London Schools Excellence Fund

London Schools Excellence Fund

The London Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF) was established in 2013 to improve the quality of teaching in the capital. It was a response to research showing that a higher standard of teaching can improve children's performance in schools.

How did it work?

LSEF projects delivered over the two year period from September 2013 to December 2015.

Through the Fund, teachers worked with universities, subject experts and professional subject associations to develop their teaching and refresh their knowledge.

The activities which took place enhanced teachers’ subject knowledge in the following priority subjects:

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

LSEF also offered support for other EBacc subjects at primary and secondary level. 

Once the original funding had ended, The London Schools Excellence Fund Legacy Fund supported Subject Knowledge Hubs and the London Teacher Innovation Fund between January 2016 and August 2017.

Who received funding?

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

The London Schools Excellence Fund Resource Hub hosts information on all LSEF 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.

The following resources are also freely available via the Resource Hub:

  • The final evaluation reports developed by each project to assess the learning and impact of their delivery
  • The bespoke resources, tools and templates which were produced to support LSEF projects evaluate their impact

Where did the funding come from?

The London Schools Excellence Fund was part of the Mayor’s Education Programme between September 2013 and December 2015.

£20 million in funding came from the Department for Education and the Mayor provided an additional £4.25 million. A further £1.5 million was 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 provided £500,000 to raise the aspirations and achievements of children living with foster families across the capital.

Find out more about helping children in care to achieve.

London Schools Excellence Legacy Fund

Subject Knowledge Hubs 

Between January 2016 and August 2017, the Mayor funded 17 subject specific teaching and learning hubs to sustain and embed the good practice developed through the LSEF programme.

This legacy funding enabled continued coordination of subject specific hubs and networks that were central to many of the original LSEF projects. The hubs provided an opportunity for teachers from a range of schools to work together alongside subject and business experts. This supported excellent teaching in London schools through a strong focus on improving teachers' subject knowledge. 

Find out more about Subject Knowledge Hubs, including key evaluation findings and how to get involved.

London Teacher Innovation Fund

The LSEF legacy fund also supported a new small grants programme for London teachers - the London Teacher Innovation Fund (LTIF). LTIF was managed by SHINE Trust and was open to all London teachers, who could apply for up to £10,000 each to work with subject experts to create exciting teaching strategies and resources.

LTIF aimed to:

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

Grants were awarded to 11 LTIF winners, who delivered projects between September 2016 and August 2017. A meta-evaluation of the programme is to be published in early 2018.

Find out more about the 11 winners of the London Teacher Innovation Fund

Evaluation and impact

LSEF was a hugely successful programme:

  • Over 50% of projects were led by schools, leaving them better placed to manage large scale programmes and deliver at scale, leading school to school activity

  • Reports from individual projects were very powerful in terms of impact and the enthusiasm of teachers for subject based professional development.

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

Read the blog by Barbara Harrison reflecting on the LSEF ambitions and 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 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 meta-evaluation by SQW draws on the self-evaluation reports of 78 funded projects.  The evidence from these project reports indicated that the main successes of the LSEF were:

  • 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

A number of key recommendations came 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.