When working within cycling both at the 2012 Olympics and onwards with the SKY or INEOS racing team, Sir Dave Brailsford employs a significant principal in all he does.

The 1% principal is based on the small changes that TOGETHER make a big change.

As Brailsford said, Speaking to the BBC

The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together. There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places. They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.”


He believed that if it were possible to make a 1% improvement in a whole host of areas, the cumulative gains would end up being hugely significant.

The key principle behind this idea was knowledge.

Over many years, he and his team built up a real understanding of what was required to ride a bike both from a technical and personal point of view.

Brand in Cycling, PART 1 |

By studying the details of aerodynamics, his team was able to design the perfect bike.

By studying the timings charts and areas of acceleration, his team was able to build the perfect profile for training and peak condition.

Then, by studying the abilities, limits and mannerisms of his cyclists, he was able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his athletes and what would help them reach peak fitness and performance.

He embarked upon marginal gains from a position of knowledge.

But What is Knowledge?

Knowledge Management is as much about people as the information ...

A study of leadership in the American military discovered a link between leadership across learning environments and the importance of four types of knowledge.

Declarative knowledge is a true understanding of the facts – like knowing how a bike works.

Procedural knowledge is pushing the boundary, looking for that new and unknown idea that the facts will achieve for you – experimenting if you will.

Contextual knowledge places the strategy in context – knowing the material’s limitations and understanding what is possible to create the outcome – putting the matter in context.

Somatic knowledge places an emphasis away from the direct but onto more understanding. Why? How does this help? What will it create? What will it affect?

Dave Brailsford understood every part of his team and equipment. He knew their limits and capabilities. He understood what it would take to reach his goal and was then able to search for the marginal gains to push for Gold.

He embarked upon a push for success from a position of knowledge.

Position of Knowledge

A Position of Knowledge is vital for teachers to teach in a classroom.

The whole of education is underpinned by the relationship between the teacher and pupil.

Teachers are the experts in their field and the correct people to be leading their pupils on their learning journey.

All research has shown that pupils learn at different rates and will respond differently to different tasks. A teacher takes these points and brings them together allowing each pupil to learn in their own individual way.

Teachers need to know their pupils’ strengths and weaknesses to help them succeed.

An early assessment with detailed analysis enables staff to work for the needs of their pupils regardless of the appearance (or not) of examinations later in the year. The answer is Question Level Analysis.

Question Level Analysis

QLA breaks assessment data down into meaningful insight that teachers, pupils and parents can all use to make a real difference. It takes the raw materials across an assessment (for example the KS2 SATs) and dives deeper looking for the insight that can make a difference…

QLA helps teachers to focus their teaching on the needs of their individual pupils – refining the curriculum to secure those marginal gains and enable better results. By breaking down a test result into different areas, it enables the teacher to focus on these topics knowing the overall improvement will come.

“Enormous thanks for the QLAs. I’m really pleased with them. My Y6 teachers can now focus their teaching on specific areas during the spring and early summer to give the children the best possible chance of achieving their potential in the SATs.”

Headteacher, Grangehurst Primary School, Coventry

QLA can guide interventions with tutors or support staff as it clearly informs the topics needed by individual pupils. Individual pupil profiles make this analysis easy to understand.

“Daisi Transition provides key topic evaluation to prioritise areas of focus in the catch up sessions enabling more targeted and focused intervention to take place.“ 

Deepings School, Peterborough

QLA enables staff to look closer at pupil groups, cohort groups, SEN needs and more. Bespoke Cohort analysis gives the evidence across your school putting the teachers in a true position of knowledge

“In regards to the QLA as we have such a large cohort – it is good to look for areas/types of questions where children have struggled and we need to focus on further in the future.

The QLA for each individual child is useful when looking at specific children within groups SEN, FSM, PP looking particularly at their individual progress in each subject.”

Headteacher, Fernwood Primary School, Nottingham

QLA guides school decisions when targeting resources, or creating a new curriculum – giving valuable instructions for the future by looking at the gaps from the past. By looking at how your pupils performed, you can see exactly where you will want to make changes for later in this year or even the next.

“In my role as deputy headteacher of a big school as well as assessment coordinator, there is no way I have the time or capacity to complete QLA to the level & in the detail that the DAISI team do. They save me days of work & the information this gives me allows us to develop whole school targets that we can show improve the attainment of our pupils. I am a massive fan of QLA and find it invaluable. “

Deputy Headteacher, Seely Primary & Nursery School, Nottingham

In summary, QLA places teachers into a position of knowledge. 

DAISI Education QLA | What makes a Good QLA?  |  What is in a DAISI QLA? 

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