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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2007): Education - UK - schools

Class of their own

C. Ryan

Public Finance, Sept. 14th-20th 2007, p. 18-21

There is growing consensus between the Conservative and Labour parties on education policy. Both parties are committed to increased investment in schools, parental choice, streaming by ability in secondary schools, the expansion of city academies, raising the school leaving age to 18, and university tuition fees.

Collaborative practice: a model of successful working in schools

C.R. James and others

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45, 2007 p.541-555

The purpose of this paper is to develop the notion of collaborative practice from theoretical and empirical viewpoints. The research analysed the concept of collaboration and examined the ways of working of 18 primary schools in Wales where the level of student attainment in national test scores was high, despite the pupils experiencing considerable social and economic disadvantage. In the schools studied, 'collaborative practice' was highly developed, included joint working on a clearly defined main task, or primary task, in a reflective way and contributed substantively to their success. The authors conclude that three elements must be present for collaborative practice to be successful: collaboration, reflective practice and focus on the primary task. They also contend that the collaborative practice model has implications for research and practice in educational settings, for the practice of educational leaders and managers, and for the professional development of those who work in schools.

Early Childhood Forum: championing young children's rights and entitlements

M. Mansfield

Early Education, no.53, 2007, p. 10-11

The Early Childhood Forum is a coalition of professional and voluntary organisations and interest groups. In this article the vice-chair talks about the organisation's campaign to promote children's rights so that they are at the heart of early education provision and known by all practitioners.

Equality audits in education: exercises in compliance or frameworks for inclusion?

M. Morrison

Ethnography and Education, vol. 2, 2007, p.327-347

Ethnography is used sparingly in audits, giving 'richness' to phenomena which are preferably measured rather than interrogated. This paper considers the development of qualitative tools for equality audits in education settings, drawing on an equal status review conducted in Ireland during 2005-2006 with dual interests in anti-discrimination legislation and social inclusion. The focus is on three questions. Do equality audits provide frameworks for promoting inclusion? Are prospects for use enhanced by mainly qualitative tools? Are tools applicable more widely without compromising the bases upon which they were originally devised? Conclusions suggest that audits provide helpful starting points in areas of equality legislation that have been previously neglected, provided they are considered alongside other approaches and beyond their litigious implications. Embedding equality is seen as a long-term persistent strategy in which audits exemplify commitments to equality as action rather than rhetoric.

Every child included

R. Tutt

London: Paul Chapman, 2007

Looking at the Every Child Matters agenda and the government's strategy for special educational needs (SEN), this book moves beyond the debate about specialist provision to explore the exciting developments that are taking place in both mainstream and special schools, as they join forces to provide for pupils with increasingly complex needs. It provides examples of innovative ways forward that will help all schools develop their own strategies to support those pupils who find it hardest to learn. Topics covered include:

  • successful strategies for supporting pupils in mainstream schools
  • the benefits of co-located schools, federations and partnerships
  • the developing role of day and residential special schools
  • the changing nature of support and advisory services

National Evaluation of Support Options for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Children: relevance for education services

H. Fortnum and others

Deafness and Education International, vol. 9, 2007, p. 120-130

The National Evaluation of Support Options for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Children was a large epidemiological study conducted in the UK between 1998 and 2001. In a series of papers published in 2006, findings were reported on demographic comparisons, on outcome measures in the domains of auditory performance, communication skills, educational attainment and quality of life, on the cost of compulsory education, on costs incurred by families, and on the overall cost-effectiveness of cochlear implantation. This paper summaries key findings and highlights those which will be of particular interest to teachers of the deaf.

The Relationship between inclusion and academic achievement in English mainstream schools

P. Farrell and others

School Effectiveness and School Improvement, vol. 18, 2007, p.335-352

This article presents the findings and discusses the implications of a major study that explored the relationship between academic achievement and the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream schools in England. It is based on a statistical analysis of nationally held data on all pupils in England that is collected at the end of each of the 4 key stages, when pupils are aged 7, 11, 14 and 16. The analysis considered the relationship between academic achievement and inclusivity having controlled for a range of other variables. Findings indicate that there is no relationship between academic achievement and inclusion at the local authority (LA) level while there is a small, but insubstantial relationship at the school level. In addition, there is also a large degree of variation at the school level, suggesting strongly that there are other factors within a school's make up, rather than its degree of inclusivity, that impact on the average academic achievements of its pupils. The overall conclusion, therefore, is that mainstream schools need not be concerned about the potentially negative impact on the overall academic achievements of their pupils of including pupils with SEN in their schools.

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