The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The morphology of change: an exploartion of perceptions about changing the age of transfer of pupils from primary to secondary school

Wood, Kevin Randle (1999) The morphology of change: an exploartion of perceptions about changing the age of transfer of pupils from primary to secondary school University of Southampton, School of Education, Doctoral Thesis , 218pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


The vast majority of studies of educational change are contextualised within
the school. This is a new qualitative multi-level study of the interaction of the
school with its LEA and government and the current changes to the structure
of the education system. A number of LEAs have changed, or have plans to
change, the age of transfer at which pupils move fromprimary to secondary
school. The eGect is to dismantle three-tier systems, i.e. Grst, middle and
secondary schools; and to replace them with a two-tier system of primary and
secondary schools. This represents the abolition of middle schools in those

Principal access for the research was at Chief Education Officer level, with
headteachers, governors and parents also targeted. Some pupil interviews were
possible. Research data was collected in these interviews and through
documentary evidence gathered &omboth study areas, and &om any LEA
which had formally considered change. The quality of the data was ensured by
encouraging participants to comment upon and check the accuracy of their
contributions. Analysis was achieved by the constant comparative method.

In 1970, Birley wondered how far age of transfer was a national issue, and
how far a matter for local discretion. The evidence of this research would
suggest that it has the appearance of a local discretionary matter, but, in reality,
enormous pressure is applied through government direct action or its agencies.
This study concludes that the relationship between LEA and the government is
ambiguous; that LEA planning can be thwarted by cross-cutting aspects of
legislation - what may be called "bureaucratic bolt-holes'; that changing the age
of transfer &om 12 or 13 back to 11 is demonstrably unnecessary on purely
educational grounds; and that the tensions between choice and economy
contributed to the decline of the middle school.

PDF 00083711.pdf - Other
Download (10MB)

More information

Published date: March 1999
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 193211
PURE UUID: 9aa29c99-6888-4088-bc01-3a775a666e1d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jul 2011 15:44
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:29

Export record


Author: Kevin Randle Wood
Thesis advisor: Nick Foskett

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.