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London Councils

Researching London school leaders’ views on future challenges

The brief

London Councils commissioned Shift Learning, TES and The Education Company to research the views of head teachers, with a view to uncovering the challenges faced by schools, how head teachers were approaching these challenges, and their expectations for the future. Since 2010, the UK Government has been preparing to move school funding from London and other urban areas to other schools which had traditionally received less funding. These concerns were combined with other cost pressures including inflation, the apprenticeship levy, increases to the teachers’ pension schemes and national insurance contributions.

The approach

Shift Learning conducted 48 interviews with head teachers from a broad range of London schools. This followed up an online survey of 399 school leaders in London, conducted by The Education Company and TES in February 2017. Shift’s interviews delved deeper into the survey responses to understand the current and future impact of the school cuts, as well as exploring head teachers’ views around the role local authorities and other bodies might play in the future around accountability and school performance.

The value

Shift Learning then produced a detailed report, drawing together findings from both phases of the research. The findings were presented in a published report on the London Councils website, with key findings reported in the media (for examples, see articles on the Evening Standard and TES website). Shift Learning presented the findings to local authority representatives and supported London Councils in disseminating the findings more widely, such as through an additional presentation to a London local education authority school leaders event. The report is publicly accessible on the London Councils website.