December 2020
This is the final Newsletter of the year, so let me wish all of our readers a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year, with whatever changes to ‘normal life’ that may bring. Thank you all for your continued interest in and support of Naace throughout this very difficult year. If I’m honest, I didn’t consider anything like this might happen when I succeeded Steve Moss as Chair of the BoM. I can only hope that next year is a more predictable year.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will take place at 4pm online, on Wednesday January 20th 2021. All Advocate and School members are eligible to attend and vote. If you are able to attend please email, so that we can send you the link to the meeting. If you are unable to attend please send your apologies to the same email address. If you wish your vote to be held by one of the board members in your absence please indicate which board member in your email. Details of the agenda, minutes from previous meeting and annual Report are available on the web site from Naace Governance Area.

Elections to the Board of Management

The Board of Management (BoM) did not receive any nominations for election to the board this year. The board will function for the next year with one place vacant, which will be offered for election again next November. The members of the board remain:

Christina Preston           Andrew Davis

Ed Fairfield                  Gavin Hawkins

Andrew Murden                 Gary Talbot

Laurence Boulter          Phil Blackburn

Ji Li (retires January 2021)

Virtual Naacemark Assessments – update

The first VAV (Virtual Assessment Visit) has taken place - so congratulations to Russell Street Primary School and their Assessor Brett Laniosh for leading the way! – There is a report from Brett later in this newsletter.

We now have a successful way of acknowledging school progress even in the times of Covid, so if you would like to re-engage with the assessment process having had to pull back earlier in the year please get in touch with And if you were wondering how an assessment might look next year when your assessment is due – read the article from Brett Laniosh below.

The extension which the board granted to schools in April, to extend all ICTMark/NaaceMark Awards which were due to expire this year, will finish as planned on 31st December as we can now offer the VAVs.


The following schools have recently been awarded NaaceMark – Many congratulations!

  • Devonshire park Primary
  • Eldon Primary
  • Dulwich prep School
  • Oxford Grove (survey)
  • Russell Street Primary School
Changes to the Self Review Framework content

The content of the Naace Self Review Framework (SRF) has recently been updated to ensure that it matches with changes in DfE requirements and changes in technology throughout the six elements.
With changes in the government requirements for schools due to changes in technology, funding and the Covid pandemic, the SRF Writing Group have updated the contents of the framework. The main area where changes have been made is in the area of learning in and beyond school (some may call this remote education). These changes will take effect from:
  • Online system – January 5th 2021
  • Paper based system available on Naace web site from 10.12.20

For schools:
  • The SRF online system will not be available from December 18th 2020 until January 5th 2021
  • All school’s data will be transferred to the new system in the correct place.
  • All school’s data will be archived in PDF Format and made available to each school as part of the process, so that any data for sections no longer in the new SRF can be pasted into any section a schools feels it is appropriate.
  • The online system will look the same but there will be some extra aspects
  • For schools being assessed between 5th January 2021 and 31st March 2021, can, if they wish, be assessed on the 2018 contents. They will need to inform their allocated assessor as soon as they request assessment. From 1st April 2021 all assessments will use the new, full content of the SRF system

For Assessors:
  • The SRF online system will not be available from December 18th 2020 until January 5th 2021
  • There will be free assessor update sessions online in early 2021 to bring assessors up to date with:
    • The new content and how the structure has changed.
      Arrangements for schools wishing to be assessed on the old contents until March 31st 2021
      Virtual Assessment Visits
    • Arrangements for schools wishing to be assessed on the old contents until March 31st 2021
    • Virtual Assessment Visits
    • Arrangements for schools wishing to be assessed on the old contents until March 31st 2021
    • Virtual Assessment Visits

Actions for Assessors
  • Confirm your wish to attend an update and continue assessing schools for NaaceMark by emailing
  • If you would like to be part of the small group testing the SRF on Jan 2 to 4, please email as above.

NaaceMark Assessor Updates
These will be held online in the four weeks following the AGM in January. As per article above it would be helpful if Assessors could email their preferred days (of the week) and times (of the day, morning, afternoon or evening) for updates to: This will be considered as an Assessor indicating that he/she wishes to remain an Assessor – so please get in contact
Naace and T3 Alliance working together

T3 Alliance and Naace have agreed a partnership to extend the successful North American T3 STEM Post-16 project to UK schools.

The Teaching Through Technology (T3) Alliance is a National Science Foundation award to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Upward Bound program. T3 Alliance increases Post-16 students’ STEM identity and enhances the quantity and quality of high-impact, STEM-focused career activities, with a particular focus on three emerging technologies – Raspberry Pi computer coding, 3D printing, and autonomous systems. T3 Alliance is a resource that includes curriculum and training using low-cost, replicable materials to ensure success even when implemented with non-STEM professionals.

Naace is planning to support an initial pilot-project with a sample group of schools in January. The outcomes of which will hopefully provide sufficient evidence to extend the project to other interested schools during the remainder of the year. We are hoping to fund the project through external grant funding, aimed at widening participation amongst under-represented groups of young people, interested in STEM careers or higher education places.

We are keen to hear from schools that may be interested in becoming involved with the project in the next stage. The only proviso is that you have post-16 students within your school and are willing to undertake the activities as part of an extra-curricular programme, with support from Naace and T3 Alliance.
If you are interested in being involved, or finding out more, please contact Gavin Hawkins (Naace Board member) at The full details of the US programme can be accessed here.

Gavin Hawkins
Report from the first VAV - Brett Laniosh

(The full version of Brett’s article will be available to Naacemark Assessors as part of the updates early in 2021)

The experiences of a VAV assessor
There has probably never been a more important time for schools that use educational technology effectively to celebrate their achievements. Schools that have reviewed their ICT strategy and practice using the Naace Self Review Framework (SRF) can apply for the NaaceMark award. Naace will appoint an assessor to work with the school to ensure that they have received the level required for the award.

In response to the pandemic and restrictions on school visitors, Virtual Assessment Visits (VAV) now allow the schools that wish to apply for the award to do so safely. In many ways, the VAV is the same as a ‘real’ assessment visit.

Ideally, the VAV is arranged for a single half-day but the system does allow you to split the visit across smaller visits. A virtual tour of the school is provided by the school – more details below.

As an assessor, I ‘meet’ the head of computing / ICT lead, the head teacher, members of staff, a governor with computing/ICT responsibility and of course the children. I also get a chance to ‘tour’ the school. Carrying out the assessment virtually is different to a physical visit and presents challenges. I have found that it also provides some welcome opportunities.

In practice, I found the VAV went remarkably well and I would have no hesitation in recommending schools that are ready to be assessed go for a virtual visit. We all hope that the pandemic will end soon but until then the Virtual Assessment Visit allows schools to celebrate their success and achievements. It presents challenges but also opportunities and of course especially it is environmentally friendly.

Brett’s VAV Tips

Schools need to provide a 10-minute video tour of the school. It is important to stress that this is not meant for publishing so there is no need for a slick production. It works well when the presenter is on the screen (videoed by a colleague) moving around the school so the assessor can see classrooms, displays, hardware and offices. It is up to the school to decide what they want to showcase in their 10 minutes. It is not expected to see children in the video.

The agenda for the VAV is very similar to a ‘real’ visit in terms of who I expect to ‘meet’ but of course, being online there are differences. The following has worked well for me.

The 9.15 am – 11.45 am time slot in a single room that is available all morning works well. Surprisingly Zoom fatigue was not a factor but a couple of comfort breaks need to be fitted in.

I made notes on the PDF (see above) as I carried out interviews and a single video-call work-station at the school end is easier to manage than having multiple dial-in accounts. The exception is the governor interview where it makes sense for the individual to join the call remotely.

One of the highlights of an assessment is the chance to meet and talk to pupils and in a VAV this can be challenging, especially for younger learners. However, it was found to work well when a small group of children attended part of the Head of Computing /ICT Lead’s meeting.

Brett Laniosh from Catshill Learning Partnerships is a Naace Fellow.

Many thanks Brett – Phil Blackburn – Chair – Board of Management.


Naace is grateful to the organisations in the edtech industry for their continued support.

Thank you to:
CREATE Education
Elementary Technology
KAZ Type
Learning By Questions

Details of all our Sponsors can be found on the website here.
Naace - The Education Technology Association

The Naace Board of Management welcomes contact from Members, Sponsors and anyone else who is interested in the work of Naace.

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