Changing the landscape of school/university partnership in Northern Scotland

Yvonne Bain, Jayne Bruce, Douglas Weir

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This article is a descriptive analysis of the local impact of a national school/university partnership programme in Scotland. Starting from a high-level report on improving teacher education, a series of recommendations was filtered through various stages and agencies until local providers (local authorities and higher education institutions (HEI)) were faced with having to decide how best to respond to a large national agenda but in a manner which was appropriate for local circumstances. How one university and its partners engaged with this agenda, while experiencing considerable staff shortages and in the light of ongoing financial constraints, is described and analysed through the lenses of local and national policy. The most significant learning from that engagement is how national priorities shift and are replaced without much sustainability or continuity while the ‘locals’ remain committed to more fundamental and long-term issues of working together to enhance teacher and pupil learning. In the analysis, considerations of professional development through partnerships are also discussed in an international context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-555
Number of pages19
JournalProfessional Development in Education
Issue number4
Early online date23 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • national policy
  • partnership
  • local government
  • universities


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