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ERIC Number: ED502393
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 139
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISBN: 978-1-9053-1461-4
Inter-School Collaboration: A Literature Review
Atkinson, Mary; Springate, Iain; Johnson, Fiona; Halsey, Karen
National Foundation for Educational Research
To explore the possibility that collaboration between schools in Northern Ireland, in the context of post-primary review, might be used to promote interconnections between the denominational education sectors as part of a contribution to improving community relations, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) undertook a review of literature on school collaboration to gain information on the different ways in which schools work in partnership. The review sought to illustrate the various models and approaches implemented by schools and to highlight strategies that have been particularly effective. Overall, the review highlighted a lack of solid empirical evidence relating to inter-school collaboration. Evaluations/research that have been conducted have focused on evaluations of particular initiatives rather than the processes involved in inter-school collaboration per se. A lack of literature relating to inter-faith school collaboration was also identified. Scope for further research in these areas was highlighted. Various types of inter-school collaboration were examined. Many commonalities were noted in the facilitating factors associated with collaborative working and the benefits that are to be gained for schools, their staff and their students. The distinction of collaborations bringing together schools with different cultures is a useful one in the context of the work in Northern Ireland. The findings highlight issues pertinent to these circumstances. An intended outcome of collaborative working was to assist the process of breaking down barriers between schools and individuals of different cultures and to help develop community cohesion. This would suggest that collaboration may be an effective strategy to help promote interconnections between the denominational educations sectors in Northern Ireland. Benefits of inter-school collaboration were identified, for the whole school, their staff and their students. The breaking down of barriers, dispelling of misconceptions and promotion of mutual understanding between schools and individuals was a key outcome, further supporting its potential value in the context of Northern Ireland. Analysis of the literature also identified some of the difficulties associated with inter-school collaboration, particularly where there are inequalities, competitiveness and cultural differences between schools. Time devoted to building positive relationships between partners, resolving issues raised by cultural clashes and promoting mutual understanding would seem essential. Six appendixes include: (1) Government Initiatives Promoting Inter-School Collaboration; (2) Glossary of Initiatives/Terms; (3) Search Strategy; (4) Literature Summary Template; (5) Literature Sample Information; and (6) Extent of Collaboration: Checklist. (Contains 3 tables.)
National Foundation for Educational Research. The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ, UK. Tel: +44-1753-574123; Fax: +44-1753-637280; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Foundation for Educational Research
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)