Since the development of the OLEVI Hubs, within the Central South Consortium (part of the Central South Wales Challenge), great strides have been made in developing collaborative networks of schools able to share their knowledge, expertise and best practice.
The Hubs have implemented strategies for leadership, teaching and learning, closing the gap and curriculum support to raise standards across all schools in the region and enable schools to become self-improving.
The OLEVI Improving Teacher Programme (ITP) and the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP) have been used to develop capacity for use across the region in developing practice in teaching and learning. The programmes; the ethos and principles that underpin them; and the Teaching School model of collaborative school-to-school support, 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.
The Central South Wales Challenge reported this spring that:
“The first 18 months of the Challenge have been very promising, with high levels of engagement across the region, including over 200 teachers taking part in the Outstanding and Improving Teacher Programmes (OTP and ITP), and over 600 delegates accessing Hub support since January 2015.
“Teachers were made to reflect on their own practices and to think and re-focus ideas in the light of theory, not in a dry way but in the light of living practice.”
“Evaluations and QA of the programmes have been consistently strong and an external evaluation of the OTP has shown how participants have improved their teaching practice and go on to support stronger teaching and learning in their schools as a result.”
With regards to greater collaboration between schools the report goes on to say:
“We are already seeing a significant shift in the impact of school-to-school work being evidenced in school inspection, in impact on outcomes and in capacity building across the region. Already schools are reporting a greater openness to work with others, more creative use of time by teachers, and leaders working together to strengthen their practices. Critically, many schools are using these activities to think about succession planning and structures within schools. This includes providing ways to develop all staff, reducing the use of temporary or supply staff, and identifying future leaders across schools.”
“I think we can become a system where we seek expertise from one another and are open to share our own ideas and to give freely of our own expertise. It will allow us to openly but supportively challenge each other to do better.”
We are extremely proud to be part of what is taking place within Welsh schools. Their bold strategies – to build an excellent education system committed to improving the learning outcomes of all children – are starting to reap rewards.
Read the impact ‘Being an OLEVI Hub’ has had on two of our Welsh OLEVI Hub schools.