Research Articles (English)

Primary school parent governors in a deprived south Wales community: how do their experiences contribute to our understanding of school governance?

Author: Allan Glyndwr Meredith orcid logo (Open University)

  • Primary school parent governors in a deprived south Wales community: how do their experiences contribute to our understanding of school governance?

    Research Articles (English)

    Primary school parent governors in a deprived south Wales community: how do their experiences contribute to our understanding of school governance?

    Author:

Abstract

This research explored the experiences of 10 parent governors whose schools were located in a disadvantaged south Wales valley community. The study took place during a programme of reform, where established practices were considered unable to meet the demands of contemporary governance. It exposes the absence of the parent voice in school leadership and accountability, the nature of this acquiescence and its implications from a practical and theoretical perspective of school governance as a collaborative undertaking. The research used a mixed methods approach. Data collection employed a semi structured interview complemented by one open and one closed questionnaire. Athematic approach identified common patterns to address the research question, ‘What were the parent governors’ experiences of school governance'. Prior to taking office, the participants believed they would be at the heart of decision making and accountability. In office no participant played an active leadership role. Reasons for this centred on the imbalance in status, knowledge and confidence inherent in the headteacher/professional - governor/amateur relationship. The research makes a theoretical and professional contribution which helps explain governor passivity. Presently many parent governors are stakeholders in name but not in practice. To address this requires a radical and structured approach so that Welsh school governance is inclusive, egalitarian and collegial.

Keywords: governance, agency, hierarchy, neo liberalism, un/democratic participation

How to Cite:

Meredith, A. G., (2023) “Primary school parent governors in a deprived south Wales community: how do their experiences contribute to our understanding of school governance?”, Wales Journal of Education 25(2), 36-62. doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.25.2.3

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Published on
15 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed