Tonight I am meeting Caroline Wright face to face. I interviewed her for Merlin John Online
We have emailed and talked on the phone so much that I feel as if I know her quite well but in fact we met just once – very briefly – at the farewell do for Ray Barker.
Caroline is not the new Ray. Nor is she a replacement. One thing I have learnt is that as the new director at BESA Caroline will put her own stamp on the organisation. She has a formidable pedigree with extensive overseas experience which will be of great benefit to the UK software community but she also has great charm
Most importantly she has a very clear set of values: ‘Education matters and is always likely to be featured in the first few pages of a newspaper because it is relevant to most of the population. We have all had an education and we nearly all know someone who is having one now. The role as a director at BESA ticks every box for me. I love education and this job lets me be part of a team and puts me back at the heart of strategy and delivery.’
Tonught I shall enjoy being BESA’s guest at their annual House of Lords reception.
I went to the BESA reception at the House of Lords earlier this week. BESA is the British Educational Suppliers Association and serves as a pressure group as well as a trade association. The cream of the educational software industry was there with representatives from big companies such as Crick Software and smaller more specialist companies such as Immersive Technology which has produced the award winning Kartouche brand and Sunflower, experts in Science.
Baroness Hooper, president of BESA, talked about the challenges ahead and Dominic Savage, Director General, pointed out that this was the last time colleagues from Becta would be attending as the organisation is due to close. However, he sounded a more optimistic note with the news of BETT Middle East, due to take place later this month in Abu Dhabi, and an increasingly open door to Indian markets for British educational software.
There was an enthusiastic response to the news that Andrea Carr, founder and Managing Director of educational publishing company Rising Stars, is to be the new chair of BESA.