Teachers' involvement in decision-making: a case-study of a primary school at a time of rapid change
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This thesis rests upon a case-study of staff involvement in decision-making during a time of rapid change in the education system of England and Wales in a Church of England (aided) primary school for children aged 5 to 12. referred to under the pseudonym St. Kerensa's. Against this background of change. I develop a framework for the analysis of teacher involvement with special reference to the influence of statutory demands, focusing particularly upon the headteacher's attempts to establish a climate of collaboration and staff reactions to the opportunities for involvement. The imposition of govemment reforms affects the development of intra-school policy, diverting attention from various immediate school needs. The tightly coupled decision-making process established by the headteacher as part of her response in dealing with the reforms is found to be inadequate in itself to facilitate committed teacher participation. The case-study indicated that in her quest to establish this process the headteacher needed to take into account teachers' interpretation of events, value positions and workload, the effect of interest groups, and teachers' misgivings about involvement. Clarification over the purpose of the consultation process was found to be an important factor in ensuring teachers' satisfaction about their involvement; in this respect, the conditions under which consultation took place reflected the level of collegiality and consensus. The thesis contributes to our fuller understanding of teachers' involvement in decisionmaking by recognizing the importance of both the structural and inter-personal elements in decision-making. Headteachers need to be clear about the extent of their hegemony and the importance of a school culture in which staff well-being is valued, their concerns for children acknowledged, and the clarification of shared values and goals viewed as axiomatic in the quest for coherent decision-making during a time of imposed national reforms.
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