New Secretary of State for Education: NASBTT statement

Decision needed quickly on whether fundamental change in the ITT sector, and the likely immediate impact on teacher supply, is really a priority at this time 


Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “We welcome the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi MP as Secretary of State for Education. It potentially represents a new chapter for the Department for Education and brings an opportunity to address the most pressing challenges facing the schools’ sector. It is clear that supporting schools and children through a properly funded post-Covid recovery strategy should be top of the list. From the perspective of Initial Teacher Training (ITT), we do, course, face a number of uncertainties over the coming months as a result of the ITT Market Review and we are aware that many voices share our concerns over the future of our sector. Mr Zahawi will need to decide quickly whether fundamental change in the ITT sector, and the likely immediate impact on teacher supply, is really a priority at this time. We also call for transparency of reporting of the ITT Market Review consultation responses: it is imperative that the Minister responds to what the sector has said. We are here to support Mr Zahawi, however we can, in that decision-making process. We would welcome the opportunity to continue working closely with the Department to ensure continued excellence in ITT provision; once confirmed, the same applies to the new Minister of State for Schools. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Gibb for his immense contribution to the sector over the past nine years. We have worked closely together on ITT policy and always found him to be knowledgeable, passionate and willing to listen to ideas. He was also always supportive of NASBTT and the quality of school-based ITT provision. The sentiments being expressed by others in the sector show how highly he was thought of.”



The digital revolution in teaching during the pandemic – world’s largest international study on teachers and education

15 September 2021 – T4 Education has today published a landmark report revealing for the first time how teachers around the world have turned to technology to overcome barriers to education brought about by the pandemic.


Launched in Spring 2021 and informed by 20,679 teachers across 165 countries, T4 Education’s survey is the largest in the world. The report findings provide a unique and untold perspective documenting how covid restrictions have inverted understandings of disadvantage among school pupils and created a new comprehension of educational inequality. 


The Covid-19 outbreak sparked a global crisis in education. Governments worldwide took unprecedented action in responding to the pandemic by closing schools and entering national lockdowns for long periods. Throughout, teachers and their schools have had to overcome unique challenges in continuing teaching and learning by adapting to remote or hybrid forms of education.


While the evidence details the overwhelming devastation unleashed by the pandemic on children’s education, the findings in this report also tell another story of how teachers stepped-up to meet the extraordinary challenges created by the pandemic. They did so by turning to technology, by embracing and mastering new digital tools for instruction and by exploring and developing new pedagogies.


Furthermore, it was not the generation of younger and more recently qualified teachers who pivoted to adapt to technology and remote learning and instruction. Instead, it was the most experienced, predominantly older teachers who used digital tools the most, who taught more classes online and who deployed the most sophisticated and creative types of remote teaching.


Faced with a once-in-a-generation challenge of switching to a new model of remote learning, the teaching profession worldwide rose to this task. But by having to do so, the digital divide has become the number one factor of inequality in education worldwide.


Nonetheless, despite well-known limitations such as poor internet access and inadequate supply of digital devices, the vast majority of respondents consider their experience of the pandemic has made them better and more enthusiastic teachers.






In summary, the key findings of the report are:


  1. 55% of teachers with between 21- and 30-years’ experience said they taught lessons online in the year before completing the survey in spring 2021, compared with 38% who had taught for between three and five years.
  2. Linked to the point above are the findings that among teachers who said they undertook more than 10 whole days of training over the previous year, 54% were teachers with 30-plus years’ experience, falling to 31% of teachers who had been in the classroom for 5 years or fewer.
  3. Maths teachers were consistently the least likely among teachers of all curriculum subject areas to use a range of digital tools for teaching and learning.
  4. The use of digital tools for assessment is surprisingly very low. The survey found that 27% used technology for assessments daily, 29% weekly and 20% once or twice a month. Another 7% of respondents used technology for assessments once or twice a year and 17% never or almost never did so.
  5. The vast majority of surveyed teachers considered that the experience of teaching during the pandemic had made them better teachers and over half had become more enthusiastic about teaching.
  6. Teachers reported the most frequently observed group of children to suffer learning loss during the pandemic were those with less access to the internet or to technology (60%). This factor accounted for more than other indicators of deprivation including economic status, unemployment, unstable home environments or special educational needs.
  7. Schools are proving to be a greater leveller in providing children with access to digital equipment and the internet. However, the survey exposes a sharp digital divide in which children in government-funded and, especially, low-cost private schools and schools in rural locations were much more likely to miss out and their education suffered in consequence.
  8. Almost a quarter of teachers (23%) reported that their school did not have access to the internet at all. More than half (53%) said insufficient online access hindered their schools’ ability to provide high quality education.
  9. Shortages of technology hardware for instruction also constrained the capacity of schools, more than half of teachers (52%) said. More than four in ten teachers (42%) said that they brought their own digital device, whether it be a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone, into their school to teach.
  10. Schools in rural areas made less use of technology than schools in cities and metropolitan areas. While this might be expected, the digital divide between urban and rural schools is still stark and means that hundreds of millions of children lost out on their learning due to where their families live. The gap in percentage points between rural and urban schoolteachers was 14 points on whether their children’s education was hindered by poor internet access (61% versus 46%) and 13 points on inadequacy of digital resources (59% versus 46%).


Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education, said:


“The past 18-months have been an incredible journey for teachers worldwide. This unique report documents globally how teachers have heroically responded to the world-wide education crisis being driven by the ensuing pandemic.”


“This report is distinctive and noteworthy because it shows us the viewpoint from those who have been on the frontline delivering education. We see amazing ingenuity, innovation, creativity, and collaboration amongst teaching peers in every country. The results of which are not only benefitting millions of children and whole communities worldwide, but also the profession.”


“I am really pleased to be launching this report today and want to send my gratitude to the tens of thousands of teachers in 165 countries who have taken the time to respond. Capturing the experience of teachers, the findings present a real opportunity with teachers and schools around the world, as well as with global partners to bring about the required change.”


Free online Education calendar available now to all.

TheSchoolBus has launched ‘TheSchoolYear’, a free online Education calendar available now to all.

Created to keep those in the Education sector informed of the latest key dates and events, policy junctures, submission deadlines and best practice milestones, users can access the software by creating a free login via the website.

Once registered for their free account, users can get up-to-speed and prepare for changes, access resources and sync dates to their own calendars.

Kieran Bamford, Managing Director at TheSchoolBus commented: “Over the last 18 months, schools have experienced change at an unprecedented rate and at TheSchoolBus we have kept those in Education informed of the latest changes with up-to-date resources and policies. ‘TheSchoolYear’ takes this one step further, helping schools work proactively by making the unmissable, unmissable”.

Users can create an account here.

Sodexo Engage reveals 3 ways schools can reward and recognise teachers

Recently ranked among the top five most stressful jobs in the UK, there’s no denying teachers are under a great deal of pressure to produce results – not only from their superiors, but parents too.

Over the past 18 months this pressure has been magnified by the pandemic, as teachers had the task of managing a shift to online learning and then a socially distanced classroom. People are often quick to point out teachers have the luxury of half terms and long summer holidays, but much of these breaks are spent planning and preparing for the new term ahead.

As schools start back up again in September employers must ensure their teachers are well supported. With that in mind, employee benefits provider Sodexo Engage has put together three ways to recognise teachers.

  1. Vouchers

There’s a common misconception that cash is always king when it comes employee reward. However, monetary bonuses carry a major pitfall in that they are often swallowed up and lost in an employee’s usual monthly pay cheque.

Instead, reward teachers with vouchers, or eVouchers. Vouchers are a versatile initiative that can be tailored towards specific members of staff, making them a much more personable and valued reward than cash on its own – whether that be a voucher for their favourite restaurant, or an activity for them to look forward to at the weekend.

Vouchers are a great way of ensuring employees have a tangible reward to show for their efforts, something which Incentive Research Foundation found can increase employee performance by 22%.

  1. Peer to peer recognition

Recognition doesn’t have to always come in the form of physical reward, and it doesn’t have to come from the top down either. In fact, being commended by a colleague can be just as rewarding as getting praise from management, and this is echoed by a Harvard Business School study which revealed positive recognition from co-workers can increase an employee’s output by 7%. Fostering a culture of peer-to-peer recognition will go a long way to ensuring teachers feel validated and that their hard work and dedication is not going unnoticed.

  1. “And the winner is…”

Whether it’s an officially accredited special achievement award from the school governors, or something as simple as employee of the month, awards are the perfect way of putting the spotlight on individuals who deserve some recognition.

Publicity of an employee’s achievement will not only boost their individual confidence and give them something to be proud of, but it will also inspire other staff members, set the standard and ultimately reinforce good practice across the board.

Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage, comments:

“September is right around the corner and parents will be getting ready to send their children back to school. It comes as no surprise that this can be an extremely stressful time of year for teachers, and it is up to their employers to make sure they are well supported through this period and beyond.

“Recognising teachers’ good work and giving praise where it’s due, whether that be through vouchers, a simple ‘well done’ or an award, will go a long way to validating their efforts and making sure they’re aware their dedication to the cause is appreciated and has not gone unnoticed. It is this reassurance which will motivate them to keep working to a high standard and alleviate any risk of burnout.”

School makes move to £5.2m facility

SUNDERLAND students are jumping for joy after making the move into a new £5.2m facility, funded and designed by Sunderland City Council and built by Esh Construction.

Willow Wood Primary School, which replaces the former Willow Fields Community Primary School in Witherwack, has opened its doors to 168 three to 11-year olds, having been completed over the summer. The new school building on Redcar Road – which was funded by Sunderland City Council from its own Capital Budget as part of a £35m programme that will see six schools across the city rebuilt or refurbished – has been custom-designed to cater for modern learning with a range of facilities including vast outdoor spaces from hard surface sport and play areas to a large football pitch and wetland areas, as well as enhanced indoor facilities.

The new school, which has been designed in partnership with the Willow Wood’s leadership team – with the council’s in-house architects designing the space – will allow teachers to deliver enhanced learning for students, making use of amenities such as therapy rooms for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Headteacher, Lindsay Robertson, who has been at the helm for four years, said teachers and students were delighted by their new learning environment.

She said: “We’re all absolutely thrilled with the school, which is just night and day compared to the old building. Everything about our new school building is aspirational and inspiring, and we know that will rub off on our amazing students who will be able to take so much pride in their learning environment, which in turn will see them take more pride in their work.”

She added: “I think our students know that, academically, things are changing. This new school building means they are now in a fresh, modern, clean environment and that will make an incredible difference to our children, our staff and to our community.”

The school will include spaces that can be used by the community, to ensure that families of the children who study there can enjoy the space. It will include state of the art technology, stunning outdoor learning spaces and a dance studio, as well as specialist facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities – accounting for 20 per cent of the children at Willow Fields.

“We had been managing as best as we could in the old building, but it was clear to us as educators that they deserved better and that the school was not able to meet their needs or ours as teachers who want the absolute best for our children.

“Today is a fresh start. Seeing the faces of parents and young people coming into this amazing new space has just been wonderful. It’s such an exciting time for everyone, and our children deserve this more than anyone.”

Willow Fields, the school’s old site – tucked away in Witherwick – is set to be reinvented with new-build homes set to rise from the ground on the site, as part of the council’s £59m Housing Development and Investment Plan (HDIP) to create affordable homes for rent. This will create an exciting new community which will also be served by Willow Wood School.

Councillor Louise Farthing, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Our schools programme shows the absolute commitment we have to our future generations, and seeing the impact this has – directly – on young people from Sunderland is just wonderful.

“Willow Wood Primary School is an incredible new facility, that the whole community will be able to benefit from, with amenities for parents as well as children. And added to the fact that the old school site is now paving the way for a new community in Witherwack, as part of our £59m HDIP, and we’re convinced that this will regenerate and inspire our communities.”

Local contractor, Esh Construction, was responsible for building the new school. Construction Director, Brian Joyce, added: “We are delighted to hand over this fantastic new school which will provide a much-improved learning and teaching environment for the local community. I am very proud of the team, having managed the additional challenges brought by the pandemic to deliver an outstanding development in time for the new academic year.”

New Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub officially opens to support teacher professional development

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, one of 87 Hubs selected by the Government in a £65 million investment to provide high-quality professional development to teachers and leaders in England, has officially opened.


Back in February, it was announced by the Department for Education (DfE) that Histon and Impington Junior School, part of Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET), would be the designated Teaching School Hub for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough schools from 1st September. Now the Hub is set to support 336 schools, making it the third largest Hub in the country, with a range of professional development for teachers at all stages of their careers.


Initial priorities in the next 12 months are implementation of the Early Career Framework for all new teachers, delivery of National Professional Qualifications for school leadership, and providing initial teacher training with partner organisations locally. It will also undertake collaborative working with curriculum hubs and signposting professional development for DfE approved and partner training programmes in the region.


“We want every teacher, school leader and wider school staff to have the best professional development they can,” said Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub Lead Lynne Birch, formerly Schools Engagement Adviser at Cambridgeshire County Council. “We are committed to facilitating this through delivery partner providers, signposting, and commissioning development opportunities where there are gaps in the region. We have a long track record of working together in our area which has brought us to the creation of this Hub. Integral to the success of the Hub will be the continuation of that approach and deepening our relationships with schools, Trusts and partners in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. We strongly believe that this Hub belongs to them.”


The Hub is committed to working in collaboration with early years’ providers, primary, secondary, alternative provision, special schools, further and higher education providers and other regional stakeholders. These include Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex Teaching School Hubs, local authorities, Ely and Peterborough Dioceses, Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Cambridge, curriculum hubs and research schools.

CPET Executive Principal/CEO Lesley Birch, one of just 12 school leaders to have been appointed by the DfE to the new national Teaching School Hubs Council last month, added: “The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub is a significant development for the region because it forms part of the Government’s plans for the implementation of the recruitment and retention strategy to raise teacher quality and effectiveness. We exist ultimately to support Cambridgeshire and Peterborough schools and Trusts in having the best professional development offer from the moment someone decides they want to train as a teacher and throughout their career. It is privileged responsibility, and one that we embrace.”


For more information about the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, please visit the interim website at


NEW Game-Embedded Teaching maths app is proving that short bursts of learning is optimal for academic progress in maths

Swedish maths app Count on Me! based on science + technology is now available in the UK   

Akribian, a Swedish education technology start-up, is spearheading the way in which children learn maths through short adventure game-based learning which helps children retain information and encourages long term academic success. Its first product Count on me! is a maths app for children aged 6-9 years based on a new concept of Game-Embedded Teaching (GET) which involves a unique combination of science and game design to encourage children to discover the magic of mathematics and accelerate their learning. 

The development of Count on me! is based on the latest research in learning psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and research conducted by Martin Hassler Hallstedt, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Akribian.  

Research published in The Journal of Educational Psychology (2018) has shown that children who practiced maths by playing Count on me! improved their maths skills by 60 percent, compared to children who did not use the app. Results of the study of 283 eight year old students in Sweden showed that using Count on me! for just 15 minutes per day, 3-4 days per week during a 19 week term, significantly improved their critical maths skills compared to students who did not use the program. The gap between academically low-performing students who used the program and higher-performing students who did not use the program also decreased because the low-performing students improved at a higher rate. 

The UK currently ranks seventeenth in the world league tables when it comes to maths competence assessed at the age of 15, with China, Singapore and Macau in the top three places. Sweden, the birthplace of Count on me! sits alongside the UK, in equal seventeenth place.  
Co – Founder and CEO of Akribian, Martin Hassler Hallstedt says“Learning should be an adventure. What distinguishes our game-embedded teaching from more traditional educational games is that Count on me! has been developed with one foot in science and the other in game design. Our unique approach to learning allows a child to engage fully in the moment for 15 minutes a day which means a short burst of wisdom is embedded with minimal screen time. This encourages a happier state of wellbeing and is a more sustainable way of learning that results in long term knowledge retention.” 

“When we look back at our school days, there are many adults who sadly have no positive memories of learning maths . With Count on me! we can help change this for future generations by creating captivating gaming experiences that increase children’s willingness to learn important mathematics skills”, adds Martin.  

Count on me! was developed by Akribian using leading education psychology techniques including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combined with advanced gaming technology. The story-driven game is designed to last for just 15 minutes each day. Through adventure play and discovery, children learn and master early maths concepts such as pattern recognition, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and equalities.  

The approach and design of Count on me! is based on science and insight showing that children benefit and learn more from performing repetitive tasks for smaller chunks of time more regularly, rather than finishing the full game in a shorter amount of time. This also improves learning outcomes. 

Early-age maths competence is the strongest predictor for future academic success – yet many children struggle with maths and it impacts their learning and motivation as they progress through school. A study found that maths competencies among 5-6 year olds is the strongest predictor for general school achievement at 13-14 years of age. Additional studies demonstrated how maths performance significantly predicted socio-emotional behaviour and low math skills was more strongly associated with negative outcomes on employment, physical and mental health. 

Launched in Sweden earlier this year, Count on me! includes 4 tailor-made chapters to play, each containing 10 days of training for the child to complete the quests and master Math Magic. The app is been rolled out across Sweden with schools using it as part of their curriculum. The game will be offered to UK schools and directly to parents as part of the launch approach. 

Count on me! is now available on the App Store for iPads*, and will be available on Android tablets later this year. Count on me! is £9.99 a month with an introductory offer of the first three months for £2.99 (available until 30 September 2021).  

For more information visit 

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


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


* 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 (

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

[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.

[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