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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research Group: School Improvement and Effectiveness

Currently Active: 

Research in the area of School Improvement and Effectiveness uses an approach that focuses on developing structures to encourage critical reflection within (and of) schools while involving the wider community of stakeholders in understanding the impact of policy on quality of learning and student / organisational welfare.

Research is led by Professor Anthony Kelly  As a theoretician Professor Kelly specialises in developing concepts from outside education - for example, from the commercial sector - for use in schools and colleges, and analysing policy and governance in relation to schooling, particularly school choice as it affects individual and societal well-being. His approach tends towards mixing quantitative and qualitative methodologies; for example, developing and adapting game theoretic models for better understanding decision-making in schools. He is the author of numerous books, research reports and papers in academic journals, and is an established figure internationally in the field of school improvement and effectiveness.

Currently an ESRC / DTI Knowledge Transfer Partnership project is investigating the use of performance data for school improvement including how schools might better use alternative metrics in the future. Research students in this field are investigating:

  • primary science education policy in Greece
  • using pupil attainment data for whole-school improvement
  • school improvement in Nigeria
  • managing Preparatory schools
  • educational attainment among Bangladeshi children
  • beginning headship and early years in post
  • leadership training in the British army
  • preparing students for ethical practice in healthcare management
  • building effective teams for school improvement in Ghana.

The research area comes under the Centre for Leadership, School Improvement and Effectiveness (LSIE).

Related Staff Member



Book Chapter

  • Kelly, A. (2008). School effectiveness. In G. McCulloch, & D. Crook (Eds.), The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Education Routledge.


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