As most people working within education will know, all staff in schools and nurseries are subject to a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check. Schools can encounter staffing problems if DBS checks aren’t done quickly and efficiently. Here, QA Education editor Victoria Galligan busts some of the myths regarding DBS checks and explores what a DBS check actually is, who needs one and how to avoid costly delays when applying…

There is only one level of DBS check for school staff

Schools from across England are being invited to sign up for free to the Institute of Physics’ Improving Gender Balance national research trial.  Across England, the trial, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) will work with teachers on whole-school approaches to tackling gender stereotyping and the resulting limits on both boys and girls’ choices. In doing so it seeks to redress the fact that for more than 30 years only a fifth of those taking A-level physics in England have been girls.

With private tuition being an unaffordable option for so many, Tassomai is a GCSE learning and revision program which helps close the attainment gap and levels the playing field for all students. It can be used by all pupils – including those with health problems, behavioural issues, those suffering from mental health issues or going through other difficult circumstances. It also allows children to work at their own pace but ensuring clear progress – and the best thing about Tassomai? Pupils can use it from home on their smartphones.

 

Geoff Jones, parent communications expert at ParentMail, identifies some improvements schools could make when keeping in touch with parents…

Thankfully, home-school communications have evolved out of all recognition since the days of the crumpled letter at the bottom of the book bag. But although schools are working hard to improve the way they reach out to parents, their messages don’t always hit home.

So where could you be going wrong with your school communications?

1. Irrelevant messages

The edtech industry has rapidly grown in recent years, with tech giants, start-ups, and everything in between embracing educational initiatives. A simple analysis of the market’s growth reflects an emphasis on education reform Craig Scott, VP of technology at ViewSonic, explains how the most effective edtech resource is one which empowers teachers…

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) has partnered with KYOCERA Document Solutions UK to create a new app that collects information about school copying, thereby reducing the burden of administration for schools.

‘CopyScanPublications’ is a free app that can be installed on the school copiers and scanners to collect the copying data that is required by CLA to make royalty payments to authors, visual artists and publishers. The app captures copying done by staff of any articles, chapters or other extracts from publications that they use for teaching.

Lanes for Drains are empowering pupils to lead the fight against hidden plastics by working with secondary schools to produce unique and engaging lesson plans and a set of educational resources that are now available to schools nationwide.

The company - the largest privately owned drainage contractor in the UK - aims to raise awareness of the dangers of hidden plastics and how this generation can have the biggest impact in halting the problem.

When it comes to education establishments - whether that’s a school, a college or university - just how many of them reviewing their hardware and software on a regular basis? No doubt there’s always an urgent need to quickly fix that printer or a hard drive for the geography department or another. But how often are ICT experts getting a chance to assess their infrastructure and carry out the relevant updates? Are some thinking it’s just easier to chuck out the old kit and replace with something brand new and shiny?

 

The online educational publisher Twinkl is partnering with BBC Children in Need this year to support schools to raise as much money as possible for disadvantaged children and young people. 

As Proud Schools Partner Twinkl will be providing free resources and sending materials to schools to help with fundraising, as well as doing plenty at its HQ in Sheffield. Schools can sign up for a free fundraising pack full of inspiring ideas via bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/schools

Jo Cormack, author of Helping Children Develop a Positive Relationship with Food, answers our questions on children’s eating habits…

What kinds of issues are staff faced with when it comes to eating in school?

Despite a growing emphasis on nutrition in recent years, there is a lack of staff training around how to help children develop a positive relationship with food. Staff frequently have to deal with food-related challenges such as picky eating or allergies, especially in the primary sector. It is essential that they feel confident and informed.