Cash-strapped councils failing 1 in 3 children with vision impairment says report

  • New report shows 44 per cent of local authorities (LAs) have cut or frozen funding for specialist education services supporting children and young people with vision impairment (VI) since 2017.
  • An estimated 11,000 VI children across England are affected – representing one in every three1 VI children across the country.
  • 43 per cent of LAs have reported a decrease in specialist staff and 24 per cent of LAs are planning a review of their VI services.

Thousands of children and young people with vision impairment are being failed by underfunded local authorities (LAs) across England according to research published today by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The report, Left Out of Learning, reveals nearly half (44 per cent) of LAs have cut or frozen funding for specialist education services supporting 10,925 VI children over the last two years. A further 7,539 children and young people are accessing services that have failed to keep their budgets in line with inflation, meaning real term cuts to funding.

Despite a seven per cent rise in the number of children and young people requiring and accessing specialist support, more than a third (43 per cent) of LAs have reported a decrease in Qualified Teachers of Vision Impairment (QTVI), who are central to making mainstream education accessible for visually impaired children and young people.

The findings, which come from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, also show that the number of LAs where QTVIs have a caseload of more than 100 students has soared to more than a quarter (28 per cent). Despite this squeeze in resource, a quarter (24 per cent) of LAs admitted to current or proposed reviews of their VI services.

Keith Valentine, Director of Development at RNIB, said: “Every day in schools across England, children are expected to learn by reading books, watching demonstrations, interpreting graphs and completing written tasks. But these activities all rely heavily on the ability to see. Children and young people with vision impairment require specialist support to access the curriculum, navigate their school, take part in sports or games and learn on equal terms with sighted children. This vital support enables them to develop the essential skills they need to succeed, not just at school, but as adults with full lives.

“Our research has revealed a shocking lack of resource for local authorities to deliver this crucial provision. Despite an increasing number of children and young people requiring and accessing specialist support in the last few years, funding has been cut, QTVI roles have been lost and caseloads have increased – putting remaining services under enormous strain.

“With more than £14 billion being promised for primary and secondary education between now and 2023, we are urging the Government to act now and correct this funding gap to ensure every child with vision impairment is able to fulfil their potential.”

Along with the report, RNIB has launched an interactive map that displays where local authorities have frozen, cut or threatened changes to funding for VI services, along with an accessible list of the data. It demonstrates how structures, practices and budgets for specialist education services vary significantly across local authorities – a “postcode lottery” that RNIB is keen to see addressed.

The map also highlights where three in every four (76 per cent) local authorities in England have not kept funding in line with inflation. This means that an estimated 18,464 children, which represents nearly two thirds (61 per cent) of all children supported by VI services in England, are facing real-time cuts to their education.

For a full copy of the report and to explore the map, visit www.rnib.org.uk/left-out-learning

Oldham school introduces British Sign Language as part of curriculum

Oldham-based Lyndhurst Primary School has introduced weekly British Sign Language (BSL) lessons across every year group to help better connect their pupils with hopes that BSL will become ‘second-nature’ to them and the local community.

The initiative was set up to help support and improve the lives of five-year-old deaf pupil Mohammed Daud who needs BSL and sign supported English (SSE) to access education, and two other children with hearing impairments at the school.

At the start of the month the school celebrated International Deaf Week by signing songs in assembly and now continues to help implement this knowledge throughout the community by keeping pupil’s parents updated through the school’s website to help encourage them to get involved. 

Although there are 11 million people with hearing loss in the UK – with 50,000 of those being children – the national school curriculum does not dictate that lessons in BSL should be included on pupils’ timetables making the work at Lyndhurst Primary School unique. 

As part of Lyndhurst’s commitment, Amy Scoltock, a dedicated Education Communicator with over 10 years’ experience of working with hearing impaired children, is now a member of staff at the school and has been helping run the sessions alongside Deputy Head Rob Hollingsworth.

Amy commented: “As a school we feel very strongly about equality, and as we have three pupils who are hard of hearing children, we felt this was an important part of our day-to-day curriculum.

“We are teaching the children in school about effective communication and how to overcome barriers and become more successful communicators to one another, and sign language is an important part of that.”

Lyndhurst Primary School operates as part of Focus Trust, a charitable multi-academy trust which is based in the North West of England, with the vision of providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where the children are happy.

Acting Headteacher Rob added: “At Lyndhurst we want to make learning and education accessible to all, so to be able to roll out BSL lessons across the school is a great step forward in achieving this goal.

“We hope this will help give our three pupils with hearing impairments the same opportunities as the other pupils at the school.”

The school’s Headteacher, Liz Egan-Walsh also began her teaching career at Royal Schools for the Deaf in Cheadle – now formally known as the Seashell Trust – and has since become a qualified teacher of the visually impaired.

As the Special Educational Needs Coordinator for the school she made clear that this initiative forms part of the school’s wider ethos of inclusivity for all children. 

Samsung’s FAIR Future festival tour invites young people to get ‘hands-on’ with AI at Norwich Science Festival

  • Samsung is taking artificial intelligence on the road and into communities across the UK as part of its FAIR Future festival tour to involve everyone in AI, by making it easier to understand
  • The interactive tour kicks off at the Norwich Science Festival between 18th and 25th October and will continue across the UK in 2020
  • Young people will get to see AI in action with live demos, be asked to share their opinions on the ethical implications of AI and, get a better understanding of how AI already shapes our world and how it will in the future
  • The tour is in response to the findings uncovered in the FAIR Future report which revealed that while young people are interested in AI, they lack information and don’t feel able to influence how it develops in future
  • AI expert and author of Hello World, Hannah Fry is backing the nationwide initiative

LONDON, UK  – Samsung kicks off its interactive FAIR Future festival tour at Norwich Science Festival, giving young people the opportunity to learn more about artificial intelligence, get ‘hands-on’ with one of the most important technologies of our age and share their views and opinions on the ethical implications of AI.

At the FAIR Future festival, taking place between 18th and 25th October, young people will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in interactive AI experiences, including:

  • Chat with Sammy the Robot – a humanoid robot powered by AI will move around the festival engaging visitors in conversations about AI, as well as singing, dancing and telling stories
  • Test your knowledge with the AI Expert – an AI-powered avatar that will put visitors’ knowledge to the test and help them learn more about the AI that is already all around us
  • See the world through the eyes of a driverless car – in partnership with MathWorks visitors can test AI’s ability to recognise objects. Can AI tell an animal apart from a human?
  • Can artificial intelligence make art? Visitors will be able to pose for a picture and watch AI transform them into a work of art to take home with them

Young people in attendance will also have the opportunity to share their opinions on the ethical implications of AI and add their voices to the largest ever conversation on AI through live polling taking place across the festival.

The tour, continuing across the UK in 2020, is in response to the findings uncovered in Samsung’s FAIR Future report which revealed that while young people (ages 13 to 17) are interested in AI, they lack information and don’t feel they are able to influence how it develops in future:

  • Despite feeling optimistic about the impact of AI on society, many feel helpless to influence the way this technology develops. Over half (58%) of teens feel they and their families have no influence over how AI develops in the future
  • Young people are also keen to have a say in how AI ethics are shaped, as opinion is still divided about how we approach the ethical dilemmas AI will face. 77% of 13-17-year-olds believe they should be involved in shaping the ethics of AI
  • 61% say they are interested in AI, with 85% stating they believe that AI will replace some jobs.
  • Young people surveyed were most looking forward to new AI technology bringing enhanced healthcare (91%), giving the elderly or those with disabilities more autonomy in their lives (88%) and educational resources that can adapt to the user’s learning style (85%).
  • 64% of young people classify their understanding of AI as ‘low’ or ‘medium’
  • A quarter (24%) say a lack of education is the reason many people don’t know when products and services contain AI, and half (50%) want classes in school to make AI easier to understand

Alongside the FAIR Future festival tour, Samsung is working to involve everyone in AI, by;

  • Creating a FAIR Future online hub, to help people better understand what AI is, how AI is already part of their lives, and explore how it might evolve in the future
  • Launching Not A School a new, educational experience at the new Samsung Showcase space, KX, London, which brings young people together to address pressing issues and create solutions, whilst learning vital skills needed for the workplace of the future that will be transformed by rapid innovations in technology. Led by inspirational speakers, the four-week programme covers different themes with bespoke projects, with next week’s sessions looking at AI and ethics; looking at ‘Humanising Technology’ and challenging participants to debate the opportunities and challenges in AI
  • Sharing what we learn with wider AI stakeholders, including the UK Government, to help inform broader thinking about AI ethics and shape the future

Teg Dosanjh, Director of Connected Living for Samsung UK and Ireland, said: “Over the past few years, we, the tech industry, have not done a good job at making AI understandable to everyday people. People, especially young people, feel disconnected and unable to influence the technology that will shape the way they live in future. This needs to change if AI is going to become a technology that benefits human beings and helps everyone in society.

“That’s why at Samsung we’re launching the FAIR Future tour to hear the views of young people and lead the nation’s biggest ever conversation on AI. It’s clear that young people want a role in helping shape the future of AI ethics and with our programme of events and online hub, we’re reconnecting everyone with one of the most influential technologies of our age. Through this, we hope to stimulate awareness, understanding and promote individual control of AI in people’s lives.

“We’ll also be sharing the extensive and unique consumer insights we gather with stakeholders that will shape the future strategy of AI and ultimately give consumers more control over the development and application of this technology.”

Hannah Fry, Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities at University College London, has explored the implications of AI on human society in her book Hello World and is supporting Samsung’s FAIR Future initiative to encourage more people to have a say in how AI ethics is shaped.

“It’s difficult to imagine an industry that will be untouched by AI – from how we travel, to how we diagnose and treat medical conditions or sentence criminals. The changes that are coming are going to affect all of us – for better or worse – and we all deserve a say in what our future should look like.

“That’s why it’s so important to open the doors to a national conversation. It’s why I’m enormously proud to be part of this project, to demystify artificial intelligence, to take stock of the public’s attitude to AI, and to hear people’s concerns. To do so in a way that invites rather than excludes and to allow everyone to be a part of shaping the way ahead.”

To find out more about the FAIR Future programme and download the full report, visit the website at https://www.samsung.com/uk/explore

THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN THE WORKPLACE FOR EDUCATION BOSSES

-Individual, regular rewards improve employer desirability

– Positive connection found between individual rewards and employee motivation for education workers

– Clear correlation between lack of expressing gratitude and staff turnover in the education sector

NEW research reveals that education business leaders who thank their staff experience reduced staff turnover, improved staff retention and more successful talent acquisition.

A study of 1,253 workers, carried out by workplace and incentives provider, One4all Rewards, and published in The Magic Word for Business Growth Report, surveyed workers on the impact their existing and potential employers and bosses have when they say thank you or express gratitude for a job well done. 

The research revealed that 57% of education workers said that a company who rewards their staff with an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals is a more desirable place to work. 

66% of education workers stated that they would be more likely to apply for a job with a company who gift staff an annual cash bonus or gift card.

Individual non-cash rewards such as treats, or gifts shared at regular intervals, would make a company a more desirable place to work for 57% of respondents in the education sector.

Gratitude and appreciation expressed by business leaders is not only an effective tool to attract new talent but also for motivating and retaining existing staff.

The data found that 65% of workers in education would be motivated to work harder if they received an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals from their employer.

On the opposite end of the motivation scale, 41% of education workers cited that they would feel less motivated to work hard if their employer did nothing to say ‘thank you’ or show gratitude for a job well done.

Reducing people’s propensity to leave is also key to reducing staff turnover and increasing business growth.

Almost half (49%) of the education workers surveyed said that rarely receiving any form of thanks or gratitude from their employer would make them want to leave the company.

42% of adults from the education sector also said they would be unlikely to apply for or accept a job offer from a company who did nothing to say ‘thank you’ to their staff.

Michael Dawson, CEO of One4all, said: “Recruitment issues are something that affect all UK businesses regardless of size, industry, or stage of business they may be. A simple thank you from business leaders can create a butterfly effect retaining existing staff, attracting new talent and motivating employees to be more productive. High staff turnovers can be costly when considering the recruitment fees and training costs and reducing these costs can ultimately result in business growth and success.

“It’s important that business leaders understand the accumulating effect two simple, yet effective words can have on their overall business success. Not only do employers need to make sure they express thanks to their staff for a job well done but the timing and delivery of that gratitude is also key.”

One4all Rewards are industry experts in benefits and rewards. Working with over 6,000 businesses of all sizes nationwide, One4all Rewards helps to transform customer and employee relationships through successful rewards and incentive schemes.

For more information and to read The Magic Word for Business Growth Report, visit https://www.one4allrewards.co.uk/magic-word-report-2019

Digital textbooks in schools can enhance teaching and learning – YouGov survey

10 October 2019 – UK teachers see budgetary constraints as one of the main barriers to the adoption of digital technology in schools. Yet greater access to digital versions of textbooks is the most desired resource for teachers.

The findings come from a survey of more than 800 teachers and school leaders conducted by YouGov on behalf of Copyright Licensing Agency (www.CLA.co.uk). The UK-wide research, which surveyed attitudes on access to digitally-delivered resources, finds that original, teacher-created materials are by far the most-used resource in teaching when asked to select up to three: 64% of respondents named it as the resource they use most often, ahead of worksheets or workbooks (48%) and online video content (40%).

“The YouGov survey results show there is a high preference among teachers to retain flexibility over classroom teaching by creating their own lesson plans, and they want digital technology to help them,” says Eela Devani, Strategy and Digital Director of CLA. “However, the survey also shows that budgetary limitations, poor infrastructure and a lack of digital understanding are seen as the main barriers to the adoption of digital technology.

“Nevertheless, the highest percentage of respondents cited digital versions of textbooks as the resource they would like greater access to, ahead of curated TV content and free materials like posters.”

A snapshot of detailed YouGov survey findings

Which of the following resources would you like to have greater access to? Please select up to 3.
Digital versions of textbooks 30%
Curated TV content 23%
Free material from organisations e.g. posters 21%
Printed books 20%
Original teacher-created materials 19%
Media or publisher online platforms 18%
Online video content from YouTube, Google, etc. 15%

Why go digital?

The survey’s respondents were asked to select up to three of the main advantages of digital technology. At the head of the field was the belief that it offers a greener solution, for example potentially less photocopying, followed by providing greater access to relevant teaching materials, the fact that students prefer using digital technology and its ability to enhance the quality of learning.

Digital technology also allows greater sharing of materials for home study and saves time in lesson planning.

Which of the following do you think are the main advantages/opportunities of digital technology in schools? Please select up to 3.
Offers a ‘greener’ solution e.g. potentially less photocopying 49%
Provides greater access to relevant teaching materials 39%
Students prefer using digital technology 36%
Enhances the quality of learning 34%
Allows sharing of materials for home study/coursework 30%
Saves time in lesson planning 25%
Saves time in lesson delivery 14%
Delivers textbook materials in a digital format 10%

Barriers to going digital

Perceived obstacles to the adoption of digital technology in schools show a mixture of resourcing issues, capabilities and trust. Among the comments made by the survey’s respondents was the following statement: “Unfortunately, [there’s] no money in school, so greater access to digital items for pupils is unlikely to ever happen.”

Which of the following do you think are the main barriers to adopting more digital technology in schools? Please select up to 3.
Budgetary constraints 76%
Poor digital infrastructure in some schools 47%
Lack of digital understanding among school leaders/teachers 33%
Speed of broadband access 25%
Lack of trust in the quality of learning materials available free on the internet 20%
Bans on the use of personal smartphones in the classroom 14%
Lack of available learning materials online 11%
Lack of digital understanding among students 4%

“The message seems to be that, given the right economic case, there is a good opportunity for greater adoption of digital textbooks in schools,” says Eela Devani. “This study, which was commissioned from YouGov using their teacher panel without reference to CLA, supports our experience that digital extracts of textbooks that schools already use can considerably enhance lesson planning and delivery – and save teacher time.

“We have just launched a new online platform called Education Platform for schools that enables them to access digital copies of extracts from printed books they already own. It is available to CLA licensed schools at no additional cost. The Education Platform has been developed in collaboration with the major educational publishers who have contributed high quality digital versions of thousands of popular schools textbooks.”

Wellbeing and mental health major concerns for parents of prospective university students

Financial instability and academic success are causing high levels of stress for students starting university, while parents are deeply concerned about their children’s wellbeing, a recent survey has found.

The research, commissioned by Endsleigh Insurance Services, showed how students set to embark on their studies begin feeling the pressure more than a month before starting their studies. The biggest reason for this concern was academic success, with 82 per cent of students either regularly or occasionally worrying about their achievements following what they deem to be a significant investment of time and money. Other worries students had included financial concerns (80%) and social interactions (79%), which could also fuel the concern of not achieving academic success.

Additionally, the research found one third of respondents (33%) are not confident about starting their degree, while 62 per cent of applicants are concerned about finding a job to fund their studies.

In stark contrast, the research found parents are more concerned about their child’s mental health and safety, with the vulnerabilities surrounding the new environment and the distance from home a big worry. Despite this, 70 per cent of parents were confident their children would seek support if they were struggling with their mental health, however half of students (49%) admitted they were not confident they would seek help if it was required.

The disparity shown between parents and their children shows the ever increasing role universities must play in ensuring student wellbeing is not lost, as Oliver Barrow, head of education at Endsleigh Insurance Services, explains: “Our insight demonstrates clear differentials between what students view as the biggest concerns ahead of university against what parents are most concerned with.

“We understand the concerns and worries of both students and parents today are greater than ever before. Endsleigh works closely with partners across the education community, including universities, to support the student and parent experience during their time at university”

60 per cent of all respondents admitted one of the top concerns for financial stability is finding the funds to replace a broken item. According to Endsleigh, the average claim made by students was £881 for the last academic year, indicating the high-valued items students are taking with them to university.

The research also found 97 per cent of students and parents expect universities to play a key role in offering support, for both stress and mental health and wellbeing.

To aid this, Endsleigh have created a specific student Wellbeing proposition available for higher education establishments, moving beyond traditional insurance. Offering proactive support to help alleviate the pressure students, families and universities are facing, including supporting the mental health provision to students at university who may be struggling.  

There are currently five products available, including a medical assistance service which provides access to a GP and a mental health and counselling provision for ongoing support.

Oliver added: “Our proposition offers a set of products that allow universities to provide support which can be embedded within their procedures. It helps enhance their wellbeing provision and increases the support, guidance and financial protection each university can provide its students.

“As a trusted partner, working with Endsleigh can help provide universities with the extra services to aid their provision to students, including counselling for debt or legal problems, cover for personal accidents and fees protection, as well as protection against the lost, damaged or stolen items.”

Endsleigh has summarised and analysed all of the findings from its research in its paper: A guide to what new students and their parents are really worrying about, which can be downloaded by visiting https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/education/student-wellbeing/.

Endsleigh will also be exhibiting at the upcoming Higher Education Conference on 16 October 2019, London, and will be available to discuss its findings on Stand 5.

Wellbeing and mental health major concerns for parents of prospective university students

Serious student working on laptop in library

Financial instability and academic success are causing high levels of stress for students starting university, while parents are deeply concerned about their children’s wellbeing, a recent survey has found.

The research, commissioned by Endsleigh Insurance Services, showed how students set to embark on their studies begin feeling the pressure more than a month before starting their studies. The biggest reason for this concern was academic success, with 82 per cent of students either regularly or occasionally worrying about their achievements following what they deem to be a significant investment of time and money. Other worries students had included financial concerns (80%) and social interactions (79%), which could also fuel the concern of not achieving academic success.

Additionally, the research found one third of respondents (33%) are not confident about starting their degree, while 62 per cent of applicants are concerned about finding a job to fund their studies.

In stark contrast, the research found parents are more concerned about their child’s mental health and safety, with the vulnerabilities surrounding the new environment and the distance from home a big worry. Despite this, 70 per cent of parents were confident their children would seek support if they were struggling with their mental health, however half of students (49%) admitted they were not confident they would seek help if it was required.

The disparity shown between parents and their children shows the ever increasing role universities must play in ensuring student wellbeing is not lost, as Oliver Barrow, head of education at Endsleigh Insurance Services, explains: “Our insight demonstrates clear differentials between what students view as the biggest concerns ahead of university against what parents are most concerned with.

“We understand the concerns and worries of both students and parents today are greater than ever before. Endsleigh works closely with partners across the education community, including universities, to support the student and parent experience during their time at university”

60 per cent of all respondents admitted one of the top concerns for financial stability is finding the funds to replace a broken item. According to Endsleigh, the average claim made by students was £881 for the last academic year, indicating the high-valued items students are taking with them to university.

The research also found 97 per cent of students and parents expect universities to play a key role in offering support, for both stress and mental health and wellbeing.

To aid this, Endsleigh have created a specific student Wellbeing proposition available for higher education establishments, moving beyond traditional insurance. Offering proactive support to help alleviate the pressure students, families and universities are facing, including supporting the mental health provision to students at university who may be struggling.  

There are currently five products available, including a medical assistance service which provides access to a GP and a mental health and counselling provision for ongoing support.

Oliver added: “Our proposition offers a set of products that allow universities to provide support which can be embedded within their procedures. It helps enhance their wellbeing provision and increases the support, guidance and financial protection each university can provide its students.

“As a trusted partner, working with Endsleigh can help provide universities with the extra services to aid their provision to students, including counselling for debt or legal problems, cover for personal accidents and fees protection, as well as protection against the lost, damaged or stolen items.”

Endsleigh has summarised and analysed all of the findings from its research in its paper: A guide to what new students and their parents are really worrying about, which can be downloaded by visiting https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/education/student-wellbeing/.

Endsleigh will also be exhibiting at the upcoming Higher Education Conference on 16 October 2019, London, and will be available to discuss its findings on Stand 5.

The Ultimate How-To Guide on Planning a School Trip

Print your customisable school trip planning timeline.

When you start planning your annual school trip, the task lists and deadlines can feel overwhelming. At The Learning Adventure, we help you through the whole process – use our guide’s printable resource below as your own customisable timeline to help get you organised.

Scroll down to get your downloadable school trip planning timeline sent straight to your inbox!

school tour planning dates

9 months to go: Get the go ahead from senior management to run an educational trip.

Every school has its own procedure – you might already have clearance to run a trip or you might need to ask your manager first.

8 months to go: Get in contact with us and we will start working on an itinerary to suit your budget.

Let us know what destinations and subject you’re looking at and the budget you’re aiming for, as well as how much of a mix between culture and education you’d like. Have an idea of what kind of accommodation you’d like and whether you’d like to book flights with us (we’re ATOL protected). Then, we’ll get going putting together an initial itinerary and quote for you.

7.5 months to go: Now is the time to tweak the itinerary. Let’s get it perfect for you.

We’ll customise your trip to your subject, curriculum, budget and any other needs. Once you’ve got the initial quote and itinerary, tell us which activities you like or don’t like.  We want to get it just right and can update the itinerary as many times as necessary. We can also help with any questions relating to visas, insurance, risk assessments or packing lists.

7 months to go: Itinerary and price confirmed. It’s time to start recruiting students.

Spread the word to your students and their parents in class, assemblies, emails and letters home. Highlight the key activities and learning objectives in the itinerary, stress the educational value and give them all the important information, like prices, payment dates and sign-up deadlines.

5 months to go: Confirm how many students are coming, sign your booking contract and we will send you an invoice. Now’s also the time to collect deposits from your students.

This is the most exciting point. You know who’s joining the adventure, exactly what you’re doing and what your students will get out of it. Once you’ve signed the booking contract the trip is officially booked!

4.5 months to go: Your first deposit is now due.

We usually charge 30% of the full amount as an initial deposit. This pays for parts of the tour that need to be booked, confirmed and paid for in advance. This varies from trip to trip though so feel free to chat to us about this– we’re flexible.

3.5 months to go: You might want to start collecting the rest of the payments from your students now.

How you collect payments is up to you and your school. Sometimes, schools prefer to collect the full amount right at the beginning, others collect in two or three installments, and others collect payments from parents monthly.

3 months to go: Your second payment is now due.

This is usually another 30% of the full amount but like the first deposit, we can be flexible so get in touch to discuss this further.

1 month to go: Pay the remaining balance and get The Learning Adventure in to answer any questions from parents and students.

With just 40% left to pay, you are nearly on your way.

You might also want to ask one of our team members to come into your school for a parents’ evening. We can answer any questions that parents have face to face and ensure that everyone gets excited about their upcoming adventure.

Departure Date

This is it. You might be going on a school trip to China, Japan, South Korea, South East Asia, Italy, France or Spain, but, wherever you’re going, your students are up for The Learning Adventure of a lifetime!

For more visit our website here.

Top reasons why an educational establishment should invest in an auto tracking camera.

Distance Learning

As technology improves, and distance learning becomes a popular choice for learning, auto tracking camera solutions enables organisations of all sizes to easily recreate an in-class experience for online learners.

Using a single camera for distance learning is severely limited, as it only provides a narrow field of view, which means you only have the option of showing the teacher’s face. Auto tracking cameras change the game by allowing the teacher freedom to move around the room to help students or bring models, experiments, and whiteboard content into play, all while being automatically tracked. With the AVer PTC500S , with three tracking modes, there’s no need for carrying or wearing devices, as it uses advanced facial detection and image movement analysis to lock onto the presenter. If you use the PTC500S, Multi-Presenter Detection also enables students to work at the front of the class without disrupting tracking.

For Live Streaming

Whether you’re broadcasting a graduation ceremony or an online course, the authenticity of livestreaming makes it an extremely useful tool for making remote participants feel fully engaged. If you want to maintain a professional level of production quality in your livestreams but don’t have the resources to hire a whole production crew, an auto tracking camera is all you need.

Let’s say you want to start an online show to teach people new cooking techniques. If you happen to be a star chef like Gordon Ramsay, you can hire a camera crew to follow you around your kitchen set; however, chances are you don’t have the staff or budget to pull that off. That’s where the PTC500S comes in, automatically tracking you all around the kitchen without the need for a camera operator. Become a YouTube education sensation all by yourself!

To save money

As the word “auto” implies, these types of cameras eliminate the need for huge expenditures on control rooms. It’s also unnecessary to hire experienced (but expensive) camera operators and technicians. The PTC500S is especially intuitive, with tutorials built in to its interface to make it super easy and convenient. Even the most technologically challenged teachers can set up automatic tracking by themselves without losing class preparation time.

From high school classrooms to university lecture halls and beyond, auto tracking is upgrading learning experiences. This innovative technology keeps organizations up-to-date with the latest education trends and is a cost-effective investment.

Using payment-over-time models to enhance learning experiences

Boris Johnson has confirmed that school budgets will increase by over £7 billion per year by 2022. This is a very welcome increase although many in the education sector are treating the announcement with caution. This is understandable given previous budget cuts, political instability and the fact that schools are having to fund most of the teacher pay increases, announced earlier this year, from their own budget.

The first cash injection is not due until April 2020 in maintained schools with academy trusts having to wait a further six months. However, currently, according to recent research, only 33% of secondary schools and 60% of primary schools consider that they are sufficiently equipped with ICT infrastructure and devices. Another six months may be too long to wait for a much-needed investment. Indeed, schools already spend over £900m on education technology every year and it’s estimated that the global market will be worth £129bn by 2020.

Some of this growth may be fuelled by apps designed to enhance learning in the classroom and reduce teacher workload by making the communication between pupils, teacher and parents more seamless. And as tech-savvy millennials move into senior leadership roles, the drive is there to transform the classroom from one of textbooks and chalk to tablets and interactive whiteboards.

Nonetheless, while budgets may be set to increase they will still be limited. As a result, many schools have already realised the benefits of payment-over-time models which allow schools to digitally transform the classroom, but, without the need for significant capital expenditure.

What do payment-over-time models mean for schools?

A payment-over-time model is nothing new — many people fund their cars or phones using the same kind of model. The benefits for schools are just the same. Taking out a bespoke subscription from a digital services provider gives staff and students access to the latest technology without creating a considerable hole in the budget.

The advantages of payment-over-time solutions are many. Firstly, they make it easier to fund increasingly popular 1:1 schemes, whereby schools pay for and provide each pupil with an electronic device for educational purposes. This used to be unaffordable for many, but a monthly service subscription makes it instantly viable. This model also makes it easy for institutions to continually refresh their technology assets — an increasingly important requirement, as students do not want to be using equipment that is older than what they’re used to at home.

And it’s not just pupil devices which can be funded. Interactive whiteboards, networking equipment, CCTV and multi-function devices can all be added to an as-a-service agreement.

But how schools manage and fund this is crucial. That’s where the Schools Leasing Framework (SLF) comes in, ensuring a risk and hassle-free way for UK schools to enter into a fully compliant funding agreement.

What is the SLF?

The SLF offers a pre-qualified and fully IAS 17 compliant solution for adopting technology through payment-over-time solutions. It gives schools the confidence and ability to accelerate digital transformation for teachers and students alike.

All leases are fully compliant operating leases and schools can be secure in the knowledge that they are entering into a regulated agreement that complies with the Department for Education (DfE) guidance.

The Framework is open to all UK schools and allows each one to choose the technology, supplier, payment terms and subscription model that best meets their needs. The benefits of using the leasing framework are many, including;

•           improving the teaching and learning environment by giving schools access to the latest technology

•           regulatory compliance

•           ease of forecasting cashflow

•           no upfront fees or charges

•           the opportunity to update and upscale the technology as needed

The process is also simple. Once the technologies and suppliers are chosen, a contract can be drawn up which allows the lease provider to invoice the suppliers directly. The education establishment is invoiced by the lease provider via an agreed payment model over a predefined term of two, three or four years. And where there are many technology requirements from many different suppliers, there is still just one lease for the entire investment.

Investment for the future

In such an unpredictable climate, technology investment often gets put on the back burner in schools. However, pupils still need to be educated and they move through education at the same pace, regardless of the political backdrop.

Students need to have access to, and learn about, the latest technology in order to gain access to information and be prepared for the workplace. But, understandably, this is difficult to accomplish on a limited budget.  The right leasing agreement can overcome this by providing teachers and students with the latest technology while protecting the educational establishment from unexpected costs and termination agreements.