Educational reforms in Malta: A missed opportunity to establish distributed governance

M. Cutajar, C. Bezzina, C. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


This article critically analyses the current Maltese educational reform process, which aimed to transform educational governance in Malta from a centralized system to a more decentralized one. This longitudinal study adopted a multi-site inquiry of a sample of the colleges involving different stakeholders, including key policy-makers, college principals, heads of primary and secondary schools, and a sample of teachers. It explores the reform by reviewing the relevant literature, studying statutory documents and policies, and researching governance processes at the grassroots level where the reform policies have been and continue to be implemented. It analyses the experience of ‘governing stakeholders’, including those who work in schools, as they engage and work with the reforms. Preliminary findings indicate that what has been created is just another ‘notch’ in the hierarchical structure of the system with the introduction of a new post, that of College Principal, and the setting-up of the Council of Heads, which has managerial and organizational responsibilities, and the non-statutory Council for Educational Leaders (ELC). A top-down approach to change management continues to be adopted, leaving limited space for the development of governance networks and distributed forms of governance. This study sheds light on the significance of governance networks, distributed governance and the effects of overly strong governing relationships between government and the schools at the periphery. We argue that the opportunity to establish and develop a governance network has been missed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalManagement in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

An Erratum to this article has been published in Management in Education, 2013, vol 27(4), p184, doi: 10.1177/0892020613498996


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