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The perceptions of stakeholders in the field of education regarding new decentralisation efforts in Saudi Arabian schools

The perceptions of stakeholders in the field of education regarding new decentralisation efforts in Saudi Arabian schools
The perceptions of stakeholders in the field of education regarding new decentralisation efforts in Saudi Arabian schools
Moving toward decentralisation in education and giving schools more autonomy has become a global phenomenon (Fiske, 1996; Walker, 2002), as 80% of the world’s countries have experienced a decentralised education system in one form or another (Channa and Faguet, 2012). Moving towards educational decentralisation in Saudi Arabia is a current issue and it is an objective of the MOE's plan to improve the administration system. The administration of the Saudi Arabian education system is currently highly centralised (Alahmady; 2008; Oyaid, 2009; and Althmaly, 2013). The MOE implemented a new management policy in 2010/11, in order to increase the authority of school headteachers and school councils. This policy consisted of a set of guidance statements designed to offer schools more scope to decentralise and greater control of the range of their activities.

The aims of this thesis are to investigate participants’ understanding of decentralisation and the benefits and challenges of implementing the new policy, to examine school autonomy in the light of international literature on School-¬Based Management (SBM), the level of parental and student involvement in school decision making and CPD.

This thesis utilizes the case study as a research design, and gathers both qualitative and quantitative data by using multiple data collection techniques such as: interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, document analysis, unstructured observations, and photographs/images. Six participant groups are involved: headteachers, supervisors, deputies, teachers, parents and students.

The findings of this thesis are as follows: the new management policy is considered to be a positive step towards decentralisation, however there have been no significant changes in practice and in Tatweer and public schools, a highly centralised system still exists where there is a lack of power in terms of knowledge, information, admissions, ability to hire\fire teachers and staff, school start time, student assessment, securing resources, and finance. In contrast, positive steps have been taken in both types of school to increase the use of technology and the methods of student assessment. Private schools showed more autonomy by working more independently from the MOE and DOE in terms of; use of technology, supplying resources, managing school time, controlling school finances and raising funding from parents, hiring/firing teachers and staff, and admission processes. However, private schools lack power in terms of knowledge and information.

There is a lack of democracy in electing members of school council. Parents and students have limited opportunities to make their voices heard in school decision making in both types of school (Tatweer and Public). Private schools have established specific councils for parents and students, which have election procedures. There is a lack of suitable training (both general and policy related) for headteachers and school staff in both public and Tatweer schools. Private schools arrange their own CPD programmes and staff claim to receive high levels of training.

Albeladi, Abdulrahman
8470670a-0412-48ca-a4f4-7fa4fb9ef34e
Albeladi, Abdulrahman
8470670a-0412-48ca-a4f4-7fa4fb9ef34e
Kinchin, Gary
04cfb5e4-89a6-479a-9426-8534944436a4

Albeladi, Abdulrahman (2016) The perceptions of stakeholders in the field of education regarding new decentralisation efforts in Saudi Arabian schools. University of Southampton, School of Education, Doctoral Thesis, 331pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Moving toward decentralisation in education and giving schools more autonomy has become a global phenomenon (Fiske, 1996; Walker, 2002), as 80% of the world’s countries have experienced a decentralised education system in one form or another (Channa and Faguet, 2012). Moving towards educational decentralisation in Saudi Arabia is a current issue and it is an objective of the MOE's plan to improve the administration system. The administration of the Saudi Arabian education system is currently highly centralised (Alahmady; 2008; Oyaid, 2009; and Althmaly, 2013). The MOE implemented a new management policy in 2010/11, in order to increase the authority of school headteachers and school councils. This policy consisted of a set of guidance statements designed to offer schools more scope to decentralise and greater control of the range of their activities.

The aims of this thesis are to investigate participants’ understanding of decentralisation and the benefits and challenges of implementing the new policy, to examine school autonomy in the light of international literature on School-¬Based Management (SBM), the level of parental and student involvement in school decision making and CPD.

This thesis utilizes the case study as a research design, and gathers both qualitative and quantitative data by using multiple data collection techniques such as: interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, document analysis, unstructured observations, and photographs/images. Six participant groups are involved: headteachers, supervisors, deputies, teachers, parents and students.

The findings of this thesis are as follows: the new management policy is considered to be a positive step towards decentralisation, however there have been no significant changes in practice and in Tatweer and public schools, a highly centralised system still exists where there is a lack of power in terms of knowledge, information, admissions, ability to hire\fire teachers and staff, school start time, student assessment, securing resources, and finance. In contrast, positive steps have been taken in both types of school to increase the use of technology and the methods of student assessment. Private schools showed more autonomy by working more independently from the MOE and DOE in terms of; use of technology, supplying resources, managing school time, controlling school finances and raising funding from parents, hiring/firing teachers and staff, and admission processes. However, private schools lack power in terms of knowledge and information.

There is a lack of democracy in electing members of school council. Parents and students have limited opportunities to make their voices heard in school decision making in both types of school (Tatweer and Public). Private schools have established specific councils for parents and students, which have election procedures. There is a lack of suitable training (both general and policy related) for headteachers and school staff in both public and Tatweer schools. Private schools arrange their own CPD programmes and staff claim to receive high levels of training.

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More information

Published date: June 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Education School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400927
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400927
PURE UUID: 735c5f56-5eba-4a98-be50-2d05a8b85628

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Date deposited: 30 Sep 2016 15:28
Last modified: 30 Jun 2019 04:01

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