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 School Improvement:  Getting Ready
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There is a simple test to check how difficult it will be for you to 'build a bridge' between you own current paradigm and the paradigm on which the quality strategy is based:


Rate the importance of each of the following (out of 10)

1.  People know and understand what is to be achieved (and how) ____
2.  People know what is happening (and have evidence) ____
3.  People work with others to improve what is happening ____
4.  People do their own work (enjoy it and do it well) ____
5.  People make it easy for the next person to do his/her work really well ____


Checking your answers:

  • What do your answers tell you about you?
  • About your present roles, tasks, relationships.... ?
  • About the culture in which you work?
  • Would these aspects be rated differently for different people?
  • How would others with whom you work answer these same  questions?
  • Would you like to make some improvements soon?
  • If so where might you start?
  • What opportunities are currently available?

There are no right or wrong answers. You are where you are.  And you can start from wherever you are. The more highly you (and those with whom you work) rate each of the above the easier it will be to achieve the transition.

On the other hand, when we go a journey we can start from anywhere but it might be easier to start from another point at anther time.


In the early stages of applying quality you will develop a clearer framework for your actions. The clearer framework will enable you to

  • ask better questions
  • analyse some important processes, eg, class placement, reporting, homework ...
  • make it easy for others to contribute to the process,
  • capture what you learn  
  • use what you learn to make it easier and better next time
  • release resources for other purposes, eg, working with students
  • understand the difference between change and improvement
  • move from making changes to making improvements 



  • Be intelligent - quality is not foolproof. Nor is it a panacea.
  • Value the honourable sceptics you have around you - with mutual respect they will keep you (and everyone else) safe.
  • Start slowly - there is a long way to go and plenty to do. Getting a little right now will have a cumulative payoff.
  • Don't evangelise- the work of your school is much more important than any style of management
  • Listen for your opportunities and choose the easy ones that will benefit others first.
  • Value your people - make sure quality is serving them (not the other way around).
  • Don't change a thing- unless it is absolutely necessary. The changes will flow naturally when improvements are achieved. This is a safe goal.
  • Use quality to improve the school- make things easier and better for the people.
  • Work with people- not on people
  • The law of Tanobway applies: "There Ain't No One Best Way".
  • Don't copy others - base your actions on sound principles and your own current, local reality.


Suggested Steps

     Achieving any goal: Grade 4 children (10 year olds) at RPS developed a strategy to achieve any goal, viz,

  1. Choose a goal
  2. Make a plan
    • what to change
    • what to change to
    • how to cause the change
  3. Get resources
  4. Do it !!!
  5. Check on progress (study)
  6. Make improvements

Good advice from these 10 year olds. They can make it work. And so can you. 


You first goal might be to improve a process.

  1. Which process will you choose?
  2. Who will support giving attention to this process? At this time? 
  3. Choose your goal   In what ways might it be easier and/or better?  
  4. Make a plan   How will you improve the process?
  5. Get resources Make the time and other resources available. Invite contributions.
  6. Do it:  Work with others to make the improvements, eg,

    How is it supposed to work?

    How does it really work?

    Who contributes what? When? How? At what cost?

    What changes would make it easier, less disruptive, on time,

    While we are at it, how could we make it more productive, useful, ...

    Rewrite, publish, create tools, provide training, integrate for other purposes ...

  7. Check on progress Monitor/study the process in action and check on outcomes
  8. Make improvements  Revise the process to make it even better
  9. Go to 1. How will you invest the resources you have released?

Have fun and do well !!!