Schools “concerned” about Relationships, Sex and Health Education changes

New research by Headway Education, a social enterprise established to help provide children, and those who teach them, with the most up-to-date, sophisticated, high quality and engaging materials possible, has revealed that schools are growing increasingly concerned that they are not equipped to deliver the requirements of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum from 2020.

In September next year, Relationships Education will become compulsory for all pupils in primary schools, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) mandatory within secondary schools, and Health Education compulsory in all schools. However, in a survey of 168 headteachers, other senior leaders and class teachers undertaken in January and February 2019, 66% of respondents said they were “concerned or very concerned” about funding to support the new curriculum. A further 60% reported being concerned or very concerned about the need for high-quality resources, finding time to teach these subjects (54%), teacher training (52%) and parental support (39%).

Although the majority of respondents knew about the new curriculum, 36% were “vaguely aware or had little or no awareness” about the expectations around Health Education and even less about Relationships Education and RSE (34% each). There was an appetite for training, with 59% saying they would be “likely or very likely” to undertake an online programme to support their understanding of each subject. Around 35% of schools said they would have to invest in additional resources.

Schools were asked how well PSHE (as currently the most commonly used term for these subjects) was embedded in their educational setting. Whilst 91% “agree or strongly agree” that their pupils generally enjoy participating in PSHE, that PSHE is at the heart of our curriculum (82%) and that PSHE is a timetabled lesson every week or at least every other week (81%), other responses were less positive. Around 57% of respondents “disagree or strongly disagree” that their school follows a locally agreed syllabus or has invested in a nationally recognised programme (56%).

Ken Pritchard, Managing Director of Headway Education, said: “There are clearly high levels of concern regarding preparation for the new subjects. In particular, teacher training, the issue of funding and the need for high-quality resources are the main reasons behind this concern. Results show that over a third of schools are already certain they will need new resources to ensure they meet the new requirements. Whilst the majority of respondents know about upcoming change, there is still work to be done.”

LAST CHANCE FOR SCHOOLS TO FLAG ASBESTOS AS CASES OF RELATED DEATHS SOAR

Bureau Veritas is urging the education sector to heed the government’s impending 15th February deadline to submit outstanding asbestos management surveys, as the legacy of asbestos exposure in UK schools is leading to increasing deaths.

It comes after MP’s issued a stark warning that they were ‘seriously concerned’ that almost a quarter of schools have not responded to repeated requests for information on the amount of asbestos in school buildings and how risk is being managed .

It is estimated that around 86% of UK schools contain asbestos and according to the
National Union of Teachers, asbestos related deaths have increased significantly from an average of three per year during the period 1980-85 to an average of 17 per year. This equates to at least 319 teachers dying from mesothelioma – the most serious and incurable form of asbestos cancer – since 2013, with a further 200-300 former pupils estimated to succumb to diseases linked to asbestos exposure at school later in life.

The Department for Education’s Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) was introduced in March last year, with the aim of collecting data on asbestos management in schools to ensure compliance with legal obligations to protect staff and pupils under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. To-date the submission deadline has been extended three times, with the upcoming February date being the final chance for the remaining 23% of schools to respond.

Matthew Potter, Service Line Manager – Asbestos at Bureau Veritas, comments: “All schools, colleges and universities have an obligation to ensure that premises are safe for staff, pupils and visitors, which includes the effective management and reporting of any asbestos on site. Despite the huge progress that has been made over the last two decades in asbestos management, the reality is that there is still a massive job to do in eradicating asbestos from our older building stock, particularly in schools. Staff and pupils at schools across the UK are particularly at risk due to the high proportion of school buildings built in the post-war era, when asbestos was a common component of many popular building products.

“Schools therefore need to take decisive action to provide assurances that asbestos is being properly managed to negate the serious risk asbestos exposure poses. Especially concerning the increased risk of early exposure to asbestos, with reports suggesting that a child exposed at age five is five times more likely to develop mesothelioma than someone exposed at age 30 .”

In addition to mesothelioma and lung cancer, other serious diseases including asbestosis, pleural thickening and other forms of cancer can be caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. During the period 2006-2016, more than £10million in compensation was awarded to former pupils and members of staff exposed to asbestos in schools in England and Wales .

Bureau Veritas offers a comprehensive range of services to help businesses and organisations, including schools, in achieving and maintaining asbestos control compliance. This includes building surveys, annual re-inspections, project management of asbestos remediation, site risk assessments, air monitoring, four stage clearance air testing, laboratory sample analysis, management plans and training – all of which can be undertaken within school holidays.

For further information, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk

Cisco partners with University of Edinburgh to accelerate innovation

Cisco today announced a partnership with the University of Edinburgh to collaborate on opportunities in AI and data-driven innovation, a key pillar of the recently announced Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

As the first initiative in the partnership, Cisco has committed to support 20 start-ups through the University and Wayra UK’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain Accelerator. Over a three-year period, Cisco will provide business development and technical support, mentoring and access to tools for resident start-ups.

Based at the University’s Bayes Centre and designed to accelerate the best AI and blockchain start-ups in Europe to scale globally, the programme is already home to the first cohort of 10 start-ups.

Tony Gribben, Country Manager, Cisco Scotland, said: “The insight that we can gain from data opens up amazing opportunity for all industries – not least with its application in the field of AI. We’re delighted to be working with the University of Edinburgh to bring this to life in Scotland. The ambition to drive economic and inclusive growth for the region is something that we very much support, and we look forward to continuing to partner with industry, government and academia on initiatives towards that goal.”

Jim Ashe, Director of Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, University of Edinburgh, said: “Cisco is a valued partner within the Bayes Innovation Programme. As well as becoming a key supporter of our flagship AI and Blockchain Accelerator programme, the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding underscores our intention to work together more collaboratively across all areas of Data-Driven Innovation. We look forward to collaborating with Cisco’s Networking Academy, Research Centre and wider Innovation and Investment teams on projects that will support innovative research, accelerate data adoption and fuel entrepreneurship across a wide range of initiatives.”

Launched in August 2018 as a £1.3 billion investment, the City Region Deal aims to help Edinburgh and South East Scotland accelerate growth and create economic opportunities and new jobs to drive inclusive growth. The City Region Deal’s Data-Driven Innovation component has five focus areas: talent, research, adoption, data and entrepreneurship, and will be led by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Heriot-Watt University.

Today’s announcement is the latest example of Cisco’s commitment to driving innovation and digital deployments across Scotland, the UK and in the field of AI through its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme. In July this year, Cisco and University College London announced the opening of an AI Centre in the heart of London. In Scotland, Cisco is leading the 5G RuralFirst project which will enable some of the UK’s most remote and rural communities to be the first to benefit from 5G technology. The project includes a network of 32 organisations, with testbeds and trials primarily to be based on the Orkney Islands.

FXP Festival launches for 2019 with new creative category

FXP Festival, an East Anglian education initiative which aims to drive social mobility in the region, has announced the launch of its 2019 competition (6-8th July) with the introduction of an exciting new category.

Originally formed as a STEM initiative based on a computer game design and development competition, FXP Festival 2019 is expanding to include a ‘Storytelling’ category, which will encourage students to develop both their creative writing and illustration skills. Publishing and education company, The Curved House will be supporting FXP’s Storytelling category with the provision of creative writing workshop materials and one-to-one mentor sessions, with established authors and writers, to help teams to develop their work.

Hosted annually by Cambridge Regional College, FXP Festival is linked to the computer science curriculum and, for three years, has successfully been using computer games to increase interest and uptake of STEM subjects, build young people’s digital skills and provide an insight into what careers in the technology, creative digital and related industries might offer.

In previous years, there have been two competition categories – ‘Game Concept’ where teams design and map out the creative concept of an original computer game, and ‘Game Development’ where teams programme and build an original game concept. New for 2019, the third category – ‘Storytelling’ – will challenge students to work in teams of up to five, to write and illustrate an original story for publication.

The initiative was developed by Cambridge Regional College, Jagex, North Cambridge Academy, and Conscious Communications, and, thanks to its sponsors and supporters, the FXP weekend is completely free for participating teams.

Alison Taylor Co-founder of the Festival and Managing Director of Conscious Communications, comments: “FXP Festival is all about providing exciting progression opportunities for the young people in our region. By incorporating elements of the national curriculum, as well as sourcing valuable learning materials from our industry supporters, we aim to provide students with an important connection between what they learn in the classroom, their further and higher education options, and the exciting career opportunities right on their doorstep.

“In previous years it has been wonderful to see student teams come to FXP to try their hands at games development and, as a result, engage more with their computer science education. This year, we wanted to expand our reach to students that won’t necessarily have an interest in coding or games design, but might have a hidden flair for other important skills, such as creative writing and art. The ‘Storytelling’ category will give these students the opportunity to develop their abilities with the support of industry experts, while building other important soft skills such as team work, ingenuity and communication.”

FXP Festival is supported by major companies in the technology, creative digital, and publishing sectors, which provide expertise, mentoring and coaching to students and their teachers. 2019 supporters include: Anglia Ruskin University, Arm, Rizing Games, Jagex, Table Flip Games and The Curved House.

Kristen Harrison, Founder, The Curved House, comments: “The Curved House – alongside our flagship publication, Visual Verse – aims to inspire and celebrate creative writers, both published and unpublished, and we are so excited to use our expertise to develop the next generation of writers at FXP Festival! Ahead of the weekend, we will share valuable creative writing teaching resources with the teams to help them hone their skills in preparation for the competition. We will also run an additional writing competition over the course of the weekend for all participating students, and will publish the winners in our August edition of Visual Verse. The Curved House is excited to bring a range of writing challenges and expertise from the book industry to FXP – to inspire the writers, illustrators and publishers of the future.”

FXP 2019 will take place from 6th – 8th July, at the Rizing Games studios at Cambridge Regional College and is open to schools, colleges, home school groups and out-of-school clubs across East Anglia. Teams can register their interest by emailing joanna.colley@consciouscomms.com.

If your business would be interested in getting involved with FXP Festival through mentoring, funding or other support please contact Joanna Colley joanna.colley@consciouscomms.com.

RM Education announces partnership with the largest Multi-Academy Trust in the country – Academies Enterprise Trust

Education technology experts RM Education are delighted to announce a comprehensive partnership with Academies Enterprise Trust (AET). This strategic contract places RM Education as the provider of Managed Services for the entire estate for AET – the largest Multi-Academy Trust in the country.

The contract, which runs until July 2022, encompasses 62 schools plus their head office – a total of 35,000 pupils and over 6,000 teaching and support staff. The contract also includes integration of RM Unify (RM’s identity and access management software solution) with one of Google’s largest educational customers in Europe.

Ensuring there is a consistent and reliable infrastructure across all of AET’s academies plays a key role in AET’s work to ensure that every academy offers a high-quality education that will help every pupil go on to lead a remarkable life.

As such, they sought a partner who could help them design and deliver a highly effective, value for money programme to leverage their ‘cloud-first’ approach to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within teaching and learning. AET’s goal is to improve staff and students’ experience of using technology when accessing IT securely, anytime and anywhere.

To deliver this vision, AET has selected RM Education as its partner to design, deliver and implement this innovative cloud-based managed service across the 62 schools in their Trust. This transformational approach means that staff and pupils will be able to securely link their devices to Microsoft and Google platforms, as well as other key third party software. This will be delivered through the ‘RM Cloud’ platform allowing AET to extend the effective lifecycle of devices and provide ‘anytime anywhere’ access to teaching and learning.

The approach will be fully integrated with AET’s finance and HR systems via the RM Unify platform to improve information sharing, data insight, regulatory compliance and provide significant time savings for the schools.

Jeremy Cooper, Managing Director of RM Education comments: “Our trusted partnership with AET continues to go from strength to strength, and we are very proud to be working together in helping deliver this strategic initiative that is at the forefront of the UK Education Sector. We have collaborated to define, create and deliver innovative solutions for the Trust, their staff and students in order to provide technology and IT support that ‘just works’.”

James Nicholson, Chief Finance Officer of AET added: “We are delighted to be working with RM to support our vision for teaching and learning. This next phase of our partnership will mean that we are able to implement a fully cloud-based learning environment across AET.”

James added: “Everything we do is focused on ensuring that our schools are able to deliver an education that helps young people go on to lead remarkable lives. This new phase of delivering our ICT strategy will transform how our students, staff and colleagues access resources both at school and at home and we look forward to working with RM to transform that vision into reality.

RM Education help schools save time, save money and improve teaching and learning via the effective use of technology. They are a market-leading supplier of technology-based software and services working in partnership with thousands of schools to improve outcomes for all learners.

The RM team will be at BETT Show this week (23 – 26 January at ExCeL London) in Meeting Room 12. Come and meet the RM team, discuss any questions you might have about products and services, and find out how services such as those delivered to AET, might benefit you and your institution.

For more information on ICT support options, visit www.rm.com

Sony launches first Artificial-Intelligence-based video analytics solution

Basingstoke, UK, 30th January 2019: Sony has today announced its first Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Edge Analytics solution, the REA-C1000, which allows users to create video content in real time, without the need for specialist training or additional staff or equipment.

The compact and lightweight REA-C1000 uses its advanced AI-based video analytics technology to analyse the input it receives from connected cameras and automatically extract the object in focus to combine it with other images in real time on a GPU (Graphics Processor Unit). This unique technology using motion/face detection and colour/shape recognition, effectively makes the REA-C1000 the powerful brain of any connected camera and AV setup, allowing education, government and corporate organisations to cost-effectively create professional content that keeps audiences engaged.

“Video content has become a key method of communication in many organisations including education, government and corporate environments, and the demand for solutions that create high quality content, offer a hassle-free shooting experience, and help distribute content quickly is rapidly increasing,” explained Kenji Izu, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Professional. “At Sony, we want to provide organisations on a limited budget with cost-effective, yet powerful solutions that allow them to easily create professional and engaging video content. The REA-C1000 is yet another example of Sony working with our AV partners in corporate, education and government organisations to create solutions together that help solve the real-life technology and budget challenges of our customers.”

The REA-C1000, available in Spring 2019, comes with the following five optional features: handwriting extraction and presenter overlay, chroma key-less CG overlay, automatic control of output images such as PTZ auto tracking, focus area cropping and close-up by gesture.

Handwriting Extraction and Presenter Overlay: By optimising parameters and processing the images received from the camera, the REA-C1000 can extract hand-written objects from black and white boards using Sony’s unique moving/unmoving object detection algorithm. This allows audiences to clearly see written content and diagrams, while simultaneously being able to see the gestures and expressions of the presenter. This function of the REA-C1000 is particularly well-suited for lecture theatres or remote learning to keep students engaged, even if they aren’t physically in the same room as their teacher. Also, it helps all members of an audience to engage in a live presentation, in a large hall requiring sub monitors.
Chroma key-less CG overlay: Based on Sony’s motion detection technology, the REA-C1000’s chroma key-less function can extract the presenter and overlay them onto any background without the need for a dedicated backscreen or specialist training. This offers a simple, cost-effective chroma key solution to make content like corporates videos, interviews, webinars and e-learning materials much more appealing and engaging. This feature will be made available through a future software update later in 2019.
PTZ Auto Tracking: The REA-C1000 can accurately and smoothly track a presenter, ensuring they constantly stay in frame and in focus throughout their presentation. This feature offers users a cost-effective tracking solution in an education, corporate or conference setting, without having to invest in a camera operator.
Focus Area Cropping: Using this feature, image from one camera can be simultaneously shown as two different output images. The users are able to get an overview image in 4K and a cropped image in HD. The cropped area is selectable to be static or dynamic to follow the speaker’s movement. This feature will be made available through a future software update later in 2019.
• Close-up by Gesture: The REA-C1000 can detect and react to the gestures of audience members, allowing it to show both the whole image and zoomed image in real time. When an audience member stands up, the REA-C1000 can trigger the camera to electronically auto-zoom in to that person, which is particularly useful in education environments to measure students’ reaction and in corporate presentation settings such as during a Q&A session.

After an initial 60 day free-of-charge trial period, each feature can be activated permanently through separate licences, providing users with the freedom to customise features based on their individual needs and budget.

Leveraging Sony’s know-how of image quality and their heritage in camera development, the REA-C1000 will support 4K/HD input and output, and will be able to connect directly to Sony’s PTZ cameras, including its range of XDCAM camcorders, which boast outstanding image quality and are widely used within the broadcast industry. Additionally, thanks to its HDMI network connection, the REA-C1000 can be seamlessly integrated into various common AV setups involving either multiple displays, large screen projections with monitors, or even live-streaming projects.

Visitors to ISE 2019 will be able to experience an interactive demonstration of the REA-C1000 on Sony’s stand 1.N20 at RAI Amsterdam.

Scotland’s ‘Fintech Skills Academy’ pilot hailed a success

The pilot of Scotland’s new Fintech Skills Academy initiative, announced in September last year, has been hailed as a success. An ‘Introduction to the Retail Card Payments Business’, run in a collaboration between Dunfermline payment specialist Renovite Technologies and Fife College, concluded on Friday.

Participants with varying levels of experience, from trainees through to seasoned software developers, took part in the course. Its objective was to provide a solid foundation in retail card payments which could then be applied directly to a work environment.

Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer at Renovite Technologies said:

“It is fantastic to see the fintech and education community coming together to promote STEM skills development and pre-empt the potential for a skills gap emerging. After all, demand for people with the right skills is only going to increase as Scotland’s international reputation for fintech excellence grows. I hope organisations and individuals with an interest in working in the sector continue to support and take part in the initiative and help build on its success.”

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said:

“The Fintech Skills Academy in Fife is a great example of an ecosystem coming together to address a sector issue. We’re proud to have been part of this initiative alongside Fintech firms, established businesses and the teams at Fife College and Fife council. We believe it will bring more inclusion to the fintech sector by bringing more young people to consider fintech as a career but also allowing experienced professionals learn new skills and stay relevant to the industry’s rapid transformation.”

The Fintech Skills Academy syllabus is aimed at both young people about to enter work for the first time and adults with a background in IT wishing to upskill or retrain specifically for employment in financial technology environments.

Sharon Burns, Curriculum Manager at Fife College said:

“We are delighted to be working closely with local businesses who are leading the way in fintech and payments technologies. At Fife College, we are committed to providing a high level of training to ensure businesses have the cutting-edge skills they need to drive their businesses forward. We recognise it is vital for Fife College to develop close relationships with industry to inform our curriculum and prepare our students for the skills required in the workplace. Fife College is committed to being a leading provider of computing and technology skills.”

The skills academy is being driven by a consortium of International Fintech companies, Fife Council, Fife College – representatives of Opportunities Fife – and Fintech Scotland. Its overarching objective is to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applicants for the growing number of specialist roles in Fintech in the region and to avoid the potential of a skill gap developing.

Matt Kennedy, solutions development manager at Ingenico commented:

“The Introduction to Retail Cards Payment business course is a fantastic learning opportunity for those looking to get involved with the growing Payments industry in Fife. As one of the largest employers in the area, Ingenico is delighted to support this initiative. As well as providing direction for the Fintech Skills Academy, we have also enrolled several employees on its first course. The knowledge gained will complement the existing skills of our employees and equip them to continue delivering for our customers.”

Bridgend schools’ pilot innovative legal services scheme

Fifty-six of Bridgend County Borough’s 59 schools have signed up to a new collaborative way of accessing legal services, the first of its kind for the education sector in Wales.

As part of the group, Bridgend schools will have access to a dedicated, single legal provider – Cardiff-based firm Capital Law – which will assist the schools with any legal challenges they may face.

By providing a legal services hotline to the schools, as well as collating and sharing legal updates and responses to any questions asked, Capital Law will be able to distribute legal advice on a range of topics to all schools that are signed up to the scheme.

Bridgend schools can benefit from any advice that the others request and receive. If one school needs legal advice on its teacher contracts, or on building a new site, for example, Capital Law will respond to that, and then go on to share that advice among all the other schools in the group.

Because Capital has a dedicated education law team that specialises in working with schools, as well as further and higher education institutes, its advice will cover the whole range of legal services that education organisations need to keep running. This will include advice on employment law, like contracts, grievances, disciplinaries, and immigration; real estate transactions, like buying or selling any school land; regulatory and public law, including data protection and GDPR; and commercial disputes.

Capital Law will also work behind the scenes to identify common themes and questions among the schools – on topics like GDPR, data protection, or handling grievances – and develop bespoke training sessions that all schools will be able to attend.

Helen Rowland, Associate at Capital Law, said, ‘We are looking forward to working with Bridgend schools not only on the challenges they currently face but pre-empting future challenges and preparing them for what they may face in a constantly evolving environment’.

Lindsay Harvey, Corporate Director of Education and Family Support for Bridgend County Borough Council, said, ‘This is a really exciting new model – and it’s fantastic that, as a Wales-first, it’s taking place in Bridgend. We’ve got some brilliant schools in the area, and to be able to group together and access legal services in such an innovative way will be transformative for Bridgend County Borough schools.’

For more information on Capital Law visit https://www.capital-law.co.uk/

Stronger Than Hate: USC Shoah Foundation & Discovery Education Launch Anti-Hate Video Challenge in UK Secondary Schools

 

Secondary schools across the UK are being encouraged to take part in a new challenge, inspired by the testimonies of Holocaust and genocide survivors, to empower pupils to make a difference in their own communities.

Launched by USC Shoah Foundation in partnership with Discovery Education, the Stronger Than Hate Challenge inspires pupils to take positive local action against prejudice and to capture their work in a short film. Introduced in the US and Canada in 2013, the high-profile challenge is being launched in the UK for the first time, along with new classroom resources to help teachers and pupils recognise and counter hate and discrimination.

Founded after the making of Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, USC Shoah Foundation collects audio visual testimonies from survivors and witnesses of genocides around the world, preserving their stories for future generations. Students taking part in Stronger Than Hate Challenge will listen to these testimonies and be inspired to do something positive to effect change in their own communities, capturing their journey in a short video essay that shares their message with the world. Last year’s winning entry was a project to raise awareness of the struggles faced by immigrant families in Chicago, Illinois.

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge is part of a larger educational initiative, Teaching with Testimony, which is comprised of series of resources and videos that empower students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills, and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide. Program resources are available at no cost at TeachingWithTestimony.com. Discovery Education has also collaborated with USC Shoah Foundation to produce special age-appropriate resources for younger children. These are available to primary schools through Discovery Education Espresso – an award-winning, cross curricular digital learning service for teachers and pupils supporting the delivery of the National Curriculum and the successful integration of digital media into teaching and learning.

Open to UK secondary school pupils age 13-18, the Stronger Than Hate Challenge runs from 14th January to 6th May 2019, with a total prize fund of up to £12,500, including school grants totalling over £6,500 and iPads.

Claudia Wiedeman, USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education said:

“Every year, USC Shoah Foundation continues to advance the mission of engaging students in themes around discrimination, genocide and identity to help young people build the necessary skills to counter hate. By expanding our partnership with Discovery Education and connecting students with real testimonies, we are able to inspire communities of leaders to act in positive and meaningful ways.”

Hazel Carter, Discovery Education UK’s Marketing Director said:

“We are proud to support USC Shoah Foundation, and to bring the Stronger Than Hate Challenge to UK schools for the very first time. We hope that it will enable students to explore challenging topics with their peers, using their voices to stand against all forms of discrimination and intolerance, while working for positive change in their own communities.”

As USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg has said, “We show the power of random acts of kindness because the best way to teach empathy is by using the power of example.”

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge UK winners will be announced in June 2019. First prize is a £5,000 grant, awarded to the winning school to help teachers implement positive change. £1,000 and £500 grants will be similarly presented to the second and third place schools. iPads are also on offer for up to four pupils on each winning team.

Schools should visit teachingwithtestimony.com/challenge-uk to enter.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk.

 

The Cool Initiatives Education Challenge 2019 – launched to meet three challenges for technology identified by Damien Hinds, Secretary of State for Education

 

£17,500 up for grabs by students, teachers and start ups with edtech ideas that could change the way we teach and learn in schools

Are you a bright spark with a brilliant educational technology idea that could change the way we teach and learn in schools and drive up educational outcomes? If so Cool Initiatives wants to hear from you! Cool Initiatives, premier early stage investor in education and edtech, has just launched The Cool Initiatives Education Challenge 2019 . It’s giving away a total of £17,500 – no financial strings attached – to students, teachers or early stage start ups that offer an innovative edtech solution to change the face of education as we know it today.
The top prize of £10,000 will be awarded to the winner, £5,000 to the runner up, £500 to each of the four finalists and £500 to the winner of The People’s Choice category. Entry is super simple – all you need to do is provide on line your responses to a series of questions and submit a short two-minute video pitch. The deadline for entries is Friday 8th March.
The sift judges are looking for an edtech solution aimed at servicing early years to secondary education that addresses one or more of the following three challenges for technology identified by Damien Hinds, Secretary of State Education, in August 2018:
• Teaching practices to support access, inclusion, and improved learning outcomes for all;
• Assessment processes to become more effective and efficient;
• Administration processes to reduce the burden of ‘non-teaching’ tasks.
Rolled out nationwide, the competition is open to entrants who just have an idea, those who may be in full/part time work, those who have already started their own business, and early stage start ups that are sole traders, a limited company or a partnership with no external equity-based finance.

The shortlist will be announced on Friday 22nd March, finalists on Friday 26th April and The People’s Choice Award on Friday 10th May when voting on this category closes. The winners will be announced on Friday 17th May.

Commenting on the competition, philanthropist and Founder of Cool Initiatives Jon Thornes MBE said, “Many schools have told us that they’re crying out for better edtech solutions to help them spend less time preparing, monitoring, assessing and accounting, and more time teaching.
We’re seeking to support, develop and invest in ideas or edtech start ups that will help schools and teachers to operate more efficiently and effectively.”
To enter please click on the link The Cool Initiatives Education Challenge 2019 http://www.coolinitiatives.com/competition