This month, in our ongoing feature highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers’ trade body BESA, we hear from training providers CANOPY EDUCATION; and we learn more about ‘LESSONS WILL BE LEARNED’ from authors MARTIN BAKER and MIKE GLANVILLE.

Digital skills post-COVID

The world of education has forever changed due to what we’ve learned and experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools around the globe moved to teaching online, with a growth in cloud based platforms like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) for Education. We often hear of

students as ‘Digital Natives’ or ‘Generation Z’, as if they have some sort of innate ability to use technology in the most efficient ways. But as many teachers have discovered, students often lack digital skills to make the most of learning through platforms like Google Workspace. At Canopy Education (a Community Interest Company), we focus on

training teachers and students to use digital technology to enhance teaching and learning, something which has been in particular demand over the past year. We developed Workspace Skills as a solution to the problem, “How might we train large numbers of students and teachers to efficiently and effectively use technology?” Leo Academy Trust introduced Workspace Skills in September 2020. The

trust consists of 6 primary schools across the London Borough of Sutton with 4,000 pupils and more than 400 staff members. They are a Department for Education Demonstrator School for their use of technology. LEO Academy Trust initially issued Chromebooks to all pupils in Year 4 and later rolled them out to all pupils across the trust, having seen the huge impact that 1:1 devices can have on teaching and learning. They needed to ensure that teachers and pupils made the best possible use of this technology to enhance teaching and learning. When the challenges of Covid-19 caused schools to close, this emphasized the importance of children having strong digital literacy skills to access and engage with online learning. Workspace Skills, with progress recorded in digital passports, was a part of their enhanced strategy. Graham Macaulay, Director of Technology, Innovation & Growth, LEO

Academy Trust, said “We have been able to offer our pupils the very best in use of digital technology, through our LEO Digital Skills curriculum, which utilises Canopy’s Workspace Skills.” Barton Peveril is a thriving sixth form college in central Hampshire. More

than 4,000 full-time students choose to fulfil their academic potential at Barton Peveril, flourishing in a supportive environment that also develops the broader range of skills required for successful progression to university. Barton Peveril delivers teaching and learning using Workspace for

Education. Students join the college and need to quickly become familiar with a range of Google tools, including Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides and Google Classroom. The challenges of Covid-19 emphasized the importance of students having strong digital literacy skills to access and engage with online learning. In order to enhance students’ digital literacy skills, Barton Peveril’s IT

Manager, Peter Horner introduced Workspace Skills. These interactive tutorials enable students to learn by doing, providing support as they earn micro badges (Bronze, Silver and Gold) for each Workspace tool. According to Peter Horner, IT Manager at Barton Peveril College:

“Workspace Skills from Canopy formed an important part of our student induction programme. We wanted to ensure new students joining our college would have the digital skills needed to succeed in online and blended learning. Students completed the interactive tutorials, which encouraged them to explore and learn about Google Workspace. Thousands of digital badges - and counting - have been awarded to students to recognise their success.” 14

‘Lessons will be learned’ By Martin Baker and Mike Glanville

Lessons Will Be Learned is the only book of its kind, wholly focused on strategic safeguarding in education. This unique book combines the authors’ 75+ years of experience in child protection, safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults, into a digestible and easy to read format. The critical role of the safeguarding

lead in education and the support needed is a key focus of the book. Targeted towards safeguarding practitioners, senior leaders, governors and trust board members, the book gets to the very crux of the critical issues of governance, leadership and management in safeguarding. It also addresses the importance of multi-agency working and information sharing and the vital need to be proactive rather than reactive. By providing real insights and examples from safeguarding leads on the front line, it highlights how you can achieve outstanding safeguarding and child protection in your education setting, using a revolutionary new strategic framework that really works. Caroline Wright, Director General, British Educational Suppliers

Association (BESA) said: “Lessons will be learned” will be a valuable lifeline for leaders struggling with the weight of safeguarding within their educational settings. Martin and Mike’s insights and years of experience at the forefront of policing come together to provide pragmatic and supportive advice and techniques to cope with one the most challenging issues facing the education system currently, safeguarding our nation’s children. The book’s approachable tone and acknowledgement of the loneliness, worry and anxiety that besets many school leaders with safeguarding responsibilities will help reassure practitioners as well as providing access to easy-to-follow processes and safeguarding tools. Congratulations to Martin and Mike for sharing their insights and guidance on this vitally important issue.” Co-Author Martin Baker explained: “We’ve been directly involved

with safeguarding for much of our professional lives. During our police careers, we each had personal responsibility for child and adult safeguarding in a variety of contexts, and we each have roles in education governance today. This has given us both a passion and commitment to the transformation of safeguarding in schools and colleges, and to support all staff, particularly safeguarding leads, to succeed in their roles. We know that being a safeguarding lead is a huge responsibility. You have a duty of care not only towards the children for whom you’re responsible but also to the parents and caregivers who’ve put their trust in you. It’s so easy to forget what good safeguarding means but it can make the difference between misery and happiness, harm and safety, achievement and failure, even life and death. It’s why we set out to write a book for safeguarding leads to support

them in their professional safeguarding practice. Incredibly, no such book existed – until now. At the core of the book are eight principles that combine to create a strategic approach to safeguarding in education. This will enable you to spot problems before they arise, deal with them more effectively when they do, and build a network of support both within and outside your organisation, so that you can protect both your learners and your staff and let them both get on with the real work of education.”

Lessons Will Be Learned: Transforming Safeguarding in Education is available to purchase on Amazon. For more information visit

June 2021

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