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Patrick Hayes

Director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)

Patrick Hayes is the Director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), the trade association representing over 400 educational suppliers in the UK, including EdTech, manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital content to the education market. Contact him here:

A Truly Digital Classroom Needs To Address E-Safety Concerns

But these massive levels of engagement with digital devices are bringing with them new challenges and concerns. Indeed the same research found that 51% of primary school teachers and 49% of secondary school teachers are seen to require training in e-Safety issues.
13/02/2017 16:47 GMT

Let's Innovate Our Way Out of the UK's Teacher Shortage

While she is only days in post, it is highly likely that newly appointed Education Secretary Justine Greening will already have had conversations with officials about one of the most pressing issues facing the UK schools sector at present: the teacher shortage.
19/07/2016 12:52 BST

Teachers Are the Secret to Tech Success in the Classroom

Is it a case of Teachers vs Tech, or can the two work harmoniously together to drive up standards in the classroom? A longstanding debate has raged on this topic, which can be seen very effectively in the pages of this very publication, <em>Huffington Post</em>.
15/07/2016 09:33 BST

Five Reasons the Rise of Multi-Academy Trusts Should Be Monitored Closely

As Sir Carter claimed at the inquiry, "this is an embryonic and emerging form of structural leadership in the system and it's going to develop very quickly". It is of great importance to teachers, parents and the next generation alike that this rapidly emerging form of leadership is monitored closely.
21/06/2016 16:12 BST

How EdTech Can Fill UK Classrooms With Global Maths Tutors

Using a headset, and looking at exercises on the screen - from 270 set lessons - pupils never actually see the maths tutor. When the initiative first started, this was due to technical reasons, but Hooper has found that just hearing their voice helps to focus pupils: "students feel less self-conscious and are more happy to discuss and ask questions."
10/06/2016 10:25 BST

Shanghai May Lead the World In Maths, But Britain Leads In Assessment

While the greater freedom schools have been given in the UK has not always been welcomed by teachers, assessment certainly seems to be an area which has blossomed as a result. It may be worth taking another look at the McKinsey report and questioning whether, however painful initially, increased autonomy for schools may end up providing a better education for the next generation.
29/04/2016 11:01 BST

Let's Take a Bear Grylls Approach to Coding in Classrooms

Computer gaming was once a very different pursuit than it is now. Going to primary school in the 1980s, I spent countless hours on a Commodore PET. Not just playing the rudimentary educational games that loaded, after an age, from cassette.
22/04/2016 10:14 BST

Could This Be the End of Fatalistic Classroom Psychometric Tests?

My stomach churned when I heard a course leader tell an aspiring young manager in his early thirties that he should abandon any aspirations of becoming a CEO because his "type" suggested he was likely to be far better suited to being a right-hand man lending support to business leaders instead.
15/04/2016 14:56 BST

Could This Welsh Town Be the Next Edtech Silicon Valley?

The Welsh coastal town of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire is about as far away from London's Silicon Roundabout as you can get. With the town is situated in the UK's only coastal National Park, surrounded by mountains and a picturesque shoreline with colourful fishing boats dotted along the quay.
06/04/2016 10:57 BST

Flexible Teaching is Inspired, But Don't Reinvent the Wheel!

The government can play a huge role in working with schools, teachers and the education recruitment industry to offer guidance as to how flexible routes back into teaching could be offered. Certainly greater investment into CPD to allow those who have been out of the profession for some time get up to speed with curriculum changes, new classroom technologies and the latest teaching practices would be a must. But the last thing the sector needs is another expensive government-sponsored jobs board: the first time may have been tragedy, but the second time really would be farce.
11/03/2016 16:17 GMT

Five Reasons the 2016 Budget Could be Make-or-Break for UK Education

Headteachers are understandably bearish about their school budgets in the run up to an election: so much depends on an uncertain outcome. They typically rein in expenditure on new classroom resources and hold off on any inessential teacher hires. Normally, though, once a government is elected, confidence picks up - and normal, or sometimes greater-than-normal, spending resumes.
04/03/2016 12:01 GMT

Five Reasons For the UK's Worst-Ever Teacher Shortage

Much dramatic language has been used to characterise the current crisis - it has regularly been called a 'perfect storm', a 'nightmare scenario' and a 'toxic mix'. There's certainly some truth in these descriptions. But let's leave aside the hyperbole for a moment, and consider five key reasons for the shortage.
26/02/2016 17:43 GMT