Commentary Key lessons on effective leadership during COVID-19 and beyond Leadership at every level – from school leaders to district offices to ministries of education – is a critical part of education systems, and never more so than in the current context of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The waves of school closures and reopenings around the world have clearly demonstrated how important good leadership is to learning in all forms. Education leaders in these times cannot simply go about business as usual: leading in disruptive times and beyond means being able to navigate new pathways. Given the significance of leadership and the inevitability of change, we must consider how to best equip leaders to respond to the current crisis and create more equitable and resilient education systems beyond it. Commentary Teachers learning together: insights on leadership and collaborative learning in Kenya and Rwanda Teacher collaborative learning, such as in communities of practice, is a highly promising approach to teacher professional development, but there has been a lack of evidence on how these communities can work best in low-income settings – or at scale. In a new study, we examine communities of practice in our programmes in Rwanda and Kenya to gain important insights into the connections between facilitation quality, leadership, and the impact of these interventions. Commentary Virtual employer encounters: making work experience work in the context of Covid-19 Work experience has long been recognised as an important element of skills development and school-to-work transitions for young people, but the Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented barriers to accessing placements. Here, we explore the value of virtual employer encounters and work placements for careers practitioners helping young people to build their employability skills and progress their career journeys in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. Commentary Assessing the potential to teach: key insights from our Future Teaching Scholars assessment centre As part of our commitment to research and development, we have invested in the review of our Future Teaching Scholars Assessment Centres. Our new Data Insights report examines the validity and reliability of the assessment centres, and correlations between candidates’ performance in different aspects of the initial assessment and later classroom performance. Here, we summarise our findings and their significance for teacher recruitment, and provide seven recommendations for improved teacher selection. Commentary Learning Renewed: a safe way to reopen schools in the Global South As education systems around the world begin to emerge from Covid-19-related lockdown, governments are facing the difficult decision of when and how to reopen schools, balancing the risks of widespread learning loss – and the impact this will have on a generation of learners – with the risks of virus transmission, which are more significant in low-income settings. In this report, we propose a middle way between full closure and reopening, which would not only enable schools to reopen more safely, but also holds real potential to improve learning outcomes for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. 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.