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Creating culture from scratch: a multiple case study into creating culture in English free schools

Hurd, Angela Susan (2016)
Ed.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis considers the introduction of the free school, questioning whether the culture of such start-up schools differs to that of existing schools. The research focuses on the extent to which the founding headteacher controls the formation and continuation of culture, and by what methods.

The research builds on existing theories of organisational culture to establish a current understanding of leadership of school culture within English schools and compares this it five secondary free schools. Within each case study a range of stake holders were interviewed, and documents analysed to investigate how the intended culture was planned for the schools, and what emergent culture has resulted.

The findings presented show an explicit need to plan and embed a new culture and give some practical suggestions as to how to achieve this. Free schools studied demonstrated some distinctive cultural elements, unique in the consistency with which they were embedded. It is postulated these cultural facets are as a direct result of the political turmoil surrounding the free school, and largely result from the external opposition to such schools. The importance and power of the founding generation of staff and students in creating new culture has also emerged as a critical theme.

Type of Work:Ed.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Field, Kit and Bisschoff, Thomas
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:LB1501 Primary Education
LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
LC Special aspects of education
LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7084
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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