IRIS Connect launches new feature for high impact, low cost school to school collaboration

New feature for high impact, low cost school to school collaborationGroups Icon for IRIS Connect

Teachers and school leaders using IRIS Connect now have access to Groups, the most exciting development to date in the IRIS Connect platform.

Groups support teachers by providing high impact, personalised professional learning opportunities; through creating and joining Groups, teachers can collaborate like never before and also access expertise at the click of a button.


Research has been telling us for many years that offering teachers collaborative, personalised professional learning opportunities is the most important way of improving outcomes. This was reiterated recently in the TDT Developing Great Teaching Review, which found that carefully designed professional development opportunities that have a strong focus on pupil outcomes have a significant impact on student achievement.

The review also highlighted the importance of teachers having access to collaboration and peer learning, as well as support from external providers and specialists. Groups allow teachers to share practice and feed back into the community, as well as tap into a growing wealth of resources produced by other professionals.
Groups enable the creation of individual collaborative spaces to share practice with one or many colleagues, within and beyond schools. With Groups, there are no longer any time-tabling issues, travel constraints or lesson cover costs associated with school-to-school collaboration, which is particularly beneficial for teaching schools, academy trusts and local federations.

Unlimited Collaboration

With no limit to how many Groups can be created, multiple spaces can be set up for different particular focuses. For example, teaching schools may wish to share examples of outstanding teaching and learning with their alliance, whilst academy trusts may want to generate a shared vision of excellence and region-wide lesson study projects may wish to easily share practice and resources.

Self-improving teachers, self-improving schools and self improving systemsGraham Newell, Director of Education at IRIS Connect, said: “According to Professor John Hattie, there is excellence in every learner, in every teacher and in every school. Groups are designed to help unleash this, driving whole school improvement through powerful professional learning.”

Schools can also subscribe to a growing number of existing Groups with content from education professionals, experts and organisations, aimed at enhancing professional learning in different specific areas.

IRIS Connect’s current content providers include SSAT, Mediamerge, Mike Fleetham’s Thinking Classroom and John Bayley, who offers his expert tips on behaviour management.

With research showing the limited impact of one-off training, education experts are increasingly looking for new ways to develop their offerings, and IRIS Connect are always looking for content partners who are willing to share their expertise with the teaching community.

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