Middle Management in Special Education

I have been interested in the fact that, in the USA, teachers of students with special educational needs are presented with a large amount of paperwork and must be kept up to date with constantly changing regulations. They are expected to know, understand and implement meetings, known as IEPs, which essentially establish a contract with parents regarding a student. In researching the topic of management duties and special education teaching, I came across “Middle Management in Schools: A Special Educational Needs Perspective” by Dr Sonia Blandford and Suanne Gibson from Westminster Institute of Education, Oxford Brookes University, England. It is fascinating that the article mentions the USA as having a more well developed system of middle management in special education than England or Australia. Mentioned in the article are , “… principles of management which encompass, planning, resourcing, controlling, organising [SIC], leading and evaluating.” In my own experience, teachers do a good job or planning and organizing their duties related to procedures, but they have little power over resourcing, controlling and evaluating when it comes to procedure in Special Education.
I have begun to think over the differences between site based management and central management within a large district of 60,000 children. There are hurdles that are addressed by central management; it is addressed by offering another layer of middle managers because it is impossible for school level staff to be aware of all the opportunists in a school system this large.
But, the second layer of central management has slightly more power over “resourcing, controlling and evaluating” when it comes to procedure in Special Education.  Still this layer of managers often faces a lack of input into the resourcing of district assets. In short, with limited resources there seems to be a distinct impact on the ability of managers to actually access and allocate resources that may be needed.
Finally, in relation to the article by Blandford and Gibson, they end by recommending “…a holistic approach [that] is … providing for effective management.” However, with crucial functions and powers of management decentralized, I wonder how effective teachers can feel or become in their management duties?

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