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Partnership between schools 'causing concern' and 'effective' schools as a strategy for improvement : an investigation of six partnerships

Anderson, David A; (2007) Partnership between schools 'causing concern' and 'effective' schools as a strategy for improvement : an investigation of six partnerships. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

In recent years schools in England and Wales have been subject to Central Government's reform agenda characterised by national strategies to raise standards and measure performance. The introduction of Inspection in 1993 by Ofsted represents the sharp focus placed on performance and accountability as schools could be inspected and named as 'failing.' The Education Act 1997 introduced the concept of Schools Causing Concern (SCC) and set out the powers of LEAs to take action where schools would not or could not address their weaknesses adequately. This study looks at the actions of one LEA (2002-3) to support the improvement of six secondary SCC by partnering them with six 'effective' schools. The case studies of these partnerships underline the importance of leadership, belief in partnership and the building of relationships which support learning. The research questions the capacity of SCC to benefit from partnership within a short time period and opens up a debate around transferability of systems and practices. This study asks if 'partnership' is an 'inside-out' capacity building strategy or another 'outside- in' solution. It centres on the relationship between the headteachers as the key to building effective partnerships. It challenges the ability of the LEA to broker effective partnerships between schools and reflects on the introduction of School Improvement Partners (DfES, 2005) and the current emphasis on partnership and collaboration. The study argues that while 'partnership' holds the possibility of supporting SCC, it is subject to the vagaries of human relationships, likes and dislikes and dependant upon the capacity of schools to learn from each other. Partnership requires time to develop and impact and as such represents an unreliable and flawed strategy for securing improvement in SCC short term.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Partnership between schools 'causing concern' and 'effective' schools as a strategy for improvement : an investigation of six partnerships
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/ProcessSearch.do?query=536667
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10007298
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