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Increasing quality of textbooks to be major focus at PA/BESA Education Conference

Increasing quality of textbooks to be major focus at PA/BESA Education Conference


17th November 2015

The Publishers Association (“The PA”) and the British Education Suppliers Association (“BESA”) today launch guidance for publishers aimed at ensuring UK-produced textbooks are of the highest possible quality and meet the expectations of teachers and students.

The Quality Guidelines, launched ahead of today’s PA / BESA Annual Education Conference in central London, highlight the main areas publishers should consider as they conceive, commission and produce school textbooks. These include demonstrating pupil progression, providing good assessment measures and supporting teachers effectively.

At last year’s Conference Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb MP, challenged UK publishers to codify high standards for textbooks. In his speech the Minister pointed to how, internationally, good teaching and high academic standards are strongly associated with adequate provision and widespread use of high-quality text books. Education publishers have, therefore, been working closely with teachers, specialists and the Department for Education in a combined effort to help raise educational achievement.

Commenting, Colin Hughes Chair of The PA’s Education Publishers Council, said:

“UK-produced textbooks have always been recognised as high quality, as evidenced by their widespread use internationally. However, publishers are not complacent - we know that there is always room for improvement, responding to new ideas and research findings from around the world. Given the recent changes to the UK curriculum, and ministers' eagerness to see students here being able to work from world-leading resources, this seemed an opportune moment to work collaboratively as an industry to embed this quality further.”

Caroline Wright, Director General Designate of BESA, said:

“We are delighted to have had a team of dedicated educationalists working with us on this initiative to ensure UK published textbooks are of the highest quality. These combine pedagogical expertise with the very latest in publishing technology and as such are highly valued by teachers.”

The guidelines cover Mathematics, English, History, Geography, Science, Religious Education, Modern Foreign Languages and Computing and are available via The Publishers Association website (

 Downloads are available here