Schools’ engagement with the Get Set London 2012 Olympic education programme : empirical insights from schools in a non-hosting region / Shushu Chen, Ian Henry

Chen, Shushu | Henry, Ian

During the Olympiad, an Olympic host country is required to organise and deliver an education programme to schools nationwide. Schools’ experiences of engagement with such programmes are often reported on by the government rather than being rigorously examined by academics. Moreover, there is little scientific understanding of how individual schools facilitate the programmes and why different schools engage with the same programme in different ways and to varying degrees, and generate different levels of impact. Looking at th e London 2012 Olympic education programme called Get Set, this original qualitative research was undertaken to explore local schools’ experiences of involvement with the programme in a non-hosting region, Leicestershire. The paper advocates the use of programme-theory-driven evaluations (in particular a realist evaluation approach) to assess programme implementation. The results provide explanations of how and why case study schools engage more effectively or less effectively with the programme. The results identify the missing links in the programme theory, highlighting the significance of contextual factors at individual school levels, and arguing for the adoption of tailored strategies for effective programme implementation.

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