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Improving the performance of schools with communities and school leaders

Using data to collectively make schools better

Link Education takes a holistic approach combining meaningful community involvement with working closely with school leadership and local and national government. The School Performance Review is a cycle of data collection, analysis, sharing, feedback, planning, and implementation to strengthen systems and improve the quality of education.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
Students basic
April 2024
Inclusive, quality education for all children where every stakeholder understands their role and willingly supports their local school to be the best it can be.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Most schools are required to have School Improvement Plans. However, many school leaders lack the capacity, there is little community understanding, and insufficient structured support.

There is a pressing need to foster a culture that values education, and to give government, schools, and communities the knowledge and tools to improve learning outcomes and their children’s life chances.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

School Improvement Plans developed using the School Performance Review process are evidence-based and have the support of schools, communities and governments – meaning brighter futures for all learners.

DATA: We provide user-friendly tools for collecting and triangulating evidence from different sources (interviews, school records, classroom observations) and train government Education Officers to work with headteachers to use these effectively.

ANALYSIS: As a more nuanced picture of challenges emerges, teams identify and target underlying causes of poor performance.

COMMUNITY: We support community meetings that are open to all to enable communities to become more invested in their children’s education. We assess and remove barriers like gender, disability or low-literacy, so that all participants are included in the decisions that affect them.

GOVERNMENT: District government staff work with headteachers and stakeholders to agree on improvement priorities based on evidence.

How has it been spreading?

School Performance Review has been developed in collaboration with communities and governments over 25 years. First used in South Africa in 1997, it has been central to our work in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda.

A recent pilot in Rwanda found that between March 2018 and November 2019, schools meeting minimum standards in learner outcomes and attainment doubled from 40% to 80%.

We continue to use this method in Uganda and Malawi where primary schools are supported to welcome the most vulnerable, and in Ethiopia where secondary schools work to keep at-risk girls in education.

School Performance Review, along with social and emotional learning and education in emergencies, will continue to be a key area of focus as we strengthen schools and communities against crises and disasters.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Detailed information on Link's approach to this and other innovations, projects and programmes can be found on our website. We would welcome enquires from potential collaborators, and are actively seeking funding partners to invest in both the scaling up of our work and the creation of new projects.

Spread of the innovation

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