Edtech company sees surge in global demand

By Ben Carey on 9 October, 2020

Scanning Pens, an edtech company based at Heywood House near Westbury, has successfully launched into the US, Canada and Australia.

The company was co-founded in 2003 by Jack Churchill and Toby Sutton to create products designed to help dyslexic children and adults.  

Since 2015, Scanning Pens has received export support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), including funding to attend a tradeshow in Dubai and embark on market visits to the US. 

This support has helped the business to establish important relationships, and now exporting accounts for 50 per cent of Scanning Pen’s total sales. 

Between 2017-2019, sales in America, Canada and Australia have grown by 179 per cent, 295 per cent and 316 per cent respectively, with the US being its biggest export market accounting for £2M of annual revenue.  

The news coincides with National Dyslexia Awareness Week (5th-11th October) and Dyslexia Awareness month.

Jack Churchill said, “There has been a surge of demand during the pandemic as non-human reader aids    have become vital for children with special educational needs (SEN) who have lost the support of classroom assistants.  

“The UK education system is respected around the world and as well as teaching, we have cutting edge publishers and technology companies. 

“The Department for International Trade was an obvious first step to help us export and give us connections in markets where we had none. There is huge scope to grow our international base with DIT’s support.” 

Latest figuresfrom The Department for Education show that total education exports and transnational education activity from the UK was estimated to be £21.4BN in 2017, an increase of 7.2 per cent since 2016. Since 2010, the estimated value of education related exports has risen by 34.7 per cent in current prices. 

Not only have education exports been growing, but technology has also seen a boom, with Tech Nation’s Unlocking Global Tech reportsuggesting the UK contributed £23.3BN in digital tech exports in 2019, with the potential to grow this by more than £8BN by 2025. 

Paul Shand, Head of Trade for DIT in the South West, said, “Scanning Pen’s achievements in these markets indicate the strong demand for innovative, British, high-quality edtech services. It is great to see them succeed and provide these invaluable tools during a time when access to vital learning resources has been limited.   

“Trade will play an important role in getting our economy back on track and Scanning Pens is a great example of how companies can look to lucrative overseas markets to boost their sales while creating more jobs.”  

 Find out more at the Scanning Pens website.

Pictured: Jack Churchill.