‘Inertia’ is harming partnerships, say schools

Report highlights doubts over the benefits of school-university relationships

April 2, 2015

Some schools earmarked by the government as leaders in training teachers have revealed “dissatisfaction” over their partnerships with universities, adding that in some cases they have created a “sense of inertia”, according to research.

Toby Greany, professor of leadership and innovation at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the UCL Institute of Education, who has co-authored a report on “teaching schools”, said that many were questioning the value that they were getting from working with higher education institutions.

“While [any given partnership] had strengths because it was about trust and a relationship, sometimes there was a sense of dissatisfaction [from schools],” said Professor Greany, who launched his report Partnerships Between Teaching Schools and Universities at the UCL IoE last month.

He added that some of the teaching schools – which have a key role in training teachers under the government’s School Direct scheme – did not feel “as though it’s a proper partnership, and that’s creating a sense of inertia”.

Professor Greany stressed that the schools expressing concerns were still those “absolutely committed to the role of research-informed practice and saw a role, in the main, for universities”.

The study adds that the schools’ dissatisfaction is often coupled with a sense of being trapped in the relationship because of the difficulties and concerns about “going it alone”.

“[The dissatisfaction is] tempered by a view that the logistical challenges and emotional effort required to sever the link would be too much to take on,” the report says.

Professor Greany and his team conclude that school leaders must “balance the hard financial aspect” of school-university partnerships with an “assessment of the quality of provision on offer” from the university.

For successful and worthwhile partnerships, they recommend that school leaders be clear on what they need and what they can offer and ensure that – once a partnership has been established – they “create time and space for staff from each institution to work together to achieve agreed objectives”.

john.elmes@tesglobal.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'