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An Investigation into Experiences and Perceptions of School Performance Evaluation (SPE) in Secondary Schools in Saudi Arabia

Alsubaie, A. (2020) An Investigation into Experiences and Perceptions of School Performance Evaluation (SPE) in Secondary Schools in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00101656


School performance evaluation (SPE) and the use of performance indicators is one of the most common educational reforms sweeping the globe as a consequence of neoliberalism and increased managerialism in education (Ball, 2012a). Like many countries, Saudi Arabia has implemented SPE to improve educational outcomes. The School Performance Indicators System (SPIS) is the most recent programme, but not the first (Al Hakamy, 2008). It was preceded by many other SPE programmes, some of which operated concurrently. Although SPE has generated widespread global debate and is known to cause increased workload and emotional strain on teachers and head teachers (Perryman, Ball, Maguire, & Braun, 2011), there is a dearth of empirical research into teachers and head teachers experiences of SPE in Saudi Arabia. This study is aimed at contributing to closing that gap. Giving a voice to an underrepresented group in research by focusing on female teachers and school head teachers, specifically, the aim of this study is to explore how they make sense of and experience SPIS monitoring and inspection visits, as well as their views of SPIS key performance indicators (KPIs) and accountability within the system. In addition, the study explores the effects of SPE on their stress levels, workload and morale. The data collection and analysis are embedded in an interpretivist paradigm, using explanatory sequential multi-site case study mixed methods. This consisted of administering a questionnaire to 64 female head teachers and 109 female secondary school teachers in Jeddah. These data were then enriched by conducting interviews with three female head teachers and nine female teachers from three schools to gather more in-depth views of SPIS. The conceptual framework for this study centres upon three main concepts, which are discussed in depth: SPE, performativity and accountability. The results of this study point to the importance of teachers and head teachers participating in the design and implementation of new programmes, aimed at education reform. The study reveals the impact of centralisation on the reduced efficiency of SPE implementation, which casts doubt over the efficacy of such education reforms.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Jones, K. and Turner, C.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
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Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:101656


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