Click here to skip to content

Welfare reform on the Web (January 2007): Education - UK - schools

The barriers to achievement for White/Black Caribbean pupils in English schools

J. Haynes, L. Tikly and C. Caballero

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.27, 2006, p.569-583

By drawing on qualitative data from recent research, this article aims to explore the barriers to educational achievement faced by White/Black Caribbean mixed heritage pupils in UK schools. It is argued that, although White/Black Caribbean pupils are likely to experience a similar set of barriers to achievement as Black Caribbean pupils, there are important distinctions in the way in which these manifest themselves within educational contexts. The barriers to achievement derive from socio-economic disadvantage, low teacher expectations linked to misunderstandings of mixed White/Black Caribbean identities and backgrounds, and behavioural issues and attitudes towards achievement linked to peer group pressures.

Challenging the challenged: developing an improvement programme for schools facing exceptionally challenging circumstances

D. Reynolds

School Effectiveness and School Improvement, vol.17, 2006, p.425-439

This article outlines a research and development programme that focused on a group of eight secondary schools in England facing exceptionally challenging circumstances. They were also considered to be seriously underperforming and in need of intensive support. This article outlines the background, nature, and scope of the improvement programme designed for this group of schools, collectively known as the “OCTET” group.

Community cohesion at Wednesfield High School: the school at the heart of the community

P. Coates

Race Equality Teaching, vol.25, Autumn 2006, p.43-48

Discusses the Wednesfield High School’s involvement in a project aimed at raising the academic attainment of African Caribbean pupils. The project focused on whole school approaches to raising African Caribbean attainment by developing leadership, identifying issues that affected African Caribbean pupils and giving teachers the skills to respond.

Community cohesion through collaboration, courtesy, co-operation and respect

D. Peck

Race Equality Teaching, vol.25, Autumn 2006, p.36-42

Article describes the strategies used by Moseley School in Birmingham to build cohesion through the celebration of diversity. At Moseley diversity is celebrated:

  • Through special events
  • By incorporating good diversity practice into routines throughout the year
  • Through a “Diversity Statement” and “Golden Rule”.

Evaluating the individual and combined impact of national leadership programmes in England: perceptions and practices

M. Brundrett

School Leadership and Management, vol.26, 2006, p.473-488

The National College for School Leadership (NCSL) was launched in 2000 with a remit to supervise and further enhance educational leadership initiatives in England and Wales. This article reports on a research project designed to assess the impact, both individual and in combination, of four of the key leadership programmes that fall under the remit of the NCSL. The research asked school leaders, at all levels from middle managers to head teachers, to reflect on the impact that national programmes were having on their personal professional development and on their schools as a whole. Findings suggest that national programmes are impacting positively on leadership in schools, although the level of impact appears to be variable across programmes.

Improving schools, developing inclusion

M. Ainscow, T. Booth and A. Dyson

Abingdon: Routledge, 2006

The development of more inclusive schools remains one of the biggest challenges facing education systems throughout the world. The book uses evidence from in-depth research to provide new insights as to how this important agenda should be addressed. It challenges many existing assumptions about school improvement and educational reform, and proposes that the development of inclusive practices will only be achieved by engaging in dialogue about the deeply held beliefs of teachers and policy makers. The approach to inclusive development recommended in the book has major implications for policy and practice in the field. It looks at:

  • Implications for the work of school leaders
  • How staff teams can work together in order to address barriers to participation and learning
  • How schools can collect and use evidence in order to strengthen their practices
  • The critical and alternative perspectives to which schools need access
  • The implications for relationships between schools, local authorities and researchers.

Improving schools in challenging contexts: exploring the possible

A. Harris and others

School Effectiveness and School Improvement, vol.17, 2006, p.409-424

This article draws on the broad theoretical tradition of school improvement to explore the processes by which schools in the most difficult circumstances improve their performance. It focuses on a group of improving schools in the former coalfield areas of England. The research showed that school performance improved in response to external factors, such as an influx of middle class children or the achievement of specialist status. Internal strategies used to raise attainment included improving literacy and numeracy; using data, tracking and target setting; extending professional development of teachers; and focusing on improving the quality of teaching.

National school survey results 2006: schools’ views of their council’s services provided locally for children and young people (England)

Audit Commission


This summary report examines the responses from schools across England to the questions in the survey, which cover six areas: the five Every Child Matters outcomes (being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving economic well-being) and service management. Responses indicate that schools are generally content with the support and services provided by their council and other local services. The most positively rated areas were child protection and school improvement support. The most negatively rated area concerned the ability of local services to meet the mental health needs of young people.

Scrap tests to stem rising tide of illiteracy, says think-tank

A. Blair

The Times, Dec. 27th 2006, p.4

The Institute for Public Policy Research has called for national tests for pupils aged 11 and 14 to be scrapped and replaced with random tests in order to develop broader skills in reading, writing and arithmetic. The think tank’s report claims that under current the testing regime children are ‘drilled’ to take tests in a ‘narrow’ curriculum. It suggests that internal teacher assessments should be used to track individual progress in addition to random ‘sample’ tests. The rate of improvement in key skills in children since the introduction of “Sats” have now levelled off and less than half of 16-year-olds achieve five good GCSEs. Regular teacher assessments would allow teachers to identify low-achieving children and the introduction of random tests would prevent teachers from ‘predicting’ answers and teaching to the test.

Setting up school partnerships: some insights from Birmingham’s Collegiate Academies

D. Rutherford and L. Jackson

School Leadership and Management, vol.26, 2006, p.437-451

This article focuses on one of the many current initiatives aimed at promoting collaboration between schools: the Collegiate Academies in Birmingham. Three Collegiate Academies were set up in 2002, originally consisting of five to six secondary schools and a special school. They aim: 1) to raise standards of teaching through professional development based on collegiate approaches to working together, with the strongest supporting the weakest; 2) to establish a collegiate intranet; and 3) to build a corporate identity. Through a series of in-depth interviews, this research identifies a number of key issues that need to be resolved at an early stage if a partnership is to maximise its chances of success.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web