Even with inconsistent rates of reopening across the world in the wake of Covid-19, our Schools Publishing and English Language Teaching (ELT) divisions saw strong growth in most geographic areas.
Our assessment business also grew, while digital products and services such as the Oxford Learners Bookshelf (ELT), Oxford Owl, and Oxford Advantage (Schools) increased in popularity. Regulatory changes and policy shifts in some countries brought new challenges, but we maintained our focus on giving parents, teachers, and children access to quality learning materials.
Education: Schools Publishing
From a position of uncertainty in 2020/21 with Covid-19 lockdowns and school closures, Schools Publishing is almost back to pre-pandemic levels, enjoying more than 12 per cent growth. Most markets have recovered from the challenges brought about by school closures, with Kenya, Pakistan, and India showing particularly strong recoveries.
titles published in 2020/21
of schools turnover generated by either digital or blended products
Our focus on digital and blended learning continued across the globe this year:
- The UK remains the market with the highest growth in digital and blended products (15% year on year)
- The pilot of Oxford Smart Curriculum Service as well as new developments in Oxford Owl, iSolution, and Oxford Advantage contributed to a significant increase in the number of schools and users in the UK, Hong Kong, and India.
- In South Africa, we launched Oxford Eduzone, a platform for 360-degree teaching and all-in-one teacher’s toolbox.
- In Australia and New Zealand, Oxford Digital 5—a platform with personalized learning journeys assessment and reporting—had over 700,000 paid users.
- The Talk About… with Oxford series in China for pre-school and primary children focuses on all-round education for home learning with illustrated characters. This is expected to drive growth in digital and print licensing opportunities in China.
- The Oxford International Curriculum continues to demonstrate the link between well-being and academic improvement in schools. Currently 75 schools around the world are in the pilot with seven subjects and more than 6,000 pieces of content available.
- The licensing to a Chinese internet company of OPERA (Oxford Primary English Reading Assessment) content, for use in their reading comprehension app in China. The project was a collaboration between our China, Assessment, and UK teams.
users of digital publications in schools
countries we are present in (+8 from 2020/21)
languages we published in
(+5 from 2020/21)
Responsive to change
As well as the challenges posed by the pandemic and a competitive market, Schools Publishing faced some major regulatory challenges this year.
For example, in Pakistan, proposed curriculum reforms included a uniform textbook with each chapter covering a specific learning outcome and a defined number of chapters with specific titles. Our Pakistan team worked to make this the minimum standard, rather than the only option, allowing for the provision of a wider range of learning materials.
OUP Pakistan became the first publisher to obtain the highest number of clearance certificates in the country. Not only did this lead to record sales growth in Pakistan, but it has paved the way for further policy work on textbooks and supplementary reading materials.
Demand for evidence of educational impact grows around the world. We initiated 11 impact studies in the year and completed eight, including one for Oxford International Curriculum and another for OxfordAQA, our joint venture with AQA Education.
There were 19,000 visits to the Oxford Impact website.