Third of schools falling into the red by not planning effectively

One in seven schools are still not budgeting effectively, despite more than a third of schools and academies suffering from a budget deficit in the past three years, new research has found.
A study of 265 school leaders* by HCSS Education, a leading education finance specialist, found that 42% of academies and 32% of maintained schools went into the red in the last three years.
Yet, despite struggling to manage their finances, 13% of maintained schools and academies are still not planning ahead and do not have 3 to 5-year budget plans in place.
With a third of schools and academies admitting they lack the appropriate support they need with budget planning and forecasting, this might explain why some are failing to budget effectively.
The research found that many schools and academies are making cut backs or generating savings to ensure they don’t go into the red. 82% said they are reducing spending on equipment and educational materials, while 64% said they are hiring out facilities and buildings to generate additional funds. 48% admitted to dipping into reserves and 39% are putting strategies in place to increase pupil intake to help balance the books.
The survey was conducted as part of HCSS Education’s Balancing the Books report, which takes an insightful look into the budgeting issues facing schools and academies and the effect this has on the education sector. It explores whether school leaders have financial strategies and support in place, why deficits occur and what tends to lie behind this when it happens. It also looks at how these issues can be addressed.
Howard Jackson, head of education and founder of HCSS Education, said: “It’s worrying to discover that so many schools have fallen into the red over the past couple of years, and it just goes to show what impact rising costs and available funding is having on the sector.
“It’s clear that managing school and academy finances is becoming more complex so effective planning and forecasting is vital. Head teachers and finance teams need to be reviewing budgets and plans on a regular basis, constantly looking ahead so that they can see what could be heading their way and doing all they can to prevent possible deficits. That’s why five-year projections are key.
“With so many variables affecting budgets, such as changes in pupil numbers and staffing costs, schools and academies should look to invest in a robust financial management system designed for the education sector, to help simplify operations and keep a careful track of budgets, income, funding and expenditure.”
For more information, please visit

Astronaut reveals identity of space seeds recently grown by pupils for national Rocket Science project

Tim Peake reveals whether the red or blue seed packet contained the space seeds grown for project by Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening and UK Space Agency

Tim Peake, before his mission to the International Space Station, flipping a coin to decide which colour seed packet would contain the seeds that would travel to space
A special message from British ESA astronaut Tim Peake will today be sent to over 600,000 young people who took part in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening and UK Space Agency experiment, Rocket Science.
The message will provide the answer to the highly anticipated question – were the seeds that were sent to space in the blue packet or the red packet?
The answer can now be revealed here:
Before Tim embarked on his Principia mission to the International Space Station, he flipped a coin to decide which colour packet would contain the space seeds, and the answer has been a closely guarded secret ever since.
The seeds in question are 2kg of rocket seeds (Eruca sativa) which were sent to the International Space Station (ISS), ahead of Tim, on 03 September 2015. They remained on-board for six months until they returned to Earth with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on 03 March 2016. The seeds were then packaged into the coloured packet, determined by Tim’s coin flip, and 2kg of rocket seed that had remained on Earth was packaged into the other.
Throughout April and May this year, over 8,500 schools and educational groups grew the seeds alongside each other to investigate the impact of microgravity, radiation and space travel on seed germination and growth.
Over 5,400 schools have now successfully added their experiment data to a national online database, to be analysed by biostatisticians. The results, which will be published later in the autumn, will help to form a clearer picture of the potential for astronauts to grow their own food to sustain them on long-term missions.
Tim, who returned to Earth on Saturday 18 June, said of the experiment: “Throughout my time on the ISS I have kept an eye on the Rocket Science project via social media. It’s been amazing to see so many young people engaging in a science experiment of this scale and I’m sure we have successfully created a few more future scientists, horticulturists and hopefully astronauts to continue work like this in years to come.”
RHS Skills Development Manager Claire Custance said: “Results from Rocket Science will be published later this year in a full report which will also contain the positive impacts the project has had on the young people that participated, as well as comments from the Royal Horticultural Society, UK Space Agency and European Space Agency.
“Whatever the result may be, for us, the most important outcome of this experiment is that is has enabled hundreds of thousands of young people to engage with real plant science that has not been done in UK schools before. We hope this project has helped them to see the fundamental importance of plants in our daily lives, as well as sparking their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects as a whole. We will be thrilled to know that Rocket Science has encouraged young people to continue to explore, question, discover and look for answers.”
Libby Jackson, the UK Space Agency’s Astronaut Flight Education Programme Manager said: “We are delighted with the tremendous levels of participation in the Rocket Science project, and await the results with great interest. Through the experiment, children have learnt about the importance of good scientific experimental protocol and about the challenges of feeding astronauts whilst they explore other planets. We hope that many of the 600,000 children who have taken part in Rocket Science will go on to be the scientists and engineers of our future and become a part of the UK’s booming space sector.”

New TrueTube film created to help students understand refugee experience

Not-for-profit education provider, TrueTube, has launched Refugee, a powerful film to help young people understand the refugee crisis, by showing what might happen if the UK were a warzone.

Refugee, which can be viewed and downloaded for free at, follows a refugee family who are forced to flee their home. The story is told in reverse, so the family’s origins in Britain are not revealed until the end. The short film has been created to put the situation into context for Key Stage 3 and 4 students, by encouraging them to consider how they would feel, and how their parents might act, if they were in that position and were forced to leave their home and country because of war and fear.

The video is supported by teachers’ notes, providing discussion topics and ideas for activities to explore the refugee crisis in a measured and sensitive way, whether with a focus on Syria or the wider subject of migration and refugees. Through the resource, teachers have the opportunity to build a discussion with their students, giving them a chance to look at what’s happening from a number of different perspectives, and addressing any misconceptions they might have.

Neil Mckain, head of RS at Pipers Corner School said: “Ever since the refugee/migrant crisis in the Mediterranean began in 2015 students have been asking a myriad of questions to teachers. Why is it happening? What can we do to help? These films and resources are vital tools in enabling teachers to help explain an incredibly complex situation in a sensitive and thought-provoking way.”

Andy Lewis, assistant subject leader in RS at Sacred Heart of Mary School added: “Students need to be aware of this humanitarian issue which is literally on their doorstep. Pope Francis called for a ‘common humanity’ to enable us to show compassion to those most in need. Any resource that can help teachers bring this topic into the classroom should be welcomed.”

The launch of Refugee follows another film on TrueTube focusing on the refugee crisis, titled God is in the Boat. Shot in a refugee camp on the island of Lesvos in Greece, the film focuses on the relationship between faith and a global crisis, raising themes such as humanitarian duty and the presence of God in a time of need.

Stuart Porter, head of digital at TrueTube commented: “The refugee crisis is still dominating the news every day and it’s easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed by the tragic events. Children will have seen images and news reports about the thousands of people – many of them children of a similar age to them – trying to escape from troubled homelands to the safety of Europe, which can be extremely distressing.”

“In the UK, we’re so far removed from the situation that it’s difficult to understand exactly what’s going on and why. We hope that these films will help students understand the crisis and encourage them to imagine themselves and their family in that position, and how they might feel about the countries offering help”.

To download both films for free, visit




Huge new positive changes for The Educator Magazine -AND THE ENVIRONMENT!

As you know, we have been around for quite some time now, and we have always been a printed and digital magazine and an absolute must have for Heads, Deputies and Senior Leaders of all UK Schools and Academies.

Well it is with great excitement that I bring some historic news to you…..

The Educator Magazine will now be going fully Digital, and increasing it’s already massive reach even further, to now also include over 70,000 Education Professionals that will receive each issue, almost doubling our original distribution rate.

Why have we decided to do this?

There are a number of really strong reasons for enhancing our presence in the Education industry:

1. ENVIRONMENT – As a modern, progressive, and environmentally friendly company whom have the environment close to our hearts, it was a clear no brainer that our carbon footprint was larger than it potentially could be. That had to change. Using digital only technology allows us to save energy, save trees, and essential resources required to carry out such a large printing operation each year. We believe that to pave the way for others to change their protocols to a more environmentally friendly system, then as the most trusted name, WE MUST ACT FIRST.

2. THE WORLD IS TURNING DIGITAL! – Every piece of professional research we have carried out over the last 24 months is pointing to a DIGITAL WORLD. The most popular way to read magazines is without any shadow of doubt – DIGITALLY. Whether online PC, tablet, mobile, or other device, the world is changing. The way we read and take in information has (whether we like it or not) changed. We, as the most trusted magazine in our industry MUST lead the way into the future. That’s what we intend to do.

3. COST EFFECTIVE LEADING TO BETTER EXPERIENCES FOR READER – To print an enormous amount of 72 page A4 full colour glossy magazines 3 times per year not only has it’s clear down sides to the environment, but it has an impact on our business purse strings. We believe the money we will save by going fully digital, will be better spent on increasing reader interactivity through some of the worlds best technology in e-reading services and functionality. For instance, reading an article which links to, or opens a video for extra viewing of content or similar. Or perhaps, you might want to send the article to your inbox or social media profiles? Its all here for you, as well as many many more stunning technologies and ever growing functions that digital gives the reader/user. we are also increasing our reach to almost double the amount of Educational professionals whom will now receive the magazine directly into their own mail box meaning


As well as increasing the amount of Educational professionals receiving the magazine by DOUBLE, we will also be passing that saving onto some of the most important people, THE ADVERTISERS. Our new savings have been implementwed and given to our director of Sales, whom has today already destroyed our previous rate card by around 60% which is just unprecedented in this day and age! We are also guaranteeing no price increase for 3 years, meaning advertisers now have almost double the audience they previously had for 60% less!

Publication Director, Toby Johnson beamed – “We believe that to be positively impactful on the environment, and to move with the times digitally and technologically, we will have set the bar extremely high for competitors to follow, and this is absolutely key. Having a positive impact on our environment whilst improving reader enjoyment and interactivity is essential. With this in mind, the synergy and relationship between us, and our advertisers and sponsors is already being met with some of the best feedback we have ever received, but we kind of expected that with a 60% saving for them all, to over double the amount of consumers reading The Educator Magazine!

For all inquiries regarding the new changes, please feel free to email

Join over 15,000 others in following The Educator Magazine on Twitter: @Mag_TheEducator

UK-based Knowledgemotion Receives Funding from Ingram Content Group

Knowledgemotion also enters multi-year supply and services agreement with Pearson


London, 21 June, 2016 – Knowledgemotion today announced that it has received strategic investment from ICG Ventures Inc., part of Ingram Content Group. The investment is ICG Venture’s first investment in a UK-based company, reflecting the considerable potential of Knowledgemotion’s business model.


Separately, Knowledgemotion has also entered a multi-year supply and services agreement with Pearson, the world’s largest learning company. Both announcements demonstrate Knowledgemotion’s rapid growth and the commercial opportunity it is targeting within the $5tn global education market.


Knowledgemotion is the creator of boclips – a platform that enables education providers to easily find, license and use video clips that they can embed into their teaching services. Partnerships with leading international content owners including Getty Images, Bloomberg, BBC Worldwide Learning and  Associated Press Television News provides boclips customers with access to a high-quality, rights-ready library of 1.8 million video clips. This deep repository, now the largest video library for education in the world, provides a single point for all K-20, vocational, corporate and language learning video needs. Furthermore algorithmic matching of clips to different curricula across multiple markets allows course creators to easily find the most relevant video clip for the topic they are looking to bring to life.


In the 21st century, the traditional model of teaching is being radically changed. As with other industries, education is being transformed by digital technology. More students are working on computers and tablets, whilst teachers are increasingly using screens to illustrate aspects of their lessons. Learning continues to transform into an experience that includes online, interactive services that are timely and in-depth and allow learners to explore and go at their own pace.


Within this the potential of video to powerfully captivate and contextualise learning is just starting to be realised – with a Kalutra Inc survey finding  90% of students believe video improves the learning experience. Ingram’s investment in Knowledgemotion reflects the potential video has to engage the Netflix generation and ensure it is a component of ongoing learning.


“More of us at every stage of life are learning through digital technologies, and this trend is only going to accelerate in the years ahead. Video is fast becoming the natural medium outside the classroom and as the education sector digitises it has come to understand the crucial role video plays in making learning engaging and effective,” said David Bainbridge, CEO and founder of Knowledgemotion. “Ingram’s investment will help us realise our goal of becoming the global marketplace for education video. Its worldwide reach with a variety of different customers provides boclips with unparalleled distribution opportunities and we look forward to having Ingram with us on this journey.”


As part of the investment, David Roland, Investment Director for ICG Ventures, will join Knowledgemotion’s Advisory Board which already includes Sir David Arculus, former Non-Executive Director of Pearson Education and Chairman of O2.



  • Seven in ten (70%) teachers would vote to remain a member of the EU


  • 75% of teachers think a stable economy has a positive impact on the UK’s education system


  • Over half (51%) say leaving the EU would have a negative impact on the future prospects of the pupils they teach


London: Friday 17th June, 2016. Teachers in the UK are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the European Union, with the majority believing a vote for Brexit would damage the future prospects of the pupils they teach, according to new research released today by TES, the digital education company that has been supporting educators for over 100 years.


TES conducted a survey of 751 UK school teachers between 9th and 13th June 2016, in partnership with YouGov, to ask their thoughts on the upcoming EU referendum vote.


The results are stark: 70% of teachers polled say they would vote for the UK to remain part of the EU, while 23% say they would vote for a Brexit, 6% are undecided and 1% say they wouldn’t vote.


Every region of the UK saw a majority of teachers supporting the ‘Remain’ campaign. Teachers in the South of England outside London were the most strongly in favour of staying in the EU with 74% of those polled saying they would vote to remain. By comparison, 61% of teachers in London would vote to remain – the lowest percentage of any region.


Rob Grimshaw, CEO of TES, comments: “As a business, TES endorses the pro-remain view strongly expressed by the teaching community. Remaining part of the European Union will promote the stability and economic certainty that we need to innovate, grow and create jobs. It’s also the best guarantee of the economic prosperity that underpins a strong education system and ensures a bright future for our country’s young people.”


Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, comments: “I know that the first priority of every teacher is doing all they can to secure the future success and wellbeing of the pupils they teach. That’s why it’s no surprise to me that teachers overwhelmingly back staying in Europe, because they know that the economic shock of a vote to leave would hit young people the hardest. Teachers want to see their pupils leaving school and starting adult life in a country where their opportunities are magnified, not one where those opportunities end at Britain’s shores. That’s why I’d urge teachers up and down the country who think Britain is safer, stronger and better off in Europe to make sure their voice is heard on June 23rd and to make sure we don’t gamble with the future of the next generation.”


Teachers worry over negative impact of a Brexit

More than half of teachers polled (51%) believe leaving the EU would negatively impact on the future prospects of the pupils they teach. A quarter (24%) state that a Brexit would have no impact on the future prospects of their pupils, while 12% believe it would have a positive impact, and a further 12% are unsure.


Finally, when asked about the impact of a stable economy on the UK’s education system, 75% of teachers say a stable economy has an impact, with 38% of teachers saying ‘a lot of impact’.


You can also read the views of Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan and TES Chief Education Adviser Lord Jim Knight as featured in the TES magazine today by visiting:



British parents are increasingly turning to Taekwon-Do, one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world, to help provide children with values which will keep them safe from the threat of social networking.

Taekwon-Do instructors across the UK are reporting that more and more primary school age children now participate in classes and 43,658 people are currently enrolled in a Taekwon-Do school in the UK, 21,205 of which are under 18 according to the British Taekwon-Do Council.

Children are subject to many distractions from technology and social networking these days and experts and teachers are witnessing a drop in children’s powers of concentration along with increased anxiety and sleep deprivation. However, according to Taekwon-Do instructors, this sport can particularly help by focusing on the mind as well as the body and increasing physical coordination and mental discipline.

Wayne Brown, President of ITF England, said: “In recent years we have seen an increase in curiosity in the UK for this amazing sport, particularly from parents, who see it as the perfect tool to help children deal with the challenges of modern society.

“Apart from the physical activity which all children need, it has the added benefits of teaching the importance of respect for themselves and for others, the importance of trust and communication and the value of honesty, good manners, loyalty and collaboration.”

Helen Bennett, Senior Instructor at Wirral UKTA Taekwon-Do School said, “The tenets of Taekwon-Do; courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit, are values we try to instil in our students, something which parents of our younger students find particularly important.

“Respect, trust and open communication are also the foundations of strong families. Taekwon-Do training promotes these values, helping maintain a good family structure.”

The UK has well established links with the sport and next year marks the 50th anniversary of Taekwon-Do in this Country. Liverpool is currently preparing for the European ITF Taekwon-Do Championships taking place between 24th- 30th April 2017, where as many as 1,500 athletes from 37 Countries are expected to compete.

Things that Taekwon-Do Can-Do:

  • Enhance self-esteem by heightening physical and mental powers.
  • Build confidence by encouraging children to succeed and to take control of their life.
  • Develop discipline by thoroughly training body and mind in the tenets and techniques of Taekwon-Do.
  • Teach self-defence by training children to recognise situations in which physical self-defence may be necessary, and teaching them how to control such situations to their advantage.
  • Strengthen the mind and body through increased physical coordination and mental discipline.


Call for innovations: Teachers to help shape the next 100 years of education

As part of a worldwide project linked to Finland’s centenary of independence, Helsinki-based non-profit global education initiative, HundrED, invites educators around the world to share their innovations and ideas for transforming teaching and learning practices.


The two-year project will bring together a vision of education for the next 100 years, collecting 100 innovations from Finland and a further 100 from around the world, along with commentary from global thought leaders. The findings will be documented as a book, a documentary and, a series of international seminars and as a toolkit for teachers, all shared with the world for free.


Finland has frequently been hailed for having one of the best and most progressive education systems in the world. The aim of HundrED is to help Finland maintain its world-leading status in education, and to become a global centre for sharing best practice and innovations.


Saku Tuominem, founder of HundrED, said: “Future generations will no doubt have to face some tough challenges, and how we educate them now determines how well they rise to the occasion. The model of education used in most countries has not changed significantly in the last 100 years, but there are so many ideas and so much inspiration within the education that we can share to reinvigorate teaching and learning. That’s why we created HundrED. True reform should come from everywhere, not just from the top down, or the bottom up. It’s our job to help bring these innovative ideas together and to share them with the world. HundrED is intended as a gift for teachers, students and policy makers.”


Ken Robinson, educator, speaker and author, said: “Improving and transforming education isn’t like curing an unfathomable illness, where we have no idea what to do. There are great programs and schools everywhere that are doing wonderful, transformative work with students and communities. HundrED aims to bring those ideas and experiences together to enrich and inform educational change around the world. Working with inspirational teachers and principal is at the heart of it all.”


Teachers, practitioners and educators can submit their own innovations for consideration by the expert advisory board here:


8 teachers from primary schools across the UK will be flying to Chicago this summer, after being recognised for their work as digital pioneers in the classroom.

The teachers — from schools in the Midlands, Hertfordshire, London and Devon —  have been selected to attend the Discovery Education Summer Institute, an exclusive professional development and networking event taking place in North America this July. They were chosen after taking part in a competitive application process, and impressing judges with their enthusiasm for using digital technology to boost pupil learning and achievement.

One of the lucky teachers is Gemma Clarke, Assistant Head Teacher of Grangehurst Primary School in Coventry. Gemma said:

“I’m so excited to have been chosen to take part in the Discovery Education Summer Institute in Chicago this summer. It will be such a fantastic opportunity to meet with teachers from around the world, and learn about the very latest digital technologies. I can’t wait to bring all that I’ve learned back to the staff and children at my school in Coventry!”

Christopher Goymer, a Year 5 teacher at West Hill Primary School in Wandsworth, has also been selected to attend.

“A trip like this is an opportunity of a lifetime — not only for me but for West Hill School as a whole”, said Christopher. “We already use digital technology in many of our lessons, and we’ve seen how it can transform learning for our pupils. It will be fantastic to learn about future developments, and to bring that knowledge back to our school.”

Also making the 4,000 mile trip are: Dan Ferry from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Islington, Julia Elfred from Christ Church C of E School in Croydon, Claire Trebilcock from Boringdon Primary School in Plymouth, Rachael Coultart from St. Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Hertfordshire, Stacey Trow from Delves Infant and Nursery School in Walsall and Matthew Haydon from Greet Primary School in Birmingham.

The 8 teachers will fly to Chicago at the end of the summer term, where they will spend an unforgettable week exploring the latest digital technology, hearing from inspirational teachers and networking with colleagues from some of North America’s leading digital schools.

Now in its 11th year, the 2016 Discovery Education Summer Institute will be held at the city’s Loyola University.

Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Learning Communities at Discovery Education said:

“The Discovery Education Community in the UK is really growing and we are delighted to welcome 8 new teachers to join our Summer Institute alumni. By taking part in this unique professional development experience, I know that they will return to their UK classrooms with an array of new resources, ideas, and a renewed energy for integrating the latest technologies and digital content into everyday teaching.”

To learn more about the Discovery Education Community and Discovery Education’s other services and initiatives, visit

Dolly Parton’s UK Imagination Library Conference reveals new research into how the scheme is preparing children for primary school

  • Research reveals ongoing benefits from inspiring a love of reading in preschool children
  • Nottingham first UK city to host the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Conference
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library has distributed 80 million books to pre-school children worldwide

The Imagination Library UK Conference held in Nottingham on Thursday, 9th June, has revealed new research into the benefits of the scheme in helping improve the literacy skills of pre-school children.


The Imagination Library aims to inspire a love of reading from the earliest possible age through providing a free age appropriate book, delivered to the child’s home each month, from the time they are born until they reach the age of five.


The “Exploring Evidence, Inspiring Imagination” conference shared insights from a number of international speakers into the benefits of the UK Imagination Library, and also the introduction of picture books from the earliest possible age.


Dolly Parton launched the UK Imagination Library in December 2007. Over 100 communities and businesses across the UK are now part of the scheme and nearly 24,000 children and their families are benefiting from receiving monthly books.


The UK conference coincided with a very special milestone for the Imagination Library, the delivery of the 80 millionth book worldwide since it was first established by Dolly Parton in her home county of Sever, Tennessee in 1996.


Speaking at the conference Dr Frank Ridzi, Director of Research and Community Initiatives at the Central New York Community Foundation and founding Director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Applied Research (CURAR) in New York discussed the findings of his study into the impact of the Imagination Library in preparing participants for primary school.


The research shared by Dr Ridzi revealed that 59 per cent of parents of under-fives who are enrolled in the Imagination Library are reading to their children at least once a day, this compares to just 29 per cent of parents of children who are not part of the scheme. This interaction with books from an early age is helping children develop stronger early reading skills making them better prepared for entry into primary school.


This supports an earlier Tennessee study, which found that the development of stronger reading skills continues into later years; in this study 37 per cent of seven to eight year olds who are DPIL alumni are in the highest tier for reading comprehension compared with 27 percent of non-participants.


Dolly Parton said: “People across the UK are really working together to make sure even more kids have the opportunity to develop a love of books from the earliest possible age. This program is one of the most important ways I know to improve the educational opportunities for children in our communities. I want kids to love books, to have an emotional connection – even a reverence for books. I am most proud of the fact that every child in the Imagination Library does not have to grow up without books in their home.”

Nottingham is the first city in the UK to hold the Imagination Library Conference, an event which usually takes place in Dolly’s home state of Tennessee. Under-fives in Nottingham are some of the 24,000 children across the UK who are benefiting from the scheme. Nearly 42,000 books have been given to Nottingham children since it was established there in 2009.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “It is a real honour to have delegates from all over the world here in Nottingham for the International Imagination Library conference. We want to show them the amazing work we do for our children and to show them how we encourage and highlight the importance of families reading together.

“It has been proven that children are better prepared for school and the benefits are far-reaching. Making time to read with your children is so important because shared reading leads to a love of books. And we know that reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on life outcomes – and this is as much about confidence and well-being as it is about educational achievements.”

The conference was complemented by a number of fun events designed to raise the profile of the Imagination Library in Nottingham and encourage donations for the scheme to be expanded to more city children.

For more information on the Imagination Library visit