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How will educational organisations adapt to the 11-19 reforms?

30 March 2009

The effects of Government 11-19 education reforms upon educational organisations, teachers, learners, parents, governors and the local community will be investigated thanks to a £1 million Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) project.

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Dr Jo-Anne Baird, and colleagues from Bristol University's Graduate School of Education, will lead the project in collaboration with researchers at Queen's University Belfast School of Education. The research team will investigate the impact of educatio refom in schools and colleges between the ages of 14 to 19.In England, there are multiple education reforms and other policy innovtions affecting schools and colleges.  Over the next few years, a wide variety of qualification and curriculum reforms are being introduced, some of which require collaborations between local schools, colleges, businesses and the community to deliver them. In addition, the statutory leaving age will be raised from age 16 to 17 in 2013 and to 18 years of age by 2015. 

The project will offer us an opportunity to look at the impact of the entire reform programme at the organisational level, which is highly unusual.

Dr Jo-Anne Baird
The research will include interviews with head teachers, teachers, students, parents and other stakeholders across 52 schools and colleges in England, including seven special education centres.  Management and governance issues will be explored, as will logistical delivery issues in centres.  Teaching and learning, engagement and motivation issues will also be explored.   

Dr Baird said: "The project will offer us an opportunity to look at the impact of the entire reform programme at the organisational level, which is highly unusual.  We expect that it will be welcomed by teachers, head teachers and learners. It will also involve and engage educational institutions in the reform evaluation process.

"We will also be interested to find out about any similar studies being conducted in other countries, so that comparisons and links may be made."

The findings will be used by QCA, policy-makers and policy implementation bodies and will add to knowledge on educational reform and implementation.  In particular, the issue of centre engagement with policy implementation is under-researched and it is anticipated that the findings will offer advances in this area, which might lead to changes in the way that policy-makers develop reforms.

Further information:

The Longitudinal Centre research study on the assessment policies on schools and colleges in England is a five-year £1,190,417 project funded by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

The collaborative project will be undertaken by the University of Bristol's Centre for Assessment and Learning Studies and Queen's University's Assessment and Learning Research Cluster.  The project will be led by Dr Jo-Anne Baird (Bristol), Professor Jannette Elwood (Queen's University Belfast) and Professor Gordon Stobart (Institute of Education) with team members Dr Anthony Feiler (Bristol) and Aisling O'Boyle (Queen's University Belfast).

Find out more about the QCA project

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) plays a vital role in the development, delivery and reform of the education and training framework for England.

Working closely with government and other agencies, QCA lead the reform of education and training programmes that equip learners, teaching professionals and employers with the skills and support they need to meet the demands of the 21st century.

Dr Jo-Anne Baird is a Reader in Educational Assessment and the Director of the Doctorate in Education Programme at the University of Bristol. She co-ordinates the Centre for Assessment and Learning Studies . Before joining the University of Bristol, she was Head of Research at the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), where she managed the research programme and the standard-setting of AQA's examinations.

Dr Baird is currently an Independent Advisor to the Department for Children, Schools and Families' Expert Group on Assessment and a member of their 14-19 Expert Advisory Group and is Editor for the journal Assessment in Education.

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