Sixty North East training providers are set to benefit from an investment in new software that will improve their teaching and help them get ahead of their competitors.

The region’s largest network of training organisations, North East Learning Providers (NELP), has teamed-up with Newcastle-based company VEO to offer its members free use of Video Enhanced Observation.

The VEO app allows teachers and trainers to record videos of their lessons on a tablet or smartphone, then tag, review, highlight and share best practice and areas that require improvement.

The move is in response to changes in the further education sector which has seen funding decrease and an ever-increasing pressure to demonstrate continuous improvement in the quality of its teaching to the Skills Funding Agency and Ofsted.

NELP member, Barnardo’s Employment Training and Skills, based in North Tyneside, is one of the first NELP members to use VEO. Their head of operations, Geoff Mount, explains more:

“We are part of a national group and using VEO has allowed us to work more efficiently and learn from each of our peer organisations, without the need for meetings and endless form filling.

“Previously, teaching observation was very subjective – it was an observer sat in a lesson, filling in forms and giving their opinion. VEO is much more sophisticated and objective – a number of assessors can review performance now, including the teacher involved – it’s more accurate, transparent and reliable.

“VEO is an unrivalled tool for improving teaching quality and I’m delighted that NELP has invested in it for its members. Anything like this that helps drive-up performance is very welcome.”

NELP executive officer, David Baker said: “By investing in VEO we are making sure our members are best placed to be the best training providers in the region. Some of our members may not have been able to afford to access VEO, otherwise.

“This is another example of why being part of a network like ours is so worthwhile.”

VEO was developed by entrepreneurs Jon Haines and Paul Miller at Newcastle University in collaboration with schools and teachers worldwide, to create a smart, cost effective, easy to use system that helps educators improve quality and performance.

The online portal acts as a social network between trainers to enable best practice to be shared and developed with ease. Teachers also own their video/data portfolios and their CPD.

North East Learning Providers (NELP) is a network of local training providers. Members include independent training providers, colleges, employers, local authorities and voluntary organisations that operate within Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, County Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside. It aims to promote, represent and support its members and the training sector as a whole.

NELP works closely with the training sector’s funding bodies including the Skills Funding Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service. Its members deliver vocational training for hundreds of employers and thousands of learners throughout the north east region.

NELP is a not for profit organisation. For more information about NELP and how to join go to www.nelp.co.uk