For many schools the cost of a minibus seems prohibitive but two developments have cut the price dramatically.

It is rare to find a school that wouldn’t accept the offer of a minibus if it was there, available for them.  But they don’t buy one, because of the cost.

However, two recent developments have ensured that more and more schools are now able to have minibus transport that they previously felt was out of their reach.

But – and this is the key fact – these two new approaches have to be seen together; on their own they look like interesting notions – but not a solution.

The two approaches are a) to lease the minibus on a set monthly fee which includes all servicing, maintenance and repair costs, and b) to share its use with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council as they are, so that each school has the bus for an agreed amount of time.

What’s more, many schools do then add a third element of their own to the equation – since they know how much the minibus will cost each month they do sometimes ask the PTA or other support group to make a contribution to that cost each month.

Now that is often very much welcomed since it means that the parents making the contribution to the minibus account know that is it their children who are benefitting, rather than the children in future years (as happens when the fund raising goes on for several years before a bus can be bought).

Sharing a leased minibus also has the benefit of ensuring that everyone is always driving a bus that is well maintained – since it is the leasing company that works on maintaining the bus in tip top condition.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at

As a Careers Advisor how can you ensure that you are offering your autistic students the additional resources and support that they require?

According to the Office of National Statistics there is a year-on-year increase of the number of disabled people in work, not least due to a heightened awareness of the resources and support that young people with a disability require to help them into employment.

Indeed, just one way in which you can help your autistic students to prepare for employment is with the Work Experience Activity Pack by SEN Press.

The Work Experience Activity Pack contains a wealth of information, support and resources about what to expect when undertaking work experience and how to demonstrate good work etiquette in an array of situations they are likely to find themselves in.

Not only has the Activity Pack’s content been specifically designed to respond to the way in which students with autism typically view the world, but it will also respond to their learning needs – it has been designed for older students (16+) with a reading age of around seven.

The Work Experience Activity Pack approaches the subject through a series of six student reading books, each focussed on a particular work setting, ranging from an animal charity to a fast-food restaurant, from a garage to a supermarket.

The six reading books, each of which builds upon the themes of the series (time keeping, showing respect, and so on) are accompanied by a set of copiable worksheets and teachers’ resources, supplied in spiral-bound format for easy use.

The teachers’ resources also include around 100 A4 pages of additional resources including keyword flashcards, word searches, and spot the difference pictures.

Finally the pack also includes a CD rom which has a set of eBooks and whiteboard resources. These include real voice audio tracks of the eBook versions of the readers and a wide range of interactive activities so that the students can practise the life skills introduced.

The complete set of resources containing two copies of each of the six readers, the complete teacher book, and the CD Rom is available for £139 plus VAT.  Individual elements from the pack are also available separately.

For further information, please click here.

Alternatively, please email or call 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

It’s time for your SEN students to start developing some life skills. Starting with Making Sense of Money.

Finding resources which explain finances in a way that students with SEN can understand can be somewhat of a challenge – not least because there are so few resources of this kind on the market.

Which is why SEN Press has devised the Making Sense of Money Complete Set which contains a wealth of resources about dealing with money in everyday situations, including:

  • Six story books which support the ASDAN CoPE Award. Titles include, “Money In, Money Out”, “Everyday Money”, “What’s it Worth?”, “Cash and Cakes”, “Keeping Money Safe” and “Making Ends Meet”.
  • A CD-ROM providing electronic versions of the above titles, making it ideal for interactive whiteboard presentations and for students who would also benefit from listening to the text.

It is also possible to edit and save the text to make your own story, create differentiated texts and personalise the text with your students’ names to enhance engagement.

  • An extensive range of activity worksheets and interactive activities that encourage reading comprehension. Activities include, Words and Pictures, Picture Search, Keyword Flashcards, Wordsearch, Spot the Difference, How Well Did You Read?    Missing Words, Quizzes, and Drag and Drop.
  • Supporting resources for teachers including page-by-page notes for all the stories and assessment resources (feedback sheets and student record sheets).

The complete set of resources containing two copies of each of the six readers, the complete teacher book, and the CD Rom is available for £139 plus VAT (save 10%).

You can see more details and sample pages from the readers as well as details for ordering individual items or the full pack on our “Making Sense of Money” web page.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email or call 01582 833205.  We’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Janie Nicholas

A worrying number of schools contain asbestos, it’s a potential issue for nurseries too

We all know the dangers associated with asbestos, but how certain can you be that it is not contained within your nursery?

Worryingly it has been reported that between 200 and 300 former school children and a rising number of teachers die of mesothelioma each year, thought to be caused by the asbestos found in 86% of school buildings across the UK.

But obviously this is a potential issue in nurseries too.

It is important that all staff, particularly those responsible for the running of the buildings, are made aware of the potential hazards.  All staff should be instructed not to disturb or damage asbestos containing materials. Damage to nursery fixtures or fittings that could lead to the release of asbestos fibres need to be reported.

How do I know if asbestos is present and how do we manage it?

The Asbestos Man is able to work with you to devise and implement a comprehensive Asbestos policy that starts with a consultation, followed by a full site survey including the analysis of any suspect materials.

We will compile a user friendly report containing photographs, annotated plans and the appropriate recommendations from the survey findings. Where asbestos has been identified we will then work with you to put in place a management plan so that the occupants of the premises are protected.

For nurseries where budget does not allow a full site survey we can, in many cases, update an existing survey.

It is a legal requirement to undertake a refurbishment or demolition survey for asbestos containing materials prior to any works taking place.

If you have any enquiries regarding asbestos please do not hesitate to call (quoting reference code HH1):-

  Alan the Asbestos Man on 07510 104323

To view my Checkatrade page please click this link


These two calculators could be all you need for the new school year….

LK 183                                                                 LK 83XP

The LOGIK LK 183 calc. has been used by UK school and college students since 2008. With 240 functions, plus twin line display, auto power off, hard plastic keys and a slide-on cover, it has proved to be extremely reliable as well as being competitively priced, (from just £ 3.49 ex vat).

It has recently been joined by the LOGIK LK 83XP with its “natural display” feature which enables the user to enter calculations as shown in textbooks and worksheets. With (almost) all the features of the brand leader, (not “verify” or “recurring decimal”) , its 252 functions include number tables, random numbers, prime factorisation, trig & stats functions log and anti-log etc plus a twin line display, slide-on cover, hard plastic keys and auto-power off. It’s battery powered with solar back-up for longer life and competitively priced. (from just £ 4.85 ex vat)

Both LOGIK calcs have a THREE year warranty (excludes LCD damage) and are suitable for KS 3, 4 and GCSE.

For more details, please see the website:

or email: or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

PS. Also available is the “Value Maths set” which has proved to be very useful for students in lessons and exams……from just £ 1.10 ex vat. Details on the website.

Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999 London E14 6SH

Why an increasing number of schools are delivering lessons for exam preparation throughout the whole of their students’ educational career.

An increasing number of schools are finding that by delivering lessons for exam preparation throughout the whole of their students’ educational career, their students are more able to cope with the pressure of exam and thus achieve higher levels of attainment.

Furthermore, an increasing number of schools are also finding that such an approach to exam preparation isn’t just ideal, but indeed, that it is essential – not least because a fair amount of GCSE examinations are now taken earlier by students.

To support you in delivering lessons for exam preparation at regular intervals throughout your students’ educational career, Positively MAD has devised the Exam Busters workshop (our most popular workshop).

This flagship workshop has been received by over 550,000 students and teaching staff across the UK, with many schools repeating on an annual basis.

In just 2 hours, using an engaging and entertaining delivery style, our Positively MAD (Making A Difference) presenter will motivate your students to think and act positively about their exam preparation.

The students are given exercises to help de-stress and overcome nerves and shown regular review techniques to shift information from short to long term memory. They are also introduced to innovative tools which help improve their learning by boosting recall and revision.

Many students comment on how this multisensory learning experience has transformed their thinking from revision being boring and difficult to it being fast, fun and effective. Improving their attitude, recall and most importantly results.

You can find more information about our Exam Busters workshop by visiting

If you would like to discuss any specific requirements for your school, please call our office staff on 0844 8094850 or simply email us at

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Committed to your success!

The Positively MAD Team

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