Can you manage the school organisation? #360Review (Part 4 of 6)

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In my fourth self-refection on leadership, I offer musings on my own school leadership. In this post: Can you manage the school organisation? I pose a series of questions for the reader and offer my very own public #360Review.

You are reading part 4 of a 6-part series of leadership articles on managing the organisation.

‘Can you manage the school organisation?’ #360Review

Can you manage the school organisation?

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Can you connect the missing link?
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This leadership reflection has been taken from the former NPQH leadership standards and fall under two distinct categories and into six key areas.

  • The categories are Knowledge and Professional Qualities.
  • The key areas are Shaping the future; Leading learning and teaching; Developing self and working with others; Managing the organisation; Securing accountability; Strengthening the community.

Definition:

Managing

Managing the organisation: (Knowledge):

The headteacher should know about: models of organisation and principles of organisational development; principles and models of self-evaluation; principles and practice of earned autonomy; principles and strategies of school improvement; project management for planning and implementing the change; policy creation, through consultation and review; informed decision-making; strategic financial planning, budgetary management and principles of best value; performance management; personnel, governance, security and access issues relating to the diverse use of school facilities; legal issues relating to managing a school included Equal Opportunities, Race Relations, Disability, Human Rights and Employment legislation; the use of new and emerging technologies to enhance organisational effectiveness.” (Knowledge)

  • How do you/would you manage people?
  • How do you/would you manage an organisation?
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Know what to do?
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Here are the key questions to consider, with my own analysis in the photo that follows.

  1. I know about models of organisation and principles of organisational development
  2. I know about principles and models of self-evaluation
  3. I know about principles and practice of earned autonomy
  4. I know about principles and strategies of school improvement
  5. I know about project management for planning and implementing the change
  6. I know about policy creation, through consultation and review
  7. I know about informed decision-making
  8. I know about strategic financial planning, budgetary management and principles of best value
  9. I know about performance management
  10. I know about personnel issues relating to the diverse use of school facilities.
  11. I know about governance issues relating to the diverse use of school facilities.
  12. I know about security and access issues relating to the diverse use of school facilities.
  13. I know about legal issues relating to managing a school included Equal Opportunities, Race Relations, Disability, Human Rights and Employment legislation
  14. I know about the use of new and emerging technologies to enhance organisational effectiveness.

Self-review of Managing the organisation: 

My self-review is shown below. This time I have provided the reader with a comparison of my #360Review between August 2010; compared to this present day. Click to enlarge.

Managing the organisation
Managing the organisation – Knowledge – Click to open

Self-analysis:

I consider models of organisation and principles of organisational development as a theoretical base of knowledge, rather than practical application. In this case, I would rate my own performance as below-expectation. However, given that I lead on whole-staff appraisal and structure, knowing how 150 staff are knitted together and subdivide into various areas and faculties; maybe I under-estimate myself?

In terms of ‘principles and practice of earned autonomy’, I am confident I lead staff to be autonomous with personal development; but know this could be enhanced and encouraged so that staff feel more self-sufficient. Beyond my own remit, promoting freedom and moral purpose would be heightened, with more direct day-to-day experience of leading a school.

In my own leadership shelf-life, I could count on one hand, the days I’ve been left to lead the school (for a day or so). I know this ‘particular’ self-review is much more than ‘being in charge’, and that given the freedom, I could truly understand the autonomy I could give to all staff once I step up to Deputy Headteacher. What I should consider, is under my own remit, how do I practice autonomy. I would say my evidence is here: Why I’m placing #LearningWalks in Room 101?

Finally, my own knowledge regarding governance issues, relating to the diverse use of school facilities. I’d guess that I am fairly confident about PFI (Private Finance Initiatives); community-use facilities; site security and access; safeguarding and health and safety risk-management. But could I verbalise this? I’m not sure. How on earth could I evidence this knowledge other than my own experiences and instinct. Tough one here.

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Site security and access?
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 Managing the organisation: (Professional Qualities):

The headteacher should be committed to: distributed leadership and management; the equitable management of staff and resources; the sustaining of personal motivation and that of all staff; the developing and sustaining of a safe, secure and healthy school environment; collaborating with others in order to strengthen the school’s organisational capacity and contribute to the development of capacity in other schools. The headteacher should be able to: establish and sustain appropriate structures and systems; manage the school efficiently and effectively on a day-to-day basis; delegate management tasks and monitor their implementation; prioritise, plan and organise themselves and others; make professional, managerial and organisational decisions based on informed judgements; think creatively to anticipate and solve problems. (Professional Qualities)

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Do you manage and mingle with all groups of staff?
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Here are the key questions to consider, with my own analysis in the photo that follows.

  1. I am committed to distributed leadership.
  2. I am committed to distributed management.
  3. I am committed to the equitable management of staff and resources
  4. I am committed to the sustaining of personal motivation.
  5. I am committed to sustaining the motivation of all staff.
  6. I am committed to the developing and sustaining of a safe, secure and healthy school environment
  7. I am committed to collaborating with others in order to strengthen the school’s organisational capacity.
  8. I am committed to collaborating with others in order to contribute to the development of capacity in other schools.
  9. I am able to establish and sustain appropriate structures and systems
  10. I am able to manage the school efficiently and effectively on a day-to-day basis
  11. I am able to delegate management tasks.
  12. I am able to monitor the implementation of management tasks.
  13. I am able to prioritise, plan and organise myself.
  14. I am able to prioritise, plan and organise others.
  15. I am able to make professional decisions based on informed judgements.
  16. I am able to make managerial decisions based on informed judgements.
  17. I am able to make organisational decisions based on informed judgements.
  18. I am able to think creatively to anticipate.
  19. I am able to creatively solve problems.

Self-review: Managing the organisation: 

My self-review is shown below. Click to enlarge.

Managing the organsiation - Professional Knowledge
Managing the organsiation – Professional Knowledge – Click to open

Self-analysis:

Fairly confident here in terms of professional knowledge. Regarding questions 10 and 17, these would be heightened, given more opportunities to lead the school directly. This happened frequently in my last school (my first leadership position); but one can assume that this will not happen in my current school, given various factors and alternative circumstances. Maybe I should just ask the boss and spend more time making key day-to-day decisions?

360 Evidence:

As promised; here is an excerpt from my reference in April 2011:

An excerpt from an original reference.
An excerpt from an original reference.

“In his first year on my leadership team, Ross led the school specialisms and ensured that the funding and outreach work was properly addressed. He drew up action plans and ensured that the SLT were informed throughout.

In his second year, September 2009, Ross took over complete charge of our CPD programmes and has transformed these events. His organisational skills are excellent.  He has organised summer conferences for SLT, middle-leaders and further INSET for whole academy including all support staff.  To embed this, he introduced Blue Sky CPD recording tool. This has been a superb initiative, but he now needs to keep driving forward these initiatives, which he has started, and measure the impact that they are having on school improvement…

Ross makes accurate judgements of lesson observations. He has developed how to give difficult information and feedback to staff and does not shy away from giving information to staff which they may find difficult to hear”

The verdict:

The jury gather their thoughts...  Photo Credit: Novartis AG via Compfight cc
The jury gather their thoughts…
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Using national guidance to collate evidence, I should show that I… (with my own summary in red font):

· Create an organisational structure which reflects the school’s values, and enables the management systems, structures and processes to work effectively in line with legal requirements. I am confident this is achieved and sustained through my appraisal leadership.
· Produce and implement clear, evidence-based improvement plans and policies for the development of the school and its facilities. I am confident this is achieved and sustained; leading on (new) key whole-school polices – such as pay-related performance; appraisal; – and job-responsibilities.

Ensure that, within an autonomous culture, policies and initiatives;

· Manage the school’s financial and human resources effectively and efficiently to achieve the school’s education goals and priorities. Considering the access I have to human resources; when needed, I utilise these key members of staff, to drive whole-school goals and priorities. As with any organisational structure; this could be improved.
· Recruit, retain and deploy staff appropriately and manage their workload to achieve the vision and goals of the school. I am confident this is achieved and sustained. We are currently reviewing all staff annual pay-increments and contracts. As you would expect, I am part of key staffing appointments and decisions.
· Implement successful performance management processes with all staff. I am confident this is achieved and sustained.
· Manage and organise the school environment efficiently and effectively to ensure that it meets the needs of the curriculum and health and safety regulations. I am confident this is achieved and sustained. From picking up litter, to reporting site-security and damage; re-rooming staff and students to meet the needs of building works; safety risks and curriculum changes. This is an enjoyable part of leadership. Everyday is different!
· Ensure that the range, quality and use of all available resources is monitored, evaluated and reviewed to improve the quality of education for all pupils and provide value for money. I am confident this is achieved and sustained within my leadership remits. Other than this, I would consider that all (including myself), are involved with key decisions, regarding curriculum expenditure.
· Use and integrate a range of technologies effectively and efficiently to manage the school. I am confident this is achieved and sustained.

Further reading:

In Part 5 of the leadership series, you will be able to view my own #360Review on Securing accountability. Probably the most difficult aspect of senior leadership in my opinion (Click here – soon to be added). In parts 5 – 6 of this series, I will offer comments from colleagues I have worked with as part of this leadership #360Review.

Meanwhile, make sure you have read the preceding parts of the series:

  1. What makes an outstanding senior leader? #360Review (Part 1)
  2. How would you lead teaching and learning? #360Review (Part 2)
  3. How to develop yourself and work with others? #360Review (Part 3)
  4. This post
  5. Securing accountability with leadership actions: #360Review (Part 5)
  6. Headship: Can you engage with the internal and external school community? #360Review (Part 6)

Feedback welcome …

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

3 thoughts on “Can you manage the school organisation? #360Review (Part 4 of 6)

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  • 25th January 2014 at 7:53 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for this, Ross.

    I find the idea of ‘managing the organisation’ interesting. At the moment, as you know, I’m focussing on the transition from deputy headship to headship in my doctoral research. I’ve charted the progress of my six participants from Easter (when they were still deputies but had already been appointed to their first headship, starting this autumn) until this month, when they’ve had a term of headship and the Christmas break to draw breath. One of the things which has struck me forcefully is that although deputy headship is the best preparation for headship in many ways (for one thing, as you say, when the head is away you ‘try out’ being in charge, experience it in miniature and test how it feels to be ‘the one’ who carries the flag and carries the can), nevertheless the professional persona of a deputy, and of a head, are quite different. As a deputy you do a lot of ‘managing’ – keeping things flowing, solving problems, trouble-shooting and fire-fighting. As a head, I think you actually have to step back from this and focus more on leading – in terms of management, you make sure the organisation is effectively and efficiently managed, but often it’s your senior team doing the managing.

    I’d be interested in what you/others think to this.

    Reply
    • 25th January 2014 at 9:04 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Jill. Thanks for the comment. Have 2 more blogs to go with this 360 review. Looking forward to reading your EdD

      Reply

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