Future First

Eleven thousand volunteers go back to school to broaden students’ jobs horizons

More than eleven thousand former students across Britain have this year volunteered at their old state school in partnership with Future First, an education charity. By volunteering, these alumni have helped to broaden students’ jobs horizons and boost their aspirations for the future.   Their contribution represents more than 20,000 hours of free volunteering time, an invaluable boost for state schools currently grappling with limited budgets. Future First has helped these state schools to… Full story
Teaching Apprenticeship Programme

Questions about teaching apprenticeships?

Qualified Schools has launched the new Teaching Apprenticeship Programme to help schools recruit and train new graduates. Here, programme director Neil Gamewell explains why the programme provides a simple, fee-free and paid route into teaching. How can the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme help alleviate the shortage of STEM teachers? There are a number of reasons for the persistence of recruitment and retention problems across the teaching profession, which occur most acutely in STEM… Full story
A Coaching Revolution

A Coaching Revolution: why schools need extra help

Annie Boate, author of A Coaching Revolution, discusses why schools need extra help when it comes to improving the skills of existing staff, and details the impact of her work: How did you first get into the world of education and coaching (which one came first)?   I began my teaching career in a very challenging school in a deprived area. I quickly realised I had skills in motivating some of the most disengaged children with low prior attainment, low aspirations and low self-esteem.   I… Full story
Holistic Healing 4 Children book

Holistic Healing approach empowers children with emotional issues

Jacqueline Gray, the co-founder of Holistic Healing 4 Children along with Terri Allen, talks to QA Education editor Victoria Galligan about the work her team carry out with pupils and their families, as well as schools, to provide a holistic approach to empowering pupils to control their emotions.  What is Holistic Healing and how does it help children? Holistic Healing 4 Children works closely with the family to bring about a positive change for pupils. As we are holistic we look at the… Full story
Daniel Ball, director, Wax Digital, on school food buying

Serving up school food buying efficiencies 

Daniel Ball, director of Wax Digital spending management solutions, discusses efficient and cost-saving approaches to school food buying… Purchasing for school catering is never an easy task. Under pressure to feed hungry mouths a range of nutritionally-balanced meals on a daily basis, while at the same time accommodating government standards and compliance with food safety guidelines, there’s a lot to consider when planning menus for a new term and placing orders with the supply chain. And… Full story
Emma Hollis, executive director of NASBTT, on Damian Hinds QTS announcement

Damian Hinds announcement on tackling teacher recruitment and retention

Secretary of State Damian Hinds has announced the DfE's initial response to the report ‘Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Improving Teacher Career Progression’, at Friday's National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) annual conference. Changes include extending the induction period from one to two years, while he blasted Mocksteds and triple marking as "costly distractions".  The Department for Education (DfE) launched the public consultation in December 2017, and it set out a… Full story
Children's Meditations In My Heart

Children's Meditations In My Heart: review

Review: Children’s Meditations In My Heart, by Gitte Winter Graugaard (£14.95, Room For Reflection Publishing) With test season in full swing, the importance of pupils getting a good night’s sleep is paramount. But worries about school, friends, arguments and all the other stresses which feature in everyday life can prevent children from nodding off.  The Danish – who coined the term 'hygge' for homely, cosy feelings and moments with loved ones – have found that children can be lulled to… Full story
Mammoth Memory screenshot

How Mammoth Memory can boost brain power among GCSE students

Mammoth Memory, the GCSE revision aid website, has been launched recently to help boost brain power among teens. Here, illustrator Kate Ulloa-James explains why students are able to remember more effectively when they can picture their subject… What is Mammoth Memory and how does it help GCSE students? Can you give an example? Mammoth Memory is a completely free education website that specialises in helping students memorise key points for their GCSE exams. Our fabulously fun images and… Full story
GDPR comes into force on May 25th

How will GDPR affect schools? UCL data expert tells heads how to prepare

UCL’s Nathan Lea tells our editor Victoria Galligan about how the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have an impact on schools and what can be done to prepare for the new regime, which comes into force on May 25th... How will GDPR affect the way primary and secondary schools use data overall? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places a far greater emphasis on transparency with data subjects and indeed their guardians around how data is used. It is likely that… Full story
Fire door checklist

Fire door checklist

Fire doors are designed to prevent the spread of smoke, flames and toxic gases throughout a building in the event of a fire. Therefore, when a fire door is held open, or is faulty, fire can quickly pass through the building, blocking escape routes and endangering lives. A quick fire door checklist: Check the door’s hinges. Are they CE stamped and do they fit correctly? Check the correct fire signage is displayed. Check your door holder/closer device. Check it works, and check that it does… Full story
Shine a Light awards Pendle Primary

Shine a Light Awards celebrates schools’ communication development work

Comedian Adam Hess hosted the 2018 Shine a Light Awards, a national awards scheme that celebrates innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development. Adam struggled with dyslexia and an immense fear of public speaking when he was younger. At the awards, which took place at Pearson’s headquarters in London, 17 individuals and teams across 10 award categories were recognised, as well as children and young people with speech, language and… Full story

‘The right’ classroom lighting boosts learning by 20%

The correct type of lighting can significantly improve children’s learning, especially if it is natural light, research shows. Full spectrum lighting, including sunlight and artificial lighting that replicated natural light, is known to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and boost health. In turn, these improvements translate to a marked improvement in learning.  According to a study by the California Energy Commission, classrooms that receive a high level of daylight offer students a 20%… Full story
Dremel DigiLab illuminated

DigiLab 3D45 Review: Dremel’s 3D printer is school friendly!

With 3D printing making a splash in industry, schools are beginning to invest in the technology to help prepare students for future careers. But with the cost relatively high and the technology still emerging, is it worth handing over much-needed funding? Here, we review the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 model to explore whether 3D printing is a realistic avenue for schools to explore. Armed with a scraper and two sticks of purple glue, our tech-minded colleague Frank McLaughlin set up the DigiLab,… Full story

Preparing your organisation for the GDPR

As the enforcement date of 25th May 2018 approaches, your organisation should be promoting a strong culture of protecting data ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation being implemented. As the deadline for this gets ever closer; everyone that deals with personal data will be responsible for ensuring they comply with the GDPR.   However, do you know where to start?   Background - how does the new General Data Protection Regulation apply to schools?   GDPR encompasses any personal… Full story
DBS check

Teaching assistants, school governors and volunteers - who needs a DBS check?

DBS checks are a key part of safe recruitment. It’s clear that teachers need a DBS check - but what about people in other roles?   Keeping children and young people safe is one of the most important responsibilities schools have. In particular, schools must have robust recruitment procedures in place to help them identify, reject or deter anyone who isn’t suitable to work with children.     Teaching assistants   Although their role doesn’t involve as much responsibility as a teacher’s,… Full story
Teachers on social media

Teachers on social media - the dos and don’ts

2018 - everyone is online students, teachers and parents In light of recent news that one in three teachers have reported derogatory comments posted about them on social media from parents and children, the discussion around student and teacher communication practices is becoming increasingly vital.  The interaction with teachers on social media raises a lot of questions: Is there a need for out-of-school hours communication? If so, what channels should they be using? Do teachers need to be… Full story
Top of the Class for Metro Rod!

Top of the Class for Metro Rod!

Busy schools, colleges and universities simply can’t afford to close indefinitely due to issues with drainage, but if proper care and maintenance isn’t scheduled in, that is exactly what they may be forced to do! Drainage experts Metro Rod work with a vast number of education providers, both on a planned maintenance and also reactive basis, ensuring schools and colleges across the nation can carry on providing the great service they do, with minimal interruption. For John Pardoe, from Metro… Full story
Physical computing Raspberry Pie mini computer

Physical computing: teaching the teachers

FutureLearn offer CPD on the teaching of computing. Here, programme coordinator Dan Fisher and training manager James Robinson explain why their course 'Teaching Physical Computing with Raspberry Pi and Python' – using the mini-computers alongside the coding programme – is changing the way teachers think about computing and how they can improve the future of programming in the UK. 1. What is “physical computing”? How is it used in industry? Physical computing means interacting with real-world… Full story
Emma Hollis teacher recruitment leader

Teacher recruitment leader: "There is no magic wand to resolve workload issues"

Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), talks to QA Education about the teacher recruitment crisis and has some advice about streamlining marking and planning…   What is your background in education and how did you come to work at the NASBTT? “I was a career-changer who trained through school-based provision on the then graduate teacher programme. I taught primary (upper Key Stage 2) in three schools before taking over as… Full story
Practical Applications of Technology in Education 

Practical Applications of Technology in Education 

It is surely difficult for schoolchildren and students today to imagine classrooms as they were not that long ago – without computers and mobile phones.   Technology is now ubiquitous in schools – learning platforms, laptops, mobile phones and so on.   According to a 2016 report from EdTechXGlobal, education technology is becoming a global phenomenon, and as distribution and platforms scale internationally, the market is projected to grow at 17.0% per annum, to $252bn by 2020. Yet does all… Full story
A science lesson in action

Embedding a life-long love of science through a high-quality resource

Executive head teacher Malcolm Drakes explains how a science resource has changed the way that the subject is being taught across Broadford Primary School…   “Pupils at Broadford Primary School wake up excited at the prospect of the school day ahead. We work to give the 568 children in our care a rich educational experience with challenges and the highest quality teaching.   “We want our pupils to develop a lifelong love of learning. This informs every aspect of our work and has won us… Full story

The Sticker Factory

A joy to give, a joy to receive. Founded in 1997, The Sticker Factory has become UK's leading designers and producers of reward stickers for teachers, TAs, schools, education professionals, healthcare professionals and more over the past 20 years.  As well as our standard products we also have a great range of customised and personalised stickers, stamps, reward badges, reward charts, classroom certificates, bookmarks and much more.  All of our products are developed as a result of feedback… Full story
Whole School Framework: a simple approach

Whole School Framework: a simple approach

Every organisation has an emotional culture and we help schools to reflect on how well their emotional culture supports their ethos, stated aims, values and outcomes for pupil wellbeing. The emotional culture of a school is formed over time by the people working there, who are led by and model their behaviour on their senior leaders. As part of the core business of a school, we offer opportunities for SLTs and Governors to reflect on their unique context and to consider together how policies,… Full story

Five GDPR Myths Debunked

Living in an increasingly digital world has brought about undeniable changes to our lives.    One of the consequences of this is the amount of data we all share, including many of our personal details. Medical professionals, retailers, insurers and numerous other service providers all hold personal data, some of which is highly sensitive.   However, the way our data is used isn’t always clear and nor can we be sure it is being kept secure. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)… Full story