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Gillian Keegan sets out DfE’s position on AI in education

Gillian Keegan

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan establishes Government’s forward thinking AI approach

Artificial intelligence has the power to transform teachers’ day-to-day lives, the Education Secretary will say in a speech tomorrow (Wednesday 29 March).

AI technology offers many cutting edge opportunities and some schools are already leveraging its potential, with others eager to learn and understand its full capability to help teach the lessons of tomorrow

Speaking at the bett show in London, Gillian Keegan will set out to the education and technology sector the great potential of AI and call on them to work together, with Government, to maximise that potential and manage the risks.

The Education Secretary’s speech coincides with the publication of statement from the Department for Education, setting out opportunities and risks that come with AI for education.

The Education Secretary is expected to say:

“AI will have the power to transform a teacher’s day-to-day work. We’ve seen people using it to write lesson plans, and some interesting experiments around marking too.

“Can it do those things now, to the standard we need? No. Should the time it saves ever come at the cost of the quality produced by a skilled teacher? Absolutely not.

“But could we get to a point where the tasks that really drain teachers’ time are significantly reduced? I think we will. 

“Getting to that point is a journey we in this room  are going to have to go on together – and just as we’ve responded to other innovations like the calculator, we’ll use it to deliver better outcomes for students.”

The Department is also announcing further support to ensure schools have a safe, secure and reliable foundation in place before they can consider using more powerful technology.

Additions to the Department’s digital and technology standards, covering cloud technology, servers and storage, and filtering and monitoring, will help schools save money and create secure learning environments.

Support also includes a new digital service to help senior leaders with their technology planning.

The tool will benchmark their technology against digital standards, suggest areas of improvement and provide actionable steps and self-serve resources to implement these recommendations.

The service will be piloted in partnership with schools in Blackpool and Portsmouth in September 2023, both Priority Education Investment Areas, before being rolled out across the country.

These new announcements continue to deliver on commitments the government made in the Schools White Paper in Spring 2022 to ‘fix the basics’ in school technology, building on progress towards ensuring all schools have a high-speed broadband internet connection by 2025 and providing targeted classroom connectivity upgrades.

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