The why, who and how of our products

Tes Marketing

The Who, Why & How Of Product

The why

Every year we spend millions of pounds to improve and release new digital products to help our customers. We believe in the power of great teaching; our ambition is for our products to support and connect teachers worldwide to help them improve children’s lives.

This mission, coupled with the curiosity of those questions and our 11m plus users is why I love working at Tes. I’m lucky enough to lead what we call the product division.

Creating and evolving digital products for teachers and schools is complicated. So, where do we start? There are many questions we need to answer and it’s the product division’s responsibility to answer them….

What problems do we focus on?

  • Which teachers will our products connect? Which schools will our products support?
  • How will we help teachers and schools pick the products that will help them?
  • How will we know these products will work?
  • Which features will make a meaningful difference to teachers or schools?
  • What is the right design to make the products easy to use and enjoyable for teachers?

Education is a big topic, arguably the most important part of evolving civilisation and at the heart of making the world a better place. Teachers around the globe have an incredibly important job. Equal to the gravitas of the role are the difficulties involved in educating every child. Given its scale and complexity can we in the product division attempt to answer those earlier questions?

To increase the many amazing products we’ve to support teachers and schools, we focus on these principles:

  • Getting the right teacher in the right classroom
  • Solving real problems for schools
  • Helping teachers deliver amazing lessons

The who

The reality is, answering those questions can’t be answered based on one individuals’ knowledge or expertise - nobody knows everything. The process must be collaborative and use our collective intelligence.

Our product division includes product managers, data scientists, data analysts, marketing, user insights and ux designer; together these multi-functional teams collaborate. We follow a test and learn methodology, involving regular experiments and frequent conversations with teachers and schools to validate our ideas (we call them hypothesis).

The how

Our experiments might be talking to Teachers about a concept idea, or asking a few teachers to try a prototype. We might make a change to a product and only show 20% of our users the change while measuring the outcomes. In some cases, we may test a product that isn’t fully finished to get an idea of how teachers use it so we can understand if we need to make any changes before building the final product. In other cases, we can learn by analysing how our products are being used.

Our constant learnings help us to make informed product decisions and support us to deliver products that schools and teachers need and would recommend.  

We break down our products into three groups:

  1. Attract
  2. Train
  3. Empower

Attract includes products such as job advertising and application tracking to help simplify the recruitment process. These form part of the Tes Portal platform.

Train includes Tes Learn and the array of teacher qualification courses we run with Tes Institute. This includes Straight to Teaching, which helps Teaching Assistants gain QTS while remaining at the school they work in, sometimes in under 4 months depending on experience.

Empower products includes the resources platform where teachers share or sell resources to one another. ClassCharts which supports teachers reduce low level disruption with features such as Artifical Intelligence driven seating plans. We’ve recently launched Team Groups, a collaboration product helping teachers share, communicate and collaborate within the boundaries of their school or MAT.

The product division works very hard to connect with schools and teachers. This includes events, sharing information about our products and showing our fun-side, for example #TeawithTes.

Now you know what our product division does, we’d welcome any questions and look forward to hearing from you. Please contact us at