Journal directory listing - Volume 21-30 (1976-1985) - Volume 25 (1980)

A study of Educational Administration System in England Author: Wen-Chyuan Hsieh


The purpose of this study is to enquire into the development, function, and organization of the educational administrative agencies both at central and local levels in England.
The central educational administrative agency, the Department of Education and Science, is almost wholly concerned with policy. It works partly through the performance of certain statutory duties but to a large extent relies on the influence it can exert on its partners in the service-the local education authorities and the teaching profession, According to the law made by the Parliament, the duty of the Department of Education and Science is to promote the education of the people of England and Wales and the progressive development of institutions devoted to that purpose, and to secure the effective execution by local authorities, under its control and direction, of the national policy for providing a varied and comprehensive educational service.
The Department is headed by a secretary of state, who is a member of the Cabinet, supported by two Ministers of State and a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. Under the permanent Under Secretary of State, the civil servant in executive charge of the Department, the work is divided into four areas-schools and educational building ; higher and further education ; civil science, arts, and libraries ; and educational planning, including teacher supply, qualifications, and salaries, statistics, and the economic aspects of planning. There are also groups concerned with finance, with legal matters, and common services. The organization of the work is sub-divided further.
The councils of counties and county boroughs are the local education authorities ( LEAs ), in those hands is the actual provision and administration of education, other than universities and voluntary establishments. Each local education authority is required by law to appoint an education committee whose job it is to carry out its educational responsibilities. Usually at least half the members of the education committee must be elected members of the council, while the remainder are co-opted on the basis of their specialist knowledge or experience. The day-to-day administration of educational is in the hands of a Chief Education Officer. He is usually assisted by a number of professional and administrative staff.
According to the 1944 Education Act it is the statuory duty of the local education authorities to secure that there are available for their area sufficient schools for providing primary education and secondary education, such schools to be sufficient in number, character and equipment, and offering such variety of instruction and teaching as may be desirable in view of the different ages, abilities, and aptitudes of the pupils. In carrying out their duties, the local education authorities must work within the legal framework laid down by the various Education Acts and the Secretary of State's regulations. LEAs are charged with the provision and day-to-day running of schools and colleges in their area and with the recruitment and payment of the teachers who work in them. They are also responsible for the provision of buildings, materials, equipment and the back-up advisory services.
In order to give some degree of autonomy to schools, bodies of managers are organized in primary schools, and bodies of governors in secondary schools. The managers or governors have general control of the school. The constitution and powers of the managing or governing body are defined by the instrument of management or government and the rule or article of management or government, which are made either by the Department of Education and Science or by the local education authorities.
In summary, educational administration in England is characterized by the partnership between central and local government. It operates on the basis of the distribution of responsibility between central government, the local education authorities and the teaching profession. It is, therefore, correct to speak of it as a national system locally administrated, with the Department of Education and Science a major operational partner rather than its sole controller.

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