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Title: Primary/secondary transfer policy and its implementation in two local authorities : an analysis of teachers' practices in relation to cross-phase collaboration and continuity
Author: Martin, William
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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The transfer from primary to secondary school is regarded as one of the more crucial events in children's educational careers. Early research investigated the anxiety of pupils and the organisational features which attempt to promote continuity within the transfer process. More recently there is evidence that some pupils under-achieve at secondary school in comparison to their performance in primary school. This study examines the relationship between the formulation of national, local authority and school policies and their implementation at the level of teachers' practice within the transfer process. Recent government legislation and other national educational initiatives have recognised the importance of transfer. Teaching and learning is one of several 'bridges' which have been identified by researchers as having a particular impact on promoting continuity between primary and secondary schools. The study investigates the extent to which local authorities and schools have been influenced by national strategies and if, and where they have how, they have developed cross-phase collaboration between teachers to improve continuity. Two local authorities were selected as case studies, offering contrasting experiences based on their specific focus to improve transfer; one in an inner city borough and the other a provincial town within a shire county. The strategy for developing the data set was as follows. Each local authority nominated two secondary schools, one where they adjudged transfer practice to be good in terms of links between the schools and another where they considered arrangements could be improved. A questionnaire was then sent to the four secondary schools and their responses formed the basis for follow-up interviews with teachers in those schools. Each of the secondary schools identified two partner primary schools where interviews took place to provide further information required to develop a cross-phase analysis. The findings reveal that primary and secondary teachers recognised the importance of pedagogical continuity, but that cross-phase professional preconceptions, rather than knowledge emergent from first hand evidence of each others practice, tend to undermine the development of collaborative teaching and learning policies. Furthermore, although networks of schools can promote collaboration cross-phase activities, these need facilitation, a role not readily accepted by local authorities or schools. Although there are several references to the importance of transfer within recent government legislation local authorities and schools may need an additional motivation in order to promote these activities. The conclusions raise specific issues not only for the case study schools but also for the role of local education authorities as well as the formulation and implementation of future national educational initiatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available