London Schools Excellence Fund

London Schools Excellence Fund

The London Schools Excellence Fund was established to improve the quality of teaching in the capital. The fund is in response to research showing a higher standard of teaching can improve children's performance in schools.

How does it work?

Teachers have worked with universities, subject experts and professional subject associations to develop their teaching and refresh their knowledge.

The activities have enhanced teachers’ subject knowledge in the following priority subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Physics
  • Modern and Ancient Languages

It also offered support for other EBacc subjects at primary and secondary level. Projects delivered over the two year period period from September 2013 to December 2015. The London Schools Excellence Legacy Fund is supporting Subject Knowledge Hubs and the London Teacher Innovation Fund from January 2016 to August 2017. 

Who has received funding?

Over 100 projects have been awarded funding, with teachers from schools in every London borough taking part. 13,000 teachers have benefited from the programme in total.

The London Schools Excellence Fund Resource Hub hosts information on all London Schools Excellence Fund projects. A wide range of quality teaching and learning resources were developed by projects and can be found here, searchable by key stage and subject.

This Hub also hosts the final evaluation reports developed by each project to assess the learning and impact of their delivery.

The meta-evaluation of the London Schools Excellence Fund programme which brings together the learning from 82% of the LSEF projects will be available here soon. An LSEF Thematic Report will also be published which will report on qualitative research undertaken by the independent evaluators with 15 LSEF projects.  This looks at  primary, secondary and cross phase projects, how they work in networks, and how they work with Higher Education Institutes and subject experts. 

The resources tools and templates which were produced to support LSEF projects evaluate their impact were bespoke to the LSEF programme. We have made these freely available on the LSEF Resource Hub.


Where does the funding come from?

The London Schools Excellence Fund is part of the Mayor’s Education Programme.

£20 million in funding came from the Department for Education; we provided an additional £4.25 million. A further £1.5 million has been awarded from the European Integration Fund (EIF) towards the £2 million programme English: The Key to Integration.

Funding children in care

The London Schools Excellence Fund has provided £500,000 to raise the aspirations and achievements of children living with foster families across the capital.

Visit this page to find out more

London Schools Excellence Legacy Fund

Subject Knowledge Hubs 

Following on from the successful delivery of the Mayor’s London Schools Excellence Fund, the Greater London Authority is funding 18 subject specific teaching and learning hubs to sustain and embed the good practice developed through the programme.

This legacy funding will enable continued coordination of subject specific hubs and networks that were central to many London Schools Excellence Fund projects.  The hubs will provide the opportunity for teachers from a range of schools to work together alongside subject and business experts to support excellent teaching in London schools through a strong focus on improving teachers subject knowledge. 

Delivery is taking place between January 2016 and August 2017.

See the LSEF Resource Hub for more information on Subject Knowledge Hubs and contact details.















Primary and secondary


London Teacher Innovation Fund

The legacy fund has  funded a new small grants programme for London teachers managed by SHINE Trust. This programme was opened to all London teachers who could apply for up to £10,000 to work with subject experts from universities, businesses, and subject associations to create exciting teaching strategies and resources.  

The aims of the London Teacher Innovation Fund are to:

  • Improve subject knowledge and pedagogy of teachers
  • Improve pupil attainment and progress
  • Make available more resources and tools for teachers to use in the classroom

Find out more about the 11 winners of the award here.

Evaluation and Impact

The LSEF has been has been a hugely successful programme:

  • Over 50% of projects led by schools and they are now better placed to manage large scale programmes and deliver at scale leading school to school activity

  • Reports from individual projects are very powerful in terms of impact and the enthusiasm of teachers for subject based professional development. Please see LSEF resource hub here.

  • The programme has made a significant contribution to raising evaluation standards across the sector

Read the blog by Barbara Harrison reflecting on the LSEF ambitions and the focus on evaluation and learning.

The LSEF Thematic Report summarises qualitative research undertaken by SQW with 15 of the funded projects. It looks at primary, secondary and cross phase projects, how they work in networks, and how they work with Higher Education Institutes and subject experts. It focuses specifically on the learning that has occurred as a result of the programme and the implications of this for practitioners looking to develop and deliver their own professional development activities. To read the Thematic Report please click on the link below.

The LSEF programme meta-evaluation by SQW draws on the self-evaluation reports of 78 funded projects.  The evidence from the project reports indicated that the main successes of the LSEF, to date, have been in:

  • For teachers, the projects recorded a range of outcomes (particularly in relation to improved confidence, subject knowledge and content-specific pedagogy). These characteristics have been associated with those most likely to improve pupils’ outcomes.
  • Outcomes included early signs of improvements in pupil attitudes and engagement, with some projects also being able to identify increases in subject-specific skills and knowledge.
  • Bespoke and targeted support for teachers which made clear links to research basis (rather than generic activity) showed better impact

There have been a number of key recommendations which have come out of the meta-evaluation to support improvements in the quality of teaching and, ultimately, in pupil learning outcomes. To read the executive summary and full evaluation report please click the links below. Also found below is the accompanying technical annex for the evaluation report.