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Journal cover: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Online from: 1981

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Effectiveness, inequality and ethos in three English schools


Document Information:
Title:Effectiveness, inequality and ethos in three English schools
Author(s):Laura C. Engel, (Graduate School of Education and Human Development, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA), John Holford, (School of Education, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham, UK), Helena Pimlott-Wilson, (Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Citation:Laura C. Engel, John Holford, Helena Pimlott-Wilson, (2010) "Effectiveness, inequality and ethos in three English schools", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 30 Iss: 3/4, pp.140 - 154
Keywords:Disadvantaged groups, Education, England, Social inclusion, Social values
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01443331011033337 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – This paper aims to explore the nature of effective schools serving socially disadvantaged communities, and to point to an overlooked feature in the literature on school effectiveness in relation to social inclusion.

Design/methodology/approach – As part of a trans-European project, three English schools are investigated. A qualitative case study approach is utilised. The schools selected have high proportions of ethnic minority students with low socio-economic status backgrounds, yet demonstrate successful results.

Findings – The data show the importance of high expectations, and the development of classroom and school-wide systems to translate these into practice. This reflects areas highlighted by earlier research on schools in disadvantaged communities. The data also point to important conclusions about school ethos.

Research limitations/implications – The findings are based on a sample of three schools. Though purposively selected (as successful in challenging circumstances), further research is needed into the role of an inclusive ethos in school effectiveness.

Practical implications – As Scheerens and Bosker argue, schools are most important for underprivileged and/or initially low-achieving students. Improving the effectiveness of schools in disadvantaged communities is therefore vital, and an ethos of inclusion is an essential dimension in this.

Originality/value – The conclusions mirror in many respects the findings of earlier research on effective schools in socio-economically deprived communities. However, the paper also draws attention to the importance of developing and sustaining an ethos of inclusion in schools serving disadvantaged communities.



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