Nobody is more ambitious for a school and its pupils than the teachers and leaders who work in it.  But it isn’t always easy know what the next steps are towards outstanding practice.

For the past 14 years, EdisonLearning has been working alongside schools as their chosen partner to help them on their journey forwards.

Our work is informed and underpinned by five powerful themes

  1. All that we do is informed and shaped by the core values that we share and seek to work by
  2. We invest in research, ensuring we blend how young people learn and develop with the features of the most effective schools and scalable and replicable models – or as we refer to in EdisonLearning, School Designs.
  3. We work alongside schools as partners, ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing to’.
  4. We encourage and help develop collaboration between schools. We believe that great schools have great leaders and great teachers, but that their lasting formula for success goes beyond the strength of individuals – what we refer to as Custodianship.
  5. We focus on outcomes and impact. Our work with schools is only ever successful if the school itself succeeds in meeting the goals and ambitions that it has set itself. These will be reflected in improvements in progress, attainment and in the judgement of Ofsted, but for most, these measures are not the extent of their ambitions. We start with the school’s goals and aspirations in mind, and judge our success against the school’s own aspirations

To date more than 500 schools across England have benefitted from our support and school improvement resources.  We are the chosen school improvement partner to trusts and federations and, most importantly, the NAHT’s delivery partner for the Aspire school improvement initiative.

Our Core Values

What is the vision we share with the schools that partner with us?

  • A shared vision for the school that includes but goes beyond academic success to develop successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens
  • A school community united by common values that are lived and breathed
  • Teachers that share a language to describe Good and Outstanding teaching and talk about improvement on a day to day basis
  • Teams of teachers that are enthusiastic about learning and see themselves as responsible for the outcomes of every learner in the school, not just the ones they teach
  • Learners who have the skills and capacities to lead their own learning and be great team members
  • Planning and data that are purposeful and energising
  • An ethos that creates a school where teachers and learners love to come each day

This is not an empty promise, both independent evaluation and our annual feedback from headteachers evidence the impact of partnership on our partner schools.

Lyons Hall July 2012 (62 of 295)

The EdisonLearning Philosophy

Our  21st century citizens will be presented with challenges and career opportunities that are as yet unenvisaged, using knowledge and technologies which are still to be developed.

Mastery of literacy and numeracy and subject knowledge will be insufficient. All the available evidence shows that while exam success can open opportunities it is the personal, social, learning and employability skills that underpin a successful and fulfilling adulthood.

Schools have risen to the challenge of constantly rising expectations of attainment. But the current system – how schools are organised and operated, the accountability systems, the curriculum and the use of technologies are not fit for purpose. New ways of organising and focusing energy in schools are urgently needed to meet these new demands – and this is where EdisonLearning come in!

Academic attainment is very important but our education philosophy tells us that, an education exclusively focused on achieving GCSEs and A levels represents an inadequate preparation for adulthood, and fails to meet the needs of the Country’s businesses and economy. A great education combines academic excellence with the development of essential personal and social skills, and provides every child with a range of experiences to develop the passions and interests that in turn will support a fulfilled and prosperous adulthood.

We have been fortunate to work with a range of schools that share our mission to turn this philosophy into a transformation of day to day practice, not just for one or two schools, but for every school preparing their students for an uncertain and increasingly global future.

The EdisonLearning Approach

To start with the end in mind, our approach is designed to provide each school we work with the tools and support they need to achieve personalised improvement goals, within the context of the national education agenda and what our research has shown to be the distinctive characteristics of a highly performing school.

We recognise that every school we work with starts from a unique position reflecting the ambitions of its own community and its own capacities and capabilities.

Stage one of any engagement is therefore to understand in detail where the school is today on its journey, and where they want to get to. We have a process that helps us to do this – the Collaborative Quality Analysis – a structured process of review against the Features of Highly Effective Schools carried out as the first experience of partnership working; school leaders working alongside our Achievement Advisers to create a starting point for collaboration and a robust plan of action.

From this beginning, our approach brings together what we believe to be the three essential principles of effective school improvement – tools and resources designed to inspire and facilitate new and better ways of working, implemented with the support of expert and experienced advisers through a proven and quality assured implementation process that provides leaders and governors with clarity around impact, sustainability and value for money.

Research

Educational theory and research is often criticised for its remoteness from the classroom and hence its lack of impact on school practice. Yet there are some clear messages, particularly from international school effectiveness research, about what makes great schools. The challenge is to convert often ‘high order’ concepts abstracted from studies into consistent day to day practices.

EdisonLearning’s approach has been to distil this research to identify the critical ingredients of Highly Effective Schools and create practical models that can be tailored to suit individual school circumstances.

Our services have embedded research findings about distributed leadership, the science of learning, school ethos, the data intelligent school, the most effective strategies for CPD and much more. These are blended into an interconnected and holistic model that Bryk et al (2010)1 has shown delivers multiple dividends over working on any single aspect of school improvement on its own.

1Bryk, S., Bender Sebring P., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S. and Easton, J. (2010) Organizing Schools for ImprovementLessons from Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Our people

“they show complete and utter commitment to you”

– NAHT Aspire Second interim evaluation report, University of Derby

Our team at EdisonLearning has been recruited to ensure we have a rich blend of experience, credibility and personal strengths to offer our partners and clients. Our staff have held senior positions in schools, LAs and educational service organisations, and together we form a well qualified, forward looking and creative team.

People are our biggest asset: we believe we can be the best by employing staff of real quality, who are able to demonstrate that quality through their work, whether they are working with and in schools, or providing consultancy to stakeholders in educational projects. Always informed and driven by our educational vision, our teams provide practical hands-on support, while striving to be flexible and collaborative with partners and clients.

As we extend our activities, we continue to seek professional colleagues and Associates who have already demonstrated a track record of success in working with schools, teachers and children, and in educational services.

Impact and evidence

EdisonLearning’s work with schools is guided by three key indicators.

  • Is our engagement assisting the school to achieve its own distinctive vision?
  • Are we helping the school to progress against key national progress and attainment measures?
  • Is the school improving in the eyes of Ofsted?

We consistently monitor the quality and impact of our work against these indicators and consider a successful collaboration to be one in which progress in all three areas can be clearly evidenced through surveys, through termly school reviews and through nationally published data and inspection reports.

Reflecting the findings of research conducted by Bric et al in the USA, we have found that schools who work with us on a whole-school basis, rather than individual projects or initiatives, see the greatest impact and report the highest assessments of value for money.

The most detailed independent analysis of the provenance and impact of EdisonLearning’s work can be seen in the evaluation of the NAHT Aspire school improvement initiative conducted by the University of Derby.

“Survey evidence suggested that school leaders and teachers have a lot of confidence now that their school will change for the better (97% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement). Furthermore they reported that they have the right strategy and short term priorities to effect change that will impact upon teaching and pupil attainment. There was overall a high level of confidence (99%) that teaching and pupil’s learning would improve as a result of involvement in the programme.”

More information on the University of Derby’s evaluation can be found on the NAHT Aspire website

Quality Assurance and ISO9001

BSI-Assurance-Mark-ISO-9001-KEYB

Ensuring that schools receive the right services to the right quality has a high priority in EdisonLearning. Reviewing and planning around things that are blocking progress are built into every level from school leaders and governors to the health and impact of all the contracts in which we are engaged. This is not left to chance but is built into a termly and annual cycle of events within the Company to help us to be an effective learning organisation. These processes and their diligent implementation are the basis for our ISO 9001 accreditation.

EdisonLearning is the only school improvement company with the BSI’s ISO 9001 accreditation having successfully retained it  since 2007.

The ISO 9001 quality management system is the world’s most widely recognised quality management standard and outlines ways to achieve, as well as benchmark, consistent performance and service.

The scope of the registration covers ‘the provision of consultancy, training and support to implement the ‘EdisonLearning Design’ through school partnership and improvement contracts’ and ‘the design and development of educational management strategies and techniques (the EdisonLearning Design) to enable effective delivery of partnership and improvement programmes’.