Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The organisational impact of key performance indicators : their effect on English and Scottish schools
Author: Wiggins, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0001 1514 7679
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2002
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The use of key performance indicators has dramatically increased over the last twenty or so years. Their introduction has been largely justified on the grounds that high stakes proxy indicators (test and exam results), increase accountability which will in turn `drive up' overall performance. Whilst there has been some evidence that measured standards have risen, there have been associated costs, as well as claims of unintended or dysfunctional consequences. The place of KPIs within the broader organisational and managerial context was firstly considered. with particular reference to generic management and accounting theory. Secondly, the results of a questionnaire survey of 162 heads and teachers in England and Scotland was reported. The key findings included evidence that KPIs had a narrowing effect on the curriculum, that they tended to undermine heads and teachers, and encouraged a blame culture. There was also evidence that they caused schools to concentrate on targets at the expense of other important objectives, as well as concentrating on `boarder-line' pupils. English primary schools reported far more dysfunctional behaviour due to KPIs, than did their Scottish counter parts. This was attributed to league tables which Scottish primaries do not have. At the secondary level the results were similar, tables are published for secondary schools in both countries. There was widespread support for changes to the KPIs, including the use of a wider range of measures and `value added' indicators, as well as discontinuing league tables. Improvements to the KPI systems were discussed, including the use of `balanced score card' systems; however, it was argued that such technical changes need to be accompanied by more fundamental organisational changes. There needs to be `top down' leadership, which devolves trust and responsibility, rather than blame and accountability; and one that will develop and nurture a true learning culture throughout the education system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: School inspection