70% of secondary school students admit to future career fear

The Careers after Covid report published today by Launch Your Career, has revealed that 70% of secondary school students do not know or are unsure about what they want to do for a career when they leave school. Three quarters of students (78%) admitted they are worried about making the right choice of career. 


The report also reveals that nearly half of secondary school teachers (48%) say their school’s ability to give careers advice to students has worsened since the start of the pandemic. One in five (19%) of secondary school students say they have not received any advice from their school since the first lockdown over a year ago.  


Many students (47%) responding to the survey revealed that any advice they had been given had not been personalised to them.  


The news comes as students are already coping with disruption to learning, exams and friendships as a result of the pandemic.  


Furthermore, Covid-19 has hampered opportunities for work experience and one in four students (28%) revealed they had no practical experience of the working world, not even via a visiting speaker organised by their school. 


David Chapman, vice principal of Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) said: “After a year of seeing businesses failing, people being furloughed and parents losing jobs, young people are more unsure than ever about their own career opportunities. We need to find new ways to engage them in their future work choices.” 


The turmoil brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has also impacted what students want to do after school, with more than half (54%) saying they have now changed their career ideas, making it even more important that they receive good advice to make the right choices. 


David Chapman, vice principal of Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) said: “We have flipped the careers advice journey on its head and rather than asking ‘what do you want to do?’ we find out more about them as people. With a short personality quiz, we discover each student’s strengths and then research careers they might find fulfilling based on their answers. This starts to open doors for them and helps a young person feel more positive about the future.” 


Chris Jeffries, CEO and founder of Dev Clever, the company behind Launch Your Career, said: “Just when good careers guidance is needed most, schools are finding it hard to give quality advice and work experience opportunities. The pressure of the pandemic means they are having to focus instead on plugging curriculum gaps. But young people also need to plan for the future to help them engage in the lessons they are being taught in class today. 


“Schools need to look for simple ways to expose students to potential career choices that would suit their personality and engage and excite them in their future. And employers need to be more actively involved so students know what options are available to them once they leave education.” 


The research also revealed that three quarters (76%) of secondary school teachers agree students engage more with lessons when technology is used and 34% of students indicate technology could be used to explore career options. 


Aston University Engineering Academy is using Launch Your Career’s virtual reality experience to engage students in their career journey. David Chapman from AUEA said: “The virtual reality experience hooks our students into their personalised career journey. It uses gaming techniques they are very familiar with to grab their attention in a way that a normal careers lesson cannot. 


“It opens up their eyes to why they come to school each day and shows how the subjects they are learning lead to a real career.” 


Other interesting findings from the report include: 

  • 92% of parents have discussed potential career options with their child, however, a third (33%) do not feel equipped to give careers advice.
  • Nearly half (48%) of students want to see which careers would suit their interest and personality.


The Careers after Covid report is available at www.launchyourcareer.com/careersaftercovid to download and contains advice and guidance for schools and parents. The free personality career quiz is available to all students at www.launchyourcareer.com.  


Launch Your Career is an online and virtual reality experience for young people which provides careers guidance based on a student’s personality. Students use the tool to find out what makes them tick – whether they are an introvert or extrovert, whether they like to plan or are more of a seat of your pants type. Their spirit animal is unlocked based on their answers and they can see careers highlighted that might interest them.   


Built on engagement, gamification and fun, Launch Your Career immerses young people in their career journey. With a VR headset, students are absorbed in a quest to find out about jobs that interest them, and what they need to do to secure them. It’s the perfect tool to revitalise careers advice.  


Launch Your Career is the brainchild of digital innovation experts, Dev Clever


#Careers #classroomVR #LaunchYourCareer #VRinEDU @LaunchYourCareer   



Delight after plans for new school move ahead

Headteacher James Waller at Sunningdale School, Springwell, Sunderland

A SUNDERLAND headteacher has spoken of his delight after ‘life-changing’ plans for a new school building were approved by the city council.


James Waller, who was appointed headteacher of Sunningdale Primary School earlier this year, said that the move to a custom-built new facility at Doxford Park Way, will ‘transform opportunities’ for the city’s most vulnerable young people, and represents an exciting new chapter for the school.


James, who has worked at Sunningdale for eight years, said that he was blown away by the news that the school would be on the receiving end of a £13m investment from Sunderland City Council – part of a £35m capital programme that the local authority is paying for with its own resources to deliver new and renovated school buildings to support the city’s next generation. 

Sunningdale, which caters for children aged two to 11 with severe and profound multiple learning difficulties, is currently based in the former Springwell Infant School, which has been adapted over the years to better support the specific needs of Sunningdale’s children. 


The school has had to work tirelessly to give its children the right spaces and facilities, but the move to the new building will deliver specialist rooms and equipment for up to 136 children, as well as ample space for wheelchairs and equipment that the children need, something that has been a struggle in its current facility, which is old and restrictive. 


James said: “The fact that the council had earmarked our school for investment was absolutely overwhelming. 


“Our children have increasingly complex needs.  It is absolutely wonderful to be able to provide them with the life-changing experiences we offer at school, but it is not without its challenges when we are operating out of an old building that is just not able to accommodate our children’s increasingly diverse needs,” James explained.


“It would be hard to overemphasise the difference the investment in Sunningdale will make to the care and support we will be able to offer to children who deserve this so much. 


“So often, schools like ours – of which there are around 500 in the country – are forgotten when it comes to national policymaking and investment.  We’ve always felt supported by the council, but we are absolutely delighted that they have made a commitment that will transform the way we can meet the needs of our children.  It is a huge statement of support from Sunderland City Council, not only toward Sunningdale but to the most vulnerable children in the city.”


What has been most impressive for James has been the journey the council has been on with the school’s leadership team to shape the plans and designs for the building.


“When the council first came out and spoke to us about its plans, our jaws just hit the floor.  And working with them – seeing how they have listened and responded to the things we have asked for – has just been amazing. 


“We have jointly explored what the needs of pupils are, thinking about specific spaces, uses and facilities – and things to avoid.  The new school will feature a range of features including wide hallways and corridors to ensure the whole building is wheelchair accessible; hoists that can help some of the least mobile children access spaces they may otherwise be unable to; a hydrotherapy pool, with easy temperature control; multi-sensory spaces where the school can provide light therapy; physical therapy rooms and a dedicated rebound therapy room, where we use trampolines to help children feel weightless and move their body in different ways.  We will have a number of outdoor spaces, including grass playing fields, alongside a wetlands area, nature trail and habitat area.”

Sunningdale School, Springwell, Sunderland

The school currently employs 100 members of staff – from teachers, teaching assistants, therapists and caretakers.  It hopes to add to its team as it increases its capacity.  Sunningdale Primary School’s children have a combination of cognitive and physical disabilities – often both – requiring specialist support to allow them to realise their potential.


The school is recognised as an exemplar, working with Northumbria University as a specialist training course provider and sometimes contributing to national initiatives when it comes to specialist education.  James believes the new building will provide a facility that matches up to the high standard of education, care and support staff are able to offer.


“Our focus is on helping its students to ‘be more’ – whether that is more creative or more communicative.  We want every young person to realise their potential, giving them individualised support to enable them to achieve their aspirations. 


“’Be more’ sums up what we’re trying to achieve.  And we do every day, in spite of the building we are in, which we have a real fondness for, but recognise is no longer fit for purpose. 


“The new building will allow us to take the support and education we offer to the next level.”


He added: “This marks a new era for the school.  Though I’ve been at Sunningdale for a long time, I’m a newly installed headteacher, and the leadership team is new too.  We’re going through process of restructuring our approach, adopting a revised pedagogy and welcoming new staff members who will allow us to deliver more.  When we move, we will welcome five new classes, as well as more children who we can deliver individualised support to.  We’re really excited to begin this new chapter.”


Councillor Louise Farthing, cabinet member for children, learning and skills at Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunningdale Primary School is such an inspiring place, and the work that the team does truly is incredible.


“This new building will be lifechanging for so many young children – some of the most vulnerable in the city – and we’re thrilled to be able to deliver it to support James and his team who make such a difference every single day.


“This is part of a huge programme of work, that will deliver aspirational new school environments for our next generation, funded by the council, and representing a major commitment to our children.  We’re incredibly proud of the difference this will make to the lives of our next generation.”

Report highlights impact of school exclusions on pupils

School exclusions have left some children at increased risk of harm – with decisions too often taken without efforts to understand and address issues which may be affecting their behaviour, a new report has found.


The Children’s Society’s report, Youth Voice on School Exclusions, includes both positive and negative insights from 11 young people on exclusions, but finds that many feel ‘written off’ and that they were not listened to.

The report includes young people’s ideas about how to improve the system and has been produced by the national charity’s Disrupting Exploitation Programme, which is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.


It found that challenges like being moved into care, learning disabilities, knife crime and child exploitation, and experiences of bullying and racism could all affect children’s behaviour in school, leading to them being excluded.

Some young people told how they were then exposed to drugs and criminal exploitation in Alternative Provision settings, and how feeling bored at home and closures of community facilities like youth clubs left them vulnerable to advances by those looking to exploit them.

They felt this could have been avoided had they been supported to remain in school with help to address issues in their lives affecting their behaviour.

As one young person put it: “Think schools should work with young people to resolve the situation and make it better…if a young person brings a knife to school they get permanently excluded. The young person might be scared, being bullied, schools just don’t try and find out.”

Another said: “No time for me to say what I had done…they used their own words… the meetings were 10 minutes long and not long enough for me to say what happened.”

Children said exclusions had also affected their learning, leaving them feeling isolated and uncared for, as well as impacting their relationships at home, their self-esteem, hope for the future, well-being and mental health.

There were mixed reports on the quality of support in Alternative Provision, with one young person describing their pupil referral unit as being ‘built like a prison’. But another told how smaller class sizes meant teachers had more time to listen to them.

The insights of young people have informed four principles the charity is urging schools to adopt to help ensure they are inclusive for all children. It believes that implementing these will lead to a happier, safer environment for pupils and help reduce the number of exclusions.

The principles include listening to young people, being flexible and taking into account children’s individuality, building and nurturing positive relationships and acknowledging power imbalances between teachers and children – giving pupils a voice in decisions affecting them.

Lucy Dacey, National Programme Manager for the Disrupting Exploitation Programme at The Children’s Society, said: “Being excluded from school can harm not only children’s learning but also their safety, well-being and life chances.

“Many of the children we support because they have been groomed into crimes like dealing drugs in county lines operations have been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion.

“It’s therefore vital that schools do everything possible to identify and address issues in children’s lives which may be affecting their behaviour.  The Disrupting Exploitation Programme wants to be a part of this, training teachers, supporting schools to review their behaviour policies and working to prevent school exclusions.

“As well as digging deeper when pupils misbehave we want school leaders to ensure school systems and rules take account of the fact that some pupils will experience challenges in their lives which are likely to affect their learning and well-being.

“Rather than seeing vulnerable young people as outliers who do not ‘fit’ the system, we want schools to change where necessary to ensure they are more inclusive and supportive.”

The Children’s Society says examples could include mitigating the risks of children who live in poverty getting into trouble for not having the right uniform by ensuring uniforms are inexpensive, reviewing behaviour policies to ensure they take account of the additional needs a young person may have and ensuring letters to migrant parents are translated where necessary.


A new grant scheme for deserving school and college sports teams has been launched by the UK’s largest independent pest controller, Pestokill, to help support sport, exercise and activities as the nation emerges from the latest lockdown.

The Leigh based company is offering grants of £1,000, £500 and £250 to school and college clubs and teams located throughout the UK, regardless of whether or not they have received other grant funding or ever used Pestokill’s services. The company plans to hand out £19,000 worth of grants to a total of 46 clubs and teams.

To apply for the funding, schools and colleges need to complete a short online form on Pestokill’s website at www.pestokill.co.uk/sport that contains details about key activities and provide a brief explanation of what they would use the money for. The deadline for applications is Monday 31st May 2021, and the donations will be made shortly afterwards.

Pestokill was established in 1985 and operates throughout the UK protecting property, employees and clients from all types of pests and disease. The company works across every industry including education, as well as providing its services to a wide range of sports clubs and teams.

Dave Clements, managing director of Pestokill, said: “We know from our experience working with lots of sports clubs and teams up and down the country that many have had a really difficult time during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, these organisations are vital to the health and wellbeing of the nation, as well as the local communities they operate in.

“As a successful national business, we’ve launched this scheme to offer our support to schools and colleges as we begin to emerge from the latest lockdown and hopefully return to normal. We’ve kept the application process as simple as possible, and it takes less than five minutes to complete. We’ve asked applicants to provide a brief description of what the money will be used for and we’ll then select the most deserving 46 teams and send them a payment.”

Dave added: “We’re already receiving fantastic feedback about the scheme and we’re really looking forward to distributing the money and helping to make a difference.”

For further information about Pestokill’s scheme and to apply for a grant, visit www.pestokill.co.uk/sport and complete the online application form by Monday 31st May 2021.

New book of Education Technology insights provides food for thought for schools in today’s changing education landscape

This book charts the journey of EdTech pre- and post-Covid, with unique tips and insights from an author with experience in the domains of education and software development.

UK: 10th May 2021 – Looking at educational technology through a wider lens is the subject of a new book by Al Kingsley, CEO of education software company, NetSupport, and Multi Academy Trust Chair. My Secret EdTech Diary brings readers a unique view of the topic of EdTech from an author who has dual experience as both the head of company that develops education solutions and as an active participant in the strategic operation of education in his local area.

EdTech suddenly came into focus during the pandemic and, with it, came an explosion of questions from schools as to how they could best leverage its benefits as the education landscape shifted and changed ahead of them.

“Many people think of EdTech simply as the solutions that are found in the classroom,” says Kingsley. “But expanding that view to paint the picture of what tech can do throughout a school, while putting its evolution into perspective, will hopefully get people engaged and thinking about the potential that technology has to improve things across the board for everyone working in a school or trust.”

Al has spent over 30 years working and volunteering in the education sector and, with this book, brings together his knowledge and experience of education technology to share in an easy-to-read conversational format with schools. My Secret EdTech Diary is not only a commentary on educational technology; it’s also a helpful guide packed with tips and suggestions for best practice, suggested questions schools should ask themselves (and vendors) as they select the right solutions for their context, and advice on co-producing solutions with vendors – as well as featuring practical checklists, recommendations, and contributions from trusted peers.



My Secret EdTech Diary is published by John Catt Educational Ltd and is available in paperback for pre-order from Amazon ahead of its official launch later this summer.

ISBN-10 : 1913622630
ISBN-13 : 978-1913622633
Price: £15.00
Release date: 5th July 2021

For a detailed overview of My Secret EdTech Diary, please see: https://alkingsley.com/my-secret-EdTech-diary-EdTech-book/




Digital content provider shortlisted for prestigious industry prize at the Education Resources Awards


Discovery Education, the leading digital content provider for schools in the UK and around the world, has been announced as a finalist at this year’s Education Resources Awards (ERAs).


Organised by The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), the ERAs celebrate success and innovation among the UK’s leading education suppliers and are widely recognised as a benchmark of excellence. Now in their 24th year, the awards focus on the resources, services and people that make a practical impact on learning and the day-to-day work of teachers in the classroom.


Discovery Education is proud to be nominated as Education Exporter of the Year in recognition of the company’s considerable achievements during 2020. Making great inroads into target markets in Asia, MENA and Latin America, the business has significantly increased its new channel partnerships, while supporting schools maintain students’ continuity of learning at this challenging time. 


Discovery Education’s key international partnerships include:

Egypt: Over 20 million students and 1.3 million teachers use Discovery Education’s digital content. Discovery Education is the primary STEM partner for the Egyptian Knowledge Bank – the world’s largest collection of online resources. 

Chile: Working in partnership with the Chilean Ministry of Education, Discovery Education supports the Presidential initiative Me Conecto Para Aprender. Over 100,000 Chilean students and 3,000 teachers now use Discovery Education Techbook.

Sweden: 437,000 primary school students use Discovery Education’s dynamic digital learning resources. 

Robin Headlee, Managing Director of Discovery Education International said, 


“We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist in the Education Exporter of the Year category. This accolade reflects the vision and hard work of Discovery Education International and our partners across the globe, and I believe this positive feedback will drive our team to continue finding new ways to help educators accelerate students’ academic achievement.”


Discovery Education is the global leader in curriculum-matched digital resources and professional development for teachers everywhere. Together we’re re-imagining learning, harnessing the power of technology to bring the real world into the classroom and ignite pupils’ curiosity. 


Serving 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, Discovery Education’s award-winning resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. In the UK, Discovery Education’s digital resources are trusted by thousands of UK primary schools, who choose the award-winning digital learning service Discovery Education Espresso along with Discovery Education Health and Relationships and Discovery Education Coding, to deliver the National Curriculum. 

Education Spends

How much are local governments spending on education around the country?

Education spending (of which EdTech such as Promethean interactive displays and teaching software is just one area) is one of the most important things that taxpayer money goes towards, from early years nurseries to post-16 education.

But with funding for schools being controlled by individual local authorities, which parts of the country are investing the most into the future of their youngsters?

We’ve analysed the latest government spending data to find out, as well as highlighting the areas where spending has increased and decreased the most in the last five years.

The areas spending the most per pupil

It’s clear that it’s pupils in London who enjoy the greatest funding in the country, with eight of the top ten highest-spending areas located in the capital, with Islington being the highest, at £8,105 per pupil.

Specifically, it was those boroughs in Inner London which most commonly had a high level of spending, with Islington followed by the likes of Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Camden, and Hackney, likely due to the higher salaries of teachers, but also due to increased social deprivation in these areas.

The only two areas from outside London in the top ten were Knowsley (£6,106 per pupil), on Merseyside, and North Tyneside (£5,751 per pupil), in the North East.

Rank Local authority Region Net education expenditure Number of pupils Net expenditure per pupil
1 Islington London £207,326,000 25,581 £8,105
2 Lewisham London £319,679,000 41,825 £7,643
3 Tower Hamlets London £363,955,000 48,127 £7,562
4 Camden London £218,195,000 32,371 £6,740
5 Hackney London £276,922,000 42,659 £6,492
6 Knowsley North West £126,748,000 20,757 £6,106
7 Barking & Dagenham London £264,106,000 44,517 £5,933
8 North Tyneside North East £179,805,000 31,264 £5,751
9 Merton London £188,987,000 33,133 £5,704
10 Lambeth London £227,356,000 40,043 £5,678

The areas spending the least per pupil

Interestingly, despite previously highlighting that spending per pupil is much higher in London than in other parts of the country, two London boroughs fell into the ten areas with the lowest spend per pupil too: Bromley (£1,599 per person) and Bexley (£1,599 per person).

The area with the lowest spend was England’s smallest county, Rutland and while this can perhaps partially be attributed to the area’s very low population (just under 8,000 pupils, the third-lowest in the country), the county still comes bottom when we take pupil numbers into account as well.

Other authorities that fall into the bottom ten are relatively spread around the country in areas such as Humberside (Kingston upon Hull and North East Lincolnshire), Essex (Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea), North Somerset, Bournemouth and Northamptonshire.

Rank Local authority Region Net education expenditure Number of pupils Net expenditure per pupil
1 Rutland East Midlands £11,881,000 7,980 £1,489
2 Bromley London £91,668,000 57,317 £1,599
3 Kingston upon Hull Yorkshire & the Humber £71,949,000 43,196 £1,666
4 North East Lincolnshire Yorkshire & the Humber £42,656,000 24,539 £1,738
5 Thurrock East £54,043,000 29,824 £1,812
6 Southend-on-Sea East £57,155,000 31,216 £1,831
7 North Somerset South West £59,726,000 31,909 £1,872
8 Bexley London £89,121,000 44,645 £1,996
9 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole South West £110,541,000 54,078 £2,044
10 Northamptonshire East Midlands £262,122,000 125,484 £2,089

The areas where spending has increased the most

We also looked at how the total spending on education has changed over the last five years and again, it was London boroughs which came top of the tree.

Five London boroughs fell in the top ten areas with the biggest spending increase, with Hillingdon increasing the most, from £162 million in 2014-15, to just under £195 million in 2019-29, an increase of 20%.

In fact, each of the top ten areas was found in the South, with the sole exception being Sandwell, in the West Midlands, which saw a five-year increase of 14.45%.

Rank Local authority Region 2014-15 net expenditure 2019-20 net expenditure Five-year change
1 Hillingdon London £162,093,000 £194,627,000 20.07%
2 Richmond upon Thames London £115,362,000 £138,123,000 19.73%
3 Hampshire South East £780,970,000 £913,248,000 16.94%
4 Buckinghamshire South East £313,091,000 £362,434,000 15.76%
5 West Berkshire South East £97,645,000 £112,888,000 15.61%
6 Hounslow London £174,699,000 £200,346,000 14.68%
7 Sandwell West Midlands £238,286,000 £272,712,000 14.45%
8 Kingston upon Thames London £90,658,000 £102,378,000 12.93%
9 Barking & Dagenham London £234,447,000 £264,106,000 12.65%
10 Gloucestershire South West £286,468,000 £319,470,000 11.52%

The areas where spending has decreased the most

However, those areas where spending has increased are in the minority, with overall education expenditure falling in just under a third (63%) of local authorities.

Aside from the Isles of Scilly, which are something of an outlier due to their very low population, the area where spending has decreased the most is Kingston upon Hull, which saw expenditure drop by half in the last five years.

For that reason, it’s perhaps no surprise that Hull and two other authorities in the bottom ten (North Somerset and Southend-on-Sea), also fell into the list of areas with the lowest spend per pupil.

Rank Local authority Region 2014-15 net expenditure 2019-20 net expenditure Five-year change
1 Isles of Scilly South West £3,772,000 £894,000 -76.30%
2 Kingston upon Hull Yorkshire & the Humber £144,916,000 £71,949,000 -50.35%
3 North Somerset South West £115,699,000 £59,726,000 -48.38%
4 Southend-on-Sea East £110,104,000 £57,155,000 -48.09%
5 Rotherham Yorkshire & the Humber £168,254,000 £99,619,000 -40.79%
6 Redcar & Cleveland North East £91,179,000 £56,087,000 -38.49%
7 Staffordshire West Midlands £531,183,000 £340,058,000 -35.98%
8 Middlesbrough North East £96,395,000 £62,309,000 -35.36%
9 Suffolk East £407,131,000 £280,253,000 -31.16%
10 Plymouth South West £124,712,000 £85,897,000 -31.12%


Education expenditure for 2014-15 and 2019-20 was sourced from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s local authority revenue expenditure and financing data collection.

The expenditure refers to the total net expenditure for early years education, primary schools, secondary schools, special schools and alternative education, post-16 education and other education and community budget. Note that due to changes in the structure of some local authorities in the last five years, some areas were omitted.

Pupil numbers were sourced from the Department for Education’s schools, pupils and their characteristics statistics 2019/20, and refer to the total number of pupils in all state-funded schools (aged 3-19).

Want to speak to someone about your EdTech spending?

Promethean is on hand to talk to you about your EdTech choices for interactive displaysteaching software and a full professional development support plan. Ready to talk more right now? Why not request a virtual demo with one of our friendly education team members?

ECO Primary School Receives £133k Government Grant

A Lincolnshire primary school has received over £133,000 funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to become more energy efficient.

Kirkby la Thorpe CofE Primary Academy, in Sleaford, were successfully awarded a Government grant to fund a Low Carbon and Sustainability project, which involved installing an Air Source Heat Pump, energy efficient hand dryers, Energy Monitoring and Management.


The £1billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provided grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures; and the ECO school were triumphant despite an oversubscription and stiff competition from across the country.


Katie Gravil, Headteacher at Kirkby la Thorpe CofE Primary Academy, said:

“Our ultimate goal is to improve our carbon footprint and achieve Net Zero, which is why we have already installed Solar PV and upgraded our lighting to LED. The grant has allowed us to advance our efforts even more so, and move away from a fossil-fuelled heating system, in order to become even more efficient. We are really happy with the end results and we couldn’t have done it without the expert advice and support from our Energy Consultants– UK Energy Watch Group.”


The carbon savings, 21.54 tonnes of CO2, are equivalent to planting 147 trees. The primary school will also benefit financially from the project, saving £1,177 annually, on their heating bills.


UK Energy Watch Group, a specialist Energy Consultancy based in Lancashire, helped the school by carrying out the feasibility study, grant application, contractor tender procurement, project management and on-going energy monitoring.


HVAC Technical Solutions Limited were appointed to carry out the mechanical engineering works. They installed the Toshiba VRV systems, two split AC system, central controller system, and stripped out the old plant room, radiators and additional electrical works.


Ashley Bullock, Managing Director at UK Energy Watch Group, added: “As a long-standing client of ours, Kirkby la Thorpe understand the crucial role they play in educating their staff and students of the importance of improving their carbon footprint. Now they have done their part to make a difference in the world’s global climate change mission, and as a by-product, they have saved money which is a win-win for them and the environment.”


Kirkby la Thorpe Church of England Primary Academy has been previously received an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, managed by the BEIS and delivered by Salix Finance, to date has launched two Phases with a total of £1.75 billion offered to public sector organisations.

Matthew Robinson, Director of HVAC Technical Solutions Limited, commented: “It was a pleasure to help the school start its journey to decarbonise and move onto an electric based heating system. The installation was straight forward and had little impact on the children and teaching staff. We hope they enjoy the efficient heating.”

Stora Enso helps to accelerate sustainable schools from concept to reality

Experts showcase Cambridgeshire wooden school success story with low carbon footprint and improvement of student well-being


 Last Thursday, industry experts from the architecture, construction and education industry gathered to discuss how wood can successfully be used as a building material to create sustainable learning environments. Hosted by Stora Enso, in collaboration with The B1M, the webinar showcased the award-winning case study of the Northstowe Learning Community in Cambridgeshire, UK, a 15,000m2 project that utilised Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) to meet sustainability targets and provide an inspiring and healthy space for students.


The UK government’s hardening of the carbon emissions reduction target, from 68% to 78% by 2035* puts an increasingly acute focus on how industries can support this ambition. Rory Doak, Business Development Manager UK & Ireland at Stora Enso, noted on the webinar, “the biggest impact [of the Northstowe project] is that there’s nearly 3,000 tons of CO2 stored in the building that’s not getting put back into the atmosphere”. Pair this with the reduction of up to 75% of CO2 emissions that can be achieved using wooden construction methods versus concrete and steel processes, and it’s clear to see how building with wood can contribute to this journey.


Also touching on the biophilic design nature of wood, the panellists shared insights on its positive impact on the health and well-being of children as studies have shown that the material can improve concentration and reduce stress. With return to classrooms post-pandemic in motion, this will be an incredibly important factor for educational authorities and construction players to consider.


Despite the benefits of wood as a strong, versatile, and sustainable material, the webinar also assessed the barriers to adopting CLT as a construction material. For example, concerns around technical performance exist, as does a miseducation on cost-effectiveness. Dayo ShittuBalogun, Associate at EURBAN, one important enabler of the webinar and official partner from Stora Enso, provided insight: “We’re coming across a lot of risk aversion as people still consider wood construction as a new way of doing things. There is some miseducation on cost. People consider it to be a bit more expensive, but through some benchmarking work we established that if you’re talking in simplistic terms, the structural skeleton of a building is either equal or cheaper – and more work needs to be done to communicate that this is the case.” 


When looking at the path forward for sustainable school construction in light of the Northstowe project, ShittuBalogun, added, “We all have a commitment to not pour more CO2 into the atmosphere than we take out of it, so there is a moral obligation for all of us across the industry – and where better to see this play out than in an educational setting? This is exactly what we like to do, deliver buildings efficiently and sustainably.”


Fred Mills, Co-Founder of The B1M, and webinar moderator, added, “Construction methods have the power to truly effect people’s lives. It perhaps doesn’t get more important than thinking about this in the context of where future generations are learning. Wooden school projects create amazing spaces for schooling, both from an environmental, health and well-being point of view. The task now, is to raise awareness of how concepts can be moved to an implementable reality and Northstowe is a fantastic example of this.”


Catch up on the full discussion here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y82uTdShSPakEZw-iKfLQw


*compared with 1990 levels

Promethean Launches 6th Annual Education Technology Survey

Promethean invites US and UK school administrators and educators to participate in 2021 State of Technology in Education survey


Blackburn, UK: 5th May 2021– Through 2020 and into 2021, education technology has played an integral role in supporting students, educators, and schools in the widespread adaptation to remote and hybrid learning. Against turbulent academic settings in an unpredictable climate, technology withstood changes in education and proved to be not only dependable in any environment but vital to maximizing successful learning experiences. Districts leveraged and ultimately invested in technology for a long-term shift in redefining what the academic experience is. As technology continues to establish its value of supporting teachers and empowering students, Promethean® is eager to arm educational leaders with the latest insights and trends that will shape the future of technology and education.


Last year’s State of Technology in Education reports revealed trending topics on both successes achieved and hardships faced with edtech, including:

  • Teacher wellbeing was a top issue, only to be accelerated during remote and hybrid learning models.
  • Investment in technology training for teachers was thought to be critical to success.
  • The majority of teachers and administrators felt that technology use would be routinely combined with traditional resources and teaching methods.
  • Teachers and administrators stated that they were “constantly striving to innovate by using technology as a tool for education.”
  • Remote learning would see the biggest growth in education over the next three years.


For its sixth annual State of Technology in Education report, Promethean invites teachers and school leaders to discuss their experiences of adapting and growing in the past year. Stay tuned for findings of Promethean’s largest education technology report to date and explore data informing how the evolving role of technology will determine what to expect for this new chapter of teaching and learning.


Promethean welcomes you and your colleagues to join thousands of educators from around the world in sharing the impact of edtech on your teaching or administrative experience.


Take the UK Survey and let us know your thoughts.