EdTech and the view from schools: Research update

22 June 2018

The challenges faced by EdTech companies are significant, but one of the most persistent is the speed in which schools adopt and embed new technology.


10:30am - 12pm


Hamilton House
Mabledon Place
WC1H 9BD View Map



The challenges faced by EdTech companies are significant, but one of the most persistent is the speed in which schools adopt and embed new technology.



Ever since the first BBC Micros and modems entered schools, the pace at which you could really say that implementation had become embedded into the life of the school was slow. Has this now changed?

This seminar takes place during London EdTech Week and will highlight findings from BESA’s recent EdTech research with the National Education Research Panel (NERP), which consulted school leaders with responsibility for the provision and use of EdTech in schools.

We will then challenge our panel of EdTech company directors and our invited audience to add further insights from their own experiences while providing a roadmap for others to follow.

Chaired by BESA's Director Patrick Hayes, our speakers will be:

Richard Connor Managing Partner & Head of Research, C3 Education | NERP

Richard has been conducting market research exclusively in the schools’ sector for over 25 years, beginning his path at BESA then founding C3 Education in 1996. To enable robust and representative data on the UK marketplace, the National Education Research Panel (NERP) was founded in 2005. Most recently, the International Education Research Panel (IERP) has been launched in association with ISC Research to cover English-medium international schools.

Dr Kristen Weatherby Researcher, UCL Institute of Education

Dr Weatherby is currently a researcher at the IoE Knowledge Lab studying technology integration into teaching and learning. Prior to this, she was responsible for leading the development and implementation of the OECD survey of over 104,000 teachers in 34 countries (TALIS). She began her career as a classroom teacher in the United States before moving to Microsoft, where she was managing components of their worldwide education initiative Partners in Learning in the US and the UK. She is a governor at a local primary school and a trustee of a charity providing music education.

Dirk Foch Managing Director, Renaissance UK

Dirk Foch has worked in EdTech since 1999, first setting up the European division of AlphaSmart and developing its EMEA business. AlphaSmart’s US parent went public in 2004 and was acquired in 2005 by Renaissance Learning after which he was asked to merge the two UK-based subsidiaries and to manage Renaissance UK. Renaissance’s flagship product Accelerated Reader has grown to reach over 1.4 million children daily in almost 6,000 UK schools.

Stuart Abrahams Managing Director, 2Simple

Stuart has over 25 years’ experience of technology in the education sector. His role as Managing Director of 2Simple is a culmination of a wealth of experience supplying the education sector including eight years as head of schools at Viglen, over five years as sales and marketing director at Pearson Education followed by 10 years as commercial director at Groupcall. Stuart was elected to the BESA Executive Council in 2012 and again in 2014 and 2016.