The Learning Quality Framework is structured around the 12 principles that define the organizational culture and sets out to capture those key aspects of everyday life that link together to create an environment in which learning becomes the beating heart and recognizable driver of activities and relationships both within and beyond the fabric. It describes best practice as the learning journey progresses and offers a series of indicators that demonstrate how the 12 principles are enacted in practice

The Process of Change: a learning journey as directed by the 12 Guiding Principles

  5. Assembling the Evidence


Principle 1:  A Vision for Learning

A vision for learning must be both compelling and engaging and based on the social, economic, moral and personal imperatives that guide not only the organizational fabric itself but its entire community. It should install an unnegotiable direction of travel.

Principle 2:  A Framework within which Learning can be Understood, Developed and Prosper

Having a vision of what an establishment will be into the future is insufficient. It only becomes believable if ‘scaffolding’ is in place and can be shared among those who will be the leaders in making any intended shift towards treating learning as a life skill happen. The challenge is to forge a material marriage between how staff and students understand themselves as learners and the conventions of everyday life.

Principle 3:  A ‘Language for Learning’ that encourages meaningful discussion

ELLI, the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory, its 7 critical dimensions and the attendant habits and behaviours that support it provide a starting point. Whilst the language an organization chooses to use must resonate with its community, it should also recognise the emotional, cognitive, social and strategic messaging of the research-validated profiling tool.

PLANNING: Becoming Learning-Centric

Principle 4: Inspirational Leadership

Leadership must be felt throughout the organisation with managers at all levels exhibiting their commitment to change. They will do so by supporting and celebrating innovation, experimentation and risk taking BUT their overall purpose is to build individual independence, responsibility and ownership.

Principle 5: A fully integrated CPD Policy, Strategy and Curriculum

An excellent opportunity to revisit CPD, its offer and the management of staff engagement and value-added. CPD will usually embrace a range of professional learning activities but, if its curriculum doesn’t already, it should be extended into structured enquiry and research into improving understanding of the manner in which effective learning habits are built and sustained.


Principle 6: Interrogating CPD Curriculum Design

Regularly examining curriculum design  to ensure that it captures changes in  ways of working and is effective in cultivating and progressing generic learning habits and attitudes. Appraisals should always invite and welcome contributions from across the staff community and offer 360-degree engagement.

Principle 7: Management to create a Learning Culture

Managers surface the learning process. It is they who create the culture that systematically cultivates their employee learning habits and attitudes. They must become able to face difficulty and uncertainty with confidence so that their assimilation of content is seen to improve and enhance their performance.

Principle 8:  Learning from a Vibrant Learning Culture

Learning Relationships are at the epicentre of a learning culture. They enable all staff to take a full and active role in their learning by providing an environment in which they are encouraged to assume control and develop appropriate learning dispositions.

Principle 9: Learner Engagement

Staff at all levels co-participate in the design, management and evaluation of learning and are made to feel that they are making critical contributions to their employer’s performance through their own learning behaviours.

Principle 10: Permeating the Entire Organisational Fabric

If learning is to be promoted as a life skill, it is essential that the organization works in partnership with wider stakeholders including customers and suppliers.


Principle 11: Regular Progress Assessment

Tracking and authenticating the growth of learning dispositions (when, where and how well they are used) throughout the organizational community builds motivation and engagement, and informs learning design. 

Principle 12: Evaluation

The Learning Quality Framework provides a set of learning indicators that enables the school to create, pursue and celebrate the milestones as it follows its learning journey. They are universal and these indicators guide continual improvement in the provision, practice, performance, and the achievement of objectives.


Principle 1:

  • Has the vision changed the organization’s cultural dynamic and what examples can we give?
  • How has the vision been translated into day-to-day learning practices?

Principle 2:

  • Does everyone have a clear and coherent view of the approach to learning?
  • How would learning practitioners describe and explain the organization’s learning framework?
  • Is there a growing understand of exactly what is meant by creating a ‘life skill’?
  • Are leaders and their teams beginning to forge a marriage between the ‘how’ of learning, observation and instruction.

Principle 3:

  • Is there a recognised language for learning and is it used?
  • Does the language readily convey learning’s dimensions and those habits and behaviours that underpin them?
  • How would the organization describe and explain its learning framework?
  • Could the learning framework be better titled, illustrated, and understood?

Principle 4:

  • To what extent do our evaluation/appraisal procedures, L&D policy and development planning formats convey a focus on developing learning habits?
  • Could we discuss convincingly why we are satisfied that the learning-focus of our observation formats and CPD curriculum are supportive of our changed practices?
  • Are there examples of the results of putting time and energy into the monitoring of change at organizational, team, staff and student levels? 

Principle 5:

  • What evidence have we that our induction programmes prepare new staff to understand and share our vision and ambition for learning?
  • Is there evidence that staff development deepens their leadership of personal and staff learning?
  • How have we tied Professional Learning Communities into formal management structures to ensure that they have a voice?
  • What role do PLCs play in the wider CPD offer?

Principle 6:

  • Is there material evidence that the changes to CPD curriculum design so far implemented are having a positive effect on employee learning habits?

Principle 7:

  • Does written feedback on work scrutiny focus increasingly on the learning process as well as content?
  • How would practitioners describe their effectiveness in commentating on, and nurturing, learning behaviours?
  • How would staff describe their development? Would they refer to their learning habits in their description?

Principle 8:

  • What have managers been doing differently to cause staff to become more self-reliant?
  • Can staff say why they need to take greater responsibility for their learning?
  • Are staff showing signs of using their improved understanding of how they learn best?
  • In an interview, how would staff speak about their re-definition of failure and how they now learn from their mistakes?

Principle 9:

  • Would staff be able to cite examples of when and what they have learned from one another?
  • Have we a formalized the employee voice concerning the life skill initiative? 

Principle 10:

  • Would customers, for example, be able to describe how the organization is developing learning habits in their staff?
  • Has marketing been adapted to embrace our learning principles?

Principle 11:

  • Could staff explain how they have been able to track the growth in their learning habits?
  • Does the organization have a robust system that supports staff in setting goals, and reviewing progress, as out lined to the map of progression?

Principle 12:

  • What ‘learning organisation’ characteristics are being monitored and by whom?
  • What are we learning about how our business works as a learning organisation?
  • Are we making any necessary revision to the Learning Framework?


We have developed a simple process that enables every school, whatever its circumstances,  to take a first step on the ladder towards creating a quality learning environment …. this ‘road map’ is now being further developed to suit all organizations. In the meantime…

  1. Create an ‘ELLI’ pilot program to assess the Learning Power of a trial group to meet the requirement’s of ISO’s Total Quality agenda, remembering that ELLI will direct interventions for improvement and track consequential changes in performance for you; AND
  2. Visit learningqualityframework.com where you will find an introduction to our ‘learning road map’ for schools.