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Ultra-protection for school technology: Survivor® launches All-Terrain antimicrobial iPad cases to help schools prioritise health and safety in the new term.

Survivor’s All-Terrain antimicrobial cases with embedded defence against surface bacteria offer the latest in safety and health technology, ultra-protection, engineering, and design.

London, UK. – September 2021 – Survivor®, the award-winning designer and leading expert in
innovative device protection, launches its reimagined All-Terrain range of versatile and field-tested
protective iPad cases for education. Survivor® All-Terrain offers a carefully engineered antimicrobial
and drop protection solution to everyday on-the-go device operation for iPad 10.2" (8th & 7th
Generation).
Schools are looking for new solutions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses in
order to minimise school closures and student absence in the new term. The All-Terrain iPad 10.2"
cases were re-designed for schools and work settings as a response to the rising concerns around
general hygiene safety in our environments.
Survivor® All-Terrain was engineered with embedded antimicrobial defense that eliminates and
prevents 99.9% of surface bacteria while offering long-lasting antibacterial and antifungal
protection, making them more suitable for school and business settings. Health and safety is the top
priority for schools looking for ways to keep students safe while engaging them in technology-based
activities. Survivor® is a tried, tested and science-backed solution offering maximum protection
against germs.
Delivering the latest in safety and health technology, the All-Terrain tablet cases were designed with
smooth edges to eliminate bacterial traps, prevent bacterial growth, and allow easy wipe down. As
well as this, All-Terrain cases are built with durable materials capable of withstanding medical-grade
cleaning agents, to guarantee long lasting 360-degree device protection.
“The pandemic changed the way children engage with technology forever,” said Lorna Brightman,
Director Of Sales in EMEA.

“A top priority for school leaders right now is creating a safer more stimulating, and interactive
learning environment for students. Survivor’s solution aims to support schools to overcome this
challenge. The All-Terrain cases are an example of Survivor’s expertise in protection engineering for
everyone. Through careful testing, forward-thinking and innovation, we have created a product that
is designed to protect you as well as your technology.”
All-Terrain Survivor® cases are carefully engineered with 3X layers of shock-absorbing material upon
impact and 2X military-grade drop protection. Although slim, it features a raised edge screen bezel
that provides a shatter-resistant line of defence against face impacts, drops and bumps. A dust-
resistant port plug and button cover protector ensures your device stays clear of foreign debris while
preserving connectivity. All-Terrain is perfectly suited for hands-on, on-the-go device operation and
capable of withstanding the everyday challenges, work, play and clumsy fingers.
All-Terrain cases are impressively versatile, with a detachable kickstand/handstrap for precision and
easy manoeuvring. In addition to these features, these cases are easily adaptable to your everyday
needs and compatible with all accessories in the Survivor® Modular Ecosystem, including a shoulder
strap, pencil tether and cupholder mount. An integrated Apple Pencil and Logitech Crayon storage
on the side keeps the accessories secure, protected and easily accessible.
Survivor® products undergo rigorous testing to ensure optimal dependability, durability and
performance. They are guaranteed for life and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Pricing & Availability:
Survivor All-Terrain (2021) for iPad 10.2" (8th & 7th Generation) RRP £79.99
The All-Terrain iPad 10.2" cases are now available at Getsurvivor.co.uk/collections/ipad-10-2-2021.
For corporate/business-to-business sales and opportunities: lbrightman@incipio.com

Lessons learned from remote education

~ Teaching won’t be the same again, thanks to new technology ~

 

Before March 2020, catching ‘fresher’s flu’ was a right of passage for university students. Fast forward 18 months and students around the world stayed indoors to keep illness at bay. However, the pandemic has taught the education sector an important lesson — the value of selecting the right communication tools. Here, Ginelle Bell, UK country manager at Cloud communications provider Ringover, explains more.

 

According to UNESCO, more than 1.5 billion students around the world were forced out of their typical learning settings in 2020, with many participating in lessons online. Globally, education in the 21st century has never seen so much disruption and it has prompted critical conversations about the role of technology in delivering education.

 

Education isn’t the only sector that’s facing an overhaul. Over the course of the pandemic, and for several more years to come, communication technologies have grown increasingly more sophisticated. The UK increased its fibre connections by 50 per cent in 2020, and while its broadband connectivity stills lags behind many other countries, the nation is undergoing massive change. As Openreach switches of the public switched telephone network (PSTN), every business will be communicating differently by 2025.

 

Research by broadband company Zen shows that 17 per cent of large organisations are still unaware of the switch off. Education facilities also risk becoming out of the technology loop, if they don’t learn from the past 28 months.

 

Going remote

Throughout much of 2020 and 2021, educators had no choice but to deliver teaching remotely. However, even though in-person teaching has widely resumed, distance learning could become an increasingly favoured choice, rather than an obligation.

 

Distance learning isn’t a phenomena of today’s society. Back in 1969, The Open University (OU) pioneered the concept by offering students the chance to gain a degree without needing to set foot on campus. It was a radical idea for its time — yet proved highly popular. By the time applications closed for its first year of enrolment, the university had received over 100,000 applications.

 

However, The OU’s popularity has decreased over time with numbers of full-time enrolments slipping over the past decade. But things could be set to shift again. Increased demand for upskilling and reskilling, as well as an emphasis in the attractiveness of online learning spurred on by the pandemic, has caused a surge in OU registrations.

 

Overall, the total number of OU students enrolled for the 2020/21 academic year is up 15 per cent on last year — from just over 141,000 to more than 163,000. While distance learning has seemed like a short term fix to keep people safe, it’s also encouraged a newfound appreciation for the teaching method that could lead to long-term behavioural changes.

Getting prepared

We won’t be saying goodbye to fresher’s flu any time soon. While most forms of education continue in person, education facilities shouldn’t neglect the promise of distance learning.

 

What’s more, the past 18 months has taught every industry to expect the unexpected. Most businesses were not prepared to go remote overnight at the start of the pandemic, and education was no exception. However, having the right tools in place to ensure distance learning can be carried out effectively is the best way to plan for any other unforeseen circumstances.

 

One essential piece of any education facility’s armoury is the right communication tools. In particular, facilities should opt for a Cloud-based solution. Cloud-based platforms provide an easy way for educational institutes to streamline their academic communications and collaborations. They can achieve this by combining real-time voice, video and messaging capabilities with their business applications.

 

Using Cloud-based software that enables Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)  makes it easy for students and teachers to interact collaboratively by using real-time messaging and video. This can effectively improve completing group projects, enhances the way teachers communicate with students and cuts down obstacles in the system of education. Because technologies such as VoIP enable calls through the Internet, rather than a fixed telephone line, it’s far easier for education providers to interact with geographically dispersed students and with less ongoing costs.

 

90 per cent of data breaches are a result of human error, and using the Cloud to manage communication tools and store their associated data can help universities better manage sensitive information.

 

At Ringover, another huge benefit we see for VoIP technologies in education is its scalability. Our own software can be easily scaled to suit the size and needs of any business, whether it requires a complete professional phone system or additions to its existing infrastructure. With collaboration tools such as screen sharing, instant messaging and video conferencing, Ringover’s software can help facilities of any size communicate effectively.

 

After several weeks of getting to know each other, it’s likely many students are battling fresher’s flu right now. However, no matter which education route a person chooses, having access to effective communications tools is crucial. Post-pandemic education won’t look the same as it did previously, and having scalable, streamlined software in place will help any facility to future proof.

Over a quarter of teachers fear further Covid-19 disruption will be the biggest challenge to the Autumn term

  • Addressing the attainment gap arising from Covid-19 disruption (20%) and the mental health of pupils (14%) were also reported as expected challenges – with 1 in 4 teachers concerned that the maths attainment gap will be hardest to close
  • 71% of teacher’s reported their confidence in using edtech has increased – a 7% increase compared to June 2020

 

New research from Renaissance, a leading provider of edtech solutions to improve outcomes and accelerate learning, has revealed that over a quarter of teachers (27%) believe Covid-19 related disruption will be the biggest challenge this Autumn term. The research asked almost five hundred (472) senior school leaders, department heads, and teachers about their thoughts and concerns as the new school term got underway.  

 

Covid-19 disruption such as closures and children isolating were cited as the largest expected challenges. In addition, addressing the attainment gap arising from Covid-19 disruption (20%) and the mental health of pupils (14%) followed as the next biggest expected challenges; as research revealed 73% of teachers believe pupil attainment levels have fallen because of national lockdowns.

 

The maths attainment gap was of particular concern to teachers with 1 in 4 (25%) reporting they felt it would be the hardest gap of all the core skills to close this Autumn term. Teachers identified maths skills such as fractions, decimals and percentages as causing the most difficulty – with over a third of teachers (34%) saying they think these core skills have been most heavily affected by the Covid disruption to date.

 

But there is a silver-lining to the past 18 months as more of teachers (71%) said their confidence in using edtech had increased. This is a 7% uplift compared to earlier on in the pandemic – when in June 2020, 64% of teachers said their confidence had grown. 

 

With such a variety of online tools available, experts at Renaissance are encouraging schools to take advantage of teachers’ improved edtech confidence and expand their digital offering so they can tackle the attainment gap caused by Covid-19 school closures.

 

Renaissance believes that teachers can use curriculum-aligned Focus Skills, made freely available through dedicated Teacher Workbooks, to plan lessons that support pupils in learning year-appropriate skills. When combined with formative assessment, Focus Skills can save teachers time and support them in creating tailored lesson plans, meaning pupils spend more time learning and are given more specific support for their developmental needs.

 

 

John Moore, Director, Renaissance said We know teachers continue to face a wide range of challenges presented by Covid-19 in their classrooms. However there’s an opportunity too to take some real positives from the pandemic – building on the way in which so many teachers have embraced technology and worked tirelessly to upskill. Clearly the attainment gap continues to be a concern. At Renaissance we’re committed to supporting education professionals – building on the great strides in the use of technology and providing teachers with the right tools to identify and address areas of need, providing a roadmap for closing the gap. As we move forward through the pandemic, it’s time teachers were able to focus on what they are really there for – to educate pupils, guide their learning development and plan tailored programmes.”

 

Michael Tidd, Headteacher, Schoolworks Academy Trust said: “Addressing the gaps caused by Covid-19 shouldn’t be about cramming in every single thing pupils ‘missed’. Tools like Focus Skills have helped us hone in on the most critical building blocks they need at each stage in their development. Combined with formative assessment, we’re able to paint a picture of each child’s growth rate and any core areas they’ve missed out on so we can then group children and deliver targeted interventions to catch up”.  

Three Covid-safe School Trips for Winter

Knowsley Safari launches accessible Autumn/Winter schools programme

 

The North West’s Knowsley Safari is aiming to make school trips accessible for all this winter, as well as help teachers with resources, with a new range of Covid-safe outdoor and online learning sessions which promise to connect children with nature.

 

The range of interactive and educational activities is aimed at years one to six and is delivered by experts from the Safari. Sessions aim to bring learning about conservation, animals and the planet, to life and highlights include:

 

Planet Protectors (starting October 2021) – years one to six, online, FREE

A series of six interactive Live Stream Safari sessions, which aim to inspire children to help protect the planet. Delivered in real-time by on-site conservation educators, each event focuses on a challenge being faced in the natural world, using the Safari’s animals to illustrate. Attendees will discover how they can help sea lions in the battle against single use plastics and how the rainforest can be protected by shopping carefully. 

 

There’s a reward for schools who continue to explore the subject. By submitting proof of a piece of work related to the session, schools will go into a draw to win one of five free class visits to Knowsley Safari. Schools will need to register, by emailing learning@knowsley.com or using the form on the Knowsley Safari website, to access the sessions, which can also be used after the event – a great resource for teaching about climate change, habitat loss and the natural world.

 

School Discovery Day (from now and all year round) – ages three to fifteen, from £8.50 per child, minimum 20 children

Bring a class to the Safari and have an animal expert guide you around the UK’s longest Safari Drive. Children will be awestruck with the array of animals to see, including African lions, white rhino, European bison and Bactrian camels, while learning important facts about each species. Safari educators are also available to take children around the Foot Safari, which includes the Amur Tigers’ Russian-inspired habitat. Enquiries can be made via the Knowsley Safari website.

 

Live Stream Safari School (from now and all year round) – year one to year eleven, £75 per session

If a class can’t physically visit the Safari, a live interactive session can be broadcast directly into the classroom. Multi-location technology means that children can see many different species in these 45-minute sessions. They can even explore behind-the-scenes in places the general public wouldn’t usually see, such as animal food preparation areas. Live Q&A sections with the animal experts make these sessions fully interactive and pre-recorded footage, for example of veterinary procedures, can be included to ensure every topic is as engaging as possible. Subjects include Africa, Habitats, Food & Feeding, Keeper Life, Conservation Champions and Safari Careers. Enquiries can be made through the Knowsley Safari website.

 

Nikki Mallott, Head of Learning and Discovery at Knowsley Safari, says: “Children need to connect with the natural world and our aim is to bring back the school trip so we can help make this happen. We’ve designed an enjoyable and accessible programme of events to make it easy for schools to provide an exciting, educational experience for their classes. The sessions complement the curriculum and include resources for teachers so the learning can continue.”

 

For further information visit knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk.

Making the world a more sustainable place one resource at a time

The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science, and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

 

The popular resources include a range of interactive activities including; posters, presentations, and activity sheets to teach pupils about the importance of community and about how working together can create a sustainable future for all – a great way to engage pupils on the topic during Recycle Week 2021.

 

Talking about recycling in the classroom can be fun. The Action Pack has a dedicated bank of resources that enable teachers to discuss the topic in a language that their pupils can understand. Using behaviour change theory as the base of the resources, The Action Pack has been accessed by over 4,000 teachers.

 

Research from Recycle Now1 outlines that it can be hard to visualise just how much waste is being generated from schools, and even more so the sources of waste creating the issue. The average secondary school produces 22kg of waste per pupil each academic year. This figure is even higher for primary schools where per-pupil the average is 45kg per pupil.

 

Using The Action Pack resources gives educators the opportunity to teach their pupils about ways that they can look to make the world a more sustainable place through a variety of resources that encourage open discussions and teacher to pupil dialogue – all whilst being a little creative.

 

Dennis Hollywood from Charlton Manor, has been using The Action Pack resources in his school explaining “The resources really help students to understand the importance of recycling in a fun and interactive way. Using these types of resources can really help students to be more action-driven and it helps them understand how the small changes they make can have an impact on a global scale.”

 

Hollywood continues to say “Using the WRAP Action Pack, we’ve organised arts and crafts competitions for our pupils and have seen so many inventive entries made from recyclable materials such as bottles and paper cups.”

 

With the emphatic return of pre-pandemic activities such as class school trips now possible, The Action Pack is offering an eco-based school trip, alongside other eco goodies, as part of their latest school competition. To enter, The Action Pack is asking schools to either create a poster that inspires others to recycle OR create a short film to educate others about recycling. The Action Pack has created a dedicated inspiration page to support teachers and their pupils in stimulating ideas.

 

To submit your own inspiration and ideas for our page, head to The Action Pack, tweet us @RecycleNow using #RecycleNowActionPack, or email us at theactionpack@everfi.com

 

Schools abuse helpline receives over 650 contacts as pupils urged to get in touch with concerns

Press play below.

  • The Department for Education is encouraging teachers to spread the word about the Report Abuse in Education helpline as schools’ return
  • Sexual assault, sharing nude images and rape are among the concerns reported to the NSPCC

The Government is calling on teachers to remind pupils that the NSPCC’s Report Abuse in Education helpline is still available to them for support and free and confidential advice.

With children returning to school after the Summer Holidays the Department for Education will make the request in the monthly bulletin it sends to schools across the country. 

The prompt comes as the helpline, set-up as a place for young people to report peer-on-peer sexual abuse within schools, has revealed that it has received over 650 contacts in the five months since it launched.

The latest monthly data update from the NSPCC shows that 118 contacts were deemed serious enough to refer to an external agency such as police, local authorities and the NHS.

Where information about the caller was known, 121 contacts were from adult or child victims, of which 73 were female, 41 were male, two were transgender and five were unknown. Meanwhile 67 of the contacts were from parents with concerns about their child.

The helpline launched on April 1st after thousands of testimonies of sexual abuse and harassment mostly perpetrated by peers were posted on the Everyone’s Invited site.

The charity has responded to reports about sexual name calling, unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault and rape by other pupils as well as online abuse such as sharing nude images without consent.

Incidents relate to both recent and non-recent abuse with adults who were abused as children telling the helpline that they felt they could not report it at the time or they tried to but weren’t listened to. In other cases, adults witnessed incidents but didn’t act on it.

Some victims told the helpline they were accused of inviting unwanted attention while others were discouraged from taking action against the perpetrator out of fear it would ruin their education and life prospects.

Victims said they felt scared, powerless and guilty because of the abuse and some developed anxiety, depression or suffered with drug and alcohol issues.

One parent wanted advice after her 14-year-old daughter was touched inappropriately by a boy in her PE class:

“She said this boy tried running his hand up the inside of her thigh, up to her crotch area. During the same lesson, she witnessed the boy “grab” two other girls by their boobs. My daughter spoke with the other two girls and they decided to go to their head of year. The girls were asked to write a personal account of what happened before being sent back to their lessons.

“I’ve since been on the phone with the school’s pastoral support team and they seem to have a completely different version of events, basically making out like my daughter has got it all wrong. It’s as if they’re dismissing the whole thing. I’m not sure what to do about it now, so I’m hoping you can advise.

Sandra Robinson, NSPCC Helpline Manager, said: “We’ve heard about hundreds of incidents of pervasive peer-on-peer sexual abuse and sadly we know there are likely to be many more that have gone unreported.

“Contacts to the helpline paint a striking picture of the devastating and lasting consequences peer-on-peer sexual abuse can have on young people and how it can be exacerbated if safeguarding incidents aren’t handled correctly.

“For some pupils, returning to schools this week means facing their abusers again but they don’t have to do this alone. Our helpline is a safe space for children, teachers or parents to report recent or non-recent abuse and provide support to help them recover.”

Vicky Ford, Minister for Children and Families, said: “As children return to school this September, we want them to feel safe and protected.

“That’s why we’ve taken steps to remind all schools about the importance of our new mandatory RSHE curriculum, as well as the NSPCC’s dedicated helpline.

“We encourage all individuals who have been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or non-recent, to call the helpline so that they can receive the vital support they need.”

To get in contact with the Report Abuse in Education helpline call 0800 136 663, or email help@nspcc.org.uk. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm or 9am – 6pm at the weekends.

The importance of digital inclusion for school children – Miriam Manderson, Headteacher, Rooks Heath School

I am no expert in all things digital. However what the past year and five months have shown me is how important and vividly clear the digital divide can become if we do not teach our children how to manage in a world where the understanding of this new digital domain is inevitable.

As secondary teachers, there are certain skills we assume our incoming Year 6 pupils, bright eyed and bushy tailed, expect to arrive with. The ability to read and write at the expected standard. A basic understanding of geographical concepts, exposure to a wide range of musical experiences and experience of sporting endeavours and competitions and the ability to use digital technology.

We also know all too well that there may be gaps and differentials between the students. However, never in my teaching career has it become more apparent that those children who came from schools which were ill-prepared for the lockdown will experience more anxiety about the next steps. Never mind the ordinary worries about the phenomenon which is detentions, anticipating lots of additional homework and assumptions of needing to show adept skills with state-of-the-art technology to accompany their lessons of similar degree, they now must face not knowing how well they will cope in the secondary arena which has moved at an exponential speed to master online learning platforms like never. Will it be Microsoft Teams, Google or another type of shared platform? Will they understand or be able to learn it quickly? Will they have had access to a device or simply the software.

To think that the hidden cost of disadvantage exists where the public do not see it is an understatement. Many of us have heard of ‘word poverty’ and the ‘vocabulary gap’ made famous by Alex Quigley amongst others. We know the importance of reading and acquiring vocabulary to access knowledge and using the digital screen has been shown to engage even the most reluctant readers in reading for pleasure or simply to access information, albeit that is more of interest to them personally than to fulfil the demands of their academic studies. Nevertheless, they are reading. The danger of course is that it goes too far. I recently heard a story of a primary teacher who handed out some books to read and a pupil proceeded to swipe. These were books, not kindles.

The use of technology in learning should lead to efficient access to knowledge and information, creative tasks being set and undertaken and an elimination of the fear of pressing the wrong buttons. Use of digital technology should be more than just swiping.

If schools are ill-equipped to master the use of technology, then so will the pupils in their care and the digital divide within and across children in different schools widens.

This is where the fusion one of two of my passions lie. The use of digital technology and diminishing disadvantage.

The digital divide begins before pupils at primary can step into secondary education confidently. Some will have been in schools where they were supported by tech-savvy leadership teams, able to lead, direct and implement the use of digital devices, incorporating adequate safeguarding measures and principles along the way. Others will have come from schools at the opposite end of the spectrum with staff who have ‘always done things in this way’, i.e. without recourse to the use of digital devices and they themselves clueless about what exists to deliver a curriculum through the medium of ICT.

I felt deeply moved when I saw the DfE’s call for schools to apply to have digital ambassadors from other schools. The government clearly recognised the extent of panic and uncertainty this caused as we can see from the provision of a grant to schools who had not even contemplated such shared online platforms as Microsoft SharePoint and Teams or Google.

If this drive has had any success at all, then what we should expect in the culmination of this is that the digital divide has been narrowed. Alongside this, is the reminder that the removal of digital poverty is an essential ingredient in all of this. Timely identification and intervention with those pupils who lack a device now needs to be a routine activity that fits into all primary school (and even secondary school) processes. It should not be at the behest of funding. Primary schools will need to prioritise a leader of this area to ensure pupils are properly tracked and monitored so no one is left behind.

Amongst the pupils who are now in primary education, learning through technology should become as easy as writing with a book and pen. It should feel normal and by secondary education, every child should be enabled to navigate online safely, competently and in a way that enhances their access to information and in turn, knowledge.

Children are digital natives. Today, it is not unusual to see babies intuitively tap their way to view their favourite TV programmes on an iPad or toddlers manipulate mobile phones as if they were born attached to their hands. If primary schools are deprived of opportunities and resources to enable their staff to skill up, we risk losing some of our workforce along the way. The rate at which things are changing means the digital literacy needs to begin immediately. It can be motivating and is definitely fun. It is also exciting to think of how the use of technology in young minds, together with the other academia they accumulate is leading to some developing into young ‘Bill Gates’ in terms of their ability to see where technology can take us.

“The limitations of my mind are the limitations of my world” is a quote I have read. We can easily adapt this quote to read, “The limitations of access to digital learning are limitations of our digital world”.

It doesn’t matter which platform primary schools use to help pupils discover, experiment with and learn about accessing and manipulating information online. What matters is that all pupils are truly included in the drive, are equipped with the skills to engage in the use of digital technology whenever and wherever they may be required to and to allow them to progress, grow and thrive in our modern digital world.

Opinion piece brought to you by Kajeet – They can help to find the right solution for your school to keep all students connected for learning wherever they choose to study.

Emergency evacuations – ensuring efficient and reliable roll calls

The fire drill has been a familiar event throughout the lives of most people. From termly practice runs at school through to the regular office drills, we’ve all experienced the scheduled interruption to the day to file out in an orderly fashion and assemble at a designated meeting point. Clipboard in hand and donning their high-visibility vest, the fire marshall is eager to know – has every last person in the building exited the building and is safe and accounted for, in record time? 

Fire drills are a critical and mandatory part of fire safety, to check systems and procedures are in place to keep everyone safe in the event of an emergency. Yet, they are also considered a nuisance by many, seen as a disruption to the working day and met with begrudging sighs at the thought of having to stand outside in the cold to be timed and counted. There has to be a better way to streamline this process for everyone while also providing peace of mind that everyone has been accounted for in the event of a real emergency. In today’s digitally-enabled world, technology holds the key. 

Risky processes

In theory, any sort of evacuation roll call should be a swift and efficient process, whether it’s a training exercise or a real life emergency. But in reality, it’s rare for drills to be met with enthusiasm or a sense of urgency. Confusion can also slow the process down as marshals attempt to ascertain who is on site that day and therefore needs to be accounted for. In the absence of a registration system for staff and visitors, this can cause significant delays as there is no reliable method to establish who should be on the list in the first place. 

Smaller offices will naturally have greater visibility of who is on site when an emergency occurs. But is memory alone a reliable system that can be depended on when panic ensues in the event of a fire, for instance? As the team increases in size, this becomes an even greater challenge as they must rely on colleagues knowing each other’s diaries. And for places with larger numbers of people – such as schools where there will be students, staff members and often visitors present – this can cause even more confusion. As such, the potential of missing someone is significant and the time it takes to confirm everyone has evacuated the building safely grows even longer – risking potential disaster. 

The complacency and confusion that comes from a lack of a reliable staff and visitor management system could be disastrous and put people’s lives at risk. Businesses have a responsibility to protect the lives of all of everyone on site and relying on people trying to remember who should or shouldn’t be in the office that day doesn’t even come close to meeting their duty of care obligations. 

Visitor management

Traditional pen and paper visitor sign-in books are still often relied upon to keep a log of visitors to a site, but this method is notoriously unreliable when it comes to people recording the time in and out of a building. So how can they be accurately accounted for in the event of an emergency? In a panic, who will remember to collect the sign-in book and also confidently know which staff members are on duty that day? 

Moreover, with a large proportion of employers now operating a hybrid model, with a mixture of staff working on site and from home, it’s more important than ever to accurately record who is in the office so everyone can be ticked off the list if an emergency occurs, and time isn’t wasted trying to find someone who is actually working from home that day. Those businesses without a smart staff and visitor management system are needlessly putting employees’ lives at risk and keeping their drill procedures as unnecessarily inefficient and ineffective.

No one left behind

There’s simply no need to try to depend on unreliable pen and paper visitor sign-in books, or colleague memories to keep people safe. Visitor management and staff sign in apps can provide an immediate central view of all personnel on site. This enables the fire marshal to instantly view an entire list of who is on site for the roll call via any mobile device, rather than wasting time, and potentially putting lives at stake, collecting physical records of who is in the office on any given day.

The importance of fire drills is clear, especially when you consider what could happen to someone unaccounted for in a real emergency. But this needn’t be an element of employer responsibility that is considered time wasting or unreliable. With smart and affordable technology, streamlined solutions can be put in place to make sure no one is forgotten, thereby not only speeding up the process of essential fire drills, but ensuring that in the event of a real-life emergency –everyone is safe and accounted for. 

– Dan Harding, CEO, Sign In App

COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in myopia (short-sightedness) in children[i] – yet one in four parents have never asked about their child’s vision[ii]

CooperVision® is calling on parents to get their children’s eyes checked during the school holidays

and inform parents there are ways to help slow the progression of myopia to help protect their children’s future vision

 

[LONDON, August 17, 2021] New research among 1,000 parents and 1,000 children by CooperVision®2, manufacturer of MiSight® 1 day contact lenses for children, reveals parents’ lack of awareness and growing concerns regarding children’s eye health:

  • Over a third (36%) do not know, or do not believe, that children’s vision should be checked between the ages of four to five[iii]
  • Nearly a third (31%) incorrectly believe the effect of myopia is not being able to see objects close to you and 18% believe it’s not being able to distinguish between certain colours
  • Over half (54%) don’t know, or do not believe, there are long-term health risks of myopia which includes cataracts, glaucoma or detached retina
  • 60% agree their child likes to spend more of their spare time using screens since the pandemic, with one third of parents agreeing their children spend four to five hours per day in front of a screen
  • One in four (25%) parents have never asked their children about their vision saying they have never thought about it or had a need to ask*
  • 80% of parents agree they are concerned that their child’s short-sightedness could impact them achieving their full potential

 

Short-sightedness, clinically known as myopia, affects one in six children in the UK by the age of 15[v].  It typically starts in childhood, affecting children as young as five years old[vi]. Myopia usually requires glasses or contact lenses to see distant detail[vii] but if left uncorrected, it could impact children’s performance at school, and worsening myopia may also impact long-term eye health if not managed[viii]. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown restrictions meant children spent more time indoors and behind screens, leading to a substantial increase in myopia (1.4-3 times)1 – potentially putting children’s future eye health at risk.

 

Musician, presenter and mum of three, Myleene Klass, shares her personal experience of living with myopia: “I’ve had myopia since I was four years old and as I’ve got older, my eyesight has got progressively worse. As a child, I would sit so closely to my sheet music or virtually on top of my workbooks at school. I found it all embarrassing. Myopia is known to run in families and may also lead to an increased risk of future eye health problems, so I’m always asking my kids about their vision. The good news for parents and kids today is that there are special contact lenses such as MiSight® 1 day that can help slow the progression of myopia. So, my advice to parents is to add ‘get kids eyes checked’ to your ever-growing list for the school holidays – it’s really important and will help protect their vision for the future. That’s why I’m supporting CooperVision’s Brilliant Futures™ campaign to prioritise our children’s eye health this summer!”

 

 

 

Slowing the progression of myopia

Research shows that over two thirds (69%) of parents are unaware that anything can be done to help slow the progression of myopia[ix].  Optometrist, Dr Keyur Patel says “myopia isn’t just about corrective glasses or lenses – it’s about intervention and management. MiSight® 1 day contact lenses are specially designed for children and have been clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia in children by 59%, on average[x]  – which could help reduce the risk of future eye health issues and enable children to reach their full potential by improving their vision. Myopia is on the rise in children since the pandemic and has become a global public health issue, so regular eye examinations are important to identify any problems. Parents, children and opticians need to work together to protect children’s eye health.”

 

In addition to specialist contact lenses, making small changes to children’s lifestyles and habits may help to manage myopia. Specifically, increased time outdoors can help to reduce the development of myopia, with children encouraged to spend at least 80 to 120 minutes outside per day4.

 

Myopia can negatively impact children

The research also delved into the experiences of children living with myopia who wear vision correction. While one in five (21%) children remain positive– agreeing that not being able to see clearly won’t stop them achieving their dreams2– some reveal the negative impact it has on their lives. One in five children (21%) agree myopia has them feeling frustrated or feeling like they are falling behind at school2. Many parents expressed concern about their child’s development, as 80% agree they’re concerned that their child’s short-sightedness may impact them achieving their future potential2.

 

This research shows that we must take children’s eye health seriously,” says GP Dr Sara Kayat. “You can’t see through your child’s eyes, so it’s easy to miss the signs of myopia. It’s crucial that children have annual eye examinations from the age of four or five, usually soon after they start school. It also helps to be aware of any changes in your child’s behaviour, like struggling to see the whiteboard at school or complaining of tired eyes and headaches, as these are potential signs of myopia. The pandemic has had a far-reaching impact and many important health checks have stopped. The summer school holidays are an ideal time to take your children for an eye examination, especially if they’ve not had one in the last year.”

 

Children sharing experiences of myopia

To raise awareness of the need to tackle myopia, CooperVision® took children with and without myopia on a ‘sightseeing’ trip around London. Those without myopia wore specialist glasses, so they could see the world through the eyes of a myopic child. The heartwarming film of children sharing their experiences of myopia is coming soon.

 

Brilliant Futures™

The Brilliant Futures™ Myopia Management Programme from CooperVision® includes the proven MiSight® 1 day contact lenses, information, support and regular assessments with your eye care professional. The Brilliant Futures program provides parents with the knowledge, tools and confidence to address myopia in children, and is centred around MiSight® 1 day, the first soft contact lens proven to slow the progression of myopia in children10§. The programme is specially designed to maximise the success of slowing down your child’s short-sightedness.

 

Children as young as eight can successfully wear contact lenses10, which may help them to feel more competent when taking part in sport and other physical activities and may also help them feel better about their appearance and fitting in with their friends[xi].

 

MiSight® 1 day

MiSight® 1 day contact lenses with ActivControl® Technology not only correct short-sightedness—they’re also the first soft contact lenses proven to reduce the progression of myopia in children by 59% on average10†. Available from Boots Opticians and selected independent opticians.  To find out more visit https://coopervision.co.uk/brilliantfutures.

 

About CooperVision®

CooperVision®, a division of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of contact lenses. The company produces a full array of daily disposable, two-week and monthly soft contact lenses that feature advanced materials and optics, and premium rigid gas permeable lenses worldwide. CooperVision® has a strong heritage of addressing the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, childhood myopia, and highly irregular corneas; and offers the most complete portfolio of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit www.coopervision.com.

 

* 49% said yes – I just wanted to check for peace of mind and 26% said yes – I noticed it was impacting them/their behaviour 

† Over 3 years, compared to a single vision 1 day lens

‡ 95% of children were successfully fit with MiSight® 1 day or Proclear® 1 day

  • compared to a single vision 1 day lens

[iii] As per guidance from NHS Eye tests for children – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

[iv] Jonas JB, Ang M, Cho P, et al. IMI prevention of myopia and its progression. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2021;62(5):6. https://myopiainstitute.org/imi-whitepaper/imi-prevention-of-myopia-and-its-progression/

[v] Morris T et al (2020) Geographical Variation in Likely Myopia and Environmental Risk Factors: A Multilevel Cross Classified Analysis of A UK Cohort, Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 27:1, 1-9.

[vi] McCullough SJ, O’Donoghue L, Saunders KJ (2016) Six Year Refractive Change among White Children and Young Adults: Evidence for Significant Increase in Myopia among White UK Children. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146332. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146332

[vii] Zadnick K, et al. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015 Jun; 133(6): 683–689

[viii] CooperVision Data on file 2019. UK ECP webinar

[ix] CVI data on file 2019. Online survey in UK by YouGov Plc; n=280 myopic parents with children 8-15 years

[x] Chamberlain P et al A 3-year Randomized Clinical Trial of MiSight® Lenses for Myopia Control. Optom Vis Sci 2019;96:556–567

[xi] Walline JJ, et al. Optom Vis Sci. 2009;86(3):222-32Jones LA, Sinnott L, Chitkara M, Coffey B, Jackson JM, Manny RE, Rah MJ, Prinstein MJ; ACHIEVE Study Group. Randomized t

 

 

 

How to spend less time on admin and gain more time with pupils

Graham Cooper from Juniper Education advises that if your teachers are snowed under with admin, stretched to the limit with tasks or spending precious evenings and weekends on planning, then workload is a problem for your school.

 

Heavy workloads have been a major issue for schools and teachers alike for the past few years.

 

In 2020, 31% of education professionals were working more than 51 hours a week according to the Teacher Wellbeing Index published by Education Support. Juggling planning, marking, pupil assessment and communication with parents all take their toll.

 

Naturally, these tasks come with the territory, but all too often they take longer than necessary and can spill over into personal time, making teachers feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

 

 

Task Prioritisation

 

No doubt your team already knows you are committed to reducing their workload but with all the changes schools have had to manage during the pandemic, new tasks have likely been added to everyone’s to-do list.

 

So, if you have not already done a review of what tasks are currently eating up staff time, now is the moment to start making change happen.

 

Although the idea of a task review may sound like another ‘task’ it’s quick to achieve and has long-lasting results.

 

You can start by asking your teachers to write down four or five administrative tasks that they do every day and rank them high to low in terms of time and effort to complete and their impact on teaching and learning.  Ask them to comment on what they think would be the consequence if they stopped doing these and whether it would have a negative effect on teaching and learning.

 

If there are tasks which chip away valuable time each day without helping children, then these are the ones to look at first to see if they can be done differently or not at all.

 

Effective Time Management

 

The next step is to encourage teachers to employ time management skills. One method that works very well is allocating designated times to each task and setting cut off points once that time is completed.

 

For example, teachers can set themselves a time of one hour for lesson planning. When that time is up, they move on to marking or whatever is next on their list. They can then do another hour of lesson planning another time but by breaking the process up into short slots, most people inevitably get more done, rather than when they try and spend three hours on the same task.

 

Again you can weigh each task up against their impact on teaching and learning and decide what tasks get the biggest chunks of your time.

 

Curriculum planning time

 

Despite the introduction of PPA time many teachers dedicate hours of their lives on the evenings, weekends, and holidays to creating great lessons. Often planning sessions in schools are interrupted by calls or other tasks.

 

It might be that by implementing a few small changes, your teachers would get more from their PPA time so they don’t have to use so much of their out of school time on the task.

 

You could carry out a straw poll to ask teachers what one thing would help them get more from their PPA time. Then check back in with your staff to let them know if you can accommodate their suggestions.

 

This could involve shifting someone’s PPA time to the morning when there are likely to be fewer interruptions or giving teachers a longer session every fortnight rather than once a week. Alternatively, it might make a world of difference to your teachers if they could work collaboratively during these sessions.

 

Or you could set up a workshop session and invite everyone to come with an example of a great lesson and the impact it had, as well as an example of a lesson that didn’t work so well, and some thoughts on why. It’s a positive way to share best practices and saves teachers reinventing the wheel in their planning.

 

 

Efficient Communication

 

Good communication has taken on a whole new importance in the age of coronavirus, with schools having to keep staff informed of urgent messages relating to health matters, absences, rotas and changing guidelines. However, if you mark every email ‘urgent’, people will soon switch off and the genuinely urgent messages get lost in the background noise.

 

Draw up a quick questionnaire to ask everyone what the best way is to contact them for an urgent message. Then ask which way they prefer to hear about a news item or an event announcement.

 

Give them a range of options such as a phone call, email or text message. You could also suggest other tools your school uses such as Teams, WhatsApp or the school app.

 

When you have your answers, set out a standard communications method for urgent and non-urgent messages.

 

People are likely to have strong preferences, so bear in mind you won’t be able to please everyone, but this will help select the best options for the majority. Ask everyone to stick with those communication channels, if possible, as this will simplify the way you communicate, eliminate duplication, and ultimately save time.

 

These strategies are key to helping schools win back more time for themselves and their staff. By asking staff to contribute to the changes, you will get everyone on board with your school’s new, more efficient ways of working, and teachers will have more time to spend with pupils.

 

 

For more ideas on how to save time, visit https://junipereducation.org/10dayproject/ for a set of free resources from Juniper Education aimed at primary school leaders.