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Collaborative projects

Current and recent collaborative projects in the UK and internationally include:

Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa

TESSA is a research and development initiative creating open educational resources (OERs) and course design guidance for teachers and teacher educators working in Sub-Saharan African countries. It is a consortium of 18 national and international organisations including 13 institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa who are using the TESSA materials in a variety of teacher education programmes. The major funding for TESSA has come from the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

See the TESSA website for more information.

English in Action, Bangladesh

English in Action is a major DfID-funded programme initiated by the Government of Bangladesh. The OU is working together with BMB Mott MacDonald, BBC World Service Trust and local partners to improve English language skills for 25 million people in Bangladesh.

The OU is leading in two areas of the project:

  • Primary and secondary teacher training delivered through school-based professional development, enhanced with mobile technologies, including mobile phones
  • Cross-project research, monitoring and quality assurance

Following a successful initial phase from 2008, a further three-year contract for EiA was signed in 2011.

For more information contact Programme Director Tom Power or Project Manager Claire Hedges. Or check out the project website.


Vital was a DFE funded ICT CPD project for the English 5-19 education sector in England, which aimed to improve:

  • the use of digital technology in schools across the curriculum
  • improving the teaching of Computing in schools

Vital provided an online learning platform, with courses, forums, portals, online CPD events and materials.

£9.4M was awarded to the OU form July 2009 to 31 March 2013. All KPIs were met or exceeded. The project and resources were successfully handed over to Jisc Advance in March 2013.

See the project website for more information.

Modern Foreign Language in primary schools

Kent County Council were looking for a course to respond to the challenge of delivery Modern Foreign Language (MFL) in primary schools, which became mandatory in 2010.

As a response to this mandatory change in teaching primary languages, The Open University developed a series of 30-hour CPD courses for teachers. Kent CC announced a pilot programme to teachers within their community and uptake has been extended to include over 40 teachers. A rigorous evaluation procedure, including the self-evaluation built into the course, will decide how to roll out the scheme across the county.

For more information about professional development courses, see the OU Employer Portal.

Marine Society, Armed Forces

The Marine Society and The Open University (OU) work together to ensure seafarers are able to take advantage of the learning opportunities on offer.

The Open University presented a prize to Sea Cadet Volunteer Outstanding Student Award to CPO (SCC) Donna Phillips in 2010. Donna is studying the Foundation Degree in Working with Young People.

The Marine Society facilitate exams at sea, provide logistical support for OU courses and have worked with the OU to gain academic accreditation for seafarers’ professional and experiential learning.

Student Associates Scheme

Funded by the TDA, the student associates scheme gave students considering secondary teaching as a career the opportunity to spend 15 days in their chosen subject department working alongside teaching staff and pupils. Supported by a self - study package to prepare for the placement and a subject mentor whilst in school, we helped 140 students in 2010/11 decide whether teaching was the career for them.

The student associate scheme has now closed for new placements.
For information about the TDA's current advice about school placements, see the TDA's school experience programme website.

Initial Teacher Education

The OU offered a unique flexible Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England and Wales, and Eligibility to Teach in Northern Ireland; the programme had a strong emphasis on practical school-based training and was delivered in partnership with schools across the UK. In Scotland it was designated as a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

We no longer offer a Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) to new applicants.

For further information about getting into teaching, see the Department of Education website

To discuss how we can help you develop and train your staff

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