Learning good lifestyle habits, such as being active and eating the right types and amounts of food and drink is key to helping children maintain a healthy weight throughout their life.


For World School Milk Day 2016, The Dairy Council is calling on primary schools across the country to join them for a dance to celebrate the white stuff on Wednesday 28th September. As part of a nationwide competition, teachers are encouraged to tweet a video of their class moving and shaking in celebration of milk. The Dairy Council will award their favourite videos with prizes for their efforts.


Schools can also get involved in the milk celebrations by designing a backdrop for the video or a display for the classroom wall. Other activities include downloading a presentation from The Dairy Council’s website to teach the class about the benefits of milk; holding a pop quiz or other competitions in class; or making milkshakes.


Primary school children need lots of nutrients and energy from their food for growth and development, and their requirements are proportionally higher in relation to their body size than adults.


Milk and dairy foods provide calcium and protein for growing bodies and help to protect teeth against dental cavities. A small carton of semi-skimmed milk can provide 42-52% of 4-10 year olds recommended daily intake for calcium and 24-35% of their recommended protein intake.


Another important but less known nutrient, iodine, is found in significant amounts in milk. It is needed for growth and brain development in children and a glass of milk provides about 52-57% of their recommended intake.


Erica Hocking, Senior Nutritionist at The Dairy Council, said: “At primary school age, it is essential that children have a healthy, balanced diet and get plenty of physical activity to help them maintain a healthy weight as they get older.


“Research shows that milk consumption may have a beneficial effect on growth, body weight and reduced body fatness. Schools have a key role to play there and should try to encourage children to replace sugary drinks with milk or water.


“This year, we are asking schools to get moving and shaking in celebration of all things milk. Just tweet us footage of your class strutting their stuff for World School Milk Day and you will be in with the chance of winning some milk shakers for the entire dance troop. We have even created a dance tutorial video which is available on our website and YouTube channel to inspire teachers to get moving – check it out. We can’t wait to see all of the videos.”


Animated Action with Cardboard Joe at The Civic

154 Collective are back and this time their adventures surround the thicker-than-paper but thinner-than-wood Joe and his friends.


As part of a Yorkshire tour commisioned by the Small Venues Network, a Grants-for-the-Arts funded network, Cardboard Joe and The Book of Mysteries will be showing at The Civic in Barnsley for the first time.


Every show will be different as the young audience and Dan Mallaghan’s Cardboard Joe make up the story together. With an animator, a musician and a storyteller, this is a show that you control as you decide what happens in this awesome journey full of twists and turns. The perfect family adventure with you at the heart of it all.


Expect “oodles of joining in, daft tales, loads of laughs and, as his name suggests, more than a little bit of cardboard”.


The purpose of the Small Venues Network, that came together in 2012, was to “bring some of the boldest and brightest theatre, music and literature events to the region.” After a call out for a new show that would excited and engage their audiences, Cardboard Joe and The Book of Mysteries was selected out of 100 applications with its new, fascinating approach to storytelling.


The show will be at The Civic Sunday 9 October as part of our family-fun Sundays. Making the most of the most relaxed day of the week, The Civic focuses on making family time that little bit more special by showcasing some of the most inviting family entertainment that everyone can enjoy during those lazy Sunday afternoons.


Described as “…enthralling, engaging, exciting and brilliantly different.” And with a narrative by Dan Mallaghan, live music by Nick Lewis and inventive live-animation by Fabric Lenny this show is a guaranteed hit for the whole family.


Cardboard Joe and The Book of Mysteries is at The Civic on Sunday 9 October at 2.30pm. Tickets are £8 full price, £5 concessions and £5 children.


For more information and to book visit or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.


Put your slippers on at school and help Shelter to be there for homeless children this Christmas

School children across the country are being asked to kick off their school shoes and snuggle into their slippers on 9 December to raise money in support of homeless children.

With over 100,000 children in Britain waking up homeless last Christmas, Shelter is calling on schools to take part in this fun and easy fundraiser and support the charity’s work helping families with nowhere to call home.

As well as wearing your slippers for a small donation, schools are encouraged to take part in other fundraising activities on the day, such as bake sales, raffles and slipper catwalks.

Shelter has also created a range of learning resources to get children thinking about homelessness, such as creative writing worksheets and home themed colouring sheets. These can all be downloaded and printed from .

Shelter is keen to hear from schools taking part – share your photos and stories on social media with #slippersforshelter or email

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s heartbreaking that even one child should spend Christmas homeless, let alone more than 100,000. But through something as simple as wearing a pair of slippers to school, children across the country can help to make a difference to the lives of thousands of homeless children.

“The support and generosity from the students and staff of every school that takes part is hugely appreciated. Every penny raised will go towards helping us provide expert advice and support for any family facing homelessness this Christmas.”

To find out more about how to sign-up for Slippers for Shelter, and give your support to Shelter’s emergency Christmas appeal visit

Bett Academies launches



Bett Academies, a new event developed in consultation with senior education leaders in the UK, launches this week to provide advice, guidance and inspiration to academies, MATs and schools exploring academisation. The event takes place from 16 to 17 March at the NEC in Birmingham.


Based on extensive research with schools, academies and MATs across the UK, Bett Academies has been designed to address key challenges and considerations relating to academisation. The peer-led programme covering topics such as change management, effective leadership and futureproofing education will help leaders build vital collaborative links with peers, key education stakeholders and suppliers.


Anita Pal, event director at i2i Events Group, said: “Academies are undoubtedly an increasing part of UK education. With the reach and trust of Bett, combined with the unprecedented number of schools involved in their communities, we have the ideal platform to give schools the support and advice they need to make informed decisions. We look forward to welcoming academies and schools that are looking to the future of academy status”.


Bett Academies will unite senior members of academies and MATs with the leading and most forward-thinking solution providers in the education market, giving them an insight into the available opportunities to improve the learning and teaching experience their schools provide.


Patrick Hayes, director at BESA, said: “Bett Academies promises to be the most significant gathering of education leaders we have ever seen in the UK. Educators and school leaders will be united with those at the cutting edge of industry and governmental developments for two days of in-depth discussion, inspiration and networking.


“The establishment of Bett Academies is of vital importance. With changes taking place across the UK school system at an almost unprecedented pace, from academisation to assessment changes, it is essential that school leaders have a space to come together, debate ideas and share their experiences and best practice. If you are a school leader looking for the insights and support necessary to ensure your school is outstanding in the years ahead, Bett Academies should be indelibly etched in your calendar.”


Building upon i2i Event Group’s portfolio of award-winning education events, this new event has been crafted to meet the specific needs of schools that have joined, or are thinking about joining, the growing community of academies and MATs in the UK.


Bett Academies takes place from 16 to 17 March at the NEC Birmingham, with limited spaces available. For more information and to get in touch with the Bett Academies team, please visit

Students turn to teachers over parents or friends for advice

New research from Which? University reveals that more students look to their teachers for advice on their education options, than their parents or friends.


According to the research, six in ten (59%) students turned to their teachers for guidance before deciding on their A-level subjects, whilst half (49%) looked to their parents. Only four in ten (42%) spoke to their friends, whilst surprisingly less, three in ten (31%), went to a careers adviser at their school to get advice.


To help support teachers and advisers to provide the best information to guide students on their future options, Which? University has launched a library of free, online resources for teachers, from A-level choices to beyond. It will include downloadable guides and lesson activities to inform and inspire school and college students’ plans, on topics including university myth-busting, student finance and emerging Higher Education qualifications like higher and degree apprenticeships.


In the survey of 1,000 students, conducted by YouthSight for Which? University, we also found:

  • A third (32%) of students found information on their options by doing a Google search
  • Only four in ten (42%) looked to university websites/prospectuses
  • Three in ten (28%) looked on the official UCAS website
  • A third (35%) looked on free advice websites such as the Which? University website
  • 6% didn’t seek any advice or information at all.


Alex Neill, of Which? University said:

“With more students turning to their teachers for advice about their A-level choices and beyond, we wanted to provide teachers with access to flexible, easy-to-use resources to support them.


“We worked with teachers to develop our free, specialised resources to create somewhere for teachers and careers advisers, who are looking for answers to commonly-asked questions, useful university application tips, and creative ways to encourage their students to think about their options.”


The Which? University – for Teachers section will cover the following areas:


  • Higher Education options – Apprenticeships, foundation degrees, studying abroad… There are many more options for students to consider than the ‘traditional’ university route.
  • Getting into university – Responsible for UCAS applications? From reference-writing to the Russell Group, we’ll provide you with a supportive hand through the  process.
  • Student finance – Clear, concise advice  to help students through the student finance minefield, including when and how to apply for funding, bursaries and extra support.
  • Lesson activities – Get creative in the classroom. Our lesson ideas are designed to provide 15-minute activities that will get your students thinking, discussing, researching and reflecting on their future plans.
  • Developing your skills as an adviser– We’ve gathered practical pointers to help you design and deliver a programme of careers and HE-related activities in schools for students of different year groups – from securing speakers to arranging work experience.


To access our free advice and resources, visit:

UK EdTech heads to China on first ministerial trade mission post-Brexit


19 September 2016


  • 17 of the UK’s leading EdTech companies will be visiting Shanghai and Beijing next week on a ministerial mission organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and BESA, to visit a wide range of Chinese investors, officials and educators
  • Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP, will be joining the delegation prior to his appearance at the Pujiang Innovation Forum
  • The market for Chinese EdTech is substantial, with an estimated £6obn spent per year – more than the entire UK education budget
  • UK education companies are experiencing an “unprecedented” interest from Chinese investors and educators alike, something that the sector is embracing


The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), which represents 325 UK-based education suppliers with combined revenues totalling £2.2 billion, today announced that it will be participating in a first-of-its-kind ministerial EdTech trade mission to China.


A total of 17 leading UK EdTech companies will be joining Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP and BESA on the mission, which is organised by the Department for International Trade.


The EdTech delegation includes: 2Simple, BBC Learning English, Bowater Holographics, Data Harvest, Educate, English Up, GL Education, Global Vocational Skills, Little Bridge, Prospects, ScienceScope, TeachPitch, The Exp Group, Titus Learning, uTalk, WCBS and Zzish.


Patrick Hayes, director of BESA said: “If you are looking of evidence of UK government working with industry to forge new trade relations following the Brexit vote, look no further than this EdTech trade mission to China.


“The consultative approach being taken by the newly established Department for International Trade is widely welcomed by the education suppliers industry in the UK. We are confident that the hard work that has gone into the organisation of this EdTech mission over the summer months will bear fruit in terms of increased UK exports, and foreign investment into UK EdTech companies.


“The interest in UK EdTech by China over recent months is unprecedented, and this mission is an important step towards maximising the opportunity for UK education suppliers.”


The trade mission follows a BESA survey of 131 of its members that found that 45 per cent of education companies say that establish trade deals with China should be a priority for the UK government following the Brexit vote. You can download the full report here.


Latest News: The Education Commission

Today, the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (the Education Commission), a group of world leaders composed of presidents, former prime ministers, business and education leaders set out an ambitious and credible program of reform that will make us the first generation in history guaranteeing a basic education to every single child. The Education Commission has set out the first-ever budget for global education, detailing from now to 2030 the costs and benefits of delivering a universal, high-quality primary and secondary education for all. The report is presented today, Sunday 18 September, to the United Nations Secretary-General at the start of the 71st General Assembly.

· Reforms and investment will get every child on track to enter school by 2030 and increase the number of qualified high school graduates in low and middle-income countries from 403 million to 850 million – and during the next decade, raise the numbers even further to 1.2 billion. The numbers in the lowest income countries will rise from 8 million to 80 million learners.

· Investment consortium of world’s development banks can raise multilateral bank aid from $3.5 billion today to $20 billion by 2030. Overall aid would be just $35 per child – less than $1 per week by 2030 – to get countries back on track for universal learning.

· A ‘ticking time bomb of discontent’ poses a serious threat to security in the Middle East, East-Indian sub-continent and Africa if children and young people are left without skills or on the streets without a chance of education and employment.


Even in 2030 – on current trends:
· 825 million children in low and middle income countries, half of the world’s 1.6 billion children, will not be able to secure basic secondary-level skills equipping them for the labor market
· 228 million children will not be in school
· 400 million will leave school without primary level qualifications

Instead of leaving behind half of today’s youth generation, the Commission sets out a plan under which the 1.3 billion children in low and middle-income countries can in the future attain at minimum the same level of basic skills achieved by children in high-income countries today.

The neglect of education is the biggest challenge countries will face over the next 15 years, the Commission reports. Lack of investment in education systems is crippling the chances of young people in the global workplace and hindering growth, making it impossible for low and middle-income countries to make the transition to high-income status. Failure to change course could result in a loss of $1.8 trillion for low-income countries alone by 2050 – losing 70% of GDP potential.

The Commission finds that the unequal distribution of opportunities fuels further discontent – eagerly exploited by extremists, especially in the Middle East and North Africa – and is a critical motivating factor for mass migration. Evidence shows that the failure to provide education for young children in conflict countries like Syria propels migration to Europe.
The first stage of the Commission’s plan is to have all countries adopting the reforms of the fastest improvers – the 25% of education performers around the world. Instead of only one in 10 schools being online, all schools would go digital.

Stage two of the plan is for every country to see education as an investment in the future and raise spending in low-income countries from 3% of national income today to 5% of national income.

The third stage of the plan is mobilizing the combined resources of the international institutions. No country committed to reforming and investing should be denied the chance to deliver universal education for lack of funds.

The Commission proposes major reform of the global institutions and calls for a new consortium of multilateral development banks that will pool resources, in part by leveraging the flows to the World Bank from repayment of past debts. By raising their commitment to education to 15 per cent of their combined budgets, they can generate an additional $20 billion annually by 2030 – increasing the number of qualified learners to a level ten times the number today in low-income countries.

The fourth stage of the plan calls for a Financing Compact between developing countries, donors and multilateral institutions under which overall aid will rise to $35 a year per child by 2030 – significantly less than $1 a week, hardly a wasteful use of the world’s resources.

The benefits are clear – the aid given by individual donor countries would be more focused, better coordinated, and more cost-effective; loans from multilateral banks would be more widely and cost-effectively used; and by blending grant and loan finance in a more coordinated way, developing countries would receive more funding at a lower cost. To add to the education budgets and to get more children into school as a result of philanthropy, the Commission proposes a specific ‘education giving pledge’.

Reforms and investment will get every child on track to enter school by 2030 and increase the number of qualified high school graduates in low and middle-income countries from 400 million to 850 million by 2030 – and during the next decade, raise the numbers even further to 1.2 billion. The numbers in the lowest income countries will rise from just 8 million to 80 million children. This is what we mean when we say the lost generation can become the learning generation.

Norwegian Prime Minister and Co-Convener of the Education Commission, Erna Solberg says, “The imperative to get all children and young people learning is shared by all countries. All countries will gain from action and all will face the dangerous consequences of inaction. Evidence shows that, for example, when youth have equal access to education and employment opportunities the risk of engaging in extremist activities are lower. This is a time of opportunity, but that time is running out,”

Gordon Brown, the chair of the Education Commission and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, says, “Delivering high standards of education to millions who lose out is the civil rights struggle of our generation. The evidence before the Commission proves education is the best anti-poverty investment the world can make. I am confident that if we combine investment and reform, and mobilize domestic and international finance in a more coordinated way, we can be the first generation in history in which every single child is at school.”


Get to grips with handwriting competition

Cambridge University Press has once again teamed up with SATIPS for this year’s National Schools’ Handwriting Competition, following the success of last year’s competition which saw over 9,500 entries from around the world.

The competition, which runs from 19th September to 10th March 2017, celebrates the art of handwriting and aims to get children (and adults) picking up their pens or pencils and showcasing their best and neatest handwriting. The winning entries will be judged by Patricia Lovett MBE, world-renowned calligrapher and Chief Competition Judge.

Patricia Lovett MBE said, “This competition is all about recognising the importance of handwriting, and it was wonderful to see so many schools taking part. We were thrilled with the standard of entries in last year’s competition and very much look forward to receiving the children’s entries this year.”

There are five categories including one for staff, with an overall winner being selected for each category and further prizes awarded for the winning entry for each year group. Each category, with the exception of the 11-13 age group, has a set poem to copy – this year’s poets have been chosen by the 2016 competition winners; Cubitt Town Junior School, London.

To inspire children to get writing, winners of each category will receive a stationery prize and a certificate, and teachers from winning schools can choose up to £350 of Cambridge University Press education resources.

For more information and to enter, visit

A quarter of parents say school websites aren’t up to scratch

A report launched today has found that one in four parents think their child’s school website needs improvement.


The research of 1,000 parents with children at school age, undertaken by digital agency Web Foundry, set out to uncover parent’s thoughts on the quality of school websites in the UK.


One in five parents said that the layout of school websites in particular needs some work, and a further fifth said that information isn’t updated regularly enough.


Just 36% of parents find these websites easy to use – which could explain why so few (17%) access them on a weekly basis.


In addition, a sizeable 36% of parents said they would be happier and engage more with their child’s school if its website or online approach was improved, signaling the importance of this channel as a communication tool.


The report also found that a third of parents rated their child’s school website satisfactory, poor, or very poor.


Phil Holt, managing director at Web Foundry, said: “A website is a platform that allows school leaders to showcase the values and ethos of the institution. Not only this, but it’s a valuable communication tool that enables schools to reach most parents all at once. We were disappointed, therefore, to find that so many parents think that their child’s school website needs improvement.


“Our research proves that parents would be happier and interact more with their child’s school if its website was better, and for schools this is a real red flag that they need to invest in their online strategy.


“A website doesn’t have to be an enormous drain on budget, which we know schools are short of to begin with. A good but cost-effective website is definitely achievable, and it’s really important that investing in a robust online strategy doesn’t fall to the bottom of the to-do list, as clearly it’s of value to parents.”


HCSS Education bolsters consultant team with education expertise

A leading education finance company has hired two new senior consultants to provide valuable expertise as it continues to expand its operations with innovative products specially designed for schools and academies.

Jenny Goy and Phil Andrews have joined HCSS Education, part of the Access Group, to support with implementing and providing training for HCSS Accounting – a brand new accountancy software created specifically for the education sector. Their skills and experience complements the existing consultant team who already have decades of education finance experience between them.

Phil has over 20 years’ finance experience in the education sector and has previously worked in the Education Financial Services business unit at Hampshire County Council, where he led a team that provided strategic financial support and guidance to over 230 schools across East Hampshire.

During the last two years, Phil also worked on the Hampshire/Isle of Wight partnership, providing key financial support and guidance alongside the school improvement team as they worked to improve standards and the financial position of schools on the island.

A former school business manager at a Lancashire grammar school from 2012-2016, Jenny supported the school through its academy conversion process, including migration to a new accounting system. Jenny was responsible for support services for the school (including finance, HR, payroll, ICT and administration) and hopes to bring this invaluable knowledge and experience of day-to-day life within a school to her new role.

Jenny later took on the position of chief financial officer within the academy where she was involved with financial management, monthly financial reporting, producing annual accounts and statutory returns.

Both Jenny and Phil have had prior experience of working with HCSS Education. They were part of the industry focus group that helped to develop the new HCSS Accounting software.

Commenting on her new role, Jenny said: “I am really looking forward to bringing my experience as a school business manager to HCSS Education because I understand the challenges customers face with managing school budgets.

“I completely relied on HCSS Education’s software in my last role and found it really easy to use. I could get up to date figures, pull off accurate reporting and I didn’t have to do anything manually. I am hoping the skills and experience I have gained from using the software will help with training others to use it effectively.”

Having already been familiar with the brand and its products, Phil has always thought that HCSS Education was the kind of company that he would like to work for.

He said: “My past experience of dealing with HCSS Education’s customer services has always been good and they appealed to me as a company that I wanted to be associated with. I’m really looking forward to being part of this exciting journey with the launch of HCSS Accounting. I believe this product will give schools the edge when it comes to financial management and strategic planning. I think it will really take off and be a big hit with schools.”

Howard Jackson, head of education and founder of HCSS Education, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome so much talent and expertise to the HCSS Education team. It’s great that both Jenny and Phil have previously experienced what it’s like to be our customers and they have also used our products before. They bring a customer-focused perspective with their background in the education sector and I’m pleased to have them join our experienced consultant team.”

For more information, please visit: