Competing conceptions and values in school strategy: rational planning and beyond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Government policy in England has encouraged schools to adopt a rational planning model on the basis that this will contribute to school effectiveness. This policy has been criticized for neglecting the consequences for the planning process of volatility in schools’ external environment and for replacing well-developed professional knowledge and commitment with inappropriate models from ‘for-profit’ business. We agree that the rational planning model is not an appropriate basis for school management but dispute these diagnoses of the nature of the problem. We suggest that it is uncertainty about processes internal to the school that are the problem and that an appropriate managerial response to this problem can draw upon business ideas which are not oppositional to professional expertise and values, while questioning professional self-interest.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Management, Administration & Leadership
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005