How edu-innovators are opening doors for creativity


BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market. With 81 years of experience, BESA offers unparalleled support, research, events and advice on both UK and International markets, and the future of the education supplies industry. BESA is focused on promoting and providing support and advice to their members, the industry and to schools. 

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Image courtesy of supplier. Image courtesy of supplier.

Children today seem to be a lot more aware than their predecessors, and we mean this in the broadest sense possible. From a young age, they realise that they can easily talk to people from around the world, they question gender roles, they want to change the world and, most importantly, they believe they can do so. Indeed, children have realised that they already hold power to change the status quo.

They don’t need to wait for when they’ll be adults; they see things need to change, and they can make this change happen. The examples of such children-led movements and initiatives from around the world are numerous and rather inspiring.

But when children have this much capability, teaching needs to adapt. Teachers look to give the chance for all children to participate in class, whatever their abilities. They devise engaging activities where children can develop more soft skills, which are ever more crucial when you get out into the world (not just the workplace, since volunteering has become an activity just as valued and rewarding). They work to open children’s perspectives, including through speaking a foreign language and seeing the world through a different lens. Furthermore, they use school resources that recognise the potential of all children and work to unlock it.

Educational suppliers, on the other hand, realise that it is their responsibility to help teachers achieve this, and they use all of their creativity to ensure they do offer schools the best there is. For example, Focus Education encourages schools to pair up to receive training in the face of decreasing budgets. This gives the opportunity to more teachers to access CPD and develop their teaching practice.

LDA, meanwhile, are working closely with experts to ensure it is constantly improving the resources and services it supplies to schools. The SEN specialists recently published a new book, ‘How to... Support Children with Autism Spectrum Condition in Secondary School’ by Lynn McCann, on the Autism spectrum. This publication aims to give teachers a better understanding of the condition, as well as ideas about how best to adapt the curriculum to get the most results for children on the spectrum.

Another brilliant example is TTS, which develops ‘open-ended’ resources to give children of all genders the possibility to become who they want to become. As Catherine Clark, head of Early Years new product development, put it: “The children can be architects of the play themselves. They can decide how they want to use the resources, rather than being directed by the adults. And by making sure that our products are for all children, we work to encourage girls, just as much as boys, to get into architecture, design, engineering and so on.”

She added: “A lot of the wooden materials work well for that because one child might use it for a pretend telephone, one might want to stack it, and another one might want to use it as a pretend house.”

We’re proud to be support these companies to help teachers deliver the world-leading education that the UK is renowned for. Indeed, here at BESA we have close to 400 member companies which supply schools in the UK and overseas.

Every day, it is a real joy to work with the wide range of companies that are BESA members and dedicated to helping schools and teachers deliver the best education they can to children. They make a real difference in the lives of school leaders, teachers and children.

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