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Specialist schools: an exploration of competition and co-operation

By Kate Bell and Anne West


This paper examines the specialist schools programme in England and, in particular, the issue of co-operation between specialist and non-specialist secondary schools. It explores the policy and how it has evolved over time, before examining literature relating to specialist schools, segregation and achievement. A small-scale research study, which involved interviews with officials at national and local levels, and in specialist schools, and a survey of non-specialist schools is described and results analysed. Although the specialist schools programme appears to have facilitated co-operation between schools, there are some major barriers that need to be overcome. One of the most significant is the competitive environment in which schools in England operate. Notwithstanding this barrier, the research suggests that other initiatives covering local education authority areas such as 'Excellence in Cities' and 'Diversity Pathfinders' might serve to foster co-operation between schools, although it is argued that school autonomy is unlikely to be the most productive way to foster co-operation

Topics: L Education (General)
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1080/03055690303274
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:17918
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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