Evaluation of the Northumberland Raising Aspirations In Society (NRAIS) Project

Gregson, Margaret, Spedding, Patricia, Moseley, David and Baumfield, Vivienne (2008) Evaluation of the Northumberland Raising Aspirations In Society (NRAIS) Project. Project Report. University of Sunderland Press, Sunderland.

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Abstract

This is the Final Evaluation Report for Northumberland’s Raising Aspirations in Society Project
(NRAIS). A key concern in writing this document has been clarity of presentation and balance of
argument. In seeking to make the report accessible and of interest to the widest possible audience
we have framed our presentation of the data through a series of case studies of NRAIS schools.
Through these case studies we illustrate themes from both qualitative and quantitative data strands
of the evaluation. Although this is the Final Evaluation Report it is important to note that it is
presented as part of a process of illumination in the light of data we have collected over the past
three years. An important aspect of this process is that it aims to enable those who funded the
NRAIS Project and those who participated in it an opportunity to use progressively the findings
of this report to inform their work. We are aware that in any evaluation there are likely to be
competing claims for any gains or losses identified and we have sought to utilise approaches and
methods that will provide rich insights and understandings of the data we have collected, to
identify the impact of the NRAIS Project.
In undertaking this evaluation:
1. We designed methods that incorporated quantitative and qualitative data streams
and endeavoured to compare the messages derived from each at key points in the
evaluation.
2. We progressively structured the sample of case study schools to include those with
high, moderate and low NRAIS involvement.
3. We progressively focused our research instruments upon the claims made by
Headteachers, teachers and parents who had been supported by the NRAIS projects
in terms of gains they attributed exclusively to NRAIS.
4. We shared and tested emerging findings from the evaluation during all three phases
of the research with all of those who participated in the research.
5. We considered and drew upon OFSTED reports for each of the case study schools.
6. We commissioned additional research where returns from quantitative research
instruments were less than optimal.
7. We invited NSP and the NRAIS Steering Group to comment upon the first draft of
the final report. We also asked them to respond to our Report-and-Respond survey,
requiring their reactions to a series of statements listing the tentative findings of this
evaluation.
8. We invited all participants from the case study schools to complete the Report-andRespond
survey and to comment upon our description and analysis of their school.
x Evaluation of the Northumberland Raising Aspirations In Society (NRAIS) Project
We asked schools who had only participated in the first phase of this evaluation to
complete the Report-and-Respond survey.
9. We have drawn upon a range of research literature in relation to, ‘formative
evaluation’, ‘illuminative evaluation’ and education research, to explore ways in
which inquiry and feedback might be combined to provide sponsors with greater
confidence in the wider validity of the tentative findings of this evaluation.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education, Educational Evaluation, Formative Evaluation, Democratic Evaluation
Subjects: Education > Educational Research
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society
Depositing User: Margaret Gregson
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 11:39
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2018 11:39
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/8692

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