Opportunity for impact in the changing world of Education

Education – a basic human right – A guest blog from our Chair, Ben Pike

From the battle to ensure girls in Afghanistan have a right to education, to the launch of Harvard’s and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Edx platform back in 2012 , initiatives to broaden access to education have been motivated by a belief that education is an enabler of social mobility and a catalyst for positive societal change. Today education is increasingly considered to be a basic human right .

The impact of learning on individuals can be seen in example after example of transformed opportunity and prospects. The return on investment for business is also clear, with an increasing number of employers recognising that a failure to develop the skills of their workforce is a failure to future proof their business.
Employers continue to complain of skill shortages and productivity challenges in the workforce are a very real inhibitor to economic growth and business success. Even the AI revolution is likely to just further accelerate the need for new skills, delivered even faster. Yet the lack of access to good education for the majority of the global population is still a present reality .

Education maybe accepted as an essential human need, but the opportunity remains to improve the quality of educational experience and to increase access to genuinely impactful learning.

Tech driven change – but we’re still human

Technology driven and AI based platforms offer a tantalising opportunity to democratise access to learning further, but the big danger is that they fail to deliver learning impact. Many major education initiatives over the last decade have delivered minimal impact, despite significant sponsorship , because the technology became the focus rather than the learner.

In the UK many education providers either lack technology capabilities or have an innate fear of change from teaching methods that have worked in the past. Universities struggle to agree their policies for Generative AI and continue to struggle to connect with the rapidly changing needs of industry . Global online content providers battle to improve their very low course completion rates but make little progress.
The way in which people access learning is clearly changing, but keeping people at the centre of the learning experience is key to future success.

Learner data and independent surveys indicate that the vast majority of people prefer to learn with others rather than alone. The world will continue to change but tomorrows education providers will need the capability and expertise to curate programmes that merge tech with human connection and carefully balance the economic benefits of digital with the effectiveness of in person interaction.

Impact – essential measures

The expectations of education providers are rising in our consumer driven world. Both employers and learners want education providers to deliver an impactful learning experience that develops useful new skills and capabilities. A tick box approach to learning is not enough. Education needs to deliver on its promise of improved employability, productivity and social mobility.

We all know that we generally improve what we measure. Therefore, building impact measures into future programmes is critical. This a good example of how technology can be harnessed to enhance learning outcomes. Using individualised tools to support initial assessment, building in ongoing assessment into programmes and where possible independently assessing outcomes are key ways in which impact can be consistently measured.

Integrating meaningful social, business and economic impact measures into learning programmes will be key to convincing stakeholders that education is a positive investment and to ensure learning models can continuing been enhanced and improved.

Future opportunities

Education has a proven impact on the lives of individuals, the performance of companies and the growth of economies . And technology should only make that impact bigger. Yet there are still too many stories of poor provision and too much educational practice stuck in the past.

This provides a backdrop of significant opportunity for a range of stakeholders to build progressive education platforms, programmes and companies that deliver an even better future for learning and in a way that is more impactful and efficient.

Many people who work in the sector see it as a vocation and are passionate to see the sector thrive and deliver more for students. Harnessing this committed workforce and supporting them to embrace and effectively utilise new tech/AI will unlock the potential of the education sector to have a growing impact.
Education is undoubtedly a wonderful sector in which to work, invest and contribute. For those seeking to build learning and education businesses, the future will require us to find more ways to bring together best in sector capabilities, encouraging collaboration, not just competition.

Future success will involve building scale to support proper investment in technology and methodology. It will require the development of human-centric learning solutions that give people the skills they need to perform in a fast-changing world.

Finally, the lesson from the last decade is that we must be relentless in focusing on delivering and measuring the impact of our education solutions and ensure learners remain at the very centre of our exciting future world.


A call for immediate return to school for all girls and women in Afghanistan! – Global Campaign for Education

edX – Wikipedia

Universal Declaration of Human Rights | United Nations Article 26

Skills and labour shortages – House of Commons Library (

How will reforms to England’s skill system affect productivity? – The Productivity Institute

Right to Education : Situation around the world – Humanium

Why Most Ed Tech Fails (

GPT-4 is here. But most faculty lack AI policies. (

We must solve the HE-industry disconnect| THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect (

Why the completion rate for online courses are so low | LinkedIn

How Education and Training Affect the Economy (

Press Release

Knovia Group acquires leading education providers Paragon Skills and Tempdent.

Knovia Group today, 11 September 2023 announced the acquisition of two leading education providers, Paragon Skills and Tempdent. These acquisitions create a new strategic expansion of Knovia Group within the education and training sector and will enable all group companies to work in partnership and strengthen their overall performance within their dedicated sectors.

Knovia is a group of sector-focused, best-in-class businesses that are at the forefront of their sectors supporting the adoption of impactful and relevant technology to drive sustainable change and innovation. With technology as the enabler, Knovia Group focuses on fulfilling the capability of individuals, providing them with the tools to be more productive, deliver a better service and advance their careers.

The Knovia Group companies are driven by strong, ambitious, experienced leadership with a culture of growth and success. The understanding of the challenges and opportunities within specifically chosen sectors, combined with a dedication to quality, compliance, and operational excellence.

The new group structure will not affect the day-to-day operations of either company, both companies will continue to operate as usual delivering outstanding education within their chosen sectors. Being part of the Knovia Group will allow Paragon Skills and Tempdent to combine resources and expertise allowing both companies to continue to deliver exceptional results to their learners, employer partners, and core sectors.

Paragon Skills is a multi-award-winning education provider specialising in the care and education sectors. The business has been delivering high-quality training since 1998 and now works with over 7,000 learners and 1,500 employers a year.

Tempdent is a leading dental training provider and recruitment agency with over 26 years of experience in the dental industry. Tempdent offers a range of high-quality apprenticeships, post-registration qualifications, CPD and Recruitment Services for aspiring and established dental professionals across the UK.

Mark Botha, CEO of Paragon Skills said:

“We are excited to join forces with Tempdent under our parent company Knovia, working more closely together as leading training providers in our core chosen sectors will allow us to offer the highest level of quality training, ensuring that we are delivering our pledge of delivering outstanding teaching and learning to every learner every time.”

Lorraine Nadel, Managing Director of Tempdent said:

“We are delighted to be teaming up with Paragon Skills as part of Knovia Group. Tempdent & Paragon Skills share common values in providing excellent teaching and support to our learners and clients and we look forward to sharing our best practices together to continue growing as leading training providers in our sectors.”

James Dargan, Director, Sovereign Capital Partners, said:

“Bringing Paragon Skills and Tempdent together under the Knovia banner marks an exciting chapter for both companies. Already leaders in their fields, they will now be better positioned to drive innovation to meet the evolving demands of commercial training. Knovia has a well-invested, highly sustainable and scalable business model, driven by an experienced and ambitious management team, and we look forward to continuing our work with them on this next step in their growth journey.”


We are excited to be launching Knovia as a platform that supports the ambitions of the businesses and leaders within our group. With our human-centered, technology-supported learning models, we are committed to building a scalable and sustainable education group.   Both Paragon Skills and Tempdent share a best-in-class approach to learning and a passion to deliver the measurable social impact that underpins our group objectives.

Ben Pike Chair Knovia