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Performance of New Zealand’s secondary schools: A stakeholders’ perspective

The performance of State secondary schools in New Zealand is currently measured by the schools’ performance measurement systems (PMS). The PMS are established by the schools’ boards of trustees in line with guidelines developed primarily by the Ministry of Education (MoE), while incorporating the requirements of the Education Review Office (ERO) and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). The PMS focuses on the performance of teachers, as well as the principal and the school, but all are assessed from a stewardship oriented perspective, that does not adequately reflect the expectations of a school’s nongovernmental stakeholders. The purpose of this research is to determine the key stakeholders of State secondary schools in New Zealand and identify their key performance factors (KPFs) and associated key performance indicators (KPIs). This research employed a mixed methods approach, guided by the pragmatist paradigm. This study used a sequential research design consisting of a qualitative method (semistructured interviews) followed by a quantitative method (questionnaire). Stakeholder theory provided the theoretical basis for identifying the schools’ stakeholders, and the theory of stakeholder salience gave the rationale for identification of the schools’ key stakeholders. Two performance measurement frameworks, “strategic factors” and the “portfolio approach” informed this research in identifying the KPFs and associated KPIs of the key stakeholders. This research has identified eight key stakeholders of State secondary schools in New Zealand. They include three Crown entities: ERO, MoE, NZQA, “one statutory body” the board of trustees (BOT), and four nongovernmental stakeholder groups: teachers, parents, students, and the community. The schools’ PMS do not adequately reflect the expectations of nongovernmental stakeholders. Thus, this study has chosen to identify the KPFs and associated KPIs of the two most salient nongovernmental stakeholders, i.e., teachers and parents. This research has identified seven KPFs for teachers in addition to a number of KPIs that indicate the status of the KPFs. Four of the seven teachers’ KPFs: 1) workload, 2) safety, 3) support, and 4) resources reflect issues concerning individual teachers. On the basis of these findings, a holistic teachers’ performance management process for schools has been proposed. This process recognises the transactional relationship between management and teachers, required to improve schools’ performances. This study has also identified seven KPFs for parents; the two most salient are “quality teachers” and “communication” as they influence four other parents’ KPFs. The findings of this investigation have implications in two areas: 1) the management of the schools, and 2) the educational policy of the government. School management needs to provide quality teachers, adequate support to teachers and students by improving the “management system” of schools in line with expectations of teachers and parents, while ensuring safety at all times in schools. The government’s education policy should focus on the following: reducing teachers’ nonteaching activities; providing skills to teachers so that they can engage cross-culturally as well as with students from adverse backgrounds, and inducting individuals into the teaching profession who see teaching as a service/dedication to a cause and not merely a means to earn a living. It is expected that a holistic, stakeholder-focused, and transactional relationship between the school and its stakeholders will result in greater engagement between the schools and their stakeholders, leading to beneficial outcomes for both schools and for society at large such as lower truancy, and improved academic achievement.
Type of thesis
Malik, A. A. (2011). Performance of New Zealand’s secondary schools: A stakeholders’ perspective (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5177
University of Waikato
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