynradd Lôn Las Primary School, Swansea, has currently 535 pupils from Year 1 to 6 as well as Reception and Nursery Classes. The school site is split into 4 main areas. Having a large gymnasium and a separate school canteen there are plenty of outdoor playing areas including a hard surface yard, an enclosed area for Nursery and expansive areas of grassland. Hauraton Limited introduced the RECYFIX® MONOTEC, surface drainage system in January 2016.The Lôn Las school, joins numerous installations successfully completed in the United Kingdom. The RECYFIX® MONOTEC system was installed to provide surface drainage in the paved entrance/play areas and the car park’s asphalt surface. Having a grating width of 100mm (Channel internal dimension) with an overall height of 280mm and a crosssection of 245.5cm2, the 176 metres of channel supplied provide a total water capacity of just over 4329 litres. For more information Telephone Hauraton on: 01582 501380.

Visit www.autron.co.uk Email sales@autron.co.uk Tel: 01952 290498.

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Education Magazine


works are arranged for areas that are known to contain or presumed to contain asbestos. Work involving asbestos should take place when the school is closed and should comply with HSE guidance for such work . The NUT working with the other unions through the Joint Union Asbestos Committee will continue to press the Government for:

1. Central collection of data on the extent, type and condition of all asbestos in schools. 2. This data to be used to develop a programme for the phased removal of all asbestos in educational establishments, starting with the most dangerous first, by no later than 2028. 3. Provision of adequate capital funding for all asbestos to be removed via this national programme. 4. In line with commitments made by the Government in the 2015 Asbestos Policy Review the prioritisation of the development of school specific risk assessments, asbestos air tests and environmental levels which take into account the vulnerability of children to asbestos exposure.

Education Magazine

5. The provision of funded

Marlborough College adds to their fleet of Duplex floor cleaners

mandatory training, and adequate support and funding from the government for asbestos management and removal. 6. A policy of openness about asbestos in schools, with parents, teachers and school staff updated annually about the presence and condition of asbestos in their school and the steps being taken to manage it.

Founded in 1843 for the sons of Church of England clergy Marlborough College is an independent  coeducational boarding and day school situated in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Duplex Cleaning Machines has been a leading industry expert in the supply of commercial cleaning machines since 1986. The twin cylindrical brush Duplex machine made a huge impact on the cleaning machine market when it was first introduced from Italy in the mid-nineteen eighties and has continued to go from strength to strength ever since.

More information and guidance on asbestos in schools is available on the NUT website (https://www. teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/ health-and-safety/a) and JUAC website (http://www.juac.org.uk/).

To help maintain the high standards of cleaning and hygiene demanded for Marlborough College’s prestigious facilities they chose Duplex approximately 20 years ago and have continued to add to their fleet of machines ever since.

1. Education Select Committee hearing on Asbestos in Schools 13th March 2013 Q53 2. http://www.asbestosexposureschools.co.uk/ pdfnewslinks/LAs%20schools%20containing%20 asbestos.pdf 3. HSE - A comprehensive guide to managing asbestos - p55 Worked examples of priority risk assessments. Example 1 – primary School. Available at http:// www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg227.pdf 4. More information on asbestos in CLASP schools is available at https://www.teachers.org.uk/ help-and-advice/health-and-safety/a/asbestos%E2%80%98clasp%E2%80%99-or-system-builtschools-updated 5. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ asbestos-management-in-schools--2 6. https://www.teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/ health-and-safety/a/asbestos-survey-report-2017 7. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ asbestos-data-collection-in-schools 8. https://www.ukas.com/news/choosing-a-competentasbestos-surveyor/ 9. http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/detail.htm

The college’s Sandra Cleverley commented “Many thanks for visiting us at Marlborough College last week, great training provided by you – as always. Marlborough College has used Duplex machines for many yearsthere are a lot of cleaning machine companies in market now but we use Duplex because they have proved to be robust, multi-tasking, reliable machines making them long term cost effective. Duplex offers excellent after care support and will readily supply refresher training for staff on the use of the equipment. Innovation at Duplex ensures that the machines are regularly updated and this enables us to benefit from the latest in cleaning machine technology for thorough and effective cleaning.” For more information contact Duplex Cleaning Machines (UK) Ltd Tel. 01227 771276 Web. www.duplex-cleaning.com

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Education Magazine September 2017 (74)  

The magazine for Academies, Free and Independent schools

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