Westminster no more? governance, devolution and delegation in Scotland

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Politicians have returned frequently to the need to reform schools to achieve wider objectives of social reform and economic prosperity. Within the UK education systems, however, there have been differing experiences and approaches at both national (Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish) and local levels towards school governance reform. School governance in Scotland remains distinct compared to the rest of the UK, both in terms of the pace of reform and the content. The pace of reform in Scotland has been slower and the content has been shaped to a greater extent by political and professional modes of accountability. This article argues that a new phase in school governance reform is likely to follow the election of the Scottish National Party (SNP) majority government in May 2011. A number of factors both external (international comparison of the school performance; the post 2008 politics of austerity) and internal (changes led by the SNP government to the policy-making process, namely outcomes-based policy-making) have placed debates about school autonomy and school governance on the political agenda. Politicians have returned frequently to the need to reform schools to achieve wider objectives of social reform and economic prosperity. Within the UK education systems, however, there have been differing experiences and approaches at both national (Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish) and local levels towards school governance reform. School governance in Scotland remains distinct compared to the rest of the UK, both in terms of the pace of reform and the content. The pace of reform in Scotland has been slower and the content has been shaped to a greater extent by political and professional modes of accountability. This article argues that a new phase in school governance reform is likely to follow the election of the Scottish National Party (SNP) majority government in May 2011. A number of factors both external (international comparison of the school performance; the post 2008 politics of austerity) and internal (changes led by the SNP government to the policy-making process, namely outcomes-based policy-making) have placed debates about school autonomy and school governance on the political agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)910-922
Number of pages13
JournalLocal Government Studies
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • school governance
  • education
  • devolution
  • The SNP government
  • policy-making

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