ASCL comment on £2m investment in Oak for AI development

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the government press release announcing £2 million investment in Oak National Academy to improve and expand artificial intelligence tools for teachers.
While we agree with the idea of developing AI to support teachers and pupils, we have to question the way in which this is being done. 

“Is the £2 million investment in Oak National Academy – which is equivalent to employing around 40 teachers – in addition to the £43 million of taxpayers’ money already allocated to Oak over the 2022/23 to 2024/25 financial years? How will this money be spent? And what efforts has the government made to develop this technology through the UK’s existing education technology industry?

“These are important questions because schools and colleges are struggling to stay afloat as a result of a decade of government underfunding and they deserve to have clarity on exactly how and why this money is being spent on Oak