School Leadership and Accountability in Managerialist Times: Implications for South African Public Schools

Jabulani Everest Mpungose, Thengani Harold Ngwenya


While it is argued in the paper that the New Public Management theory and practice has been applied much more in education than in any other area in the public sector, literature on education leadership and management still reveals a startling degree of confusion among education authorities, managers and leaders over what strategies to apply in order to bring out commitment, positive results and accountability among the school leaders. The authors argue that the confusion is caused by the fact that there has been a dramatic change in education policymaking that has adopted a more market-oriented approach and underplayed the conception of “education as a public good.” The authors conclude that this change has led to the obsession of educational authorities with quantifiable outcomes which have an adverse effect on the standard and quality of education in South Africa. 


accountability; education policymaking; learner performance; market-oriented; new public management; performance-based; performativity; self-managing school

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