Robert Andrews Ghanney


This study explores key forums for parental involvement in two school communities in Effutu Municipality of Ghana using overlapping spheres of influence theory by Epstein (1995; 2001). There has been relatively little previous research on parental involvement in school governance in Ghana generally and in poorer rural areas in particular. Developed as a small-scale qualitative case study, focus group discussions and individual interviews were used to explore the inter-relationships between SMC parents, teaching staff and communities. The decentralised system of education delivery in Ghana assumes an important role for school management committees and the focus group discussions therefore involved community participants who were members of school management committees as well as head teachers and teachers in each of the two rural case study schools. A key finding of the study was that although the formal structures for parental engagement in school governance were in place, in practice many members of the school management committee were unable to contribute fully to school management. Tensions in school governance situations also arose from the administration of capitation grants and monitoring of teachers. The study concludes that policies designed to encourage parental involvement in school governance must reflect not only important contextual differences but also the dynamics between structures and participants.

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school communities, parental involvement, school management committee (SMC), capitation grant, monitoring of teachers

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