School Standards Minister Nick Gibb

Today, (20 January), School Standards Minister @NickGibbUK spoke to the @Bett_show 's online #BettFest conference, which focuses on how innovation and technology can improve education:

I’d like to thank the organisers, and the many teachers and leaders in schools and colleges attending today, for taking the time to come together to share your views and experiences about the increasing role of technology in education.

Events such as these have historically focused on innovations in technology and education, and exploring the possibilities ahead of us.

This year we find ourselves in a very different context. Debate about technology in education today is now more about the basic essentials of effective education. It’s about how technology can ensure access to education for all students during periods of national lockdown. It’s about how technology can support effective remote teaching. And it’s about how technology can help teachers keep in touch with pupils to monitor attendance, progress and wellbeing.

The current period of schools and colleges being closed to most pupils will help limit contact between individuals, which, in turn, will limit the spread of the virus. It is vital that we all play our part to protect the most vulnerable in society and avoid overwhelming the NHS.

I know, however, that for teachers, school and college leaders, parents and pupils themselves, this period of lockdown has brought further uncertainty and renewed challenges.

But, despite these challenges, we have to persevere. Access to a high-quality education is the right of all our children and young people, and our recently adapted expectations for schools and colleges will ensure they continue to receive this right.

So, today, I'd like to focus on remote education – from the incredible shared response across the sector in adapting to changing circumstances, to how we can continue to give our students the high-quality teaching that is the hallmark of our sector.

As Schools Minister, it’s my privilege to meet regularly with teachers and school and college leaders across the country. At a recent roundtable, we gained valuable feedback and insights on the sector’s response to remote education and heard about the positive and sustainable opportunities for change that the coronavirus response has created.

Despite the restrictions, these rich conversations have continued, and in the last year, two key messages have come across from those I have spoken to:

  1. Firstly, a relentless commitment to making sure that all pupils, in all circumstances, should continue to have access to a good education – to thrive whether in class or at home.
  2. And secondly, that those same teaching practices that are most effective in the classroom, remain the same at home. That they mustn’t be lost amongst the raft of other pressures.

In tackling these two ambitions, we have seen schools and colleges adapting in extraordinary ways. You will hear from many of these schools and colleges in the next three days at BettFest. You will hear how leadership strategies have been adapted to reduce workload and how the use of existing tools has been adapted to support effective curriculum delivery and improved outcomes for all.

I am delighted to see that some of the EdTech Demonstrator schools are here today, showing how technology can be implemented effectively – whether you’re a small primary school like Danesfield who are using technology to support teacher CPD and reduce workload, or a large college like Heart of Worcestershire who have been using technology to support their students in vocational settings and to help develop digital skills.

Improving digital access and inclusion

Over the past year, the Department has listened to you and learnt from you and we have used this to build on the positive steps we were already taking before the pandemic to develop new ways to meet the needs of students.

We know that Covid-19 has been particularly tough for disadvantaged families and those with additional needs. That is why, through collaborations with the education, care and technology sectors, we have strived to improve digital access and inclusion across the country to ensure all children and young people continue to have access to education.

We have ramped up our devices scheme – one of the largest procurement programmes of its kind in the world – securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people across the country to have access to quality remote education and online social care services.

The Department continues to deliver routers for pupils without connections at home and, with thanks to the support of some of the UK’s leading mobile operators, the Department is providing free data to disadvantaged students to help them get online for remote education. The Department continues to invite a range of mobile network providers to support this offer.

EdTech Demonstrator Schools and Colleges

To ensure effective and timely communication and teaching, the Department has also partnered with Microsoft and Google so that over 6,500 schools (and counting) can share resources, monitor pupil progress, provide feedback and deliver teaching through online platforms.

Many schools have shown that technology can be a powerful enabler which enhances effective teacher-led instruction. For many teachers, this has often meant learning new digital skills to supplement their evidence-based teaching practice, which is why I would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to the Demonstrator Schools and Colleges. This programme has been pivotal in ensuring that teachers and leaders in over 10,000 schools and colleges have been able to use technology effectively to strengthen their remote education and maintain high quality delivery of the curriculum.

The Department also recognises that there are children and young people across the country that have additional needs that might make remote education even more challenging. We have responded to this by providing additional funding to the Demonstrator National Star College to show how assistive technology can be applied in mainstream settings. We are also providing £40 million to the Family Fund this year to support families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses. £13.5 million of this is to specifically address needs arising from the pandemic, which may include assistive technology to aid remote learning.

National Tutoring Programme

We know that education has been disrupted for many during this pandemic, with disadvantaged pupils at further risk of falling behind compared to their peers. To tackle this, we are spending £350 million on our National Tutoring Programme to provide catch up support, ensuring that there is quality, tailored provision available at scale. Much of this will be supported by online provision to reach as many young people as possible across the country.

Of course, ensuring that students and staff have the right digital tools in place is only part of solution. Schools and colleges also need the support in place to continue to deliver a high quality, well sequenced curriculum.

I have been struck by the dedication and enthusiasm of our school and college teaching staff to help support this. For example, Oak National Academy has seen teachers rallying together to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects from Reception to Year 11. So far, over 3 million users have visited the Oak National Academy platform and over 17 million lessons have been viewed so far.

National College Collaboration Fund

Equally, through our National College Collaboration Fund, we have funded seven projects focussed on producing digital content and resources for specific subject areas. The first tranche of these resources can be found within our remote education service “Get Help With Remote Education”, which brings together the latest resources, advice and guidance to support schools and colleges during Covid-19.

Within this service, we also recently launched the “Review your Remote Education Tool” to support schools and colleges to meet basic requirements as well as evaluate and strengthen their provision. Developed by education, technology and research experts – many present today – this framework signposts schools and colleges to packages of support, including training opportunities, networks and practical advice and guidance.

Creating a more resilient education system, built on firm digital and technological foundations

These are concrete steps that we are taking – in partnership with schools, colleges and industry – to ensure we are meeting the needs of pupils and their families, in the areas where they are needed the most.

But we must also build on the successes and lessons of our Covid-19 response and ensure that the actions we take now are sustainable for future generations.

Yes, we need to make sure schools and colleges have the digital infrastructure in place to make the best use of technology, but it’s not about using technology for the sake of it. It’s about delivering a consistently high quality education and looking at where technology can support and enhance that.

For this reason, we are exploring options for a strategy to create a more resilient education system, built on firm digital and technological foundations, which improves outcomes for all children and adults in education.

But Government can’t do this alone.

Cementing England’s reputation as a world leader in education research

As we develop our strategy, we hope to continue collaborating with all of you to better understand the needs of schools and colleges, as well as staff and students within them. We will continue to listen and learn, using our research partnerships with the Education Endowment Foundation, with Nesta and the international EdTech Hub to investigate what does and doesn’t work when it comes to technology, and cementing England’s reputation as a world leader in education research.

I am hopeful that when schools and colleges open again, and when the effects of the pandemic are eventually a distant memory, the lessons that we have learnt will open the door to new opportunities for children to leave school shaped by a truly excellent education. I want to thank teachers and heads and principals for embracing these changes and opportunities.

While I know that we are all still navigating the almost totally virtual world we find ourselves in, I am confident that this period of time will support teachers to permanently adopt the relevant skills and confidence to use technology in a way that continues to enhance their practice.

It’s events like BettFest that epitomises the drive from teachers and leaders to ensure they can consistently provide the best possible delivery of education. Looking at the agenda ahead, BettFest is highly positive about the future and so am I.

Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Alysia Parkin had a status update on Twitter 7 minutes ago

@liamgallagher I hope, I think, I know ?
View Original Tweet

Jo Moriani added a new event 11 hours

Succeeding at your Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit...

Overview This webinar will tell you all you need to know about how to try and ensure you succeed at your first Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit...

  • Wednesday, 17 March 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page