Education Quizzes was started and is still wholly owned by Lisa and Colin King. That’s us.
We are both past retirement age and we have been lucky enough to own some very profitable businesses without which we would never have had the capital to start Education Quizzes.
We were brought up in rural communities where respect for education was minimal and the chance of either of us going to university was non-existent. By the time we were in our 40s we both recognized that life is a whole lot more rewarding with an education than it is without one, but by now we were so wrapped up in our businesses that there was little opportunity to further our own education. We resolved to become advocates of learning to all the youngsters in our family.
Around 2010, we found ourselves blessed with numerous great-nephews and great-nieces who liked to come and stay with us for a while before we drove them back to their parents with our endless pleadings to ‘do some study’. We looked for a resource that informed us what the children were learning at school so that we could understand their educational needs and give them some useful help.
It seemed the logical place to look was the Department of Education website but that was less than helpful and certainly not encouraging. We wondered why it was that amongst the 1,510 London-based staff at the DfE, there was nobody prepared to develop a section of the website that explained the curriculums to parents in everyday language. So it was back to Googling…
We found useful snippets to help us at various places on the Internet but nothing approached a coherent resource that set the parameters of each subject for each year group. Furthermore, the useful resources that did exist were so scattered about and in so many varied forms that more time was spent searching for them than learning.
An Idea Developed…
We talked to our teacher friends and collectively we hit upon the idea of producing suites of quizzes in a uniform format that would be enjoyable for students to play and informative to parents who wanted to know what needed to be learned.
We commissioned the best programmers we knew to create a website for us and enthusiastic teachers to write suites of quizzes for KS3. When this was well received we rapidly followed with teacher-written quizzes for KS1, KS2, GCSE and 11-Plus.
The business model was for us to charge a monthly parental subscription that provided access to the entire site.
We started the business when we were both approaching 60 and, because we are both passionate about it, this seemed a very normal thing to do. Others thought otherwise. Our local newspaper ran a story under the headline ‘Late starting entrepreneurs’. BBC Breakfast picked up on the story and to our bemusement they televised an interview with us because they considered us to be so ‘unusual’.
A reporter and photographer arrived from The Sunday Times and we were duly interviewed and photographed. The next Sunday we eagerly bought the Sunday Times and, to Lisa’s great annoyance, our photograph appeared beside one of Carol Vorderman with a title along the lines ‘The People Stealing the Jobs of our Youngsters.’ As Lisa remarked at the time, “I would have spent a lot longer on my makeup if they had said that I was going to be next to Carol Vorderman!”
Introduction Into Schools
Over the years, our target audience was parents who want to help their children succeed. The quiz format we adopted has proved very successful because children like quizzes and quizzes help them do better at school.
In response to requests from schools we decided to create functionality that enables them to use the wealth of material that our teacher-writers have created. We began rolling out our schools package in its current form in the autumn of 2018.