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‘Making children count’: an exploration of the implementation of the Every Child Matters agenda

Ainslie, Susan and Foster, Rob and Groves, Jean and Grime, Kate and Straker, Katherine and Woolhouse, Clare (2010) ‘Making children count’: an exploration of the implementation of the Every Child Matters agenda. Education 3-13, 38 (1). pp. 23-38. ISSN 1475-7575

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Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a funded research project that explores the implementation of the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda within the Greater Merseyside area. The research team explore how primary schools and external agencies are currently working together to deliver this agenda in order to highlight areas of good practice as well as potential sites of conflict. The aim is to develop an effective response to the challenges currently faced by schools and other agencies in meeting the requirements of the principles underpinning the ECM agenda. The research project implemented a mixed-method case-study approach, using questionnaires, policy documentation and stakeholder interviews as data sources. Responses were elicited from members of school staff, parents and professionals from the education welfare, health and social services to gauge their perceptions of how well they felt schools and agencies were responding to the challenges of implementing the ECM agenda. There is strong evidence of effective multi-agency working, particularly in relation to children who are ‘at risk’ or have special educational needs, and in terms of contributions to the curriculum and life of the school for all pupils. There are also clearly identified areas for further development, for example on shared operational frameworks. There are also concerns that poor resourcing and a lack of practical support could hamper the embedding of reforms.

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