Expectations of the Government’s Edtech Leadership Group

Paralympian, Chris Holmes, is set to chair an expert group to help improve usage of technology in schools. Our own panel of sector aces suggests where it should set its sights

The Department for Education has convened a leadership group to support the Government’s £10m edtech strategy. What should happen next?

Simon Wilde

One of the four key edtech challenges that the group will look at in the first phase of its work is parental engagement.

The leadership group should aim to encourage the implementation of cloud-based software that enables simple, mobile online payments and communications. This will not only encourage parents to be more involved in their child’s education, but will also ease the burden on teachers’ administration by reducing the number of unnecessary queries from parents.

Simon Wilde Managing director, education, Civica

 

Naimish Gohil

The formation of the Edtech Leadership Group is a huge step forward. What I’m most excited about is that the people in this group have their fingers on the pulse of the real issues that school leaders, teachers, students, parents and companies face, such as improving teacher workload, which will do a lot to combat the bigger issue of teacher wellbeing and retention. This gives me a lot of confidence that we are going to see tangible steps forward without smoke and mirrors. I hope their meetings are short, concise and keep moving things forward for the better.

Naimish Gohil CEO and founder, Satchel

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In related news: The Welsh Government’s vision for post-16 tech skills, the Digital 2030 initiative


 

Stuart Hales

Many schools still lack the basic computing resources to make use of edtech, while those that do have them suffer from poor internet connectivity – rendering tech which requires a network connection useless.

“A proper deployment model for schools is required to help them to identify the tools that are right for them, and the group must also find innovative ways to support teachers with edtech training, to maximise its potential and avoid adding to their already heavy workload.

Stuart Hales CEO, Wand Education

 

James Browning

Part of the group’s remit is to ensure technology is seen as something that helps to ease teachers’ workloads, not add to them. The fact this is needed confirms it’s a tricky challenge to address – if it was easy everyone would be doing it already. But it’s not impossible. Both schools and edtech suppliers need to stay focused on how products and services deliver real benefits for teachers and the wider school community, not just for the technology providers who sell them. Deeds, not words, will determine the success of this group.

James Browning Head of digital platforms, RM Education

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