Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Perth, Western Australia
Since the mid-eighties state governments have initiated the restructuring of the public school systems in order to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. However, after controversial beginnings, the commitment to the principles underpinning the reforms has weakened. The reality lags far behind the loosely-applied rhetoric of devolution, accountability and productivity. While in this disabling transitional state, schools are now subjected to a new wave of change propelled by the economic restructuring agenda of the Commonwealth Government. Extraordinary expectations are being set for schools as a consequence of policies designed to connect the outcomes of education more closely to the requirements of industry. Under these conditions, public school systems are virtually unmanageable.
Professor Angus explores the reasons why efforts to restructure public school systems have stalled. He examines policy options which might enable school systems to respond to the mounting demands being placed upon them.
A key question considered is whether the concept of a 'government school system' which has served Australia during this century can survive into the next.