Over 20 years about 5,000 schools have taken part in the program. Training sessions offered as part of various components of the “LES” Program covered 150,000 teachers.
“LES” introduces into the daily operation of schools an original quality assurance system that improves pupils’ learning outcomes. This is achieved by increasing the competencies and autonomy of the teaching staff, strengthening the school principal’s position, and improving teamwork. The program offers online courses for teachers, workshops for teacher boards, post-graduate studies and conferences for principals, during which participants learn the principles of formative assessment and other educational practices. “LES” schools develop ways to perfect teacher performance, monitor results of performed activities, and share best practices with each other. The “Learning Schools” Program improves quality in areas key to school operations, namely: the effectiveness of teaching and learning, organizing the functioning of a school as a learning institution, and ensuring cooperation between the school and its outside environment.
In the course of 20 years the program gathered some 5,000 schools, of which 3,000 took part in its core part aimed at comprehensive school development by introducing formative assessment. 150,000 teachers participated in training sessions offered by various “LES” components.
Since the 2017/18 school year, “LES” has been carried out in new conditions resulting from the far-reaching changes introduced to the Polish educational system by the Polish Ministry of Education. The program, adjusted to the needs imposed by the new reality, continues to be very popular with teachers and schools all over Poland.
In 2020, due to pandemic restrictions, schools introduced remote learning. The “LES” training and advisory offer had to switch over to a new method: more than 100,000 teachers participated in online courses, training, and webinars focused mostly on methods for delivering remote learning.
For many years, apart from the large-scale training and workshops, the “Online Teachers Academy” (OTA) has offered e-courses for teachers of numerous subjects from all types of schools and kindergartens. These courses prepare teachers for applying modern methods and techniques in working with pupils. “OTA” offers eight different types of one-year courses, which attract around 800 teachers each time. In the past pandemic year the most popular “OTA” course was “School in the Web”, a course dedicated to methods of remote learning.
The many years of “LES” experience is used in various educational initiatives financed from EU funds. These include: “The Student Academy”, “Digital School”, “The Learning Schools Academy for Education Leaders”, or the “School for the Innovator” introduced in 2019. The purpose of these initiatives is to develop competencies which students will need in adult life, by promoting innovative teaching and evaluation methods among teachers and school principals, and by reshaping the organization of schoolwork. So far, more than 10,000 schools have taken part in these initiatives.
After a two-year break, the post-graduate studies for Education Leaders were reopened. Thanks to the experience from the 2017-2019 European project addressed to 900 heads and deputy heads of schools and kindergartens from the Mazovia and Świętokrzyskie Provinces, the current program has been expanded by new content, forms, and methods of work. The studies are organized in cooperation with Collegium Civitas. So far, over 500 school principals have taken part.
PAFF is a partner to the “School with Class” initiative which promotes modern educational solutions among schools and teachers, using IT and communication technologies, the design thinking method, and the agile methodology. In total, it has gathered more than 9,000 schools from all over Poland and around 150,000 teachers. It is the continuation of the “School with Class” campaign initiated in 2002, inspired by “LES” and carried out by the Center for Citizenship Education Foundation in cooperation with the “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily. In the past, the campaign included such initiatives as: “Teacher with Class”, “Lego, Cogito, Ago”, “Student with Class”, and “School of Thinking”. In 2020, the entire program was carried out mostly online, with more than 10,000 teachers taking part in numerous webinars, remote training sessions and meetings.
The Foundation has disbursed $14,163,625, including $466,572 for the current edition of the program.