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Meet the EdTech firm taking teachers back to school

A North East EdTech business is looking to help teachers the world over step up a grade, with the launch of a new, first-of-its-kind training platform.

Evidence Based Education, headquartered in Sunderland, is launching the ‘Great Teaching Toolkit’ next month, having already helped over 35,000 teachers across the UK and overseas refine and hone their skills.

The new, cloud-based platform, which has been supported by Cambridge University, will help improve the quality of teaching in a way that delivers the best outcomes for students by using feedback from pupils – as well as the data gathered from EBE’s and others’ courses – to create a culture of continuous improvement among the global teaching community.

Prior to its launch this September, the platform already has 2,500 educators signed up across the UK and beyond. This is expected to rise to 10,000 once the platform is rolled out and the new academic year begins.

Jack Deverson, co-founder and managing director, said: “The launch of the Great Teaching Toolkit is the next step in Evidence Based Education’s growth. It will enable us to continue enhancing the quality of training teachers can access – at a much wider scale than before – and support the improvement of education for millions of people across the globe.

“Through the data we collect, we will not only be able to evaluate the extent to which specific professional learning activities improve teaching, but we will also be able to develop better recommendations and even personalised development plans for individual teachers. The platform also provides students with a chance to give structured feedback on how they find the learning experience – feedback which is crucially then owned by the teacher, and which can support their development.”

Evidence Based Education was set up in 2015 to deliver both online and on-site training to teachers and schools, both nationally and internationally. Set up by academic and former teacher, Prof. Stuart Kime, and Jack Deverson, who is qualified in Chinese and German, EBE aims to deliver teacher training in a way that is both sustained and sustainable, delivering long-term benefit for schools and their staff.

Having already worked with thousands of schools across the UK and beyond, the Great Teaching Toolkit – which has been developed working with a handful of North East tech businesses – follows the company being awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2019 and sees the company continue to invest in the business.

Jack added: “Having navigated our way through the difficulties that 2020 brought, we’ve come out the other side in good shape, and have grown our headcount to 13. We’re confident that the launch of the Toolkit next month will help us continue this growth, both in terms of turnover and job creation.

“The aim is to create a handful of roles this year, primarily on the growing tech side of the business. We are very aware that we’ll need to continue to invest – both in R&D and in our team – to ensure the Toolkit can do the things we, our schools, and their teachers need it to do.

“It’s a really exciting time for EBE. With thousands already subscribed to the platform, we’re looking forward to working with schools, colleges, local authorities and learners to continue supporting teachers’ professional development, and ultimately to improve the quality of education for all.”

The company relocated to Sunderland from Durham in January 2019 and have been supported by Sunderland City Council from the outset. Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of the council, has praised the role the company has played in ‘revolutionising the teaching profession’.

He said: “As a Council focused on attracting investment to the city and creating jobs for local people, we’re absolutely delighted to have been able to support Evidence Based Education since their move to Sunderland and to see them growing at such rapid pace.

“To have received a Queen’s Award at such an early stage in its journey is one thing, but to be improving how millions of people across the globe are educated is another – and we would like to wish them all the best for the future as they continue to go from strength-to-strength.”

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