Lewisham Learning

The school improvement partnership for Lewisham. What is Lewisham Learning's vision, values, role and function?

Lewisham Learning is a schools’ led partnership established by school leaders and the local authority to deliver high quality school improvement to all Lewisham schools. It is rooted in successful collaboration which has underpinned education in the borough for some time. Our schools operate as a family to support, challenge and encourage each other in their determination to do the very best for every child.

All of our schools are members of Lewisham Learning and have access to a developing membership core offer and a strong model of school improvement. Lewisham Learning works closely with the Local Authority and is supported by it. It also works closely with a range of other local organisations who are determined to give our children and young people the best possible start in life.

Read more about Lewisham Learning below and further information, their annual report and useful documents can be found here.

Why was Lewisham Learning established?

The Education Commission report from 2015/16 recommended that the authority and school leaders should create its own school improvement partnership.

One of the key reasons for setting up Lewisham Learning was that we recognised that a school-led partnership is a mechanism for harnessing and developing learning between teachers and school leaders. Staff and schools learn from each other so that effective practice spreads. Many headteachers and governors in Lewisham were already demonstrating system leadership by taking responsibility for school improvement beyond their own organisations and by organizing and providing school to school support. 

The council, with its statutory responsibilities for school improvement, has a key role in the partnership.  Through the partnership, the schools and the council are working together to provide support and challenge to schools to improve outcomes for children and young people in Lewisham.

It was also clear that stakeholders wished there to be a sharp focus on the development of a clear school improvement strategy during the initial phase of the partnership’s development. Lewisham Learning, in the first instance, has focused sharply on school improvement, including governor services, rather than the broader range of support and business services for schools.

The vision of Lewisham Learning

Lewisham Learning is an overarching, cross-borough partnership to ensure the very best education for all children and young people.   It is a school-led system of improvement for Lewisham where all schools, regardless of status, increasingly take on the primary responsibility, collectively, for supporting improvement and raising standards.
Lewisham Learning will operate as a family, sharing strong roots and commitment to the local community with schools working individually, in a variety of groupings and all together to add value to the whole education system.
Lewisham Learning will improve outcomes for children and young people by enabling schools to work together across the borough, to draw on each other’s strengths and thus complement improvement efforts within individual schools and groups of schools.

Lewisham Learning Values

Children first
Put children first every time
Have the highest aspiration and ambitions for children and young people
Expect continuous improvement in the quality of teaching and learning
Value and develop the best practice in our schools
Equality and inclusion
Make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people
Demonstrate moral purpose in promoting equality and inclusion and challenging inequality
Value all children
Trust and support
Mutual support as part of a local family of schools
Strong collaborative working within Lewisham Learning
Work transparently and in a way that makes us accountable to each other and to our stakeholders

What are the key roles and functions of Lewisham Learning?

Whilst schools ultimately retain their overall responsibility for school improvement, the key roles and responsibilities of the partnership include:

• Ensuring strong and productive relationships across all schools and the local authority in pursuit of school improvement, benefiting children and young people in Lewisham

• Using data and intelligence to identify schools that may require support and may need to be challenged as well as supporting those already identified as requiring support and challenge i.e. lead on the development and implementation of a Lewisham School Improvement Framework including categories for schools (to be updated from January 2018 to July 2018 ready for implementation from September 2018)

• Developing, supporting and monitoring the effectiveness of school to school improvement support

• Ensuring, when it is necessary to commission school improvement support from outside the borough, that it is coordinated and value for money

• Supporting the development and commissioning of systems for peer review

• Ensuring schools have access and signposting to the support they need to remain good or outstanding, move from good to outstanding and in particular taking shared cross-borough approaches to new challenges and national changes where this will be helpful

• Developing and recognizing system leadership at all levels in our schools including identifying strengths, good practice as well as schools and leaders who have the ability and capacity to provide support to others

• Identifying trends and CPD needs for schools and their Governing Bodies. Lewisham Learning will liaise with the Standards and Inclusion Managers, SEND team and LTSAP to coordinate commissioning or providing this.

• Take the lead in liaising with Headteachers, Deputy and Assistant Headteachers and School Business Managers to arrange annual conferences for these groups

• Establishing a group of experienced headteachers (School Improvement Board) to support the Director in carrying out the above functions