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DfE scheme to rate textbooks.

DfE scheme to rate textbooks.

Educational publishers are concerned that the Department for Education wants to introduce a quality-assurance scheme for textbooks and other curriculum resources, which they say would be “devastating”.

The DfE has been talking to publishers about “how best to inform teachers about what high-quality resources are available”.

And research commissioned by the DfE on the “use and perceptions of curriculum support resources in schools” has suggested: "The introduction of a national quality mark for resources would provide some confidence to teachers and schools more broadly so that resourcing (and therefore budgeting) decisions being made were informed by an additional layer of quality assurance.”

Fears have also been raised by a report in the Bookseller magazine, which said that the DfE was thought to favour educational resources being put before an assessment panel, which would rate them as gold, silver or bronze, in a scheme supported in some way by the £7.7 million curriculum fund.

One anonymous publisher said: “It creates a scenario where [the DfE-appointed panel] can pick one or two bodies of content and say ‘Those are the ones schools will buy’.

"It massively distorts the market and makes it impossible for the current wide range of content to be out there. It will be devastating – though if you are one of the few winners, you do nicely.”

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