He's spent the past few years sticking up for the little guys — now he's joined the big guy, Microsoft 

Edtech evangelist for UK startups Ian Fordham is joining one of the world's biggest software companies. The CEO of Edtech UK and co-founder of the Education Foundation is joining Microsoft as its UK director of education. He replaces Steve Beswick.

He retains his role as the Mayor of London's tech ambassador but steps down from the Education Foundation. His new position on the advisory board of Edtech UK gives startups a link to a powerful 'big brother' and the big brother gets an interesting view of emerging businesses.. 

“This is an exciting time to join Microsoft,” he said. “The company’s innovation and agility will allow it to deliver solutions that matter to Britain’s education system – across schools, colleges and universities. Microsoft can lead the way in using technology to support learning across the sector, and I’m looking forward to working with educational institutions and leaders to empower every learner to achieve more.”

'Proud of what the Education Foundation and Edtech UK have done'

“I’m extremely proud of what the Education Foundation and Edtech UK have done in the past five years to accelerate growth and innovation across the education and edtech sector. A lot has been achieved but there’s much more to do. That’s why I’m very excited to be joining Microsoft and to be asked to lead the UK education business. Britain is a world leader in education innovation."

Ian Fordham has worked closely with Ty Goddard since he joined him at the British Council for School Environments in the days of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme which was scrapped by the then education minister Michael Gove MP when the coalition Government came into power. The pair moved on into edtech to set up the Education Foundation and Edtech UK.

Its chair Ty Goddard commented: “The appointment of Ian as director of education for Microsoft is testimony to his work and passion for education and technology across the sectors. I am also delighted that Ian will take up a role on Edtech UK’s advisory group and continue his pioneering work supporting education startup businesses and entrepreneurs across Britain and beyond.

"It’s been a pleasure to work with Ian over the past eight years in this and other organisations. We have achieved a lot; we both feel that our journey to positively support education in Britain has just started.”

Steve Beswick has moved to a new role at Microsoft UK — education business development director for Surface.

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