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CPD, governance and recruitment: DfE’s cost-cutting spree

The Department for Education’s cutting spree has continued this week – so here’s the comprehensive list of the axed schemes that we know about so far

Now Teach

Recruitment programme to persuade and support high-flying professionals to change career and retrain as a teacher

Contract: £4.4 million over three years up to 2024

When does it run out? Contract will not be retendered for 2025

Potential annual saving: Around £1.4m

Impact: Supported more than 1,000 career changers into the profession since 2016

Free NPQs

Part of the Covid recovery premium, schools were given funding for 150,000 national professional qualifications for staff

Contract: £184 million available over three years to 2024

When does it run out? From Autumn, only staff in the top half of schools with the most youngsters on pupil premium will be eligible for funded NPQs. The NPQ for heads, SENCOs and leading primary maths will be free. But there will be a cap of 10,000 courses

Potential annual saving: Given the few details about the new scheme, it’s difficult to work out. However, the previous funding offer equated to £1,220 per course. Providing 10,000 courses would cost £12 million, which is roughly £49 million less per year than the current average spend

Impact: Government has not published latest figures, but it’s believed around 100,000 courses have been delivered

SKE courses

Suite of free subject knowledge enhancement courses, to top up teacher trainees’ subject knowledge, cut from 10 to five 

Contract: £122 million over four years to 2025

When does it run out? Providers are no longer able to offer free courses for primary maths, D&T, English, biology and RE. They will still be funded for maths, physics, chemistry, computing and modern foreign languages

Potential annual saving: Again, it’s difficult to work out. But a new contract for the scheme, to run from 2025, is listed as £49 million over 62 months – which is £9.5 million per year. Compared to the current contract, that is around £21 million less per year

Impact: We were unable to find any information about this in the public domain

Teaching School Hubs Council

The sector body set up to oversee and support the country’s 87 teaching school hubs

Contract: Neither the DfE or the council would confirm the contract cost

When does it run out? Funding for the council will end in September

Potential annual saving: Not known

Impact: A central team of four staff helped to build capacity and growth across the country’s 87 teaching hubs, which delivered more than 65,000 NPQs, early career support to more than 50,000 ECTs and training for 45,000 mentors

Inspiring Governance

A recruitment scheme for school governors and trustees

Contract: £1.38 million over two years

When does it run out? The contract will end in September

Potential annual saving: Roughly £550k

Impact: More than 8,500 governors recruited since 2016 – a third of whom are from an ethnic minority backgrounds and many for schools with “high needs”

International recruitment premium

A trial to provide £10,000 payments to help trainees and established physics and language teachers from abroad to relocate in England

Contract: The government said the trial could support up to 400 teachers, costing up to £4 million

When does it run out? The grant is no longer available to trainee teachers for 2024-25

Potential annual saving: Not known

Impact: The government has not said how many teachers applied for the trial. But, this year saw a 41 per cent increase in physics teachers and 33 per cent rise in MFL applicants from abroad being accepted onto training courses.

Schools Week approached DfE with our cost savings analysis, but they did not provide any further information.

They would only say “many projects are fixed contracts and funded to a specified end date” and that all contracts are “kept under review to ensure best value for money while maintaining positive outcomes for children”.

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