Free lesson plans include ‘Anti-Bullying’, ‘Diversity, Inclusion + Wellbeing’,

‘Secondary English’, ‘Secondary Drama’, andIntermediate ESOL/EFL English’.

 More than 60% savings on Wicked tickets with free teacher ratios and

free school trip planning guide including risk assessment supporting materials.


WICKED, the award-winning stage musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, today announces the official launch of Wicked Active Learning, the production’s new web-hosted teaching/learning resource. Created with teachers, free lesson plans are designed to inspire creativity in the classroom whilst over 60% savings on Wicked tickets (with free teacher ratios) provide opportunities for learning outside the classroom, in support of delivering a broad and rich curriculum.

Wicked Active Learning assets and experiences will also enhance students’ levels of cultural capital and personal development as well as contributing ideas and resources that support SMSC and the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum. Additional free assets include theatre-maker career videos, a 20-page resource guide to assist in the planning of education trips (including information to support the completion of risk assessments), lesson plans (currently including Secondary English, Secondary Drama and Intermediate ESOL/EFL English), together with Anti-Bullying resources developed in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and Diversity, Inclusion + Wellbeing resources developed in partnership with Twinkl.

“With themes of self-esteem, discrimination, and identity,

Wicked delivers an enriching live theatre experience that supports

both the quality of education and personal development elements of the

Ofsted framework and enhances our students’ level of cultural capital.”

 Head Teacher, All Saint’s School, Sheffield

The acclaimed production, which has been proudly supporting the work of the Anti-Bullying Alliance and Mousetrap Theatre Projects since 2007 and the National Literacy Trust since 2010, has twice been voted ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’ at the annual School Travel Awards and delivers an outstanding live London theatre experience, with a story that explores themes of self-esteem, identity, prejudice, victimisation, propaganda and fake news, peer pressure, ambition, and friendship.

Michael McCabe, UK Executive Producer of Wicked said: 

We recognise and value the benefits of creative education and do all we can to encourage participation in creative arts subjects, artistic expression, and cultural attendance. Alongside our ongoing charitable endeavours, we are pleased to provide free classroom resources and lesson plans for all schools, as well offering over 60% savings on class and year group tickets and free teacher ratios in support of learning outside the classroom, personal development, and the delivery of cultural capital. Our story of identity, prejudice, propaganda, and friendship continues to resonate strongly with schools, and we are grateful to the many teachers whose invaluable contributions and guidance have helped shape these lesson plans and resources, as well as for their shared vision and passion to deliver quality arts education and engagement for all.”

 One of the most successful musicals of all time” (BBC News), the London production of Wicked is now in its 17th year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it has already been seen by more than 11 million people.

 R SMSC   R PSHE   R Citizenship   R Personal Development   R Anti-Bullying   R Wellbeing

  • School Class + Year Groups save over 60% on Wicked tickets
  • Free teacher ratios + extra tickets purchasable
  • Book now/pay later flexibility + free exchanges
  • Free 20-page ‘Planning Your Education Visit’ Guide
  • Free risk assessment supporting resources
  • Free classroom resources + lesson plans
  • Option to include an official workshop or Q&A
  • Coach/minibus drop-off/pick-up point directly outside the theatre
  • 1 minute from London Victoria Mainline and Underground stations

School Class and Year Groups + Youth Groups

 Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 7.30pm + Wed 2.30pm term time performances:

 10-99 Tickets

Band A/B seats reduced to £25.00

Band C/D seats reduced to £19.50

 100+ Tickets

Band A/B seats reduced to £22.50

Band C/D seats reduced to £17.50

 For requests outside of the above parameters, please submit an enquiry to Hello@WickedActiveLearning.co.uk

Rates applicable to Primary (Year 3+), Secondary, HE, FE, EFL, ESOL, youth and performing arts groups.

 Free Teacher ratios

1 free secondary teacher ticket with every 10 tickets purchased (11th ticket is free)

1 free primary teacher with every 5 tickets purchased (6th ticket is free)

1 free Youth Group Leadership/Volunteer Team ticket with every 10 tickets purchased (11th ticket is free)

Extra tickets

Extra teacher/staff/Leader/Volunteer Team tickets can be purchased at the applicable group ticket price.

Tickets + resources: www.WickedActiveLearning.co.uk

Lesson Plans currently include ‘Anti-Bullying’, ‘Diversity, Inclusion + Wellbeing’,

Secondary English’, ‘Secondary Drama’, and ‘Intermediate ESOL/EFL English’.

Anti-Bullying resources developed in partnership with: Anti-Bullying Alliance

Diversity, Inclusion + Wellbeing resources developed in partnership with Twinkl

Benefits and resources presented may not apply when booking through third party agents.

Recommended for Primary Year 3+. Workshops & Q&As not included in ticket price. All sales subject to availability and T&Cs


7th October 2022 at ExCeL London

New Scientist Live, the world’s greatest festival of ideas and discoveries, returns to ExCeL London next month and will be hosting a dedicated day for schools, for the first time, with an incredible line-up of speakers, interactive demonstrations and more!

The presentations, features and experiences are specifically tailored for Key Stages 2 (upper), 3 & 4, giving students a unique opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom and bring the world of STEM to life.  The show will connect students with leading-edge researchers and give them the knowledge to engage with the scientific, social and ethical challenges that will shape the world of the future.


Highlights include:

  • World-class science presenter Stefan Gates whose presentation will be packed with explosions and will explore combustion, pressure, sound, elasticity, energy storage, pressure and sound. Expect mini-motorbikes, massive balloons, fireballs and flamethrowing on the Universe Stage!
  • Filmmaker Simon Clark on the Mind & Body Stage discussing how he became a YouTube scientist starting from his A level choices to submitting his PhD thesis, as well as the lessons he learned along the way
  • Palaeontologist David Hone featuring on the Planet Stage and discussing why the Tyrannosaurs rex is the most dangerous terrestrial predator of all time.
  • Tech wiz Rob Sedgebeer and Steve McNeil who will be presenting an interactive history of some of the earliest advances in videogames so make sure you bring a charged smartphone to play along on the Future Stage
  • J Spooner on the Engage Stage with a special guest in the space shed for interactive, intergalactic, mind-blowing fun!

Students can immerse themselves in the latest tech developments, from surgical robots to augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence to VR, and see how the latest medical innovations are being used by world-class clinicians to improve diagnosis and treatment. One feature not to be missed is the immersive pop-up planetarium where you can see what it takes to become an astronaut and let the inspiration take you to new places that you could never have imagined.

With VR rollercoaster rides to piloting a virtual drone, seeing inside an artificial star to smelling space, New Scientist Live features an unbelievable experience for everyone.

A proportion of the Schools’ Day tickets will be made available for free to schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged students and schools with lower science capital ensuring that science is accessible to the widest possible audience and to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and leaders.



Schools day tickets prices: £12 per student, with one free chaperone ticket available for each group of ten students.


Early booking ticket prices: Children £16 | Adults: £40 | Family ticket: £100 (ends 11thSeptember)

Tickets available for either Saturday 8th or Sunday 9th October, or you can save more by booking for the whole weekend.

For more information and ticket options click here


newscientist.com/schoolsday – https://newscientist.com/schools 
For the Schools’ Day programme visit – https://newscientist.com/schoolstalks


Friday 7 October (Schools only) – 09.30-15.00

Saturday 8 October – 10:00-17:00

Sunday 9 October – 10:00-17:00


ExCeL London

Royal Victoria Dock

One Western Gateway

London E16 1XL

Surfers Against Sewage are launching free Teacher Training to help you get the most out of the Plastic Free Schools Programme.


This is a call to action. Primary School Teachers – sign up to our new training and gain the skills and confidence to lead change-making environmental education in your classroom. Let’s inspire a new generation of Ocean Activists.

How? Simply make sure you are signed up to our Plastic Free Schools Programme where you will receive the link to save your place.

Who is Surfers Against Sewage?

Surfers Against Sewage is a charity of water lovers campaigning to protect the ocean and all it makes possible, by taking action on the ground that triggers change from the top.  

Find out more about Surfers Against Sewage here.


What is Plastic Free Schools?

Plastic Free Schools is a system shaking, change making, pupil-led education programme. This ground-breaking programme equips and empowers young activists with the tools to create positive, lasting environmental change and teaches pupils that they should never underestimate the power of their voice.

Pupils will learn how to run their own campaign in the fight against single-use plastic; from challenging government and industry to creating tangible change in their schools and forming sustainable habits that will continue into adulthood.

Most importantly, Plastic Free Schools is free and easy to sign up to. Simply click here.

Want to find out more? Click here.


Why is this programme so important?

We know that in order to thrive as people, we need a thriving ocean. By signing up to this programme, you are taking direct action to address the ocean and climate crisis. With millions of young activists on board, we can end plastic pollution on our beaches by 2030.

When and where is the Teacher Training?

Wednesday 12th October – 16:30-18:00

Tuesday 1st November – 16:30-18:00

The sessions will take place online.

Why sign up to our new Teacher Training?

In these sessions, you will deep dive into what Plastic Free Schools is all about. You will further your knowledge, understanding and skill set needed to successfully deliver the programme and continue to fuel environmental action in your primary school and beyond.

What will the two sessions involve?

Session One: Wednesday 12th October 16:30-18:00

  • How to become accredited – the five objectives of PFS Primary.
  • From the classroom – talks from teachers on their PFS journey.
  • What are the challenges to accreditation? How do we overcome these? Small group discussion to generate and share new ideas to take back to your school.


Session Two: Tuesday 1st November 16:30-18:00

  • How to get your school onboard – tips and tricks from the teachers who have succeeded at this.
  • The PFS resource library – a digital scavenger hunt to explore the resources that have been created to help you on your PFS journey.
  • Launching the PFS online community – VIP access to the new online community – connecting teachers across the Plastic Free Schools network to each other, and to the SAS team.



How to save your place:

This training is exclusively for primary school teachers who are signed up to our Plastic Free Schools programme. If you’re not already set up, don’t panic! You can easily and quickly register your school here. (Did we mention it’s completely free?).

If you’re already onboard, you’ll find a notice with the link and event password at the top of your dashboard. Log in here.


Any questions? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at education@sas.org.uk

Adveco AD Wall-Mounted Water Heating For Education Properties

The AD range of high-efficiency wall-mounted condensing gas-fired water heaters from hot water specialists Adveco is designed to provide a compact, high capacity and reliable method for delivering instantaneous hot water to a school building

AD wall-mounted is a range of ‘A’ class energy efficient water heaters available in three rated heat outputs, 27 kW (AD16), 33 kW (AD22) and 61 kW (AD37). When combined with a water cylinder, AD wall-mounted helps meet peak withdrawals without increasing the water heater power. AD wall-mounted can also integrate with solar thermal systems to supply top-up heating when solar radiation during winter months is not enough to guarantee the required temperature for DHW demands.

The water heater features a single high-quality patented heat exchanger constructed from a continuous, non-welded run of AISI 316 Ti (Titanium) stabilised stainless steel, providing exceptional construction strength and corrosion resistance. With radial variable circulation, the heat exchanger recovers the latent heat of the flue gas, improving heat transfer for a net efficiency of up to 107% to produce domestic hot water (DHW). The AD wall-mounted water heaters support either natural gas or LPG connections.

Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco said, “For property renovation where space is at a premium or when existing gas appliances need modernising, the AD wall-mounted range delivers highly efficient operation in a compact form factor. The titanium-stabilised stainless-steel construction of the AD’s heat exchangers is also the perfect response to counter the concerns of corrosion in soft, or softened water applications. “

With an efficient pre-mix burner and ultra-low NOₓ (16-29 mg/kWh) and CO (11-19 ppm) emissions, the AD range is an eco-friendly way to serve a domestic hot water (DHW) system with a net efficiency of up to 107%. The unit additionally features a high 1:8 modulation ratio to ensure maximum efficiency even during periods of low demand.

By reducing energy consumption, AD can deliver operational savings of up to 30% compared to traditional water heaters for a wide range of education applications that demand large production of DHW, such as gym & sports facilities, wash rooms and catering.

Also included is an intuitive inbuilt controller with LCD display that ensures full temperature control and a maintenance self-check of primary components and functions.



What Every Teacher Needs To Know – Jade Pearce


What Every Teacher Needs to Know is a must-have guide for both primary and secondary teachers that summarises key research papers, offers evidence-informed teaching and learning strategies, and explains how to disseminate this information across departments and schools.

There is a growing thirst for evidence-informed teaching in the UK and beyond, in order to help ensure that schools have the biggest impact on student learning. In a concise, accessible manner, this book distils key educational research into clear, precise guidance that can be used immediately. It is ideal for any busy teacher or school leader looking to transform student outcomes through a research-informed approach.

What Every Teacher Needs to Know is essential reading for research leads, heads of department, and teaching and learning leads. It offers:

– summaries of 20 prominent research papers on effective teaching and learning
– key takeaways for classroom practice
– evidence-informed teaching and learning strategies
– examples across a variety of phases and subjects
– insightful case studies from practising teachers 


‘What Every Teacher Needs to Know is a stunning book, oozing rich research, that will provide you with the knowledge to support your teaching and leadership. Highly recommended!’

Michael Chiles, Assistant Principal and author of The Feedback Pendulum, @m_chiles




Jade Pearce is an assistant headteacher for teaching and learning in a secondary school in Staffordshire. She is an evidence lead in education for the Research Schools Network and a member of the EEF ‘Expert Voices Group’. She is also a member of the ‘Raising the Attainment of Disadvantaged Youngsters’ (RADY) group. Jade participates in conferences and discussions on podcasts and has featured in case studies in numerous publications, including Michael Chiles’s book The Feedback Pendulum. As an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE) for Staffordshire Research School. She regularly writes articles for the journal of the Economics, Business and Enterprise Association. Follow Jade on Twitter @PearceMrs



HTC VIVE Introduces VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker and Eye Tracker



HTC VIVE expands rich VIVE Focus 3 ecosystem with Eye and Face Tracking

Lightweight and user-friendly, with low latency and high-precision, fitting into VIVE Focus 3 seamlessly

VIVE’s new trackers suit a wide range of use cases, from helping to create realistic avatars, through to medical assessments


HTC VIVE announces VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker, expanding the VIVE Focus 3 ecosystem to deliver more natural and immersive professional VR experiences.

Enhanced eye and facial tracking boosts engagement with peers for enhanced virtual collaboration and human interaction in VIVE Focus 3, ideal for virtual events, training, chat groups, VIVE Sync remote meetings, animation and motion capture, and more.

Express yourself in VR

VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker makes it easy to naturally convey your emotions and read intentions in real time. Its mono tracking camera captures expressions through 38 blend shapes across the lips, jaw, cheeks, chin, teeth, and tongue to precisely capture true-to-life facial expressions and mouth movements on avatars.

With a 60Hz tracking rate and optimised runtime for facial tracking, users can synchronise lips to voice with minimal latency and enjoy lifelike interactions in high fidelity. VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker set up is made easy as the module seamlessly connects to VIVE Focus 3 headsets through the built-in USB Type-C port with no need for add-ons or adaptors.

The benefits of facial tracking are vast, improving soft skills in presentation coaching, customer service management, training, and more. Users can track and improve their emotional preparedness, helping to achieve better real-life outcomes across many applications, from education and healthcare to human resources and creative industries.

Unlock the benefits of eye tracking

Gain access to insightful data with VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and reach a heightened level of VR immersion. Bringing realistic eye movements and blinks to virtual avatars delivers true-to-life virtual collaboration and improves human connections in VR through expressive, non-verbal interactions. By tracking and analysing eye movement, attention, and focus, businesses can open the door to deeper user behaviour analysis.

The dual camera setup with supporting IR illuminators is capable of capturing data for gaze origin and direction, pupil size and position, and eye openness. The lightweight module easily attaches magnetically to the headset without impacting the balanced ergonomics and the adjustable IPD works perfectly with the VIVE Focus 3 headset to help users find their viewing sweet spot.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker allows you to see what users see to understand intentions and improve feedback, perfect for training and education scenarios. Measure duration and locate direction with heat mapping and gaze tracking to gain insights about performance and interaction to improve outcomes. VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker also helps to understand how users naturally interact with a product and improve the experience by uncovering actionable insights about user intent.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker also makes gaze control possible, opening new avenues for how people experience immersive content, as well as new accessibility options. Eye Tracking also helps with GPU workloads, as foveated rendering prioritises areas where the user is actually focused.

Both VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker support Unity, Unreal Game Engine, and Native. Developing is easy with VIVE’s WaveSDK and upcoming OpenXR support and it’s also seamless to stream content from a PC via VIVE Business Streaming.

A rich ecosystem for professional VR

VIVE Focus 3 has a rich ecosystem of both hardware and software for professional-grade VR. Since launch, HTC VIVE has released five accessories, including VIVE Wrist Tracker, multi-battery dock and carry case giving businesses the features and flexibility to create their ideal VR set-up.

Hand-tracking, OpenXR, extensive Wave SDK, Location-Based Software Suite and MDM support open the possibilities for developers. Devices also come with VIVE Business Warranty and Services which includes a two-year commercial warranty, and expedited return/replacement if needed.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker are available to order today for £216 and £83 respectively.

Seckford Education Trust and Springwell School partner with Kooth Work to support employee mental health

Seckford Education Trust and Springwell School have become the latest educational establishments to partner with Kooth Work to support the mental health and wellbeing of employees. 


Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Kooth Work will provide access to online counselling and wellbeing support when and where they need it.


Seckford Education Trust is a multi-academy trust running primary and secondary schools across Suffolk and East Anglia. Southampton based Springwell is a primary school for children aged 4 – 11 years with complex learning difficulties. Both selected Kooth Work for its holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. 


Kooth Work provides employees with a safe, confidential and welcoming place to access early intervention and non-judgemental mental health support. For both organisations this includes all teachers, teaching support staff, on-site staff and governors. For Springwell School, Kooth Work will also be made available to the partners of employees or one family member aged 18+.


Kooth Work offers a digital mental health platform that allows employees to book one-to-one text based sessions with experienced counsellors and wellbeing practitioners via anonymous chat. They are accessible without waitlists or thresholds to meet. In addition, Kooth Work provides an easily accessible, fully safeguarded and pre-moderated community with a library of peer and professional created content.  


Kooth Work’s Flourish Mental Health Check runs alongside the award-winning anonymous digital mental health platform. It is a benchmark tool that, unlike others, is based on the ‘whole self’, and recognises that home life and past experiences play an important part in people’s wellbeing at work. 


The anonymous insights garnered from the Flourish Mental Health Check will help Seckford Education Trust, and Springwell School identify priority issues, ensuring that they invest in the right initiatives, as well as developing and implementing new policies, practises and support programmes, that meet the needs of all staff. This will aid in the creation of a mentally healthy workplace where everyone can flourish and no one is left behind. 


Kooth Work will help Seckford Education Trust, and Springwell School with the retention and recruitment of new staff, positioning both as an ‘employee of choice’. 


Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Office at Kooth Work, commented: 


“Seckford Education Trust and Springwell School are leading the way in the education sector with their mission to promote positive mental health and emotional wellbeing within their schools. It’s not often easy for those working in the education sector – be it teaching or support staff – to ask for help and reach out for support with mental health and wellbeing concerns at work. This is why it is extremely important for multi-academy trusts and schools to both check-in and proactively support the mental wellbeing of their workforce.


“Digital mental health services can help to reduce the stigma often associated with mental health. Our Kooth Work offering does this by providing people with a choice of safe and confidential options that match with their individual needs, as well as being accessible in a way they feel comfortable with. We are looking forward to supporting everyone in their community of schools; from teachers, staff and governors, to pupils and their families with any mental health concern. However big or small the issue, Kooth Work is available to help when and where it is needed”


Mark Barrow, CEO at Seckford Education Trust explained:


“At Seckford Education Trust, we understand the pressures that our talented team faces both in and outside of work. To ensure all staff have access to the support they need, we wanted to partner with a mental health and wellbeing service that truly understood their needs. Kooth does this and will enable us to make sure that our staff members have the tools at their fingertips to help them maintain good mental health. We encourage everyone across our community to sign up to the service.”


Lisa Needham and Maria Burrows, Co-Headteachers at Springwell School added: 


“Our decision to commission Kooth Work at Springwell School is based on our underlying premise that a positive, caring ethos and environment, where staff are listened to and feel supported and appreciated will have a significant impact on the wellbeing of staff and, most importantly, the children. We recognise that, when wellbeing and mental health are prioritised  school staff have the potential to flourish and Kooth Work provides a safe and secure means of accessing support from a professional team of qualified counsellors.”  


Kooth Work is the only digital mental health provider to hold a UK-wide accreditation from the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). It is available to Seckford Education Trust and Springwell School  employees immediately, once registered, they can access the platform via any internet-connected device such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet. 


Milton Keynes’ first fossil-free ‘all-through’ school opens its doors

A brand new all-through school in the parish of Wavendon in the south east of Milton Keynes welcomed its first pupils today (Tuesday 6th September).


Glebe Farm School, part of the Inspiring Futures through Learning (IFtL) multi-academy trust, has opened its doors to 250 children and this will eventually rise to over 1,530 pupils. As an all-through school, children can enter at reception and stay all the way through to Year 11. There is also a 39-place full-time equivalent nursery.


“Our inclusive, all-through school will provide exceptional education for children from three years old to 16 years – what a privilege it is for us to be able to engage, inspire, shape and grow with our young people for such an impactful period of their lives,” explained Headteacher Matthew Shotton. “Underpinned by our strong Glebe Farm School values of Integrity, Responsibility, Endeavour, Bravery and Empathy, our school will be the ‘beating heart’ of its new and developing community. Serving children and young people from the immediate residential area and nearby towns and villages, we will offer unrivalled curriculum and enhancement opportunities, enabling pupils and students from all backgrounds to pursue their interests and fulfil their potential. As a centre of innovation, equipped with the latest education technology, and a commitment to outstanding pastoral support, we will give every learner the tools to be successful in the ever-evolving and challenging modern world. It is truly wonderful to welcome our first cohort of early years, reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 7 children.”

Sarah Bennett, Chief Executive of IFtL, said: “Glebe Farm School has already started on its journey shaping the future through its innovative and sustainable design and build. We are delighted that our doors are now open and we are excited and privileged to build the futures of all our young people, families, community and colleagues together. This is a school for everyone, and the local community will be able to enjoy its sports facilities, including indoor courts and outdoor pitches which can be accessed via a separate community entrance. We fully expect that Glebe Farm School will become a valuable space for community events. I would like to thank everyone who has made our vision of this school a reality and the inspirational school team that will continue its journey.”


Since 2015, Milton Keynes City Council has opened six new schools and expanded 22 others, creating thousands of new local school places. The council is well on track to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2025, and in each case planners, architects and builders have aimed to have a positive impact on the environment by using clever designs and new, greener technologies.


Billed as Milton Keynes’ first fossil-free new build school, Glebe Farm School is ‘gas free’. Instead, air source heat pumps which absorb heat from the outside air provide all the energy needed for air and hot water. All lighting comes from ultra-efficient LEDs whilst hundreds of solar panels generate power for the building. Energy-saving technology such as zero carbon site hoarding and an onsite solar powered generator were employed during the construction, minimising any impacts on the local environment. 840 trees, donated by the Woodland Trust, have been planted on the grounds. The school was funded and developed by Milton Keynes City Council with building works carried out by Morgan Sindall Construction.

Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This major new school is essential for the future of this fast growing area of the city. The whole site has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment and will provide access to high-quality facilities for the local community. I am excited that this is an all-through school. Glebe Farm offers continuous support for pupils as they progress through full-time education. This creates unique opportunities for pupil-led mentoring, removes any anxiety associated with moving between schools, and provides stability and certainty for families. As Milton Keynes continues to expand, we will continue to invest in and prioritise our network of high-quality, local schools.”


“It is a great feeling to know that families and children are walking through the doors of Glebe Farm School,” added David Rowsell, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction in the Northern Home Counties. “This project is a great showcase for how to rapidly create a high-end educational environment that is not just at the cutting edge of sustainable design but which has been delivering tangible social benefits to the local community at every stage of its development. Thanks to this combination of factors, the local area has a significantly increased student capacity and the school’s pupils will go through their educational journey in Milton Keynes’ first fossil-free school. The close and collaborative working relationship we have enjoyed with the project’s stakeholders, including Milton Keynes City Council, Inspiring Futures through Learning and the Pagabo national framework for major construction works, has been key to creating such a transformational facility.”

Ecclesiastical urges schools to take steps as Met Office announces storm names for 2022/23


Ecclesiastical Insurance is encouraging schools to take precautions to help prevent potentially catastrophic damage to property ahead of the winter storm season.

It comes as the Met Office has published its annual list of storm names for the upcoming storm season serving as a reminder to property owners to prepare for extreme weather.

In November last year Storm Arwen caused widespread disruption and damage as winds in excess of 90mph battered the country. The Observatory School in Bidston, Wirral was forced to close after part of its roof blew off, travelling 75 metres and smashing into play equipment.

Schools can help to prevent experiencing damage to property by carrying out some basic steps before the storms arrive:

  • Arrange for any bushes or trees that could damage windows in high winds to be trimmed back
  • Ensure the property is properly maintained throughout the year paying particular attention to areas most likely to bear the brunt of any storm such as the roof
  • Secure loose objects in the grounds of the school that could be blown into windows
  • If working at height, make sure that all health and safety steps are taken or appoint a professional contractor to carry out the work
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the building and especially large doors

Schools should also prepare a recovery plan which covers how to deal with severe weather events which cause flooding, high winds or other damage to minimise the risk to property.

It is also important to keep safe during after storms. Do not visit the school to repair any damage while the storm is in progress. If you have to go into the property or are inside the school during a storm, make sure to enter and leave the building through doors on the sheltered side, closing them behind you. When the storm has passed if there is damage, and it is covered under your policy, contact your insurer as soon as possible and always use reputable contractors to make safe fallen trees or walls.

Jo Whyman, risk management director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “The storm name announcement by the Met Office always generates a lot of interest and as an insurer we are no different. We know the impact storms can have on our customers and this is a timely reminder for them to take steps to prepare for the winter.

“Some of the steps customers can take include carrying out simple visual checks of the property to identify issues such as overgrown vegetation, loose roof materials, damaged guttering, or blocked rainwater gullies and allow simple maintenance measures to be put in place.

“Similarly, checking of drains and gullies in the land surrounding your buildings, such as access roads and car parks, is key to identifying potential flooding risks in advance of any storm conditions. Signing up to receive the latest alerts from the Met Office or the Environment Agency can also help to prepare for the worst.

“As ever, our expert risk teams are on hand to deal with any risk management queries customers may have – while our dedicated team of claims handlers will be able to support them if they are affected by storms this winter.”

More guidance and advice is available on the Ecclesiastical website.

Back-to-school internet safety advice as children return to the classroom

  • New research from connectivity provider TalkTalk reveals that 99% of children aged 7 to 13 will have access to internet enabled tech when they go back to school*
  • Half of parents are concerned about the content their child could access when using internet-enabled technology for school related tasks at home*
  • TalkTalk and Internet Matters share advice on how parents can keep children safe online

6th September, 2022: As we start the new school year, TalkTalk and Internet Matters have issued safety advice to parents whose children may be having access to internet enabled devices for the first time.


Research from TalkTalk reveals that almost every (99%)* child heading back to school this week will have access to internet enabled tech either at home or in school. Parents overwhelmingly see the internet as a force for good, and the advice is aimed to help those who may be unsure how to approach the topic with their young children.


8 in 10 parents say their child has developed new skills as a result of spending time online**. Parents cited the ability to access educational websites i.e. BBC Bitesize (65%) as a key benefit, as well as conducting research (52%) and playing online games that help to develop creative skills (51%)**. Despite this, a third do admit that they have no idea what their children get up to online **.


Over half (54%)* of 7 to 13-year-olds are now spending up to two hours of their after-school time online, with the top three most common school tasks being online homework (79%), reading (40%) and talking to classmates (29%)*.


However, this access to new tech has led to concern among parents about other content their child could access while using internet enabled technology for their schoolwork (50%)*. Network data from TalkTalk shows that the use of smart plugs, typically used to connect voice assistants to a power source, has increased by 47% over the past year***. Suggesting that the range of internet enabled technology available to young people at home is growing.


Earlier this year, TalkTalk’s research around the Online Safety Bill found that 65% of parents see unregulated online spaces such as chatrooms and the metaverse as a huge risk to their children***. Other concerns include talking to other online users (68%), social media (63%) and online gaming (45%)***.


In fact, 74% of parents say they use internet safety tools, such as blocking certain websites or filtering tools to limit their child’s access to certain content and 64% of parents say they are trying to reduce the amount of time their child spends online***.


Matthew, parent of two (aged 7 and 9) said, “From an early age my children have used mobile devices, tablets, and computers as part of their learning, at home and school. As they grow older, and begin to use internet enabled tech more, I have concerns around online safety on open platforms (i.e. social media) or socially interactive games. Both of my kids play with their friends on Minecraft for example, but they’ve been instructed not to talk to or “friend” strangers, and we monitor this on an ad hoc basis.”


“Having access to the right information when it comes to online safety – whether that’s tangible resources like home security tech or expert tips – is invaluable while navigating the transitional period as children begin to spend more time online.”


TalkTalk has partnered with Internet Matters, an organisation set up to help parents keep their children safe online. Internet Matters’ website holds an abundance of practical information about how to talk to children about their online presence, including a back to school online safety guide that parents may benefit from this week.


They advise a collaborative approach to back-to-school online safety: They advise a collaborative approach to back-to-school online safety:


  1. Practise open and honest conversations with your child, as it will mean they are more likely to approach you if they feel unsafe online.
  2. Ensure you are aware of the school’s online learning policy. Schools have now developed these for children’s safety, and you should be able to find it on your child’s school website.


  1. Set boundaries around when and for how long your child is allowed to use tech, which apps and websites they can access, who they can contact and how they should behave online. Agree this together so they feel part of the decision-making process.


  1. Make sure that they know what to do if they come across unpleasant content – depending on their age it may be more appropriate for them to tell you rather than try and deal with it themselves.


  1. Consider adding a web filter, such as TalkTalk’s HomeSafe feature, to your home Wi-Fi to block inappropriate content and set time limits for gaming and social media websites. You should also ensure that your security features are up to scratch.


TalkTalk’s Head of Customer Security, Mark Johnson, says: “As a parent I know how worrying it could be not knowing what your child is getting up to online. Online security is key to us at TalkTalk, which is why we work with Internet Matters to offer advice for parents who may not know how to approach the topic of online safety with their children or where to find resources and tools to help keep their children safe.”