Acknowledging the realities and responsibilities of power is a precondition to using it wisely. The claim that there has been a shift in power away from the formal providers of education towards the individual consumer is one that needs closer investigation. This paper uses the mathematics of cooperative multiperson game theory to analyse the relative strengths of the various representative groupings on three different models of school governing bodies. Only a basic knowledge of mathematics is assumed as the various coalitions are analysed and compared, and conclusions drawn about the relative power of major and minor factions. Voting strategies, suggested payoffs for winning coalitions and implications for committee-forming are fully examined. The paper is based on the author's direct experience of school amalgamations in the border region of Ireland. An extended consideration of the theory of voting in multiperson games can be found in his book Decision-Making and Game Theory (2002, Cambridge University Press)
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