Edtech Pivot secures $1.4 million to improve teaching practices

Edtech Pivot secures $1.4 million to improve teaching practices

(L-R): Pivot co-founders Caitlin MacLeon, Cleo Westhorpe & Belinda Harries (Provided).

Melbourne-based edtech Pivot has secured $1.4 million in capital as it looks to revamp its feedback platform designed to improve teaching outcomes in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

The company’s funding round was led by Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and also received backing from technology firm DiUS as well as LaunchVic’s investment program the Alice Anderson Fund.

Founded in 2014 by Caitlin Macleod, Cleo Westhorpe and Belinda Harries, Pivot asks students to complete a short 25-question survey about their educators’ teaching style, which is turned into anonymised data before it is received by them.

To help teachers implement the feedback, Pivot provides resources for goal-setting and professional development tools. The platform also offers aggregated school data to share with principals or system leaders.

To date, more than 50,000 teachers and 1,500 schools have used Pivot for its data insights across Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

“We’ve had a terrific start to the year with hundreds of schools across Australia and internationally using Pivot’s leading data-driven approach to improve teaching practice and student and teacher wellbeing,” Pivot CEO Tim Watts said.

“Our mission to transform teaching practice starts with teachers who have the tools, resources and supports to perform at their best.

“We know this leads to real impact, with improvements in student learning engagement and learning outcomes, as well as teacher workplace satisfaction and retention.”

According to the company, 3 out of 4 teachers who use the platform make a change to their practice after conducting a survey.

One case study is Upper Yarra Secondary College, which has been using the platform for the last six years and uncovered that while students felt respected by their teachers, engagement levels were lower in classes like science during 2021.

To combat the issue, the Victoria-based school implemented small group sessions rather than having students work individually or as a whole class.

Catholic Diocese of Newcastle Maitland CEO Sean Scanlon said he believes Pivot's technology has the potential to revolutionize the way education is delivered.

"We are thrilled to be able to support Pivot as a women-founded and led business in their mission to improve education through technology,” LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick added.

“Victoria is home to a number exceptional edtech startups like Pivot, whose innovative approach will have a significant impact on the education industry.”

Harries said she’s thrilled to have the financial backing of all three investors.  

"Their expertise and resources will help us to bring our groundbreaking approach to even more schools and support more teachers to improve their effectiveness in the classroom,” she said.

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