Accountability in the Public Sector

I have been following Don Ledingham’s blog over the past couple of weeks as he explores the concept of accountability. Well worth a read (see link on the right hand nav). I commented this evening and want to explore this theme further myself over the next few weeks.

My comment was:

‘Enjoying your in depth exploration of the concept of accountability. When I was doing my MEd Prof Ruth Jonathan at Edinburgh Uni considered the concept of accountability under the headings: ‘To whom?’, ‘For what?’ and ‘How is the account rendered?’.

In education the ‘to whom’ is inherently complex – the learners, society, professional peers, employers, the government & parents.

The ‘for what’ is similarly complex – exam results, inputs (teaching), maintaining professional standards, transmission of culture, economic development …

The ‘how’ really needs to follow on from the ‘to whom’ and the ‘for what’.

I think we need to recapture some lost ground across the public sector as whole and confidently assert a new model of accountability. A model that recognises complexity, promotes excellence and is robust enough to secure the confidence of a plurality of interests. The time for this might be right as there is an increasing recognition that the public sector is over-regulated and that whilst regulation might be good for ensuring adherence to minimum standards it is hopeless when it comes to the dissemination and development of effective practice.

I have started to blog again and hope to explore some of this ground in the future.’

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