Bett: The meeting place for education change-makers

The meeting place for education change-makers

Bett 2018 will take place from 24 to 28 January and will once again gather the global education community to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education

Over the past 35 years, Bett has evolved into the world’s meeting place for those passionate about education, bringing 850 leading companies, the best edtech start-ups and over 34,700 attendees from the global education community together in 2017 to find inspiration and discuss the future of education. The event is underpinned by the belief that everyone has a role to play in transforming education.


The Bett Arena is home to some of the inspirational talks, big stories and developments in technology in education. The programme of content for 2018 will be announced in October and to help address the perennial issue of demand versus supply, popular Arena sessions will be screened in areas around the show.


The Bett schedule includes a wealth of talks, keynotes and interactive sessions specifically for primary and secondary educators at every level. They each will give insights into education through a programme of world class speakers sharing amazing stories about new approaches to pedagogy and the application of cutting edge technology in a school setting. Topics range from being effective with budgets, managing teacher workload and dealing with teacher recruitment and retention issues to solutions to manage pupil progress and attainment and methods of creative teaching.

Some of the key tech themes being explored at the show this year will include the effective assessment of computing learning, demonstrating the value of tech to senior leadership teams, infrastructure and having the bandwidth and systems in place to support good tech in the classroom.

Practical experience is the key theme for the Workshop, new to Bett and designed to allow primary and secondary education to get more hands-on with the latest developments in pedagogical and infrastructure technology.

The opportunity to touch, test and evaluate resources is perhaps one of the most valuable features of Bett, particularly when purchases need to demonstrate clear value to schools for whom budgets are under pressure.


This specially designed agenda, growing on last year’s successes, will appeal to influential practitioners and leaders in technology as well as institution leadership. The 2018 programme will deliver sessions targeted to the key objectives of its audiences including: Building 21st Century skills, adaptive learning, the use and potential of artificial intelligence and analytics and the latest in flipped and blended learning.

For further education, additional topics will include e-Portfolios, tracking attendance and engagement and the use of remote learning to meet the needs of all pupils.


Bett 2018’s worldwide parter is Microsoft. The firm’s mission in the education sector is to empower every student to achieve more. It has been a major player in this market for many years and its focus is on helping students and teachers to gain the most from the technology they often already have in schools, thereby improving student outcomes.

Microsoft has very high awareness generally, but it regularly launches new products and initiatives to support teachers and students. Its challenge is to continually demonstrate how its products make a difference in UK classrooms and compete with many new players in this fast-moving market.

“What makes Bett unique is the community. Over 45,000 people come to the show every year and they are all eager to learn how technology can help them in their schools, and no other show offers that,” said Tim Bush, education marketing manager at Microsoft.


Last year, Bett hosted some inspirational speakers such as Sir Ken Robinson, Heston Blumenthal and Ed Stafford.

Unsurprisingly, Ed Stafford’s session saw people squeezing in around the edge of the arena to catch sight of the renowned adventurer, explorer and broadcaster. Ed shared his views on why the spirit of exploration is so important in today’s world, and underlined the importance of technology in encouraging children’s natural desire to learn. He also gave all attending visitors ideas on how to ignite this inquisitiveness in their students.

Along similar lines, Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at International Centre for Leadership in Education, revealed his innovative research‑based practices; giving teachers ideas of how to implement these to bring back a sense of awe to learning. Throughout the session he stressed the importance of instilling this wonderment in the classroom.

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal may not be an obvious speaker at Bett, but his session probably attracted three times more people than there were seats. He spoke passionately about creativity in education and the opportunity it brings to explore and discover. He encouraged teachers to welcome questions and failure in the classroom, believing this is the basis for constructive learning.

Further Information: