Research for policy and practice

Education Accountability Relationships Between Schools, Communities, and Government in India

Photo: Jenny Matthews/Panos Pictures.

Despite widespread recognition of the challenge to improve learning outcomes and the need to shift education systems away from traditional input orientation, there has been relatively little attention paid to how basic education is governed. The robustness of accountability relationships and processes between schools, communities, and government within India’s education system largely determine whether learning outcomes are enabled or inhibited. Gaps remain in our understanding of how these processes intersect with inequality, and how they can help the most marginalised. There remains relatively little debate on the kind of governance structures needed within the education system in order to strengthen accountability relationships in education. This collection of ESRC-FCDO-funded research is an important effort to bridge this gap. The research seeks to enhance our understanding of accountability relationships, how they function, and with what effect on learning outcomes, in both the short and long term. The research offers not only relevant, contextual evidence, but also highlights key implications for policy and practice.

Focus projects: 

Schoolchildren from Thamel, Kathmandu
Principal Investigator: Robin Shields. Lead Organisation: University of Bath
 
Co-investigators: Stephen Carney; Swati Banerjee; Hugh Lauder; Andres Sandoval Hernandez; Ganesh Bahadur Singh; P.K. Shajahan
 
The project will investigate how the accountability of schools differs according the school management model and whether accountability is linked to differences in learning outcomes.
Indian children at school near Bodh Gaya
This project focuses on learning outcomes for 'disadvantaged learners' in India: children of primary school age who are disadvantaged by a range of structural inequalities, which are often cross-cutting, such as gender, location, caste, and class.