Welcome to TecHKnow and also welcome back to a new academic year!

There is a phrase which, I must be honest with you, I absolutely hate hearing or saying. The phrase is “in these unprecedented times”.  When the news is all doom and gloom—as it has been since the outbreak of the coronavirus— it’s hard for even the most optimistic among us to stay positive.

I will simply say welcome back to what will undoubtedly be an extremely interesting, challenging and hopefully a pleasant academic year. The year ahead will be interesting simply because we have never been in this situation before. It is difficult to rely on past experiences to guide us on how we move forward in the future. It will be challenging because we will have to plan, think and do things differently than what we have done in previous year. Finally, it will be pleasant, simply because we will look back and take pride in what we have achieved and then be in a more positive state of mind to march forward with determination and hope.

If I can offer some helpful advice, it would be to be proactive. In other words, controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened. Be mindful of what is happening around you. That means an awareness of what is happening or being felt right now without attempting to change it. There are simply some things in life that you cannot change. Finally, develop a coping strategy. Ask for support from a colleague or a friend. Create a to-do list and stick to it and lastly be a problem solver rather than be part of the problem.

There are many fantastic sources of help and advice available to you across the internet. In addition to TecHKnow, there are several excellent Facebook professional groups and indeed let us not forget Scitech-l and finally CLEAPSS. All of these resources exist to help and advise you at all points in your professional Technician life. If you experience any difficulties, or need advice then there are many experienced professionals who are only too willing to offer both a sympathetic ear and also give you the best of their professional advice and experience. We here on TecHKnow look forward to doing just that during 2020

CLEAPSS has developed a new virtual inset session covering the latest CLEAPSS guidance on how best to manage practical work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1.5hr training sessions can be run at any time of the day but are ideal for Twilight sessions. The course will focus on how practical is possible, and also how to manage issues which are created by the pandemic.

It is led by those who wrote and manage the CLEAPSS COVID-19 guidance, so it will also provide a greater insight into the reasons behind the latest guidance. It will also include time for a Q&A.

The course costs £250 and will be delivered via Zoom.  Each course can have a maximum of 30 particpants. Please contact us for more information or to book a course. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TecHKnow Wiki allows any registered member to place knowledge or specialised information in one or more connected web pages, using nothing more than word-processing know-how.

As you know, the most well-known example is Wikipedia. Wikis are a way to grow a knowledge base around a particular content area, be it best practices in a particular science or technical field, how to do a particular practical or how to build or use a specific piece of equipment.  Those are just some examples.  TecHKnow Wiki allows you to be the author of your knowledge or article. Your article is searchable across the world and as well as helping School Science Colleagues, the TecHKnow wiki has also been searched by third level educational establishments and indeed other people across the world.

So if you have ever thought of authoring an article that could be helpful or informative were you can demonstrate the full extent of your professional or industrial experience then we are here just for that. Check out the wiki area right now.

A separate registration to your normal TecHKnow user login is needed.  Dive in and create your first article today!


The Covid-19 crisis has touched on all aspects of school life and across all subject areas. As an intrinsically practical subject, science education has been particularly impacted by school closures, with difficulties in carrying out practical work set to continue as schools and colleges return.

The ASE is committed to championing the role of 'hands-on, minds-on' practical science both through the current crisis and in the future, and given that more than 1,200 educators joined our special webinar on the subject last week, it is clear that many of you are too. 

The next stage of that ongoing commitment is to canvas our members' opinions and experiences through a survey. This survey has three purposes:

- To inform ASE, Gatsby and other stakeholders of teacher and technician views on the opportunities and challenges for carrying out practical work as schools open to more students and throughout the next academic year

- To inform related activities and responses by ASE, Gatsby and other stakeholders

- To provide evidence for the Education Select Committee Inquiry response (on the impact of covid-19 on education and children’s services)

We invite you to take part in this survey which should take no longer than 15-20 minutes. No information will be collected which identifies you or your school/college, and all information will be used for the purposes of this exercise only.

Your opinion is extremely valuable to us, please lend us your voice and help shape the experience of delivering quality practical science experiences for pupils from September and beyond... 

The deadline for survey submission is 9am on Monday 6th July 2020

CLEAPSS have now created a series of new guides to support schools during the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic. You can access these via the CLEAPSS website http://science.cleapss.org.uk/



  • GL336 - CLEAPSS Advice during the COVID-19 / Coronavirus Pandemic - Version 21 (Updated 10/05/20)
  • GL338 - Practical activities for pupils attending school during extended periods of closure
  • GL339 – Practical activities for pupils at home during extended periods of school closure



Technicians are at the heart of every science department, playing a crucial role in supporting effective practical work. With this comes a role in ensuring that the department is safe.  Develop a good foundation for carrying out effective health and safety, to support you in your job, but also to support teachers and students 


You will be able to:

  • understand the key areas of concern in science departments
  • identify good practice in risk assessments for technician and teacher activities
  • use good practice to audit labs, prep rooms and stores

Book now and you will be automatically registered for the scheduled sessions for the course. Remote CPD courses have live, facilitator-led sessions and are not available for instant access. Please refer to the schedule of dates published for each course instance. For this course you must have a CLEAPSS username and password. If you are unsure of what this is please contact your school or ITT provider for more information.


This course is fully funded to participants from maintained schools in England. If you are from an independent school or from an organisation outside of England then you will be charged £150.

School staff who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will now be will be able to access free tests, the government has announced.

Matthew Hancock, the health secretary, said during today’s Downing Street briefing that employers of essential workers and those workers themselves will be able to secure tests online. The Department of Health has since updated its list of “essential workers” eligible for testing, to include those working in education and childcare. This includes support and teaching staff, social workers and specialist education professionals.

Read more here.....
(Article: SchoolsWeek)

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