How Can the Condition Improvement Fund Create Long-Term Savings for Schools?

infographic - How Can the Condition Improvement Fund Create Long-Term Savings for Schools?

This month’s budget included news of a further £216 million in funding for improving existing schools, which Chancellor Philip Hammond said is “taking total investment in school condition to well over £10 billion in this Parliament”.

For over 1,000 academies and sixth form colleges each year, that investment comes in the form of the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).

Provided through the Education Funding Agency, CIF is designed to address health and safety issues in school buildings, as well as supporting expansion projects and efforts to improve energy efficiency.

Schools fined across the UK for not complying with government fire regulations


The problem

Fire safety statistics show that each year 43% of schools suffer a fire of some severity, affecting 900,000 children and costing thousands of pounds in damages. 

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 was produced for public establishments to provide a simple and rational guide to protecting property against fires. Despite this, institutions across the UK have still received fines up to £70,000 for failing to adhere to the legislation.

The importance of fire doors

Reformed “Career Criminal” Speaks About Restorative Justice at Clifton College

Clifton College,

Sixth form pupils at Clifton College, Bristol, heard how a notorious “career criminal” turned his life around because of an innovative rehabilitation technique called restorative justice

Peter Woolf, a prolific offender who committed an estimated 20,000 crimes across the UK, discussed his life and unique story to more than 300 sixth form pupils at the College’s Redgrave Theatre. He gave his life story: from growing up around petty criminals and wassent to Wandsworth Prison at 17, and to becoming a career criminal and finally turning his life around after a chance encounter with one of his victims. 

School governing bodies on the hunt for expert legal knowledge

SGOSS Governors for Schools recruiting for volunteers with legal expertise

A new study has revealed that one third of school governing bodies are on the look out for expert legal knowledge. 

The survey carried out by SGOSS Governors for Schools, a national charity that links up schools with skilled volunteers from professional sectors, found that one in three schools who register with the body are seeking a governors with legal skills.

AGR survey: schools essential to closing the skills gap

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Student Development Survey reports that the development of soft skills needs to start at school, leaving it to universities and employers is too late.


The report1 launched today (Tuesday 14 March) at the AGR Development Conference revealed that half (49%) of employers think that graduates don’t have the skills expected of them at the point of hiring.


On average they reported that a quarter of their graduate intake are lacking essential soft skills.


St John’s Catholic School – a place where every voice is heard and celebrated.

St John’s Catholic School

St John’s Catholic School for the Deaf is a school where spoken language is used across every department and where every young person communicates equally and successfully with others. St John’s is a specialist school for sensory and communication needs where skilled staff help students to develop a love of learning, and to achieve their best.

The school provides an optimum listening environment through small teaching groups and sound field technology in acoustically treated classrooms.

Barriers to learning are removed by specialist teaching staff who are qualified teachers of hearing and multi-sensory impairment as well as specialist speech and language therapists who provide 1:1 sessions and group therapy.

Primary Department

Barbecue tips from Cinders Barbecues Limited©

Cinders Barbecues Limited©


Here are a few practical tips for a trouble free barbecue event………

1. SAFETY - Ensure that the person connecting the gas bottle to the barbecue is competent in the use of bottled gas. Allow everyone to see what’s cooking, but keep a safe perimeter. 

2. ORGANISATION - Organisation is the key to larger scale catering. Organise your team accordingly and make sure they each know what their specific job will be.

3. STAFF - Barbecues are fun! Choosing the more extrovert members of your staff to be on duty will help create the right atmosphere. 

College inspires budding female engineers

Gateshead College Automotive teacher Katy Malia with pupils Gracie and Leilana from Bede Community Primary School and (back) Nexus and Gateshead College apprentice Morgan Saville

Apprentices and students at a North East college are inspiring the next generation of female engineers, architects, digital creatives and software experts through interactive workshops.

Gateshead College teamed up with four primary schools from across the region – Bede Community, Brighton Avenue and Lingey House in Gateshead and Bournmoor in Houghton-le-Spring – to invite their pupils to a day of fun-filled activities.

The event included sessions on architectural engineering, automotive engineering, computer programming and games design which were delivered by college teachers supported by current students and apprentices. 

GDPR - Prepared for the change?

Calibres Steve Nelson

THE management of data and information in schools will change with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. Steve Nelson, operations director at Calibre Secured Networks, which provides IT services to dozens of schools, warns that those with responsibility for implementation need to start preparing for its arrival.

The GDPR will, from 25 May 2018, replace the Data Protection Act (DPA), signalling a change in the way schools manage and look after a wide variety of data and information: from paper in filing cabinets, through to the keeping of student and staff records to monitoring day-to-day activities and security. 

Capitalising on technology to engage pupils and reignite their interest in learning

Fleur Sexton

Today’s school children and students are the first generation of true ‘digital natives’ – also known as ‘millennials’ - who have grown up with technology.

Spending much of their free time online messaging friends and playing games, this generation is completely at home in front of a screen. So it’s vital that as teachers we capitalise on this love of technology and use it to reach out to them on their terms. The technology helps to take the fear out of learning because it is a platform with which they already feel at ease. They are more likely to be interested in learning if they can use their phones, computers and iPads in school.

SGOSS Governors for Schools appoints new chief executive

An educational charity has welcomed on board a new chief executive who is set to oversee a period of growth and development. 

Louise Cooper takes up the position of chief executive of SGOSS Governors for Schools, which supplies a free governor search and selection service for schools looking to recruit candidates with commercial experience to boost the skill sets of the existing Board of Governors. 

In her new role, Louise will be required to lead the business through its next stage of growth, and to more than double the number of placements it makes each year, expanding its footprint into cold spot areas and increasing the impact it makes on the education system. 

UK firms increasingly embrace apprenticeships as part of recruitment policy

As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, new figures have been released highlighting just how popular the scheme has become in recent years. 

New research from AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) has found that almost half (48%) of UK businesses have taken on an apprentice in the last five years.

The study shows that apprenticeships can act as a catalyst for young people looking for a quick route into employment, and the majority of businesses believe apprenticeships are on the up. 

More than three quarters (77%) of British businesses think that young people will consider other routes into employment than university, including apprenticeships, over the next five years. 

Why joining a MAT was like getting married all over again…

Why joining a MAT was like getting married all over again…

Whether we like it or not, it appears that more and more schools will become ‘married’ as part of a Multi Academy Trust in the years ahead; leaving behind their relative independence (and the varying quality of parenting provided by different Local Authorities) in order to enter into an often polygamous lifelong partnership with other schools.  Like eternal bachelors, many schools are sitting quietly, hoping  that it will ‘never happen to them’ but I believe there’s a certain inevitability that, as time passes, the benefits of shacking up together (or perhaps more significantly, the risks of staying single) will become more substantial and tip more and more organisations this way.


The role of academies in achieving a world-class education for all

At 9.45am on Friday 17 March, at the NEC, Birmingham, Rt Hon David Laws will be hosting a session at Bett Academies, looking at the role that academy schools play in achieving a world-class education for all children. He will be guiding attendees through the evolution of the academy schools programme, and the impact it has had on various areas of performance and achievement. With informed and practical advice on how to work within an academy to achieve a world-class level of education, this is a must-attend session for all academy and multi academy trust (MAT) leaders and teachers. Here, David gives us an insight into what we can expect from his session, and how academies have changed and developed under the previous two Governments. 


Carving the shape of the new educational landscape

Carving the shape of the new educational landscape

Andrew Fielder, CEO of Aspire Academy Trust, will be presenting at Bett Academies (NEC Birmingham) at 1:45 on Friday 17 March


The aim of Andrew Fielder’s presentation will be to ignite discussion about the shape of the new educational landscape. Despite recent debate in the press, the objective of academies and multi-academy trusts (MATs) remains: to create a world class Trust, providing children with an outstanding education for generations to come.