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Title: Inspection, school improvement, development and change
Author: Lowe, Geoffrey C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3613 288X
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2003
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The defining characteristic of this study's contribution to educational research is the dual perspective - both technical/rational and cultural/political - that it brings to bear on Ofsted's school inspection process. This longitudinal investigation has two aims: test the claim that Ofsted inspection leads to "school improvement" and to illuminate the process of inspection-induced change. The fieldwork took place in six large secondary schools inspected during the year 1996-1997 and drew on the reactions of teachers at all levels within the schools. The thesis begins by examining Ofsted's technical/rational perspective of "school improvement", using the implementation of schools' "key issues for action" as an indicator of change and "school improvement". Three questions are put about the implementation of inspection recommendations: "Which factors in the inspection process, school and immediate environment influence a school's response to the "key issues for action"? Do "key issues for action" become the school's agenda for change and improvement? Does implementation lead to change and improvement in all areas of the school's activity? The study identifies how factors in the inspection process, the school and the immediate environment interact to influence the implementation of key isssues. The six case studies of implementation of inspection recommendations, concerned both with teaching and learning, provide rich descriptions of the schools' response to Ofsted's agenda for teaching and learning. As the investigation progressed teachers' meanings towards Ofsted inspection and "school improvement" were brought within its scope. The research identifies political issues raised by the participants and charts the emergence of political themes relating to the implementation of "key issues for action". The discussion places the two different perspectives within a framework of social theory and develops the dual research method as well as the requisite processes and procedures. The investigation offers tentative conclusions about Ofsted inspection and concludes by considering the implications for Ofsted's current inspection practice.
Supervisor: Holland, Mike ; Simkins, Timothy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available