The UK is set to capitalise on the growth in education technology (‘Edtech’) through a new strategic body to promote the sector, Edtech UK, launched in London today.
According to a new report by London & Partners and Edtech UK, the global education technology sector is worth £45 billion in 2015 and poised to reach £129 billion by 2020 1.
Edtech is one of the fastest growing tech sectors across Britain, with more than 1,000 start-ups across the country and over 200 based in London 2. The sector is on a par with fintech as one of the fastest growing areas of the digital economy, accounting for 4% of all digital businesses.
Ian Fordham, CEO of Edtech UK added: “Edtech has come of age. The UK is home to some of the world’s leading schools, colleges, universities and education businesses. Edtech UK will be a pro-active organisation building and accelerating a vibrant education and learning technology sector and leading new developments with our founding partners. It will also be a front door to government, educators, companies and investors from Britain and globally”
In the UK, schools spend more than £900 million a year on education technology and UK education exports total £17.5 billion a year 4. And with the introduction of the computing curriculum into every school in England, the UK has positioned itself at the forefront of developments in the creation and use of education learning and technology.
Lord Maude, Minister of State for Trade and Investment said: “Growing our Edtech offer is a priority for this government. It’s positive that Edtech UK is launching as both a strategic “front door” for industry, investment and government, and a convening voice for the education and learning technology sector. We recognise the importance of edtech to ensure the UK is at the forefront of technology and innovation and to secure sustainable economic growth.”
10 of the top 20 fastest growing EdTech companies in Europe are from the UK, including fast-growing companies such as eSchools, Proversity and RefME 5. Recent examples of successful UK Edtech ventures include Sunderland –based online skills and assessment specialists Technically Compatible, and Shoofly Publishing, an award winning digital educational resources publisher.
Edtech UK will accelerate Britain’s leading position in the education and learning technology sector. The body launches today with 25 founding members including Sunderland Software City, NCFE and Cambridge University Press and some of the fastest growing edtech start up and scale up businesses in the UK. Edtech UK will provide a single point of access to key industry influencers, education institutions, technologies, talent, finance and international marketplaces. Members are currently comprised of startups, scale ups and global companies across the teaching, training, digital making, e-learning, tutoring, digital skills, sectors, among others.
Sunderland Software City Chief Operating Office Billy Webber is a member of the Edtech UK Advisory Group and will work alongside the Edtech UK board to direct on key industry issues, champion increased collaboration and information sharing between education and private sector businesses and advocate the North East’s growing Edtech sector on a national and international level.
Billy Webber said: “We are proud to represent and be a part of the incredible UK tech scene. The North East has a proud reputation for producing innovative Edtech applications and companies, and we are delighted to be part of Edtech UK, bringing more opportunities to businesses in the region, increasing visibility on an international level and helping more Edtech businesses to start and grow in this exciting field.”
The organisation is endorsed by the government and has an advisory board of leaders from the across the UK technology sector including: Eileen Burbidge, Chair, Tech City UK; Bethany Koby, Technology will Save Us; Paul Smith, Schoop; Billy Webber, Sunderland Software City and Ty Goddard, The Education Foundation.