For months we have been trying to contact the Department for Education with regards to a government funding allegedly being allocated to language teaching in primary schools, in preparation for the statutory requirement of a KS2 start this autumn. After several failed attempts by telephone we finally received a response this week informing us that this funding, totalling £350,000 over a year, was intended to cover the improvement of both primary and secondary school language teaching, and not just primary as was rumoured.

Educational bodies (teaching school alliances, academy school groups, or regional groupings of national organisations) are eligible to apply for this funding, demonstrating in their application how they believe the money would have a positive impact on the teaching of modern languages in their remit. The idea is that this will ‘complement’ existing support, and help to provide ‘continuous professional development training for teachers’.

More details of this grant are available via this link:

https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/Common/View%20Notice.aspx?site=1000&lang=en&NoticeId=1353809.

While we welcome the governmental gesture, we would like to take issue with the following:

-        £350,000 is an inadequate amount to cover both primary and secondary teaching, especially considering that the minimum grant available will be £50,000 meaning that at most, only 5 educational bodies in the whole country will benefit from this money.

-       -Considering the difficulty with which we obtained information when actively looking for it, it is a struggle for teachers or educational bodies to come across this opportunity

-       -Of the information we do have, the application process is vague: how will interested bodies know how to approach this bid? What are the selection criteria? And who is it that determines this?

-       The response we received back, in writing, from the department arrived almost a month after the initial inquiry was sent. The deadline (12 noon, 23rd May) is now less than two days away, and it seems unlikely that enough potential applicants will have come across this in time to present  a decent application

 

Overall, the lack of publicity and clarification surrounding this grant is very disappointing. Government initiatives as such should be widely circulated to attract the best applicants, beyond the commonly recognised expertise circle


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