Darren Tye, National Operations Director at Exemplar Education

#Brexit aside, few issues have captured the public’s consciousness as much as #AI and the rise of the robots and what it could mean for the job market of the future.

Applied to the education sector this raises the question, will teachers become redundant and classrooms redefined by artificial intelligence and virtual reality?

Technology shouldn’t be seen as a force of evil, but rather as a tool to support teachers and allow them to continue to do the jobs that robots or a piece of technology simply can’t do – empathise, connect and work with children to get the best out of them.

Darren Tye, Exemplar Education’s National Operations Director, discusses how advances in technology can be used to support teachers and the education system, and in turn can ensure our children are getting the best possible education and are growing in confidence:

What the classroom of the future will look like?

The speed at which technology is evolving is faster than anyone could have imagined and with that comes an overarching sense of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of our hard-earned skill sets growing redundant, fear of everyday tasks being replaced by AI all together.

The anxiety surrounding the impact of AI does not come without warrant. The Office for National Statistics recently revealed that over 1.5 million jobs will fall into that category of uncertainty in the next ten years.

But with one in five teachers expecting to leave the classroom within two years and a further two-fifths wanting to quit by 2024, according to a poll by the National Education Union, it seems the threat of redundancy as a result of AI is just another concern to add to a growing list of workplace pressures for teachers.

With respondents citing excessive workloads and tough accountability practices, the poll gave incisive insights into the most pressing challenges facing the system. When asked “what would be the one thing that would make your job better in the next 12 months?” respondents pointed to a stronger work-life balance with a less excessive workload and a reduced focus on assessments and marking. Surely then we should be pulling out all the stops to retain our talented teachers and looking more positively at the technical innovations that will make a major mark on the classroom of the future. While policymakers can look towards simplifying and reducing the admin pressures confronting teachers; any review which fails to consider technical innovation and how it could reimagine the classroom of the future, could only ever work in the short-term.


Many teachers feel under pressure on a day to day basis, there’s no denying that, which makes it ever more important that they feel supported and appreciated. A teacher’s success in the classroom has the power to single-handedly transform our children and their futures. With technology ever evolving it is imperative that the teachers and the education system evolve as well, so the role of the teacher is not diminished.

While we should never look to the future with rose tinted glasses, we should be looking at the positive changes that a more technical world can bring to the classroom of the future. A compelling PricewaterhouseCoopers report suggested that AI would be more of an asset to the UK economy that previously imagined, creating 7.2M extra jobs - easily offsetting the 7M jobs it displaces. The firm estimates that the education sector could benefit from 200,000 extra jobs.

Technology and teaching should not be pitted against each other as they go hand-in-hand and will continue to do so for many years to follow. Change is challenging for most people; it always has been, and it always will be.

But technology in the classroom shouldn’t be seen as a force of evil, but rather as a tool.

A tool to support teachers and allow them to continue to do the jobs that robots or technology simply can’t do – empathise, connect and work with children to get the best out of them. There is no denying that AI will have an impact on the economy, but in regard to learning, I believe that the advancements will only work to re-emphasise the importance of a teacher’s role in their classroom. Through my work at Exemplar Education, I have seen first-hand how combining technology and traditional teaching enhance a child’s learning.

Rather than replacing teachers, robots and AI could free up their time by handling the jobs that a teacher doesn’t need to be doing - the more administrative-based tasks. If we can utilise technology on these repetitive or time-consuming tasks, such as routine marking, reporting and record keeping, it will ensure that teachers are freed up to get on with actual teaching and not zapped by the baggage that comes with it.

There is every reason for us as a profession to embrace technological advancement in our sector with confidence.

Darren Tye, National Operations Director at Exemplar Education

About Darren Tye: As Exemplar Education’s premier spokesperson, Darren has more than 20 years’ experience in the education sector. He joined Exemplar Education from Prudential where he was a Financial Consultant working with educators as a teachers AVC Pension Specialist. Darren manages all aspects of Exemplar Education’s relationship with schools and is a key influencer on important improvements. He has grown the School Liaison Officer team from 20 to 40 as well as increasing the average response rate from parents interested in Exemplar Education from 6% to 14%, which in turn significantly increased the company’s turnover. In 2014 Darren was appointed to the Board as National Operations Director

About Exemplar Education: The largest UK supplier of high quality, affordable, supplementary home-based maths and English education. Starting in 1991, Exemplar Education has developed and refined the use of home-learning to supplement and support schoolwork in maths, English and reading, from Year 1 to GCSE and now have over 350 people working from 6 locations across the UK. Over 400,000 children in the UK have registered on Exemplar Education programmes.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page