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(l-r) Evidence Based Education co-founder Jack Deverson and Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.

Expansion for teacher training business

A BUSINESS that teaches teachers is set to chalk up its fourth year of growth, after relocating to enable further expansion. 

Evidence Based Education (EBE), which was originally set up in Durham before relocating to Chester-le-Street, has made a move to its own premises in Sunderland, after being attracted to the city’s central location regionally. The move has created additional space for the business - which is now a ten-strong outfit - to take on more people, having just recruited a senior figure from the world of education to head up a new arm of the company.

The company was founded in 2015 and delivers both online and on-site training to teachers and schools nationally and internationally. Set up by academic and former teacher, Professor Stuart Kime, and Jack Deverson, who is qualified in Chinese and German, EBE aims to deliver teacher training in the way that delivers long-term benefit for the school.

“EBE was set up after we realised that teacher training was simply not delivering the impact that we felt it could,” said Jack.

“Like any other professional development, we felt that training for teachers should not be something approached in a piecemeal way, but should be structured to give long-term value. The growth we have seen so far has confirmed to us that we’re offering something very different - we have been able to secure work quickly because customers recognise the value EBE can add.”

The company has very quickly secured a global customer base, including a prestigious schools group in China, as well as institutions in 40 other countries abroad and many closer to home in the north-east. Its turnover has grown to over £420,000 in just its fourth year of trading.

The early success seen at EBE means that the team has grown from being a two-man operation to a ten-strong business with ambitious plans for growth. These plans will be fuelled by the appointment of Professor Rob Coe, who is joining the firm from Durham University, where he held a senior role both in the School of Education and heading up the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.

Professor Coe, who is set to join the team in early February, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining EBE at such an exciting point in its development. 

“The company has disrupted the market, offering training that is different to anything else out there, and it is no surprise that it has been able to expand so rapidly. At the time of joining, EBE will be seeking to extend its services and expand its capacity to conduct really exciting and bespoke research and development services for various stakeholders in education.

“I’m really looking forward to contributing to the ongoing growth of a company that I believe can do so much good for the teaching profession.”

The team is now based at the company’s new HQ in Grange Crescent, close to Sunderland city centre. The four-storey property, providing over 4,000 sq ft of office space, will enable EBE to continue with its rapid expansion program.

Jack, who was born in the city, said: “Sunderland is perfectly located to support us. We wanted to be based at the heart of the region, in an area that allows us to grow our team with talented people from across the North East. 

“We’ve very recently been able to attract a high-flying Teach Firster who was impressed by the pragmatic and ambitious nature of the organisation, and an American-born Cambridge University PhD candidate, who was more than happy to relocate to Sunderland to pursue a career with us. I think that’s testament to the team we’ve built and the opportunity we provide to people joining our business.”

The next step for the business is to employ people with technical and software skills, which will help the company develop its digital platforms.

“Our training is largely delivered online, and while - at the moment - outsourcing the technical aspects of the site works well, that’s something we are keen to bring in-house sooner rather than later. Being in Sunderland will be hugely beneficial, with its great links to Software City, the University of Sunderland, and its ease of access from across the region.”

The business is now being supported by the team from MAKE it Sunderland (Sunderland City Council), which is supporting EBE to connect with organisations that can help it continue its upward trajectory.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is an example of a truly innovative business, that can see the merits of locating in a city that is fast establishing itself as a hotbed for cutting-edge business.

“We are delighted to welcome Jack and the EBE team to the business community in Sunderland, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to disrupt the market, and expand their already impressive customer base.”

To find out more about Sunderland as a place for technology businesses, visit www.makeitsunderland.com or follow @makeitsund on social media.