On Friday 13 October 2017, Bridget Phillipson, Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, toured the GL Development site at Rainton Bridge South Business Park and met with members of staff and the management team.
Ms Phillipson was keen to see the work that GL Development is undertaking in developing digital assessments for schools, and to learn how digital assessment is instrumental in reducing teacher workload.
GL Development is the digital development centre of GL Assessment, the UK’s largest provider of assessments for schools. Originally called The Test Factory, GL Development has been part of GL Assessment since 2014 and represents an important element of the company’s ongoing investment in digital assessments that support teaching and learning.
Digital assessment can significantly lessen workload for teachers by saving time through automatic and immediate marking and analysis, and it has grown in popularity in both primary and secondary schools over recent years. GL Development’s online testing platform currently delivers three million tests per year, and is used in nearly 100 countries worldwide.
During the visit, Ms Phillipson also met with staff who have been employed as part of GL Development’s apprenticeship programme to discuss the importance of investment in job opportunities for young people in the North East, and the role that GL Development has played in providing these.
Matthew Carr, Head of Technology, GL Development, commented:
“It’s great to be running a business in the North East that is looking to stay put and not be relocated to London.
“I’ve lived and worked in this area all of my life and have seen a lot of investment in our region, including supporting the growth of start-ups, which is how GL Development started out.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to find new local talent that can join our growing team.”
David Glover, Product Director, GL Assessment, commented:
“Providing digital assessment solutions both in the UK and around the world has become central to our business.
“Over the past two years our North East team has worked incredibly hard to develop our new digital assessment platform.
“We launched this in April, and earlier this week the platform has delivered its 2 millionth test, and has already been used by more than 8,000 schools in over 90 countries.
“The team is the essential foundation of our online testing capability, and this is a fantastic achievement.”
Speaking after the visit, Bridget Phillipson MP said:
“I was delighted to visit GL Development today and hear about their work in the North East and the role their digital assessments can play in reducing teacher workload.
“It’s great to see another internationally renowned business invest in our local area and support our local economy.”
“I will keep campaigning to ensure that our local businesses get the investment they need, and that our young people have access to as many opportunities to succeed as possible.”