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New high-tech equipment aims to level the playing field for disabled pupils

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Trials of pioneering technology to help disabled pupils in the classroom will take place across the country in the first programme of its kind in the world.

Speaking at the largest education technology show in the world, universities, science, research and innovation minister Chris Skidmore, will announce plans to fund trials of ground-breaking assistive technology for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in up to 100 schools and colleges.

Trials include the use of eye-gaze technology, which can help pupils with severe motor impairments to communicate, helping to level the playing field for children with additional needs.

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Other innovations are expected to include ‘text-to-speech’ and ‘speech recognition’ software, which can help pupils with dyslexia improve their reading and proof-reading.

Chris Skidmore says: “Harnessing the power of modern technology can help us change lives and unlock the potential of every child.”

Adding: “With technological advances happening at increasingly breakneck speed, it is only right that we ride the wave so pupils in our classrooms with special educational needs are given all the support they need.”

The trials will be funded by an initial investment of £300,000, as part of a wider investment of £10m through the Department’s EdTech Strategy, which aims to transform the use of technology in education to support innovation and raise the bar in schools, colleges and universities across England.

The pilots will run from April 2020 until the end of the 2020-21 academic year and will assess the impact of different types of assistive technology for pupils with special educational needs, informing best practice on the tools which most help pupils in the classroom.

EdTech exports are worth an estimated £170 million to the UK economy, and the strategy will deliver on the Government’s ambition for tech firms to work with the education sector and create innovative solutions to 10 key education challenges.

Tags : assistive technologytechnology
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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