How do schools relate to the parents of those whom they teach?

Most schools liaise with the parents of the pupils or students they teach in a way that has evolved over time.  Quite often the issue of parent liaison is not a matter of debate – it is simply done exactly as it has been done for quite some time.

And yet an analysis of the ways in which schools work with and liaise with parents has revealed that there are four different ways in which schools and parents interact.

If you would like to read the report on school approaches to parents, it is available free of charge.  All we ask is that before we send it to you, you complete a very simple, three question questionnaire, and send it back to us with your email address, and we’ll email the report straight on.

The questionnaire is totally anonymous and we do not ask for any school details.  The aim is to help us gain a little more insight into the issue of the ways schools are relating to the parents of the pupils and students in their school.

It will take under a minute to complete.  Your email address will only be used for the sending of the report on the four ways schools liaise with parents and will not be passed on to any other organisation or used for any other purpose.

I do hope you will help us by completing this very simple questionnaire by clicking here, and that you will find the report on the four ways of liaising with parents to be helpful and interesting.

Tony Attwood

Chair, The School of Educational Administration and Management

What makes successful schools successful? And what makes them continue to build on their success?

It is a simple but nonetheless valid observation.  No school improves by itself.  Schools get better because someone puts energy into improving the school.

Linked to this there is a second, equally simple and equally valid observation.  Even the most brilliantly performing school will slip back over time, unless one simple action is taken which will keep it improving, term after term, year after year.

So what is it that some school managers are doing which helps improve a school in terms of its Ofsted rating, parental satisfaction and its exam results?

And, leading on from the note above, what is it that some school managers do, which keep these improvements running, growing and developing, year after year after year?

Interestingly, the answer is the same in both cases.

And yet many organisations fail to see the benefit of embedding the notion of improvement within the very fabric of the organisation and its day to day activities.

Indeed if you have difficulty dealing with your bank, the local council, the garage that services your car, or anything else – and you get the feeling, “they used to be ok, but now they’ve slipped,” the cause is always the same.

Someone has set up an improvement programme – but then left it, thinking the job is done. No one has thought – how do we keep this improvement running.

Of course, an approach to constant development and improvement is something that many teachers and managers resist. The old phrase, “Why can’t you just leave me alone to get on with the teaching?” can readily be heard in response.

And yet, as the schools that use this approach have found, it is possible to use such an approach without putting any strain on the school or your fellow teachers.  But the results can be extraordinary.

The entire process is described in The Ever Improving School, a report commissioned and produced by the School of Educational Administration and Management – a body set up with government funding and the support of the government’s Department of Trade and Industry  and the University of Northampton Department of Education.

The Ever Improving School is available as a Kindle book for £9.99 and as a hard copy or CD which can be printed out, copied and given to colleagues within the school for £24.95.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 852 1   Order code: T1843emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at

  • Photocopiable book, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Kindle book: £9.99
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

Testing leaves for starch: free interactive

Try our free Biology interactive on testing leaves for starch!

This interactive experiment will help your students understand whether or not photosynthesis has occurred in a leaf by testing for the presence of starch. Clear animations demonstrate how to use hot water, alcohol and iodine, which changes colour on a leaf to reveal the hidden starch inside.

Try out the free interactive activity on our Doddle Science page!

Doddle offers much more than just engaging resources – you can book a free and flexible tour of all its features with one of our Educational Consultants. From self-marking quizzes that can be easily scheduled for upcoming homeworks, to the online markbook which clearly records students’ marks, Doddle provides you with everything you need to effectively track student progress.


Exceptional English Teaching Resources



Rhyming Spells – provides a wide selection of ingenious rhyming spells for improving spelling.

Dyslexia Games Manual – packed full with enjoyable games and activities for developing literacy skills, increasing visual and auditory recall, as well as strengthening sequencing and organisational ability.

01536 399017
Postal address:
Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH.



Carel Press

‘Just Read!’ PDF Poster Set – motivational posters about the power of books.

‘Learn about your library’ Posters – explain library terms successfully.


Dysgraphia Help

The Online Dysgraphia Test – consists of 50 questions. After completion of the test and submitting a handwriting sample you will receive a dysgraphia test report. If we believe dysgraphia to be present you will also receive supporting activity materials free of charge.

Overcoming dysgraphia workbook – contains 100+ A4 sides of activities, worksheets and games that aim to improve language processing, visual spacing, fine motor skills, pen/pencil grip, handwriting posture and memory retrieval.

Postal address: Dysgraphia Help, 1 Oathill Close, Brixworth, Northamptonshire, NN6 9BE.



Interactive English Software – 13 titles packed with hundreds of stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for English. There are texts, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more. Request your 14-day free trial of English Educational Software Solution.


First and Best in Education

Plays into Shakespeare (KS3) – This book provides an active, dramatic launch pad for the study of Shakespeare, avoiding the distancing factors with which pupils struggle – the language, the history, the period costumes.

Higher Close Reading Examples and Activities – focussing on understanding the main concerns of the text, analysing the techniques the writer uses, and evaluating the effectiveness of the writing.  

Monologues with Duologue Activity (KS4) – covers the requirements for speaking monologues in Drama at KS4 and KS5 and provides useful material for pupils working towards entry into drama college. English teachers will also find it useful in respect of the speaking and listening requirements at KS4 and the study of Shakespeare.

Monologues/Duologues (KS3) – A book of short, self-contained and original monologues/duologues which will be an ideal introduction to drama within English or for use within a drama group.

Working with Will – a scheme of work for English teachers and works as an introduction to text analysis in English literature lessons for key stages 3 and 4.

Write Well – a book of writing skills aimed at helping students acquire the necessary skills for each situation.

01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at

Dans Ma Chambre

Are you tired of creating your own PowerPoint presentations, only to find that you are forced to use uninspiring cartoons or internet images to convey your messages?  These images are often just not quite right.  Well, no more!  Our presentations use authentic resources in their proper French context.  These particular resources should be used initially with 11-12 year olds during their first year of learning French but then can subsequently be used as a revision tool for older students if necessary.

The presentation should be used to teach learners to describe their bedroom and also to use various (5) prepositions to say where items are in relation to other furniture.  These materials are to be used within the context of learning about the house/home in French.

The resources are multi-faceted in that they are used interactively from the beginning of the PowerPoint presentation to teach the required vocabulary to the class in a fun way.  Students work in pairs, individually and as a whole class throughout the lesson using visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to engage and motivate them.  The pace can be fast or slowed down as necessary for the students to assimilate the required lexis and can be used equally well with SEN learners.

They will enjoy the variety of activities, the competition, 2 written exercises and use the 4 skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing in this lesson.  These resources have been developed by an experienced language teacher, used with a class and have consequently been proven to be effective, fun and engaging.

Dans Ma Chambre  26 Powerpoint/slides plus 4 word documents, 2 worksheets and 2 answer sheets.  £ 24.99 (including VAT £29.99  )  Order Code : H9232

Once purchased the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school.

To see sample pages please email quoting the order code H9232.

You can order the Dans Ma Chambre in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone or fax on 0117 940 6409
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

New Anti-extremism and Human Rights Classroom Software

Free Full Version 14-day trial

Schools and academies are now required to ensure pupils are aware of the risks associated with radicalisation and extremism.

Our new Anti-extremism and human rights classroom software delivers the topic sensitively using stunning 3D animation, professional voice-over and subject specific interactive exercises, quizzes and games. 

All delivered in a controlled environment, avoiding potentially unsafe web searches!

If (and only if!) after your 14 day trial you would like to keep the software, it’s just £199 (rrp £250) for a whole school/academy site licence over a network or on unlimited PCs/Whiteboards. Technical support, should you need, it is free.

The software arrives on DVD. Just follow the simple installer wizard and you will be ready to use the software in your classroom within minutes

To request a free 14 day trial please CLICK HERE

What more can you do to boost your pupils’ creative writing skills?

Creative writing is an area which pupils with SEN or pupils who are considered to be slower learners find particularly challenging. Not least because creative writing requires pupils to use an array of literacy skills, simultaneously.

Indeed, creative writing requires pupils to focus on spelling, handwriting, grammar, punctuation, and structuring, as well as using their imagination.

Fortunately, Brilliant Publications has produced the Boost Creative Writing series to provide additional support for pupils who find creative writing to be a particularly challenging task.

The Boost Creative Writing series addresses the Programmes of Study for writing composition in the new (2014) National Curriculum for England.

The structured planning sheets contain a wealth of activities that provide additional reinforcement of key skills for slower learners and SEN pupils with non-prescriptive writing scaffolds, giving them the support they need.

The activity sheets have been written by Judith Thornby, an experienced Learning Support Coordinator, and cover a range of writing genres, from stories and poems to book reviews and newspaper reports.

Furthermore, not only does the series boost pupils’ creative writing skills, but it has also proven to give pupils confidence and make them believe that they can write. This belief leads to better performance in all areas of school. And while designed for SEN pupils, these sheets can, and have, been used by pupils of all abilities.

You can order the Boost Creative Writing series pack in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  •  By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • 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 768047

What more can schools do to ensure that everyone is safe, included and learning?

In many schools, responding to a pressure to raise standards, staff concentrate their efforts on teaching their curriculum subject, with little or no time to address issues that are not expected to lead directly to higher exam results.

In other schools staff invest equivalent energy in attending to the learning environment: they embrace the challenge of working with diverse communities and harness the power of different identities and perspectives.

No matter how much, or how little, schools engage with equality issues, all schools have a legal obligation to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty, introduced by the Equality Act 2010.

This is sometimes seen as an additional responsibility, and other times as an integral part of everything that happens in a school.  In some schools, learning to respect one another is understood as a significant aspect of young people’s education.

Equality: Making It Happen – A guide to help schools ensure everyone is safe, included and learning is a new guide, recently published by the Centre for Studies in Inclusive Education (CSIE), which helps schools to address prejudice, reduce bullying and promote equality holistically.

Created with schools for schools, sponsored by teacher’s union NASUWT and winner of an Innovative Practice Award 2016 from the Zero Project (, for a world with zero barriers), CSIE’s new guide is extremely user-friendly (it has been described as “seductively practical”) and is made up of succinct reference cards, which offer:

  • equality monitoring questionnaires for pupils, parents, staff and governors;
  • distilled information and advice on a range of equality issues;
  • links to further sources of information and support;
  • responses to frequently asked questions on equality in education;
  • concise information on national and international law on equality in education;
  • suggested activities for involving pupils in monitoring children’s rights in school;
  • suggested activities for responding to signs of prejudice in school;
  • succinct information on core values and on developing an equality policy.

The guide has been most warmly welcomed by the sector, with comments such as: “This should be part of every teacher’s toolkit” and “An absolutely amazing resource that is easy to use and extremely well designed.”

Equality: Making It Happen is available directly from CSIE for only £30 (RRP £75).  For more information or to order your copy please see

A FREE one-day conference to launch the new guide will be held on 29 June 2016 at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA.  The conference will provide an opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers, explore a range of equality issues and consider what more can be done to reduce prejudice and promote equality in education. Confirmed speakers include: Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary at NASUWT; Professor Sheila Bennett, Brock University, Ontario; and Sharon Hodgson, MP, Shadow Education Minister.

This conference is free to attend but places are limited and must be booked in advance.  For more information and to book your place please see

If you would like to learn more about Equality: Making It Happen or the conference, or if you have any questions or queries at all, please feel free to call 0117 353 3150 or email


Artemi Sakellariadis

Director, CSIE

How would you add sound to any book or poster or object?

With PENpal you can!
PENpal is an electronic device that records and plays back your voice onto sticky labels. The PENpal is particularly useful for dyslexic and other SEN children as it enables them to work in a personalised way. With PENpal you can explain, define, give examples, without the constraint of space reserved for text! And, through PENpal’s ability to record voices it encourages speaking and listening skills and the confidence to express yourself.

PENpals will read dictionaries, literacy packs, phonics posters, big books, even tactile sound enabled books! Children who learn best though a kinaesthetic experience rather than through reading chunks of text or group discussions can benefit. Selecting and listening at your own pace, stickering your own drawings with sound, attaching audio to clothes and equipment, listening to posters like “Garden Birdsongs” just by touching brings a feeling of control and calm, especially among autistic children.

You can also add sound to any of your favourite books and poster or even make your own talking book! PENpal helps the teacher to connect in a unique way and the student to gain a confidence in learning. It is no surprise therefore that over 40000 PENpals are being used in schools and why its equivalent PENfriend is one of the RNIB’s best-selling products for audio labelling.

To find out more about PENpal or to order one (£75 plus vat) please click here

Enable Visually Impaired children to see paintings, maps, diagrams, instructions…

The viVOS Artframe adds sound to any of your notes or pictures drawn or printed on any A3 paper. You can make your drawings and diagrams, add tactiles such as sticking bump-ons, or make collages or use swell paper. Build your own rich tangible media, and record and playback sound with a tap of your fingers. You can create over 300 sound spots on any A3 paper and playback existing .mp3 music as well as your own voice recordings.
A tool for kinaesthetic learners, this device adds creativity and self-expression to your learning.
ViVOS has a built in microphone, speakers is light and very robust.

Click here to see a video of making a tactile poster on Spring with sound.

There is an open-source viVOS library of publications where users can upload their jpeg and sound compilation for others to share and use. Just print any of the FREE jpegs and download the viVOS file.  viVOS costs £150 plus vat with free access to the viVOS Library of publications

We are Mantra Lingua, UK based makers of these devices, service Nurseries, Schools, RNIB, Museums and Nature Trails. Both devices are portable and can be used anywhere. There is no need for computers.
PENpal costs £80 and viVOS £150. 400 Recordable stickers £15. 


Robene Dutta
Managing Director

How can you make the most of your school hall in terms of saving space, saving time and increasing capacity?

Providing that the school hall isn’t otherwise occupied and there is enough space to do with what you want, there is no doubt that the school hall is an ideal place to create a pop-up learning zone. But there are problems.

One – some schools find that there isn’t enough space due to the amount of room that the tables and chairs take up (even when packed away).

Two – setting up enough tables and chairs for students for the lesson (and packing them away again afterwards) can eat into a significant amount of lesson time.

Three – if the lesson follows lunchtime, it can be incredibly distracting to your students’ learning if the lunchtime supervisors are still packing away and cleaning the school hall.

Indeed, to overcome these problems and ensure that your school hall can become an ideal pop-up learning zone, we have developed Wall Pocket – a table system which can seat up to 20 students and which can, within seconds, be folded up into a neat pocket on the wall.

Now let’s imagine that you had six of these tables with their built-in seats (enough for 120 children). Packing them away can all be done within a matter of five minutes.

Thus, learning can start almost immediately and continue right up to the bell. Which makes the benches ideal for breakfast clubs/afterschool clubs and school lunches, as well as lessons.

Of course, with such an innovative product there are many other interesting features. Around 100 colours are available and colours can be mixed and matched. And the lift-assist spring system makes packing up and opening out the tables the simplest thing you could imagine.

What’s more, there’s no compulsory maintenance contract (you can have one if you want) – there is a 15 year guarantee no matter what.

Here’s a picture of how the tables look when set out for lunch or lessons.


To see how they look when packed away click here.

And for more information please call 01752 306 200 or email