Founded by teachers, LRTT is using cross-border teaching partnerships to make an impact in global education. This innovative approach uses two of education’s biggest challenges to solve each other.
Challenge 1: The Global Learning Crisis
Quality education propels people and communities forward and good teaching is the cornerstone of quality education. But across the world millions of teachers get no ongoing professional development and an estimated 387 million children are in school but on track to leave unable to read this sentence. Failure to provide high-quality education is a global learning crisis that is costing $129 billion a year. “There is a desperate need for innovative approaches to train large numbers of teachers”. – UNESCO
Challenge 2: Teacher Retention
Over a third of teachers in England leave the profession within 5 years. Research shows the main reason teachers leave is not to workload or compensation, but teacher experience; a lack of opportunities for teacher agency and professional development. As well as affecting the quality of teaching, it’s costing a fortune. In 2014, the UK spent more than £555m training new teachers. The economic and educational need for solutions that retain UK teachers is clear. Supporting and retaining teachers creates an experienced workforce that delivers better learning outcomes for young people. Teacher retention should be a national priority. “Closing the teacher gap means creating a teaching profession that supports teachers with the agency and environment to grow and thrive.” – Dr Sam Sims
LRTT’s Innovative Approach
Limited Resource Teacher Training (LRTT) mobilizes teachers from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand to become LRTT Fellows, who then deliver face-to-face teacher development programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. LRTT is bringing teachers together, connecting a disconnected world and building a global movement that upskills and empowers teachers to employ evidence-based teaching in their classrooms. What’s more, LRTT Fellows go back into their own classrooms re-energised with new skills and a replenished sense of purpose.
LRTT is built on the core beliefs that every child has a right to a high-quality education, regardless of the context they are born into, and that the quality of teaching is the single biggest factor influencing learning in schools. Every child has a right to a high-quality education, regardless of the context they are born into. The most effective way to improve the quality of teaching is to equip and empower teachers to upskill each other through instructional coaching on evidence-based pedagogy. LRTT runs two interconnected programmes that leverage the two challenges in teaching to solve each other. 1. The LRTT Teaching Transformation Programme improves teaching in low resource environments by shifting schools towards a culture of teaching mastery and continuous professional development. This programme comprises three mutually reinforcing components: ● Headteacher networks and planning whereby each headteacher sets a school vision and teaching and learning development plan. ● Lead teacher networks, whereby each school has a teacher who assumes leadership responsibility for teaching quality (all year round). ● Teaching development institute made up of intensive workshops, classroom practice and peer coaching (10% of the teaching year).
“As teachers, we have exchanged knowledge and skills with teachers from around the world and have helped one another move forward. Importantly, we have built a teachers network.” – Phetmany Philasouk, English Teacher, Laos 2. The LRTT Fellowship is a leadership development programme that upskills and contributes to retention of the best teachers from the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Teachers who are successful in their application to the programme go on to: ● Become trained and equipped to facilitate evidence-based professional development. ● Facilitate the LRTT Teaching Transformation Programme
‘in-country’ by spending a month over the summer working alongside partner staff, lead teachers and classroom teachers to deliver intensive workshops and instructional coaching.
“I learnt more about myself as an educator on my Fellowship than in all my years of college.” – Jessica, LRTT Fellow
LRTT programmes have had a powerful impact. 93% of teachers reported the training made them more confident and effective in the classroom. This is substantiated by lesson observations which have consistently demonstrated that teachers are able to apply their new skills in their classrooms. 88% of Fellows say they returned to their school more passionate about education, and 90% of Fellows say they feel more connected to global education. LRTT’s alumni are so bought-in to the organization’s mission, they are helping LRTT build a movement. 35% of Fellows continue their involvement with LRTT on their return to develop their leadership skills further by taking on roles as Team Leaders or Senior Fellows. “Taking part in a second fellowship I feel I was able to offer a lot more knowledge about what successful training sessions looked like and I was able to guide others to think about how. ” – Gemma, LRTT Ghana
By 2022, LRTT aims to mobilise 6,600 teachers as LRTT Fellows each year, training 11,000 local teachers who provide higher quality education for more than 980,000 school children, as well as tracking its impact on teacher practice, teacher retention and student outcomes using an enhanced monitoring framework. After establishing that LRTT’s Fellowships have an impact on teacher retention in the UK and the USA, the next step for LRTT is to build partnerships with governments and schools to subsidise the cost of an LRTT Fellowship and make it easier for more teachers to join. Schools already onboard have seen how developing teachers during their summer break can have multiple benefits to the school, at no disruption to students’ learning. “LRTT has played a key part in the development of our teachers and a creative route to making sure our best teachers want to stay.” – Sophie McGeoch, Head Teacher, Meadlands Primary School
Joining an LRTT Fellowship provides teachers with a unique opportunity to grow as educators, be part of a team of like-minded teachers, experience education in a new context and make an impact, all during their summer break. Are you a teacher? Whether you’re early in your career or highly experienced, all teachers are welcome to apply. Having teams of Fellows with diverse skills and experience contributes to making the Fellowship experience such a valuable one for all teachers. If you are interested in teacher training abroad on an LRTT Summer Fellowship, please visit LRTT’s website at www.lrtt.org/fellowships. Instagram: @LRTT_Fellowships Twitter: @LRTT_Training