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The Education group is one of the fastest growing and most innovative businesses in its sector. It produces print and digital products that are underpinned by evidence-based pedagogy and the best in classroom practice from around the world.
Education enjoyed another excellent year, helped by strong growth in our sales of print and digital materials for new curricula, by our focus on publishing for individual national markets, and by the continued success of our international exams publishing business.
Improving education at school has become a significant priority for governments and parents around the world as they prepare children for the workplace and for higher education. At the same time, in an increasingly competitive global environment, the English language is becoming more important as a medium of instruction, and demand is growing for internationally recognised exam certification.
These trends play to our strengths: our global brand and network; our expertise in teaching and learning in English; our close working with Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and our partnership with other university departments to improve teaching approaches.
Our international examinations publishing business continued its rapid growth during the year, thanks to strong demand in areas such as India, Asia and the Middle East. Increasingly, customers weighing up the relative merits of examination boards favour those, like Cambridge, that can put together an integrated package of support for teachers and learners.
We place teachers at the heart of all we do. They are the key link in the educational chain and make it more effective.
We believe teachers are the key factor in delivering the full power of digital innovations.
We also believe that it is important to put a strong emphasis on publishing for individual local markets, to reflect and respect their needs and cultures. For example, in 2015–16 we made significant investments in new products for India, which we see as an increasingly important market for the Press.
Our South African office, working in conjunction with colleagues in the UK, has been preparing the ground for our entry into the large, complex and exciting schools market in Nigeria, where we are launching with over 100 new local print titles. South Africa also launched a wholly digital mathematics resource, HOTmaths CAPS edition.
Our products have an increasingly strong digital component, whether blended with traditional textbooks, or as stand-alone items, and our commitment to both local publishing and digital came together this year in two particularly successful secondary school mathematics launches in Australia.
The launch of six new print and digital titles for senior secondary under the banner Cambridge Senior Mathematics, has dominated the market in Victoria. Also launched were new digital editions of Essential Mathematics for the Australian Curriculum, providing students and teachers with resources of unrivalled breadth and depth.
The success of our mathematics publishing was due not merely to the quality of the material but to the alignment of the entire Australian business to support the product though marketing, technical support and training.
Dynamic Science, our first major digital product without a print version, won the best teacher and student resource at the Education Publishing Awards Australia.
We also saw good growth during the year in our Education Reform business, working with governments to support large-scale plans to improve performance initiatives. The core objectives of most education reform programmes involve equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in tertiary education, diverse industries and entrepreneurship.
It is important to put a strong emphasis on publishing for individual local markets, to reflect and respect their needs and cultures.
Our work both focuses on the key role that high quality resources play in effective reform, and also supports the other key elements for success, including teacher training, evaluation and curriculum/assessment.
In this area we are working with the governments of Kazakhstan and Maldives across subjects to produce local textbooks, and we won a major new contract in the United Arab Emirates to develop a national English language programme.
The Kazakhstan project involves working closely with both Cambridge Assessment and the University’s Faculty of Education – an example of how harnessing the full resources of Cambridge can deliver leading educational thinking and practical change as the digital revolution opens up new ways of imparting knowledge and testing a student’s understanding.
Our Indian business goes from strength to strength, building on the power of the Cambridge name to publish for the growing international exams market, and also increasingly for local curricula. Our publishing programme has initially focussed on the core subjects of English, Maths and ICT, and the launch of a wide range of high-quality blended print products – I Did it Mathematics, Cambridge School Grammar, Cambridge Listening and Speaking for Schools and Exploring General Knowledge. Three digital successes this year were: Communication 360°, aimed at developing communications skills in the classroom; Cambridge HOTmaths, a global product adapted for Indian schools; and Teacher’s Resource Pack Plus, which integrates an enhanced e-book with interactive teaching tools. Teacher’s Resource Pack Plus won two awards within a year of its first release.
Maths in Australia
For the 2016 school year we revamped two of our most important mathematics series. Essential Mathematics for the Australian Curriculum was fully integrated into the Edjin interactive online education platform. This was complemented with video solutions for all worked examples, as well as the resources of HOTmaths’ task management, test generation and powerful reporting tools. The Cambridge Senior Mathematics series was rewritten for the new Years 11 and 12 curriculum, building on the success of the long-time bestselling ‘Essential’ series and fully integrated into the Edjin platform. Both series have had unprecedented success and are the leading resources in one of our most important markets.