The reality and implications of community perceptions of school effectiveness : a case study of selected schools.
This research begins by analysing the effects of
parental choice on the development of two neighbouring
schools in one county between 1980 and 1990 and questions
the validity of community judgement of schools.
The literature review traces the development of
home and school links and community involvement, the
measurement of school effectiveness and previous work on
parental choice of school. A distinction is made between
"choice" and "judgement" of schools. The community which
might affect a school is defined as parents, leavers and
the community at large.
An initial survey in one school identified those
features which were considered important in judging the
effectiveness of schools, and, backed by findings from a
number of research sources, twelve criteria were selected
as the basis for the main fieldwork. By means of a rapid
response survey up to one hundred respondents in each of
seven secondary schools, selected to give a range of
socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, were asked to
identify which of the twelve criteria were seen as
strengths in the school. Up to thirty interviews were
also held in each school community. In each school the
identified strengths were compared with evidence for the
existence of those strengths in school performance.