Better Schools:
Resource Materials for School Heads in Africa
Principles of Educational Management
The task of running a school requires imagination and common sense. But there are also certain principles of management which can provide useful guidance for the practising school head, and a number of these are examined in this module. The principles covered here include: aspects of human and public relations, communications, delegation, decision-making and problem-solving. We hope that the module will encourage you to reflect on your own performance and consider ways in which you might improve your own school management processes to become more effective in your role as school head and as a manager of change.

Individual study time: 20 hours

After working through this module you should be able to:
• discuss the contribution which management theory can make to understanding management practice
• relate your responsibilities and duties as a school head to the functions of the central government ministries and organisations responsible for education
• differentiate between the main functions of the head of a school and identify some of the tasks associated with each
• understand the importance of good human relations and communications in promoting a suitable working environment for teachers, pupils and non-teaching staff in a school
• outline the importance of delegation and outline the key principles and procedures involved in delegation in schools
• explain decision-making and problem-solving and list the major factors which contribute towards effective practice
• describe the nature of the change process and identify the key management functions and tasks associated with the effective management of schools.

Unit 1: Introduction to educational management
3 1/2 hours
In this you will learn about some theoretical perspectives on management and identify key concepts and principles. A deeper understanding of the nature of educational management should enable you to improve your practice as a school manager.

Unit 2: Government organisation and functions
2 hours
Here you will find out about the nature of government as an organisation, and how it may well affect the quality of management in your school. You are encouraged to apply the general principles of management introduced in Unit 1 to the running of public affairs in your country.

Unit 3: The functions of school management
3 hours
The major functions of management include planning, organising, directing, supervising and evaluating. In this unit you will examine how they relate to each other and how together they describe the role of the school head.

Unit 4: Human and public relations
3 hours
As school head you are responsible for a large number of people and you must therefore know something about the behaviour of people in organisations and how best to motivate people to ensure the success of your school.

Unit 5: Delegation in a school
2 hours
As a manager of your school you need to be well aware that you cannot achieve your goals and objectives if you do all the tasks alone. In this unit you will consider the process of delegation, considering its importance and some of the barriers to its effectiveness.

Unit 6: Communication and negotiation
2 hours
Communication is an essential part of management and here you will learn about the concept of communication, different forms of communication, and the importance of effective communications for staff meetings and negotiations.

Unit 7: Decision-making and problem-solving
2 hours
Here you will focus on these two key management functions and examine some of the major factors which contribute towards effective decision-making and problem-solving.

Unit 8: The management of change
2 1/2 hours
In the final unit, you will consider the nature of change in schools and focus on your role in bringing about change. It is suggested that the effective manager of change is one who adopts strategies derived from many of the management principles and practices explored in the earlier units of the module.

This module was written by a team in Kenya:

Mr J Lodiaga
(Team Leader) Director, Kenya Education Staff Institute (KESI)
Professor J M Waithaka Director of Education
Mr T M Sitima Chief Inspector of Schools
Mrs E S Masiga Deputy Chief Inspector of Schools
Mr E M Kiugu Assistant Director of Education i/c
Staff Development
Mr P C Sande Jowe Assistant Director of Education i/c
Teacher Education
Mrs J Nzomo Principal Staffing Officer, Teachers' Service Commission
Mr S K Kibe Secretary, Kenya Secondary School Heads' Association
Mr S S Maneno Principal, Lenana School
Mr J Githaiga Retired School and College Principal
Mr B Makau Retired School Principal
Professor J O Olembo Department of Educational Planning, Administration and Curriculum Development, Kenyatta University