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Education Spends

How much are local governments spending on education around the country?

Education spending (of which EdTech such as Promethean interactive displays and teaching software is just one area) is one of the most important things that taxpayer money goes towards, from early years nurseries to post-16 education.

But with funding for schools being controlled by individual local authorities, which parts of the country are investing the most into the future of their youngsters?

We’ve analysed the latest government spending data to find out, as well as highlighting the areas where spending has increased and decreased the most in the last five years.

The areas spending the most per pupil

It’s clear that it’s pupils in London who enjoy the greatest funding in the country, with eight of the top ten highest-spending areas located in the capital, with Islington being the highest, at £8,105 per pupil.

Specifically, it was those boroughs in Inner London which most commonly had a high level of spending, with Islington followed by the likes of Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Camden, and Hackney, likely due to the higher salaries of teachers, but also due to increased social deprivation in these areas.

The only two areas from outside London in the top ten were Knowsley (£6,106 per pupil), on Merseyside, and North Tyneside (£5,751 per pupil), in the North East.

Rank Local authority Region Net education expenditure Number of pupils Net expenditure per pupil
1 Islington London £207,326,000 25,581 £8,105
2 Lewisham London £319,679,000 41,825 £7,643
3 Tower Hamlets London £363,955,000 48,127 £7,562
4 Camden London £218,195,000 32,371 £6,740
5 Hackney London £276,922,000 42,659 £6,492
6 Knowsley North West £126,748,000 20,757 £6,106
7 Barking & Dagenham London £264,106,000 44,517 £5,933
8 North Tyneside North East £179,805,000 31,264 £5,751
9 Merton London £188,987,000 33,133 £5,704
10 Lambeth London £227,356,000 40,043 £5,678

The areas spending the least per pupil

Interestingly, despite previously highlighting that spending per pupil is much higher in London than in other parts of the country, two London boroughs fell into the ten areas with the lowest spend per pupil too: Bromley (£1,599 per person) and Bexley (£1,599 per person).

The area with the lowest spend was England’s smallest county, Rutland and while this can perhaps partially be attributed to the area’s very low population (just under 8,000 pupils, the third-lowest in the country), the county still comes bottom when we take pupil numbers into account as well.

Other authorities that fall into the bottom ten are relatively spread around the country in areas such as Humberside (Kingston upon Hull and North East Lincolnshire), Essex (Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea), North Somerset, Bournemouth and Northamptonshire.

Rank Local authority Region Net education expenditure Number of pupils Net expenditure per pupil
1 Rutland East Midlands £11,881,000 7,980 £1,489
2 Bromley London £91,668,000 57,317 £1,599
3 Kingston upon Hull Yorkshire & the Humber £71,949,000 43,196 £1,666
4 North East Lincolnshire Yorkshire & the Humber £42,656,000 24,539 £1,738
5 Thurrock East £54,043,000 29,824 £1,812
6 Southend-on-Sea East £57,155,000 31,216 £1,831
7 North Somerset South West £59,726,000 31,909 £1,872
8 Bexley London £89,121,000 44,645 £1,996
9 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole South West £110,541,000 54,078 £2,044
10 Northamptonshire East Midlands £262,122,000 125,484 £2,089

The areas where spending has increased the most

We also looked at how the total spending on education has changed over the last five years and again, it was London boroughs which came top of the tree.

Five London boroughs fell in the top ten areas with the biggest spending increase, with Hillingdon increasing the most, from £162 million in 2014-15, to just under £195 million in 2019-29, an increase of 20%.

In fact, each of the top ten areas was found in the South, with the sole exception being Sandwell, in the West Midlands, which saw a five-year increase of 14.45%.

Rank Local authority Region 2014-15 net expenditure 2019-20 net expenditure Five-year change
1 Hillingdon London £162,093,000 £194,627,000 20.07%
2 Richmond upon Thames London £115,362,000 £138,123,000 19.73%
3 Hampshire South East £780,970,000 £913,248,000 16.94%
4 Buckinghamshire South East £313,091,000 £362,434,000 15.76%
5 West Berkshire South East £97,645,000 £112,888,000 15.61%
6 Hounslow London £174,699,000 £200,346,000 14.68%
7 Sandwell West Midlands £238,286,000 £272,712,000 14.45%
8 Kingston upon Thames London £90,658,000 £102,378,000 12.93%
9 Barking & Dagenham London £234,447,000 £264,106,000 12.65%
10 Gloucestershire South West £286,468,000 £319,470,000 11.52%

The areas where spending has decreased the most

However, those areas where spending has increased are in the minority, with overall education expenditure falling in just under a third (63%) of local authorities.

Aside from the Isles of Scilly, which are something of an outlier due to their very low population, the area where spending has decreased the most is Kingston upon Hull, which saw expenditure drop by half in the last five years.

For that reason, it’s perhaps no surprise that Hull and two other authorities in the bottom ten (North Somerset and Southend-on-Sea), also fell into the list of areas with the lowest spend per pupil.

Rank Local authority Region 2014-15 net expenditure 2019-20 net expenditure Five-year change
1 Isles of Scilly South West £3,772,000 £894,000 -76.30%
2 Kingston upon Hull Yorkshire & the Humber £144,916,000 £71,949,000 -50.35%
3 North Somerset South West £115,699,000 £59,726,000 -48.38%
4 Southend-on-Sea East £110,104,000 £57,155,000 -48.09%
5 Rotherham Yorkshire & the Humber £168,254,000 £99,619,000 -40.79%
6 Redcar & Cleveland North East £91,179,000 £56,087,000 -38.49%
7 Staffordshire West Midlands £531,183,000 £340,058,000 -35.98%
8 Middlesbrough North East £96,395,000 £62,309,000 -35.36%
9 Suffolk East £407,131,000 £280,253,000 -31.16%
10 Plymouth South West £124,712,000 £85,897,000 -31.12%

Methodology

Education expenditure for 2014-15 and 2019-20 was sourced from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s local authority revenue expenditure and financing data collection.

The expenditure refers to the total net expenditure for early years education, primary schools, secondary schools, special schools and alternative education, post-16 education and other education and community budget. Note that due to changes in the structure of some local authorities in the last five years, some areas were omitted.

Pupil numbers were sourced from the Department for Education’s schools, pupils and their characteristics statistics 2019/20, and refer to the total number of pupils in all state-funded schools (aged 3-19).

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Sea-cleaning robot sphere, a hand sanitiser-dispensing phone and an app to tackle period poverty, all in running to win £20,000 prize for young inventors

 

  • The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, delivered by Nesta Challenges, calls on young people to develop tech-for-good solutions to help solve society’s biggest issues and turn great ideas into reality.
  • The 40 shortlisted teams of 11-16 year-olds will receive expert mentoring from Amazon and other industry experts to create prototypes of their concepts this school term.
  • The winning team will win £20,000 for its school or youth group, with three runner-up teams to be awarded £5,000 each for their school or youth groups.

 

The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, delivered by Nesta Challenges, has today unveiled a finalist shortlist of 40 inspirational projects from teams of 11-16 year olds in the running to win the £20,000 first prize. The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize pairs STEM knowledge with new entrepreneurial skills and calls on young people to develop innovative ‘tech for good’ solutions to help solve society’s biggest issues. 

Finalists include a sea-cleaning robot sphere that detects and removes microplastics with infrared sensors; a hand sanitiser-dispensing and infrared thermometer phone case that reminds the user to wash their hands and take their temperature regularly, and; an app that tackles period poverty and its link with female participation in sport and exercise by offering free monthly hygiene packs alongside motivation and fitness goals, and mental health tips.

Other game-changing ideas include a device that harvests kinetic energy every time a door is opened and closed to feed into the electricity grid; a carbon footprint-measuring app to help people make sustainable shopping decisions easily, and; a platform that uses AI to teach people sign language.

The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize received more than 150 entries this year from over 500 young people across the UK. 40 finalists projects, submitted by teams of 11-16 year-old students, have been selected by a panel of expert judges including Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President of techUK, Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge and DeepMind’s Obum Ekeke, Global Lead for University Relations & Education Partnerships. 

The finalist teams will each be connected to an expert mentor from Amazon and other industry-leading organisations. They will mentor teams on topics such as data analytics, software engineering, robotics, and app development, to create prototypes of their concepts to help determine the winner this July. They will all be invited to participate in the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prizes’ Enterprise Academy business day workshops and will also receive one-to-one technology support from FireTech UK – the UK’s leading technology course provider for children aged 8-17.

In July, the winning team will be awarded £20,000 for its school or youth group, with three teams of runners-up to be awarded £5,000 each for their school or youth group. The public will also be given the chance to choose their favourite design in the People’s Choice Award in June, the winner of which will receive £5,000 prize money for its school or youth group.

Maddy Kavanagh, Education and Skills Programme Manager, Nesta Challenges, said:
“It is a privilege to unveil the 40 inspirational teams that have been shortlisted for this year’s Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize. It has been amazing to be inundated with so many innovative entries despite the immense pressures faced by young people, teachers and youth workers alike. Schools are working extraordinarily hard to ensure students excel after lockdown, and youth groups continue to provide vital extra-curricular services and support. We are so pleased that the prize is introducing more young people to the exciting opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths, supporting the growth of entrepreneurial life-skills, and developing their confidence at such a pivotal time. We can’t wait to see our teams develop their ideas into real-world prototypes in the next three months.”

Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, and Judge for the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, said:

“Supporting young people to discover a passion for – and ultimately consider future careers in – STEM is more vital than ever, and it’s fantastic to see such great engagement in the prize across the country. It’s been a joy to see what the nation’s next generation of inventors and innovators have come up with, especially under such unusual and challenging circumstances this year. 

“The Amazon Longitude Explorer prize is part of Amazon Future Engineer, our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to discover computer science and engineering. We’re looking forward to getting started with the mentorship programme and seeing the finalists’ ideas come to life.” 

Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE, President at techUK, and judge for the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, said:

“Whittling down all of the amazing entries was incredibly difficult but we are delighted to be able to share 40 deserving finalists. The submissions have been really innovative in the way they have applied technology and real-world promise and bringing with them potential for huge impact. It will be a privilege to watch these innovative ideas blossom with support from industry experts, alongside the passion, skills and confidence of the talented young people taking part.”

Other shortlisted ideas include an eco-friendly water bottle that encourages the user to drink water more often; a wearable device for PTSD sufferers that uses sensors and GPS tracking to monitor behaviour and notify friends and family of episodes; a LGBTQ+ Youth app and website to connect and support those with similar experiences, through chat rooms, bots, fun enrichment activities and resources, and; a mealworm larvae filled box that breaks down non-recyclable plastic waste, using sensors to monitor for optimal decomposition conditions.

The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize aims to address the lack of diversity in STEM industries by providing young people from all backgrounds with an introduction to the possibilities of entrepreneurship in STEM and becoming the disruptors of the future.

This year, more than half (58%) of all entrants to the 2021 Longitude Explorer Prize are young women. Following the 2020 prize, 93% of the finalists said they would now like to pursue a career in STEM. 98% of 2020 finalists said they were inspired to pursue entrepreneurialism. 91% of young people taking part in the 2020 prize said they learned new remote working skills as a result. 100% of teachers and youth leaders who entered a team in 2020 said they would enter a team in the future.

To find out more about the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize and all 40 of the finalist teams visit https://longitudeexplorer.challenges.org/

Synoptic make their Covid management software, ‘Reactivate’, available free of charge to schools

Following two successful pilots at schools in Cambridgeshire and Hampshire, Synoptic, a UK based tech company, is making its Covid management software, ‘Reactivate’, available free of charge to schools in England.

 

Reactivate software helps manage Covid risk in workplaces through an app which allows users to report daily symptom screening and test, vaccine and isolation status; and a management dashboard which provides managers a complete overview of reports and allows them to make informed decisions on absence scheduling, screening, testing and isolating.

 

School leaders in the pilot study said that Reactivate helped them with daily reporting required by the Department for Education, and helped them identify and isolate asymptomatic cases, keeping staff and students safe, helping to manage staff absences, and hugely alleviating the burden of paperwork.

 

Reactivate allows users to connect with each other as well as connect to their external households and wider social circles. It means that staff and pupils associated with a positive case can be immediately and automatically notified via the app or a text message and tests sent to their entire household – without compromising data privacy and security.

 

Synoptic is today making the system available to schools in England free of charge, meaning a saving of around £24,000 for the average secondary school over a six month period compared to business users.

 

Commenting on this launch, Graeme Scott CEO of Synoptic said:

At Synoptic we are driven by our mission to protect lives and help businesses get through the pandemic safely. Having worked with schools to develop a system that makes it easy for them to manage and isolate covid cases while meeting all their reporting requirements, we wanted to make this service available free of charge.

 

“This technology is made in Britain and is sold to businesses around the world to help them manage covid risk. We want to support the next stage of reopening by making it available free to schools, to help make schools as safe as possible so we can all do our part to help the UK reopen”

 

Richard White of Princes Mead School said:

“We started using Reactivate in Dec 2020 and began by testing it out with our staff. Once we were satisfied the technology was beneficial, we rolled it out to one parent per pupil and all of the pupils. The app itself is very user friendly and the dashboard is wonderfully simple; providing the information we need on one screen, and saving endless uploading, reporting and searching on excel.”

 

School leaders interested in using the Reactivate app in their schools should contact Alexandra D’Arcy Clark, Chief Business Development Officer at Synoptic at alexandra.darcyclark@synoptic.software

 

Sony invites customers behind the scenes with its innovative virtual experience event for corporate and education

Sony has released information on a new immersive event, Spark 2021. This interactive, virtual-reality-style event will allow customers to discover and experience Sony’s innovative Pro AV and IT products and solutions for business and higher education in a new and interactive way, from wherever they are.

“It is a really exciting new step for us to be able to offer this kind of truly immersive virtual event experience to our customers,” says Damien Weissenburger, Head of Sony Professional Displays & Solutions. “With the pandemic shifting everything we once knew and understood about how these types of events work, it’s with great pleasure that we can open our virtual doors, allowing us to be even more inclusive and flexible. The future of Sony’s virtual events is bright, and Spark 2021 is evidence of this, promising to excite with exclusive information and updates on our latest product offerings, as well as providing the opportunity to interact with our experts, no matter where they are in the world.”

The event will be live from April 12th – May 7th 2021, with live seminar sessions from the Sony team running until the 21st April discussing the latest technology innovations transforming workplaces, educational institutions, and cultural entertainment settings. By utilising 3D virtual technology, the event enables customers to step into a virtual entrance hall, where they can see Sony’s key products, pick up brochures for their goodie bag, watch product videos and even see some of the products in action in the virtual classroom and home cinema rooms.

There will also be the option for visitors to speak with product specialists via the 1-to-1 meeting booking functionality, as well as for live chats or video calls. Sony is even treating customers to a treasure hunt with a free prize draw where they could be in with the chance of winning a 55” BRAVIA® A8 TV or a set of Sony’s Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones.

To find out more about the event, register, or attend, please click here.

Shaftesbury School and Epson collaborate to develop class leading learning environment

Inspiring technology adoption breathes life into future classroom

What happens when imagination and collaboration are brought together by a creative vision? The answer is Shaftesbury School’s future classroom.

Curated by Alex More, Lead Teacher of Innovation in Teaching & Learning, following his frustration with the rigidity of the classroom environment and the linear process of education, it brings learning to life in an interdisciplinary and sensory engaging way.

 

He explains: “Since the industrial revolution children have been taught sitting in lined up desks in front of a teacher writing on a board. This got them ready for a life of being told what to do by their bosses. That is not the case now. The workplace wants presenters and inquisitive team members that are confident to share their ideas, explore options, challenge and be OK with being challenged. The future classroom encourages this freedom to investigate. It allows students to immerse themselves fully and unselfconsciously.”

 

Phase 1 of the project identified a disused space at school and Alex began contacting partners to help guide and support him on bringing together a wide range of ideas. This presented many opportunities for learning for all involved.

 

One of the first elements to be installed was the Epson EB-1485FI projector provided as part of the Epson ambassador’s school project. It is only one of ten schools in the country to have one. The projector works with a with a SMIT visual board with wired in speakers and Mozaik 3D software that seamlessly brings 3D animation to life. With Mozaik students have access to up to 1200 3D scenes plus hundreds of educational videos, tools and games. Digital books and presentations can be enriched with images, drawings and interactive 3D scenes and custom worksheets can be created with the built-in test editor in mozaBook. The software supports touchscreen functionality and its user interface can adapt display size. Teachers can also create presentations or turn their files into interactive digital textbooks.

 

 

There are 13 whiteboards so students can write on the walls, a 360 degree camera allows images to be downloaded and reviewed and a Catchbox microphone connected to Epson speakers allows even the quietest voice in the room to be heard.

 

Alex comments: “The display size of the SMIT visual board is 120 inches, larger than the 70 inches we are used to, which makes things so much more immersive. The results are really transformative. Students can get to grips with 3D modelling and image size and more than one person can interact with the software at once.” 

He continues: “The teachers love it. I have since purchased a one-year Mozaik licence as it was proving so popular the five free downloads per week were being hit on the first day of the week! The students think it is awesome. They love the ability to co-create with the spilt screen as well as the 3D modelling feature. It’s had a huge impact on learning too, specifically cognitive load. The quality of the 3D models is amazing and allows them to dissect items and zoom in and interact with images through Epson’s touch features.”

 

He adds: “I didn’t want a room of technology without a teacher. I wanted to use technology to compliment the teacher and this works amazingly well.”

 

The future classroom is not just driven by the tech. The environment is important too – a plant wall sponsored by Biotecture is absorbing carbon dioxide and a Gratnells Learnometer ensures the best classroom environment by monitoring seven measurements including ambient temperature, levels of fine dust particles and CO2.

 

“40 out of 60 staff are trained to use the room already and 20 use it regularly,” states Alex. “As a HundrED ambassador I can link to classrooms around the world and participate in workshops. We have opened up a corner of our world to the global stage. Our students are even going to be teaching students in Ghana. They are part of an international community.”

 

Phase 2 has just been launched and focuses more on three Is – International, Intergenerational and Interdisciplinary. International looks to develop local and global Science, Technology, English or Maths (STEM) partnerships, Intergenerational will see students working with people over 65 who will tutor them. This allows those who are retired to share their knowledge and those who need support to have access to a wider range of expertise. Interdisciplinary supports learning from a more integrated perspective. Rather than just learning the core subjects, students are encouraged to develop knowledge as part of a larger project.

Explains Alex: “We want the learning to be much broader and inclusive beyond the basic subjects. We also want the future classroom to support more than just the students in the school.  For example, one of the initiatives includes a course for parents. It involves Australian company Curiious which uses Redbox VR to deliver an immersive virtual reality mental health and wellness programme called Wiise. It helps develop ways to manage emotions in the household and we are the first in Europe to trial it.”

 

He concludes: “It is a real privilege to have all these connections to help create a living breathing classroom. It challenges the status quo and opens people’s eyes to what is possible. Everyone is learning all the time as the classroom evolves and it is exciting to see its role within the school and community – local and global – continue to grow.”

 

Education software provider launches innovative pre-order meal app for schools

Pre-order school meals on-the-go

International provider of cashless education software, ami Education, has launched Infinity+ Order, a pre-order app for schools globally. As part of their Infinity+ range of cashless retail and payment, ID management and registration software for schools and colleges around the world, the Infinity+ Order app enables pupils to pre-order their school meals in advance directly from their phones, ready to pick up at lunchtime.

 

Contactless meal ordering

To facilitate a contactless lunchtime for pupils, the Infinity+ Order app is linked with Infinity+ cashless software to ensure a simple payment and service process.

When pupils order their school meals via the app, the payment is automatically deducted from their cashless account. This function offers a fully contactless lunch service, and schools are encouraged to control traffic flow with designated pre-order pick-up points.

 

“When COVID-19 forced schools around the world to close, we knew that it was vital to ensure that there was a safe solution in place for pupils to pre-order and collect their lunch when schools reopen. We’re excited to offer schools a simple way to do this with the Infinity+ Order app, which allows pupils to order, pay and collect their lunches with just a few clicks.” – Tony Reeves, Head of Operations at ami Education.

 

Key features of the pre-order app include:

 

  • Removes the need for cash in the dining hall
  • Completely contactless lunch service
  • Pupils can check their live cashless balance anywhere and anytime
  • Software is linked to Infinity+ cashless system for a seamlessly integrated pre-order system
  • Pre-order school meals in advance, for the date of their choice
  • School catering teams are notified of meals ordered in advance and can prepare quantities of food accordingly, reducing food wastage
  • Pupils and parents can view current and previous orders

Following the app launch, a selection of UK schools implemented Infinity+ Order as part of their cashless catering solutions. When reviewing the app, one parent said:

“The app is amazing. My daughter downloaded it and now pre-orders almost every day.” – Secondary school parent, Preston

 

With retailers adapting to the COVID-19 crisis by switching to contactless order methods, many schools have implemented similar solutions, with ami’s Infinity+ Order pre-order app offering schools a way to mimic out-of-the-gate spending.

 

For school catering teams, Infinity+ Order is designed to improve efficiencies by notifying staff in advance of meals ordered to allow catering teams to prepare food accordingly and reduce food wastage.

 

About ami Education

With over 25 years of experience delivering software to education establishments around the world, ami Education is one of the UK’s leading provider of cashless catering and ID management solutions for the education industry. Ami’s Transact and Infinity+ software offers a suite of fully integrated cashless catering and biometric technologies designed to meet the needs of schools and colleges.

For more information on the Infinity+ Order app, please visit Infinity+ Order app.

 

Tech start-up Wonde launch ‘TestRegister’ to aid schools with new COVID-testing regime

  • British tech start-up Wonde is launching a new platform to help schools automatically record and report COVID-19 test results
  • TestRegister will help save valuable school hours every day so teachers can concentrate on catching up pupils 
  • New platform will support Public Health England to manage the spread of the disease, by improving the speed and accuracy of schools test data reporting. 

 

British tech start-up, Wonde is today launching TestRegister, a new platform to help schools manage the new COVID-19 school testing system and help manage the spread of the disease. From 8 March, schools will need to make sure that test results from staff and pupils are safely and securely recorded and reported to the Government. Wonde will help them to do this automatically, saving valuable school hours so teachers can concentrate on catching up pupils who have lost out on education due to the pandemic. 

 

According to the new Government guidelines, pupils and staff will need to take two COVID-19 tests every week to prevent the virus spreading in schools. Wonde’s TestRegister is designed to save teachers time and help schools to record and report the data to the Government. The new platform will help Public Health England to manage the spread of the disease, by improving the speed and accuracy of schools test data reporting. 

 

TestRegister, which is launching in hundreds of schools, will help to manage and report the significant quantities of data in a safe, secure and timely manner. 

 

The portal will:

  • Give staff, students and parents a single portal to submit test results to – this can be done on desktop or mobile.
  • Allow schools to monitor and track who is and isn’t completing tests, and automate reminders to students, parents and staff. 
  • Allow for daily reporting of results to Public Health England, the Department for Education and local authorities, plus a further real-time positive test alert to notify the school and authorities if students or staff are required to self isolate. 

 

Wonde works with 21,000 schools across the UK to help them protect pupils’ data while using external applications, such as Google for Education. On a daily basis they handle the data of 33 million students, teachers and parents with the highest security accreditations. 

 

TestRegister, which Wonde built following the announcement on the 22 February, in response to requests from schools and local authorities, is the latest in a number of new services the start-up has created in response to the crisis. 

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, Wonde lept into action and built a platform to provide 750,000 families in need with Free School Meal vouchers. While the selected provider, Edenred, system crashed, Wonde was able to step in, identify eligible children and get them the vouchers quickly and securely. 

 

During the school holidays, Wonde’s voucher platform helped local authorities distribute vouchers through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. Wonde supported over a third of local authorities in England to get vouchers to vulnerable families to access food and essential items – quickly and at scale. 

 

Peter Dabrowa, founder of Wonde said: 

 

“Headteachers and school staff are facing an enormous task in helping Public Health England to manage the spread of COVID-19 through the new schools testing system. We have built TestRegister to help schools with this task, saving them valuable teaching hours every day and improving the accuracy of reporting for the Government.

 

“TestRegister will help to ease the burden of schools so they can concentrate on catch-up teaching and getting pupils back on track.”

 

Peter Naudi, Head Teacher at Cheam High School said:

 

“Cheam High School has over 2,000 students. As a large secondary school we are always looking for systems to improve school wide efficiencies. Wonde’s voucher platform saved the school administrative staff a huge amount of time and stress, and vouchers were delivered to parents on time. We are confident that Wonde’s Test Register platform will save us significant time each week, in our delivery of the DfEs return to school COVID testing programme” 

 

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: 

 

“We know the best place for children and young people is in the classroom – not only in terms of their educational needs, but also their emotional wellbeing needs. As a Local Authority, our priority has been to support pupils transition back to on-site education and help all schools and colleges across the county to implement mass testing of secondary-age pupils as per the latest Government guidance.

 

“We absolutely support and encourage the roll out of increased testing as an additional protective measure for managing the potential spread of COVID-19 in the school community, however we also recognise the additional administrative pressure that this would have placed on schools in terms of logging and managing pupil’s test results. As a result, we have worked hard and at pace with Wonde to develop and implement an effective solution to save schools and colleges time and allow colleagues to continue with their important role in educating and supporting children and young people.

 

“Implementing the new Wonde TestRegister system across Essex will mean school colleagues can focus on creating a smooth and sustained transition back for their pupils. It also provides us with the intelligence and assurances that we need as a Local Authority to ensure appropriate processes are in place and being managed effectively.”

 

Kramer Makes Education Accessible for Everyone with Two New Hybrid Learning Solutions

Kramer has launched two new hybrid education solutions designed to help teachers get back to the classroom to educate in a professional quality and in real-time, while at the same time ensuring those in-class and remote students have the same great experience.

 

Kramer EDU-Hybrid-ZR is a Zoom Rooms solution that starts lessons at the touch of a button with no personal device needed. Kramer EDU-Hybrid-1 is a software agnostic wireless presentation and collaboration solution. It provides educators the flexibility of running any Windows® based conferencing application like Zoom™ or Microsoft Teams.

 

Both facilitate unique integration with Kramer Control to allow all classroom devices to be controlled from one user interface, streamlining the presentation process.

 

EDU-Hybrid-ZR

 

EDU-Hybrid-ZR creates an intuitive learning environment with one display utilized for video conference participants, and a second separate screen for sharable lesson content. This supports up to 4K resolution and can be combined with any of Kramer’s professional quality powered speakers for crystal clear audio and an incredibly immersive learning environment.

 

Using a dedicated Kramer KT-107Z touch panel, teachers simply launch Zoom Rooms to begin the session. The solution uses dedicated Zoom Rooms™ hardware so no additional personal devices, like a laptop or PC, are needed, saving time and ensuring that lessons start promptly. In-class teachers can also connect wirelessly to the display, for real-time content sharing.

 

EDU-Hybrid-1

 

EDU-Hybrid-1 is a software agnostic wireless presentation and collaboration solution that enables teachers to easily connect and present lessons from any wireless device to in-class and remote students simultaneously.

 

Lecturers launch their preferred Windows™ based video conferencing platform and automatically connect to professional grade microphones and speakers to enhance the two-way communication. This integrates with their preferred in-room teaching displays including projectors and interactive whiteboards and provides access to cloud storage for saved documents.

 

At the heart of the solution, Kramer’s VIA Campus2 displays and streams full, uninterrupted 4K video and displays six user screens simultaneously, ideal for keeping classes connected. A relay screen allows teachers to see their remote students as they present.

 

Lessons are transformed into interactive and engaging sessions with the multiple screen sharing support and whiteboard functionality, allowing participants to view, edit and comment on documents in real-time.

 

At any point, a collaboration session or a lecture can be recorded, shared or archived.  Alternatively, the same session can be streamed over the network to live servers such as Kaltura®, Panopto® or YouTube® Live, allowing remote students to follow the lesson.

 

 

Kramer Control

 

Kramer adds additional value to the EDU-Hybrid-ZR learning set up with built-in integration with Kramer Control, the manufacturer’s agile, cloud-based control platform. The Kramer Control BRAINware allows integration with all other controllable devices and infrastructure, giving the teacher complete control of the learning environment without having to move around the room. Some of these integrations include the camera position, the lighting, AC, projectors, interactive whiteboards, and the speaker volume to enhance the two-way communication.

 

 

Yael Chicheportiche, Director of VIA Offering Solutions at Kramer, explains:

 

“Our hybrid education portfolio is helping to bring teachers back to the classroom and environments that they feel comfortable in. They don’t need to worry about the technology, at the touch of a button they can resume their lessons in familiar surroundings using their preferred in-room teaching aids and their chosen application like ZoomTM, or Microsoft TeamsTM.

 

“Both EDU-Hybrid-ZR and EDU-Hybrid-1 are complete end-to-end solutions designed to suit the desired space and are scalable, to grow as teaching requirements do. Both are agnostic when it comes to the peripheral AV devices, working with all recognized cameras, microphones and speakers, enhancing the flexibility, and making them accessible to a wide range of budgets.”

 

The most innovative and ultra safe digital school board launched today

Prowise’s newest product brings digital schooling to another level. Today, they have launched their best touchscreen yet. With outstanding writing experience, high privacy and security standards, and other smart solutions, it’s offering top performance in the classroom and during remote learning. This new product is already nominated for a coveted BETT Award and a iF Design Award. Meet the brand new Prowise Touchscreen Ten. 

 

Over the years, traditional chalkboards had to make room for their digital successors.

Today, the most complete and state of the art solution has been launched: the Prowise Touchscreen Ten. This all-in-one screen is everything one needs to teach and follow digital classes. 

 

The best writing experience yet

Several technologies are used for the Prowise Touchscreen Ten, in order to create the best writing experience. The powerful ProWrite Touch Technology is directly integrated within the glass panel. This results in the ultimate pen-on-paper experience, with blazing fast writing speed and optimal writing accuracy. The screen has 40 touch points, which makes it possible to write, erase and use tools all at the same time. The so-called display bonding technology sticks the glass panel to the LCD panel, removing the space in between. This way, the user is able to write more accurately, smoothly and quicker than ever before on a Prowise screen. Moreover, display bonding reduces the glare on the screen, since external lighting is not reflected. In order to limit glare, reflection, and fingerprints, nano-texture was applied directly on the glass panel. Apple is offering this technology, at an additional price, on their iMacs. All these technologies work seamlessly together with ProNote, the company’s own developed software, offering the best writing experience on a digital board. 

 

Security

The Prowise Touchscreen Ten is the pinnacle of security. The user is in total control of their data. Only they can access their own data and grant other users permission to see or use their information. Everything is hosted from their own dedicated server, which can only be reached by its user. Both hardware and software are developed in-house by Prowise and have been tested by a team of independent professional hackers. Prowise is the only digital school screen supplier with an ISO 27001-certificate and a pending BSI-certification. Certification from these leading independent authorities confirms the incredible safety of the Prowise Touchscreen Ten. To avoid inappropriate apps and content from being visible and downloaded, Prowise created their own Appstore. All apps have been screened by a test team, ensuring that only school-proof applications make the cut.

 

Erik Neeskens, Chief Sales Officer at Prowise: “11 years of experience come together in our latest product. I am extremely proud of the result and everybody who worked on this major project. The Prowise Touchscreen Ten is outstanding and distinct from its competitors by design and technology. Digital schooling has never been so easy and fun. For us, it’s a perfect ten!”

 

For teachers

This new digital school solution was developed from a teacher’s point of view, using their feedback in order to make a product that fulfils their needs and wishes. Most of their desires are now integrated in the Prowise Touchscreen Ten. This educational game changer comes with a Prowise MOVE-camera, 6 microphones, a 2.1 soundbar that provides perfect sound to every corner of the room, and gives direct access to Teams, Meet, Skype and Zoom. No other devices are needed, which makes it the perfect all-in-one product for interactive (home)schooling.

 

Learning through motion

Some children learn better when they are actively and physically engaged. Learning through motion aligns with the way children experience the world around them. Furthermore, it is healthy and improves the learning abilities. Previous Prowise Touch Screens were already the only ones worldwide that offered a fully integrated solution for learning through motion and video calling (remote learning). The Touchscreen Ten takes it one step further by offering even more possibilities and improved functions. The Prowise MOVE camera allows you to play educational games on the Prowise Touchscreen without physically touching it. The combination of the camera with Intel® RealSense™ and the technology in the screen register motion, and connects this to the movements on the screen. Prowise has developed its own range of educational games for MOVE. These games trigger pupils to get in motion while they are completing cognitive learning activities. The games are suitable for children of various ages and available in different subject areas.

 

Sustainability

Children deserve both great education and a carefree future in a climate neutral environment. To fulfil both of these goals, Prowise aims to minimise its ecological footprint as much as possible. The company continuously strives for the best sustainable performance during the production process, making powerful devices that consume less energy, good working conditions in the factory and use the best disposal procedure. To compensate for their CO2 emission, the company plants one tree for every sold screen. One tree absorbs 20 kg CO2 per year, which equals the footprint of actively using a Prowise touchscreen for half-a-year.

 

For more information or demo request: www.prowise.com/touchscreen

Teenagers’ only lifeline in lockdown comes via a mental health app

With mental health concerns for young people increasing and normal full-time schooling for every child unlikely to return for some time, some schools have turned to a new phone app in an effort to support their students’ wellbeing.  

 

The EduKit app, created by a social enterprise of the same name, enables students to send an alert to their school if they are feeling unhappy or unsafe at home so teachers can step in and help if needed.

 

The app also delivers targeted support to the student so if anxiety or online bullying is the problem, the student can be directed to a school-recommended counselling service or guides and video resources that will support them.

 

Emilie Darabasz, joint head of school and pastoral lead at Frances Bardsley Academy in Essex, who is using the app with their 1,476 students said: “The cumulative impact of this lockdown on young people can not be underestimated. They are not only dealing with their own issues but absorbing the emotions of their parents and carers too, many of whom are facing financial hardship and job losses.

 

“There is a sense of hopelessness in some children and with no end date in sight, they need support. The app means we can send help right into their hands at the point they need it. They can be directed to resources to help or they can message a teacher trained to deal with their concerns.”

 

The app has been developed by EduKit’s co-founder, Nathalie Richards, who was inspired by her own experience of being bullied at school: “I wanted no child to feel alone in dealing with a problem at home or school.

 

“The first lockdown made me very concerned for those who did not have someone they felt they could talk to. I had to make sure that would not be the case this time around and so we made sure the app was available for schools soon after this lockdown was announced. It’s important that teenagers know they can get help no matter what they are going through.”

 

The development of the EduKit app has been part funded by the Inclusive Recovery Fund from Comic Relief and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.