Hove Park School head Derek Trimmer is to share the lessons of equipping every student with an iPad when he addresses a leading education conference in London this week.
Mr Trimmer is interviewed in a preview in the Daily Telegraph today (Saturday 18 January) in a feature headlined: “Can an iPad help schoolchildren get better grades?”
He is quoted as saying: “We needed a vehicle that would level the playing fields for disadvantaged children.
“You’d see children losing it 30 to 40 per cent of the lesson – the iPad offers the opportunity to stay engaged.
“But the thing that got us excited was the impact of taking work home and sharing it and engaging with parents.”
He told the Telegraph that part of the aim of using the tablets involved using clever, specific education apps.
But much of the success has come from allowing teachers to encourage children to involve their parents more in their education.
He said: “Even the most simple applications – the camera, taking photos of their work – meant there was a real pride which meant parents were really engaged in it.”
Mr Trimmer has been credited with raising performance at Hove Park School since he was appointed in 2011.
Its exam results were the second most improved in the south east and the twelfth most improved in the country.
He told the Telegraph: “Taking a school from poor to good is about tightening up.
“But good to outstanding is about letting go, both as a manager and a teacher, and the iPad allows us to do that to let people be more creative.”
The newspaper said that the school ended up paying for 40 per cent of the devices, which are not the cheapest tablet available, although many children already had them at home.
Hove Park went through a lengthy procurement exercise, Mr Trimmer told the Telegraph, securing a good price.
He said: “I don’t want to sound like an Apple lover but I think it is more seamless and it is more creative.
“It still feels like a significant step ahead of its rivals but we would look at procurement again in the future.
“It might be different for a different school.”
Overall, he said: “Tablets are very empowering because of the speed. In terms of education, I think it’s a game changer.
“I would like to see them across all schools.”
He will share his experiences at BETT, the annual education technology exhibition and conference, in London.