15 SES 05, The Notion of Partnership: Case Study I
Parallel Paper Session
A range of advantages has been put forward for cooperation between educational organisations in recent years (e.g. Muijs et al 2011), and there is a growing body of evidence that collaborative arrangements and networks can have a positive impact on organisational functioning, and even on student outcomes (Chapman, Muijs & Sammons 2010). However, the emotional aspects of collaboration have not so far been addressed in much of the literature.
“Being a principal is a lonely job” is a statement oft heard when interviewing principals. This is even more strongly the case in contexts where high levels of responsibility are coupled with high levels of pressure. This is the situation in the 6th form college sector in England. 6th form colleges, which provide 16-18 year olds with teaching and preparation for A-level exams (which are necessary for university entry) became autonomous institutions following incorporation in 1993, which released them from local authority control. Full free student choice operates within the system, and funding is directly dependent on student numbers. These pressures are increasing as budgetary problems in the UK have led to significant funding cuts. Alongside these competitive pressures, colleges are subject to strict accountability regimes, with frequent high stakes inspections taking place.
Notwithstanding these pressures, the colleges in this study are part of a strong collaborative local network, sustained through building up trust over time and a clear set of mutual benefits such as shared professional development and quality assurance.
In this paper we will explore the emotional aspects of competition and collaboration for the principals involved in the project.
Durkheim, E. (1972). Selected Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Muijs, D., Chapman, C., Ainscow, M. & West, M. (2011). Networking and Collaboration in Education. Dordrecht: Springer.
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.