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Inviting Best Practice Network schools to participate in our private beta

In January 2024, the team in DfE announced the new service to schools that work with the private beta early adopters - Best Practice Network (BPN) and the National Institute of Teaching (NIoT).

These communications aimed to explain what the service is and what it means for schools, let them know that the claim form will be coming before the 2024 summer holidays and ask for user research volunteers.

The BPN communications were sent out directly to around 50 schools, whereas the NIoT communications were shared with their 250 schools via NIoT. This separate approach was due to NIoT and DfE not having secured data-sharing agreements between NIoT schools and DfE by this point.

Email to Best Practice Network

Action: Get ready to claim general mentor grant funding

Get ready to claim mentor grant funding before the 2024 summer holidays

If your school offers initial teacher training (ITT) placements for the Best Practice Network (BPN) and has one or more ITT general mentors, then you will be eligible to claim this funding via the GOV.UK website (more details on this soon).

How it works

To be eligible for this funding, an ITT mentor must have:

  • undertaken up to 20 hours of initial mentor training
  • mentored at least one trainee

Once the funding is claimed on GOV.UK, payments will be made in arrears in September and October 2024.

How much can be claimed

Schools outside of London – up to £876
Schools in and around London – up to £1,076

If a mentor undertakes less than 20 hours of training, the funding is calculated per hour.

We’d like your help to co-design the service

BPN have partnered with the DfE for the early rollout of this new service.
In this early rollout, we’ll be testing the whole service to make sure everything is working before rolling it out more widely in 2025.

We’d like your help to co-design the claims process. You can participate in user research for the ITT general mentor private beta by completing this form:


We will also be sending a survey soon to understand more about the needs of educational institutions who will be claiming the funding.

We’d really like to hear your feedback once you start using the service. Please feel free to forward this email on to any colleagues that you think it is relevant to.

Kind regards,
General Mentor Grant Funding Team

Further background on the general mentor grant

The Government Response to the ITT Market Review outlined that all mentors will need to undertake mentor training with an accredited ITT training provider.

This funding will help with the cost of mentors being away from the classroom while they train. This could include:

  • paying for someone to cover lessons while a teacher is undertaking mentor training
  • paying for someone to teach if a teacher takes time off in lieu to train
  • overtime payments to the teacher, if they are training outside of normal working hours
  • paying for any costs that come from reducing a teacher’s other responsibilities to make time for training

If you have any further questions, please email