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Cluster Management

Leading a self-improving school system

The language used to describe and explain teaching schools is significant. Although based on the teaching hospital, the key concept of strategic alliance evokes the widespread use of the term in the world of business and industry. Partnership can easily become a soft, warm and cuddly process of unchallenging relationships between professionals to achieve some modest outcome. Most teachers have experience of such partnerships, commonly with another member of staff on a clear task in the same school. Complex collaboration is different, in that goals are ambitious, many people are involved, tasks are less clear, agendas differ (sometimes quite sharply) and most important of all, the partners come from different organisations with distinctive histories and cultures.

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National College for Teaching and Leadership