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DfE ends funding for teaching school hubs sector body

The government has ended funding for the sector body set up to oversee the teaching schools hub network.

In a letter to hubs today, seen by Schools Week, the Department for Education said it would be “re-purposing” the cash for the Teaching Schools Hub Council and its central team from September. 

The council, made up of 13 school leaders, supports the national network of 87 hubs, including facilitating networking and collaboration to “enable the sharing of development of best practice”.

A central team of four employed staff also help build capacity and growth. The teams were initially funded for three years.

However the government made clear in the letter that funding for the teaching school hubs will “continue as planned”.

After a reaccreditation process, DfE confirmed last month which teaching school hubs would continue to run from September.

Praise for ‘excellent support’

But Chris Armstrong-Stacey, deputy director for developing teachers and leaders, said in the letter it was now “right to reflect on that strong progress and the strength and maturity” of the network.

“We are extremely grateful to both the council and central team for their hard work and significant contribution to establishing such an effective network of Teaching School Hubs during the first designation period,” the letter added.

He praised the council’s “careful stewardship” and “excellent support” in helping increase the delivery of “high-quality professional development to teachers and school leaders”.

Officials will now work with the council on a transition plan. Hubs were told they will “continue to receive support” from the DfE’s delivery team, who will also continue to “facilitate regional forums” and share updates.

Richard Gill, TSH council chair, told Schools Week that its work, “in particular the tremendous support and training provided by the central team, has helped hubs deliver over 65,000 NPQs (national professional qualifications), provide early career support for over 50000 ECTs and training for over 45000 mentors.

“I trust the experience gained over the last three years will ensure that there is resilience across the network so that the momentum will be maintained.”

It is understood the council will decide its future at a meeting later this term.

In 2021, more than 80 hub schools replaced the previous 750 teaching schools – with government saving £25 million.

Armstrong-Stacey added that government is “confident that the capacity and expertise in the Teaching School Hub network means you will continue to excel, so thousands more teachers can benefit from high-quality  training and support”.

It is the latest in a series of cuts of school-related schemes as DfE faces up to a potential £1.5 billion budget black hole to fund teacher pay rises. 

Other schemes axed include a governor recruitment service, free NPQs scaled back, teacher top-up training courses cut and an international teacher ‘relocation premium’ pulled.

DfE has been approached for comment. 

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