Control, Autonomy and Partnership in Local Education: Views from Six Chief Education Officers

Bennett, Nigel; Harvey, Janet A. and Anderson, Lesley (2004). Control, Autonomy and Partnership in Local Education: Views from Six Chief Education Officers. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 32(2) pp. 217–235.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143204041885

Abstract

In the light of central government rhetoric of partnerships in educational provision, and the recent redefinition of schools’ relationships with local authorities, this article explores the perceptions of six chief education officers of the formal relationships that currently exist between them. The CEOs interviewed were drawn from different types of LEAs, some of which had seen high levels of ‘opting out’ by their secondary schools and some of which had had very low levels. They saw the concept of partnership as problematic, raising significant questions about the extent to which their organizations, constrained by formal accountability relationships and externally created codes of practice, could discharge their responsibilities as partnerships. It is suggested that the concept of partnership needs further clarification and precision if it is to be used in describing relationships between schools and their LEAs.

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