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Wesleyan Foundation donates £11,000 to Evolve

The charity Evolve, which works with young people across the UK to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing, has received a donation of £11,000 from the Wesleyan Foundation to continue its life-changing work with vulnerable students.

 

The donation – from the Wesleyan Foundation, the charitable arm of financial services mutual Wesleyan – will help to support and nurture the development of 50 pupils through the final terms of the academic year by providing extra mentoring, health and classroom support.

Anglesey Primary and The Oaks Primary will also benefit from a specialist health mentor, who will be on site five days a week to work with selected pupils and provide a one-to-one mentoring service.

 

Evolve works with an average of 1,350 children every year across six different UK regions, and 65% of pupils at risk of falling out of training, education or employment have stayed in education as a result of the charity’s work. Last year it provided 45 health mentors to schools across the UK and managed to help reduce school expulsions by 50% and close the wellbeing gap for disadvantaged students.

Nathan Wallis, Chief of Staff at Wesleyan, said: “Evolve is an incredible charity that is transforming children’s lives through its mentoring and wellbeing support programme.

“As a mutual, it is part of our ethos to give back to the communities and organisations that matter to our members and we’re proud to support the organisation’s incredibly valuable work through the Wesleyan Foundation.”

Lewis Griffiths, Business Development Manager at Evolve said: “Since we started Evolve in 2003, we’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of schools and thousands of children up and down the UK and have seen just how valuable mentoring and coaching can be.

“We want to continue transforming the lives of pupils across the country and we are immensely appreciative of Wesleyan Foundation for their donation which will enable us to further our work at two schools and provide one-to-one mentoring to a not only 50 of the direct individuals but also benefit the entirety of the school through our on site activities. Organisations like Wesleyan make such a difference to society and help to build better futures for the most vulnerable pupils, along with our partnering schools, we can’t thank them enough! ”

In 2017 Wesleyan, the financial services mutual, launched the Wesleyan Foundation as part of their commitment to supporting great causes that are important to their members and the communities in which they live and work.

The Foundation has since donated £4.3m and has supported over 100,000 people across 500 different groups.

Back to school with ZOONO®

Going back to school after the summer holidays can be a daunting time, especially if you are starting a new school. As September looms, there is no better time to start thinking about what supplies you need, making sure you don’t leave off that extra layer of protection. ZOONO’s Hand and Surface sanitisers are the perfect addition to any new school year giving you peace of mind that bacteria won’t get in your way so you can focus on the more important stuff! With protection for up to 24 hours on skin and up to 30 days on surfaces, you can rest assured ZOONO has you covered.

Worrying about sickness and outbreaks shouldn’t be at the forefront of your mind when returning to school that’s why we’ve set out to create the best protection yet! Our alcohol free and water-based formula is effective against 99.9% of bacteria and enveloped viruses, so head to zoono.com to find your next level of protection.

Head to https://engage.zoono.com/education-landing for more information

Discovery Education’s Augmented Reality App Earns Spaces4Learning New Product Award

Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—recently earned the Spaces4Learning New Product Award in the K-12 Remote Learning Technology category for its Sandbox AR app. The Spaces4Learning New Product Award programme honours the outstanding product development achievements of companies whose products or services are particularly noteworthy for their ability to enhance the learning environment.Spaces4Learning is a leading publication for companies and organizations interested in creating high-quality facilities in both K-12 and higher education.  

 

Discovery Education’s Sandbox AR app empowers students and teachers to create, share, and even inhabit virtual environments. Within Sandbox AR, users can create virtual worlds and populate them with some of the hundreds of unique objects from history, the built world, science and nature, and more. Sandbox AR also gives students new ways to express themselves and demonstrate their learning through a feature that lets learners take photos or record a video walkthrough with their own voice over. Sandbox AR even offers a mode that allows users to scale up and inhabit their own life size virtual environments.

 

For those new to AR, Sandbox AR includes many pre-built sandboxes exploring diverse subjects such as ancient Egypt, space exploration, Mayan civilization, road construction, and more, with additional sandboxes coming soon. Discovery Education is also making available several free, pre-built lessons educators can use with the app to familiarize themselves with integrating AR into classroom instruction. Sandbox AR is available for download here.

 

The development of Sandbox AR was led by Discovery Education’s UK-based Immersive Learning team who have been pioneers in creating Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences for schools for over 30 years. 

 

Sandbox AR received its world premiere at the BETT Show in March, where it was launched on the Main Stage with London-based educator Simon Pile sharing how he has used the app in his school.  

 

“Since its inception, Discovery Education has been an early mover in bringing innovative technologies—such as streaming video and digital textbooks—into the classroom, and we are now excited to put the power of augmented reality into the hands of educators with the Sandbox AR app,” said Howard Lewis, Managing Director, UK and International, at Discovery Education. “We are honoured by this recognition as it validates our work to provide all educators state-of-the-art resources that connect students to the world around them. Thank you to the Spaces4Learning team for this recognition.”

 

The winners are determined by a panel of judges. Learn more about the New Product Awards and the 2022 winners here.

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s award-winning digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Protect art lessons to help children stay stress-free and engage with learning, says Independent Association of Prep Schools

  • New study shows children aged 9 – 10 feel more awake (47%) and active (38%) following art sessions
  • Moods were also improved with children saying art gave them an outlet to express themselves, leaving them feeling more cheerful
  • Independent Association of Prep Schools calls on schools to deploy art lessons tactically to help pupils re-engage with learning

 

London, 4th August 2022: Do not cut art lessons and instead use them wisely to re-engage children and support them in opening up about their feelings and emotions, says Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS). The advice follows its new study1 which reveals pupils feel more awake (47%), energetic (39%) and active (38%) after a 45-minute art session. It comes at a time when many schools are facing budget cuts and are under pressure to drop art and other creative lessons.

 

Conducted in partnership with Dr Bettina Hohnen, Honorary Senior Teaching Fellow at University College London and clinical psychologist specialising in child mental health, the study explored the effects of art on children aged 9 and 10. Students from IAPS schools took part in independent focus group sessions and were asked to complete a mood questionnaire before and after a 45-minute art session, in which they could pick what they drew, painted, or made.

 

In addition to boosted energy levels, the study found the sessions reduced some of the negative moods tracked, with more than one in five (22%) children saying they felt less bored following their art session and 14% saying they felt less sad, highlighting how art can be used to increase student engagement and rebuild concentration levels.

 

IAPS believes the study demonstrates that art should be used by schools more creatively, with post-Covid year groups under pressure to deliver in core academic subjects, and children managing different emotions and stresses than previous cohorts.

 

A previous study2 from IAPS in partnership with TooledUp demonstrated how two-thirds (67%) of school staff were worried about pupils’ ability to interact face-to-face post-pandemic, potentially damaging their social skills and emotional development. Exploring potential solutions, in IAPS’ latest study many children said art made them “feel really good” and “more calm”. Other students said they “like being able to draw things from the outside after being in lockdown,” and that they enjoyed art because it “lets me release all my thoughts; I find it really calming”. Children also felt inspired to consider art as a profession in later life.

 

Comments from students on the day show how many found art calming and allowed them to express themselves, with trends in the data suggesting art enables children to release pent-up anger and frustration, or more difficult emotions such as feeling annoyed (-14%) or cross (-15%). Additionally, two-fifths (41%) of children reported feeling more cheerful and 37% felt more pleased following the activity.

 

Christopher King, CEO of IAPS said: “The creative side of education is hugely important, but not regulated, so when it comes to school budgets and comparing against inspection results, we are seeing art and other creative activities being cut. This needs to stop, as art teaches pupils so much more than to simply draw, paint or create. It teaches them skills to cope with their emotions and provides an outlet to express themselves. This is so important post-Covid.

 

“We encourage all schools to think creatively when it comes to art, before making any changes to curriculums or extra-curricular activities.  Art can be used to boost pupils’ energy levels and help them cope with emotions and talk about difficult issues. This is something which particularly younger students have struggled to learn during the pandemic. For many children, especially those who struggle with more academic subjects, art provides a reason to attend school and something for them to enjoy both in lessons and at home.”

 

Dr Bettina Hohnen, Clinical Psychologist, commented: “Arts activities involve and develop many key skills including attention, imagination, engagement, emotional regulation, understanding of others and self. Interestingly, not only were many children reporting increases in positive moods after the session, but many reported positive mood scores initially, suggesting they were excited to be taking part and have the creative opportunity. The results of this small study show the positive impact when children are given the opportunity to express themselves creatively.

 

“Some children said it was a safe space, where they could be themselves and be accepted, with one child saying “it expresses who I am”. This sense of belonging and place to be authentic is essential for children, particularly at a time when re-integration is high on the agenda post-lockdown.

“While the emotional direction of change was not the same for every child and it is important to consider the wider aspects of a person’s life, the research demonstrates how important art is for children to potentially improve wellbeing, reduce stress, increase positive energy and motivation and allow them to express themselves. This is a subject that ticks all the boxes for a school committed to improving the cognitive, social and emotional wellbeing of their pupils”. 

Discovery Education Announces Latest Enhancements to Award-Winning Discovery Education Espresso Service

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022— Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—today announced a host of new enhancements to its award-winning Espresso service. These improvements make it easier for educators to find, build and deliver compelling lessons that capture pupils’ attention and drive deeper engagement no matter the subject. 

 

Among the latest enhancements made to Discovery Education Espresso for back-to-school are: 

 

More ready-to-use tools to assess pupil outcomes and address learning gaps.

 

Educators can refine instruction to keep pupils motivated with the classroom engagement tool, Quiz. Quiz gives multiple ways to promote active learning in the classroom and track progress in real time. 


Real-time tracking of pupil progress with My Classrooms, an intuitive new way to navigate between tracking pupil progress and assignments. The redesigned interface will help teachers better understand where pupils are and how to differentiate learning to meet their unique needs. 

 

A new time-saving educator experience enhances the use of high-quality instructional resources.

Discovery Education understands that one of a teacher’s most valuable resources is time. Espresso’s search features have been more finely tuned to help educators find just the right piece of digital content they need to capitalise on the teachable moment.  

 

A brand-new Explore page empowers educators to easily browse Espresso’s unique treasury of digital resources by subject, then offers suggestions based on their grade levels and topics of interest. 

 

Enhanced ability to easily adapt ready-to-go lessons and activities.

 

Studio—Discovery Education’s creative lesson-building and presentation tool included with Espresso—empowers educators to quickly modify a ready-to-use activity, create a lesson from a template using proven education strategies, or construct a new digital lesson from scratch. 

 

In addition to improving the overall workflows of Studio, educators are now able to:

  • Quickly preview Studio lessons or activities from the pupil perspective.
  • Use images as buttons for pupil navigation through activities.      
  • Enliven lessons with fun fonts and animated buttons. 

 

A new pupil interface builds agency, inspires learning and promotes time on task.

Discovery Education has updated Espresso’s pupil interface with a refreshing new look and improved overall experience that builds pupil agency, encourages learning and promotes time on task. New features of the improved pupil interface include:

 

  • Personalisation options for pupils to customise the look and feel of their home page. 
  • A refreshed Assignments section that makes it easier for pupils to prioritise, launch and complete assignments. 
  • A brand-new Explore page that offers pupils the opportunity to follow their interests, with content recommendations based on searches, and what is timely, relevant, and new at Discovery Education.

These updates to the Discovery Education Espresso service build upon the high-quality curriculum content that educators across the UK have been using in their classrooms for more than twenty years, ensuring that the Espresso service continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s classrooms. 

“Continuous improvement is one of Discovery Education’s core values,” said Discovery Education’s Managing Director, UK and International, Howard Lewis. “The newest updates and features added to  Espresso support educators’ efforts to engage and inspire pupil learning wherever and whenever it is taking place. By providing teachers access to timely, relevant content and useful teaching tools all in one place, Discovery Education is making it even easier for teachers to find or create the engaging lessons we know will stoke the natural curiosity in all learners.”

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s award-winning digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Wesleyan provides 150,000 breakfasts to children and young people with £21,000 donation

IMAGE: GINGER PIXIE PHOTOGRAPHY 

The charity, Magic Breakfast, is set to provide an additional 150,000 breakfasts this summer thanks to a £21,000 match-funded donation from the Wesleyan Foundation. 

 

Magic Breakfast works with over 1,000 schools in disadvantaged areas of the UK to ensure no child is too hungry to learn. They offer free, healthy breakfasts daily to over 200,000 pupils and provide expert support to schools, giving children and young people at risk of hunger a healthy meal each morning.

 

Research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies has shown that pupils in primary school receiving a nutritious ‘magic breakfast’ boosted their attainment at KS1 by an average of two months’ additional progress over the course of a year, compared to children in schools with no such provision.  Alongside this, 94% of Magic Breakfast partner schools report that breakfast provision has a positive impact on energy levels and boosts concentration, and 93% report increased readiness to learn.

 

Nathan Wallis, Chief of Staff at Wesleyan, said: “Getting a good education is so important but sadly many pupils go to school hungry, which hampers their learning and development.

 

“Magic Breakfast is a wonderful charity that seeks to address this issue and provides children across the country with breakfasts to help them start each day ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

 

“As a mutual it’s important to us that we give back to communities and support the charities that matter to our members and customers, many of whom are teachers. At our AGM our members voted to support Magic Breakfast, a charity that closely aligns with our values. We are proud to have been able to provide it with funding and hope it will make a real difference to the school experience for many pupils.”

 

Catherine Mackenzie, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Magic Breakfast, said: “The current cost-of-living crisis is really stretching family finances, and this is sadly having a knock-on effect on the number of children and young people at risk of going to school hungry. When a child is hungry, they cannot learn, and this impacts their education and life chances. That’s why it’s imperative we continue our work to ensure no child is too hungry to learn.

 

“We are incredibly grateful to Wesleyan Foundation for their generous donation which will enable us to provide free, nutritious breakfasts to more pupils across the UK, giving many more pupils the chance to reach their full potential.”

 

In 2017 Wesleyan launched the Wesleyan Foundation as part of their commitment to supporting great causes that are important to their members and the communities in which they live and work.

 

The Foundation has since donated £4.3m and has supported more than 100,000 people across 500 different charities, community groups and social enterprises, benefitting thousands of people across the UK.

 

Southlands College celebrates 150th Anniversary

Southlands College, one of four colleges that makes up The University of Roehampton, has marked its 150th anniversary in a series of high-profile events, bringing together University presidents, academics and alumni from around the world to celebrate the College’s rich history and exciting future.

 

The celebrations included the launch of the College’s Transformation Fund, designed to raise money for the future redevelopment of Southlands College to create collaborative and inclusive spaces for students, and open the College up to the local community featuring Methodist minister and politician Lord Leslie Griffiths, local MP Fleur Anderson, Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Vice-Chancellor, and Phil Walker, Chair of the University of Roehampton’s Council. The College also hosted a conference, ‘Sustainability: Sharing Values, Creating Communities’, featuring talks from three of the UK’s leading environmental activists and academics, Professor Alastair McIntosh, Professor Robert Beckford, and Professor Molly Scott Cato who is based at Roehampton.

 

Southlands also played host to a party of distinguished Presidents and guests from US Methodist universities and the American Higher Education sector in addition to a major reunion of over 200 former students at a service in Digby Stuart Chapel and a celebratory lunch at Southlands itself. Included in the alumni was 104-year-old Freda Smith (née Walton), who trained at Southlands College in the 1930s.

 

Dr Christopher Stephens, Head of College, said: “Celebrating our foundation is an opportunity to reflect on the historic value of the Methodist Church’s mission in higher education and to consider how that mission can be relevant and important for our students today. As they look ahead to a challenging future, we hope that the underlying Methodist values espoused by Southlands College can help shape our students to be leaders in a society committed to inclusivity, to social justice and to building a better world for us all.”

 

For more information about the events celebrating the college’s 150th anniversary click here

Where has the Kickstart Scheme been most successful?

Since 17 October 2021, it was recorded that 73,665 young people were referred to the Kickstart Scheme, and 41,570 were recorded as having started on the programme.

With the Kickstart Scheme having ended in March 2022 and with the fairly large numbers of young people partaking in it, we wanted to explore the data‌.

Small Business Prices have therefore revealed key insights into the scheme such as the regions that filled the most kickstart roles, the job sectors that had the highest percentages of kickstart roles on offer, and the least and most common ages for young people to take part in the scheme. 

What was the Kickstart Scheme?

On the 8th of July 2020, Rishi Sunak announced the £2 billion ‘Kickstart Scheme’, which aimed to create more jobs for young people aged between 16 and 24 years old. Anyone who was in this age bracket, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, could apply.

The government covered all the Kickstarter’s wages for up to 25 hours of work at the minimum wage for their age bracket at the time;

  • 16 – 18 years old: £4.55 per hour
  • 18 – 20-year-olds: £6.45 per hour
  • 21 – 24-year-olds: £8.20 per hour

It is important to note that if employers wished to, they also had the option to top up this payment for their Kickstart employee/s.

The UK government also covered National Insurance contributions and employers’ minimum enrolment contributions. £1,500 was available to businesses for each Kickstarter they employed, to cover expenses such as support, training, and set-up costs (gov.uk).

Scotland Filled the Highest Percentage of Jobs

We have investigated the total percentage of available kickstart job roles filled for each UK region by the end of the scheme. 

Within the regional data, Scotland saw the highest number of jobs filled at 73.68%, followed by the West Midlands at 73.33%, then finally the East Midlands at 72.86%.

In the last two months of the Kickstarter scheme, the North East had the most roles filled, with 17.27% of their total allocated roles allocated in that time frame. 

Animal Care was the Sector with the Most Kickstart Jobs

We also looked into which were the most and least popular job sectors in terms of the percentage of ‌kickstart jobs filled. 

The Animal Care sector filled the highest percentage of ‌jobs, at 80.75%. This was followed by Creative and Media at 78.51% and finally Law and Legal at 78.46%. However, the Transport sector filled the least roles at just 51.11%.

The sector allocated the most jobs was Administration at 57,350, which was followed by the Retail and Sales sector at 34,970 jobs. The Emergency and Uniform services sector were assigned the least number of jobs, at just 520 and had only 0.22% of the total jobs made available on the scheme. 

22 and 23 were the Most Common Ages to start the Kickstart Scheme

Finally, we investigated the most popular ages for taking part in the Kickstart Scheme. The data was provided by MPs from May 2021 from a sample of the first 20,000 applicants to take part in the scheme.

The most common ages to start the Kickstart placement were 22 and 23, both at 19%. Conversely, the least common ages were those aged under 18 and 25 at less than 1%, which is understandable, as the scheme was originally designed for those aged between 18 and 24.

Analysis Overview

According to the Big Issue, one-third of the 235,000 kickstart roles advertised were left unfilled when it ended, which could call into question the success of the scheme. Although the scheme originally aimed to provide jobs for many more young people than it actually did, the data shows ‌it was a great success in regions like Scotland, the West Midlands and the East Midlands.

Interestingly, of all the regions we looked at, Scotland filled the most available Kickstart jobs. Of all the sectors analysed, there were the most jobs in Administration and Retail and Sales. Furthermore, the Animal Care sector filled the highest percentage of ‌jobs.

Finally, our data revealed that the most common ages to take part in the scheme were 22 and 23. On the other hand, the least common ages were those aged under 18 and 25, which is to be expected as these ages were outside the kickstart scheme age range.

Methodology 

Sector and regional data were taken from TheyWorkForYou and the UK parliament on the 31st of January 2022 and then updated on the 31st of March 2022 following the Kickstarter scheme ending. 

We looked at the percentages of jobs taken amongst regions and sectors at the end of the scheme.

Age data was also provided by MPs, but the latest available data is from May 2021 and was instead taken from a sample of the 20,000 applicants rather than looking at the whole number.

Sources

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2022-03-29.149447.h&s=kickstart+scheme– 31/03 Data (Sector and Region)

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-01-31/114956– 31/01 Data (Sector and Region)

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-06-22/hl1327–  06/05/21 (Age)

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

 

AVer Europe announces Zoom certification for DL10 and PTC310UV2 auto tracking cameras

AVer Europe, the award-winning provider of video collaboration and education technology solutions, announces today that the innovative DL10 and PTC310UV2 cameras are certified as Zoom Rooms Certified Hardware by Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

The DL10 is the newest Distance Learning Tracking Camera from AVer that features a 6X total zoom, camera tracking AI, and USB plug-and-play functionality, allowing educators to teach classes anywhere without having to worry about manual framing or tracking adjustments. The DL10 is the ideal choice for space conscious rooms and hybrid teaching environments, perfectly balanced between classroom needs and school budgets. The PTC310UV2 is part of AVer’s latest auto tracking PTZ cameras, featuring an all-new chipset and an incredible zoom power of 144X (12X optical and 12X digital zoom). With its 4K resolution and AVer’s highly accurate AI functions, including various auto tracking capabilities and human detection processing, the PTC310UV2 offers the ultimate experience for broadcasting, streaming, and recording.

“The DL10 and PTC310UV2 camera are from our extensive range of solutions available to the European market, to optimise the potential of teaching environments and enrich the learning experience,” said Rene Buhay, SVP of Sales and Marketing, AVer Europe. “The Zoom certification highlights their enhanced capability for creating high quality and accessible content for audiences.”

The Zoom Certified badge is a certification given by Zoom representing hardware devices that have been tested for compatibility and performance with Zoom software. As AVer offers camera solutions that cover a wide range of room sizes, from elementary classrooms to large auditoriums, users can find a suitable camera that is Zoom certified and tailored to their needs and enjoy a highly efficient video performance when paired with the Zoom platform.

“At Zoom, we consistently deliver high-quality video communications technology that is easy to use and manage. We are pleased to certify AVer’s distance learning and Pro AV PTZ camera for use with Zoom Rooms in classrooms and any settings where a professional video experience is needed,” said Eric Yu, Head of Hardware Partnership, Zoom.

“AVer is committed to providing users with innovative technology solutions that delivers seamless video collaboration performance,” said Andy Hsi, CEO, AVer Information Inc. “We are thrilled to receive this Zoom Rooms Certified Hardware certification to give our customers a continued peace of mind.”

INNOVATIVE APP IS A SHINING LIGHT FOR HUNGRY SCHOOL CHILDREN

Kirklees School’s Out! App, designed by Torchbearer.
18.07.22

An innovative app developed in Huddersfield is benefitting thousands of school pupils in Kirklees with parents on low incomes, by providing them with access to meals and activities during school holidays. It has been so successful that it will now be rolled out nationwide, which follows advice from leading Yorkshire law firm, LCF Law.

The ‘School’s Out!’ app was launched in 2019 and is the brainchild of Kirklees Youth Alliance (KYA), which provides support to a wide network of youth organisations across Kirklees, and was developed by Huddersfield based digital design specialist, Torchbearer.

Parents using the app can book a wide range of sessions and activities during school holidays for their children that incorporate a nutritious meal, physical exercise and enrichment activities.

Last year alone, 85 organisations hosted more than 2,600 sessions that were attended by approximately 12,000 children and more than 28,000 nutritious meals were served.

Following this success, KYA and Torchbearer have now enlisted LCF Law to create a licensing model and agreements that will enable local authorities throughout the UK to start using School’s Out!.

L-r James Sarjantson from LCF Law, Pete Waugh from Torchbearer and Susan Greenwood from Kirklees Youth Alliance.
18.07.22

Pete Waugh, technical director at Torchbearer said: “When KYA initially approached us with the idea for the Schools Out! app, we immediately knew it could be a big success. We’ve designed it with an easy-to-use booking system, so parents can book their children onto sessions quickly and easily. After the session, parents can send feedback and rate events.

“It’s also a centralised monitoring tool for the Council’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) team, negating the need for them to collate information from scores of provider organisations for the Department for Education (DfE).

“Although there are off the shelf products available, this is the only HAF-specific, web-app product, optimised for use on mobile phones. It is bespoke and can be adapted depending on specific requirements, which also includes rebranding it if a local authority wants to call it a specific name. We’re now looking forward to rolling it out to other forward-thinking organisations and seeing it benefit even more children and their families throughout the UK.”

James Sarjantson, commercial & digital partner at LCF Law, said: “Schools Out! has been hugely beneficial to KYA, Kirklees Council and the thousands of families using it.

“We’ve worked closely with Torchbearer and KYA to create a series of agreements that enable Torchbearer to resell, test and lead the installations, as well as providing relevant technical support to new customers, whilst also ensuring that KYA benefit from the intellectual property rights that they have on the product. It’s a unique partnership and we’re looking forward to watching it develop and grow as more local authorities and end users sign up to use the app.

“We work with many IT and technology businesses in the local area, but few of those projects have the genuine and deep social impact that this one will have.”

Susan Greenwood, from KYA, said: “Although school holidays are a fun time for many, research shows some children are not only going hungry, but that they also regress during long holiday breaks in terms of learning and behaviour.

“In 2019 Kirklees Council provided KYA with funding to co-ordinate a local ‘Healthy Holidays’ programme and the idea for Schools Out! was born. It was an immediate success and in February 2020, KYA signed a three-year agreement with Kirklees Council to continue the programme.

“Then the pandemic hit and the number of children eligible for free school meals rose significantly. Footballer Marcus Rashford highlighted the plight of children going hungry in school holidays and that resulted in Kirklees receiving £1.7 million from the government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which provides healthy food and enriching activities to children, with free places for those on free school meals during the school holidays. This superseded our Healthy Holidays Programme and now means more children than ever in Kirklees benefit from the scheme, and this has made Schools Out! even more popular. To think that our initial idea now has the potential to go nationwide is a very exciting prospect.”

The government has now committed to providing a further three years of HAF funding from April 2022 which will see KYA continuing to support Kirklees Council with the 2022/23 programme and contributing to planning for 2023-25.

LCF Law is a leading commercial law firm that works with both businesses and private individuals. The long-established firm employs more than 125 people across offices in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Ilkley. Visit www.lcf.co.uk for more information.