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What is a Lead Learner?

A lead learner is a pupil who is trained to assist their peers in their learning. Once they are confident in their own abilities, they are able to nurture the development of their peers. They act as a bridge and create a dialogue between staff and students in a school environment.

 In order to be a Lead Learner you need to do the following:

  • ·         actively think about your own learning and the learning of others
  • ·         know yourself, acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and utilise the tools to enhance your own personal growth
  • ·         be generative and look to support the growth of all other people

Steve Kenning argues that ‘the type of leader needed in a school today is a lead learner who is constantly re-interpreting the things which are already understood, then letting go of these former understandings and techniques in order to move the school forward in the best interests of the individual learner.’[1]

In this way we see the vital role of the lead learner, it is not just to assist peers in their learning, it is also the role to communicate their views on learning to the staff. The lead learners will inevitably view learning through a pupil focused lens, allowing them to raise important ideas that may have previously been overlooked. In this way they can offer opinions that will often be original and different to what is already in practice, this is beneficial to a school. The fact that pupils are having their voice heard and have increased responsibility often leads to a more positive learning atmosphere, as they feel they are respected by staff. This dialogue between staff and lead learners is seen as vital if a school is to achieve its full potential in the twenty first century.

[1] Steve Kenning, ‘The Intelligent Gaze: leadership, Lead Learners and individual growth – a reflective enquiry', National College for School Leadership (Autumn 2002) p.2