The west partnership

NSEE work with Scotland's largest Regional Improvement Collaborative

West Partnership logoThe Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE) at the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change works collaboratively with the West Partnership (WP) Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC), to promote more equitable education systems, experiences and outcomes through research, for children and young people across the west of Scotland.

This is delivered by the ROC Team working at strategic and operational levels of the Partnership:

  1. Two professors from the University of Glasgow provide expert strategic advice to the West Partnership Board on the West`s Learning System and act as `critical friends` to the Directors – Chris Chapman and Graham Donaldson.
  2. Two NSEE senior researchers support and facilitate groups and networks across the WP to develop collaborative practitioner inquiry approaches that inform practice and improve outcomes for children and young people across the west of Scotland – Kevin Lowden and Stuart Hall.
  3. The West`s Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer, based at the Robert Owen Centre, has a focus on process and impact evaluation and research to understand the difference the WP is making regarding its strategic aims, including the value it adds to the local authorities, in addition to mobilising knowledge across the Partnership – Irene Bell.

The WP Evaluation Report 2018-2020 carried out by the NSEE team partly covered the period in which the global pandemic took place. However, the evaluation was not initially designed to encompass, nor could we have foreseen, the consequences of such a prolonged phenomenon on education in general, and specifically on the WP.

The evaluation resulted in a West Partnership Interim Evaluation Report and a summary report, Progress & Challenge: Reflections of the development of the West Partnership 2018-2020  in 2021. The report’s appendix, A Focus on the Learning System provided details of the impact the pandemic had on the WP`s Collaborative Learning Networks and the corresponding bespoke professional support from the NSEE Team.

In sum, the key themes highlighted in our findings centred on traction regarding the concept and practice of collaborative learning as a driver for improvement; developing an effective internal architecture for change including the role of lead officers; knowledge mobilisation; adding value to the local authorities; capacity building and increased personal agency and professional capital.