Performance Measurement of State Secondary Schools in New Zealand: The Parents’ Perspective

By Arshad Ashfaque Malik, Howard Davey and Martin Kelly.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key performance factors and their indicators that reflect the status of parents’ expectations from schools. This paper differs from previous studies on performance measurement of schools as it explains performance of schools from the perspective of parents.
The dataset for this paper comprises of semi-structured interviews of 25 secondary school parents from four different schools. The schools were chosen purposively, based on their size (number of students), decile number and gender of students. The parents were interviewed in five groups. The data were analysed using NVivo2 software. The data were codified into 43 codes, which were aggregated into four themes that led to the development of vignettes depicting the characteristics of each KPF.
It was found that parents of State secondary schools in New Zealand expect schools to perform on seven key performance factors. Parents look forward to a nurturing environment at schools, where quality teachers provide support leading to positive educational outcomes for their children. They expect school’s management to establish discipline, ensure safety and effective communication between the parents and the schools’ management.
This study is indicative of the conditions in State secondary schools of New Zealand. However, the results cannot be generalised to all State secondary schools of New Zealand, since performance of schools is to some degree influenced by the context of each school.
The potential users of this research include the management of State secondary schools as well as the MoE. This paper argues to change the existing school’s performance measurement system by recognising the parents’ perspective. This is expected to improve the engagement of the school’s parents with the school’s management. Since, parents’ KPFs influence one another; an improvement in any one of them may lead to better outcomes for State secondary schools, such as improved academic achievement of the students.
This is a pioneering attempt to add parents’ voices into the performance measurement framework of State secondary schools of New Zealand. Measuring school’s performance from the parent’s perspective is expected to enhance engagement between the parents and the schools, leading to better outcomes for the students.

Keywords: New Zealand, Secondary Schools’ Performance, Key Performance Factors, Key Performance Indicators, Performance Measurement, Parents’ Perspective

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp.97-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 983.257KB).

Dr. Arshad Ashfaque Malik

PhD Student, Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

Arshad Ashfaque Malik is an MBA from IESE. He is also a civil engineer with 5 years of project management experience, and a cost and management accountant. He has been a management trainer and consultant for the last 15 years, working in areas of strategy formulation and implementation, accounting information systems and establishment of ISO 9000 certified quality management systems. His research interest is in the area of performance measurement / management of organisations, specially public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals etc which can benefit large number of people, many of whom may not have been so fortunate. He has taught in undergarduate and graduate business programs and has developed a number of programs for training and development of business executives in New Zealand and Asia in the areas of accounting, quality management and business strategy. He has had the opportunity to travel to a number of countries in Europe, Middle East, and Japan on work assignments as well as for leisure.

Dr. Howard Davey

Chairperson, Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

Professor Howard Davey teaches accounting theory, financial accounting and international accounting. He holds a BA, BBS, MBA(Hons) (Massey) and a PhD (Waikato) He has a background in government and accounting practice and before coming to the University of Waikato in 1986 lectured at Massey University. His research interests are in the areas of external reporting and financial accounting in general, including non traditional measures of performance, as well as taxation and professional issues, and accounting theory. He is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Dr. Martin Kelly

Graduate Convenor, Department of Accounting., Waikato Management School,, Waikato University., University of Waikato, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

Martin is a member of the Australia & New Zealand Regional Committee of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, which meets regularly in Sydney. He is also a Chartered Accountant, New Zealand. He holds a doctorate in Accounting. He has published in excess of 100 academic works. He teaches courses in ‘Organisation & Society’ at both the final year undergraduate level and postgraduate level. These courses critically assess the use and abuse of Accounting in the contemporary business world. Martin has taught on MBA courses at: Waikato University, Massey University, and Leveun University (Belgium). His current research interests are: Philosophy of Management, Sustainability, Stakeholder Management, CSR and Business Ethics.

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