#027 – Sam Baars & Iesha Small – school cultures and practices

8th November 2018

#027 – Dr Sam Baars and Iesha Small: school cultures and practices

In this episode, Sam and Iesha talk through the findings of our recent report for the Department for Education which looked at school cultures and practices that support the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. We discuss what we mean by ‘school culture’, how we can measure it, and the elements of culture that seem to stand out in schools where disadvantaged pupils do particularly well.

In this episode Sam and Iesha:

  • Define what we mean by ‘qualitative coding’ and how it helps you arrange and analyse 10,000 items of data
  • Lay out the 11 areas of school culture and practice that we explored through our fieldwork
  • Discuss the research tools we used to ‘get under the hood’ of the culture in 23 schools
  • Think about the role of school leadership in setting a school’s culture
  • Explore how schools often have similar cultures and practices on the surface, but exhibit variation when you examine them in detail
  • Identify consistency as a key element of an effective school culture
  • Consider how high performing primary schools use idealistic aspirations as a ‘hook’ to get young people thinking about all of the possible futures open to them
  • Discuss how schools manage the transition from primary to secondary to avoid a ‘gulf’ in school cultures
  • Ponder why researchers always insist on giving balanced answers…
  • Share thoughts on footballers who write poetry
  • Suggest ways in which schools might want to think about their cultures
  • Think about the difference between inheriting an organisational culture and being able to start from scratch

Resources/people featured or mentioned:

If you found the show useful

Leave a review on iTunes

Contact us with feedback, questions or future suggestions

[email protected]

[email protected]

Music credits:

‘Oui’ by Simon Mathewson and ‘Jump for joy’ by Scott Holmes both from http://freemusicarchive.org