2014 Technology in Education and Predictions for 2015
16 Jan 2015
Chris Wiseman, Sales Director, Education, Capita Managed IT Solutions discusses the challenges of marketing to academies, IT providers knowledge of academisation, schools adjusting to reforms and making use of technology trends.
How was 2014 for selling services into schools; i.e. the challenges of marketing to academies?
Tech Market View recently announced that Capita is the largest supplier of software and IT services to the education sector in the UK. Although the market place has changed over the last twelve months, Capita Managed IT Solutions has kept ahead of developing trends; tracking the changes that are affecting schools across the country. As a result, we have seen some fantastic organic growth in the sector in the last twelve months.
Our excellent UK educational sales team has been key in driving this growth and we have been able to form some extremely productive partnerships with partners including Samsung and Google.
Are academies becoming more effective procurers?
Definitely. As the schools market in England has become increasingly fragmented, we have seen an increase in the number and size of multi-academy trusts. These trusts are able to procure in greater volumes than individual schools, and so have been able to drive value in their procurement as well as looking at more innovative solutions across academies and geographies
Are providers that sell services into schools finally getting their heads around academisation?
There is no question that the recent expansion in the number of academies has had a huge impact on the market – it looks very different now than it did prior to 2010. However, we have been working with academies across the country since their inception and so have the experience to understand their specific needs and concerns.
Do you think schools are adjusting to other reforms – the new national curriculum etc?
Although recent changes to the curriculum have been extensive, schools and teachers in the UK are used to adjusting to shifts in policy and technology. In Northern Ireland – where Capita has introduced the Computer Programming Environment, a software designed to support teaching coding to children in a safe learning environment – we have seen fantastic take-up from schools. The vast majority of teachers are always keen to take on new challenges.
How have schools been making better use of educational technology, from your point of view?
The most promising development that we have seen has been the quick adoption of mobile technology across a number of schools. Research has shown that the use of personal tablets and devices by pupils can drive new forms of learning, and schools are beginning to introduce them as a core element of interactive teaching. Adoption of cloud solutions continues at a pace and scale that schools feel comfortable with. We have always maintained that it will be a step, not a leap, into the cloud for most and with a partner like Capita who understands education end to end.
Could Capita give me 100 words on their predictions for 2015? That could be from any angle you like.
One major change that we expect to see in 2015 will be in managed IT service procurement, with a number of local authority-wide ‘Building Schools for the Future’ contracts coming to an end. This means that there will be many schools looking to procure their own localised service – and we have already begun working with a number to ensure this process is as smooth as possible.
Building on the use of personal devices we have seen, we are also expecting to begin to see the emergence of a truly ‘connected classroom’. Bringing together developments like individual tablets, networked displays and next-generation educational apps, we are expecting to see teachers continue to change the focus of their classroom – from a single point of interaction at the front of the class to each student interacting with educational content in their own way, on their own device.
Author: Chris Wiseman, Sales Director, Education, Capita Managed IT Solutions