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OUR PUBLICATIONS > Creative Partnerships Change Schools Programme Evaluation

CCE Research

Creative Partnerships Change Schools Programme Evaluation

December 1, 2010

Authors: David Wood Consultants

Institution: David Wood Consultants

Full reference: David Wood Consultants (2010). _Creative Partnerships Change Schools Programme Evaluation._ Newcastle: Creativity, Culture and Education

Summary of key findings

This report presents a national evaluation of the Creative Partnerships Change School (CS) programme. It sets out to answer the following questions:

  • What is the ‘nature and effectiveness’ of the Change Schools Programme?
  • What are its ‘success indicators’?
  • Did schools travel an ‘appropriate distance’ during the Programme?

The report highlights aspects of the programme viewed as effective by Change Schools staff and pupils. It finds that schools experienced steady and positive change, with highlights, particularly towards the end of projects, when pupil and staff motivation was often transformed. There were frequent instances of impact on parents, carers and families, although often schools gathered little hard evidence of the Programme’s influence on achievement and attainment.

The Change School Programme ‘encourages participation through co-ownership, risk taking or challenge, reflection, learning new knowledge and skills and provides opportunities to meet and work with different people both inside and out of school.’ (p.71)

‘The almost unanimous verdict of case study school staff was that the Change Schools Programme was a focus for positive change.’ (p.27)

The researchers make a number of recommendations as to where CCE, ADOs and schools might best focus activity during the remaining months of the programme to enhance its overall impact and legacy, particularly around the evidence collected and encouraging a more in-depth discourse about creativity and learning with teachers and pupils that draws more on research.

The researchers also suggest strategies schools might consider so as to maintain positive change beyond the funding period. These might include engaging an external ‘critical friend’ to fulfil the developer function adopted by many Creative Agents and developing programmes to sustain discourse about creative teaching and learning, which might be informed by CCE research and publications.

They stress the need to maximise efforts to capture and disseminate evidence about the benefits of the Change Schools Programme. They also suggest that Area Delivery Organisations and local authorities might usefully try to engage and challenge schools which have not hitherto considered the strategic development of creative learning and teaching.

Research Questions & Methodology

David Wood Consulting used a mixed-methods approach whereby ‘thick descriptions’ from nine school case studies were complemented by database evidence on 80 sample schools. This was triangulated by reference to Ofsted inspections of sample schools.

The sample of 80 (an estimated 10% of the schools that took part in the programme) consisted of 48 primaries, 3 special schools, 27 secondaries and 2 PRUs from across England. 9 case study schools were selected from this sample for more indepth school visits between November 2009 – July 2010. These visits included semi-structured interviews with senior managers, the Creative Agent, school staff, pupils and creative practitioners.

Evaluation data is from 1st and 2nd years of the 3 yr programme and the researchers predict that further progress and consolidation of the Programme is likely if current momentum is sustained, based on their assessment of the current capacity of the school to sustain change.

Read the report.