Getting the grades: three reasons why the further education sector needs a strategic view of data

The further education sector is changing. The introduction of T-Levels in September 2020 will provide another avenue for students to explore, with a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience creating the experience needed for students to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship. Additionally, Ofsted’s new framework is putting further emphasis on the curriculum, placing it back at the centre of the inspection to ensure young people and adults are provided with the high-quality training and support they need to succeed in their careers or next steps of education. Despite only contributing to one part of the Ofsted inspection, a year of above-average exam results could be critical to the success of a college looking to demonstrate its commitment to excelling the educational opportunities of its students. But how can progress be tracked throughout the year, and how can colleges ensure they have the data they need to report effectively?

Jacob Kemp, Head of Direct Sales, Dynistics, outlines three key reasons that all education establishments need a strategic view of their data throughout the entire academic year in order to get the grades they need to impress the regulators and set their students up to succeed.

1. Keeping students on track

First and foremost, a strategic view of student data throughout the entire academic year enables staff to keep their students on track and on the right path to progress. Looking at the exam results in isolation at the end of the year won’t paint a very clear picture. Yes, the student might have achieved their target grade, but how does it compare to their performance in the months or year before? Could the student have achieved even higher results with additional support, or, if they didn’t achieve their predicted grades, could additional tutoring sessions have enabled them to get back on track? Taking advantage of Government initiatives such as ‘Value Add’ is one way to keep high performers challenged; something that, historically, colleges have struggled to do.

Additionally, it isn’t only exam results that could be tracked throughout the year, but other aspects and KPIs such as attendance, engagement in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), extra-curricular activities, revision classes attended and additional work completed outside of classroom hours. This is particularly valuable for students at risk: if the student’s attendance is below average or has dropped since the start of the year, could this also be a sign that additional support might be required? Ofsted’s new inspection framework will be looking for tutors and leaders that do the right thing for their learners and resist the temptation to take shortcuts, meaning that tutors who can demonstrate that student progress has been tracked and measures have been put in place throughout the year, will be in a good position to impress.

A clear view of how students are performing, at the right time, indicated by strategic, visual dashboards, will arm academic staff with the insight they need to not only understand what support might be needed but to better forecast what grades the students might achieve.

2. Staying in line with the curriculum

The additional attention that will be given to the national curriculum also demonstrates the importance of not only keeping students on track, but staff too. Having access to data insights takes the guesswork out of staff performance and enables senior leadership teams and governors to ask the tricky questions.

Are staff not only meeting their targets, but delivering their lessons in an innovative and creative way to enhance student engagement? Are the attendance or retention numbers lower for classes taught by a particular tutor, or are there higher numbers of exceeding students in one class? In a school, are the student’s grades average across the subjects, or are there certain areas where all students are falling short? Asking these questions and identifying patterns in the data can not only lead to answers but actionable outcomes, making sure both staff and students are in the best position when exam time comes.

3. Reputation management

As with any organisation, colleges have a reputation to protect and uphold. News of an underperforming college will quickly spread throughout the community like wildfire, which in turn can have a detrimental impact on future funding, new student applications and staff recruitment. And, as with any organisation, education establishments need to be able to report accurately and timely to all stakeholders at any given point, meaning that having real-time access to data is essential. 

Being able to see from a single snapshot that student performance isn’t as high as it could be in one subject area after a mid-year exam could make the difference between getting on top of the issue or letting it get to the point where grades aren’t up to scratch, teaching strays from the curriculum and word soon gets out that the standards of the college have slipped altogether. Additionally, having this insight enables colleges to field Ofsted questions or challenges before they have been raised: what might not be going to plan, why, and what could be done to resolve the issue?

A moment in time

The point at which a student receives their exam results is a siloed picture of the academic year, but there is far more to it than that. Fully utilising the potential of data and how it is analysed and reported can make the difference between a successful academic year and a college entering crisis mode. A single, holistic view of data provides the ability for tutors and governing bodies to not only track progress throughout the year but to ensure they are hitting the Ofsted benchmarks. It’s time for the further education sector to become far more strategic in its data outlook; those that do will soar through the league tables and get that all-important Outstanding rating.

Music tuition is fading fast in schools, there is a critical need to establish music education and nurture talent at primary level

By Simon Dutton, founder and CEO of Paritor who specialise in music tuition management software for the music education industry

The steady decline of music education at GCSE and A-level in the UK has been brought into the spotlight recently, with reports that uptake in GCSE music has dropped by 23% over the past eight years and that one-fifth of schools have stopped offering the subject at GCSE altogether. According  to research from Birmingham City University, the typical A-level music class now has just three students.

These alarming statistics beg the question, why are less students choosing to study music? Sadly, the issue is that the choice is not theirs.

The vanishing act

There is a combination of factors to blame for music’s disappearing act, from the focus on traditional academic subjects in schools to the social inequality of music provision across the UK. This narrowed focus has a detrimental effect on students’ appetite for studying music. Furthermore, students are denied the opportunity to pursue music studies even if they wanted to.

One telling study from the BPI revealed a 21% decrease in music lesson availability in state schools over the past five years and showed that one in five primary school teachers report having no regular music lesson for their class.

Underlying these factors, there remains a stigma around creative subjects in the syllabus. While music is included in the national curriculum for ages 5-14, the emphasis on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and the pressure for schools to achieve exam results has made music seem a less worthwhile pursuit compared with English, Maths and Science subjects.

Increasingly, the pressure is heavy on primary schools with the delivery of test results coming at the expense of music and other creative arts.

Sparking change with primary music education

As the BPI report has demonstrated, music tuition is fading fast in education from primary level through to further education. When we consider the joys of music, from the personal achievement in learning to sing or play an instrument to its cultural significance, it is vital that music education survives in schools. Furthermore, the quality and accessibility of studying music must improve for children too.

Redressing the imbalance of music in the curriculum as early as possible and instilling the value of arts subjects at primary level is critical. By starting with primary schools, the Government and industry can equip students with the means and confidence to start, and continue, their music education.

Transforming perceptions

While many educators will agree that music is as worthy as Ebacc subjects, the challenge is the restrictive nature of the current curriculum. Changing this must be spearheaded by the Government. It is up to government to endorse music education in schools and the introduction of the new music curriculum provides the ideal time to change attitudes.

The new model music curriculum for Key Stages One, Two and Three is currently being created ahead of publication this summer. This is an opportunity to create an engaging, varied curriculum which reflects the interests of today’s students and promotes the career opportunities available in the music industry.

An inspiring and inclusive music curriculum in primary schools will help to nurture talent and encourage children to see their creativity as a serious skill, as important as academic abilities. However, its success will also depend on schools actively implementing the syllabus.

Since academies and free schools are not obligated to follow the national curriculum, promoting music education here is crucial. If the government leads the change towards music education and reduces the results pressure on schools, it will give teachers the assurance to focus on music as a core subject.

Providing the digital tools to manage tuition

Making music a mainstream subject at primary level will have a great impact on the perception of music amongst teachers and children alike and encourage students to pursue their musical aspirations. Still, primary schools need the tools to effectively deliver music lessons.

The majority of state primary schools do not have permanent music teachers in their employment. Instead they rely on music services and hubs or independent tutors for music provision. Primary schools therefore need a system in place to manage this relationship and maintain students’ tuition records. Having seamless communication with music services is necessary to ensure that tutors are scheduled on time and that information is handled securely, however a combination of stretched administration staff and outdated back office systems mean most schools struggle to maintain this relationship.

Without straightforward digital tools in place to manage tuition and the finances from parents, it becomes doubly challenging for primary schools to organise lessons, track children’s progress and ultimately ensure a consistent music education.

Putting music education centre stage

The value of learning music, its positive impact on engagement with other studies and the professional opportunities available must all be taken seriously as early as possible in a child’s education. To do this primary schools need government support and the digital tools to organise music tuition.

Having the right infrastructure in place is vital for schools to communicate with outsourced music teachers and maintain up-to-date student records so that they can monitor development. This is the key to schools delivering reliable, high-quality music education as well as giving students the confidence to begin learning and continuing their music studies.

Launched in 1995, Paritor has been the leading software provider for tuition management in music education and performing arts across the UK and beyond for more than 20 years.

Make the education system work for pupils with mental health problems struggling to attend school, urges Mind

Mind is calling on the Government to make sure that the education system works for young people with mental health problems, and is focused on providing the right support at the right time. The mental health charity wants to see a review into the way school absence is recorded so that it better acknowledges the underlying reasons why children and young people with mental health problems might struggle to attend school.

The call comes on the back of two parent-led organisations – Square Peg and Not Fine in School (NFIS) – writing to the Department for Education (DfE) and starting a petition for a more inclusive education system which no longer punishes parents for their children’s absence, as highlighted by the BBC today.

At the moment, parents can face fines or prosecutions if their children are unable to attend school, without proper consideration of factors that could be contributing to their absence, such as depression and anxiety.

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said:

“All children and young people have a right to education, and they should get the help and support they need to thrive at school. Our education system must be inclusive for those of us with mental health problems. We are deeply concerned that, without the right support, some of these children and young people are being left behind and pushed out of the education system. 

“The current national system for managing and recording school attendance does not provide properly for children and young people with mental health problems. We are also concerned that children and young people with mental health problems are having their absences recorded as unauthorised, when they are unable to go to school.  

“It’s crucial that families must not be trapped in a situation where children and young people are unable to access mental health support and parents are facing prosecution or financial sanctions.

“The system needs urgent reform to make sure that it works for young people with mental health problems, and is focused on providing the right support at the right time – not on prosecuting parents many of whom are trying to do the best for their children in very difficult circumstances.”

Top 5 Common Online Threats That Parents Should Know

NordVPN provides a list of risks that children face online

September 19, 2019. Every new school year brings an increase in online risks. That’s because kids start using electronic devices more — both inside and outside the classroom. Nevertheless, adults still lack understanding of the most common risks their children face.    

“If you are aware of the possible threats, you can take steps to avoid them. That’s why parents need to know everything about the dangers lurking on the internet,” explains Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Not only should they inform their kids about the risks, but also show their example on how to keep away from them. Teaching about online safety should start as early as possible.”

Daniel Markuson from NordVPN lists the 5 most common problems that school-age children encounter online.

5 most common risks that school-age children face online:

Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It’s a form of bullying and should be treated as such because it can cause embarrassment and humiliation. Encourage kids to talk about online bullies  and other things that make them anxious. Help them understand that they are not alone. Also, document everything that’s happening and help them to report users about their inappropriate actions online.

Privacy problems. Kids start using social media at a younger age than ever before. They tend to post a lot of personal information online without realizing the consequences. You should have a conversation about what kind of information is safe to share. Most social media or messaging services allow their users to manage their privacy settings. Sit down with your kid and adjust those settings to make sure their profile is as safe and private as possible.

Online predators. The internet makes it easy for criminals to reach out to their victims without drawing attention. They can fake a personality or get in touch anonymously. As for kids, they feel more comfortable online and tend to be more open to strangers than in real life. That’s why you need to insist that they should not accept friend requests from unknown people. Also, discuss information that shouldn’t be public. Predators find addresses, school location, parents jobs, and other personal information very useful. 

Scams. Nothing is ever for free. But the internet features plenty of gift offers, contests, or email lotteries, most of which are scams. And sometimes they are easy to fall for, both for kids and adults. That’s why, as a parent, you should learn everything about scams yourself. Only when you’re able to spot them, teach the kids. Advise your child to be careful about deals that may look too good to be true. Ask them to show you every suspicious message or offer they receive. Encourage them to consult with you before buying or redeeming anything online.

Fake news. In the future, it will become harder to tell fabrications from reality. With falsified visuals becoming more accessible and easier to make, everybody should become more aware of fake information. Also, kids often can’t recognize sponsored content or paid advertising. That’s why it’s essential to teach them about checking facts and sources. Show the most trustworthy websites, but also discuss how to evaluate online content critically. Explain how advertising works and why influencers sponsor specific products.

ABOUT NORDVPN NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN offers double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000  servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.

Satchel launches one-stop-shop learning platform to reduce education management workload

  • Satchel One will offer choice of cost-effective, time-saving apps for school leaders and teachers
  • Award-winning edtech provider Satchel has announced the launch of its new bespoke learning platform, Satchel One.
  • A cost-effective software solution, Satchel One allows schools to choose from the company’s range of award-winning classroom management and whole-school apps, giving them greater control, saving them time, and reducing their workload – all on one cloud platform.


According to Naimish Gohil, CEO of Satchel, “The Government recently challenged the tech industry to develop innovative “administration processes to reduce the burden of ‘non-teaching’ tasks”[1]. When you consider that 80 percent of teachers have thought about leaving the profession due to the size of their workload[2], this is clearly a much-needed initiative.”
“There are many solutions on the market to address these needs, but the procurement process involved can only add to the administrative burden,” he continues, “However, while buying a ‘one size fits all’ learning platform from a single provider may be more convenient, it won’t deliver the bespoke experience required to address these needs.
“Satchel One, on the other hand, offers that convenience, while allowing schools to select the apps that will add the most value, and only pay for the ones they use.”
Apps available for use in Satchel One:

  • Show My Homework – set homework with an award-wining tool that engages students, involves parents, and save teachers time
  • Seating – create seating plans in seconds for effective classroom management
  • Timetables – enhances organisation throughout a school with online timetables updated directly from its management information system (MIS)
  • Behaviour – use points, badges and reasons for effective behaviour management
  • Content – premium teaching resources created by Collins, ready to set as engaging homework tasks
  • Attendance – a simple and effective means of tracking student registration online

Commenting on their personal experience with Satchel One, T.Lunn, a teacher at UKs Best Private Pre-prep, Prep & Secondary School for Boys, Haberdashers Aske’s, said: “Haberdashers is an outstanding school, and I think any outstanding school that takes teaching and learning really positively, and thinks hard about the quality of student teaching and learning, needs to use this software.”  


Satchel One was unveiled to users of Satchel Apps in September, who were all automatically upgraded to the learning platform.


For more information on Satchel One, and to book a demonstration, please visit https://www.teamsatchel.com

Two teachers launch free app to help tackle school behavioural issues after successful 51-school pilot

Two teachers have launched LifeGames, a free app designed to address the increasing behavioural issues in UK and Irish schools. It comes after exclusive research revealed an urgent call by teachers for more social skills development in the current education system, and a pilot of the app’s activities involving 51 schools received an overwhelmingly positive response.

The free LifeGames app teaches key life and social skills such as empathy, respect, responsibility and effective communication through a collection of 40+ classroom activities and games for three age groups (3-5, 6-9, 10-12). A further 320+ activities and games are accessible via a variety of packages to suit even the most thinly stretched educational budget.

Frustrated by the increased focus on academic achievement at the expense of these essential life skills, and driven by their experiences of teaching children with behavioural issues, teachers Lukarte Turner and Gabriela Andino developed the LifeGames activities to reverse the resultant trend of misbehaviour and social ineptitude and give a helping hand to our already highly stressed teachers.

“LifeGames activities have been created thinking about children, of course,” says Lukarte, “but especially thinking about teachers, because they are the ones who told us how much stress they’re under and how difficult their job is. LifeGames has been designed with them in mind, to give them some tools to be used as a vital classroom resource, to help students to understand a better way of living, happier, healthier and more connected to each other. Students need to learn more about life and about themselves, and teachers, together with parents, can help them with that. Let’s help our kids to be happier and healthier, let’s play a better world!”

Initial research by LifeGames revealed that teachers claim empathy is the most lacking of social skills taught in the current education system, with others such as compassion, respect, cooperation and responsibility also mentioned. 87% of teachers surveyed said they were likely to use a product that helped develop these social skills and traits, with 90% saying they’d use it at least once per week.

LifeGames activities were trialled in 51 schools across the UK and Ireland in January 2019, and received an overwhelmingly positive response, with 216 reviews rating the simplicity, popularity and effectiveness of the activities 4 out of 5. Teachers reported that students were motivated and engaged by the activities, felt better able to express themselves, were more respectful of others, and had a greater sense of responsibility after completing the activities.

”One of the problems teachers were telling us about from the beginning was a lack of time,” says Lukarte. “That was the biggest issue: very tight schedules, too much to teach in a short time. We created this app with that in mind, to help teachers who are already pressed for time. Our activities are very simple, short, easy to use and really effective – and these are not my words but the words of teachers who already tried our activities in their schools, with great success. Also, our app features an activity planner and reminders to easily fit activities around normal class scheduling.”

The LifeGames app is now available to download free via Google Play and the App Store with print book available from Amazon.

How Technology Can Transform The Health of School Finances And Communities

Scott Warrington, co-founder of SLS, on why he believes schools could opening up letting opportunities through digital.

Earlier this year, Sport England released research which found two thirds of people felt it was easier to order food online than book an exercise class on the internet.

The research found that only 34% of people surveyed felt it was easy to book sporting activities online and investment which has been made in this area has largely been by private operators which may not be accessible to the majority of people because of price or offering. Even booking taxis, tickets and holidays all ranked higher than securing a spot for a sports class. The leisure sector is currently disparate and difficult to research online so if you’re a table tennis group looking for facilities on a Tuesday night or a swimming club seeking out Saturday sessions, it can feel like the impossible task to know you’re getting the best facilities in your area at a cost which suits. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of this type of customer, team and club looking for space across the UK each week.

As a business, we work with schools to unlock revenue through hiring out their facilities and maximising their potential. With more than 250 partner schools across the UK, we have access to fantastic spaces we want to connect to the communities they are within. As such we’ve launched an innovative new online booking system which can be accessed on our company website www.schoollettings.org The new system provides multifaceted benefits for partner schools and hiring groups, allowing people to search, book and pay online, as well as SLS then managing the lettings onsite. Bookings can now be managed easily 24/7 and can be accessed in real-time, which allows cancellations and amendments. The invoicing process is simplified with automatic updates and payments. It seems like an obvious move but until now, the leisure sector has struggled to offer a digital solution like ours.

But the technology only works when we combine it with our talented teams. This move will also boost our customer service by allowing our managers on the ground more time to work directly with schools and groups, as well as focusing on creating operational efficiencies. This technology will transform the way communities can access leisure facilities by providing live availability and messenger services for existing and new groups to book.

We are hugely excited as a business about the impact this will have – we are already seeing a positive response from the schools and hiring groups we work with. Since we launched in 2011, we’ve been able to deliver well over £10 million of revenue back into the schools we work with and we feel we’re just getting started. We understand the pressures faced by educators in today’s climate and the difference additional funding alongside a professional approach to lettings can make. Now our offering is underpinned by this technology, we’re looking ahead to rolling out to more schools and connecting with more community groups across the country.

Revealed: The Essential Life Skills Brits Wish they Had Been Taught At School

‘Every day is a school day’ according to the popular saying, and that’s certainly true when it comes to learning many crucial life skills not taught in classrooms.
As the nation prepares to tighten its belt, Budgeting and Personal Finance has been revealed as the most popular subject that Brits wish they had been taught in education. More than a third (35%) of respondents in a new study wished they had a better understanding of how to be savvy with their spending and manage their household income.
How to Manage Your Mental Health was the second most popular subject according to the research released today* by High Speed Training. The online training provider commissioned the study alongside the start of the new school term and involved more than 1,500 members of the public across the UK. It shines a spotlight on an insightful list of topics learnt in ‘the school of life’ that many Brits feel they should be better equipped for.
More than one in 10 (12%) of Brits wish they had been taught the basics about ‘How the Government Works’ at school. The findings follow months of political speculation regarding the outcome of Brexit, leaving many people concerned and confused.
Likewise, in the face of evolving technology and changing job landscape, 11% indicated they wish they had been taught coding and digital skills – a subject that is now part of the core curriculum for those in school today.
The top 5 subjects Brits wish they had learnt in school:

1. Budgeting and Personal Finances (35%)
2. How to Manage Your Mental Health (20%)
3. How to Start a Business (14%)
4. How the Government Works (12%)
5. Coding and Digital Skills (11%)

Interestingly, the Greta Effect doesn’t look to have taken a strong hold yet, as just 8% indicated that they wish they had been taught more about the environment. This figure drops to 4% of those aged 18 – 24. Similarly, younger respondents were also found to be the least entrepreneurially minded, with just one in 20 (5%) keen to learn more about how to start a business.

Dr Richard Anderson, Head of Learning & Development at High Speed Training, said “It’s clear to see that the British public think they would have benefited from learning about life’s great lessons in school. Traditional subjects such as algebra do have an important place in education, however many people feel intimidated when it comes to applying learnings to real life scenarios. As a result, many people are seeking out ways to better learn a subject and investing in personal development later in life.”
High Speed Training provides online training courses that support lifelong learning. For more information, simply visit www.highspeedtraining.co.uk.

British Museum and Samsung offer 35,000 school pupils the chance to virtually visit the Museum

The British Museum and Samsung today reopen the award-winning Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC) after a significant upgrade, and announce an ambitious new digital learning programme that brings together the world of museums with the world of technology.

The new SDDC sees a major expansion of the Virtual Visits programme, where schools that are unable to visit the Museum, can still experience the world-class collection and expert staff via a learning session broadcast directly into their classroom.

After successful pilots, the British Museum and Samsung have created 35,000 places over the next five years for pupils to take part. It is hoped that schools from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will become virtual visitors, giving them access to the Museum’s global collection and expertise, without any charge to the school.

Virtual Visits have been created with the curriculum needs of schools in mind and is designed around the realities of classroom technology. Sessions are offered on prehistory Britain, Roman Britain and the Indus Valley, and new sessions on ancient Egypt and ancient Greece are in development. Each class will have the session tailored to their needs and pupils can enjoy direct interaction with British Museum staff, as well as high resolution digital assets such as 3D digital objects being shared with students.

The British Museum and Samsung will also begin to develop an innovative and exciting new strand of programming for teenagers, which young people themselves will help shape. The needs of this audience change more rapidly than any other that the Museum works with, and so by working directly with teenagers, it will help develop quality programming that fully understands and meets the diverse needs of this age group, as well as enhancing their experience of the museum’s collection through Samsung technology.

The SDDC itself, which is based at the Museum in Bloomsbury, provides a state-of-the-art technological hub for children and young people to learn about and interact with the British Museum’s collection. Ahead of the refit, the SDDC welcomed its highest ever number of visitors, with 25,000 school children and families using the Centre in 2018/19. Since it opened, 150,000 people have visited the space to take part in a wide variety of activities such as workshops, family drop-ins, and facilitated school visits. This major refit revealed today sees improvements to the user experience to cater for the growing number of visitors, as well as a full upgrade in the Samsung technology available. This will include the Samsung Flip, E-boards and the latest range of Galaxy Smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.

Over the past 10 years, the SDDC has provided the largest programme of digital learning activities in any UK museum. It continues to demonstrate the highest levels of audience satisfaction, with 95% of families surveyed in 2017–18 stating they found the sessions ‘good’ or ‘very good’, and that 96% of teachers said they would recommend the SDDC to a colleague and would bring a student group to the SDDC again. Thanks to Samsung’s generous support, expertise and technology, the SDDC schools and family programmes have transformed the Museum’s digital learning provision into a world class, sector leading and award-winning programme.

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, says: “We are delighted that thanks to the generous support of Samsung, we can now offer 35,000 school children over the next five years the opportunity to interact with the world class collection and expertise of the British Museum, who ordinarily might not be able to. Pupils from Andover to Aberdeen and Brecon to Belfast can now experience some of the Museum’s incredible treasures from their own classroom, potentially sparking a lifelong curiosity in the history of the world. The advances in digital technology have enhanced the learning opportunities within – and now outside – the Museum, and the SDDC has been at the very forefront of our efforts to share the collection more widely. We are grateful for the longstanding and continued partnership with Samsung for making it possible.”

Francis Chun, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland says: “At Samsung, under our global Corporate Citizenship vision of Enabling People and supporting education for future generations, we’re committed to empowering the next generation of innovators to discover and unlocking their full potential. Our collaboration with the British Museum for the past ten years has allowed us to constantly trial new technologies that engage children and young people in innovative ways to not only help them learn about lessons in history, but enable them to better understand the present and prepare for the future. By extending this long-standing partnership for a further five years to 2024, we stand beside the British Museum as we together navigate the ways in which emerging technologies can further enhance the way we learn.”

NEW RESOURCES TO EDUCATE YOUNG PEOPLE ON FRAUD AND SCAMS

Friends Against Scams initiative to include adaptable interactive workshops

for children aged 8-16

With scams costing the UK economy £5-10 billion per year*, knowing how to identify them and take measures to protect and prevent people from falling victim to them is crucial. The National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team believe it’s essential to inform and empower young people on the issue, so they can take action against fraud and scams in the future.

To encourage this movement, ‘Young Friends’ has been launched, as a new addition to the NTS Friends Against Scams initiative. Through a new interactive workshop which has been created for delivering in schools and youth groups, ‘Young Friends’ aims to teach children aged 8 years and above about:

  • Scams and how they can affect people’s lives
  • Different types of scams including – postal, telephone, online and doorstep
  • How to protect themselves and their families from being scammed
  • How to spot and help a scam victim 

The package contains various resources including, lesson plans, interactive activities, games and a PowerPoint presentation which are all easily adaptable to target different age ranges and abilities. This means the programme can be delivered in different settings and environments by professionals or volunteers, including school teachers, youth group workers, community group leaders, local councils and those working with children.

The ‘Young Friends’ awareness session was originally piloted across the country with Girl Guides, Scouts and Brownies groups taking part.

Claire Hodgson, Senior Trading Standards Specialist from Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards said: “I carried out a Young Friends Against scams session alongside a local SCAMchampion to a group of girl guides. The girls had a great evening which was fun, interactive and informative. The group were all keen to go home and spread the scam awareness messages they had learnt. They went away knowing the signs to look out for with family members and neighbours and were all very proud to receive their certificates!”

Louise Baxter MBE, Head of the National Trading Standards Scams Team said: “Criminals can target anyone and the more people the team can help – the better. Since the Friends Against Scams initiative launched in 2016, over 270,000 Friends have been recruited and have committed to taking a stand against scams.

“By creating the Young Friends session, we hope to be able to help young people become more consious of things to look out for in order to protect both themselves as they get older and also their families.

“The training covers the four main types of scams, how to spot these crimes and how to protect yourself and loved ones from them. With the rise of new technology, we believe that learning how to spot these scams is an essential skill for the next generation.”

The Young Friends resource materials were developed with assistance from: Stuart Tweedale – Lincolnshire Deputy Police Crime Commissioner, pupils of Cranwell & Spilsby Primary Schools in Lincolnshire, PC Melanie Standbrook – Lincolnshire Police, Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards, Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards and Norfolk Trading Standards in partnership with Friends Against Scams.

Designed to inspire action, highlight the scale of the problem and change the perceptions of why people fall for scams, Friends Against Scams now has more than 270,000 Friends across the UK, working together to protect people and raise awareness of fraud and scams.

To find out more or to receive the resources to deliver your own Young Friends Against Scams awareness session, contact the team at www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/contact