Following the Mayor’s Education Inquiry of 2012, the London Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF) was set up to help to close the knowledge gap around academic disciplines in London schools and to improve the quality of teaching and, as a result, children’s attainment in the city.
More than 100 projects across the London boroughs received funding to produce creative, collaborative programmes to improve teaching standards.
London Leadership Strategy (LLS) provided support to LSEF projects around promotion and knowledge mobilisation – i.e. the making of connections between research/expertise and policy/practice in order to improve outcomes (see diagram).
Fig 1. Knowledge mobilisation process
LLS provided a number of events, workshops and resources in order to support LSEF projects, including:
- A dedicated community blogging website – londoned.org.uk – which hosts useful resources, information and events, and gives the opportunity for projects to share their experiences and learnings with each other via the site’s blog.
- A free 16 page booklet on knowledge mobilisation in practice – including a description of what knowledge mobilisation is, what the best kind of things to share are, a step-by-step how-to guide on influencing and informing covering strategic planning, promotional print collateral, digital promotion and communications approaches.
- Free twilight events on subject-specific pedagogy – one focussing on STEM subjects, the other on humanities subjects – for projects to share their experiences and learnings with each other around best practice and evaluation.
- The opportunity to attend wider LLS events, including January 2015’s Power of Hubs conference – which focussed on how ‘hub’ models can best deliver evidence-based professional development (you can read a write up of the event here).
Impact to date
LSEF projects continue to thrive and deliver exceptional services to those schools involved in their projects and are broadening their reach in terms of involving new schools, collaboration and sharing best practice.
Projects have been positive about the impact of LLS’s support services.
“I am amazed by the diversity of the projects that other professionals have been working on. Although each of the projects I learned about at the [Twilight session] has its own unique evaluation framework, I was struck by the rigour that each project lead demonstrated. This fills me with enthusiasm for our upcoming evaluation.” Rachel Curzons, The Brilliant Club.
LLS Managing Director, Anita Kerwin-Nye said:
“Our role in working with LSEF project was to provide information, resources and events around knowledge mobilisation to help them share the excellent knowledge, processes and resources that they have created as part of their projects. LSEF projects work hard to inspire teachers and improve teaching standards across London and we are delighted to be supporting them.”
LLS Chair, Professor David Woods CBE said:
“LSEF projects have adopted a hub-model approach, ensuring an agreed set of values and principles, a clear overarching purpose and dedicated lead and transparent and stretching success criteria. It’s a model that London Leadership Strategy have significant expertise in and we have successfully imparted that expertise to LSEF projects and provide them with platforms to share their results and best practice examples.”