There are major disparities in the quality of education within and between countries (OECD, 2012). School managerial practices may be an important reason for such differences. Unfortunately, understanding the role of management in schools within and across countries has been held back by a lack of robust and comparable instruments to systematically measure management practices and, thus, a lack of good data. The adoption of basic managerial practices varies significantly across and within countries. The UK, Sweden, Canada and the US obtain the highest average scores, followed by Germany, Italy and Brazil, while India has the lowest scores. About half of the variance in school management is at the country-level.
A good School Management should have following two features:
(i) the strength of governance, i.e. having strong accountability for pupil performance
(ii) the degree of school leadership, i.e. developing a long-term strategy for the school
The school management can be further analysed on four broad areas of management:
- Standardisation of instructional planning processes.
- Personalisation of instruction and learning.
- Data-driven planning and pupil transitions.
- Adopting educational best practices.
- Continuous improvement
- Performance tracking
- Performance review
- Performance dialogue
- Consequence management
- Target balance
- Target interconnection
- Time horizon of targets
- Clarity and comparability of targets
- Rewarding high performers
- Fixing poor performers
- Promoting high performers
- Managing talent
- Retaining talent
- Creating a distinctive employee value proposition
Understanding the factors associated with variations in school performance within and across countries is important. While many researchers have looked at differences in school inputs – such as teacher quality, class size and family/pupil characteristics – or ariations in the institutional environment, such as pupil choice – few studies explore differences in school management. Management practices vary significantly across and within countries and are strongly linked to pupil outcomes. Management quality seems to matter for schools.
From a policy point of view, our findings suggest that improving management could be an important way of raising school standards and give broad support.Alongside improved governance and motivated principals it should lead to better standards.
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