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“Schools that work” ministerial committee report released, 3 December 2007 press

 

“Schools that work” ministerial committee report released

3 December 2007

In June 2007, the Minister of Education established a Committee to conduct research into schools that performed well and are in the middle quintiles.

Called “Schools that Work” the qualitative study, considered the circumstances under which schools achieve good results, while others in a similar context do not.

“There can be no doubt that the good results of these schools are produced by the commitment of principals and teachers. This emerged as one of the most powerful themes in our study of Schools that Work”, the Committee wrote.

The report recommends that provincial departments support successful schools through recognition and incentives.

The Committee found highly motivated schools, with dedicated staff and busy learners, using additional time before and after school, on Saturdays and during holidays. Schools were focused on learner achievement, and celebrated their achievements to motivate themselves further.

The Committee found four essential dynamics at work in successful schools:

  • all of the schools were focused on their central tasks of teaching, learning, and management with a sense of responsibility, purpose and commitment;
  • all of the schools carried out their tasks with competence and confidence;
  • all had organisational cultures or mindsets that supported a work ethic, expected achievement, and acknowledged success;
  • all had strong internal accountability systems in place, which enabled them to meet the demands of external accountability, particularly in terms of Senior Certificate achievement.

Successful schools exhibited strong “inner capacities” in terms of teaching and learning, supported by management and leadership, as well as a sense of agency. If schools do not have these capacities, interventions in the form of incentives or sanctions are unlikely to have effect. The challenge is, the committee reported, to work with what exists in schools to build and support capacity.

The research provides a taxonomy that will be considered as the basis for further research and longitudinal study of factors that lead to improved quality in the school system.

Editors Notes:

1. The Committee was made up of Prof Pam Christie (Chair), Dr Dawn Butler and Mr Mark Potterton. The Committee was supported by a Reference Group of Francine de Clercq (Wits), Tsidi Dipholo (SADTU), Aslam Fataar (UWC), Heather Jacklin (UCT), Relebohile Moletsane (UKZN), Martin Mulcahy (Ministry), Hersheela Narsee (DoE), and Sibusiso Sithole (DoE).

Click on the attachment below to view the report

Issued by the Ministry of Education

Lunga Ngqengelele
Ministerial Spokesperson
012 312 5538
082 566 0446
ngqengelele.l@doe.gov.za 

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 6/30/2008
Number of Views: 812

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