School self-management and the development of professional community: Some effects of the Professional Recognition Program in Victoria

Year: 1997

Author: Ingvarson, Lawrence, Chadbourne, Rod

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In 1992 the newly elected state government of Victoria in Australia introduced a system of self-managing schools, called Schools of the Future. This paper provides some preliminary findings about a new program for managing staff in Schools of the Future. The Professional Recognition Program (PRP) , as it is called, provides guidelines for self-managing schools on how they are to carry out their new responsibilities for managing teacher performance.

The central features of the PRP include a new three level career structure from probation to leading teacher, annual performance reviews and bonuses, and an enhanced authority for principals in teacher selection, evaluation and promotion.

The main focus for this research was the relationship between moves toward school self-management and the development of professional community in schools. We use Louis, Kruse and Marks (1996) and Darling-Hammond's definitions of professional communities. Smylie's (1994) review of work redesign provides the conceptual framework for the study. Findings are based on interviews with 25 staff in four high schools and a survey of 350 teachers and principals in twenty high schools.