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Introduce a curriculum fund to encourage cultural and scientific institutions to develop materials for schools

Last updated: 06:20pm 6 September 2018

We will introduce a curriculum fund to encourage Britain’s leading cultural and scientific institutions, like the British Museum and others to help develop knowledge-rich materials for our schools…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.51

Our verdict

Back in 2014 the coalition government introduced changes to the national curriculum. A new curriculum involves a great deal of adjustment for teachers, whose teaching materials are geared towards the previous curriculum. This new curriculum fund is part of the government’s approach to help teachers deliver the new curriculum “while reducing the unnecessary workload burden associated with curriculum planning and resourcing”.

So, what’s happened since the election? Well, the curriculum fund was announced in January 2018 along with a series of other measures to boost literacy. The announcement was a statement of intent, but we have found no evidence of funds being released since then for the purpose specified in the policy pledge.

Since July 2018, schools are able to apply for grants under a curriculum fund programme pilot. Despite using the term “curriculum fund”, it makes no mention of encouraging “leading cultural and scientific institutions, like the British Museum” to develop materials for schools, as the manifesto pledge outlines. Instead, the purpose of the fund is to “allow schools to test the effects of their programmes on reducing teacher workload and improving pupil outcomes.”

In the  pilot programme funding document the government says it is “committed to using the Curriculum Fund to support the development and sharing of curriculum materials that will not only reduce unnecessary teacher workload, but also are knowledge-rich, and have teacher-led instruction and whole-class teaching at their core.”

But the manifesto points to a curriculum fund with a specific purpose of encouraging Britain’s leading cultural and scientific institutions to help develop materials for schools. We don’t see any evidence of this, so we’re marking this policy as ‘not started’. Follow this policy to hear as soon as things change.

Here’s the detail

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