An Analysis of inter-school working in State-maintained Colleges in the Maltese Islands

  • Mario Cutajar

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


In October 2005, the Maltese Government embarked on a new phase of its national educational reform; primarily re-organising all State maintained schools into semi-autonomous regional colleges, sustaining partnerships between the schools, the parents and the wider community and re-structuring the education authorities into two Directorates. This thesis reports research into inter-school working that Malta, as in other countries, was actively promoting. The research aims were to:•analyse the nature of collaboration in a policy context that required joint working within and by individual schools;•explore the implications for educational leadership, governance and accountability within and between the institutions involved.Case studies of four colleges were carried out. Key participants were interviewed and documents analysed. The cases were analysed individually and a cross-case analysis was also undertaken. The classification and interpretation of the data focuses on the four key themes: - collaboration, (presented by the 2006 Education Act as a meta-concept and the basis for the success of the Colleges reform), educational leadership, governance and accountability. The data helped me to appreciate the importance of tradition, history and time which are necessary to understand how reforms impact differently on schools in general and school life in particular. The results show that in spite of a highly centralised system, we were used to examples of collaboration that had existed, albeit in informal and ad hoc ways. Many respondents felt that their school leaders lacked leadership qualities and failed to foster a culture of shared leadership. At the same time there was growing concern about the growing administrative responsibilities facing school management. There was consensus that the move to devolve greater responsibilities to the schools through inter-school working and the college system was a move in the right direction. This, in turn, was fostering an ethos of collective accountability within and across schools.
Date of Award16 Sept 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorChris James (Supervisor)


  • Collaboration, Leadership, Governance, Accountability, Colleges

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