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Governance, leadership and management in federations of schools

Governance, leadership and management in federations of schools
Governance, leadership and management in federations of schools
In England, ‘federations’ are defined as groups of schools that have a formal agreement to collaborate with the aim of raising achievement and promoting inclusion and innovation. Such federations can involve different numbers and/ or types of schools, and a wide range of priorities and targets can be agreed, some have strong links with other agencies and services while others do not. And perhaps, most importantly, they exhibit a range of structures. At one end of the continuum a federation can be ‘integrated’, ‘tightly coupled’ or ‘hard’ by creating a joint governing body with legal responsibility for all the schools involved. Conversely, a much more ‘loosely coupled’ structure is possible where a formal agreement is made between a group of schools to work together on a particular issue or range of issues; these federations tend to be considered ‘soft’ federations. These collaborative arrangements exist in diverse geographical and socio-economic contexts. Federations are viewed as an important element to central government policy and a potential mechanism for the raising standards through collaboration. Since 2002 the ‘New Labour’ government has invested over $30 (US) million into the ‘federations Policy’.

This paper presents a number of findings from the case study strand of a three-year study investigating the impact of 37 federations (see Lindsay et al., 2007). Maximum variation sampling (Maykutt and Morehouse, 1994) was used to select 10 case study federations. Key stakeholders were interviewed during three rounds of field visits to each case. Documentary evidence from each case provided important contextual information and provided a source of triangulation. Within and between case analysis from case studies (Miles and Huberman, 1994) highlighted a number of key themes, patterns and trends which have implications for the development of collaborative strategies attempting to re-structure and re-culture schools and their communities. This paper explores issues of leadership, management and governance in developing federations. Findings suggest localized ownership and control of the process within the context of interdependent relationships have supported the development of a range of models of governance, leadership and management in federations aimed at improving schools facing challenging circumstances
0924-3453
53-74
Chapman, Chris
6cedde87-3722-45fb-9dd0-d992fa04332f
Lindsay, Geoff
3b2ffb77-310b-4306-9fba-2f191e4ff809
Muijs, Daniel
62af2eff-0cb5-403b-81cc-7a3bfb3e640e
Harris, Alma
55f2bce5-f9e9-46ee-a785-fd16e73a8770
Arweck, Elisabeth
afbeb198-b7bb-4907-84e5-516fdd991db9
Goodall, Janet
9e34b75e-8dd0-46b9-aa28-d0d497515e63
Chapman, Chris
6cedde87-3722-45fb-9dd0-d992fa04332f
Lindsay, Geoff
3b2ffb77-310b-4306-9fba-2f191e4ff809
Muijs, Daniel
62af2eff-0cb5-403b-81cc-7a3bfb3e640e
Harris, Alma
55f2bce5-f9e9-46ee-a785-fd16e73a8770
Arweck, Elisabeth
afbeb198-b7bb-4907-84e5-516fdd991db9
Goodall, Janet
9e34b75e-8dd0-46b9-aa28-d0d497515e63

Chapman, Chris, Lindsay, Geoff, Muijs, Daniel, Harris, Alma, Arweck, Elisabeth and Goodall, Janet (2010) Governance, leadership and management in federations of schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 21 (1), 53-74. (doi:10.1080/09243450903569734).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In England, ‘federations’ are defined as groups of schools that have a formal agreement to collaborate with the aim of raising achievement and promoting inclusion and innovation. Such federations can involve different numbers and/ or types of schools, and a wide range of priorities and targets can be agreed, some have strong links with other agencies and services while others do not. And perhaps, most importantly, they exhibit a range of structures. At one end of the continuum a federation can be ‘integrated’, ‘tightly coupled’ or ‘hard’ by creating a joint governing body with legal responsibility for all the schools involved. Conversely, a much more ‘loosely coupled’ structure is possible where a formal agreement is made between a group of schools to work together on a particular issue or range of issues; these federations tend to be considered ‘soft’ federations. These collaborative arrangements exist in diverse geographical and socio-economic contexts. Federations are viewed as an important element to central government policy and a potential mechanism for the raising standards through collaboration. Since 2002 the ‘New Labour’ government has invested over $30 (US) million into the ‘federations Policy’.

This paper presents a number of findings from the case study strand of a three-year study investigating the impact of 37 federations (see Lindsay et al., 2007). Maximum variation sampling (Maykutt and Morehouse, 1994) was used to select 10 case study federations. Key stakeholders were interviewed during three rounds of field visits to each case. Documentary evidence from each case provided important contextual information and provided a source of triangulation. Within and between case analysis from case studies (Miles and Huberman, 1994) highlighted a number of key themes, patterns and trends which have implications for the development of collaborative strategies attempting to re-structure and re-culture schools and their communities. This paper explores issues of leadership, management and governance in developing federations. Findings suggest localized ownership and control of the process within the context of interdependent relationships have supported the development of a range of models of governance, leadership and management in federations aimed at improving schools facing challenging circumstances

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Published date: March 2010

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 165849
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/165849
ISSN: 0924-3453
PURE UUID: ad6b501a-5e32-44f4-88e1-10bd833b7323
ORCID for Daniel Muijs: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0131-8921

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Date deposited: 20 Oct 2010 13:57
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:39

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