COMMUNITY CONSULTATION AND THE ROLE OF PRINCIPALS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCHOOL CHARTERS

Year: 1992

Author: McGee, Clive, Hall, Alan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
The New Zealand education system has undergone substantial administrative change following the report of the Taskforce to Review Education Administration (1988), known as the 'Picot Report' (Administering for Excellence, 1988). This paper focuses upon school charters, which were proposed as a vehicle for each primary and secondary school to bring about greater autonomy of decision-making for schools within guidelines established by the government. The taskforce proposed that a board of trustees would be established for each school and that a school would draw up a charter stating its own objectives to put alongside others prescribed nationally. It would "act as a contract between the community and the institution and the institution and the state". (p.44) The concept of a charter wasÿÿó retained in the government's blueprint for educational reform, Tomorrow's Schools (Lange, 1988) subsequent to the Picot Report. In collaboration with the principal, the staff, and the community, the board will be responsible for the preparation of the institution's charter within the overall national guidelines for education. The charter will define the purposes of the institution and the intended outcomes for students. (p.3) The particular focus of this paper will be on two key aspects of the initial preparation of a charter, community consultation by boards of trustees and the role of the principal in the process of charter development. The paper draws on the work of Hall and McGee (1991) in their study of charter writing which was one of the studies in the Monitoring Today's Schools project which collected data in 14 schools (7 primary, 2 intermediate, and 4 secondary) which reflected a mix of urban-rural and socio-economic type.

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