After he spoke at the launch of our approach to school improvement at the Sunday Times Festival of Education we caught up with Sir Michael Barber and asked him a few questions about the global challenge of improving schools.
How does a school system with poor performance become good? And how does one with good performance become better? The 2010 McKinsey report How the worlds most improved school systems keep getting better explains
In their 2007 education report, How the world’s best-performing school systems come out on top, McKinsey explain that “the available evidence suggests that the main driver of the variation in student learning at school is the quality of teachers”.
The London Challenge has continued to improve outcomes for London’s primary schools at a faster rate than nationally. London’s secondary schools continue to perform better than those in the rest of England. Read the Ofsted report on the London Challenge to find out how programmes of support for schools are designed based on audits of need and how excellent system leadership and pan London networks have been used to accelerate progress.
We commissioned CUREE to undertake some research into the key ingredients required for Continuing Professional Development to have an impact on student outcomes. The findings of this research have formed the basis of our Professional Development offer. Download the full CUREE Report and find out more about our Professional Development offer.
21st Century Learning
In Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century the OECD examines lessons from around the world about how nations are undertaking wide ranging reforms to better prepare children for the higher educational demands of life and work in the 21st century.
Sir Ken Robinson’s work on creativity has been a real inspiration to our team. It is part of the extensive body of evidence we have drawn on to develop the skills and learning dispositions of Mastering Learning designed to support the development of 21st century knowledge. This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA outlining his world renowned approach to education and creativity.
In December 2012 Nesta released Decoding Learning an new research report into the proof, promise and potential of digital education. The research was led by Professor Rose Lukin from London Knowledge Lab and they focused on answering the questions how does technology help improve learners experiences and the standards they achieve? And what more can be done to ensure the full potential of technology is exploited?
One of the things we’re really keen to tackle is one of the greatest problems of education – the best teachers and schools don’t exist where they’re needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackled just this by giving kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.
The use of research evidence to support teaching and learning
There is lots of debate at the moment about the relationship between research and teaching. To find out more read John Hattie on One Journey to Unravel the Relationship between Research and Teaching and Ben Goldacre on Building Evidence into Education.