School Effectiveness

Introduction

This section explores the factors that can help to make a school effective. An effective school is one that promotes the progress of its students in a broad range of intellectual, social and emotional outcomes, where students progress further than might be expected from knowledge of their backgrounds.

In order to achieve this, an effective school might be expected to have:

  •  strong leadership from the Head
  • a pervasive and broadly understood focus on teaching and learning 
  • a safe and orderly school learning environment or 'climate' that is conducive to teaching
  • high expectations for achievement from all students 
  • parental involvement in homework, helping in lessons etc.
  • the use of student achievement test data for evaluating programme and school success
  • pupil involvement (both in the classroom and within the school in societies, sports teams, leadership positions, representative positions)
  • consistency across lessons in the same subjects, across different subjects in the same years and across different years in the pupil learning experiences they offer.

This section covers the factors that make schools effective and how to implement them in schools.

Publications and Resources:

Bashi J, Zehava S, Katzir R & Margolin I (1990) 'Effective Schools - From Theory to Practice: An Intervention Model and Its Outcomes', Nevo Publishing Ltd, Jerusalem.

This document describes a 3 year project aiming to raise the academic achievements of elementary school pupils in Israel.  The findings of this project are discussed and used to analyse how and why such projects sometimes fail.

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Creemers B & Reezigt G (1998) 'The concept of vision in educational effectiveness theory and research'. Paper presented at AERA, San Diego, 1998.

This paper introduces the concept of vision as a potential solution to problems in the field of School Effectiveness such as the inability of effectiveness characteristics to explain variance in student outcomes satisfactorily or consistently.

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Creemers B, Chrispeels J, Mortimore P, Murphy J, Reynolds D, Stringfield S, Stoll L and Townsend T (1998) ‘The Future of School Effectiveness and Improvement’, in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 9(2), pp. 125-134

This paper examines the progress that the fields of School Effectiveness and School Improvement have made before looking into their future. Future research directions are discussed and recommendations on future practice given.

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Goldstein H & Sammons P (1997) 'The Influence of secondary and junior schools on 16 year examination performance: a cross-classified multilevel analysis', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 219-230 

This paper presents a model for the explanation of examination (GCSE) performance at the age of 16 years in terms of both secondary and junior school attended together with prior achievement measures and certain background factors. Results imply that current attempts to measure the 'effectiveness' of secondary schools using achievement measured at the start of secondary schooling may be fruitless and they point to the need for school effectiveness research to become involved in very long term studies of schooling, rather than being restricted to a single phase.

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Muijs D and Reynolds D (2000) 'School effectiveness and teacher effectiveness: some preliminary findings from the Evaluation of the Maths Enhancement Programme' in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 323-337

This paper summarises recent teacher effectiveness research before discussing the preliminary results from the Maths Enhancement Programme.

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 Reynolds D (1997) ‘The Study and Remediation of Ineffective Schools: Some Further Reflections’ in L. Stoll and K. Myers (eds), No Quick Fixes: Perspectives on Schools in Difficulties, Lewes: Falmer Press, pp. 163-174

This paper summarises what is currently known about the factors which may contribute to a school being ineffective and discusses what might be done to help turn these schools around. Whilst historically the study of ineffective schools has not been central to educational research, much can be learned from an investigation of failure.

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Reynolds D & Packer A (1992) 'School Effectiveness and School Improvement in the 1990s', in D. Reynolds and P. Cuttance (eds) School Effectiveness, London: Cassell, pp. 171-187

This paper discusses some of the changes that occurred in school practice in the 1990's and the case that these changes may result in an increase in the variation of school 'quality'. There is therefore a need for a concurrent rapid development of the fields of school effectiveness and school improvement research and a need for new approaches to school reform.

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Reynolds D & Farrell S (1996) Worlds Apart? A Review of International Surveys of Educational Achievement Involving England. London: HMSO for OFSTED - Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland

This paper explores the reasons why the educational systems of different societies may generate differences in levels of educational achievement. Discussion focuses on the possible reasons for the wide range of achievement of pupils in English schools, and for the wide range of quality of teaching in our schools. We are urged to have an open mind and try to find out why it is that other countries may be doing better than we are.

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Reynolds D & Teddlie C (2000) ‘The future agenda for school effectiveness research’, in C. Teddlie and D. Reynolds, The International Handbook of School Effectiveness Research. London: Falmer Press, pp. 322-343

This paper discusses the issues which are identified as being on the cutting edge of school effectiveness research and tackles recent criticisms of the field. 

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Reynolds D, Creemers B, Teddlie C & Stringfield S (2001) ‘World Class Schools – some preliminary findings from The International School Effectiveness Research Project (ISERP)’ in J. L. Peschar and M. van der Val (2000) Education Contested – Changing Relations Between State, Market and Civil Society in Modern European Education. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger, pp. 15-26

This paper compares educational methodologies in different countries and discusses the shared characteristics of successful educational systems in these countries. The use of this kind of comparative research is encouraged in education as a way to advance thinking, especially the use of large scale cross-national achievement surveys. Ways of improving the quality of these kind of surveys are highlighted.

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Reynolds D, Creemers B, Stringfield S & Schaffer G (2002) 'Creating world class schools: what have we learned?' in, D. Reynolds, B. Creemers, S. Stringfield, C. Teddlie and G. Schaffer (eds) World Class Schools: International Perspectives on School Effectiveness. London: RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 276-293

This paper summarises what we have learned from studying the educational practices of many countries around the globe and makes recommendations for the future success of the field of school effectiveness.

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Sammons P, Hillman J & Mortimore P (1995) 'Key characteristics of effective schools: a review of school effectiveness research'. Paper presented at an internal seminar for Ofsted, London: Institute of Education, March 1995, pp. 1-71

This review of school effectiveness research summarises current knowledge about the factors identified in the literature as important in gaining a better understanding of effectiveness.  Its aim is to analyse and discuss the key determinants of school effectiveness in primary and secondary schools.

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Sammons P, Nuttal D, Cuttance P & Thomas S (1995) 'Continuity of school effects: a longitudinal analysis of primary and secondary school effects on GCSE performance', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 285-307

In this paper multilevel analyses of students' GCSE examination results (taken at age 16) are used to investigate both junior and secondary school effects on students' total performance scores and the issue of continuity of schools' effects over time.

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Sammons P, Thomas S & Mortimore P (1996) 'Towards a model of academic effectiveness for secondary schools'. A paper presented to BERA, Lancaster, 12-15 September 1996.

This paper examines the findings from the 'Differential School Effectiveness Project' in relation to existing theories and models of educational effectiveness and in doing so hopes to increase understanding of the ways in which schools influence their pupils' educational outcomes.

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Slater R & Teddlie C (1992) 'Toward a theory of school effectiveness and leadership', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 242-257 

This paper aims to contribute to the construction of a theory of School Effectiveness and Leadership. This contribution is in the form of a typology of School Effectiveness because typologies can often be useful devices for organising what is known and for focusing attention on important questions and areas for further exploration.

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Stringfield S (1995) 'A brief reflection on the learning consortium special issue', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 275-78

This paper reviews the major conclusions of the Learning Consortium Special issue.

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Teddlie C (1991) 'The use of context variables in schools effects research', in the International school effects research workshop, September 26-27, 1991, pp. 49-70

This paper addresses the historical reasons for the lack of context studies early in school effectiveness research and for the more recent emergence of such studies.  The methodology used in contextually sensitive school effects studies is described and major findings from such studies explored.

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Thomas S, Sammons P, Mortimore P & Smees R (1997) 'Stability and consistency in secondary schools' effects on students GCSE outcomes over three years', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 169-197

This paper reports the results of a UK study investigating the issue of differential school effectiveness. The size of overall school effects versus departmental differences in effects on 16 year old students' GCSE performance are examined, as well as the internal (within school) consistency of departmental effects across six GCSE subject outcomes and the stability of school and department effects across three GCSE cohorts (1990-1992). 

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Townsend T (1994) 'Goals for effective schools: the view from the field', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 127-148

This paper reports on findings related to the perceptions held by members of school communities with respect to the tasks and roles of effective schools.

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Townsend T (1997) 'What makes schools effective? A comparison between school communities in Australia and the USA', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 311-326

This paper compares the perceptions held by members of school communities in Australia and the USA with respect to the tasks and roles of effective schools.

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Wendel T (June 2000) 'Creating equity and quality: A literature review of school effectiveness and improvement', SAEE Research Series #6. http://www.saee.ca

This monograph provides a synopsis of the literature and research dealing with successful and effective schools, school improvement, and the effects of socio-economic status on overall student learning.

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Witiziers B & Bosker R (1997) 'A meta-analysis on the effects of presumed school effectiveness enhancing factors'. Paper presented to ICSEI, Memphis, 1997, pp. 1-37

This paper describes a rigorous, statistical meta-analysis of the effects of presumed school effectiveness enhancing factors and discusses its results.

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Special Issues of School Effectiveness and School Improvement:

Twenty Years Of School Effectiveness Research - Critique and Response, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, March 2001 

Townsend T (2001a) 'The background to this set of papers on the impact of two decades of school effectiveness research', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 3-5

This paper presents the background to this set of papers on the impact of two decades of school effectiveness research.

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Thrupp M (2001) 'Sociological and political concerns about school effectiveness research: time for a new research agenda', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 7-40

This article explores the criticisms that have been made about school effectiveness research and suggests ways to improve this area of research in the future.

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Teddlie C & Reynolds D (2001) ‘Countering the Critics: Responses to Recent Criticisms of School Effectiveness Research’ in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 41-82

This paper addresses the specific criticisms of two books; Slee, Weiner and Tomlinson (1998) and Thrupp (1999).

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Slee R & Weiner G (2001 'Education reform and reconstructions as a challenge to research genres: reconsidering school effectiveness research and inclusive schooling', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 83-98 

This paper examines the invention of school effectiveness as a specific curriculum and pedagogic discourse that has captured not only the hearts and minds of a body of educational researchers but also of policy-makers and politicians from different parts of the political spectrum.

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Reynolds D & Teddlie C (2001) ‘Reflections on the Critics and Beyond Them’ in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 99-113

This paper takes on recent criticisms of the field of school effectiveness, revealing that the field has made much progress towards maximising the educational quality of schools and that it will continue to do so.

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Townsend T (2001b) 'Satan or saviour? An analysis of two decades of school effectiveness research', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 115-130

This paper evaluates school effectiveness research to date, examining both the major criticisms of the field and the responses to these criticisms.

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Scheerens J, Bosker R & Creemers B (2001) 'Time for self-criticism: on the viability of school effectiveness research', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 131-157

In this article some of the topics in the debate about school effectiveness research will be revisited and discussed, and some thoughts for future methods and directions of research are explored.

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Country Reports From Australia, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, And The United States Of America, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1996

Reynolds D (1996) 'Introduction and overview', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 111-113

This paper introduces and summarises the main messages from the Country Reports Special issue.

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Townsend T (1996) 'School effectiveness and improvement initiatives and the restructuring of education in Australia', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 114-131

This paper discusses recent changes and restructuring towards more local decision-making at the school site taking place in the education system of Australia.

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Reynolds D, Sammons P, Stoll L, Barber M & Hillman Josh (1996) 'School effectiveness and school improvement in the United Kingdom', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 133-158

This paper examines the historical origins of research and practice in British school effectiveness and school improvement, the strengths and weaknesses of the British school effectiveness knowledge base and the factors that make some British schools effective. It goes on to comment on the merging of the school effectiveness and school improvement paradigms and of school effectiveness and school improvement and the policymakers interests.

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Stringfield S & Herman R (1996) 'Assessment of the state of school effectiveness research in the United States of America', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 159-180

This article focuses on a finite set of issues in the school effectiveness research of the USA, providing an overview of the structure of American schooling, a brief history of 'effectiveness' research, progress in research and theory, developments in educational practice, analyses of advances in the field and a guardedly optimistic prognosis for 'effectiveness' research in the USA.

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Scheerens J & Creemers B (1996) 'School Effectiveness in the Netherlands: the modest influence of a research programme', in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 181-195

This paper reviews progress in school effectiveness research and theory, its political and societal context and some possible future directions for the field in the Netherlands.

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Dr. Schaffer's powerpoint presentations:

High Reliability Goals

This presentation outlines the goals of a High Reliability School.

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High Reliability Schools 1997

This presentation outlines what education research knew about coaching, mentoring and creating teacher effectiveness in 1997.

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High Reliability Schools 1998

This presentation highlights the importance of being a reflective teacher and examines the many factors which effect the kind of teacher a person becomes.

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