Focus on the quality of teaching – London schools went from the country’s worst to the best performing

In the early 2000s, London schools had student results that placed them at the bottom of England schools ranking. Less than ten years later, they were at the top of the rankings. They achieved this by focusing on the quality of teaching and learning in each classroom. Since then, London schools have consolidated their position with even better student outcomes.

In 2002, 21 percent of London schools were assessed and rated as “underperforming schools” with low student outcome. At the same time, the proportion of “outstanding schools” with high student results in the capital was only 15 percent. In 2010, the figures were 2 percent underperforming and 27 percent outstanding. In 2015, the ratio was 2 percent and 37 percent.

If students’ results are low – then we have a closer look at the teaching
We know what a multicultural city London is and based on the situation we have today in many countries we all understand the dimension of the challenges that London’s schools have and have had. Instead of focusing on that, they chose to look at the situation like this: the student results that the schools achieve are low – then we have to look more closely at the quality of teaching for learning.

Lesson observations in all classrooms
One of the first steps in 2003 was to start with all the schools that had been found to be “underperforming” – 40 schools. At these schools, systematic lesson observations were conducted in all classrooms with the same form for the observations. In other words, consistent reference points based on research. Based on the outcomes of the observations, the teachers who were found to deliver high quality teaching were trained to provide support to the teachers who were found to need additional skills development in order to develop important skills. This support was given in the form of a 10-week intensive course.

Collaborative groups with principals
Another measure was to create many smaller groups with school leaders. Each group included both leaders from high performing and underperforming schools. Together they collaborated exchanging experiences and challenged each other to develop their schools with a specific goal on improving the quality of teaching and the coaching of teachers. ***

Concrete and systematic – two examples
More and more schools are putting concrete and systematic focus to the quality of teaching in other countries as well. Click on the links below to read about two examples.

A systematic approach to improve teaching in Ludvika minicipality
A systematic approach at all seven schools in Kunskapsgymnasset


*** Based on the work that started in London in the 2000s, there are today two organisations that continue on the path that was staked out. Interested? Check out these two links:

Challenge Partners
OLEVI International


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Now 6.9 million lessons at Stockholm’s municipal schools can systematically become even better

More than 6.9 million lessons are carried out each academic year in Stockholm’s municipal schools. It is now possible for all Stockholm principals and teachers to focus even more systematically on developing the quality of teaching.
BRAVOLesson has signed an agreement with the City of Stockholm, which makes BRAVOLesson an optional service on the Stockholm Digital Learning Resources Software Bank.

A systematic approach – download our whitepaper

Video – this is BRAVOLesson


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Lesson observations for 7 out of 10 teachers per school during 2nd week of October

Part 1
Kunskapsgymnasiet’s systematic approach to improve teaching


The principal and the deputy principal at each school will conduct observations during the second week in October and during the last week in April 2020. The aim is for at least 7 out of 10 teachers to be observed in each school during those weeks. The result from observation 1 will be analysed using BRAVOLesson. Strengths and areas for development will be defined and used in the work for systematic school improvement.


Image. Graphs generated in BRAVOLesson for each dimension in an observation form – for analysis, reflection and improvement.


The result of observation 2 in April will be used to see the progress in the quality of teaching identified in the areas for development in observation 1. In addition to these two observation sessions, continuous lesson observations will be conducted throughout the school year.

     – The overall aim of our school improvement work is always to increase the students’ learning and results. To achieve this, the aim is to develop our teaching together in a systematic and structured way, says Petter Enlund, Pedagogy and Development Manager at Kunskapsgymnasiet.


“… the aim is to develop our teaching together in a systematic and structured way.”

Petter Enlund, Kunskapsgymnasiet


This term the new way of working starts with:

  1. All principals and deputy principals receive their own accounts and an introduction to BRAVOLesson.
  2. Lessons have been recorded on video. The principals from all seven schools observe the videos together with the help of the BRAVOLesson tool to discuss and calibrate how they perceive what is the quality of the different dimensions of good teaching according to Kunskapsgymnasiet’s joint observation form.
  3. During second week of October lesson observations will be conducted at each school.

Already towards the end of Friday afternoon that week, all the principals and Petter Enlund have the opportunity to start analysing the statistics in BRAVOLesson. What does the teaching at each school look like and what does it look like overall?

     – The observations are intended to serve as a good basis for discussions about how to improve teaching at all our schools, but also between schools, between teachers and principals as well as between teachers and teachers, says Petter Enlund.

The next part about Kunskapsgymnasiet’s systematic approach to improve teaching will be about insights after October and their evidence-based observation form.




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