Launching the Now Teach Innovation Fund

Now Teach Innovation offers project funding to teachers in the Now Teach Network. Steph Kirton, Senior Network Manager, explains the plan.

2 mins

3/4/2024 11:18:42 AM
Launch NT Innovation

What is Now Teach Innovation?

Now Teach Innovation is a pilot scheme to fund teacher-led research in Now Teacher’s schools.

Now Teachers can apply for one of three £750 funds to help them with research in their school. The research project should aim to make progress towards improving a particular challenge in their school.

From our own experience, we know that teacher workload can be a lot. We wanted the scheme to respond to that time restriction by enabling Now Teachers to properly explore new ideas by giving them additional resources. It could provide staff cover to create a pocket of time, fund materials for the project or pay for expert advice from the wider education sector.

Now Teachers need to get their submission deadlines in by Mon 11 March 2024.

Why Launch Now Teach Innovation?

We have started to notice that Now Teachers in our Network are keen to specialise and develop their areas of interest further. They've changed career, qualified and they've now got clear career plans.

For example, AI is currently piquing lots of Now Teacher’s interest and we have set up a working group to develop this thinking. But we know it’s hard to get new ideas off the ground without any funding.

The Now Teach Network is made up of people who have switched careers to teach so bring with them a wealth of experience from other industries. Many of them come from sectors where they are constantly testing and learning and are-well placed to innovate. 

We want to make the most of that experience and create more opportunities where Now Teachers can have a bigger impact on the education of their students. Our goal is that each project will both develop the Now Teacher themselves, giving them the resource to experiment and learn, and bring something special to their students and schools.

What research are you funding?

Now Teach Innovation will fund research that is based on school and sector needs. We are targeting topics like literacy, oracy, reducing teacher workload, careers and education, mental health, AI and STEM. However, we are open to topics outside of that list, as we want to follow Now Teachers’ own objectives.

One key thing is that Now Teachers need sign-off from a senior leader as something like this definitely needs buy-in from the top and should match the school's priorities.

We're also making it a requirement that project delivery happens in the summer. This tends to be a quieter time because many students are on study leave or revising, meaning some teachers have more time outside of timetabled lessons.

This is a pilot and we are expecting to learn what is and isn't possible as we go along. I'm looking forward to sharing how things go later in the year! 


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