Strategic planning : Local Education Authorities and primary school development
Many changes were taking place in schools and local government while this thesis was being developed during 1992 and 1993. An historical perspective of the impact of legislation on education is followed by a description of the emergence of school development planning. The literature on school effectiveness and improvement, together with that on inspection and advice, are the contexts for consideration of change and quality in schools. Data from every LEA in the UK is linked with interview data from a sample of LEAs with schools engaged in an ESRC-funded research project. Additional information from national education offices and from other research carried out during the same period is used to triangulate perceptions. Insights from this range of data are then presented in two sections: the implications for LEAs and schools are explored and characteristics identified. The evidence indicates that the strategic role of LEAs has been significant in the introduction of primary school development planning. The implementation of policies that have been mandated by central government since 1988 have increasingly depended on schools' ability to prioritise within their own planning. The impact of these policies on the performance, accountability and strategic capacity of community services is considered. Particular consideration is given to collaboration between services, the power shift away from elected members of LEAs towards school governors, and the scope for effective leadership in education. The implications for the deployment of resources and re-orientation of responsibilities throughout the education service and teaching profession are far-reaching. Conclusions about the appropriateness of networking, of competition, and of new patterns of bureaucracy vary in different parts of the UK. In the wake of recent legislation affecting education and local government, a new initiative is needed to revitalise strategic systemic planning and inter-school collaboration.