Muijs, R.D., Chapman, C. and Sammons, P.
Federations and student outcomes: a study of the impact of school-to-school collaboration on school improvement.
In, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, US,
30 Apr - 04 May 2010.
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This study adopted a quantitative methodology involving a matched sample of federated and non-federated schools and utilising multi-level modelling techniques to explore the impact of federations on student outcomes. The sample involves a total of 50 Local Authorities (school districts) and 264 schools. These are grouped into 122 Federations. 264 comparator schools were selected to match these. 88.1% of schools in the sample belong to a two-school Federation, 8.5% were part of a three-school Federation, with the remainder being part of larger Federations. The study has identified six broad and sometimes overlapping categories of federations (Size Federations, Cross-Phase Federations, Performance Federations, Faith Federations, Mainstreaming Federations and Academy groups). The most popular category of federation in the sample is cross-phase federation and the least popular category is Academy groups. The findings suggest there is evidence of impact on overall performance, in that while Federation and comparator schools perform similarly at baseline, Federation is positively related to performance in the years following Federation. There is evidence to suggest that impact is strongest in Performance federations. There is no relationship between Federation and Ofsted judgements (grades). There is no evidence of differential impact on students from different socio-economic settings, differences in gender or with special educational needs. In conclusion, reflects on the implications of these findings for future research, policy and practice
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