Technology firms vital to transforming teaching


Education secretary Damian Hinds wants to technology firms to be at the forefront of plans to boost teaching and reduce workloads.

It comes ahead of proposals to introduce new resources for teaching staff in the forthcoming school year. 

The Department for Education (DfE) will work with the British Educational Suppliers Association and the Chartered College of Teaching, among others, to develop online training packages.

These packages will target five main areas of teaching where the DfE believes it can “create a step change in education.”

This includes searching for flexible opportunities to deliver teaching training and assessment, making assessments more effective and boosting inclusion for pupils with a range of educational needs.

Providing additional support for those looking to access online learning and reducing the burden of non-teaching tasks also feature in the plans.

Mr Hinds pointed to examples where schools are already using technology to transform teaching in “revolutionary ways”.

“Students are able to explore the rainforest, steer virtual ships or programme robots from their classroom, while teachers are able to access training, share best practice with colleagues and update parents on a pupil’s progress,” he explained.

“It’s only by forging a strong partnership between government, technology innovators and the education sector that there will be sustainable, forced solutions which will ultimately support and inspire learners.”

BESA director general Caroline Wright praised the DfE for recognising the role that EdTech has to play when it comes to enhancing pupil outcomes and cutting teacher workloads.

As part of the plans, schools will also be able to access new software via an online portal in order to check its suitability before making a purchase.

A set of regional roadshows are also set to include the UK and global tech giants, including Apple and Microsoft, to showcase what is possible with technology.

The education secretary initially set out his plans to enhance the primary and secondary school teaching when he addressed the World Education Forum earlier this year – these latest advances are part of that.