Research Questions

  • Which social, political and pedagogical factors and initiatives contributed to school improvement and enhanced social mobility in various regions of England (London, Social Mobility and Opportunity Areas) from 1990 to 2020?
  • How do heads and teachers in highly effective and improving schools in England define ‘school quality’?
  • What accounts do heads of effective and improving schools in England give of the process of measuring, reviewing and developing quality in their schools?
  • What do heads and teachers at effective and improving schools understand by the terms ‘good teachers’ and ‘good teaching’?
  • What do teachers need to learn in initial teacher education and in continuous professional development if they are to contribute effectively to school quality?

The comprehensive quality monitoring structures in place in the English education system have provided it with a wealth of experience in measuring and developing school quality. In recent years, marked improvements in pupil performance in schools situated in deprived areas of Londonhave drawn the attention of educationalists.

In this context, English universities, particularly the University of Oxford, have conducted pioneering empirical work on school quality and school development.