Smyth, John (1996) The Socially Just Alternative to the ‘Self-Managing School’. In: International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Kluwer International Handbooks of Education, 1 . Springer, pp. 1097-1131. ISBN 978-94-010-7203-8

In this paper I want to, first, briefly sketch out what is happening with regard to the devolution as expressed in the concept of the ‘self-managing school’. It is prevalent in almost all western democracies at the moment (USA, England and Wales, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia), and there are important commonalities not only in what is claimed to be in the best interests of public education, but also what is not being disclosed in respect of this worldwide phenomenon, or the alternatives to it. The basic argument is that moves towards devolution, in most cases, are not fundamentally about grassroots democratic reform of education aimed at giving schools and their communities more power — rather, they are about precisely the reverse, namely, the intensification of central control, while seeming to be otherwise.

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