AN ACTION RESEARCH ENQUIRY INTO THE MARKETING OF AN ESTABLISHED FIRST SCHOOL IN ITS TRANSITION TO FULL PRIMARY STATUS
Examined 10 Dec. 1999. University of Kingston
This thesis is based on a five year research study, in which I have looked at my own practice as a headteacher in the marketing of a newly formed primary school, using action research methodology. The study was undertaken as I was aware that because of LMS formula funding, open enrolment, opting out, SATs, league tables, OFSTED inspections, schools had been forced into competition with each other and consequently had to market themselves. I, as headteacher, was aware that although I would have to both operate under and implement the above reforms in our school, I was of the opinion that the above reforms could indeed damage education. Therefore, I looked for a mechanism whereby I could reduce the damage which the reforms may cause. This thesis describes how I worked within these reforms, utilising them so as to give enhanced learning opportunities for the pupils in our school. The research required long-term observation and reflection and also extensive literature reviews of marketing strategies (both industrial and educational) and primary headship. A distinctive feature of the research is the account of the author's exploration of his educational values within the context of external pressure to initiate the process of marketing the case study school. As a result of my enquiry, I am able to make the following claims about my practice:
Claim Number One. This thesis contributes to the professional knowledge-base of education in a description and explanation of how a headteacher in a newly formed primary school has asked, researched and answered questions of the form 'How can I improve my own leadership and management?'.
Claim Number Two. This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge in an analysis of the extent to which industrial marketing strategies were effective in the educational context of marketing a primary school.
Claim Number Three. This thesis is an original study of a headteacher in a primary school striving to live his values in his practice so as to maintain his integrity in the light of incessant changing education reforms.
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