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ERIC Number: EJ1111436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0951-354X
Rebels against the System: Leadership Agency and Curriculum Innovation in the Context of School Autonomy and Accountability in England
Greany, Toby; Waterhouse, Joanne
International Journal of Educational Management, v30 n7 p1188-1206 2016
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse the development of school autonomy, school leadership and curriculum innovation in England over the past 40 years. It provides a baseline picture for the wider international study on school autonomy and curriculum innovation. Design/methodology/approach: An initial literature review was undertaken, including policy document analysis. Interviews and observations were undertaken with participants on a pilot professional programme for school leaders seeking to develop their school curriculum. Findings: While all schools in England have needed to adapt their curricula to reflect the new National Curriculum introduced from 2014, relatively few schools appear to have used this opportunity to design genuinely innovative curricula that respond to the changing needs of learners in the twenty-first century. This includes the academies and free schools--currently around one in four schools--which are not legally required to follow the National Curriculum. The authors posit that leadership agency by principals and their professional teams is more important than policy/legal freedoms for securing curriculum innovation. Such agency appears to depend on the capacity and confidence of leaders to shape an alternative and innovative curriculum in the face of structural constraints, in particular England's sharp accountability system, effectively making these leaders "rebels against the system." Research limitations/implications: The empirical findings are preliminary and based on a small convenience sample. Originality/value: Given England's position as a relatively extreme example of high-autonomy-high-accountability quasi-market school reforms this paper provides valuable insights on school autonomy and curriculum innovation that can inform policy and practice more widely.
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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