School improvement in London: a global perspective

Tony McAleavy
Alex Elwick

This report considers how successful London's schools have been over the past decade and identifies what might be learned from the transformation that is relevant to policy makers and educationalists worldwide.

The improvement in student academic outcomes in London since 2000 has been nothing short of outstanding. This report focuses on the applicability of the lessons from London to other contexts – so that policy makers can reflect on their relevance in education systems across the globe.

Our original research report into London's success sought to investigate the causal factors which underpinned the transformation of schooling in London. The research identified key lessons for policy makers derived directly from a mixed-methods approach combining qualitative and quantitative data.

The research involved analysis of student attainment and school inspection data, a literature review and a series of expert witness interviews with key people who played a part in the London story and focus groups with teachers in London schools.

This report uses the original research and data in order to address how London's story can be applied to school reform worldwide. It repurposes the lessons in order to make them relevant to a global audience, so that policy makers in whatever context – including both the developed and developing worlds – might learn from what happened in London.