About this research
How was the research carried out?
The research involved a mixed methods design including quantitative research methods (e.g. analysis of attainment data) and qualitative research methods (e.g. case studies).
What are the strengths of the research methodology?
Mixed methods designs combine qualitative and quantitative research methods. These designs aim to use the strengths of different methods and to triangulate findings to produce more balanced results and a deeper understanding of the issues.
What is the context for this research?
The London Challenge was first introduced in 2003 in response to an increasing gap between schools rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and those that were underperforming. In 2008, following its success, the City Challenge was launched to improve outcomes for young people in Manchester and the Black Country. Since then there have been other regional and area-based initiatives aiming to replicate the success of the London Challenge. As a result this review sought to explore these initiatives and identify key lessons. Due to different educational and policy contexts the findings may need to be contextualised for application in Scotland.
The following questions may provide a stimulus for discussion:
- How aware are you of the potential barriers facing learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in your area?
- In your setting, how well do you use research and evidence to improve outcomes for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds? How could this be improved?
- How could you collaborate with partners to respond to the particular needs of learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in your area?
About the author(s)
The report was written by Anna Claeys, Chris Paterson and James Kempton (Centre Forum).
Ofsted (2010). London Challenge. Manchester: Ofsted.
Teddlie, C. and Tashakkori, A. (2011). Mixed Methods Research: Contemporary Issues in an Emerging Field; in Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (Sage Handbooks), 4th. Ed.
This research was not commissioned by Education Scotland and the findings, recommendations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Education Scotland.
Claeys, A; Paterson, C and Kempton, J (2014); Regional Challenges: A Collaborative Approach to Improving Education. London: Centre Forum.
Links(s) to full research article
Regional challenges - a collaborative approach to improving education