Educational governance is commonly predicated around the generation, collation and processing of data through digital technologies. Drawing upon an empirical study of two Australian secondary schools, this paper explores the different forms of data-based governance that are being enacted by school leaders, managers, administrators and teachers. These findings illustrate a range of routinized ways in which digital data is being used within schools as a means of accountability. Alongside data regimes associated with the ‘governing by numbers’ enforced by state and federal governments, are smaller-scale accountability procedures and practices initiated ‘in-house’ by school managers and/or teaching staff. While digital technologies are clearly reinforcing wider trends in educational managerialism, the paper also considers the subtle ways that local enactments of such governance are shaped by schools’ relatively unsophisticated data processing technologies and techniques.
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