136,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK

What is Modern Slavery? Who does it affect? Where is it happening?

The current estimates from the Global Slavery Index suggest that there are around 136,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK alone. Despite this knowledge, last year, only 10,627 victims were referred to the National Referral Mechanism.

In a recent airing of The Archers on BBC Radio 4 they highlighted the shocking reality of modern slavery in Britain. The episode itself told the story of the horrific ways men from the ‘well-to-do’ county of Borsetshire were controlled and objectified as part of a corrupt network of human traffickers.

When listening to the episode, we were grateful for seeing modern slavery issues being brought to life by the BBC. It is a reminder to us all that it is a serious and organised crime affecting men, women, and children and can be present in all business sectors.

Following the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 organisations with a turnover of over £36 million (or more) who carry out their business (or part of their business) in the UK, are required to publish a modern slavery statement on their website and update it annually. Currently, organisations such as The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) are working to support companies in understanding modern slavery risks and the publication of their statements. Thankfully, the exposure of modern slavery within supply chains of an organisation has a profound impact.

In recognition of the work that needs to be done to tackle modern slavery issues, we are working alongside the Government to launch a digital modern slavery registry service. The service itself will provide the opportunity for organisations to upload their modern slavery statement to a central portal. Organisations, both private and public, will be able to share best practice and will uncover any areas for concern. We are working together with organisations to understand the best way to create a service that will ultimately drive down the number of modern slavery victims.

We also wholly support the campaigns of the charities Unseen and Hope for Justice. Their work helps the public understand what actions can be taken to manage some of the challenges we face. This is an essential part of solving the problem. We are only too aware that helping people understand the pervasiveness of modern slavery, is just a starting point to begin challenging what people see and experience in organisations.

We are immensely proud of our work and hope it will contribute to the long-term goal to wipe out modern slavery. If you have experienced modern slavery in your supply chain or seen organisations tackling it, we would love to hear from you. Equally, if you want to have a conversation on how your organisation can support the efforts to eradicate modern slavery, please contact us for an informal chat.

10 ways to improve the online class experience

Coronavirus restrictions have well and truly returned this month. Last Monday morning schools, colleges and universities were preparing for mass testing and return of their students. By Monday evening, they were dusting off the remote teaching manual and yet again making plans to deliver lessons online.

We know that so many of our teachers and lecturers are constantly upskilling their knowledge and digital skills to provide engaging lessons.

Here are a few of our top tips for providing the very best experience for you and your students:

  1. Consider recording your sessions rather than a live stream. This means that you can upload the recording and send to students who are absent from your class.
  2. Show your face. Being human and taking a moment to ask how students are feeling can make everyone feel more at ease and more likely to engage in the lesson.
  3. Repetition. Most of us are still new to many of the remote learning platforms’ features and tools. Keep tasks simple and repeat the same routine every lesson with students. Hopefully, this will result in more students being on task and able to focus on the learning rather than the technology.
  4. Schedule your lessons. Try to provide students with as much structure and support as possible. By creating calendar invites for lessons, students will have a digital timetable and a greater sense of organisation.
  5. Provide feedback. Tools such as word online allow for multiple users to edit one document. This means you can track students work and offer feedback. Live feedback will undoubtedly improve student engagement in your lesson. Voice notes to students can also be used after the lesson to offer personalised feedback to every student.
  6. Include an interactive element. Keep students engaged by adding elements of interactivity throughout the lesson. There are many tools out there, so pick the ones you like and try to incorporate at least one into every lesson.
  7. Student privacy. Understand that students may not want their camera on due to their home school environment.
  8. Take control. Consider setting specific presenters to avoid students’ accidents (screen sharing or ending the meeting) and mute all participants to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
  9. Use the Spotlight feature to set your camera as the main video. You want to have the attention of all your students.
  10. Make it fun! Use emojis and stickers to react to chat messages. Ask students to use the emojis to show they have completed an activity. They love being creative.

We are conscious that many ideas are circulating, and there is a risk of information overload. If you would like more help or guidance with remote teaching challenges or have some more ideas to add to this list, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

COVID-19: A catalyst for collaboration

Before COVID-19 league tables, Good Schools Guides and regulatory bodies defined quality in our education systems. A divisive ‘them and us’ culture permeated at all levels. March 2020 hit, our purpose was redefined and a collective endeavour to educate students encouraged staff to come together and pursue the same goal without other competing priorities.

Within a matter of days, long-standing rivalries were put aside, and the mantra ‘we are all in this together’ reminded us that we are part of the national education system, a system that fundamentally shares the same goals, aspirations and challenges.

Despite all its challenges, the pandemic has created a new-found sense of cooperation. Local authorities, MATs, SATs, headteachers, teachers, governors, parents, private schools, universities, and commercial companies shared resources for free, offered each other advice, sought innovative ways of working together and generally were nice to each other. For once, we all witnessed collaboration trumping competition.

What can we learn from these changes? What kind of collaboration is needed to foster the community support required to address the challenges raised and exacerbated by Covid-19?

We know that effective collaboration offers the means for improving education in terms of educational development, innovation, reform, research and strategy, and the sharing of resources. It is also important for reducing inequality – both in education and at the socioeconomic level. This needs to go beyond collaboration between educational institutions: it needs to involve governmental and non-governmental organisations, councils, local communities, and pupils’ families. Here at Cadence, we recognise the potential in further exploring these open channels of communication and methods to collaborate. We are here to help seek new opportunities arising from the pandemic and embrace change as we look to the future.

If you and your organisation have experienced any of the above-mentioned scenarios, we would love to hear from you. For a non-obligatory discussion on how you can tackle such challenges, email us at challenge.us@cadenceinnova.com