School-to-school support within a competitive education system: views from the inside

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The English education system is going through a process of radical change. Central to the reforms is a greater emphasis on schools taking responsibility for their own improvement, within a context of heightened competition that is intended to intensify efforts to improve standards. At the same time, it is envisaged that schools will increasingly turn to each other for support in moving forward. At present, there are many views as to whether all of this is having the desired effect and, of course, it is still early days as far as determining the impact on student outcomes. There are also increasing concerns that the reforms are leading to fragmentation within the education system running the risk of further disadvantaging learners from economically poorer backgrounds (Ainscow, Dyson & Hopwood, 2016). There is, therefore, a need to learn from experiences in the field in order to minimise the risks and maximize the potential of the reforms. This necessitates research that draws on the experiences of those who are attempting to put this policy into action. With this in mind, this paper reflects on the findings of our research into the views of school leaders who are attempting to move the English reform agenda forward. This leads us to throw light on challenges involved in promoting school-to-school cooperation within a highly competitive education system. At the same time, we draw attention to promising developments that could be built upon.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
EventInternational Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement - Singapore
Duration: 8 Jan 201812 Jan 2018


ConferenceInternational Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement
Internet address


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