Partnerships between teaching schools and universities: research report

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1 Partnerships between teaching schools and universities: research report Professor Toby Greany and Dr Chris Brown London Centre for Leadership in Learning UCL Institute of Education March 2015

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3 Contents Executive Summary About this study The context for school-university partnerships in England A self-improving system?: the policy context Teaching schools How the Teaching Schools are developing provision on Initial and Continuing Professional Development and Research and Development The changing nature of school-university partnerships : What we know about school university partnerships from the literature Overview School-university partnerships for Initial Teacher Education School-university partnerships in relation to Continuing Professional Development School-university partnerships in relation to Research and Development : Findings Background and development of the alliances The context of the participating schools Reasons for joining or establishing a Teaching School Alliance Teaching School structures and governance Progress and initial impact as a current or prospective Teaching School Alliance Issues with the Teaching School model How the Teaching Schools are developing provision on Initial and Continuing Professional Development and Research and Development Initial Teacher Education and School Direct Continuing Professional Development Research and Development Teaching School partnerships with universities: motivations, progress and issues Conclusion Recommendations:... 34

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5 Executive Summary Partnerships between Teaching Schools/lead schools and universities in England are in a state of flux, with historical relationships being reshaped to respond to the needs of a self-improving school-led system. This process is being accelerated by the rapid expansion of School Direct, a policy-driven model which aims to give schools a stronger role in Initial Teacher Education (ITE). The literature on school-university partnerships highlights the challenges involved in making such partnerships successful. Differences in language, culture and organisational priorities can be compounded by logistical difficulties, meaning that it can be hard to demonstrate impact. The learning from successful partnerships suggests that key features include: school and university staff having an equal voice, with practitioner priorities and knowledge explicitly valued; the creation of a third space which is separate from the culture of either institution and allows for more creative ways of working; strategic leaders who recognise and prioritise external working of this nature as well as distributed and shared leadership across the boundaries between the partners; and shared aims and approaches, for example through a focus on solving locally defined problems utilising an enquiry approach. 1

6 The four existing and emerging alliances in this study were at different stages of development, but were characterised by high levels of commitment to the notion of school to school support and a self-improving school system. They were facing similar challenges in their development to those identified in other studies of Teaching Schools (Gu et al, 2014; Glover et al, 2014). These included: the intense pressures that development places on the lead school and the concern that this could lead to a drop in standards and even the loss of Teaching School status; and the challenge of how to build capacity and engagement across an alliance of schools, so that the lead and strategic partner schools are not carrying so much of the load. The existing and emerging alliances in this study were undertaking a range of innovative work in relation to ITE, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Research and Development (R&D). The work on ITE was significant, although most energy appeared to have gone into dealing with the bureaucracy and teething problems associated with the initiative, with less time spent as yet on developing genuinely innovative learning experiences for trainee teachers. The shifts associated with CPD were often more significant at this stage, with schools balancing a mix of more traditional income-generating programmes with new approaches to Joint Practice Development (JPD) for staff. These JPD models aimed to provide time and structured approaches to peer learning with explicit opportunities to learn from research. The picture on R&D was mixed: it was increasingly highly valued by the schools, with some innovative approaches in place, but the lack of capacity and funding for this presented genuine challenges. The diagram below shows the key factors that the leading schools in this study are looking for in a university partner. The quality and credibility of the university staff are key considerations, along with the reputation and prestige of the institution itself. Whether the university is committed to partnership working and its ability to offer expertise, wider networks and a critical friend role are also important. These factors are balanced against the inertia that comes from having historical links and relationships. On the plus side these relationships can reflect high levels of trust and collaboration, but in some cases there was a sense of dissatisfaction with the quality of the historical university partner tempered by a view that the logistical challenges and emotional effort required to sever the link would be too much to take on. In several cases historical relationships were giving first mover advantage to universities as schools developed their thinking on School Direct: ie lead schools tended to initiate discussions and work on new School Direct provision with institutions they already knew. All this is balanced by the need to secure value for money. School leaders must balance the hard financial aspect of this with an assessment of the quality of provision on offer. 2

7 Foundations for partnership but can create inertia Key requirements for effective HE partner Quality and credibility of HE staff Future scenarios? Reputation of university Historical links Commitment to partnership working Personal relationships Expertise, wider networks & critical friend Value for Money Figure 1: Key factors for lead schools in assessing school-university partnerships and possible future scenarios for such partnerships in England. It appears that lead schools might go in either of two directions as this picture unfolds. i. One option is that they decide to go it alone, deciding that there is very little that universities can offer that they cannot do themselves, particularly given the tight financial settlement. For example, they might become an accredited provider (SCITT) in their own right. This ambition was expressed by some of the interviewees, although others were highly critical of School Direct and a model of ITE that does not involve universities. ii. The other is they look to form much deeper partnerships with universities characterised by long-term shared working and mutual learning in order to support the career development of all staff across an alliance. 3

8 Partnerships that adopt the latter option would appear to reflect the principles of the third space (Moje et al, 2004) and design-led working (Bryk, Gomez, and Grunow, 2011; Coburn, Penuel and Geil, 2013) identified in previous research on effective school-university partnerships. The potential ITE provision that could be developed through such partnerships could reflect the collaboration models identified by Menter et al (2010) from international practice, for example the clinical practice model being pioneered by the University of Melbourne. How schools respond to this dilemma will depend significantly on how universities choose to work in the coming months and years. This study did not include an assessment of different university perspectives on these issues or how they are responding, although it is clear that differential responses are emerging nationally, ranging from withdrawal from the market through to significant investment in school-led models. The internal IOE workshop held as part of the study did indicate an intense awareness of the issues discussed and also highlighted some of the practical ways that the IOE is responding, for example through its dedicated School Partnerships team (which provides a single point of contact for schools) and its Specialist and Principal Partner Awards structure and IOE R&D network (both of which aim to foster more sustained forms of partnership working). The future policy agenda will also play an important role in how things develop. The Carter Review of ITE (2015) has advocated clearer structures for the ITE curriculum, but the larger issue is whether and how quickly the School Direct model is expanded. On CPD and R&D, both political parties appear to recognise the need for a strengthened professional development framework for teachers, but the proposed Royal College of Teaching will need time and support to become established and achieve impact. A number of recommendations for policy makers arguably emerge from this study, not least the need to provide a more coherent and consistent framework for school-university partnerships. Recommendations for schools and universities that want to foster successful school-university partnerships in a self-improving system are as follows: - Be clear on what you need and what you can offer School leaders must be clear about where external expertise and capacity can add value to their work and about what they value most in a university partner. The temptation may be for schools to go it alone in a school-led system, but the research on effective professional development for teachers is clear that effective programmes draw on external expertise (Coe, Cordingley, Greany and Higgins, 2015). Teaching Schools should expect their university partner to be able to demonstrate how they can align their support for ITE, CPD and R&D so that the different elements complement each other and meet the needs of all staff across an alliance over the course of their career. Equally, universities must recognise the benefits of work with practitioners and the skills and capacities required to do this well: consider creating dedicated partnership teams that can help align the expertise on offer across the institution. 4

9 - Empower leaders to create a third space : Once a partnership is established, create time and space for staff from each institution to work together to achieve agreed objectives. Senior leaders must devote time to ensure that overarching partnership goals are clear and that the necessary resources are in place: leaving leaders on the ground to find creative ways to realise this vision. - Accept that effective partnership will take time to develop, but avoid inertia: Successful partnerships might start small and build over time as trust and a shared vision develop. Prioritise finding the right partner and invest time and effort in making the partnership work. Use contracts and key performance indicators when necessary, but try to find opportunities for more open-ended collaboration as well, for example through broader Partnership Agreements. The challenge here is to recognise when trust has slipped into cosy inertia: be prepared to review partnership impact on a regular basis and to renegotiate where existing partnerships aren t delivering. - Focus on impact, but be prepared for unexpected outcomes: Review progress regularly and focus on impact whilst acknowledging that some benefits might be hard to measure. Assume that the work you do together could always be better. Focus on learning from effective innovations elsewhere. 5

10 About this study Schools and universities have worked in partnership across education systems around the world for many decades. Consequently there is a wealth of evidence describing the nature and impact of such partnerships and there can be a sense of déjà vu, of paths being previously trod, of ground being made and then lost again when reviewing that literature (Greany, Gu, Handscomb and Varley, 2014). Nevertheless, the relationships between schools and universities in England are changing so rapidly and so fundamentally that it seems timely to review them and to understand how such partnerships are developing, what the barriers and enablers to progress might be and how such practice might develop in future to achieve a positive impact. This study has explored the ways in which four existing and applicant Teaching Schools in London and the south-east of England are working with universities across three areas of their remit: Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and School Direct, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Research and Development (R&D). The remit of Teaching Schools is wider than the three areas focussed on here, for example encompassing school to school support and succession planning, but universities are not generally involved in these areas so they were not included within the scope of the study. Equally, the study does not encompass wider school-university partnerships relating to initiatives such as Widening Participation or STEM. Teaching Schools and their alliances are a significant new phenomenon in the English school landscape and this report sheds light on some of the wider issues related to their development. The project addressed the following questions: - How are four teaching schools and their alliances working in partnership with universities? - What are the anticipated benefits and what is the evidence of impact so far? - What are the conditions required to enable these partnerships to develop? What are we learning about the enablers and challenges for collaboration? - How might the R&D work of these alliances move forward and what should schools and universities contribute to ensure success? - What are the implications for the partners involved in the study as well as school-university partnerships more widely? The key elements of the methodology were as follows: a literature review an analysis of key documentation from each alliance/prospective alliance semi-structured interviews with 4-6 senior leaders, governors and wider staff from each of the lead schools and their strategic partner schools a workshop with 15 staff involved in school partnerships from across the IOE a workshop with senior leaders from the four alliances to review the emerging findings. 6

11 The research was commissioned by the IOE School Partnerships team and has been co-funded by the IOE (through the Higher Education Innovation Fund) and the four lead schools involved: NELTA (North East London Teaching Alliance)/Beal High School, Redbridge; Tendring Technology College, Essex; Rosendale Primary School, Lambeth; WANDLE Teaching School Alliance/Chesterton Primary School, Wandsworth. Two of the four lead schools were already designated as Teaching Schools at the time of the research, while the other two had undertaken significant ground work and had submitted applications (one of which was subsequently successful). 2. The context for school-university partnerships in England 2.1. A self-improving system?: the policy context The pace of change in the English education system since 2010 has been rapid and the implications are only beginning to become clear. While many of the changes were underway before the Coalition government came to power, the pace and scale of change has increased significantly since then (Hadfield and Chapman, 2009; Earley and Higham, 2012; Greany 2014, 2015a and 2015b). The education system in England is now increasingly: autonomous, in particular with the increase in academies (Gilbert et al., 2013; House of Commons Education Select Committee, 2015); diverse, for example with the introduction of free schools, Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges (Dunford et al., 2013); and, arguably, fragmented (Earley and Higham, 2012). Simultaneously, there is an expectation for the system to become self-improving (DfE, 2010; Hargreaves, 2010, 2012; Greany, 2014), with autonomous schools supporting each others progress and development and, through such collaboration, unleashing greatness (Gilbert et al., 2013). Most of the infrastructure that had been put in place by the Labour government to support schools and school improvement (for example, several national agencies/quangos and much of the school improvement and support role of Local Authorities) has been dismantled. In a similar vein, many regulations and mechanisms for securing minimum standards have been reduced or repealed (for example the requirements for teachers to have Qualified Teacher Status in academies and for Head teachers to have the National Professional Qualification for Headship). A new slimmed down National Curriculum came into force for maintained schools from September Ministers have made clear that they do not see it as the role of government to intervene and tell teachers how to teach (Gove, 2013a), so it is schools and school leaders that must determine what they think is most appropriate in the key areas of professional practice. However, a recent Department for Education consultation on the teaching profession (DfE, 2014) appears to recognise that the Coalition s laissez faire approach to professional development in the self-improving system has not yet had the desired effect. It states that Feedback from the profession has consistently indicated that too many of the development opportunities on offer are of variable quality (p4). Too often CPD is viewed narrowly as attending courses or listening to stale talks accompanied by endless slides Teacher development is not always adequately focussed on the specific needs of pupils, nor is it always sustained and practice-based. (p10). 7

12 These comments on the quality of CPD in England broadly chime with the findings from the OECD TALIS 2013 survey (Micklewright et al, 2014), which states that teachers here report higher than average participation in courses and workshops (75%) and in-service training in outside organisations (22%), but lower than average participation in more in-depth activities, such as research or formal qualifications and less time spent overall. The DfE consultation signals the government s intention to support the creation of an independent College of Teaching as well as to offer a new fund for professional development offered by the Teaching Schools network. It also proposes a new What works clearing house style online platform for knowledge sharing and new non-mandatory standards for teachers professional development. Where the Government clearly does see itself having a continuing role in the self-improving system is in setting the accountability standards and mechanisms that hold schools to account. Changes to the assessment regime have focussed on raising the bar and meeting the standards expected by the highest performing school systems, with new GCSEs, more stringent requirements for vocational qualifications, reduced teacher assessment, and Ofqual s approach to comparable outcomes in assessment to prevent grade inflation. Similarly, the bar has been raised for schools, through a new Ofsted framework, rising expectations on floor standards, and new accountability mechanisms such as Progress 8 for secondary schools. 2.2 Teaching schools Teaching Schools were initially pioneered through the London Challenge (Berwick and Matthews, 2013) but it was the Coalition s 2010 white paper The Importance of Teaching (DfE, 2010) that gave them national impetus: We will develop a national network of new Teaching Schools to lead and develop sustainable approaches to teacher development across the country These will be outstanding schools (with a track record of supporting other schools), which will take a leading responsibility for providing and quality assuring initial teacher training in their area. We will also fund them to offer professional development for teachers and leaders. Other schools will choose whether or not to take advantage of these programmes, so teaching schools will primarily be accountable to their peers. We intend there to be a national network of such schools and our priority is that they should be of the highest quality truly amongst the best schools in the country. By June 2014, 587 Teaching Schools had been designated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership against a demanding set of criteria that include a requirement for the lead school to be Ofsted Outstanding and to be able to demonstrate a track record of school to school provision and support. Each Teaching School is expected to identify and work with a set of strategic partners and to build a wider alliance of schools that can both contribute to, and benefit from, their work. At least one of these strategic partners must be a university partner; partly reflecting the origins of the model which was loosely inspired by the example of university teaching hospitals (Matthews and Berwick, 2013). Teaching School alliances are required to address six core roles (the Big 6 ): 8

13 Playing a greater role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession (Initial Teacher Education - ITE); Leading peer-to-peer professional and leadership development (Continuing Professional Development); Identifying and developing leadership potential (succession planning and talent management); Providing support for other schools; Designating and brokering support from Specialist Leaders of Education; and Engaging in research and development activity (R&D). Building alliances and capacity to address the Big 6 areas has required tremendous energy and altruistic leadership from the participating schools: or sheer hard work (Gu et al, 2014) in the words of one leader. The interim evaluation by Gu et al for the DfE (Gu et al 2014), which is based on case study visits to 18 alliances in the summer of 2013, reflects considerable progress overall. It also indicates the sheer diversity of organisational forms and approaches emerging as Teaching Schools take advantage of what is a relatively loose policy framework to respond to their local contexts and needs. Gu et al note the strong moral purpose that drives the alliance leaders to make a difference for all children, as well as the strongly inter-personal and network-based nature of development: The building of person-to-person and school-to-school relationships permeates the everyday leadership work of teaching schools and their alliances. The benefit of such relationships is that they provide both the conditions and the necessary social basis for communities of learning, and through these, for joint practice development to take root within the alliance. Hargreaves (2012) calls this kind of inter-organisational property collaborative capital which in turn enhances the collective capacity on which a self-improving system depends (2012: 23). In relation to school-university partnerships, Gu et al note that almost all alliances have partnerships with more than one university. These relationships hinge on ITE, where the evaluation team signals a need for further research to understand the respective contributions of schools and universities. They also note that the negotiation of funding and respective roles between schools and universities in relation to School Direct can be challenging. Beyond ITE, the evaluators cite a number of ways in which universities are contributing, for example through Masters programmes and supporting R&D. Despite the broadly positive developments observed by Gu et al, the evaluation also flags a series of challenges in relation to each area studied. These range from the unreasonable and unsustainable workload required to establish the alliances, in particular from senior leaders, to a lack of robust peer challenge between partner schools: Teaching schools appear to have been doing the softer working around support and development, but not been able to hold each other to account (or other schools in the alliance) if performance and progress starts to slip in a school. 9

14 2.3 The work of Teaching Schools in relation to Initial and Continuing Professional Development and Research and Development The role of Teaching Schools in relation to ITE has evolved significantly since the 2010 white paper, most significantly through the introduction and expansion of the School Direct model. School Direct gives successful schools responsibility for working with an accredited provider of teacher training to recruit trainees and shape their training experience. Although funding and accreditation in the School Direct model still sit with the accredited provider (either a university or School Centred provider SCITT), the locus of decision making over teacher training shifts significantly towards the schools involved, thereby changing the nature of the school-university partnership. The ITE Implementation Plan (DfE, 2011) stated that From a minimum of 500 places in 2012/13 we will aim to increase the number of school direct places quickly in future years, in line with demand from schools. By ,400 School Direct places were allocated to schools, with universities involved in the delivery of 7 out of 10 of these places (DfE, 2014). Teaching Schools are required to play a proactive role in School Direct, helping to aggregate what would otherwise be very fragmentary provision by working on behalf of all the schools in their alliances. Whilst policy makers have undoubtedly pressurised Teaching Schools to engage with School Direct (Initial Teacher Education has been made the only mandatory aspect of their designation), there is also arguably an element of self-interest for the schools themselves since it enables them to recruit and train the teachers they want. As Michael Gove MP, the former Secretary of State, put it: The School Direct programme enables our best schools to hand-pick the most exceptional candidates. (Michael Gove MP, speech to the London Academy of Excellence, 3 rd February 2014) Certainly, School Direct has faced a number of logistical challenges in its first two years, mainly due to the rapid pace of its expansion (Morris, 2013). Nevertheless, the interim evaluation report by Gu et al for the DfE, published in March 2014, states that: School Direct is a major motivator for almost all the Teaching School alliances in this evaluation. Feedback from our initial visits suggested that alliances had few difficulties filling primary places, although there were challenges recruiting in priority subjects for secondary places. Gu et al (2014) hint that most Teaching Schools have so far opted for a fairly traditional PGCE-type model for their School Direct provision as a result of the tight timescales involved and their lack of capacity and expertise to develop more innovative models. The question is whether they will stick with this approach over time. Interestingly, 4 of the 18 Teaching Schools visited by Gu et al had established themselves as a SCITT, possibly indicating a desire to move away from university-linked provision, although the following quotation from the report equally signals a desire from many to retain strong university links: 10

15 Concern was expressed by several alliances that the School Direct model may become too narrow in its approach to ITT... (one Vice-principal states that) My fear is that when school people no longer have knowledge of university PGCE course content, there will be a master/apprentice model of training... (while another Teaching School Head sees) School Direct as a joint venture between the TSA and their HEI partners. Turning to their CPD remit, Teaching Schools appear to be very active in developing this. A report on Teaching School business models for the National College for Teaching and Leadership noted that this was their main mechanism for generating income and thereby making themselves sustainable as core funding reduces (Glover et al, 2014). Many Teaching Schools are licensed to offer commercial programmes such as the Improving Teacher Programme and Outstanding Teacher Programme, but most also offer programmes they have developed themselves and many are also commissioned to offer provision by their local authority or though national schemes funded by the Department for Education. Some Teaching Schools are also involved in offering the National College licensed leadership development programmes, although these licenses will cease from The alliances visited by Gu et al (2014) see the opportunity to create more seamless and effective pathways from ITE through into teachers ongoing professional careers as a huge opportunity for improving the quality of teaching and learning. The schools leading this effort also see real benefits for their own staff in designing and leading CPD and leadership development provision, since this encourages them to reflect on and improve their own practice. As the findings from this research indicate, there is strong interest in how to move from traditional models of CPD characterised by one-off courses and events, to more sustained and impactful development from and with peers and embedded in real work contexts; widely referred to as Joint Practice Development (Sebba et al, 2012). Finally, in relation to Research and Development and evidence-informed practice, it is clear that some interesting practice is beginning to emerge across the Teaching Schools network (Bubb, 2013). Examples include: The Mead Teaching School Alliance in Wiltshire, which uses a knowledge mobilisation framework (Spiral) and has trained up Specialist Leaders of Education from across the Alliance to support R&D in Innovation Hubs, and Swiss Cottage Teaching School, which gives teachers one hour a week for R&D, runs a Research Journal Club and has appointed a Director of R&D. The interim evaluation of Teaching Schools (Gu et al 2014) states that some alliances see the R&D role as underpinning everything they do and have developed rich relationships with their university partners, but that others have not prioritised R&D, finding it daunting and/or feeling that it is underfunded. The National College has supported some alliances to build capacity in this area, for example through funding almost one hundred to undertake projects under three overarching themes that were agreed with the first cohort of Teaching Schools and with support from universities and experts (Stoll, 2015; Nelson, Taylor and Spence Thomas, 2015; and Maxwell and Greany, 2015). Another 180 alliances are participating in the Test and Learn Close the Gap research and a further 20 have been funded to develop their research skills with support from a university. Meanwhile, a number of universities, such as UCL IOE, Sheffield Hallam and Canterbury Christ Church, are developing networks and support for teaching schools in this area. Several Teaching Schools are also involved in Education Endowment Foundation-funded projects. 11

16 2.4 The changing nature of schooluniversity partnerships The desired role of universities in this policy picture is unclear. On the one hand, ministers have been clear that they want to shift the balance of power from universities to schools in the area of ITE through the expansion of School Direct. In doing this they have been clear that they see universities as ideologically-driven and overly theoretical in their approach, which links to the former Secretary of State s (Michael Gove MP) views on what he calls bad academia : an ideologically driven conspiracy by the educational establishment to resist change and improvement ( the blob Gove, 2013b). On the other hand, ministers do sometimes turn to good academia for solutions: for example in the abortive attempt to engage universities in determining the shape and assessment model for reformed A levels. This policy context and lack of clear commitment to the long-term role of universities contributes to a sense of fragility around school-university partnership working in England today. It is compounded by the wider challenges facing Higher Education as universities adapt to the introduction of tuition fees, the removal of the student number cap, the concentration of research funding and the rapid globalisation of higher education enabled by new technologies and the grow of private sector provision. All these factors mean that most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are reassessing their role in Initial Teacher Education. As School Direct numbers have increased, traditional allocations to universities have reduced, making it hard for HEIs to plan ahead. Equally, School Direct income levels will vary depending on negotiations between providers and schools, again impacting on the ability of HEIs to plan ahead with confidence. Inevitably, different institutions are responding in different ways: some institutions might choose to focus on their international research profile and consider withdrawing from ITE, while others might be more likely to focus on retaining and increasing their student numbers through School Direct. The impact of these changes is by no means always negative. There are many examples of universities becoming more active in their work with schools in recent years. These include prestigious universities such as Birmingham, Cambridge, Nottingham and UCL that are supporting mainstream academies, University Technical Colleges or University Training Schools. Meanwhile, Sheffield Hallam University is opening a new, enlarged Institute of Education reflecting a long-term commitment to working with schools. On the less positive side, Anglia Ruskin, Bath, and the Open University have decided to withdraw from offering Initial Teacher Education altogether (million+, 2013). Posuere. Sed mollis ipsum id libero. Quisque vitae justo. Nulla vitae mauris. Phasellus convallis ligula in nulla. 1. However Vodio ac sapien dignissim posuere. Sed mollis ipsum 12

17 3: What we know about school university partnerships from the literature 3.1 Overview There is a wealth of research and literature from around the world which explores the nature of school-university partnerships and the conditions required for their success. Much of this literature is summarised in a recent review undertaken for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) by Greany, Gu, Handscomb and Varley (2014) as part of a project exploring the wider state of school-university partnerships across the UK. That review highlights the high hopes held for school-university partnerships at different points in time and in different parts of the world, but also the fact that successive evaluations have found those hopes remain unfulfilled in many cases due to a litany of barriers (Smedley, 2001). The root of the challenge seems to lie in the deep cultural differences between the two sectors, although these differences are compounded by other factors, not least the sheer logistical challenges of partnering one university with multiple schools. Perhaps as a result of these barriers there is, as yet, relatively little hard evidence of improved outcomes from school-university partnerships, although wider benefits are frequently cited. Despite this somewhat depressing finding there are many positive examples of schools and universities working successfully together, both in the literature and in current UK practice (a number of these are identified through the wider NCCPE/RCUK project). Equally, successful schooluniversity partnerships are seen as one of the prime factors underpinning the success of Finland s education system. Where partnerships are more successful, the review identifies the following factors from the literature: Power and control: all voices to be heard. Successful partnerships reject a hierarchical approach in which the university dominates and practitioner knowledge is devalued. Instead, the recent work on design-led partnerships in US (Byrke et al, 2011) builds on previous examples to exemplify ways in which school and university staff can have an equal voice, with practitioner priorities and knowledge explicitly valued. Mind the gap cultural differences. Successful partnerships often appear to succeed by creating a third space which is separate from the culture of either institution and allows for more creative ways of working. This cultural dialogue is powered by trust (which relates to the points above and below regarding power, control and leadership), but trust can easily be fractured if key personnel move on or priorities change. The importance of leadership. Partnerships and networks are not naturally self-organising. They require strategic leaders who recognise and prioritise external working of this nature as well as distributed and shared leadership across the boundaries between the partners. Opinion leaders who may or may not be in formal roles play a pivotal role in shaping and galvanising successful 13

18 partnerships that overcome the cultural and practical barriers faced. Also important are the blended professionals who work across institutional boundaries. Strategic relevance and fit. Partnerships work well when there is joined-up coherence and strategic fit. Successful partnerships are often design led and focussed on solving locally defined problems through an enquiry approach: bringing together academic research, practitioner knowledge and priorities, and commercial expertise in a sustained programme of activity. Many partnerships particularly those focussed on widening participation - also have an extended membership from the wider community, including parents. Even where not focussed on solving local problems, positive outcomes are more likely when they are conceived and achieved as part of the partnering process itself. Material resources: making it happen. Partnerships pose a challenge and have transaction costs - the time, energy and resources necessary to keep the partnership alive and well. Therefore funding is a crucial contributor to partnership success, but partnerships also need to develop strategies to persist in austere times. 3.2 School-university partnerships for Initial Teacher Education Turning to evidence on school-university partnerships focussed on Initial Teacher Education (ITE), the recent RSA/BERA review highlighted the importance of teachers engaging in and with research, including through the content and design of their initial teacher training experience. The challenge is how to achieve the right balance between school and university contributions so that new teachers have the best possible chances to develop and mature into expert and research-informed practitioners. The shift towards more school-driven models in England reflects a dissatisfaction with existing university-led models. A recent review by the University Of Glasgow (Menter et al, 2010) found that despite the high value attached to collaboration, most school-university teacher education partnerships remain HEI-led and that a strong policy emphasis on partnership working does not of itself establish parity of involvement in the development of practice across institutional boundaries. Part of the issue with such models is that they can disempower schools, making it too easy for them to pass responsibility for teacher training to the universities if that is where the funding and accountability rests. Menter et al cite a number of studies in England which indicate that most schools have seen teacher education as marginal, for example rarely referencing it in their development plans. Where research has focussed on the role and attitudes of partnership schools in ITE: The findings indicate little support from teacher mentors for relinquishing links with higher education institutions or extending the training role of schools. Teacher mentors valued the contribution made by universities to administrative arrangements, quality and standards, and the availability of expertise in relation to research (Menter et al, 2010). 14

19 Chris Husbands (2012) highlights the differing cultures and priorities between schools and universities and from this identifies three key issues which in turn inform three overarching priorities and ways forward, as shown in Table 2. Issues Issues in more depth Priorities Ways forward ITE: marginal to schools 1. Not seen as core function 2. Student/novice teachers relatively few in number so needs not prioritised 3. Not resourced or funded for a role in teacher education Make student development important for schools A coherent clear vision shared by academics and teachers A clear progression model and common language ITE largely seen as a source of teacher supply 1. Principals think in terms of supply not quality 2. Supply is the responsibility of others 3. Concern arises where supply fails Design a core curriculum for partnership Students in schools in such numbers and for such time that they are not marginal Common framework across school and university ITE seen as divorced from the real world of teaching 1. Relevance of types of knowledge 2. The divorce of the practicum from other elements of the teacher education curriculum Build common assessment frameworks Engage key people in schools (probably not principals) Formal roles for identified excellent teachers in teacher education Table 1: Husbands (2012) overview of issues and priorities for teacher education and schooluniversity partnerships Menter et al s review helpfully maps international examples of school-university ITE partnerships, as shown in Table 2. 15

20 Separate roles Focus on pedagogic relationships Collaboration Distinct roles, centralised Teacher education in Singapore involves a partnership between the Ministry of Education, the National Institute of Education (the sole provider of ITE) and schools. The NIE and schools have clearly defined roles in a move towards schoolbased provision from Schools liaise with one Supervision Coordinator, who has responsibly for all trainees across several schools in a particular locality. NIE supervision focuses on quality assurance across schools and does not provide subject specific mentoring. The grading of candidates is Reflection on practice The University of Utrecht, Netherlands, offers a model of teacher education that emphasises the integration of theory and practice (Korthagen, 2001). Three principles underpin the model of Realistic Teacher Education i.e. professional learning is more effective when: (a) directed by the needs of the learner; (b) rooted in their experiences; and, (c) involves critical reflection on experience. Whilst emphasising the role of reflection in integrating theory and practice, the work of the Utrecht group has been criticised by Hagger and McIntyre (2006:153) for Inquiry-oriented Practical school experience forms a significant component of initial teacher education in Finland. Universities operate teaching schools (Normal schools), which enable a close alignment of university and school experience. Ostinelli (2009) reports that attainment by Finnish students is related to the centrality of education studies and a research-based approach in Finnish teacher education. Research by Maaranen and Krokfors (2008) maintains that formal positioning of teaching as a Local collaboration Professional Development Schools (PDS) in the US promote strong collaborative partnerships at a local level but are limited as a model for system-wide change. PDS have three core purposes: supporting pupil achievement; improvement of pre-service teacher education and professional development for all educators; and the promotion of practice-based enquiry. PDS can involve the co-design of teacher education curricula and increase the direct involvement of HEIs in school reform efforts (Mitchell and Castenelli, 2000; Molseed, 2000; Morris et al, 2003). Large -scale collaboration School-university partnerships in Australia have a long trajectory, influenced by the work of Carr and Kemmis (1988), and in the 1990s the Innovative Links and National Professional Development Program, involving 14 Australian universities working with over 100 schools (Grundy et al, 2003). The notion of the 'scholarly teacher' informs research pathways within pre-service teacher education programmes (Diezmann, 2005), the formation of teacher research networks aimed at improving teacher competencies and enhancing pupil outcomes (Peters, 2002; Deppeler, 2006) and the development of inquiry-oriented ITE 16

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