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£45k spent on school reforms video

The Department for Education spent tens of thousands of pounds on a film showing the impact of their school reforms, figures show.

A private company was paid more than £38,000, plus VAT, to create and produce the 30-minute video, called "'The school revolution': how reforms are transforming schools".

Lobby group The Taxpayers' Alliance said it was a "big bill for a promo video" and suggested that the department should let the results of their policies speak for themselves.

Figures obtained by the Press Association through a Freedom of Information request show that the firm was paid £38,250 plus VAT to make the film, making the overall total £45,900.

A breakdown shows that £20,000 was spent on filming in schools and interviews with the rest paying for final delivery and production.

Funding for the project, to be used across social media, was taken from the DfE's central communications budget.

Officials insisted that the department has curbed spending on communications, with costs down from £54 million in 2010 to under £1 million in the last financial year.

The film is intended to highlight "the key education reforms over the last four years that are transforming the schools landscape in England" according to the department.

It features clips of headteachers, teachers, governors and education experts who the DfE said had played leading roles in bringing in reforms or who have "witnessed first-hand" the benefits of the changes.

The video has been viewed around 3,800 times on YouTube since it was released in July.

John O'Connell, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is a big bill for a promo video. It's great news that it's in the context of a massively reduced communications budget overall but the cost for this particular project is worrying, especially considering its poor viewing figures.

"Allowing schools more freedom is a wonderful thing but the department should let the results speak for themselves, rather than spending taxpayers' money on a slick video that has not been watched by many people."

A DfE spokeswoman said: "We commissioned this film to provide information about the Government's plan for education and the brilliant work that many teachers are doing in our classrooms.

"The video was funded using savings from elsewhere in the DfE's central communications budget - which has been cut from £54 million in 2010 to under £1 million in the last financial year.

"Viewing figures are expected to continue to rise."

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