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ERIC Number: EJ826593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
Public Service Reform in Education: Why Is Progress so Slow?
Barker, Bernard
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v41 n1 p57-72 Feb 2009
This case study examines why public-sector reform in education often fails to deliver expected performance gains. Longitudinal evidence from a secondary comprehensive located in a former coalfield is used to identify constraints that frustrate government policies. Although the head and senior staff at Norcross School adopted transformational, distributed modes of leadership and implemented a rigorous target-setting regime, the expected increase in effectiveness has not materialised. This disappointment is explained in relation to the flawed assumptions of the result-driven effectiveness agenda, the resistance arising from continuing structural inequalities in society, and the hyperactive complexity of New Labour's approach to managing public services. The study concludes that as the assessment regime in England provides an unreliable picture of student progress, there is no stable basis for judging the success of reform, particularly when perceived improvements in student experience are qualitative in nature. (Contains 123 footnotes and 3 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)