29 May 2020

Applications are now open for this year’s OTLA (English and maths) programme


A team led by ccConsultancy in partnership with That Reading Thing and Skills for Life Network has secured funding from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to support action research projects that focus on approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in English and maths. This is a national Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment (OTLA) project, supported by a team of experts in Post-16 English and maths. The programme is funded and subsidised by the Department for Education and is open to eligible organisations funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The OTLA (English and maths) programme aims to systematically improve the teaching, learning and assessment of English and maths through action research. 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 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 programme team) will cover coaching / mentoring, CPD and dissemination costs. Funding will be distributed by the OTLA 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 27 projects.  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 and maths 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, please see the OTLA 6 (English) Summary booklet.

Organisations wishing to submit proposals for funding should read this 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 9:00am on Monday 22nd June 2020.

We have also created a short video, which shares further guidance for applicants, including answers to frequently asked questions about the OTLA programme. 

If you have any questions about the application process please e-mail us at otla@ccconsultancy.co.uk.


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