Now Teach Innovation Fund Update

Our career changers can apply for funding from Now Teach to pursue a research project in their own schools. We share which projects are being funding and talk to one Now Teacher researching the use of AI in SEN education.

3 mins

6/26/2024 3:48:04 PM
Ildiko Innovation Quote

In March 2024 we announced the new Now Teach Innovation Fund and we are pleased to announce that Now Teach will be supporting three projects.

The chosen projects are:

  • Ildiko Csengei, Cambridge on the uses of AI in autism education
  • Eileen Anipare, London on Oracy in MFL: Language Lab
  • Chris Wright, Berkhamsted on using AI improve the learning of pupils with dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs or on the autistic spectrum

Graihagh Crawshaw-Sadler, Now Teach's CEO, “'We are proud to be able to offer this fund as it enables Now Teachers in our Network to begin leveraging their skills and experience in school with time and support.”

We spoke with Ildiko Csengei, English teacher and former academic, who teaches English in a special needs secondary school in Cambridge about her project.

What will your action research project be on?

I’ve always been intrigued by the use of AI, especially since Chat GPT launched.

I was already thinking about what applications it could have and how it could make teaching easier, what problems it could solve. I experimented but never had the time or resources to do a thorough job. I wanted to devote time, energy and resources to how we could use the tools to make education better.

I’m in a special school, there are many different types of needs and therefore different ways you have to adapt lessons. If that could be made easier by using AI, that could perhaps be a solution.

The number of children and young people in England with EHC plans has increased by 11.4% in one year to 575,963. This makes differentiating lessons to each child's needs even more critical to their education.

Could you tell us who the research might help?

I’m in an autism special school, teaching Year 9s to Year 13s and their ability is very wide ranging. I have students who will get 9s at GCSE alongside pupils who struggle to write at all.

There is such a huge range of abilities, interests and profiles that adapting lesson content is very beneficial to  each pupil’s learning.

My research is about enhancing our resources with the help of AI to adapt to the various needs, levels and interests in my class. It looks at the language in my resources, and adapts and personalizes each lesson to fit individual learners.

How might the funding support your work?

The funding will cover external expertise and resources, like software subscription and staff cover, to allow me to fulfil the research.

My background as a university researcher and lecturer has been very useful. The idea that I can do this as an initiative wouldn’t necessarily occur to many – I guess because of my background it has always been on my radar.


What is the Now Teach Innovation Fund?

The Now Teach Innovation Fund is a new scheme designed to help Now Teachers experiment with new ways of working and share that learning back to the Network through funded  research projects carried out in school. 

If you have an idea and would like to discuss it, contact Steph Kirton to find out more about the fund.

Talk to us about becoming a teacher