Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
15/07/2019
Date assigned
16/08/2019
Last edited
16/08/2019
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Leadership Lite is a leadership development and school improvement intervention aiming to reduce teacher workload and increase teacher satisfaction and, ultimately, teacher retention in the profession. Improving student attainment outcomes is also a goal of the school improvement programme. Leadership Lite was developed and piloted by Carmel Education Trust – a Multi-Academy Trust and Teaching School in the North East of England. The programme, delivered over two years, focuses on three aspects of the quality of provision in science departments: quality assurance procedures; marking and feedback; and classroom practice. The intervention uses a series of evidence-based school improvement strategies that have workload reduction as a core principle.

The programme supports senior and middle leaders (Heads of Science), as well as governors to develop the skills of effective leadership and culture change management to support the implementation of evidence-based school improvement strategies within science departments. Science teachers also receive instructions on implementing the strategies within their own practice.

Who can participate?
All secondary schools in the North of England and surrounding areas will be eligible to take part in the trial.
In each participating school the programme involves: a senior leader, a governor, the head of the science department, a nominated ‘lead teacher’ from the science department who will support the implementation of the approaches, as well as all other science teaching staff, including science subject leads, science teachers and science teachers who are newly and recently qualified (NQTs/RQTs) and early career teachers (ECTs) in their first five years of teaching.

Science teachers will include those who are teaching Physics, Chemistry, Biology or General Science to any year group for more than 50 per cent of their timetable and for a minimum of four hours per week for part-time staff in the academic year 2019/20. We will include those on maternity leave but exclude staff who are known to be leaving during the 2018/19 academic year.

What does the study involve?
Schools are randomly allocated to either an intervention or control group. Schools in the intervention group participate in Leadership Lite. The intervention involves training for senior, middle leaders and governors which involves practical activities designed to encourage reflection on understanding, training for science teachers which focus primarily on developing classroom practice. All training programmes are delivered over two years.

• Senior leaders and governors: termly sessions in the first year (three half day sessions) and termly twilight network sessions in the second year.
• Middle leaders/Heads of Science: termly training sessions in the first year (three full day training sessions) and termly twilight network sessions in the second year.
• Science teachers/NQTs: termly training sessions in the first year (three full day training sessions) and termly twilight network sessions in the second year.

Additional in-school support will be provided, in negotiation with each school, to support implementation of Leadership Lite approaches. In the second year of the programme, ‘catch-up’ training sessions will be offered for any new staff or staff who missed the training in the first year of the programme, as required. In addition, each participant will engage with gap tasks and use the course materials, pre-course reading, and an end of training reporting task for middle leaders and teachers. Apart from the pre-reading, participation in the gap-tasks will be monitored by completion of brief reflective journals and other tasks that are uploaded to a programme moodle.

Schools in the control group will continue with their usual practice and will receive a payment of £1500 in lieu of the intervention, following completion of data collection activities.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participation presents an opportunity for science teachers in the intervention Group schools to take part in this programme. There are intermediate and long-term outcomes of participating, the intermediate outcomes include; reduced teacher stress, reduced teacher workload, improved teacher motivation, and improved student motivation. Long-term outcomes include; improved teacher retention in schools, improved teacher retention in the profession, improved science attainment, and improved science progression (to A-level).

No risks associated with participation are foreseen.

Where is the study run from?
The study is being run by the National Foundation for Educational Research. Staff from Carmel Education Trust’s Teaching School and Science Learning Partnership will train Specialist Leaders in Education (SLEs) and consultants from the network of Science Learning Partnerships to deliver the Leadership Lite programme to clusters of schools within their local areas.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
July 2018 to March 2025

Who is funding the trial?
This trial is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Who is the main contact?
Jack Worth
j.worth@nfer.ac.uk

Trial website

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/leadership-lite/

Contact information

Type

Public

Primary contact

Mr Jack Worth

ORCID ID

http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6118-223X

Contact details

The Mere
Upton Park
Slough
SL1 2DQ
United Kingdom
+ 44 (0) 1753 637392
j.worth@nfer.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Nil known

Protocol/serial number

Nil known

Study information

Scientific title

Evaluation of Leadership Lite

Acronym

Study hypothesis

1. What is the impact of Leadership Lite on retention of science teachers in the state-funded schools in England six months after the end of programme delivery?
Secondary research questions for this trial are:
2. What is the impact of Leadership Lite on retention of teachers in the school that they were employed in at randomisation within six months of the end of programme delivery?
3. What is the impact of Leadership Lite on students’ GCSE attainment in science?
4. What is the impact of Leadership Lite on teachers’ workload and job satisfaction?
5. What is the impact of Leadership Lite on student progression to science A-level (Cohort 1 only)?

Ethics approval

This trial was discussed on 18/01/2019 at the National Foundation for Educational Research's Code of Conduct group (Angela Donkin, Chief Social scientist and Chair of NFER’s Code of Conduct, The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ; a.donkin@nfer.ac.uk)

Study design

Interventional two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting

Schools

Trial type

Other

Patient information sheet

No participant information sheet available

Condition

School leadership development in science departments in secondary schools

Intervention

Once schools submit administrative teacher data, NFER will reveal the school’s randomisation outcome to them. An NFER statistician will randomise schools from the first cohort of up to 70 schools in May-June 2019 and from the second cohort of up to 70 schools in May-June 2021. The statistician will not be blinded to group allocation. Randomisation will be stratified by two or three (maximum five) broad geographical areas to aid effective intervention delivery. Within each stratified group, schools will be allocated half to the intervention group and half to the control group. Schools that are part of the same school structure (e.g. a multi-academy trust) will be randomised to the same group as a single unit.
Schools assigned to the intervention group will receive the Leadership Lite programme for two years. For each participating school the programme will involve:
• Senior leaders and governors: termly sessions in the first year (three half day sessions) and termly twilight network sessions in the second year.
• Middle leaders/Heads of Science: termly training sessions in the first year (three full day training sessions) and termly twilight network sessions in the second year.
• Science teachers/NQTs: termly training sessions in the first year (three full day training sessions) and termly twilight network sessions in the second year.

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Retention of science teachers in the state-funded school system six months after the end of programme delivery measured using data from the School Workforce Census (SWC). It will be a dichotomous (yes/no) variable, denoting each teacher’s presence in the SWC. Timepoint of measurement: as Leadership Lite is a two-year programme, the primary outcome will be in the census collected after the programme finishes: i.e. November 2021 for Cohort 1 and November 2023 for Cohort 2

Secondary outcome measures

1. Science teacher retention in the same school as at randomisation six months after the end of programme delivery for each cohort measured using data from the SWC. It will be a dichotomous (yes/no) variable, denoting each teacher’s presence in the same school teaching any subject. Timepoint of measurement: as Leadership Lite is a two-year programme, this secondary outcome will be in the census collected after the programme finishes: i.e. November 2021 for Cohort 1 and November 2023 for Cohort 2.
2. Student GCSE attainment in science measured using a GCSE science point score measure, capturing the science attainment in a comparable way depending on which science GCSE students sit (e.g. double or triple science). Timepoint of measurement: The data will be accessed via the National Pupil database (NPD) and include the entire Year 9 cohort at the time when the school was randomised- May/June 2019 for Cohort 1 and May/June 2021 for Cohort 2.
3. Student progression to science A-level (cohort 1 only) measured as a dichotomous variable (yes/no), measuring whether or not each student enters A-level examinations in a science subject. Timepoint of measurement: this will be possible only for Cohort 1 schools where students were in Year 9 in May/June 2019
4. Teacher workload and job satisfaction measured using teacher surveys. Timepoint of measurement: baseline (before the intervention delivery) and follow-up (summer 2021 for cohort 1; summer 2023 for cohort 2)

Overall trial start date

31/07/2018

Overall trial end date

31/03/2025

Reason abandoned (if study stopped)

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Schools: secondary schools in the North of England and surrounding areas will be eligible to take part in the trial
2. Teachers:
2.1 Science teachers who are employed and on maternity leave in the academic year 2019/20 (2021/22 for Cohort 2) will be include in the trial
2.2 Science teachers will include those who are teaching Physics, Chemistry, Biology or General Science to any year group for more than 50 per cent of their timetable and for a minimum of four hours per week for part-time staff in the academic year 2019/20 (2021/22 for Cohort 2)
2.3 In case there are staffing changes, schools will send us an update by September 2019 (prior to intervention delivery). We will not measure the retention outcomes of science teachers who join the school after the intervention delivery starts for a given cohort: this eliminates the risk of their recruitment being for a reason that is biased by the intervention
3. Pupils: we will include students who are in Year 9 at randomisation (academic year 2018/19 for Cohort 1 schools and 2020/21 for Cohort 2 schools)

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

In total, 140 schools will be randomly allocated to either intervention or control. The average cluster size is 8 teachers per school, therefore the total number of teachers is approximately 1,120.

Participant exclusion criteria

Staff who are known to be leaving during the 2018/19 academic year.

Recruitment start date

01/11/2018

Recruitment end date

30/04/2019

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

National Foundation for Educational Research
The Mere Upton Park
SL1 2DQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

Education Endowment foundation (EEF)

Sponsor details

9th Floor
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7802 1676
info@eefoundation.org.uk

Sponsor type

Charity

Website

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/

Funders

Funder type

Charity

Funder name

Wellcome Trust

Alternative name(s)

Wellcome

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

international

Location

United Kingdom

Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation

Alternative name(s)

EEF

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Trusts, charities, foundations (both publically funded and privately funded)

Location

United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

We intend to publish the report to the Education Endowment Foundation's website in March 2025.

IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be stored in a non-publically available repository.
The data will become available in Mach 2025 and personal data will be retained by NFER for one year after report publication in case there are any queries about the report. One year after report publication, all personal data will be securely deleted.
Within three months of the end of project, NFER will send school and individual level teacher data to EEF’s data archive partner. At this point, EEF’s data archive partner will keep a copy of the data and EEF will become the Data Controller.
Anonymised data will also be stored with the DfE, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and potentially other research teams. Further matching to SWC and other administrative data may take place during subsequent research.

Intention to publish date

31/03/2025

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

16/08/2019: Trial’s existence confirmed by Education Endowment Foundation.