Lewisham Education Commission and Lewisham Learning

Lewisham Council commissioned a report in 2015 to develop a vision for education in Lewisham. One of the recommendations was the creation a partnership to establish a school-led system of school improvement, Lewisham Learning.

In December 2015, the Mayor agreed to the establishment of the Lewisham Education Commission to support the development of a vision for education in Lewisham (the full report can be found here). The Commission recommended that there should be an agreement between the local authority, headteachers and governors to set up a partnership to establish a school-led system of school improvement. In September 2016, a Partnership Steering Group, with an independent chair, was established to produce and consult on a detailed set of proposals.

To date, (Sept 2017) officers have been supporting the School Improvement Partnership Steering Group. The end of the last school year saw the recruitment of an interim director for the Lewisham Learning Partnership. The secondment is being funded from the School Improvement Budget and a headteacher from an ‘Outstanding’ Lewisham primary school is performing this role as a secondee to the School Improvement Team.

Following the consultation process, the proposed way forward is that a ‘soft partnership’ is established with a strategic board appointed including representation from headteachers, governors and the local authority. The Lewisham Learning partnership will bring together existing strategic school improvement groups.

When the headteachers and governors on the School Improvement Partnership Steering Group were discussing the development of a formalised partnership, it was agreed that partnership’s main raison d’etre was the development of school to school improvement. Other activities such as joint procurement or trading with schools to provide services currently run by the LA were very much second order considerations. Once more established, Lewisham Learning may decide to establish a formalised legal entity. This will be up to the board of the organization.

Source: Children and Young People Select Committee, Lewisham School Improvement Partnership, 13th September 2017.