Post Conference

Thank you to those of you who attended our event on Feb 14th.

The feedback that we have received has been very positive and we feel that it was a success. On hindsight we wouldn’t have covered quite so much content, and in future we’ll lean more to case-studies and showing the successes of our schools, but one of BeLF’s key aims was to get a large group of schools ‘on the same page’, so that we can collectively tackle some of the upcoming challenges and opportunities as a community. Thank you for your time and attention, and in return BeLF will endeavour to help you to continue to give the children at your school the ‘unfair advantage’ that we collectively strive for.

For your notes, here is a resume of the day. We also had a number of people/schools who couldn’t manage to make it on the day, so this note will hopefully cover some of the key messages that they missed.

We’ve also included here the various links to speakers and sponsors and the presentations. We captured a number of pictures and quotes, but because of your various email filters and restrictions, these aren’t attached to this e-mail. These are appearing on our website, blogs, twitter and facebook. Thank you to our new followers on Facebook and a reminder to those that aren’t, that our contact details are at the bottom of this e-mail.

Our success is best captured by the images of the professional, organised and ‘job-ready’ students from AUEA; our ‘roving reporters’, from Moor Green, who demonstrated their multi-modal literacy in action; and the stunning maths success evidenced by the students from Osborne. Knowing that those budding engineers from AUEA are going to be successful; seeing the questioning and social skills; and the bit about “the app that tells you that ‘a’ plus 8 equals 11, so you can figure out that ‘a’ is 3” really does make all the hard work feel worthwhile. Thanks to the schools for letting us borrow your students.

Key messages from our speakers (follow the links to the individual presentations):

David Wimpress. Patron of BeLF.  Context setting.  ‘The History and positioning of BeLF.’

  • David reminded us that BeLF is now in its 11th year
  • We have helped thousands (36,000) of pupils and their families.
  • Provided over a million pounds in incremental funding, and refined our parental donation stream. And that…..
  • We want to provide the children in Birmingham with ‘an unfair advantage’.
  • Read more and view the slide set

Paul Shoesmith.  IET Associate.  ‘Bring Your Own Device’

  • In the ever changing world of education, it can be difficult to have a clear strategy and approach to technology provision and use.
  • With little available in terms of national advice, guidance or strategy, and with pressure on local authorities to focus only on their statutory responsibilities, the strategy gap that results can be difficult to bridge.
  • Paul explored some key questions for school leaders and looked at how to build your own ICT strategy to make sure that learners and teachers can make the most of the benefits that technology has to offer.”
  • Read more and view the slide set

Don Passey, Senior Research Fellow, Lancaster University. ‘Widening Learning and Gaining Achievement Impact: Maximising and Measuring it’.

  • “aspects of the goals of instruction, pedagogy, teacher effectiveness, subject matter, age level, fidelity of technology implementation, and possibly other factors … may represent more powerful influences on effect sizes than the nature of the technology intervention” (Tamim, Bernard, Borokhovsi, Abrami and Schmid, 2011)
  • Where can learning happen with digital technologies?  Formal – Classrooms or lectures – Seminars.  Informal – At home or in a car – In a museum or gallery.  Non-formal – In clubs or societies – On projects• Passey, D. (2012).
  • Read more and view the slide set.


John Holder,Education Sales Manager at AT Computers Ltd, iPads and the Apple 1:1 Solution.

  • 1:1 Deployment is the most exciting education proposition we can o!er – an iPad for every student, with no student excluded or left out.
  • The 1:1 Deployment is a true example of the transformative effect of 1:1 learning, demonstrating one of the most ambitious and rewarding ICT projects in education today.
  • Read more and view download

Ian McCall, CEO, Birmingham eLearning Foundation. ‘How the model works for you’

  • stretching your funds with parental contributions, and Yes it has worked thousands of times
  • or (like AUEA) using parental donations to cover the lease that bought the devices
  • positioning your project to show the Parental Engagement that Ofsted are requiring
  • investing your Pupil Premium in a low-cost, high-impact results-targeted, sustainable manner
  • thankyou for participating in the Plenary Exercise,you’ve now lived through the donation loop 🙂
  • please remember in our projects Every Child gets a Device, irrespective of donation amounts
  • Read more and view the slide set


Husham Khan from drb Associates ‘Pupil Premium’

  • Statutory duty to get information for parents – on your website
  • Importance of assigning a Governor to have an understanding of Pupil Premium
  • Reminder that inspectors will want to see Pupil Premium funds separated on your accounts
  • ‘It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it‘. The Bananarama principle.
  • Presentation link to follow


Rachel Burns, Numeracy Lead, Moor Green Primary School.

  • Introduction to an iPad project in a primary school
  • 3 Year6 pupils attended and acted as reporters using their iPads
  • Read more


Herline Simon, Deputy Head, Osborne Primary School

  • Numeracy and Literacy gains in year 4 project 2011/2012
  • Pupils talked about how they used some of the Apps in formal learning in school
  • Read more and view presentation


Dan Locke-Wheaton, Aston University Engineering Academy.

  • All pupils have iPads
  • Red/Orange/Green zones within the Academy indicating where pupils can use their iPad devices for learning and or leisure.
  • Pupils talked about their top 10 iPad Apps (different choice to teachers top 10)
  • Pupils are organised and work at own pace.
  • More to follow.


Many of the delegates also enjoyed the tour of BCFC, and we hope you’ve shown everyone your pictures with the Cup!

Follow-up Actions

We have a number of specific school follow-ups. Ruth is contacting Primary Schools, and Ian the Secondary Schools. Diaries are starting to fill, so please contact us if you would like us to visit. At this point in the cycle, many of our schools are looking at; device and IT options, year-end funding realities, involving parents, and scoping and shaping September’s projects.

Thank you for your participation. And, as always, if you feel we could do something differently or better to support you, please just let us know.




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