Publisher has winning ways

4th January 2013 at 00:00
A family-run company has won an award for its innovative business strategy, writes Elizabeth Buie

A small, family-run educational publishing company has won an award for business innovation, recognising the scale of its penetration in the schools market.

TeeJay Publishers, which featured in The Herald's Family Business Awards, supplies maths materials to all secondary and 85 per cent of primary schools in Scotland. Its market includes parents, individual tutors, large tutorial firms, hospitals, prisons and schools abroad. Sales to parents have accounted for #163;130,000 of turnover in the past three years.

The company is owned by John Strang (the J of TJ) and his brother Tom (T of TJ). John runs the business side, while Tom and two other teachers - one a retired principal teacher of maths, the other a current teacher - are responsible for writing and publishing the maths materials.

Resources include primary and secondary textbooks, photocopiable support materials, PowerPoint discs, assessment packs, homework, detailed course outlines, diagnostics and planners.

The firm, which was set up in 1994, recently developed a new range of textbooks, covering every Curriculum for Excellence outcome from early level to level 3, with corresponding homework and assessments.

These resources account for its 45 per cent rise in sales. It sent out a free CfE-linked textbook to all 2,800 schools in Scotland and introduced free lesson plans on financial maths for primary and secondary, downloadable from its website.

It has also linked its 5-14 materials to CfE guidance so that schools can continue to use these older resources. Its latest ventures include electronic e-books to take account of the rise in the use of iPads and other tablets, and plans to break into the English market. The firm also claims to be the only one to have developed assessment packs to measure the progress of pupils following the new CfE courses.

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