The demand for mandatory SRE is now deafening… The government can no longer ignore this safeguarding necessity’


This morning, a public letter to Justine Greening has asked her to “consider the consequences of failing to act” on making Sex and Relationships Education statutory in all schools. The letter is signed by the Chairs of five Select Committees, including the Education Committee, the Women and Equalities Committee, the Home Affairs Committee, the Health Committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.



Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said:


“The government can no longer quietly ignore the safeguarding necessity that is Sex and Relationships Education.  Without quality SRE, young people could be vulnerable to poor sexual health, low self-esteem, bullying, homophobia, unhealthy relationships and abuse.


“Today, five committee chairs have written to Justine Greening to call for SRE to be made compulsory, including the Select Committees for education, health, women and equalities and more.


“These experts, alongside MPs, parents, teachers and young people themselves, are unanimous in their call for legislative change to make Sex and Relationships Education mandatory in all schools.


“We cannot leave this up to parents, peers or the internet. It is complex, sensitive and needs a properly trained and trusted professional. Mandatory status would mean teachers would get allocated time, resource and training so the quality of SRE would vastly improve.


“The demand is now deafening, and the government must end its silence on this issue.


“Justine Greening must make a firm commitment to give every young person the tools to navigate the modern world outside the classroom, and to have healthy relationships, which they are ready for and want. This requires legislative change to make SRE mandatory in every school.”





Catering Design Group (CDG), the award-winning restaurant and commercial kitchen design company, has won a new contract with The Beacon – independent day school for boys, whilst also being re-commissioned by Kingston University.


The Beacon, independent day school for boys in Amersham, has appointed CDG to design and build a new kitchen and servery area, in keeping with the school’s modern philosophy. With the dining room in a listed building with no further capacity to expand, the project will require meticulous design, within restricted planning parameters. The design will also cleverly incorporate multi-functional equipment to allow for an adaptable menu style throughout the week.


CDG will also return to Kingston University for its fourth project in two years. The business will dramatically enhance the experience for students, to deliver a high-street feel across seven areas, including a newly branded coffee outlet, a theatre station and a new grab and go facility.


For further information visit or call: 01327 314 860


Education initiative HundrED grows and goes global


  • As part of the expansion, HundrED has opened a London office to reach a wider international audience
  • The project has announced a series of seminars to take place next year to include the key insights from across the world
  • Talks are currently ongoing with five possible countries to launch their own HundrED projects over the next few years.
  • HundrED has also welcomed several new shareholders.

30 November 2016: HundrED, the most significant education program to be a part of Finland’s centennial year of independence celebrations, today announced a number of significant changes with the aim of expanding globally.


HundrED aims to seek and share brilliant educational innovations across the globe. Over 200 schools are already taking part in HundrED in Finland alone. The initial objective of HundrED is to create case studies of 100 Finnish and 100 global innovations in education and share them with the world for free in the fall of 2017.


“Great things are happening in schools in Finland and all around the world that deserve more attention than they are receiving. We want to assist the spreading of these ideas. Our goal is to be the world’s leading expert in education innovation by 2020,” says HundrED’s CEO, Saku Tuominen.


The organisation has gathered a great deal of international attention as well. Talks are currently ongoing with five possible countries to launch their own HundrED projects over the next few years.


“Negotiations are taking place in several countries, states and cities. Our goal is to implement HundrED in every continent before the end of the decade,” Tuominen continues.


“In addition, a series of seminars sharing HundrED’s key insights of the project will be organised in fall 2017, covering over 10 major cities all over the world,” says Chairman of the Board, Juha Tynkkynen.


To accommodate HundrED’s international reach, the organisation has recently opened a London office in the fall of 2016, headed by editor-in-chief Kate Robinson. The international team currently employs three people.


HundrED’s new shareholders


The holding company of the organisation, formerly known as SCOOL, will be renamed ‘HundrED,’ at which time the partnership with Sanoma Ventures will conclude.


“We believe that HundrED can be developed into a world-class concept, but it will require

rigorous focus and so we have decided to put all of our attention towards that,” says HundrED’s Chief Operating Officer, Lasse Leponiemi.


Amongst these changes, HundrED has welcomed several new shareholders. Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja, and Lifeline Ventures’ Petteri Koponen and Timo Ahopelto have joined the organisation.


“We are involved in the organisation as private persons and do not seek profit through our investments. Our interests lie in the sharing of excellent ideas and innovations in education. That is enough for us,” Ilkka Paananen comments.


“One key character of HundrED is that it’s not a hierarchical project, instead all innovations are shared from teacher to teacher. This democratisation of teaching and learning interests me a lot. The possible investment profit is secondary in this case,” says Petteri Koponen, Partner of Lifeline Ventures.

Explore Learning named Private Tuition Centre Operator of the year for third year running


(30th November 2016) Explore Learning is celebrating after being crowned ‘Private tuition centre operator’ of the year for a third year running in the prestigious EducationInvestor Awards.  The company, which provides inspiring English and maths tuition to over 35,000 children within their 123 centres across the UK triumphed over Kumon, Carfax Private Tutors, KSOL 11plus and Regent Learning Centre.

Explore Learning was launched in 2000 by Bill Mills, and has grown exponentially in recent years – with centres all over England, Scotland and Wales – as well as five centres based in the US under the name ‘Explore Horizons’.

Bill Mills, CEO and Founder of Explore Learning, who accepted the award on Explore’s behalf said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named the best private tuition centre operator for a third year running which is all the more rewarding given the competition we face this year. We have worked tirelessly to ensure we provide a fantastic service to families looking for extra educational support for their children and the company’s success is testament to the whole team’s dedication and determination.”

The EducationInvestor Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in the education industry, recognising individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the sector during the year.  The awards were attended by over 750 of the sector’s leading figures from across the political and commercial spectrum and was this year held at Lancaster London Hotel on Wednesday 16th November. 

Judges said they selected Explore Learning for their child-centred innovative approach to engaging children which is inclusive for parents with financial difficulties.  They also praised them for their “impressive” initiative with the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity.

The first Explore Learning centre opened in Chelmsford, Essex in 2001.  All courses are aligned to the National Curriculum as well as the Scottish Curriculum or Excellence and the Curriculum for Wales.  Explore Learning tutors select appropriate resources for each child to ensure they cover a combination of courses, enabling them to reach their full potential at their own pace. 

Standard membership is £109 per month with a £50 registration fee and members can attend on a drop-in basis.  Explore Learning offers a number of helping hand schemes – Childcare vouchers and the childcare element of Working Tax Credits could enable parents to save on their monthly membership, as well as a scholarship scheme with a 50% discount to parents receiving income support or job seekers’ allowance.  They also have a very popular ‘refer a friend’ scheme as well as sibling discounts.



GB primary school teachers feel strongly that tech literacy will underpin their pupils’ futures, according to a new study from BT and Ipsos MORI. 78% think it’s as important as reading and writing, and 92% say tech skills will be needed for all careers from now on. 97% believe it’s their role to prepare kids for a digital future – but only 25% strongly agree that they’re equipped to do so. That’s a major challenge for the next generation, as young people grow up into a world shaped by technology.

The research has also found that 41% of teachers are not yet confident with the principles that underpin tech literacy. These include problem-solving, logic, sequencing, and perseverance – the core abilities young people need to make the digital world work to their advantage.

Writing in the foreword to the report Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said: “Digital skills are as important as numeracy and literacy in the modern world and we must ensure that our children are given the opportunity to develop the understanding they will need as they grow up. We have an opportunity, indeed an obligation, to make sure that tech literacy begins at an early age. So I’m delighted that BT has continued to focus on the importance of tech in primary schools and I welcome this report.”

BT CEO Gavin Patterson added: “Given the ubiquity of tech in our lives and work, it’s vital that teachers can give their pupils a strong grounding in key computational thinking concepts – because that’s what will allow young people to fulfil their future potential. That’s why BT has made a long-term commitment to building a culture of tech literacy, starting with the next generation.”

BT leads on the Barefoot Computing Project, which was developed by the British Computing Society, the Department for Education, Raspberry Pi and BT. It gives primary school teachers free classroom resources and training workshops on using the key concepts that underpin tech literacy. Barefoot has already reached more than 28,000 teachers, and through them over 830,000 primary school children. The study found that teachers who have been through the Barefoot project are more confident than their peers: 84% said they understood computational thinking, compared to a baseline of 57% among their peers.

BT Director of Tech Literacy Liz Williams, said: “We’ve focused our first efforts to build a culture of tech literacy on primary schools because that’s where children begin to form a lasting picture of how they see the world, and their aspirations for when they grow up. We believe that getting a grip on technology should be fundamental in the early years, as important for young minds as reading and writing. That’s why it’s our ambition to make tech literacy a new cornerstone of modern education in primary schools.”


Sony Professional Solutions Europe to showcase its latest education solutions at BETT 2017


London (Excel, Hall/Stand: B250) – November 25th, 2016: The way students learn and educators teach is changing at an unprecedented pace, with 49% of educators believing the foreseeable future will bring significant changes to the way they teach*. The learning environment has moved beyond a dedicated physical space and is more interactive and social than ever before, with educators increasingly taking on a facilitator role.

With this in mind, Sony will be showcasing solutions at Bett 2017 that enable educational institutions to create and present engaging content that inspires students to work collaboratively both on and off campus.

Capture & Create
81% of educators believe that e-learning is becoming more popular, so combining the e-learning environment with the real world environment is a growing trend moving forward into 2017*. With this in mind, Sony will be displaying lecture capture solutions, high quality cameras and BRAVIA Professional Displays.

Present & Engage
From watching videos, to sharing images, to voicing opinions, students are used to being entertained online. So when it comes to sparking their interest – and keeping their attention – it takes more than one-way dialogue from lecturers to make a connection. Sony’s new collaboration solution has been developed to help educators make greater use of active learning methods. It provides the ability to share multimedia like videos, presentations and web content, and quickly connect from mobile devices or USB –sharing it live, and saving it to digital and social channels for review at any time. This tool enables collaboration between multiple groups in a classroom environment, as students and teachers can share content sources, allowing them to discuss their work on a main screen in front of the class.


Interact & Collaborate
Many institutions (72%) use social media platforms to engage with students and alumni and are looking to stream lectures and content over online forums to increase accessibility**. Sony’s SRG cameras allow educators to bring remote participants into sessions by recording lectures and plenary events to make them available online later.

Touch-based solutions combined with the TDM digital signage software available for Sony professional displays, give lecturers the tools to blend engaging content with personable insight. By giving students the opportunity to get hands-on with a 4K professional display, they can boost content where it matters most – like medical and engineering courses.

Manage & Store
With the digitisation of classrooms, the management and preservation of all materials collected become a high priority to be protected for the long term. Sony’s Optical Disc Archive (ODA) provides excellent data archiving and asset management. It is easily scalable and provides educational institutions safe long-term storage for all their digital assets while keeping archiving costs low.

Digitising older assets can be a challenge too but Memnon from Sony is a trusted provider of a range of services to digitise, restore, preserve and provide access to any older recordings.

Case Study 
Sony works closely with its customers to understand their needs, which allows the company to build customer feedback into the design process and develop solutions that address the real needs of the education market.

Sony offers one point of contact to customers and supports them every step of the way. Starting with incremental changes to existing infrastructure, and moving towards integrating new and existing technology and processes to future-proof educational institutions.

The University of Bath, for example, has worked with Sony to do just this, by installing six VPL-FH500L, and 51 VPL-FH31 3LCD projectors to enable the teachers and students to get the best possible and most engaging experience.

For more information about Sony´s education solutions and to join the discussion, visit 

*The State of Video in Education 2015 (A Kaltura Report, 2015)
**Trends 2015: Learning and Teaching in European Universities (A European University Association Report, EUA Publications, 2015)


EasyPeasy Raises Seed Capital to Reduce the School-Readiness Gap

London, United Kingdom – EasyPeasy, a leading provider of school readiness solutions, announced today that it has completed a seed capital fundraising round with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank. EasyPeasy plans to use the funding to develop a consumer version of their current B2B licensed web app, and massively expand their content bank of ‘home learning’ games.

Nearly half of children aged 5 are not ready to succeed at school because they have not achieved a good level of development at home (Marmot Report, 2014). This school-readiness gap is wider for children from low income families and strongly predicts major inequalities in education, health, wealth, and wellbeing, over time. Meanwhile the long-term economic costs due to childhood social, emotional, and behavioural problems are estimated at more than £2 trillion globally (Social Science and Medicine, 2010).

EasyPeasy helps solve this problem with an app for parents of preschool aged kids that supports learning through play at home. EasyPeasy games develop the skills children need for school, and beyond. The app effectively reduces the gap in school readiness through increasing positive parent engagement. A live B2B product is sold to Local Authorities, nurseries, and primary schools, who then distribute a free app to disadvantaged families, and a B2C app is currently in development, for launch in early 2017.

Jen Lexmond, EasyPeasy’s founder and chief executive officer, said: “Our mission at EasyPeasy is nothing short of transforming children’s life chances. By the time children arrive for their first day of school, aged 5, there is already a significant gap in development that goes on to predict major inequalities in health, wealth, and wellbeing. At EasyPeasy, we aim to eradicate that gap through the use of innovative and interactive technology that helps children build the foundational skills that will set them up for school, and beyond.”

Further commenting, Stefano Cappanari, investment manager at ClearlySo: “By partnering with notable organizations and delivering a scalable solution, EasyPeasy deals with the issue of social mobility at its roots. We were delighted to support EasyPeasy, a truly research-based venture, with capital from mission-aligned investors and a new board member, so that it can deliver a commercial solution to more and more families.”

Savings clubs and financial education in primary schools to be expanded


London, UK: A network of savings clubs and financial education in primary schools across England was formally launched on the 24th November with backing from the Archbishop of Canterbury.


LifeSavers, a programme promoting financial education and savings clubs administered by credit unions in primary schools, is on course to reach 30,000 children by the end of 2018 after a successful pilot scheme.


The expansion was being marked by a launch event at Virgin Money’s Gosforth Office attended by the Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman, the Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs and the Chief Executives of Virgin Money and the charity Young Enterprise, Jayne-Anne Gadhia and Michael Mercieca.


The launch was being attended by teachers and pupils from some of the 10 schools in the North East which have enrolled in the programme.


LifeSavers gives children practical experience of money management through saving small, regular amounts of money in savings clubs administered by credit unions.


The scheme encourages support from parents and volunteers and provides teacher training and resources to help schools integrate financial education across the curriculum.


The programme is a partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation and Young Enterprise, the enterprise and financial education charity.


A grant from Virgin Money will enable LifeSavers to reach 120 more schools by 2018 in six areas including the North East, Nottinghamshire, South East London and West Yorkshire.


An additional funding boost from the Government announced earlier this year will enable the resources and learning to be shared with many more primary schools across the country.


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “How we think about and use our money is central to a fulfilled and contented life.


“That is why I strongly support this exciting initiative to encourage children to develop positive attitudes towards money and the habit of saving. This programme has the potential to make a significant difference to the lives of millions of children and future adults.”


Bishop Christine said: “Understanding the place of money can be a make-or-break issue for many people. The great thing today is that we’re seeing vision and action brought together in partnership between the charity, business, and education sectors to work for the flourishing of our next generation – and what a privilege to see this launched from the North East.”


Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said: “LifeSavers is a crucial part of the work of our charity to ensure that all young people leave school with the knowledge, experience, and skills to manage their finances. LifeSavers will have a real impact on young people’s futures.”


Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Virgin Money Chief Executive, said: “Virgin Money is delighted to be supporting the LifeSavers programme.


“We are very much looking forward to working with our partners to make a positive and sustainable difference to as many young people as possible.”

Synel UK provide innovative solution for parents



As parents’ concerns for safety & truancy are increasing, cutting-edge Student Smartphone App, EduReg School APP by Synel UK provides an innovative solution

Attendance scores are dropping and complaints about the safety of children are starting to take a toll on your schools reputation? Today, Synel UK a leading Software Solutions provider, announced the launch of a new smartphone App that can provide an effective solution to these problems. EduReg School App helps parents to keep track of their children school attendance and put their worries at ease. EduReg School App provides easy registration of students or staff with smart cards, QR codes or with manual entry. College and University students can utilise the same app on their own phones to track their attendance and keep up with their daily timetable.

Owner & Director of Synel UK & The Synel Group, Mr. Erez Buganim, says: “We are excited to launch our unique EduReg School App. EduReg is a web based suite of modular solutions for managing pupils interactions with the common elements of School life. In an independent life of todays pupils, there is increasing care for protection and security of our children. Synel is happy to deliver a unique solution that creates a safe world for the young generation without limiting its independent boundary”.

Synel’s UK General Manager, Mr. Yuval Gonen, says, “EduReg School App was designed by Education experts and with our long existing customers. We wanted a simple and user friendly interface for students with a Smartphone app. Most importantly this app allows parents to effectively monitor their children attendance and whereabouts”.

EduReg School App provides handy and useful features for Schools, Colleges or Universities:

  • Easy Registration
  • School Timetable
  • Push alerts and emails for students missing or late
  • Students attendance reports

Engaging Parents & Students

The EduReg School App can help engage both parents and students to improve student’s attendance and monitor their daily programme. The parent or student can login to view timetables and historical attendance reports, with easy to understand charts and statistics.

Parents can finally feel reassured about the safety of their children. EduReg School App immediately notifies parents with push alerts and emails when students are missing or late. So at any instance they can monitor the exact time their child clocks in and out of school.



Pupils from a High Wycombe primary school stepped behind the camera at Discovery Channel on Friday, after their classmate scooped first prize in a national competition.

Lauren Croucher from Hughenden Primary School was the winner of the Make Your World Bigger competition – part of a Discovery Education and Discovery Channel initiative to keep children learning during the summer holidays.

6-year-old Lauren amazed the judges by creating a website showcasing her summer learning, which included making a dinosaur model, studying ancient civilisations and even designing a space station! Lauren was inspired after using Discovery Education Espresso’s digital learning service at home during the summer break. The award-winning multimedia resources were offered freely to parents during the holidays as part of the Make Your World Bigger campaign.

Accepting her prize on Friday, Lauren and her classmates took an exclusive tour of London’s Discovery HQ – home to shows such as Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Gold Rush, Wheeler Dealers and Marooned with Ed Stafford. Stepping inside the exciting world of broadcasting, the children put their film-making skills to the test by writing, filming and editing their own promotional video. They also enjoyed visiting the Discovery Channel media centre and meeting with real-life programme makers.

Sarah Leighton Headteacher of Hughenden Primary School said:

“The children had a fantastic day at Discovery HQ and were fascinated by their insight into the world of television. The Make Your World Bigger competition and digital resources really encouraged our pupils to keep learning and trying new things during the school holidays – and we’re delighted and proud that Lauren was chosen as the national winner.”

Catherine Howard, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

“The judges were very impressed with Lauren’s entry which was highly creative and showed a real sense of fun. The competition was designed to keep pupils learning and achieving outside of the classroom – and we’re thrilled that so many children used our digital resources to inspire them to Make Their World Bigger this summer.”

With over 23,000 award-winning resources including interactive games, ebooks and short videos, Discovery Education Espresso has something to spark interest in every child. From exploring the limits of outer space to diving to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s plenty to keep young learners engaged — and to inspire them to continue to discover and learn new things.

Schools interested in a free trial of the Discovery Education Espresso service can request one here.