Higher education institutions and specialist schools: potential partnerships
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Education, Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies
This paper argues that the development and growth in numbers of Specialist Schools in England raises a number of key questions about the relationships between higher education institutions (HEIs) involved in initial teacher training (ITT) and continuing professional development (CPD) work, and schools now designated as Specialist Schools. It focuses attention on Specialist Sports Colleges to illustrate the complex, dynamic and contested policy context in which new partnerships are arising. Recent policy statements from government and agencies associated with the development of Specialist Schools in England are identified as according Specialist Schools a clearly privileged position as compared to HEIs in plans for the further reform of education, training and sport provision in England. Discussion emphasises the need for renewed debate about conceptualisations of partnership and for more research that focuses on emerging HEI - Specialist School partnerships.