The Principal Problem in Managing Schools in NZ

The announcement by the Minister of Education Anne Tolley of planned Government/private sector partnerships in new school building and maintenance is a step in the right direction and I fully approve. Contracts should also be let for existing schools and upgrades.  Get skilled property managers in to manage the physical resources and free up education management time to manage education.  10 out of 10 for this one Minister. 

But lets take it a step further and get real managers into schools to manage the administration.  For too long many of the managers (Principals) in our schools have lacked the training and experience for the job. Why do the CEO’s of our schools need to have a history as a teacher? What does teaching have to do with HR management, budgets, Balance Sheets and regulatory compliance. I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to aspire to that role but I am saying they should get the necessary management qualifications and practical experience outside of the school system first. CEO’s need to hold high levels of management skills, qualifications and sound knowledge of the regulations affecting the education industry. Because in the modern world it is an industry not just a sector. BOT’s need quality advice to make good decisions.  The CEO could hold a fixed term position overlapping BOT elections by say 3 months allowing the incoming BOT to change direction or reaffirm. 

Our education system needs a flattened administration structure and a line drawn between the “Education Management” in the schools and the “Administrative and Regulatory Management”.  A Principal Teacher should be exactly that someone who can still teach and be a professional leader and has the respect of their colleagues. They could even be elected by the teachers and hold a fixed term.  Do we really need all the Deputy and Assistant Principals? wouldn’t a much flatter management structure serve better the needs of the students?

2 Responses to “The Principal Problem in Managing Schools in NZ”

  1. This is a great post. Thank you and Google for chance to read it.


  2. We have lost too many kids to bullying. It’s time to start crtanieg some awareness, and more importantly, to give the victims of bullying hope. They need to know they are not alone in their suffering.Please listen to this song I wrote in tribute to Phoebe Prince, the Irish immigrant who took her own life after being mercilessly bullied at her high school.Let’s all take a stand against bullying


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