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Primary School Governance: The Perspectives of Head Teachers and Chairs of Governance

Dixon, MR (2015) Primary School Governance: The Perspectives of Head Teachers and Chairs of Governance. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

In England over 300,000 school governors serve some 23,000 schools, influence the lives of over 7 million children and oversee a budget in excess of £20 billion per annum. School governors, as unpaid volunteers, are said to have responsibilities and duties that are unprecedented in the voluntary sector. These responsibilities and duties are likely to become even more demanding and complicated as changes in the education system are implemented. Despite this, there has been limited research on primary school governance. The research, presented here, sought to investigate the perspectives of key stakeholders in primary school governance by interviewing the head teachers and chairs of governance of 20 schools. Maximum variation sampling was used to select 20, contextually different, primary schools within ten Local Authorities. The research adopted a qualitative approach - the head teacher and chair of governance of each school were interviewed, during 2011, using a semi-structured schedule to elicit ‘thick descriptions’ about primary school governance. Additional information was obtained from the most recent Ofsted report for each school. Four themes, all related to the research questions, emerged from the literature review. These themes were used to structure the interview schedule, to present the data and in the subsequent discussion and analysis. Findings of this research confirmed that primary school governance is important and that primary school head teachers received invaluable support from their governing body, especially from their chair of governance. Chairs of governance were shown to be committed to their roles and school governance was found to be complex but governors were judged to be capable of doing the job. The concepts of governor capital, agency and amplification were found to be valid and need to be developed further by primary schools. The training of governors was found to be inadequate and there was inequality in information provision for governors. Recruitment of new governors was problematic for some schools in both disadvantaged and affluent areas. Recommendations included that what is required of school governors needs to be clarified by central government and that further training is necessary for this complex role

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Primary School Governance School Leadership Strategic Leadership of Schools
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 10:29
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2016 10:29
Supervisors: Brundrett, M
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4498

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