Navigating school improvement : School leaders balancing system accountability and responsibility for equity and inclusion

Journal article


Kimber, Megan, Spina, Nerida, Spooner-Lane, Rebecca and Carrington, Suzanne. (2022). Navigating school improvement : School leaders balancing system accountability and responsibility for equity and inclusion. Leading & Managing. 28(2), pp. 51-58.
AuthorsKimber, Megan, Spina, Nerida, Spooner-Lane, Rebecca and Carrington, Suzanne
Abstract

Globally, many governments have reformed education to enhance accountability for student learning through school improvement initiatives. While acknowledging accountability has various interpretations, in this article we investigate accountability as audit, and consider how school improvement relates to a school's capacity to increase students' "learning outcomes". A range of research highlights that education leaders work with accountability systems in different ways, with some school leaders seeking methods to balance their system accountability (audit, transparency, performance) with their professional responsibility (e.g., moral, accountability, responsibility to school community, serving the public good). It is suggested in this article, where educational leaders (principals, deputy principals, system leaders) have been guided by neoliberalism, accountability as responsibility might be replaced with accountability as audit. Here, accountability is narrowed to accounting practices, which are applied to people and organisations. In such a situation, equity (fair and impartial treatment of students, along with equity in outcomes for individuals and for groups) and inclusion (all students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic background, ability, etc., are welcomed and encouraged to be active participants in the school and classroom) could be diminished. This situation has implications for how leaders progress equity and inclusion, because it creates the potential for leaders' attention to be directed towards accountability, ahead of equity and inclusion. It is suggested that balancing system accountability and responsibility can provide school leaders with a way to navigate school improvement to enhance equity and inclusion in their school community.

Year2022
JournalLeading & Managing
Journal citation28 (2), pp. 51-58
PublisherAustralian Council for Educational Leaders
ISSN1329-4539
Web address (URL)https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=eue&AN=161542561&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s5501413
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range51-58
Author's accepted manuscript
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
OnlineDec 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Jul 2023
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