News story

International Textbook Summit

Education experts from around the world meet at first Textbook Summit.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb hosted the first International Textbook Summit in London on Thursday 14 June, bringing together curriculum experts and teachers to discuss how to use textbooks to improve education for every child and help tackle teacher workload.

The Minister welcomed government representatives and international experts from 15 nations including Finland, Singapore and Germany to the Royal Society in London to share the latest international evidence on textbooks and explore ways of emulating the success of textbook based teaching programmes, such as Teaching for Mastery.

Evidence suggests textbooks save teachers around 18 minutes a day and high performing countries, including those in the Far East, have a strong focus on textbooks to help raise education standards.

The international symposium builds on the recent launch of a £7.7 million curriculum fund to support the development of high quality resources. These resources will also help teachers deliver the government’s new curriculum while freeing them up to focus on what really matters in the classroom.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

Textbooks support teachers to translate the vision of a curriculum into carefully sequenced and well-resourced lessons, reducing teacher workload and increasing the quality of classroom teaching. That’s why we are encouraging the creation of these resources through our £7.7 million curriculum fund.

It was an honour to host world-leading experts for this first ever summit and to discuss how we can use these resources to improve education for every child, building on the 1.9 million more children now in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 thanks to the hard work of teachers and our reforms.

Tim Oates CBE from Cambridge Assessment said:

The Summit developed an extraordinary consensus about the value and function of textbooks; the discussion of what ‘quality’ means will help with both new generations of textbooks and allied digital resources.

The Department will work with Cambridge Assessment and Royal Society to publish the key messages and discussion points from the day. The evidence of best practice and the discussions at the summit will help to shape the development of resources as part of the curriculum fund. It will also inform the development of the department’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy which is due to be published later this year.

The Education Secretary has been clear that there are no great schools without great teachers and his top priority is to make sure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession – removing unnecessary workload is at the heart of this commitment.

Also speaking at the event were: Tim Oates CBE, Cambridge Assessment; Professor Bill Schmidt, Michigan State University; Professor Dr Eckhardt Fuchs, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research; Lee Fei Chen, Times Publishing Limited; Rickard Vinde, Swedish Association of Educational Publishers; Dr Nuno Crato, University of Lisbon; Debbie Morgan, National Centre for the Excellence in Teaching Mathematics; and Professor Xingfeng Huang, Shanghai Normal University.

Read Nick Gibb’s full speech here.

Published 18 June 2018