More than ever before, a very high expectation is being demanded from present day school managers to make concerted effort towards school improvement. We shall discuss the responsibilities of a school manager here.
A School Manager in the School Discipline of the School
A stable society requires citizens who have discipline. Disciple at school is ordered behaviour that leads to better learning. Discipline is learned and can be taught. Indeed, it must be taught. One principal goal of education is to teach discipline.
Discipline in School: A prerequisite for success
Healthy discipline in a school is a prerequisite for the success of the school’s curricular and extracurricular programmes. Discipline is an important element of school and classroom management and it ensures good results. With sound discipline in the school and classroom, success is possible.
Discipline is training the mind and character in order to produce self control
Common characteristics of well-disciplined schools
- Develop and enforce rules and disciplinary procedures that will promote self-discipline . Designing a policy for school discipline is important for the maintenance of discipline. Each school and each individual classroom should have a policy that spells out what is expected of individual.
- Focus on causes of discipline problems rather than symptoms
- Find ways to help staff and students deal with their personal emotions and problems so that life within the school is not adversely affected.
- Organize programes that emphasize positive behaviours
- Use preventive measures rather than punitive actions to improve discipline.
Approaches that a school manager may use to promote and maintain discipline in school
- Give strong support to every teacher who enforces positive behaviour standards
- Establish and continuously revise discipline policies
- Help teachers to set classroom standards of behaviour
- Work with parents to produce better-behaved students
- Involve teachers, students, parents, and various organizations in maintaining appropriate behaviour since discipline problems is the concern of all.
School managers should be concerned about enforcement of discipline in their schools. This is because; indiscipline in our schools can become a serious handicap to the development of quality education and attainment of educational goals.
A School Manager in the Financial Aspect of School Management
In every school setting, funds are required to purchase instructional materials, for minor repairs procurement of first aid kits, purchase of sporting facilities, repair of broken furniture and maintenance. School funds do not belong to individual, they belong to the school and great care need to be taken in order to ensure they are kept securely, spent wisely and properly recorded and accounted for. School financial matters are to be handled carefully in order to eliminate any doubts of misappropriation of funds.
Managing School Finances
Money coming into the school will have to be managed. The management of such funds in the responsibility of the school manager is as follows:
Keeping Financial Records
The school manager should make sure that accurate up-to-date financial records are kept. Each school should maintain a single cash book which is used to record all money coming into the school and all money going out and the dates on which these transactions take place.
Basic Principles of Financial Management in schools
Below are the guiding principles for managing school finances
- Stewardship: A steward is one who manages another’s property, finances or other affairs. Authority to handle funds brings with it special responsibilities. The school manager should make a distinction between their personal finances and schools funds
- Accountability: Accountability simply means being answerable for your actions or rendering an account of your actions. When a person handles funds that do not belong to him, he is accountable for that money to the body which made the funds available. It is the responsibility of the school manager to account for given funds in a systematic and prescribed manner. School managers should also remain abreast of the assets and funds of the school.
- Efficiency and value for money: it is the responsibility of the school manager to make the best use of the funds that are available
- Transparency: The school manager should maintain clear and unambiguous financial records. School financial information should be made openly available. Transparency in management of school finances also contributes to quality education for children
- Timeliness and Accuracy of Financial Reporting: Transaction should be recorded as at the time they occur, in order to avoid mix-ups and inaccuracies
- Spreading Authority for Money: whenever possible, more than one person should be involved in any financial transaction
Responsibilities of school financial managers
As the financial manager of the school, the school manager should:
- work in line with the accounting terms of the state
- be familiar with accounting and reporting procedures
- check the school account book, vouchers, bills etc before signing.
- keep relevant financial documents e.g. cash book
Reasons for keeping financial Records: Financial records are kept for accountability, transparency, planning purposes and auditing
Inventory, Financial Reporting and Auditing
Inventory is a method of recording materials/goods such as furniture, equipment etc for accounting, tracking and auditing purposes.
Financial Reporting: This is the process of giving information on the way funds came in and how they were used.
Auditing: Auditing is the checking of financial records. It involves showing with documentary evidence how money has been spent.
A School Manager in the Collaboration and Delegation
Close collaboration with the school manager and staff and appropriate delegation of authority are required for effective school management.
Appropriate delegation of authority to committees and groups within a coherent organizational structure would enhance transparency and ownership of the stakeholders
Collaboration with staff
Collaboration between the school manager and other members of staff is vital in promoting effective management and continuous improvement in schools
In a well-managed school, the school manager and staff work in close partnership. Based on mutual respect and trust and a shared vision for their school, they support each other and recognize their respective responsibilities
A good working relationship is created between the school manager and staff when there is effective communication and clear delineation of their complementary roles
They work most effectively together when a climate of trust and openness is fostered in the school.
Collaboration with committees and working groups
There is no doubt that the task of school administration is complex and the working partnership can be extended to encompass various stake holders and different members of the school community.
Delegation of responsibility with commensurate authority
- The school manager delegates responsibility to his deputy or any other teacher
- He has to check from time to time to see how well things are going with his delegatee. This establishes administrative relationship between the school manager and the teacher to whom he delegated the responsibilities.
- Those to whom authority is delegated report to the school manager
- When authority is being delegated, all necessary materials are provided to the delegatee
- The school manager should try to involve all those capable of performing functions in his behalf in this administrative technique
A successful school manager will delegate as much as possible to others in the school. Though there are times when other functions may need to be attended to by the school manager, in most cases what is needed is some careful delegation of responsibilities. In delegating duties and positions to others, a school manager takes a load off his own shoulders that will allow him to be the kind of school leader, administrator and manager he ought to be.
Guidelines for Delegating Responsibilities
There are guidelines to follow in delegating responsibility
- The school manager needs to train the individual. Once training has taken place, the school manger should simply give the delegatee the ball and say, “it’s all yours run with it”
- The one receiving delegated responsibilities should be instructed regarding his areas and limits of authority
- He should be told in detail what is expected of him, and what he is going to give account for
- He should be shown how his job fits into the total picture of advancing the system. No matter how small or how large the task, he must understand how important it is for the overall smooth working of the entire system
- He should understand how the school manager wants the job to be done
- The school manager must be prepared to follow up the assignment with enough supervision to be assured that the job is being carried out as it should
- Even if the job has not been done as the school manager feels he himself could have done it, he has used the process to build the individual’s confidence that he can do something for the school.