Friday, 25 February 2011

School improvement: Skills


If you were an artist and you had a mental picture of a painting you wanted to produce, you would first have to make sure that you had got the paints, brushes and canvas with which to make this vision concrete. In schools, the means of realising the vision are much more subtle and exciting – they are people.

It can be argued that the most important responsibilities that a governing body carries are to do with the appointing, valuing and developing of the staff, including, but not limited to, the appointment of a new head.

When looking for staff it is important that the vision is clear and that needs have been carefully identified, even when the governing body is not directly involved in the appointment process. Moreover, staffing responsibilities do not end when an appointment is made. We should satisfy ourselves that appropriate welcoming and induction procedures are in place for new staff and that ongoing support is provided for all staff. Retaining teachers is as important as recruiting new ones.

Any responsible governing body will want to make the most of its staff and to develop them. All teachers should be change agents, and to succeed in this they have to grow and change themselves. This is where performance management fits into the picture. The responsibility that governors have for this is central to the development of the school and systematic reviews that enable teachers and their managers to identify the teachers' strengths and weaknesses are crucial. When taken in overview such information will give you and the head a strong indication of what skills can be developed within the existing staff and where there are gaps that need to be filled.

The rest of the change equation will be examined in the final part of this series.

The material in this blog article has been drawn from Joined-up Governance book by Jane Martin and Ann Holt, revised edition 2010,Adamson Publishing.

It was reproduced on the website which you can sunscribe to for free here

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