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Stimulating innovation in small education action zones : reality or rhetoric?

Crew, John (2003) Stimulating innovation in small education action zones : reality or rhetoric? EdD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

The promotion of innovation is a theme that is commonly found in many Labour Government policies and publications since 1997, especially in education. However, in practice, innovation is often difficult to define and can be challenging to implement. Since April 2000, small (Excellence in Cities) Education Action Zones have been developed as one strand of the Government's 'Excellence in Cities' (EiC) programme to raise standards of education in deprived urban areas of England. The whole Education Action Zone initiative (both large and small) has been promoted by the Government as a test-bed for innovation in order to improve educational standards. This study reviews the development of the Education Action Zone initiative and through an empirical study, investigates the impact that the introduction of small (EiC) Education Action Zones has had on stimulating educational innovation in zone schools in the inner city areas of England. The study considers how the directors of the small zones have interpreted the meaning of innovation, the types of innovation that have been implemented in the zones and the impact that these innovations have had on improving education provision in the zone schools, as well as the barriers and constraints that the directors have experienced when introducing innovations. The key findings from this study indicate that there is uncertainty about the meaning of innovation amongst zone directors, especially whether innovations have to be original ideas or just new within the context of their zone. The impact of the innovations that have been implemented so far is difficult to assess, due to the short timescales involved and the wide variety of innovations introduced. The innovations that have been introduced into the zones, mainly in the areas of pupil support, partnerships, curriculum, ICT and involving the wider community, have been new to the individual zones rather than 'new' per se. The zone directors do appear to have overcome many of the barriers and constraints that they have encountered when implementing innovations in the zones, resulting in thriving active partnerships developing between zone schools which should have positive outcomes for raising achievement in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (EdD) University of London Institute of Education 2003.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:52
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 11:43
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