New UK body to promote £45bn ‘edtech’ sector

27/10/2015

A new national strategic body, Edtech UK, is being launched to promote the UK’s education technology sector, worth £45bn in 2015 and poised to reach £129bn by 2020m globally, according to a new report from London & Partners and Edtech UK.

Edtech is one of the fastest growing tech sectors across Britain, with more than 1,000 start-ups across the country and over 200 based in London.

The sector is on a par with fintech as one of the fastest growing areas of the digital economy, accounting for 4% of all digital businesses.

London is uniquely placed to take advantage of the Edtech opportunity, with the recent Times Higher Education World University 2015 rankings revealing that London has more world class universities than any other city in the world (4 out of the top 30)3. The capital is also home to established EdTech companies such as Pearson, Knewton and Kaplan.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: “London has all the ingredients to become the edtech capital of the world – a thriving technology sector, the city is globally recognised for education excellence and a leading financial centre. Londoners are also a highly diverse bunch from all over the world and are buzzing with ideas and a desire to learn. I have no doubt that Edtech UK will help drive forward this growing sector in the capital.”

Ian Fordham, CEO of EdTech UK added: “Edtech has come of age. The UK is home to some of the world’s leading schools, colleges, universities and education businesses. Edtech UK will be a pro-active organisation building and accelerating a vibrant education and learning technology sector and leading new developments with our founding partners. It will also be a front door to government, educators, companies and investors from Britain and globally” 


In the UK, schools spend more than £900 million a year on education technology and UK education exports total £17.5 billion a year4. And with the introduction of the computing curriculum into every school in England, the UK has positioned itself at the forefront of developments in the creation and use of education learning and technology.

Lord Maude, Minister of State for Trade and Investment said: “Growing our EdTech offer is a priority for this government. It’s positive that Edtech UK is launching as both a strategic “front door” for industry, investment and government, and a convening voice for the education and learning technology sector. We recognise the importance of EdTech to ensure the UK is at the forefront of technology and innovation and to secure sustainable economic growth.”

10 of the top 20 fastest growing EdTech companies in Europe are from the UK, including fast-growing companies such as eSchools, Proversity and RefME5. Recent examples of successful London-based EdTech start-ups include Futurelearn, the UK’s first MOOC (massive open online courses) platform and Showmyhomework which provides a cloud-based platform for setting and tracking homework.

Showmyhomework was founded in 2011 by a former Assistant Headteacher Naimish Gohil. Mr Gohil said: “We’re proud to be part of the incredible London tech scene. It hosts a wealth of opportunity and talent but there are a lot of people we can give back to as well. London is the ideal destination for us to scale our business”

Edtech companies are benefitting from London’s booming tech sector and high concentration of tech talent, with recent research from London & Partners and Stack Overflow revealing that London is home to more than 71,000 professional developers, greater than any other European city.

David Slater, Director of International Trade and Investment at London & Partners said: “London is already a major draw for some of the world’s most innovative technology businesses. From fintech to adtech, London is home to a range of high growth companies that are applying technology to disrupt and enhance traditional industries. Nowhere is the potential of technology to transform a sector more profound than education learning, and nowhere can it be more valuable by enabling London to develop its skills base to meet the future demands of business. With a diverse talent pool and some of the best educational institutions in the world, there is arguably no greater city in the world to start and grow an Edtech business.”

Edtech UK will accelerate London and the UK's leading position in the education and learning technology sector. The body launches today with 25 founding members who include the fastest growing edtech start up and scale up businesses in the UK. Edtech UK will provide a single point of access to key industry influencers, education institutions, technologies, talent, finance and international marketplaces. Members are currently comprised of startups, scale ups and global companies across the teaching, training, digital making, e-learning, tutoring, digital skills, sectors, among others.

The organisation is supported by the Mayor of London, London & Partners and is endorsed by the government. The body has an advisory board of leaders from the across the technology sector including: Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital; David Slater, London & Partners; Bethany Koby, Technology will Save Us; Matt Candler, 4.0 Schools; and Ty Goddard, The Education Foundation.

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