Self-governing schools and legal implications: theory and practice
The New Zealand economy has been through a radical restructuring, commencing in 1984 and following a so-called ‘neoliberal’ philosophy of economic rationalism. A market-based model has been imposed on most public sector activities, including the provision of education, together with a new ethos of managerialism. As a corollary, earlier liberal notions of a minimalist state are embraced. The fear is that under so-called public choice theory individuals (including bureaucrats and politicians) will act in their own individual self-interest rather than in some idealised notion of the public good1. The dysfunctional result, it is said, will be ‘provider capture’ by those individuals and a consequent growth in government and, impliedly, a diminution in efficient resource allocation.