Issues and challenges of school governance

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Leading & Managing


The Australian Council for Educational Leaders


School of Education




Leggett, B., Campbell-Evans, G., & Gray, J. (2016). Issues and challenges of school governance. Leading & Managing, 22(1), 36-56. Available here


Research reported in this article investigated the governance issues and challenges facing school boards in 10 case study schools, all of which are low fee Anglican schools in Australia. Five governance issues were identified and are discussed: dependence on the system; focus on buildings and facilities; the strategic focus of the board; the principal-chair relationship; and the participation of board members. Each of these themes is relevant in each case study school, but operates in different ways, reflecting but also contributing to each school's individuality. The research was underpinned by the theoretical framework for governance in independent schools proposed by McCormick et al. (2006). The article includes an examination of the applicability of the framework to a small system of schools, generally endorsing the framework, suggesting minor modifications to it, and reinforcing the value of its non-normative nature.

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