Contemporary Wales, 23(1) pp 71-92
Since devolution in 1999, the Welsh Assembly Government has developed an increasingly ambitious agenda for education in Wales. Local authorities in Wales, perhaps more so than elsewhere in the UK, are seen as playing a crucial role in interpreting, delivering and evaluating this programme. However, they face combined difficulties of resource constraint and diseconomies of scale which are likely to limit their ability to develop an evidence base for the development, implementation and evaluation of policy. This paper draws on data collected from local authorities and other key stakeholders to ascertain the nature and scale of research activity and capacity within Welsh education authorities. It identifies areas of considerable strength, but also indicates significant omissions in the kinds of research local authorities can undertake. The paper argues that building stronger research collaborations with higher education institutions might be one way of consolidating and building on existing strengths and concludes by discussing ways in which such collaboration might be fostered.