Working Paper


Management in Education Systems


Image of Yue-Yi Hwa

Yue-Yi Hwa

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Image of Clare Leaver

Clare Leaver

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

There is increasing interest in measuring management in schools. This paper discusses a popular measurement tool: the World Management Survey (WMS) for schools. Drawing on WMS data, secondary sources, and the recent literature on school management, we take stock of the WMS and make recommendations for its use in future research and policy. We conclude that the WMS remains a highly useful tool for its stated purpose—the standardized measurement of (a subset of) management practices within schools—and make two sets of recommendations. First, we encourage those seeking to benchmark management practices in schools to take a systems perspective by extending the WMS approach upwards into the education bureaucracy. Second, when measuring practices within schools, we recommend that researchers consider: how best to assess alignment across practices in the operations domain; the challenge of measuring student learning for monitoring and target-setting; and the context specificity of people management.


Please access and cite the journal version of this paper:

Hwa, Y. and Leaver, C. 2021. Management in education systems. Oxford Review of Economic Policy. Volume 37, Issue 2, Summer 2021. pp 367–391,