Professional Development

To collaborate or not collaborate

A key feature of the self-improving school system is inter-school collaboration. Verena West explores the motivation, benefits and challenges inherent in such commitment to collaborate.
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Inter-school collaboration and the self-improving system

Is inter-school collaboration (ISC) the new normal?  The current situation in education indicates that we have reached a tipping point.  If we consider the most formalised form of ISC, the formation of a multi-academy trust (MAT), and picture MATs at the tip of an iceberg with various forms of ISC beneath it, then the iceberg is growing at a rapid rate. There were 1,010 MATs in operation in England in 2016 (DfE, 2016a), and this rose to 1,230 in 2017 (DfE, 2017).  Considering that the average MAT consists of two to nine academies (Andrews, 2016), these figures represent a significant number of schools.

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