Concerns have been raised that a rushed launch and squeezed timescales for a flagship government fund aimed at cutting teacher workload could limit its effectiveness, Tes can reveal.
Tes has spoken to several bidders who have been told by the Department for Education that their application for a share of the government’s new curriculum fund has been successful.
However, the bidders were informed just days before the Christmas holidays that they had to begin delivering in January – resulting in a last-minute scramble to get things ready over the holidays.
The £7.7 million curriculum fund was set up to give schools grants to help share teaching resources with other schools, with the aim of saving teachers from having to repeatedly create lesson plans from scratch.
The bidders were told to have schools lined up and to begin rolling out their resources in January, which, in the words of one bidder, left them “scrabbling” to talk to schools at the end of December.
“If you want to deliver this thing, it’s not okay to give us a week’s notice before the end of term,” the bidder told Tes.
They also questioned the effectiveness of giving schools new resources part-way through the academic year. While the curriculum fund is supposed to reduce teacher workload and stress, they suggested this would do the opposite.
“There’s nothing more stressful than saying to a teacher a week before the end of term: ‘by the way you’re going to teach something completely different in January,’” they said.
While the bidders Tes spoke to had reservations about the DfE’s handling of the curriculum fund, they remained strongly supportive of the idea and said the civil servants they had been dealing with had been sympathetic to their concerns.
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