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Title: Decentralised management in independent secondary schools in Qatar's educational reform initiative
Author: Alkubaisi, H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 1698
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This study aims to develop a critical understanding of how the policy of decentralisation and its implementation in independent secondary schools in Qatar is perceived by principals, teachers, and other staff. The study examines decentralisation policy implementation, practices, and challenges in Qatar, and in particular, the four major principles of the Education for a New Era (EFNE) reform—autonomy, accountability, variety, and choice. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews, school observations, and document analysis that focused on the perceptions of 32 study participants of the implementation of decentralised management. Four independent secondary schools, established as government-funded reform-based schools under the educational reform, were selected. These schools included four school principals, 16 teachers, four professional development specialists, four technology specialists and four learning resources specialists (12 members of other school staff). In addition, the study explored the participants’ perception of the role and practice of school leadership in the context of decentralisation management, the challenges to the implementation of decentralised management in the selected four independent secondary schools, and potential solutions. The study identified the participants’ perceptions in light of how the literature on school leadership and policy change had been adapted to the cultural context of Qatar. The study focuses on school decentralisation, integrating three theoretical lenses as the conceptual framework— educational change theory, policy learning theory, and school leadership theory—not only to better understand the implementation of decentralisation as a consequence of implementing an education system reform initiative but also to address the research questions. According to the findings, the participants indicated there were differences between the original decentralisation and principles of EFNE and their actual implementation. In addition, the results highlighted the present challenges for school principals, teachers, and other school staff, such as excessive involvement of the Supreme Education Council (SEC), frequent changes, a lack of parental involvement and insufficient professional development. Furthermore, this study provides the following recommendations to aid in the implementation of decentralisation policy: developing the credibility of the educational reform (i.e. EFNE); developing strategies that could improve current implementation related policies and practices; improving support that facilitates the success rather than the maintenance of EFNE; understanding the importance of school leadership and developing the knowledge and skills required from school leaders; adopting a home-grown model of reform initiative and decentralisation; and re-evaluating and changing the current professional development and improving parental involvement.
Supervisor: Wilkins, R. ; Riley, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available