Projects Funded 2011-12

Structural Reform, Governance and Leadership
Exploring the Local Impact of Free Schools, Academies and Trusts

The Government’s polices for the restructuring of the school system are radical in intent; their outcomes may or may not be so radical. Nevertheless they can be expected to have substantial impacts in a number of areas:

  • on the range of types of schools that emerge in response to different local conditions;
  • on the governance arrangements that are established and the accountability patterns that these imply;
  • on the relationships between different types of schools, and the local and national structures that emerge in terms of their potential for competition and/or for collaboration/support;
  • on existing structures, especially those associated with local authorities;
  • on the types of leaders and leadership that emerge and the motivations that drive these.

BELMAS funded a number of small-scale research projects to enable issues such as these to be explored at a local level, either in relation to specific groups of schools or specific localities. It is envisaged that such projects will have the potential to throw light on systemic issues, not just on the experience of individual schools. The following projects have been approved for funding.

Summaries and Final Reports - Projects Funded 2011/12

Tom Bisschoff, University of Birmingham, and Mark Gibson, North East Wolverhampton Academy:

Leadership of Academy Schools in England: Sponsors and the realisation of the Ethos and Vision

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

Megan Crawford, University of Cambridge:

A geographical approach to studying the restructuring of schooling

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

David H. Eddy Spicer, Institute of Education, University of London:

First links: Exploring the interplay of authority and professional learning in the formation of an academy chain

Summary | Final Report (pdf)


Richard Hatcher, Birmingham City University:

Developing a new vision, constructing a new relationship with schools: a study of the education policy process from development to implementation of a Labour Party in transition from opposition to office in a major urban local authority

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

Rob Higham, Institute of Education, University of London:

An Investigation into Free Schools in England

Summary | Final Report not currently available

Gill Howland, Independent Consultant:

An Investigation into the Local Impact of a Hard Federation of 10 schools, in a three tier system, in a market town in North Staffordshire

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

Maija Salokangas, University of Manchester, and Christopher Chapman, University of Glasgow:

An exploration of governance in a chain of academies

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

Penny Smith and Ian Abbott, University of Warwick :

Leadership and governance: new types of schools

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

Howard Stevenson, University of Lincoln, and Justine Mercer, University of Warwick:

School sector industrial relations in transition: Assessing the impact of Academies

Summary | Final Report (pdf)

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