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Title: Making sense of policy in London secondary education : what can be learned from the London Challenge?
Author: Ogden, Vanessa J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 1586
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents an examination of the policy process in education, focusing on the London Challenge as an exemplifying case study. The policy problem of the London Challenge was the poorer performance of London secondary schools . compared to other regions and considerable between-school variation. Social polarisation was intensified by the relationship between education, 'place' and social disadvantage and so the London Challenge was designed to intervene in this situation. A critique of the London Challenge policy over the course of its eight year life is presented in the thesis, identifying that a significant shift in the leadership of the policy - from policy-maker to practitioner - took place as it evolved, altering the character of the policy. The thesis finds that practitioners, especially headteachers, played a central role in the success of the London Challenge because they re-shaped the policy as they implemented it. An examination of the policy process of the London Challenge follows, together with an empirical study in this thesis. They show that there was a gradual ceding of power from policy-makers to headteachers and London Challenge advisers who led the policy's implementation. It created a 'high trust I high accountability' model for education policy-making which paired professional autonomy and expertise with accountability to government for improvement in London's secondary schools. This took place within a framework of conditions that required shared moral purpose, strong leadership, high challenge with an openness to supportive and fair datainformed scrutiny and a regional commitment to collegial partnership. The thesis concludes that what can be learned from the London Challenge is that 'mature' self-improving education systems should provide the right conditions for headteachers to act as system leaders with the transformative power to create and lead education policy to the benefit of all a region's schools and its children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available