Commentary The Schools Partnership Programme: adaptation and evaluation in the time of Covid-19 The Schools Partnership Programme (SPP) is Education Development Trust’s cluster-based school improvement model, designed to support continuous improvement through cycles of peer review and school-to-school support. As a model which typically involves group training and close interaction between school leaders, and with the added pressures school leaders are currently facing, some impact to the programme was to be expected. However, in a time of unprecedented disruption to the UK education system, collaboration and school to school support is arguably more important than ever, and we have been thrilled to see that the collaborative spirit of SPP schools had persevered. To further support our schools, the team have rapidly adapted the programme to include options for remote peer review and evidence gathering, as well as developing new lines of enquiry to support schools with their Covid-19 recovery. Following the disruption of the programme’s evaluation by the pandemic, an extra year of delivery has been funded by the Education Endowment Foundation to complete the evaluation process. Commentary Remote teacher professional development: six principles for effective programmes Amid all the recent disruption faced by education systems worldwide, teachers have remained central to successful learning and will continue to have a critical role in mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on learners. However, given the new demands of the pandemic, focused support and professional development will be crucial. As social distancing and safety measures will preclude traditional, in-person training for the foreseeable future, remote professional development programmes will be needed to ensure teachers are supported, both now and in the post-Covid world. Drawing on our research and wealth of experience in developing teacher professional development programmes, in this article, we provide a breakdown of key principles for remote teacher professional development. Commentary Bringing the science of learning into the classroom: teacher-led RCTs and evidence-informed pedagogy While the benefits of using neuroscience and psychology to inform pedagogical techniques may seem obvious – not to mention appealing – a disconnect between research and classroom practice has long presented challenges of translation. In response, a team of education and neuroscience researchers, led by Richard Churches, Lead Adviser for Education Reform and Evidence-Based Practice and Programme Director for Future Teaching Scholars at Education Development Trust, has pioneered an exciting, new, teacher-led research programme to bridge the gap from laboratory experiments to actual teaching practice. Commentary Prioritising quality, equity and resilience in school reopening plans As schools in many countries begin to reopen, the focus and efforts of governments, system leaders and decision-makers must not be limited to the health and safety implications of reopening. To mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on education, there also needs to be an emphasis on ensuring the quality of the education that pupils receive – especially where a proportion of their schooling continues to be conducted remotely. This also generates urgent and important questions of equity – not least in terms of the ‘digital divide’ – and of the longer-term resilience of education systems around the world. Commentary Can life skills interventions help keep vulnerable girls in education in emergencies? Adolescent girls are among those most at risk during emergencies, humanitarian disasters, and disease outbreaks worldwide – and the Covid-19 pandemic is no exception. School closures, increased economic or family pressures, and decreased access to services and safe spaces significantly increase girls’ vulnerability in many parts of the world. This can result in higher rates of gender-based violence, early marriage and unplanned pregnancies, as well as an increased risk that vulnerable girls will drop out of education. In two new reports, we investigate the impact of life skills interventions for girls in emergency situations, and how these can be best used to address the challenges faced by disadvantaged or marginalised girls. Commentary Scaling, systems thinking and success: navigating pathways to scale in education Education policymakers are used to seeing results from small scale pilots. But successful local innovations and interventions, which may have impressive evidence from research trials, do not always translate into results at scale. This is an ongoing frustration for policymakers and, faced with the learning crisis, they are increasingly asking different questions, wondering how to achieve school improvement at scale. To investigate this issue further, Education Development Trust worked with the UK Department for International Development. Here, Emma Gibbs, Senior Consultant, reflects on the experience, and the insights that emerged from the collaboration.