Education Magazine

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Edition 3, 2018

Children’s TV star Sam Homewood launches new THINK! campaign to get children crossing the road safely see p13

p8 School life is a

positive influence for abused or neglected children


MontyMoo, the rabbit says “Get off my tail!” child protection books

p24 p14

When is a mat so much more than a mat?

Connecting Knowledge: How schools can keep up with the latest technological advances


Why qualifying as a Paralegal is now the only career option for those wanting to enter the legal services profession


The important role of senior leads in mentally healthy schools - for ar ticles news and pr oducts

Education Magazine Publisher Steve Mitchell

Edition 78 Annual Subscription £10

Production Editor Richard Shrubb

Free to Heads and School Financial Directors

Contributing Editor Wendy Hewitt Circulation research Mary Reale

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Published by Review Magazines Ltd, 53 Asgard Drive,Bedford MK41 0UR Tel: 01234 348878 Fax: 01223 790191 E-mail: Website: Copyright Education Magazine 2017

Contents 4 6

News The rise of video interviews: Top tips for interviewing your next candidate


School life is a positive influence for abused or neglected children


Monty-Moo, the rabbit says “Get off my tail!” child protection books


The best laid plans of schools and head teachers

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

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Children’s TV star The important role Sam Homewood launches of senior leads in mentally new THINK! campaign to healthy schools get children crossing the Creative Currents: road safely How to develop When is a mat so children’s much more than a mat? creativity when teaching primary LACA school chef level electricity of year 2019


14 16


Every Mower is Different

22 The Internet:

Teaching children to differentiate fact from fiction

30 Why qualifying as a

Paralegal is now the only career option for those wanting to enter the legal services profession


Connecting Knowledge: How schools can keep up with the latest technological advances

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

email 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

Free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families

This funding comes after the government announced that it would run a targeted pilot programme in the 2019 Easter and summer holidays.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi announced this July funding for thousands of families to benefit from free healthy meals and activities in the summer holidays.

Testing the effectiveness of interventions

• • •

Looking at take-up of provision

A series of projects, backed by £2 million of government funding, will be run across the country including the North East, Birmingham and London, providing activities such as free football classes, play sessions and cooking classes. These projects, running across the summer, will also provide free meals for the most disadvantaged families who may rely on the free school meals they receive during term time. The Children and Families Minister said: ‘For most pupils, the end of the school summer term signals the start of holidays, days out and a chance to make memories with friends and family. Other families, who might rely on the support provided by schools, are not so lucky. These projects will provide a range of support for families during the summer break. They will also give children access to experiences that won’t just create great memories but will help broaden their horizons and build the confidence they need to succeed in whatever path they choose to follow.’ Academic standards are rising across the country and there are now 1.9 million more children in schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than in 2010. Most importantly, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their more affluent peers has already shrunk by 10% at GCSE and 10.5% at KS2 since 2011. The announcement is the latest in a series of government backed schemes to help disadvantaged children. These include the £2.25 billion pupil premium, free school meals and most recently a £26 million investment to kick-start or improve breakfast clubs in at least 1,700 schools. Evidence suggests that attending out-ofschool activities can have a positive impact on children’s educational, health and wellbeing outcomes. The projects announced will be run by Children North East, Family Action, Feeding Britain, Birmingham Holiday Kitchen, Onside Youth Zones, Street Games and TLG (Transforming Lives for Good).

This work aims to support children’s education by:

Identifying the costs involved Considering whether there are particular areas where this kind of programme would be most effective To ensure this work is implemented effectively, ministers will work closely with Frank Field MP and expert stakeholders, as it develops.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has welcomed the record rate of 18 year olds who are preparing to go to university The A Level results show:

• Maths continues to be the most popular subject at A Level, with the number of entries up 2.5% on last year – up 26.8% compared to 2010;

• Entries into STEM subjects continue to

rise, up 3.4% on last year and up 24% since 2010;

• An increase in entries to STEM A Levels

by girls, up 5.5% from last year and 26.9% since 2010;

• Over half of the entries were in subjects that open doors to the widest range of courses at Russell Group universities, with the proportion continuing to rise year on year;

• The proportion of entries to art and design, music and modern foreign languages remains broadly stable;

• Yorkshire and the Humber has seen the

biggest improvement in entries achieving top grades (A* and A); and

• In the second year of reformed A Levels,

the percentage of UK entries awarded the A* grade remains stable at 8.0% this year, compared with 8.1% in 2010 and the overall UK pass rate remains stable at 97.6%, compared to 97.9% last year.

These mark the first results of 12 more reformed A Levels, following the introduction of the first reformed exams last year. Under these reformed A Levels students are


examined after two years helping them build an in-depth understanding of the subject, better preparing students for future study or the workplace. This follows universities saying many students lacked some of the skills and knowledge essential for undergraduate learning. Thanks to Government reforms that have raised standards in our schools and targeted support to help students from low income families access higher education, university is now an option for more young people than ever before. It comes alongside measures to create more, high-quality options for 18 year olds, including radical reforms to apprenticeships that are combining work with training in fields such as engineering and design; in some cases combined with a degree. Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds said: ‘I want to congratulate everyone getting their results. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication – from both those receiving their marks and the teachers who’ve been supporting them every step of the way. They should rightly feel proud of their achievements.” “We’ve worked to improve education for every child – from their early years through to secondary school and beyond. I also want young people to have wider choice, whether that’s going to university, earning through an apprenticeship or in future taking technical qualifications that match the best in the world.” “These results are a significant milestone in the lives of many young people. No matter what path they choose to take next, we are working to make sure it provides them with a world-class education and a passport to an exciting future.” As young people receive their results and prepare for the next steps, for the first time National Careers Service advisers will be giving young people information, advice and guidance on skills, learning and work alongside the UCAS clearing service. This will help ensure young people are aware of all the education and training options available to them. The number for the exam results helpline is 0800 100 900. These results show a record rate of 18 year olds heading to university this September, including a record proportion attending from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Government is introducing further measures

Education Magazine

News News NEWS News

News to offer more choice to students and widen access, including accelerated degrees and unprecedented access to data so students know where they will get the best outcomes.’ Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: ‘Congratulations to everyone getting their results, and to those hundreds of thousands who will begin their university experience in September. “Thanks to the support offered by this government, no student with the talent and potential is restricted from studying in our world-class university sector. We have worked with employers to design new high quality apprenticeships – including degree apprenticeships – making them longer, with more off-the-job training and proper assessment at the end so that apprentices are learning the skills that industry really needs.” Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “University has often been seen as the only route to a successful career, but apprenticeships can be a great way to give you the skills you need to get the job you want.” “We are shaking up the education system and working with businesses to provide even more opportunities to get into amazing jobs, and there are now highquality apprenticeships available in a range of exciting industries including aerospace, fashion, nuclear and teaching – and up to degree level too.” “From 2020 young people will be taking the first of our new T Levels – brand new technical qualifications on a par with A Levels that will give young people more choice and more opportunities to succeed and fulfil their potential. Today’s results come a week ahead of GCSE results. This year more students will be getting results on our new more rigorous GCSE qualifications that are graded according to the 9-1 scale and have been reformed to match expectations in the highest performing education systems in the world.”

Languages boost A new drive to deliver a nation of confident linguists and ensure businesses have the skilled workers they need was unveiled by School Standards Minister Nick Gibb at the start of August.

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Good language skills open the door to exciting opportunities and careers. A survey of employers by the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and Pearson found that almost two thirds of businesses say foreign language skills are important among their employees, particularly in helping build relations with clients, customers and suppliers. The announcement – which is backed by the CBI – will see the creation of a national language centre, along with nine leading schools across the country acting as language hubs, to improve the teaching of Spanish, French and German. There are 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, which represents 86% pupils compared to 66% in 2010. This announcement will help to raise standards further and ensure our young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: ‘It has never been more important for young people to learn a foreign language than now. An outward looking global nation needs a new generation of young people comfortable with the language and culture of our overseas trading partners. This programme will give teachers the expertise and support they need to teach pupils key languages such as Spanish, French and German – languages that businesses say they want from their employees. The knowledge pupils will gain in this subject at GCSE and A level will help deliver the skilled workforce we need and build a Britain that is fit for the future.’


Spanish and German by taking forward recommendations made in the Teaching Schools Council’s Modern Foreign Language Pedagogy Review led by expert headteacher and linguist Ian Bauckham CBE. The review noted that weaknesses in British graduates’ translation and interpreting skills loses the UK an estimated 3.5% of economic performance and concluded that the vast majority of pupils should study a modern foreign language until they are 16-years-old. The Centre of Excellence will be supporting leading schools across the country, which will work with local schools in their area to drive up standards in the teaching of languages through the sharing of resources and best practice. The Centre will start working with the first hubs from the autumn. The nine hubs will be led by:

• Dartford Grammar School, Dartford • Dixons Kings Academy, Bradford • Presdales School, Ware, Hertfordshire • Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, Marlow

• St James’ School, Exeter • The Broxbourne School, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

• Archbishop Temple School, Preston • Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form, Hove

• Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead

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The Government has already made modern foreign language teaching a priority through its inclusion in the English Baccalaureate and more pupils are now studying them at GCSE than in 2010. The first pupils have just sat the new gold standard modern foreign language GCSEs, which are on a par with the best in the world and deliver the skilled workforce Britain’s industries need.

If you work

The launch of a Centre of Excellence for Modern Languages and regional hubs should play a big part in delivering this.

subscribe to this magazine.

Businesses can play a role too by championing foreign language skills among their employees and supporting training wherever possible. The Centre of Excellence – backed by £4.8 million over the next four years – will raise the standard of teaching in languages based on the Latin alphabet like French,


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The rise of video interviews: Top tips for interviewing your next candidate

Simon Adams, Regional Director for Teach In, specialists in matching school staffing needs with the best available teachers and teaching assistants using creative recruitment solutions, shares his advice on interviewing applicants via video.

need to be comfortable leading and conducting the interview online. If there are technology issues on your end, it can show a lack of preparation and expertise as an interviewer which, in turn, reflects negatively on the school. Make sure there are no internet connectivity issues and that the camera and sound on the computer you will be using are working properly.

Online video interviews, via systems such as Skype and FaceTime, are becoming increasingly popular with schools and businesses, and are not just used for international recruitment. The benefit of easing the scheduling burden, for both parties, makes video interviews an ideal choice. There’s an abundance of tips out there for candidates but what about interviewers? Conducting

2. Find the right location

a job interview on video requires you to take into account several factors that you wouldn’t usually consider in a traditional interview.

yourself and any other interviewers up at a desk or table with a blank background and ensure that you are lit from the front.

Here are 5 tips for facilitating a great video interview:

3. Record the interview

As with conducting an interview in person, choosing the right location for a video interview is critical. You must find a location with no distractions, good lighting and minimal sound interference. If your school has a conference room, it would be a good idea to book it in advance. Set

One great benefit of conducting interviews via video is the ability to record. This will enable you to be more engaged with your candidate throughout the process, without worrying about taking notes. It also means that following the interview, you have the ability to play the recording

1. Ensure you are tech-ready Whether you are using Skype, FaceTime or another system, make sure you are familiar with the technology and have had several test-runs prior to the interview day. You


back for yourself and other colleagues to review. With a video interview there is no need to rely on memory or notes to help you decide which candidate is most suitable for the role.

4. Check your account name and time zones If your school already has a specific Skype account set up for conducting interviews that is great; however, if not, you may need to use your personal Skype account. If this is the case, just as you would expect from the person you are interviewing, make sure your account name is simple and professional before adding the candidate – just your first and last name is fine. It’s also a good idea to add the candidate several days prior to the interview.

It may sound obvious, but if you are setting up an interview with an international candidate ensure you take time zones and daylight saving into account and set up a time that is convenient to both yourself and the interviewee. Most importantly, remember to relax, smile and encourage the conversation to flow naturally! For further information on Teach In please visit or call 020 7788 9441.

Education Magazine

Are Your Staff and Students Ready for Lockdown?

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 must have a working fire alarm fitted by law, but

Education Magazine

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. 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. These can be triggered via a range of wired or remote methods, such as wireless remote control, mobile phone, PC or multi-button control panel. 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

Website: Tel: 01442 418800


Lease Options Lease options for Lockdown Alert Systems are available from Bodet’s financial leasing partner, over periods of either two or three years. For example, a financial amount of £10,000 plus VAT over a 36 month period would equate to monthly payments of £284.78 plus VAT plus an agreed residual payment. Please contact us for further details and to obtain a lease quotation for your school. Bodet Limited is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. We act as a credit broker in this finance transaction and work with an asset finance lender to find a suitable arrangement for you. We do not make a charge to you for helping you to find a suitable asset finance lender, however, we may receive a commission payment from the lender for our work. Business customers only.

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

School life is a positive influence for abused Nisreen Khambati is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol as well as a Junior Doctor. She previously worked in Southmead Hospital in Bristol and is now working in a district general hospital in the Eastern Cape in rural South Africa where her clinical work is mainly in paediatrics, HIV/TB and emergency medicine. She hopes to come back to Bristol to specialise in Paediatrics after her work overseas.

experienced either physical or emotional maltreatment from a parent caregiver in the first five years of life. Maltreatment was defined as being exposed to either physical or emotional cruelty by a parent. Emotional maltreatment is the second most common reason for children needing protection from abuse in the UK and this was one of the few studies that examined this form of maltreatment specifically. Children were identified from maternal reports in order to obtain a more representative sample of maltreated children rather than use official child protection records which tend to detect a small proportion of cases, often the most severe. Mothers completed questionnaires individually and were assured of the anonymity of their responses. They reported that 8.0% of children were emotionally maltreated and 2.7% were physically maltreated before the age of 5. There were too few cases of sexual abuse to include.

Child maltreatment is a major public health issue worldwide. In the UK, over 58,000 children were identified as needing protection in 2016 and this number certainly underestimates the true prevalence. However, although maltreatment in early life is undoubtably harmful, some children go on to function well despite their adversity. A better understanding of how children who have experienced maltreatment show later positive adaptation can provide valuable information for intervening and preventing negative consequences. A team of researchers from the University of Bristol have used a contemporary longitudinal study to identify which protective factors related to the individual child, their family and school life were most important in promoting positive emotional health and successful educational achievements in adolescence following maltreatment in the first 5 years of life.

Educational and health outcomes included the number and grades of GCSEs achieved at 16 years and self-reported wellbeing and selfesteem scores at 17 years. A resilient outcome was defined as 5 or more grade A*-C GCSEs, and having wellbeing and self-esteem scores above the median for the non-abused cohort. The results of multivariate analyses showed that factors related to the school environment contributed most towards general wellbeing and good exam grades in adolescence, when compared to individual traits in the child or their family environment. In particular, taking part in after school clubs, being happy with school life and not being bullied were the factors most strongly associated with a higher number of GCSEs and greater self-esteem and wellbeing scores. Being male and having good communication and social skills with others were the most protective individual characteristics. Our findings suggest that a full and active experience of school has an important positive effect on the health and achievements of children who have experienced abuse at an early age.

Our study used parental data from Bristol’s Children of the 90s longitudinal study. We specifically looked at children who


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or neglected children Monty-Moo, the rabbit says “Get off my tail!” child protection books

The implications of this research are especially important for the education sector. School seems to have a critical role in supporting children experiencing abuse in the home environment, and schoolbased strategies such as increasing access to extracurricular activities and strong anti-bullying policies may be helpful in promoting resilience. More research is needed on the feasibility and effectiveness of school-based programs to promote wellbeing, especially in vulnerable children who have experienced parental maltreatment. We also hope to continue our study into adulthood, using longitudinal data to understand how positive experiences in school go on to influence an individual throughout their life if they suffered from maltreatment as a child.

Safeguarding books written for very young children are rare and perhaps this should not come as a surprise to anyone, given the serious nature of the topic: Understandably this is not viewed as being particularly child friendly! This was the problem facing social worker and new author Diane Joan Carroll who wanted to write a children’s safeguarding book that could not be deemed as explicit or frightening. Such a book must entertain children, make them laugh and make them want to read on, whilst getting a very serious message across. Quite a tough challenge.

For further information of the study and its findings, please see full study report: “Educational and emotional health outcomes in adolescence following maltreatment in early childhood: A populationbased study of protective factors by Nisreen Khambati, Liam Mahedy, Jon Heron and Alan Emond, published in Child Abuse and Neglect.

However Diane Joan Carroll has now written what she believes is a very powerful child protection book for 5 - 11 year old children designed to help them to recognise and report issues such as sexual abuse, grooming and inappropriate touching. It is a picture book which the author has illustrated herself. Although short, this book entitled Monty-Moo The Rabbit Says Get off My Tail!’ has a punchy message which has the potential to change the lives of some children.

The Children of the 90s, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), is a long-term health-research project that enrolled more than 14,000 pregnant women in 1991 and 1992. It has been following the health and development of the parents and their children in detail ever since and is currently recruiting the children and the siblings of the original children into the study. It receives core funding from the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Bristol. By Nisreen Khambati

Diane explains “A friend knew I was writing books for children. As I am a social worker she suggested I should try writing child protection books. I didn’t feel there was a demand for this and also I could not see how it could work. Then I had a real change of heart and realised that by starting to think as a social worker I might be able to make this work. I am passionate about this now. I feel this is an incredible resource. It could be used by parents or as a teaching aid in schools. No one expects their child to suffer abuse - it is something most parents don’t want to think about. However it does no harm to educate children and plant a subtle message of safety. It’s a conversation many parents avoid discussing with children but it needs to be addressed somehow. I completely understand that some parents may have reservations about giving a young child such a book to read but it is not explicit or harmful and really could safeguard and empower children. Any small child in difficulties might recognise themselves and see that there is a problem. I am hopeful that the Monty-Moo book could help such a child find the confidence to make a disclosure after reading this. It also explains where they can get help.”

Find out more at

Another unique feature of the book is that it gives children in many different countries access to comprehensive information on how to report abuse: With kind assistance from the Charity Child Rights International Network (CRIN), the author has included helpline numbers for children worldwide. The Monty-Moo The Rabbit Says Get off My tail! is available on Amazon priced at £6.99 and there is also an Amazon Kindle version priced at £2.99. The author is writing a series of safeguarding books. These will also be picture books along a similar vein. She will tackle Internet safety to educate children in her next book in the Monty-Moo Series. Education Magazine


The best laid plans of schools and head teachers Research reveals budgets preventing robust school security • Head teachers’ greatest

can affect security”. 34% of schools covered in this report, however, have public footpaths running through their site, according to parents.

concern is pupils leaving without permission (30%)

• 47% of ‘unauthorised exits’ are

Teachers highlight other key issues affecting security: more than one entrance (56%), multiple buildings (34%) and difficult-to-see areas (30%). Where people access the site and how their movement is controlled need to be considered alongside how they enter.

made by children aged seven to ten and a further 19% by ages four to six

• A third of teachers are worried about trespassers (31%)

• Six in ten teachers have heard of students leaving school premises without consent during the school day

Bomb threats sent to schools across the country recently brought to the forefront of educators’ and parents’ minds alike the issue of school security. A UK perimeter security manufacturer and specialist researched teachers’ school safety concerns and released its findings in its report, ‘Protecting the Future’. If someone wanted to enter the site and threaten the school’s well-being, how easily could they do so? Reassuringly, fewer than one in ten teachers feel that their school isn’t secure (6%). However, nearly one-third say that schools have weak points in their perimeters (29%) and parents are even more acutely aware of this (41%). Teachers’ concerns are in line with their experiences, though the latter are at odds with parents. 65% of school staff have heard of children leaving school without permission (vs 36% of mothers and fathers), and 12% know of trespassers accessing the site (vs 27%).

Up to standard Jacksons Euroguard® Flatform Fencing, Forest Gate Community School, London

pupils aged seven to ten (47%) and a jarring 19% by ages four to six. In some cases, leaving doesn’t require so much effort. More than one in ten schools have no gates (13%). Open sesame While a quarter of staff find school security to be over the top (23%), there are several ways in which sites may be more vulnerable than they realise. For example, 88% of schools allow access to members of the community for evening clubs, events and special open days. There isn’t always much in place to prevent anyone from accessing the main building either. When visiting their child’s school, onethird of parents walk straight into reception (31%) without any other access control in place such as a buzzer or video entry system or even reporting to a member of staff. Secured by Design guidance for New Schools (2014) states that “public footpaths immediately outside the boundary fencing

When selecting new fencing, schools value performance the most (73%), followed closely by security ratings and accredited products (68%) and life time and initial costs (64% and 59% respectively). Head teachers are keen to ensure their security investments are in good condition, with 80% having had their fences and gates inspected within the past five years. A significant quarter of schools have not commissioned new fencing or gates, and according to architects, when installing new security solutions, specifications are usually identical to the original ones (71%) with some value engineering. One-fifth of architects know of schools down specifying to save cost. In line with this, the greatest challenge for architects when helping with fencing is budget (84%). Cris Francis, Security Consultant at Jacksons Fencing, comments: “The research reveals a worrying disconnect between schools’ good intentions and the reality of what’s being done. Many of the security solutions that are currently in place are not adequately safeguarding schools against unwanted exits or entrances. Worse than this, these are being reproduced or down specified. “With their expertise and greater awareness of Secured by Design guidance and LPS 1175 certified products, architects are in an excellent position to help change old habits. By engaging with them during the planning process, schools can find fencing and gates that balance safety standards with budget to protect students and staff from future risk.”

It is a challenging balancing act, trying to create a learning environment that is both safe and welcoming. A quarter of teachers (23%) and a third of parents (31%) feel that school security is over the top, despite worries about unwarranted exits and entrances. Escape plan

In April 2018, 1,000 parents (nationally representative), 282 teachers (including 44 head teachers) and 75 architects, quantity surveyors and contractors were surveyed.

Perhaps more surprising than the number of students who leave school during the day is how they are doing so. Not only are the majority of teachers aware of unauthorised ‘exits’, a quarter of these involved pupils climbing over a fence - a potentially dangerous route at best. 21% of parents have also heard of children taking advantage of gaps in the school perimeter.

The findings were incorporated into Jacksons Fencing’s study, ‘Protecting the Future’.


Recent news of two Yorkshire children aged between four and five scaling a school fence is not atypical. Most escapes are made by

10 uk/primary-school-students-scale-6-ftfence-and-cross-busy-road-to-escapeschool-a3829671.html

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Children’s TV star Sam Homewood launches new THINK! campaign to get children crossing the road safely New THINK! child road safety campaign features more than 50 free resources for parents, teachers and schools. CiTV and children’s TV star star Sam Homewood highlights children’s risky behaviour on roads in the new Road Ready film The CITV star visited Holy Family School to encourage children to think carefully about crossing roads as new materials for teachers, parents and road safety experts were released by THINK! A new Safer Journeys Anthem, featuring the ‘stop, look, listen, think’ message, has also been launched, alongside other games, films and lesson plans, ahead of the half term and summer school holidays when children are likely to be spending more time outdoors. Children’s presenter and CITV star Sam Homewood, who also features in one of the films, said: “I’m delighted to be a part of this THINK! campaign to help spread the word about road safety among young people. “Working with children every day, I see the huge impact that simple precautions can have on their lives. I hope this campaign will help keep children safe on our roads and encourage them to look out for each other.” The Government’s THINK! campaigns have helped reduce child road deaths by 90% since records began in 1979. However, six children die and 170 more are seriously injured every month on the UK’s roads.

Acre Hall Primary School create artwork for Trafford Hospital to commemorate 70 years of NHS

Pupils at Acre Hall Primary School in Flixton have been celebrating 70 years of the NHS by producing incredible pieces of artwork to donate to Trafford General Hospital’s Children’s and Adolescent Ward.

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Road Safety Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at new ways to make them safer. “As more children take advantage of the better weather by walking to school or playing outside, it is important they know how to cross roads safely. “THINK!’s new resources will make it fun and easier than ever for schools and parents to help children learn good habits that can last a lifetime.” The resources include mobile games and educational films with photographs and illustrations created by students from Farnborough Sixth Form College. A new THINK! Map can help children to pinpoint risky areas near them and consider the best way to travel safely. Their artwork has been inspired by the artwork of modern artist Friedrich Hundertwasser who was born two days before the original Park Hospital was founded on 17th December 1928. The artwork will be presented to the hospital on 5th July on the NHS’s 70th anniversary.

THINK! has been running campaigns for more than 50 years and has successfully challenged a number of behaviours and attitudes to improve road safety, including drink driving, drug driving and using handheld phones while driving. THINK! campaigns have helped reduce the number of deaths from 22 a day in 1960 to 5 a day in 2016. The new campaign follows a long and a proud tradition of hugely successful child road safety campaigns, spanning several generations and featuring much-loved icons such as the family of Hedgehogs, Kevin Keegan, James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) and David Prouse as the Green Cross Code Man. The campaign will feature across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The free resources can be found at www. have been created as part of a long term project focused on mental health and looking at how art is therapy for both artist and observer.

The Year 5 children’s pieces have been produced using mixed media, including wood, metal, acrylics, pencils and hand dyed paper. The children have been working with The Dunham Trust’s Artist in Residence DeeDee Dewar, who delivers projects across all five schools.

Creativity and the arts plays a key role across schools in The Dunham Trust and the schools are looking forward to celebrating their creative projects at The Dunham Trust Arts Festival which runs from 18th June to 6th July. The festival will see the children’s work being exhibited through an online gallery, a live exhibition at Islington Mill and sharing their successes through a series of assemblies.

Ashlea White, Head of School at Acre Hall Primary, said: “We are very proud of the beautiful work produced by the children and are looking forward to seeing the pieces on display and being enjoyed by visitors and patients at the hospital. The pieces

The Trust’s Executive Principal, Simon Beswick said “We believe that a creative curriculum is key to building children’s confidence, resilience and problem-solving skills and we strive to deliver crossdisciplinary activities across our schools.”


When is a mat so much more than a mat? It’s not often an Editor gets a PR email that makes them sit up and take notice. However despite the almost daily diet of stories about ‘an answer to overweight and under fit kids’ that turn up in my inbox this one actually made me want to know more. This is because it claims it actually makes kids want to do exercise and it also teaches them a valuable set of life skills whist they are doing it. So I contacted Johnathan Bhowmick, the creator of Action Mats and put a few ‘Sceptic Editor’ based questions to him. Education Magazine (EM) What are Action Mats? Johnathan Bhowmick (J.B) Action Mats are a combination of vibrant activity mats, lesson resources and activity plans that keep pupils entertained, active and engaged lesson after PE lesson. Each mat is a defined zone that invites primary school aged children to step on it and perform the different exercises pictorially illustrated.

an activity pack to help with delivery, including lesson resources that can also be downloaded once they get a bit dog-eared. The key to the success of the mats is how easy the exercises are to understand. I have seen a class of 8 year olds at a school in Holland come into their sports hall never having seen the mats before, and within minutes they were doing the exercises. EM You make some substantial claims for the instructions and plans that come with the mats. What are they and how can you justify the claims you make? JB The Activity Plans are the key to the success of the system, these bring a fresh and exciting feeling to PE lessons, these also bring out the full potential of pupils through the teamwork and confidence building they encourage. Therefore the exercise and the associated character building benefits are hidden inside a game.

with them goes to make Action Mats into the activity resource that does not become stale. EM The mats are more expensive that traditional PE mats, how do you justify the premium? JB The value is in the complete resource. With Action Mats, lesson after lesson is enabled with ease. They are more expensive to produce due to their durability and the graphics printed on them and so will cost more. However the system makes real financial sense when you work out what it can actually save a school. The activity plans enable PE lessons to be delivered by a Teaching Assistant or by a pupil learning leadership skills. The pictorial Activity Sheets are provided as part of the package provide expertly designed exercise lessons so providing a non-specialist PE teacher with

New lesson resources are constantly being released; one due out soon is based upon a map of the moon! Another teaches the pupils about the gestation of caterpillars into butterflies. All whilst exercising! The huge range of activities that can be accomplished

EM You make some extensive claims for your products potential and results. How, to quote your promotional material, do they ‘Give pupils hours of educational fun and physical exercise, whilst encouraging team work and the use of initiative’? JB They are a designed to promote and sustain PE as a fun activity to primary aged children. Ideally for use indoors the mats feature bright, easy to understand graphics that enable the delivery of PE though the use of individual and collaborative games and challenges. Sets of mats come with


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the ability and tools to deliver a full hour of PE lesson with minimal preparation and supervision and so freeing a qualified teacher for other tasks. They are also Sports Premium compliant and are not limited to use in a PE Class, they can be in after school clubs for example, or indeed anywhere kids need to let off steam. EM Would you explain how these plans work and what the research is behind them, and where, other than in a PE lesson they could be used? JB The Activity Plans were designed following advice from a PE academic who suggested that flexibility is needed to provide an in-depth resource, the exercises and challenges have been devised so they address both a wide range of age and attention span. Every depth of lesson is possible from the simplest cardio circuit to more in depth, cross curricular challenges, to targeting muscle groups for year 6 before they head off to upper school to take PE at a more in depth level.

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The system is also ideal for Breakfast and After School clubs, the ease and simplicity of their use means they can occupy a lot of children with minimal supervision. As the mats communicate by the use of pictures they also enable non-readers and a multilingual group to work and play together. They are already in use in schools across Europe and also in UK after school clubs where they are asked for by pupils and staff alike for the variety and stimulation they bring to any exercise period. EM How are they supplied and what does a school get for their spend? The mats come in sets, they are made of brightly coloured highly durable resin impregnated polyester material with a grippy rubber backing. The full set, called ‘Action Packed’ provides 14 exercise mats, plus four team home mats, four target mats and ten arrow mats plus a wide variety of exercises which can be tackled singly or in pairs and groups. Costs are on the website and online ordering is simple. A series of 18


individual mats that encourage particular exercises, including warm up and, star jump and skipping are also available. All sets come with Activity Plans and sets of mats are contained in large zip up bags, with two handles so that the children can contribute to tidying up and looking after them. Sceptic Editor’s impression: From the evidence I’ve seen of their use I’d seriously suggest schools look into these. As a thinking activity the Plans encourage and develops life skills such as concentration, setting personal goals, patience, thinking analytically and respecting others, qualities that are sometimes in as short supply as physically fit children. There is the system’s ability to bring a professional exercise period into the school timetable without a full time PE instructor. For more information please contact Action Mats directly on 01462 816907 or, or visit

LACA SCHOOL CHEF OF YEAR 2019 - registration opens!

Sponsored by McDougall’s launches at LACA main event in Birmingham Seeking school chefs with passion! The search for Britain’s next LACA School Chef of the Year, the education catering industry’s premier culinary competition, is underway. School chefs nationwide are now being invited to register to take part in the search for the 2019 national champion. Organised by the Lead Association for CA-tering in Education (LACA) and sponsored by McDougalls, owned by Premier Foods, the 2019 competition was launched at the LACA Main Event at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole (July 11 - 13). Competitors’ menus are expected to reflect the school food standards to which every school in the country is asked to adhere. These form the basis of the menus that provide every five to seven year old in England with a school lunch through the government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals Programme. The new sponsorship agreement with McDougalls, announced in April this year, has provided an opportunity for the competition organisers to review the entry and judging criteria to align it fur-ther with current food standards and general consumer eating trends. The result is the creation of a brand new design identity for the competition, a new streamlined organisational framework and rules and judging criteria which have been fine tuned to facilitate the entry and participation process. Head of the 2019 Judging Panel is Mark Rigby, Executive Chef, Premier Foods who will oversee each stage of the new competition which includes the preliminary judging round later this year, each of the Regional Finals and the 2019 National

Final. Joining Mark on the panel will be an education catering expert (Sharon Armstrong, LACA) and a catering industry professional guest judge at each location.

a kitchen based post and who are involved in the daily preparation of pupil’s meals at the time of entry. Entries may be submitted by any school meal provider whether local authority, contract caterer, academy or free school. Registrations must be submitted by 29th September 2018. Submission of formal entries is required by 17th October 2018 with the first round of judging scheduled for later that month. Successful candidates from this stage will go forward to participate in the ten live Regional Finals which will be held in five different locations around Britain between November 2018 – January 2019. The National Final takes place next March.

The reigning 2018 LACA School Chef of the Year, Michael Goulston from Peartree Primary School, Hertfordshire who, in March 2018, became the first ever male school chef to win the national title in its 25 year history, will be showcasing his winning dishes at the LACA Main Event. He will also be demonstrating to industry visitors the culinary flair and skills needed by school chefs hoping to be the one to raise the 2019 trophy at the National Final. Entrants have 90 minutes to prepare, cook and serve an imaginative, school compliant two course menu including a minimum of one different McDougalls product in each, suitable for serving en masse in school to 11 year old pupils. Competitors can select ingredients from the full range of McDougalls Foodservice products.

Regional Final winners will each receive a £100 cash prize. At the National Final, the 2019 National Winner will received a £1000 cash prize, the 2019 LACA School Chef of the Year trophy, an invitation to a calendar of catering industry events and a work experience trip. The national Second and Third place winners will receive £500 and £300 respectively.

The 2019 competition is open to all staff that hold 16

To register, download the 2019 LACA School Chef of the Year sponsored by McDougalls Participa-tion Pack at www.laca. .

About LACA Ltd: Since inception in 1989, LACA (Lead Association for CAtering in Education) has set out to inform, develop, represent and support its members through a range of initiatives and services. The association became a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2009. The Association represents the School Food Industry and membership is open to all parties who make a contribution to this market sector - providers (public and private sector) client officers, consultants, suppliers and manufacturers. Individual schools may become members of the Association.

Education Magazine

Education Magazine


Every Mower is Different

Invest in the machinery that’s right for you Engineered and built in the U.K. by experts with 186 years’ experience in the municipal industry. Ransomes manufactures a range of mowers, designed to tackle a multitude of applications.

The HM600 is a great, all-round mower. It has been designed in conjunction with revered German manufacturer, Müthing to allow users to produce a clean, fine, rolled finish for school sports pitches, or make light work of routine cuts, leaving an even spread of mulched clippings. It is also able to tackle irregular cuts, bringing the lesser maintained areas back under control. The HM600 can be used on all areas around your site with the versatility to do it all, the productivity to do it fast and the technology for a superior finish.

MP493/ MP653/ MP653XC Applications:

• •

Overgrown areas Routine cuts

The MP Series features the Ransomes MP493 and MP653, which are wide area batwing rotary mowers, powered by reliable 49hp and 65hp Kubota diesel engines, respectively.

The HM600 features a powerful 65.2hp Kubota turbo diesel engine and has been developed to meet the expanding needs of grounds maintenance teams.

At one end of the range, the Ransomes MP493 is the lightest in its class due to its ground up design and use of high strength light gauge steel and provides significant fuel savings because of its reduced weight.

The HM600 has a cutting width of 3.2m (1.6m at front) with all mowers engaged, combining a high cutting capacity with exceptional productivity. In fact, the HM600 has the potential to save operators up to 21.5% on cost per each m2 cut over established less productive models.

More recently, the MP653 XC has been introduced which is the world’s first and only wide area rotary mower with a 4.27m cutting width. Its 4.27m cutting width increases productivity by up to 25% (up to 1 hectare/hr more) over traditional 3.4m mowers. This makes the MP653 XC perfect for maintain large areas, where productivity is key. MP495/ MP655

The size and design of the HM600 brings new levels of versatility to flail mowing. It is superbly manoeuvrable, can turn fast and cut close to parkland furniture, trees and other obstacles. The fingertip control of individual units makes trimming around these obstacles easy. Operators can then fold up all units securely to transport easily between work areas and access confined sites.


• •

Large, fine turf areas Parks, estates and gardens

The MP495 and MP655 are two wide area cylinder mowers, perfect for maintaining finer turfed areas.


These mowers were designed with a narrow transport width of just 1.65 metres with the wing decks folded and the front deck has 160mm of ground clearance for kerb climbing. This allows the machine to travel around without moving barriers or modifying sites for access.


• • • •

All machines in the MP series feature an ISO-mounted operator platform, which reduces noise and vibration levels for the operator, and are available with a custom-designed cab for additional operator comfort. A comfortable suspension seat ensures long days of productive mowing and a foldable ROPS keeps the operator safe and allows manoeuvrability in low access areas and height restricted access points.

Parks and gardens Schools Navigating tight spaces

The TR320 is perfect for maintaining sports pitches and surrounding areas. With the ability to cut and collect, you can rest assured that a clean, pristine finish will be achieved on cricket and football pitches, as well as longer grassed areas. The winning combination of narrow transport width, a productive width-of-cut and superior manoeuvrability makes negotiating tight spaces, courtyards, and building surrounds a breeze.

HM600 Applications:

• • • •

Sports pitches

Large areas of land

The Ransomes TR320 is one of the lightest machines on the market, which ensures that there is less stress on turfed areas, providing a pristine finish in any weather conditions. It features a powerful 24.8hp Kubota® diesel engine with service-free direct drive to the hydraulic system. This provides plenty of power and places less demand on servicing and upkeep of the machine. Superb stability, traction and drive, ensure that the TR320 has class-leading slope capabilities, increasing operator safety and machine capabilities.

Sports pitches Routine cuts Overgrown areas

The TR320 has the narrowest transport width (1.64m) in its class and an impressive cutting width of up to 2.13m. This combination allows operators to safely negotiate the tightest of spaces, such as areas around buildings and courtyards, with ease.


Education Magazine

Education Magazine


The Internet:Teaching children to differentiate fact from fiction Karthik Krishnan, looks at the life-cycle of information supply and addresses the spiralling dilemma that learners face due to the epidemic of poor and unverified information on the Internet.

Unfortunately, current search engine algorithms are not yet advanced enough to differentiate between plausible and credible information. Unsurprisingly, a number of people are taking advantage of this limitation and their understanding of the search algorithms to get their own biased or unsubstantiated views to the top of the search engine results page.

I have always been fascinated by the evolution of consumer preferences. The attributes consumers value continues to change more rapidly than ever before, reducing product lifecycles.

So where does this leave teachers, who recognise the incredible value of the learning content on the Internet, but worry about giving their students uncontrolled access due to the unreliable quality of the information? It leaves them looking for credible sources of information, sources they can trust and don’t have to doubt.

Take recorded music as an example. Vinyl records that were a mainstay for decades were replaced by cassettes because portability was the attribute consumers placed a higher weight on. When capacity and greater durability became more valued, CDs took over. MP3 devices cut short the CD run when consumers placed a higher emphasis on the number of songs that could be stored, even if it meant a reduction in audio quality. Following a similar evolution, I grew up using the beautifully bound Encyclopaedia Britannica books in the library. Perhaps you did, too, unless you were fortunate enough to have a set at home. At the time, encyclopaedias were most people’s source of reference information. With the arrival of the Internet came the move from using printed encyclopaedias to sourcing information online, because of the ease of access. However, while a lot of information on the Internet comes from credible sources, sadly a huge portion of it doesn’t. According to an article in Scientific American, examples of fake information on the Internet include, “NASA runs a child-slave colony on Mars!”, and “photos taken by a Chinese orbiter reveal an alien settlement on the moon!”

Beth Hewitt, senior lecturer in Media Practice at the University of Salford, backed this up when she said, “Lots of children understand that fake news exists but can they really spot it when they see it in the real world? That’s where lessons would help. This is important because if young people stop feeling they can believe the news is true, they could stop trusting the media at all….”

So, has the time come for teachers to educate students to be able to differentiate between fact, opinion and fiction? To help students strengthen their cognitive and critical thinking, Britannica offers several free resources, including ‘The five ‘W’s of website evaluation’ designed to give students the knowledge to identify legitimate, credible learning content (https:// uploads/2018/03/Five-Ws-ofWebsite-Evaluation.pdf). For both teachers and parents, our whitepaper series (https:// britannica-helps-teachers-impartresearch-skills), provides a stepby-step guide for students to help them conduct an evaluation of online sources.

Yet finding credible information on the Internet has become an ordeal. In our busy lives we all, and especially children, tend to stick to the first few results on the search page and incorrectly believe that the highest-ranking results are the most reliable; putting the future of knowledge at risk. For 250 years Britannica has curated and provided trusted information to the world and helped knowledge evolution. There are few information sources that have provided enduring value and thrived by doing it for 250 years because millions of people across the world continue to place a premium on trusted and verified information. With the proactive misinformation on the Internet, now more than ever people want to cut through the noise and discover reliable information in engaging ways.

Another resource that we have recently launched, which is ideal for parents and schools, is our Britannica Insights Chrome ( webstore/detail/britannicainsights/hfipegnjbpgdlgifpf dcfnjnhepckmbf?hl=en-US) and Firefox (https://addons. addon/britannica-insights/) browser extension. As a free download, Britannica Insights enables searchers to get trusted and verified information at the top-right corner of their search results page. It also offers articles and media from Encyclopaedia Britannica that relate to the searched topic – ideal for students’ projects.

As Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said: “Children and young people need to learn... to stay safe in a digital world. This includes being able to evaluate what they find online and make decisions about whether it is reliable and accurate or if it is fake news.” 22

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A search, for example on the “French Revolution” provides not only the years but also the causes, outcomes, key events, and ‘did-you-know,’ information in addition to images and videos.

Another initiative, Demystified, provides engaging and revealing answers to common questions, such as: What’s the difference between veins and arteries? and Does listening to Mozart in the womb really make babies smarter? Britannica also makes it easier for young learners and non-native English speakers to look up word definitions. However, in upskilling today’s students to get the best from the Internet, the most important thing, we believe, is to help them acquire the skills and habits of mind to separate fact from fiction. The opening sentence in the Preface of Britannica’s 1st edition, published in 1768 says, ‘UTILITY ought to be the principal intention of every publication. Wherever this intention does not plainly appear, neither the books nor their authors have the

smallest claim to the approbation of mankind.’ This remains imperative, to meet the user’s needs in today’s digital world, now more than ever before. The media we work in may have changed, but our mission has not. Let us work together to maintain the significant benefits of the Internet and improve our critical thinking skills. Author Biography Karthik Krishnan is the global chief executive officer of Britannica Group (Britannica, Merriam Webster, Britannica Knowledge System and Melingo), based in Chicago. Karthik’s belief is in the transformative power of education; he’s passionate about enabling lifelong learning. As the global CEO of the Britannica group of companies Karthik is focused on value creation for customers and unlocking the true potential of the company’s trusted brands. The compay’s goal is to establish its brands as the de facto go-to destination for learners of all ages.

Sailing Voyage Inspires the Next Generation of Female Business Leaders leaders included Penny Scott-Bayfield, Finance Director at Conde Nast Britain, Kate Oliver, Chief Executive of John Hayes, and Kristeen Keith, Business Operations and Systems Director at GlaxoSmith Kline (GSK). The students and business leaders embarked on a five-day sailing adventure out of Poole harbour to Dartmouth and back to Poole, aboard the beautiful training vessel ‘Prolific’. The second team, with students participating from Ormiston Victory Academy in Norwich and Ormiston Park Academy in Essex, sailed from Poole to Southampton via France! The business leaders included Natalie Mortimer, Solicitor and Partner at PGL, Lizzie Fiddaman, Sailing Events Manager at the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Helene Peter Davies, Solicitor and Master Mariner, MFB Solicitors. --- Innovative project takes female business leaders and aspiring young students to sea --- Sixteen young women from four Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) academies across the country set sail alongside six female business leaders on two voyages, as part of a unique project to inspire and engage the next generation of female leaders. The project, Leading Lights, is a brand-new initiative run by national charity Ormiston Trust, in conjunction with Trinity House, the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), and the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (HCMM). Two voyages took place across May led by a Ocean Youth Trust South crew including volunteers. The first team was made up of four students from Cowes Enterprise College on the Isle of Wight and four students from City of Norwich School. The business

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Both students and professionals alike – many of which had never sailed before - were actively involved in every aspect of sailing the boat, from hoisting and lowering sails, steering, getting involved with navigation, anchoring, cooking and keeping watch. Alongside sailing activities, the female executives spent time chatting with and mentoring the students, talking to them about their careers, providing advice, opening-up networks and helping to build students’ confidence. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which was made possible by Ormiston Trust and its invaluable partners, aimed to support and inspire the next generation and to help young women on their path to becoming leaders in their chosen fields. Ormiston Trust is a grant giving body which aims to improve the life chances of young people and families. To get support the programme, get involved and to find out more, please visit or call 0207 266 7940.


Connecting Knowledge: How schools can keep up with the latest technological advances Driven by classroom after classroom of tech savvy digital natives, schools are finding themselves compelled to keep up with the latest technological advances to compete. However, there is a hefty expense generally associated with bringing a place of learning up to the levels demanded in the 21st century. Today’s pupils are more connected than ever before. According to research from Ofcom, 39% of 8-11 year olds have a mobile phone in their pocket and 52% have their own tablet. This rises to 83% and 55% for 12-15 year olds. An always-on existence is all that they know. It is somewhat a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them” for schools wanting to present lessons to pupils in a way that will engage and excite.

Without access to laptops, tablets and other devices, pupils are unable to learn fundamental digital skills that could prove vital for the future. Keeping up with the latest technological advances is a constant struggle for schools. Almost as soon as they’ve taken the plunge and invested in a certain technology, something bigger and better inevitably comes along to take its place. This can be a frustrating experience. Not only does it leave schools and colleges in a never-ending race to keep on top of the latest innovations, but it also results in inefficient spending, with large amounts of money being wasted on devices that quickly become obsolete.

Technology can play a significant role in increasing engagement within the classroom. While students should, of course, be the primary beneficiaries of any investment in technology, the use of certain equipment can also hold several advantages for teachers as well. Not least, the opportunity to tailor teaching to each individual student and better monitor progress.

Lessons are still to be learned. Investment in educational technology continues to rise, with schools now spending in excess of £900 million every single year. Combine this with the fact that the global population of students is expected to increase to 2.7 billion by the year 2025, and it’s easy to understand that money will continue to be invested unwisely on outdated technology unless the purchasing process fundamentally changes.

The flipside for schools is that not staying on top of classroom technology has been found to negatively impact students.

It should no longer be a case of plugging the gaps. Far better that schools and colleges change to an approach that

Engaging lessons

allows them to take advantage of the latest technological developments on a continuous basis. Today, technology is moving at such a rapid pace that education establishments need to remain agile enough to be able to continually update their technology estate. Therefore, they won’t be left with a costly technological millstone around their neck at the end of the school year.

Lessons to be learnt

The fear factor remains Schools have been burnt before. While the scale of the advantages on offer through educational technology is clear, the fact remains: investing in the technology can be expensive business. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that, as we are all too aware, educational institutions are experiencing major cuts to funding and being asked to do more with less. There is a fear factor that remains, especially with smaller schools, for whom it is simply not financially viable to continually invest in technology through significant one-off payments. The key to unlocking the latest technology to make lessons relevant to today’s generation of students is to use a paymentover-time subscription model, with staggered payments being made over numerous years. By evenly spreading the cost of the technology, schools aren’t subjected to budget-sapping one-off capital expenditure


payments, and so can regularly refresh and update their technology estate without breaking the bank. This, in turn, means more cash can be put aside for capital projects and student-focused innovation. Tailored solutions Payment-over-time subscription models can prove real worth to embattled schools and colleges who are struggling to compete in the digital era. They provide an ideal solution for modern, ambitious educational institutions who want both their students and teachers to take advantage of the most up-to-date technology in their classrooms, without negatively impacting their ever-tightening capital expenditure budgets. What’s more, by working with a trusted digital services provider, these subscription models can be tailored to individual business needs, ensuring you get the very most out of your investment. By evenly spreading the cost of technology over several years rather than making one expensive capital expenditure payment, schools can start to regularly refresh and update their digital assets without breaking the bank. This, in turn, means more cash can be pumped into capital projects and student-focused innovation. Because these are subscriptionbased models, schools can be much quicker in reacting to the latest technological developments and stay ahead

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of the competition. Instead of waiting until they can afford a new device or platform, it’s easy to simply add the desired technology onto the existing contract and reap the rewards instantly. Becoming technological trailblazers

The future for schools is digital. Tablets, smartphones, interactive white boards and videoprojectors can all enhance the learning environment of the 21st century. Introducing such a digital learning experience from an early age both stimulates students’ enthusiasm and reduces drop-out rates. However, the sheer cost of change has been a barrier for many schools wishing to take advantage of the latest technology advancements. Having a subscription in place allows schools to update, tweak

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and refresh their technology more regularly. This agility makes it easier to react to the latest technological developments and keep learning fresh and exciting. Payment-over-time subscription models are an ideal solution to one of the biggest problems facing schools today. In a world where flexibility is the key to success in many industries, these models can enable educational institutions of all sizes to achieve their business goals and become technological trailblazers. Chris Labrey has been with Econocom for 19 years, having joined the company as a Manchester-based junior account manager back in 1998. He has been Managing Director of the UK & Irish business since 2012. Before Econocom, Chris spent some years working in the IBM reseller channel and before that he was managing the new business strategy for a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software vendor. During his career, Chris has seen digital technology jump from the computer room into all aspects of business and personal life.


The important role of senior leads in mentally healthy schools Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of the Centre for Child Mental Health (CCMH) – a non-profit organisation that provides mental health training in schools and Co-Director of Trauma Informed Schools UK – tackles mental health and wellbeing from a head and senior leads perspective, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for both students and staff. In ensuring their school is a mentally healthy environment, heads and other school leaders have really got their work cut out. Exactly how do you support mental health in a culture of fear, pressure and disillusionment, where academic outcomes trump all else, where the majority of teachers suffer work-related stress and where heads are under immense pressure to achieve great results? To quickly paint the picture of this Herculean task for heads: The unmet emotional needs of pupils There are currently one million children with mental health problems in the UK; 200 schoolchildren are lost to suicide each year (Papyrus Number 60 2017) and permanent exclusions are now 40 per day (children with special educational needs amounting to half of these) (DfE 2018/BBC July 19 2018). Permanent exclusion dramatically increases the probability of psychiatric problems and children who are suspended just once are twice as likely to drop out of school (Klasovksy 2013). On top of this, add exam stress and a narrowing of the curriculum, which includes a lesser focus on stressrelieving subjects such as drama, art and PE. The unmet emotional needs of teachers In Tom Rogers’ article in TES July, 2018 on toxic school environments, he states, “There is a bullying epidemic in schools. Teachers scared to approach their bosses, scared to say they are struggling, scared to not meet a stupid target” It’s not surprising then that 70 percent of teachers this year have taken sick leave due to a physical or mental health problem related to work stress (Devon 2018/ NASUWT 2016). Teacher’s workloads are very heavy, more than three-quarters of

teachers are working between 49 and 65 hours a week (Guardian Teacher network Survey 2016). Teachers are also saying they feel devalued and that their wellbeing is not considered as important in school and that they see their school culture as being one of blame or criticism (71 percent) (Big Question Report, NASUWT 2016).

A shift from a culture of blame regarding test results to a culture of support for teacher-pupil relational health will also have a positive impact on pupils’ mental health. Research shows the more securely attached children are to teachers, the better their behaviour and the higher their grades (Bergin and Bergin 2009).

But senior leaders also need their emotional needs to be met, one could argue that while senior leaders are so overwhelmed and under pressure to obtain good test results at almost any cost, they are in no place to offer mental health support for teachers and children. And yet they must.

Foster togetherness through supervision groups and group outings to address ‘lone’ teachers.

Here are some suggestions how: Senior leads need to prioritise their own psychological support. Heads must get psychological support for themselves. Regular weekly therapy or counseling, where they can off-load, weep, howl, rage in front of someone who truly understands and listens.

We know that counselling brings down toxic stress (which is dangerous to the immune system and a key factor triggering mental illhealth) to tolerable stress. Without this, stressed out heads are not going to be best set to support mental health in their school. ‘Psychological hazards’ - health checks for teachers and a shift to psychologically aware, warm and empathic whole-school cultures This will involve putting in place a system of valuing of teachers and taking away the psychological hazards of shame and blame. Research shows feeling valued is key to mental health, whereas shame triggers the same reaction in the body as when you have suffered a physical injury (Dickerson et al 2014). To this end, one head adopted the “I wish my headeacher knew” intervention. It’s a simple written note exercise for teachers (can be anonymised), which was originally used for pupils to write to teachers: “I wish my teacher knew”. Unsurprisingly the teachers wrote back: “We don’t feel valued”, this was a wake-up call for the head who then began to focus on making time to acknowledge and appreciate staff members. Practically speaking, this involves senior leads being more attentive to teachers’ successes and also issuing commendations to other senior staff and overseeing bodies. This head also started and ended the week with several small talking circles for staff to talk about their feelings about school and home (led by a teacher trained in group facilitation). 26

There is a mass of research showing that single parents have a far higher risk of mental and physical health problems (particularly depression) than two adults who share parenting. It’s largely the loneliness, and the lack of another adult emotionally regulating you while you emotionally regulate the children. Loneliness triggers the PANIC/GRIEF system in the brain, which can lead to panic attacks – it’s no coincidence that nearly 20 percent of teachers say they suffer panic attacks due to their job. Due to funding cuts, many teachers do not have regular access to teaching assistants so they are often a ‘single parent’ to 30 children, some of whom will inevitably have learning difficulties and mental health issues. Senior leads should ensure that these ‘lone’ teachers have regular talk-time groups to ensure they have a place where they feel free enough to talk to colleagues about feelings of loneliness, impotence, abandonment and lack of recognition. Heads should also seek creative solutions to improve adult/staff ratios, such as using volunteers or teaching apprentices. Schools do so well on this front when they advertise for volunteer parent or grandparent helpers who are warm and empathic and a calming presence for both teachers and pupils. Think neurochemically and accept that toxic stress is a psychological hazard in schools that must be addressed. If teacher stress has got to the point of almost 80 percent of teachers reporting work-related anxiety problems (NASUWT 2016), then we know we are in the realm of toxic stress. Toxic stress means chronic unrelieved stress, a key factor in mental and physical health problems. It plays havoc with your immune system and can even result in premature death. (Felitti,and Anda 2008) Bringing down toxic stress to tolerable stress for teachers Heads have a responsibility to find ways of bringing down teachers’ toxic stress to tolerable stress. A quick ‘there-there’ chat in the corridor before the teacher’s next lesson is not sufficient to reduce toxic stress levels. Rather, it’s important to ensure staff Education Magazine

have access to an oxytocin (anti-stress neurochemical) releasing environment on a daily basis e.g. a ‘reflect and restore room’ or sensory zone staff-only space (work-free zone) with time for using this built into the school timetable. It doesn’t have to be expensive to set up a room like this, and it needs to include some of the following elements which we know from neuroscience triggers oxytocin and opioids:

• • • • • •

Warm lights (uplighters)

Open fire DVD

Sensory play

perseverance, explorative drive.

Time with animals or time outside

Discipline that actively teaches pro-social skills rather than just punishes

All of these interventions support learning and protect against toxic stress-induced physical and mental illness. Train key school staff to become ‘emotionally-available adults’ for vulnerable children

Colour Soothing music Lovely smells Comforting fabric External warmth heating the body (e.g. electric blankets)

(Uvnas-Moberg, K. (2011) The Oxytocin Factor) Bringing down toxic stress to tolerable stress for pupils Due to troubled home lives, many children arrive at school in an emotional state not conducive to learning. There are many neuroscience research backed interventions designed to bring down stress levels in vulnerable children from toxic to tolerable. These are best implemented at the beginning of the school day and include:

• • • •

• •

Accompanied drumming Tai chi Mindfulness Replacing detention room with meditation room (research shows improved learning and less bad behaviour)

Conclusion There is a wealth of evidence-based research showing that having daily and easy access to at least one specific emotionally-available adult, and knowing when and where to find that adult is a key factor in preventing mental ill-health in children and young people – it’s called social buffering. If the child does not take to the designated adult, an alternative person should be found. Create a policy around testing and exam stress Heads need to ensure pupils understand that their self-worth, and the worth of others, cannot be measured simply by tests and exams. This needs to be communicated very clearly to ensure that they have got the message, coupled with a formal valuing of each individual child in terms of their special qualities: e.g. kindness, generosity,


of Personality

Bergin C., & Bergin D. (2009). Attachment in the classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21, 141-170.

Devon, N ( 2018) ‘Transform school culture to boost mental health’ 25 JULY 2018

Bellis, MA, Hardcastle K, Ford K, Hughes K, Ashton K, Quigg Z, Butler N, (2017), ‘Does continuous trusted adult support in childhood impart life-course resilience against adverse childhood experiences - a retrospective study on adult health-harming behaviours and mental well-being’. BMC Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 23;17(1):110. Brownell, CA., Svetlova M., Anderson R., Nichols S., Drummond J. (2013). Socialization of early prosocial behavior: parents’ talk about emotions is associated with sharing and helping in toddlers. Infancy 18, 91–119 Burke Harris, N (2015) Summit – Adverse Childhood Experience and Toxic stress A Public Health Crisis The Area Health Education Center of Washington State University)

Felitti, V and Anda, R, (2008) ‘The Hidden Epidemic: The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease’, The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Health, Well-being, Social Function, and Healthcare, Cambridge University Press. McClukey, G, Lloyd G, Kane J, Riddell, S Stead, J Weedon S ( 2008) Can restorative practices in schools make a difference? Educational Review ol. 60, No. 4, November 2008, 405–417 The NASUWT( teacher union) Big Question 2016 Report ( 12,000 teacher survey) Panksepp J and Biven, L ( 2012) The Archaeology of Mind W. W. Norton & Company; Uvnas-Moberg, K. (2011) The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love and Healing, Da Capo Press, Cambridge MA.

Church land, PS. and Winkie, P. (2012) Modulating social behavior with oxytocin: How does it work? What does it mean?’ Hormones and Behavior 61 (2012) 392–399

Napoli, M., Krech, P., & Holley, L. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students: The Attention Academy. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99-125.

Dickerson, S, Grunewald, T, Kerneny, M (2004) When the Social Self Is Threatened: Shame, Physiology, and Health 28 October 2004 Journal

Kim D. Rempel ( 2012) Mindfulness for Children and Youth: A Review of the Literature with an Argument for School-Based Implementation

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We know that punishment, e.g. isolation rooms, don’t work and mostly punishes those who have mental health problems or a high adverse childhood experience (ACE) score. Furthermore, countless research shows that isolation, sensory deprivation and feeling shamed is very bad for both mental health and physical health (Dickerson et al 2004). In contrast, the use of restorative conversations in schools has been found to be highly effective in both decreasing behavioral problems and exclusions and developing pro-social skills and life-long ability to manage stress well (KLasovsky J 2013).


But we cannot lay all the responsibility for mental health in schools on heads. If schools are to become mentally healthy places, for both teachers and children, the value of wellbeing has to start at the very top, with Department for Education, Ofsted and the Regional Schools Commissioners balancing the scales between outcomes (test scores) and emotional wellbeing. There needs to be national recognition of the importance of monitoring the mental health culture of every school, and governing bodies, trust boards and directors need to make staff wellbeing, as well as pupil wellbeing, key performance indicators for our schools. For further information on stress, child mental health and training please call 020 7354 2913 or visit: https://www. For information on Trauma Informed Schools UK, visit www.traumainformedschools. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy / Vol. 46 No. 3 Pages 201–220 KLasovsky J ( 2013) Repairing our Schools through restorative Justice TedXWellsStreetED November 12 2013 Wall, R. (2005). Tai Chi and mindfulness-based stress reduction in a Boston Public Middle School. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 19(4), 230-237. Napoli, M., Krech, P., & Holley, L. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students: The Attention Academy. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99-125. reduction in a Boston Public Middle School. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 19(4), 230-237., S., Locke, J., Ishijima, E., & Kasari, C. (under review). Mindful awareness practices improve executive function in elementary school children. -Greenland, S., Locke, J. & Kasari, C. (2008, April). Flook, L., Smalley, S.L., Kitil, M.J., Dang, J., Cho, J., Kaiser-Greenland, S., Locke, J. & Kasari, C. (2008, April) A mindful awareness practice improves executive function in preschool children. Poster presented at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society 6th Annual Conference, Worcester, MA.

Creative Currents

own squidgy circuit sculptures with these materials and LEDs, batteries and wires. Perhaps they could develop their squidgy circuit sculptures further using motors or buzzers.

How to develop children’s creativity when teaching primary level electricity

A simple way for children to apply their understanding of circuits in a creative way is to make electrical greeting cards such as a birthday card with a cake with a candle that lights up or Christmas card with Rudolf and an illuminative nose or a Christmas tree with lights or maybe even a Diwali card with a lamp design that lights up. Paper circuits can be made with conductive paint, aluminium foil or copper tape. Bare Conductive is one of the many suppliers of conductive paint and the education section of their website is a good place for ideas about how to use this resource creatively in schools.

One of the most important skills that our 21st century society needs from the children we are teaching is creativity: the ability to think outside the box and connect the unconnectable. Developing learners with the ability to Jackie Flaherty, Ogden be creative will give them an Trust Teaching Fellow and Head of Physics at Chipping advantage in having successful Campden Academy careers and fulfilling lives. This is the reason that when I am working with The Ogden Trust, a Physics education charity, to develop our primary CPD programme we always include ways in which physics can be linked to creativity. Traditionally physics has not be considered a creative area of the curriculum. Perhaps this could explain the lack of diversity in the field of physics, and maybe taking some alternative approaches to teaching and learning physics might attract a more diverse group of students - a notion supported by the ASPIRES study (Archer and DeWitt, 2016) that introduced the concept of ‘science capital’ to help us understand why some young people opt to study science. The ASPIRES study tells us that a young person’s ‘science capital’ increases when they have an understanding about the transferability of science and when they see science as relevant to everyday life, thus “building young people’s sense ‘that science can be for me’”. The other important lesson that we can learn from the ASPIRES survey is that children make their mind up about whether science is for them during the later years of primary education – an argument for schools to

It goes without saying that these types of activities need to

really think about the quality of their science provision and to what extent they are helping to build the ‘science capital’ of their pupils.

be appropriately risk assessed and teachers must be certain that they understand the risks involved with specific battery types. Referring to the CLEAPSS recommendations is essential when embarking on projects such as this but the CLEAPSS website also has some fabulous resources for creative projects using circuits.

So how can you link creativity and science in primary schools to make learning more relevant? Through my work with The Ogden Trust Primary team I have learned that primary physics topics really lend themselves to creative applications and cross-curricular projects – if we just consider the area of electricity we can see that there are numerous approaches to encourage children to creatively apply their learning.

Design Technology There are a huge variety of Design Technology projects for primary aged children where children can design objects with simple circuits for a particular purpose. A favourite of mine, that is always a huge hit with children of all ages, is creating a simple robot that can create original pieces of art. With just a few simple components and resources children can construct their own Scribblebot and The Ogden trust primary team has developed a simple guide to support teachers in carrying out this project in the classroom. Children can change multiple

Art There are many current artists who work who create pieces using electrical lights. Children could learn about some of these artists and their work and then create their own pieces using LEDs. It is interesting that plasticine is an insulator, but playdough is a conductor – children can construct their 28

variables on their robots and explore how it affects the pieces of art that their robots create developing resilience and evaluation skills as they go. Projects where children design and create their own electrical games is an open and creative project for Design Technology where children can really use their imaginations and collaborate to develop and test their designs. Beginning with the research stage – exploring existing toys on the market and testing materials that they might like to use – children can then go on to develop their own ideas and designs before constructing and testing them. From quiz boards to a variety of steady hand games there is so much scope, and further creativity can come as children work on the marketing and advertisement of their games linking with English and Drama curricula. Citizenship Many schools have some sort of programme for citizenship or personal and social education. There are some fantastic projects that can be done that allow children to apply their understanding of simple circuits to help solve problems in different communities around the world. Practical action have a wide range of practical problem-solving projects and resources linked situations around the world where people need practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage. A favourite of mine is the ‘Beat the flood challenge’ where children design and make a model home for their community living in a floodprone region of Watu Island with an additional challenge to use a simple circuit to create a Flood alert system.

Another way to link electricity to citizenship is to focus on transport for the 21st century where children learn about the concerns associated with transport fuelled by fossil

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fuels and find out about the alternatives. This leads beautifully to a Solar Buggies project where children can use recycled materials and a simple circuit with a solar cell and a motor to power their own Solar vehicles. I have seen solar Buggy kits such as the one available from Mindsets used really effectively in the classroom but keeping with the theme of sustainable futures I think that encouraging children to used recycled materials to build their vehicles adds even more value to this type of project.

Computing It goes without saying that there are some fantastic creative opportunities when you link electricity and coding. At our Ogden Primary Science Conference this year we had great fun with a workshop from Tech Will Save Us where our delegates used a simple kit with a BBC mircobit to create a basic robot. The ‘Microbot’ project supports children in using their knowledge of simple electric circuits to construct a very basic robot and then developing simple code to bring their robot to life – there is so much scope for creative development of ideas, and this kind of project would work well to support the curriculum in the classroom as well as being developed further as an extended project in an after-school STEM club. Problem Solving The Institution of Engineering and Technology works hard to support the promotion of engineering in schools and their Faraday Primary website is packed with resources, posters and ideas for engineering projects in schools. There are some fantastic problemsolving challenges that encourage learners to apply their understanding of science to come up with creative solutions to a range of problems. Problem-solving challenges that utilise children’s understanding of simple circuits include

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‘Homemade Doorbells’ and ‘Simple Switches’.

New safety guidance for academic environments launched

This is just a handful of examples of how electricity can be used to stimulate creative learning opportunities in primary schools. Providing children with these opportunities will not only help inspire, engage and develop skills for the 21st century but it will allow more time for children to process their understanding of the big ideas in physics that will form the foundations of their learning in secondary school.

A national trade body has provided new safety guidance for academic environments using compressed gases. The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has produced the code of practice ‘CP47 The Safe Use of Individual Portable or Mobile Cylinder Gas Supply Equipment’ to give a comprehensive overview of the major safety factors. It features guidance on the safe use, examination, inspection and maintenance of individual gas supply equipment controlled by a single cylinder mounted regulator. Subjects covered include legislation and examination procedures, as well as an overview of the associated equipment, handling and storage.

To find out more about creative approaches to teaching about electricity at the primary level and develop teacher subject knowledge you could register to attend one of The Ogden Trust’s Primary Physics Professional Learning courses (P3L) taking place over the autumn term – to find out more visit http://www.

Preparation and emergency procedures are also detailed, together with a schedule of inspection and maintenance. Doug Thornton, Chief Executive of the BCGA, said: “Much of the information in CP47 was previously covered in a guidance note from the BCGA, GN7, The Safe Use of Individual Portable or Mobile Cylinder Gas Supply Equipment. “CP47 now supersedes this document and its format as a code of practice means the information has been expanded to cover a more comprehensive subject area, which reflects the importance of this significant subject area.

The Trust is also developing a collection of resources to support the teaching of physics in primary schools with a particular focus on Working Scientifically, the resources are free to download from primaryresources and the collection is always growing so remember to visit regularly

“It also signposts readers to a wealth of other resources to help them make safe, informed decisions. “This code of practice is of value to any industry or process where single gas cylinders are in use, such as laboratories as well as industrial, scientific and academic environments. CP47 joins a wide range of respected documents available for free download from the association’s website within the publications area. Mr Thornton added: “CP47 has been produced in accordance with the BCGA’s commitment to mission safety in the compressed gases industry.

References Archer, L., DeWitt, J., 2016. Understanding Young People’s Science Aspirations: How students form ideas about ‘becoming a scientist.’ Routledge, London.

“The compressed gases sector is the UK’s ‘invisible industry,’ with industrial, food and medical gases playing a critical role in many aspects of life, underpinning a safe, successful and healthy nation. “Members of the BCGA operate in a highly-regulated industry and work together on technical, safety, health and environmental issues to achieve high standards of integrity and environmental care, both within their own and customers’ working environments.

Links Bare Conductive: https://www. CLEAPSS for Primary Schools:

“The BCGA’s mission is to ensure safety in the use, storage, transportation and handling of industrial, food and medical gases.

The Ogden Trust Scribblebot Guide: https://www.ogdentrust. com/resources/phizzi-practicalsscribblebot

“Our respected publications are key to that and significant resources are deployed to bring each of our publications together.” As well as its publications, the BCGA also actively promotes safety practice through its participation in the preparation and revision of National, European and International Standards.

Practical Action Flood Alert Activity - https://practicalaction. org/upd8-flood-alert

For more information visit

Mindsets Solar Buggies- https://

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) is the UK membership body for this critical industry. With a commitment to stringent quality, safety and environmental measures, BCGA members employ 19,000 people directly and account for an annual turnover of £2.7 billion.

Tech Will Save Us - https://www. Faraday Primary - teaching-resources/

Members of the BCGA operate in a highly-regulated industry and work together on technical, safety, health and environmental issues to achieve high standards of integrity and environmental care, both within their own and customers’ working environments.


Why qualifying as a Paralegal is now the only career option for those wanting to enter the legal services profession As the Head of a School, encouraging your students to understand the opportunities available to them and ensuring your staff are giving practical careers advice is an important part of the role. But it’s not always easy to inspire a student when you know the options for a career are limited, and often prohibitively expensive. The legal sector is one of those that attracts bright minds – but often lets them down when it comes to qualifying and getting a job. Why? Because of the huge costs involved. Qualifying as a solicitor or barrister is not only time consuming but also extremely costly. As a result, fewer and fewer students are able to take this route – even if they are passionate about a legal career. Not only do they have to pay £27k for the privilege of gaining a law degree, graduates then have to find another £15k to complete the professional examinations, whether it’s the Legal Practice course (LPC) for solicitors or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers. Even then, their career may well come to a full stop, because the next stage is to gain a training contract or a pupillage - and these are in very short supply. Statistics show that there are around 9,000 graduates competing for around 5,000 pupillages each year, and about 1000 competing for about 500 training contracts. Year on year, these figures are compounded. It can be a thankless task applying each year in vain. There are just not enough training contracts and pupillages to go around. Many graduates are therefore finding work as paralegals and some are choosing this as a viable permanent career pathway option. Encouraging school leavers or law graduates to qualify as a Paralegal from day one can save a lot of time, heartache and money! There are several reasons why Firstly, it is not as costly to gain qualifications. NALP (an Ofqual awarding organisation), through its training arm, NALP

Training is the only paralegal organisation offering nationally recognised and regulated bespoke paralegal qualifications, for under £2k. Secondly, Paralegals can now operate as independent professional practitioners in a similar way to solicitors. For example, they can apply for a Licence to Practise from NALP, and as long as they have been vetted as to their experience and/or qualifications, have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) in place (NALP has a recommended bespoke broker), they can operate from a high street office and have other paralegal partners to develop their own Paralegal firm. There however, are some legal activities that are ‘reserved’ and remain the monopoly of solicitors. These have to be avoided at all costs. Examples are: ‘rights of audience’ e.g. the ability to represent a client in all courts. Having said this, Paralegals are able and permitted to represent clients in the Small Claims Court (part of the county court) and in most Tribunals. Furthermore, this restricted activity whilst still regarded, is being eroded in practice. With the virtual eradication of Legal Aid for all but the most urgent cases, consumers needing to attend court (either to bring an action or defend themselves) are unable to pay solicitors’ or barristers’ fees. These can be quite onerous for even the simplest of matters: solicitors may charge upwards of £200 - £500 per hour for their services – a cost that most people cannot afford. The lack of Legal Aid has meant that consumers have been attending court to represent themselves. They are referred to as Litigants in Person or LIPs. This in turn has put huge strain on the court system.


Many Judges are halting proceedings to give advice to LIPs themselves. This has resulted in massive delays in the timetabling of cases. Ten-minute cases are now taking as long as two hours, according to information given to NALP recently. Paralegal Practitioners are now filling this gap left by the Legal Aid void. Paralegals may only charge £30-£80 per hour for equivalent services offered by solicitors. If you think that a Paralegal is not a Solicitor, then you will be correct in that assumption. Paralegals are not solicitors. However, they are trained, educated and qualified in law and through the self-regulatory membership body NALP, will have been vetted and checked in respect of their experience and competency. Apart from the ‘reserved activities’, paralegals can practice in similar areas of law that a solicitor can, with the exception of Conveyancing and Immigration work. These areas are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) respectively. Provided that a Paralegal Practitioner does not infer in any way that they are solicitors, they can offer advice and assistance to consumers, thereby offering access to justice at a reasonable cost which fulfils the statutory guidelines and objectives of The Legal Services Act 2007. It is vitally important that this message is passed on to school and college leavers so that they are fully aware of their options and save themselves time and heartache before they embark on the costly path to qualification as a solicitor or barrister. The future of the legal services sector lies in the capable hands of the Paralegal Profession. Amanda Hamilton is Chief Executive of the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP) About the author Amanda Hamilton is Chief Executive of the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP), a non-profit Membership Body and the only Paralegal body that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual (the regulator of qualifications in England). Through its training arm, NALP Training, accredited recognised professional paralegal qualifications are offered for a career as a paralegal professional. See: and training Twitter: @NALP_UK Facebook: NationalAssocationsofLicensedParalegals/ LinkedIn - amanda-hamilton-llb-hons-840a6a16/

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SPATEX 2019 – There’s so much to learn at the school of water leisure A swimming pool is, without doubt, the most obvious demonstration of a school’s commitment to sport. Even in hard economic times, a pool, particularly in the independent sector, is regarded as a vital ingredient in a school’s sports offering. Detractors claim pools can be costly and time consuming to run but that doesn’t have to be the case at all. Indeed, a visit to SPATEX 2019 will reap dividends in showing you the latest energy saving developments and products. At the end of January (Tuesday 29th to Thursday 31st), the whole of the national and international water leisure industry converges on Coventry’s Ricoh Arena for what has become a very vibrant and engaging annual event. Attracting hundreds and hundreds of visitors from all professions and disciplines on each of its three days, it’s the go-to Show for every educational establishment that has, or is considering installing, a wet leisure facility. SPATEX offers an eye-catching showcase covering all wet leisure product sectors including pools, spas, hot tubs, play equipment, hydrotherapy, heating and ventilation and chemicals, to name but a few. With over a hundred exhibitors, all the world’s leading big-name manufacturers and suppliers are in attendance along with smaller niche companies. SPATEX is, however, much more than just an opportunity to source and shop the very latest innovations, it is also a place to learn new skills. Offering, as it does, a double seminar programme on all three days, it assembles the greatest brains in the business, with experts from esteemed industry bodies such as the ISPE (the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers), PWTAG (Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group) and STA (Swimming Teachers’ Association). All seminars are free and certificates of attendance and CPD points are available. The Show gives you access to leading wet leisure experts. If you have any queries about your own school pool or a future project, these are the people to consult for free and impartial advice. If you need pointing in the right direction, please come to the SPATEX information desk at the front of the hall and we will be happy to help.

SPATEX is FREE to all visitors, go to to register and receive regular newsletters with up-to-the minute information on the Show, including seminar topics and speakers. SPATEX 2019: Tuesday January 29th to Thursday January 31st 2019, the Ricoh Arena, Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Coventry. For further information please call Michele or Helen on +44 (0) 1264 358558 or email;