29/9/2022 0 Comments
Director of West Country Training School Alliance,
Jen Knowles presents a palpable excitement and commitment to her role and all the more so this academic year with SWIFT’s expansion of the Appropriate Body Service and Early Career Framework she is working full-time in the role.
1. How long has West Country Training School Alliance (WCTSA) been a SWIFT partner?
Since its inception as SWIFT (South West Institute for Teaching) - officially from April 2021, before the fully fledged programmes got underway from September that year. Although it is fair to say that we were involved in prior strategic planning with Colyton Grammar School in its early stages as a Teaching School Hub through conversations with SWIFT Director, Martin Smith.
It is certainly great to be on board working in partnership as SWIFT and I continue to be enthused and excited about us working together.
2. What are the benefits to West Country Training School Alliance as a SWIFT partner?
First and foremost, having a strategic say in the professional development for our schools is a huge benefit as opposed to a top-down approach. I value the way that all the SWIFT partners, including WCTSA, can have input in developing the Universal Programme of continuing professional development and other training programmes.
I also value the way we work towards common goals in partnership with national leads and providers. For example, working with Teach First, English Hubs, Research Schools, Schools Trust in building positive working relationships on a national and local level and it is great to be leading the popular WalkThrus programme for SWIFT working in partnership with national speaker, Tom Sherrington.
As a SWIFT partner, we take an active role in certain areas of the Teaching School Hub delivery, including the Appropriate Body Service for Colyton Teaching School Hub.
Engaging in early exploratory work in choosing our national partner for the Early Career Framework delivery and the support and development was also beneficial.
Building on our work as a legacy Teaching School Alliance in networking with leads and teachers through our Professional Communities network is both beneficial and enjoyable.
Ultimately our work with SWIFT enhances the positive profile for West Country and validates the two-way process of our established alliance of schools whom we continue to support, combined with our hands-on role as a SWIFT partner.
It is definitely more effective working together for a wider reach across the region - and beyond, in working together as two Teaching School Hubs united as SWIFT, offering a range of courses.
3. What are the benefits to you personally as Director of WCTSA?
I relish my very varied role and I look forward to doing it every day – I am passionate about the process of professional development from supporting trainee teachers to Headteachers, as a perfect exemplification of the Golden Thread.
I also appreciate Martin’s proactiveness in continuing to upskill, push and upgrade us for our own professional development as SWIFT Directors. For example, the Kingsbridge Research School Theory of Change training was instructive for my work as a Director. Within the SWIFT team, there is an incredible amount of expertise and I feel very grateful working and learning from fellow like-minded professionals every day.
4. What are your goals and aspirations for this academic year working with SWIFT?
As a lead partner for the Appropriate Body Service (for Colyton), I am keen to build on the success of last academic year - and to continue to strengthen our support for Early Career Teachers at what is a really integral time in their career in terms of the support that they need.
I aspire to continue our networking with schools and to be open and visible as a SWIFT partner in continuing to strengthen and support teachers with high-quality professional development opportunities.
The new WalkThrus initiative will continue apace and it is great to be working with a large number of schools on the launch, supporting them to implement coaching programmes based on the Walkthrus in their schools.
Similarly, I want to continue to expand our Professional Communities using the feedback from our members to drive the input that we provide for teachers so that it is personalised to their needs. For example, last year, the common consensus in one of our communities was that they really wanted some CPD on subject specific Ofsted deep dives and we were able to facilitate this for them and it was in turn very positively evaluated. We have some very exciting new Professional Communities, such as Food which are providing opportunities for professionals who might otherwise be working individually or in very small teams to collaborate with other professionals across the region.
5. What are your longer-term expectations of working within the Teaching School Hub programme?
A big question!
Obviously, I want WCTSA to reach out to more schools and to continue to strengthen our relationships with existing schools which is so important within the Teaching School Hub model. We aspire to continue to provide further opportunities for schools and teachers across the Golden Thread building on the feedback that we receive to ensure that everyone gets exposure and access to the best evidence informed practice and support.
Striving to be even better.
We thank Jen for her reflections and we also very much value working with her and WCTSA.
Interview by Jude Owens, PA to the SWIFT Executive Team
Find out more about our sponsor Computeam's work to support sustainability with IT that lowers schools’ energy costs, CO2 emissions and drives sustainability. That’s why they're thoughtful about the partners they work with.
For example, Computeam supply laptops and Chromebooks from Acer because they have one of the best sustainability programmes as a technology manufacturer. For example, 80% of an Acer Vero laptop is composed of recycled Ocean bound plastics.
Acer also offer 70% reduction in carbon emissions from an average mixed environment of desktops and laptops. Working with PX3, a team of scientists providing sustainability assessments to a wide range of customers and via PhD research, in partnership with the University and Business School of Warwick; PX3 found an 84% reduction in CO2 emissions across a typical legacy estate of Windows desktops when using Acer.
Coupled with cashback incentives via Acer’s Green Rewards; an overall Trust-wide user device strategy from Computeam can significantly reduce both operational and capital costs.
So what are Acer’s Green Rewards?
Put simply; you get a valuation of your old energy-zapping kit, purchase new devices, make a claim, have your old devices collected and then receive your cash reward! In five easy steps you’ve offset some of the cost of newer, energy saving devices and helped to lower your carbon footprint whilst doing your bit for sustainability.
Given the targets for all Government Departments to ensure sustainability and decrease carbon dioxide emissions; including the Department for Education (DfE); it is no surprise that large scale projects funded by the DfE seek to push Schools and MATs to declare carbon offsetting.
How will your School account for this should it be required?
Yet, it's not only user devices. Large scale infrastructure projects, such as replacing whole Networks and Switches can incur huge costs. Through Computeam's partnership with Aruba-HPE, you can benefit from 0% interest loans directly from Aruba-HPE and even a ‘buy back’ of legacy kit, reducing cost and saving you money.
Speak to a member of the Computeam Team who will assess your wireless network and advise on moving to a mobile device strategy that will reduce the number of energy-draining switches and the demand on your electricity bills.
As a Cloud First provider; Computeam look to replace energy-zapping Servers with all the associated costs of maintenance and possible failure, with a cost-save Cloud solution. Assuming a server utilises 136 watts at 100% efficiency, did you know that keeping a server operating 24/7, 365 days of the year - assuming a cost of 35p per kWh for electricity - will cost you £4,169.76 per annum!
The older the server, the less efficient it will be and costlier to run!
Now consider schools running two or more servers...
So, schools are invited to speak to Computeam about a move to the Cloud that makes sense.
But what about Computeam's credentials pledge regarding sustainability?
Like Acer, Computeam are in partnership with Ecologi who plant trees (whole forests actually) that ensures a lower carbon footprint of all employees both at work and in their day-to-day private lives!
For the last 14 months Computeam have reduced 617 tonnes and planted 8,673 trees; supporting 21 projects to generate new carbon-zapping forests! See more information here
Email or call Computeam directly to discuss any aspect of your IT requirements and how they can help you to save costs.
21/9/2022 0 Comments
Our sponsor Lyfta shares some of their findings from research conducted with school leaders over the past few months looking into how some of its focus areas are finding a home in the classroom, including cultural capital, character and values education; diversity, equity and inclusion; global citizenship, and more.
"Lyfta really has been a lifeline this year- not a bolt-on but a resource to enrich and enliven the curriculum. Cannot recommend highly enough." Dan Morrow - CEO Dartmoor MAT
To help grow their understanding of the topics, Lyfta is offering school leaders £100 for their school for an hour of their time. Through an online meeting, you will be part of this research and will also hear more about what Lyfta offers through the range of interactive 360° spaces and powerful short films available on the platform. Once you've attended the one-hour online meeting with Lyfta, you will receive a payment of £100 to your school as a thank you for your time.
The study has been designed by Dr Harriet Marshall, Lyfta's Head of Education and you can find out more about the national research (including T&Cs) and choose a date and time that suits you for your on the link below.
Welcome to Issue 13 of SWIFT's Events Newsletter
You will find courses, events, conferences and training from our partners to support your professional development and enhance the work of your school. Simply click on the booking link, to the course or event you are interested in, to get more details or book straight on!
Featured in this issue we have:
Curriculum Forum | FREE to SWIFT Members
The SWIFT Curriculum Forum brings together curriculum leaders that have responsibility for building curriculums in schools and trusts. Curriculum Forums are termly events that cover four aspects of curriculum - design, content, equality, diversity and inclusion, and leadership.
Kat Howard | Leading Principles for Curriculum Development
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe | Approaches to Decolonising Knowledge
Plus 10 workshops covering all phases.
The South West Institute for Teaching joins with everyone in the UK and around the world who are mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Earlier this year, we observed her Platinum Jubilee which marked her 70th year as Queen, the longest reign of any British monarch. Her commitment and dedication to her country and people was acknowledged worldwide.
We end with a quote from a 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth, from her broadcast to the children of the Commonwealth in October 1940: “And when peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place”.
Paragraph 221 of "Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) states that:
“schools and colleges should consider carrying out an online search as part of their due diligence on the shortlisted candidates. This may help identify any incidents or issues that have happened, and are publicly available online, which the school or college might want to explore with the applicant at interview.”
Our sponsor, SchoolPro TLC works with schools to provide specialist expertise and explains what this means for schools.
Consider the Purpose of this Processing
In this case, it is part of your recruitment process so any data that you collect or process as part of this, should only be used for that purpose.
Make sure you know what lawful basis you are using for this processing.
As this is being proposed within statutory legislation (i.e. KCSIE 2022), the lawful bases that apply are likely to be Article 6(c) legal obligation or Article 6(e) public task. In this case, Article 6(e) would seem to be the most appropriate if you are a state school. If you are a private school, Article 6(c) would be relevant here.
Consider what actual data you are going to be processing.
Are you going to be keeping any results from these online searches? If so, what? And for how long? And how are you going to keep the data secure?
This essentially covers a number of the principles of the UK GDPR such as data minimisation, storage limitation, and integrity and confidentiality.
In terms of retention, use your retention schedule (refer to the IRMS Toolkit or similar) to identify how long you might consider keeping any relevant data from the searches. Make sure this is proportionate to the purpose.
For most checks, you might record in your SCR that the check was conducted.
For others, you may want to keep the evidence in case of a challenge before securely destroying it.
Your job applicant privacy notice should make it clear that this data is going to be processed and explain some of the points above. You should also consider a statement on your application form.
Job Applicant Privacy Notice Template
An updated job applicant privacy notice template is available on the SchoolPro portal (in Global Documents).
For more information or if you have any questions, you can contact SchoolPro TLC.