Schooling as Development: The Role and Task of School Principals in National Economic Transformation

Paul Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schools exist and operate in environments characterised by national andinternational policies. Educational policies provide shape, direction and structure to schools and connect them to national education systems and to the wider world around them. Increasingly, many of the actions undertaken and outcomes produced by schools, as well as accountability and performance objectives, are influenced if not controlled by forces operating outside a school or even outside a national education system. These factors are each linked to reforms in education and are noticeable in the design of policies and their implementation, at times producing significant challenges for schools and for principals –tasked with implementing and achieving policy objectives at school level. This comparative qualitative study reports on findings from 10 school principals in England and Jamaica. The main findings are that principals are experiencing national policy overload; principals filter the implementation of government policies in order to cope; principals feel excluded from policy development; and policy content is increasingly framed towards achieving economiccompetitiveness. Miller’s (2016) baseline ‘Economic-motor model of schooling’ is applied to these findings as an analytical framework. When applied, this framework shows a conflictful relationship between governments and school principals characterised by power relations where national economic development is a primary aim of governments to be delivered byschools/ school leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalLeading & Managing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Schooling as Development: The Role and Task of School Principals in National Economic Transformation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this