The ROC Team conducted a Conditions for Change Survey across practitioners and senior leaders in West Partnership (WP) early learning centres and schools in the autumn of 2019, which elicited just under 2,000 responses.
The findings from this were published in a West Partnership Conditions for Change Interim Highlights Report in December 2019. These findings provided a useful baseline for future research on, for example the capacity, conditions and context for collaboration.
The survey had two main aims:
The report is only one part of a wider, independent external evaluation of West PS activity.
There were 55 questions in total, 45 Likert-scaled* questions, nine demographic and one open question. The questions were designed around five main themes: Reflection and Enquiry, Planning, Involvement, Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) and Leadership.
The survey was sent to two broad groups of practitioners, Senior Leadership Teams (SLT) and Staff in early years centres/nurseries, primary and secondary schools and schools with additional support needs.
The survey received 1,700 responses, 615 from SLT and 1,115 from Staff.
The Infographic depicts the demographic features of the respondents.
There were many positives to draw on: review of practice, active collaboration for planning and enquiry, with internal and external colleagues. There was a foundation for change through the existence of enquiry skills, planning that takes place, involvement of the senior leadership team (SLT) in setting priorities for improvement and attainment and support for professional learning.
However, in many instances this did not apply to the majority, was not widespread and only happened sometimes rather than frequently. There were often wide variations between the SLT and staff perspectives, particularly around involvement in decision making, parental engagement, the value of continuous professional learning (CLP) and opportunities for leadership, within and outwith establishments.
It is important to emphasise caution in `interpreting` these results. They cannot and do not represent the practitioner population in the West Partnership and they need to be augmented with other external evaluation strands.
What the interim survey did was give us a snapshot of practitioner views and practices and an indication of variations in perspective between the two groups and in that way might provide some helpful insights into the ways in which the WP might lead or influence change and promote collaborative working. In addition, the results provided a useful baseline to monitor shifts in the key question areas and indicate potential areas in which the WP might want to explore strategically, with other partners and operationally through its workstreams, e.g.:
The West Partnership should be well-placed to influence or act as a broker or conduit to create the conditions for successful change to improve outcomes for children and young people in the west of Scotland.
*Likert-scaled questions enable respondents to indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a given statement, or express a neutral response. Respondents are not forced to make a binary choice between ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’.