Posts

Top EMEIA partner accreditation for Jigsaw24’s education team

Leading IT solutions provider Jigsaw24 has been named a Showbie Platinum Reseller Partner – one of only two companies in the whole of the EMEIA region to gain the accreditation.

 

This is a fantastic accolade for Jigsaw24, who have a close working partnership with Showbie. Both companies are passionate about the product and their values on digital learning align. When it comes to IT for education Jigsaw24 realise it’s much more than just about selling products. Understanding the need for professional guidance on a school’s technology journey, Jigsaw24’s empathetic team of ex teachers and education experts know how to make schools technology work with the curriculum and provide phenomenal results in both teaching and learning.

 

When speaking about the accreditation Richard Aylott, Showbie EMEIA Channel Manager, said: “We’re excited to announce Jigsaw24 as one of our Platinum Partners in the UK! We look forward to developing our long-standing relationship with the Jigsaw24 team, as we continue to empower millions of educators in managing their classroom workflow and delivering personalised feedback.”

                                                      

Teachers across the country are looking for ways to reduce their workload, and Jigsaw24 has long been an advocate for Showbie, an iOS-based assessment app that has received fantastic feedback from teachers across all age ranges and subjects.

 

Showbie lets teachers create virtual classrooms to share and receive student work, allowing them to give instant text and audio feedback to pupils – shaving hours off the time spent marking every week. The app works for schools using Apple, Microsoft and Google Documents, has a simple design which is helpful to those with lower tech confidence and can be used in or out of class, allowing parents to access the app so families can become part of their child’s learning.

 

Jigsaw24 are keen to help their education customers use Showbie to go paperless, which takes ink, paper, and maintenance out of the school’s budget while also helping the environment. “We encourage all our customers to operate as sustainably as possible, and with education budgets being so tight, anything that can help schools reduce costs and redirect money to the classroom helps,” said Megan Brown, Jigsaw24’s Education Professional Development Consultant.

 

Megan, a former teacher before joining Jigsaw24’s education team, added: “Having used Showbie throughout my teaching career, I’ve always had the confidence to recommend the app to schools I work with. For teachers, parents and students the platform is extremely easy to use, with clear folders and assignments. The cross platform nature of the app allows teachers to upload documents of any sort from any device, saving time and reducing workload. With so many features to support personalisation, it is a great tool to adapt teaching and learning for all children in the classroom; teachers can send learning or comments to individuals, groups or the whole class and children can receive feedback in the way that best supports them: visually or audibly.”

 

Jigsaw24’s education team are well versed in the app, having received direct training from Showbie and taken that training out to schools across the country. All the Apple Professional Learning Specialists on the education training team are Showbie Certified Trainers – Showbie’s highest accreditation. Jigsaw24, which has worked with schools, colleges, and universities to deliver classroom technology and improve teachers’ digital skills for over 25 years, is also an Apple Authorised Education Specialist and Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller – the only company in the UK to hold both accreditations.

 

For more information about Jigsaw24 and its technology solutions for education, visit https://www.jigsaw24.com/customers/education/apple-teacher.

 

Legionella in Schools: Key points for good water management

Author: Paul Limbrick, Senior Consultant, Water Hygiene Centre Ltd

 

Good water hygiene management within school properties can be distilled into the following areas:

1 – Establishing the level of water hygiene risk;

2 – Devising an action plan proportionate to risk;

3 – Evidencing how risk has been suitably managed.

ACoP L8 and HSG 274 Part 2 provide practical advice and guidance on how this can be achieved – to help ensure compliance with health and safety laws.

Establishing the level of risk within school properties can be further compartmentalised into two main areas:

1 – Management policy;

2 – Operations.

Starting with management policy; it’s important to identify a hierarchy of authority (communications pathway/organogram) for water hygiene management ensuring that those responsible are demonstrably competent to undertake their role. Doing so will help the organisation to suitably delineate between management and operational water hygiene responsibilities. Moreover, estates, facilities and/or caretaking staff will invariably accept responsibility for planned preventative and reactive maintenance tasks (as ‘authorised’ or ‘competent’ persons), whereas staff members with a strategic water hygiene responsibility (often estates) may accept responsibility for managing the organisational written scheme of control (sometimes referred to as the water safety plan).

The responsibility to manage and deliver the organisational written scheme of control typically falls within the role of the ‘responsible person’ (RP). Nominating a demonstrably competent person (known as the RP) for water hygiene is a legal requirement and is a role of significant responsibility as the duty holder, or ‘directing mind’ of the organisation – often the Chancellor or Principal, may be the head teacher of a school (depending on the type of school) and may not necessarily possess the technical knowledge, qualifications, water hygiene experience or expertise to adequately execute the duties of the RP and therefore authority may be delegated by the duty holder to an RP. This may help to ensure that the estate is managed in accordance with accepted practices and that assurances are provided to occupiers of the estate (teaching staff, students) regarding protection from waterborne pathogens such as Legionella and associated infection and disease.

 

Whilst many of the operational and managerial water hygiene responsibilities may be delegated, it is noteworthy that the duty holder will retain accountability for ‘water and Legionella risk’. It may be prudent to consider this when planning the resources and budget required to ensure that all health and safety concerns are adequately addressed. The threat from Legionnaires’ Disease is considered ‘preventable’ and when contracted from an estate, invariably there will be legal ramifications…

Once the management structure has been agreed and formalised within a policy document, water management considerations now become more ‘operational’. For example, a good starting point for a school, as for any organisation, would be to commission a site-specific water risk assessment with accompanying schematics. Carrying out a site-specific risk assessment is an absolute requirement under health and safety law. Provided that the risk assessment is accurate and completed in accordance with British Standard 8580-1 then the full extent of the water safety risk will be captured. The risk assessment should include a survey that includes all the systems that may contribute to or cause a risk of waterborne infection. Risks should be evaluated and quantified based on the likelihood of Legionella contamination within a given system and the consequence of infection from this bacteria, using a scoring system for example.

School water systems that could present a risk will more than likely include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

  • Domestic cold-water systems – cold water (i.e. less than 20°C) is to be achieved at the outlet within two minutes. This should be confirmed by monthly monitoring from sentinel outlets (i.e. those nearest and farthest from the water source);
  • Domestic hot-water systems – hot water should be heated to at least 60°C and be distributed to all parts of the system at 50°C or above. Hot water should achieve temperature within 1-minute of opening the outlet. This should be confirmed by monthly monitoring of sentinel outlets or, where there is pumped hot water circulation, by monitoring the temperature at the farthest point on the recirculating pipework;
  • Showers – ensure that these outlets are cleaned and descaled at least quarterly and used or flushed at least once weekly. If showers are infrequently used they should be removed or flushed regularly. Flushing activities are to be captured in a documented programme with records kept as evidence;
  • Wash hand basin tap outlets – ensure that all outlets are used or flushed at least once weekly. Similarly, if there are infrequently used outlets then they should be removed or captured in the aforementioned flushing programme;
  • Cold water storage tanks (stored cold water) – ensure that temperature within the tank is less than 20°C and that storage capacity does not exceed 24-hours of supply;
  • Hot water generators/boilers (stored hot water) – stored hot water should be no less than 60°C and therefore flow at no less than 60°C from the boiler;
  • Thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) – depending on the asset which the TMV is serving, then water temperature should be regulated to 41°C +/- 2°C in order to mitigate scald risk. However, this falls within temperature range that encourages the growth of waterborne bacteria (20-45°C ) and therefore these risk systems should be dismantled, cleaned, disinfected and functional checks at least annually.

The HSE’s HSG274 Technical Guidance, Part 2, Table 2.1 provides practical guidance on the minimum requirements for the management of these systems. Therefore, whilst it’s not mandatory to follow the guidance, bear in mind that should the guidance not be followed then an organisation will need to demonstrate that they have achieved either an equivalent or better standard.

Once the risk assessments have been completed, an assessment of perceived inherent and actual risk will be provided by the surveyor. In practice, this often generates recommendations on how water safety risk can be reduced within the estate. The risk assessment can therefore be used to inform the written scheme of control and assist with the development of an action plan that identifies the corrective action to be taken as well as realistic timescales for completion. Schools, as with all organisations, must at this stage identify what is reasonable and practicable to include within the action plan to help ensure that the water safety management approach remains sustainable for the organisation. Accepted health and safety principles in the UK encourage a balance between risk, cost and difficulty in the actions that are taken; which may necessitate the inclusion of some works and the derogation of others.

Finally, for all planned preventative maintenance works or reactive maintenance works, it is imperative that comprehensive and complete records are kept and are easily accessible. A failure to provide enough evidence to demonstrate that a system is under control could be interpreted as a failure to ensure that service users are safe.

 

 

EDUCATION LEADERS URGED TO UNPLUG AND RECONNECT AT BETT

Education leaders and teachers are being urged to ‘unplug and reconnect’ in person at Bett this coming January.

 

Organisers at the world’s biggest EdTech show are inviting the education community to emerge from behind the screen and come together face-to-face to connect, learn, share ideas and experiences and ultimately “create the future” of education.

 

The show is returning after 18 months of disruption and accelerated adoption of technology, where educators were forced to pivot and deliver lessons in unprecedented circumstances.

 

With all content sessions CPD-accredited, educators can even gain active learning CPD-points by taking part at the event, across the week.

 

Bett is the place for education leaders, teachers and tech pioneers to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education including the latest thinking on pedagogy, digital strategy and policy implementation.

 

Thousands have already signed up to the event, held on 19- 21 January 2022 at ExCeL London.

 

Exhibitors and sponsors will range from tech superpowers such as Microsoft, Google, Lenovo and Pearson to specialist education suppliers such as Arbor Education, NetSupport, Promethean and 2Simple to rising start-up stars – offering impactful solutions for institutions of all sizes and all budgets.

 

High-profile speakers include one of the world’s leading authorities on growth mindset, Eduardo Briceño, the comedian and actor Sally Phillips, who will speak about home schooling during lockdown and life with a SEN child, and Gogglebox favourite Baasit Siddiqui, whose Siddiqui Education organisation helps boost the morale and achievements of disadvantaged pupils.

 

Eve Harper, Bett Event Director said: “Bett brings people together to network and have meaningful conversations. Despite our focus on tech, we find that the best way to make sense of the plethora of technological solutions is to engage in-person. A range of new offerings coupled with familiar faces from the worlds of education and technology make this the main meeting point for the entire education sector.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She added: ‘We will have thousands of attendees and some exciting speakers and solution providers, from Eduardo Briceño, one of the biggest proponents of the growth mindset, to Sally Phillips, an actor with a passion for connecting pupils with SEND.”

 

A new esports feature will take place at Bett, allowing educators to see how esports is more than gaming and could in fact be the secret weapon in encouraging learning, promoting teamwork and communication.

 

Higher Education leaders will also welcome a new co-located event designed just for them – Ahead by Bett, while global education leaders and change makers can convene at Learnit.

 

Places are free for all attendees.

 

Registration is open now at:  

Tracking link: https://uk.bettshow.com/visitor-registration?utm_source=media_partner&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pressrelease01

 

For more information see uk.bettshow.com

Tracking link: https://uk.bettshow.com/welcome?utm_source=media_partner&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pressrelease01

 

For media and press enquiries, contact Alice Stephens, alice.stephens@withpr.co.uk or bett@withpr.co.uk  tel 020 7249 7769 

 

Submit your idea for speaking on stage – visit: https://uk.bettshow.com/about/contact-us?utm_source=media_partner&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pressrelease01

 

Enquire about exhibiting or sponsoring – visit: https://uk.bettshow.com/exhibit-sponsor?utm_source=media_partner&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pressrelease01

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.

New global report points to overworked, underpaid, and undervalued teaching profession

 

Report assesses status of teachers and the teaching profession in an era of COVID-19

On World Teachers’ Day, education unions are raising the alarm as new research shows that teachers around the world are overworked, underpaid, and undervalued.

Brussels, 05-10-2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the education sector.  With school closures around the world, there has been an increased public appreciation of teachers and the work they do. However, this awareness has not led to structural improvements such as investment, support, and better working conditions for professional educators. In fact, education budgets have fallen by 65 per cent in low- and middle-income countries, and 33 per cent in upper-middle- and high-income countries.[1]

The 2021 Education International[2] report on the Global Status of Teachers and the Teaching Profession, which surveyed 128 education union leaders and officials in 94 countries and across all levels of education, points to system wide conditions which are failing to attract a new generation of educators to the profession. The continued teacher shortage undermines the right of every learner to be taught by a qualified teacher.

“What are we learning in this pandemic? First, teachers and Education Support Personnel have gone above and beyond for their students. This report is a clear indication that governments need to make an urgent investment in teachers and the students they educate. Increasing teacher salaries and reducing workload is essential to recruit the best people into the profession and ensure quality education for all,” stated David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International.

“Recent policy moves tend to shift responsibility, and blame, onto teachers for issues that systems should be providing support for. An intelligent professional agenda requires a collective, joint negotiated plan with the profession. This should be seen as a foundational move towards intelligent professionalism. The joint development of the Global Framework of Professional Teaching Standards by Education International and UNESCO is exemplary in this regard.”

The report, authored by Professor Greg Thompson, Queensland University of Technology in Australia, outlines the factors affecting the status of education workers worldwide, such as pay and working conditions, as well as professional autonomy and the portrayal of teachers in the media. Some of the main findings include:

  • Teacher pay is too low, conditions are deteriorating, and infrastructure to support teaching and learning is not a priority for government investment. Over 42 per cent of respondents stated that there had been a deterioration in teachers’ working conditions over the last three years. 84 per cent indicated that salaries had decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Workload has intensified. Over 55 per cent of respondents stated that workloads were unmanageable. Over 66 per cent of respondents felt that “administrivia” requirements were contributing to the excessive workload pressures for education professionals.
  • Teacher attrition was reported as an issue at all academic levels, with primary education (33.1 per cent) the highest and higher education (17.3 per cent) the lowest. 48 per cent of respondents think the teaching profession is not an attractive profession for young people.
  • Precarious employment is growing. Almost 60 per cent of respondents pointed to the use of casual and short-term contracts to employ teachers and academics. In some settings, including sub-Saharan Africa and South-West Asia, many contract teachers described receiving less pay than permanent teachers, inadequate professional support, and poor working conditions.
  • Continuous Professional Development remains insufficient for teachers. Many perceived it to be of poor quality, not directly relevant to the issues that teachers were facing, and came at personal financial cost without clear career benefits (see tables 106-112).

The respondents were also asked their recommendations to improve the status of the profession and stated that a focus on pay, conditions, and particularly workload would be valuable elements. Positive policies and practices include hiring adequate numbers of teachers, trainers, and education support personnel and ensuring that education systems be well-resourced to ensure high-quality education.
 

To access the full report on the Global Status of Teachers and the Teaching Profession, by Thompson, G. (2021), please click here. The executive summary can be found here.
 

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.

GCSEPod becomes an official sponsor of the APPG on Race Equality in Education

++ Leading EdTech company supports All Party Parliamentary Group in aim to diversify the curriculum ++

EdTech company GCSEPod has become an official sponsor of the APPG on Race Equality in Education.  The APPG’s aim is to support children and students from ethnic minority backgrounds, to enhance educational environments, and to increase racial diversity in teaching across the UK.

 

GCSEPod is a leading EdTech provider, and the firm has played a central role during the pandemic in helping learning continue throughout the last year, with record numbers of students accessing content.  GCSEPod offers 28 different subjects to students. The ‘pods’ are short sharp video downloads (between 3-5 minutes long) which students can access from any device at any hour of the day.

 

GCSEPod have already launched their CAACH project, which celebrates British and Irish Authors of African and Caribbean Heritage, to help try and diversify the curriculum.  It is first in a series of planned special projects that aims to shine a light on subjects that have historically been overlooked in education; these Pods explore the literary contributions of the African diaspora in the UK and Ireland.

 

Anthony Coxon, co-founder and director of GCSEPod said:

GCSEPod is delighted to become an official sponsor of the APPG on Race Equality in Education.  The work we have already done with the APPG has shaped our company’s values and commitment to developing and diversifying our network of contributors.”

Lord Woolley of Woodford, Vice Chair of the APPG on Race Equality in Education said:

“We’re very excited to have GCSEPod on board with the APPG for Race Equality in Education, of which I am Vice-Chair. It’s crucial that policymakers and EdTech providers work more closely together to better support the next generation of children, particularly pupils who are racialised – and, having the right educational resources are fundamental if we are to advance race equality”

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.