Research Learning Renewed: ten lessons from the pandemic The Covid-19 crisis has tested education systems in unprecedented ways. In this report, we summarise ten key lessons from the pandemic, which should be used to inform planning for the long-term reconstruction and recovery of education systems. These lessons are drawn from a thorough global review of evidence and policy throughout school closures and plans for reopening around the world, with a particular emphasis on examples of good practice. Research Change agents: emerging evidence on middle-tier instructional leadership Education policymakers around the world have long shared a key priority: achieving high-quality teaching and learning at scale. This requires strong delivery systems at every level. While there is significant evidence on the important roles played by teachers and leaders, comparatively little attention has been paid to the role – and potential – of middle-tier professionals such as supervisors, instructional coaches and mentors at the regional, district and sub-district level. These actors are key intermediaries in education systems, but their role in teaching and learning improvement has often been overlooked in research and policy debates. In our latest report, together with IIEP-UNESCO and the Education Commission, we highlight the potential of these middle-tier actors as a critical part of the ‘machine’ for quality teaching and learning at scale. Research Maintaining learning continuity during school closure: Community Health Volunteer support for marginalised girls in Kenya The Covid-19 pandemic has been intensely disruptive to education all around the world. With children in many countries continuing to face prolonged absences from the classroom, innovative solutions are needed to maintain education continuity, especially for the most vulnerable students. Such crises require solutions that go beyond the resources of the ‘traditional’ education workforce, with local communities and inputs from other sectors playing a potentially important role in ensuring continuity of learning. This report, the second in our Learning Renewed series, explores the solutions adopted by our team in Kenya, where we have redesigned the roles of community health volunteers (CHVs) to support continuity of learning for the vulnerable girls we work with, and identifies key lessons which may prove valuable both during and beyond the current crisis. Research Successful School Leadership This new edition of Successful School Leadership brings in the latest evidence and material to what has remained a popular publication. While the fundamentals of what drives successful school leadership remain the same, new evidence further supports the arguments put forward by Christopher Day and Pam Sammons back in 2016. The growing interest in system leadership that we have witnessed over the last five years also features in this edition, as does a reflection on the expanding body of international literature focused on school leadership in low-income contexts. Research An international review of plans and actions for school reopening This report is based on a rapid survey of recently published materials, guidance documents and media commentary. It summarises what we know and understand about the impacts of the prolonged school closures that followed the spread of Covid-19 and the context of school reopening and plans for learning recovery. Research Change agents: case studies on middle-tier instructional leadership A growing concern for education policymakers is how to improve teaching and learning quality at scale, and how to strengthen delivery systems to achieve this. IIEP-UNESCO and Education Development Trust see the ‘middle tier’ of education systems as a potential solution to this challenge. In a new research collaboration, we are investigating the potential of middle tier professionals – district supervisors, pedagogical coaches and teacher mentors – to act as catalysts for change in local school reforms. This is a neglected area of research and the new work will look at six case studies of effective or promising practice from around the world, in which the middle tier is playing a key role in scaling effective teaching and learning reforms.