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Final report of the OTLA phase 3 (South Central) programme

Summary
This document is the final report for the 14 projects involved in the Outstanding Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (OTLA) 3: South Central programme, which began in March 2017. Projects were awarded OTLA3 bursary funding in 2017 by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to improve teaching, learning, and assessment to outstanding through a focus on provider and practitioner defined problems. There was no fixed idea of what an OTLA project could or should be. Applicants were encouraged to identify themes and topics relevant to and chosen by them and explore different ideas and approaches. They responded well to this challenge, and as a result, the range of aims, themes, topics, strategies, methods and participants was diverse.  What was critical was that projects encouraged and facilitated joint practice development and/or action research. Joint practice development has 3 main characteristics: It involves interaction and mutual development related to professional practice It recognises that each partner has something to offer and, as such, is based on the assumption of mutually beneficial learning It is research-informed, often involving collaborative enquiry. All 14 projects used surveys in some form, supplementing this with a range of techniques including interviews, focus groups, and lesson observation. There was considerable variation in levels of experience of planning and carrying out research, ranging from those new to joint practice development to those with significant experience in taking part in research and managing projects. Counties making up the area referred to as 'South Central' were Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex. One project withdrew after the start because it was unable to meet the requirements of the programme.  A unique feature of this particular OTLA 3 programme was that it worked with the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to focusing the South Central programme around how behavioural sciences could support teaching, learning and assessment; how a small, simple intervention could have a significant impact. All projects identified plans for sustainability in their final report; their proposed actions generally fell into three categories Extending the approach to other curriculum areas or sites Deepening the intervention Disseminating the practice  During the 2017/18 Spring term, additional funding was provided for six of the projects to extend their work in the ways described above. Each South Central OTLA 3 project created a short case study which is presented in this final report and uploaded to the Excellence Gateway as an individual resource.