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Flashcards in Policy- making process Deck (10)
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Everard et al 2004

An approach to implementing the policy process

T = tuning in (all involved discussing the problem and preferred solutions)
O = objective setting (clear statement of what trying to achieve)
S = success criteria (ways of measuring)
I = information gathering (reliable info about the problem)
P = planning (detailed steps to be taken)
A = action (policy into practice)
R = review (evaluate)

Friend and Hickling (1987)


a linear approach is sometimes not feasible.

  • strategic level - making decisions between options under conditions of uncertainty.
  • recognise inter-connections between decisions
  • emphasis making progress towards decisions

Three kinds of uncertainty.
UV - uncertainly about guiding values
UE - uncertainties about working environment
UR - uncertainties about related decisions

Four modes of decision making
1. Shaping (what staff do we need? Are we offering enough rewards to staff to attract them? Why do staff leave?)

  1. Designing (how can we atract more staff? Can we change the way we do things? Can we offer more incentives?)
  2. Comparing (a range of solutions - increase salaries, further training)
  3. Choosing (decide knock-on effects of different strategies)

3 theories

  1. Systematic approach to change
    - linear
    - objective
    - certainty
    - comprehensively
  2. Strategic approach
    - cyclicity
    - subjectively
    - uncertainty
    - selectivity
  3. Complexity theory

Complexity theory


Fullan 2003

  • order emerges naturally because of unpredictable interaction
  • non-linearity - don’t expect reforms to unfold as expected
  • unpredictability - surprises will happen because of complex inert active factors
  • interaction - key element in moving towards order
  • auto-catalyst - when systems interact and influence each other
  • the edge of chaos - when systems avoid too little and too much order
  • butterfly effect - can have disproportionally huge effects
  • a complex adaptive system - high degrees of internal interaction

Key message: we are trying to implement change in unstable situations that are subject to wide range of internal and external forces.


Policy makers need to take account

  1. history and pattern of formal, traditional education - who is included and excluded in the current disposition
  2. cultural aspirations
  3. role of language (majority and minority groups)
  4. role of education in nation building
  5. the strength of historical and emerging elites to protect power and resources
  6. changing economic policies and relativise
  7. need for change in curriculum to meet demands in labour market.

Difficulty of implementing policy


Policy makers did not account for realities

Arabic and Islamic in British curriculum schools
- emiratisation programme to protect the culture and language of the UAE, as the country strives to “increase the proportion of Emirati natives in the labour force and become less dependent on non-native workers and expats”(OEDC, 2015, p7).

  • number of hours primary do
  • lack of good arabic teachers who understand high standard of British teachers
  • geo-political tensions
  • difficult to make progress
  • impact on inspection report
  • very good - 90% of children doesn’t affect

“Moral Education endorses an ethos of giving and volunteering that prepares responsible and resilient youth, who will contribute to the advancement of society and the wider world. The program develops in students, the modern skills needed to compete and become productive members of the UAE community.” (UAE Moral Education, 2017).

Similar to Adamson study in China 2009impleneting language policy - lack of staffing,m lack of resources,


O’Sullivan 2002

Reform in Namibia


The pivotal role of teachers in the achievement of effective implementation

  • failure of the policy makers to take into account the reality
  • beyond the capacity of the teachers

Objective relaity - concern teachers professional and personal conexts (support, professional capacity,

Subjective reality - relevance, motivation, realism, feasibility. It is not often that human welcome reform with open arms.They focus on how change will personally affect them.


OneNote digital exercise book policy


Policy makers should “adapt the reform proposal to teachers O’Sullivan 2002

Didn’t take into account objective and subjective realities

Objective realities
resources - bough them laptops
professional capacity - lack of training, reforms to complex, unrealistic
communication network - lack of awareness of policies, subject leaders didn’t relay the expectation

Subjective realities

Implementation ultimately takes place in classrooms and teachers are the implementers of change

Fullan 1991 - the need to provide teaches with adequate time to engage with and implement reforms

If teachers have the capacity and desire to implement change they are more likely to do so. O’Sullivan 2002


VLE posting


Whilst funding is difficult to overcome, Lockheed & Verspoor (1991), in O’Sullivan (2002, p222) remind us that policy makers need to take time to analyse “classroot realities” to ensure successful implementation. Policy makers should “adapt the reform proposal to teachers” (Torres, 1996, in O’ Sullivan, 2002, p222) and should not be afraid to take small steps to make progress towards decisions, as Friends and Hickling (1987, in AEM050, p66) mention, if funding is not available to meet the end solution.

In order to consider the lack of teacher/leader expertise time must be planned for carefully within the implementation stage to incorporate effective training to fulfil the strategy. Fullan’s (1991, p233) “phenomenology of change provides one explanation for the need to provide teachers with adequate time to engage with and implement reforms.” Policy makers should be careful not to be tokenistic as pointed out by O’Sullivan (2002, p232).

I particularly like that James has mentioned the “importance of teacher’s perspectives…values, motivations, attitudes and views’ (Parlett and Hamilton, 1972, in O’Sullivan, 2002, p.224) which are crucial when encouraging staff to be receptive to change.



  1. Critically evaluate the role that values play in the formation of educational policies.
2. Discuss where ‘power’ lies in the making of education policy and what influences it in different educational and national contexts.


3. What roles do values play in educational policy-making?  

4. To what extent is educational policy replacing educational theory as a source ofguidance for practitioners?   



  1. What role do values play in education policy-making?
  2. How do governments try to balance local autonomy in the education system with national goals and controls?