João Sebastião, Susana da Cruz Martins, Ana Rita Capucha, Luís Capucha

School autonomy and decentralisation in Portugal: a reluctant and contradictory path

  • Abstract

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Keywords: School Autonomy, Decentralisation, School Management, Educational Policy

This paper aims at contributing to a reflection on the nature of the transformations in the area of school autonomy and decentralisation, based on an analysis of the Portuguese education system from the point of view of school autonomy in the European context, while establishing occasional and specific comparisons with some other southern European countries. In terms of school autonomy and decentralisation, the expansion of the Portuguese educational system, the extension of compulsory education and the rapid transition to a multicultural society, has brought to schools growing problems to its management, which hardly find effective answers in a framework of centralized activity and increasing demands for its decentralisation. Nonetheless, we observe that in key features such as curriculum design, student or staff recruitment and acquisition of material, the Portuguese educational system is still overly centralized.

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