- About NCERD
- Guyana Ministry of Education
- Studying the modules
- Education Management Programme Summary
- Welcome to the Programme
- Getting Started
- Survey of the Programme
- Early Childhood Resources
- Motivating Teachers
- Display in schools
- Good Teaching
- Top Ten Tips
- Warm-up activities for teacher training
- Motivational Teacher Quotations
- Motivational Success Quotations
- Motivational Leadership Quotations
- Advice About the Programme
- Leadership in the UK
- Programme Applications
Education Management Programme Summary
When you have completed the Programme, it will be useful for you to spend a little time reminding yourself of the content of the modules. The following pages will also be a useful reminder of what you have studied and will serve as a revision guide when completing your examinations.
Self‑Development for Educational Leaders
School mission, values and objectives
In this first unit, we explained the importance of the school mission, values and aims which should guide all school activities. Furthermore, suggestions on how to formulate and realise the school mission, values and aims, and the need to review and evaluate them regularly, were made. As the Headteacher, you should ensure that your school has a clear mission and a set of aims which reflect it.
Styles of leadership and management
From the discussions and activities on Leadership Styles in this unit, you should now be able to see that no single style can solve or be a cure for all problems arising in management situations. Problems do not arise so much from a 'bad' style of leadership but rather from the wrong choice of style for that occasion. Success in the leadership of a school by a Headteacher will be more certainly assured if the appropriate style of leadership for a particular situation is used.
The purpose of this unit was to help you recognise the importance of finding out from others what they want from your school. Different people need different things and the nature and balance of these will vary with time. Knowing how to find out what people want is one key to enable you, as the school Headteacher, to provide effective leadership.
However, it is important, as we have reminded you from time to time, to remember what is the prime function of the school i.e. the provision of quality learning and teaching in an environment that is focused on maintaining high standards. Any need which does not directly or indirectly have an impact on these principle aims should be questioned.
The sum of the needs analysis of all of the various groups and individuals in the school, including yourself, will be the Needs Profile of the school. It is up to you, as Headteacher, to make sense of this and provide appropriate strategies to meet those needs.
Here we assisted you in being able to explain and distinguish between the concepts of:
¨ job analysis (breaking a job into its components);
¨ job description (what the job entails);
¨ person specification (the qualities of the person you require for the job).
In this unit we emphasised the job analysis of the Headteacher, but you must be able to prepare analyses for every member of your staff. You also need to be sure that all members of your staff are aware of their job descriptions.
A job description is essential if later on you are to carry out an appraisal of the work of any member of staff or the performance of a staff member falls short of expectations and capability procedures need to be initiated.
In considering all of these issues, you should refer to the Ministry of Education Desk Manual for School Administrators.
We hope that through this unit you are now a strong believer in time management, and that you are in a position to identify what constitutes time wasters and time savers in your job. The extent to which you are an effective headteacher will depend on your ability to make the best use of all your available time.
Principles of Educational Management
Introduction to educational management
Here we introduced a different perspectives on educational leadership, highlighting key concepts, principles and processes of leadership, management, supervision and administration. We hope that you were able to relate the discussion so far to your own experience as a school head and that you have started to reflect on your role and functions as a leader and manager.
Government organisation and functions
In all systems of government, all ministries and departments are under political direction. In democratic systems, where the party in power has been chosen by popular vote in a public election held in free competition with other parties, Acts of Parliament and other statutes provide the rules which define how the education system is to be organised and managed. All public servants are accountable for their work, to Parliament and to the party in power.
The executive, judicial and legislative arms of government each provide a different balance in the operation of political power and its application to the government of our country. Thus, in theory, public servants including school heads should not be afraid of direct interference in the day‑to‑day management of their schools. In reality, a school head must be prepared to accommodate some political influence in the manner in which he or she manages the affairs of the school. This is an important point to bear in mind when considering school management functions, the topic of the next unit.
The functions of school management
In this unit we looked at the main elements in school leadership. This has involved identifying the five main functions of a school head: planning, organising, directing, monitoring and evaluating, and some of the tasks associated with each function. We made distinctions between school heads as Chief Executives and as Lead Professionals. Lastly we identified how indicators may be written up to produce criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a school head. One item concerned human relations, which was the focus of our next unit.
Human and public relations
Here we developed the theme of human relations in schools, drawing attention to motivational aspects and the significance of good communications. Attention has also been focused on the role of the head, staff and pupils in fostering good community relations.
It is easy for the headteacher to put blame on all around him / her for poor relations. However, the fact is that it is his / her responsibility to foster good relationships. If staff are antagonistic towards each other or towards the head, s(he) must ensure that this situation must not be allowed to continue by working hard to bring the two sides closer together. If this is not done, the school will be dysfunctional. If it is dysfunctional, children will not learn, If children do not learn, it is a failing school. We touched on these various processes in subsequent units and modules, but we considered here the process of delegation, which is an important means by which staff can be motivated and, if used correctly, human relations improved.
Delegation in a school
This unit examined the concept of delegation, the importance of delegation and some of the key principles of delegation. We encouraged you to consider how you might improve your own performance of this crucial leadership function, to enable you to build a team amongst teachers through the sharing of the workload of the school.
Remember that” building teams” and “empowering them” are some of the key functions of a leader.
Communication and negotiation
The communication process was the main topic of this unit, noting the various types of communication used and the importance of good communications in a school. Attention was focused on the need for the school head to be an effective communicator to enable more successful meetings and negotiation procedures as well as to be an effective leader. Leadership without good communication cannot exist. It is one of the first requirements.
Remember at all times that the headteacher is first and foremost a leader!
Decision making and problem solving
We examined the nature of decision making in schools, noting its relationship to problem solving. A number of characteristics of effective decision making were identified, including the importance of adopting a rational problem solving process and the significance of participation in decision making to help reduce conflict and improve the implementation of decisions.
The management of change
This unit provided a brief overview of some of the important issues surrounding the management of change in schools. It explored a number of strategies which a school head can adopt to help bring about change. Change is a complex process and often hard to manage, and what we find is that the effective manager of change is one who adopts the management principles and techniques which were the focus of the various units making up this Module.
Identifying staffing needsThe provision of good human resources in a school, that is the appointment of dedicated, hard working, motivated and committed staff, will have the greatest impact on the quality of learning and teaching in the school which in turn will contribute to overall success for the pupils.
It is not a matter which should be left to chance and, although, a head may not, in all cases, have direct responsibility for appointing staff in Guyana, s(he) must ensure that those who do are fully appraised of the school’s needs so that they can make the appropriate decisions. Hence, the completion of a “staffing shadow structure” is essential so that action can be taken to achieve the best staffing in a short period of time.
Those responsible for appointments must make them with considerable attention to detail, ensuring that all have an equal opportunity to be considered whatever their age, gender, race or ethnic group
Staff development can be seen as an important component in building the capacity of schools to function efficiently. This unit looked at the need to engage in a programme of staff development and to identify the needs of the staff and suggested a number of training techniques that might be employed to achieve the desired results.
Finally, we stressed the need to view staff development as a joint responsibility of those in need of training and those in management positions.
As the recognised leader of the school community, the head has the responsibility for helping staff members get satisfaction from their profession and move towards the fulfilment of their needs and objectives. It is through improving levels of motivation that these needs and objectives can be met.
It is the responsibility of the headteacher to assess the situation in the school relating to staff motivation and, where it is having a negative impact on the quality of learning and teaching and standards generally, to put into place strategies to overcome them. This unit explained how this might be done.
When carried out in a spirit of willing co‑operation, with positive attitudes on both sides, staff appraisal should contribute to school effectiveness. To be successful and have the desired benefits, you must examine closely your own style of leadership. Does this provide for a shared sense of responsibility amongst all school staff? All staff members are stakeholders in the educational life of the school and are more likely to be motivated to improve their performance, if they feel a sense of ownership. Appraisal will also help you to feel supported in your often difficult and lonely task.
Staff monitoring, evaluation and discipline This unit showed how the purpose of guidance of staff and the need to have discipline arises from the responsibility of the school head. The main element of this responsibility is to ensure that the school develops pupils as individuals and as members of Guyanese society. Everything which takes place in the school is directed towards this aim.
Keeping staff recordsThis unit was concerned with the basic staff records required to assist in the smooth functioning of a school. Although administrative requirements may differ from region to region, it is important that school heads maintain a record of their staff members. The keeping of efficient staff records is an important tool in the hands of the school heads, allowing them to maintain an understanding of the needs of the school and the individual staff members,
Here we introduced you to a number of problems and benefits associated with meetings. School heads spend a considerable amount of time attending or managing meetings and, therefore, it is important that you use your time efficiently and effectively during these meetings. As a management tool you will find that meetings can become an effective method of planning activities, informing staff members of activities, motivating a team spirit, co‑ordinating activities, solving problems and building cohesion in the staff room.
However, as we noted, they can also be counter-productive if not used wisely. They can be irritating for participants and often do not have the desired effect. Careful preparation is therefore required so that the meeting will be as useful as possible for all participants.
In negotiating a solution to a conflict situation, the aim of the resolution process should always be to strengthen the future relationship of the parties involved. The conflict situation can have mutual advantages and benefits if approached in the right manner, and with the right attitude towards a possible resolution.
Striving for a win ‑ win strategy so that both parties can be satisfied with the outcome is the ideal route for a school head to follow. Conflicts should be solved democratically. Make use of a mediator when necessary. But remember, a school with a lot of conflict on important issues is not a happy and healthy one. As head, it is your role to ensure the smooth running of the school and, as leader; you must motivate your team to such an extent that conflicts are minimal.
Managing the Curriculum and Resources
Establishing the curriculum
In this unit we demonstrated that there are many forms of curriculum all of which need to be recognised and planned. A school curriculum embraces the whole life of the school and is the main resource for improving the quality of pupils’ learning – that is, the learning of ALL children. Some important concepts are use of resources, the hidden curriculum, the total curriculum and factors governing the curriculum. Every head has a considerable task in ensuring a full and balanced curriculum in his/her school.
A school timetable should give full information in three distinct areas, namely: teaching stations, teaching staff and class distribution, and subjects taught at certain times for each teaching day.
In order to compile a meaningful timetable, the school head must be aware of the necessity to consult others so as to make full preparations and collect all the relevant data. He or she must command the expertise to direct the production of a timetable which will serve the needs of all categories, intellects and aptitudes among the school's pupils. Finally, the head must know and be able to apply such timetable devices as blocking, setting the extended day and week, and double sessions, in order to meet the special circumstances which may prevail in the school.
Organising resources to support the curriculum
In every school there should always be an emphasis on improving the conditions for pupil learning, which will in turn depend on teacher self-development, motivation and commitment. Good, available resources will lead to greater satisfaction amongst both pupils and staff. In order to accomplish this, the school head must plan, anticipate, consult, supervise and act in a timely manner; so as to ensure that all the resources which are required are identified, developed and fully used in a responsible manner. It is useful to emphasise that the nurturing of student learning behaviour is determined in the main by the effective use of curriculum resource material.
Selecting and managing textbooks
The availability, quality and effective use of textbooks are some of the important factors affecting the quality of learning in a school. Textbooks support the curriculum by reinforcing and extending the work of teachers; thus good textbooks can lead to better teaching and effective learning. The growth and development of the publication of textbooks provide for closer relations to curriculum choices and teacher development in the use of subject materials. It must be realised how important it is to have a system of text-book management within your school in order to maximise this important resource and achieve higher levels of pupil attainment. Libraries, media, and low cost teaching aids.
In the school context, the ‘library’ has become increasingly important in the enrichment of learning and teaching in the classroom. In some instances, the storage and retrieval facilities have been incorporated into the facets of a library. This unit reinforced the importance of the library by emphasising the following features:
(a) management strategies for provision, organisation and operation of your school library;
(b) benefits of school libraries in terms of
¨ research skills;
¨ writing skills;
¨ valuing books;
¨ increased knowledge;
¨ improved ability to spell
(c) the characteristics of a good library.
The school head should involve the local community in library development. Supporting the school library as an active centre of learning is an activity which can involve individuals and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) outside of the school. Organisations such as Lions and Rotary Clubs and other social groups can assist in this venture.
Parents are also useful allies in this activity. Media and teaching aids are useful implements for reinforcing learning and teaching skills. Through magazines and newspapers, pupils can be informed about current events. In its widest sense, the local environment can be regarded as a principal source for teaching aids. Libraries, media and teaching aids and their effective use combine to improve the quality of the learning activity in the classroom and thereby improve the quality of education provided in the community.
Examinations, testing and record‑keeping
Although assessment procedures including examinations and tests serve different purposes, both are important professionally within the school and should therefore be organised and managed responsibly. The school head must appreciate the need for good arrangements and tight security in internal and external examinations. She or he must, however, be aware that such examinations form only part of the assessment of the innate abilities of her/his pupils, and must recognise the need for a comprehensive system of record‑keeping which will benefit pupil, teacher and parents in giving a full profile of each child.
Time, money and effort expended on resource maintenance and management is money well spent. A school head must manage all school resources efficiently in the interests of the school and, therefore, full, proper and timely maintenance of these resources is imperative. In order to do this he or she must
be aware of the resources under his /her control.
have a maintenance schedule for these resources.
ensure that a schedule is implemented.
be aware of the procedures involved in having maintenance carried out.
keep proper inventory and asset management records.
keep an up to date consumable stock book.
Finding financial resources
Each school experiences two levels of funding - recurrent and capital (or developmental). In order to secure adequate recurrent funding the school head must know how to prepare an annual budget to submit to the Ministry and Department of Education, and another to cater for funds expected from fundraising activities. He or she must also be able to motivate the PTA, other school bodies and the community, in fundraising activities to supplement the educational offerings of the school. All monies received by the school must be accounted for according to financial legislation and managed effectively by the head and staff to ensure that pupils are given the best possible education.
Special Educational Needs
A Headteacher must be clear about the meaning of the term Special Educational Needs and how its history and international context has led to the current position on S.E.N. It is essential that, as the Lead Professional, he / she appreciates the reasons why all children have a right to an equal education and, in particular, his / her role in the management of Special Educational Needs.
Once all of this has been accepted, the challenge is to be able to devise strategies for meeting the needs of children with S.E.N. In short, the Headteacher must understand the issues of inclusion, be committed to equality of opportunity and to meeting the needs of individual children.
He / she must “make it happen!”
Sources of school funds
In this unit we have considered the following major sources of school funds: government, parents and community groups. A Headteacher cannot afford to sit back and wait for the funds to appear. He / she must be proactive in gaining the maximum government grants and galvanising the efforts of others to support the school which is an important part of the community. Although fund raising may appear to be a diversion from the main purpose of schooling, it can be applied in an educative way, if the pupils are involved in each aspect of an event and topics for language, mathematics and other areas of the curriculum can easily be identified. Fund raising in Guyanese schools is usually done through the PTA to allow the Headteacher to concentrate on the core purpose of the school – teaching and learning.
Given that many schools are seriously short of funds, it is the responsibility of the Head to identify the need and the purpose of fundraising and to stimulate others into doing it. However, under no circumstances should it be allowed to detract from the learning time of the children. Raising funds is extra to the curriculum and not a substitute for it. School heads, as leaders, should encourage those around them to explore all the possible and feasible sources of funds for the benefit of their schools.
In this unit you learnt that:
budgets serve as a plan designed to achieve the school objectives
budgets serve as indicators of areas of the school that require action and should be clearly linked to the SIP
when a budget is approved, delegation of financial responsibility and accountability is given to the Headteacher
budgets are used as a means of evaluating performance of the school head
§ a major responsibility of the school Head is to design, manage, monitor and control the school’s budget.
§ the school’s budget must be linked to school effectiveness.
§ the school must provide “value for money”
A Headteacher who is a good financial manager will maximise opportunities in order to ensure an excellent educational provision for his / her school.
Mobilising financial resources
Here we dealt with a number of concepts or ideas concerning mobilisation of financial resources.
These can be summarised as follows:
The main types of resources are human, material, time and financial resources. These need to be mobilised to facilitate implementation of school plans, programmes or projects.
To mobilise financial resources one must consider the financing availability, which is the percentage of the public expenditure given to education or, in case of a school, it is the percentage of the education sector expenditure given to that school.
Budgetary prioritisation is the arrangement of items or activities in order of importance and allocating money which will facilitate their execution. Often there are inequalities which arise in the distribution of financial resources nationally as well as at the school level. Great care must be taken in distribution of the available funds.
All budgetary plans must be related to your School Improvement Plan which will identify need, express developments in teaching and learning strategies and be the overall school document which identifies priorities for improved school effectiveness.
As the financing availability is extremely small, a search for extra budgetary sources of financing educational activities has to be carried out.
Various mobilisation strategies should be used to obtain the necessary funds in order to implement the school plans.
Basic framework and mechanism of financial management
Having worked through this unit, you will be much more familiar with the procedures of financial management within a school and the responsibilities of the headteacher to ensure sound financial systems which not only keep track of all funds going in and out of the school’s account but also enable the headteacher to plan effectively for the best use of those funds.
Some of the principles are:
School funds are managed within specific guidelines from the Ministry of Education and a framework which you must be familiar with and follow meticulously.
The use of school funds must be clearly linked to the school improvement plan (SIP) which drives improvement in the school
School heads must be able to receive and bank school funds properly.
An accurate projection of spending in the form of a budget must be drawn up at the beginning of the year.
Regular monitoring of that budget must take place and necessary adjustments made.
All possible care should be taken to ensure security of funds.
School heads should seek to protect themselves and those for whom they are responsible from any accusation of malpractice or fraud by ensuring open and transparent accounting which follows the guidelines.
Expending and accounting for school funds
In this unit you have learnt about:
expending and accounting for school money
the procedure for expending school funds
the financial regulations of the Ministry of Education
the need to exercise flexibility in the management of funds
the importance of maintaining proper financial records
the operation of proper and regular school balance sheets
§ the need for a good financial plan.
Auditing school account booksIn order to maintain the integrity of financial records, it is important that the books are regularly audited by an external person. This is not just to ensure that the books balance but also to provide the head with sound financial advice about the systems that are being used within the school.
Monitoring School Effectiveness
Indicators and characteristics of school effectiveness Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing are features of what should go on in every school. Everyone engaged in the process, at whatever level, should seek to improve the effectiveness of the school for the benefit of all concerned – staff, parents, the community, and potential employers. The various characteristics and features of effective learning and teaching and of the effective head were explored in this unit.
The discussions in this unit started by looking at a few concepts, the major one being that of effectiveness. Some indicators of school effectiveness were identified, but there is no doubt that the effectiveness of the school is closely tied to the existence of some key school management characteristics. These include sound teaching and learning, functional school organisation, good personal relations, effective guidance and counselling, a good school ethos and effective leadership as well as continuous monitoring and evaluation, both internal and external. The latter can be considered a defining characteristic of effective leadership and management.
The rationale for monitoring and evaluation
In this unit you studied the reasons why monitoring and evaluation are essential characteristics of effective school leadership and management and particularly for establishing standards of accountability. The major functions of M & E have been identified. In particular, you linked the process of the collection of quantitative and qualitative evidence to the analysis and evaluation of the data which has been collected. This, in turn, is used for further development and is the critical part in the agenda for raising achievement.
The process falls into two main categories:
to assess the extent to which goals are being achieved in order to improve performance;
for accountability purposes in order to justify the school’s performance to others.
We stressed that the principle function of a school is about learning and teaching and, therefore, it is essential to monitor every aspect of curriculum provision and delivery in the classroom to identify strengths in order to build upon them and give credit where it is due and also to recognise weaknesses so that a programme of development can be implemented.
Your attention was drawn to the potential of target setting both to improve the performance of teachers and to give children realistic goals to work towards which are within their capabilities.
M & E is about asking appropriate questions, observations, analysing and comparing data and gathering information. Attention was drawn to both the quantity and quality of information which the school head needs in order to help improve school effectiveness.
Monitoring and evaluation techniques
In this unit you were introduced to some important techniques of monitoring and evaluation, including: observation of lessons, scrutiny of pupils’ work, questionnaires, interviews, discussion groups, continuous assessment and the systematic keeping of records. You also learnt that whichever techniques you use, you first have to record the information gathered carefully in order to be able to analyse it and make judgements concerning the questions being asked and issues addressed.
Developing evaluation instruments and analysing information may be a little technical and therefore we suggested that you may need to set up a committee in your school to design lesson observation and scrutiny of work proforma, effective school assessment instruments like questionnaires, interview questions, observations, record keeping methods and to devise ways of analysing the data and information collected. Such a committee can also help guide the planning and execution of an ongoing programme of school evaluation, as explained in the next unit.
We considered the way in which external agencies such as the MERD Unit will tackle the inspection of your region and some of the schools within it as well as the attendant reporting procedures.
We reminded you that, first and foremost, you must remember the reasons why you are monitoring the provision of education in your school and evaluating the results. It is to improve school effectiveness and increase the learning capacity of the children.
Planning a programme of monitoring and evaluation
In this unit you examined the steps to be taken in planning a programme of self-evaluation in your school. We also looked at the criteria for an effective school and how this translates into actual action by the teachers and how this can be evaluated in the classroom, mainly by observation of lessons.
Remember, self-evaluation is an important leadership and managerial skill, the purpose of which is to bring about change in all areas of school life and to increase school effectiveness. Self-evaluation should be a continuous process, taking each part of school life in turn. Such an incremental approach to school development is likely to lead to more self reliance, more accountability and a more confident, more motivated and higher achieving school.
We reiterated the importance of gaining the confidence of the staff in ensuring that the whole process will be used for their development rather than be seen as a means of disciplining them or reprimanding them for inadequate performance. It should also be used to give credit where credit is due and can be seen as a good motivator by strengthening the professional competences of teachers and giving them the confidence to take control of their own professional development needs. And, of course, it creates a more effective school!
Using monitoring and evaluation findings
Here, we further stressed the importance of monitoring and evaluating and of using the findings to bring about school improvement. Below are just a few examples. There are, of course, many areas where an evaluation exercise is likely to produce findings which could inform the school decision-making process and contribute towards improved school effectiveness, for example in:
teaching and learning
effectiveness of the curriculum
social development of the children
We pointed out that monitoring school effectiveness involves the regular review of all the services of your school and especially, its prime function – teaching and learning. Through the collection and analysis of relevant information and the setting of appropriate expectations, criteria and standards, you may draw conclusions about the extent to which the mission, objectives and targets of your school are being achieved.
The Management of Schools
Defining the parameters of school management
Firstly, we looked broadly at what the concept of school management embraces and the distinction between management and governance. We then touched upon the laws and regulations within whose context schools operate and the various bodies, agencies and groups who all bear a part in the governance of schools.
Legal basis of school governance
In this unit, we looked at the issue of laws and regulations which underpin school governance. We examined different kinds of laws which form the basis of school governance such as education acts and legislative instruments. We considered the nature of educational policies and how administrative instructions and guidelines may apply to these particular issues. We gave careful thought to who has the power to issue directives and their scope.
Consideration has been given to the reading, analysis, storage and dissemination of such information and you were encouraged to find your personal solutions to how you will deal with these.
Lastly, we noted the importance of heads of school developing their own policies and regulations, as part of the process of school-based planning, making clear expectations, professionalism and particularly accountability.
School managers and PTAs
There are many different types of schools in Guyana from those completely in the control of the MOE to others on the far end of the scale that are totally independent. They are managed in different ways. However, they all have one thing in common – a headteacher who carries out the day-to-day running of the school. Many schools have a body to which the head is responsible. This may be a governing board in a state school, a management committee or trustees in an independent school. The head must work effectively with whoever has control.
In this unit, we considered the importance of boards of governors and management committees in the management of schools. The constitution, which provides the legal framework under which boards operate, was reviewed in order to emphasise the powers and limitations which are conferred on boards.
The role of school boards and management committees and the appointment of members was also considered. The relationship which should exist between the head and the school board was identified and explained. We also made clear details of the procedures for the conduct of school board business, both in full board meetings, sub committees, standing committees and chairperson’s powers.
Relationships between schools and other agencies In this unit, we examined the relationship the school head needs to establish with the different agencies which play some part in the governance of schools.
The role of the Ministry of Education in setting standards and norms for school operations was explained and the different levels of educational management and administration were identified. The reasons why the school head should relate well to the Ministry of Education and the Regional Department of Education was stressed.
The relationship of Central, Regional and District Education Offices with the school was highlighted for the guidance of heads.
The role of the MERD Unit in promoting both the minimum and the best standards in teaching and learning, as well as the overall leadership, management and ethos in schools, was also emphasised.
The role of teachers, pupils and parents in school management
In this unit, we identified the main stakeholders within the school – staff, pupils and parents. We considered the roles of each of them in the participatory management of the school and, in particular, stressed how important it is that they become involved, are managed by you the head and feel that they have a say in the running of the school.
We were, however, clear that it is the role of the head to coordinate all of these activities and their effective involvement, whilst at the same time ensuring that, although a democratic approach is appropriate, he / she must have the final word as it is the head who is accountable for all that goes on in the school.
We have considered the role of the student council, school committees and the PTA as examples of a participatory approach in school management.
The role of the community in school management
Here we considered the role of the local and extended communities which will have an influence on the management of schools and the quality of education a school provides. The point was made that effective school management can be achieved only through strong partnerships between heads and a number of groups both within and outside the local school community, including sections of the Ministry of Education.
Working with a variety of groups can be very challenging for a head, especially if some try to duly influence, control or behave inappropriately. We tried to support you, as head, in understanding your role and in creating good and fruitful relationships.
Most outside agencies are only interested in the success of the school and its pupils but will view it from their own perspective. In the final analysis, you are the one who is accountable to your pupils and must be the one who has the last word.
The Leadership of Schools
Understanding leadership in schools
In this unit, we looked at the main reasons why we have schools in Guyana in order to focus on the role of the leader and the concept of leadership and, in particular, the type of action that is associated with a good leader. We concentrated on the differences between administration, management and leadership and concluded that, although all have their place, leadership is the most important role and is essential to the development of efficient and successful schools. We examined the characteristics of effective leaders.
We looked particularly at the diverse approaches of the reactive and the proactive headteacher and concluded that it is essential for heads to be proactive in all that they do rather than simply waiting for the specific instructions of others. And finally, we brought to your attention the need for leaders to model how to follow and highlighted the main hallmarks of effective followers.
The principles of educational leadership
Whereas in Unit One we looked at leadership in relationship to schools, in this unit we examined more closely the general skills which are required to be an effective leader and related them to your own practice in school. In some cases we gave you examples of what you could do in school to become accomplished in the desired skills. We added to the work of an earlier module by considering the effectiveness of a variety of styles and, at various points in the unit, asked you to start evaluating your own leadership performance.
Leadership in Guyana’s schools
In this unit we have moved the focus to the needs of the Guyanese educational system, from the theory to its application in schools. We required you to understand the essential characteristics that Guyana wants to develop in its leaders and to put some of this into practice by analysing your own performance in these areas.
We identified a number of groups, whose responsibility it is to develop the future leaders of Guyana. These range from yourself as a potential leader (or perhaps you already are one) through each of the various levels in the school though to those externally responsible for schools in the regions and the Ministry of Education. In each case we related these requirements to the imperative to create effective and successful schools.
Leading in your new school
In this unit we asked you to use your imagination and consider the implications for you of a new leadership post. You were exposed to the various emotions and thoughts that you might have before taking up the post. We looked at the effects that your appointment may have on others and their reaction to you and how you might ease for them the transition from one manager to another. Our aim was to help you to feel more confident about being a middle leader, member of a senior leadership team or headteacher.
We looked at some practical issues such as developing strategies for getting to know and understand your staff and how to make an impact in the first few weeks without making persons feel threatened by any changes you may wish to make. Finally we discussed the way you might use your own experience to date and that of other staff to your best advantage.
Developing leadership in others
Leadership training is now commonly seen as a key feature in the agenda to raise achievement in schools and to improve their effectiveness. We believe, therefore, that it cannot be left to chance or delivered in an ad hoc way. It is important that you are able to appreciate what is meant by leadership professional development and why it is essential to develop people in leadership. As a result of this, you need to understand the process of providing professional development and be able to describe the various forms that leadership professional development may take both for individuals and groups of people in order that you will be able to put them into practice.
However, we are aware that such training in Guyana has its challenges especially in the light of decreasing resources and resource persons. We provided for you strategies to try to overcome this in a positive way. Each type of leader deserves a tailor-made programme to meet its needs. In this unit, we outlined for you the specific leadership training focus of each group and assisted you in evaluating those skills in order that good decisions will be made about future leaders.
Finally, we all need to plan for a time when our leaders will move on to other things. Succession planning is a way of preparing for this and we linked this concept to all of the other training processes already outlined.
Identifying leadership characteristics
This unit was quite different from many others in that it not only assisted you in understanding the basic competencies of a headteacher but also showed you how to evaluate those competencies in a way which would be meaningful and useful for you. If you completed the exercise, you now be in possession of a document which shows clearly your strengths and weaknesses as a leader according to the perceptions both of yourself and others who you manage or are managed by.
Your own leadership growth plan After working through the competency evaluation of the last unit, it was essential that the information gained was used to inform further development of your leadership skills. To this end, you should now have a better understanding of the variety of methods of receiving feedback about your leadership competencies that are available to you and recognise the sources on hand for feedback about your performance.
We encouraged you to create your own leadership growth plan and use examples of leadership growth plans for middle and senior leaders to improve your own one. Finally, we encouraged the use of and described a leadership portfolio which would store your background and professional information as well as successful examples of your leadership activities and your reflections on them.
Go forward and lead
Having reached the end of the main modules of the Education Management Programme, this module will pull together all you have learnt to allow you to apply this knowledge and skills in a real life situation.