£10 million set aside for skills, infrastructure and assistive technology
Attendees packed into the Schools and Academies Show hall to hear from Secretary of State, Damian Hinds, with many forced to stand around the edges. After the welcoming remarks from the Chair, Damian Hinds opened with a reiteration of his trust in the profession and belief in autonomy. However, the main part of his speech to the 450 strong crowd centred on the EdTech Strategy itself.
Titled ‘Realising the potential of technology in Education’, the strategy aims to improve efficiency in the sector, not only through reduced workload, but improved procurement too, and “ultimately of course make the learning experience a better, more successful one, for all children and young people.”
A key theme of the strategy is collaboration, both between schools as part of a new demonstrator school network, and between schools, educational experts and business.
Addressing the often wasted procurement of EdTech in schools, the minister announced a new service, LendEd. This will allow schools to try technology before they buy, run by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).
“It’s important that consumers and providers collaborate and this gets to the nub of what this strategy is all about…. We have set aside £10 million in order to help to drive it forward.”
The Chartered College of Teaching will be providing free online CPD focused on the effective use of EdTech in the classroom to support the initiative. The innovation foundation, Nesta, will be working to coordinate response to the “10 challenges” announced by the minister. These include “administration, assessment, parental engagement, assistive technology, workforce flexibility, lifelong learning and the professional development of teachers.”
Competitions will also be announced where participating test-bed schools can get the first look at the technology on offer, discover the best solutions, and be involved in the roll out across the demonstrator school network.
Damian Hinds was speaking at the Schools & Academies Show London on 3rd April.