The reality of school development planning in the effective primary school: Technicist or guiding plan?

Nigel Bennett, Megan Crawford, Rosalind Levačić, Derek Glover, Peter Earley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the extent to which the technicist-rational approach to school development planning, advocated by OfSTED inspection guidelines, is appropriate for primary schools. The issue is investigated through case studies of nine primary schools, deemed by OfSTED to be educationally effective and efficient. The external pressures on schools to adopt a technicist-rational approach to management have been intensified by application of the OfSTED inspection guidelines. The school development plan and its implementation now form a crucial part of the evidence which inspectors use to judge the management and efficiency of the school. Schools that are deemed educationally effective and efficient by OfSTED inspectors may therefore be expected to show high levels of technicist-rational planning. This was not found to be the case, and a more sophisticated typology of planning approaches, drawing on distinctions between strategic and development planning, and between technicist and guiding plan, is developed to accommodate the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-351
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Leadership and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management

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