Managerialsm, teacher culture and performance review : a comparative study of state and independent schools
The view that the adoption of certain managerialist procedures and practices (such as performance management or performance-related pay) will inevitably lead to performance improvement has had an enormous impact on the state maintained sector. This study, which uses mixed methods, examines the complex and contested relationship between managerialism, teacher culture and teacher performance review in state and independent schools. Schools in the independent sector are not under any statutory compulsion to implement a particular model of performance review — for example performance management — in the same way as state maintained schools. Evidence from case studies (supported by national survey data) suggests that the predominant discourse in state schools is one of managerialism. Teacher cultures can be described as being generally improving and learning in nature. Performance review schemes have moved from being less managerialist, richly contextualised, and summatively reassuring to being explicitly managerialist, less contextualised, normative and developmental following the introduction of statutory performance management in 2000. In contrast, the predominant discourse in independent schools is one of anti-managerialism or, to a certain extent, amanagerialism with little engagement with managerialist notions of teacher culture. Because of the prevailing anti-managerialism, performance review schemes are largely ineffective, the schemes' main function being to summatively reassure teachers that they are doing a good job.