The OLEVI International Conference will provide a wonderful opportunity to share a number of case studies from our Alliance members from around the world, and illustrate how the OLEVI collaborative approach to school improvement has been adopted and adapted to fit the requirements of individual educational organisations within their own unique context.
Here we showcase our Alliance members in Wales and Africa.
The OLEVI hubs set up within the Central South Consortium (part of the Central South Wales Challenge) have been credited with making great strides towards developing collaborative networks of schools, willing and able to share knowledge, expertise and best practice.
The OLEVI Improving Teacher Programme (ITP), now known as the Creative Teacher Programme (CTP), and the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP) have helped create a ‘cultural shift’ in the motivation and enthusiasm to provide a system that has the children’s educational outcomes at its heart.
By 2015, within 18 months of the The Central South Wales Challenge, high levels of engagement across the region were reported, including over 200 teachers taking part in the Outstanding and Improving Teacher Programmes, and over 600 delegates accessing Hub support.
The 15 OLEVI hubs can be accessed by 408 schools in Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan. They were set up in 2014 to offer an accredited catalogue of support based upon their own understanding, practice and knowledge.
At the time, Stephen Jones, Head of Cardiff High and chairman of the Consortium’s improvement hubs board said: “For too long there has been over-reliance on external support to achieve improved pupil outcomes when most of the expertise needed to achieve this is already here in Welsh schools. This is a wonderful opportunity to export the knowledge we have in Wales. This region has some of the best practitioners not just in the UK but worldwide.”
ITP and OTP, along with the DR ICE model, have been used to unpick what is needed for Welsh schools. In turn, this has created a “cultural shift”, with schools taking the lead in driving forward change in education in Wales.
In 2018 two of our Welsh Hub schools were made Designated Centres of Excellence – Cardiff High, and Tredegar Comprehensive. In their pursuit for a state of excellence, DOC schools endeavour to scrutinise and be scrutinised over their practice, knowing that any new learning will enable them, and others, to continue growing. Their doors are open to those who want to learn, they are proud of who they are and what they do, and have the moral depth and rigour to justify challenges.
Yet, whilst united by these values each DOC maintains its own unique and effective style.
OLEVI programmes have proved a success in Scholé schools in Africa, where the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP) was introduced for a group of twelve ‘excellent teachers’ who were driving forward teaching methods across Kitsubi High School. Elements of the Outstanding Leadership in Education (OLE) programme were also added to middle leader training.
The focus at Kitsubi High has been on supporting teachers moving away from a traditional model of teaching. Ugandan teachers face unique challenges brought about by the environment in which they work. One of the most notable is gaps in prior learning, in particular among students from southern Sudan, where education is at risk of being interrupted. To meet these challenges we have borrowed and developed methods from the Improving Teacher Programme and are working towards new modules to address literacy/EAL.
Kitsubi High introduced triads, each led by an ‘excellent teacher,’ and has now added OTP triads, which introduces another tier of development.
The coaching training element of the OTP is also underway. It began with internal, focused, and global listening and resulted in an impact on thinking when introduced alongside a middle leadership session on holding people to account. Consultant / collaborate/coach had a similar effect.
Kitsubi High is moving towards personalised CPD. The hope is that this flexibility will continue our commitment to the improvement of all.
Now Scholé is in the process of acquiring Makini – a highly successful group of schools in Nairobi and beyond – and the OTP (and hopefully other programmes) will be part of that package.