In today's climate, it can be difficult for schools, academies and colleges to keep up with the ever-evolving demands of their curriculum. As industries change, technology advances and costs inflate, many academic institutions will struggle to meet the changing needs of their students whilst simultaneously maintaining high standards of education. Fortunately, there are options available in the form of distance learning providers like Oxbridge that can offer support and resources to help bridge this gap. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons why traditional education is struggling to keep up with curriculum demands and how Oxbridge can help.
Many schools, colleges and academies struggle to offer a varied and diverse curriculum due to a lack of affordable or available staff resources. With employed teachers already allocated to their primary and specialist subjects, it can be difficult for schools to offer specialist subjects such as foreign languages, further maths or even more non-conventional subjects such as GCSE Astronomy, sociology and psychology. According to multiple news articles, schools across the UK are facing a teacher retention crisis with staff turnover rates worse than pre-pandemic figures. With all current resources tied up in other subjects, schools are finding it difficult to provide extra support to students who are studying specialist subjects, further impacting the accessibility of these courses.
Quantity or quality?
In addition to timetable clashes, traditional education providers are also having issues providing a varied and diverse curriculum due to financial restrictions which are also affecting staffing levels. The lack of funds available to schools, academies and colleges means it’s been tough to decide which and how many subjects to offer, without affecting the quality of support for each subject. Additionally, the rising cost of materials, resources and examinations also means some subjects are simply too expensive to offer at all. Therefore, the demand for new curriculum offerings is often disregarded as it can be difficult to achieve without sacrificing quality in other areas.
The struggling economy
As if budgets weren’t tight as it is due to a plethora of real-world challenges, the looming recession is having a huge impact on traditional educational providers, impacting their curriculum diversity and student support. Not only are schools finding it difficult to fund new subjects, but they're also experiencing real-term budget cuts which restrict the resources available to support their current and future curriculum needs. This will eventually impact the performance of students and in turn, the school’s Ofsted reports and ratings.
Furthermore, due to cost-cutting measures being implemented in response to the recession, many schools are struggling with staffing issues as they have had to reduce faculty size and salary costs. As a result, teachers are now reporting being less satisfied in their job and having less time available to devote to individual students or specialist subjects;.
This has led to an increasing number of institutions relying heavily on distance learning providers like Oxbridge to enhance their curriculum offering, teaching materials and subject-specific student support.
In recent years, many schools, academies and colleges have been forced to remove certain subjects from their curriculum due to a lack of resources. This is especially true for more specialist or non-conventional subjects which require materials or teacher support that simply is not available. As traditional education providers strive to meet Ofsted standards for varied and diverse curriculums while still maintaining high-quality teaching, the removal of specific courses has become necessary in order to ensure other areas remain well supported.
The mental health of teachers
The mental health of teachers in the UK is increasingly at risk. With more and more demands being put on them to provide a varied and diverse curriculum, while simultaneously meeting Ofsted standards, many teachers are struggling to cope with the pressure. Teachers are being asked to teach subjects they do not specialise in which has detrimental impacts on the quality of education being provided to students, as well as the mental health of teachers providing the support.
The extra pressure on teachers can lead to more frequent burnout, stress-related illnesses and depression, all of which can have serious consequences for the teacher's well-being and ability to effectively teach students. This is also having negative effects on staff turnover in schools, colleges and academies as well as employee satisfaction. Additionally, the negative press on teaching careers is impacting the available talent pool, making recruiting new teachers and teaching assistants even more of a challenge.
As these pressures mount up, it becomes even harder for traditional education providers to offer specialist subjects or resources due to a lack of staff or financial constraints. It is clear that something must be done in order to protect the mental health of teachers across the country and ensure they have access to appropriate support when needed.
Subjects with fluctuating interest
The constrained budget of traditional schools, academies and colleges mean that it is not feasible to offer courses with fluctuating interest levels. However, a lack of student interest in a subject could be because these subjects are not well-established in the school or age group. If traditional education providers are to meet Ofsted standards for varied and diverse curriculums, they will need to consider their strategy for providing specialist and non-conventional subjects. Fortunately, Oxbridge can help bridge this gap by providing distance learning courses which can enhance the curriculum of traditional schools and colleges without increasing costs or workloads on teachers.
Oxbridge can bridge the gap between distance learning and traditional education
At Oxbridge, we understand the pressures that traditional schools, academies and colleges are facing. Through our partnership with MATA (Multi Academy Trust Association), we can enhance the curriculum of traditional educational providers by working with them to provide students with a more diverse range of subjects and qualifications. Oxbridge provides the full course content for a huge suite of GCSE and A-level subjects via in-house authored and designed digital courses. Students are also able to connect with our expert subject specialist tutors who can provide relevant and focused advice and support to those who need it.
Our award-winning, online learning platform provides the school and student with a range of subject-specific resources such as interactive quizzes, engaging video tutorials and practice tests - allowing schools to delegate their resources more effectively and support non-subject specialist teachers with the delivery of courses outside their expertise.
If you think Oxbridge could help enhance the curriculum of your school or college, get in touch with us today. Our Curriculum Support Service Manager Paul Dixon will be able to explain how the partnership with Oxbridge works, discuss your options and answer any other questions you may have.