When it comes to bringing together a school community through data-harmony, there can be a lot of hassle involved. As Tina Holmes, deputy safeguarding officer at Woodhouse West Primary School in Sheffield, discusses: “Admin for safeguarding and pastoral support can be an enormous challenge, especially regarding transition.”
GDPR is coming and schools need to be clear on what it means for them, as well as how to handle it ahead of when the regulations come into force on 25th May 2018. Currently, it seems that confusion reigns over what schools actually need to be doing to ensure they can comply with the new GDPR regulations – not just by that date, but sustainably thereafter.
With the deadline to be compliant with the new General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) just around the corner, schools are scrambling to get prepared. Whilst the GDPR does represent a change from the Data Protection Act, achieving compliance may be simpler than you realise. Groupcall, in association with GDPRiS, has put together a short guide for schools to follow – it’s divided into 12 manageable steps to walk you through the list of tasks needing to be addressed.
1. Communication: It is important to keep those involved in the loop. Not everyone needs to be involved every time, but it is important to ensure that those who need the information have something which is current and accessible. The person who raised the initial concern may not need to see actions and future communications, but they should receive closure of some kind. Perhaps a simple email or note, with ‘Thank you for raising this concern, it has been passed on to the safeguarding team and they will be in touch if any further information is required.’
E-safety charity Childnet have launched Trust Me, a new, free resource designed to support Primary and Secondary school teachers in exploring critical thinking online. Developed in partnership with the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) Safeguarding Board to address the emerging area of online extremism and propaganda, the practical resource aims to provoke discussion among students so as to challenge young people to think critically about what they see online.
In my previous article for Innovate My School, I talked enthusiastically about the huge benefits that technology such as cloud computing can bring to schools, provided that it’s used effectively to meet real and measurable needs. From a budgetary standpoint, schools can achieve better value for money and improved functionality through tools like virtual learning environments. Innovative pedagogical models such as the flipped classroom are improving teaching and learning even from Primary age. It’s a brave new world for technology in schools, and I’m delighted to see educators reaping the benefits.
When I talk to people about mindfulness, and mindfulness in schools, I find a lot of people know of the idea, but that they don’t really know much about what it means. There’s a vague idea of it meaning you pay more attention to what's going on around you, which seems a fine idea for a teacher, but not much real detail. So, what does it really mean? Is it really beneficial? And if it is, what can be done to get it into the classroom when the school doesn't have a proper mindfulness programme?
Specsavers, City University London and the Tablet Academy have joined forces to offer SchoolScreener EZ, free-of-charge vision screening software to all schools across the UK. This follows a study finding that millions of UK children under the age of 12 have never had an eye test. Thomson Screening, a company formed by the university, has worked alongside Specsavers to roll out this revolutionary new software.