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 School Improvement:  Governance
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Governance is about making arrangements that ensure a well run school for all, and this means that:

  • everyone is a contributor and a beneficiary 
  • there is clarity and transparency in all aspects of the life and work of the school.
  • the organization's commitments are desirable, feasible and sustainable


The overall aim is to provide high (education) quality at lower continual costs to society (Deming).


Because the participants in a school are also participants in the community and society it is easy for costs and benefits to be transferred between schools, their communities and society in general. 


It would be naive to attempt to reduce the cost of education by reducing expenditure on schools: the costs are simply transferred elsewhere and to later times. As the sign on one Principal's door said: "If you think education is expensive then consider the cost of ignorance."


Similarly it is also naive to believe that spending more on schools will enhance the quality of the education provided.  In reality it is rarely a matter of resources, consider the following...


There are many dimensions of good governance including

  • judging what is desirable, feasible and sustainable
  • policy development and management,
  • planning
  • communication
  • responsible delegation of authority
  • provision of guidance and support
  • ...


A well run school exhibits the following characteristics

  • people know what is happening
  • purposes are clear
  • there is conscious attention to systems and processes
  • people are clear about their own contributions
  • acceptable practices/processes are well known
  • there is a strong focus on making it easier for everyone to do well
  • improvement has priority over change
  • people find it easy to work together
  • problems are valued for the opportunity to learn and to reduce the likelihood of the recurrence
  • people learn from their efforts
  • continuous improvement is based on this learning
  • resources are released by reducing rework 
  • people attend to the needs of the next person
  • sound admin reduces disruptions/distractions from the main purposes
  • constraints are identified and addressed
  • sound administration allows maximum attention to teaching & learning
  • ...


All of these enhance the outcomes (success and well-being) for all concerned both now and in the future.