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Additional info for Managing External Relations in Schools: A Practical Guide (Educational Management)

Sample text

There is a strong emphasis on the accountability of the school to its governing body and the LEA. Typically, the accountability centres on the headteacher who is held responsible for the successes and failures of the school, and is also the focus of communication with both bodies. The emphasis given to accountability is the main determinant of external relations policy in schools typified as bureaucratic. Here the focus is on the school’s need to be answerable to formal bodies such as the LEA or the governing body.

For some ER activities it is easy to justify expenditure by recourse to simple cost-benefit analysis. For example, money spent on marketing can be demonstrated to be more than repaid by enhanced recruitment, and this may be deemed to be an increase in the efficiency of the use of the school’s financial resources. A second area of activities is one where it is less easy to justify the expenditure of public money. This relates to spheres such as lobbying to influence political decision-makers, and funds for such activities may need to be raised from voluntary contributions or fund-raising events.

Authorities vary, but previously this last group has tended to be informed rather than genuinely consulted at the earliest stages of policy-making. Given the direct delegation of management to schools, it is very much in the interests of LEAs to encourage a working partnership that not only aims at sensible solutions to current problems, but establishes a confidence in and reassurance about the separate abilities of the contributors.

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