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In our regular feature highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers’ trade body BESA, Education Today this month hears from SIMON NUTT, Senior Marketing Manager, Hope Education; and AL KINGSLEY, Managing Director of NetSupport and Chair of a Multi Academy Trust.

“Teacher tips – your guide to surviving the upcoming

winter blues” By SIMON NUTT, Senior Marketing Manager, Hope Education

You’ve just finished your first half term of the academic year, yet the push through to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for many teachers; particularly after a lovely “week off” spent with family and friends. So, if you need a morale boost, check out our top teacher tips for beating those darker mornings and upcoming winter blues.


Let’s focus on the good stuff – the amazing performance of some of your pupils in the first half term. Have you or the other pupils said well done yet? What a perfect literacy/arts and crafts lesson to ease your pupils back into the school term than focusing on how it is good to show gratitude for what you receive and to praise others!

CLASSROOM “COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS” Bonfire night, Advent or Hanukah class assemblies are just a few of the events you all have to look forward to this half term. Create a calendar that the children can see/work towards. Everyone needs something to look forward to after all, and get those art and craft projects rolling to really visualise all the fun!


We appreciate that all you want to do at the end of a teaching day, when you’re covered in PVA glue and scratching your head in nit paranoia, is dive under your duvet and watch Netflix, but this may not be the solution. Your teaching friends/colleagues are the perfect pals to call upon. Organise a trip to the cinema or go out for a coffee to unwind and enjoy some like-minded company. There’s always the Christmas markets too …

BE PROACTIVE, TREAT YOURSELF TO A NEW DIARY EARLY Take back that control. Start to plan your post-Christmas genius teaching moves (and lesson plans) in your new diary (with wipe-clean covers, obviously!). Do you know what is better than writing in your new diary? Writing in your NEW diary with your NEW pens, even ink ones that have erasers on, oooh…


Christmas and New Year are going to be H-E-A-V-Y, so good nutrition is essential for your preparation. Practicing what you preach is hard, especially at this time of year, but it’s important! We know it’s a miracle if you can grab five minutes for lunch, but, on the rare occasion you do, make sure it’s healthy. The difference in the way you will feel come January will knock the socks off those New Year blues.

We know you’re busy, but get some things right (like above), and it will get better – especially when you pause your chaperoning for a quick groove on the dance floor at the Year 6 Christmas disco (and you realise you still have energy left!). But most importantly, remember the amazing creative effects of art and craft activities. Art and craft can be used to frame almost any lesson, and the autumn/winter period is rich in occasions to hang lesson plans around... go have fun and inspire.

For more information, visit: 14 How does IT help your

school work smarter? By AL KINGSLEY, Managing Director of NetSupport and Chair of a Multi Academy Trust

All schools have to invest in technology. However, many still see it as a huge expense (especially with

annual budget reductions) rather than a tool that can actually help them work smarter and, consequently, save time and money whilst increasing productivity and security.

Decision making

First of all, schools need to appreciate the benefit of managing and identifying their whole IT portfolio rather than just concentrating on specific areas. Using an IT asset management solution that tracks, monitors and manages the entire infrastructure is the easiest way to do this. Not only does it provide a real-time overview of their IT, showing the exact items of hardware and software it has (and where they are), but it also gathers a wealth of data to inform decision making and allow accurate planning of future IT spending and refresh plans. For example, it can reveal which applications are installed but rarely used (and therefore do not need renewing or can be redeployed elsewhere), and which PCs can be upgraded rather than replaced. Using energy monitoring tools, schools can also calculate energy usage from PCs left on overnight and invoke policies to schedule ‘power on/off' times. The same principle applies for printing. High paper and toner costs are common in many schools, but technology can show where expenses are being generated and allow printing limits to be set. In addition to identifying cost savings, (including the cost of school IT itself), an IT asset management solution can also be used to help save time by eliminating manual checks and fostering a proactive environment. For instance, keeping a network secure and reliable using manual procedures is time-consuming; with a solution that automates tasks and alerts technicians to potential issues, disruption from downtime can be minimised and learning can continue uninterrupted.


As safeguarding continues to be a key focus for Ofsted and the DfE, schools should ensure they have the tools in place to fulfil their requirements. Using standalone safeguarding solutions will cover the basics such as internet filtering and keyword monitoring – however, when schools opt for a solution offering a joined up approach, they can apply age-specific web controls or take safeguarding to the next level by having a complete picture of any safeguarding event; even ones that are not just browser-based, e.g. what time the student logged in, on which PC or device, what websites or applications they used before and after the event, and what keywords were typed, copied or pasted. These extra details not only provide context but can also highlight trending issues among student groups, enabling the school to become proactive rather than reactive.

Evidence for Ofsted

One of the key benefits of this kind of technology is that all data - e.g. from tracking AUPs to viewing safeguarding activity reports - is stored digitally. It’s easy to access and ensures everything is covered ready for Ofsted inspections or submitting evidence.

In short, schools should really consider an IT asset management solution – particularly if they have a large number of devices. The benefits are significant and with so many different technologies at use within schools, working smarter is the only outcome.

For more information, visit November 2017

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