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Oak looking at quality standards for external resources

Oak National Academy is considering new quality standards for providers who want the quango to signpost their curriculum resources. 

While the arms length curriculum body is creating new resources, it also wants to direct teachers to other curriculum sequences on its website.

It has proposed four options on how this could work, with varying degrees of quality control.

The first would involve poroviders self-assessing whether they met a set of criteria.

Questions could include whether their sequence had been used in five UK schools for at least three years. 

The second option would build on this but introduce “higher thresholds” for assessment. 

Oak said this would cover “more detailed quality indicators” such as whether the curriculum meets non-statutory guidance or has a published evaluation. 

Applicants would also need to provide more detailed information about the “design principles” of their curriculum, which would be published but not assessed. 

Those who met this threshold would be signposted on Oak’s website alongside a “scorecard of features”, such as how many schools have used their sequence, and any “qualitative information”, like “curriculum organising principles” .

But because of this more detailed approach, they would expect “fewer sequences to be listed”. 

Third ‘more detailed’ choice

The third option included a “detailed assessment” which would result in a “limited number signposted”.

All submissions would need to be “fully assessed” against published criteria and only a small number of additional sequences would be published in each subject. 

Oak said this would “allow teachers to compare adequately different approaches and they would therefore have more detailed information on Oak’s platform”.

The final option is a “phased approach” with an initial lighter touch process, like option one or two, with a detailed assessment later. 

“A limited number who score the highest would then receive a higher profile and have more detailed information on Oak’s platform,” the market engagement documents added. 

The quango proposed all successful sequences be signposted for three years before requiring “some form” of re-assessment. 

Its initial trial will include maths, but they are seeking views on other subjects such as English and science. 

Oak expects to launch the first submission window at the start of the 2024-25 academic year. 

Schools are invited to give their views until Friday April 12.

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