From July 2001 to June 2002
Project Leader(s): Vivienne Baumfield, Mei Lin
Staff: Jill Clark, Ian Hall and Liz Todd.
Contact: Mei Lin
Sponsors: DETR - Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions
The research was funded by DETR - Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions, and ended in 2002. The research team included several members of staff from the Centre for Learning and Teaching, and led by Vivienne Baumfield, included Jill Clark, Ian Hall, Mei Lin, and Liz Todd.
The purpose of this research study was to provide a literature search and review, comprised of research-based evidence and information in relation to the theme 'transition between Key Stages in schools'. However, it was not the aim of this research to provide all of the research-based information. Instead, we aimed to provide research-based information on the gaps in specialist members’ knowledge, and provide an academic review and analysis of such materials.
The literature review was organised in terms of the value added by local authorities in the following respects:
• The enhancement of schools’ efforts through appropriate forms of challenge and support
• The direct provision of services to children (e.g. Educational Psychology Service, Education Welfare Officers)
• Strategic planning and co-ordination activities, (e.g. bidding for and managing funding, promoting inter-agency collaboration, developing corporate approaches, liaison with central government and regional Government Offices).
The research study aimed to identify evidence and materials which related to transition and transfer, and we aimed to collate, collect, review and critically evaluate this material. In conducting our review of materials, we paid particular attention to the following themes:
• A definition of the issue, in this case 'transition', by outlining its nature, scale and history and the factors that contribute to it;
• Identification of what local authorities should be seeking to achieve, in terms of overall aims or objectives, in promoting 'smooth' pupil transition,
• An outline of the issues involved in addressing pupil transitions which will affect the local authority's ability to develop and/or implement an appropriate response;
• A descriptive baseline of current practice based upon available quantitative and qualitative data;
• The essential characteristics of an approach that ought to constitute 'Best Practice' based upon normative considerations as well as empirical observations.
The research paradigm underpinning this study was very much on the ‘traditional’ literature search and review as opposed to a systematic review. The focus of the review was on the range and diversity of research using a selective, opportunistic and discursive approach to identifying and interpreting relevant literature
This research was essentially desk-based research, and focused on information identification, collection, gathering and collation. We began our search and review by drawing on a variety of methods which included:
• Standard bibliographic literature searches
• Web searches
• Written communication
• Telephone calls
We then aimed to identify materials which included:
• Academic materials. Published reports, research findings, journal articles, conference papers, scholarly books, etc.
• Academic 'grey' literature. Such as unpublished papers, internal reports, working documents, etc.
• Non-academic materials. Including both published, and unpublished, 'grey' materials, such as unpublished papers, speeches, and internal reports by local bodies such as local government, local education authorities (LEAs), councils, Education Action Zones, etc.
• Ofsted reports following LEA inspections and other summary reports
• Policy documents - Government/local government materials, Educational Development Plans, Behaviour Support Plans, etc.
Dr Mei Lin
Professor Liz Todd