Busy yet passive: (non-)decision making in school governing bodies

Journal article


Young, H (2016). Busy yet passive: (non-)decision making in school governing bodies. British Journal of Sociology of Education.
AuthorsYoung, H
Abstract

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.

Keywordsschool governing bodies; deliberative democracy; parents; meetings.
Year2016
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN1465-3346
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/01425692.2016.1158641
Publication dates
Print19 Apr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Sep 2016
Accepted02 Feb 2016
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8746y

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