Maija Salokangas & Chris Chapman

Project Summary

Exploring Governance in a Chain of Academies

Much of the debate around the Academies programme has developed around concepts of autonomy and accountability. This research aims to address the tension between these two concepts in a chain of Academies. Autonomy as in how autonomous the members of staff in an Academy are to make decisions in their role, including the nature of issues in which they are able to use their own judgement. Secondly, there will be a focus on the limitations of autonomy, as in to whom and in what kind of issues the members of staff are held responsible in their decision making. This will involve an analysis of accountability procedures within the school and at the chain level. Thirdly, the ways in which regulations are put in place within the school and the chain will be examined.

The methods used in data collection are senior leadership team meeting observations in the chosen schools followed by an interview with each member of senior leadership team. In addition to the Academy senior leaders, representatives of the sponsor will be interviewed and relevant school level and chain level policy documents will be consulted.

(Maija Salokangas and Chris Chapman, University of Manchester)

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