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BESA welcomes DfE edtech strategy

Education secretary, Damian Hinds, has outlined plans to support schools in adopting new technologies to improve outcomes and reduce teacher workload

Posted by Julian Owen | April 03, 2019 | People, policy, politics

In his speech at the Academies Show, Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, announced the publication of the Department for Education’s edtech strategy, outlining plans to support schools in adopting new technologies to improve outcomes and reduce teacher workload. 

The announcement was welcomed by BESA director general, Caroline Wright. 

“It is deeply worrying that, in 2019, too many teachers are still apprehensive of using technology as a teaching aid,” she said. “They may fear the humiliation of attempting to use digital devices in front of technologically tooled-up students because of an aging and antiquated school network infrastructure, or, most often in my experience, they simply don’t dare to go digital because they just don’t know where to start or who to ask for help. 

Edtech is a fast-growing sector, and I have the pleasure of accompanying an ever increasing number of UK companies at leading education events around the globe

“The DfE’s work partnering with key teaching and industry bodies to focus on practical school-led solutions, showcasing best-practice uses of technology in schools, and teacher tech training in peer-to-peer groups, will help raise both the confidence and competence of the teaching workforce. 

“In my role at BESA, I have the honour of working with hundreds of incredibly vibrant edtech companies, both large and small, who are working to innovate and transform the digital education learning environment for pupils and young people across the UK and across the world. Edtech is a fast-growing sector, and I have the pleasure of accompanying an ever increasing number of UK companies - more than 200 last year - at leading education events around the globe, providing technology-led solutions to support schools and ministries of education internationally. It is therefore vital that our own Government supports the continued growth and development of this exciting, future-focused industry.” 

BESA has already been working alongside the DfE on the LearnED Roadshow, a series of free one-day CPD training events showcasing schools already successfully using technology, and offering peer-to-peer learning opportunities for school leaders and heads of information and communications technology. 

In addition, BESA recently launched LendED.org.uk, a free online platform matching teachers with available technology. 

“I’m delighted that BESA is working with the DfE to provide the LendED online portal free to all schools,” added Wright. “LendED is a new initiative aimed at providing teachers with the unique opportunity to trial edtech products and services for free. Hundreds of products from quality-assured BESA companies who have signed up to an industry code of practice, developed in consultation with teachers, are available to trial on a free basis so that schools have the chance to try resources before they buy.”

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