To compare the creation and development of school culture in amalgamated schools and multi-academy trusts from a teacher perspective; a longitudinal, mixed methods multiple case study.
University of Cambridge
Doctor of Education (EdD)
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Birks, W. (2019). To compare the creation and development of school culture in amalgamated schools and multi-academy trusts from a teacher perspective; a longitudinal, mixed methods multiple case study. (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.38972
To compare the creation and development of school culture in amalgamated schools and multi-academy trusts from a teacher perspective; a longitudinal, mixed methods multiple case study. Wayne Birks, Ed. D. student, Clare Hall and Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge Abstract The English educational landscape has, over the last 25 years, been dominated by structural and system innovation. Local management of schools, grant-maintained schools, federations and, more recently, the creation of academies and multi-academy trusts, large and small have brought increasing autonomy to UK schools against a backdrop of high accountability. Centrally-driven, these developments have been pursued as potential game-changers. The impact of such profound change upon the culture of UK schools has received little attention. Indeed, the potential of that culture, a culture which can be created or moulded to deliver school and policy objectives, has hitherto been overlooked. The purpose of this study is to compare the creation and development of school culture, from a teacher perspective, in three English secondary schools. The research is set in case study schools that are either part of a multi-academy trust or the product of an amalgamation. This study analyses the components of school culture over time in order to understand how school culture develops. It assesses the impact of leadership strategies and other factors on that development. The format is a longitudinal, multiple case study using a concurrent mixed methods design in which quantitative and qualitative data is mixed to produce a 'measure' of cultural ‘health’ through a teacher questionnaire and paired interviews with participants grouped according to role. Researchers have found school culture to define. This study finds that teachers recognise and value the culture in their schools. They were able to identify cultural components and the factors which shaped them, including the actions of school leaders. This study confirms the central role of school culture in the creation of a climate for change, one which is significantly influenced by school leaders. It finds evidence that school culture is vulnerable in the face of challenge and that a damaged culture negatively impacts the ability of school leaders to improve student outcomes. The study concludes by offering a cause and effect diagram that might help school leaders or policy-makers seeking to strengthen school culture in a single setting or across a multi-academy trust.
School Culture, Amalgamation, Multi-academy trusts
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.38972
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