Industry called on to improve tech in schools

The Education Secretary Damian Hinds is calling on the technology industry to help tackle the issues facing schools and teachers.

These include developing innovative teaching practices, cutting teacher workload and promoting lifelong learning.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Schools, colleges and universities have the power to choose the tech tools which are best for them and their budgets. But they cannot do this alone. It’s only by forging a strong partnership between government, technology innovators and the education sector that there will be sustainable, focused solutions which will ultimately support and inspire the learners of today and tomorrow.”

The DfE has highlighted five key opportunities for the sector to create a step change in education, improving teaching and slashing workload. These include developing innovative teaching practices; effective and efficient assessment processes, teacher training and development; administration processes; and solutions to lifelong learning such as online learning in later life.

Over the autumn, the Department for Education will be working closely with the Chartered College of Teaching, the British Educational Suppliers Association and other industry leaders as they develop online training packages, establish an online portal providing free software trials for schools, and bring together industry and school leaders through a series of regional ‘demonstrator’ roadshows.

In the coming months, the Department for Education will be working with businesses and schools to ensure they have the infrastructure in place to be in a position to implement some of this technology to improve the school day for both pupils and teachers.

BESA’s Director General, Caroline Wright, said: “All-too-often we have seen an over-simplistic knee-jerk backlash against the use of technology in schools in recent times. These anti-tech adversaries cite mistakes made in the early noughties when shiny new pieces of tech were introduced into classrooms without effective training or support for teachers. And, yes, lessons must be learned from early tech implementation failures, but we must also not fail to recognise the power that technology has to inspire young minds and free-up teacher time to focus on the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning practice.

“I am delighted that the DfE’s plans recognise that EdTech, when introduced as part of a whole school strategy, has the power to help improve pupil outcomes, save teacher time and reduce workload burdens.”

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