The London West Alliance (LWA) is coordinated through Lampton School in Hounslow, which was in the first cohort of 100 schools that were designated as Teaching Schools in 2011. Currently, our alliance is made up of 32 infant, primary and secondary schools, spread over 12 London boroughs.
One of our priorities is to create a sense of community. We achieve this through establishing effective channels of communication. A weekly newsletter is emailed to all schools and each school has allocated a member of staff to our steering group, whose role is to encourage greater collaboration and to establish a “personal approach”.We use our Challenge Partners hub funding to execute activities identified in our Hub Action Plan. A proportion of our funding is also returned to each school in the hub in the form of hub credits. The number of hub credits allocated depends on the number of pupils on roll. The hub credits can be used to book places on our CPD programmes, to commission school support from within the hub and to purchase programmes through one of our partner schools or partner organisations.
As a hub, we are committed to collaborating with each other in order to raise outcomes for our pupils. Our termly meetings are structured so that they address our common priorities, identified in our Hub Action Plan and the meetings give members the opportunity to share practice and work together. At our termly meetings, it is our aim to invite a distinguished speaker to address our audience on a range of topics. Topics so far have included an analysis of public examinations, and issues surrounding child and adolescent mental ill health. Our keynote speakers for this academic year so far have been Suzanne O’Farrell (ASCL) and Dick Moore (mental health campaigner). Later in the year, we will welcome the journalist Laura McInerney and the “no more marking” advocate Daisy Christodoulou. The other highlight of the academic year is our annual hub conference. This year, the theme will be “a holistic approach to school improvement: improvement through well-being”.
We offer our members an extensive CPD programme. This includes the OLEVI Teaching, Learning and Leadership programmes (ITP/OTP/OTAP/ OLE) and also bespoke Maths and Science programmes designed by our in-house SLE. We also offer a variety of EAL CPD organised through our partnership with the Hounslow Language Service. Recently, we successfully launched new “Meet the Expert” sessions with the aim of enhancing the subject knowledge of class teachers and subject leaders. One of our priorities this year is the development of leadership at all levels. Working in partnership with Ambition School Leadership, we are able to offer training for both NPQSL and middle leadership. We have also invited renowned coach, Dr Neil Suggett, to speak and lead sessions at our conference for middle leaders, which is planned for the summer term. This conference aims to develop the delegates’ leadership competencies and ensure that they can fulfil their responsibilities with greater effectiveness.
The hub strongly believes that it is our responsibility to support new colleagues in their journey beyond their initial training and through their NQT year. This is important for teacher retention in the profession but it is also key in developing the best possible teachers to ensure student achievement. We recognise all colleagues who have gained Qualified Teacher Status with the London West Alliance Lampton SCITT with our LWA Fabulinus Ticket. This entitles them to a free place on one of our teaching and learning programmes.
Collaboration, both within the hub itself and also within the wider community, is at the heart of our work because we want “every child in a great school”. Our hub is pleased to organise Leadership Development Days to share strategies on how we meet the needs of our students. “Good colleagues inspire and encourage each other…good colleagues complement each other…They keep themselves and keep each other alive.” (Jonathan Smith, The Learning Game)
Marie-Anne Lerègle, Hub Manager