NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1019318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1741-1432
School Autonomy and Government Control: School Leaders' Views on a Changing Policy Landscape in England
Higham, Rob; Earley, Peter
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v41 n6 p701-717 Nov 2013
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government elected in 2010 has argued contemporary reform will increase the autonomy of schools in England. Given the complexities that exist, however, in the balance between autonomy and control, we explore how school leaders view autonomy as it exists within the wider policy framework. The article develops, first, a historical and analytical perspective on school autonomy. Second, it analyses a survey of almost 2000 school leaders, as well as case study data, to explore their views on autonomy, accountability, external support and managing change. Third, it considers the implications. Drawing on Simkins's concepts of operational and criteria power, school leaders are shown to commonly anticipate greater power over aspects of school management but not over the aims and purposes of schooling. A significant variation is also found between school leaders in their perceived capacity and freedom to act. This leads to a proposed typology of confident, cautious, concerned and constrained schools. A key implication, we conclude, is that increasing operational power for schools, declining Local Authority support and differentiated school autonomy have a very real potential to exacerbate existing local hierarchies between schools.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A