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Professional development programme for middle managers at schools
Joseph, Janine Marcelle
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In order for productive and positive interaction and growth to occur, schools need to be regarded as organisations with a specific purpose and aim. This means that very definite duties and responsibilities need to be structured to ensure that the organisation operates smoothly and that it achieves its aims and goals. In turn, smooth organisational operation will also determine its effectiveness and efficiency and the impact it has on educators, learners and the community. A professional development programme for middle managers might help to expand a philosophy and practice, which could help to equip middle managers of primary schools for a role in bringing about qualitative changes to address educational, needs. This study attempts to investigate the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes required by middle managers of Heads of Department (HODs) to be effective in their departments. This could be used to develop a skills development programme for middle managers in primary schools. The study as a whole is set against the research literature on the professional development of middle managers in primary schools and focuses on the following aspects: (I) managing policy; (2) managing people; (3) managing teaching and learning and (4) managing resources. In the exploration of the management roles and responsibilities of middle managers in primary schools. qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used in investigating the research questions. The research instruments used in the study included 11 semi structured questionnaires, interviews and a focus-group workshop. After the development of data collection instruments, data was collected through semi- structured questionnaires from HODs at selected 18 primary schools. Interviews were also conducted with four principals, one circuit manager, the Assistant Human Resources Consultant and the Human Resource Coordinator of the WCED. A workshop was also conducted with 35 BTech students to develop a framework for a management programme for middle managers in primary schools. The research study reveals the following aspects: (I) the Western Cape Education department has no existing skills development policy for the training of middle managers in primary schools; (2) research respondents identified a need for training in the interpretation and formulation of policies within their various departments as well as training in conflict management and counselling in order to successfully manage the human resources in their department; (3) finance is available for the training of educators but not specifically for middle managers, (4) educators prefer formal training above informal training. This thesis then examines, analyses and discusses these findings with recommendations that follow in Chapter 5.