Schools Linking Network Final Evaluation Report, 2008-09, A Raw

Linking Evaluation 2009

This evaluation was of the Bradford Schools Linking programme and the roll out to other local authority areas.

The following qualities and conditions emerge from the evaluation as indicators of how to identify and support best practice in Linking work, and how to identify and improve weak practice.

Common criteria for high performing links

High performing links were in settings which bore most or all of the following hallmarks:

  • Thoughtful teachers, committed to taking children to a deeper level of exploration, using the project as an opportunity and framework, and regularly reflecting on difficult issues;
  • A positive, open, questioning and healthy partnership between linked teachers, including co-reflection after linking days;
  • Well co-planned, well organised, equal and reciprocal linking experiences;
  • Face-to-face contacts for children, balanced and complemented by in depth classroom-based support work (including reflection time, exploring concerns openly and positively);
  • Staff / school with previous experience of linking, confidence in delivery and discussion;
  • Whole school commitment and focus on the linking work (passion at leadership level);
  • The school ethos places diversity, openness, curiosity and non-judgemental attitudes amongst its highest priorities;
  • Working with the most productive age-group for this work (Key Stage 2 children benefited most).