Vivo Miles, Turning Our Kids Into Selfish Little Shits?

Vivo Miles, turning our kids into selfish little shits?

Is that a bit strong? … probably.

What would YOU do if your child brought home: this letter?

One concerned parent instantly didn’t like the sound of it and decided to do a little research, and came across another concerned man’s research: http://www.furnessacademy.com/2010/01/vivomiles-bribing-kids-to-behave.html. The headmistress has been informed and he is waiting for her to respond.

Lets hope she sees reason and puts the children under her care before profit.

Vivo Miles is a PRIVATE COMPANY that some schools are using to “reward” children for complying with their wishes, both large and (ridiculously) small. A bribe, basically.

There are two sides to this story:

  • The fact that schools are bribing children for successful executions of the most mundane actions that, really should be done willingly … or even begrudgingly. This WILL have the effect in adult life where no one will have the desire to do something for someone else without expecting something in return … more often than not, a financial return!
  • Vivo Miles website/social network, being a profit driven company/product, bombard the children with advertising suggestions tailored specifically to the information stored in each childs “profile” and “browsing history” in their database, grooming them for that profit. Also, can they be trusted with the children’s personal data? Is there full transparency with regard to their background and motivation for dreaming up and then offering this new “service”?

There is in FACT another COMMERCIAL COMPANY behind Vivo Miles called Everlution Software Ltd.

VivoMiles.com Whois Record

Here’s what we know about vivomiles.com:

* “Rickett, Sam” owns about 7 other domains View these domains >
* is a contact on the whois record of 10 domains
is a contact on the whois record of 6 domains
is a contact on the whois record of 61,073 domains
* 2 registrars have maintained records for this domain since 2008-03-03
* This domain has changed name servers 2 times over 2 years.
* Hosted on 2 IP addresses over 2 years.
* View 120 ownership records archived since 2008-03-05 .
* Wiki article on Vivomiles.com
* 4 other web sites are hosted on this server.

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Registrant:
Rickett, Sam
Everlution Ltd
Studio 9
6-8 Cole Street
London SE1 4YH
GB

Domain name: VIVOMILES.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Johnstone, Andrew
Everlution Ltd
Studios 2 & 3
6-8 Cole Street
LONDON SE1 4YH United Kingdom
London SE1 4YH
GB
+44.02077407896 fax: +44.02071499949

Registration Service Provider:
(DynDNS) Dynamic Network Services, Inc.
Login to your account at http://www.dyndns.com/+domains/ to manage
nameservers and contacts for your domain name.

Record last updated on 28-Feb-2010 15:06:25 UTC.
Record expires on 03-Mar-2011.
Record created on 03-Mar-2008.

This domain is delegated to DynDNS.com Custom DNS:
NS5.MYDYNDNS.ORG
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100% uptime since 2001! ** Learn more here: http://www.dyn.com/ **

Domain status: clientDeleteProhibited
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Sam Rickett (Everlution Software Limited), London
Everlution Software specialises in complex software development projects, particularly large database-driven web applications. They design, develop, market and sell their own products, Vivomiles – a national school rewards system similar to Nectar points / AirMiles which replaces merit slips/gold stars with a modern web/mobile banking interface, and Street Consensus – a central database for Investor Relations information, replacing the inefficient practice of emailing spreadsheets.

So Vivo Miles is a “product” of Sam Rickett’s Everlution Software Ltd and you produce a product for one reason only … to make money.

And schools are signing up to this shit! What sort of incompetent twats have we got running our schools?

At the same postal address (6-8 Cole Street LONDON SE1 4YH), amongst others is Chris Broadbent’s “The Internet Works”: http://www.theinternetworks.co.uk/index.php

Excerpts from the site:

Welcome to The Internet Works

At The Internet Works we specialise in building revenues for web site owners. Our team of experienced web sales and business development professionals will work alongside you as an extension of your company to help you make money from your web site.

From initial consultation we will work with you to develop your site to support standard format advertising and record the successful delivery of on-going targeted advertising campaigns. Based on decades of successful web sales experience we will seek out commercial opportunities and partnerships that will benefit you whilst balancing the integrity of your site from a users perspective.

So our proposition to you is simple. Lets team up and make some money.

About:
There are a lot of very good web sites out there. Not all of them make money though. Why is this?

In our experience, a lot of talented people spend their time building a great site, covering a subject on which they are an authority and through expertise and sheer doggedness build up an audience who find their site invaluable. Does this sound like you? If so you’re in the right place because your audience would be of great interest to a wide range of targeted advertisers but in our experience talented web site owners often don’t know how to set up advertising campaigns on their sites or how to go about effectively selling them.

In a nutshell:

1. The founding Directors were previously both Sales Directors at different blue chip media businesses.
2. We have long standing relationships with all of the major on line advertising agencies.
3. We have successfully run a host of web sites that make money from multiple revenue streams for more than ten years.

A “client” of The Internet Works by the name of “Bullbearings” is very interesting with relation to Sam Rickett (Vivo Miles/Everlution Software Ltd) and Chris Broadbent (The Internet Works)

Bullbearings.co.uk

The leading virtual share trading web-site in the UK, Bullbearings has over 160,000 users try their hand at virtual trading every month. We have helped to establish a solid base of repeat advertisers as well as improving registration processes to build a quality database of over 100,000 profiled registered users. We have also booked a range of blue chip companies to take advantage of Bullbearings’ excellent white labeled technology solutions.

On their site http://corporate.bullbearings.co.uk/ they boast:

Lead Generation & Viral Marketing

Do you want to generate more leads and convert more business? We specialise in providing the tools to help you do this.

It could be an online competition, trading game, refer-a-friend system or another lead generating solution.

One of our clients once launched a competition with us and generated leads at a cost of 17p each!! Our solutions are cost-effective and quick to implement.

and …

Graduate Recruitment Services

BullBearings is unique in the graduate recruitment sector. We focus on working with students as well as recruiters and launching innovative ways the two parties can talk to one another.

Whilst we have over 40,000 students using our services we focus on quality and not just quantity. By working with the top universities together with the best-student run investment, economics and finance societies in the world we help deliver first class talent to graduate recruiters.
University Stock Challenge

We lead the market in this area by operating ‘University Stock Challenges’ in the UK, Ireland, Australia and worldwide. Students compete against each other in unique simulations. The students improve their financial knowledge and graduate recruiters are able to highlight future potential more easily.

We also provide white-label and bespoke versions of our trading games for graduate recruiters, societies and universities.
To find out more please contact us today >>

Business Simulations

As well as our well-known trading simulators we also provide off-the-shelf, and bespoke simulations to help graduate recruiters discover talent within univerisities worldwide. Whatever kind of simulation you are looking for please contact us today.
Graduate Recruitment

We have a wide range of other graduate recruitment solutions and are particularly experienced in providing bespoke solutions for your individual needs.

Perhaps you want to target a particular demographic, or university? Perhaps something in China, Russia or India? Want to talk to the top UK universities?

Whatever your requirements, please contact us today for more information about how we can help

also …

School & Education Services

BullBearings helps students and teachers achieve their best!

With innovative and fun tools we can help deliver more exciting curriculums that excite and enthuse students.

Whether you want a special stock market trading game, some online financial education content or an in-house training day.

Whatever your motivation, contact us today to discuss how we can help you, your school and your students.

But what has Bullbearings got to do with Vivo Miles?

Well …

Domain name:
bullbearings.co.uk

Registrant:
Sam Rickett

Registrant type:
UK Limited Company, (Company number: 4959211)

Registrant’s address:
IT Centre, York Science Park
University Road
York
YO10 5DG
United Kingdom

Writing for Bullbearings:

Writers

* bullbear
* richard.wallace
* andrew.johnstone
* simon.loughran
* francisco.henares
* chris.broadbent

http://community.icontact.com/p/bullbearings2

Chris Broadbent’s profile: http://community.icontact.com/users/chris.broadbent

George Grima, of BullBearings, says: “We are looking at launching something similar in the new year. Having thousands of mini fund managers each doing their bit to generate excess returns is very exciting. The potential is enormous. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/investment/article2925357.ece

Eh? Who’s George Grima?

George Grima, chief executive of Vivo Miles, said it could spread to other state schools. (See article below – slimline66)

Schools bribing pupils to cut truancy
Schools are spending up to £30,000 a year on “bribes” to keep order in the classroom and cut truancy.

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor
Published: 8:49PM BST 19 Oct 2008

In some cases, children can win plasma televisions, games consoles, iPods, lap-tops and even flights abroad for turning up on time and working hard.

Under a new reward scheme, pupils are being urged to collect good behaviour “points” which they can cash in for prizes.

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Habitual truants can get extra rewards for turning up regularly to classes, with headteachers claiming incentives are now more effective than detentions.

The disclosure comes just days after Ofsted suggested rewards were a “powerful incentive” for students who struggled with school.

But critics claim taxpayers’ money is being wasted as many pupils “play the system” to get their hands on prizes.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that the Government’s flagship academies – semi-independent state schools in deprived areas – are among those spending the most on reward schemes.

Barnfield South Academy, Luton, is investing £28,000 this year on prizes and incentives.

Mark Bennison, associate principal, said attendance rates had already soared from 88 to 93 per cent under the scheme.

“Some people say that you should not bribe children, and I am prepared for the fact that it is going to be controversial, but the fact is it has played a big part in motivating children at this school,” he said. “Learning and earning are inexorably linked and if children don’t see that they are not going to survive when they leave school.”

Many schools already operate small scale reward schemes, handing out certificates for good behaviour.

But Barnfield is among 14 to sign up so far to the Vivo Miles programme – a new reward scheme administered by a private company offering expensive gifts to the best pupils.

Under the system, pupils earn points for good behaviour, attendance, healthy eating, smart uniform, hard work, excelling in sport and helping around the school.

Each point is worth a set value – depending on the school – and students can save up for prizes, cashing them in at any time on a specially-accessed website.

Mr Bennison said the scheme was funded largely from renting school playing fields and facilities to community groups, and he insisted it was cheaper than expelling pupils altogether.

Westminster Academy in central London is spending £20,000 on the scheme this year.

Rod Boswell, a house principal, said pupils could win “anything from three tennis balls to a plasma TV”.

Prizes for the most credits include a Sony laptop, a PlayStation3 and a Palm Tungsten handheld computer. Pupils can also get a Nintendo Wii, iPods and sporting equipment, including cricket pads and footballs.

“Simply imposing detentions doesn’t work in an inner-city setting like this, because the punishment is quite often little in comparison to what some of these children see outside in their day-to-day lives,” he said.

Another school is in negotiation with a local airport to turn points into air miles. Pupils in other schools can use Vivo cards to get reduced or free entry to local cinemas or swimming pools – and discounts in some high street stores.

George Grima, chief executive of Vivo Miles, said it could spread to other state schools.

“Several schools are spending £30,000-plus on the rewards themselves” he said. “They have also successfully turned around the behaviour of some very disruptive students who were at risk of being expelled. They saved around £4,500 per student in out of school provision as a result, even though more traditional thinkers would see it as unethical.”

But critics say the scheme effectively rewards bad behaviour.

Richard Gerver, a former headteacher and Government advisor, said: “This is all about short-term impacts rather than making sure pupils really have a deeper understanding of the negative impact of bad behaviour. There are a large number of children who will simply play the system without really changing their attitude.”

A study last week by Maurice Galton and John MacBeath, from Cambridge University, found “little sign” reward systems led to improvements in pupil behaviour. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/3227319/Schools-bribing-pupils-to-cut-truancy.html

I think you get the picture by now.

Bribing doesn’t work (praise does!)

Signing up to this profit driven organisation should be avoided at all costs. Our kids are being used!

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27 thoughts on “Vivo Miles, Turning Our Kids Into Selfish Little Shits?

  1. My school had a visit from one of these guys today for Vivo Miles. Lets just say, me and some other year 13’s ripped the idea to shreds and can comfortably say, we won’t have it in our school. I’m really unhappy with the idea of having this kind of reward system. I believe that there should be rewards, but not like this. Its more like an incentive to do work, not doing work because you want to. I didn’t need it, and even those who weren’t as academically able didn’t need “incentives” to turn up to class and do work.

    Oh, and the rep who came to our school, was shell-shocked when she realised we had a lot more common sense than she thought!

    • That’s BRILLIANT news Harriet 😎

      You and your friends deserve a bloody big pat on the back for what you’ve done.

      You ARE right, … learn because you want to.

      The only way for this to happen is for the subject to be taught by REAL TEACHERS who know their subject intimately and have the ability to draw the student in.

      Learning isn’t something that you do, it’s something that happens and it happens when there’s real interest in the subject.

      Thanks for leaving your comment Harriet, you’ve really made my day. 🙂

      • A little unfair – the vast majority of vivos earned by kids at our school are donated to charity! And what adult doesnt work harder at the thought of their annual bonus – whether they are going to go on holiday or donate theirs to charity or not? Many quiet, hardworking kids who would otherwise be overlooked are rewarded very fairly through this system that allows you to NOT reward loud, obnoxious kids, who often get more attention than their more studious peers.
        tTy it before you judge it – kids are not as mercenary as adults ( or as jaded it would appear) and are happy to give the fruits of their labour away to good causes!

    • my school magna academy we have vivos and it been half a year and i only have 25 vivos thats not much i would have to wait till the end of year 11 to be able to get something like a keyring and by year 11 i wouldent care no more so we get bribed to get nothing i personly think that vivo should just fuck off out my school i hate its pointless bribeing kids for them to get nothing sorry if i have spelt something wrong as im doing this at school there proberly watching what im typeing and there have ago at me im year 10 and i hate vivo

      • In my secondary school we recently began Year 7. I have gained 55 vivos as of now. I suggest you ask your school to be a little less ungenerous with their Vivos.

  2. Ironically, I was searching for the VivoMiles website when I found this review. But after reading this, I do see your point. And I have thought about it. I meen, most people in my school are for the idea of VivoMiles because they are getting ‘free’ stuff.

    But, if you think about it, its not free. They are paying with there education. My school isn’t the best, I can certainly agree with that. But making students come in via bribe is completely pushing the ‘bad school’ boundary.

    Also, I have had trouble with my VivoMiles account. The site won’t let me log on, and when I type in my email address (which I have set up with VivoMiles) It tells me there is no such email set up with any Vivo account. Hax much?

    I have emailed head of accounts, and there tell me the same thing everytime, ‘we have sent an email to the account email, please check your inbox’.
    Nothing is ever there.

    I’m just going to give up with VivoMiles. Its a waste of time to me now.

    • In my school, we use it fairly to reward students who do good work, E.g. a student does exceedingly well in geography. In my school, we aren’t bribed by it, but rewarded by it.

  3. Thank you for this article. My children came home from school sporting their shiny new VivoMiles cards today – they soon realised that they might have to stay at school for at least ten years to obtain a prize of any value!
    they already had recognised that this “reward system” was at the very least patronising at worst sinister.
    This private company has been given the details of my children, without their or my consent. Isn’t this illegal?
    I also read in the small print that Vivo can penalise children for bad behaviour and that the school even give Vivo our children’s attendance record. Why would they need that?
    I don’t believe that the school has done any research into the benefits of having this system and I very much doubt that they have done the necessary CRB checks on the people that they are giving my children’s email addreses and mobile phone numbers to. Furthermore the school didn’t give my kids an option to opt out!
    I hope that parents everywhere will protest at this corporate hijacking of our schools and our children’s education.

    P.S. There isn’t one educational reward on the Vivo website – it is nothing but rubbish, teaching our kids to be nothing more than greedy consumers!

  4. Another chav stuck in the 19th century!
    Maxed out credit card no doubt.
    Businesses make money. Odd really.
    Schools educate young people – and handling a ‘currency’ as part of an holistic education helps them to understand money (and debt). Vivos offer that.
    And we’ve never, before now, rewarded youngsters for anything?

  5. my daughter has started secondary school now, and although i have to say she has aspergers syndrome and attention defecit desorder, the vivo miles is a good incentive for her as aspies thrive on rewards/incentives etc, so for her i thought it was a good thing, up until about 2 weeks ago, she is pushing herself twice as hard in a mainstream school to stop herself falling behind. the amount of temper tantrums i have had to endure due to the vivos in hers and my eyes not being given accordingly, i have had to write notes in her planner for teachers and even ring the school to ask whats going on !!!
    they have wrote back commenting “sorry about that wasnt aware”, well lol what can i say ur bloody aware now, i felt like writing cheers for taking the time to ready my precious comment and not actually be bothered by it !! nothing has been done i have been told she will be fairly awarded but being pretty low in the group and not receiving vivos for homework which is done every night and takes her at least 2 hours to do instead of the requested 35- 45 mins, i feel that is not actually rewarding at all, anyway had my moan, rubbish system indeed, maybe they should take disabilities into consideration and the parents feeling also as im now always being asked for more money than the usual pocket money grrrrr

  6. Well, it’s pretty patronising just to assume that all children will suddenly turn into money-hungry gits just because they visit a website or are introduced to a new service.

    As for the adverts and such – companies have been targeting children for advertising for decades, if not centuries, and commercialism is advocated by adverts on TV anyway. Ever seen a sponsored Disney Pixar film?

    No doubt the parents on this thread are the same parents who use video games and films as scapegoats to cover up their poor job of bringing up their children.

  7. I can’t believe the outdated attitude of some who clearly do not work in schools where pupils are hard to engae. Many young people come from families with 3rd generation unemployment and no value for education. If rewarding pupils for attendance means that they are in a classroom and learning I see no harm. Without vivo miles many young people would be truanting. This leads to 16 year olds who have no qualifications and no employment prospects. Would people rather an illiterate demotivated and apathetic youth or a future generation of well educated financially literate workers? Young people are bombarded by images and messages everyday promoting a “must have” culture. To believe that this culture can be ignored between 8.300 and 3.30 is ridiculous. Isn’t it better that the thirst for this culture is challenged positively so that young people see a connection between hard work and rewards?

    Perhaps some of the cynics need to spend a day in a tough inner city school and then I challenge them to deny the benefits of a system like vivo miles.

  8. This is absolutely absurd. When these children grow up, they shall even less understand the future consequences of their actions. If ours and previous generations have managed to get us into such economic messes over and over again, I despair for the generations to come, where sensibility and morality are further diminished. Such products as vivo miles only further encourage a child that he or she should get some material thing in return for proper behaviour. When I was growing up, the fear of failure and potential destruction of my dreams and aspirations was enough for me to do well in school. What are we coming to…

  9. Do you know something, some of the most challenging children I’ve ever taught are more motivated by a heart felt ” we’ll done, that was a fabulous piece of work, I’m going to put it on the wall. I can see how hard you worked at that and I’m really pleased with you and you should be proud of yourself” why? Because many of them get the material things in life. It’s the softer recognition, approval and self esteem that’s missing. Now it’s going to disappear from the classroom too. Pathetic system. My sons school just sent a letter home about it. I object to a private company getting their details, I object to the system and my kids are not interested because they know they’ll never rack enough points to get anything worth while. My 14yr old has just said ” I’d rather have them make a fuss over my work so I know they’ve read it properly” says it all doesn’t it?

  10. My school have introduced VivoMiles for just over3 months now and i have 148 vivos (the highest someone has is 250). this shows that you can achieve what you want. i won 100 vivos through a maths competition and the rest i earned. hard work pays off. you should try it rather than slagging off people who actually like to learn and earn through hard work.

  11. I have this in my school. 1 ‘vivo’ is worth about a penny. Teachers only have at max 20 of these to distribute a week. After a year of this system, that works out to less than 34p per student after almost a year and a half. And that’s called rewarding kids? If you look at the stuff you can buy with these vivos its just completely overpriced crap, christmas cracker contents going for about 100 vivos each. This system replaced the traditional end of year trip to a theme park, just to put this into perspective.
    Either schools are ripped off like crazy or they are getting a share of the advertising profits. Either way the kids are basically being told to f**k themselves while a couple of old twats (the school governors, city council, Sam Ricketts, whoever) make some money out of it. Bureaucratic shit

  12. I think the comments here referring to critics of Vivo as “outdated” or “stuck in the 19th century” reveal a dangerously naive attitude. I’ve worked in technology for over 20 years, and I’m an educator. I’m extremely concerned about schools selling our children’s data to commercial companies and pressurising pupils to sign in and to share additional information. Vivo wouldn’t be legally permitted to sign up kids directly to this service (just like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and the like aren’t permitted to sign up kids for their accounts), and they’re getting schools to do this without the explicit permission of parents.

    I discovered the Vivo system when my daughter brought home her card (pre-registered with her name and class details) this weekend. I’m preparing to raise strong objections to the school’s participation right now. Rest assured that my objections won’t be on the basis of fear of change or of new technology.

  13. I wouldn’t worry, no-one at my school could care less about vivos. You would have to save up for literally years to get something even remotely worth having. At our school at least, vivo miles is officially a flop.

  14. Right lets get this straight. Vivo Miles are actually the shittest thing ever. They’re so pointless beceause I am in my final year at my school and I can’t afford shit on the wesbite because I have 5 vivos that I have collected over 6 months. Plus the teachers at my school are a bunch of twats who only award vivos to the kids who lick the shit out their asses. Even to a normal-ish kid like me they’re more stubbon than Kim Jong-Un! So therefore I can safely say that vivos are the biggest load of crap to come along in my time at this school. It only works for the pre-pubescent year sevens who get fully erect over the issue. Also I haven’t even spoken about the fact that they are stealing thousands of children’s details and they are not even a government run company! For all we know they could be bloody terrorists!?

  15. Sorry, The tone of your article ‘Slimline’ seems bizarre – a sort of impotant fist clenching rant at shady figures, who deem to turn our youth to money grabbing consumerists. My school runs VIVO’S the kids enjoy getting them but there is no rush for me to reward them – they understand that it will be almost impossible to afford anything from the site, however they do like having a visual(?) reward for their work, much like a merit stamp.
    I am more worried about your website, which too is hosted on different IP addresses and more than likely was set up by people who had previous experience in internet based companies. To call into question a relationship between businesses, which has nothing to do with anything as somehow shady, or worse perverse is to not understand the process of businesses itself. Since schools have become academies they can buy in whichever product or service they feel suits their needs best, they control funding and can buy from local authorities and private companies. This isn’t about REAL teachers, just a question of economics.
    I worry that you have outlined yourself as a voice of the people, but have not given your name. If you can be a SECRET Person – why can’t I? Why do I have to leave an email and my name to comment on your ridiculous rant?

  16. vivo miles have been a success at my school as they offer a range of items at good prices. also, i have 927 vivos. Even though, i am in yr 11 vivos are hard to come by basically i have to work hard for them and other kids who are less able in their learning get vivos for writing a sentence. so basically, schools should be fair when it comes to giving out vivos as less able kids get vivos for doing nothing.

  17. Why do you all hate it? I won 2000 vivos from a raffle. I win a load more for hard work. Vivo shows hard work pays off. Why are you all so angry? Cos you couldnt be bothered changing your account password to login, or cos you dont get enough.

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