AVer Europe announces new, portable distance learning innovation camera.

AVer Europe, the leading provider of educational technology and Pro AV solutions, announces the DL10 distance learning tracking camera, a small form factor tracking camera.


The DL10 sets hybrid and online educators free from the hassles of poor-quality cameras. The design, weighing only 745 grams, conveniently fits into most bags, freeing online and hybrid learning teachers to work wherever they want, giving teachers the ability to teach online from anywhere. The specialised design of the DL10 also makes it a perfect match for smaller or space-conscious classrooms, where a large and complicated camera setup is not an option.


Rene Buhay, SVP of Sales and Marketing at AVer Europe comments, “The portable AVer DL10 camera delivers unprecedented freedom and picture quality for teachers in the new normal of online classes and hybrid classrooms. This is a fantastic, high quality distance learning option for budget-conscious schools and educators. The AVer DL10 camera will lead hybrid classroom technology.”


The DL10’s features include:


  • 6X Total Zoom: Perfectly balanced between classroom needs and school budgets, the DL10 features 6X total zoom. In an average-sized classroom the DL10 excels with its zoom capabilities, delivering crisp and clear images every time.
  • Industry-leading AVer AI: Accurate and easy to use AVer camera tracking AI is integrated with the DL10 Distance Learning camera. This means easy lecture recording, camera tracking with the press of a button, and gesture controls with the needs of educators in mind.
  • Sleep Mode: Particularly designed for the protection of privacy. When an online class ends, the DL10 automatically reacts by switching off, and tilting the camera down 90 degrees, allowing online teachers to easily separate class time and personal time.


  • Built-In Microphones: Purposefully created with teachers in mind, high quality microphone and noise suppression functionality is integrated in the DL10 for the enhancement of communication and the cancellation of disruptive noises common in a teaching environment, such as teachers’ books, keyboard, and mouse.
  • Gesture Control: Remove touchpoints and intuitively guide the DL10 using hand movements, even while teaching. DL10 Gesture Control allows teachers to focus on their classes without having to run back and forth between a computer and whiteboard, while still maintaining hygiene standards necessary for a classroom environment.


A* line-up of Speakers unveiled for Bett Show


THE GODFATHER of growth mindset, Eduardo Briceño, global education campaigner Sarah Brown, and soap actor turned eating disorders charity founder Gemma Oaten are just three of the inspirational voices taking to the stage at January’s Bett Show.

After a one-year hiatus, the world’s most established Edtech event will convene again in London’s ExCeL centre on March 23-25, 2022.

Other high-profile speakers include former Schools Minister Lord Jim Knight who will discuss rethinking pedagogy when faced with tech disruption and Dame Darcey Bussell, the former ballerina and founder of DDMIX, a dance fitness programme designed to help improve student wellbeing.

Attendees will hear from comic actress and writer Sally Phillips, who will participate in a fireside chat, delving into life as a parent to a child with SEND and to discuss inclusion in education. 

Gogglebox cast member, Baasit Siddiqui, whose day job is helping motivate state school pupils through Siddiqui Education, will also share his top tips for how youngsters can confidently pitch ideas for TV shows.

The SLA School Librarian of the Year 2021 – Kristabelle Williams, from Addey and Stanhope School – will reveal how she made the library service at an inner-city school thrive during the pandemic, an achievement that saw her win the coveted title from the School Library Association.

Bett’s theme is “create the future” and the show will look at how education will be transformed beyond the pandemic. 

More than 225 speakers are expected to take to the stage over the three-day event.

Eve Harper, director of the Bett Show said: “Bett prides itself on bringing the leading global voices and pioneers in education transformation each year and as we come together in January to “create the future”, our speaker line up promises just that. We can’t wait to welcome our world-class speakers to Bett and be inspired by their stories, experiences and insights.”

Tickets to the show are free and schools are encouraged to bring students to witness the dozens of speakers, exhibitors and workshops.

Attendees can also take part in CPD training to boost their professional development.


BAMEed, a network of schools and teachers across the country, is inviting all attendees to a “takeover event” where leaders will discuss how they are tackling racism and promoting equality in education.

Bett’s After Hours’ programme will also allow plenty of time for networking and socialising after the sun goes down.

This year, a new esports feature will take place at Bett, allowing educators to see how esports is more than gaming and could in fact be the secret weapon in encouraging learning, promoting teamwork and communication.


Higher Education leaders will also welcome a new event designed just for them – Ahead by Bett, while global education leaders and change makers can convene at Learnit.


Registration is FREE for attendees and is now open now at:




THE learning gap created by the pandemic will take more than 18 months to close, teachers have warned.


State school teachers were far more likely to offer a gloomy forecast of how long it would take pupils to catch up compared to teachers in private schools, according to a survey of 4,690 teachers for leading EdTech event, Bett.


The survey – carried out by Teacher Tapp – showed that 14 per cent of teachers in private primary schools and 23 per cent of private secondary teachers had not seen a learning gap created by the pandemic.


A majority of private secondary school teachers thought that their gap would be closed within 6 months.


Just three per cent of teachers in state schools did not think there was a learning gap thanks to Covid19 compared to 19 per cent of private school teachers who thought there was no gap.


Some 36 per cent of primary teachers in state schools thought the learning gap would take 18 months or more, while 32 per cent of secondary state school teachers thought the same.


Overall, classroom teachers were slightly more pessimistic about how long it would take to close the learning gap than headteachers or members of the senior leadership teams (SLT).


Some 32 per cent of teachers at the coalface thought it would take 18 months or more, compared with 31 per cent of SLT and 28 per cent of heads.


When analysed by subject, language teachers and Key Stage 2 primary teachers were the most pessimistic, with 34 per cent warning it would take more than 18 months to catch up students. 


Some 28 per cent of maths specialist teachers thought it would be more than 18 months, while the figures were nearly the same for English teachers (27 per cent) and humanities (27 per cent) while nearly a third of science teachers – 31 per cent – also warned of the longest time delay.


For teachers of early years and Key Stage one in primary, a third warned it would take more than 18 months while 30 per cent of PE teachers and 24 per cent of art and design and technology teachers thought the same.


School closures ban


Nearly four in ten – 38 per cent – of teachers agree or strongly agree with banning school closures and classing them as ‘essential infrastructure’.


The move is proposed by senior Tory MP Rob Halfon, the chairman of the education select committee, who wants school closures to be banned unless they are voted for in parliament. 


Mr Halfon has put forward a Private Members’ bill to argue the case, saying that school closures and lockdowns had led to massive gaps in learning and to a safeguarding crisis.


Many teachers remain uncertain about the proposed ban, with 29 per cent saying they were unsure whether they backed it.


Slightly fewer teachers were against the ban – with 20 per cent disagreeing and 10 per cent strongly disagreeing.


Primary school teachers remained marginally more supportive of keeping schools open – with 39 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing with a ban on future closures, 30 per cent being uncertain, nine per cent strongly disagreeing and 18 per cent disagreeing.


Among secondary school teachers, 39 per cent agreed or strongly agreed with a ban on closures while 27 per cent were unsure and a third disagreed or strongly disagreed.

The split was starkest between state and private schools.


Private schools were much more likely to want to stay open – with 25 per cent strongly in favour compared with 15 per cent in the state sector.


Overall, 48 per cent of private school teachers backed the ban compared to 37 per cent in the state sector.


Private primaries were strongly in favour of Mr Halfon’s proposals by 53 per cent compared to state primaries on 38 per cent.


Just 37 per cent of state secondary school teachers backed the ban compared to nearly half – 48 per cent – of private secondaries.


More state secondary teachers disagreed with the ban – with 34 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing – than private secondary teachers (23 per cent).


For private primaries, just 20 per cent opposed the move compared with 28 per cent in state primaries.


A further 23 per cent of private school teachers agreed with the ban on closures compared to 22 per cent of state schools,


Headteachers were also more likely to be very supportive of keeping schools open – with 42 per cent strongly agreeing or agreeing with an outright ban compared with just 35 per cent of classroom teachers.


There were also regional variations, with London schools most in favour of a ban on closures – 40 per cent vs 31 per cent in the East of England. A third of teachers in the East of England disagreed or strongly disagreed with school closures while that figure was 29 per cent in London; 35 per cent in the Midlands, 31 per cent in the North West, 32 per cent in the South East, 30 per cent in the South West and 28 per cent in Yorkshire and the North East.


Schools rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted were the most likely to want to stay open – with 38 per cent supporting the proposed ban compared to 34 per cent of schools rated as ‘Good’ and 33 per cent of schools rated as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’.


Eve Harper, event director, at Bett UK at Hyve Group plc, said: “Our survey shows that teachers are clearly concerned that the learning gap has widened since the pandemic. More teachers think that the Covid catch-up will take 18 months or more. There is also a stark difference in how long state school teachers fear it will take for pupils to recover lost learning compared with private school teachers. Education technology has been pivotal during remote learning and beyond but it is clear that there is a great deal to do to ensure that all students are given the very best opportunity to catch up and that teachers feel well supported in their roles.


“Teachers are also marginally in favour of a ban on future school closures, with 40 per cent not wanting schools to close even in the event of a fresh surge of covid or new pandemic, although 29 per cent remained unsure if this would be a good idea.’


“The Bett show in March will be the first live event for two years where teachers and school leaders from across the UK and edtech experts from around the globe can discuss how the pandemic has reshaped our classrooms forever and how teachers and learners can maximise the benefit from the innovations that were borne from this crisis.”


Using EdTech to create seamless in-class learning

Entrepreneur and web developer, Matt Mullenweg, once said technology is best when it brings people together. Technology at its best can also be a teacher’s best friend and an enabler for creating a more seamless and calm learning environment for students. Since the start of the pandemic, EdTech has provided educators with a unique opportunity to breathe a little fresh air into the classroom while dusting away a few age-old cobwebs.


We’ve had a chance to rethink teaching and learning – to think outside the box and trial different teaching methods. Good EdTech should support more equilibrium in the classroom, help create a sense of calm and give students a sense of creative freedom and security. Promethean’s sixth State of Technology in Education Report, which asked educators from across the country to share their experiences and priorities, showed that attitudes towards tech use in the classroom remain consistently positive. When asked about using EdTech in the classroom, 77% said they believe EdTech is a great way to engage students, and 76% believe it enables them to do their job better.


Using over 20 years of experience working with the education sector, Promethean is committed to ensuring schools can access the very best experience in line with their specific needs and priorities. The award-winning ActivPanel has been designed to deliver innovation and ease-of-use that matters to teachers and students. The ActivPanel is purpose-built to make teaching more seamless and productive while elevating student learning experiences. The intuitive Unified Menu makes access to the most commonly used tools quick and easy, allowing teachers to smoothly navigate and support learning.


Giving teachers the support they need and deserve…


Whichever EdTech is being used, it should enable teachers to do their jobs better while at the same time helping students to feel more engaged, included and empowered. Promethean’s State of Technology in Education Report showed that teachers feel they are not receiving adequate training and support they need to utilise EdTech effectively, with 55% saying classroom tech training is lacking and 9% claiming that they received no training at all. With budget and time constraints being named as barriers, only 15% of respondents felt they received “full training” when it came to technology. It’s clear that having technology that is easy to use and appropriate training disseminated is crucial. To help address the shortage of EdTech training and make development opportunities more accessible to teachers throughout the UK and Ireland, Promethean created the online CPD platform, Learn Promethean, which provides free and easily accessible training. The platform hosts a wide range of opportunities for developing EdTech skills with over 20 online courses, more than 200 training videos, and over 130 articles and resources.


Teachers are able to use the ActivPanel in collaboration with a range of inclusive classroom devices such as tablets and laptops. This means functions such as device mirroring and quizzes that require class participation and provide instant assessment, are simple to deliver. Multi-device mirroring allows teachers to move seamlessly and flexibly around the classroom. The ActivPanel Series comes with a choice of software supplied free as standard, including ActivInspire and ClassFlow. Designed by teachers, for teachers, award-winning ActivInspire software can be used to create and deliver lessons that are interactive and engaging. Teachers can smoothly leverage and enhance existing content and resources while responding to student insights in real time. If a teacher is away from the ActivPanel because they are working at home, using ActivInspire on their laptop to share lessons allows them to save time and avoid any duplication of effort. They are able to record their voice and talk their students through the key learning points as if they were in the classroom.


Empowering students…


Embracing modern technology is vital for students, who understand that it will inevitably play a key role in their futures – both in their education, careers, and in their personal lives. EdTech helps students to feel more confident and in control, which in turn can support better wellbeing. EdTech acts as an enabler for key student interaction that might not otherwise exist. Inflexible blackboards and chalk now seem like a distant memory. The ActivPanel is not just the teacher’s tool, it’s there for the whole classroom and it represents a unified hub of learning shared by both teacher and students.


The State of Technology in Education Report showed that social and emotional learning (SEL) was a top priority for 44% of educators, but only 2% of schools said they will be able to invest in wellbeing for 2022/23. The Promethean ActivPanel encourages collaboration that supports wellbeing in class and can help reduce any feelings of separation or isolation among students. When used appropriately, technology is a great tool for stimulating and inspiring students. Using tools such as polls and quizzes for assessment can increase interactivity and give the classroom an energy boost.


Looking to the future…


Moving forward, teachers must have the right tools to connect with students in engaging and innovative ways. Educators are confident EdTech is here to stay and will play an important part in the future of teaching and learning. Promethean’s State of Technology Report showed that 61% believe online content and resources will see the biggest growth in the future. Following the last 18 months, 95% believe they are now better equipped for distance learning when needed.


It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you can’t get different results by doing things the same way and while the idea of not reinventing the wheel has weight, you have to ask the question how well the wheel is rolling and whether it could benefit from a little realignment. EdTech has gifted educators with a flexibility their predecessors weren’t afforded. Of course, the downside may be no more snow days.


To find out more about the ActivPanel and to arrange a demonstration, visit:



BYJU’S acquires GeoGebra to make learning maths more visual and interactive

BYJU’S, the world’s leading edtech company, has announced the acquisition of Austrian mathematics learning tool GeoGebra. The company provides a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative programme which will advance BYJU’S aim to make maths more engaging.


The acquisition complements BYJU’S overall strategy by enabling the creation of new product offerings and learning formats to enrich its mathematics portfolio. This collaboration will empower BYJU’S to bring comprehensive, personalised and immersive learning experiences to all students.


GeoGebra will continue to operate as an independent unit within the BYJU’S group under the leadership of its Founder and Developer, Markus Hohenwarter.


Speaking on the acquisition, Anita Kishore, Chief Strategy Officer at BYJU’S, said, “The GeoGebra team has built a powerful and stimulating platform that complements BYJU’S mission of providing impactful learning for students. Designed to improve mathematical understanding, it offers interactive resources that adapt to every child’s style and pace of learning. At BYJU’S, with the help of innovative teaching and technology, we are on a mission to make maths fun, visual, and engaging. By bringing GeoGebra on board, we will continue to further enhance, reimagine and transform the way maths is taught and learned. By combining our strengths, we will be able to offer best-in-class resources to build innovative and exciting next-generation learning formats”, she added.

GeoGebra, with a rapidly expanding community of over 100 million learners across 195+ countries, brings together geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use format. Mathematical thinking is grounded in visual learning with GeoGebra’s interactive learning environment, which contextualises maths to make it fun. The platform offers engaging geometry and algebra learning tools with a user-friendly interface, which can be either downloaded as an app or used online. The curriculum is available in multiple languages for students around the world.

GeoGebra was born out of a passion to help students learn maths in a visually appealing and engaging way. Our shared passion for learning and teaching resonates with BYJU’S, making them a perfect partner for our onward journey. I am confident that this partnership will help millions of students learn mathematics in an interactive way, helping them overcome their fear of maths and learn to master it,” said Markus Hohenwarter, Founder and Developer of GeoGebra.


On a mission to deliver rapid, sustainable growth at scale, Markus, together with Michael Borcherds and Stephen Jull, co-founded their company in 2013 to provide a solid footing for GeoGebra to deliver its long-term vision. GeoGebra includes both an enterprise and philanthropic non-profit organisation. Their commercial services support more than 300 established education service companies and startups, while the non-profit supports students, teachers, researchers, and government agencies across many countries. BYJU’S welcomes the social mission of GeoGebra and acknowledges its importance for mathematics education worldwide, ensuring GeoGebra’s current apps and web services will continue to be available free of charge, putting the power of mathematics into the hands of students and teachers everywhere.


Launched in 2015, BYJU’S launched in the UK earlier this year as BYJU’S FutureSchool, bringing its engaging and fun music, maths and coding courses to students across the UK. The virtual courses empower students with life-long skills and encourage them to build a love of lifelong learning and curiosity.

UK explores how education must adapt for tomorrow’s world at ‘In the Future… How will we Learn?’


9th November 2021 – How can we prepare for AI in learning? What does the classroom of the future look like? How do we educate children for the needs of the 21st century? These are some of the questions being discussed by leading figures from the world of education during ‘In the Future… How will we Learn?’, taking place in the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and online from 9-11th December, under the UK’s participation theme ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’.


Participants are invited to join all three days of Summit sessions online from wherever they are in the world through a virtual platform while De Montfort University, Founding Partner of the UK at Expo 2020 Dubai, which has recently opened a new campus in Dubai, will also host sessions in-person on the Pavilion on 11th December.


The speakers, who will be contributing both in-person and virtually, include Andria Zafirakou, 2018 Global Teacher Prize winner, who will chair a summit asking ‘What makes teachers great?’. Helen Grant MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education will be chairing a discussion on why girls’ education matters globally. Professor Sir Steve Smith, UK Government International Education Champion and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to Saudi Arabia for Education will also chair a session focused on the future of higher education which will include Professor Katie Normington, Chief Executive & Vice Chancellor, De Montfort University.


Other experts chairing summits and contributing to broader activity during ‘In the Future, How will we Learn?’ include:

  • Alison Watson MBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Class of Your Own
  • Brajesh Panth, Chief of Education Group at the Asian Development Bank
  • Antara Ganguli, Head of United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI)


Laura Faulkner OBE, UK Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai, says: “Never has it been more important to examine how global education needs to adapt to equip our children for tomorrow’s world. The UK Pavilion’s Education Programme will be exploring the big questions of the 21st century, such as what the classroom of the future will look like, the role of the teacher and AI in learning.”


Earlier in the week as part of the programme of events, UK at Expo 2020 Dubai Founding Partner HSBC hosted the final of its NextGen10 competition. Supporting Partner Heriot-Watt University also hosted a Future Skills Conference, addressing key themes encompassing, purposeful education, the role of education in transforming economies and addressing global challenges, current and emerging talent needs and building entrepreneurial mindsets.


To register for your interest in attending the ‘How will we Learn?’ programme of activity, in-person or virtually, please register online. If you missed any of the programme you can catch up on our events and find out more about the UK’s activities at Expo 2020 with our new Virtual Pavilion which will be updated throughout Expo 2020.


Join the conversation at @UKPavilion2020 #Expo2020

How EdTech can help facilitate better mental health support

Al Kingsley, CEO, NetSupport

According to the Centre for Mental Health, the state of the nation’s mental health is at a “tipping point”. And, following a recent UK government report which found that one in six children in England suffer from poor mental health and that two-fifths of children experienced a decrease in their mental wellbeing from 2017 to 2021, the organisation is calling for greater investment to urgently prioritise mental wellbeing support for students.

Exacerbated significantly by the impact of the pandemic, a similar picture can be seen amongst school staff with rates of burn-out, depression and anxiety soaring and a growing exodus from the profession.

Ahead of World Kindness Day on 13th November, which encourages us all to prioritise genuine moments of kindness and connection in the face of the current mental health crisis, EdTech presents an opportunity for us to be mindful of the real and substantial benefits for students and teachers as they use it to connect and collaborate.

Supporting teachers

When introducing any EdTech solution into the classroom, it is key that it is accessible and user friendly; teachers can do without the stress of having to get to grips with complex or hard-to-navigate platforms. By ensuring that new systems are co-produced with teachers, schools can be confident the solution will make teachers’ lives easier whilst supporting students’ learning and engagement.

Easy-to-use EdTech tools such as classroom management platforms and online learning resources can play an important role in reducing multiple areas of operational stress for teachers whilst still prioritising students’ academic and wellbeing needs. These tools can save time and help to reduce teachers’ workloads. For example, automated online assessment tools can make marking work and providing feedback to students a much simpler and faster process than marking tests individually. In the same way, being able to send work out to selected students in a single click (and collect it back in after it is completed), show the teacher’s screen to everyone in the class to help with explanations, or simply monitor students’ screens to gauge progress and engagement with the lesson activity, all help teachers to make incremental time gains to make their lessons more efficient, effective and less stressful.

Supporting students

Using EdTech solutions to build a trusted rapport and reinforce connections not only helps to better engage students in lessons but allow teachers to support their academic and mental wellbeing. This is particularly true for those students who may respond better to the teacher directly on a one-to-one basis via chat or messaging tools, rather than speaking out in front of their peers. And let’s not forget the value of such tools when students are learning remotely; they create a vital connection to the teacher and play a significant role in ensuring learners are supported, even when they are not all together in school.

Support in and outside the classroom 

Technology-led assessment and feedback systems help teachers to recognise areas where students may be struggling. With a report from youth mental health charity, stem4, finding that academic stress is the number one cause of mental health distress amongst young people, schools can use these tools to proactively identify and support students before the academic pressure becomes overwhelming and impacts their wellbeing.


In addition, cloud-based solutions can host learning resources that allow students to access them outside of school hours and in a manner that suits them. This helps to support each student’s preferred way to learn – improving their understanding of topics and helping to further reduce academic stress.

For students with wider mental health or wellbeing struggles, some edtech solutions can provide an additional avenue to gain support from trusted teachers. Not only this, but the inclusion of lists of external digital mental health and wellbeing resources empowers them to ask for help when they need it, even outside of school hours. This option offers students more privacy and anonymity and can be a lifeline for those who feel embarrassed or unable to talk to someone they know.

EdTech for good

EdTech processes, platforms and resources, when accessible and easy to use, provide an effective support mechanism that can reduce stress for teachers and students. With the help of technology to make classroom management easier, staff members can better focus on engaging with and supporting students. Digital learning systems also help to reduce students’ academic stress by ensuring they can learn in a way that suits them, for example, enabling them to look at resources as many times as they need to.

With skilful application, intuitive classroom management tools can help to free up teachers’ time and allow them to build stronger relationships with their classes, as well as encourage a more positive learning environment where students and teachers can thrive, academically, professionally and emotionally.


Top marks for education start-up



A Star Attendance Solutions software. L/R Elaine Winder, Julie Small, Jill Robson (creator), Leanne Hood and Cllr Graeme Miller.


A SOFTWARE platform built to help schools improve attendance and intervention management is to be rolled out across the UK following a successful trial.


A Star Attendance Solutions, founded in 2018 by former local authority attendance officer Jill Robson, has developed a pioneering online platform that helps schools manage pupil attendance in a more transparent, fair and robust way.


Built by Durham based business and IT consultancy Waterstons, the platform is the brainchild of director and founder Jill and – following a successful trial in 12 schools – is now receiving top marks across the board after being rolled out in schools across the North of England.


Jill said: “Having spent the best part of 22 years working as an attendance officer, I’d witnessed first-hand the impact continuous Government cuts were having on the education sector, especially in terms of early intervention attendance support.


“The cuts slashed budgets and meant local authorities were no longer able to continue to provide the additional support required and were forced to focus on undertaking their statutory duty. With schools still being responsible for day-to-day management of non-school attendance, the impact of losing the additional support from the local authority was clear for all to see.


“I knew there must be a better way for schools to manage attendance and intervention and so, at the age of 52, I decided to take voluntary redundancy and set up on my own to address the issue head on.”


Initially, Jill aimed to work three days a week and provide attendance and intervention support to a few local schools, however it wasn’t long until word of mouth spread, and more and more schools began approaching her for support.


Within just 12 months, Jill employed a team of three members of staff and was working with schools from South Tyneside to Teesside. But as demand grew, so did the workload and the team set about further streamlining the services they offered.


“They say necessity is the mother of invention and that was certainly the case with the A Star System,” Jill added. “While the personal provision had helped massively reduce staff workloads and transform the way attendance and intervention was monitored, we soon realised it was very time consuming and we knew there must be another way.


“I decided to explore ways of improving the process and worked with Waterstons to devise a software platform to automate the entire process, eliminating any chance of human error while reducing overheads for schools, the majority of which had already seen their budgets slashed in recent years.


“This led to me being introduced to Sunderland City Council’s Business Investment Team, Innovation SuperNetwork and Gateshead GX, all of whom supported me as I developed the system. Their ongoing support has been invaluable.”


The platform is now being used by 38 schools across the North of England, with one North East secondary school in particular witnessing a 2% increase in attendance since introducing the system.


She added: “Our overall aim for A Star is to help schools more effectively monitor attendance, ensuring no child is forgotten and ensuring every child has the same opportunity.


“This will not only help young people get more from education but it will also help teachers identify issues impacting on attendance at an early stage whilst building bridges with families.


“The A Star System is the first and only intelligent monitoring solution that achieves this, offering a comprehensive solution to attendance monitoring, tracking, intervention, and reporting by managing every aspect of pupils’ attendance, without the need to produce endless reports and we’re delighted with how it has been received so far.”


Rachel Donohue, Principal at Academy 360 in Sunderland, said: “A Star Attendance has been an absolutely fantastic resource. It has given us greater opportunity to work strategically with parents and students to improve attendance by focusing on the root of the issue.


“In the first month alone, we saw a 2% increase in attendance figures with Pupil Premium, SEND and Boys now at National Average. The impact has been transformational.”


Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Ensuring young people have a fair and equal opportunity to receive the best possible education is a key priority of ours as a council and we’re delighted to have been able to support Jill and the team on their journey so far.”


Education leaders and teachers are being urged to ‘unplug and reconnect’ in person at Bett this coming January.


Organisers at the world’s biggest EdTech show are inviting the education community to emerge from behind the screen and come together face-to-face to connect, learn, share ideas and experiences and ultimately “create the future” of education.


The show is returning after 18 months of disruption and accelerated adoption of technology, where educators were forced to pivot and deliver lessons in unprecedented circumstances.


With all content sessions CPD-accredited, educators can even gain active learning CPD-points by taking part at the event, across the week.


Bett is the place for education leaders, teachers and tech pioneers to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education including the latest thinking on pedagogy, digital strategy and policy implementation.


Thousands have already signed up to the event, held on 19- 21 January 2022 at ExCeL London.


Exhibitors and sponsors will range from tech superpowers such as Microsoft, Google, Lenovo and Pearson to specialist education suppliers such as Arbor Education, NetSupport, Promethean and 2Simple to rising start-up stars – offering impactful solutions for institutions of all sizes and all budgets.


High-profile speakers include one of the world’s leading authorities on growth mindset, Eduardo Briceño, the comedian and actor Sally Phillips, who will speak about home schooling during lockdown and life with a SEN child, and Gogglebox favourite Baasit Siddiqui, whose Siddiqui Education organisation helps boost the morale and achievements of disadvantaged pupils.


Eve Harper, Bett Event Director said: “Bett brings people together to network and have meaningful conversations. Despite our focus on tech, we find that the best way to make sense of the plethora of technological solutions is to engage in-person. A range of new offerings coupled with familiar faces from the worlds of education and technology make this the main meeting point for the entire education sector.”








She added: ‘We will have thousands of attendees and some exciting speakers and solution providers, from Eduardo Briceño, one of the biggest proponents of the growth mindset, to Sally Phillips, an actor with a passion for connecting pupils with SEND.”


A new esports feature will take place at Bett, allowing educators to see how esports is more than gaming and could in fact be the secret weapon in encouraging learning, promoting teamwork and communication.


Higher Education leaders will also welcome a new co-located event designed just for them – Ahead by Bett, while global education leaders and change makers can convene at Learnit.


Places are free for all attendees.


Registration is open now at:  

Tracking link:


For more information see

Tracking link:


For media and press enquiries, contact Alice Stephens, or  tel 020 7249 7769 


Submit your idea for speaking on stage – visit:


Enquire about exhibiting or sponsoring – visit:

As top grades reach record highs, edtech tools in teacher-led assessment demonstrate a commitment to fairness, says Turnitin

WITH this week’s A-level results showing the proportion of pupils receiving A* or A grades has reached a record high of 44.8%, edtech provider Turnitin has emphasised the importance of fair and accurate assessment for all. This year’s teacher-assessed A-level grades highlight the role of online assessment in supporting objective grading, Turnitin says.

By using edtech tools across the learning journey, tracking student progress and gaining a full picture of academic achievement, students, teachers and administrators can have trust that grades have been correctly awarded.

Aaron Yaverski, Turnitin Regional VP for Europe, commented: “Much of the news we’ve seen this week has focused on the rise in top grades. But this misses an important piece of the puzzle schools and colleges must be confident that the way they are assessing and grading students truly reflects their achievements and capabilities.

“The last two exams seasons have been unlike any other, and education secretary Gavin Williamson is right to say that this is ‘a year we can’t compare to other years.’

“However, even if the UK returns to traditional exam-based assessment next year, the way the education sector has pivoted to teacher-led assessment demonstrates how important it is for us to trust in the grades teachers are awarding.

“This means using the right assessment support system, with the data and insights to inform accurate grading, show a full picture of individual student learning and build trust in the grades awarded by teachers.”

From coursework, mini exams and mock exams, schools and colleges have used a range of evidence to fairly award student grades. Around 15% of institutions had their submitted grades queried by the exam boards, but only 1% of marks were altered following these submissions. With 65% of UK further education colleges using Turnitin tools, the global edtech provider says the role of assessment software in the modern learning environment is clear. 

“The rise in top grades provides a reflective moment for all of us in the education sector,” Yaverski continued. “Features such as grading rubrics and data-driven insights are central to modern assessment tools such as Gradescope. These tools support consistent grading from standardised rubrics, giving students, university admissions officers and employers the confidence that grades have been earned and awarded correctly.”



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