'School 2 School': how to make Teaching Schools a success

Oli de Botton

Seb Hare

Anthea Humphreys

This paper aims to analyse and describe the potential of the Teaching Schools initiative to improve teaching and raise standards, identify some of the risks that might jeopardise its successful implementation and propose possible mitigations.

The authors conducted a literature review examining school-centred professional development, drawing on international research. We selected our case study countries on the basis of the effectiveness of their systems and the availability of relevant literature in English. We also explored practice in non-education systems of adult learning, particularly England’s Teaching Hospitals.

The 2010 government White Paper The Importance of Teaching called for the creation of a network of National Teaching Schools in England, based on the model of Teaching Hospitals. These schools will be outstanding institutions charged with working in collaboration with an alliance of local schools to raise standards. Teaching Schools will take a lead in the provision of continuing professional development (CPD), school improvement, leadership development and, in time, the provision of Initial Teacher Training. Through the establishment of networks, best practice is to be shared so that ‘more children in more schools experience the benefits of great teaching and leadership’. Initially, 100 outstanding schools have been selected to become part of the first cohort of Teaching Schools. Teaching Schools are currently in the development year (2011/2012); the programme will be rolled out in the academic year 2012/2013.