UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

More fragmented and yet more networked: Analysing the responses of two Local Authorities in England to the Coalition's 'self-improving school-led system' reforms

Greany, T; (2015) More fragmented and yet more networked: Analysing the responses of two Local Authorities in England to the Coalition's 'self-improving school-led system' reforms. London Review of Education , 13 (2) pp. 125-143. Green open access

[thumbnail of Greany_1473405_s11.pdf]
Preview
Text
Greany_1473405_s11.pdf - Published Version

Download (943kB) | Preview

Abstract

This paper explores school reform in England under the Conservative-led Coalition government, elected in 2010, through a focus on the changing roles and status of Local Authorities (LAs). The Coalition's stated aim was the development of a 'self-improving, school-led' system in which LAs should become 'champions for children'. The paper draws on two locality case studies and a set of future scenarios and policy narratives to analyse the ways in which LAs and school leaders are responding to reform. The paper concludes that the Coalition focused its attention on structural reform, but that this placed an additional onus on leadership agency within local school systems to shape contextually appropriate solutions. The schools in the two areas studied appear to have become more fragmented and yet – paradoxically – more networked; however, they are not yet working in the 'deep partnerships' envisaged by Hargreaves (2010). This has meant that the LAs have needed to sustain their traditional roles (for example, in providing challenge and support to schools), whilst simultaneously evolving new ways of working (for example, providing 'bridging social capital'). These roles may sometimes be in tension, but are driven by different factors: LA-level accountability in the case of challenge and support, and reduced funding in the case of 'bridging social capital'. This suggests that the Coalition's conflicting policy narratives were in tension and that the notion of LAs as 'champions for children' requires review.

Type: Article
Title: More fragmented and yet more networked: Analysing the responses of two Local Authorities in England to the Coalition's 'self-improving school-led system' reforms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ioep/clre/20...
Language: English
Additional information: © Copyright 2015 Greany. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Local authorities, mediating layer, middle tier, school improvement, school leadership, school networks, school partnerships, school-led system, school-to-school support, self-improving system, system leadership
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473405
Downloads since deposit
198Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item