Collaborations to change the face of education

HundrED today announced a range of new partnerships to help reach teachers across the world in its aim to help schools to transform education.


The partnerships are with the Bett global series of ed-tech events, the social entrepreneur network Ashoka and the world’s leading experts on sustainable development, SDSNEdu. The partnerships, in addition to existing relationships with Ideo and XQ, will support HundrED’s aim to collaborate with teachers, thought leaders, policy makers and organisations to help shape the future of education.


Its partnership with Bett, a series of award-winning events for those passionate about learning technologies, sees the events use their global network of education innovators and policy makers to further raise awareness of HundrED. The flagship Bett event takes place from 25 and 28 January 2017 at ExCeL London, where HundrED will launch the first of its global education experiments to an audience of over 40,000.


Ashoka’s network of over 3000 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries, and SDSNEdu’s mission to provide open online education to effect sustainable development will further support HundrED’s global community of educators and thought leaders.


Saku Tuominen, founder of HundrED, said: “HundrED exists to support a community of educators all over the world, and collaboration underpins everything we do. Each of our partners have been chosen because of their commitment to helping to develop 21st century skills and find solutions to global challenges. We’re looking forward to working with them to affect social and educational change across the world.”


Kate Robinson, Editor in Chief of HundrED, commented: “These partners have been selected for their commitment to improving education and for sharing our core ethos of authentic, global education reform.”


HundrED’s education experiments will be trialled in schools across Finland in the 2016 / 2017 academic year, and the project is now accepting submissions for its 100 global experiments from teachers across the world. For more information, and to track the progress of each experiment, visit.



A special summer of patriotic Love British Food celebrations is upon us followed in the autumn by the 15th running of British Food Fortnight, the much loved annual, national celebration of British food and drink, which takes place from 17th September – 2nd October.  With the support of an exciting new sponsor, Co-op Food, there are hundreds of promotions and fun foodie events to look forward to.



Patriotic pride will take centre stage this summer with The Queens 90th Birthday and the sporting excitement of the Euros and the Olympics. Food and Royal occasions go hand in hand, as do food and sport, and Love British Food is putting British food at the heart of the nation’s celebrations. Special initiatives are being organised for children, families and communities:


Cake for The Queen: A competition challenging school children to create a spectacular patriotic cake for Her Majesty using healthy, British ingredients. The winning school will be treated to an exclusive tour of Buckingham Palace during British Food Fortnight.

Great British Feasts: Celebrate this Summer in your community:  Communities will be given the chance to win a Co-op Summer Foodie Feast pack to help them hold a summer foodie party to celebrate British food and all that is great about summer 2016. Maybe a BBQ, a sporting celebration or just an opportunity for the community to come together for a summer party in the village hall.



To top off the summer and taking place at the traditional time of the harvest, British Food Fortnight is a chance to celebrate all that is great about our delicious British produce.   The Fortnight will be celebrated in Co-op food stores as well as in restaurants, visitor attractions, street markets, schools, hospitals, universities and care homes.


Activities will be led by Ambassadors Raymond Blanc and his son, Oli, and a National Committee including the National Trust, Sustainable Restaurant Association, Hospital Caterers Association, Women’s Institutes, National Association of British Market Authorities and the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Celebrations of regional specialities and long lost recipes are planned and highlights include:


The most exciting community challenge yet! The national competition is in its 4th year and in 2016 searches for the most imaginative and colourful British food celebration during the Fortnight.  From the residents of a tiny village coming together for a British tea party to multi-cultural inner city community meals made with local produce, the judges will be looking for resourcefulness, imagination and outreach.


Hundreds of British promotions in shops:  Co-op Food, the official retail sponsor of the event, will be championing British food in its stores alongside many other activities such as tastings and meet-the-producer events.   Hundreds of independent stores will be flying the flag in the high street across the country.


On the menu: British food will be embraced in the catering sector during the two weeks with care homes, restaurants and many others all putting British food on the menu.  The public sector is also supporting the event en masse with major hospitals and school catering services, including Cucina Restaurants and Harrison Catering Services Ltd, planning special menus.


Eat your way around Britain during the Fortnight with hundreds of opportunities to enjoy British food.  The National Trust are producing British recipe cards and organising foodie events in its properties.  The National Association of British Market Authorities are encouraging markets nationwide to offer British produce and challenging consumers to a ‘market basket challenge’. Look out for foraging walks, food trails and fungi forays; Harvest Swap Shops; Plot to Plate cooking demonstrations; Meet the Farmer events; and food festivals that are being planned in more than half of the English counties.  See the What’s Happening pages on for details of what is happening near you!


  • WHY ARE THE CELEBRATIONS SO EXCITING THIS YEAR?  Commenting on the plans, organiser Alexia Robinson says: “With Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday and Team GB’s efforts in Rio, 2016 looks set to become another milestone for the celebration of British produce. Patriotism will again be at fever-pitch and there is a significant opportunity to build upon the commercial success seen by food businesses during the celebrations of 2012, and simply, for individuals and communities to have a lot of fun whilst discovering British foods.


Ambassador Raymond Blanc OBE says “We are encouraging everyone to celebrate British food in homes and in neighbourhoods across the land.  Individuals, clubs and organisations can all get involved; there will be Royal themed street parties, there will be village cricket teas, there will be strawberries for Wimbledon, lunches and tastings.  We have so many opportunities to source, celebrate and be proud of our great British produce. Let’s make 2016 another bumper year for British food

Cathryn Higgs, Food Policy Manager at Co-op Food says: “Co-op Food is delighted to be the official sponsor for Love British Food Fortnight. We know food provenance really matters to our customers, which drives our enthusiasm to invest in the UK economy to provide an opportunity for British food to have pride of place in our British aisles.  The ‘Great British Feasts’ are a fantastic way of getting our stores and the local community to celebrate food and drink this summer and we are pleased to be able support British Food Fortnight with such a wide range of exciting activities.”

  • WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE TAKE PART?  The event’s website is a one-stop-shop for consumers, retailers, caterers and schools wanting to enjoy British food.  The site includes downloadable guides and case studies for retailers, caterers and schools, with a full Teacher Zone, as well as posters and bunting that people can use to take part in British Food Fortnight.


PrimarySite launches new Video Sharing Platform

PrimarySite, the UK’s leading provider of websites for primary schools and academies, has extended its digital communications portfolio with the addition of a media sharing channel for schools. Continuing in its mission to help teachers and pupils engage beyond the classroom, schools will now be able to share video and audio recordings of students’ work and activities with parents, carers and the whole community, to support learning outside school and encourage parental involvement.


The Video Sharing Platform, which allows teachers and pupils to easily upload and share content, is available as an enhancement to an existing PrimarySite school website, or as a standalone feature.


The platform has been specifically designed for schools, offering safe and secure usage, which is completely ad-free, easy-to-use and helps to meet the requirements of the computing curriculum.


Geoff Millington, former primary school teacher and managing director of PrimarySite, said: “With so many schools doing great things and achieving fantastic results for their pupils, we wanted to create a platform that enables these successes to be shared quickly and easily. We hope our new offering will provide a really simple way to engage with the whole school community, while encouraging the pupils to get involved in creating and sharing content too!”


“We recently conducted a survey with parents, and the results definitely confirmed that the demand is there. Drawing from a sample of 1,450 parents, half of all respondents answered that they’d like to see photographs and videos on their child’s school website, and 38 per cent wanted to see more pupil content.”


To find out more about the Video Sharing Platform, a short video can be viewed at:

To see some examples of PrimarySite’s websites, check out their portfolio:



Yorkshire-based educational furniture manufacturer British Thornton has launched a new range of fixed furniture to an audience of head teachers and school business managers at the Academies Show in London.


The Trudy fixed furniture range builds on the success of British Thornton’s existing Trudy range of loose furniture, which was first launched in 2008 and boasts annual sales figures of around £3m.


Designed to fully complement the existing range of loose furniture, the new Trudy fixed furniture means the collection is now the first product on the market to offer a fully co-ordinated range encompassing both fixed and loose items, allowing classrooms to benefit from consistent design.


The Trudy range has already made a name for itself over the past eight years, selling around 66,000 units per annum, with its innovative pupil-centric design winning admirers across the UK.


Jonathan Clark, Product Design Director at British Thornton, said: “Trudy has been a labour of love for this company over the last eight years, and it’s been wonderful to see the fantastic reception it’s had from teachers and pupils alike. We passionately believe in the Trudy range and think it adds real visual flair to primary schools, while also being rooted in the practical demands of a 21st century classroom.


“We’re really proud of this product and can’t wait to see the reactions of pupils when they see their new classrooms. We’re also currently working on a number of other really exciting Trudy product designs and projects for launch later in the year, so watch this space.”


The first product to market with a contemporary colour range, Trudy furniture is designed to utilise all available space and surfaces for use as storage. In addition, units feature soft curved lines and no sharp edges, reducing the likelihood of accidents in primary classrooms. Trudy furniture is also highly customisable, with a wide range of unit styles and sizes offering a plethora of options.


Gerard Toplass, CEO of British Thornton, said: “Trudy’s loose furniture range has proved to be a brilliant product – and for good reason. We’ve always believed it to be truly unique and it’s been fantastic to see schools across the UK embrace it.


“The design team has worked incredibly hard on bringing this new Trudy fixed furniture range to market and they really have excelled themselves. We’re all looking forward to seeing the first classrooms fully fitted with Trudy furniture.”


All storage furniture is manufactured at British Thornton’s Keighley factory, with elements of the soft seating manufactured at the business’ Scottish site in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire.


In an effort to help schools with classroom design, British Thornton offers a full CAD planning and design service, including production of 2D & 3D layouts, allowing teachers to get a full understanding of how their new classrooms will look.



Chef masterclass 1


Chefs from Busy Bees nurseries across the country who have been crafting some delicious allergen-free dishes as part of the Busy Bees’ ABC Chef Competition, are preparing to sauté their way to success at next week’s final!


Chefs at Busy Bees nurseries regularly adapt meals to suit the needs of children with dietary requirements, but during the final of this year’s ABC friendly (Allergy friendly, Busy Bees Friendly, Child Friendly) competition, which is taking place during Allergy Awareness Week, they will be challenged to produce culinary masterpieces free from all of the 14 named allergens. Aside from crafting some exciting new dishes, the competition is also helping to raise awareness of the different types of allergies and food intolerances.


Busy Bees, which has recently been awarded the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association for the third year in a row, ensures that all of its food is fresh, traceable as well as being nutritious and well balanced. However, during this year’s competition the eleven finalists have raised the standards using their expertise and creativity to come up with a selection of flavour-filled main courses and mouth-watering desserts, from chicken and vegetable meatballs to chocolate and avocado pudding, that can be enjoyed by everyone in nursery, without sacrificing on taste!


David Persaud, Catering Mark Development Manager for the Midlands from the Soil Association Certification, who will be one of the judges at the final, said: “I’m really honoured to be judging at this year’s competition. Each year Busy Bees runs exciting and inspiring competitions for its nursery chefs and this year’s theme of allergens should be very interesting. I’m really keen to see some of the diverse and uncommon ingredients that may be used and the dishes that they create without the possibility of relying on staples such as milk, eggs and flour containing gluten. It promises to be a great day!”


Melanie Fox, Senior Catering Manager, explained the importance of this year’s theme:

“Parents often worry about how their child with an allergy will be cared for outside the home by other people. At Busy Bees, through allergy awareness training of staff and the confidence parents get from talking through their child’s dietary requirements with the nursery chef, the anxiety and concerns can be reduced.

“The ABC Competition is an excellent way for our Busy Bees chefs to showcase their skills and knowledge whilst producing wholesome nutritious food.”


The finalists will be cooking their dishes in front of four judges at Harborne Food School on 26th April. For more information about Busy Bees menus or short training catering courses please go to


First of its kind free online CPD training for SEND launches

A new, online continuing professional development (CPD) resource offering free training to help education professionals meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is to launch on April 29. The resource, ‘Focus on SEND’, was developed by nasen, the leading organisation supporting those who work with or care for children and young people with SEND.


Focus on SEND has been developed to offer free online CPD for all mainstream settings across England. The CPD will take a practice led, enquiry-based approach and consist of approximately nine hours of learning which will be available 24 hours a day. There will be six modules, the first five of which will have knowledge-based content, practical activities for the learner to work through in their setting and guidance for reflection in order to support the practitioner in consolidating their learning.


Dr Adam Boddison, chief executive at nasen, said: “Nasen Live 2016 and the launch of Focus on SEND come at a crucial time in education. Workforce development is not just about improving the quality of provision, but also supporting those professionals who need to extend their abilities to become the adaptive flexible thinkers that schools, and their pupils, need and to support and retain valuable staff. The seminar programme for the two-day event has been developed with this in mind, covering a broad range of topics to meet the needs of all practitioners.”


The resource launches at nasen Live, the leading event for SEND training in the United Kingdom (UK). The two day SEND professional development event is hosted by nasen and it enables all educators to explore research, policy and practice, along with the latest tools and techniques to engage students and raise attainment.


To find out more about Focus on SEND and nasen Live, visit

National schools programme leads way in improved attainment for young carers

To mark the first anniversary of the Young Carers in School programme (YCiS), 35 participating schools have provided key data showing dramatic impacts on attendance, achievement and confidence of pupils who care for a loved one following their adoption of the programme.

Launched in April 2015 by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society, YCiS aims to enable schools to identify and support young carers more effectively and the survey results show significant improvements in the key areas of identification, punctuality, wellbeing and achievement.

Almost 500 primary- and secondary school-aged young carers who were previously unknown to school staff were discovered in just 35 of the schools taking part in the Young Carers In Schools programme – an average of 15 per school. If these numbers were reflected nationally, there could be thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of young carers hidden within the school system.

More than three quarters of schools surveyed as part of the Young Carers in Schools (YCiS) programme reported a reduction in lateness along with improved attendance. 91% of schools said that the support they now provide has had a positive impact on young carers’ achievements at the school. Student well-being also improved for young carers in 95% of schools that had participated in the programme.

A young carer is anyone under 18 who is responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, chronic illness, mental health issue or substance misuse problems.

The findings build on previous research carried out by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society which shows that, on average, young carers miss or cut short 48 school days a year. They often have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level.

The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but separate research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 12 school children many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.

Helen Leadbitter, programme manager for young carers at The Children’s Society, pointed to the large number of young carers identified as evidence of the need for more schools to use the programme’s free tools and support and to get recognition for their provision through the national Young Carers in Schools award.

She said: “The Young Carers in Schools programme is currently helping almost a thousand schools to identify and support young carers, with 65 schools gaining a national award to date. The fact that so many additional young carers have been identified in the process, and supported to make the most of their time in school, really shows the value of the programme.


There are a range of actions that our tools help schools focus on, from putting up information about young carers on the noticeboard, to holding an assembly on the issue, to working with other local organisations to build expertise. We are supporting schools to identify these children and make sure they get the most from their time at school.”

Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust said: “A young carer’s life can be very stressful as they are constantly juggling school work with caring for a parent or sibling. When exam time comes around the pressure can be unbearable.


“We are proud to have joined forces with so many schools across the country who now recognise the importance of caring for carers within their communities. Young carers being understood by those in positions of authority within schools is priceless, as it allows them to feel accepted and to learn and develop at a pace that is manageable for them.


“Progress has been remarkable one year on from the launch of our Young Carers in Schools initiative but there is still a long way to go to ensure there are no longer ‘hidden’ carers within schools, struggling with education or suffering in isolation, because they don’t know where to find support.”


General secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) Dr Mary Bousted said:

“No one can fail to be moved by the situation that our young carers find themselves in. These young people are some of the most vulnerable in our society and are carrying a tremendous burden of care. This research highlights the importance of identifying young carers, recognising their complex needs and supporting them to achieve their potential.

“ATL supports and promotes the vital work done by the Young Carers in Schools programme as a partner on our Safer Schools Network ( and works with education staff to help young carers in our schools.”

Ian Irwin, Head Teacher at Stockport High School, said: “The Young Carers in Schools programme has enabled us at Stockport School to ensure that the right support is in place for young carers. We are now more aware and more able to address their needs.

“Since beginning the programme we have seen many of our young carers adopt an improved attitude to learning and attendance.

“We are immensely proud to be able to say that caring for carers is becoming an embedded practice in our school.”


WOLVERHAMPTON primary schools will be the first in the country to run sessions for pupils on how to be happy.


The trailblazing initiative is being developed by award-winning online resource Insight4Life and the city’s Big Lottery funded Headstart programme, which aims to develop resilience and wellbeing in 10 to 16-year-olds.


Insight4Life’s Zumos programme is already running successfully in secondary schools throughout the country, giving confidential, expert advice to youngsters on a whole host of subjects while also giving them support information and coping mechanisms.


But now a new platform is being developed aimed specifically at primary school pupils, which will give them lessons in positivity, which it is hoped will last a life time.


“The young people will be played “how to be happy” messages out loud on a daily basis which will give them positive thinking techniques and skills,” said Gary Siva, Chief Executive of Insight4Life.


“This is teaching them life skills at a very young age which will stand them in good stead no matter what the future holds for them.


“The system also offers a daily mindfulness message which we call “chill” which includes relaxation, breathing and meditation.


“All of the message and information has undergone stringent evaluations and are CAMHS approved and our ultimate aim would be to roll this programme out across the country.”


Under its brand name Zumos, Insight4Life gives young people access to peer reviewed motivational support, in forms ranging from web links to suggested readings.


The new version for younger pupils is highly interactive, with the youngsters encouraged to share how they feel while also getting access to easy-to-understand information.


Gavin Hawkins, Strategic Lead of Learning Technology at Wolverhampton City Council, said that Zumos was the “perfect fit” for what Headstart was trying to achieve.


“Zumos initially appealed to us because it is something the young people can access at any time,” he said.


“We initially saw the version that is used in secondary schools and it was clearly meeting their needs, but we have worked together to develop a platform suitable for the age group we are focussing on, which is the 10 to 16 year old age group.”


Wolverhampton is one of 12 Headstart programmes across the UK, set up to help improve the resilience and wellbeing in a particular age group.


The Zumos programme will initially be tried in three primary schools in May and if Headstart is successful in its phase three funding application, it will be launched in 14 primary and five secondary schools in September.


The content of the new primary site has been developed by Insight4Life in conjunction with education psychologists from Wolverhampton, with input from teachers.


“The messages are a mix of subjects that young people around the country will be facing and those issues which are very specific to this area,” said Gavin.


“We also like the fact that we get access to a range of statistics which give us a really good picture of what young people are worrying about and are wanting help with.”


For further information visit


EES for Schools launch free ‘school effectiveness and formative assessment’ roadshows

25 April 2016: EES for Schools has announced that it will be running a series of 76 free roadshows across the UK, focusing on school effectiveness and formative assessment. The sessions, for headteachers and senior leadership team members, will consider the most important issues affecting schools today and how they can be addressed. Topics will include the reduction in funding, the challenges of the curriculum and policies around school progress, amongst other things.

The roadshows follow a two-year research project in partnership with Professor David Hawker from the University of Durham and the Institute of Education. EES for Schools reviewed over 500 pieces of global research on school effectiveness from the last 12 years, which revealed a set of 25 characteristics associated with high performing schools.

These characteristics, including learner-centred environments, staff recruitment and retention and leadership models, became the basis for School Effectiveness+ (SE+), a comprehensive school improvement system. SE+ goes beyond traditional continuing professional development (CPD), by combining self-assessment, training courses and school-to-school collaboration, all tied together with an online monitoring portal.

Chris Smith, head of Target Tracker and School Effectiveness+ at EES for Schools, said: “SE+ links the 25 characteristics of school effectiveness to the relevant points of the Ofsted framework and draws up a ‘maturity profile’, listing the strengths and areas needing improvement in the school. Headteachers can also make use of data benchmarks to see how they compare with schools across the UK, with around one million pupils’ worth of assessment data.”

A dedicated adviser supports the school through its objectives, and schools are encouraged to collaborate with other leaders and teachers to share best practice. The portal can also make recommendations for development programmes based on the school’s priorities for improvement.

SE+ aims to help schools roadmap their journey to effectiveness and support headteachers dealing with various pressures, to create a clear, whole-school plan for development.

To find a roadshow near you, visit:

First News takes on the world!


Leading newspaper for children and young adults launches into the international market


Following ten years in the UK, with more than 10,000 subscribing schools, First News is going global! First News International is a new version of the popular newspaper, with content created specifically for children around the world. The paper is accompanied by a new digital learning resources package, the iHub, developed in collaboration with teachers.


Print and digital formats will be available, complemented by the iHub digital learning resource platform. The iHub was built in collaboration with teachers and is designed to be used in the classroom and at home. Supporting a wide range of literacy levels, the iHub engages children in the week’s top stories, testing their comprehension and critical thinking skills through a variety of activities, including polls, debates, competitions, puzzles and crosswords. The iHub is matched with key stages of development to meet the needs of different students.

Nicky Cox, Editor in Chief at First News said: “Children are 27 percent of the world’s population but 100 percent of the future.  First News International has been created to help grow children’s awareness of the world around them as they become global citizens; giving them a voice and fuelling their conversations. We cover the world’s major news stories each week in a way that children can understand, enabling them to join in the global conversation.  The success of First News in the UK shows how important it is to build respect for other cultures and debate the issues facing the world they will inherit. Launching the paper and iHub internationally allows us to help teachers and parents support children in building an understanding of the world around them, while also improving their literacy levels, building language skills and fuel classroom debates.”


David Cameron said: “It’s great to see how First News has grown, informing and entertaining a young readership across the country and helping to raise the profile of children’s views. I saw for myself how first-rate your team is when I was interviewed by your young reporters last year.”


Jonathon Douglas from National Literacy Trust added: “Giving children access to dedicated news and current affairs content broadens the range of what they are offered to read. A variety of engaging reading materials are essential for children to develop as independent and enthusiastic readers.”


Schools will be able to choose from two different subscription packages:

–      A ‘Bundle Package’, which features both print and digital editions of the weekly newspaper and access to the iHub.

–      A ‘Digital Package’, which features digital editions of the weekly newspaper and access to the iHub.


First News International is also seeking contributions from students! Be heard on the most pressing global issues, such as the EU Vote and Refugee Crisis by contacting


For more information, please visit: