Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal). January 2017 0(69):257-280
School principals are faced with new demands, more complex decisions and additional responsibilities than ever before. Their day is usually filled with diverse administrative and management functions such as procuring resources, managing learner discipline, resolving conflicts with parents and dealing with unexpected teacher and learner crises. However, it is imperative for school principals to accentuate their role as instructional leaders by emphasising best teaching practices and keeping their schools focused on curriculum, teaching, and assessment to meet learner needs and enhance learner achievement. Using open-ended questionnaires and personal interviews with eight school principals, this study investigated how the principals perceived and experienced their functions as instructional leaders to improve learner performance. Findings revealed that many school principals repudiated claims that their primary function was to manage teaching and learning. However, those school principals that place high priority on curricular matters undoubtedly influence teacher and learner performance positively.
Education & Educational Research - Education, Scientific Disciplines - Education, Special
South African Journal of Education, Vol 37, Iss 1, Pp 1-11 (2017)
Globally, education systems have been affected by radical social, political and economic changes. Although school principals play a pivotal role in improving student learning and attaining educational outcomes, they work under strenuous conditions to deal with multifaceted transformational issues. Principals experience great difficulty in coping with numerous changes, partly because they are inadequately prepared for their leadership position, or simply lack the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to lead and manage schools effectively and efficiently. Fundamentally, principals should be empowered to effectively deal with challenges facing them in the 21st century. Using qualitative research, this study explored the importance of promoting a culture of professional development that will prepare principals to confront education challenges and obstacles facing them. Fifteen principals were selected to determine their perceptions and experiences of how they were prepared and professionally developed to lead and manage schools. Findings revealed that in South Africa, there is no formal preparation for aspiring or practicing principals taking on leadership and management positions, and very few in-service professional development programmes are available. There is a dire need for education authorities to introduce compulsory training and development programmes for aspiring and practicing school leaders to lead and manage their schools successfully.
change management - continuing professional development - curriculum leadership - instruction - principalship - professionalization - qualifications - training - Education (General) - L7-991 - Special aspects of education - LC8-6691
South African Journal of Education, Vol 36, Iss 4, Pp 1-12 (2016)
The continuous poor performance of South Africa’s learners is detrimental to its developing economy. The need for education change prompted two universities to initiate a system-wide change strategy in a poorly performing school district. The leverage for change was leadership development, involving school principals and district officials. The global impetus for driving leadership development is based on the positive association between high-quality leadership and effective schools. The change strategy was a three year leadership development intervention programme. An evaluative case study was used to investigate the experiences of the participants during the implementation of the programme. Research methods included individual interviews, observation, and a survey by means of a questionnaire. Using systems theory as a theoretical framework, various disconnections were identified in the school district. These disconnections concern the interrelationships between the educational leaders which hinder organisational learning. Changing the culture of the school district through system-wide collaboration could be the key to systemic improvements. Strategies such as collective capacity building, joint problem-solving, networking and system leadership, might provide the essential ‘glue’ for strengthening the interconnections within the school district.
collective capacity building - district officials - education change - educational leadership - leadership development - principals - school district - system leadership - system-wide change - Education (General) - L7-991 - Special aspects of education - LC8-6691
South African Journal of Education, Vol 36, Iss 2, Pp 01-11 (2016)
In view of redressing past imbalances created by the apartheid regime and achieving equity in funding public schools, the post-1994 government introduced the Norms and Standards for School Funding policy that severely reduces state funding to schools located within affluent areas. However, the South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 makes provision for school governing bodies (SGBs), responsible for financial and physical resource management of schools, to supplement state funding. In order to ensure that effective teaching and learning takes place, self-managed SGBs secure funding from parents, corporates and the broader community through school (user) fees, donations and unconventional fundraising projects. These additional funds enable SGBs to provide schools with state-of-the-art physical resources, and to employ teaching and nonteaching staff not provided for in the post-provisioning norms determined by the department of education. Using quantitative research, this study aimed to determine how self-managed SGBs manage funds through user fees and other fundraising initiatives. Findings revealed that governing bodies of most self-managed schools were able to secure substantial funding from school fees and other fundraising initiatives, and managed the funds effectively and efficiently.
financial management - norms and standards - quintiles - resource management - school fees - school funding - selfmanagement - Education (General) - L7-991 - Special aspects of education - LC8-6691
South African Journal of Education. January 2013 33(2):1-15
Schooling has become increasingly complex in purpose and structure and therefore requires appropriate forms of leadership to address this challenge. One current leadership approach that is receiving national and global attention is distributive leadership. A qualitative approach was employed to investigate teachers' experiences and perceptions of the practice of distributive leadership in public primary schools in Soweto. Soweto is a township in Johannesburg, South Africa, which comprises predominantly black African residents. The findings revealed that leadership in Soweto primary schools is rooted in classical leadership practices and that any potential for the practice of distributive leadership is hindered by autocratic styles of leadership, hierarchical structures, and non-participative decision-making.
Education & Educational Research - Education, Scientific Disciplines - Activity Theory - collective leadership - decision-making - distributive leadership - hierarchy - leadership styles - power - principals - school climate - teacher leadership
South African Journal of Education, Vol 35, Iss 2, Pp 01-11 (2015)
This study investigated a system-wide change strategy in a South African school district, which sought to build the leadership capacity of principals and district officials to improve instruction. The three-year venture was called the Leadership for Learning Programme (LLP). A distinctive feature of the LLP was that it was based on a partnership between two universities, a local one with understanding of the local context of schools, and an international institution, which brought international expertise, experience and repute/branding. Both universities had a shared vision to contribute to the ailing South African school landscape by using leadership development to leverage change. The LLP was implemented in a single school district, where the overall learner performance was unsatisfactory. A qualitative approach was used to research this change intervention. One of the main findings was that collaboration between principals collectively and district officials, as well as among principals, was lacking. It is recommended that collaborative structures such as professional learning communities, networks and teams are established to reduce isolation and fragmented work practices in the school district. This may speed up system-wide change towards improved learner performance.
educational leadership - intervention - leadership development - partnership - principal - school district - systemic change - systems theory - system-wide change - Education (General) - L7-991 - Special aspects of education - LC8-6691
South African Journal of Education, Vol 34, Iss 3, Pp 01-11 (2014)
The government's educational reforms since 1994 have focused on equity and redress. Redressing historical imbalances and achieving equity are fundamental policy mechanisms in attempts to restructure South African education. This aspiration is demonstrated in many education policies including the National Norms and Standards for School Funding (NNSSF) policy. While inequalities in resource allocation from the state have been removed, inequalities persist due to the inability of the state to provide free education to all, parents' inability to pay user-fees, the unavailability of qualified teachers in rural schools and unfavourable learner-teacher ratios. A quantitative research was conducted to investigate the implications of the NNSSF policy on equity in public schools in the Tshwane West District of the Gauteng Province. Based on the three first order factors derived from the first analytic procedure, namely, "The effective financial management", "The management of equity issues" and "Access to educational resources", it was found that despite substantial government interventions in the education system, equity has not been fully realised.
access - equity - financial management - funding - inequality - National Norms and Standards - no-fee schools - policy - school fees - social justice - Education (General) - L7-991 - Special aspects of education - LC8-6691
The National Norms and Standards for School Funding policy was adopted by the government to address equity in South African public schools. This pro-poor funding policy compels the state to progressively fund schools based on a quintile ranking system. Schools lacking in infrastructure, physical and financial resources and usually located within poor socio-economic environments are ranked quintiles 1 and 2. These schools are referred to as no-fee schools and are provided with far more state funding than well-resourced schools, ranked quintiles 4 and 5. More recently, quintile 3 schools, serving middle-of-the-range communities, have also been declared no-fee schools. Most of the school governing bodies and principals serving no-fee schools experience numerous challenges in effectively managing their schools’ funds. Using a quantitative research approach, the study aimed to determine the views of teachers and school management team members of how no-fee schools manage the funds received from the state and other fundraising initiatives. The findings revealed that governing bodies of no-fee schools lacked the necessary financial and entrepreneurial skills and, therefore, experienced great difficulty in preparing budgets and cash flow projection statements that could enable them to effectively manage the schools’ funds. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
EDUCATION -- South Africa - NATIONAL norms (Education) - SCHOOLS -- Government policy - SCHOOL rules & regulations - PUBLIC schools - EDUCATIONAL finance