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ERIC Number: ED525596
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-9051-5096-2
By Schools for Schools: The Origins, History and Influence of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, 1987-2007
Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
This paper presents the history of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT). The origins of the specialist schools programme lie in a meeting to address high levels of youth unemployment held at the House of Lords in January 1986, the result was the establishment of 100 technology schools to meet the skills needs of new business. In the early 1990s the organisation employed nine full time members of staff and supported 15 schools. It now employs over 350 people and supports a network of schools over 4700 strong. England now has a specialist system of secondary education. Charting this journey reveals six factors that appear to have most to do with this success. The first is timing. The second factor is the design of the specialist schools programme itself. The third factor is the power of the schools' network. The fourth factor is the involvement of external sponsors in the programme. The fifth factor is the ability of the organisation itself to change and adapt and, in recent years under the leadership of Elizabeth Reid, to build capacity. The sixth crucial factor is the vision, lobbying skills and determination of its chairman, Sir Cyril Taylor, described by Peter Wilby in the Guardian (source 2) as a "man with a mission", Sir Cyril has advised 11 successive secretaries of state and chaired the organisation throughout its 20-year history.
Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. 16th Floor Millbank Tower 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP, UK. Tel: +44-20-7802-2300; Fax: +44-20-7802-2345; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)