In February 2013 Pete Dudley led the Barnet Partnership for School Improvement Spring Term Conference which was attended by 55 Headteachers and other Senior Leaders from Barnet Primary Schools. A few schools began to use Lesson Study in their schools but this was not widespread across Barnet.
When the Greater London Authority (GLA), in April 2013, announced a £24m fund for education in London called the London Schools Excellence Fund, BPSI, on behalf of Barnet, were successful in their bid for £178,478 to bring together the internationally successful strategy of Lesson Study with two other strategies, Peer Enquiry and Teacher Learning Communities (TLC), in order to increase literacy and numeracy subject knowledge and pedagogical concepts and knowledge for the benefit of teachers and support staff in 60 Barnet Primary Schools (including the four Nursery Schools and the two Primary Special Schools) and 7 Barnet Secondary Schools. The Primary Schools all selected either Literacy or Mathematics as the area for development over the two year project.
The Project was launched with a 2 day conference in November 2013 for Headteachers and Literacy or Mathematics Subject Leaders where the project was outlined and the schools had an input on the first element of the Project, Lesson Study from Brigid de Rivaz (a “graduate” of Pete Dudley) and a Headteacher from a primary school in Bedfordshire where Lesson Study is an embedded element of school improvement.
Thirteen Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) were established which range from 3 to 8 schools in each (with most TLCs having a Secondary School link). These TLCs have met half-termly with the lead person from each school coming together to feedback about how the Project is going in their school, how difficulties or barriers have been overcome, to share success stories and to discuss the next phase of the project and any additional support that the schools need from their Secondary School partner or BPSI Advisers.
Five months on from the Launch Conference and Lesson Study has been successfully rolled out in all the 60 Primary Schools and it is clear that it is having a major impact in the schools, opening the doors of the classrooms to colleagues, focussing on the children’s learning and being seen as a hugely supportive and effective way to improve teaching and learning in schools. One school described Lesson Study as a “game changer!”
The LSEF is part funding Lesson Studies in each school (4 days of supply cover per school) but the remainder is being funded by individual schools and the schools are all reporting that this is money well spent and is giving great value for money.
Neil Marlow (Barnet Learning Network Inspector)Follow lessonstudyuk