Implementation of school councils in Queensland state primary schools

Doctorate other than PhD

Pointing, Randall John. 2005. Implementation of school councils in Queensland state primary schools. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

Implementation of school councils in Queensland state primary schools

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorPointing, Randall John
SupervisorSturman, Andrew
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages307

In Queensland, all state schools have the opportunity to decide the model of school-based management they would like to adopt for their school communities. For schools wishing to pursue the greatest level of school-based management, School Councils are mandatory. Because School Councils will play an important role as schools become increasingly involved in school-based management, the operations of newly formed Councils were the basis of this research. The main purpose of the study is to determine, through both literature and research, what makes an effective School Council. Although Education Queensland has identified roles and functions, as well as the rationale behind School Councils, clear guidelines to assist Councils with their implementation and to gauge the effectiveness of Councils do not exist. Because School Councils have only been implemented in Queensland for a very short period of time, there has been very little research undertaken on their operations. There are three main stages to this research. First, an extensive literature review explored the theoretical, research and policy developments in relation to school-based management and School Councils. Second, a pilot study was undertaken of an existing School Council that had been in operation for just twelve months. The final and most significant stage of the research involved multi-site case study of three newly formed School Councils, the research being conducted over a twelve-month period to obtain a longitudinal picture of their operations. Two general theoretical frameworks, based on the concepts of change theory and leadership theory, guided the research. Data from the study were analysed within these frameworks and within six focus areas that were identified from the literature and pilot study. These focus areas formed the basis for the development of criteria for the implementation of an effective School Council that were investigated in the three case studies. The focus areas were: 1. promoting the profile of the School Council within the school community; 2. developing well defined roles, responsibilities and functions of the School Council; 3. developing roles and relationships of School Council members; 4. promoting accountability, monitoring and reporting responsibilities; 5. providing training and professional development for all School Council members; and 6. improving the functioning and operations of the School Council. The research was conducted within the qualitative tradition. Specifically, the method adopted was multi-site case study. Data-collection techniques involved questionnaires, interviews with School Council members, observations of Council meetings and an analysis of Council documentation. The findings from the study outlined a number of theoretical understandings and suggested criteria to assist schools in developing a more effective Council, including examples of strategies to support their effective implementation. It is envisaged that the theoretical understandings, the suggested criteria and specific examples will be of benefit to other schools where School Councils are being formed by providing them with a structure that will assist in the beginning stages of the Council's operation.

Keywordsschool councils, primary school, Queensland, accountability, change, community involvement, devolution, educational governance, leadership, participation, school-based management
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
399999. Other education not elsewhere classified
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