Lord Nash: Schools face post-election funding squeeze and should save with standardised lesson plans

The TES is reporting that schools minister Lord Nash has warned that schools will have to “cut their cloth” to adapt to an increasingly tough financial climate after the next election…

And he said one option could be a move to standard lesson plans, labelling the energy that teachers put into preparing lessons “a complete waste of time”.

Lord Nash, who also chairs the Future Academies chain of schools, said schools had been largely shielded from some of the most severe cuts.

“Given the state of the public finances we have inherited, this government has done pretty well to protect the schools budget, but I’m afraid that whichever party wins the next election there will be further cuts in the public sector,” he told the Independent Academies Association’s autumn conference.

“Education in schools has operated in a relatively benign financial climate for a long time. But a new generation of school leaders is going to have to emerge to cut their cloth to drive efficiencies…

Savings could come through more effective purchasing, economies of scale, a more efficient use of teachers and teaching assistants and a better use of IT, he said.

He added that one of the routes taken by some academy chains was to standardise lesson plans and spend more time on delivering the lessons instead.

“We all know that teachers spend a lot of time preparing lesson plans rather than focusing on how well they deliver those lessons. This is a complete waste of time,” he said…

More at: Schools face post-election funding squeeze, warns minister


Your thoughts on these comments from Lord Nash, both in terms of the financial climate schools are likely to be facing and his suggestion for greater efficiencies through standardised lesson plans? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Policy and Teaching.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Third terrible idea for education from a politician of the weekend. Standardised lesson plans are the stuff of nightmares

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Lord Nash, considered a very influential education advisor to the govt, displays to total lack of understanding for teaching

  3. Nor_edu

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove surely they can see that this won’t improve the ‘professionalism’ of teaching which they all say they want…

  4. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove Absolutely – this completely de-professionalises teachers with message that they can’t be trusted to plan properly

  5. Nor_edu

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove and that quality teaching just comes from a lesson plan that ‘anyone’ could deliver?

  6. mjlongstaffe

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove another idea form an untrained individual with no background in Educ apart from going to school!

  7. stwynn

    SchoolsImprove how on earth does this raise the profile or love of teaching?!? May as well bang it all online and let them do it at home.

  8. CurlyMan66

    SchoolsImprove well who writes them? Let me guess Pearson? Murdoch empire? Microsoft? Money for your mates I suspect

  9. katiehall1979

    SchoolsImprove in my experience it is not planning which wastes teachers time! This just means getting rid of PPA..

  10. citizen_LJ

    SchoolsImprove Presumably it’s an equal waste of time for politicians to plan their policies and speeches? This about deprofessionalisation

  11. gcooksey

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove unbelievable. And there I was, happily thinking that good planning was based on effective assessment.

  12. Janet2

    Could one of these ‘standardised’ lesson plans be the Hirsch-inspired US curriculum rehashed for the UK by, Annaliese Briggs, short-lived, unqualified and inexperienced head of the Futures Academy, Pimlico Free School, and sold by Civitas?

  13. Janet2

    @CurlyMan66 SchoolsImprove Another contender is Civitas, which publishes the Hirsch-inspired core curriculum used in Lord Nash’s Future Academies and which was heavily promoted by Gove and Truss.

  14. JaneCo94

    SchoolsImprove My planning and the way I deliver lessons are intimately linked. Doubt if any lesson I didn’t plan myself would be well

  15. JaneCo94

    SchoolsImprove delivered as I wouldn’t have the same relationship with the material. May as well just read out of a book.

  16. andylutwyche

    gcooksey SchoolsImprove Quite, but you forget that every child and teacher is exactly the same, hence the need for standardised plans U0001f623

  17. gcooksey

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Damn! That’s where I been going wrong! Treating everyone as an individual is so wasteful.

  18. VoyagerTEFL

    SchoolsImprove “More efficient use of…teaching assistants” surely means “TAs take more lessons by themselves”.Cheap does not = efficient!

  19. acet2001

    JaneCo94 SchoolsImprove 40 yrs ago that is exactly what my Grammar school Physics A’ level teacher did for 2 solid years. It was rubbish!!

  20. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove It is the lack of a pay rise that has protected education funding. Teachers have paid for it out of their own pockets.

  21. JaneCo94

    acet2001 SchoolsImprove I try to improve on what I do every year Resources I love + new ones etc. If I get bored then pupils will too

  22. acet2001

    JaneCo94 SchoolsImprove We were bored out of our brains. Bright kids, awful results, no-one bothered. No accountability. He was the DH too

  23. JaneCo94

    acet2001 SchoolsImprove Oooof! How can teachers improve if people with power are so clueless and actively seem to work against improvement

  24. acet2001

    JaneCo94 SchoolsImprove They are clueless, but they’re also the last ones to realise it. They all went to school so must know how to teach

  25. SallyHoward3

    “JaneCo94: SchoolsImprove My planning & ‘delivery’are intimately linked. Doubt lesson I didn’t plan myself would go well. Well said

  26. mjlongstaffe

    JaneCo94 SchoolsImprove Agree,any lesson you have not planned yourself can never be as good as you haven’t engaged inthe planning process

  27. susanreed24

    JoWebbTeach SchoolsImprove And time! No need to attend subject conferences or even consider new approaches if it’s all packaged for you…

  28. susanreed24

    JoWebbTeach SchoolsImprove Quite! No need to attend conferences or ‘waste time’ considering new approaches! Roll on relaxing weekends 😉

  29. h_emoney

    SchoolsImprove save cost by standardising lesson plans, someone ask Lord Nash how this is going to save money or am I missing something.

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