Every school management ought to take pride in their establishment as it is going to be instrumental in shaping the future of scores of students. The pride must accompany constant evaluation of its own functioning and assessment of the feedbacks coming from different arms that constitute the school and external channels.
The school management defines the perspective of education - which determines the school’s popularity, reputation, and sustainability of the school. Management of every new school is concerned about the number of admissions. While the initial admissions depend upon the positioning, communications, infrastructure readiness, and parental perception, eventually the focus of the community shifts to the performance of the school.
No school can survive lackadaisical school management for long and deficiencies become visible almost instantly. The lacunae in the school management manifest itself in several ways. The fall in the rate of the enrollment or drop in the existing strength are the most apparent ones.
Given the dynamism of K-12 scenario in India, the school management must be open to learning, research and suggestions, no less have the will to implement the necessary changes.
Bettering the management of the school unquestionably betters the school, yet school management differs from school improvement. The difference lies in the fact that improvement implies adding to the existing resources while school management is about getting the best out of existing resources by configuring the physical or manipulating the psychological perspectives.
With the aim of empowering the schools through tenets of school management that we have acquainted ourselves with through experience, we have started a series on the subject, of which the present article is the first.
What influences School Management & Admissions
It can hardly be contested that the success of school management is reflected by the rising graph of admissions and the proliferation of sections. To achieve such success requires management efficiency and time.
School management involves management of school finances, positioning, communications, grievance redressal, staff employment, training, framing school calendar, modifications of school property and infrastructure and much more.
While the number of enrollments remains the benchmark, school is not a typical enterprise and an efficient school management depends upon the educational philosophy it espouses and cooperation it receives from the people who are implementing it. The sole aim of efficient school management is not to swell the numbers by applying market tactics even though it may work initially. The aim must be broader which is to build an efficient educational ecosystem that competes with not just other institutions but also itself.
The educational board of affiliation expects typical orientation from the school management. An efficient school management would comply with the board’s standards without alienating the community that provides it with students. The board of affiliation must be chosen with the community in consideration. In case a visionary school promoter aims to redefine the community values he or she must be ready for sustenance for at least 3 to 4 years despite low strength.
It is worthy of note that all the educational boards demand from their subscriber schools a level of technological efficiency. With respect to the management of the school, as the initial step, they ask the school to create an office of “School Manager” to correspond with the board and be at the vantage point assuring that the standard and quality expected of the school is being met. They prescribe the curriculum and regulate the teacher-student ratio, the qualifications of the staff and now they have made regulations about the use of technology also. All these directions and intermittent inspections are aimed at establishing a strong foundation upon which the management of the school will deliver the desired outcomes.
The intervention of the boards in the management of the subscriber schools is increasing with time and compounded by the competition and the long queue of aspiring school promoters, the schools are under incremental pressure to improve and to sustain.
While the expectations of the board of education and affiliating organizations have been rising, there is a lot of support that is coming from the boards too. There are resources, that are comparatively new, which are now at the disposal of schools, for instance, school communities which are web-based and facilitated by organizations like Cambridge international. That means that a school can learn from a similar school with unprecedented convenience.
We have taken the case of a particular educational organization to elaborate our point. Other boards and organizations are also providing a range of resources to help the affiliated schools manage themselves better. There are decisive measures which are taken by the boards that affect the management of the school, recent changes in the CBSE bye laws is an apt example.
It is widely perceived that regimentation and disciplining of the staff are the mainstay of the school management but the bulk of official work that pertains to the above-mentioned subjects is dealt with consistency and diligence. Any infraction in subjects like accounts, non-adherence to board circulars, security lapses can be of serious consequences for the school or /and school’s reputation.
It can be said that the administrative work within the purview of school management has been changed for the better with the inclusion of technology. Still, the schools which are functioning with minimal technological constitute the majority. It is undeniable that as time passes, progressive adoption of technology will become essential for the survival of these schools.
Parents and Community
The school management is constantly and uncharitably assessed by the parents, by extension the community. And it is the community that controls the enrollment rate.
The basics include the safety of the children which has to be assured. The rate of progress of the children is the factor determined by the school and assessed by the parents. The benchmarks of parents can be exceedingly high but they are hardly ever low. The school has to make a reputation and resist the bias from building against it. The meetings with the parents, which indeed is mandatory, must be made creatively influential by showcasing the information the interlocutor has about the child. The level of information can only be attained by individual attention. So it boils down to the commitment to assure parents of their child’s safety and progress.
Technology is there to stay in the schools and befriending it is much easier than resisting it. It can make the functions easier and indeed bring a change in the motivational levels. For the administrative work, they can become a boon. The routine functions like attendance, homework, discipline, grades and student’s achievements can be recorded and analyzed much easily sparing time to devote to the activities that will help learning outcomes.
Technology can also be employed in acquiring information regarding teachers’ activities inside the school. Their pedagogical style, creative additions, and distractions can be shown to them while giving them an individual feedback. For classroom purposes, there are applications which can save a lot of the time of teachers.
Computer and projector-based classroom do change the stance of the instruction, but pedagogy demands more than appliances, training is a must.
Aspiring school promoter must undertake an introspection exercise to evaluate to what extent is he or she ready to take up the evolving challenge called school management.
Closely attending to both successful and retarding features of school management acquainted us with the capability to identify and rectify the features that impair the growth of a school. The reason that makes us research intensively and makes school management as one of our specialized services is that without decisive quality and efficiency of the school management, a school may survive but it cannot succeed or proliferate.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.