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Autumn Edition

Former olympic ace Duncan Goodhew opens new ÂŁ6.6 million sports facility at St Albans school

Interview with Claire Smith the Principal of Bedford Acadamy

Derek Todd the Commercial Bursar at St Albans School - for ar ticles news and pr oducts

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PIR Education Magazine Autumn Edition Published by Review Magazines, Clifton House, 4a Goldington Road, Bedford MK40 3NF. Tel: 01234 348878 Fax: 01223 790191 E-mail: Website: Copyright Education Magazine 2012

Annual Subscription £10 Editorial Sales Team: Tracy Johnson and Derek Cooper, Tel: 01234 348878

Advertising Sales and Management by Media Shed Ltd. Contact:Tom Tiffin Tel: 0845 226 0577 Email:

Design/Production Amanda Wesley

Contents 2 News

12 An interview with

24 Healthy eating

18 The commercial

26 Successful school

Claire Smith the Principal of Bedford Academy

5 Panorama

exposes mis-selling of IT equipment including photocopiers and printers to schools

Bursar Talking to Derek Todd the Bursar at St Albans School

9 Former olympic ace

Duncan Goodhew opens new £6.6 million sports facility at St Albans school

22 Balancing ethos

If you are building, developing new ideas or have some excellent examples of ‘good practice’, spread the word about them and contact PIR Education Magazine on

01234 348878 or

email We are always looking for good news on Education issues. We approve all articles prior to press.

Look forward to hearing from you!

and security obligations Jonathan Goss

is key for the next generation of Olympians By Dr Verner Wheelock

laundry expands service to local residents

27 More news 28 Product showcase

For details on how to sponsor covers for future editions, telephone: 01234 348878 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.

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Nearly half of school children worry about money Nearly half of school children worry about money, according to new research published today to mark the launch of ‘Our Money, Our Future’, a toolkit developed by young people in conjunction with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) to help children campaign for high quality, personal finance education to be taught in their school.

Show your school’s support for Jeans for Genes Day through the creation of a denim masterpiece As part of its continued support for Jeans for Genes Day, Avery is launching a competition which invites schools up and down the country to create their very own denim works of art!

More than four in ten 7-16 year olds (43 percent) worry about money, while nearly one in eight (12 percent) has owed someone else money that they could not afford to repay, according to a survey of 1,000 young people conducted for the charities by Panelbase. The survey also confirms overwhelming support for financial education in schools among young people, with 84 percent agreeing that their school did not do enough to teach them about money matters and 96 percent believing that every school pupil should be taught to manage their finances. A group of 12 young people from across the UK have developed the ‘Our Money, Our Future’ toolkit and made their case for financial education in schools directly to MPs at a launch event in Parliament.

Avery is launching the competition to enable schools to help change the lives of children with genetic disorders, in a fun and engaging way. The winning schools will be selected regionally and awarded a prize of £500 worth of Avery products from the Trimmers & Guillotines and Sticky Stuff for Schools ranges. The theme for entries is Sporting Greats, giving pupils the chance to be as imaginative as possible in a year where sport has played a significant and inspirational role. Whether it is football, Tour de France, the Olympics or their very own school sports day, any school can get involved and support the charity’s ongoing work to transform the lives of thousands of children affected by genetic disorders.

Justin Tomlinson MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, spoke at the launch. He said: “Personal finance education has never been more important, and I am delighted that young people will now have the tools to enable them to launch their own local campaign for this vital life skill to be taught in their school.  The fact that this toolkit has been developed by young people themselves shows that they can make a real difference – and I am confident that we will soon be seeing the results of their ideas in schools up and down the country.”

To enter your school, simply take a picture of the finished piece of work and upload it to the gallery at, with a short explanation about what inspired the idea, as well as the name and town of the school.

Jhon Bateman aged 15 from Young NCB said: “It is so important that we are taught at school to look after our finances so that we can manage our money effectively as we enter adulthood, and as teenagers we spend wisely and also save for college or university.”

Jeans for Genes Day raises money for Genetic Disorders UK and aims to change the world for children with genetic disorders. This year it takes place on Friday 5 October, where thousands of office workers and school children will wear their jeans for the day and make a £1/£2 donation. Celebrity supporters this year include Amanda Holden, Katie Price, Coleen Rooney, Michelle Keegan, Lauren Pope, Jessica and Carol Wright, Caggie Dunlop and Jade Thompson.

Teri-Ann Watson aged 14 from Young NCB said: “We want young people to use this toolkit to help them campaign for good financial education to be taught in their schools and help them gain both confidence and other useful skills, such as teamwork, from using it.” Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of pfeg, said: “It is crucial that we get young people actively involved in the campaign for financial education, and it’s great to see their enthusiasm and ideas having a real impact on what we are trying to do. We have to ensure that young people are given the skills they need to make informed decisions about their finances, and the launch of this toolkit means that young people can now take that message to their peers themselves.” ‘Our Money, Our Future’ has been devised and written by young people from Young NCB’s Personal Financial Education Advisory Group. It is available to download from: www.youngncb. resources.aspx

Gregg Corbett, marketing director at Avery Dennison comments;”Jeans for Genes Day is of course a fantastic fundraising event and we are proud to be able to continue our support from 2009. The competition is a great way for schools across the UK to really make a difference to the lives of thousands of children born with a genetic disorder and it’s a really fun and simple way to get involved! We are looking forward to seeing how creative schools can be – it is certainly going to be a tough job to judge!”

On the week commencing 10 September, the celebrity supporters will be visiting schools nationwide as part of a Celebrity Roadshow in support of Jeans for Genes Day! The Avery Sticky Stuff for Schools range has been designed to save teachers’ time by offering easy to use organisational and display vehicles that can enrich each pupil’s visual experience to stimulate their learning. Why not use some of the products to help create your school’s competition entry? The perfect excuse for trying them out! The products can be printed or written on and Avery has partnered with resources site Twinkl to offer hundreds of free designs for schools to create attractive, long-lasting labels for their schools and classrooms. Avery will be donating 50p from every pack of the Sticky Stuff for Schools range sold up until 31st March 2013. Competition entries must be submitted by 31 December 2012 and judging will take place in January 2013. The winners from six regions across Britain will be announced in February 2013. For further information about the competition visit: For more information about Jeans for Genes visit: 4

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Panorama exposes mis-selling of it equipment including photocopiers and printers to schools Documentary highlights need for schools to choose accredited equipment suppliers The Nationwide Association of Photocopier and Print Suppliers (NAPPS) has urged schools to source IT equipment through accredited suppliers following last night’s Panorama programme, which highlighted schools that had been duped into paying grossly inflated prices. Panorama found that many schools have been left in financial difficulty after falling prey to aggressive sales tactics and signing leases that left them paying up to 15 times the going rate for equipment including computers and photocopiers. However, by choosing suppliers that are accredited by an organisation such as NAPPS,

which was set up to bring ethical change to the photocopier suppliers market, headteachers and others responsible for purchasing equipment on behalf of schools can avoid falling prey to the practices exposed on the documentary. NAPPS director Aaron Warham said: “The mis-selling of photocopiers and printers to schools and other public sector organisations is unacceptable and has been happening for many years.” “We are continuing to fight against these practices, which are certainly not confined to the companies that were investigated on last night’s programme.” NAPPS evaluates, accredits and monitors its members operating standards via its Code of Practice, to which all members must comply. The organisation also offers a free,

confidential advice service to schools and other organisations which may have fallen prey to the practices highlighted on last night’s documentary. Mr Warham continued: “Before purchasing photocopiers or printers schools should ask whether the supplier is a member of NAPPS and if they are not a member, ask them why not? Our members follow a Code of Practice which states clearly that business shall not be sought through misrepresentation or dishonesty.” Mr Bill Simmonds, Chief Executive of the National Association of School Business Management, also highlighted the need for schools to choose accredited suppliers. He said: “When seeking new agreements, we urge schools to take advice from as many sources as possible,

including NASBM, to safeguard themselves from dealing with non-reputable suppliers. “Schools should check whether suppliers are accredited by trade associations like NAPPS which, via its code of conduct, is working hard to raise standards among suppliers in the industry. This will help to protect schools and other organisations going forward.” For more information on how to find your nearest NAPPSaccredited dealer, please visit

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Call for compulsory first aid training in schools for young babysitters

The ‘near miss’ stories young babysitters reported during the research included incidents of children in their care climbing out of windows, falling off chairs, and choking, with some young babysitters feeling inexperienced  and unprepared.  

Young babysitters would feel better equipped if they were given compulsory first aid lessons in school as part of the National Curriculum, latest research from childcare charity Daycare Trust shows.

For some young people the obligation to babysit impacted on their ability to complete homework or socialise with friends.

‘Young Babysitters in Britain’ is the first report to examine the use and profile of babysitters in Britain. The research, part of Daycare Trust’s Big Lottery funded project ‘Informal Childcare: Choice or Chance?’ looked at the experiences of young babysitters, parents’ satisfaction, and child safety and welfare issues. It found that:

However, the majority are happy providing informal childcare and reported they found babysitting a rewarding experience, which builds their confidence and brings them closer to younger relatives in their charge.

As a result, Daycare Trust is recommending that:

Babysitters are crucial to the UK economy. While half of 15 to 24 year-olds who provide informal childcare do so to enable parents to undertake leisure activities, one third do so in order to help parents work.

Around one in ten families had used a carer aged between 15 and 24 in the last 6 months to look after their child, and one in six 15 to 24 year-olds were providing informal childcare to relatives, family friends, or as paid babysitters to unrelated families.

Young babysitters provide a significant number of hours of childcare every week, often on a regular basis. Sibling carers, for example provided an average of 5.7 hours of childcare every week.

The review of the National Curriculum in England should make first aid training universal for all secondary school students. More schools could also enrol their students on British Red Cross babysitting courses and use PSHE lessons to discuss safe babysitting practices.

Local authorities must fulfil their obligations under the Childcare Act 2006 and ensure that working parents, including those who work outside normal office hours, have sufficient childcare.

There needs to be an expansion in the supply of affordable forms of childcare for those parents who presently turn to friends, relatives and neighbours to look after their children, particularly outside normal office hours. This should include more registered childminders and nurseries; an increase in

Young carers need more support in schools •

Attendance, behaviour and concentration impacted by caring roles;

Increasing stigmatisation by Government of poor attendance and bad behaviour in school risks most vulnerable children’s futures

Tackling problems young carers face is good for schools as well as young carers and their families.

A Family Action report published warns that young carers’ futures could be at risk if schools fail to offer adequate support for vulnerable pupils in school. The report is by young carers, for young carers. It includes extensive interviews conducted by the charity with young carers, teachers and families revealing young carers face a tough time in school. They are often punished for poor attendance, punctuality, behaviour and lack of concentration by teachers who do not understand the difficulties they face at home. The Government is increasingly stigmatising children and young people for poor attendance and behaviour in school when many such as young carers need more support. A young carer is a young person between the age of 5-24 who cares for a parent or sibling with a physical or mental health difficulty or a parent with substance misuse. The Be Bothered! Making School Count for Young Carers report paints a stark picture with young people missing school and caring

affects their behaviour and achievements in school. Family Action is launching the Be Bothered! campaign to call for more support in school for young carers. With young carers more likely to be not in education or training (NEET) urgent action is needed to support this vulnerable group in education, . Key findings of the Be Bothered: Making School Count for Young Carers report include: Many young carers do not feel supported in school. This can impact on their attendance and behaviour as well as their concentration. Sometimes young carers are punished by teachers for issues relating to their caring role due to a lack of understanding amongst teachers about the impact of caring on education. Young carers, parents and teachers all feel that if young carers are able to disclose their caring role to school then they will be more supported. However, young carers may not disclose their caring responsibilities because of a lack of trust in teachers and the fear of agencies intervening at home or bullying. Tackling problems young carers face in school is not only good for vulnerable young people and their families – it could also be good for schools, reducing unexplained absence, and improving behaviour and disruption in the classroom. Where schools work with in partnership with Young Carers services, creative solutions


can be found to increase the support young carers receive in school and improve their education experience. Closed school cultures can be a barrier to achieving more support for young carers and working effectively with external agencies such as young carers services. It’s particularly important to tackle this with academies and free schools on the rise. Family Action Chief Executive Helen Dent said: “Young carers’ caring roles don’t stop at the school gate. With research suggesting one in twelve young people in secondary school may have a caring role it is vital that schools support this hidden group of vulnerable pupils so as to tackle persistent absence and improve behaviour and the life chances of all young people in class. Young carers missing school should be supported not stigmatised by Government. Being Bothered about young carers in schools means everyone working together – Government, local authorities, schools, voluntary organisations - to make sure the right support is in place for young carers and their parents.”

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sessional childcare that can be booked at short notice; and an expansion of registered ‘at home’ childcare services, where trained carers can look after children in their own homes, with registration enabling parents to claim Working Tax Credit support.

Health visitors and others working with parents of young children need to consider ways to reinforce message about safe babysitting practices. Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of Daycare Trust said:

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“With this report we have looked for the first time at a crucial, but long overlooked cog in the childcare wheel – that of the role of babysitters. A huge number of families rely on young babysitters to enjoy a night off or go to work , and many of the young people involved  find this an enjoyable and rewarding role. However, this isn’t always the case, and there are some simple but effective ways babysitting practices could be improved, in the interests of parents, children, and babysitters alike, such as through mandatory first aid training in schools.


Ultimately, parents should never be in a position where they are forced to use babysitters because other childcare is either unaffordable or unavailable at the times they require. To make this happen, an expansion in out of hours childcare is urgently needed, and must be addressed by the government’s Childcare Commission.”

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Former olympic ace opens new £6.6 million sports facility at St Albans school Duncan Goodhew, the former Olympic swimming gold medallist, today formally opened the new £6.6 million Sports Centre at St Albans School in the presence of the Headmaster, Andrew Grant, and a host of dignitaries including The Mayor of St Albans, The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, The Dean of the Cathedral and the Vice Chancellor of Hertfordshire University. The new development, designed by the late David Morgan, a former pupil of St Albans School, includes a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness and weights suite with 26 stations and a sports hall with four international standard badminton courts and basketball hoops. The complex also includes a mirrored dance studio with sprung wooden floor, a climbing wall, and a suite of technical and teaching areas. Speaking at the opening, Headmaster Andrew Grant described the Sports Centre as the largest and most ambitious building ever constructed in the School’s one-thousand-and-sixtyfour-year history:

“This wonderful new facility will not only hugely enhance and enrich the opportunities for sport and physical fitness of our own students, but the pool is already in use by local clubs and children from local primary schools from dawn until well after dusk and others are beating a path to our door to use the Sports Hall, the dance studio and the climbing wall.

Sailing, Squash, Golf, Hockey and Cross Country already in place. The expansion in facilities has also welcomed the introduction of ‘Zumba’ and ‘Taekwondo’ and also the options of climbing and swimming. The girls have shown great enthusiasm to challenge themselves in these new activities.“ Among the local clubs taking full advantage of the new facility is the City of St Albans Swimming Club (CoStA) which helped with the testing of the new pool and its state of the art electronic timing equipment.

“There has been much speculation as to how the legacy of London 2012 is to be secured and I am confident that with this magnificent new building we can make our own small contribution towards that.”

David Lightowler, former chairman of CoStA said:

Emma Clarke, Head of Girls’ Games added:

“By making the facility, almost without limitation outside school hours, available to CoStA, the School has enabled us to increase our membership, and give children, whether pupils at the School or not, the

“Girls Sport is expanding at St Albans School. The girls are now spoilt for choice on their Games afternoon with Netball, Lacrosse, Rounders, Tennis,

opportunity to benefit from one of the premier facilities in the region. CoStA now has access not only to an excellent pool but also training facilities for land training - now seen as essential for competitive swimming and an ‘endless pool’ to give superior feedback for stroke correction. The feedback from all our members to date has been extremely positive and we are proud to be associated with the facility and its management team.” Scott Siery, the newly-appointed Sports Centre Manager, added: “The Sports Centre is truly state-of-the-art and as such will be in constant use and demand from students and the local community. We already have two swimming clubs, a triathlon club and a netball club using our facilities and will open the pool to local residents in the holidays. Our Development Team is also looking to work with local primary schools to create a programme of swimming lessons.” The building work on the project was completed on time and on budget by the SDC Construction Group, based in Bedford. Duncan Goodhew swam competitively in America as a collegian at North Carolina State University, before he captained the England Swimming team in the 100m breaststroke and 4x100m medley. He was also member of the British bobsleigh team at the 1981 European Championships, and now spends most of his time as a motivational speaker and author. He was awarded an MBE for services to sport.


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Will button badges get your message across?


from customers, yet they cost only a few Pence each and are quick and very cost-effective to distribute.”

Badgemaster, the UK’s leading name badge manufacturer, believes so and has launched a new range of digitally printed promotional button badges to include a new patent-protected “Supersafe” wearer and child friendlier and safer fastener.

Badgemaster believes a key factor in the success of button badges is the way they can overcome the natural reluctance of staff to initiate dialogue with customers. Worn by staff at the till, button badges aim to create interest and increase awareness. They also encourage customers to start a conversation about special offers and product promotions avoiding pressure on either party, at the very point when the customer is in a buying frame of mind and potentially most open to additional purchases.

The use of the latest state of the art digital printing technology also means lower prices, higher quality and faster turnaround times. Most sizes in the Badgemaster range of circular button badges now come fitted with the new supersafe rigid plastic back which securely houses the traditional safety pin, locking it closed while being worn to prevent accidental loss or injury. With many marketing budgets under pressure, Badgemaster has noticed renewed interest in button badges, as companies search for proven successful, yet inexpensive branded merchandise and point of sale materials to promote their products, events and special offers.

The company says button badges have many uses and are also popular as free give-aways, mementos and children’s educational tools, especially with the new, safer fastener. For more information please visit, or contact the Badgemaster customer services team on 01623 723112. or emailing

As John Bancroft, Managing Director of Badgemaster explains: “You can be creative and have fun with button badges. They’re great at conveying sales messages and prompting immediate enquiries

Keeping kids safe As part of our syllabus at Sparks Theatre School, we are set to launch our new TIE (Theatre In Education) module. Our new initiative will give our students the opportunity to make a difference in their community and perhaps even beyond! The premise is that our students from aged 9 upwards, create topical and educational drama pieces to be presented in schools to their juniors. Tackling topics such as road safety, stranger danger,and litter awareness for infant schools. While our older students will deal with tougher issues such as alcohol abuse,drug abuse, and gang crime. We believe that by dramatising these topics, they will have a lasting impression on their audience. Chidren are influenced by older children and their peers, so who better to educate them about the increasingly dangerous world in which they live? For more information tel: Sparks Theatre School 07968 210009 or visit

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Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a simple activity that encourages children, and their teachers, to identify and take an interest in the birds visiting their school grounds. Taking part in this activity could not be easier. To help plan for a fantastic birdwatch we’ve produced a free teachers’ pack that is brimming with plenty of ideas and information. We also run Little Schools’ Birdwatch for under fives to take part in, while older students (11 - 14 year olds) can get involved in Really Big Schools’ Birdwatch. Taking just one hour, the birdwatch can be carried out in school, or by visiting a local outdoor space. The activity works across a wide age and ability range, and there is plenty of flexibility for schools to run it as simply as they would like. It could be used as a centrepiece of cross-curricular studies, project work or as part of work to improve school grounds. The activities can also be adapted for youth groups, eg Brownies and Cubs. Almost 90,000 school children and teachers stepped up for nature by taking part in the survey last year - a record-breaking number. That’s an astounding 3,000 classes from more than 2,000 schools that got involved. We want 2013 to be even bigger.


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First Sixth Form facility in Richmond opens at Twickenham Academy Twickenham Academy, part of Learning Schools Trust (LST), has become the first secondary school in the Richmond Borough to open a Sixth Form.

Form will be provided with these devices, providing access to learning resources wherever they have access to the Internet.” The Academy’s Sixth Form offers a range of qualifications in areas in which it knows it can provide high-quality teaching, firmly rooted in its specialisms of Sport and Digital Technology.

The new facility opened with 50 students, who will all benefit from the Academy’s unique personalised approach to learning, which enables them to study at their own pace and to take qualifications early.

Students can choose any combination of qualifications from a core strand of either IT (BTEC Extended Diploma) or Sport (BTEC Extended Diploma). In addition, they have a choice of seven to 10 complementary A levels, including Mathematics, English, ICT, Sciences, Psychology, History, Geography, Media and Arts, as well as a thematic strand which provides breadth of study and learning, advice and guidance, personal skills and critical thinking.

Twickenham Academy was established in 2010 and the model of learning, based on the Swedish Kunskapsskolan, was initially introduced in Years 7, 8 and 10. Students follow a stepped curriculum and have one-to-one tutorials to support their learning.

All students will also have the opportunity to spend time in a work environment related to their strand of study. Many local companies have pledged to work with Twickenham Academy to provide these internships.

“We are delighted to be the first school in the Borough to open a Sixth Form provision, giving students a choice that has not been available to them for many years, to stay with teachers they know and using an educational model with which they are now familiar,” explains Nick Jones, Principal of Twickenham Academy.

The Sixth Form also offers a one-year Foundation to Higher programme for those students who have not yet achieved 5+ A*- C grades at GCSE, including English and Mathematics. Mr David Littlemore, Upper College Principal, said it had been an amazing start for the Sixth Form students and he has been genuinely impressed with the maturity, enthusiasm and level of engagement they have displayed in their approach to independent learning.

“The Sixth Form will follow our personalised learning approach, giving young people the independent study and personal management skills they will need in higher and further education, and in the world of work. Our young people will enter a focused, adult environment and enjoy a personal journey of self-discovery in all aspects of living and learning.

“The launch of a Sixth Form is a very exciting development for the Borough and Twickenham Academy, and will be followed in April next year by the opening of our iconic new building,” said Mr Jones.

“They are also excited to be using the latest tablet technology to access courses on our Learning Portal. Every student in the Sixth

Examination officers’ association and industry qualifications announce partnership Industry Qualifications, the first pan-sector mutual awarding organisation in the UK, has today announced a partnership with the Examination Officers’ Association (EOA). The EOA is a professional membership organisation representing the exam office community in the UK and abroad. The initial partnership focus will centre on the development of accredited qualifications for invigilation staff as part of an invigilation package which includes a DVD and access to external training courses. The qualifications will enable senior examination managers to provide their staff with structured and accredited training for those new to invigilation and those leading invigilation teams. The EOA provides affiliate membership for invigilation staff and the new qualifications form an important part of the EOA support for all exams office staff in schools and colleges, in both the state and independent sectors. The qualifications are part of a package of developments being introduced by the EOA, which both lobbies and represents its’ members in supporting the raising of examination standards. The provision of

Continuing Professional Development opportunities for all those engaged in managing and running examinations is a central tenet of this work. The DVD will provide a training resource for examination managers in schools, colleges and for private training providers who support the delivery of all types of the qualifications. This DVD focuses on providing practical help and advice on exam centre delivery while incorporating all the guidelines and standards issued through the JCQ, FAB and various government sources. Andrew Harland, the EOA’s chief executive said, “In the present climate, the EOA felt it needed to quickly fill the gap being left by past government programmes and IQ was very responsive in fulfilling that goal. Many would agree that the exams environment, like the education sector, is just another industry which needs serving appropriately and IQ’s name incorporating the word ‘industry’ seems to reinforce that perception. This exam industry, through exam centres, oversees the second biggest


budget, after salaries, in most schools and colleges and therefore it is vital that all exam office and invigilation personnel are competent, recognised, and valued for their increasingly complex workload.” Head of Business Development of Industry Qualifications, Sallyann Baldry said; “The introduction of qualifications to improve standards of invigilation practice comes at an important time as questions continue unabated regarding the integrity and probity of high stakes examinations such as GCSE’s and A’ levels. There is an ever increasing need to recognise the skills and knowledge of professionals working within the exam office community, which often goes unrewarded, and IQ is delighted to be supporting the EOA who are at the forefront of supporting continuing professional development in schools and colleges throughout the UK and abroad.” For further information visit Email: Phone: 0118 975 8552

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Bedford Academy

Claire Smith is the Principal of Bedford Academy, and has made a career working in challenging schools. She started her career in teaching in Trinity School in Northampton, after two and a half years she moved to Weston Favell, then to Mereway. Her first senior leadership post was at Halyard School in Luton where she worked as part of the team tasked with bringing the school out of special measures, then a move to North Warwickshire to another school also in special measures called Hartshill. Claire then applied for, and was appointed to the job as Principal at John Bunyan Upper School no was appointed as Principal Designate of Bedford Academy to replace John Bunyan Upper School in Bedford in November 2009 when it was a school that gave cause for concern.

Education Magazine:. (EM) How long ago did this school become an academy, and why? Claire Smith (CS) It opened as an academy in September 2010, at the time there were few academies in the country. It had been determined that this was the best way forward for the school as it had been receiving special support from the Council for some time . I joined in the preceding November in order to help prepare the school for its change of status by which time a lot of work had already taken place. It’s a long process as academy status is not just a name change on the sign at the school gate. There are a huge amount of changes to make, including contracts of employment, TUPE regulation negotiations, curriculum planning and such like. In addition we had a new building to design and commission! EM So you had an existing school that had its own difficulties, with pupils, staff and buildings so it would also have had its own traditions and habits, its own unproductive ‘Spanish practises’ which will have developed and become entrenched over the years. Starting from scratch would be easier. Is that why a brand new ‘right out of the box’ wonderful new building is being constructed in the old playground? CS It’s not the full reason for the new-build, although it will be a great benefit. The old building we are in is usable, as far as it goes, but we have to share a lot of facilities with the Bunyan Centre next door, which isn’t ideal. We have to rent part of it as a school hall due to there not being one within our grounds which is expensive. Our science 12

facilities in the old building are also very restricted and to cap it all the building leaks like a sieve, which is a real problem when you take into account how wet this summer has been! Part of the sponsors vision is that we are going to be increasing our intake from 13 to 18 year age group to 11 to 18 year olds so that is two more years of pupils we need to accommodate. So we require a much larger facility EM So what are you getting for the money and effort expended, and what happens to this leaky sieve of a building you are in at the moment? CS We get a brand new custom designed school for 1440 pupils! Then the old buildings will be levelled and be part of its grounds, most of it will be car park and play ground. The new building is one of the last and very few to be completed under the previous Governments ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme. This was because we were almost laying the first brick as the programme cancelation was announced. EM What is the vision for the school and how was it realised? CS The sponsors, my team and I were able to specify almost entirely what we wanted. We were able to take the concepts and ideas we wanted and turn them into reality. It’s not often anyone gets the chance to design and build a school, let alone one that fits in with the vision for its educational use. It’s a rare privilege and we are determined to get it right. The starting point was how we wanted to educate the students of this area. It was based on a significant part of the Learning Village concept, also known as the PIR Education

‘extended family’. We want the students to be a part of an area where they feel really well supported. It’s similar to the concept of houses within schools but here they will be tutored vertically where different age groups will be able to mix with one another. We also wanted to have a school that concentrated on science and technology and the design reflects these concepts. The layout enables the extended village style of teaching and the overall design is a beacon for the ideals and aspirations of the school. We know that in this area of the country the need is for a science and technology base to education as that reflects the future of industry and jobs. We want to be able to prepare our students to compete for jobs in those industries. That future requires students to attend further education so they must want to spend longer within education to acquire the additional knowledge. To this end we have designed a very prominent place for the 6th form area. This is to encourage students to aspire, attend and study sixth form subjects that will prepare them for work in the industries in this area. We have developed science and technology as our ‘beacon’ subjects. So a beacon that represents this sits on top of the building as

school day, and after school enrichment programme which brings huge benefits to pupils. It enables greater flexibility because we no longer have to calculate staff working hours so closely. So the staff have longer contact with students and get rewarded for doing so, in a standard school we are not allowed to do that, as an academy our students can take advantage of it. The change of status gave us the opportunity and ability to look at everything we do and decide if it was fit-for- task and the best option. If it wasn’t we have the chance and the ability to change it. EM Is that what has stopped more staff pupil contact? The inability to adjust pay? CS It’s only one of the factors, but an important one. The changes we have made are not just to the teacher pupil relationship, we have made an enormous number of changes in all areas of the schools life, and we have made them in quite a short period of time too. The changes we have already made are starting to show results, the rest, and that includes the new school building, are yet to have their full effect. EM The changes you have been able to make, such as the new uniform, does that

The IT spend was £2 million and the whole school has been networked comprehensively and to a very high standard to future proof it.

pupils were involved in the design of the uniform and also in the design of some of the school. They did this by undertaking a project with the University of Northampton regarding the vision for the building. The results of this were fed into the design process and so they feel they ‘own’ part of the school. EM When are you due to move into your shiny new building and what are you going to do to make the move as seamless as possible. CS We were supposed to open in time for the autumn term; however, it was put back to the 5th of November! This date was arrived at when the construction company discovered that there was some unknown archaeology on the site. It is part of the planning regulations that due care has to be taken with any archaeological finds on the site. We have been planning the actual move for some time. We will let the students have a slightly longer half term holiday than planned and that extra holiday will give us the time to make the move to the new building. We have the move sorted and are constantly refining the plans as things develop.

The heating system control room has had a window built into it, the idea being to constantly remind the pupils and staff about technology and that it all costs money.

a visible representation of this concept.

really have an effect and if so how?

EM Is this a PFI funded building?

EM What is the status of an academy going to give you that John Bunyan Upper School would not? I’m interested in terms of what difference it makes to the student and the opportunities it prepares them for.

CS The new uniform is a vital part of the impression we need to make that we are beginning a new school here. It’s not just a very statement to the pupils, it’s also a very striking statement to the community we are in. We are very strict on our uniform and we have found the policy to be well supported. We not only expect it to be worn, we expect it to be worn properly. It took a while to get all students into this way of thinking however, it’s now worn with pride and it does make a difference. The new school building is also something the pupils are going to be proud to be associated with. Children are tribal and it is normal that if the majority are proud of something then they will all want to belong to that group. The

CS No, it’s funded directly from Whitehall. PFI has a reputation for being very restrictive when the building is in use. However this is fully ‘our building’ so we can make changes as and when the educational needs demand them and the budget allows!

CS As an academy you have more freedom to adapt your curriculum and staffing to the needs of the pupils. This mean the budget can be spent with greater flexibility regarding the type of staff that can be employed and what they can be asked to do. So one of the first things we decided was necessary was to break with the national standards for teachers pay and conditions. This enables us to reward our staff in return for more hours. So we have a longer PIR Education


EM What about the equipment that you need for the school? Have you been able to determine what you want and where you get it from? CS We have been able to equip the school in the way we wished and to the highest standard we were able to afford within the budget. For instance we were able to choose the furniture we wanted and use some of our flexible budget to acquire equipment

that we thought would help us do the job better. We have a very large IT budget; you will have seen the entire computer network cabling that’s being buried into the buildings walls and ceilings. We have future proofed the network and are spending £2 million on the IT system alone. There is a policy framework for awarding such contracts and there are about twelve companies who are recommended for supplying these systems to schools. To do this we went out to tender and a company called Viglan Ltd won the order, they are one of Alan Sugars start-up ventures. EM It must be a daunting prospect when you have to equip an entire school, how did you go about it? The central atrium of the school where pupils will be able to mix and work together.

CS They provide us with support at school governance level and are working with us on a number of initiatives. We are one of the original type of academies who have an endowment fund. So their involvement is vital to the use of the fund and also to the future success of the school. EM You have built your career by working with schools who are not delivering what is expected of them. You now have a school that is in the image you feel is needed to deliver the education that the pupils deserve. It’s no longer a school that is ‘failing in some way’, how long will the new school retain your interest?

CS We had advisors in to help with the negotiations and to compile a list of what we would need. The support network was already in place and they have proved their worth and advised us on what to get and where from. It has been a huge amount of work for the team but the support team that includes independent building consultants and computer requirement experts were there from the outset. EM What surprises have you had along the way. Nice and nasty?

CS An on-going nice surprise was, because we were so close to the site, we were able to see it grow out of the ground and were reminded on a daily basis that it was a reality and all the hard work was going to result in the new building actually opening in the style and shape we envisaged. There have been a lot of anxieties on the way too, the change of Government put the whole scheme in serious doubt just as all the planning was done. We didn’t know if all our hard work was going to be lost because the Building Schools for the Future programme was cancelled. Luckily we were one

of the last few schools to be passed, probably because we were so close to actually being built. Then there were the planning delays, the archaeology dig, the delays caused by unforeseen events that could put back the move substantially. A few days delay was potentially important, as we can only move during holiday periods, we missed the summer holiday, now we are aiming for the autumn half term. EM Your sponsors, the Bedford Charity and the Bedford College, what do they do, what’s there involvement? 14

CS It’s problems haven’t completely disappeared; we still have the pupils and the negative aspects of its legacy. We still need to make massive changes to the attitude of the pupils and their aspirations. The building simply houses the education process and effort, the core function of developing the school into a centre of excellence is not an overnight process. There are a lot of changes left to do and processes to see through. EM You not going to fully answer that question are you? CS No! Thank you very much for talking to the Education Magazine! PIR Education

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The commercial Bursar EM (Education Magazine) Why did you get the role of Bursar here?

Derek Todd is the Bursar at St Albans School, he joined it in January 2007 after leaving his role as the Deputy Chief Executive of Millennium Point in Birmingham, the second largest Lottery funded project in the UK. This is not so much of a change as it may first seem as they are both large charities. He had spent the previous 20 years as a Financial Director in the corporate manufacturing sphere. He is a Chartered Accountant by profession although he took his degree in physics! He applied for the Bursar’s role because it offered the same diversity he enjoyed at Millennium Point. His sporting interests are illustrated by a large painted oar on the wall and models of Top Fuel dragsters on the furniture. Derek was only 8 stone when he was a cox, not a rower. He also is involved in drag racing, but not as a driver.

DT (Derek Todd) My predecessor was a superb Bursar, an ex military officer, and he ran the school on a very tight budget during difficult times. He and his predecessor did an excellent job of keeping the fabric and the finances of the school in good order. However, the Governors wanted the new Bursar to have strong commercial experience as the fundamentals of running this school had changed so dramatically. For instance, we had the new £7 million sports centre that was just leaving the drawing board and about to be built. In addition, they wanted a financial mind that was used to a world where customers could exercise choice and suppliers had to be able to deliver what they wanted to buy. A commercial background was an essential quality. From my perspective it was a job that offered the diversity and challenge that I was looking for.

facility will enable us to convert the old sports facilities into the refectory and music tuition areas. We have also acquired a building right next to the school that was previously occupied by a large firm of accountants; this has been converted into a 6th form building and arts centre. In effect we have built or converted 40,000 sq. ft. of buildings within a year, and I have ensured that all of the new projects have been on an appropriate commercial footing. Three years ago, when I commissioned an architect to create a master plan of the site, I brought renewed focus and discipline to this huge level of change. We looked at and plotted the flows of pupils and work through the school and we were able to look at what was most likely to develop over the next 20 years and so create some sort of long-term scheme. The work that is being done means we have compressed the first 10 years of those changes into two years!

EM When you arrived here what did you see as the most pressing areas for attention? DT Some of the principal contracts had to be scrutinised to make sure they were delivering what was required and giving true value for money. The personnel structures and organisation also had to be examined to ensure they were delivering the kind of educational experience our parents wanted for their children. By that I mean that our teachers focus on teaching the students, and don’t need to concern themselves about a leaking roof. That’s what our parents expect. To deliver this, the infrastructure has to be up to the job. When we are charging £14k a year and it comes out of taxed income then parents quite correctly expect the highest quality. Another pressing concern was our IT infrastructure. Like most schools of our size, our IT needs are constantly evolving, and there had been capacity issues. I proposed that we should upgrade our IT to a fully commercial system before we reached the maximum capacity of the old one. Good IT is no longer desirable, it’s essential. If it isn’t designed to be high capacity and reliable then it won’t be good enough. We had to make this change. We are in the process of spending a further half a million pounds on it to ensure it’s up to the job and future proof.

The entrance of the new sports facility.

EM What other investment is taking place and why?

EM How did you go about planning what to do with the space you had? In a business you would look at where the profit could be made and cut costs. How do you do that in a school and how do you make it happen?

DT We are spending £7 million on the new sports facility and a similar amount on the 6th form, refectory and arts facility. These projects have to be cost effective and able to enhance our ability to deliver the product we sell or we will not have any customers! Suppliers and contractors have to deliver on time and within budget to enable us to do the same for our pupils. This is why a fully commercial approach is now essential for the school. I was fortunate with the sports centre because the Headmaster and Governors have spent the last 20 years pushing through the concept and obtaining planning permission. I have inherited the easy job of building it! Building a new

DT Facilities are the Headmaster’s and Governors’ decision. It has to be that way and it was the Headmaster’s judgement that determined the priorities. In reality it’s fairly logical what changes to facilities are needed and where they have to be placed. I may get involved early in the decision and if I think that the conversion is not sound for practical or financial reasons then I’ll say so. The tricky bit is getting these ideas to completion, getting the land, planning, and the finances in place either from income, donations or efficient bank borrowing. I make sure the project doesn’t impact too much on the running of the school. When the building becomes available to use we


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have to manage the transition into using it. This frees up space elsewhere in the school that has to be used effectively too. All of this has to be driven by the academic, pastoral and sporting needs of the school; that’s our product and we must ensure that it is delivered. The costs of all new facilities have to go on the school fees as we are not blessed with large endowments, so a sound business case has to be made and adhered to. EM What about obtaining the equipment for the new-build and for the replacement of existing kit that has seen its day? DT Again this is driven by budget and need. A head of department will make a request or bid for the equipment they think is needed to effectively deliver their subject. This goes into the decision making process and it’s determined on the basis of “is it affordable?”. If funding is available then we take specialist advice. For example the gym equipment was specified by the PE Department. They know what they want and who can supply PIR Education

it. Then the Accounts Department have to buy it in the most advantageous way. By that I don’t mean the cheapest supplier, but rather choosing the supplier who offers the best overall package; this will include cost, finance, back-up, servicing and disposal. It’s the ‘whole-of-life’ cost that we look for and that is not always provided by the company that offers the lowest purchase price. Another example of our modern approach is in agreeing precise building contracts where there is nothing left to interpretation, and/or where changes to the design trigger clauses that can escalate the final cost. It’s a rigorous process, but not an unnecessarily time consuming one. A value judgement has to be taken at some point. EM What about maintenance? Do you tend to negotiate a contract at the time of purchase? DT If it’s a big specialist piece of kit then yes. It makes sense to do so. For instance, we have a 10-year maintenance contract with the swimming pool supplier. If they have made any errors in the 19

Top: This will be part of the new facilities once it has been converted for use by the 6th form. Above left: is part of the gym area. Above right: The swimming pool has all the latest technology, electric cover, electric timing, underwater lighting, a swimming machine and lane dividers that reduce splashing during a race. Inset Pic: A swimming machine.

The outside of the new sports facility A climbing wall has been built into the enterance area, access to it is through a locked door at the base of the stairs. Two photographs show an example of one of the older buildings in the school, built over 250 years ago. Bottom pic: one of the technology classrooms.

installation then they are going to have to put it right! This is not a policy I’ll follow with all items. For instance an office laser printer or a computer is now a commodity, and rather than having maintenance agreements it is usually cheaper just to replace them. EM Energy saving. Whilst you were giving me the tour I noticed that all the computer screens were on, and its holiday time. This is a sizable user of energy and prompts the question how do you buy and save your energy? DT Energy efficiency is a real challenge! With 100’s of pupils, doors, windows and buildings of great age it’s not a simple task. The IT is all on at the moment because we are doing a big 2 day upgrade to the school’s 500 computers’ operating systems over the holiday. Now we are checking to ensure the upgrade has been completed successfully on every machine. The point is a good one though as computers tend to use a considerable amount of expensive energy and we set them to go to standby after a short period. On a larger scale, at one end we have the new sports centre which has been built to the highest possible energy standard given the planning restrictions. It has low-energy machinery, low-energy glass and the highest insulation rating possible. We could not have solar panels or wind turbines as it’s a conservation area. At the other end of the scale we have a 14th century gateway where we measure the energy efficiency by the size of the gap under the door so we have to retain a sense of perspective. I don’t think it would go down very well if I took a 14th century door off its hinges and fitted it with modern draught proofing! We have to find a balanced approach based on common sense. We teach and practise it where we can. It’s possible for us to get too hung up on saving a couple of pounds in one area when we are heating half the town in another! I do buy the energy on contracts and play one supplier off against another. At present we have 6 different electricity suppliers and 4 gas contracts. They range from 1 to 4 years in length depending on the deal I obtained at the time. I use an energy consultant and use their expertise to pick when it’s most advantageous to go to the market and renegotiate a particular contract. EM Thanks for talking to the Education Magazine. It’s not a simple business anymore, talking to Derek illustrates that modern school finance is big business, what systems and techniques work in a large corporation are transferable into a large school. It’s an approach that’s now essential as the squeeze on finances gets even tighter. Large building projects are common in many schools even with the present squeeze on funding. This funding issue means that all schools are going to have to take the same professional attitude to the financial role as St Albans School does.


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New research shows children who survive meningitis are more likely to struggle at school Leading UK charity, the Meningitis Trust, calls for the automatic right for any child who has had meningitis to have timely and appropriate assessments throughout their educational life. Friday 3 August: New research₁ published online first in The Lancet Neurology shows that meningitis can cause long-term, often hidden, damage that can limit a child’s educational attainment. The study, commissioned by national charity, the Meningitis Trust, identified learning and behavioural problems in children as young as three years old, who had experienced meningococcal group B disease (MenB), a type of meningitis. Statistics show that bacterial meningitis and septicaemia affect around 3,400₂ people in the UK each year, and approximately half of these are children. The new research, led by Professor Russell Viner at the UCL Institute of Child Health, showed

that child victims can be left with a borderline low IQ, leaving them behind in the classroom and affecting their ability to learn. They are five times more likely to have speech and communication problems, and in later school life display poor executive function; affecting their ability to plan and organise, especially as they move from primary to secondary school.

more likely to have a significant hearing impairment, with 2.4% of survivors having bilateral hearing loss requiring a cochlear implant. In addition, significant amputation with disability was witnessed. Lead researcher, Professor Russell Viner at the UCL Institute of Child Health, said: “MOSAIC is the first comprehensive study of the outcomes of serogroup B meningococcal disease published anywhere in the world. It is also the largest study of the outcomes of meningococcal disease ever published. The high quality and importance of the data have been recognised by acceptance for fast-track publication in the prestigious international journal, The Lancet Neurology. As governments all around the world begin the process of deciding whether to introduce new MenB vaccines, the MOSAIC data will play a central role in informing these decisions.”

In addition, meningitis was found to impact on an individual’s memory - both long and short term - and leave survivors significantly more likely to experience epilepsy. The study also looked at the psychological burden of MenB. Victims were found to be significantly more likely to experience mental health problems with one in five suffering anxiety or behavioural disorders. Alongside the hidden aftereffects, the devastating physical impact of meningitis was also highlighted in the research with sufferers being five times

In response to the findings,

the Meningitis Trust has called for the automatic right for any child who has had meningitis to have timely and appropriate assessments throughout their educational life, picking up on any issues early on. The charity’s Meningitis Changes Futures campaign, set up to highlight the real impact of meningitis, is tackling educational difficulties as part of its on-going campaign to increase understanding of the disease and its after-effects.   Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust said: “The hidden, yet devastating, after-effects of meningitis can often be dismissed. We hope that the new findings will encourage education and health professionals to recognise these, as well as the noticeable physical after-effects of meningitis, and push for children to receive the support they need and deserve. For more information on the Campaign visit www. MeningitisChangesFutures. Add to your email white list

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Information, goods and services are an important route to doing the job to the best of your ability

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Supply to Schools will get you this information

All you need to do is say ‘Yes’ Do it now, contact or call 07722 485052 and add them to your email PIR Education


Balancing ethos and security obligations Education establishments need to get the right balance between security, duty of care and public image. Educationalists, quite rightly, tend to place great emphasis on the notion of a school’s ethos.

It’s a mysterious beast; a mix of principles, attitudes, behaviours, perceptions, habits and practices. Everyone is required to subscribe to it, even though we often can’t ever quite put our finger on precisely what it is. Pupils and students are expected to endorse the school ethos by adherence to a range of behavioural nuances of speech, conduct and appearance. If we think of educational achievement and social accomplishment as the ‘product’ of education then the school is the physical workshop environment where it has been created. The school buildings and facilities is one of the few outward and physical expressions of the inward and intangible ethos that the establishment wishes to assert. For many heads and governors, this is where the dilemma starts. Many schools have evolved over decades, in half-a-dozen architectural styles. They have been extended, modified and reorganised to suit the growing and changing needs of the communities they serve. Having a distinctive physical, architectural character to embody the ethos is a rare luxury. The structures themselves are often complex compromises, reflecting conflicting needs for, say, cost-efficiency with scale, flexibility with functionality, safety with class or group mobility and, of course, balancing the various duties of care while maintaining the school ethos. Regrettably, school managers or heads may find themselves obliged to exercise their duty to physically protect the property and its surroundings from vandalism, trespass, terrorism and other forms of criminal activity. For schools wishing to project themselves as having a sensitive and caring ethos, this presents a problem. Ringing the perimeter of the premises with an eight foot fence topped with razorwire is a less than ideal solution. Duty of protection needs to be exercised without making the school look like some kind of military installation, asylum centre or correctional institution. In the event, quite a lot of ingenuity and imagination has been brought to this question by various architects and manufacturers of exterior furniture and security equipment in recent years There has been considerable progress in the design and production of such public sector appendages. Schools need to be places where children and young people can congregate and assemble safely. Conversely, they are places where physical evidence of the threat of hostility or criminality is least welcome and acceptable. We don’t want our schools to look like fortresses. It would undermine the calm, reassuring ethos that fitness for purpose requires. Mindful of the ever-present factor of budgetary constraints, enlightened specialist designers 22

and planners have managed to use texture, colour, new materials and new ideas to create more imaginative public environments that are both functional and secure, without giving the appearance of them being under threat. A typical example of this approach is the availability of CT (Counter Terrorist) Blocks from Townscape Products. These large, rectangular, reinforced aggregate blocks are sufficient to stop a speeding seven and a half ton vehicle in its tracks but which, though intelligent use of textures, mouldings and fittings can be subtly disguise as seating, architectural or ornamental features. They’ve been used successfully at airports and around numerous public buildings and spaces that are seen as being potential targets for terrorist attack or unwanted vehicle incursion without being unnecessarily visually intrusive. Most bystanders simply regard them as just an extra seating resource. They are easily positioned at access points to prevent, for example, itinerant travellers setting up mobile caravan sites on school grounds or playing fields, ‘joy riders’ showing off their quad-bike or ‘banger’ off-road driving skills on the school sports pitches or, in the worst case scenario, those intent on inflicting personal injury through intolerant religious or political views. This sensitivity to the ‘ambient impact’ of dualfunction street furniture is reflected in numerous other products which have been developed by the exterior furniture industry of interest to schools. It extends to wide and imaginative ranges of litter bins, bollards, planters, cycle racks, shelters and covered walkways. The variety of products available gives purchasing authorities plenty of choice about the ‘feel’ they want to present to their various stakeholders. We’re all highly-tuned to making judgements about the things and places we experience in our daily lives based on their appearance. One look at an urban landscape, shopping mall, restaurant or residential street speaks volumes to us about what lies behind the façade. Does this, admittedly superficial, rule apply to schools, too? Will visitors, future students and parents and potential staff judge the sausage by its skin? To some extent, yes, they probably they will. If it is part of the school ethos to encourage order, prudence and responsibility, the visual impression of the school should reflect these qualities, as far as reasonably possible. Schools are essentially utilitarian structures by their very nature. They have been built with the prime objective of serving a purpose. Like hospitals, libraries and factories their success is judged by other, more ephemeral criteria. PIR Education

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That said, when governors, heads and managers come to address the difficult and delicate issue of protecting their prime resource from some of the more worrying and downright dangerous aspects of our troubled world, they now have the opportunity to do so without sending out disquieting visual messages which contradict everything they stand for. Jonathan Goss, Managing Director of Townscape Products Limited. For more information contact Jonathon on 01623 513355

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Healthy eating is key for the next generation Following Team GB’s recent successes, it’s more than likely that children will arrive back at school wanting to be the next Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah. This enthusiasm for fitness is to be applauded and it is also a great opportunity to encourage them to eat healthily – just like their sporting heroes. You don’t get a sporting physique or the energy to train from consuming a diet which is laden with saturated fat, sugar and complex carbohydrates, after all. For those responsible for preparing school meals this is the ideal time to capitalise on Olympic fervour and produce healthy, balanced, nutritious meals.

These are worrying statistics, but there is plenty that, with the correct education, schools and parents can do to reverse the trend. For an adult, the immediate recommendation would be to embark on a diet. Putting kids on diets or suggesting they skip meals is not, however, the answer. Instead, they should be encouraged to choose healthier options, eat reasonable portion sizes and increase their physical activity. Healthy snacks should also be provided as research has shown that skipping meals or depriving kids of regular snacks can lead to overeating. Children of school age are still growing, so cutting out all carbohydrates, for example, can be harmful. During puberty, adolescents grow rapidly and their bodies develop into the adult form. To support this growth and development, adolescents have a high requirement for energy and nutrients. Diets for children of this age should be based on the Eatwell Plate to ensure that a variety of foods are consumed. The Eatwell Plate is a schematic indicating recommended proportions of Fruit and vegetables; bread, rice, potatoes and pasta; meat, fish, eggs and beans; milk and dairy foods; and foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar.

National Government guidelines already exist to improve the nutritional quality of food in schools. These were introduced several years ago in 2006. A set of nutrient-based guidelines were also developed. All local authority primary and secondary schools have a legal obligation to comply with the food-based and nutrient-based nutritional guidelines. It’s worth noting that the guidelines apply not just to school lunches, but to all food served in schools. The aim of the guidelines is to help improve the health of the nation since Britain is battling against a serious rise in obesity.

At adolescence, it should also be borne in mind that male and female nutritional requirements begin to differ. Females have a higher requirement for iron to compensate for losses through menstruation. (Iron deficiency anaemia is common amongst teenage girls, particularly for vegetarians.) Therefore Vitamin C should be included with meals to facilitate the absorption of iron from plant sources. Males in turn require more protein and energy than females.

Obesity is associated with several health conditions including: coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, an increased risk of varicose veins and greater strain on the joints. Whilst this might not affect children in such an extreme way during childhood it will almost certainly pave the way for problems during adulthood.

In order to ensure that your school is providing balanced meals with the requisite nutritional values, your catering staff need to understand about nutrients, their benefits and how to provide them. This means undertaking basic nutrition training. The good news is that this need not interfere with the working day – a blessing when

According to the MEND organisation (Mind, Exercise, Education.... Do it!) one in three children in the UK are overweight or obese. If trends continue in this vein the figure will be closer to 60% by 2050.

Extra funding for schools for each child they teach in care Schools could receive more than £1,000 in extra funding for each child in care that they teach, under proposals being considered by Downing Street from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers. The plan is one of the key recommendations published this week by the MPs who say too many children in care are being failed by the education system. Department of Education statistics showed that in 2011 only 12.8 per cent of children in care for at least a year achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths, compared to 57.9 per cent for other schoolchildren. The payment would be known as “pupil premium plus” and be similar in structure to the existing “pupil premium” education funding that schools receive for children on free school meals. Edward Timpson MP, chairman of the APPG, has two adopted younger brothers and his parents have fostered almost 90 children.

He said: “Education can be a lifeline for looked-after children. The pupil premium plus would be a well-targeted way to get extra resources directly to the children and really make a difference. “It is a practical acknowledgement of the deeper-rooted problems children in care have in education and a demonstration of our commitment to help them fulfil their potential.” Children in care are more likely to move schools frequently and are about ten times more likely to have special education needs. They often suffer behavioural and emotional problems due to a history of abuse and neglect and are eight times more likely to be excluded from school, according to the Who Cares? trust. Mr Timpson said the bonus would be worth about double the pupil premium, which increases this year to £600. The extra money would be spent by the “virtual head teachers” 24

appointed by many local authorities to oversee children in care. The virtual head teacher is an experienced teacher who focus on helping children in care with issues such as a dispute over school admission or possible exclusion. The committee also recommended that children in care be allowed to start at their choice of school automatically instead of the current system of waiting for the local authority to direct the school to take them. Prime Minister David Cameron has seen the committee’s report and endorsed its conclusions. He said: “Along with stability, ensuring children in care have a strong education is crucial in improving their life chance. “I have asked the Secretary of State for Education to consider its recommendations carefully.”

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of Olympians

By Dr Verner Wheelock

staffing is often stretched. As well as providing face-to-face training many providers, VWA included, offer online courses in basic nutrition. The modular format of such courses allows you to study in your own time and at your own pace. It is also a considerably cheaper option. The ‘Foundation Level Nutrition for Healthier Food and Special Diets’ course is City and Guilds accredited through Virtual College and will provide anyone preparing breakfast , lunch or snacks in schools with all the information required to give pupils the best start in the new school year. Also, suitable for teachers, teaching assistants, parents, governors and older pupils, it covers current guidelines relating to healthy eating, nutrition basics and the role of nutrients in the body. There is also a section on nutritional requirements throughout the lifecycle, since the requirements of a small child differ greatly from those of a teenager, an adult or the elderly. The dietary requirements of those following special diets, such as vegetarians, vegans and people with food intolerances or allergies are also addressed on this online course as well as food preservation and processing techniques so that food retains its nutrients for longer.

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On completion of an online course such as this successful learners will have the requisite knowledge to be able to plan healthy meals around current dietary guidelines, including meals for those with special dietary requirements. When your catering staff put this into practice in the school kitchen it’s likely that after a period of time teachers should notice a marked improvement not only in energy levels on the sports field, but also in concentration during regular classes – even in the afternoon lessons. Dr Verner Wheelock is Chairman of the award-winning food safety and nutrition training company, Verner Wheelock Associates. He is also the author of ‘Healthy Eating in Schools’ ISBN 978 0 9554633 03 or visit

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Successful school laundry expands service to local residents Reliable equipment, easy to use programs and a 24-hour repair guarantee play a vital role in the smooth running of the laundry at King Edward’s School, Witley, which has been a Girbau customer for over 10 years.

Situated in 100 acres of woodland near Godalming, King Edward’s, a co-educational school for 11-18 year olds, is one of several Surrey boarding schools using Girbau washer extractors and dryers. With 250 boarders and 150 day pupils, the school’s onsite laundry managed by Karine Butcher and her team of three, is always busy. There is no shutdown during school holidays as the boarding houses are let out to international visitors who enjoy the same laundry service as boarders. And more recently the laundry has been developing its own small-scale commercial business from local residents who are taking advantage of the convenient and competitively priced laundry service on their doorstep. No time for downtime In the spacious onsite laundry eight Girbau washers ranging from 7kg to 32kg in capacity and six dryers from 30lb to 75lb are operational five days a week and 51 weeks of the year dealing with “house washing” (bedding, towels, uniforms, nightwear, sports kits and personal clothing), cloths and chefs’ whites from the kitchen, lab coats from the science school and bedding from the medical centre. “We do have a schedule which ensures pupils have clothes washed on time and the laundry runs smoothly but of course from time to time people ask us for extras and we always try to accommodate them,” Karine Butcher says. Laundry volumes peak at the end of term, as she explains: “School holidays are our busiest time of year. We take the opportunity to wash duvets, mattress protectors and curtains and the laundry


carries on running for the visitors who let the boarding houses.” This kind of schedule is exactly why the laundry cannot be without Girbau UK’s 24-hour call out repair service. As the only laundry equipment manufacturer in the UK with its own dedicated service and maintenance team, Girbau UK has an unmatched stock of spare parts. As a result it is able to achieve market-leading first-time fix rates that minimise laundry downtime. Robust and user-friendly Unless it is heavily soiled, all personal clothing is now washed at 30 degrees and dried on a low setting for improved fabric care, reduced environment impact and lower energy bills. Bedding and towels are put through a hot wash to ensure the highest levels of hygiene. Karine has every confidence in the Girbau washers and dryers, which have proved highly durable: “They are in constant use from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon and are really sturdy and reliable,” she says. She also describes the intuitive programming and controls as “idiot proof and like a domestic machine but even simpler, which is important.” Revenue Generating and Forward Thinking Spotting a demand for laundry services in the affluent area around the school, Karine is successfully growing a paying customer base of local residents. “Investing in new equipment is easier to justify if the laundry is making money,” she smiles as she loads another washer.

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Little Explorers - A world of challenge and excitement Welcome to a world of challenge and excitement where Little Explorers can discover vibrant colours, experience movement, and let their imaginations run wild.

Some of the features include:

Interactive Play Panels and steering wheel;

A Shop Counter with posting holes;

Playdale’s new, exciting modular range, ‘Little Explorers’, is available in 11 standard configurations which have been tailored for toddlers, offering boundless activities.

See-through coloured panels that change their perceptions of the world;

Every piece has been designed to allow children the freedom to open their minds and create their own magic and fantasy. The possibilities are endless and are only limited by their imaginations.

A variety of entrance points that present a range of challenges;

Rope Bridges, Ladders, Ramps, Net Bridges, Slides, Tunnels and Swing Bar, all designed to allow children to progress and develop their physical skills;

A Ball Store for practicality and extra storage space.

The new range has been developed following extensive research with child psychologists to create climbing and activity units that help nurture and enhance children’s physical and cognitive development. Each unit features a mixture of climbing, crawling, imaginative play and role play; providing varied levels of difficulty and challenges for the budding explorers to learn and grow. The ‘Little Explorers’ have been manufactured to coincide with the new guidelines that nurseries adhere to, therefore every piece of the equipment has been designed to challenge, develop and inspire.

Richard Stevens, Design Engineer at Playdale, said: “This was an exciting project to work on as it took us back to the fundamentals of how children grow and learn. The challenge was to picture how this age group perceives the world and provide an environment in which they can develop. Through research and testing we have created a product that provides diverse physical challenges, whilst allowing imaginations and creativity to run free.” For more information visit www.playdaleschools. and request a brochure.

Tong helps Bradford teenagers build foundations Tong High School is helping to tackle youth unemployment with a brand new vocational Construction Centre which offers pupils a learning experience like no other. Officially unveiled at the weekend, the innovative learning centre will add an extra dimension to the school’s BTEC courses, giving pupils the chance to learn outside the classroom and hone their skills in a ‘real-life’ construction environment. Created in partnership with leading building and civil engineering company, Moortown Construction, Rex Procter and Partners, Pitts Wilson Electrical and NG Bailey, the converted former caretakers house is part of the school’s ‘Classroom in Construction’ scheme which offers a direct route to employment for students choosing to pursue a career in the industry. The centre was opened by Jonathan Milnes, Assistant HSEQ Manager at Moortown PIR Education

a different base to enable the students to practice all different aspects of construction from joinery to plumbing in a ‘real life’ environment, which is great for the students’ development. The links we have with our construction partners and other local employers allow us to offer these unique opportunities to our students to increase their experience and most importantly in these times of austerity to provide a direct route to employment.”

Construction, alongside Tong High School Headteacher, Steve Curran at a ceremony which took place during the school’s open day. Head Teacher Steve Curran said: “With youth unemployment at record levels, over 1m in July 2012, and so many young people currently not in education, employment and training, we are working hard to ensure our students are best equipped to reach their full potential – whether they’re set for university life or the world of work. As part of this, we are building links with leading businesses to ensure we continue to develop employability skills. 

Tong High School achieved record-breaking GCSE results this year with 77 percent of pupils gaining at least 5 A*-C grades and 46 percent of students gaining 5 or more GCSEs including English and Maths. For the last two years it has been

“Each room in the house has


named one of the top 100 most improved schools in the country. It also recently became the first secondary school in England to achieve the ‘Investors in Pupils’ standard across the whole school, recognising the school’s commitment to students’ personal development. Tong High School is a multicultural co-educational school for 11-19 year olds which serves a wide area of south east Bradford with 1,600 pupils.  The school was one of 105 secondary schools across the country to recently receive personal congratulations by Schools Minister Nick Gibb because of its progress in English and maths GCSE results based on grades A* to C between 2009 and 2011. 

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Review new “Too hot to handle” DVD The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) would like to give you the opportunity to do a product review our new Too hot to handle DVD pack on burns and scalds. The Too hot to handle DVD resource pack comes complete with films, support cards for practitioners and flyers for parents.  It gives those working with children ready-made safety sessions in a box. This DVD is essential information for parents as six babies and toddlers are admitted to hospital every day due to burns and scalds injuries. This exciting new resource:

St Albans school has record year in Duke of Edinburgh Awards More than 20 pupils from St Albans School recently achieved Gold in the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards - more than any other school in the region - with Headmaster Andrew Grant (pictured) joining the boys to receive their awards from the Earl of Wessex at St James’s Palace. To achieve a Gold Level DofE Award, participants are obliged to complete a number of acitivities including: an expedition; a service (for example helping the elderly with their chores); a skill (such as learning to drive or to play a musical instrument); a physical activity (eg sport); and a residential group activity, where a week long task has to be completed away from home.

covers three typical but serious burns and scalds scenarios – a hot drink scald, a bath water scald and a contact burn from a hob;

has three DVD films with true stories, accident reconstructions which show a child’s eye view of a serious accident, and expert testimony on the consequences of these accidents for children and their families;

has easy-to-use support cards including background facts, first aid advice and discussion cards for each scenario; and

comes with 20 copies each of three different flyers – on hot drink scalds, contact burns and bath water scalds – for parents to take away.

To see a clip from the DVD visit: too-hot-handle. If you would like a review copy, please state what publication it will be reviewed in and send your request to If you have any questions please call us on 020 7608 3674.

The St Albans pupils, all from Years 12 and 13, train for their Award at Pen Arthur - St Albans School’s own Field Studies Centre in the Brecon Beacons - and The Dolomites in Italy where they complete the expedition element of the award. Andy Ford, DofE Manager, says that the record number of boys achieving the Award is testament to the dedication from everyone involved: “For a record number of boys to be achieving Gold is an excellent achievement,” he says. “DofE has to be completed in addition to their academic workload, so it takes a significant amount of their spare time and energy to complete.

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“With UCAS entry becoming increasingly challenging, and the job market tougher than ever before, completing DofE Gold shows a level of commitment and ability that not only looks good on paper, but will also stand them in good stead for the future.”

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

01234 348878

or email We approve all articles prior to press.

Look forward to hearing from you!


DED Ltd Announces Distribution Agreement with Evolis DED are proud to announce a new distribution agreement with the French plastic card printer manufacturer Evolis. This agreement will enable DED Limited to offer the full range of Evolis plastic card printers throughout the UK market. “We are very enthusiastic to team up with DED and benefit from their experience to reinforce our presence Reply in the country and address new market segments” said No. Angela Peltier-Cuma Sales manager for Evolis. “This 17 partnership reflects our engagement to pursue the Evolis growth in the UK”. DED will be offering the full range of plastic card printers from Evolis including the Tattoo Rewrite offering rewritable printing on plastic cards up to 500 times, the new Zenius an entry level plastic card printer with encoding capabilities designed for ad-hoc and small runs of cards, the Pebble and Dualys which offer high definition single and dual sided printing with outstanding graphics and image definition. For more information contact DED Limited Tel: +44(0)1797 320636, Fax: 01797 320273 Email:, Web:

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Schools given chance to showcase their work An on-line teaching tool is giving users the chance to showcase their achievements and share best practice with other schools around the world. Education website Ch-arted, which has been live for just over a year, is launching a new page where educators worldwide will be able to display work undertaken by their students using any of the site’s downloadable resources. Ch-arted’s founder, North East-based arts venue The Customs House, hopes that this will inspire more teachers to approach the curriculum in an interactive way and demonstrate how effective creativity can be in engaging with young people and developing their key skills. Emma Horsman, Cultural Development Manager at The Customs House, said: “Since launching 12 months ago Ch-arted has become an extremely useful tool for schools and teachers across the UK and worldwide seeking new and interactive ways to engage with students and increase their interest in a wide range of curriculumbased subjects.

professions to download and use, with others being made available for a small one-off fee or yearly subscription charge in order to help fund the site and other similar activities run by The Custom’s House Cultural Development Team. Those who have already used any of the site’s resources, including the Olympic countdown, Lilli’s Journey, which encourages students to write stories in English and French and 13 Voices, which tells the tale of numerous homeless youngsters, are now being asked to upload their images, videos and written testimonials using the easyto-follow instructions at

“After hearing from countless users regarding how beneficial it’s been, we wanted to give people the chance to share their experiences and ultimately give other educators ideas for activities they can use going forward.” Ch-arted, which has been running since September 2011, was created by The Customs House in association with educational resource specialist Shoo-fly Publishing and with backing from Arts Council England, CCE, Creative Partnerships and North and South Tyneside Councils.

These will then be displayed on the site and made free for users to access around the world. Emma said: “This will be a great opportunity for people to see how other schools have used Ch-arted and what results have been achieved by following our interactive and creative approach to education.”

The site is regularly updated with a new range of interactive educational tools, lesson plans and ideas for classroom-based activities, all designed to engage young people in subjects and social issues applicable across key stages one to four.

For more information visit the site or contact The Customs House Cultural Development Team on 0191 427 8197/88

Many of the resources on the site are free for teachers and education PIR Education


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Pass Notes for New Teachers’ Standards

New Snowdon portraits celebrate launch of Snowdon Trust for disabled students

Leading education development company, BlueSky Education, is helping teachers to manage the interpretation and practice of the new Teachers Standards through a clear and concise poster for display in staff rooms.

As A-Level and GCSE results hit the doormat this summer, four new photographic portraits by Lord Snowdon have been issued,to mark the re-naming of his charity, Snowdon Trust, which helps disabled students.

“BlueSky’s core business is the driving up of school standards and improvement to pupil outcomes through CPD and appraisal,” says BlueSky’s Managing Director, Denise Inwood. “However, from BlueSky’s inception ten years ago we knew that it was imperative that everything we did should raise standards whilst cutting bureaucratic process. We wanted to create systems that allowed teachers to focus on their work in the classroom, helping pupils reach their full potential, and we set out to make CPD and appraisal more efficient and more valuable to staff. Our clients say that on average BlueSky saves them up to four weeks or more in senior management administration time every year. Whilst their teachers feel more engaged and valued as a result of their direct involvement. “Our new Teachers’ Standards poster is another aspect of this philosophy. Teachers focussing on the pupils in their care don’t want to spend a lot of time wading through the new Teachers Standards which came into force in September 2012. But they do want to check them on a regular basis in order to make sure that they’re planning and carrying out their work to meet the requirements. “The new Standards mark a major change in centralised directives for education. They demonstrate the government’s philosophy that government standards should not be prescriptive as to how they’re carried out, but open to interpretation and implementation as individual schools feel fit. While this new autonomy for school leaders is welcome, there is also an issue of the resource required to interpret and apply the Standards. BlueSky’s Standards poster that we’re now issuing should cut school leaders’ administrative time considerably in addressing this. BlueSky’s Teaching Standards poster sums up the essential data in a concise and clear fashion and is contained within one A2 poster for display and reference in staff rooms. “In the past, TDA issued a similar document, but with much of school operation now being focused at school level, the schools we work with told us that there was a real need for 2012 version of this resource to raise dialogue in staffrooms. BlueSky have issued the poster free of charge to the 1,000 schools and academies using BlueSky for CPD and appraisal, but it’s available to any school or academy on request. It will also be included as a free insert in October’s issue of Leader – the ASCL magazine. To request a copy of the poster, email support@ For more information on BlueSky, visit http://

The portraits accompany the stories of just four of over 2,000 students who have been supported by the charity since its inception in 1981 with grants totalling more than£2.5 million. Leaving home and going to university for the first time is an incredibly exciting prospect, but also a daunting one. For young disabled people there are additional worries and a need to ensure all the necessary support is being put in place. Where statutory funding and support falls short, disabled students can turn to the Snowdon Trust. Grants of up to £2,500 can be used for essential support such as:

• • • •

Personal assistance (e.g. sign language interpreters or people to take notes) Computer equipment or adaptive software Adapted or additional accommodation costs Extra travel costs or mobility equipment

Last year the charity recruited 6 new trustees, including our greatest Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Lord Snowdon’s daughter, Lady Frances von Hofmannsthal, who said: “Out of everything my father has done the Snowdon Trust is the thing that makes him most proud to be a part of.” Another new trustee was Simon Preece, director of Elmwood – a brand development agency which has provided a huge amount of free resource to help create the new name, logo and style which focuses not on disability, but the skills, abilities, achievements and positive attitudes of the people the Trust helps.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Lord Snowdon’s daughter, Lady Frances von Hofmannstha

Simon Preece, director of Elmwood

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Issue 51 Education Magazine  
Issue 51 Education Magazine  

Magazine for the Acadamies, Independant schools