This ERASMUS PLUS comparative research project is focusing upon all-age schools (also known as all-though schools or through schools), in three different countries (Wales, Spain and Iceland). It aims to explore the contribution of pedagogy and leadership in all age settings by taking a transnational perspective.

The countries selected for comparison, have a variety of all-age provision, therefore they offer a rich basis upon which to collect empirical data and to compare this form of schooling. The international empirical literature on all-age schools is not extensive, so this research will contribute significantly to the knowledge base and will enable conclusions to be drawn about the contribution of this form of schooling to students’ learning and their well-being.

This research project aims to explore three inter-related themes in relation to all-age schools.

  1. Pedagogical approaches and innovations in teaching and learning;
  2. The effective leadership of all-age schools including the most effective leadership structures and practices;
  3. The impact of all-age settings on students’ mental health and well-being

The project will collect evidence that will offer insights and empirical evidence relating to these themes.

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This research aims to provide contemporary evidence about pedagogical and leadership practices in all age schools, in a range of settings, and to explore how their contribution to student learning and wellbeing. The project will provide data on the most effective leadership structures in all-age schools including evidence about the impact of different leadership practices, such as distributed leadership and teacher leadership. It will consider issues of students’ mental health and well-being, providing insights into the ways in which the well-being of students is supported in an all age school setting.

This research project will secure a better understanding of the how all-age schooling, in different contexts, works. It will consider how such schools provide students with a positive learning environment and will illuminate the innovative pedagogical processes in place in such schools. It will explore the relationship between an all-age school environment and students’ wellbeing /mental health.

This research will ensure that all-age schooling is better understood, within and across national borders and that by taking a comparative perspective, it will afford a deeper understanding of the contribution this form of education makes to the provision of talented and well-adjusted young people. This research project will strengthen the knowledge base on pedagogy and leadership approaches in all-age school settings. It will provide evidence that will support teachers, in such settings, to develop innovative teaching and leadership approaches.

With the increasing internationalisation of education, a comparative study of this nature and scope is important for policy makers, in different countries, with an interest in improving educational performance and enhancing student well-being. This research work will also be of value to those leading all-age schools and to teachers who are working within young people in all-age settings.