Articles (Refereed) «Previous Next»

School governance : research on educational and management issues

John Ainley, Australian Council for Educational Research
Phil McKenzie, Australian Council for Educational Research


In a number of countries the past 20 years have seen increases decentralisation of authority for a range of decisions to individual schools. A range of arguments has been advanced in support of decentralisation but a common belief is that shifting authority to schools will enhance the quality, effectiveness and responsiveness of public education. This paper argues decentralisation is not a unitary concept and can be applied to different elements of the teaching and learning environment: curriculum organisation, financial management, personnel management and resource allocation. Research that has investigated the impact of decentralisation itself on student learning outcomes has not revealed large effects. However, there appear to be greater impacts where decentralisation is implemented as part of a package of changes where the central authority has responsibility for defining curriculum frameworks, monitoring quality and intervening as necessary the results are more promising.

Suggested Citation

John Ainley and Phil McKenzie. "School governance : research on educational and management issues" International Education Journal 1.3 (2000): 139-151.