Tomorrow's schools after 20 years: can a system of self-managing schools live up to its initial aims?

  • Cathy Wylie

Abstract

In 1989 the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms brought in self-managing schools as
the unit for educational administration. The government’s stated aims included
a mix of outcomes and processes, which were to: improve educational
opportunities, meet Māori needs more effectively, give local knowledge real
responsibility, and encourage flexibility and responsiveness. The system was to
be more efficient, and provide greater accountability.

After 20 years, progress towards these aims is, at best, mixed. This article
provides a broad overview of the frameworks for school self-management over
this period, identifying two main phases from 1989 to 2009. The first led schools
to develop inward-looking identities. The second introduced a greater emphasis
on capability development. The ongoing legacy of the initial phase is discussed,
since reform phases do not so much replace one another as build on what has
already been established. It also discusses the shortcomings of each of these
phases in relation to the aims of Tomorrow’s Schools, and the kind of framing
school self-management might need if it is to realise the aims of improved
educational opportunities, particularly for Māori, given that this was an initial
driver for the reforms.

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Author Biography

Cathy Wylie
Published
2009-07-01
How to Cite
WYLIE, Cathy. Tomorrow's schools after 20 years: can a system of self-managing schools live up to its initial aims?. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 19, july 2009. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/nzaroe/article/view/1555>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/nzaroe.v0i19.1555.

Keywords

Educational Policy and Administration