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Industry leaders publish joint open letter against plans to launch a public body for study programs

Publishers, authors and providers of education resources have issued an open letter to the Department of Education (DfE), inviting them to reconsider plans to transform the Oak National Academy (ONA) into a public institution for curricula .

ONA was founded during the pandemic and offers nearly 10,000 free lessons to teachers between the ages of 4 and 16.

Although it has been confirmed that the resources of the NEA would remain free, the government’s decision to transform the organization into a public entity has raised fears of competition among existing suppliers.

The DfE has agreed to pay £ 1 million to Oak’s partners for existing educational resources created during the pandemic and plans to commission new materials starting November 2022.

Prominent figures from six industry organizations addressed the new Secretary of Education James Cleverly and Schools Minister Will Quince in the letter, stating that: “All the current evidence indicates that the Department is pursuing a major market intervention in the market. school resources that teachers neither want nor need ”.

He continues: “We wholeheartedly support the Department’s desire to stimulate curricular skills development for teachers and support them in accelerating the resumption of education.”

But he adds: “We affirm that this process has not been thought through and carries a significant amount of political risk and to the wider school system.”

“Teachers repeatedly state that their priorities are more funding, initial training and continuing professional development. The creation of a new Arm’s Length Body (ALB) should be a policy of last resort and there has been no assessment of the need or expected future impact on either the commercial market or the choice of teachers, ”explains the letter.

He continues: “The current proposals risk fundamentally undermining this ecosystem and we ask the government to suspend these proposals and the resulting procurement processes in order to properly consult with stakeholders, assess the need and find an end point that achieves a better goal. proportionate and sustainable future for Oak National Academy’s resources, while allowing the thriving and competitive market for educational resources to continue to offer a choice of quality resources for schools. We believe that this compromise is possible with commitment and dialogue “.

Contributors include leading figures from the British Educational Suppliers Association, the Publishers Association, the Society of Authors, the Authors ‘Licensing and Collecting Society, the Publishers’ Licensing Services and the Copyright Licensing Agency.

They claim that the current plans risk the “collapse of the commercial educational resources sector to the detriment of all involved” and urge the government to engage with them to “find a more proportionate approach”.

Read the full letter here.


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Industry leaders publish joint open letter against plans to launch a public body for study programs

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