Busy yet passive: (non-)decision making in school governing bodies
Young, H (2016). Busy yet passive: (non-)decision making in school governing bodies. British Journal of Sociology of Education.
School governing bodies in England have considerable powers and duties and their formal role positions them as decision-makers. This paper draws on qualitative research in the governing bodies of four maintained schools. Using deliberative democracy as a sensitising concept, it considers some processes by which decisions are made (or not made) in governing bodies. Without claiming that governors never make decisions, it explores constraints and limitations on their ability to do so. Governors exhibit a paradoxical combination of busy-ness and passivity. On the one hand, governing bodies are constituted and structured around activity and technically decisions were made. On the other hand, it was rare that decisions could be attributed to active choices by governors. Rather, their more passive agreement to actions and positions was presented as almost unavoidable ‘common sense’, either due to the national policy context or to the headteacher’s presentation of the available options.
|Keywords||school governing bodies; deliberative democracy; parents; meetings.|
|Journal||British Journal of Sociology of Education|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1080/01425692.2016.1158641|
|19 Apr 2016|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||09 Sep 2016|
|Accepted||02 Feb 2016|
|Accepted author manuscript|
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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