“Raising teaching standards through innovation and challenge and improving the learning outcomes of all children, is at the heart of all we do.
Central to the success of students is the quality of teaching and learning provided by the school.”
A driving force for change
OLEVI has been at the forefront of innovation in Teaching and Learning for over 20 years, leading the development of Leadership in Teaching and Learning to become a driving force for change. No other organisation has a greater depth of understanding of the challenges faced by schools in the changing landscape of education and no other organisation is as committed to raising the quality of teaching and improving the life chances of all children and young people.
During the late 1990s, Professor Sir George Berwick, explored how school leaders could create a learning community which retained and valued excellent practitioners and facilitated them being able to share their skills and knowledge; with the aim of raising teaching standards and improving learning outcomes for all. This “Teaching School” concept, encouraged fellow colleagues, Richard Lockyer and Mark Suckling, to design and developed various Teaching and Learning programmes created to raise standards and build and share knowledge.
Their school, in which the programmes were piloted, went on to become a centre of excellence in the enhancement of teaching and pedagogical challenges, with the Improving Teacher (ITP) and Outstanding Teacher Programmes (OTP), noted as being a significant factor in this achievement. In 2003 the school went on to be recognised by the DfE as a “Leading Edge School”
The coaching and knowledge sharing ethos of the school extended to building relationships and creating partnerships with other schools. This formed the foundation of The Thinking & Learning Schools’ Alliance – later to become known as OLEVI – and provided a collaborative framework for school-to-school work and shared best practice.
Turning schools around
Between 2004-2006, OLEVI’s powerful professional development programmes; The Improving Teacher Programme (ITP) and Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP) became the driving power behind the London Challenge, which helped raise previously struggling schools to levels of outstanding achievement. The ITP and OTP went on to become part of the OLEVI Teaching and Learning Syllabus – developed for the City Challenge project and the formally named National College. The OLEVI Teaching and Learning Syllabus became part of the strategy of the government’s drive to transform under-performing schools in some of the most challenging catchment areas in the country. Ofsted’s 2010 report on the London Challenge was unequivocal in its findings of the positive impact the ITP and OTP had on raising standards.
Sustainable whole school improvement
Building on the success of the ITP and OTP, Richard Lockyer and Mark Suckling, designed the Outstanding Facilitator Programme (OFP) and Power of Coaching Train the Trainers (POCTT). These programmes provided schools with the means by which they themselves could drive forward improvements and embed a culture of continual whole school improvement through a coaching ethos.
Under the direction of Richard Lockyer, OLEVI, along with its growing network of Designated OLEVI Centres (DOCs), is now one of the leading Teaching and Learning programme providers in the UK. With over 2,200 facilitators delivering the ITP and OTP, the OLEVI Teaching & Learning Syllabus now forms part of the tool kit for over 75% of cohort one Teaching Schools in England. The rigour and challenge of the OFP has been recognised by the DfE and National College as being key to the success of sustainable whole school improvement.
In 2012, OLEVI introduced the Outstanding Leaders’ Programme (OLP), which provides professional development in leadership management at the highest level. The programme drew on OLEVI’s experience and learning from the London and City Challenges and our other extensive national and international school-to-school work over the past twelve years.
September 2013 saw the launch of OLEVI’s new Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP), which develops the potential for teaching assistants (TAs) to have a wider impact on improving the quality of teaching and learning across the school. The success of this programme has led to the introduction, in September 2014, of the Facilitation of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (FOTAP).
Commitment and Quality
OLEVI’s moral commitment to improving the life chances of children and young people is further enhanced through the sponsorship of Challenge Partners. The Challenge Partners Partnership has over 200 schools throughout the UK, working together to take forward the good work started in the London and City Challenges. OLEVI has been instrumental in the development of the Quality Assurance Review model used by Challenge Partners to drive whole school improvement.
In addition, OLEVI leads the quality assurance of the Partnership’s current project Challenge the Gap – a whole school programme aimed at addressing one of the most challenging issues facing schools:- how the ensure economic disadvantage does not become entrenched as lifelong disadvantage.