Good Practice

OER Schools Project / *UK*

Leicester City Council, plus all city secondary, SEN and primary schools

The OER Schools project is a local authority led, school owned initiative designed to support school staff in understanding, finding, using and creating openly licensed resources (OER).
The project started at the end of 2014, and consists of several specific project strands. These are:

  • Blanket permission for local authority school employees at 84 community and voluntary controlled city schools to openly license all learning materials: (click!) (Leicester was the first city/local authority in Europe to do this).
  • Support for all city schools – including academies, trusts, and voluntary aided schools – to introduce local school policies to promote school staff education and development in relation to open educational resources: (click!)
  • The production of OER guidance and staff development materials for school staff:(click!)
  • First School’s OER conference in Europe, focusing on OER in relation to policy, accessibility, and the computing curriculum: (click!)
  • Local schools network of school based OER champions: (click!)

Why is this a good practice:
The approach firmly positions understanding IP and copyright issues, including open licenses and open educational resources, as a key element of school staff digital literacy and practice. The approach taken is underpinned by city wide and school policy, and significant resources and staff development opportunities have been created to help school staff get become confident with issues that are often very new to them. Care has been taken to embed open education practice locally, to develop expertise across the city, and to establish a self-supporting network of practitioners. Additionally, all of the outputs from this initiative have been themselves openly licensed under the most flexible terms, to enable others to make use of and build upon our work. The guidance and development materials have been translated into several languages for use internationally (particularly for the African Virtual University), and have also been adapted for both the FE and HE sectors.