Better Schools:
Resource Materials for School Heads in Africa
Introduction to Educational Management
In this first unit we introduce some theoretical perspectives on management and examine a number of key management concepts and principles. We believe that a deeper understanding of the nature of educational management will enable you to improve your practice as a school manager.

Individual study time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Learning outcomes
After working through this unit you should be able to:
• discuss the contribution which management theory can make to understanding management practice
• explain the meaning of the terms: management, organisation, administration, supervision, and leadership in education
• understand how to apply knowledge, skills and attitudes in educational management to enable more effective and efficient planning of resources for use in your school, organising and co-ordinating of school programmes, projects and activities, and directing, controlling and evaluating of the teaching and learning processes in school.

Concepts of management in education
Management can mean different things to different people at different times, and a variety of definitions have been offered. The term 'management' itself, derives from the verb 'to manage', which can mean:
• to handle
• to control
• to make and keep submissive
• to organise
• to alter by manipulation
• to carry out for a purpose.

Activity 1.1
(1) Give an example of how you manage your school in the way suggested by each of the above meanings.
(2) Which of these meanings most closely matches the way you manage your school?
15 minutes

Some of the meanings given above appear almost offensive. Do you really, as a head, make and keep your staff and pupils submissive? These terms suggest to us a variety of styles of management, some of which will be more acceptable and productive than others.

Another way people talk of management is to describe it as an art, a science, an organisation, a person, a discipline, or a process.

Let us consider each of these in turn.

Management as an art
As an art, management is about carrying out organisational functions and tasks through people. This art involves the application of techniques in:
• human and public relations
• the delegation of an authority: assigning and sharing responsibilities and duties
• communication: including decision-making and problem-solving.
• managing change.

Management as a science
Management here is concerned with establishing a philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices which can be applied in various situations, including schools.

Management as an organisation
As an organisation, management is about creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission (or goals), objectives, targets, functions and tasks. For example, social and welfare organisations in government management can refer to education and health services, whilst public security management services could refer to the police and military.

Management as a person
Managements may be seen as a person or a group of people. For example, a teacher could say 'The school management has changed the timetable in the middle of the term'. This could be referring to you, as the head alone, or to all the senior staff, or it could refer to the members of the board of governors or school committee. In schools with several promoted staff a 'senior management team' might be formed in much the same way as a government has a cabinet of ministers.

Management as a discipline
In this sense, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. Knowledge, skills and attitudes in management can be acquired through learning, from experience and from certificated courses.

Management is a collection of processes, including such things as decision-making, problem-solving and action-planning. These processes involve the management of resources including human, material, financial and time. These processes are also known as the functions of managers.

The functions of managers
We will briefly examine five main functions of managers, namely: planning, organising, directing, supervising and evaluating. These may be seen to form a management cycle as in Fig 1:

Fig 1 A cycle of management functions

If you have studied Module 1, Self-Development for School Managers, you will have learned that the first action of a school manager is to identify the mission of the school and to set the objectives. The head will then need to identify different strategies by which to achieve the agreed mission and objectives. Through the planning process the head aims to manage an efficient and an effective school. Efficient means using minimum resources to get maximum results on time. Effective means to achieve the set of objectives. The third part of the planning stage is thus to decide on an appropriate strategy.

Organising involves putting in order of priority and preference the resources which are available. An Action Plan is needed in which actions and activities are scheduled. In order to give the plan 'teeth', targets are set. These targets should be quite easily attainable within a short period of time.

The manager needs to direct the implementation of the plan. He or she should provide leadership by delegating duties and responsibilities to staff, and by motivating them. The directing process also involves co-ordinating and controlling the supply and use of resources.

The manager will need to supervise the work which is being done, ensuring that activities are carried out in line with agreed standards, and taking steps to correct problems.

The final part of the management cycle is to assess the results and compare them with the set targets and objectives. The performance of all the staff including the managers should be assessed. The feedback is needed in the adjustment of future plans.

Activity 1.2
(1) How useful do you find these views of management?
(2) Reflect on the processes followed in your school, noting down strengths and weaknesses in your management practice.
10 minutes

We hope that you are now beginning to have a better understanding of the nature of management and the range of processes you undertake in your role as manager. We will be commenting on management role and functions later in this unit and again in Unit 3, 'The Functions of School Management', when we will encourage a more detailed diagnosis of school management functions. But first, let us look further at management theory and principles.

Principles of educational management
A principle is a generally accepted truth, which is based on experience and the available information. Henri Fayol (1916) listed fourteen principles of management with regards to human activities. They were:
• division of work
• authority, responsibility and accountability
• discipline
• unity of command
• unity of direction
• centralisation; decentralisation
• scalar chain (the chain of command in an organisation)
• remuneration of personnel
• subordination of individual interest to general interest
• equity
• stability of tenure of personnel
• initiatives
• ésprit de corps
• span of control or order.

These principles derive from industrial management in a Western context. Are they relevant in managing education in your country today? Look at current practices. Is there any evidence for the application of some of the above principles of management? Yes indeed, two principles popularly practised are:

Span of control
This means the optimum number of subordinates reporting to the same supervisor. It is often suggested that this number should be between five to eight; one person cannot effectively supervise above this supposed limit, and some delegation may be appropriate.

This principle highlights that effective organisational performance is achieved when all persons and resources are synchronised, and given directions. This implies deliberate planned action towards the achievement of specific goals or policy objectives.

Activity 1.3
Can you give examples and illustrations of applications of the principles of management in your school?
15 minutes

You may have noted the principle of division of work. The idea of specialisation in all kinds of work, both management and technical, is widely upheld. For example, in primary education, we all have a responsibility to provide quality education for the pupil. Our roles at different levels as a teacher, school head, school inspector, Director of Education, are indeed based on this principle of division of work! Within your school there will be some clear divisions of work and it is not uncommon to find educational organisations in many countries structured into:
• policy formulation units: to make and regulate policies
• planning/development units: to translate policy into action - policy to goals and objectives in relation to resources
• implementation of policy units
• evaluation and monitoring units.

So it will be seen that there is some universality in Fayol's principles of management. However, some writers consider that the special characteristics of educational organisations imply caution in too readily applying management models or practices drawn from non-educational settings. Let us look further at the idea of schools as organisations.

The school as an organisation

Activity 1.4
Draw the structure and establishment chart for your school starting with the chairman of the school committee or governing body and ending with the position of the pupil. Preparing the chart should assist you in understanding the nature of your school as an organisation.
20 minutes

A manager works for and is part of an organisation. Educational institutions are organisations. Your school is an organisation.

The word organisation comes from the word organ, and organs are living things. Your eye is an organ; so is your ear, mouth, heart, kidney, liver and many others. All these organs have specific work to do. A healthy living body has all its organs working properly. A healthy society has all its organisations working well in relation to one another. Societies set up organisations to do specific work. An organisation is thus the result of the grouping of work and the allocation of duties, responsibilities and authority to achieve specific goals.

In the management of education, it is important that the school head understands that a school as an organisation has a specific purpose.

We can summarise some important organisation concepts in terms of the following:

Mission and objectives of the organisation
Functions of the organisation:
What the organisation is supposed to do in order to achieve the goals.

Responsibilities and duties: People in various positions in the organisation have to carry these out. These responsibilities and duties are worked out from the functions: responsibilities would include broad statements of the job; whereas duties are the day-to-day jobs arising from the responsibilities.

Tasks: These are specific activities within a duty.

Standards: These describe the amount and the quality of products from the organisation.

Targets: These are the amount and quality of products which an organisation wishes to give out over a given time. For example, a school which can enrol 105 pupils in Grade 1 can hope to have at least 90 of those pupils completing seven years of primary education.

You will come across many more terms about management and organisations during the course of this module, but we hope by now that you are beginning to appreciate how an understanding of the key concepts and principles of management may help you to improve your performance as a school manager. As the summary of the concept of organisation highlights, a starting point for examining whether a school 'works properly' is to clarify its purpose as an organisation. Typical organisations have the following aspects clearly stated and understood by all the people in them and those who have interest in them:
• title of the organisation: its name, logo or symbol or emblem or badge or trade mark, motto, location and address
• the mission statement and objectives of the organisation
• functions of the organisation
• expected results and products.

Activity 1.5
State the following about your school: name, motto, logo; current mission statement and objectives; its functions; its expected and actual results for the last three years. If your school has none of these, it is maybe time you initiated them.
20 minutes

Efficient and effective schools are strongly guided by their emblems and mottos. An efficient school head uses the minimum number of people, materials, machines, equipment, money and time to get maximum results. Efficiency in management is important because there will nearly always be an inadequate supply of resources for any job.

An effective head is able to produce expected results in a school. Factors used in judging an effective school include:
• excellent achievement by many pupils in examinations
• excellent performance in games, sports, athletics, drama, debates, music festivals, etc.
• well behaved pupils
• the success of past pupils.

Your management practice can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your school. We will be examining the concept of school effectiveness and the head's contribution towards this at a number of points in these Modules, particularly Module 6, Monitoring School Effectiveness.

Activity 1.6
There are many different types of organisations. Note down some of the similarities and differences between a school, a hospital, a bank, in terms of the organisation concepts discussed earlier. What might be the implications of these for management practice?
20 minutes

You may have noticed in comparing a school to a hospital that they are both service organisations, albeit with different client groups. Schools serve healthy people to change their behaviour. Hospitals serve unhealthy people to become healthy. Other organisations like banks aim to make a profit as they serve people. Some private and commercial schools also operate like banks. Other distinctive characteristics of educational management concern the objectives, which may be hard to define, and the fact that outcomes are rather difficult to measure. Another point relates to the time available for managerial activities, a point which may become clearer when we look at the role of the head.

The role of the head
As a school head, you fulfil a number of important roles. Your role ultimately involves changing the behaviour and attitude of each pupil. It is recognised that you get this job done through other people. This is the management role, and the key focus of this unit so far has been to explore the nature of the management practices which make up this role.

Activity 1.7
Note down some other major roles which might describe the way a school head undertakes his or her job.
10 minutes

The roles you noted might have included the following:
ù administrative
• leadership
• supervising
• pastoral
• change agent.

We will be commenting on many of the functions associated with these various roles subsequently in this module. Here we attempt some clarifications of the administrative and leadership roles to conclude this introductory unit.

Administration and management
Pause for a moment and consider what you think to be the difference between administration and management.

Some people use management to mean administration. However, management in an organisation involves planning, designing, initiating actions, monitoring activities and demanding results on the basis of allocated resources. It is policy making, policy control and monitoring. Administration on the other hand involves implementation of the policies, procedures, rules and regulations as set up by the management.

A school head plays the role of an administrator in the implementation of policies on education within the country.

You will need, for example, to be familiar with educational policy statements, such as:
• the language policy in education as stipulated in the constitution of the country
• policy statements on promotion and provision of education services as stated in the education laws
• policy statements on education by government officials especially those on code of conduct for pupils and for teachers; curriculum development, implementation and evaluation.

Supervisions and leadership
In addition to the managerial and administrative role, the head teacher has a supervisory and a leadership role.

Activity 1.8
Suppose you are appointed as head of a school where results in Mathematics for Grade 7 have been poor for the last five consecutive years. Suggest any three supervisory and any three leadership steps you would take towards the improvement of the Mathematics results in the school.
20 minutes

Leadership: This involves the use of authority, power and influence in the process of managing and administering resources at work to produce results.

Supervision: This involves doing the job itself; and showing others how to do it and checking that the job is well done.

Remember that an effective supervisor explains what is to be done, who is expected to do it, how it should be done, when it is to be done and the consequences of a good job done. On the other hand, an effective leader sets the targets and the standards. Success or failure in doing the job is measured against the set targets and standards.

In this unit we have introduced different perspectives on educational management, highlighting key concepts, principles and processes of management and administration. We hope that you have been able to relate the discussion so far to your own experience as a school head and that you have started to reflect on your role and functions as a manager.

A summary of many of the key features of management is presented schematically in Fig 2, the Egg Model of the Management Cycle. This shows three major inter-related domains, influencing results. The three domains are:
1 Management: theory and practice.
2 Administration: authority, power, influence and people.
3 Management of change: planning, research, evaluation, development and growth.

The Shell and Membrane represent: management, administration, planning
The Egg Albumen represents: elements of the process of management; adminstration; planning and development
The Egg Yolk represents: results; yield; outcomes

These features are discussed in greater detail in the subsequent units of the module and in other modules. But before exploring the various elements of school management in greater depth in Unit 3, Unit 2 focuses on the wider organisational context within which schools operate - government organisation and functions.

Fig 2 The Egg Model of the Management Cycle

Source: J. Lodiaga, Kenya Education Staff Institute, Nairobi, Kenya