Tes Learn Wins Best Online Distance Learning Programme at the Learning Technologies 2018 Awards

On the 21 November, HT2 Labs with Tes Institute took home the 2018 Learning Technologies - Best Online Distance Learning Programme - bronze awards, for their English Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course.

Every year these awards receive hundreds of applications, from across the world, all with the same goal - to showcase excellent learning solutions. 

This year the Tes Learn platform was put into the spotlight, and we are delighted to say it received some excellent feedback and recognition. Below we explain some of the reasons why.

Meet Tes Learn

More often than not we see schools and training providers using a combination of processes, systems and administration tools to deliver training and development programmes. With one tool to host learning content, another to run supporting video and (dare I say it) maybe even some pen and paper feedback written by their tutors. 

Tes Learn was created to tackle these problems by providing a single solution for schools. The platform is designed to not only house all learning content but to also track learner progress, provide a feedback channel for tutors and seamlessly integrate with Tes.com's sizeable online community and resources.

This new learning and development approach allows trainees to self-direct and manage their learning journey. Functionality such as assessment checkpoints, RAG (red amber green) ratings and reminder nudges all help keep trainees on track to meet their deadlines. Every trainee also has an individual asset store that’s accessible to only them. It can be used to build up an evidence portfolio and once it’s been checked in the evidence can also be seen by tutors and schools. This checked in evidence stays with trainees and can be used beyond the course - this may be useful for future Ofsted inspections or audits.

Using innovative technology built in partnership with HT2 Labs - social and collaborative learning is built into the core of the platform. Each learning session blends content, social discussion and sharing which can be easily accessed, paused, and revisited through the programme. By using gamification techniques to reward progress, learners are encouraged to earn points by completing tasks and engaging with others, drawing on the sometimes hidden competitive streak that the teaching community has.

How does this help schools and trainee teachers?

On the backdrop of widespread struggles in teacher recruitment, schools and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers were increasingly relying on candidates without English-specific degrees.  So when the Depart for Education officially added English to the list of shortage subjects in 2016, Tes Institute rose to the challenge to provide an innovative course that would help improve the subject knowledge of English trainee teachers.
The Tes Institute solution focused on achieving two key things: 

  • to break down learning barriers and create a programme that caters to non-English specialists and teach them about the curriculum in a flexible, online way
  • to create an innovative SKE programme that is tutor-led and delivered using an online platform.

The course uses interactive learning that encourages trainees to actively engage with what they are being taught. Rich media including animation, videos and scenario-based exercises help keep learners engaged throughout each session. 


Since its launch in 2016, our English SKE course has enrolled more trainees than any other provider in England. Above-average retention rates were seen within the first five months of the course going live, with the smart programme design mitigating any potential fears of taking an ‘online-only’ course. Engagement on the platform only improved and 98% of students went on to pass and complete the programme on time. 

Learning Technologies judges described the programme as ‘a creative course design that offers aspiring teachers flexible pathways aligned to their specific knowledge gaps and needs.’

Course elements such as integration of self-directed, reflective, whole-class and 'tutor-led' sessions all contributed to winning the award. 

“I am now so grateful to have taken the course as it has widened my knowledge and given me the confidence I needed to begin my PGCE.” Tes Institute English SKE trainee, 2016-17​

“I have really enjoyed the course and found it very beneficial, so much so that I have fed this back to my training provider and some of my fellow trainees will now also be signing up for it.”  Tes Institute English SKE trainee, 2016-17​


Following the success of this course, we will now be using this award-winning method of learning delivery in all ten of our SKE courses and a wider portfolio of teacher training and development programmes. If you’re interested in hearing more about how Tes Learn can work for you, have a read of our Tes Learn page. 

The full list of Learning Technologies Awards winners 2018.