Arts-focused teacher development fund open for applications

Schools can benefit from up to £150,000 in grant funding to boost arts-based teaching through partnerships with cultural organisations using the Teacher Development Fund.

The fund, run by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, an independent grant-making organisation, is accepting applications from schools until March 23. Applications that support disadvantaged pupils and show potential for effective collaboration will be prioritised.

Inspired by the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education, the fund has so far funded seven pilot projects across the UK.

These include work with the Royal Shakespeare Company to help primary schools teach the bard, a project with the Royal Society of Arts which used theatre to improve literacy and language development, and a Welsh scheme which used music to teach modern foreign languages.

The fund will enable teachers to gain access to high-quality CPD from artist-practitioners

The fund will now focus on providing good continuing professional development (CPD), involving school leaders in planning and delivering activities, helping art practitioners work effectively with schools and evaluating the impact on teaching and learning.

Catherine Sutton, senior grants manager at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said the organisation recognises how important CPD and learning is for teachers to deliver the best for their pupils.

“By funding schools to partner with cultural organisations, the fund will enable teachers to gain access to high-quality CPD from artist-practitioners, and allow schools and arts organisations to work collaboratively in order to embed arts-based learning in the primary curriculum,” she said.

The new fund is one of a number of recent schemes focused on supporting teachers’ professional development.

The government’s Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund was launched by Justine Greening in October 2016, in order to pay for CPD in areas identified as social mobility cold spots.

The first six organisations to receive their share of the £75 million were revealed in October as Ruth Miskin Training, the Teacher Development Trust, STEM Learning Ltd, Teach First, The Institute for Teaching and The Institute for Physics.

The Institute for Teaching will run a new ‘Transforming Teaching Programme’, focused on supporting school leaders to improve their expertise in developing other teachers. Meanwhile the

Teacher Development Trust will identify schools to act as “CPD excellence hubs” in Blackpool, Northumberland, Sheffield, Stoke and West Sussex.

A new National Institute of Education was also established in October, and will offer teaching apprenticeships including a “master teacher” degree apprenticeship and a master’s degree apprenticeship for senior leaders.