Hay Festival has today revealed the free Programme for Schools for this spring’s edition, bringing writers and young readers together in-person and online for a series of inspiring interactive activities and conversations, 25-26 May, kicking-off the full Festival running 25 May-4 June 2023. 

Parents and teachers can explore the programme online now at hayfestival.org/schools with priority booking open now to all state schools in Wales. 

KS2 events on Thursday 25 May include writers Matt Goodfellow, Dr Ranj, Pamela Butchart, Chae Strathie, Abi Elphinstone, Emma Carroll, Jeffrey Boakye and SF Said; poet Mererid Hopwood; Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho; adventurer Bear Grylls; and space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock

KS3/4 events on Friday 26 May feature writers Anthony McGowan, Dr Shini Somara, Nicola Davies, Patrice Lawrence, Nikesh Shukla, Chris Vick, Candy Gourlay and Laura Dockrill; economist Tim Harford; Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho; activists Laura Bates and Jeffrey Boakye and space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

On Friday 26 May, students from Hereford College of Arts will pop up throughout the day with Teenage Dreams, a series of immersive performances starring teenage characters from some of Shakespeare’s best loved plays. 

For those who can’t access the free events in person, sessions will also be streamed free online, with closed captioning available in Welsh and English at hayfestival.org/schools, and available free after the event on Hay Player at hayfestival.org/hayplayer

Last year’s Programme for Schools at Hay Festival 2022 saw more than14,000 attendances from primary and secondary schools across England and Wales, while digital events over the past three years have reached more than 160,000 pupils with free events online.

Julie Finch, Hay Festival CEO, said: “Following last week’s programme launch, we are delighted to share the line-up for our free Programme for Schools at Hay Festival 2023. As a charity, we are committed to broadening cultural accessibility and boosting reading for pleasure through dynamic, interactive events and year-round projects. Our Programme for Schools is an annual highlight and we cannot wait to welcome thousands of young people, in-person and online, to join us for these days of inspiration and hope, creating a space where imaginations are free to roam. Join us.”

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said:
 “It’s fantastic to see Hay Festival’s free spring programme for schools, inspiring pupils with in-person and online workshops with writers and poets. I look forward to seeing lots of young people getting involved and finding their passion for creative writing and reading.”  

Hay Festival is the world’s leading festival of ideas, bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. 

This year’s programme launches the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues. Award-winning writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas.

Providing exciting new platforms to discover fresh ideas, Hay Festival invites audiences to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. It is a catalyst for change and action, open and accessible to all.

And the action continues for young people throughout half-term with Hay Days and #HAYYA events inspiring the next generation of readers and writers with appearances from authors Jacqueline Wilson (The Other Edie Trimmer), Cressida Cowell (Which Way to Anywhere), Clara Kumagai (Catfish Rolling), Julia Donaldson (A Squash and A Squeeze); historian Greg Jenner (You Are History); atronaut Tim Peake (The Cosmic Diary of our Incredible Universe); YA star Alice Oseman (Heartstopper); CBeebies presenter George Webster (This Is Me!); a special event with Literature Wales where the current Children’s Laureate Wales Connor Allen pass the baton to the next writer; plus a dynamic blend of workshops, pop-up performances and free activities all around the site.

Explore the full programme of 500+ events online now at hayfestival.org/wales.


ViewSonic Unveils Hybrid Learning Innovations with Stunning 105” 5K Interactive Display at BETT 2023

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solutions, is launching a range of comprehensive education technology (EdTech) solutions, with the new addition to ViewSonic’s revolutionary 5K 105” ViewBoard interactive display. In terms of software, highlights include ViewSonic’s rich digital learning tools from the myViewBoard software suite, and the UNIVERSE by ViewSonic—a 3D virtual campus for online learning. The solutions will be exhibited in in-class, online, and hybrid learning scenarios at the BETT Show 2023 (British Educational Training and Technology Show) in London from 29 to 31, March.

“ViewSonic is dedicated to offering innovative visual solutions from hardware, software, service, to digital content. We will continue to implement our Ecosystem as a Service (EaaS) strategy and work with partners across the industry to create a digital education ecosystem that is truly transformative,” said Clifford Chen, General Manager of the Presentation Group at ViewSonic. “At ViewSonic, we believe that technology can expand what’s possible in classrooms. The digital transition is the key to the future of education, which is why we’ve designed a range of advanced solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into learning environments of all kinds.“

As a leading EdTech solutions provider, ViewSonic’s ViewBoard interactive displays and myViewBoard software suites are being adopted by educational institutions around the world. Ranging in size from 24” to 105”, the company’s ViewBoard is one of the most popular interactive displays in the world ; in Q4 of 2022, ViewSonic was ranked first in the global interactive display market, while the beginning of 2023 saw the myViewBoard ecosystem swell to over 8 million users.

ViewSonic’s display at BETT 2023 will offer attendees the ability to experience a range of EdTech solutions across different scenarios:

Taking In-class Learning with Digital Content into the Future

A teacher will use ViewSonic’s ViewBoard IFP8652 4K display and the company’s whiteboarding software to showcase how diverse pre-made digital lesson content from ViewSonic Originals, an online resource exclusively designed for interactive displays, can be used to create engaging learning experiences in the classroom. While more and more educational institutions are digitising, ViewSonic Originals makes planning and running lessons easier by offering thousands of pieces of content within a user-friendly database.

The company’s latest environmental sensor, Sensor Box, will show how educational institutions can harness technology to optimise conditions such as air quality, humidity, temperature, and automatically switch displays on and off, allowing schools to adhere to the UK Green Building Council guidelines. Additionally, demonstrations of myViewBoard Manager Advanced software will provide insights into how IT departments can remotely manage an entire school’s displays—including multimedia broadcasting, permission management, and addressing technical issues, all of which avoid interrupting classes and allow students to focus on learning.

A New “UNIVERSE” in Online Learning
Recognised by two distinguished EdTech Awards recently, ViewSonic’s innovative UNIVERSE virtual learning platform opens up new opportunities in online learning. Attendees at BETT 2023 will be able to experience how UNIVERSE allows participants to engage in interactive classrooms with new 3D educational content and create unique learning spaces. The platform addresses some of the key challenges faced during online learning by increasing student engagement, encouraging collaboration, and fostering a sense of belonging among students.

Going Hybrid in with Advanced Audiovisuals
To show how higher education can be advanced using hybrid setups to ensure the best learning outcome, ViewSonic will be displaying the 5K 105” ViewBoard IFP105S, which features a 21:9 ratio display and multi-touch capabilities. Attendees will be able to see how students in-class and in other locations can collaborate simultaneously with a breeze.

Further, the series is flawlessly complemented by ViewSonic’s new Live Mosaic View feature for their latest VB-CAM-201-2. Powered by AI technology, Live Mosaic View can provide close-ups of participants and readjust the view based on each attendee’s activity, ensuring that attendees and speakers are automatically framed and focused, offering a more immersive experience for hybrid meetings.

Visit ViewSonic at BETT 2023, North Hall, Booth NL21, ExCeL London. To find more info and arrange a meeting with ViewSonic’s educational experts at BETT 2023, please visit: https://www.viewsonic.com/uk/bett2023


About ViewSonic
Founded in California, ViewSonic is a leading global provider of visual solutions with a presence in over 100 cities around the world. As an innovator and visionary, ViewSonic is committed to providing comprehensive hardware and software solutions that include monitors, projectors, digital signage, ViewBoard interactive displays, and myViewBoard software ecosystem. With over 30 years of expertise in visual displays, ViewSonic has established a strong position for delivering innovative and reliable solutions for education, enterprise, consumer, and professional markets and helping customers “See the Difference”. To find out more about ViewSonic, please visit www.viewsonic.com.


Kettering Buccleuch Academy (KBA) Enhances Communications Reliability and Versatility with Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral

Avaya, a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, is providing Kettering Buccleuch Academy (KBA), a multi-age, all-through school located in Northamptonshire, with its all-in-one, cloud-based communications solution to create a more cohesive digital environment. KBA chose Avaya Cloud Office for its ability to meet the school’s needs with a reliable, always-on platform delivering the latest communication technologies including team messaging, video meetings, intelligent voice routing, centralized automation, and robust analytics. The simplified solution offers them the versatility to use feature-rich handsets and application delivery on a single device while delivering greater operational efficiency with increased cost savings. 


The core of KBA’s success is effective communication with all stakeholders, both directly within the school and indirectly using technologies such as audio, video, and messaging systems, and employing these functions to enable better outcomes. This begins in the classroom, but also includes the links between departments, with parents and carers, with partners and suppliers, and with outside authorities.


The academy holds its communications technology to a high standard and has had a long-standing relationship with Avaya and its local delivery partner, UCAdvisor. Together, KBA’s technology partners delivered a plan to execute on the school’s digital transformation objectives and migrate them to a cloud-based communications platform.  Avaya Cloud Office provided KBA a solution that met their needs for functionality, reliability, and an improved admin experience in a cost-effective and easy to migrate implementation.


Adam Burn, ICT Systems Manager at KBA recognized the school’s long-standing relationship with Avaya through local delivery partner, UCAdvisor. After exploring other options, KBA ultimately chose to remain with Avaya and deploy Avaya Cloud Office. UCAdvsior were able to cover the cost of deployment with their grant funding, as well as provide handsets for KBA without cost that delivered enhanced

functionality with a familiar interface.


“Devices and handsets were important considerations for us,” said Burn. “Avaya Cloud Office allows us to use smartphone apps when remote, but we also have a suite of devices on site that staff are familiar with and that withstand the daily rigors of school activity.”


With Avaya Cloud Office, KBA maintains centralized control and provides full transcription and text delivery to users. Overall, communication capabilities have improved significantly as a result of the transition to cloud.


“It’s clear that voice is no longer the only way to stay in touch with customers and colleagues,” said Tim Sherwood, VP of Product and Offer Management, Avaya. “Instead, chat/Instant Messaging (IM), often begins an interaction that may escalate into an audio, video, or content sharing session. The reality is employees and customers expect more – they want a seamless and intuitive communications experience that fits into how they work instead of changing the way they work–helping them stay in touch on their device of choice as they move throughout their day. Avaya Cloud Office can fundamentally enhance the way your business communicates with customers, partners and across your organization by simplifying the way you call, chat, meet and collaborate.”


“Avaya Cloud Office has reduced management overhead, allowing us to focus more on our core activities, while improving the service we can deliver for parents and students,” said Burn. “UCAdvisor clearly understood our initial requirements and helped us save a significant amount on upfront expenditures.”  


Additional Resources


About Kettering Buccleuch Academy (KBA)

We have a relentless focus on high standards by having high expectations and not accepting any excuses. We aim to create a positive learning environment where the street stops at the gate and where we help every student to succeed. We provide excellent teaching skills and commitment from our staff and this in turn generates enthusiasm and hard work from the students. Our purposeful learning environment supports our students to achieve beyond expectations and challenges them to improve on their personal best. A love of learning is our priority and the House system supports students in their academic and personal development. We offer a broad curriculum at KBA which allows flexibility. All students receive the core curriculum of Maths, English and Science, delivered in state of the art classrooms. Our curriculum experience for students is further enhanced by a range of other subjects across all three key stages.


About Avaya

Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and every day millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya. Avaya is shaping the future of customer experiences, with innovation and partnerships that deliver game-changing business benefits. Our communications solutions power immersive, personalized, and memorable customer experiences to help organizations achieve their strategic ambitions and desired outcomes. Together, we are committed to helping grow your business by delivering Experiences That Matter. Learn more at http://www.avaya.com.


Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains certain “forward-looking statements.” All statements other than statements of historical fact are “forward-looking” statements for purposes of the U.S. federal and state securities laws. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “our vision,” “plan,” “potential,” “preliminary,” “predict,” “should,” “will,” or “would” or the negative thereof or other variations thereof or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, risks attendant to the bankruptcy process, including the Company’s ability to emerge successful from the Company’s voluntary cases under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, and other factors discussed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC and other public statements made from time-to-time. These risks and uncertainties may cause the Company’s actual results, performance, liquidity or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance, liquidity or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The Company cautions you that the list of important factors included in the Company’s SEC filings may not contain all of the material factors that are important to you. In addition, in light of these risks and uncertainties, the matters referred to in the forward-looking statements contained in this report may not in fact occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.


Weduc launches a new version of its app to increase parental engagement

A host of new app features makes it easier for parents to stay up to date on their children’s education

Loughborough, 15th March 2023 – Loughborough-based school software provider, Weduc, has today announced a complete redesign of its all-in-one parent app to increase parental engagement across UK schools and simplify the challenges of communication between families and educational institutions.

An integrated part of Weduc’s Reach More Parents platform, the new app sports a simpler, sleeker style, and boasts an easier to navigate, social media-like newsfeed which is primarily icon-driven to make it more inclusive and accessible to different social groups. The app’s intuitive newsfeed brings all key school information together for parents to scroll through and get up to date with the latest messages about their children’s progress, upcoming school trips, or parent-teacher evenings, in a range of languages.

A new feature of pinned posts has been added within the app, enabling school staff to mark the most urgent communication, making it easier for time-poor parents to stay informed and avoid missing important updates or reminders, such as no-uniform days or food tech ingredients, for example. The pinned posts are placed at the top of the feed and once parents read them, they get a simple notification that they’re up to speed.

Rob Pointen, CEO at Weduc, said: “Everything we do here is with an aim to reach more parents and make it as easy as possible for them to stay updated with the latest school news. When life gets busy, it’s easy to miss communication from school, but that can impact student outcomes. Through our newly redesigned, fully customisable app, parents can benefit from having everything that’s important under one roof, in a familiar, simplified format, encouraging them to take a more proactive approach to their child’s learning experience.”

Adam Teall, Parental Engagement Lead at Cognita Schools, commented ‘The new version of the Weduc app is a huge stride forward in usability, consistency and general parent experience. The design is modern with many helpful changes and features that make using the app a pleasure. Parent needs and requests are at the heart of the new design and this is obvious all over – from folders in messages to the new dashboard, which surfaces the most relevant and time-critical information to the user the minute they open the app.”

For parents whose children go to different schools, the new app gives parents the option to choose which school communication they wish to look at. Without any technical know-how, they can engage with the content from multiple schools in one place, eliminating the need for separate apps. In addition, Reach More Parents multi-channel approach to parental communication means parents can receive reminders and notifications about their children not only via in-app messages but also social media platforms, text messages and emails, with the option to link school events to their own Google and Microsoft calendars. This feature is aimed at helping educational institutions engage even the smallest minority of parents who are the hardest to reach.

“At Weduc, we pride ourselves on reaching more parents than any other system currently on the market”, adds Pointen. “We offer multiple integrations with other apps so that parents can save time by only having to check one place for all aspects of school life.”

In contrast to other school communication providers, Weduc offers UK-based customer support to not only school staff but also parents. Whether it’s a password reset, first-time sign-up, or a non-technical query, parent users can contact Weduc for assistance via email or telephone. This is designed to limit the pressure on stretched school staff who can instead focus on important work.

Alongside the app redesign and to further enhance its customer support, Weduc has recently launched a series of how-to-guides. The new app is being rolled out free of charge across the company’s existing customer base, which includes over 500 primary, secondary, and independent schools as well as multi-academy trusts. Parents whose schools have implemented the communication solution can download it from the App Store or Google Play. To learn more about the product features, visit Weduc’s website: https://www.weduc.com/


Acer for BETT: improving learning and teaching, always.


Acer is excited to be exhibiting again at BETT show 2023, from 29th until 31st March at the ExCel in London, for three days of inspiring content, networking and product discovery. Acer’s goal is to bring continuously evolving technologies to support education institutions in order to ensure the creation of perfect learning environments that ease the communication and interactions between pupils and their educators.


Come to visit us at stand NJ10 to discover not only Acer’s latest products, but also programs offering resources and innovative solutions to inspire curious minds because we believe that education is an integral part of unleashing human potential. Our wide range of affordable devices is secure, eco-minded, easy to use and built to last, providing versatile solutions designed for families and college students who like to be on the go all day. We supply a tailored portfolio covering any learning needs to empower teachers to unlock every student’s potential.


We strongly believe in schools because we believe in tomorrow. We know that when supported by the right empowering tools, only the sky is the limit for students and teachers. Indeed, by offering the finest technologies, educational contents and solutions schools can start their journey towards implementing innovative collaborative learning environments to meet the challenges of the 21st century.



  We understand that budgets do not always allow for school’s full vision to be fulfilled. This is why the company developed targeted programs such as Acer STEM Rewards designed to meet both current and future education needs to assist schools and colleges, develop critical thinkers, increase science literacy and grow the next generation of innovators. By participating to this programme, schools can benefit from free teaching and learning resources and the opportunity to refresh devices whilst keeping costs down.  




  Keep innovating with Acer for Education. Come to visit us at Bett show 2023 in stand NJ10 to stay current with the latest EdTech trends, discover innovative solutions for schools, update your skills and more! www.acer.com


Book your tickets now https://bettuk23-registration.personatech.com/


Chartered College of Teaching and NASBTT agree new mentor development partnership


The Chartered College of Teaching and the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) have agreed a partnership to raise awareness of, advocate, and promote their sector-leading mentor development initiatives.


The collaboration sees the Chartered College provide formal recognition of NASBTT’s new Mentor Development Modules, which were formally launched last month for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers, as meeting the high standards set by the Chartered College, as defined in its Chartered Status Professional Principles.


NASBTT, meanwhile, will promote the College’s Chartered Teacher (Mentor) Status, which provides formal recognition to mentors for the work they are undertaking to support teachers through high-quality mentoring. This pathway gives opportunities to further the professional learning and development of those completing the Mentor Development Modules, including the option to invest in school-based staff undertaking Chartered Status assessment units.


The Chartered College’s self-paced pathway to Chartered Status means mentors can work at their own pace, completing a series of units to become Chartered. Each unit is individually certified by the Chartered College and can be aligned to the work that mentors are already doing, with their mentees, in their schools, and as part of ITT and ECF programmes.


NASBTT’s Mentor Development Modules offer a flexible suite of training resources that can be embedded within existing elements of mentor training. Modules will be available as either online self-directed study or as taught modules delivered by licensed providers. It is expected that 30 modules will be available from September 2023, and the full suite of 60 modules from September 2024, providing a cost-effective solution to mentor training requirements.


One of the first teaching professionals involved in the Mentor Development Modules is Cathryn Mortimer, Director of Arthur Terry Teaching School Hub. Moving into 2024, it has become crystal clear to us that we are going to need to work together as a sector and think creatively about how we meet the challenges of the new mentor quality requirements, particularly the amount of training time required,” she said.


“Whilst we were wrestling with these tricky questions, NASBTT were already ten steps ahead. We are now working closely with them to pilot their excellently designed training modules which have a face-to-face design, but also come with an asynchronous option. We think these options will be so helpful to ITT providers, mentors and their schools, supporting with mentor workload whilst providing high-quality training materials and flexible training models for mentors with various levels of skills and expertise.”


Dr Steven Berryman, President of the Chartered College of Teaching, commented:

“Our Chartered Teacher (Mentor) Status, focusing on classroom practice and mentoring knowledge, is a new professional accreditation that recognises highly-accomplished teachers who draw on their teaching and mentoring expertise. Having NASBTT, as the voice of school-based ITT, championing and supporting mentor development is absolutely wonderful. As a sector, we are stronger when we are together, and we are delighted to formalise our relationship with NASBTT to advance our mutual charitable objectives to improve the quality of education for children and young people.”


Jonny Goggs, Head of Partnerships, added:

We are thrilled to be partnering with NASBTT, an organisation who continue to play an absolutely crucial role in supporting those training and developing teachers. This exciting partnership offers a new route to gain Chartered Teacher (Mentor) Status for mentors enrolled in NASBTT’s new suite of high-quality, evidence-informed Mentor Development Modules. The role of mentors is vital to drive standards and develop beginning teachers, and we look forward to working with NASBTT to provide professional development and formal recognition to mentors across the country.”


Emma Hollis, NASBTT Executive Director, said:

“As per the 2024 mentoring requirements ITT providers are required to establish a professional network of well-trained and expert mentors. Our Mentor Development Modules are designed to support ITT providers in meeting the training time requirements, and the demands for a fully resourced mentor curriculum that aligns with the trainee curriculum equipping mentors with an understanding of the curriculum content trainees will cover and an approach to mentoring based on the best available evidence. We are delighted to be a Chartered Status CPD Partner to the Chartered College of Teaching and to promote the Chartered Teacher (Mentor) Status to our members.”


Via the partnership, the Chartered College and NASBTT will also pursue further opportunities to collaborate on projects, and continue to support each other’s programmes and services.


Barley Fields Primary School converts to an academy and joins Prince Regent Street Trust


Barley Fields Primary School, based in Ingleby Barwick in Stockton-on-Tees, has completed its conversion to academy status and joined Prince Regent Street Trust, a successful primary-only multi-academy trust (MAT) also located in Stockton.


Following a consultation with pupils, parents and carers, staff and other interested parties in November and December last year, and a programme of due diligence, the 702-pupil school becomes the fourth member of Prince Regent Street Trust alongside Hartburn Primary School, Village Primary School and Wolviston Primary School.


Headteacher Caroline Taylor said the school began formally exploring academisation last April following publication of the government’s Schools White Paper which promoted the intention for all schools to be part of a MAT, originally by 2030.


The school’s interest in joining a MAT had been “a long and very considered one”, Caroline explained, which included understanding what joining a trust could mean for the school; evaluating the benefits of joining several locally-established MATs; and working alongside Prince Regent Street Trust as a partner school.


“At the heart of our school improvement strategy is a long-held commitment to working in partnership with other strong schools – sharing practice, challenging one another and working in collaboration – and we are clear that joining Prince Regent Street Trust is the right thing for our children, staff and wider community,” she said.


“We explored a number of different models, but wanted to be part of a MAT that was primary-based, and as a successful school already one that would give us a high level of autonomy. Prince Regent Street Trust will challenge us, and us working with other high-performing schools will give something back to them too. The trust’s comprehensive and personalised support around non-teaching elements, including finance, estates and compliance, will allow us to concentrate fully on teaching and learning.


“For children there will not be much change. In fact, their education will only continue to improve as a consequence of joining, and carefully selected partner schools share this value and vision for their own schools and their pupils. The day-to-day running and management of the school will remain the same – practically our logo and uniform will be unchanged – but we will be given additional support to improve without having decisions taken away from us. In particular, we will benefit from cross-Trust curriculum meetings, peer networks and working parties, and a wealth of training and CPD opportunities.”


Glynis Pattison, Chair of Governors at Barley Fields Primary School, added: “We researched the models of collaboration available to our school in response to significant changes in the educational landscape. After thorough research which considered many different models of collaboration, we concluded that it was in the best interests of pupils, parents and other stakeholders to apply to convert to become an academy.


“Over the past 12 months we have been working as a partner school with Prince Regent Street Trust, giving us the chance to get to know their Chief Executive and Headteachers, who have been honest and open from the beginning. Governors have attended Prince Regent Street Trust’s Trustees meeting, which has been really valuable.


“We have got to know the trust throughout this period, carried out huge amounts of due diligence in the process, and are really excited about the future.”


Julia Armstrong, CEO of Prince Regent Street Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome Barley Fields Primary School into our family. Having worked with the school extensively to identify mutual compatibility, especially in terms of shared ethos, and the benefits of them joining our trust we believe that together we can create solid foundations for the future.


“We are continually striving for excellence and, in all cases we are seeking impact on our pupils through achievement, equality of opportunity by offering enriching life experiences, and in supporting their preparation for future life.


“Barley Fields staff will benefit from a bespoke package of support including development opportunities for the senior leadership team, governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, which will impact positively on many areas of the school, as well as finance and operations.”


For Caroline, who joined the school when it opened in 2006 with just 38 children before becoming Headteacher 10 years later, she is now looking forward to a new dawn for Barley Fields Primary. “Our journey over the last 16 years have been a delight,” she revealed. “We pride ourselves on the atmosphere in our school, the sense of family and community, and our children are extremely good and very well mannered.


“Academic standards and outcomes are very high, and children enjoy a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum, underpinned by our approach to ‘growth mindset’ which recognises that setbacks are a necessary part of the learning process and allows people to ‘bounce back’ by increasing motivational effort. Above all, we value our spirit of openness and friendliness.


“I am fortunate to lead a very talented staff team here and by joining Prince Regent Street Trust they will have the opportunities to broaden their horizons through different settings, all in other high-performing schools, both leading and sharing their experiences. This is a wonderful opportunity for Barley Fields Primary School.”


Group of students in a primary school are having a digital tablet lesson with their teacher. 


New tools and resources will engage primary school pupils with current affairs

Discovery Education – the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place – today announced new features and enhancements to its flagship digital learning platform—Discovery Education Espresso—for primary schools.

Produced in partnership with ITN Productions, the platform’s Espresso News feature brings the world’s biggest news stories to thousands of primary school classrooms every day – supporting cross curricular learning while connecting pupils’ real-world knowledge.

Featuring daily and weekly video bulletins and a range of on-demand resources including curriculum-aligned news channels, editorial photography and content to enhance class communication and debating skills, Espresso News helps pupils make sense of the world around them. It also guides children to become well informed citizens of the future, building skills to identify fake news and providing support to help them deal with difficult stories.

Today, Discovery Education announced a host of new features added to Espresso News, which helps teachers infuse the news into the curriculum and engage pupils with current affairs. These new features include:

  • Linking News to the Curriculum: New curriculum-aligned channels, with subject-relevant stories e.g., History in the News
  • Teacher Support: Special resources to help educators deliver the news across every subject area
  • News Specials: In-depth coverage of key events such as The King’s Coronation
  • News In Focus: Resources to help pupils explore important stories in greater depth
  • Expert Guidance: Coping with upsetting news stories, for pupils and teachers
  • News Quiz: A new-look tool to check pupil understanding and progress

Howard Lewis, Discovery Education’s UK and International Managing Director said:

“Espresso News offers powerful opportunities to bring current affairs and world events to pupils of all ages. The new features and enhancements we’re announcing today will make it easier than ever for teachers to infuse the news into the primary curriculum, igniting pupil interest in current affairs and connecting the learning in the classroom to the world beyond the schoolyard.”

Espresso News is available to Discovery Education subscriber schools via Discovery Education Espresso, the curriculum-centred daily learning platform for primary schools.

Explore Discovery Education’s award-winning digital learning services at www.discoveryeducation.co.uk.


Leading children’s writing competition 500 Words relaunches on BBC


The UK’s most successful children’s writing competition, 500 Words, will relaunch this September, supported by BBC Teach with BBC Breakfast hosting the initiative for 2023.


The BBC is now searching for teachers and librarians across the UK to register their interest in joining the judging panel to help choose the best entries later this year.


500 Words is a UK wide competition to find the most talented young writers. Since it was first launched by Chris Evans on The Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2011 and continued by Zoe Ball until 2020, the competition has received over a million stories written by children, generating more than 440 million words to date.


Once again, the competition will enjoy the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort. Her Majesty has a longstanding commitment to championing literacy and creative writing, and has supported the 500 Words competition every year since 2015.


In a recent conversation with BookTrust and Joseph Coelho, the Children’s Laureate, to mark this year’s World Book Day, The Queen Consort spoke about the importance of creative writing competitions like 500 Words and Her Majesty’s ‘joy’ that the competition is being relaunched.


Joseph Coelho said: “Putting pen to paper doesn’t have to be that scary, which is what is so wonderful about 500 Words. There are no rules!”

The Queen Consort replied: “There’s no rules – they can sit down and write exactly what they like.”


New for 2023, World Book Day ambassador Sir Lenny Henry will be making his debut on the 500 Words judging panel, alongside the original judges – award-winning and best-selling authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Francesca Simon, Charlie Higson and former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman.


Lenny will also read a special CBeebies Bedtime Story to celebrate World Book Day on 2 March. He will read Luna Loves World Book Day by Joseph Coelho, a story about a little girl’s excitement to dress up as her favourite book character, meet an author and illustrator and buy a new book with her book token.


The grand final will take place on World Book Day 2024, where 50 finalists will be invited to a star-studded event at a special location. Previous locations for the final have included Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and the Tower of London.


With a focus on primary schools, the entries will be split into two age categories – 5-7 year olds and 8-11 year olds. 


Chief Content Officer at BBC, Charlotte Moore said: “We are thrilled to once again host the 500 Words competition and help discover a range of young authors with big imaginations. It is fantastic that the competition will be supported by The Queen Consort and we do hope teachers and librarians across the UK will get involved in this chance to help find the writers of tomorrow.”


Author and 500 Words judge, Charlie Higson said: “I am so excited to take part in this year’s 500 Words! We can’t wait to see what stories today’s kids want to tell. I know that my fellow judges and I will be laughing, crying, gasping and I’m sure left feeling amazed at all the talent on display.”


BBC Breakfast presenter, Jon Kay said: “We are delighted to be championing 500 Words and look forward to the no doubt stellar entries from talented, aspiring young writers up and down the country that are sure to follow in due course.”


Teachers and librarians can find out more information about volunteering to take part in the first round of judging  at BBC Teach. The Reading Agency will then whittle down the entries into a top 50, which are then passed onto the final judging panel who will select the bronze, silver and gold winners in each of the two age categories. The competition is focused on imagination and creativity, rather than spelling, punctuation or grammar, encouraging children of all abilities to enter. 


To help raise awareness in schools, encourage as many entries from young creative minds as possible and provide further support for teachers, BBC Teach will run the competition in partnership with World Book Day, The Reading Agency, Libraries Connected, The Publishers Association and Oxford University Press. 


A host of famous faces will read out the six winning stories, with narrators from previous years including the likes of Dua Lipa, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jodie Whittaker. 


Kids Judge Bett, Teachmeet and more: Events at Bett promise to engage and inspire educators and students alike

Bett UK 2023, the world’s largest education technology (EdTech) event will be underway at the ExCeL London on the 29-31st March. Bett promises to be bigger and better than ever before with a record breaking 25,000+ registrations to date, from around the world. 


This year’s three-day event will feature an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, hundreds of CPD-accredited workshops, exhibitors demonstrating technology, and an array of fringe events to engage and inspire educators and students alike, including Kids Judge Bett, UK & International Teachmeets, and events from Bett partners the Global Equality Collective and the BAMEed Network. 


Kids Judge Bett

Kids Judge Bett, one of the most popular student-led events, returns for the 8th year with a special guest appearance from Writer and Poet Michael Rosen! Organised by Katy Potts, Islington Council, the event will see pupils and parents from primary, secondary schools, including SEND and FE, judging and exploring all the stands, exhibitors, and their products and choosing their favourites across ten categories. Join us in the Arena to see our brilliant judges announce the winners live on stage and hand out the coveted chocolate trophies to the worthy winners.

Finalists announcement: Friday 31st March

Time/ Location: 14.15 – 14.45, Arena theatre



This social gathering of educators provides a fantastic opportunity to share their experience and knowledge in quickfire presentations. The space is set for educators to expand their personal networks, be inspired by enthusiastic peers, and soak up interesting ideas to take back to the classroom. Two Teachmeets will be held consecutively, the first will have an international focus and the second more UK-centric.

Date: Thursday 30th March

Time/ Location: 16.15 – 18.45, Bett Academy Live


The Global Equality Collective @ Bett

Another must-see session that will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion through EdTech, featuring the WomenEdTech collective, a review of inclusive curriculums and the future of EdTech. Nicole Ponsford, Founder of the Global Equality Collective and other amazing speakers will explore how the work of the GEC is supporting leaders at scale, providing attendees with practical solutions, take-aways and ways to make ordinary classrooms extraordinarily inclusive in 2023.

Date: Thursday 30th March

Time/ Location: 15:15 – 16:45, Leaders @ Bett


The BAMEed Network: Everyone on board: anti-racist strategies for schools and colleges

The BAMEed Network is a national grassroots charity that works to support the sector to be more representative of our global world at every level. Curated by Co-Founder Penny Rabiger, the session will feature a series of talks from BAMEed Network members about their work,  providing practical takeaways and useful insights for anti-racist strategies in schools and colleges and actual implementation of these strategies in classrooms.

Date: Thursday 30th March

Time/ Location: 17:15 -18:45, Leaders @ Bett


In order to attend the Global Equality Collective session and/or BAMEed session, visitors need to sign up for their free ticket via this Eventbrite link. Please note that visitors will also need to ensure they have registered for Bett 2023 in order to access this event. 


On-time registration for Bett ends on 3rd March 2023 and is free. Late registration (4th March 2023 onwards) tickets will incur a £25 fee. 

Registration is now open at: https://bettuk23-registration.personatech.com/

For any media inquiries, please contact bett@withpr.co.uk