Megan Crawford

Project Summary

A geographical approach to studying the restructuring of schooling

This research aims to explore the impact of the restructuring of schooling within the defined
geographical area of the local authority. This focus has been chosen for three reasons.
1. The local authority area will be an important arena of contestation and discussion in
the immediate future.
2. The future role of the LA now is decidedly ambiguous, with a potential tension
between the policy for academies and free schools on the one hand yet maintaining
‘a strong strategic role’ fro the LA on the other.
3. The LA provides a convenient framework for exploring structural range in a systemic

There is an emerging ‘fourth’ level of governance through which schools work together
through a variety of new arrangements. The study will be multi-level, exploring the
interaction between policies and decisions taken at national level, local authority level,
institutional level and this emerging ‘fourth’ level.

The study will be multi-level, comprising interviews with:


  • key LA officers, chairs of local headteachers’ associations and governors’
  • associations, and local representatives of professional associations
  • headteachers and chairs of governors
  • others as appropriate, for example representatives of school chains to which local schools affiliate

Interviews will be supported by documentation.
The aim over one year will be to produce:

  • an ‘governance audit’ of the stage reached;
  • a ‘story’ of the journey through which this situation has been reached;
  • a basis for continuing the study in these areas over a longer period.

(Megan Crawford, University of Cambridge)

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