Lycamobile joins BBC campaign to support home schooling

  • Lycamobile will work alongside the BBC to provide SIM cards to school children across England, Wales, and Scotland through the charity Business2Schools
  • The collaboration is an extension of BBC’s successful ‘Give a Laptop’ campaign which saw thousands of laptops donated to school kids

As families across the country adjust to home schooling, increasing access to data has become a major priority.

Online educational resources, which often involve videos and dynamic content, can be costly if families do not have access to unlimited broadband or mobile data packages. For the nearly 2 million families that do not have access to any internet services, accessing these resources is impossible.

To ensure that no family is left behind, Lycamobile is donating SIM cards with 20GB of free data to families across England, Wales, and Scotland as part of a campaign led by the BBC. The SIM cards will be distributed by the charity Business2Schools to eligible families that need them most, ensuring that kids can continue their education.

Navanit Narayan, Group Chief Operating Officer of Lycamobile, said:

“Lycamobile is proud to work alongside the BBC and Business2Schools to increase access to data for families struggling to facilitate online learning. We are determined to support our customers and their families through the pandemic. It is our hope that, by donating these SIM cards, vulnerable children will be able to continue their education without their families having to worry about bills at the end of the month.”

Throughout the pandemic, we have maintained our committed to supporting our customers and their families through these difficult times. Last year Lycamobile launched a programme in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports to give NHS heroes a free month of our Unlimited International Plan with an ongoing 20% discount thereafter; and earlier this year, we partnered with the Department for Education to deliver free data to families across England.

To find out more about our covid support initiatives please visit

To learn more about Business2Schools and the BBC Give a Laptop campaign, please visit:



A study undertaken by The University of Lincoln has revealed that airborne pathogens in a classroom environment can be significantly reduced by the use of effective air purification systems.  The report was commissioned by Intratek, providers of some of the world leading air purification systems, and shows that the levels of airborne micro-organisms can be reduced by around 50% with an effective air purification system. This project was fully funded by The Productivity Programme for Greater Lincolnshire which is a European Regional Development Fund Programme.


The independent investigation by the University of Lincoln into the efficacy of Intratek’s biocidal air handling unit looked at differences in the levels of microbial growth between treated and untreated air.  The University’s scientific team found statistically-significant differences when the air handling unit was operational and concluded that, on average, bacterial counts dropped by half and fungal counts reduced by around two thirds when the unit was in a closed room environment.


The report is of particular significance considering the threat posed in schools by airborne pathogens, including respiratory viruses such as Covid 19*.  The law requires schools to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air as well as good ventilation.  This, coupled with social distancing and frequent handwashing, are some of the key measures schools need to introduce if they are to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Good ventilation reduces the concentration of pathogens in the air and therefore reduces the risks from airborne transmission. This happens when people breathe in small particles (aerosols) that can be present in the air after someone with a virus has occupied an enclosed area.  During the cold winter months, providing adequate ventilation can pose challenges in keeping pupils and staff warm.  Using an effective air purification system can help provide clean air without the cold.


The Tiokraft products, sold by Intratek Ltd, use a patented photocatalytic filtration system that is designed to service the maximum amount of contaminated air.  The systems eliminate pathogens and microflora by the photocatalytic process of oxidation. Unlike most purification machines, Tiokraft therefore do not use replaceable particulate absorbing filters which can clog up and need changing on average every month. Tiokraft products need no maintenance so the overall lifetime cost is reduced significantly.


Matthew Alexander, Director at Intratek, comments: “This research should be a welcome boost for schools looking to provide a safer environment for pupils and teachers. The government’s advice on ensuring clean air helps reduce the risk of pathogens spreading and our air purification systems are now proven to remove microorganisms from air.” 


In the study, air treated by Intratek’s biocidal air handling unit was tested twice daily over a22 day period. The report concluded that there was an, “Overall reduction seen in bacterial and fungal counts as a function of air handling.  This has led to an overall reduction seen in bacterial / fungal counts taken from an environment.”


Intratek are leaders in fresh ideas and new, affordable technology. The company works across the business, education and manufacturing sectors offering a range of products to suit budgets and business requirements.  For more information visit

NASA and Discovery Education Invite Teachers and Students Worldwide to Join the Exploration of Mars Through a Special Livestream of the Perseverance Rover’s Landing


On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance Rover is set to touch down on Mars and begin exploration of the Red Planet. To commemorate this historic occasion, Discovery Education—the global leader in curriculum-aligned digital resources, engaging content, and professional learning for primary and secondary classrooms—is partnering with NASA to bring students worldwide a special no-cost livestream of this momentous event.  


This special livestream of the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars is scheduled to begin on Thursday, February 18 at 7:15 p.m. GMT.   Featuring insights from NASA experts and a behind-the-scenes look at the activities of the Perseverance mission control team, the livestream will culminate with the rover’s real-time touchdown on Mars. To register to attend this event, visit Discovery Education’s Mars Landing Livestream homepage.


In addition to the livestream, Discovery Education and NASA are making available exclusive resources supporting the integration of NASA’s latest mission to Mars into teaching. A new ‘Missions to Mars’ channel within the upgraded version of Discovery Education Espresso includes engaging videos and fun factsheets to help primary school children learn about different space missions and explore the red planet as they countdown to touchdown.  Using these resources, teachers can fuel student interest in space, build knowledge, and check for understanding about relevant topics.  


“Space exploration has the unique ability to inspire students’ imaginations, especially in the fields of STEM,” said Mike Kincaid, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of STEM Engagement. “We’re excited to partner with Discovery Education to bring the extraordinary innovation of the Mars 2020 Landing to students nationwide.”


Following the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars, the livestream will be archived on the upgraded version of Discovery Education Espresso. Discovery Education’s award-winning service connects primary school teachers to a vast collection of compelling high-quality, curriculum-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, and professional learning resources. Together, these resources give teachers everything they need to facilitate instruction in any learning environment and create lasting educational impact.


Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualising, and organising exciting new content and timely resources to the platform each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of teachers. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to the National Curriculum and help educators to bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.


“Discovery Education is thrilled to partner with NASA to bring the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars to students worldwide,” said Scott Kinney, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Education. “Events like this take students to places they could never visit and help them see the ‘real world’ applications of what they are learning in the classroom while also driving deeper engagement and, ultimately, higher academic achievement.”


For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Pearson launches major national consultation into the future of qualifications and assessment in the UK

  • For the second year running Covid-19 will fundamentally impact exams in the UK 
  • Pearson is launching a major national consultation looking at the wider issue of assessment and qualifications for 14-19 year olds, amid national debate on the future of GCSEs 
  • Leading UK and international education experts will help guide the multistage research project  


Pearson, the world’s learning company, has today launched a major new consultation seeking views on what an effective system of assessment and qualification looks like for young people between 14 and 19. 


The national consultation will engage learners, parents, educators, employers and parliamentarians to get their views on how the system of qualifications and assessment in England can best deliver for students between the ages of 14 and 19 and enable them to successfully meet the opportunities and challenges of the changing economy and world of work. 


The consultation will run from 15 Feb – 31 March and is the first step in an ongoing project that will draw on a panel of esteemed education experts and external research partners – culminating in a final report in Autumn 2021.  


Rod Bristow, President UK & Global Online Learning, Pearson said: 


“For the second year running, COVID-19 will force us all to adapt and rethink how we both educate and assess our young people. 


“While we work with the government, schools and colleges and other exam boards to make sure the system delivers for learners in 2021, we also have a responsibility to look further ahead and use this unique moment to consider all of the issues. 


“So far, public debate is focussing narrowly on whether GCSEs should be scrapped but we recognise that GCSEs are just one stage in the age 14 to 19 journey. Coherence across all stages of education is essential and Covid aside, we need to ensure what young people learn, how they learn it and how it is assessed, is fit for the 21st century.” 


The consultation will consider three fundamental areas: 


  • Conditions and Environment: exploring shifting requirements of the digital first generation and how wider economic, technological, and societal trends are impacting both the demands of, and requirements for, today’s learners. 
  • Purpose and Value: considering the role that education within the 14-19 phase should play in helping develop confident and well-rounded learners and supporting their life aspirations. 
  • Trust and Equity: exploring issues around fairness and coherence in the system to maintain public confidence in qualifications and assessment, and to ensure that the system delivers equitably for all learners and serves the diversity of the UK. 


The findings of the consultation will be published in an interim report in May and inform a second phase of qualitative research by an external research partner. To guide the project, and set the direction for the second phase research, Pearson has assembled a panel of educational experts representing assessment and qualifications, academia, former Education Secretaries and Ministers, and leading sector representative bodies (see notes for full list). 


“With our global reach, we know that consumer demands and behaviours do not stand still. For us to contribute towards solving the biggest challenges of our time – including climate change and social inequality – it’s clear that we have to fully enable the passion and purpose of our employees in order to succeed. Therefore, it’s clear to us that the education system must reflect today’s challenges and do everything to make sure that every learner is able to reach their potential.” Leena Nair, Chief Human Resources Office, Unilever 


“Recent years have emphasised the importance of STEM in an increasingly data and information driven global economy. What we cannot overlook however, is the critical importance of people skills, fostering a growth mindset and enabling a culture for success.  Are we doing enough to ensure our young people have the balance of these skills, the emotional intelligence and the entrepreneurial edge to succeed? Those are important questions for this vital project.” Jo Marke, Global Learning Delivery Leader, IBM1 



  • With many workers going the extra mile to keep us safe during the latest lockdown, GAMA Healthcare launches search to find the nation’s Cleaning Heroes –
  • £12,000 prize fund –


With the third lockdown upon us, a leading British business is supporting those on the frontline who are helping suppress the spread of the virus through cleaning.  GAMA Healthcare, Britain’s leading supplier of disinfectant wipes and infection prevention training to the NHS, has launched the Cleaning Heroes award to recognise and reward workers who have taken on cleaning responsibilities. While many of us stay at home, many thousands of workers are playing a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19 by maintaining high hygiene standards. 


This year teachers and school staff have gone the extra mile to keep us safe, working overtime to ensure our kids can get back to school and taking on new roles to keep their classrooms clean.


With 64% of people more concerned about cleaning practices than before the pandemic, learning organisations are relying on staff to take on cleaning duties more than ever as we face this next wave of lockdown. Many employees have had to learn new skills in infection prevention cleaning, and with data suggesting the new strain of the virus is 70% more transmissible, keeping cleaning standards high is essential to keep us safe.


The search by GAMA Healthcare will look for the best workers who have taken on cleaning responsibilities to keep us safe over the past year, from sectors including travel and transport, delivery drivers, schools, community healthcare, supermarkets and hospitality. Those people who are helping to provide and maintain clean, sanitised and safe environments for the rest of the country.


People who are benefiting from this huge effort to keep the country clean, are being encouraged to enter someone they know who is working to help suppress the virus through cleaning. A winner will be decided by an expert in infection prevention at GAMA Healthcare and chosen from each region across the UK, with a prize of £1,000 per person. Running from the 11th – 31st January 2021, entries should be submitted via the GAMA website (, with entrants given the opportunity to say why the nominee should be chosen as a winner.


Dr Guy Braverman Managing Director & Co-Founder of GAMA Healthcare says: 


“The world has changed and COVID-19 has made us all more aware of how easily viruses can spread and the importance of infection prevention through effective cleaning techniques. We’re calling for businesses, business groups, professional associations and individuals to get in touch and nominate someone who has gone above and beyond to ensure standards of cleanliness are in place to keep the services we rely on operational. Improving surface hygiene is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of infection and protect employees and customers. We’ve got a wealth of products, training and awareness building skills – honed through years of supporting the NHS and we are proud to recognise the workers who have become Cleaning Heroes in the fight against COVID-19.”


2021 Bett Awards: Discovery Education recognised in 3 categories.


Active Kids Do Better Nike programme and partnerships in Chile and Egypt shortlisted for prestigious prize


A no-cost digital programme which has helped thousands of UK primary school children to stay active during the pandemic has been shortlisted for a 2021 Bett Award. 


Discovery Education and Nike’s Active Kids Do Better helps teachers and parents keep kids moving throughout the day – whether in the classroom or at home. Easily accessible online,  it provides fun videos, activities and printable resources which are available on-demand.


Launched in 2018 by Olympic sprinter Daryll Neita, Active Kids Do Better has been used by thousands of pupils across the United Kingdom. As opportunities to exercise and take part in regular sports and activities decrease Active Kids Do Better is fast becoming a go-to resource for teachers and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Active Kids Do Better means kids can benefit from easy access to games and exercise wherever their school day takes place. The programme’s engaging digital resources are perfect for use in the classroom, at home or even on the move, ensuring that parents can keep children active during home schooling or blended learning. 


Howard Lewis, UK Managing Director of Discovery Education said: 


“We’re delighted to be shortlisted for a BETT award, one of the most prestigious accolades in the education industry. As the pandemic restricts children’s usual activities, our Active Kids Do Better partnership with Nike is helping parents and teachers to build movement and play into the school day, keeping kids active and healthy at this challenging time.”


Dan Burrows, Nike’s Senior Director of Social and Community Impact, EMEA said:


“Our partnership with Discovery Education is part of Made to Play, Nike’s ongoing global commitment to get kids moving through play and sport. With these opportunities limited by the pandemic, regular physical activity has never been more important for kid’ wellbeing. It’s rewarding to see Active Kids Do Better receive this recognition for providing teachers and parents the tools they need to keep kids moving”


Active Kids Do Better is nominated in the Free Digital Content or Open Educational Resources category of the 2021 Bett Awards. 


Discovery Education is delighted that two of the company’s key international partners have also been shortlisted for The Global Showcase Award for International EdTech Programme of the Year.


  • Chile Ministry of Education: Discovery Education has worked in partnership with the Ministry since 2018, supporting the Presidential EdTech initiative Me Conecto Para Aprender (I Connect To Learn) which aims to provide every Chilean student with equal access to technology and resources. Discovery Education has supported the Ministry by providing dynamic digital content and professional development to thousands of students and teachers across Chile, preparing young people for success in the global economy.


  • Egypt Ministry of Education: Discovery Education has worked in partnership with the Ministry since 2015, providing high-quality digital content to the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB) – the world’s largest collection of online resources which is available free of charge to the entire Egyptian population. The Discovery Education-EKB partnership now delivers digital learning resources and professional development to over 23 million teachers and students across Egypt and supports the country’s thriving education system. 


Robin Headlee, Managing Director of Discovery Education International said:


“We are delighted that our highly valued partners – the Ministries of Education in both Egypt and Chile – have been recognised for the outstanding efforts to support the success of all students in their respective countries. The vision, the rigour and the wholistic approach to improving the lives and the life chances of the young people of Egypt and Chile is to be applauded. These are both ‘once in a generation projects’ and the whole Discovery Education team is honoured to be part of them.”


The 23rd annual BETT Awards will take place on 21st June 2021 in London. Recognised by many as the most important awards in the industry, BETT finalists are seen to be at the cutting edge of EdTech provision in schools. 




New digital resources help primary schools observe Safer Internet Day and promote the safe use of technology 


Discovery Education is proud to support Safer Internet Day – 9th February 2021 – by providing dynamic new digital resources to help primary school children stay safe online.


Available via the award-winning digital learning service Discovery Education Espresso, the new resources have been created by the UK Safer Internet Centre to help schools observe this year’s event and help pupils navigate the online world safely. 


Featuring videos, activities, assemblies and complete lesson plans, this compelling new content helps pupils build digital literacy skills and understand who and what to trust online. Child-led films explore issues such as fake news and disinformation while fun activities teach children to question the motives behind what they see and read on the internet. 


Designed for pupils from Foundation to Year 6 and suitable for remote or in-class teaching, the resources will inspire the safe and positive use of technology and empower children to take control of their digital lives. 


Kristina Mjomark, Head of Curriculum Content at Discovery Education said:


“Discovery Education is proud to support Safer Internet Day. During the pandemic, children are spending much more time online, so it’s never been more important to equip them with the skills to use technology safely. These exciting new resources enable teachers and parents to support children on their digital journey, helping to make the internet a safe, positive and enjoyable place for everyone.”


Now in its 18th year, Safer Internet Day UK is organised by The UK Safer Internet Centre, a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL. With a theme of ‘An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world”, this year’s event will see schools and organisations unite to inspire positive changes online, raise awareness of safety issues and participate in events and activities right across the UK. 


The new Safer Internet Day resources are available to Discovery Education subscriber schools via the new upgraded version of Discovery Education Espresso, the curriculum-centred primary teaching resource. 


Explore Discovery Education’s award-winning digital learning services at


Find out more about Safer Internet Day at


KidZania London kicks off 2021 by introducing the new KidZania Mayor!

London, February 2021: KidZania London, the UK’s largest indoor edutainment centre, has kicked off the New Year with a brand new KidZania Mayor! Following a month-long process of searching for the perfect candidate back in December 2020, KidZania are thrilled to announce that 10-year-old Livia Annabel Stone will be taking over the role, bringing with her a range of exciting ideas and opportunities for the indoor city! 


Applicants for the top job had to submit the three things they would like to add to KidZania if given the opportunity. Rotherhithe local Livia suggested an ‘AdultsZania’ area to help parents both relax and get involved throughout the day as well as a kid-run restaurant. She also proposed the introduction of a brand new KidZania courtroom complete with judges, lawyers and even criminals! 


“I’m so excited to have been chosen and I can’t wait to represent the citiZens of KidZania! I know that it’s a big job but I’m ready for the challenge and already have so many exciting ideas to help KidZania become bigger and better,” says Livia. 


Being Mayor does have its perks, including her very own free annual pass as well as the key to KidZania city and a custom mayoral robe to wear at special events such as parades and opening new attractions. 


KidZania received an impressive 115 entries with some incredible and creative suggestions. Some of the most popular included implementing a recycling centre, adding a kindness/wellness centre where citiZens can share their feelings, as well as international food activities such as pizza and sushi making! 


“We launched the Mayor programme two years ago to further replicate the real world that we have created within KidZania City and give our young visitors further opportunity to take part, , voice their opinions and feel empowered,” says Head of Marketing and Digital, Anya Mackessy.


“The creativity and leadership we have seen from applicants and our winners has been absolutely outstanding and we’re delighted to have Livia join as the newest KidZania Mayor, taking over from Kishan Shah.”


“Although our indoor city is currently closed, we are collaborating with Livia behind the scenes on all things fun for online learning and some top-secret and can’t wait to share these when we reopen our doors once again.”


For more information on KidZania, FAQs around the latest government guidelines and to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements, please visit


EarthSense Collaborates with WSP to Investigate Air Pollution Around London Schools

EarthSense, the air quality expert, is collaborating with professional services and consulting firm, WSP to assess the air quality around a consortium of schools in London.

EarthSense Zephyr® air quality sensors have been deployed throughout a group of schools in the City of London due to the growing concern of parents and teachers about the impact of high levels of air pollution on pupils’ long-term health. Zephyr® sensors are situated in the main reception and outdoor areas of each site to help identify and mitigate sources generating spikes in air pollution.

The project sees Zephyr® air quality sensors recording concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5) in and around each location to establish the exposure levels pupils and staff experience during school times.

Using an active sampling mechanism which takes ambient air pollution measurements every 10 seconds via an inlet, followed by releasing the sample through a separate air outlet, Zephyr® air quality sensors provide WSP project managers with real-time NO2 and PM2.5 measurements which are viewed via the EarthSense web app, MyAir®. The web app provides users with quantified information about measured air pollutant concentrations, which can be viewed in an interactive map, downloaded, and analysed. Using this data, those involved in the project can easily identify spikes and trends in air pollution levels. 

Once dangerous NO2 levels are detected, air quality data from the sensors will be used to determine the requirement for, and gauge the success of, measures to reduce pollution. Once determined, informed pollution interventions can be implemented and supporting data can be used to keep parents of pupils and staff notified about pollution levels. Schools will now be able to advise parents and pupils on actions to take to reduce their exposure to poor air quality on their journeys to and from school.

Dr Peter Walsh, Technical Director at WSP stated: “The Zephyr® sensors have proven to be the optimal device for our clients’ needs as they are unobtrusive, relatively silent monitoring devices, and require minimal manual intervention. They have provided our client with a continuous feed of both ambient and indoor air quality data, and an instantaneous data download, via MyAir®, from within a classroom environment with no disruption to the pupils or class activities.”

Commenting on the project, Managing Director at EarthSense, Tom Hall adds: “We initially started working with WSP to carry out a study on a traffic management system in the Midlands and it’s great to see our partners using our products and services across a variety of other industries impacted by air pollution.”                                                                                                                                    
Tom continues: “It’s important that we continue to work on projects like these as London experiences higher levels of pollution than anywhere else in the UK. With almost nine million people residing in the city, in conjunction with the lack of open green spaces available, emissions from the increased number of vehicles and underground transport get trapped in built-up areas and can enter the respiratory system of those nearby.”




Triton Construction has completed the delivery of a critical new £3.5 million extension for Chorlton Park Primary School in Manchester, despite considerable setbacks caused by the pandemic.

At the end of last year Triton secured the 12-month contract to demolish an existing 1960’s school block and replace it with a new state-of-the-art facility including 8 classrooms and a sports hall.  The works also included external drainage and landscaping.

The project was subsequently beset by considerable restrictions to site activity and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.  Since it was imperative that the school was able to access the extended facilities by the October 2021 term, Triton anticipated shortage of materials such as bricks and glazing and pulled out all stops secure advanced supplies. It also recalculated an already complicated contractor works programme to adhere to restrictive distancing rules to prevail.

Chris Quinn, at Triton Construction, said, “We are delighted to hand over the extension to Chorlton Park Primary School on time and on budget, despite the various setbacks.  With prior preparation and planning it is not impossible to deliver, even in unforeseeable circumstances.  We attribute this to the fantastic collaboration between all parties to achieve a common goal and the school itself has been hugely cooperative and flexible.

Triton Construction has extensive experience in all areas of the education sector with recent projects including a £6 million refurbishment and new-build teaching facilities at Astrea Academy Woodfield in Doncaster, a £1.95 million extension to Bolton Muslim Girls School, a £2 million extension block for Pennistone Grammar School in Barnsley, and a new £1.75 million classroom block extension for Sharples School in Bolton.

In the last few years Triton has seen a significant increase in work across the education sector.Over the last 12 months it has completed 10 school extension or upgrade projects valued at over £25 million.

Triton’s learning sector portfolio also includes a new library and further refurbishments for Leeds College of Music, a £2.3 million High Needs Vocational Centre for Shipley College, a £3.5 million science block and state of the art learning link for Bradford Grammar School and a £4 million transformation of a derelict building to house Norfolk Park Special School in Sheffield.