Improving schools in challenging contexts: exploring the possible

Harris, A., Chapman, C. , Muijs, D., Russ, J. and Stoll, L. (2006) Improving schools in challenging contexts: exploring the possible. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 17(4), pp. 409-424. (doi:10.1080/09243450600743483)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This article outlines the findings from a small-scale research study that explored how a group of secondary schools in challenging contexts had improved and raised attainment successively over a 5-year period. The study points to the importance of external factors and how they influence a school's ability to improve and to sustain improvement. The study also identified certain strategies for improvement that schools found to be successful in securing improved performance. The article argues that more highly differentiated improvement approaches to school improvement are needed for schools in such circumstances. It concludes by suggesting that while schools in challenging contexts can raise attainment and performance through their own efforts, the external environment remains an important influence upon a school's ability to improve.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chapman, Professor Christopher
Authors: Harris, A., Chapman, C., Muijs, D., Russ, J., and Stoll, L.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:School Effectiveness and School Improvement
Published Online:16 February 2007

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record