ERIC Number: ED360142
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Small, Rural and Effective: A Study of Secondary Schools. Warwick Papers on Education Policy, No. 1.
Tomlinson, J. R. G.; Mortimore, Peter
Amidst controversy over proposed school closings, Hereford and Worcester (England) local education authorities (LEA) asked for an evaluation of the effectiveness of six small rural "comprehensive" secondary schools (180-450 students) and their importance to surrounding communities. Data were collected on student achievement; teacher and school characteristics; graduation rates; student discipline; further education and employment of graduates; and attitudes of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community members. Some very positive findings emerged. As a group, the schools attracted well qualified and experienced teachers and offered all subjects of the national curriculum. Compared to larger schools in the county, the group had higher student scores on school-leaving examinations, fewer discipline problems, and a higher percentage of graduates pursuing further education. The community made extensive use of four of the schools, and the attitudes of parents, students, and local employers were positive. Only the smallest school had significantly higher per pupil costs than larger comparison schools. Differences among the schools are discussed, and recommendations are offered to the LEA and the schools. Educational policy issues related to cost effectiveness, unproven assumptions about school size and performance indicators, school-community relationship, and school choice are examined. A reply critiques the study and its recommendations from a policymaker's perspective. Subsequent round-table discussion focused on the generalizability of the research findings and on the overall cost-benefits of small schools. (SV)
Descriptors: Cost Effectiveness, Educational Policy, Foreign Countries, Institutional Evaluation, Intermediate Grades, Rural Schools, School Closing, School Community Relationship, School Effectiveness, School Size, Secondary Education, Secondary Schools, Small Schools
Trentham Books Limited, Westview House, 734 London Road, Oakhill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 4NP England, United Kingdom.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Collected Works - Proceedings
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)