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Strengthening school systems

We work in partnership with clients to help them develop effective education reforms to improve teaching and learning across whole education systems. We use our research and evidence to support and scale up improvements to school systems around the world, tailoring our work to local contexts.

We have been working on at-scale education reform for nearly 40 years, both as researchers investigating powerful international case studies of successful school reform, and as practitioners working in partnership with Ministries of Education to deliver school improvement at scale in jurisdictions from Brunei Darussalam to England, Dubai and Rwanda. 

Our teams have expertise in supporting education at all levels of the education system – from designing solutions to bolster foundational skills, such as literacy and numeracy, to interventions to support students’ transitions into further education and work. Our recent consultancy work, for example, includes the design of teacher training reforms to improve early grade reading and mathematics skills in Sierra Leone, in partnership with UNICEF, and supporting the provision of careers information, advice and guidance for young people in Jordan.

In strengthening school systems, we employ our distinctive school System Reform Framework.  Drawing on our public research and wider international literature, our framework identifies the six core capabilities of rapidly improving school systems, culminating in improved outcomes for all learners. These are:

  • vision and leadership
  • coalitions and capacity building for change
  • delivery architecture
  • data for accountability and improvement
  • teacher and school leader effectiveness
  • evidence-informed policy.

Our work in system strengthening also includes more than 20 years’ work in fragile and conflict-affected states and supporting education in emergencies. In addition to providing rapid-response support and advice to ministries of education around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic, our experience includes large-scale post-conflict education capacity building and reform in Cambodia (1997-2017), Rwanda (2001-2016) and Somalia (late 1990s-2017) to providing immediate technical assistance in Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Uganda, among others.

Contact us to find out more