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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(3), 678-694.
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Regional secondary school consolidation: A rationale and study protocol

Scott Eacott
University of New South Wales, Australia

This paper describes and justifies the protocol for a research project investigating regional secondary school consolidation reforms in New South Wales, Australia. The study is designed to describe the experiences of those directly involved in the transition to a consolidated school in a way that has so far eluded educational leadership researchers. Identifying five themes from the international literature on school consolidation (leadership and governance; staff and student wellbeing; teaching and learning; curriculum and pathways; community satisfaction), the paper then articulates a systematic research protocol for examining the transition from individual schools through to a consolidated school. Previous studies have not systematically examined this transition and how it shifts practices and perceptions from different stakeholder perspectives. Using a purposeful merger of quantitative and qualitative forms of evidence, this study protocol has the potential to play a defining role in the area of school consolidation reforms. The applicability of the study design holds promise as an adaptable, focused, and sustainable protocol for generating understanding of school consolidation transitions and developing an empirical evidence base that is localised, internationally benchmarked, and critical for school decisions about investments and outcomes for educators, students, and communities.
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Authors: Scott Eacott is Associate Professor and Director, Higher Research Degrees in the School of Education at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He tweets from @ScottEacott and you can find out more about his work at http://scotteacott.com.
Email: s.eacott@unsw.edu.au

Please cite as: Eacott, S. (2019). Regional secondary school consolidation: A rationale and study protocol. Issues in Educational Research, 29(3), 678-694. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/eacott.pdf

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Created 14 Jul 2019. Last correction: 14 Jul 2019.
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