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www.sec-ed.com News
Legal pitfall
In brief
Time travel
The British Library has launched
an interactive timeline offering
students the chance to explore
over biometric
literature through the ages.
The online tool brings together
its vast collection of literature
from illuminated manuscripts to
newspaper front pages. Students
can scan through centuries of
images, audio-visual and printed
material, and will also be able to
identification
explore various themed timelines
such as everyday life, music and
literature, and politics, power
and rebellion. Visit: www.bl.uk/
timeline
Top Marks: John Rolfe from the British Council (left) and
SecEd editor Pete Henshaw join Julia Marks and her year they may not fully understand the even though a parent consents to
The top job!
7 coaching group to celebrate her award. Julia also takes
by Chris Parr
consequences. the use of their child’s biometric Teaching has hit the top spot in
part in a Brazilian-themed art class during the day (below) “The storage of biometric data information, the child in question a chart of 2010’s top careers.
A grey area of the law could be should be in accordance with the may think differently. If the child is Based on research into social
putting thousands of schools at risk highest security standards to ensure considered Gillick competent, then and economic trends, as well as
PA of the Year
if they decide to introduce biomet- that it isn’t accidentally lost, hacked it is their decision, and not that of interviews with lead bodies and
ric identification systems. or destroyed. Compliance with the parent.” employers, maths and science
Many schools use information this level of data storage would Schools should also be con- teaching was named the number
such as student fingerprints in order be of considerable expense to a cerned about the potential for other one job. The survey was released
enjoys day
to facilitate paying for school din- school and, if appropriate security organisations to demand access to by Career Energy to mark the
ners, or to grant access to certain measures were not taken, it would the information stored by their bio- launch of its free career guide
areas of a building. not only breach the DPA expos- metric system, Ms Hall says. focusing on careers opportunities
They have been praised for ing the school to criminal penal- “It is naïve to think that data for older people. The survey
removing the stigma of using ties and actions for civil damages, collected will be used for only one also considered finances and
of celebration
paper-based tickets if a child is enti- but would also risk the stored data purpose. It is extremely likely that, entry requirements, as well as
tled to free meals, and for reducing being abused.” once information such as finger- employee satisfaction. Visit:
the number of incidents of dinner- Ms Hall also claims that many prints are on a database, the school www.careerenergy.co.uk
money theft. schools are not sufficiently aware will feel pressured by teachers, and
However, Susan Hall, partner of the principle of “Gillick compe- potentially the police, to use the
A day of celebration was held and lead ICT lawyer at Cobbetts tence”, which determines whether a information for other purposes than
Your best book?
this week at Dayncourt School law firm, says that issues of con- child is sufficiently mature to make that of collating the costs of school Nominations are open for this
in Nottinghamshire, home of the sent, storage, and use of informa- a decision about whether their bio- dinners. year’s YoungMinds book award,
reigning champion of SecEd’s tion are “very likely to put a school metric information can be used by “Once a database such as this worth £2,000. The charity,
Headteacher’s PA of the Year in breach of the Data Protection Act the school. is created, it is a slippery slope into committed to helping young
Awards. (DPA)” if not adhered to correctly. A child under the age of 13 will using the data for different purposes people cope with stress and
Back in November, Julia Speaking to SecEd, Ms Hall almost never be considered to be to those initially proposed, such as mental wellbeing, has asked
Marks, PA to headteacher Tim said: “The use and storage of bio- Gillick competent, and therefore a surveillance. It may also be used to for votes from young people,
Mitchell at the Nottinghamshire metrics is always a controversial parent must give consent on that monitor the children’s eating habits librarians and publishers for the
school, took the gold award at subject – you just have to look at child’s behalf. In the case of chil- as a way of promoting healthy eat- books that best encourage young
the ceremony, beating off com- the reaction of people to the ID dren aged over 13, some would ing in the school. While this may be people’s self-esteem. The book
petition from around the UK. card scheme. In this case it is obvi- be considered Gillick competent, seen to be for the good of the pupils, has to be a work of fiction or
Julia, who has worked at ously further complicated by the others not. it would be breaching the DPA.” biography published between
Dayncourt for six years, wowed The visitors were given a tour fact that it involves minors giving Ms Hall continued: “It is not For information and advice, visit June 2009 and May 2010. Young
the judges with her never-say- of the school and an overview of their consent to something of which unusual for situations to arise where www.ico.gov.uk people will then have the chance
die attitude, and her refusal to its international work with its link to judge the final 10 alongside
lose faith when the school was school in Brazil – including an art children’s authors and mental
faced with the very real prospect class in which Julia joined stu- health professionals. Nominations
of closure. dents to create models based on
Schools still struggling to
are open until April. Visit: www.
At the time, Julia told us: the Brazilian Capoeira dance. youngminds.org.uk
“It was a very stressful time. The assembly saw the
As PA, you are often the first to Dayncourt staff band play a live
know about anything going on set and Julia also posed for a pho-
fill headteacher vacancies Talking cancer
in the school, and dealing with tograph with her year 7 coaching An interactive magazine, aimed
the threat of closure placed a group, who were thrilled at her Schools placed fewer advertise- The Association of School and Head Teachers also warned of at encouraging young people
huge weight on our shoulders. win. ments for headteachers in 2009 but College Leaders said that the drop problems to come, highlighting to talk about cancer, has been
But I was never going to give Julia told SecEd: “It’s been are still having difficulties filling in vacancies was attributable to new the number of heads approaching launched. Let’s Talk About It,
up. This is a wonderful school, great and I have had lots of con- vacancies, according to a report. school structures, such as federa- retirement age. Mick Brookes, gen- published by Teenage Cancer
with lovely children and brilliant gratulatory messages and lots of The Annual Survey of Senior tions and amalgamations. eral secretary, said: “We have been Trust, has been developed with
teachers. I would fight tooth and ex-colleagues have been contact- Staff Appointments in Schools However, the union warned that urging the government and its agen- the help of students in an effort to
nail to keep it open.” ing me – the school improvement across England and Wales recorded the changing shape of school lead- cies to do far more to attract recruits aid discussion on cancer and raise
With the future looking a lot partner bought me a bunch of a total of 2,338 advertisements last ership teams could be storing up to the top job, including tackling awareness. Aimed at key stage 3
brighter for the school, SecEd flowers and lots of parents and year, compared with more than problems for the future. workload and changing the nega- and 4 students, it contains facts
editor, Pete Henshaw, and John people in the community have 2,500 in 2008 and 2007. General secretary Dr John tive culture of accountability.” and figures on cancer, as well as
Rolfe, manager of the DCSF been saying well done.” However, the percentage of Dunford said: “Schools are choos- However, the Department for providing support and advice. It
International School Award, SecEd will launch the 2010 schools having to re-advertise a ing to distribute senior responsi- Children, Schools and Families said is free to download. Visit: www.
sponsors of the PA awards, awards in the summer term, and post in the 2008/09 academic year bilities more widely among a larger that vacancy rates for heads had teenagecancertrust.org
visited Dayncourt on Monday it is now hoped the Dayncourt was one point higher than the previ- number of assistant heads, with been stable below one per cent for
(February 1) to re-present Julia’s staff band will travel to London in ous year at 27 per cent. fewer deputy heads. The danger is 10 years, and that more teachers
award, this time to the cheers and November to headline at the 2010 Indeed, the report’s authors that this will create a bottleneck for than ever wanted to become heads.
NUT appointment
applause of students in a special finals, where Julia will also be the noted one school in London which those wanting to move up the career This is the 25th report of the sur- The new deputy general secretary
assembly. guest of honour. placed an original advert and five ladder.” vey, which is conducted annually of the National Union of Teachers
re-advertisements during 2009. The National Association of by Education Data Surveys. (NUT) has been named as Kevin
Courtney. Expected to begin
Energy meters offered to every school in England
his post soon, Mr Courtney was
praised for his skills, strengths
and abilities by NUT general
secretary, Christine Blower who
Every secondary school in England tion by 10 to 15 per cent, and it is is managing the delivery of the was impressed by his work
can now apply for a free energy estimated that it could save an aver- meters, said that they were a “great in the union in London and
display meter that provides accu- age secondary school more than way to tap into the enthusiasm and his contribution at local and
rate information about how much £3,000 a year on fuel bills. interest that young people have in national level with the South East
energy the school building is using Ed Balls, secretary of state for the environment”. Regional Trade Union Congress
at any given time. children, schools and families, vis- He added: “In new and refur- (TUC).
It is hoped that the meters will ited Pimlico Academy in London to bished schools where these meters
help cut the amount of energy used see one of the new meters in action, are already in operation, we are see-
in schools, and is part of a wider and urged schools to take advantage ing energy information actively being
New food chief
initiative to reduce the education of the £12 million programme. used in lessons and positive changes The new chair of the board at
sector’s carbon footprint. He said: “This investment will in behaviour that will help reduce the the School Food Trust has been
Schools in the UK account for enable schools to lead the way on carbon footprint of our schools.” named as Rob Rees, a chef and
around two per cent of the country’s an energy revolution, helping staff Ministers have also announced former trustee for the British
green house gas emissions, with to reduce energy consumption, and plans to open at least four zero-car- Nutrition Foundation. Mr Rees
9.4 million tonnes of carbon diox- helping children to have a better bon schools in every region before was previously a member of the
ide emitted annually by schools in understanding of the importance of 2016 after accepting recommenda- charity’s board for five years and
England alone. their behaviour in tackling environ- tions made by the Zero Carbon he replaces outgoing chair Prue
The meters, which are provided mental issues.” Task Force. Going green: Schools chief Ed Balls (centre), Pimlico Leith. Visit: www.schoolfoodtrust.
and installed by British Gas, are Tim Byles, chief executive of For details, visit www.teacher- students Nishat, 12, (left) and Yanna, 15, and Partnerships org.uk
expected to help reduce consump- Partnerships for Schools, which net.gov.uk/energydisplaymeter for Schools CEO Tim Byles launch the new energy meters
SecEd • February 4 2010 
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