Feedback from sector to inform AI policy for education

Results from the government’s first ever Call for Evidence on Artificial Intelligence in Education have been released, which will help inform future policy on AI in education.

Many respondents recognise the benefits of AI and some are already using AI tools to streamline administrative tasks, create subject-specific resources and provide personalised support for learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Other opportunities cited include the creation of more interactive lessons, and additional support for learners for whom English is an additional language.

The respondents range from educators in schools, colleges and universities, to research bodies including The Alan Turing Institute and Jisc.

The report will provide a base to inform future policy on AI, and the government is already supporting the sector to realise the potential of AI in education.

In October, the government announced an additional investment of up to £2 million in Oak National Academy to create new teaching tools using AI, followed by a two-day hackathon hosted by the Department for Education in collaboration with Faculty AI, the National Institute of Teaching, which brought together teachers, leaders, students and technology experts to experiment with AI.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: "Artificial intelligence is here to stay and it’s already changing the way we work and learn. To take advantage of this transformative technology, it’s crucial we get our approach to it right.

"It’s heartening that many education professionals are already seeing the tangible benefits of AI – something I witnessed myself at our AI hackathon earlier this month – while remaining alert to its risks.

"The results of the call for evidence give us a crucial evidence base to inform our future work on AI, helping us make the right decisions to get the best out of generative AI in a safe and secure way."

Michael Webb, Director of Technology and Analytics at Jisc, said: "It’s encouraging to see from this report how many institutions are already embracing AI, and how staff are using it in creative ways to improve education.

"The findings also help us understand the types of support and guidance staff need in order to make the best use of the technology going forward. This will enable us to ensure that the right skills training is in place, along with guidelines around safe, ethical use of AI."

The Technology in Schools Survey, also published today, sets out how technology is used in schools and where they need support to use technology effectively. To improve access to technology, the Department for Education is investing up to £200 million to upgrade schools that fall below Wi-Fi connectivity standards in 55 Education Investment Areas, and working with commercial providers to enable all schools to have access to a high-speed connection by 2025.


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