Principals Conference on How Best to Manage a Successful School
Over two hundred and eighty (280) school principals from across the Western Cape have gathered in Kuilsriver this morning to discuss what it takes to manage a successful school.
The two (2) day conference, organised by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), is taking place at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) with the theme, "The Principal as the Lead Manager of an Achieving School."
"Running a successful public school system is a hard organisational and management challenge," said Western Cape Minister Donald Grant.
"If a principal does not have the requisite skills, knowledge or management expertise , they can quickly drive a well-functioning school into the ground. Therefore I am delighted that so many of our principals are here today, voluntarily during their holidays, to learn how to improve their skills, so that they can turn their schools into a success."
Speaking at the conference Grant said that the improvement of learner outcomes and the expansion of the number of successful schools were key priorities for the administration, and that principals are, in many ways, keys to that vision of success.
"Principals are absolutely fundamental in providing a quality education to our learners. They are, first and foremost, responsible for the efficient management of their institutions. In other words, how well their school runs is largely the result of the decisions that they take," he said.
"Secondly, they are essential to providing direction and educational vision in their school and community, and thirdly, they have the professional responsibility to stand up and question constructively decisions taken within the system which they do not believe to be in the best interests of the learners at their schools."
Grant said that one shouldn't underestimate their authority and the important role they play.
"Therefore, it is critical that we ensure all principals have the skills and knowledge to lead their schools effectively. This is a major priority of ours and we will do everything we can to assist them in this regard."
Grant added that he was proud of the way in which many of the province's principals handled the recent strike.
"It was a difficult period for all concerned, however, through a collaborative effort between the WCED, our schools and principals, we managed to minimise the effects of the strike and ensure that many of our learners were able to receive tuition despite the disruption at their schools."
"I am very proud of how many of our principals handled the situation. Many of them proved that they have the requisite leadership skills, the task now though is how best to use those skills to turn their school into a success all round."
Grant said that the conference would assist principals in achieving this.
The conference covers all aspects of school leadership and management. Speakers include Dr John Gibbon, a retired principal and education consultant and seventeen (17) other presenters, including current and retired principals.
The topics covered will include, among other things, motivational school management, codes of best practice, budgeting and quality reporting, conflict management, school business management, strategic and operational imperatives and how best to manage excellence in maths and science education.
The programme is designed to allow principals to move between sessions, to cover as many presentations as possible.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422