Bright Red future for Scotland’s new, independent educational publisher
Bright Red Publishing has been awarded the three-year contract to publish Past Papers from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
The SQA’s Past Papers are hugely popular amongst Scotland’s exam candidates and often form the cornerstone of student exam preparation. The range of Past Papers covers over 70 National Qualification subjects each year, making this one of Scotland’s biggest commercial publishing projects.
Helen Probart, Head of SQA's Question Paper Operations said: “National Qualifications Past Papers continue to be an invaluable resource for today's students, providing them with real exam questions and approved answers. SQA are looking forward to working with Bright Red Publishing as we deliver the next generation of past papers to support the learning of our candidates.”
The team at Bright Red is delighted to have won the Europe-wide tender against stiff competition. “We’re a young business and are thrilled that SQA has chosen to back a new, independent Scottish company to deliver this high profile project,” said Alan Grierson from Bright Red.
He added: “The SQA provides high quality, valued qualifications to thousands of learners across Scotland. We look forward to mirroring that quality in our fulfilment of this contract over the coming years, and to bringing our innovation and experience to bear upon it. And as a wholly independent organisation, we will be able to funnel more of our success into the development of further Bright Red educational books - which means more good news for Scottish teachers and students as the new curriculum changes unfold.”
The full range of new Bright Red branded Past Papers, including the 2009 exams, will be on sale in schools and bookshops throughout Scotland from September.
Bright Red Publishing – the brainchild of four Edinburgh publishers – was formed at the beginning of 2008 as a completely independent Scottish educational publishing company. Focusing on the secondary education sector in Scotland, the Bright Red team comprises Sarah Mitchell, John MacPherson, Alan Grierson and Richard Bass.
The company has already had a bright start. More than half of Scottish secondaries have requested a Bright Red book for Standard Grade or Higher levels, whilst one in five schools have purchased complete classroom sets to date.
Bright Red Director Sarah Mitchell says: “What makes our company unique is our Scottishness and our ability to make swift, independent decisions based on what’s best for Scottish schools and learners. This, combined with the financial support we have received from Barclays Commercial Bank, means that we can really give Scotland’s teachers and students what they need.
“We’re working with the leading educational authors in Scotland to produce books that are relevant, fresh, bright, comprehensive and as easy to use as possible, so they will inspire young minds to think creatively and achieve their full potential.
“Education is becoming increasingly competitive and it is vital that Scotland’s pupils, teachers and parents have the very best resources at their disposal to achieve the best possible grade.”
The publisher plans to release 10 colour revision guides over the next six months, with a further 40 books planned for the next three years – excluding the Past Paper output. These will include books for 11-14 year olds in 2010.
Sarah Clarke, children’s buying manager at Waterstone’s booksellers, welcomed the success of Bright Red Publishing as “very exciting and just what is needed in the Scottish education sector.”
Scott McClymont, relationship manager at Barclays, said: "Bright Red is an exciting new company and looks set to make a great impact on the publishing market in Scotland. We look forward to working with the management team going forward as they develop the business."
CEO of Publishing Scotland, Marion Sinclair: “I can remember the bad old days of Scottish publishing in the 1970s and 80s, when it was really difficult and there were far fewer publishers on the ground. Now we have a stream of talent coming forward, companies like Strident and Bright Red, as well as strong, established publishers. I think the sector is in as great a shape as it has ever been.”