Celebrities and campaigners join Mindfulness in Schools Project to help make children’s mental health a priority today

Famous names from the worlds of TV, film, radio and politics will join teachers and mental health campaigners to raise funds for Mindfulness in Schools Project’s ‘A Million Minds Matter’ Appeal at their conference in London on 26th April 2019.
The charity is hosting a star-studded day for teachers, school leaders, educators and parents to broaden their knowledge of mindfulness and inspire them to bring evidence-based mindfulness curricula into school communities. Proceeds from the event will go to the charity’s ‘A Million Minds Matter’ Appeal which aims provide high quality mindfulness training to a million young people in the next five years.

London, UK, April 2019 – With stories emerging almost daily about the crisis in mental health faced by children and young people, and the increasing pressures on schools and their staff, Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) aims to highlight the life changing benefits of the programmes they supply to children and to those who care for them, and raise funds to reach more schools.

Established by teachers for teachers, the charity aims to improve the lives of children by providing them with high-quality classroom-based mindfulness training. MiSP trains teachers in how to introduce young people to secular mindfulness and provides a life skill that both teachers and children can come back to time after time.

The conference brings together a panel of expert speakers, headlined by Ruby Wax, sharing inspirational testimonies and performances which demonstrate the power of mindfulness as an effective tool for 21st century living. Speakers include:

• Ruby Wax – comedian, author and presenter,
• Jonny Benjamin – award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger
• Caroline Lucas – MP, Green Party
• Jerome Flynn – Soldier Soldier and Game of Thrones actor
• Sir Steve Lancashire, founder and CEO of REAch2
• Cel Spellman – actor and radio presenter
• Vidyamala Burch – co-founder of Breathworks, a mindfulness charity
• Jason Steele – founder and CEO of non-profit Raise the Youth
• Parham Vasaiely – UN-advisor, engineer and mindfulness pioneer in the STEM industry
• Voices of experience – first hand accounts from teachers and children

MiSP believes that schools that are unable to designate a budget for their gold-standard mindfulness training should still have access. The ‘A Million Minds Matter’ Appeal seeks to raise the funding required so that no children are excluded from this life-changing approach and can benefit from the practice of mindfulness through MiSP’s evidence-based programmes.

Chivonne Preston, CEO of MiSP, said: “Mindfulness practice provides a toolkit which builds resilience and enables individuals to flourish. MiSP is dedicated to making a genuine, positive difference to the mental health and wellbeing of a generation of children now and in the future. We are thrilled to have such a fantastic array of speakers coming to support us at our conference and are delighted to welcome our audience to come and learn more about mindfulness and the role it can play in our schools”.

For more information on how to buy tickets to the “A Million Minds Matter” conference, please visit our website – https://mindfulnessinschools.org/misp-conference-2019/.


• Fully-autonomous vehicles will require an estimated one billion lines of code – compared to just 145,000 needed to land on the moon in 1969

• Tomorrow’s engineers are already learning to code at school to prepare for self-driving future and bridge the skills gap

• Land Rover 4×4 In Schools programme is inspiring future talent to offset global STEM skills shortage

• Almost five million more people with specialist digital skills needed globally by 2023

Tomorrow’s engineers are learning to code self-driving vehicles of the future today thanks to the unique Land Rover 4×4 in Schools programme.

Self-driving cars will require an estimated one billion lines of computer code1 – almost 1,000 times more than the 145,000 lines required by NASA to land Apollo 11 on the moon2. To meet the growing need for more coders to deliver these future autonomous and connected vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover is looking to inspire the next generation of software engineers.

The talented teenagers competing in this year’s Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge world finals – a global education enrichment initiative aimed at encouraging young people to take up STEM careers – were able to write 200 lines of code in just 30 minutes, to successfully navigate a scale model Range Rover Evoque around a 5.7-metre circuit.

David Lakin, Head of Education from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “We’re in the midst of a digital skills shortage – the UK alone requires more than 1 million software engineers to fill the growing demand for roles requiring a knowledge of coding, software engineering or electronics.

“Digital skills are vital to the economy, which is why the IET is proud to support initiatives like the Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge to ensure we inspire, inform and develop future engineers and encourage diversity across STEM subjects from a young age. If we are to safeguard jobs for the next generation, we must equip the workforce of the future with the skills they will need to engineer a better world.”

As of 2018, there were 23 million software developers worldwide but this population is expected to grow to 27.7 million by 2023†, with World Economic Forum research suggesting 65% of students today will end up working in jobs that don’t currently exist*.

This year, Jaguar Land Rover will launch a new Digital Skills Apprenticeship programme to attract the brightest computer engineers to help code its next-generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicles and support the factories of the future.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Computer engineering and software skills are more important than ever in the rapidly changing automotive industry, and that will only increase as we see more autonomous, connected and electric vehicles on the roads. The UK will need 1.2 million more people with specialist digital skills by 2022, and as a technology company, it’s our job to help inspire and develop the next generation of technically curious and pioneering digital engineers. The Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge is just one of the ways we are doing this, as well as our new Digital Skills Apprenticeship programme we are launching this year.”

The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools programme has helped the company reach more than four million young people since 2000. This year 110 students from 14 countries qualified for the world finals held at the University of Warwick, with NewGen Motors team from Greece lifting the trophy following two intensive days of competition.

Mark Wemyss-Holden, former teacher and Curriculum Content Developer, said: “Coding is high on the agenda across industry and teachers do a fantastic job delivering the curriculum, but schools have competing priorities and are hamstrung by limited budgets and time. The private sector, and programmes like Land Rover 4×4 In Schools, have a real opportunity to bridge the gap between what learners enjoy studying and how that translates into a future career.”

Jaguar Land Rover is a leader in the development of Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES) mobility services and has invested in Global Pioneering Hubs around the world to capitalise on– including Shannon, Republic of Ireland; Budapest, Hungary and Portland, in the United States.

John Cormican, General Manager for Vehicle Engineering, Shannon, said: “Shannon has an important role to play in realising the company’s vision for autonomous and connected vehicles, but we can not deliver this future without the very best minds – individuals who could write the next chapter for Jaguar Land Rover. It’s fantastic to see the company taking such an innovative approach towards investing in the next generation.”

12,835 new school classrooms urgently required in England by 2021/2022


• England will see more than 385,000 additional pupils enter the primary and secondary school system by 2021/2022, filling the equivalent of 12,835 extra classrooms
• London, the South East and the South West will see the largest increase in school-aged pupils in the next two years
• Birmingham will experience the largest increase in pupil numbers and will require 330 new school classrooms, or 25 new schools

An additional 385,000 pupils will join England’s school system by 2021/2022 reveals the latest research by Scape Group, the public sector procurement specialist. To meet this demand, England requires 12,835 additional school classrooms across the country or 640 new schools.

Scape’s report, The School Places Challenge 2019, examines the challenge facing the UK’s school system using Department of Education and devolved authority data. This is the fourth edition of this analysis from Scape Group. The report reveals that England’s school-aged population is set to increase by 5.5 per cent over the next two years.

England’s regional school places challenge Number of extra school places required by 2021/22 All pupil growth % New primary school classrooms required by 2021/22 New secondary school classrooms required by 2021/22 New primary and secondary schools required by 2021/22

Over the next two years, every region in England will experience at least a three per cent increase on the current number of pupils, but London, the South East and the South West can all expect to see the largest increases. Local authorities in the South East will have to build the most primary school classrooms (568), while local authorities in London will have to build the most secondary school classrooms (1,872). Overall, the South East is under pressure to build the equivalent of 131 schools.

Birmingham is the region which faces the most substantial projected increase in the next two years, with Manchester coming in a close second. Both cities can expect more than 12,000 extra secondary pupils by 2021/2022. Between them, they will need to provide the equivalent of 53 new schools in the next two years.
However, it is not just densely populated cities that are feeling the strain. London’s commuter belt is also experiencing significant pressure to provide school places. Essex, Kent, Surrey and Hertfordshire all rank within the top ten areas that experience the most significant school-aged population growth.
But despite councils being legally responsible for ensuring that the demand for school places is met, the process for establishing and funding schools is often outside their control. Local authorities have no direct control of free schools, grammar schools or academy places, despite the fact these types of schools make up the bulk of the current government’s school places strategy.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, comments: “As with many critical issues that desperately need political attention, education has dropped down the agenda as government bodies focus on Brexit and our future position with the rest of the world.
“Every region in England needs to build more schools, and local authorities nationwide will be feeling the strain. We must collectively focus on delivering a strategy and solutions which not only provide high-quality, modern spaces for teaching and learning but also offer our colleagues in local authorities cost certainty, value for money and timely delivery.

“In March, record numbers of children missed out on their first choice of secondary school[1], and appeals against secondary school offers have doubled in six years. This issue is likely to be exacerbated in the coming years if we do not think and act more creatively now. Good schools are the bedrock of our society, and there can be no room for error.”

Scape Group’s recommendations on how to tackle the School Places Challenge

1. The adoption of offsite construction as the main method of building for all new schools and extensions would ensure that they are built faster than traditional methods. If modular can grow in scale, building schools will become more efficient and cost-effective.
2. A fairer education funding model for local authorities, which ensures that they can work with central government to set budgets that reflect local need. In particular, local authorities should play a part in judging and approving free school proposals to make sure that new schools are established where they are most needed.
3. Greater collaboration between councils and developers to ensure that secondary schools are built in major urban extensions and developments first, through agreements between developers seeking planning permission and the local planning authority (Section 106 agreements).
Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, continues: “The current government believes free schools are the answer, but I would argue that this standpoint has been born out of ideological stubbornness, rather than a genuine effort to tackle the school places crisis. Deploying government resources to existing school structures instead would enable local authorities to refurbish and extend current schools to provide additional school places. This would be a much more efficient way of spending taxpayers’ money.

“England will have 385,031 more pupils by 2021/2022, and with demand continuing to grow, it is vital that we focus on solutions that will allow us to create additional school places quickly and resourcefully, without compromising on quality. Offsite technology is one answer.
“While the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) started its push for modular four years ago, only 70 schools have been built using offsite construction so far. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) not only enable quick construction but can also cost local authorities significantly less. Until the government takes more pragmatic action, they cannot claim to be safeguarding the futures of young people.”
The full Scape Group report, The School Places Challenge 2019, can be downloaded from www.scapegroup.co.uk/research.

Support your school – National launch

A brand-new initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to vital school resources has been launched.

Support your school is a fundraising platform for schools managed by Peters, the UK’s leading specialist children’s book and furniture supplier to schools and academies.

Support your school uses five easy to follow steps to help schools to raise funds to support children’s literacy. The funds raised by the school can be used to create a magical new library, supply a selection of titles to support a topic or the latest collection of fiction.

100% of the funds raised are available to the school to buy resources to aid literacy and help children develop a passion for reading for pleasure.

Claire Bowles, Head of Sales and Marketing said:

“These are difficult times for the education sector and many schools tell us that they would love to buy more books, but often struggle to allocate enough budget. Support your school allows the schools to identify specific campaigns or projects and then engage with parents, local business and their community to make the plans become a reality.”

She added:

“We know that reading for pleasure is one of the single biggest indicators of a child’s future success. We want to work with schools and parents to give children the best opportunities we can.”

The first school to sign up was The Ridge Primary School in Stourbridge. Rebecca Beddoes, Assistant Head Teacher, said:

“In just four short weeks we exceeded our target of £1,000. We were overwhelmed by the support the campaign has had. We knew that we had supportive families but some of the donations made have been so generous that we have regularly been lost for words.”

She added:

“I knew that Support your school would be invaluable in helping us raise funds to enable our children to love reading. What I did not realise is how it would get children excited about reading before those books had even arrived.”

For further information on Support your school, please visit:

Imagination Gaming… Taking Great Leaps for Gaming Kind

Imagination Gaming founder Nigel Scarfe discovered the power of games while playing Dungeons and Dragons as a child.

At the time, he was struggling to keep up in school and he found that the game expanded the way he used his mind and subsequently gave him a better understanding of maths and English in school.

Fast forward a fair few years and that valuable lesson is helping Nigel’s company (IG) pave the way for innovative games based learning by taking it back to more traditional board and card games with great results.

So much so that the gaming industry is starting to take notice of this small but mighty team.
Barnsley-based IG have now collaborated with big names in the games world (such as Haba, Green Board Games Co, and Asmodee) to create a full day of games and challenges in school to support children’s budding brains. It is because of these partnerships with leading worldwide games companies that IG are able to offer schools full Games Days – absolutely free.

Speaking about these collaborations, Nigel said: “We love it. Companies come to us with the games and we design the lesson plan around them. It also enables them to design better games, as they see firsthand how the games work in a school situation.”
IG are leaders in games based learning, and were the first company of their kind. Their free Games Day Programmes aim to teach the children a variety of skills in a way that is engaging and exciting to them. Nigel says of his presence in schools, “the curriculum focuses mainly on testing, which doesn’t always reinforce the practical use of what’s being taught in lessons. Games Days allow this reinforcing and engaging, which leads to greater memory of what’s being taught. There is a real need for this. There is a hunger to learn.”

And this hunger shows – the impact on schools to date is noticeable. One Deputy Head says: “There was lots of laughter and fun while the children work together – they don’t even realise they are learning. I am very pleased to say that there was no ‘hard sell’, just lots of fun. Highly recommend Imagination Gaming and would encourage schools to definitely give games days a go.”
What started out as one man in a few local schools has now transformed into a nationwide operation, and has even branched out overseas to Cyprus. There seems to be no stopping this growing games pioneer.


SLS launches inaugural Active Community Competition

School Lettings Solutions (SLS) has announced the launch of a national competition which will offer one group the chance to win a year’s hire of facilities at a school in their region.

SLS is on a mission to connect sport and leisure groups, classes and teams with their local schools to enhance the sense of community in the area and bring life to school facilities – and much-needed additional revenue – after the school bell has rang.

Founded in 2012 by Scott Warrington and Paul Andrews, SLS provides a full letting solution for schools, academies and colleges to maximise the use of their facilities to the local community during evenings, weekends and school holidays. The business now has a turnover of more than £10 million and employs 850 people across the UK, as well as welcoming nearly 10,000 community groups into facilities every year.

The competition provides the opportunity to nominate a worthy community group, team, club or class which epitomises community spirit and is in need of sport or leisure facilities. The winning project will receive a year of hire, which could be worth up to £5,000, with four regional project finalists also receiving a month’s worth of hire for their group with a value of up to £500.

To enter, groups should submit their reason and requirements. Entries can be supported by a video or photo which shows what value they bring to their local community and why they should win.

Commenting on the competition, Scott Warrington, co-founder of SLS said: “We wanted to launch this competition because it combines our passion for health and wellbeing and connecting schools with their communities. In our experience, thousands of sport and leisure groups across the UK struggle to find suitable, high-quality facilities to base their club, group or session in, with lack of access to school facilities often being the main barrier.

“Whether it’s a hall for a new mums’ fitness class or a base for an under-8s’ football session, SLS’s Active Community competition will provide an organisation with a base in the heart of their local community free of charge for a whole academic year. We hope to see lots of entries from groups across all regions and all varieties of sport and leisure.”

All entrants will be judged by a panel of industry leaders including Jack Shakespeare, head of ukactive kids – an organisation that exists to improve the health of the nation, providing services and partnerships for a broad range of sports and leisure organisations. Further guest judges to be announced.

Projects can range from a local community group, football team, exercise class or charity. Nominations can be submitted online at www.schoollettings.org from 8th April date by providing the name, location and requirements of the group and your reasons why they deserve to win. The deadline for entries is Wednesday 15th May.

For more information and full terms and conditions please visit www.schoollettings.org.

The screen machines: the professions most guilty of not giving their eyes a screen break

● Engineers spend the most amount of time staring at screens
● British workers are spending 85% of their waking hours staring at screens
● Nearly half (46%) of Brits admit that too much screen time during the day affects their sleep

The nation’s workers are jeopardising their sleep quality by spending 85% of their waking hours¹ staring at screens.

New research, conducted by eye care specialist Optegra, found that British workers are spending an average of 13 hours and 34 minutes a day looking at screens while at work, commuting and at home.

Surprisingly, employees are spending an average of 55 hours 36 minutes a month staring at a screen while commuting, when they could be giving their eyes a much-needed rest.

The study revealed that engineers are the professionals that spend the most time staring at a screen throughout their day. On average, engineers are looking at screens for 7 hours and 16 minutes at work, 5 hours and 22 minutes while commuting and 6 hours and 3 minutes while at home.

The top five professions that are spending the most time looking at screens throughout the day are:

1. Engineer (18 hours 40 minutes)
2. IT Specialist (18 and a half hours)
3. Accountant (13 hours 20 minutes)
4. Teacher (12 hours 27 minutes)
5. Admin Staff (9 hours 28 minutes)

Research² has found that excessive blue light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles, more than any other type of light.

It’s no surprise then that engineers are also the profession whose sleep suffers the most, with 72% agreeing that too much screen time during the day affects their sleep. They were followed by two thirds (66%) of IT specialists, nearly half (45%) of teachers, two fifths (40%) of accountants and just over a third (34%) of admin staff saying that too much screen time affects their sleep.

It seems that it is not only sleep that is affected by a high amount of screen time. According to the research, employees blame issues like headaches, dry eyes and stress or anxiety on too much screen time.

The top five complaints employees have experienced as a result of too much screen time are:

1.Tired eyes/eye strain (59%)
2. Headaches (40%)
3. Dry eyes (37%)
4. Disturbed sleep (31%)
5. Stress/anxiety (17%)

Sundeep Vaswani, Eye Sciences Clinical Research Associate at Optegra, said: “The amount of time people spend looking at screens throughout their day is very worrying. Optometrists are noticing an increase in tech-related eye strain and looking at the results of our research, this is no surprise.
“It is very important that if you are spending a lot of time on screens, whether it be for work or at home, you take lots of frequent breaks. Looking at something 20 metres away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes is a great way to make sure you are giving your eyes the rest they need.”
To read our five simple tips for keeping eyes healthy visit here: https://www.optegra.com/eye-health-blog/april-2019/five-simple-tips-for-healthy-eyes/

How can technology enhance teaching in rural schools?

With rural schools facing pressure from low pupil rolls, budget cuts and declining birth rates many small schools are struggling to maintain high standards. Kendra Bolton, headteacher at Stewartstown Primary, recognised internationally for its excellence in mathematics, explains how technology has helped her school meet these challenges and embrace its rural environment…
Rural schools have been the latest institutions under the spotlight, with the combination of distance, low pupil numbers and subsequent budget cuts leading to unsustainable conditions for many. Declining birth rates and difficulties recruiting are also problems; often schools experience a high percentage of older, experienced teachers but a low proportion of younger (and cheaper) staff.

Rural poverty is also an issue, with more emphasis in recent years placed on driving standards in urban schools with high proportions of EAL and pupil premium grant students. In contrast rural heads report high proportions of students just above the requirements for free school meals, with a recent report in The Key finding that 52% of heads said they have more “poor families” than just those eligible for the pupil premium grant.

Despite these challenges there are a still a proportion of rural schools that outperform their urban counterparts. Once such school in Stewartstown, County Dungannon in Northern Ireland has managed not just to survive but to thrive in its rural environment. Despite having less than 50 pupils Stewartstown Primary has gained international acclaim for its excellence in maths with no pupils underachieving in a subject in the midst of a fierce drive to raise standards. Kendra Bolton, Headteacher at the school says that key to their success is placing technology at the heart of learning as well as using the school’s rural environment to their advantage.

The challenges

“Our main challenges here in Stewartstown Primary School result from budgetary constraints.
“Whilst cuts aren’t an issue for rural primaries alone, we experience a different range of financial pressures to schools in urban areas. Transport for example is a huge cost both for the school and for parents. Additionally, our low pupil roll directly impacts our funding – though we have fewer pupils many of our overheads are the same as those in a medium sized school. Similarly, because we don’t benefit from massive economies of scale, resources are often more expensive per pupil than in a larger school.
“Another challenge is the distance between school and home for a number of pupils. This has the potential to make engaging with parents harder, though at Stewartstown we have been able to make this work to our advantage through a number of initiatives including the breakfast club hosted at school.
“A lack of diversity could be another challenge. Many of our pupils’ families have lived locally for generations and this means there is a lack of different experiences amongst the children. It can therefore be harder to get them to understand the lives of other children and as they grow older this can lead to a dangerous lack of aspirations amongst children – however talented they may be!”

The solution

Despite the potential challenges, Stewartstown Primary has found technology the solution to many of the pressures of working in a rural environment.
“We find that technology allows every child to access the curriculum in a supportive and differentiated way through a different medium, allowing learning to be personalised to the needs of individuals. Technology is an instant motivating tool, keeping the child engaged on the task whilst furthering their knowledge and learning of key concepts. We are fortunate at Stewartstown to have a full class set of iPads and laptops in school, and shared amongst only three classes overall, every child has access to a good range of resources.
“We take advantage of a great variety of apps and resources including some great free ones and a few excellent paid-for resources which the children love. Technology is a great tool for enhancing learning, particularly those which motivate children to stay engaged on topics such as mathematics which are often perceived to be harder.

“Though the distance between home and school can be a struggle for some parents, we find that we are able to use our small size and the school’s position in the community to our advantage.

“Being a small rural school allows for high engagement levels from parents. We open our doors to parents daily and they support us fully where possible in school, whether it be with fundraising activities, helping supervise on school trips or assisting with the breakfast club where children are able to access our online resources. Our strong relationships with parents’ means they are fully informed with their child’s academic performance and the children know and understand that both parents and teachers work as a team to help them reach their potential.

“Through our online maths resources Mathletics we have been able to engage the pupils in activities like the November Numeracy Challenge which we have entered for the past two consecutive years with excellent results. Last year we were the worldwide winners with the highest average pupil score, and this year we were placed second worldwide, but topping the UK leader boards. Quite a remarkable achievement for such a small school!
“As pupils compete in the Live Mathletics section of the resource against other pupils in real time they are to see where in the world their fellow competitors are located giving a real sense of excitement to maths and helping them to gain a sense of other children around the globe learning in the same way that they are. The pupils can also compete against their own classmates in live, head-on challenges. It can be very competitive at times, but it is very stimulating for the pupils!”

The future

“We are always making exciting plans for the future, exploring ways to keep our classroom practice innovative and fresh. The pupils are the heart of our school, and together, working as a team, we endeavour to continue to give them an excellent experience of school life, with a wealth of high quality teaching and learning opportunities on offer. Technology and continuing our use of Mathletics of course will be part of this!”

LGfL and Adobe join forces to boost creativity in schools across the UK and London

Edtech charity London Grid for Learning and Adobe to equip thousands of schools across the UK – including over 500 secondary and 1600 primary schools in all 33 London boroughs – with free digital and creative software to help children develop skills for their future careers

EdTech charity LGfL (London Grid for Learning) and creative software company Adobe have joined forces to provide access to software that will help to equip the next generation of school children with skills to thrive in the future workplace.

Under the terms of this landmark partnership, over 3000 schools throughout the UK – including over 500 secondary and 1600 primary schools across all 33 London boroughs – supported by the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) will receive free access to Adobe Creative Cloud, the industry-leading creative and digital tools used for graphic design, video editing, web development and photography, which come with a set of mobile applications and optional cloud services. In addition schools will receive dedicated support and free access to Adobe Spark for Education, an integrated suite of storytelling applications that enable students to create mobile and web content.

Free access to Adobe Creative Cloud for LGfL schools fulfils a common long-term objective of equipping teachers with the tools they need to infuse creativity into the classroom and allows all students, regardless of background, to develop their creative problem-solving skills which are increasingly needed to help students gain the expertise employers seek in the modern workplace.
The World Economic Forum last year estimated that 50% of companies expect AI to reduce their workforce in the next three years, and listed problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top three skills that children need to be taught for future success.

As a charity committed to the advancement of education through digital innovation this new online resource is offered as part of LGfL’s Let’s Get Digital subscription, which equips schools with the super-high speed and secure network needed to access AI, VR and live-streaming tools as well as high-quality training to ensure teachers are able to deploy these resources.

Commenting on the new partnership, John Jackson, CEO, LGfL said, “LGfL is focused on harnessing digital innovation to inspire the teachers and children in the thousands of schools we support across the UK. I’m very excited by our new strategic partnership with Adobe which not only saves schools money but will accelerate the amazing Creative Cloud platform into UK education. I can’t wait to see the impact on learning outcomes as I believe that we are placing a fantastic creative resource into the hands of the most creative nation in the world – and making it cost effective to do so!”
Mala Sharma, VP and GM Creative Cloud, Adobe also said, “As an industry, it’s our responsibility to ensure teachers have the resources and support they need to make creativity a core part of the curriculum to ensure the success of the next generation workforce. We believe in creativity for all, and are proud to be working with LGfL on this fantastic partnership to ensure that every young person in London has access to the digital and creative tools that will enable them to develop skills they will need in the workplace.”

To find out more about the partnership and to claim your schools free license please visit https://adobe.lgfl.net
For more information on LGfL please visit www.lgfl.net
For more information on Adobe please visit www.adobe.com/uk

Government investment in EdTech must focus on underlying technology to enhance the learning experience

Reducing the administrative burden on teachers through innovative technology will deliver a richer and more engaging learning experience, says KYOCERA Document Solutions

The Government’s announcement on Wednesday that it would invest up to £10 million in technology for the education sector reflects a growing recognition of the transformative role that technology can play in providing a rich and engaging learning experience for students. However, Joe Doyle, Group Marketing Director at KYOCERA Document Solutions UK, suggests that the government should focus its investment on the underlying technologies that can significantly reduce the administrative burden on teachers so that they can devote more of their attention to their students.

There is a clear need for the intelligent implementation of technology to reduce the amount of time that teachers have to spend on tedious, time-consuming processes. A 2018 survey of teachers from the National Education Union reported that 61% of respondents reported spending over 3 hours a day on tasks that did not involve teaching, limiting the time available to them to plan engaging lessons and negatively impacting teachers’ work-life balance.

Joe commented: “While it may be tempting for government and education authorities to invest in flashy technology for the classroom, they should instead concentrate on the underlying technologies that make teachers’ lives easier, helping them to focus on delivering an excellent education experience for all. Of course, it would be fantastic to have VR headsets in every classroom, but that would be no use if the teacher is so buried in paperwork that they don’t have the time to prepare a lesson that makes best use of them.

“A prime example of a time-consuming process overdue for transformation through new technology is the copyright process. Currently many teachers are required to manually fill out forms whenever they copy or scan copyrighted material that are then sent to the Copyright Licensing Agency, in what is a lengthy and tedious process. However, there are now apps, such as KYOCERA’s CopyScanPublications app, which can digitally transform this process, ensuring that the necessary data goes straight to the CLA. This is the kind of innovative technology that needs to be applied to a whole range of administrative processes to free up teachers’ time and help them focus on teaching.

“Government investment in technology for the education sector should always be welcomed by all stakeholders, but to make sure that taxpayers’ money is spent most effectively, it needs a really strategic approach. The government should be deploying technology to reduce the administrative burden on teachers, supporting them with the technology they need and helping them do what they do best, give a great learning experience to students. This could fundamentally raise standards across the sector and help to equip the UK education system for a digital future,” Joe concluded.