A Sheffield-based educational publisher has played a major role in supporting education during the Covid-19 lockdown, after recognising how it could help teachers, parents and carers right across the globe.
Twinkl immediately offered free access to its entire collection of online resources, which was over 630,000 at the time, as schools closed or prepared to close as a result of Covid-19 back in March.
The company reached out to over 200 countries and regions, including those where schools had not yet closed, to support contingency planning. The team created bespoke codes for different countries and areas to ensure that everyone, everywhere was able to access Twinkl resources should they wish to use them.
The offer code was used over 1 million times between March and June 2020 and Twinkl’s website became the 89th largest website domain in the UK by traffic as a result, sitting above sites including Deliveroo, Adidas, Expedia and Missguided.
Founded in 2010, Twinkl provides over 675,000 high-quality resources, which are all teacher created and checked, to 9.1 million members including primary and secondary school teachers, nursery workers and parents. These teaching and learning materials range from activity sheets, information packs and interactive presentations to online educational games and videos, with new content added daily.
The educational publisher is constantly innovating and questioning what more it could do to support educators. In the last three years alone, Twinkl has purchased a second Sheffield-based office to accommodate a growing team, created the world’s-first multiplayer augmented reality (AR) coding game, and translated its website and resources into 15 languages to be more accessible to educators around the world.
Jonathan Seaton, CEO and Co-founder of Twinkl, explains: “Twinkl’s mission is, and always will be, to help those who teach and to return time to teachers so that they can focus on what they do best – teach. It is also incredibly important to us that children have access to learning, whatever the circumstance.
“As schools around the world closed as a result of the pandemic, we recognised how our resources could help teachers, parents and carers navigate the challenge of home-schooling that they suddenly found themselves faced with. The response that we have had has been overwhelming and we are incredibly proud to have been a part of keeping the world learning during this difficult time.”
Jonathan was awarded an MBE for services to technology and education during Covid-19. Twinkl was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation this year, after their Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2018.
Although now a global company, Sheffield is still at the heart of the Twinkl success story and the company is now investing back into the local tech community through TwinklHive, a business accelerator that it launched at the end of last year. TwinklHive nurtures and supports emerging EdTech startups by providing them with investment, support services, mentorship and the option of residency at its office in Sheffield.
James Muir, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairman said: “It is fantastic to see how Twinkl is enhancing the EdTech sector in Sheffield City Region. Their TwinklHive accelerator is an inspired idea which will catapult new start-ups forward, giving them the opportunity to benefit from specialist support and to be part of a rapidly growing dynamic new community that is emerging here in Sheffield.”
TwinklHive has contributed to the sustainable growth of 8 start-ups, despite being less than one year old itself. Since Twinkl’s investment, these companies have created and filled 25 job roles between them.
Four of these now operate directly out of the TwinklHive office, with one business completely relocating its operations to Sheffield, and another has now opened a second office elsewhere in the city.
Twinkl’s Chief Operating Officer, David Angrave, explains: “At Twinkl, we recognise that we cannot do everything ourselves and that entrepreneurs everywhere are having technological ideas that support our mission to help those who teach. Therefore, the idea behind TwinklHive is to push forward a wider mission of helping educators by creating an ecosystem of like-minded organisations.
“Through TwinklHive, we are striving to further stimulate the EdTech sector here in Sheffield by encouraging pre-revenue businesses to relocate to the city. Sheffield is a phenomenal place to run a business and offers a range of exciting opportunities for new start-ups to succeed within the growing EdTech sector.”
TwinklHive has also just launched a new entrepreneurship scheme for 18 to 22 year-olds who want to start a digital business in South Yorkshire. The scholarship is a full time position which is set to run for six months, providing mentorship, funding of up to £40,000 and an alternative career path to young people.
Twinkl also has close links with both Sheffield Universities, having provided 53 internships and placements in 2020 already, and regularly recruits graduates from a range of industries, including graphic design, illustration and business.
For more information about Twinkl or to find out about locating an EdTech business in Sheffield visit www.twinkl.co.uk.
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For more information please contact email@example.com or call 0114 360 0225
Twinkl was founded in 2010 in Sheffield by husband and wife Jonathan and Susie Seaton, with a mission ‘to help those who teach’.
The company provides high quality, online learning materials and services, which are all teacher-created and checked.
Twinkl offers over 675,000 resources, with new content added daily. This ranges from schemes of work and assessments to augmented reality games and much more.
Twinkl is used and trusted by schools and educators in over 200 countries and regions, including primary and secondary school teachers, nursery workers and parents.
Twinkl has over 710 team members based in its two Sheffield offices and remotely around the globe.
More information can be found at twinkl.co.uk
The idea for Twinkl came to Jonathan and Susie Seaton when Susie was working as an Early Years teacher and couldn’t find the materials she needed for her lessons online. As a result, Susie was working evenings and weekends to make resources from scratch.
Speaking to colleagues and friends, the couple found that Susie was not alone in her situation. So, to help other teachers, they began creating and publishing educational resources online from their spare bedroom.
The business grew quickly and organically as educators embraced the high-quality materials. The team grew quickly too, with current and former teachers, as well as experts in content and design soon joining Jonathan and Susie in their mission ‘to help those who teach.’
Jonathan and Susie are delighted that Twinkl is now taking this mission across the world, returning time and energy to educators that is better spent in the classroom with their pupils or on themselves at home.
About Sheffield City Region.
Located in the heart of the United Kingdom, the Sheffield City Region is building a Global Innovation Corridor that connects people, businesses and ideas.
Sheffield City Region’s assets include:
- Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID)
- University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)
- Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC)
- Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park
- Barnsley Digital Media Centre
- Doncaster Sheffield Airport
Sheffield City Region has:
- 17 million people of working age
- 373,000 people with a degree or equivalent
- 1,402,900 residents
- 564,000 jobs
- 47,175 businesses
- £27 billion GVA
- Area 1,552Km2
The region’s proximity to areas of outstanding natural beauty, with vibrant towns and cities and a superb quality of life, means Sheffield City Region is attracting global manufacturers to relocate here.
Sheffield City Region’s ability to design, develop and distribute innovative product solutions, with partnerships between our universities and businesses, places it at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution.
For more information about why Sheffield City Region is a great place to live, work and invest visit www.scrinvest.com.
Nici Pickering, Sheffield City Region firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: Jonathan and Susie (and baby Phoenix) being presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, which we were awarded in 2018. They were also awarded with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation this year too.