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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Are educational networks the new panacea for system reform? Here’s how to ensure a more thoughtful approach

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 8 January 2019

Melanie Ehren. 
In the last decade many countries have introduced policies to mandate or incentivise school networks. Examples are teaching school alliances and Multi-Academy Trusts in England, regional improvement consortia in Wales, area-learning communities in Northern Ireland, and networks for inclusive education in the Netherlands.
Network governance and school-to-school collaboration seems to be the new panacea for educational improvement. Even the OECD is advocating network governance as an effective strategy for school improvement and to tackle complex educational challenges in child development.
The introduction of networks has not been without problems, but most of these can be attributed to policies that failed to ensure that the conditions for effective collaboration between (more…)