Promoting Collaboration Toolset
for equity and learning

Stakeholders and accountability

Current accountability procedures in European schools follow different formats according to national administration traditions and rules. However, it should be underlined a European effort to harmonize accountability criteria and procedures, through the influence of the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates (SICI), on national policies and autonomy.

accountability. By  dan paluska. See Autonomy is to be viewed as a social and a political construction, and therefore new tools for public action are to be constructed. In the post-bureaucratic society, new models of public regulation emerge, creating different fields for participation and responsibility, leaving behind models of strict ???command and control??? and looking for a new political relationship, based on shared information and negotiation. In this context the different school stakeholders have a specific role not just as school knowledge (information) consumers, but also, while partners, as users of school information and co-producers of the necessary feedback to consolidate the quality of schooling. Without a meaningful feedback, participation will be reduced and will exclude some partners and stakeholders, and in parallel will exclude a number of students.

In the perspective of a shared accountability and distributed responsibility, the tools supporting the evaluation procedures have to guarantee the stakeholders ownership of the school improvement processes and distributed leadership.

It must be recognized that to overcome the shortage of school leaders' training opportunities in some contexts, and the growing complexity of educational organizations and school management, groups of school heads with similar professional interests and common perspectives, create small informal networks to share experiences and know-how on the daily routines of school organization, on the interpretation of norms and policy implementation, to gain confidence and to establish professional communities of solidarity and resistance to internal conflicts, to the administration pressures, safeguarding their own school project identity, and their autonomy on the respect for accountability rules. Therefore, even if information is a paramount aspect impacting in the possibility of collaboration between school partners, either allowing or preventing its success, there are other, most likely more, relevant aspects such as relationships, confidence and trust.

On recovering democracy in the relationships with their partners and stakeholders, schools are deemed to be accountable, as a condition to be trustful. Therefore, educational work, students' achievement and outcomes, need to be defined and scrutinized by the internal and external communities together.

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© 2014 EPNoSL Project