Solution Oriented School Improvement Programme: Does it do what it says on the tin?

Prof Doc Thesis

Evans, Margaret Jean 2011. Solution Oriented School Improvement Programme: Does it do what it says on the tin? Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsEvans, Margaret Jean
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The effectiveness of school improvement programmes has been investigated primarily with a focus on children’s academic attainments. Research on school improvement programmes acknowledges the importance of stakeholder inclusion in organisational change. The views and experience of school personnel were sought in order to triangulate this information with improvement indicators of school performance. The Solution Oriented Schools (SOS) Programme is a strengths-based school improvement programme which builds on school capacity and inclusive practices. The outcomes of the SOS Programme’s improvement criteria were monitored in 26 schools over one year using a mixed methodology design. Data on improvement indicators such as pupil and staff attendance, fixed-term exclusions and staff turnover was used. Average rates before and after SOS implementation were compared to identify and investigate any improvement in these indicators in line with SOS programme claims. Using a Friedman test, decreases in fixed-term exclusion reached significance. (p< 0.001). The rate of authorised pupil absences, staff absences and turnover decreased but not significantly and unauthorised pupil absences significantly increased (p<0.05). The self-esteem of 316 pupils aged between 4 and11 was measured using the LAWSEQ scale before and after SOS programme implementation and a significant increase was found (p<0.001). Staff self-esteem, measured using the Rosenberg scale also increased significantly (p<0.05) and provided a significant indicator of Programme sustainability (p< 0.05).
Thematic analysis of seventeen interviews undertaken with staff led to a proposed model of school improvement. This model demonstrated that the extent of the effectiveness of school improvement programmes rested on the preparation of staff in terms of capacity, perceptions of change and stability of the school before implementation of the programme. Goal Attainment Scales were significantly correlated with fidelity of Programme participation (p< 0.05). The SOS Programme was useful in enabling schools to achieve these goals. Feedback on the process of change necessary for the success of the SOS programme indicated that there was more to school improvement programmes than simply buying one ‘off the shelf’.

KeywordsSolution Oriented Schools Programme; school improvement
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintJul 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Nov 2012
Publisher's version
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