Skipping breakfast linked to lower GCSE grades

Students who rarely ate breakfast on school days achieved lower GCSE grades than those who ate breakfast frequently, according to a new study in Yorkshire.

Researchers, from the University of Leeds, have for the first time demonstrated a link between eating breakfast and GCSE performance for secondary school students in the UK.

Adding together all of a student’s exam results, they found that students who said they rarely ate breakfast achieved nearly two grades lower than those who rarely missed their morning meal.

The research is published today in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.

Lead researcher Dr Katie Adolphus, from the University of Leeds’ School of Psychology, said: “Our study suggests that secondary school students are at a disadvantage if they are not getting a morning meal to fuel their brains for the start of the school day.

“The UK has a growing problem of food poverty, with an estimated half a million children arriving at school each day too hungry to learn. Previously we have shown that eating breakfast has a positive impact on children’s cognition.

“This research suggests that poor nutrition is associated with worse results at school.”

The Government in England run a national, means-tested free school lunch programme accessible to all students, but there is no equivalent for breakfast.

Charities Magic Breakfast and Family Action deliver a means-tested breakfast programme funded by the Department for Education, which provides free breakfasts for more than 1,800 schools located in the most socio-economically deprived parts of England.

Separately, Magic Breakfast supports breakfast provision in a further 480 UK schools. However, this leaves many of the 24,000 state-funded schools in England without free breakfast provision for children not getting breakfast at home.

Some schools compensate by offering breakfast clubs they have to fund themselves, or funded by companies such as Kellogg’s.

The Leeds researchers say their findings support the calls to expand the current limited free school breakfast programme to include every state school in England. A policy proposal from Magic Breakfast to introduce school breakfast legislation is currently being considered by politicians, which has been supported by Leeds academics.

Alex Cunningham, CEO of Magic Breakfast, said: “This study is a valuable insight, reinforcing the importance of breakfast in boosting pupils’ academic attainment and removing barriers to learning. Education is crucial to a child’s future life success and escaping poverty, therefore ensuring every child has access to a healthy start to the day must be a priority.

“We are grateful to the University of Leeds for highlighting this positive impact and welcome their findings, highlighting once again the importance of our work with schools.”

GCSE performance

The researchers surveyed 294 students from schools and colleges in West Yorkshire in 2011, and found that 29% rarely or never ate breakfast on school days, whilst 18% ate breakfast occasionally, and 53% frequently. Their figures are similar to the latest national data for England in 2019, which found that more than 16% of secondary school children miss breakfast.

GCSE grades were converted to point scores using the Department for Education’s 2012 system, where A* = 58, A = 52, B = 46, and so on. Adding up students’ scores across all subjects gave students an aggregated score.

Those who rarely ate breakfast scored on average 10.25 points lower than those who frequently ate breakfast, a difference of nearly two grades, after accounting for other important factors including socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, sex and BMI.

Looking at performance for each individual GCSE, they found that students who rarely ate breakfast scored on average 1.20 points lower than those who frequently ate breakfast, after accounting for other factors. Each grade equates to six points, so the difference accounted for a drop of a fifth of a grade for every GCSE an individual achieved.

Nicola Dolton, Programme Manager for the National School Breakfast Programme, from Family Action, said: “The National School Breakfast Programme is delighted to see the publication of this thorough and compelling research, highlighting the impact that breakfast consumption has on a child’s GCSE attainment.

“This report provides impressive evidence that eating a healthy breakfast improves a child’s educational attainment, which supports our own findings of improvements in a child’s concentration in class, readiness to learn, behaviour and punctuality.”

The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and The Schools Partnership Trust Academies.

Global Paint Supplier PPG announces further funding for the National Space Academy

£40,000 will help schools across the UK to engage with Chemistry in the classroom using the context of space.

PPG Chemistry Education Project Masterclass at the National Space Centre

Pictured above: Students take part in the PPG Chemistry Education Project Masterclass with the National Space Academy in their Science Lab at the National Space Centre, Leicester

On Tuesday 12th November the National Space Academy hosted a celebration at the National Space Centre in Leicester to mark three years of funding from Global Paint Supplier, PPG. During the event, Director Ken Armistead announced a further £40,000 of funding for 2020. 

Steve Althorpe teaching the PPG Chemistry Education Project at the National Space Centre
PPG explaining the components of paint at the National Space Academy PPG celebration event
National Space Academy - PPG celebration event
Director Ken Armistead

The PPG Chemistry Education Project masterclass was designed by the National Space Academy to use space contexts to tackle the science curriculum in areas that are key to PPG’s work: colour and materials.  Students link the science and engineering of PPG with space science and technology to engage with Chemistry.

Over the past three years, PPG has contributed £100,000 to the National Space Academy to make this project possible. So far, the National Space Academy’s team of expert Lead Educators and the National Space Centre’s Education team have delivered the masterclasses at schools across the UK and at the National Space Centre to almost 10,000 young people.

“We believe that every young person should have the opportunity to make STEM part of their lives. PPG have helped us to reach more young people by funding us to design and deliver the PPG Chemistry Education Project Masterclass.” – Dr Kierann Shah, General Manager of the National Space Academy.

PPG invest in educational opportunities to grow today’s skilled workforce in research and development, manufacturing, information technology and industries related to science, technology, engineering and math professions to develop tomorrow’s generation of innovators.

At the showcase event, Ken Armistead –  Director of Corporate Communications for EMEA region at PPG, said:

“We are capable of better solutions when there is a diversity of thought. We are proud to support the National Space Academy to enable more young people to engage with science.”

Pictured above: Top Left, Steve Althorpe – Lead Educator at the National Space Academy teaching in the Science Lab. Top right: PPG representatives at the celebration event explaining the components of paint. Bottom left: National Space Academy Lead Educators explain the PPG Chemistry Education Project to guests at a celebration event held at the National Space Centre. Bottom right: Ken Armistead –  Director of Corporate Communications for EMEA region at PPG.

Steve Althorpe is the Lead Educator responsible for the design of the PPG Chemistry Education Project Masterclass. Steve said:

“Science isn’t about the stuff we do know. Science is about the stuff we don’t know. It’s about investigating, problem solving, creativity… the PPG masterclass brings in all of those themes.”

The masterclass also shows students the career opportunities available to them after studying STEM subjects. A student in a video shown at the celebration event said: “Normally, I thought science was just chemicals, potions, stuff like that…. But no, turns out there’s a bunch more stuff related to it.”

The National Space Academy and PPG are committed to removing barriers for young people who wouldn’t normally get opportunities to take part in activities like this.

Schools with more than 13% of students eligible for free school meals can apply to take part in 2020’s PPG Chemistry Education Project Masterclasses for free.

The PPG Chemistry Education Project Masterclass can be adapted for students aged 9 – 14. Teachers interested in more information about the masterclass, should visit for application details.

Hamstead Hall Academy uses a unique combination of technology to create interactive maths lessons

A Birmingham secondary school has made its sixth form maths lessons more interactive and inclusive by incorporating the latest in Casio Projectors’ collaborative technology with graphic calculator emulators. Students can now share their working to complex maths problems with the rest of the class from their seats in real time.

Over the summer, an XJ-F211 model, part of our latest Educational Solutions Series from Casio, was installed in a maths classroom to support effective lesson plans. Featuring the new One-Click Connect function which enables wireless screencasting from smartphones, tablets and laptops, Hamstead Hall chose to install this model to create a more participatory and interactive classroom dynamic.

Head of maths Melios Michael uses the new projector alongside laptops which are shared between pairs of students. Emulators produce a virtual version of fully-functional Casio graphic calculators which can be interacted with via a laptop. Using these, students can work through maths problems whilst casting their screen to the projector wirelessly, sharing their working with the rest of the class. The split screen function is used to compare different answers and allows the teacher to select one laptop to zoom into, with the student working through the problem on the emulator in real time.

Head of maths Melios Michael comments:

“In a tuition context, you can just watch what students are doing on the paper and interact with them that way. But when you have a class of 30, you can’t watch what they’re all doing. Having a tool where you can share screens at the click of a button quickly and smoothly really helps achieve this.

“Working through problems at the front of the class on a whiteboard is effective, but requires a lot of confidence and students sometimes worry about being selected. Under that pressure, they tend not to work out the problem in the way they’d do it naturally. But when students are being asked to share their work with just a simple click, nearly everyone is up for it and the students can watch, interested in what they do naturally.”

Executive principal Jonathan Mortimer comments:

“Interactive whiteboards used to provide excitement, a wow factor, but now they’re quite everyday. But use resources effectively, and technology can bring the lesson to life”.

“We use action-based research. We try new technologies out and if it’s enhancing lessons, producing a benefit and we can identify key transferable aspects, then we upscale. However, technology doesn’t automatically make lessons more effective, it’s about how you use it.”

Are you throwing away your most valuable fundraising data?

Auckland Grammar School Case Study

Amanda Stanes OStJ CFREDirector of Advancement helping build Auckland Grammar School’s future

In 2017, Auckland Grammar School’s Development Office transitioned  to Potentiality as its CRM system. The reason why? We wanted to integrate all our various connections/touch points with our Old Boys, past and current parents and donors to develop a much more informed and nuanced picture of how engagement linked with philanthropy.  We instinctively knew, and research has borne out, that the more engaged a person is with your story, the more likely they are to donate. Up until then, we had separate systems for event management, eDMs, emails, payment portals and donor management. Using separate systems required significant amounts of uploading and de-duping of data.  Not only was it a slow and onerous process which wasn’t getting us any closer to finding out how we were tracking with donor acquisition and conversion, paying multiple licenses was expensive for a New Zealand state school.  

Although we are only in the early stages of our donor discovery process, the work we are doing with Potentiality is throwing up some interesting data which we are now assessing. Please also note, we have a small base of donors. Many support the Academic Endowment Fund campaign which is an ongoing programme, however, since 2018 we have also been operating a capital campaign in parallel,  acquiring and engaging with new donors.

Once the initial setup was complete (changing daily habits and migrating existing data from numerous sources) the day-to-day management of our office was greatly simplified and the visibility and control we have on the personal information of our whole school community was greatly increased.

But with a data specialist on staff the focus then became how we could start using the wealth of engagement data automatically collected as part of our daily processes, to help with donor identification. 

Some examples of the data collected for analysis:

  • 4.6 million clicks across 3 connected sites over 3 years
  • Over 650,000 read and 125,000 click statistics on all bulk communications (Headmasters’ Bulletins, Old Boy e-newsletters, Auckland Grammar School Foundation Trust communications and many parent notifications)
  • 83,000 event attendances (all school and alumni events over 20 years)
  • 8,000 individual Outlook emails (tracked through an Outlook Plugin), 2000 attached notes as well as meetings and phone calls
  • Approximately 2000 survey results from login registrations (including expressions of interest in donating)
  • 34,000 payments to the school (excluding donations and events)
  • Relevant data from the school database such as leadership positions or awards received

So how can this data help identify donors? The approach was to use advanced statistical analysis in a community of 55,000 members to understand if and to what extent the different engagement data (e.g. email clicks and events attended) relates to the probability of a person becoming a donor or ‘donor propensity’.

The analysis

With the help of Potentiality we gave an anonymous version of the data to a data analyst to calculate the influence of each engagement variable on the likelihood of someone to donate. They ran a regression analysis involving the huge quantity of engagement data cross-referenced with 20 years of historical fundraising data. Once they completed their work we had a very good idea about how engagement influenced fundraising behaviour. 

For example if a community member logged in to the online community and expressed an interest in Capital Projects or Supporting Teachers, the likelihood of becoming a donor increased around 5000%. Some other interesting statistics were an increase of 327% per event attended, 288% per Outlook email communication (tracked via a plugin), 41% if they read a high proportion of school emails, 47% if they had an award or honor whilst at school, 280% if they took part in the community business directory, 335% if they’d viewed fundraising information on the school website, and 200% if they viewed the archives (the last two tracked thanks to the online community LinkedIn and Facebook integration).

Using the data

At this point we introduce our donor prospecting tool within Potentiality which plots each member of the community on a “propensity versus capacity to donate” chart based on live data in the database. A donor prospect’s propensity position on the chart is influenced by filters that can have variable scales which we set based on the results from the data analyst, and the capacity position is based primarily on census data, occupations and approximated property values.

The final chart has 55,000 dots representing every member of the community ranked between 1 and 55,000 indicating where they rate in capacity and propensity. The highest ranked capacity members appear across the top of the chart and the highest ranked propensity members appear on the right. The shape/colour of the dots represents their donor history.  With 55,000 records showing together interpretation is difficult but adding filters reveals trends in the data.

Figure 1

By filtering out non-donors and lapsed donors, we can see the different current donors on our chart. Of most significance the major donors (over $10K) are highlighted in yellow and our new donors this calendar year are light green stars.

You can see there’s a significant trend to the right side of the chart and also a huddle of dots in the top right corner. This tells us in broad terms that our analysis is working i.e. donors score high on propensity. Importantly however, the propensity calculation gives a stronger indication of a donor than our capacity data i.e there are more dots to the right than to the top.

This is good to see, but a donor might have increased communication whilst making a donation so to create the perfect donor prospecting analysis (or as close as we can get), we need to ensure that their position on the chart isn’t impacted by the fact that they’ve made a donation.

To achieve this we can look at donor engagement at different times before they became a donor to see if we can see the same trends.

Figure 2

Figure 2 shows only community members who made their first donation after January 1 2018 (when Potentiality had been running for a short time) and only counting engagement prior to that date. You can see there’s not much trend to speak of (approximately 40 future donors on the left and 60 on the right).

Figure 3

In Figure 3 we’ve run the same analysis in May 2019 (we have a lot more engagement data but it’s not long ago so there’s less stars) and all but one future first time donor is located on the right side of the chart, and around 60% of the future first time donors are within the top 10% propensity rating (the far right).

Turning the data into dollars

Now that we can see that it’s possible to identify community members that look like donors, the obvious next step is to see if we can turn them into donors.

Figure 4

Figure 4 is zoomed on the top right corner of the chart where we find the highest capacity and propensity community members and a filter has been applied to remove anyone who’s donated or been approached about donating in the past year.  The remainder show approximately 200 non-donors and 200 lapsed donors (of which 80 were major donors). Because we have sliding scales on the engagement data we can rule out community members whose engagement was a long time ago, these are all currently highly engaged members.

Each node comes with a brief description explaining its position by identifying with colours which filters matched and how strong the match was, for example based on filter numbers the highlighted node above matched with a medium capacity occupation, lives in a high income area according to the NZ census website, was in the top .1% (extremely high – red) of the community for; attending recent events, payments (excluding events or fundraising) and email read/click rate. They are in the top 2% (orange) for communications with the Development Office via Outlook and matched for a leadership position and awards and honors whilst at school. Our team can then dive further into their profile to have a closer look at their engagement history, what their interests are or who has been liaising with them (if anyone) to date. This builds a conversation template to start the cultivation process. 

At this stage, our strategy is to ask them for advice, not for money. These people are worth spending time on, we might invite them for a tour of the school or coffee with the headmaster. When the conversation is complete a new communication record is created and flagged as “involved a donation request” which automatically removes this person from the prospecting chart for now. Then we can choose the next person and so on.


All information used in this exercise is based on pre-existing data and if the analysis works then community members who don’t want to be contacted won’t be contacted.  A data-driven personal approach is clearly going to be received more warmly by the community and if you approach someone who gets annoyed or complains then there’s something wrong with the data or the analysis that informed the approach.  

In this case study, please note all information is held within the existing New Zealand privacy laws and any non-Grammar information is from publicly accessed websites.


What we’ve managed to show from this study is that engagement data is an effective indicator of future donors, and likely more significant than capacity analysis. In most schools, engagement data is either not considered important, or held in databases within other internal departments separate from any fundraising purpose. Based on our study they might want to rethink this approach.

Lack of school libraries is a national scandal

Literacy underpins success in our modern society so to deprive a child of this critical skill runs the risk of banishing them to an economically depressed under-class, argues Streetspace Communications Manager Simon Dolby.

A weakness with literacy is a common strand for disaffected teenagers not in education or training, prisoners or the homeless. The percentage of this trio of groups handicapped by poor or non-existent literacy skills is typically in excess of 80 per cent.

This week the media have turned the spotlight on a shocking survey conducted by the Great School Libraries Campaign which has revealed that one in eight schools have no library at all. The survey also revealed that schools in more deprived communities are more likely to not have a library; and that pressure on space and a lack of resources means more than half of schools with libraries reported they were actually being used as classrooms or meeting spaces rather than its intended purpose.

Interestingly there is a requirement that all prisons must have a library, but nothing similarly linked to schools. This means successive governments will only provide this resource to those who have fallen through the trapdoor of society, but not to stop children failing in the first place.

This research details a scandalous inequality of access and opportunity that should be put right by the government.

Resourcing is very often at the root of the problem so to help schools with squeezed budgets, Streetspace can provide its ZONE glazed buildings to provide library or classroom space at a fraction of the cost of a traditional build.

Park High School, Stanmore, Middlesex is one of the latest to take up this offer and is now using its new 19m by 7.5m ZONE glazed space as a school library following construction over the summer holidays. Complete with heating and air conditioning, the new build is the perfect space to support the school’s mission to encourage reading for pleasure.

To find out more about ZONE glazed buildings visit  

To see more details of the Great School Libraries Campaign survey visit:

Majority of public sector staff do not have the tools to work effectively, say Kyocera

Research shows lack of workspace investment is leaving many organisations struggling to attract and retain staff  

It is well-documented that the public sector has been under considerable strain over the last few years, with stretched resources and understaffing increasingly common problems. In light of this, research from Kyocera Document Solutions UK has revealed that the large majority of public sector staff feel that their organisational workspaces are ill-equipped, impacting their capacity to effectively complete their work. This is subsequently contributing towards challenges in attracting and retaining staff.

The research, conducted by GovNewsDirect to survey the views of 406 staff across 348 public sector organisations, explored the attitudes and perceptions of staff towards how their organisations operate and their culture. The results of the survey showed a clear correlation between an organisation’s working culture and staff performance and retention. Worryingly, when asked if their organisation is fully equipped with the workspace tools and devices to carry out work efficiently, only 13 per cent of respondents “strongly agreed”, whilst almost a quarter (23 per cent) disagreed.  Alongside this, 75 per cent emphasised their organisations’ struggles in attracting and retaining staff, which underlines the potential impact of a lack of these tools.

However, the research also provided some cause for optimism. 61 per cent anticipate that their organisations will provide the right tools and devices to work efficiently within the next five years. In addition, respondents suggested that organisations that implement “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies and new technologies such as cloud computing, will enhance staff productivity and morale. Many also felt that updating workspace tools and embracing digital transformation would offer a significant advantage when recruiting new talent.

Amanda Childs, Group HR Director at Kyocera Document Solutions UK, commented: “It was disappointing to see that a large majority of respondents felt their organisations are not equipped with the right workspace tools to carry out their jobs efficiently. Without these, public sector organisations face the possibility of losing talented employees at a time when they are absolutely essential. Incorporating such changes opens up opportunities for   significant productivity gains in hidden areas at a time where we are all facing continued uncertainty. Workers have a clear idea of what they would like to see, so it’s important for leaders to now work out how to bring these new technologies and processes to fruition.”

New technologies are having a positive impact on physical workspaces across all sectors, particularly through the added flexibility and potential for collaboration they provide. For example, the use of video conferencing and file sharing through cloud computing enables employees to work more effectively in groups, as well as access a much wider breadth of information than before. For any organisation, adopting these new technologies can transform the relationship employees have with the workspace, increasing overall productivity and boosting employee retention in the long term.

Amanda concluded: “It’s crucial that public sector organisations get on the front foot when it comes to embracing smarter ways of working, so they need to act now. The optimism that employees have for the future in this respect is good to see, but this doesn’t mean leaders should rest on their laurels and expect the situation to improve by itself. Organisations need to repay the faith of their employees by taking the necessary steps to modernise, become more agile and be more open to new technologies and ways of working. If this can be achieved, public sector organisations will do a much better job of retaining talent, and will build a more engaged, happier workforce for years to come.”

Full report:

Prowise and AVDAN win contract for 2500 touchscreens in Copenhagen

Birmingham – Prowise and its Danish partner AVDAN have won the contract for supplying interactive flatpanels to all the educational institutions in the Danish capital Copenhagen. The agreement includes the installation and implementation of approximately 2500 touchscreens. 

All schools and childcare facilities in Copenhagen are upgraded with the Prowise Touchscreens. Over the next two years, all outdated projectors in Copenhagen will be replaced by Prowise Touchscreens including iPro lift system and PC module. The contract includes supplying touchscreens to around 2500 classrooms at 70 schools and 600 childcare facilities. 

Prowise service

The delivery and installation of Prowise Touchscreens to Copenhagen started on 14 October this year. The parties involved in the framework agreement made a two-year commitment. When all parties are satisfied the collaboration will be extended with another two years. The agreement does not only include the supply and installation of the screens, lifts and internal PCs, but also the trusted Prowise service and support. 


AVDAN has the highest Prowise partner certification and is responsible for the rollout of the project in Copenhagen. The Danish company provides the installation, implementation, training and service. Naturally, Prowise remains fully involved in the tender. Fun fact: there are already thousands of Prowise Presenter users in and around Copenhagen. This is the education software that Prowise offers to teachers and pupils for free. 

Pioneering Business School is to create a generation of disruptors and digital entrepreneurs through new futuristic programme

SurreyIDEA, an innovative academy, is the first of its kind in Europe, providing a novel and progressive learning experience that enables students to gain valuable skills in an interactive format free from prohibitive entry requirements solely based on academic qualifications. And now, the school is launching a high-tech programme to engage and inspire a younger demographic.

The new workshop, IDEA in a Day, comes soon after SurreyIDEA opened its doors for the first time in June 2019 and is a creative way to reach individuals through an educational and business set-up, to enhance their engagement with learning. The programme aims to captivate 15–17-year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds from schools, charities and community organisations who will spend a day working on a digital business challenge, performing in a tournament format this autumn.

Andy Adcroft, SurreyIDEA’s Founder says ‘SurreyIDEA was launched with the aim of transforming how young people are educated about business, in order to create a new generation of disrupters and entrepreneurs. Our new programme will give young people, especially from hard to reach groups, the chance to see what they are capable of now and the positive impact they could have on their professional life later.

Just as every company now has an on-line presence, it feels like every product or service can also be connected to the internet. The most important thing that will change education, business, the world of work, career opportunities, and lots more is connectedness, and this is a core point throughout the IDEA in a Day programme. After the event, we will visit the schools, charities and organisations and celebrate the work the students have done and build some long-lasting relationships with schools and young people.’

The Disrupters, the students labelled by SurreyIDEA, will be active participants, not spectators sitting in a lecture theatre taking notes. Andy Adcroft believes, they are the entrepreneurial ones that will be leading the digital industry by the hand soon and for many years to come.

The well-considered programme aims to stimulate students and help attendees recognise that their capabilities are more expandable than what they are conditioned to think. The panel of credible experts which includes Gavin Whichello, Visiting Professor and Founder of leading training provider Qube Learning, have confidence that with the right guidance and assistance, they will see individuals and teams driven to succeed, determined not to be defined by their postcode or pre-conceptions of other people.

The faces behind SurreyIDEA are passionate about the fact that they are not an elitist platform closed off to large segments of society and thus further increasing the gap between rich and poor. SurreyIDEA was inspired and developed from Surrey Business School’s highly successful Young Person’s University programme, which has run at the school every July since 2015. The 30-40 Year 12 and 13 students who attend each year are motivated and incredibly entrepreneurial. Many don’t come from traditional university-going backgrounds so are dropping out of the system after A-levels.

However, after a week with Surrey Business School, most go on to apply to university and usually get in. If you’re ready to get your entrepreneurial career under way or are interested to know more about SurreyIDEA IDEA in a Day please see contact details below:

Phone: 01483 686323


Twitter: @SurreyIDEA

Bett announces global partnership with SMART Technologies

London, 12.11.19 – Bett, the world’s leading event for learning technology today, announced a three-year global partnership with SMART Technologies in the UK, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Joining to help elevate the conversation on education technology and its impact on learning outcomes, the partnership will foster educational and promotional opportunities to help teachers and leaders use technology effectively.

The partnership will kick off in January 2020 at Bett’s flagship event in London, which has many new and exciting developments including the introduction of 6 new solutions-based zones, designed to help visitors navigate the show and make the most of their time at Bett. The zones include: The Education Show, Equipment & Hardware, Management Solutions, Teaching Tech, Learning Tech and the Global Showcase.

SMART Technologies will be the headline sponsor of the Teaching Tech zone, which will showcase technology and time-saving solutions designed to help teachers improve their outcomes in the classroom; as well as assessment, lesson development, distance learning and more.

“With more than 3 million classrooms using SMART solutions, we are committed to supporting students, teachers and leaders to achieve better outcomes,” said Greg Estell, President and Chief Executive Officer for SMART Technologies. “The partnership with Bett provides a unique opportunity to scale our research and services to reach education consumers more broadly and profoundly.”

SMART Technologies will deliver education content programmes at Bett UK, Bett Asia and Bett MEA with sessions for decision makers, teachers and IT managers focused on the effective use of technology, saving time and turning static content into interactive learning. Thought leadership sessions for K-12 leaders and ministry delegations will focus on large-scale implementation and outcomes planning. SMART Technologies will also have a booth at NH20 in the North Hall, where attendees are encouraged to interact with some new, best-in-class products and exciting software updates.

Oliver Merlin, Bett Global Portfolio Director at Hyve Group, added: “SMART has been a major partner of Bett for a number of years and the evolution of this partnership to a Global status was a natural next step. The two brands have aligning focuses which is to work towards improving education and innovation which is hugely exciting. The content that will be offered across the Bett events will share and celebrate new ways of thinking, working and educating.”

Over the 35 years since it began, Bett has become the global meeting place for educators, with its events in the UK and overseas attracting more than 60,000 visitors. The event has evolved to be the recognised global hub for those passionate about education and harnessing the power of technology.

Bett 2020 is free to attend and takes place Wednesday 22 – Saturday 26 January 2020 at ExCeL London.

For more information or to register, please visit

Join us at our international events in Malaysia and Dubai:

Bett Asia Leadership Summit and Exhibition Wednesday 4 – Thursday 5 March 2020. For more information, visit:

Bett Middle East and Africa Leadership Expo Tuesday 22 – Wednesday 23 September 2020. For more information, visit:

UKAS and Sportsafe lead the way with groundbreaking inspection standard that will save schools money

Sportsafe Inspectors celebrate the launch of ISO 17020:2012

Sportsafe has become the first organisation to be accredited by The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) in accordance with ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for the inspection of Physical Education, sports, gymnastic, cardio vascular, resistance and outdoor playground equipment.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body for the United Kingdom. UKAS is recognised by the UK government, to assess against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.

Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these organisations. In short, UKAS ‘checks the checkers’.

UKAS is a non-profit-distributing private company, limited by guarantee. UKAS operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government, through the Secretary of State for Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Sportsafe, the leading Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity (PESSPA) Inspection Company, based in Colchester, has been working to achieve UKAS accreditation for the last three years, and were proud to gain accreditation for ISO/IEC 17020:2012 in May 2019.

Andy Bickerstaff, Technical and Quality Manager at Sportsafe, said: “It has been really confusing for clients to know who to trust when it comes to inspecting their sports equipment.

“For the last three years, Sportsafe has been working hard to gain UKAS accreditation and we are proud to say we are now the only provider in the UK to have achieved ISO 17020:2012 accreditation for those activities detailed on our UKAS schedule of accreditation which can be accessed via the UKAS website”

“This accreditation will give schools, councils and facility management companies confidence that Sportsafe work to an internationally recognised standard and are competent to undertake inspections.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has worked tirelessly to prevent accidents since 1914 and was the first to introduce a variety of playground inspections and indoor soft play which support the BS EN1176 recommendation of an annual inspection.

Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII) took it one step further by introducing the inspection for Children’s Fully Enclosed Play Equipment (FEPE) and Inflatable Annual inspections.

The advantage of being a UKAS accredited inspection body is we are routinely assessed in accordance with ISO/IEC 17020:2012 which in turn provides an assurance of our competence, impartiality and integrity. 

Using Sportsafe can save you money

We believe that by using Sportsafe we can save schools money by combining indoor and outdoor inspections and passing that saving back to the school.

 Facilities with both indoor and outdoor equipment can combine their inspections to take place at the same time by the same inspector and save on the travel costs involved in two separate inspection visits by two separate companies.  

It also saves clients the time calling out two different companies to ensure their users’ safety and saves administration costs of managing two suppliers.

It also saves the PE teacher or Headteacher time having to review two different indoor and outdoor reports and repair recommendations.

Unlike other companies, Sportsafe can quote for, and undertake, any remedial work identified during the inspection themselves, ensuring the work is carried out quickly and correctly.

Any work undertaken by Sportsafe will be conducted by personnel not involved in the inspections process in order to maintain impartiality.

Combine indoor and outdoor inspections can help to reduce your school or leisure centers carbon foot print

Finally, combining indoor and outdoor inspections helps save the environment and can help reduce the carbon footprint.

Sportsafe Inspectors drive on average three times round the world every year, visiting in total 10,000 schools.

By combining indoor and outdoor inspections this initiative will allow us to reduce the carbon footprint of each school’s inspection.

This together with the move to hybrid vehicles will hugely reduce the environmental impact of customers’ inspection and repair programs.

Claire Hunt, Sales and Marketing Director, said the changes would see primary schools save on average £150 and secondaries £350 by working with Sportsafe.

She said: “It’s fantastic that Sportsafe customers are actually going to see the difference in terms of inspection quality but also in terms of time, money and environmental savings.”

Further changes Sportsafe has innovated under ISO 17020:2012

The requirements of ISO 17020:2012 mean that all Sportsafe inspectors undergo rigorous training and formal examinations with a set pass rate to ensure they are competent to undertake inspections.

Sportsafe has rewritten the inspection manual, with thorough information on how to inspect each piece of apparatus so clients can be assured their equipment is safe for their users.

Sportsafe’s Technical and Quality Manager, Andy Bickerstaff

Mr Bickerstaff, Technical and Quality Manager, said: “Currently, the scope of inspection written in tenders and the afPE handbook is very basic and, in some areas, vague.

“Sportsafe has rewritten the inspection process for all the equipment found in an educational environment. It goes into much more detail on how to inspect apparatus.

“For example, the scope of inspection for a wooden PE bench is usually no more than a few sentences. The new written inspection process for PE benches to be used for this standard is two A4 pages and details the inspection process of each bench component.

“We are really looking forward to the much-needed changes this brings to the industry.”

Sportsafe is based at Eastgates, Moorside, in Colchester, and has offices in Manchester and Scotland.

Employing more than 95 people, it serves more than 12,000 customers across the UK.

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