Millions of pounds are spent every year on third sector and school led development of new education programmes and products. While addressing quality is vital as important is how we ensure that learning from this funded work is shared across the school system. Too many grants result in a glossy report or a training pack that never leaves the shelf.
The London Mayor’s London School Excellence Fund is therefore to be congratulated for considering routes to dissemination and sharing learning even before awarding funding. Our Director Anita Kerwin-Nye provides support to London Leadership Strategy who have been commissioned by the GLA to support projects to share their learning into the London schools system and beyond.
London Leadership Strategy is the successor to the London Challenge. A not for profit company led by serving school heads LLS works on the premise that the knowledge to improve the system resides in the system.
We believe that the knowledge for school improvement is owned by schools, exists within schools and should be shared between schools. In short it is not about the best leading the rest, but about co-construction and collaboration.
Professor David Woods Chair of LLS
Over the coming year LLS will be working with the 100 funded projects and their 800 partner schools to take learning (of what works and what doesn’t) into the school system.
To do this LLS and their grantees are using a range of approaches ranging from the more informative/didactic (flyers, reports) through more the interactive (social media, conferences) through to the more transformative (coaching, peer review).
What became very clear very early in this work was that both schools and many third sector organisations wanted a guide to the basics – What is knowledge mobilisation’? How do I blog? How do I set up a website? How do I consider audience needs?
To support this LLS developed Sharing-Our-Learning a guide to simple routes to sharing what we know. Supported by a range of experts – including NotDeadFish partners Consilium and associate Rebecca Martin – this guide has been developed with school and charities. It is free to download from the associated LondonEd website – the LLS powered crowd sourced blogging site where projects across London are sharing what they are doing, what is working (and equally important – what isn’t!)
There is much discussion about knowledge mobilisation and taking work to scale and it is becoming an area of research and academic debate in its own right. It was pleasing to see the Education Endowment Foundation announcement last weekabout projects that they are funding to learn more about which approaches to sharing learning might work best.
However it is important that we don’t move knowledge mobilisation as a concept to a lofty level of academic debate where people are too frightened to start in case they get it wrong. The ‘Sharing our Learning’ publication provides a starting point for people who have the moral purpose to want to share what they know for benefit of system but who need a little help to find the best way to start.
If in doubt on what to share and how –try little and often as your starter for ten and download the Sharing our Learning publication to learn more.
For more information follow @llsinfo on Twitter or #londoned