Project Overview

The EQuaLLS Project

Schooling in England is complex and evolving. There are multiple models for knowledge exchange, and ways in which teacher professional learning is cultivated (including through hubs, multi-academy trusts and other networks).

Using primary mathematics as a case study, we are researching how Local Learning Systems (LLS) operate to provide high quality, inclusive professional learning for schools.

The findings of this research will inform policy and practice, helping school and system leaders to shape and navigate high quality, inclusive and effective local professional development for teachers.

The Focus

How do local learning systems operate to provide high quality and inclusive professional learning for schools?

To achieve this, we are working with three regions in England to research:

  • What can system leaders and policy makers do to support all schools to create the conditions for professional learning?
  • What can school and system leaders do to create a robust body of strong knowledge and expertise within the school system?
  • How can system leaders encourage collaborations between schools to create a pool of expertise that will inform high-quality CPD?

The Case of Primary Mathematics

The project is centred on primary mathematics as a case study. Mathematics is a core subject in the primary curriculum. It is of strategic importance, with a rich and varied professional development offer from a range of sources including school trusts, published schemes, consultants and Maths Hubs (a network of government funded hubs supporting teacher professional learning across England). As a priority area for policy makers and school leaders, primary mathematics is the ideal case for study. It has a well-embedded hub model nested within existing and new systemic structures and involves a range of national, regional, institutional and individual actors who collectively shape Local Learning Systems.

What does EQuaLLS involve?

EQuaLLS has four main areas of activity:

  • Literature view and conceptual framework development
  • Three case studies of local learning systems to understand how, and to what extent, they exemplify the features of inclusive and effective systems
  • Engagement with key stakeholders at different system scales to inform the conceptual framework, study design and case study selection; as well as to ensure that the study findings are disseminated widely to maximise influence on policy, practice and research 
  • Produce a report for publication as well as wider outputs, including practical examples and guidance and recommendations for policy and practice audiences

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