Patrick Hayes
Patrick Hayes is the Director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market. Contact him here:

Entries by Patrick Hayes

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

(0) Comments | Posted 18 July 2016 | (18:34)

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.

While it is true that there are currently...

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Teachers Are the Secret to Tech Success in the Classroom

(0) Comments | Posted 14 July 2016 | (17:58)

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, Huffington Post.

Writing back...

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

(0) Comments | Posted 21 June 2016 | (12:41)

Many will be aware of the government's controversial plans to turn every school into an Academy by 2022, which have been watered down, but far from abandoned completely. Fewer may be aware of Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), the entities that are increasingly overseeing the activities of Academies.


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How EdTech Can Fill UK Classrooms With Global Maths Tutors

(0) Comments | Posted 10 June 2016 | (08:26)

Another day, another article on the UK's acute teacher shortage. This morning, the BBC has been covering a report by the Public Accounts' Committee that claims that despite the fact that the Department for Education (DFE) has repeatedly missed teacher-training targets, "the government has no sense of urgency...

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Five Reasons To Get Up-To-Speed With Progress 8 Now

(0) Comments | Posted 6 June 2016 | (10:20)

In October 2013, the Department for Education (DFE) announced a new accountability system would be implemented from 2016. As part of the change, schools now have to show they are supporting the growth of all their students, with one of the measures, "Progress 8", capturing the progress a student makes...

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

(0) Comments | Posted 28 April 2016 | (21:26)

Back in 2010, the consultancy firm McKinsey produced a seminal report on education entitled How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better, which has since had a major influence on the education policies of governments across the world.

The report found there...

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Revealed: What Teachers Think of the Education White Paper

(0) Comments | Posted 25 April 2016 | (15:35)

Published last month, the Department for Education (DFE)'s White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere has been the source of a tremendous amount of debate, with criticism coming from a wide range of sources.

The National Union of Teachers has declared it is "utterly opposed to [its] proposals to convert...

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

(1) Comments | Posted 21 April 2016 | (15:45)

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. But also hacking into these games, digging down into...

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Could This Be the End of Fatalistic Classroom Psychometric Tests?

(0) Comments | Posted 15 April 2016 | (11:36)

Classrooms and lecture theatres have long been awash with psychometric tests, with pupils and students undertaking countless surveys about their preferences and behaviour which pigeon hole them into certain "types".

Do you sense, rather than intuit? Do you tend to think, rather than feel? Depending on your responses, you...

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Could This Welsh Town Be the Next Edtech Silicon Valley?

(2) Comments | Posted 5 April 2016 | (08:30)

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. Tourism and...

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Three Cheers for Science Technicians: The Unsung Heroes of the Classroom!

(3) Comments | Posted 1 April 2016 | (00:00)

Since the publication of the education White Paper a fortnight ago, there have been very vociferous discussions around the Department for Education (DFE)'s planned forced academisation process, and around school budgets and teacher workload. In the midst of all this, an important piece of research has been published...

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Reasons to Be Cheerful About UK Education Following the Budget

(0) Comments | Posted 22 March 2016 | (11:02)

A poll of over 4,000 teachers published in the Guardian makes for some sobering reading. In England, apparently 43 per cent of state-school teachers plan to leave the profession in the next five years. A total of 98 per cent say they are "under increasing pressure" and 82...

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

(0) Comments | Posted 11 March 2016 | (08:02)

Last weekend, the Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, proposed an inspired idea to help tackle the serious teacher shortage that the UK is currently facing. Suitably launched to coincide with International Women's Day, Mrs Morgan announced a drive to encourage women to return...

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

(0) Comments | Posted 4 March 2016 | (08:29)

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 -...

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Hey Behaviour Tsar, Leave Them Stickers Alone!

(1) Comments | Posted 1 March 2016 | (13:25)

Last week, one of the million teacher-generated resources on the platform was singled out for criticism by the media. The resource asked pupils to decide whether Scott of the Antarctic was "a complete idiot who didn't even get to the South Pole first". This enraged...

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

(47) Comments | Posted 26 February 2016 | (23:00)

Earlier in the month, the National Audit Office (NAO) confirmed that the teacher recruitment crisis in the UK is as bad as government, schools and parents alike had long feared. It has been four years since the Department for Education's recruitment targets were last met, and the recorded rate of...

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Deporting Teachers During a Recruitment Crisis Makes No Sense at All

(0) Comments | Posted 21 February 2016 | (23:00)

For a while there was denial about the teacher recruitment crisis in the higher echelons of government, but now at least there seems to be acceptance. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has publicly stated that the issue is her highest priority. But unfortunately her Cabinet colleague Home...

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Don't Let British Pupils Be Disconnected From the Digital Classroom

(0) Comments | Posted 11 February 2016 | (17:15)

There are currently many innovative attempts to bring internet connectivity to the developing world, such as Google's Project Loon - a network of balloons travelling high in the atmosphere to "connect people in rural and remote areas". Its laudable aim is to connect the two-thirds of the world's...

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After the Dodgy Smoking in Cars Stat, How Can the BMA be Trusted?

(2) Comments | Posted 20 November 2011 | (17:49)

I'm sure many UK readers, like me, woke up to the Today programme last Wednesday morning and heard Dr Vivienne Nathanson from the British Medical Association (BMA) speaking about the association's latest report, which called for a blanket ban on smoking in cars. Meaning that adults would no longer be...

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Protesters Willing Thatcher to Die Reveal How Wrongheaded They Are

(0) Comments | Posted 13 November 2011 | (20:36)

While reporting on the 9 November student protest in London last Wednesday, I heard the all-too-familiar "Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Die! Die! Die!" chant being belted out through megaphones and echoed by protesters.

This bizarre refrain is one that's become a regular fixture in the 2011 Protesters' Songbook. I also...

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