تحدي لندن – اسلوب التطوير الذاتي لقيادة التعليم London Challenge (Leadership style of the self-improving school-led system)


Leadership style of the self-improving school-led system

Introduction

This study aims to examine the changes in style of leadership in English schools that came about as a response to the structural changes that occurred in the English system of education.  The study tracks the history of these changes from the end of the Second World War to the present day. It shows how local education authorities were given the prime responsibility for shaping and overseeing provision in their area and how this power and authority were slowly but steadily eroded.

The study shows how the Conservative-led Coalition government, elected in 2010, chose an approach that aims at maximizing school autonomy and minimising the role of central and local governments where possible and how both central government and local education authorities introduced a number of mechanisms to help achieve this aim.  Thus, while central government doubled the number of National Leaders of Education (NLEs), introduced 500 Teaching Schools and increased the number of academies, local education authorities required their maintained schools to engage in peer reviews; commissioned school partnerships to take on the lead role in monitoring and intervening in schools; brokered arrangements for strong schools to support struggling schools; and funded school networks.

The study shows how school networks have been used to improve teaching, learning and attainment. Indeed, the evidence that school networks impact upon both pupils and teachers is spread throughout the research literature. Pupil impact includes a long list of achievements beginning with improved attainment gains in core subjects such as reading, language and mathematics and ending with greater involvement in school clubs and after-school activities; with several other achievements in between.  The literature, indeed, shows that there are cases where these impacts could not have been achieved without a network.

The study also shows that the challenge faced by network leaders is ensuring that these activities result in changes within classrooms and that these changes are spread throughout the network.  The pupil impact evidence supports the argument that well-led collaboration between schools facing challenging circumstances helped their leaders balance short-term pressures to improve pupil attainment with long-term desires to improve the educational experiences of their pupils and the engagement of their communities.

The evidence that networks impact upon practitioners is just as spread throughout the research literature as that on pupil impact. Working with others in a network has been shown to provide greater opportunities for reflection on practice; reduce professional isolation and enhance morale and increase gains in knowledge, understanding and skills.

Leading school networks, thus, requires the ability to broker between schools; build structures and processes that facilitate collaborative learning and practice transfer; mobilise participation in these structures; take action to generate new knowledge and spread existing expertise.  It also requires the ability to provide vision and direction; create the conditions that encourage mature trusting relationships within and across organisations; develop the leadership of others; establish norms for guiding behaviour and identifying and allocating roles for others to take on; and develop a detailed understanding of the context.  In other words, leading a school network requires all the skills required for leading a school and then some.

أسلوب القيادة للنظام الذاتي المدار لتحسين المدرسة

المقدمة

تهدف هذه الدراسة إلى دراسة التغيرات في أسلوب القيادة في المدارس الإنجليزية التي جاءت كرد فعل على التغيرات الهيكلية التي حدثت في نظام التعليم الإنجليزي. وتتبع الدراسة تاريخ هذه التغيرات من نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية حتى يومنا هذا. وهو يبين كيف أعطيت سلطات التعليم المحلية المسؤولية الرئيسية عن تشكيل الإشراف والإشراف عليه في منطقتها، وكيف تآكلت هذه السلطة والسلطة ببطء ولكن باطراد.

وتبين الدراسة كيف أن حكومة الائتلاف التي يقودها المحافظون، التي انتخبت في عام 2010، اختارت نهجا يهدف إلى تعظيم الاستقلالية المدرسية وتقليل دور الحكومات المركزية والمحلية حيثما أمكن، وكيف أدخلت الحكومة المركزية وسلطات التعليم المحلية عددا من الآليات تساعد على تحقيق هذا الهدف. وهكذا، في حين تضاعفت الحكومة المركزية عدد القادة الوطنيين للتعليم، وأدخلت 500 مدرسة للتعليم، وزادت عدد الأكاديميات، طلبت سلطات التعليم المحلية من مدارسها المحافظة على المشاركة في استعراضات الأقران؛ والشراكات المدرسية بتكليف للقيام بدور قيادي في الرصد والتدخل في المدارس؛ ترتيبات توسط فيها مدارس قوية لدعم المدارس التي تعاني من صعوبات؛ وشبكات المدارس الممولة.

وتبين الدراسة كيف استخدمت شبكات المدارس لتحسين التعليم والتعلم والتحصيل. والواقع أن الدليل على أن شبكات المدارس تؤثر على كل من التلاميذ والمعلمين ينتشر في جميع المؤلفات البحثية. ويشمل أثر التلاميذ قائمة طويلة من الإنجازات التي تبدأ بتحسين المكاسب في التحصيل في المواد الأساسية مثل القراءة واللغة والرياضيات وتنتهي بزيادة المشاركة في النوادي المدرسية وأنشطة ما بعد المدرسة؛ مع العديد من الإنجازات الأخرى في ما بين. وتبين الأدبيات، في الواقع، أن هناك حالات لم يكن بالإمكان تحقيق هذه الآثار فيها بدون شبكة.

وتظهر الدراسة أيضا أن التحدي الذي يواجهه قادة الشبكة هو ضمان أن هذه الأنشطة تؤدي إلى تغييرات داخل الفصول الدراسية وأن هذه التغييرات تنتشر في جميع أنحاء الشبكة. ويدعم دليل تأثير التلميذ الحجة القائلة بأن التعاون الجيد بين المدارس التي تواجه ظروفا صعبة ساعد قياداتها على الموازنة بين الضغوط القصيرة الأجل لتحسين تحصيل التلاميذ ورغبات طويلة الأجل لتحسين الخبرات التعليمية لتلاميذهم وإشراك مجتمعاتهم المحلية.

والدليل على أن الشبكات تؤثر على الممارسين هو مجرد انتشار في جميع أنحاء الأدب البحثي كما أن على تأثير التلميذ. وقد تبين أن العمل مع الآخرين في الشبكة يتيح فرصا أكبر للتفكير في الممارسة؛ والحد من العزلة المهنية وتعزيز الروح المعنوية وزيادة المكاسب في المعرفة والفهم والمهارات.

وبالتالي، تتطلب شبكات المدارس الرائدة القدرة على التوسط بين المدارس؛ وبناء الهياكل والعمليات التي تسهل التعلم التعاوني ونقل الممارسة؛ وتعبئة المشاركة في هذه الهياكل؛ واتخاذ إجراءات لتوليد معارف جديدة ونشر الخبرات القائمة. كما يتطلب القدرة على توفير الرؤية والتوجيه؛ وخلق الظروف التي تشجع علاقات الثقة ناضجة داخل وعبر المنظمات. تطوير قيادة الآخرين؛ ووضع معايير لتوجيه السلوك وتحديد الأدوار وتخصيصها للآخرين لتوليها؛ ووضع فهم مفصل للسياق. وبعبارة أخرى، يتطلب قيادة شبكة مدرسية جميع المهارات المطلوبة لقيادة المدرسة ومن ثم بعض.

Literature Review

When universal primary and secondary education was developed in England after the Second World War, Greany (2015) points out, local education authorities were given the prime responsibility for shaping and overseeing provision in their area.  With the increase in central funding and oversight, however, the power and authority of local authorities were steadily eroded as the autonomy of schools grew.

Unlike school system reformers almost everywhere, the Conservative-led Coalition government, elected in 2010, chose an approach that aims at maximising school autonomy and minimising the role of central and local government where possible. This reform programme has come to be known as ‘the self-improving, school-led system’ (see Greany, 2014).   It has been radical and widespread, affecting almost every aspect of school life (see Lupton and Thomson, 2015).   Indeed, Greany (2015, p. 10) states that “By the end of the Coalition’s time in office it could be argued that school-to-school support was the primary mechanism for school improvement in England.”

To help schools achieve this aim of a self-improving, school-led system, both central and local government introduced a number of mechanisms designed to do just that.  Thus, while the central government doubled the number of National Leaders of Education (NLEs) to 1,000, introduced 500 Teaching Schools and increased the number of academies, local authorities required their maintained schools to engage in peer reviews; increased the use of serving/recently retired head-teachers to provide monitoring support; brokered arrangements for strong schools to support struggling schools rather than draw on in-house local authority expertise where possible; commissioned school partnerships to take on the lead role in monitoring schools; and funded school networks as a way to increase leadership agency (Greany, 2015, Sandals and Bryant, 2014, Earley and Higham, 2012, Education Select Committee, 2013).

العرض الادبي

فعندما تم تطوير التعليم الابتدائي والثانوي الشامل في إنجلترا بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، يشير غراني (2015) إلى أن السلطات التعليمية المحلية قد أعطيت المسؤولية الرئيسية عن تشكيل الإشراف والإشراف عليه في منطقتهم. ومع ذلك، ومع ازدياد التمويل والرقابة المركزيين، تضاءلت بشكل مطرد سلطة السلطة المحلية وسلطتها مع ازدياد استقلالية المدارس.

وخلافا لإصلاحات النظام المدرسي في كل مكان تقريبا، اختارت حكومة الائتلاف التي يقودها المحافظون، التي انتخبت في عام 2010، نهجا يهدف إلى تعظيم الاستقلالية المدرسية وتقليل دور الحكومة المركزية والمحلية حيثما أمكن. وقد أصبح هذا البرنامج اإلصالحي يعرف باسم »النظام املتحسن ذاتيا، الذي تقوده املدرسة«) انظر غرياني، 2014 (. لقد كانت جذرية وواسعة الانتشار، تؤثر على كل جانب من جوانب الحياة المدرسية تقريبا (انظر لوبتون أند تومسون، 2015). والواقع أن غراني (2015، ص 10) تنص على أنه “بحلول نهاية فترة الائتلاف في منصبه، يمكن القول بأن الدعم من المدرسة إلى المدرسة كان الآلية الرئيسية لتحسين المدارس في إنجلترا”.

ولمساعدة المدارس على تحقيق هذا الهدف المتمثل في نظام يحسنه ذاتيا، تقوده المدارس، أدخلت الحكومة المركزية والمحلية عددا من الآليات المصممة للقيام بذلك. وهكذا، في حين أن الحكومة المركزية ضاعفت عدد القادة الوطنيين للتعليم إلى 000 1 طالب، وأدخلت 500 مدرسة للتعليم، وزادت عدد الأكاديميات، طلبت السلطات المحلية من المدارس التي تديرها المدارس المشاركة في استعراضات الأقران؛ زيادة استخدام مدراء الرؤساء العاملين / المتقاعدين مؤخرا لتقديم الدعم في مجال الرصد؛ والترتيبات التي تم التوصل إليها بوساطة للمدارس القوية لدعم المدارس المتعثرة بدلا من الاعتماد على الخبرة الداخلية في السلطة المحلية حيثما أمكن؛ والشراكات المدرسية بتكليف للقيام بدور قيادي في رصد المدارس؛ وشبكات المدارس الممولة كوسيلة لزيادة وكاالت القيادة) غرياني، 2015، صنادل وبراينت، 2014، إيرلي وهايم، 2012، لجنة اختيار التعليم، 2013 (.

Networks

Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 916) point out that the term ‘network’ has been applied to a wide range of school-to-school collaborations with the result that it is “hard to differentiate networks from various other forms of collaboratives, partnerships, alliances and consortia.” They   argue, however, that “all networks share a set of common features in that primarily they have some form of structure that supports key processes and together these define the nature of any network. “A school network is therefore essentially a combination of structures through which participants can be brought together to engage with each other and the processes are what they are engaged in when working as part of the network” (2011, p. 916).

The challenge faced by network leaders, however, is ensuring that these activities result in changes within classrooms and that these classroom-based changes are spread throughout the network. Network leaders, thus, are faced with the challenge of establishing and integrating shared learning experiences through professional development activities. This requires the development of both vertical structures that reach up and down the established hierarchies in schools, and horizontal structures that connect individuals and groups within and across schools (See Hadfield and Chapman, 2011, p. 918)

Network leaders, that is, need to ensure that there is a balance between the horizontal and vertical structures within networks.  That is, they need to balance issues of management with those of creativity.  As Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 912) put it:

If a network becomes too highly structured and insufficiently productive, whether in terms of new learning or transfer, then the network devolves into a meeting culture with few outcomes.  If it is highly creative but there is insufficient co-ordination, a great deal of energy is dissipated for no sustained impact.

Getting the balance right is particularly important while establishing a school network.  Schools cannot afford the ‘luxury’ of too much individual learning which does not make an impact back in the classroom, nor can they waste time and energy in too many meetings.

الشبكات

ويشير هادفيلد وتشابمان) 2011، ص 916 (إلى أن مصطلح “الشبكة” قد طبق على مجموعة واسعة من التعاون بين المدرسة والمدرسة، مما أدى إلى صعوبة التمييز بين الشبكات من مختلف أشكال التعاون األخرى، شراكات وتحالفات واتحادات “. بيد أنهم يجادلون بأن” جميع الشبكات تشترك في مجموعة من السمات المشتركة في أن يكون لها في المقام الأول شكل من أشكال الهيكل الذي يدعم العمليات الرئيسية ويحدد بعضها معا طبيعة أي شبكة. “لذلك، فإن شبكة المدارس هي في الأساس مزيج من الهياكل التي يمكن من خلالها تجميع المشاركين للتفاعل مع بعضهم البعض والعمليات هي ما يشاركون فيه عند العمل كجزء من الشبكة” (2011، ص 916).

غير أن التحدي الذي يواجهه قادة الشبكة هو ضمان أن تؤدي هذه الأنشطة إلى تغييرات داخل الفصول الدراسية وأن هذه التغييرات القائمة على الفصول الدراسية تنتشر في جميع أنحاء الشبكة. وبالتالي، يواجه قادة الشبكات التحدي المتمثل في إنشاء ودمج خبرات التعلم المشترك من خلال أنشطة التطوير المهني. ويتطلب ذلك تطوير هيكليات عمودية تصل إلى أعلى وأسفل التسلسل الهرمي القائم في المدارس، والهياكل األفقية التي تربط األفراد والمجموعات داخل المدارس وعبرها) انظر هادفيلد أند تشابمان، 2011، ص 918 (،

ويتعين على قادة الشبكات، أي ضمان وجود توازن بين الهياكل الأفقية والعمودية داخل الشبكات. وهذا يعني أنها تحتاج إلى موازنة مسائل الإدارة مع قضايا الإبداع. كما قال هادفيلد وتشابمان (2011، ص 912):

إذا أصبحت الشبكة أكثر تنظيما وذات إنتاجية غير كافية، سواء من حيث التعلم الجديد أو النقل، فإن الشبكة تتحول إلى ثقافة اجتماع مع نتائج قليلة. إذا كان إبداعيا للغاية ولكن هناك تنسيق غير كاف، يتم تبديد قدر كبير من الطاقة دون أي تأثير مستمر.

الحصول على التوازن هو المهم بشكل خاص عند إنشاء شبكة المدرسة. فالمدارس لا تستطيع تحمل “الرفاهية” للتعلم الفردي الذي لا يحدث أثرا في الفصول الدراسية، ولا يمكن أن يضيع الوقت والطاقة في كثير من الاجتماعات.

Impact on pupils

The evidence that networks impact upon pupil achievement is spread throughout numerous evaluations and research accounts. Hadfield and Chapman (2011), however, argue that possibly the strongest evidence that networks impact upon pupil achievement is provided by Bell et al’s (2006) systematic review of school networks.  This is a study that reviewed some 119 studies before focussing in on some 19 international studies and categorising them as having high to low levels of impact.

Bell et al (2006, p. 53) report that their review found that networks can be effective vehicles for improving both teaching and learning. They also report evidence of the impact of networks on both teachers and pupils.  Pupil impact included:

  • Improved attainment gains in core subjects such as reading, language and

        mathematics;

  • Improved engagement, motivation and self-confidence;
  • Increased independence as learners;
  • Acquisition of new skills, such as problem solving, leadership, social and

        higher order thinking skills;

  • Narrowing the gap between minority and non-minority students and

        economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils;

  • Improvement in grade scores on non-verbal tests and an increase in

        students’ reflection and responsibility for their work;

  • Greater involvement in school clubs and after-school activities;
  • Increase in self-confidence and self-esteem;
  • Improved attitude to school and increased attendance. (Bell et al, 2006, p.

       53).

Hadfield and Chapman (2015) point out, however, that this review “highlighted that in terms of measurable outcomes on pupil achievement, the more effective networks had more specific and narrower aims and targeted their efforts on particular groups of pupils.”  Indeed, they point out, a significant proportion of these projects were focussed on groups of pupils with specific needs or who required a level and kind of support that was difficult for schools in isolation to offer, such as the most socially excluded or underachieving students.  Indeed, they assert (Hadfield and Chapman,2015, p. 902) that in some cases these impacts could not have been achieved without a network. A school struggling with intractable social and educational problems, that is, was more likely to solve its problems when it is part of a school network than when it is a lone school in isolation.  A network of schools, they point out, is more able to mobilise a wide range of resources and expertise than a school in isolation.

Evidence that networks have a positive impact upon pupil achievement is again provided by another study of 17 different UK networks working in a mixture of inner city and complex and challenging circumstances.  Hadfield and Jopling (2006, p. 3) point out that the study led to the conclusion that:

The pupil impact evidence in the case studies supports the argument that well-led collaboration between schools facing complex and challenging circumstances helped their leaders to balance short-term pressures to improve pupil attainment with long-term desires to improve the educational experiences of their pupils and the engagement of their communities.

The review identified evidence of global improvements in attainment across whole networks at both primary and secondary levels. Again, the most significant benefits were in those areas where individual schools found it difficult to do on their own.  That is, where they faced an issue which was too large to deal with on their own; or a challenge which is based within the relationships between schools and local communities; or where they lacked the resources or expertise to overcome a particular challenge,

التأثير على التلاميذ

والدليل على أن الشبكات تؤثر على إنجاز التلميذ ينتشر في العديد من التقييمات وحسابات البحوث. بيد أن هافيلد وتشابمان) 2011 (يجادلان بأن أقوى دليل على أن الشبكات تؤثر على إنجاز التلميذ يتم توفيره من قبل مراجعة منظمة بل إت آل’s) 2006 (المنهجية لشبكات المدارس. هذه دراسة استعرضت نحو 119 دراسة قبل التركيز على نحو 19 دراسة دولية وتصنيفها بأنها ذات مستويات عالية إلى منخفضة من التأثير.

وأفاد بيل وآخرون) 2006، ص 53 (أن استعراضهم وجد أن الشبكات يمكن أن تكون وسائل فعالة لتحسين التعليم والتعلم. كما يقدمون تقارير عن أثر الشبكات على المعلمين والتلاميذ على السواء. وشملت آثار التلميذ ما يلي:

تحسين مكاسب التحصيل في المواد الأساسية مثل القراءة واللغة و
الرياضيات؛

تحسين المشاركة والدافع والثقة بالنفس؛
زيادة استقلالية المتعلمين؛
اكتساب مهارات جديدة، مثل حل المشكلات، والقيادة، والاجتماعية و
أعلى مهارات التفكير النظام.

تضييق الفجوة بين الطلاب من الأقليات وغير الأقليات و
والتلاميذ المحرومين اقتصاديا وغير المحرومين؛

تحسين درجات الدرجات في الاختبارات غير اللفظية وزيادة في
وتأمل الطلاب ومسؤوليتهم عن عملهم؛

زيادة المشاركة في النوادي المدرسية وأنشطة ما بعد المدرسة؛
زيادة الثقة بالنفس واحترام الذات؛
تحسين الموقف تجاه المدرسة وزيادة الحضور. (بيل إت آل، 2006، p.
53).

هادفيلد وتشابمان (2015) نقطة، مع ذلك، أن هذا الاستعراض “أبرز أنه من حيث النتائج القابلة للقياس على تحصيل التلاميذ، كانت شبكات أكثر فعالية أهداف أكثر تحديدا وأضيق واستهدفت جهودهم على مجموعات معينة من التلاميذ.” في الواقع، فإنها نشير، وتركز نسبة كبيرة من هذه المشاريع على مجموعات من التلاميذ من ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة أو الذين تتطلب مستوى ونوع الدعم الذي كان من الصعب للمدارس في عزلة لتقدمه، مثل الطلاب استبعاد معظم اجتماعيا أو ضعف الانجازات. في الواقع، يؤكدون (هادفيلد أند تشابمان، 2015، ص 902) أنه في بعض الحالات لم يكن بالإمكان تحقيق هذه الآثار بدون شبكة. فالمدرسة التي تعاني من مشاكل اجتماعية وتعليمية مستعصية، أي أكثر احتمالا لحل مشاكلها عندما تكون جزءا من شبكة مدرسية أكثر من كونها مدرسة فردية بمعزل عن غيرها. وأشارت إلى أن شبكة من المدارس أكثر قدرة على تعبئة مجموعة واسعة من الموارد والخبرات من مدرسة بمعزل عن غيرها.

ويظهر الدليل على أن الشبكات لها تأثير إيجابي على إنجاز التلميذ مرة أخرى من خلال دراسة أخرى ل 17 شبكة مختلفة من المملكة المتحدة تعمل في خليط من المدينة الداخلية والظروف المعقدة والصعبة. ويشير هادفيلد وجوبلينغ (2006، ص 3) إلى أن الدراسة أدت إلى استنتاج مفاده:

ويدعم تأثير التلميذ على الأدلة في دراسات الحالة الحجة القائلة بأن التعاون الجيد بين المدارس التي تواجه ظروفا معقدة وصعبة ساعد قياداتها على تحقيق التوازن بين الضغوط القصيرة الأجل لتحسين تحصيل التلاميذ ورغباتهم على المدى الطويل لتحسين الخبرات التعليمية لتلاميذهم إشراك مجتمعاتهم المحلية.

وحدد الاستعراض أدلة على التحسينات العالمية في التحصيل في جميع الشبكات على المستويين الابتدائي والثانوي. ومرة أخرى، كانت أهم الفوائد في المجالات التي وجدت فيها المدارس الفردية صعوبة في القيام بها بمفردها. وهذا هو، حيث يواجهون مسألة كبيرة جدا بحيث يتعذر التعامل معها بمفردهم؛ أو تحد قائم على العلاقات بين المدارس والمجتمعات المحلية؛ أو حيث تفتقر إلى الموارد أو الخبرة للتغلب على تحد معين،

Impact on practitioners

The evidence that networks provide improved professional development opportunities is spread throughout numerous evaluations and research accounts.  Indeed, Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 906) state that “the evidence that networks impact positively upon staff can be found not only directly within the research and evaluation literature around networks but also indirectly in the broader literature concerned with collaborative professional development and the sustainability of educational reform.”  Working with others in a network has been shown to:

  1. Provide greater opportunities for reflection on practice (Deloitte and Touche, 2000).
  2. Reduce professional isolation and enhance morale (Hopkins 2000; Toole and Louise; Hargreaves 2003; Sliwka 2003; Chapman and Fullan 2007).
  3. Increase engagement with more challenging forms of professional learning (Lieberman and Grolnick, 1996);
  4. Increase gains in knowledge, understanding and skills, leading to more inclusive practice, better classroom level skills, new communication and networking skills and greater understanding of the learning process (Bell et al, 2006).

The major benefits for staff of working in a network, Hadfield and Chapman (2011) suggest, can be drawn together into three main themes.  These are: (1) improved access to expertise, (2) enhanced ability to innovate, and (3) converting new learning into new practices.

  1. Improved access to expertise

Improved access to expertise might be as high as an international expert launching a school-wide reform activity, or as low key and specific as arranging for opportunities for sharing good practice with subject specialists in neighbouring schools’ (Ofsted 2003).  By creating economies of scale networks make it economically viable to hire in external expertise. They also provide the structures that bring together groups of practitioners and provide the facilitation they need to learn from each other’s insights and understandings.

  1. Enhanced ability to innovate

Networks help practitioners enquire into their own practices as well as the practice of others in the network.  They also help them develop innovation.

  1. Converting new learning into new practices

Networks help practitioners convert new professional learning into new practices. They appear to be able to do this because they improve the quality of professional development as well as support the transfer of knowledge and practice.

Monitoring and Intervention

There is no doubt that our knowledge of the attitudes and practices evolving on the ground that came about as a result of the structural reforms to the English educational system is not what we would like it to be.  Few studies, after all, have assessed “the ways in which attitudes and practices are evolving on the ground” (Greany, 2015, p.  ).  There is no doubt, either, that even in our present state of knowledge one can safely say that the reform programme, known as the self-improving school-led system, has been “radical and widespread, affecting almost every aspect of school life.”  (Greany, 2015, p. 129). Over half of all secondary schools in England have converted to academies (HoC Education Select Committee, 2015) and school to school support is now the primary mechanism for school improvement in England (Sandals and Bryant, 2014; Earley and Higham, 2012; Education Select Committee, 2013).

Greany (2015) points out, however, that the schools in his two case studies did not feel ready or able to undertake the LA’s roles of monitoring and intervention. True some of these schools were participating in some form of peer review but, he asserts, this was seen either as learning from practice in other schools or as CIP but not as a replacement for external scrutiny and challenge from the LA or Ofsted.

Greany points out that many schools were nervous about peer review either because they felt it would break the fragile trust between them or because they wanted to protect their trade secrets in a competitive environment. Teachers  saw peer review as more difficult with schools close by in their own LA, where the competitive pressures were greater, than with schools further afield.

Hargreaves (2010, 2011, 2012a, 2012b), on his part, agrees that it is difficult to develop robust monitoring (what he calls evaluation and challenge) between schools as it is hard for a school leader or teacher from one school to tell another leader or teacher from another school that their work is lacking in one respect or another.

Indeed, Greany raises the question whether these roles could ever really move to schools in a ‘self-improving system’.

LAs were not able to fully step back as their schools “simply did not feel ready or able to undertake the LAs’ monitoring and intervention roles.”

He believes, however, that such peer challenge is possible if there is sufficient mutual trust, reciprocity, and collective moral purpose between the partners.

 This “raises questions about whether a fully self-improving system emerge or whether a new more coherent but strategic mediating layer will be required (Greany, 2015, p. 137).

He adds, furthermore, that the academies programme has been a key element of this reform “since academies are companies and charities that are funded directly by central government and are outside LA control.”

التأثير على الممارسين

وتنتشر الأدلة على أن الشبكات توفر فرصا أفضل للتنمية المهنية في العديد من عمليات التقييم وحسابات البحوث. في الواقع، يقول هادفيلد أند تشابمان (2011، ص 906) أن “الأدلة على أن الشبكات تؤثر بشكل إيجابي على الموظفين يمكن العثور عليها ليس فقط مباشرة في أدبيات البحث والتقييم حول الشبكات ولكن أيضا بشكل غير مباشر في الأدبيات الأوسع المعنية بالتنمية المهنية التعاونية و استدامة الإصلاح التعليمي “. وقد تبين أن العمل مع الآخرين في شبكة ما هو:

توفير فرص أكبر للتفكير في الممارسة (ديلويت أند توش، 2000).
الحد من العزلة المهنية وتعزيز الروح المعنوية (هوبكنز 2000؛ تول ولويز؛ هارغريفز 2003؛ سليوكا 2003؛ تشابمان وفولان 2007).
زيادة المشاركة مع أشكال التعلم المهني الأكثر تحديا (ليبرمان أند غرولنيك، 1996)؛
زیادة المکاسب في المعرفة والفھم والمھارات، مما یؤدي إلی ممارسة أکثر شمولیة، ومھارات أفضل في الفصول الدراسیة، ومھارات التواصل والاتصال الجدیدة، وفھم أکبر للعملیة التعلیمیة (بيل إت آل، 2006).
إن الفوائد الرئيسية لموظفي العمل في الشبكة، هافيلد أند تشابمان (2011) تشير إلى أنه يمكن جمعها معا في ثلاثة محاور رئيسية. وهذه هي: (1) تحسين فرص الحصول على الخبرات، (2) تعزيز القدرة على الابتكار، و (3) تحويل التعلم الجديد إلى ممارسات جديدة.

تحسين فرص الحصول على الخبرات
وقد يكون تحسين فرص الحصول على الخبرات مرتفعا مثل قيام خبير دولي بإطلاق نشاط إصلاحي على مستوى المدرسة، أو على مستوى منخفض ومحدود من حيث ترتيب الفرص لتبادل الممارسات الجيدة مع اختصاصيي المواضيع في المدارس المجاورة (أوفستد 2003). ومن خلال خلق اقتصادات شبكات الحجم تجعل من المجدي اقتصاديا أن تستعين بخبرات خارجية. كما أنها توفر الهياكل التي تجمع بين مجموعات من الممارسين وتوفر التسهيلات التي يحتاجونها للتعلم من رؤى وفهم بعضهم البعض.

تعزيز القدرة على الابتكار
تساعد الشبكات الممارسين على الاستفسار عن ممارساتهم الخاصة وكذلك ممارسة الآخرين في الشبكة. كما أنها تساعدهم على تطوير الابتكار.

تحويل التعلم الجديد إلى ممارسات جديدة
تساعد الشبكات الممارسين على تحويل تعلم مهني جديد إلى ممارسات جديدة. ويبدو أنها قادرة على القيام بذلك لأنها تحسن نوعية التطوير المهني، فضلا عن دعم نقل المعرفة والممارسة.

الرصد والتدخل

وما من شك في أن معرفتنا بالمواقف والممارسات التي تتطور على أرض الواقع نتيجة للإصلاحات الهيكلية للنظام التعليمي الإنكليزي ليست ما نود أن نكون عليه. وقلة من الدراسات، بعد كل شيء، قيمت “الطرق التي تتطور بها المواقف والممارسات على أرض الواقع” (غراني، 2015، p. وما من شك في أنه حتى في حالتنا الراهنة للمعرفة، يمكن للمرء أن يقول بأمان أن برنامج الإصلاح، المعروف باسم النظام الذي يقوده المجتمع الذي يحسن نفسه، كان “جذريا وواسع النطاق، يؤثر على كل جانب تقريبا من جوانب الحياة المدرسية. “) غرياني، 2015، ص 129 (. وقد تحول أكثر من نصف جميع المدارس الثانوية في انكلترا إلى أكاديميات) لجنة اختيار التعليم التابعة ل هوك، 2015 (والمدرسة إلى دعم المدرسة اآلن هي اآللية الرئيسية لتحسين المدارس في إنجلترا) الصنادل وبراينت، 2014؛ إيرلي وهايم، 2012؛ اللجنة، 2013).

لكن غرياني) 2015 (يشير إىل أن املدارس يف دراستي حالتني مل تشعر بأنهم مستعدون أو قادرون عىل القيام بأدوار املراقبة والتدخل. صحيح أن بعض هذه المدارس كانت تشارك في شكل من أشكال استعراض الأقران، لكنه يؤكد أن هذا كان ينظر إليه على أنه تعلم من الممارسة في المدارس الأخرى أو سيب ولكن ليس كبديل للتدقيق الخارجي والتحدي من لوس انجليس أو أوفستد.

تشير غراني إلى أن العديد من المدارس كانت متوترة حول استعراض الأقران إما لأنهم شعروا أنها ستكسر الثقة الهشة بينهم أو لأنهم يريدون حماية أسرارهم التجارية في بيئة تنافسية. رأى المعلمون أن مراجعة الأقران أكثر صعوبة مع المدارس القريبة من مدارسهم في لوس أنجلوس، حيث كانت الضغوط التنافسية أكبر منها في المدارس.

ويوافق هارجريفز) 2010، 2011، 2012a، 2012b (على أنه من الصعب وضع رقابة قوية) ما يسميه التقييم والتحدي (بني املدارس حيث يصعب على قائد مدرسة أو معلم من إحدى املدارس أن يخبر آخر القائد أو المعلم من مدرسة أخرى أن عملهم يفتقر إلى أحد أو آخر.

والواقع أن غراني يثير التساؤل عما إذا كانت هذه الأدوار يمكن أن تتحرك حقا إلى المدارس في “نظام تحسين الذات”.

لم تتمكن مؤسسات التعليم من العودة بشكل كامل لأن مدارسها “ببساطة لم تكن مستعدة أو قادرة على القيام بأدوار الرصد والتدخل في مجال الصحة”.

غير أنه يعتقد أن هذا التحدي من الأقران ممكن إذا كان هناك ما يكفي من الثقة المتبادلة والمعاملة بالمثل والغرض الأخلاقي الجماعي بين الشركاء.

هذا “يثير تساؤلات حول ما إذا كان التحسن الذاتي تماما

Leadership

As Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 908) point out:

The leadership activities within a network in many respects do not differ from leadership within schools.  Leaders are required to provide vision and direction, develop the leadership of others and establish norms for guiding behaviour and identifying and allocating roles for others to take on.  What differentiates leadership within a network is the need for brokerage between schools and the key challenge of engendering participation within the network and mobilising others to work collaboratively.

They stress the point, however, that leadership of networks requires not only the ability to broker between schools or to act as a ‘gap-filler’ or ‘go-between leaders’ but essentially requires leaders to:

  • Build structures and processes that facilitate collaborative learning and practice transfer;
  • Co-ordinate the development of lateral and vertical structures;
  • Take action to generate new knowledge and spread existing expertise,
  • Mobilise participation by acting as network activist and broker; and
  • Create the conditions that encourage mature trusting relationships within and across organisations.
  • Assess existing norms and practices;
  • Identify existing expertise and gaps in knowledge;
  • Challenge existing assumptions;
  • Draw in resources from their own and others’ professional networks;
  • Develop a detailed understanding of the context;
  • Provide leadership to foster coherence and clarity;

قيادة

وكما أشار هادفيلد وشابمان (2011، ص 908):

أنشطة القيادة داخل الشبكة من نواح كثيرة لا تختلف عن القيادة داخل المدارس. ويطلب من القادة توفير الرؤية والتوجيه، وتطوير قيادة الآخرين ووضع معايير لتوجيه السلوك وتحديد الأدوار وتخصيصها للآخرين. إن ما يميز القيادة داخل الشبكة هو الحاجة إلى الوساطة بين المدارس والتحدي الرئيسي المتمثل في توليد المشاركة داخل الشبكة وتعبئة الآخرين للعمل بشكل تعاوني.

لكنهم يؤكدون على النقطة القائلة بأن قيادة الشبكات لا تقتضي فقط القدرة على التوسط بين المدارس أو أن تكون بمثابة “حشو الفراغ” أو “القادة المتجولين” ولكنها تتطلب من القادة:

بناء الهياكل والعمليات التي تسهل التعلم التعاوني ونقل الممارسة؛
تنسيق تطوير الهياكل الجانبية والرأسية.
اتخاذ إجراءات لتوليد معارف جديدة ونشر الخبرات القائمة،
حشد المشاركة عن طريق القيام بدور ناشط الشبكة والوسيط؛ و
خلق الظروف التي تشجع علاقات الثقة ناضجة داخل وعبر المنظمات.
تقييم المعايير والممارسات القائمة؛
تحديد الخبرات والثغرات القائمة في المعرفة؛
تحدي الافتراضات القائمة؛
رسم الموارد من شبكاتهم المهنية وغيرها؛
تطوير فهم مفصل للسياق.
توفير القيادة لتعزيز الاتساق والوضوح؛

References المراجع

Bell, M., Jopling, M., Cordingley, P., Firth, A., King, E., & Mitchell, H. (2006). What is the impact on pupils of networks that include at least three schools?  What additional benefits are there for practitioners, organisations and the communities theyserve?  on pupils of networks that include at least three schools? What additional benefits are there for practitioners, organisations and the communities they serve? (Systematic review). Nottingham: National College for School Leadership.

Bell, Miranda; Cordingley, Philippa and Mitchell, Holly (2004).  The impact of networks on pupils, practitioners, organisations and the communities they serve.  National College for School Leadership.

Chapman, C., & Fullan, M. (2007). Collaboration and partnership for equitableimprovement: Towards a networked learning system. School Leadership and Management,27(3), 205–211. Chapman, C.,

Church, M., Bitel, M., Armstrong, K., Fernando, P., Gould, H., Joss, S., Marwaha-Diedrich, M., De La Torre, A.-L., & Vouhe, C. (2002). Participation, relationships and dynamicchange: New thinking on evaluating the work of international networks. London: University College London.

Deloitte and Touche. (2000) Evaluation of European school partnerships under ComeniusAction

Earley, P., Higham, R., and Allen, R. (2012) Review of the School Leadership Landscape.Online.  http://www.ioe.ac.uk/

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.

DOI: 10.18546/LRE. 13.2.11

Hadfield, M & Chapman, C.  (2011).  Leading School-Based Networks and Collaborative Learning: Working together for Better Outcomes. In T. Townsend and J. MacBeath (eds.), International Handbook of Leadership for Learning, Springer International Handbooks of Education 25, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1350-5_50, © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Hadfield, M., & Jopling, M. (2006). The potential of collaboratives to support schools incomplex and challenging circumstances. Nottingham: National College for SchoolLeadership.

Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the knowledge society: Education in the age ofinsecurity.  Buckingham: Open University Press.

Lieberman, A., & Grolnick, M. (1996). Networks and reform in American education.Teachers College Record, 9(8), 7–45.

Lupton, R., and Thomson, S. (2015) The Coalition’s Record on Schools: Policy, spending and outcomes 2010–2015. Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 13, Joseph Rowntree Foundation/Nuffield Foundation/ Trust for London.

Matthews, P., and Berwick, G. (2013) Teaching Schools: First among equals? Nottingham: National College for Teaching and Leadership.

Ofsted (2010) ‘London Challenge’. Ref: 100192. London: Ofsted. Online. http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/2143/1/

London Challenge – UCL Institute of Education

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London Challenge London Challenge has continued to improve outcomes for pupils in London’s primary and secondary schools at a faster rate than nationally.

OfSTED. (2003). Excellence in cities and EAZs, Management and impact. London:OfSTED Reyes, P., & Phillips, J. (2002). Annenberg evaluation report: Lessons learned onurban school reform.  In  Houston  Annenberg  challenge  research  and  evaluation  study. Austin:  The University of Texas at Austin.

Sandals, L., and Bryant, B. (2014) The Evolving Education System in England: A‘temperature check’. London: Department for Education.

Sliwka, A. (2003). Networking for educational innovation: A comparative analysis. InNetworks of innovation: Towards new models for managing schools and systems (pp. 49–63).Paris: OECD. Snow, D. A., Rochford, E. B., Worden, S. K., & Benford, R. D. (1986).Frame alignment processes, micromobilization and movement participation. AmericanSociological Review,51, 464–481.

Toole, J., & Louis, K. S. (2002). The role of professional learning communities in international education. In K. Leithwood & P. Hallinger (Eds.), Second international handbook of educational leadership and administration. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

 Conclusion

To conclude, the motivation behind this study lay in the desire to know whether there was one right way of managing and leading an educational institution irrespective of the culture of the community that hosts the institution, or whether the culture of the host community determined the way an educational institution was led.  To answer such a question one had, first, to determine what the “right way” of managing an educational institution was and then one had to examine whether that “right way” could be used irrespective of the host culture.

Management of educational institutions can be analysed in terms of the model that Oldroyd proposed.  This is a model that proposes that management of an institution is made up of two components: a hard component that takes case of the systems and structures required for managing the institution and a soft component that takes care of the feelings and emotions of the staff of that institution.  This in an educational institution the hard component would take care of the systems and structures required for staffing the institution, assessing the performance of that institution of that staff, and their development and promotion.  The soft component, on the other hand, would take care of the feelings of the staff towards themselves, their job, and their co-workers.

Research shows that the culture of the host community determines both the soft and hard components.  Management of staffing in England – an example of a hard component element – means preparation of job descriptions and person specifications, and the holding of interviews in order to appoint the applicant most suited for the post.  Management of staffing in Poland means giving the job to your relatives.  Staff management in England means having trust in your staff.  Indeed, Bingham asserts that the “number one job of a leader is to inspire trust”.  Staff management in traditional, not fully democratic,and high-coercion cultures means being wary of trusting your staff.  Indeed, Oldroyd (2005: 200) asserts that trusting staff from such cultures would be “too radical for both managers and the managed”.  In short, while one would be ill advised to try to manage an educational institution in England without trusting staff, one would be ill-advised to trust the staff of an educational institution in a developing country.

The present study also includes a questionnaire that was sent to teachers in positions of leadership at several international schools in various developing countries.  The aim was to assess the extent to which they were satisfied with their job.  The expectation was that they would not be satisfied with their job due to the “expected” negative impact of the culture on the way they managed their schools.  The is, the expectation was that they would not be able to use their full capability, or feel that they are making a worthwhile contribution, or feel that they do not have much say in deciding how their job was to be carried out’.  The answers of the respondents belied these expectations.  The majority of the respondents obviously had no problem managing their schools the way they thought they should be managed.

استنتاج

وختاما، فإن الدافع وراء هذه الدراسة يكمن في الرغبة في معرفة ما إذا كان هناك طريق واحد صحيح لإدارة وقيادة مؤسسة تعليمية بغض النظر عن ثقافة المجتمع الذي يستضيف المؤسسة، أو ما إذا كانت ثقافة المجتمع المضيف يحدد الطريق وقادت مؤسسة تعليمية. للإجابة على مثل هذا السؤال، كان أولا، تحديد ما هو “الطريق الصحيح” لإدارة المؤسسة التعليمية، ثم كان على المرء أن يدرس ما إذا كان يمكن استخدام “الطريق الصحيح” بغض النظر عن الثقافة المضيفة.

ويمكن تحليل إدارة المؤسسات التعليمية من حيث النموذج الذي اقترحه أولدرويد. هذا هو النموذج الذي يقترح أن إدارة مؤسسة تتكون من عنصرين: عنصر صلب يأخذ حالة من النظم والهياكل اللازمة لإدارة المؤسسة وعنصر لينة التي تعتني مشاعر وعواطف موظفي تلك المؤسسة. وهذا في المؤسسة التعليمية سيعنى المكون الثابت بالأنظمة والهياكل اللازمة لملاك الموظفين في المؤسسة، وتقييم أداء تلك المؤسسة لهؤلاء الموظفين، وتنميتها وتعزيزها. ومن ناحية أخرى، فإن العنصر الناعم سيهتم بمشاعر الموظفين تجاه أنفسهم، وعملهم، وزملائهم في العمل.

وتبين البحوث أن ثقافة المجتمع المضيف يحدد كلا من المكونات الناعمة والصعبة. إدارة التوظيف في إنكلترا – مثال على عنصر عنصر صلب – يعني إعداد توصيفات الوظائف ومواصفات الشخص، وإجراء المقابلات من أجل تعيين مقدم الطلب الأنسب لهذا المنصب. إدارة التوظيف في بولندا يعني إعطاء الوظيفة لأقاربك. إدارة الموظفين في إنجلترا يعني وجود الثقة في موظفيك. في الواقع، يؤكد بينغهام أن “الوظيفة رقم واحد للزعيم هي إلهام الثقة”. إدارة الموظفين في الثقافات التقليدية، وليس الديمقراطية تماما، والإكراه الشديد يعني الحذر من الثقة موظفيك. في الواقع، يؤكد أولدرويد (2005: 200) أن الثقة بالموظفين من هذه الثقافات ستكون “جذرية جدا لكل من المديرين والإدارة”. وباختصار، في حين أنه لن يكون من المستحسن محاولة إدارة مؤسسة تعليمية في إنجلترا دون ثقة الموظفين، لن يكون من المستصوب أن يثق موظفو مؤسسة تعليمية في بلد نام.

وتتضمن الدراسة الحالية استبيانا أرسل إلى المعلمين في مواقع القيادة في العديد من المدارس الدولية في مختلف البلدان النامية. وكان الهدف هو تقييم مدى رضاهم عن عملهم. وكان التوقع بأنهم لن يكونوا راضين عن عملهم بسبب الأثر السلبي “المتوقع” للثقافة على الطريقة التي يديرون بها مدارسهم. هذا هو التوقع بأنهم لن يكونوا قادرين على استخدام قدرتهم الكاملة، أو يشعرون بأنهم يقدمون إسهامات مجدية، أو يشعرون بأنهم ليس لديهم الكثير من القول في تقرير كيفية عملهم. وكانت إجابات المستطلعين تثير هذه التوقعات. ومن الواضح أن غالبية المستجيبين لم يواجهوا مشكلة في إدارة مدارسهم بالطريقة التي اعتقدوا أنها ينبغي أن تدار بها.

 Monitoring and Intervention

Please answer the following questions.

  1. How often do you monitor your teachers?
  2. Daily
  3. Weekly
  4. Monthly
  1. How often has your school been reviewed by your peers from another school?
  2. Never
  3. Rarely
  4. Often enough
  1. How often have you observed the work of teachers from another school?
  2. Never
  3. Rarely
  4. Quite often
  1. How often have your peers from another school observed your teachers?
  2. Never
  3. Rarely
  4. Quite often
  1. What did you think of the feedback?
  2. Not impressive
  3. Useful
  4. Quite useful
  1. What did your teachers think of the feedback?
  2. Not impressive
  3. Useful
  4. Quite useful
  5. How often do you have to intervene?
  6. Never
  7. Rarely
  8. Regularly
  1. When do you have to intervene?
  2. What do you do when you intervene?

الرصد والتدخل

الرجاء الإجابة على الأسئلة التالية.

  1. كم مرة تقوم بمراقبة المعلمين الخاص بك؟
    اليومي
    أسبوعي
    شهريا
    2. كم مرة تم مراجعة مدرستك من قبل زملائك من مدرسة أخرى؟
    أبدا
    نادرا
    في كثير من الأحيان بما فيه الكفاية
    3. كم مرة لاحظت عمل المعلمين من مدرسة أخرى؟
    أبدا
    نادرا
    غالبا جدا
    4. كم عدد المرات التي لاحظ فيها زملائك من مدرسة أخرى معلميك؟
    أبدا
    نادرا
    غالبا جدا
    5.  ما رأيك في ردود الفعل؟
    ليست مثيرة للإعجاب
    مفيد
    مفيد للغاية
    6. ماذا كان معلموكم يفكرون في التغذية الراجعة؟
    ليست مثيرة للإعجاب
    مفيد
    مفيد للغاية
    6. كم مرة يجب عليك التدخل؟
    أبدا
    نادرا
    بشكل منتظم
    8. متى يتعين عليك التدخل؟
    9. ماذا تفعل عند التدخل؟

Academies and maintained schools: Oversight and intervention

The Department is not able to demonstrate the effectiveness of how it and others intervene in underperforming maintained schools and academies.

“The Department for Education’s system for overseeing schools is still developing. The Department has been clear about the need for schools to improve and nationally education performance has done so. But there are significant gaps in the Department’s understanding of what works, and the information it has about some important aspects of school performance is limited. Greater school autonomy needs to be coupled with effective oversight and assurance. The Department has made some improvements but has further to go.”

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 30 October 2014

The Department for Education has not demonstrated the effectiveness of the different interventions it and others make in underperforming maintained schools and academies, despite investing at least £382 million annually, according to the National Audit Office.

The NAO finds that the DfE and others, such as the Education Funding Agency and local authorities, have not tackled underperformance consistently. The spending watchdog, therefore, cannot conclude that the oversight system for maintained schools and academies is achieving value for money.

The Department has set the tone from the top by being clear about what constitutes unacceptable educational performance. Nationally, educational performance has improved but a significant number of children still attend underperforming schools. The NAO estimates that, in 2013/14, 1.6 million children (23%) were not attending a school rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

The Department and the Education Funding Agency do not know enough about school-level governance to identify risks. The DfE relies on local authorities to oversee governance arrangements in maintained schools, in line with legislation, but does not know whether or how well they do this. The Department has a ‘fit and proper person’ test for governors in new academy trusts but does not subsequently make checks on new governors to prevent risks, such as entryism.

Some academy sponsors are very successful, but the Department does not yet know why others are not. The DfE relies on sponsors to turn around underperforming schools but it does not collect information from sponsors about the type of support they give. Ofsted is unable to inspect sponsors and multi-academy trusts so there is no independent source of information about the quality of their work.

The DfE has not clearly articulated some of the roles and responsibilities of external oversight bodies. There has been confusion about oversight of safeguarding, the responsibilities of academy sponsors, and the role of local authorities in relation to academies.

Oversight bodies are intervening more often in underperforming schools than in the past, but this is not always in line with the DfE’s framework. The DfE does not know the costs of different interventions, and it has not done enough to understand the effectiveness of different interventions.

National Audit Office, ISBN: 9781904219446, HC: 721, 2014-2015

Introduction

This study aims to examine the changes in style of leadership in English schools that came about as a response to the changes that occurred in the English system of education.  The study tracks the history of these changes from the end of World War II to the present day. It shows how Local Education Authorities were given the prime responsibility for shaping and overseeing provision in their area and how this power and authority were slowly but steadily eroded.

The study shows how the Conservative-led Coalition government, elected in 2010, chose an approach that aims at maximizing school autonomy and reducing the role of central and local government where possible and how both central government and local education authorities introduced a number of mechanisms to help achieve this aim.  Thus, while central government doubled the number of National Leaders of Education (NLEs), introduced 500 Teaching Schools and increased the number of academies, local education authorities required their maintained schools to engage in peer reviews; increased the use of serving/recently retired head-teachers to provide monitoring support; brokered arrangements for strong schools to support struggling schools; commissioned school partnerships to take on the lead role in monitoring and intervening in schools; and funded school networks.

The study shows how school networks have been used to improve teaching, learning and attainment. Indeed, the evidence that school networks impact upon both pupils and teachers is spread throughout the research literature. Pupil impact includes a long list of achievements beginning with improved attainment gains in core subjects such as reading, language and mathematics and ending with greater involvement in school clubs and after-school activities; with several other achievements in between.  Indeed, the literature shows that there are cases where these impacts could not have been achieved without a network.

The study also shows that the challenge faced by network leaders is ensuring that these activities result in changes within classrooms and that these changes are spread throughout the network.  The pupil impact evidence supports the argument that well-led collaboration between schools facing challenging circumstances helped their leaders balance short-term pressures to improve pupil attainment with long-term desires to improve the educational experiences of their pupils and the engagement of their communities.

The evidence that networks impact upon practitioners is just as spread throughout the research literature as that on pupil impact. Working with others in a network has been shown to provide greater opportunities for reflection on practice; reduce professional isolation and enhance morale and increase gains in knowledge, understanding and skills.

Leading school networks, thus, requires the ability to broker between schools; build structures and processes that facilitate collaborative learning and practice transfer; mobilise participation in these structures; take action to generate new knowledge and spread existing expertise.  It also requires the ability to provide vision and direction; create the conditions that encourage mature trusting relationships within and across organisations; develop the leadership of others; establish norms for guiding behaviour and identifying and allocating roles for others to take on; and develop a detailed understanding of the context.  In other words, leading a school network requires all the skills required for leading a school and then some.

Literature Review

When universal primary and secondary education was developed in England after the Second World War, Greany (2015) points out, Local Education Authorities were given the prime responsibility for shaping and overseeing provision in their area.  With the increase in central funding and oversight, however, the power and authority of Local Authorities were steadily eroded as the autonomy of schools grew.

Unlike school system reformers almost everywhere, the Conservative-led Coalition government, elected in 2010, chose an approach that aims at maximising school autonomy and minimising the role of central and local government where possible. This reform programme has come to be known as ‘the self-improving, school-led system’ (see Greany, 2014).   It has been radical and widespread, affecting almost every aspect of school life (see Lupton and Thomson, 2015).   Indeed, Greany (2015, p. 10) states that “By the end of the Coalition’s time in office it could be argued that school-to-school support was the primary mechanism for school improvement in England.”

To help schools achieve this aim of a self-improving, school-led system, both central and local government introduced a number of mechanisms designed to do just that.  Thus, while the central government doubled the number of National Leaders of Education (NLEs) to 1,000, introduced 500 Teaching Schools and increased the number of academies, local authorities, required their maintained schools to engage in peer reviews; increased the use of serving/recently retired head-teachers to provide monitoring support; brokered arrangements for strong schools to support struggling schools rather than draw on in-house Local Authority expertise where possible; commissioned school partnerships to take on the lead role in monitoring and intervening schools; and funded school networks as a way to increase leadership agency (Greany, 2015, Sandals and Bryant, 2014, Earley and Higham, 2012, Education Select Committee, 2013).

Networks

Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 916) point out that the term ‘network’ has been applied to a wide range of school-to-school collaborations with the result that it is “hard to differentiate networks from various other forms of collaboratives, partnerships, alliances and consortia.” They   argue, however, that “all networks share a set of common features in that primarily they have some form of structure that supports key processes and together these define the nature of any network. “A school network is therefore essentially a combination of structures through which participants can be brought together to engage with each other and the processes are what they are engaged in when working as part of the network” (2011, p. 916).

The challenge faced by network leaders, however, is ensuring that these activities result in changes within classrooms and that these classroom-based changes are spread throughout the network. Network leaders, thus, are faced with the challenge of establishing and integrating shared learning experiences through professional development activities. This requires the development of both vertical structures that reach up and down the established hierarchies in schools, and horizontal structures that connect individuals and groups within and across schools (See Hadfield and Chapman, 2011, p. 918)

Network leaders, that is, need to ensure that there is a balance between the horizontal and vertical structures within networks.  In other words, they need to balance issues of management with those of creativity.  As Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 912) put it:

If a network becomes too highly structured and insufficiently productive, whether in terms of new learning or transfer, then the network devolves into a meeting culture with few outcomes.  If it is highly creative but there is insufficient co-ordination, a great deal of energy is dissipated for no sustained impact.

Getting the balance right is particularly important while establishing a school network.  Schools cannot afford the ‘luxury’ of too much individual learning which does not make an impact back in the classroom, nor can they waste time and energy in too many meetings.

Impact on pupils

The evidence that networks impact upon pupil achievement is spread throughout numerous throughout numerous evaluations and research accounts. Hadfield and Chapman (2011), however, argue that possibly the strongest evidence that networks impact upon pupil achievement is provided by Bell et al’s (2006) review of school networks.  This is a study that reviewed over 4,500 titles and abstracts and 383 full studies.  These were all selected on the basis of the quality of the evidence they contained in response to the question: What is the impact on pupils of networks that include at least three schools?

Bell et al (2006) report that their review found that networks can be effective vehicles for improving both teaching and learning. They also report evidence of the impact of networks on both teachers and pupils.  Pupil impact included:

  • Improved attainment gains in core subjects such as reading, language and

       mathematics;

  • Improved engagement, motivation and self-confidence;
  • Increased independence as learners;
  • Acquisition of new skills, such as problem solving, leadership, social and higher

       order thinking skills;

  • Narrowing the gap between minority and non-minority students and economically

        disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils;

  • Improvement in grade scores on non-verbal tests and an increase in students’

       reflection and responsibility for their work;

  • Greater involvement in school clubs and after-school activities;
  • Increase in self-confidence and self-esteem;
  • Improved attitude to school and increased attendance. (Bell et al, 2006, p. 53).

Hadfield and Chapman (2015) point out, however, that this review “highlighted that in terms of measurable outcomes on pupil achievement, the more effective networks had more specific and narrower aims and targeted their efforts on particular groups of pupils.”  Indeed, they point out, a significant proportion of these projects were focussed on groups of pupils with specific needs or who required a level and kind of support that was difficult for schools in isolation to offer, such as the most socially excluded or underachieving students.  Indeed, they assert (Hadfield and Chapman, …….) that in some cases these impacts could not have been achieved without a network. A school struggling with intractable social and educational problems, that is, was more likely to solve its problems when it is part of a school network than when it is a lone school in isolation.  A network of schools, they point out, is more able to mobilise a wide range of resources and expertise than a school in isolation.

Evidence that networks have a positive impact upon pupil achievement is again provided by another study of 17 different UK networks working in a mixture of inner city and complex and challenging circumstances. Hadfield and Jopling (2006, p. 3) point out that the study led to the conclusion that:

 The pupil impact evidence in the case studies supports the argument that well-led collaboration between schools facing complex and challenging circumstances helped their leaders to balance short-term pressures to improve pupil attainment with long-term desires to improve the educational experiences of their pupils and the engagement of their communities.

The review identified evidence of global improvements in attainment across whole networks at both primary and secondary level. The most significant benefits were in those areas where individual schools found it difficult to do on their own, that is, when they faced an issue which was too large to deal with on their own; or a challenge which is based within the relationships between schools and local communities; or where they lacked the resources or expertise to overcome a particular challenge,

Impact on practitioners

The evidence that networks provide improved professional development opportunities is spread throughout numerous evaluations and research accounts.  Indeed, Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 906) state that “the evidence that networks impact positively upon staff can be found not only directly within the research and evaluation literature around networks but also indirectly in the broader literature concerned with collaborative professional development and the sustainability of educational reform.”

Working with others in a network has been shown to:

  1. Provide greater opportunities for reflection on practice (Deloitte and Touche, 2000).
  2. Reduce professional isolation and enhance morale (Hopkins 2000; Toole and Louise; Hargreaves 2003; Sliwka 2003; Chapman and Fullan 2007).
  3. Increase engagement with more challenging forms of professional learning (Lieberman and Grolnick, 1996);
  4. Increase gains in knowledge, understanding and skills, leading to more inclusive practice, better classroom level skills, new communication and networking skills and greater understanding of the learning process (Bell et al, 2006).

 The major benefits for staff of working in a network, Hadfield and Chapman (2011) suggest, can be drawn together into three main themes.  These are: (1) improved access to expertise, (2) enhanced ability to innovate, and (3) converting new learning into new practices.

  1. Improved access to expertise

Improved access to expertise might be as high as an international expert launching a school-wide reform activity, or as low key and specific as arranging for opportunities for sharing good practice with subject specialists in neighbouring schools’ (Ofsted 2003).  By creating economies of scale networks make it economically viable to hire in external expertise. They also provide the structures that bring together groups of practitioners and provide the facilitation they need to learn from each other’s insights and understandings.

  1. Enhanced ability to innovate

Networks help practitioners enquire into their own practices as well as the practice of others in the network.  They also help them develop innovation.

  1. Converting new learning into new practices

Networks help practitioners convert new professional learning into new practices. They appear to be able to do this because they improve the quality of professional development as well as support the transfer of knowledge and practice.

Peer review

Toby Greany (2015) points out that in spite of the fact that few studies have assessed the ways in which attitudes and practices have evolved on the ground as a result of Coalition’s policies, one could argue that by the end of the Coalition’s time in office school-to-school support was the primary mechanism for school improvement in England (Sandals and Bryant, 2014; Earley and Higham, 2012; Education Select Committee, 2013).  He points out, however, that his case studies of Brent and Coventry local authorities show that in spite of the fact that both local authorities were brokering arrangements for strong schools to support struggling schools rather than drawing on in-house local authority expertise where possible, they were not able to fully step back as their schools “simply did not feel ready or able to undertake the LAs’ monitoring and intervention roles.” (2015). Indeed, Greany raises the question whether these roles could ever really move to schools in a ‘self-improving system’.

 Hargreaves (2010, 2011, 2012a, 2012b), on his part, agrees that it is difficult to develop robust monitoring (what he calls evaluation and challenge) between schools as it is hard for a school leader or teacher from one school to tell another leader or teacher from another school that their work is lacking in one respect or another.  He believes, however, that such peer challenge is possible if there is sufficient mutual trust, reciprocity, and collective moral purpose between the partners.

Greany states that some schools did indeed participate in some form of peer review. At one end of the spectrum this was primarily about learning from practice in other schools but at the other it was more akin to peer inspection and rigorous feedback on strengths and weaknesses. In general, though, schools saw such work as about enhancing mutual learning and continuous improvement, not as a replacement for external scrutiny and challenge from the LA or Ofsted.

Monitoring and Intervention

In spite of the fact that “few studies are assessing the ways in which attitudes and practices are evolving on the ground” (Greany, 2015, p.  ), there is more than one study that shows the extent to which the English education system has changed.  The reform programme, known as the self-improving, school-led system, has been, as Greany (2015, p. 129) asserts, “radical and widespread, affecting almost every aspect of school life.”  He adds, furthermore, that the academies programme has been a key element of this reform “since academies are companies and charities that are funded directly by central government and are outside LA control.”  Indeed, by December 2014 over half of all secondary schools in England had converted to  academies (HoC Education Select Committee, 2015).  More importantly, by the end of the Coalition’s time in office one could argue that school to school support was the primary mechanism for school improvement in England (Sandals and Bryant, 2014; Earley and Higham, 2012; Education Select Committee, 2013). As Greany points out, however, the schools in his two case studies simply did not feel ready or able to undertake the LA’s roles of monitoring and intervention.  This “raises questions about whether a fully self-improving system emerge or whether a new more coherent but strategic mediating layer will be required (Greany, 2015, p. 137)

True, some of the schools in the LAs he studied were participating in some form of peer review, Greany admits, but  at one end of the spectrum this was primarily about learning from practice in other schools and at the other it was more akin to peer inspection and rigorous feedback on strengths and weaknesses.  In general, however, schools in the two case studies  saw such work as about enhancing mutual learning and continuous improvement, not as a replacement for external scrutiny and challenge from the LA or Ofsted. In fact, they saw peer review as more difficult with schools close by in their own LA, where the competitive pressures were greater, than with schools further afield. Equally, many schools were nervous about even this level of peer review, either because they felt it would break the fragile trust between them or because they wanted to protect their trade secrets in a competitive environment.

Leadership

As Hadfield and Chapman (2011, p. 908) point out:

The leadership activities within a network in many respects do not differ from leadership within schools.  Leaders are required to provide vision and direction, develop the leadership of others and establish norms for guiding behaviour and identifying and allocating roles for others to take on.  What differentiates leadership within a network is the need for brokerage between schools and the key challenge of engendering participation within the network and mobilising others to work collaboratively.

They stress the point, however, that leadership of networks requires not only the ability to broker between schools or to act as a ‘gap-filler’ or ‘go-between leaders’ but essentially requires leaders to:

  • Build structures and processes that facilitate collaborative learning and practice transfer;
  • Co-ordinate the development of lateral and vertical structures;
  • Take action to generate new knowledge and spread existing expertise,
  • Mobilise participation by acting as network activist and broker; and
  • Create the conditions that encourage mature trusting relationships within and across organisations.
  • Assess existing norms and practices;
  • Identify existing expertise and gaps in knowledge;
  • Challenge existing assumptions;
  • Draw in resources from their own and others’ professional networks;
  • Develop a detailed understanding of the context;
  • Provide leadership to foster coherence and clarity;

References

Bell, M., Jopling, M., Cordingley, P., Firth, A., King, E., & Mitchell, H. (2006). What is the impact on pupils of networks that include at least three schools?  What additional benefits are there for practitioners, organisations and the communities theyserve?  on pupils of networks that include at least three schools? What additional benefits are there for practitioners, organisations and the communities they serve? (Systematic review). Nottingham: National College for School Leadership.

Bell, Miranda; Cordingley, Philippa and Mitchell, Holly (2004).  The impact of networks on pupils, practitioners, organisations and the communities they serve.  National College for School Leadership.

Chapman, C., & Fullan, M. (2007). Collaboration and partnership for equitableimprovement: Towards a networked learning system. School Leadership and Management,27(3), 205–211. Chapman, C.,

Church, M., Bitel, M., Armstrong, K., Fernando, P., Gould, H., Joss, S., Marwaha-Diedrich, M., De La Torre, A.-L., & Vouhe, C. (2002). Participation, relationships and dynamicchange: New thinking on evaluating the work of international networks. London: University College London.

Deloitte and Touche. (2000) Evaluation of European school partnerships under ComeniusAction

Earley, P., Higham, R., and Allen, R. (2012) Review of the School Leadership Landscape.Online.  http://www.ioe.ac.uk/

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.

DOI: 10.18546/LRE. 13.2.11

Hadfield, M & Chapman, C.  (2011).  Leading School-Based Networks and Collaborative Learning: Working together for Better Outcomes. In T. Townsend and J. MacBeath (eds.), International Handbook of Leadership for Learning, Springer International Handbooks of Education 25, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1350-5_50, © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Hadfield, M., & Jopling, M. (2006). The potential of collaboratives to support schools incomplex and challenging circumstances. Nottingham: National College for SchoolLeadership.

Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the knowledge society: Education in the age ofinsecurity.  Buckingham: Open University Press.

Lieberman, A., & Grolnick, M. (1996). Networks and reform in American education.Teachers College Record, 9(8), 7–45.

Lupton, R., and Thomson, S. (2015) The Coalition’s Record on Schools: Policy, spending and outcomes 2010–2015. Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 13, Joseph Rowntree Foundation/Nuffield Foundation/ Trust for London.

Matthews, P., and Berwick, G. (2013) Teaching Schools: First among equals? Nottingham: National College for Teaching and Leadership.

Ofsted (2010) ‘London Challenge’. Ref: 100192. London: Ofsted. Online.

London Challenge – UCL Institute of Education

dera.ioe.ac.uk

London Challenge London Challenge has continued to improve outcomes for pupils in London’s primary and secondary schools at a faster rate than nationally.

OfSTED. (2003). Excellence in cities and EAZs, Management and impact. London:OfSTED Reyes, P., & Phillips, J. (2002). Annenberg evaluation report: Lessons learned onurban school reform.  In  Houston  Annenberg  challenge  research  and  evaluation  study. Austin:  The University of Texas at Austin.

Sandals, L., and Bryant, B. (2014) The Evolving Education System in England: A‘temperature check’. London: Department for Education.

Sliwka, A. (2003). Networking for educational innovation: A comparative analysis. InNetworks of innovation: Towards new models for managing schools and systems (pp. 49–63).Paris: OECD. Snow, D. A., Rochford, E. B., Worden, S. K., & Benford, R. D. (1986).Frame alignment processes, micromobilization and movement participation. AmericanSociological Review,51, 464–481.

Toole, J., & Louis, K. S. (2002). The role of professional learning communities in international education. In K. Leithwood & P. Hallinger (Eds.), Second international handbook of educational leadership and administration. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

 Conclusion

To conclude, the motivation behind this study lay in the desire to know whether there was one right way of managing and leading an educational institution irrespective of the culture of the community that hosts the institution, or whether the culture of the host community determined the way an educational institution was led.  To answer such a question one had, first, to determine what the “right way” of managing an educational institution was and then one had to examine whether that “right way” could be used irrespective of the host culture.

Management of educational institutions can be analysed in terms of the model that Oldroyd proposed.  This is a model that proposes that management of an institution is made up of two components: a hard component that takes case of the systems and structures required for managing the institution and a soft component that takes care of the feelings and emotions of the staff of that institution.  This in an educational institution the hard component would take care of the systems and structures required for staffing the institution, assessing the performance of that institution of that staff, and their development and promotion.  The soft component, on the other hand, would take care of the feelings of the staff towards themselves, their job, and their co-workers.

Research shows that the culture of the host community determines both the soft and hard components.  Management of staffing in England – an example of a hard component element – means preparation of job descriptions and person specifications, and the holding of interviews in order to appoint the applicant most suited for the post.  Management of staffing in Poland means giving the job to your relatives.  Staff management in England means having trust in your staff.  Indeed, Bingham asserts that the “number one job of a leader is to inspire trust”.  Staff management in traditional, not fully democratic,and high-coercion cultures means being wary of trusting your staff.  Indeed, Oldroyd (2005: 200) asserts that trusting staff from such cultures would be “too radical for both managers and the managed”.  In short, while one would be ill advised to try to manage an educational institution in England without trusting staff, one would be ill-advised to trust the staff of an educational institution in a developing country.

The present study also includes a questionnaire that was sent to teachers in positions of leadership at several international schools in various developing countries.  The aim was to assess the extent to which they were satisfied with their job.  The expectation was that they would not be satisfied with their job due to the “expected” negative impact of the culture on the way they managed their schools.  The is, the expectation was that they would not be able to use their full capability, or feel that they are making a worthwhile contribution, or feel that they do not have much say in deciding how their job was to be carried out’.  The answers of the respondents belied these expectations.  The majority of the respondents obviously had no problem managing their schools the way they thought they should be managed.

 Monitoring and Intervention

Please answer the following questions.

  1. How often do you monitor your teachers?
  2. Daily
  3. Weekly
  4. Monthly
  1. How often has your school been reviewed by your peers from another school?
  2. Never
  3. Rarely
  4. Often enough
  1. How often have you observed the work of teachers from another school?
  2. Never
  3. Rarely
  4. Quite often
  1. How often have your peers from another school observed your teachers?
  2. Never
  3. Rarely
  4. Quite often
  1. What did you think of the feedback?
  2. Not impressive
  3. Useful
  4. Quite useful
  1. What did your teachers think of the feedback?
  2. Not impressive
  3. Useful
  4. Quite useful
  5. How often do you have to intervene?
  6. Never
  7. Rarely
  8. Regularly
  1. When do you have to intervene?
  2. What do you do when you intervene?

Academies and maintained schools: Oversight and intervention

The Department is not able to demonstrate the effectiveness of how it and others intervene in underperforming maintained schools and academies.

“The Department for Education’s system for overseeing schools is still developing. The Department has been clear about the need for schools to improve and nationally education performance has done so. But there are significant gaps in the Department’s understanding of what works, and the information it has about some important aspects of school performance is limited. Greater school autonomy needs to be coupled with effective oversight and assurance. The Department has made some improvements but has further to go.”

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 30 October 2014

The Department for Education has not demonstrated the effectiveness of the different interventions it and others make in underperforming maintained schools and academies, despite investing at least £382 million annually, according to the National Audit Office.

The NAO finds that the DfE and others, such as the Education Funding Agency and local authorities, have not tackled underperformance consistently. The spending watchdog, therefore, cannot conclude that the oversight system for maintained schools and academies is achieving value for money.

The Department has set the tone from the top by being clear about what constitutes unacceptable educational performance. Nationally, educational performance has improved but a significant number of children still attend underperforming schools. The NAO estimates that, in 2013/14, 1.6 million children (23%) were not attending a school rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

The Department and the Education Funding Agency do not know enough about school-level governance to identify risks. The DfE relies on local authorities to oversee governance arrangements in maintained schools, in line with legislation, but does not know whether or how well they do this. The Department has a ‘fit and proper person’ test for governors in new academy trusts but does not subsequently make checks on new governors to prevent risks, such as entryism.

Some academy sponsors are very successful, but the Department does not yet know why others are not. The DfE relies on sponsors to turn around underperforming schools but it does not collect information from sponsors about the type of support they give. Ofsted is unable to inspect sponsors and multi-academy trusts so there is no independent source of information about the quality of their work.

The DfE has not clearly articulated some of the roles and responsibilities of external oversight bodies. There has been confusion about oversight of safeguarding, the responsibilities of academy sponsors, and the role of local authorities in relation to academies.

Oversight bodies are intervening more often in underperforming schools than in the past, but this is not always in line with the DfE’s framework. The DfE does not know the costs of different interventions, and it has not done enough to understand the effectiveness of different interventions.

National Audit Office, ISBN: 9781904219446, HC: 721, 2014-2015

 

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