Category Archives: BESA

Bett Awards 2013 – Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 15th annual Bett Awards have been announced by organisers i2i Events Group, and British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).

The Bett Awards are considered to be the most prestigious in the education sector, and are committed to celebrating a distinctive and diverse digital education resources market that meets the needs of the education system.

Every year the judges, comprised of leading education sector stakeholders, look for organisations and products that show a clear understanding of the sector and its needs.

A large number of entries are received each year from a broad range of organisations, from large corporations to the smallest companies run by just one or two people. All organisations entering the awards are looking for acclaim for the hard work and commitment invested in the creation of their products and services.

Debbie French, event director at i2i Events Group comments: “It is the quality of these products and services that helps to maintain the UK’s position as the leader in the use of technology in education. The specific nature of each individual child’s learning requirements means that judging the products and services entered into the Bett Awards is possibly the most challenging of any award programme. This year we have been astounded by the levels of innovation in the judged products.”

Caroline Wright, director of BESA and chair of judging, adds; “Despite schools now realising that they do have strong available budgets, teachers are becoming more shrewd in assessing the aptness of products for their specific needs. Products therefore need to be of the highest standard to ensure that, aside from the initial purchase price, the total cost of ownership is low. This is what the judges have identified; products that offer the highest quality and are fit for purpose.  These Bett Award finalists are certainly companies that schools can safely consider to be amongst the best available.”

The winners will be announced at the Bett Awards dinner on Wednesday 30 January 2013 at the brand new Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, Tower Bridge, London. To book your place please visit:

The BETT Awards 2013 finalists in 13 categories:       

Early Years Digital content
Busythings Ltd
Early Vision Ltd Early Vision Online
Focus Education UK Ltd Fingertips Online
Ten Town   Ltd Ten Town
The   Usborne Foundation Teach   Your  Monster to Read: First Steps
Primary Digital content
Collins Education Collins Big Cat Apps Primary Britannica
Espresso   Education Espresso Primary
Fiction   Express Fiction Express
Film   Education Thinking Film, Thinking Primary   Literacy
Oxford   University Press ProjectX CODE
Rising   Stars Switched   on ICT for Key Stage 1
Sherston   Software Ltd Planet Sherston
Zulogic   Ltd Zu3D
Secondary Digital Content
3P   Learning Mathletics
A2om CIC Drive IQ
Digital   Explorer Digital Explorer resource Bank
e-skills   UK Behind the Screen Cyber Security   Project
Film   Education Thinking Film: resource series for   secondary
Gigajam   Music School Ltd Gigajam Virtual Learning Environment
Science   Museum Futurecade
ICT   Tools for Learning and Teaching
2Simple Software 2 Build a Profile
Dynevor ePace
GenericMaths   Ltd ConquerMaths
Just2easy j2e5
MediaCore MediaCore
Melvin   Eng Physics in Crisis: Downtown Pandora
Royal   Shakespeare Company Teaching   Shakespeare
Royal   Society of Chemistry LearnChemistry
Digital Collections   and Resource Banks
British Pathe British Pathe Education
Browns   Books for Students VleBooks
Encyclopaedia   Britannica Britannica Online School Edition
London   Grid for Learning The Romans in London
National   STEM Centre eLibrary
Oxford   University Press Oxford School Improvement Online Videos
Twig   World Twig World
Twinkl   Primary Resources Twinkl Primary Resources
Wildscreen ARKive
ICT   Special Educational Needs Solutions
Apollo   Creative Apollo Ensemble
AssistiveWare Harry and Rosie Text to Speech Voices
Crick   Software Ltd Clicker 6
Dyslexia   Action Load2Learn
Iansyst CapturaTalk   for Android
Inclusive   Technology HelpKidzLearn
Osborne   Technologies Ltd SensoryPod
Digital devices
A1   Technologies Ltd David   SLS-1 Structured Light Scanner
Altay   Scientific Spa RED – Really Easy Data Sensors
Avantis LearnPad   2
Data   Harvest EasySense   Vu
eInstruction   EMEA Mobi   View™
Orange   Music Education The Music Board
Promethean ActivTable
Vision Techconnect   Amplifier
ICT   Leadership and Management Solutions
CSE   Education Systems Ltd Service   Manager
Follett Aspen
Groupcall   Limited Groupcall   Messenger
LCP Ltd iTRACK   Primary
ReportBox ReportBox
RM   Education RM   Intelligence
Teachers   Media International Teachers Media online CPD Service
Innovation   in ICT
Capita   SIMS – SIMS Discover SIMS   Discover
Firefly   Solutions Firefly Student Planner
Groupcall   Limited Groupcall Emerge
Little   Bridge World
Oddizzi ClassPals by Oddizzi
PlingToys The Magic Cloud
ScienceScope   Ltd DynaKar
TeacherCentric   Ltd Show My Homework
ICT   Service and Support
Ergo   Computing
Hsis –   Havering School Improvement Service
Joskos   Solutions Ltd
RM   Education
Wolverhampton   Learning Technologies Team
ICT Company of the Year – Less than   £1m turnover
Bladetec Ltd
Just2easy Limited
SchoolsICT Limited
WIRIS team @ Maths for More
ICT   Company of the Year – Between £1 and £3m turnover
3P   Learning
Contact   Group
Crick   Software Ltd
Joskos   Solutions Ltd
Osborne   Technologies Ltd
ICT   Company of the Year – Over £3m turnover
Capita   IT Services
European Electronique
KYOCERA Document Solutions UK Ltd
Outstanding achievement award
The BETT Outstanding Achievement Award celebrates someone who is regarded   as an inspiration to others and represents the successes and achievements of   the UK education sector. The award will be presented at the Awards ceremony   on the 30th January 2013.

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Looking ahead, which technologies are forecast to be an increasing part of our classroom environment?

Caroline Wright from BESA offers insight into their recent research on school budgets and expenditure

Another year has passed and in this time technology has continued to become increasingly ingrained in our students’ lives and in their future careers. Despite the removal of ringfenced funding for ICT, schools now recognise that they
must continue to invest in technology to avoid a digital divide. At Bett 2012 an unprecedented number of educators came to keep up to date with the latest learning technologies and more importantly, to ensure they were investing wisely. However, do schools still have the budget to invest in technology?

There had certainly been a perception by schools that there was a significant declinein funding, but our ‘Resources in English Maintained Schools’ research released earlier this year showed that this was far from true. Yes, schools which had thrived on government funding increases of, on average, 3.5% every year, over the previous decade, were, for the first time, faced with budget cuts. However our research showed that in 2011/12 the reduction was by just 1.8% in primary schools and 2.7% in secondary education; they were, in effect, as well off as they had been a year earlier.

So schools still have money to invest and the need for ICT to be embedded across the curriculum is ever present.

Added to this, the move away from local authority control, makes it even more important for schools to visit Bett, to ensure they are seeing all the available product options and of course, having the opportunity to negotiate the best price! So many new responsibilities have been placed on schools and the need for on-going professional development is paramount to a school’s success. Bett’s increasingly popular CPD programme is the ideal platform for visitors to source this.

Looking ahead which technologies are forecast to be an increasing part of our classroom environment?

Our research has shown that 75% of primary schools and 68% of secondary schools currently use visualisers and 85% and 66%, respectively, forecast their use by the time of Bett.

Further research announced in May revealed an increasing focus in the adoption of tablet computers. Our findings showed that 6% of all pupil-facing computers in schools will be tablets by the end of 2012. The schools surveyed forecast that by the end of 2015 the percentage of tablets will have risen to 22% of all pupil-facing computers. Unsurprisingly, 82% of all teachers also said that their pupils have an interest in using tablets.

So once again Bett is set to offer visitors the most pertinent CPD sessions, coupled with a display of the very latest technologies, supplied by over 600 exhibitors. We will be on the BESA Information Point (stand area E250) throughout the show to answer any queries you may have.

We look forward to seeing you there.
Caroline Wright | BESA

For more news and views from Bett visitors and exhibitors, download 2013’s Bett Update

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Whole New World

Ray Barker from BESA (the British Educational Suppliers Association) provides an insight into the current state of the education sector.

The past year has brought a ‘whole new world’ to the teaching profession. With the arrival of the coalition government in May 2010 came an end to the Building Schools for the Future programme, the removal of ring fenced funding, especially for ICT and a slow elimination of the power of local authorities to name just a few changes.

However, it has been the more recent renewed focus on the core subjects with the introduction of the new English Baccalaureate that has possibly had the greatest effect on the secondary school teaching profession.

The speed with which it was introduced and the fact that secondary schools are to be measured on their Baccalaureate grades before they knew they were to be assessed in this way has left schools feeling that the ‘goal posts’ have been moved without any guidance and training.

And it is this lack of mandatory, high quality, continuing professional development that is virtually unique to England.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education’s recent inquiry into ‘Overcoming the Barriers to Literacy’ raised concerns on several of the government’s recent policies including a lack of CPD. In the USA for example, teachers are expected to attend conferences and exhibitions in order to take part in professional development and learn about the latest resources and approaches.

Evidence gathered from 584 teachers, 32 education associations and suppliers and 1400 National Education Research Panel (NERP) members highlighted the fact that very few professions train their members to qualify without further mandatory developmental training year on year.

We do of course have INSET days but the APPG inquiry suggested that at times these days are used inefficiently and ineffectively.  The alternative is for CPD to happen externally which involves further expense in supply cover, at a time when schools are feeling the pressure of budget cuts.

The APPG report raised the fact that initial training cannot provide all the knowledge and skills that an individual will need for their entire career.  The lack of CPD challenges professionalism and does not provide the best value for our education system. 

However, what we do have in the UK is possibly the greatest opportunity for teachers to maintain their CPD each year, from some of the country’s most experienced and eminent speakers, namely BETT. Every year in January nearly one hundred speakers provide some of the highest quality CPD available, at a minimal cost of £15. In addition to this, BETT has only maintained its incredible level of global success for nearly three decades because sector suppliers exhibiting at the show focus on offering training and advice on their particular products or services, rather than pure sales.

In our time of budget constraints and constant policy change it is vital that teachers have access to good quality professional development (CPD) at a low price.

Make sure you book your ticket for BETT 2012 at For full information on the APPG literacy enquiry please visit

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