Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

Executive Committee
Ursula Apitzsch, Jean-Louis Derouet, Luisa Ribolzi, Alison Taysum, Carlos Alberto Torres, Catherine Yan Wang

International Scientific Board

Management Staff
Managing editor
Anna Dal Ben


For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Reflecting on English educational accountability

TitleReflecting on English educational accountability
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBarzanò G
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedOctober 2009
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsAccountability, Education policy, Educational Leadership

The English education system offers meaningful examples of how some aspects of education reforms concerning school autonomy develop and what their implications are. In a way it provides a test bench for many ideas which policy makers are trying to introduce in many other systems. It is therefore interesting to consider it, in order to gain a broader perspective from which to frame Italian school autonomy. This paper focuses on the complex scenario of English educational accountability, one which attracts the interest of researchers from all over the world and originates a continuous debate among practitioners, researchers and policy makers. The broad literature concerning English educational accountability makes available a variety of interpretations, reflections and points of view. The paper intends to consider this scenario mainly from the perspective of English headteachers. The objects of the analysis are the voices of headteachers and policy advisers, collected through interviews where they have been asked to report on their experiences and perceptions or, in the case of policy advisers, to put themselves in the headteachers’ shoes. It is argued that while policy makers from many countries look at the English accountability framework with interest, ready to borrow hints and tools from the orderly atmosphere of regulation it performs, English educational professionals experience strong contradictions and struggle with the hardness and the sharpness of the system.