The education market still has many more years of growth in it for resellers, that was the message coming from channel players at BETT 2006, the technology event for education.
Steve Dracup, managing director of manufacturer and distributor, Promethean AV, told CRN: "I would estimate that only around 20 per cent of schools in the UK have interactive technology. Research has shown that there are around 800,000 classrooms in the UK so there is still a lot of scope for resellers."
Paul Sheehan, education development consultant for distributor Steljes, said: "The education market is maturing but it certainly isn't drying up. The primary school market has evolved quicker than the secondary school market because BECTA [British educational communications and technology agency] didn't award the same amount of funding to the secondary schools; therefore there is still a lot of room for growth in the secondary school space."
Reseller IA Computing said it had seen its education business increase in the last year. "We've always worked in both corporate and education, but in the past year the education side has grown to account for 50 per cent of our business," said Michael McCann, a representative of IA Computing.
Francois Schutte, technical director at VAR Trusol, said: "The education market isn't drying up at all. Even once all schools have interactive whiteboards there will still be other technologies that schools are going to need."
The ultimate goal of Becta is to have an interactive whiteboard in every
classroom in the UK. Chris Stevens, head of inclusion for Becta, said: "At the
moment a lot of teachers just use interactive whiteboards as projectors so there
needs to be more training to show them all the benefits. There are still a lot
of schools that haven't got interactive whiteboards and there will always be
emerging technologies that schools are going to need. IT manufacturers are
specifically aiming their technology at the education space now and ask teachers
exactly what they want."
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