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Vivo Miles Raffles

(22 Posts)
LCD100 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:32:29


I've posted this in the primary school section already, because my children are at a primary school, however it's only had one reply. I think that might be partly because Vivo Miles are actually designed for secondary schools amd so most people on that forum won't have come across it yet.

My son's school just started the Vivo Miles scheme this year. I was VERY surprised when he told me he had bought a raffle ticket with his Vivo Miles this week. I checked, and indeed they do hold raffles for the children. Why am I surprised? Well, it is illegal for under 16s to buy raffle and lottery tickets. Maybe this is just about legal as the children are using their Vivo Miles to buy the raffle ticket, but the Miles still equate to a cash value, which comes out of school budget. So, is this legal or not? And if it is legal, is it moral? I think it's sailing very close to the wind. My personal opinion is that it is normalising and encouraging gambling. The school is effectively acting as an intermediary for children to buy lottery tickets by doing it through their budget.

I wrote to our Head about it yesterday (no reply yet), left a phone message with her, and also called Vivo Reward Ltds. Vivo Rewards Ltd decided to pull the raffle from our school's options, which is good IMO, but they said it would still be running across other schools. They also said they would be asking their lawyers to check the legality of the raffle. Aside from the legality I asked them to think about the moral position. After all, lottery tickets are not on sale to a children for a reason. In fact, a number of good reasons, which I listed to them.

Vivo Reward Lts must be RAKING it in, as they have well over a million pupils, and each ticket costs 5p, and they run these raffles regularly. The children work hard for points, then throw them away in a lottery. Which they would never be allowed to do at all if they were spending actual cash.

The prize at the moment? An ipad mini. Not sure this is suitable, in all parents eyes, for primary school age children. You can't set adquate parental controls on ipads, only choose to have Safari (web browsing) on or off. The parents on this secondary school forum might have a different idea about the appropriateness of the item, because the children are older, but as I said before, mine are at primary school.

Finally, the last thing I was horrified about (which I only noticed after letter to school and conversation with Vivo Rewards Ltd) was that our school pupils can save up their Miles to buy vouchers to spend with The link provided went to a page which sold alcohol and, among other things, jokey inappropriate items such as a 50 Shades of Grey Poster, a book about Zombies, Cannabis Energy Drink and my personal un-favourite 'Maybe you touched your genitals hand sanitiser'. Who is policing the rewards from within the company, at our schools, and in local authorities?

I'm concerned that this is what happens when private companies make profit from children at school.

I wasn't sure I liked the principle of the scheme in the first place, rewarding hard work and effort with material gains, but I know I don't like it now.

My son is 7 and has been exposed to unsuitable, age-inappropriate web pages and gambling.

What is anyone else's experiences of Vivo Rewards Ltd, and do you have any advice to offer?

BigMother2012 Tue 11-Dec-12 15:39:18

OMG! We have them at my school and don't have this link to firebox. Everything is from a sort of online catologue that we approve. I wouldn't be comfortable with some of those products you suggested. The students at my school can save up for an Ipod but it takes a hell of a lot of vivos to do so! My students are 11-19 so it is not an unsuitable reward if extrinsic, materialist prizes are flavour of the day anyway. We don't do the lottery and as a church school, hope we never would.

LCD100 Tue 11-Dec-12 17:30:06

Interesting, thank you for replying. I've spoken to several parents whose reactions have varied, some as appalled as me, and some saying "that's the way the world is going, so....". I wonder if I am in a minority of people who don't like to see gambling promoted. A raffle at the school fair, or church etc, fine, you know its for a good cause. But a raffle run by a Ltd company for PROFIT, targeting school children does not sit well with me.

Muminwestlondon Wed 12-Dec-12 06:27:14

They have Vivos at DD2's secondary. I haven't come across the raffle but the reward levels are set so that however hard you work, the better prizes are impossible to attain.

She is now in year 9, and has lost interest in the system. Teachers do tend to use it to reward favourites, for example she sweated over a piece of work and was awarded 1 Vivos. Teachers pet was given 20 for singing a song in class. Frankly appalling.

In general it seems to me that schools are encouraging kids to hand over personal data - mobile numbers etc to a private company and that is pretty appalling.

LCD100 Wed 12-Dec-12 11:20:17

I agree with your point about personal data. One of my comments to the Headteacher, was how could the school hand over ANY personal data without asking my permission - surely that's not legal? Not even so much as my son's name, form and school should be given to an external limited company. I've given them my mobile and email, because I am interested to see how they use it.

LCD100 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:21:19

The winners have been announced on the Facebook page. Some children seem to have spent a lot of Vivo Miles on this raffle. One said he used 750 miles which equates to £38! Vivo Rewards Ltd have over 1.2m children in the scheme, buying tickets at 5p each (5 Vivo Miles) and there is no limit to how many they can buy. That's potentially a lot of our schools' education budget being handed over to this company by children, who are being encouraged to buy lottery tickets :-(

LocalSchoolMum Sat 15-Dec-12 10:19:04

I looked closely into the Vivo Miles scheme that was running at DS's secondary school and came to the conclusion that it represented very poor value for money. My opinion is that staff are 'suckered' into these schemes thinking it will save them time, but the actual rewards for students are pitiful and the older students tend to ignore it. Over a 2 year period DS, who is well behaved and puctual, etc, and at the top of his school Vivo league tables had earnt enough for a £10 phone voucher. Pointless! Even more shocking to hear that the are running raffles for primary schools.

LCD100 Sat 15-Dec-12 18:20:59

Hi LocalSchoolMum, I'm not sure about the value for money, I suspect what you say is correct though. Clearly can't be good value for money when Miles (which equal school budget which equal taxpayer money) are used to buy raffle tickets. The only 'reward' for pupils (aside form the single major prize winner) might be realising what a waste of time gambling is. I do wonder why schools can't offer internal rewards schemes which would be much cheaper to operate, even I can work out what sort of staff resource it would require in my school.

If any parents or teachers on here have anything good to say about Vivo Miles I would be very interested to hear your perspective because so far, tbh, I am questionning the judgement of the schools who are involved in the scheme.

LCD100 Sat 15-Dec-12 18:22:36

By the way, LocalSchoolMum, the raffle ran across secondary and primary schools nationwide who chose to opt in. Potentially the reach would be over 1.2m children in nearly 500 schools.

Clary Sun 16-Dec-12 02:06:25

Our school uses Vivos and they are certainly a good motivational tool, especially when used as one of many such tools (along with verbal praise, stickers, positive comments in book or on a report, phone call or letter home, positive comments on computer system etc.)

I agree that by KS4 a lot of students are sometimes not bothered, but many in our school choose to donate them to charity. The KS3 students are keen to have them and tend to spend them on wild things like keyrings etc.

There is a specific shopping list and none of the extremely dubious things you mention in yr OP are on it.

LocalSchoolMum Sun 16-Dec-12 20:52:39

Using Vivo Miles to earn a keyring seems like a very expensive way to do it to me. If teachers want to give students keyrings, why don't they go down to the keyring shop and buy a huge bag of them. The other thing I didn't like about the system was that students don't start at zero again at the beginning of each year. Our school was using the number of points to determine which kids to reward at the end of the year. But let's say you weren't very good in Year 7, but are fantastic in Year 8. You can't catch up with someone who's been average for 2 years in a row. How does that incentivise someone to improve their behaviour?

teacherandguideleader Sun 16-Dec-12 22:11:55

I never thought of a raffle as being gambling - sometimes do them at Guides - will have to look and see if there is a policy about that! I remember doing lots of raffles as a child (I'm in my 20s so not a million years ago).

I do however have experience of Vivos - my previous school used them. I thought it was awful. Our prizes were pre-approved so nothing inappropriate but I couldn't believe I was expected to motivate students by giving them 1 point which probably equalled 1% of a rubbish keyring. The younger kids soon lost interest, and the older ones were never interested in the first place.

I find a quickly printed certificate to take home, or an email to parents/carers has a much more positive effect!

LCD100 Mon 17-Dec-12 10:52:41

Hllo, thanks for the feedback everyone.

Teacherandguideleader, if raffles are run for fund raising and are small they are normally not considered gambling and don't need a license. If in doubt you can check with your local authority (I think?) or with the gambling commission.

If a Ltd company runs a lottery, otherwise known as a raffle, for profit it normally needs a gambling license. There are all kinds of rules about how much is given to charity, the amount of money turned over etc, it is quite complicated. And of course under 16 year olds are not allowed to buy lottery tickets, as it is indeed gambling - handing over money for a 'chance' of winning. That's why I asked the Gambling Commission to investigate. I used to work in marketing to children, and what Vivo Rewards Ltd are doing with this raffle would not have flown past our marketing and legal teams in a million years, it would have been seen as totally immoral, if not illegal.

LCD100 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:35:33

Following a meeting with our head teacher today, she told me Vivo Rewards Ltd will not be running raffles at any schools any more. Result! Now very glad I raised it with them and school, and Gambling Commission. I wonder what the outcome of the G.C. investigation will be, or if it will be dropped now they won't be running any more raffles.

LCD100 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:50:45

In case anybody is interested on an update, the Times Educational Supplement have published an article on Vivo Rewards Ltd today:

If your school uses Vivo Miles as motivational tool I would suggest you monitor what they are doing quite closely. Unfortunately I think there is always a likelihood that these sorts of companies (making a profit from children with morally questionable tactics like lotteries) could always be tempted to push the boundaries a little.

At this stage, I personally will be watching out for:
- future raffles and lotteries from Vivo
- relationships with any other unsuitable/age-inappropriate partners like Firebox
- advertising to children within the logged in environment, as I saw with Firebox
- and whether my school passes my child's data to any more third parties. (I was not happy with the data being supplied without my consent, especially after I read Vivo's privacy statement, and even more unhappy after the raffle and Firebox outcome.)

Muminwestlondon Fri 04-Jan-13 11:12:14

Thank you for that. My DD has lost interest in Vivos and never logs in now luckily. She also did not pass personal data such as her phone number to them although they were fishing for it.

I think schools have all sorts of data security issues apart from Vivos.

One example. At my last parents day, they ticked attendees off from a list which had a lot of personal data on - names of parents, addresses, phone numbers - it was visible to all and was totally unnecessary - they could have just had a list of names.

JenaiMorris Fri 04-Jan-13 15:02:29

Vivos don't seem to hold any interest beyond the first couple of weeks. It all seems pretty lame tbh.

LCD100 Fri 04-Jan-13 21:44:43

Another article, in the Daily Telegraph:

Muminwestlondon Sat 05-Jan-13 10:06:36

Just seen the article, thank you for taking up the issue. I hope schools now realise what a dubious waste of money Vivomiles actually is...

LCD100 Mon 07-Jan-13 11:04:34

One more article in the nationals about Vivo Rewards ltd:

By the way, in the above articles, the MD of Vivo Rewards Ltd said they had always planned to give ALL the proceeds of the raffle to charity. If I had had no dealings with the company this would strike me as rather unusual in itself....Normally companies proudly announce their donations to charity - why wasn't it mentioned before? However I spoke to them on the phone before calling the Gambling Commission, and they told me they were giving 10% of the proceeds to charity. So, it sounds like they changed their minds after the scrutiny. Just saying.

Busyoldfool Mon 07-Jan-13 22:50:15

My son's secondary uses them and I don't like it. He does like checking his page to see how well he's doing and it is motivating him a bit, (and motivation is a big problem for him), but he is still at the bottome of the table and rarely understands why he got them one day and not the next. It seems a bit random. It has been useful to learn a bit more about it,

GemmaTGD Tue 23-Sep-14 12:36:58

I didn't want to start a whole new thread for this as I'm sure a lot of opinions on Vivo have already been expressed in this thread, however I am new to this whole thing so if I've done it wrong I do apologise.

I was originally a fan of Vivo when my kids first started secondary school, that was until this year! I'm seeing what I believe is heading towards advertising to my children and using them to make even more profit for themselves. On top of this I have recently been told that any points given to the children but not used to buy things from their shop are actually returned to Vivo. So as far as I can see they are effectively stealing budget from my kids school?

Has anyone else heard about this or have more info as at the minute it's all coming from parent to parent and I'm not sure what's true?

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