Diversifying schools and leveraging school improvement: a comparative analysis of the English radical, and Singapore conservative, specialist schools' policies

Dimmock, C. (2011) Diversifying schools and leveraging school improvement: a comparative analysis of the English radical, and Singapore conservative, specialist schools' policies. British Journal of Educational Studies, 59(4), pp. 439-458. (doi:10.1080/00071005.2011.636732)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2011.636732

Abstract

Within the context of fierce global economic competition, school diversification and specialist schools have been seen by governments as cornerstones of education policy to engineer school improvement in both England and Singapore for more than a decade. In both systems, the policy has manifested in different school types, school names and sometimes buildings – in England, specialist status schools, academies and most recently free schools; and in Singapore, specialist schools and niche schools. Diversification is promoted by each school emphasising distinctiveness in its curriculum – often with implications for its funding and degree of autonomy – which differentiate it from others. There is normally the intention to scale-up curricular innovations school-wide. The paper addresses three aims in respect to both countries: first, it profiles the evolution of specialist schools' policies in both states in relation to school improvement and secondly, social justice; thirdly, it undertakes a comparative policy analysis in order to draw conclusions as to how the relationship between central government and schools has re-configured in both countries – arguing that the policy in England is radical, that in Singapore, conservative.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dimmock, Professor Clive
Authors: Dimmock, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Professional Learning and Leadership
Journal Name:British Journal of Educational Studies
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:0007-1005
ISSN (Online):1467-8527

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