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Catholic school governance in the twenty-first century: continuity, incongruity and challenge

Storr, Christopher John (2007) Catholic school governance in the twenty-first century: continuity, incongruity and challenge. PhD thesis, Institute of Education (University of London).

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This study has two main aspects: first, it reports the results of a survey of ninety nine governors working in Roman Catholic primary and secondary schools situated in four English Catholic dioceses, and publishes hitherto unknown information about them; and, second, it examines how, in seeking to maintain a distinctive educational ethos, these governors are responding both to the legislative changes of the last twenty years, and to changes in English social and cultural attitudes. It shows how these responses calibrate with the perceptions of those appointed by the Catholic bishops to oversee the conduct of the schools – the diocesan directors – six of whom were interviewed, together with an official with a national perspective. The study shows that, whilst there are powerful elements of continuity in the Catholic Church’s view of the nature and purpose of schools, a number of incongruities are now arising as a result of the enhanced powers given to governing bodies since 1980, and that the diocesan authorities are not as effective in providing support for their schools as are the local authorities (LAs). This trend appears to be having an adverse effect on what should be the schools’ distinctive nature, and could therefore be preparing the ground for challenges between dioceses and schools. One of the key areas involved is that of senior staff appointments, where the existing policy position appears unsustainable. Others concern the expectations some governors have of the need for teachers to practise high levels of sexual morality in their private lives, and the distinctive Catholic ethos which governors believe their schools manifest.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Peter Moss
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2008 10:17
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 14:05

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