An interesting report this morning from IFS and IoE suggesting that the reasons for the improvement in London schools may be more complicated than previously thought (by some).
Some very brief thoughts of my own on why London schools have improved faster than others.
Consider one of the (very) large differences between London and the rest of the UK:
Population density obviously has an impact on school density.
Two factors in school improvement are collaboration and competition. Both these factors, particularly at secondary level are more likely to exist in a era of high school density. Schools are more likely to collaborate when teachers can walk down to road to the other school than they are when the nearest school is an hours drive. Competition can only be effective as a driver for school improvement when there is any.
Immigration has impacted on areas other than London, but given he higher population of London, along with the (relatively) better transport infrastructure where you have a high percentage of EAL students in a school there is going to be a greater chance of finding a teacher who have experience in the home language of those children. Law of large numbers applies.
Impact of LA
Alert. Controversial thought.
In a small densely populated area it is easier for a centrally controlling authority to exert influence and impose strategies. Where that influence is good (or at least benign) as with Literacy and Numeracy hours in primary, because it is more likely to happen in a smaller LA the strategy is more likely to happen in the intended way and have an impact.
Double Alert. Even more controversial and completely un-evidenced claim.
London is richer than other regions. I suspect that the level of paid for tutoring will be higher in London than in other regions. Tutoring is also aided by the population density – easier to find a tutor and travel to them.
*waits to be corrected by someone with all the statistics*