Record your school CD for free and claim a free 30-player percussion set worth £249!

Percussion is perfect for teaching KS1 and KS2 music. As playing music is fun for children, it makes teaching rhythm, structure and ensemble skills easy and when you book a free CD recording with us, you’ll receive this superb 30-player percussion set, worth £249, for free! To find out what is included in this amazing set, click here.

There is no catch, you just need to register your interest over the next week and book a free CD recording with us at any time during 2015.
Our professional recording engineers come to your school with studio recording equipment, and spend a day recording your CD with you, for free. Our Interactive Recording Guide shows the huge educational benefit in the project for the children, and makes planning the project really simple with everything set out for you.

All you need to do is decide what you’d like to include on your CD – a performance or event, instrumental groups, the whole school singing, each class singing their favourite song or even your drumming. The CD is a treasured memento to be proud of, a great showcase for the school’s talents, and the recording is an amazing day for the children. You can even raise funds for your school from the sales of your CD.

To get the free CD recording for your school and your free 30-player percussion set, all you need to do is send me an email to the address below, or give me a call with your school details and when approximately you might like to record your CD.

To qualify for the free percussion set, you have a week to register your interest to complete your recording at any time during 2015.

Kind regards,

Ann-Marie Lawrence
My School CD

Tel: 01925 321 800

The Bursar’s Survival Guide

What is the most effective way of coping with the continual change that is now an inevitable part of school administration?

If ever a job has changed in the last 10 years it is that of the bursar and school business manager.

Even the title of the job has been varied, for as one correspondent to the School of Education Administration and Management put it recently, “My pay slip calls me the ‘Administrator’, it says ‘Bursar’ on the door to my room and the head introduces me to visitors as the School Business Manager.”

In a world where even the job title can be variable throughout the day, what chance is there for the bursar (or SBM or Chief Administrator) to cope with the ever changing nature of the school?

The fact is that change is everywhere. The government makes change its watch-word. Independence from LA control puts more pressure on school administrations, and quite often the boundaries as to who actually has the final sign off on new procedures becomes rather confused.

As a result, stress rises and a sense of progressive improvement is replaced by a sense of making do. With few people seeming to know how schools are supposed to react to something as huge as the raising of the compulsory education leaving age over the next few years, it is not surprising that there is often a sense of the school not quite knowing what is coming next.

However, it is only by recognising change as an inevitable part of running the school’s administrative systems and by accepting that the drive towards efficiency and effectiveness is part of the bursar’s job that these various parts of the school process can be brought back into balance.

Hence the new edition of the Bursar’s Survival Guide.

The aim of this comprehensive report is to develop school improvements and efficiencies through changes in administrative procedures. Such action inevitably enhances the personal standing of the bursar and those in the bursar’s department and reduces stress levels throughout the school’s administration.

The report opens with a single example idea, one idea that takes only a few minutes to implement but which could reduce the school’s non-salary expenditure by 10% at a stroke, without changing the quality of the goods and services provided.

After that the volume considers 57 separate topics that affect the role of the bursar and the bursar’s department in the school, and analyses each one in a way that is (in most cases, if not all) different from the way in which standard text books on bursaring and financial control approach the topic.

Quite simply The Bursar’s Survival Guide will help to ensure a smoothly run bursar’s office generating excellent results in all aspects of its work in the years to come.

You can see some sample pages at

Publisher’s reference: T1795EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 885 9

Photocopiable book £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
CD £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
Book plus CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1795EMN
By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
By fax to 01536 399 012
On-line with a credit card at

You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Combating radicalisation in the classroom

It is one thing to pass a law saying we must counter extremism in the classroom. It is another thing to achieve this.

It is quite likely that when you and your colleagues first entered the profession, the notion of our government making it compulsory for schools to use the classroom as a location for countering extremist views was not in the offing.

Indeed most likely there wasn’t even a debate about the possibility of such an issue.

But now we have the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act which makes anti-radicalisation teaching compulsory.

And there is more to the issue than that, for radicalisation in schools is a subject that the media has been seen to leap upon at every opportunity.

Thus helping young people avoid radicalisation is of prime importance.

But there is another issue beyond this, for the level of unwelcome media attention that will follow even a false suggestion that radicalisation has happened in one’s own school can be considerably harmful to the school’s image over a long period of time.

In short one needs to be able to show to everyone at a moment’s notice evidence that the anti-radicalisation programme is fully operational in the school.

For these reasons we have produced a practical handbook which provides an objective resource, full of classroom activities, to enable lower secondary school teachers to tackle the complex subjects of terrorism and radicalisation.

Our approach is to set political violence within a wider context, using familiar emotions of anger and disappointment to introduce the notion of grievance, a precursor of all forms of terrorism.

From here we are able to link the topic to issues of citizenship, human rights and respect, civil and political engagement, how we identify with others and indeed the issue of bullying.

And of course we bring in the historical contexts – from the Suffragettes to Northern Ireland and South Africa as examples – to consider not just the origin of terrorism but also the subsequent process of reconciliation.

There is more detailed information on Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Teacher’s handbook for Addressing Extremism on our web site.

You can order the Radicalisation and Terrorism resource in any of these ways:

On our website
By phone on 01449 766629
By fax on 01449 767122
By email to
Or By post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 767122

Minibuses: What are other schools doing?

The second School Minibus Survey reveals that the way in which schools are paying for and using their minibuses has changed.

The second Benchmark Leasing survey of school minibus use has revealed a considerable change in the way schools are paying for and using their vehicles in recent years.

As might well be expected the survey shows a considerable growth in the number of minibuses being operated by schools, and this growth has been accompanied by a change in the way in which the vehicles are financed.

Whereas in the past schools were more likely to buy a minibus outright, perhaps with a donation from the PTA to help matters along, leasing is now becoming the norm.

As a result schools are able to ensure that their vehicles do not become increasingly liable to breakdown, but can instead be replaced at regular intervals as one lease ends and a new one is taken out.

In addition schools find that they are covered against any sudden extra costs for repairs and maintenance as everything is included in the lease.

Over 20% of schools now report that they only have leased minibuses – a figure that appears to be rising very rapidly. Likewise the number of schools that are reporting that they will lease their next minibus (rather than buy it) is higher than ever before. Buying secondhand is virtually disappearing as an option.

For a free copy of the second School Minibus Survey, which also incorporates details of the current legal responsibility and requirements, please like our Facebook page and email to receive the report.

For more information about Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944, or email