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ERIC Number: EJ868701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
The Search for next Practice: A UK Approach to Innovation in Schools
Hannon, Valerie
Education Canada, v49 n4 p24-27 Fall 2009
In 2002, the Labor Government in the UK established an Innovation Unit, within government, to support practitioner-led innovation in schools. Two considerations led to this action. First, there was an increasing sense that amidst the plethora of national strategies and change programs, an important element was in danger of being lost: the professional creativity of teachers and school leaders, who were increasingly feeling more like operatives than true professionals. Second, there was a strong sense that education had to change more rapidly to meet the challenges of the 21st century--that innovation was here to stay. In its early years, The Innovation Unit worked by grant-aiding interesting projects proposed by schools and seeking to disseminate their findings. This led to some useful developments, but could not be described as a particularly powerful approach to supporting innovation, nor was it sustainable. Fast forward to 2009. The Innovation Unit ( is now an independent, not-for-profit agency, entirely independent of government, which works with schools, collaboratives, local authorities and many other agencies to promote innovation in learning. After developing a self-critique and an entirely new methodology, The Innovation Unit was spun off in 2006. It is now completely self-supporting, without government grant funding, and thrives through undertaking commissions, tenders, and contracts with a wide variety of clients. However, its history within government and its closeness to the policy process has given it a unique insight into the dynamics of change within the system. This article discusses some key ideas about the Innovation Unit and some information describing how it works. (Contains 6 notes.)
Canadian Education Association. 119 Spadina Avenue Suite 705, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9, Canada. Tel: 416-591-6300; Fax: 416-591-5345; e-mail: publications@cea-ace-ca; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom