Wilkins, Andrew (2015). School accountability: a comparative study of policy and practice across three types of secondary school. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-851960

Since 2010 there has been a rapid expansion of academies and free schools in England together with the ‘hollowing out’ of local government. During this time new regulations have been introduced to specify the role and responsibilities of school governors which include holding senior leaders to account for the financial and educational performance of schools. Against the background of these trends this study:

  • Describes the ways in which senior leaders and school governors understand and perform governance at this time, and the different forms of knowledge, skills and (claims to) expertise that shape dominant understandings and practices of governance;
  • Explores how different governance setups impact the role and responsibilities of school governors, and the extent to which power over decision making is practised differently within these governance models; and
  • Captures the relations of accountability that exist between school governors and different organizations and actors, and explore the different mechanisms by which different accountabilities are enhanced.

This data collection includes interviews that were carried out with senior leaders, governors and parents as part of an in-depth, multi-sited, case study investigation of school governance in England. Interviews were carried out over a period of 18 months between January 2013 and May 2014. Interviews were conducted across nine schools including two free schools, three converter and sponsor academies, one foundation school and three local authority maintained schools.

If you would like more information about this case study, please contact:

Dr Andrew Wilkins
Senior Lecturer
Cass School of Education and Communities, University of East London
Telephone: 0208 223 2648