Sсhооl Bаsеd Маnаgеmеnt

Develop systematically and defend with reasoned arguments a version of School Based Management and its associated accountability mechanisms that could deal with the following issues: goal setting, school improvement in identified areas but especially the improvement of student learning outcomes, decision-making, parent involvement, and school self-evaluation.

EDST5459 School Based Management and Accountability

Colin Evers


Seminar Topic 8: School Performance and Evaluation: Autonomy and



The advent of SBM involved a decentralization of decision-making to schools. However, in return for greater autonomy, schools were obliged to comply with new mechanisms for accountability. In earlier sessions we’ve looked at two sources for making SBM work well. The first involved individual critical self-learning through the use of Popper Cycles (although there are many other similar alternatives, for example, action research.) The second looked at school structures that would promote organizational learning. In this session we take a closer look at administrative arrangements for linking internal autonomy and accountability with external arrangements for accountability. A key feature of internal arrangements is the use of school evaluations, in particular school self-evaluations. External sources of evaluation include external testing regimes such as NAPLAN and school inspections by external reviewers. This session explores the use of both of these mechanisms with a focus on various school evaluation mechanisms as a source of organizational learning, notably as a way for a school to learn about what strategies it can adopt to further enhance both student learning and its other goals. I’ve chosen two sorts of literature for this area. The first is more general items that look at the policy of accountability, the forms it can take, and some materials on school self-evaluations. The second, indicated by the websites below, deals with system-wide practices in four jurisdictions. All of the latter material is recent and under continuous development.


It needs to be noted that high-stakes accountability mechanisms, especially where these involve testing of student performance, generate their own problems. The paper by Michael Michell provides an excellent overview of these difficulties.



  1. In your experience, how useful are evaluations for bringing about organizational improvement? What sorts of evaluations do you think are most useful in relation to your own organizational context?


  1. What are the major barriers, within an organization that you are familiar with, that prevent the organization from gaining from those evaluations?


  1. How would you promote organizational learning?


  1. What do you think is an appropriate balance between school autonomy and school accountability? Does accountability diminish opportunities for a school’s growth and development in achieving worthwhile educational goals?


Websites (All current as of 27 April 2015)











Hong Kong:



These are for government school systems. You may also want to take a look at the website for the Association of Independent Schools of NSW to see what they recommend. Below is the homepage. Click on “AIS Services” and then on “Evaluation & Review of Schools”





Anderson, J.A. (2005) Accountability in Education (IIEP, Paris)


Wong, E.K.P., Sharpe, F.G. and McCormick, (1998) Factors affecting the perceived effectiveness of planning in Hong Kong Self-managed schools, Educational Management and Administration, 26(1): 67-81.


Meuret, D. and Morlaix, S. (2003) Conditions of success of a school’s self-evaluation: some lessons of a European experience, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 14(1), 53-71.


Winkler, D.R. (2004) Strengthening accountability in public education, Policy Brief, (USAID).


Michell, M. (2010) Holding Accountability assessment systems educationally accountable, AERA Paper, Unpublished.



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