Enabling school-driven system leadership: Rapid review
Enabling school-driven system leadership: Rapid review

Robert Smith, Helen Aston, David Sims and Claire Easton

Research Report, 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.

Key Findings:
  • 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.

Further Information:
Format: PDF, 41pp

How to cite this publication:

Smith, R., Aston, H., Sims, D. and Easton, C. (2012). Enabling school-driven system leadership: Rapid review. Slough: NFER.