Capacity for Collaboration? Analysis of School-to-School Support in England

Daniele Bernardinelli, Karen Wespieser, Claudia Sumner

19 July 2017

The self-improving school system in England relies on school-to-school collaboration to support underperforming institutions.

In order to assess capacity within the maintained system for collaboration, NFER conducted analysis to identify and match underperforming schools and high-performing schools within a set radius. Schools are plotted on the interactive map, but are not named.

Our analysis shows that there are 5,677 high-performing schools and 2,511 underperforming schools (‘in need’ of support), across all regions and phases of education in England. The number of high-performing schools exceeds the number of schools ‘in need’ in all Government Office Regions at primary level and in most regions at secondary level.

Research also shows that there are considerable regional differences in the level of support available to underperforming schools, with schools ‘in need’ in London having the greatest choice in terms of high-performing potential partners.

This capacity to collaborate should be prioritised as a potentially cost neutral activity at a time of budget constraint. The NFER suggests that the Government promotes this capacity for collaboration to demonstrate its commitment to the self-improving school system that is flourishing in England.

Capacity for collaboration? Interactive map tool

This interactive map allows users to explore the data and focus in on the area or phase that is of most interest. For definitions of the terms used in the interactive map, please see the main report. Using the navigation bar at the top of the webpage, users can choose which phase to view (primary or secondary) and whether to view by region, local authority or parliamentary constituency.

Users can choose how to look at the analysis by either viewing results for:

  • the number of high-performing schools per school in need (median)
  • the percentage of high-performing schools
  • the percentage of schools in need

Related Titles

Capacity for collaboration? Analysis of school-to-school support in England , performance of partially selective schools in England

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