The Skills of Primary School Management

The Skills of Primary School Management

The Skills of Primary School Management

The Skills of Primary School Management


This book is for all teachers who have curriculum and management responsibilities in primary schools or who aspire to those positions. It analyses these responsibilities and how they may best be exercised in the changing climate of primary education.


In the first chapter it was argued that delivering quality in education is now a major concern for teachers. Quality will be achieved through diversity and choice within a framework of school autonomy that has clearly defined processes to ensure that schools are held to account for what they do and for what their pupils achieve. This is intended to lead to increased competition between schools for pupils. The publication of examination results is intended to enable parents to make more informed choices about the selection of suitable schools for their children. In turn it is anticipated that schools will pay more attention to processes of teaching and learning and focus on the requirements of customers of the education service.


Quality, in this context, has two distinct strands. The first relates to a national set of educational standards within the framework of the National Curriculum. These will be monitored by tests at the key stages of a child’s education. Quality here is conceptualised in terms of specific and absolute outcomes and the efficient use of resources rather than of processes or relative achievements. The quality of teaching is the other strand. Quality, therefore, is to be identified by assessing the work of pupils, appraising teachers, and informing parents about the schools performance. It is now Government policy to pursue both aspects of quality through OFSTED which will ensure that schools are subjected to regular and rigorous inspections.

The purpose of inspection is: ‘to identify strengths and weaknesses in schools so that they may improve the quality of education offered and raise the standards achieved by their pupils’ (OFSTED 1993:4). In some ways, the new inspection process is similar to that previously carried out by HMI. It involves a group of officials spending a short but intensive period examining the work of the school. In other ways, however, it is different. The criteria for inspection, the details of the process and the structure of the report are now published and available for staff in schools to use for themselves. The agenda for the inspection is now a public rather than a private one. Perhaps

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