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Launch of OTLA 8 practitioner action research programme

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09 July 2021

NATECLA is delighted to be involved with Phase 8 of the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) national Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment programme which is otherwise known as OTLA 8.

CCConsultancy has released the information below to explain the programme and how to submit proposals. Practitioners have until the 2 August 2021 to apply - so hurry!

Applications are now open for Phase 8 of the Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment programme

Action Research Projects (English, ESOL and Essential Digital Skills)

A team led by ccConsultancy in partnership with That Reading Thing, Real Time Education, NATECLA and Skills for Life Network has secured funding to support action research projects that focus on approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in English, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Essential Digital Skills (EDS). Phase 8 of the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) national Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment programme (OTLA 8) is supported by a team of experts in Post-16 English, ESOL and EDS. The programme, which is funded by the Department for Education, is open to eligible organisations funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The OTLA 8 programme aims to systematically improve the teaching of English, ESOL and EDS through supporting practitioners to investigate teaching, learning and assessment within their own classroom contexts

Projects will develop approaches and strategies that lead to improved practice, demonstrable through enhanced learner outcomes. Using action research as a vehicle, projects will develop and share approaches to outstanding practice across a wide range of contexts and topics.

Projects will be designed to have reach both within and between organisations. All who support direct teaching (including teachers, trainers, assessors, managers, administrative staff, employers, parents, carers and governors) will be given opportunity to participate, each sharing the overriding aim of devising, developing and supporting high quality, meaningful and effective teaching, learning and assessment processes. Learners will also play an integral role within projects, helping ensure that practices developed are learner-centred, inclusive and supportive of their progress.

ESFA-funded providers are invited to submit applications to be included in the OTLA 8 programme.  Funding, worth up to £5,000 for each organisation, is available to cover staff participation (including, for instance, remission / travel/ expenses). Note, project funding cannot be spent on equipment or any other form of capital expenditure.  An additional package of support (managed by the OTLA 8 programme team) will cover coaching / mentoring, CPD and dissemination costs. Funding will be distributed by the OTLA 8 team directly to each participating organisation.

Applications are welcomed from individual organisations and/ or organisations working in partnership. Funding is available for a maximum of 42 organisations.  The themes of the projects will be determined by the sector but the ETF would particularly like to encourage action research projects focusing on approaches to teaching English, ESOL and EDS that:

  • seek to address current challenges in teaching, learning and assessment

  • enhance attainment, retention and progression for learners.

To give you an idea of what other OTLA projects have done in the past, please see the  OTLA 6 (English) Summary booklet. Organisations wishing to submit proposals for funding should read this downloadable guidance before completing the online application form.  This form is designed for applications from single organisations and/ or groups of organisations. The form must be completed and submitted by 10:00am on Monday 2nd August 2021. We have also created a video, ‘Is this project for me?’, which shares further guidance for applicants, including answers to frequently asked questions about the OTLA programme. Please note that this video was recorded for our current OTLA programme (OTLA 7), which focused on English and maths rather than English, ESOL and EDS. Nevertheless, the video contains lots of useful guidance and is worth watching in preparation for your application for OTLA 8. If you have any questions about the application process, please email us at otla@ccconsultancy.co.uk.

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