Your Favourite Teacher (“the Company” or “YFT”) is an educational technology (EdTech) business that was conceived in 2017 by experienced curriculum leader Kate Meeks. She wanted to create a platform to support, often disadvantaged, students she had worked with for 6 years in a tough, inner-city secondary state school. The result was YFT.
Many of her pupils were disengaged with traditional homework. Many of them did not have pens, pencils or notepads at home. What each pupil did have, without fail, was a smartphone. She recognised the need for a flexible, modern, platform so that learning could be accessed from anywhere: YFT.
YFT is a GCSE online teaching and learning platform that offers high-quality and engaging courses, developed to keep students motivated and focused. For the pupils, the professionally produced and animated videos, structured worksheets and interactive quizzes provide a fun and gamified experience that rewards achievement. For the teachers, progress monitoring and reporting dashboards on an individual, group, class or year basis ensures impact is easily tracked. Tasks can be set at an individual level to a personalised speed and style of learning. Combined, this provides a highly effective, complete teaching and learning experience that differentiates YFT’s product from the competition.
Initially targeted to capitalise on the Pupil Premium grant that helps disadvantaged pupils (c.25% of all pupils), the product is currently focused on in-depth content in the three core GCSE subjects of English, Maths and Science. There are currently 65 published courses, with 7 more in production, that match the curriculum of the vast majority of UK exam boards. All content has been created and quality assured by experienced teachers.
YFT has wider addressable use cases than secondary schools and sixth form colleges (for GCSE resits). Remote learning organisations, e.g. football academies (where YFT recently renewed its annual contract with the Premier League for a minimum of 12 clubs), apprenticeship colleges, school exclusion and Alternative Provision Units (APUs), are all lucrative customer types for YFT. There is also a growing home educator market as well as parent support market alongside home tutors.
Notwithstanding the boost that Covid-19 “catch up” is anticipated to make, the long-term trend in the EdTech market has been for strong growth globally and it is expected to reach $342bn by 2025. In the UK, schools are spending c.£0.9bn on EdTech per annum.
The pandemic has caused major disruption in schools. It has heightened and highlighted inequalities across the education system and created an enormous challenge to help the hardest-hit pupils to catch up. Schools are now required to rectify this with the help of significant Government funding. The timing is therefore ideal for YFT to engage with customers and has already demonstrated commercial progress. YFT has won multiple customers, even during the lockdown, with recent club sign-ups including both Manchester United and City and an enhanced tutoring support service to Chelsea. In addition, a long-term collaboration with The Open University has been secured.
The Company is seeking to raise £500k of equity (Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) eligible) from Growthdeck investors.