Inside the Black Box: School Business Management in a Multi-Academy Trust in England

Eva Sakellaridi


Since the 1980s, it has been argued that schools can become more effective and efficient by learning from and implementing private sector business management practices. The New Public Management reform movement has, however, been critiqued, including on the grounds that it concerns a wider re-culturing of schools, in which the purposes and values of education are reshaped along the lines of business. With this contested context, the present study explores the development of school business management within a case study Multi-Academy Trust. The empirical research on school business management has predominantly been undertaken from a school improvement perspective, which has been concerned particularly with describing what school business managers do. However, little empirical research has been concerned with critically analysing why school business managers do what they do and, in particular, what aims and values guide their practices and how these, in turn, influence the outcomes they work towards.


school business management, academy chains

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