Invitation to lead our Structural Reform Research Interest Group (RIG)


Our Structural Reform of Schooling RIG has been dormant for some time and we are now seeking to re-introduce this strand of research into our portfolio of active groups. To facilitate this and to develop a programme of online meetings of interested participants, we are inviting volunteers to submit expressions of interest. The successful applicant will initially co-convene with Dr Catherine Simon, Bath Spa University.

This interest group originally emerged from a programme of small scale research projects funded by BELMAS over the period 2011-2013. The focus of the group’s work was on changes taking place in the UK around the structuring and restructuring of school systems on a cross-national comparative basis. The group was interested in a range of issues around structural reform, including:

  • the range of types of schools that emerge in response to different local conditions
  • the governance arrangements that are established and the accountability patterns that these imply
  • 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 –  especially implications for the ‘middle tier’
  • the types of leaders and leadership that emerge and the motivations that drive these.

Members of this group considered topics such as:

‘Schools working together: researching trusts, federations and alliances’

‘Free schools: what do we know? what do we need to know?’ 

‘Teaching schools: where are we now?’

‘The leadership and management of co-operative schools in a challenging policy landscape’

‘Executive headteachers: key players in emerging school landscapes’ 

‘Evolving schooling structures: the contribution of small-scale studies’

Office Support

The BELMAS office team provides support to RIG convenors with promoting events, registration of participants, dissemination of reports, financial administration and advice. RIG convenors are allocated an annual budget to fund activities and are entitled to reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses. 


If you are interested in leading this group, please email with a statement detailing how your professional background supports your application and what you expect to bring to this volunteer role.  This role is open to all BELMAS members whether in the UK or overseas. It is a condition of eligibility that BELMAS membership must have been held for at least 12 months and that applicants remain current members throughout their tenure. 

The deadline for applications is 18th December 2020.

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