Landmark test result released for surface sanitiser which offers real proof of COVID-19 protection over 24-hours

  • Product first to have solid evidence of real success in frequent-use areas against viruses – 99.9% reduction after 24 hours
  • News comes as millions of businesses and public spaces prepare to reopen over the next few months
  • Test data provides assurance to organisations aiming to welcome back customers, students, visitors and employees

Infection prevention company Byotrol plc is today announcing that its 4-in-1 Multi-purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant has successfully passed the test confirming COVID-19 protection on frequently touched hard surfaces over 24-hours. 


The news comes after Byotrol plc announced it had successfully developed a new test method to verify whether a disinfectant will provide long-lasting protection against viruses in ‘real-life’ conditions. 


It’s the first time that users can have confidence that the disinfectant they have purchased will provide 24-hour protection against coronavirus on frequently-touched hard surfaces in public spaces – from lift-buttons to worktops, light switches to door handles. 


The new test standard was developed to replicate in-use conditions rather than the perfect laboratory environment typically used in such tests and makes this a significant step forward for the testing of disinfectant products in the future.


Byotrol plc, which developed and performed the new test, has a team of virologists and microbiologists who have worked on the project over several months, to ensure that the data is robust, resulting in Byotrol declaring that its 4-in-1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner & Disinfectant is proven to protect against coronavirus on hard surfaces for 24-hours after application.


Professor James Stewart, Chair of Molecular Virology at the University of Liverpool reviewed and verified the results externally. Professor Stewart was keen to comment on what the result means for the future of disinfectants: “A validation of the effectiveness of surface disinfectants against viruses using this test is an important step forward for the industry and consumers alike.” 


In 2014, Byotrol’s technical team, with the help of independent industry experts, established the BSI approved PAS 2424:2014 method for confirming long-lasting protection of disinfectants against bacteria. The PAS 2424:2014 test is currently being reviewed by the CEN Committee for approval as a new European EN test standard.


Whilst other disinfectant manufacturers have claimed long-lasting protection against Coronavirus over the course of the pandemic, this is the first time the claim has been supported by such rigorous test data, performed to a long-lasting test method against a relevant virus – and crucially, using abrasion to mimic the ‘real-life’ conditions of the product in-use.


Byotrol’s 4-in-1’ is fast-acting, it kills 99.99% of bacteria and viruses and offers long-lasting antimicrobial protection for up to 24 hours, even in frequently touched areas. It contains the ActizoneTM polymer technology from Solvay, which anchors antimicrobial actives to the surface enabling the residual antimicrobial nature of the formulation.


ActizoneTM technology traps antimicrobial actives to form a protective film on surfaces. The actives initially kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses and go on to deliver 24-hour protection and peace of mind to consumers while ensuring excellent shine and a residue-free finish.


The product is supported by a full microbiological test data pack including efficacy against coronavirus, influenza A (H1N1) and rotavirus in just 60 seconds, tested to UK and European standard test methods. It is compliant with the European Biocidal Products Regulation and can be used safely in a multitude of environments.


The business says that the test results will give its customers and end-users more confidence in which products on the market are proven to be effective.


Rick Hayman, Managing Director of Byotrol’s Professional Sales Division, said: “Many organisations and distribution channels have expressed concern over the mysticism of claims made by suppliers in the disinfection market. This latest test development will provide the necessary assurance to those organisations seeking proof of residual efficacy against viruses and other micro-organisms, whilst protecting their stakeholders as lockdown relaxes in the UK.”

Stronger Than Hate: Anti-Hate Challenge for UK Secondary Schools


USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education empower students to build empathy through the power of story


A powerful challenge which empowers children to tackle hate within their communities and take action for a better future is being launched to UK secondary schools.


Created by University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation, in partnership with Discovery Education, the Stronger Than Hate Challenge invites pupils to use their creativity to bring communities closer together. Students aged 13-18 are being asked to submit a project showing why united communities are stronger. This can take the form of a video, poem, song, blog or piece of art – and a first prize of £5000 plus iPads is on offer.


The Stronger Than Hate Challenge demonstrates the power of learning from the past and using your own voice to counter hate. The Challenge is presented by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education and Discovery Education – the global leader in curriculum-aligned digital resources, engaging content, and professional learning for primary and secondary classrooms.


Founded after the making of Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, USC Shoah Foundation collects audio visual testimonies from survivors and witnesses of genocides around the world, preserving their stories for future generations. Pupils taking part in the Stronger Than Hate Challenge can listen to these stories and be inspired to produce a piece of work which reflects the power of testimony to tackle hate.


Already a high-profile challenge in the US and Canada, Stronger Than Hate is being launched in the UK along with special classroom resources to help teachers and pupils recognise and counter hate and discrimination. Freely available at, these expert resources and videos will empower students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills, and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide.


Discovery Education has also collaborated with USC Shoah Foundation to produce special age-appropriate resources for younger children in the UK. These are available to primary schools through Discovery Education Espresso – an award-winning, cross curricular digital learning service for teachers and pupils supporting the delivery of the National Curriculum and the successful integration of digital media into teaching and learning.


Lesly Culp, USC Shoah Foundation’s Head of Programs for Education said:


“The Stronger Than Hate Challenge empowers youth voices by connecting students with the impact of testimony in overcoming hate. In continued partnership with Discovery Education, we are helping inspire new ideas and spark student imagination to foster a more just and equitable society.”


Lori McFarling, President of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Discovery Education said:


“The resources from Teaching with Testimony, including the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, exemplify the impact of connecting students to social and emotional learning as a catalyst for change. We commend USC Shoah Foundation for their continued leadership in fostering inclusivity and are proud to join forces in igniting student curiosity through the power of testimony.”


The Stronger Than Hate Challenge UK winners will be announced in June 2021. First prize is a £5,000 grant, awarded to the winning school to help teachers implement positive change. £1,000 and £500 grants will be similarly presented to the second and third place schools. iPads are also on offer for up to four pupils on the winning team.


Schools should visit to enter.


For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit

Your Questions Answered, Online Tuition from the Experts

How Does It Work?


Online tuition works as simply as the tutoring that you are picturing in your head. Students are still able to form a relationship with their tutor and learn in their own time. Online tuition happens at home, meeting the tutor via a website like Sherpa with a selection of subject specialists, all ready to help you achieve your goals. 


Meeting your tutor online stops any geographical limitations that would usually apply and you are able to search the whole country for the expert that you need. You can message, transfer documents and homework just as you would with regular tutoring. When it comes to the actual introductions and lessons, these take place over a video chat or a video chat enabled whiteboard. Just like Sherpa’s one below.

What Equipment Do I Need?


School children learning from home have access to all the equipment that is needed for online tuition. Having had to complete their school classes online during lockdowns has meant that they are pro’s with any necessary equipment. 


All that is needed is a laptop/computer with a working camera and microphone and an internet connection, the experienced tutor will then guide you from here onwards. 


Now sit back, relax and join the 84% of students who believe online tuition is more or as effective as face to face learning.


How Often Should My Child Have Lessons?


Depending what age your child may be this could vary. Other factors also include whether they are doing their key stages or the build up to major public exams such as GCSEs and A-levels. 


Most students engage in 1-2 hours a week of online lessons, at regular intervals to complete all relevant homework and study tasks set by the tutor. These lessons are then usually increased to 2-3 hours a week in the build up to exam season. 


When first meeting a tutor, the students usually either come with topics and methods that they are struggling with or they will be assessed by the tutor to pinpoint difficulties that they may be having. The tutor can plan out lessons around those topics to make the best use of their time. Focusing on one topic per lesson and then setting tasks to be done later to hone skills. This method works as a supplement to the teaching that a child is receiving in school and finely irons out any issues that may be cropping up. 


Another popular method for online tuition is to follow up the topics covered in class that week and go into greater detail to gain a better understanding and working practice. In these cases it is beneficial for the child to gain a fresh perspective from a new teacher. 


When selecting an online tutor it is very important to ensure that the tutor is familiar with the UK exam curriculums and can work in harmony with their school teachers to avoid any conflicting views and misleading information. The safest way to ensure this is to go to a site which focuses on Qualified UK Teachers


What Results Can I Expect?


By its nature, Online tutoring is a 1-1 activity. This means the full focus of the tutor is on one student and the full attention of the student is on the tutor, rather than messing about with their friends. The online whiteboard used by Sherpa is also incredibly engaging due to its large open area to upload documents and scribble on past papers with your tutor. 


Scientific studies have also shown students that undergo online tuition to retain 25%-60% more material when compared to 8%-10% within a classroom environment.

Some online tutoring platforms have conducted research on work progress via online learning platforms. Using a standardised assessment test they found that children who received one-to-one online maths tuition achieved double their expected progress. This allowed them to complete a 28 week course in 14 weeks. 


What are the most Popular Subjects?


Online tutoring is most popular around exam year and level students, primarily GCSE and A-level. The subjects which are slightly more difficult to grasp are the ones which most people tend to receive online tuition in. For example Maths and the Sciences. 


Bramble, an online interactive whiteboard provider, did research into what their sessions were being used for and found that in Q1 and Q2 of 2020 38% of all lessons taught were Maths.


Where Should I Go/Who Are the Big Players?


There are a few big names out there, such as MyTutorSherpa and Tutorful. All offer a similar ‘student led’ process where the prospective student can filter and search through ranks of suitable tutors. However, each has their own niche. 


Mytutor, employs university students to teach subjects that they came across at school. Sherpa focuses on UK school teachers to become their tutors, familiar with curriculums and teaching methods to retain information. Tutorful is very diverse and also offers face-to-face in-person tuition.  



Trust Academy Business Manager completes Level 7 Certificate in School Financial and Operational Leadership

At the White Rose Academies Trust we like to recognise the hard work and achievements of our
dedicated staff members. As well as through our ‘Employee of the Month’ Award, we also like to
highlight and share stories of staff successes.
A recent achievement worth celebrating comes from Samuel Bradley, Academy Business
Manager for both Leeds East Academy and Leeds West Academy, who has worked at the White
Rose Academies Trust for almost five years.
Sam has demonstrated his dedication to continuing professional development by recently
completing the Level 7 Certificate in School Financial and Operational Leadership.
Developed by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Institute
of School Business Leaders (ISBL), this extensive blended-learning programme accounts for 200
CPD hours and covers topics such as education funding, accountability, and contract
This accredited qualification is recognised by the Department for Education in the Academies
Financial Handbook and ensures school business leaders can meet the highest professional
standards when overseeing school finances, governance, and risk management.
Commenting on his achievement, Samuel said:
“I’m incredibly pleased to have completed this programme and to be awarded with this
prestigious qualification. I have thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the modules and
look forward to applying my new knowledge in practice.
“While I have personally enjoyed the benefits of this training programme, it will also have a
fundamental and positive impact for our students by ensuring I keep my knowledge and skills up
to date and relevant. In addition, the operations of the academies, for which I am responsible, will
continue to improve as we strive to create an exceptional environment for teaching and
To further celebrate this achievement, we asked Samuel to provide us with greater insight into the
life of an Academy Business Manager:
What is it like to be an Academy Business Manager?
Today, the role of Academy Business Manager is more vital than ever as schools gain greater
responsibility and autonomy over managing their finances and resources.
There is evidence to suggest that school business managers can help senior leaders save almost a
third of their time, covering their own salary with savings. But an Academy Business Manager’s
contribution is about so much more than financial efficiency.
“While efficiency is obviously important,” says Samuel, “my role is also about supporting the
academies I work for to make strategic decisions across all operational areas, and therefore
enabling my colleagues to focus on industry-leading teaching and learning.
“For example, one of my regular responsibilities involves working with our Academy Principals on
strategically planning our finances and workforce through a process known as Integrated
Curriculum and Financial Planning (ICFP). This approach ensures that our schools can use their
resources efficiently to create the best curriculum possible for our students.”
Thanks to Samuel’s commitment to continuing professional development, he can draw from his
wide range of knowledge about developing and leading support services, which he can tailor to
the needs of each academy and help establish a strong culture of accountability.
“I strongly believe in the power of accountability and helping managers to be autonomous when
it comes to leading their departments. Since I joined the Trust, I have led on developing a robust
financial planning framework, which empowers others to participate in the planning process of
budget setting and ultimately gives academy leaders a greater sense of responsibility and
accountability when it comes to academy finance”.
As you learn more about his role as an Academy Business Manager, you will understand that Sam
is passionate about the development and improvement of systems, processes, and procedures:
“I like clarity and I think others appreciate this too. I dislike complex procedures or processes,
especially if they are unnecessary. If we can make an operating procedure clearer and more
accessible, it will have a greater impact throughout the academy.
“For example, I recently supported our Estates Managers to refresh their approach to monitoring
facilities requests and compliance work. The result is that these managers now have greater
control over tracking and quality assuring jobs through their teams, which means the process is
more user friendly and useful for all colleagues across the academies.
“Another example of an improved process is the launch of our professional standards and line
management framework across the operational provision, which clearly sets out expectations
and available support. The aim is to foster a culture of high expectations with high support,
ensuring our support services are integrated and strong, led by teams of skilled and
knowledgeable individuals that add real value. Everything we are doing is aligned with the vision
for operational excellence.”
What does the future hold for the ambitious Academy Business Manager?
“With my experience, training, and skillset I could confidently work within another sector or
corporate environment, but I would not feel like I was making the same positive impact that I do
in schools or feel the same level of reward and job satisfaction.
“However, despite my recent success in achieving the Level 7 Certificate in School Financial and
Operational Leadership, I am still focused on improving and developing further, I am currently a
full member of the Institute of School Business Leadership and I am keen to apply for the
organisation’s Fellowship Programme and build upon my skills and knowledge. I am confident that
this will further improve the operational and financial provision of our academies.”
If you’re interested in developing your skills, furthering your career and joining a culture of
excellence, then why not join the White Rose Academies Trust.
Our Trust is going through an exciting period of growth and transformation, having recently
welcomed our first primary school and formed a World Class partnership with High Performance
Look out for current and upcoming opportunities on our careers page

What teachers need to know about online safety laws

Words by Charlotte Aynsley, safeguarding advisor at Impero

Given the incredible work they are doing during the pandemic, teachers and school staff may not be up to date on the latest news about internet safety legislation. But these laws will directly impact the safety of students in the years ahead, and teachers can be a powerful lobby for changes in their timing or extent, so it is important for teachers to understand the legislative landscape.

As children spend more time online, they are more likely to encounter threats. For example, the volume of child sexual abuse imagery has increased significantly during the lockdown. At Impero, our recent survey found that 64% of primary and secondary school teachers had dealt with reports of online bullying. It is clearer today than ever before that the work of safeguarding students must span both the virtual world and the real world, and these laws will affect this work. Here’s what teachers need to know about the two largest pieces of online safety legislation. 

Europe’s ePrivacy Directive

The first law worth knowing about is the European commission’s ePrivacy Directive. The directive, which has been in place for several years but is currently being updated, aims to improve the privacy of online communications. However, child safety has become an issue in discussions over the law. Debate in the European Parliament reached a deadlock at the end of 2020 about a potential exemption to the law designed to protect children from abuse.

Currently, the directive’s robust privacy policies offer respite for abusers and others who would harm children. For instance, Facebook has paused some scanning of private messages for child abuse because of the law’s current manifestation. The NSPCC has accused Facebook of going too far in this reading of the legislation and called for immediate resumption of message scanning.

Despite Brexit, many international companies and social media networks will still abide by the European directive. For that reason, the UK government has issued a statement calling for an urgent exemption to the law for child safety.

The UK’s Online Harms Bill

Some teachers may already be familiar with the Online Harms Bill. The legislation was first proposed in a 2019 white paper, intended to improve child safety online by establishing a new regulator to enforce clear rules for companies operating online. The law would create new codes of practice for companies and enforce a statutory duty of care, making it safer for young people to be online.

Unfortunately, the legislation has faced constant delays and obstacles from several directions.  For example, experts have recently suggested that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US may see the UK bow to pressure from American tech giants to water down the bill. Meanwhile, the coalition supporting a strong bill continues to grow and now includes educators, experts, and professional footballers who have experienced harassment online.

What does this mean for teachers?

Every day, teachers do an outstanding job of safeguarding students, both online and in the classroom. If handled correctly, these laws will support teachers by reducing  online threats to students and increasing the recourse that they will have if they experience bullying, abuse, or other online harm. In short, these regulations should make teachers’ lives easier – if they’re working properly – so it’s essential that the industry is aware of them and gets behind them.

The world’s largest online professional development conference for English language educators returns for a third year

Monday 22 February, Oxford, UK – Oxford University Press (OUP) is preparing to host 23,000 English language teachers at its English Language Teaching Online Conference (ELTOC) later this week. This is more than twice as many as attended last year’s conference, with registrants to this year’s event coming from 166 countries including places as varied as Peru, Germany, Kazakhstan, and the Cook Islands.


The three-day event, which runs between 25 and 27 February, will provide practical tips and explore current trends in the industry through its suite of expert speakers from across the English language teaching world. Key topics to be covered in this year’s conference will include, among others:


  • Classroom motivation
  • Learner agency, and why it’s important
  • Alternative ways of teaching and learning: Online, blended, hybrid and socially distanced classrooms


Teachers will have the opportunity to engage with some of the most pressing topics in the industry today, and all attendees will receive free professional development resources and a certificate of attendance.


As educators worldwide continue to rely on digital materials to support remote learning, OUP recognized the appetite among teachers to seek professional development and connect with their peers online.


Peter Marshall, Managing Director of OUP’s English Language Teaching division said:As teachers across the globe seek to navigate an uncertain and fast-changing environment, we want to do all we can to help them adapt, develop, and support their students—especially when faced with a future where teaching is increasingly reliant on digital technologies.


Alongside the practical learning sessions, attendees will have the chance to connect, network, and engage in interactive opportunities with one another. ‘We know from previous ELTOC events that both teachers and remote educators have found comfort in the sense of community the event provides—something that is more important than ever this year,’ said Sarah Ultsch, Marketing Director of OUP’s English Language Teaching division, and founder of ELTOC. ‘As well as giving educators the opportunity to connect and obtain world-class professional development virtually, we can, in turn, improve the learning experience for thousands of people all over the world.’


Reflecting on ELTOC 2020, one attendee said: ‘it felt like I had forgotten what it was like to learn, share, communicate and everything was coming back again” while another said that the normality of attending the conference and networking with others in the field simply made them “feel like a teacher again, and that is priceless’.


ELTOC is free to attend and runs from 25 February to 27 February, 2021.


Find out more and sign up here.


The most innovative and ultra safe digital school board launched today

Prowise’s newest product brings digital schooling to another level. Today, they have launched their best touchscreen yet. With outstanding writing experience, high privacy and security standards, and other smart solutions, it’s offering top performance in the classroom and during remote learning. This new product is already nominated for a coveted BETT Award and a iF Design Award. Meet the brand new Prowise Touchscreen Ten. 


Over the years, traditional chalkboards had to make room for their digital successors.

Today, the most complete and state of the art solution has been launched: the Prowise Touchscreen Ten. This all-in-one screen is everything one needs to teach and follow digital classes. 


The best writing experience yet

Several technologies are used for the Prowise Touchscreen Ten, in order to create the best writing experience. The powerful ProWrite Touch Technology is directly integrated within the glass panel. This results in the ultimate pen-on-paper experience, with blazing fast writing speed and optimal writing accuracy. The screen has 40 touch points, which makes it possible to write, erase and use tools all at the same time. The so-called display bonding technology sticks the glass panel to the LCD panel, removing the space in between. This way, the user is able to write more accurately, smoothly and quicker than ever before on a Prowise screen. Moreover, display bonding reduces the glare on the screen, since external lighting is not reflected. In order to limit glare, reflection, and fingerprints, nano-texture was applied directly on the glass panel. Apple is offering this technology, at an additional price, on their iMacs. All these technologies work seamlessly together with ProNote, the company’s own developed software, offering the best writing experience on a digital board. 



The Prowise Touchscreen Ten is the pinnacle of security. The user is in total control of their data. Only they can access their own data and grant other users permission to see or use their information. Everything is hosted from their own dedicated server, which can only be reached by its user. Both hardware and software are developed in-house by Prowise and have been tested by a team of independent professional hackers. Prowise is the only digital school screen supplier with an ISO 27001-certificate and a pending BSI-certification. Certification from these leading independent authorities confirms the incredible safety of the Prowise Touchscreen Ten. To avoid inappropriate apps and content from being visible and downloaded, Prowise created their own Appstore. All apps have been screened by a test team, ensuring that only school-proof applications make the cut.


Erik Neeskens, Chief Sales Officer at Prowise: “11 years of experience come together in our latest product. I am extremely proud of the result and everybody who worked on this major project. The Prowise Touchscreen Ten is outstanding and distinct from its competitors by design and technology. Digital schooling has never been so easy and fun. For us, it’s a perfect ten!”


For teachers

This new digital school solution was developed from a teacher’s point of view, using their feedback in order to make a product that fulfils their needs and wishes. Most of their desires are now integrated in the Prowise Touchscreen Ten. This educational game changer comes with a Prowise MOVE-camera, 6 microphones, a 2.1 soundbar that provides perfect sound to every corner of the room, and gives direct access to Teams, Meet, Skype and Zoom. No other devices are needed, which makes it the perfect all-in-one product for interactive (home)schooling.


Learning through motion

Some children learn better when they are actively and physically engaged. Learning through motion aligns with the way children experience the world around them. Furthermore, it is healthy and improves the learning abilities. Previous Prowise Touch Screens were already the only ones worldwide that offered a fully integrated solution for learning through motion and video calling (remote learning). The Touchscreen Ten takes it one step further by offering even more possibilities and improved functions. The Prowise MOVE camera allows you to play educational games on the Prowise Touchscreen without physically touching it. The combination of the camera with Intel® RealSense™ and the technology in the screen register motion, and connects this to the movements on the screen. Prowise has developed its own range of educational games for MOVE. These games trigger pupils to get in motion while they are completing cognitive learning activities. The games are suitable for children of various ages and available in different subject areas.



Children deserve both great education and a carefree future in a climate neutral environment. To fulfil both of these goals, Prowise aims to minimise its ecological footprint as much as possible. The company continuously strives for the best sustainable performance during the production process, making powerful devices that consume less energy, good working conditions in the factory and use the best disposal procedure. To compensate for their CO2 emission, the company plants one tree for every sold screen. One tree absorbs 20 kg CO2 per year, which equals the footprint of actively using a Prowise touchscreen for half-a-year.


For more information or demo request:

The John Warner School improves its network performance with a smart, cloud-networking WiFi 6 solution from Redway Networks.

The John Warner school has improved wireless connectivity and future-proofed its network for the next ten years with a new next-generation WiFi 6 solution from education wireless experts Redway Networks. The transition to Cisco Meraki has given the school a hyper-secure wireless network that delivers faster speeds and more capacity for its high-density environment with simple cloud-based network performance monitoring.  

John Warner is a mixed-secondary school with academy status, based in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. The school has expanded considerably over the last ten years and today it has 1,332 pupils who benefit from its many facilities. With numerous of school-owed and bring your own devices (BYOD) connecting to the network simultaneously, it was vital that the school created a robust, secure wireless network infrastructure that would improve mobility and enhance its learning environment, whilst keeping students safe online.

Current WiFi reaches its end of life.

Chris Baker, IT Network Manager at The John Warner School says: “We were having issues with our existing Ruckus access points failing as they had come to the end of their life, so we urgently needed to replace our WiFi. Our school has grown significantly over the years with more students and additional buildings.  With this expansion, keeping everything connected increased so we needed a more superior network that would provide reliable wireless coverage and secure network access for students and teachers with the classroom engagement and technology resources they deserve. We also wanted to move to a next-generation WiFi 6 solution that would support multi-user capacity with improved performance and speed.  In addition, we wanted a cloud-based WiFI solution that would be easy to manage without compromising on performance.”

Chris continues: “I’d had correspondence from Redway Networks and knew they had a good reputation in the education sector.  I initially contacted Redway to quote on an Aruba Central solution as I’d had a previous quote so wanted to compare.”

Redway Networks organised a WebEx meeting to run through the school’s wireless requirements and once these were met, Redway was able to use its independent wireless expertise to recommend other solutions in addition to Aruba. Chris says: “I was really impressed with Redway’s WiFi knowledge and they explained the different options and benefits of each WiFi 6 solution.  I was originally focussed on Aruba, but Meraki really caught my attention for its powerful simplicity in providing complete network visibility and management with no hardware or controllers, all from an easy-to-use cloud dashboard.” 

Chris continues: “Meraki was slightly more expensive than Aruba, but with Meraki’s “first year on us” promotion, we bought a 10-year software licence with 1 year free (Aruba only offered 5) consequently both products worked out about the same price, so I was really pleased that Redway persuaded me to look at Meraki.”

School selects Meraki WiFi 6

Redway Networks then provided Meraki’s cloud-managed access points (Aps) with an 11-year centralised cloud-managed licence (which delivers automatic firmware upgrades) and services including wireless survey, design, engineering and configuration. Due to COVID-19, Redway’s engineer conducted the WiFi survey remotely using the school’s building plans to model the wireless network environment and determine access point (AP) positioning, coverage and performance with the design verified using Ekahau’s visual heat mapping software.

Redway delivers exceptional WiFi design   

Chris says: “I was really impressed with the design service we got from Redway Networks, in particular the WiFi visualisations and configuration plan.  I did a couple of minor tweaks to the initial design, but these were purely based on AP positioning for example, how easy would it be to get a cable to the AP so this determined positioning slightly.”   With the designs approved Redway installed Meraki across the school’s six buildings and it is now benefiting from a well-designed, high performance wireless local area network (WLAN) that delivers seamless connectivity and has improved network security.

School benefits from superior WiFi and network security

Chris says: “From an administrative point of view Meraki is very simple to use so managing network devices or checking and updating access points can be done easily on the spot through the Meraki App on my mobile phone.  Hence, I’ve saved a considerable amount of time in network management which has given me more time to look at enhancing our school’s technology needs.  Our new WiFI has also given us an extra layer of network security.  Previously, we’d always had issues with the network restrictions we’d put in place as students and staff could still get through the controls and access printers etc but Meraki has stopped that”.

Chris concludes: “We now have significantly better network coverage with much faster WiFi and staff have commented on how clear the imagery comes across in online meetings such as MS Teams.  Redway Networks has been knowledgeable throughout the whole project and the service we’ve received has been exceptional.  From the initial phone conversation, through to the product recommendations, design period, implementation and final survey – everything has been 100%.”


A new report by the Legatum Institute provides a holistic analysis of the costs and benefits associated with re-opening schools in England at various points between now and the autumn.


The report builds on the proof-of-concept tool developed by the Institute in December 2020 and allows decision makers to understand:


  • Direct health effects associated with rising transmission of the virus as a result of schools re-opening.
  • Indirect health effects associated with changes in health service and care system provision, and behaviour and health impacts that are related to these impacts but are not caused by the virus itself.
  • Long-term economic effects associated with learning loss resulting from school closures.
  • Short-term economic effects associated with parents taking on more childcare responsibilities as a result of school closures.
  • Wellbeing impacts on children associated with school closures.


Based on this understanding of the costs and benefits and using of the concept of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) to assess health, social and economic costs on a consistent basis, the report demonstrates how decision makers can make an evidence-based assessment of the net social costs or benefits of opening schools on different dates.


The report also provides a sensitivity analysis to show how different assumptions about the underlying transmission rate (R) in society in the absence of any policy changes and the impact on R leading from schools re-opening affect the results.


The report finds that:


  • Primary schools returning on 8th March would create a net benefit to society[1].
  • Secondary schools returning 8th March alongside primary schools would also give a net benefit to society[2].
  • Primary schools returning on 22nd February would have been a net benefit only if the impact of opening schools on R is towards the low end of expected ranges.


Baroness Philippa Stroud, CEO of Legatum Institute, said:


“Covid-19 has fundamentally impacted all of us – affecting our health, our relationships, and our livelihoods. Policy makers are now faced with an unenviable task of making choices on how to unwind restrictions in a way that balances significant health, economic, and social costs and benefits.


“To date, this has largely taken place without much publicly available information on the basis of and evidence for these decisions. But this report, and our original proof-of-concept tool, shows that does not need to be the case. Our research demonstrates that this difficult subject can be approached in an objective and structured fashion, so that decision makers can fully understand the complex issues at hand and the various costs and benefits of different courses of action.


“We believe that by using and building on this approach and the evidence it provides, the UK Government and others stand a greater chance of making decisions that deliver the best overall outcomes for individuals, families, and communities across the UK. Our approach also provides a way for policymakers and politicians to communicate the evidence behind, and build public trust in, the choices being made.”

[1] Unless a value of a QALY of two to three times the standard HM Treasury valuation is used.

[2] Unless vaccinations are not as effective as expected in bringing infection rate down



Resources and educational tools launched to support children’s mental health

  • and Kooth partner to provide critical mental health education, support and services to children


  • The online learning platform offers extensive mental health support through an integrated curriculum


London, 19 February 2021 – Online mental wellbeing service Kooth and online learning platform, in partnership with Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, GLUU and Hodder Education Group, today announced a co-curated mental health-focused curriculum. The ground-breaking partnership will provide students using with direct access to support via, including an anonymous self-referral platform, magazines, forums, activity centres and text-based, professional counselling.


The new partnership integrates mental health support into the digital curriculum, ensuring children are supported at all levels through their educational development. Mental health resources and support mechanisms provided by Kooth will be blended into the digital curriculum for key stages three and four, with over 1,600 hours of resources for each key stage.


The integration aims to make the support and resources a part of the everyday learning experience, destigmatising mental wellbeing. The pandemic has exacerbated mental health problems for many young people. Kooth’s January data* indicates a bleak image: 39 percent of young people are presenting with anxiety and 21 percent are self-harming, with another 21 percent experiencing suicidal thoughts, an increase of 40 percent and 47 percent on the same week last year, respectively.


Sir Mark Grundy, CEO, Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust and partner said: “There has never been a more urgent need to adjust our curriculum and pedagogies to reflect the emerging landscape resulting from COVID-19 and DfE remote learning guidelines. The education system needs to respond quickly but thoughtfully to help our children by evolving a new model which places equal emphasis on wellbeing and attainment.”


Tim Barker, CEO, Kooth said: “At Kooth, we are focused on delivering effective, personalised mental health care for everyone. Greater integration of mental health into the curriculum will prompt discussions, reduce stigma and ensure that students know that there is help available if they need it. At a time when more students are struggling than ever before, we believe that our collaboration with is an important step toward providing the additional support that they deserve.”


The co-curated mental health and wellbeing programme will include integrations with Office365, Google Classroom and other popular platforms, and offer options for both synchronous and asynchronous learning and assessment. The content has been designed to meet Ofsted requirements for remote learning and DfE remote learning guidelines, and it will be accessible to students whether they are learning from home or attending school in-person.