Research Articles (English)

Schools Challenge Cymru: A Catalyst for Change?

Author: Mel Ainscow (Wales Journal of Education)

  • Schools Challenge Cymru: A Catalyst for Change?

    Research Articles (English)

    Schools Challenge Cymru: A Catalyst for Change?



This paper provides an account of the first phase of Schools Challenge Cymru, the Welsh Government's flagship initiative to promote equity. Broadly stated, Schools Challenge Cymru aims to bring about rapid improvements in the performance of schools serving the more disadvantaged communities, and to use lessons from these developments to strengthen the capacity of the education system to improve itself. The design of the initiative is informed by lessons from the highly acclaimed City Challenge programme in England. It is based on an assumption that education systems have further potential to improve themselves, provided policy makers allow the space for practitioners to make use of the expertise and creativity that lies trapped within individual classrooms. Therefore, the aim is to 'move knowledge around' and, it is argued, the best way to do this is through strengthening collaboration within schools, between schools and beyond schools. The paper contrasts this approach with current international trends, which place an emphasis on the power of market forces to improve educational standards.

How to Cite:

Ainscow, M., (2016) “Schools Challenge Cymru: A Catalyst for Change?”, Wales Journal of Education 18(2), 6-22. doi:

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Published on
01 Nov 2016
Peer Reviewed