Claire Easton, Robert Smith, David Sims, Helen Aston
01 October 2012
NFER funded this rapid review of the evidence on how high-performing countries enable school-driven systems leadership. The review found that each of the successful systems identified in the literature had some form of middle tier that was distinct from national government.
- stakeholders who are committed to working together and sharing experience
- distributed leadership, harnessing the expertise of all staff
- provision of traditional ‘support and challenge’ functions alongside brokering and enabling ways of working that respond to schools’ needs.
- a lack of trust between the middle tier and schools
- a failure to challenge when necessary, which can lead to long-term decline
- failure to look beyond one’s own institutions and take responsibility system performance
- lack of capacity in the middle tier to support and challenge schools.