The Relationship Between School-Based Management, Student Outcomes and School Performance
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This study focused on the relationship between school-based management, student outcomes and school performance. Its purpose was to identify the conditions that exist in self-managed schools which facilitate improved student outcomes and school performance. In particular, the study investigated three questions: 1. what are the enabling conditions in schools employing school-based management which school staff and parents consider influential in the achievement of improved student outcomes? 2. what explanations do these people give for how these conditions are applied within their schools to achieve success? 3. what judgents do school staff and parents make about the relationship between school-based management, student outcomes and overall school performance? The dissertation commences by describing major challenges and issues facing education over the next decade and by discussing how international and Australian systems of education are responding to these challenges through the implementation of various models of school-based management A review of international literature covering the last fifteen years is then presented to show that the promises and potentials of school-based management espoused by educational authorities have not necessarily led to an automatic improvement in student outcomes and school performance. Various conditions that may enable a school to implement school-based management effectively are suggested.. These conditions, derived from the literature review, are used as the initial prompts to undertake research in fOur Queensland primary schools Qualitative methodologies are used to gather data related to the three questions of the study in these four schools. The data obtained from the fouw case studies are then presented and discussed. The research findings suggest that the relationship between school-based management, student outcomes and school performance are dependent on the existence of severa1 conditions within school-based managed schools. These involve: 1. a comprehensive understanding of the powers available within a school-based management regime; 2. a school's organisational readiness to take on school-based management responsibilities and authonties; 3. the existence of six bases and their enabling conditions: i. an Ideology Base; ii a Relationship Base; iii. a Performance Base; iv. a Pedagogy Base; v. a Management Base; vi. a Governance Base. 4. the capacity of the school to implement school-based management in terms of contextual issues such as the size of the school, workfbrce experience and competency, geographical location and complexity of the campus; 5. the requirement of the controlling authority to delegate key powers and resources such as staffing, facilities management and total school budgeting; 6. a school-based process to manage change and school improvement. It is argued that these conditions maximise the ability of those involved in school-based management to influence improvements in student outcomes and school performance. The dissertation concludes by suggesting five major implications of the study and at least three areas of possible filture research The five major implications are: 1. the development of clear understandings of the scope of the authorities and responsibilities available to school-based managed schools in Queensland; 2. the need to develop methodology to evaluate and identify school organisational readiness to take on school-based management; 3. the development and implementation of a process that will enhance school effectiveness; 4. the development and implementation of a process that can enhance the quality of governance within Education Queensland schools; 5. the development of differentiated school-based management options that broaden the decentralised authorities to schools in consideration of their organisational readiness and capacity to implement school-based management. There are at least three areas of possible future research. The first of these areas involves research to investigate the conditions that exist within schools (to which Education Queensland has assigned the most advanced devolution of authority) that are not successful in improving student outcomes and school performance.. The second area of further research involves an evaluation of the effect that the current school council governance model has on the improvement of student outcomes and school performance.. The third area of future research involves the investigation of the possibilities of enhancing existing school-based management responsibilities and authorities in Education Queensland schools. In summary, this study suggests that school-based management has been used by educational authorities in Australia and overseas as a possible means to improve student outcomes and school performance. The fmdings suggest that for school-based management to achieve what it was set out to achieve, schools need to work an a number of enabling conditions. The most important of these include: an understanding of the school's core purpos~, a school-wide commitment to high teaching expectations, an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of staff, a principal who has a strong commitment to students, a principal who has high hopes, aspirations and expectations for the school, a strong fOcus on literacy, especially reading, effective behaviour management programmes, systems that identify and target student's needs, highly professional staff and school staffing that responds to the complexity of the school. These fmdings are consistent with the argument that there is no automatic causal link between the implementation of school-based management and improved student outcomes and school performance.. It is only when particular enabling conditions exist or are developing within a school, that effective school-based management can take root and support a range of school-based initiatives focused on the improvement of student and school performance When this is the case, school-based management may influence a school's ability to improve student outcomes and school performance.
Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
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