A self-improving school system: towards maturity
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Professor David Hargreaves

Working with school leaders this research attempts to explore the best types of collaboration for different schools, focusing on the ‘maturity model’ of partnerships. The maturity model looks at three core dimensions of partnerships: professional development, partnership competence, and collaborative capital. By linking these dimensions the author suggests schools can develop more fruitful partnerships.

Looking at professional development, the research suggests that schools should focus on continuous methods of staff training and improvement, such as peer-to-peer activities and feedback, rather than the occasional conference or training day. Through such activities partner schools can start to build up trust between themselves. This encourages a culture of reciprocity that helps collaboration and leads to more effective teaching practices, benefitting pupils at all the schools involved.

The research also tackles how to help parents understand the benefits of collaboration to teachers and the wider school, and advice on how to appease any fears that they may have that their school may be ‘saddled’ with one further down the league tables. 

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Professor David Hargreaves

Published by:
National College for Teaching and Leadership

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The research may prove particularly interesting to those wishing to explore professional development. It advocates continuous methods, such mentoring and coaching as the most effective means of sharing good practice within and across partners. 


Record ID:
R085 / 249
Author(s) biog(s):
Professor David Hargreaves

Associated coverage:
The Guardian

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