Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Personnel Management

Module 3

Managing the human resources available at a school is probably one of the most important tasks of a school head. In Guyana the major portion of the national budget allocated to education is spent on paying personnel. The success, therefore, of any school programme depends on how efficiently the school head can deploy this important resource for the best use of the school.

The recognition of personnel management as an important element of the school head's daily activities, and the increasing emphasis on in‑service training for teachers, has led to an increased interest in the field of staff development. The school head is a 'leader of people' or “lead professional” and it is evident that the skills associated with personnel management can assist him or her in managing the school more efficiently.

The purpose of this module is to introduce the school head to a number of skills and techniques that can lead to a more sympathetic management of staff members. This requires a variety of skills that might include the keeping of records, identifying training needs, dealing with unions, problem-solving, motivation, staff appraisal, and a whole host of related activities.

Individual study time: 24 hours

After working through this module you should be able to:

¨ identify staff personnel needs for your school
¨ identify training needs and plan training programmes to meet these needs
¨ improve the motivation of your colleagues
¨ carry out the Guyana system of staff appraisal for your school
¨ manage a system of staff records
¨ manage meetings
¨ manage conflict situations.

This module is divided into eight units.

Unit 1: Identifying staffing needs 3 hours
This unit aims to assist you in identifying the personnel needs for your school so that you can work as effectively as possible with the Teaching Service Commission in appointing staff for your school.

Unit 2: Staff development 3 hours
Through this unit you will be able to identify the training needs of your staff, and plan training programmes to meet these needs.

Unit 3: Staff motivation 3 hours
The important subject of motivating staff members to achieve their best, often under difficult circumstances, is the topic of this unit.

Unit 4: Staff appraisal 3 hours
Appraisal is directed towards helping a teacher become as effective as possible in the teaching and learning process. In this unit you will learn why and how staff appraisal should be carried out.

Unit 5: Staff monitoring, evaluation and discipline 3 hours
Because all the activities of the school remain your responsibility, you need to ensure that delegated tasks are actually carried out on time, and in a proper manner. Therefore, you need to oversee and monitor the work of others in the school. Here you will learn to apply specific methods of monitoring and discipline in your work situation.

Unit 6: Keeping staff records 3 hours
Records in a school contain important information about school administra­tion and the staff. In this unit you will specifically look at one element of record keeping, that of staff records.

Unit 7: Managing meetings 3 hours
Time is an important resource to a school head, and not to be wasted. In this unit you will learn to identify some techniques for conducting meetings more efficiently.

Unit 8: Managing conflict 3 hours
Conflict can become physically and emotionally damaging or it can lead to growth and productivity for all parties. In this unit you will discuss what conflict is, and how it can be resolved.

Identifying staffing needs

Unit 1

In Guyana, the appointment of staff for government schools is done by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC). In schools with a Board of governors, it is the responsibility of the Board. Various arrangements exist in private schools but normally staff are appointed by the trustees in conjunction with the headteacher. You could find yourself as head of any of these three types of school.

However, as head, it is important that you have a say in the appointment of the staff in your school. The success of the school depends upon it and even if you personally do not appoint the staff, it is incumbent on you to be in frequent contact and discussions with those who do. Successful heads who run thriving schools do not leave it to chance. You can sit back and allow others to do it for you or you can be proactive and work with the TSC, the Trustees or the Board to achieve the best for your school. The TSC will be only too willing to discuss your staffing needs and to assist in trying to achieve the best for your school

In many countries, staff selection has been delegated to the school and ultimately the headteacher who is best placed to understand the needs of the school. Although staff selection in government schools is carried out by the TSC in Guyana at the moment, it is important that you understand the process if you are or become Headteacher of a Board School or Private School. The following pages will explain that process. However, you should note that, at the time of writing, this is not the normal practice in Guyana in government schools.

Currently, the appointment of Headteachers in Grade A and B schools follows a process not too dissimilar to the one below. All other posts, including senior ones, are filled using a procedure which identifies suitability for the position based on the Annual Appraisal Report for Teachers.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
After working through this unit you should be able to:

¨ be aware of current recruitment practice in Guyana through the TSC
¨ understand the ideal process of staff selection in Board Schools and Private Schools
¨ understand the roles of the key figures in selecting staff members.

Types of vacancy
A vacancy may be either permanent or temporary in nature.

Reflect on the type of vacancy that occurs most frequently at your school? What difference does the type of vacancy make when you are considering an appointment?

When any appointment is to be made, it is crucial to ensure that the right person with the most appropriate skills is appointed.

For a temporary appointment, although this is still important: it will often depend on the period of time for which the appointment is to be made. Whilst the TSC would try to appoint someone with the appropriate skills, it may be more important to have a committed teacher in the classroom rather than leaving the post unfilled simply because no‑one with exactly the right combination of skills can be found.

Assessment of needs
A vacancy on the staff of the school offers an opportunity for a reassessment of needs. In some cases it will be desirable to find someone who can offer the same combination of skills as the person who has left the staff; but on many occasions it may be better to rationalise or to introduce new skills.

Activity 1.1
A teacher has recently resigned from your school.
(1) What steps could you take to assess the needs of your school in replacing that particular teacher?
(2) What factors will influence your assessment of those needs – subject choice, gender, extra-curricular abilities? List as many as you can.
If you are able to relate this to a real situation, do so.

As an example, mathematics may have been fragmented among several members of staff because it was a subject in which no‑one was qualified and which no‑one really wanted to teach. Irrespective of which subjects were taught by the teacher who left the school, this may be an opportunity to secure the services of a mathematics specialist.

In assessing needs, the school head should consult with the rest of the school management, with the school board if one exists and with other members of staff who may be involved in any changes that might be made. It is often not just a case of replacing the teacher who is leaving but using the departure as an opportunity to achieve your overall staffing plans.

Creating a staffing shadow structure
Waiting until a vacancy occurs can often be too late in terms of time and the urgency of the situation to make decisions about what your school’s human resource needs are. It is essential, therefore, that you are proactive in making plans about what your ideal staffing structure will be. You are, of course, limited by the National Curriculum and the staffing allowance of your school. However, within that structure, you need to have a plan to meet the individual requirements of your school. This is called a “staffing shadow structure”. It is a plan in waiting for when the opportunity arises, either through retirement, transfer, sickness or dismissal, for you to achieve the ideal.

Although to a lesser extent in a nursery school because of the limited numbers of staff, it is equally important in both primary and secondary schools to ensure that you have achieved the right balance of staff skills to meet the needs of the curriculum. Although in a primary school, staff will need to have abilities across the curriculum, to have a Maths or English specialist, for example, will be important to guide the rest of the team. In a secondary school, staff subject specialist skills are essential. As head, you must eradicate as much as possible the idea of staff teaching subjects in which they are not qualified.

Advertising the position
In a government school, this will be done by the TSC either as an advert for senior posts or a pool of teachers who may be transferred to meet the needs. In schools with governors, they will take on the responsibility.

Reflect for a moment on what skills you would like in a science teacher for your school at this present time. How would you advise the TSC of your requirements?

Often posts are advertised in circulars and in newspapers. It is not possible to put all of the relevant requirements in an advertisement. This is why the job description and person specification is so important. (See Module One, Unit 4)

Whether the advertisement is placed by the School Board or whether informa­tion for an advertisement is submitted to the Teaching Service Commission, care should be taken that the information submitted is clear, correct, and complete, and that it is submitted as early as possible.

The school should keep a copy of the information submitted. Some types of appointment will have very short notice periods, while for others a month's notice or longer is required. But a month does not normally allow sufficient time for the advertising and filling of the vacancy. The school head should develop an atmosphere among the staff which will encourage them to give notice of their intention to leave at as early a date as possible, so that the post can be filled with minimum disruption to the activ­ities of the school.

The requirements for your science teacher will depend on the type of school, the level of teaching he / she will be expected to do and whether he / she will be required to advise others. When working with the Board or the TSC, make it very clear what your requirements are. It will help them and ensure that your needs are met.

Applicants for a particular post will almost certainly have to complete an application form or write a letter outlining their suitability for the post.

Try to obtain a copy of an application form that would be used to appoint staff in your school and study it.

Although you may not have a direct responsibility for selection, it is important that you understand the process. Ideally, selection should never simply be on the basis of documents submitted, although these will play an important role. Documents should be carefully studied to determine:

¨ whether the applicant appears to meet the advertised requirements
¨ whether the applicant meets most of the needs of the job description and person specification.
¨ the applicant's previous employment record
¨ the qualifications of the applicant
¨ the care which the applicant has taken in filling out the application form.
¨ whether the documents are genuine. Watch out for possible forgeries.

The necessary follow‑up should then be undertaken. Applicants who do not meet the advertised requirements cannot be consid­ered for permanent appointment, while in some short‑term temporary posts exceptions can be made. If copies of certificates are enclosed, it may be necessary to verify their authenticity, even if they are certified as true copies.

The previous employment record will indicate whether the applicant's experience matches his or her qualification. It will also reveal whether the applicant has progressed from one position of responsibility to another or, on the other hand, whether he or she is someone who apparently cannot stay in any job for long. If at all possible, the applicant's manager in the most recent post should be consulted about his or her abilities. A written record should be kept of these inquiries.

The appearance of the application is important. A candidate who has taken little care over completing the form and attaching necessary documen­tation, is not likely to take much care in lesson preparation or in following ­up pupils' difficulties.

During this sifting exercise, those candidates who are clearly unsuitable will be eliminated and will be advised accordingly. If many apparently suitable candidates remain, further sifting can be done by making contact with their former managers. Those who remain on a short list of suitable candidates should be interviewed for the position.

It is essential that, at all times, throughout the process, dealings with the candidates are fair and that all have an equal opportunity to be considered for the post on grounds of age, gender, race and ethnic group.

Use of the Annual Appraisal Report on Teachers
In Guyana, however, the Annual Appraisal Form is used which provides evidence of the performance of a teacher based on the current system of appraisal. This is scrutinised by the TSC along with any other evidence. For further information on this process, see Unit Four of this Module – Staff Appraisal. It is on the basis of this information that the Teaching Service Commission recommends the transfer of a teacher from one school to another including promotions.

In non government schools, applicants who have been short‑listed should be advised in good time of their interview. If at all possible it should be arranged for a time which is not going to interfere with their present job. Usually around 40 minutes is allowed for the interview, after which the members of the panel should have about 20 minutes to discuss their impressions of the applicant before the next interview starts.

Activity 1.2
If you were a member of the interview panel for the science teacher in your school, what questions would you want to ask the candidates? Remember that as head you would be more concerned with learning and teaching than other issues which might be dealt with by other panel members.

The questions you would ask as head would relate to the professional competence of the candidate, his / her ability to teach, their understanding of the processes of learning and how they would deal with incidences of indiscipline etc.

Interviewing is normally undertaken by a panel of at least two or three. Too large a panel might intimidate the candidate, while leaving the interviewing to a single person places an extremely heavy responsibility on that person. Remember, two heads are better than one. For Headteachers in Grade A and B schools, persons from various organisations such as the TSC and the GTU would form an interviewing panel.

If the interviewing is being done at the school, the panel might consist of members of the School Board, the school head, the deputy (or a head of department in the subject field for which an appointment is to be made) and a representative of the parent committee. The members of the panel should decide among themselves who is going to head the panel for a particular interview. This person will take the lead in asking questions, but should also give the other members of the panel an opportunity to ask questions.

All members of the panel should be thoroughly familiar with the docu­ments submitted by the applicant and with the results of any other inquiries which have been made.

The assumption when interviewing starts is that all those to be inter­viewed are equally suitable for the position. If this were not the case, the less suitable ones would have been eliminated without an interview. There are two purposes of the interview - to confirm the suitability of the candidates; and to distinguish clearly which candidate is best, which one second best, and so on. This can be done by testing further aspects of the person specification such as, presentation and oral skills, abilities of persuasion and argument, technical ability, subject knowledge and other additional information.

When the applicant is shown in for the interview, he or she should be intro­duced to the members of the panel. The head of the panel should engage the interviewee briefly in casual conversation to establish a relaxed atmosphere.

Questions should focus on the job which the applicant will be expected to perform, and may take the form of posing problems and asking the appli­cant how he or she would deal with them, or of asking how routine tasks would be tackled. For example:

¨ How would you ensure that all pupils in your class were catered for whatever their level of ability?
¨ How would you deal with a pupil who fails to bring written homework to school, and says it has been done, but left at home? How would you deal with the same pupil the second time this happens?
¨ How would you deal with a group of a dozen pupils who have performed very poorly in a test?
¨ What sort of preparation would you do before conducting a lesson on an English poem?
¨ How do you integrate theory and laboratory work in the curriculum?
¨ How would you respond if your head of department were to give you what you considered to be an unfair assignment?

At the end of the interview the applicant should be given the opportunity to ask questions, then thanked for coming, and advised that the result of the interview will be communicated as soon as possible.

During the interview and in the course of the discussion which follows it, brief notes should be made of the applicant's responses to questions. (It might be necessary at a later stage to remind the successful candidate of a response made during the interview if he / she fails to perform adequately).

At an interview, what you see and hear and read is what you get. It is your opportunity to set the expectations of the post. What candidates communicate to you is what you shall expect of them.

After the interviews, the process of appointing the best candidate should be kept as brief as possible. The best candidate should be contacted soon after the interview, told that he or she is being nominated for the position, and asked whether he/she is likely to accept. (It may be that the applicant has been short‑listed for two or three posts, and would actually prefer one of the others.) The other candidates should be contacted and offered a debrief as to why they were not considered suitable on this occasion. They should be thanked for their time and wish them success in future applications.

Finalising the appointment
The Teaching Service Commission or the Board of Governors has final responsibility for the selection and appoint­ment of teaching staff. This authority is delegated to an appropriate official, who will probably not be the same for all levels of posts. For example, authority to fill a short‑term temporary post might rest with one officer and another might be responsible for the permanent appointment of teachers. A panel is always responsible for the appointment of a Headteacher of a Grade A or B School.

If the power to finalise the appointment does not rest with a member of the interviewing committee, the necessary documentation and recommen­dation should be forwarded to the responsible official as speedily as possible, and if there seems to be undue delay in acting on the recommenda­tion, the head of the interviewing committee should follow up, as there is always the danger of a good candidate being lost to another post.

The successful applicant should receive oral confirmation of the appoint­ment as soon as possible, followed up by a formal letter of appointment (setting out any conditions attached to the appointment) and a clear job description. The successful applicant should sign the forms for the accep­tance of the post.

The provision of good human resources in a school, that is the appointment of dedicated, hard working, motivated and committed staff, will have the greatest impact on the quality of learning and teaching in the school which in turn will contribute to overall success for the pupils.

It is not a matter which should be left to chance and, although, a head may not, in all cases, have direct responsibility for appointing staff in Guyana, s(he) must ensure that those who do are fully appraised of the school’s needs so that they can make the appropriate decisions. Hence, the completion of a “staffing shadow structure” is essential so that action can be taken to achieve the best staffing in a short period of time.

Those responsible for appointments must make them with considerable attention to detail, ensuring that all have an equal opportunity to be considered whatever their age, gender, race or ethnic group

Staff Development

Unit 2

The concept of staff development recognises that all people may improve their capabilities and become more efficient at what they are doing. Much of the time we are likely to say 'This is an area in which I think I can do better'. We may be aware that we can improve by observing the performance of others. Sometimes, however, we need another trusted person to help us identify those areas in which we need to better our performance. Once we have done this, there are various ways in which we can get others to assist us in the process of self‑development.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
After working through this unit, you should be able to:

¨ identify the training needs of your staff
¨ plan training programmes to meet these needs
¨ implement a training programme
¨ evaluate the outcome of such training.

Responsibility for initiating training
Responsibility for initiating training is shared by those in need of training, their immediate managers, and those in management positions from the district or regional offices and the Ministry of Education and, in particular, the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) which is the organisation responsible for the in service training of teachers and school staff..

Those who are in need of development are actually the ones in the best position to initiate training. Thus teachers are likely to have a fairly strong awareness of their own training needs. If they wait for others to organise training for them, they may find that their training needs are not satisfied for a long time, if ever!

School heads also have an interest in arranging training for themselves and for their teachers. As the lead professional of the school, he or she has a responsibility for ensuring that education takes place efficiently. If this is not happening because the teachers are unskilled or lack confidence, the school head should initiate in‑service training.

At the Regional Education Office there are officials with a controlling or advi­sory function such as the Heads of the Departments of Education (REDOs) and District Education Officers. Their job entails ensuring that sound education takes place in their schools. They, too, have a responsibility for ensuring that staff development is possible for their teachers and school heads.
Any one of these parties can sit back and wait for someone else to initiate training, but it is really a joint responsibility and each of the members of the partnership can be the one who facilitates staff development.

Identification of needs
We have suggested that the teacher knows in what areas he or she is in need of training. Similarly, the school head and other school leaders will know in what areas of management they are falling short.

This intuitive knowledge is not sufficient for the development of a fully adequate training programme. Detailed questionnaires completed by the teachers will point more clearly to the areas in which training is needed. But in the absence of a scientific approach a great deal can be achieved by a group of teachers using brainstorming techniques, provided they are completely open and honest.


In brainstorming one member of the group is chosen to write up on a black­board all the ideas suggested by the other members of the group. Teachers will call out the problems they experience, and each will be written down without discussion or comment. When no‑one has any more suggestions, the members of the group will discuss the problems briefly and group together those that are related. Only after this there is a detailed discussion of each of the problems and the sort of training which would help to overcome it. During this discussion there should be no particular reference to the person who first identified the problem. It is discussed in general terms and as experienced at that particular school.

Activity 2.1
Consider your area of responsibility and as head, head of department, level head etc, list the training needs of the staff members you are responsible for.

You will have considered many different aspects of their work such as subject knowledge, ability to teach, understanding of learning techniques and methodology as well as their ability to assess pupil’s work, complete the administration requirements of a teacher and deal with pupil discipline.

Management / administration
Issues identified may include:

¨ the lack of participation by the staff in management decisions
¨ poor planning, for example, when dates for important staff and subject meetings are not set sufficiently far in advance
¨ poor communications, for example, when staff members are unaware of the details of decisions which affect them
Teachers may feel that they would achieve greater success with their pupils if they had greater competence in teaching methodology. Specific problems may include:

¨ depending too much on the textbook and using a lecturing approach
¨ having academic knowledge of a subject but not knowing how to transmit this knowledge to the pupils
¨ classes being too large for adequate attention to be given to the pupils' individual needs
¨ pupils achieving poor text results, despite seeming to understand their work in class and doing their homework.

Teaching content
The content to be taught is set out in the syllabus. Many teachers depend so heavily on the textbook that they forget that the syllabus must be regularly consulted, as this is the document which should determine what should be covered and how much attention should be given to each aspect. When there is a change of syllabus, the teachers may need guidance on inter­preting the new document, and may find that there are sections of the syllabus which they simply do not understand because of advances in the subject since they underwent training.

Whilst some teachers may use a limited range of teaching styles and methodologies, others may be lacking in their subject knowledge or simply need updating. Also, all teachers need information on the way children learn as this is a fast growing topic which unfolds more and more as further research is done.

The syllabus normally has very specific instructions about the way in which assessment is to take place. Teachers' problems may however be of a very practical nature, such as, how to:

¨ get a test or question paper neatly typed and copied
¨ organise security so that pupils do not have access to questions before the time
¨ keep an accurate record of marks awarded during continuous assessment
¨ set examination questions that adequately cover the syllabus.

Child development
Teachers who are either unqualified or who have subject qualifications but do not hold the Trained Teachers Certificate (TTC) such as TQMs and TUMs may need to learn about the stages in child development and about how to motivate children to learn and to discipline them fairly.

Particularly in Guyana, learners have to work through a medium of instruction which is not their home language, especially in the Hinterland. Although the subject teacher may have a good grasp of the subject content and be competent in subject methodology, little learning may take place as a result of communication problems. Whereas standard English is the requirement for all official business in Guyana, large numbers of Guyanese go about their daily lives speaking only Creole or other native languages. Special in-service training may be needed to overcome this problem.

Activity 2.2
Utilising your list developed in Activity 2.1 group the problems into the areas suggested above.
Rank the list in priority of training needs.

Seeking assistance
Before looking for outside assistance, the staff of a school should make use of the skills they have available on the spot. The more experienced teachers on the staff should be able to help those who are less experienced. Those with higher qualifications should be able to help those whose training has been less thorough. Even two teachers experiencing similar problems may, by discussing their problems with each other, be able to work out a solution.

It should be remembered that every member of staff has something to offer his or her colleagues, and that every member of staff, however compe­tent, can still learn from others.

All schools in Guyana are required to have regular staff development sessions for the whole staff. Quality resource persons are often not available, very busy or expensive and so, the suggestions above are particularly important. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience on the average staff and teachers should be encouraged to share it especially when they have been trained in a particular area themselves.

Having grouped the training needs of your colleagues in Activity 2.2, reflect on who might provide the required in‑service training, whether it is an individual, an institution or even yourself or a member of your staff.

Once everything possible is being done to use the skills available within the school it may still be necessary to look further afield for assistance. Outside assistance should in the first instance be sought from neighbouring schools.

For management problems, the DEO could be called upon to assist, and subject advisers, where available in NCERD, could be used.

Outside assistance could also be sought from the personnel of the CPCE Training College, of the University of Guyana and of other ministries (for example, an agricultural officer for biology or agriculture) or even individuals from the private sector (a pharmacist for science, a journalist for some aspect of language work, a banker for accounting and so on). Regional co‑operation could also be utilised. The use of the community is essential to provide the widest possible range of experience for your staff. Often such people are very knowledgeable and are flattered to be asked to play their role in the education of the nation’s children.

Obtaining assistance
Co‑operation with teachers at nearby schools can be arranged by the school heads, or even by the teachers themselves. Ideally, the possibility should have been raised during a staff meeting, and the school head asked to take the request to the head of the neighbouring school. But a teacher with a particular need could go directly to his or her school head with such a request; or could even initiate contact with a teacher from the other school. In this case the arrangements would be informal and unofficial. There is, however, probably more to be gained from a co‑ordinated action which involves more of the teachers.

An approach to the Regional Department of Education, the Ministry of Education or NCERD for assistance from inspectors or subject advisers should be conveyed by the head of the school, and should be followed up by him or her if there is no response within a reasonable period of time. It must, however, be accepted that the education office staff have many demands made on their time and however willing, there may be delays in setting up an advisory visit or a workshop. Approaches to other educational institutions like CPCE and to other ministries should also be made by the school head; approaches to indi­viduals in the private sector may be made by the school head or by the teacher.

Training formats
There are many ways in which training can be done. Depending on the type of issue which is being addressed, some styles may be more appropriate than others. It is also important to provide variety, and not to use the same format every time. Here a number of suggestions are made, each of which will have to be adapted to local conditions and to the issues being addressed.

¨ A teacher may sit in on the lesson of a competent teacher, observe what takes place, and afterwards discuss what has been observed.
¨ A teacher may plan a lesson, discuss it with a more experienced teacher, make adjustments to the lesson plan in the light of the discus­sion, and then have the experienced teacher observe the lesson. Afterwards the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson can be discussed.
¨ Two or three teachers of the same subject (from the same school or from different schools) may together do their lesson planning, exchanging ideas and discussing difficulties as they go along.
¨ A workshop session may be planned, during which one or more teachers demonstrate particular teaching techniques. The less experi­enced teachers may try these out over the following weeks and then at a further workshop their successes and difficulties may be discussed.
¨ A workshop session may be held during which teachers set test or examination questions, and then work out the answers to one another's questions. In this way weaknesses in the wording of the questions or in the allocation of marks will come to light.
¨ For practical subjects a workshop may be arranged during which the less confident teachers actually do the practical work under the super­vision of skilled teachers.
¨ For management and disciplinary problems the staff may meet for a brainstorming session, during which problem areas are identified. Thereafter the meeting could break up into smaller groups, each group working on possible solutions to one of the problems. After a set time the groups all come together again. At this stage the possible solutions can be discussed and decisions taken on action by all members of the group,
¨ One or more members of staff may be asked to read an article or a section of a training manual, and lead a training session or presentation based on what they have read.
¨ Certain members of staff may have been trained in a certain area. They will use “cascade” training with their peers who in turn will train others.

It is important to note that the most successful training methods are those where the leader acts as the facilitator and the methods used are very participatory. In others words, teachers are actually involved in ‘doing” rather than simply “listening”.

Activity 2.3
Drawing on your experience of in‑service training methods, list the different techniques applied and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method identified.

Evaluation of training
Any training which is done should be evaluated. After a training session, the participants should be able to say whether they feel any benefit from it and they should be able to identify the aspects which they found most satis­factory, and those which they found least satisfactory. These details should be communicated to those who arranged the training, so that in future training sessions the aspects which caused dissatisfaction can be minimised or even eliminated, and those aspects which were found to be satisfactory may be further developed.

If the weaknesses of a workshop or training session are not reported, the same faults are likely to occur in the future. However carefully the presen­ters of a course plan it, they can never be absolutely in tune with the needs of those attending. The larger the group, the more true this is. It is therefore most important that everyone should be completely honest.

In general, it is important that the objectives of a training exercise should be carefully stated beforehand. Training fails if it attempts to do too much in too short a space of time.

When a training session is completed, it should be fully reported in the School Log Book with a list of attendees and, where the training was of particular importance, a report should be written and circulated to the Regional Department of Education and / or the Ministry of Education.

Staff development can be seen as an important component in building the capacity of schools to function efficiently.

This unit has looked at the need to engage in a programme of staff devel­opment and to identify the needs of the staff, and has suggested a number of training techniques that might be employed to achieve the desired results.

Finally, it has stressed the need to view staff development as a joint responsibility of those in need of training and those in management posi­tions.

Staff Motivation

Unit 3

The key to effective leadership is the ability to get results from other people, through other people and in conjunction with other people. If the underlying psychology is wrong, the most carefully constructed system and techniques will fail.

An efficient school head may not necessarily be an effective school head if his or her relationship with the staff is poor. But if relationships are good and the staff is motivated, some administrative or environmental flaws will readily be overlooked.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
At the end of this unit you should be able to:

¨ define the meaning of motivation
¨ understand the principles of motivation and its application
¨ identify factors which can enhance or weaken levels of motivation.

What is motivation?
Motivation is concerned with the cause of behaviour: why people act, speak or think in a particular way. School heads need to know how to motivate. They need to 'get results through people' or 'get the best out of people'.

This is most likely to be achieved if the school head helps the staff experi­ence job satisfaction. This is known as intrinsic motivation, which comes from within, and not extrinsic motivation which is too often based on fear. Results will then be the best that the teacher can produce and be more likely to be in line with the overall goals and ethos of the school.

Principles of motivation

The staff should be involved in decision‑making and in matters which affect them directly. The more the staff becomes involved, the more they will have a sense of ownership in decisions and be prompted to help in achieving the objectives. Involving the staff in decision‑making does not alter the fact that the school head remains accountable for taking the final decisions and for their results. This is very important. There should be accountability at all levels. Members of staff are accountable to the headteacher in all they do. However, it is the responsibility of the head to ensure that the quality of work carried out by all is of the highest standard. Thus, he / she is accountable for all that goes on in the school.

If the staff is informed about the objectives and the results achieved, they are inclined to co‑operate more and feel that they are part (members) of the staff (group). The opposite is also true: if staff do not know what they are supposed to be achieving, they will show little interest and have little moti­vation. Staff should not only be informed about results, but also about changes and progress. The good leader will be an effective communicator.

If staff members receive the necessary recognition for work done, they will be inclined to work harder. Recognition should be given to the staff member as a person and not just as a human resource. This might be done in a variety of ways both formal and informal. Teachers who have achieved good results who have performed well might be mentioned in staff meetings or, equally effectively, a quiet word of thanks and praise could make all the difference to a way a person feels about what they do. Written praise and recognition is also important as it forms a record and is often seen as having greater emphasis. This could range from positive entries in the school log book, certificate for attendance at workshops, articles in the school newsletter or even a merit award for the “teacher of the month” based on issues such as “the best kept classroom”, “the best learning environment”, “improved attendance and punctuality” and “the most improved results”. These are all examples tried and tested in some Guyanese schools.

Delegated authority
A school head should be prepared to delegate authority to capable people. In this way a person's post is enhanced, and this serves as a means of personnel development. Delegated authority also means that more people will be allowed to make decisions themselves in connection with their work, within set guidelines. See Unit 5, Module 2 Principles of Educational Leadership, for more details on delegation.

Reflecting on your own school situation, what do you consider to be the needs of your staff. How are these needs met now? How can they be better met in the future?

When considering the needs of your staff, you will have thought about their personal as well as professional needs. Although you will be more concerned with the latter, the school cannot function without personal needs being met. Motivation is often more about personal than professional. Issues such as remuneration, the need to belong and the provision of good staff facilities amongst others might all be factors which you may have identified..

Whether those needs are currently being met in your school is a matter for your own personal judgement. Be honest, however and give some thought to what the ideal situation might be and how close you are able to get in achieving it.

Motivating staff
The principles of motivation outlined above indicate that there are a variety of factors which influence an individual's level of motivation at work. The school head, therefore, should not only have some knowledge of the staff but should bear in mind all the different factors which can enhance or weaken motivation. These factors can be divided into four groups: the personal needs of all human beings, factors inherent in the work situation, management methods and the social system as reflected in the community. Let us consider each of them.

Personal needs
The needs of every person should be taken into account, such as the need for recognition, the need to achieve, the need to be a valued person in the community, the need for self‑respect and for friendship. If a teacher occupies a temporary post, there is a need for work security. Merit awards and promotion can give the necessary recognition of teachers' achievements. Non‑recognition of achievements has a demotivating effect on teachers and can lead to high staff turnover. A sense of responsibility should be cultivated as well as pride in the quality of work done.

Work situation
Factors related to the work itself may also affect levels of motivation, for instance, the nature and type of work, the opportunities for group identity, the chances of promotion, the work environment, the opportunities and challenges of the work such as the opportunities for creativity and renewal. Monotony and routine can be demotivating. Routine work leads to frustra­tion and boredom and to a lack of motivation. One solution can be to rotate some routine activities so that boring chores do not always have to be done by the same person.

Management factors
The quality of leadership affects behaviour, attitudes and effort. Positive interpersonal relationships are regarded as strengthening motivation. In this respect, communication is of great importance. Teachers like to know and should know what is expected of them and how their tasks form part of a total plan. This should be coupled with competent and fair leadership which sets out acceptable tasks together with clear guidelines.

The school head is responsible for planning, guiding and leading the school. Tasks are delegated to teachers, and if a participatory management style is used, with teachers' efforts valued, motivation to work hard is likely to be strong.

Community factors
If the community's values (whether religious, moral, economic, cultural, political or social) differ from those of the teacher, these community factors will have a demotivating effect on the teacher. The personal lives of teachers, such as their relationships with their families, will also influence their behaviour. The head has little control over such motivating factors, but he or she has to deal with the situation if it has a negative effect on a teacher's work.

Therefore it would seem that to motivate staff effectively, a school head should have knowledge of their personal needs, their work circumstances, the requirements of the community, and use an appropriate management style.

Activity 3.1
Imagine a situation where you have encountered a teacher whose pupils' academic results were poor, who was unable to create a positive classroom atmosphere, who had problems with class discipline and who had very little interest in the extra‑curricular activities of the school.

How would you seek to improve this teacher's performance?

Motivation and the school head
We should remember to use the 'motivators', that is, people's need for achievement, recognition, responsibility, job interest, personal growth and advancement potential. We tend to underestimate the needs of other people in these areas. Involving others in decisions which affect them is one way of meeting all or most of these needs. School heads should avoid window-dressing.

The relative intensity of psychological needs will vary greatly from person to person and from time to time. There are people whose motivation is not work related. If a teacher's spouse loses his or her job, security needs may well be the most important. If there is a marriage break‑up, both secu­rity and social needs may surface, though these may be followed later by a need to find renewed interest and achievement in the job.

These are predictable and often recognisable behavioural phenomena. However, when symptoms and causes are less obvious, the risk is that we misjudge the needs of colleagues or friends. Some of us have a tendency to assume that the needs of others are the same as our own; others tend to assume the opposite.

We should try to suit our management behaviour to both the personali­ties and the needs of the situation. Our automatic behavioural reaction may not be the right one. Think about the alternatives!

Despite every effort, there will remain individuals who have no wish to be 'motivated' and who view with suspicion any attempt to increase their responsibilities, job interest or involvement. Such attitudes may typically be found in teachers who are frustrated. However, the danger is always that we give up too easily. The right approach may prompt a surprisingly warm response.

Above all, it is necessary for a school head to establish by means of honest self‑evaluation what the true nature is of his or her attitude towards staff. It is important that this introspection is honest and open, because expe­rience has shown that it will determine the way a head leads and moti­vates the staff. It is indubitably true that the way in which heads treat their staff will, to a great extent, be determined by their outlook on life, their atti­tudes to motivation as the basis of human behaviour, and the judgement they make of people's behaviour in a specific working situation.

When considering motivation, think firstly of your own needs and try to put yourself “in the shoes” of the other. If members of staff are behaving badly, are poorly motivated, underperforming or even showing antagonism towards you, there will be a reason why. It may be that your attitude towards them or your leadership style creates resentment in them. You should always consider this possibility. This does not mean to say, however, that all demotivating factors are solvable. Issues such as pay, class sizes, working in schools where the children are mainly of lower ability may negatively impact on teacher motivation and there may be little you can do about it.

As the recognised leader of the school community the head has the respon­sibility for helping staff members get satisfaction from their profession and move towards the fulfilment of their needs and objectives. It is through improving levels of motivation that these needs and objectives can be met.

It is the responsibility of the headteacher to assess the situation in the school relating to staff motivation and, where it is having a negative impact on the quality of learning and teaching and standards generally, to put into place strategies to overcome them.

Staff Appraisal

Unit 4

Staff appraisal is a process of review by teachers, heads, deputy heads and other senior teachers of individual competencies, perfor­mance, and professional needs. In a small school, it is likely to be you, as school Head, who carries out the appraisal of staff, but in a large school this may be delegated to the Deputy Head, Senior Master / Mistress or Head of Department. It is a process in which an individual teacher and a senior colleague collaborate in evalu­ating that teacher's work as a professional person. This means appraising all aspects of a teacher's organisation of their classroom, how they manage classroom activities, including the use of time and materials, how they behave towards pupils, other teachers, the school head, parents and the community.

In Guyana, there exists a clear system of the appraisal of staff. In this unit, you will learn why staff appraisal should be carried out and how to do so. The unit can be used for self study or with peer group learning with other trainees.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

¨ be aware of the Ministry of Education’s Annual Appraisal Report on Teachers
¨ understand what staff appraisal is, and why it should be carried out
¨ know the steps which form the procedures for staff appraisal
¨ analyse your own leadership style and know which approaches are most effective for positive staff appraisal
¨ decide how to follow up a staff appraisal
¨ understand the need for self‑appraisal.

Reasons for appraisal
Appraisal is directed towards helping a teacher to become as effective as possible in the teaching and learning process, and also towards meeting a teacher's needs for professional development, for example, in‑service training and career prospects. You should not, therefore, view appraisal as a mechanism for fault‑finding and criticising, but as a means of building the teacher's positive self‑image and motivation to be as good a teacher as possible. In Guyana, education is becoming more learner‑centred than previously, on the basis that pupils need to become actively involved in their own learning processes, in order to learn and develop to the full. Pupils and teachers too, need to participate in their own development, becoming able to analyse and reflect on their own competen­cies. From this, they are more likely to become independent thinkers and doers. For the majority of teachers, this requires a change of attitude, and this can only come from a willingness to review continually what takes place in the classroom and the school, and the effects particular actions have on others.

Requirements for appraisal
A good appraisal process, in which the teacher is able to be honest about strengths and weaknesses, and about where help and encouragement are needed, depends on a spirit of trust between the school head, or other senior teacher, and the teacher being appraised. It follows that you, or the senior teacher carrying out the appraisal, must be a professional person who is respected for your competence, and who has a good relationship with the staff.

This means that if you have to give criticism for lateness or lack of prepa­ration in the classroom, you give it with the understanding that the partic­ular teacher needs guidance. Thus, your comments will not be made in an unkind manner, but with the intention of being constructive. This should be the case even where a teacher refuses or is unable to change unacceptable behaviour, and you need to initiate disciplinary action in the interests of the learners. If you are seen to be a person who really knows the teacher, the pupils and the classroom reality, and you are known to be a person who has respect for the feelings of teachers and pupils, appraisal is more likely to take place in a spirit of mutual confidence.

Differences from other forms of evaluation
Appraisal in Guyana is undertaken as a means of assessment of a teacher for purposes of rating or grading and also for recommendation for promotion to a higher position. It is a very different process from being inspected by the M.E.R.D.Team or monitored by a person in higher authority. It is therefore important that appraisal is not carried out in a negative spirit of sitting in judgement or it will fail in its purpose. Instead, the teacher should be treated as a stakeholder in the educational process, working in a collabora­tive way to become as good as possible, and as a person who has profes­sional needs and interests. Your role as school head in this, is that of educational leader in the school, with the task of creating an effective learning environment for all pupils, of all abilities, and with varying needs that should be met. The teacher being appraised shares this task.

The process of staff appraisal
There are a number of steps to be taken in carrying out staff appraisal. Before these can begin, you need to have discussions with the staff as a whole. Teachers need to be confident that they can be open with you so that if they feel the leadership style is inappropriate, they can say this in the know­ledge that you and other members of the leadership team will review your own style.

A second important element is to emphasise that what is said during the process of appraisal will be treated as confidential. A teacher who reveals personal insecurity or details of an unhappy domestic life during discus­sion needs to feel sure that this will not become common knowledge in the staff room or community. Professional ambitions, too, have a right to be kept private. Appraisal should not be used as a means of making comparisons between one teacher and another.

Establishing a good atmosphere
In the first stage of discussion with staff concerning appraisal, you will need to make clear the purpose, and how it is to be done. The actual procedures should be discussed and staff ideas taken into account. A timetable needs to be drawn up, so that each teacher has time to prepare his or her own thoughts, knowing when you will carry out observations within specific classrooms, and when interviews will be held. Follow‑up procedures should be discussed, in which actions will be initiated, for example, planning for in­-service training. You, or the senior staff member to whom you have dele­gated the task or designated senior staff, should prepare for the whole process by analysing your attitudes to leadership.

Appraisal is a natural part of the professional development of a teacher. It is quite separate and different from the supervisory role of a headteacher. It should be viewed as a professional partnership in which the person leading the appraisal will seek out the abilities of those being appraised rather than searching for incompetence. The whole process must be one which is based on trust.

Your attitudes in this area are important in determining whether staff appraisal is likely to be a positive process of staff development or treated with suspicion. If it is the latter you may need to consider changing your leadership style.

The teacher's own assessment
The process begins with the teacher's own personal review of successes, fail­ures, professional and personal needs. One method that is often used is to encourage teachers to go through a process of self evaluation where they will comment on their own successes and weaknesses on a regular basis. A teacher's everyday life is normally so busy that, unless time is set aside for this, the important activity of reflection gets set aside. A teacher might write as follows:

'Today, I began to feel that teaching the whole class together in Mathematics left some children bored. The clever ones finish their work very quickly, and get it right, and then misbehave, while some of the others were so slow and did not seem to understand. I would like to organise them in groups but I am not sure how to do it. How will I make sure that all the class is getting on with their work if I do not have them all facing the blackboard?'

Lesson observations

A good school head will visit classrooms on a regular basis. You will have found that this helps you to be knowledgeable about what is happening in the school. Lesson observations in staff appraisal may well be already part of the school's routine. For the purpose of staff appraisal, you need to arrange a time to observe a specific lesson. You should be present in the classroom for the whole period to observe the entire sequence of the lesson. Only then can you form your ideas about the preparation, organisation and management of teaching and learning in the classroom.

The questions which follow may be helpful in providing a structure for lesson observations.

1) Is the classroom a clean, safe and child friendly environment?
2) Would a pupil find the classroom a pleasant place to be in?
3) Does the teacher begin the lesson on time?
4) Has the lesson been well prepared and does it match with the syllabus or scheme of work?
5) Are all materials shown in the lesson plan available to the pupils?
6) What s the quality of the relationship between teacher and pupils?
7) Do pupils listen when the teacher speaks, and do they appear to respect the teacher without seeming afraid?
8) Does the organisation and management (whole class work, group work, individual activity, practical activity, etc.) meet the needs of the pupils and the subject area?
9) Are all children in the class, including those with Special Educational Needs being catered for?
10) Are the children learning?

In practical terms, it will be helpful for you to design a proforma which will be used by all staff when conducting lesson observations in appraisal.

Your responses to these questions will provide you with important informa­tion concerning the teacher's ability to provide learners with good quality teaching. If you observe poor preparation or interaction with pupils, these may indicate that the teacher has other problems. These may concern disci­pline or complaints from parents or community, for example, about lateness or attendance. Such information provides other data that needs to be discussed in the appraisal interview.

Appraisal interview and target setting
The report back on the lesson observation should take place as soon as possible after the observation and, where time allows, immediately after the lesson has taken place. If this is not possible, it should be done no later than the next day as this can be a worrying time for some teachers. In addition, there will need to be a formal Appraisal Interview. It is possible for both discussions to take place at the same meeting. The form and length of the interview can vary, but there should be discussion of the class­room observations. Since the purpose is to assist the teacher's professional development and the learning experiences for the children, the approach should be positive. Praise should be given for as much as possible, for example, 'I noticed how busy you were trying to keep the children with higher ability occu­pied whilst those with lower ability were finishing their work'. The aim is to build the teacher's confidence and self esteem because, through this, the teacher is more likely to discuss uncertainties about his or her work. In the example of the self evaluation quoted earlier, you and the teacher may then go on to discuss ways of grouping pupils to provide for different ability levels.

From the discussion in the interview, targets can be set. You can arrange for help to be offered within the school, or for other in‑service training. You can encourage the teacher to try out other methods of working, with the assurance that there will be full support during a time of change. Managing change can be stressful for a teacher, because of a fear of failure and many people prefer not to take risks.

Some avoidance behaviour, for example, lateness, absenteeism or alcohol abuse, can stem from feelings of inadequacy. The teacher whose lesson is badly prepared, can be asked if he or she thinks that the lesson would have been better if he or she had not been late. This opens up the subject, but in a positive spirit, which is more likely to lead to full and frank discussion of the teacher's professional responsibilities. Here, targets can be set which must be realistic, and any improvement should be commented on, for example, 'You were only late one day this week. Keep trying, the teaching was much better'. In this way, the teacher's morale can be raised and, for some, can be sufficient to bring about real improvement.

The Annual Appraisal Report on Teachers and Senior Leaders
In Guyana, teachers are asked to make a self assessment of their performance and this is verified by their line manager or Headteacher. The teacher must sign in agreement with the conclusions made. The judgements about how a teacher has performed are grouped into the following areas:-

¨ Knowledge
¨ Methodology
¨ Human Relationships
¨ Output
¨ Professionalism

And the following are used for senior leaders

¨ Job Knowledge
¨ Supervision
¨ Organisations
¨ Administration Leadership
¨ Professionalism
¨ Staff Development
¨ Curriculum Implementation
¨ Evaluation
¨ Human Relationships
¨ Support Services

Section F of the appraisal gives an overall evaluation of the teacher’s performance ranging from outstanding to unacceptable. Note is also made of relevant staff development. Teachers are given a grade at the end of each appraisal and this grade is used in senior promotion as an Annual Confidential Report (A.C.R.) Grades are recorded for the last three years prior to an application. Points are awarded for each grade e.g. A = 30 points, B = 18 points, C = 12 points. Completion of the Education Management Certificate that you are currently studying will give an award of 6 points.

Follow‑up meetings
An important point about the appraisal process is that it should be an on­going process. In‑service training arrangements may be initiated, discussion of improvements in teaching and learning in the classroom may take place, or a teacher may need to be encouraged to seek promotion. All such activi­ties are part of your professional responsibilities as educational leader in the school. In the large school, part of this task will be shared by senior staff.

Activity 4.1
The case study below will help you to practise your appraisal knowledge and skills before you begin work with your school staff.

Case study
1. Obtain a copy of the Annual Appraisal Report for Teachers and study it.
2. In your observation of a lesson in a teacher's classroom, you have noted as follows:

”The teacher started this lesson punctually. Her explanations to her Grade 4 class were clear, and she revised the procedures for carrying out division by 10. She chose two pupils to work out examples on the board and then gave all the class four examples to work out on their own in their books. During this time, she walked round the classroom, looking at pupils' work. After ten minutes, six children had finished their work while all the rest were still working. The six early finishers began to misbehave, tickling other children. She spoke sternly to the six, and told them to sit still and be quiet. At the end of the lesson, most of the class had not finished.”

There are many different ways that you could approach feedback to the teacher on her lesson. Consider these two possible forms of advice that you might have given…..

Ask the teacher how she felt about her lesson and listen to her descrip­tion of her worries. Discuss these with her, and suggest ways of grouping the class according to mathematical ability, with different work or amount for each group. Ask her if she would like help in doing this.

2. Tell the teacher that she should become angry with the slow workers and tell them to hurry up. Tell her that you are not satisfied with her work and that she must make sure that children do not misbehave. Inform her that you expect better performance from her in the next appraisal.

If you were this teacher, which of the two approaches would you find more helpful?

We are confident, of course, that you will have chosen number one. Of the two approaches, it is non-threatening, supportive and helpful. It is only in this background of professional cooperation that you will get teachers to open up and disclose the issues that might be preventing then from achieving the high standards you require.

Professional development activities
Some professional development activities can be carried out within the school, for example, the head of department provides assistance in improving the teacher's skills in classroom management. Others may require that you ask the District Education Officer or a Curriculum Specialist from NCERD to arrange in‑service training in a workshop. The teacher, following appraisal, may show leadership poten­tial, and this information should be shared, with the permission of the teacher, with those responsible for making decisions about promotion, such as the T.S.C.

Frequency of appraisal
In Guyana, an appraisal report is prepared on an annual basis. However, the observation of lessons should be done much more regularly. We would advise that formal observation should take place at least 3 times a year by the Head of Department, Level Head or more senior staff. Informal observation when a manager simply watches what is going on around them, would take place every week if not every day.

Benefits of appraisal
The benefits of staff appraisal have been referred to throughout in this unit. Module 6, Monitoring School Effectiveness, demonstrates the use of guidance and counselling from a school head following classroom observations. School effectiveness includes a combination of the way in which the work of individual teachers and senior management within the school collaborate for the benefit of the learners. Under the headings of 'Staff needs' and 'The needs of the pupils' (Unit 3), Module 1, Self‑Development for Educational Leaders’, outlines the mission of the school, which is also the mission of the head and all teachers. Module 1 also notes the importance of the school head giving positive professional guidance if staff are to perform their func­tion effectively

The benefits can be summarised as:

¨ skills development, through in‑service training, experiments with teaching style, often assisted by organisational change
¨ career development, through in‑service training
¨ improved relationships: each understands the other better
¨ increased knowledge of the school and individuals
¨ productive links between appraisal and school development and planning
¨ improved learning opportunities for pupils
¨ improved morale and efficiency within the school.

When carried out in a spirit of willing co‑operation, with positive attitudes on both sides, you should find that staff appraisal contributes to school effectiveness. To be successful and have the desired benefits, you must examine closely your own style of leadership. Does this provide for a shared sense of responsibility amongst all school staff? All staff members are stake­holders in the educational life of the school, and are more likely to be moti­vated to improve their performance, if they feel a sense of ownership. You, in turn, will feel supported in your often difficult and lonely task

Staff Guidance and Discipline

Unit 5

Schools fulfil their educational responsibilities most effectively when there is a consensus about common goals and all concerned work towards reaching these. This is the ideal that you will be working towards. You will be most successful if your staff respect you as a professional who sets an example of professional behaviour, and who is reasonable and considerate of others. “Do as you would be done by” is a very good principle to work by. If you do not like to be criticised publicly, neither do others, but most of us are happy to be praised in front of others. We react positively to praise, we feel good about ourselves and the person giving the praise, and most human beings respond by repeating the type of behaviour which earns the reward of praise. School heads occupy a high status in their schools, and there is much research which shows that high status persons are effective sources of reward.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

¨ know the purposes of staff guidance and discipline
¨ understand your role in the guidance and discipline of staff
¨ recognise that guidance and discipline should be positive
¨ know how to implement effective techniques.

The head's responsibilities as leader
You, as the school head, are the person responsible for the efficient manage­ment of the school. You are both the administrative leader and the educa­tional leader – the “lead professional”. It could be argued that these leadership roles have one function only. This function is to ensure that successful learning takes place for all the pupils in the school.

You cannot teach all the pupils yourself, nor can you carry out all the educational or administrative tasks. These have to be delegated to teaching or non‑teaching staff, depending on the nature of the task. However, the responsibility for everything which takes place in the school remains with you as school head. Therefore, it is necessary for you to ensure that tasks are carried out efficiently, that staff behave in a professional manner towards each other and the pupils, and that there is accountability towards the pupils, the parents, community and wider society.

The need for guidance
Because the learning and all the activities of the school remain your respon­sibility, you need to ensure that delegated tasks are actually carried out on time, and in a proper manner. Therefore, you need to guide, to supervise, to oversee, the work of others in the school. Through meeting your senior leadership team, individually or in groups, you will get feedback on the administrative func­tioning of the school, including curriculum implementation and develop­ment. By being active within the school, by visiting classes, by observing lessons, talking to teachers, pupils and parents, you keep yourself informed about the school community, its people and events. Problems can often be prevented, simply because the school head keeps, as they say, his or her 'ear to the ground'. At the same time, you are setting a good example to others of self‑discipline.


Reflect for a moment on the rules in your school appertaining to staff that everyone agrees on.

Discipline is concerned with the establishment and maintenance of order and the harmonious functioning of a society. A school is also a society on a small scale, and discipline within school serves the purpose of ensuring that learning can take place. Within this, the rights of the individual and of all members of the school society are protected. In most schools, a set of rules which act as a code of conduct, is drawn up for pupils to conform to. Such rules should be as few as possible, and should be reasonable. Pupils should be involved in drawing up school rules.

In the case of rules for teaching staff, they should be drawn up and agreed by the staff as far as is possible. In doing this, you may want to involve the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) so that there is full co‑operation. Staff meetings can include on the agenda items designed to help teachers find positive ways to deal with school matters. In Guyana where corporal punishment is discouraged, such discussions can be helpful to teachers seeking to establish their authority in positive ways.

Exercising responsibility
In an ideal world, you would be able to trust all staff to carry out their designated responsibilities in teaching, administration or in care of the pupils without supervision. For good teachers who are positively moti­vated, your trust will be justified. Such teachers arrive in good time before the start of school, they are absent only with good cause, their lessons are well prepared, they treat pupils with respect for them as persons, yet are firm and clear in giving instructions or information.

However, not all teachers are as good as this. A few are unskilled, some have personal problems, some are weak teachers and a very small number are dishonest both with their time and actions. Of these, some will improve with guidance, encouragement and support, others with sympathy and understanding but you may need to take disciplinary action with the uncooperative, unskilled or teacher with a poor disposition to work. Your reactions will depend on your perception of the teacher and the problem.

Activity 5.1

Case study
Mrs Abraham has been teaching in your school for five years. She has been punctual, has prepared her lessons well, and up until now there have not been any complaints from the children or parents. Eight months ago, Mrs Abraham had her sixth baby. During the last two months, she has been arriving late and has been absent on several occasions. You have received complaints from parents of pupils in her classes.

You ask Mrs Abraham to come to see you to discuss the problem. You find that she has domestic problems and that her mother who looks after the baby has not been well.

1) What should be your attitude?
2) What do you think Mrs Abraham should have done?
3) Suggest a means of solving the problem.

A sympathetic, supportive attitude towards Mrs Abraham’s problem, together with practical suggestions for finding an alternative care‑giver for the baby, is likely to solve the problem if Mrs Abraham has not got other hidden prob­lems. Lateness and absenteeism may well disappear. However, you, as school head, have the responsibility to ensure that the pupils are being taught effectively, and that class time is not wasted by lateness or non-­arrival. You will thus need to maintain an unobtrusive watch to check that the teacher's professional duties are being carried out properly. If the problem recurs, then you may have to take disciplinary action.

Effective guidance
The most effective form of guidance takes place when the school head is perceived by staff, pupils and parents as a person who knows what is happening within the school. Although you need times when you can work quietly in your office, or close the office door for reasons of confidentiality in an interview, you should try always to be visible when pupils or teachers are arriving at the school and whenever they are moving from one place to another. You should also try to visit each classroom at the start of the morning or during the day in a large school to greet teachers and pupils.

Visits to classrooms should form part of your everyday activity as educa­tional leader. During visits, you will inevitably observe such indicators of learning as conduct of teachers and pupils towards each other, whether there is a quiet working atmosphere in the classroom and whether there appears to be a positive attitude of 'discipline from within'. In the unit in this module on 'Staff appraisal', suggestions are given for a schedule for observing teaching and learning.

The concept of guidance so far described in this unit has been a posi­tive one, very closely linked with staff appraisal and staff development. Within this spirit, you will want to support weak teachers who find difficulty with discipline or in lesson preparation. You become conscious of such needs if you really know your school. The unobtrusive but visible school head in and around the school not only helps to establish a sense of profes­sional purpose, but actually prevents misconduct by teachers and pupils. Sometimes, however, stronger action is necessary where teachers do not respond to your leadership or fail in their duties. Then disciplinary proce­dures need to begin.

Disciplinary procedures
Often in a school, a disciplinary problem takes time to become apparent. Once it does, there are three useful procedures for a school head to follow. These procedures should be known to the staff as part of an agreed proce­dure.

Step 1 – Informal verbal reprimand
A first step in a disciplinary procedure is to give an informal verbal reprimand, pleas­antly but firmly. This should be stated within the context of the teacher's professional responsibility, and it should be given in the privacy of the school head's office. There would be no written record other than perhaps a brief entry in the School Log Book.

Step 2 – Formal verbal reprimand
However, there are occasions when the informal approach does not have the desired effect and it needs to be more formal. In this case, you will need to offer the teacher the opportunity to bring with them a friend, another teacher or perhaps a representative from the Guyana Teachers’ Union to witness that the discussion is fair. It would be equally reasonable for the head to have another senior member of staff present who would not be a part of the discussion but who would take notes.

Step 3 ‑ Written warning
In cases where the reprimand does not result in improvement, then a written warning can be given. A copy of this would be kept in the file on this staff member. A record of this would also be recorded in the School Log Book. Great care must be taken in the wording of this letter. It must be factual, not personal and offer support for improvement. In severe cases, the letter should state clearly the consequences of failure to comply. Ensure that you have your facts right about these consequences, as idle threats can land you in a lot of trouble and work in favour of the recalcitrant teacher.

Step 4 ‑ Report to the Department of Education or School Board
If there is still no attempt to improve, a fourth stage of a disciplinary proce­dure is when further action is taken, for example, report to the Department of Education or school board. A copy of the report should be given to the teacher concerned and also be recorded in the School Log Book.

Step 5 – Follow up with the Department or School Board
It is your responsibility to ensure that the higher authority takes the appropriate action and you should not allow the matter to go unchecked or your own authority will be seriously challenged. Be polite but persistent to ensure that justice is done. It is at this stage that your failure to follow up a case with the DOE could lead to little action taking place and the teacher continuing with his / her unsatisfactory behaviour.

More serious breaches of a code of professional conduct may require immediate suspension of a teacher. Examples might be if he / she behaves in an immoral or seriously unprofessional way which puts the pupils at risk. (S)he has abused his position of trust and is unfit to be in charge of pupils. There should be immediate suspension, with a report made to the Head of the Department of Education (REDO) and to the school board where it exists, even if the case against the teacher has not been fully proven. However, suspension is a serious step to take and the school head should first have strong evidence of the teacher's misconduct and it would be wise to have discussed it first with another senior professional such as the REDO.

Activity 5.2

Case study
Alana is aged 14. She shows signs of distress and it is suspected that the Science teacher has been sexually harassing her after school. When asked about this by the head of department who is responsible for girls' welfare, Alana agrees that this has happened. However, the teacher denies responsibility.

1) What would you do if you were the head of this school?
2) How would you speak to her parents?
3) Would you consider this to be serious enough for suspension of the teacher even though it had happened after hours?
4) How would you get to the truth of the matter?

This is a very complex matter and careful consideration must be given to your actions to ensure that justice is done not only on the part of the child but also the teacher.

If what the child has said is the only evidence against the teacher, then you must proceed with extreme caution as she may be lying. On the other hand you are required to tell the child that you believe what she is saying if you have no evidence against it or she and her parents will lose faith in your judgement. You should, therefore, try to obtain independent and reliable witnesses before you draw conclusions.

A wrong move could destroy the career of an innocent teacher or damage the trust of a child in the adults who are responsible for her care. Do not be too hasty in your judgements but collect the evidence carefully.

Most parents will be quite understandably distressed but you must not allow this to deter you from getting to the truth. It may be that you would want to involve the police as a criminal act has been alleged. However, proceed with care as the press interest could cause unnecessary distress for all parties and media damage to your school.

Base your decisions only on evidence (including that of the girl). Console the parents and assure them that you will leave no stone unturned until you get to the truth. In such a case, for the protection of all parties, you would almost certainly suspend the teacher on full pay until the matter is resolved.

The head's legal and constitutional responsibilities
The school head is also subject to the laws of Guyana and must obey its constitution. In delegating responsibilities to members of staff, you often need to arrange for the collection and safe‑keeping of money, for example, the school fund. Your administrative arrangements need to ensure that money is kept in a safe place, is banked as soon as possible, and that it is not loaned or borrowed. In cases where there is abuse of responsibility, that is, money cannot be accounted for, you have no choice but to report the matter to the police for investigation and to inform the appropriate authorities.

The need to take care of money involves a legal responsibility, but school heads also have a responsibility to uphold the constitution Guyana. In Guyana, the preservation of human rights, including equal oppor­tunities in relation to gender, ethnic origin and race is held dear. Thus the school head needs to ensure that the school is a place where the values and attitudes of society are developed in the pupils through the conduct of all staff and the example which is set.


This unit has shown how the purpose of guidance of staff and the need to have discipline arise from the responsibility of the school head. The main element of this responsibility is to ensure that the school develops pupils as individuals and as members of Guyanese society. Everything which takes place in the school is directed towards this aim.

Keeping Staff Records

Unit 6

Records kept within a school are part of the history of a school and are used for planning future actions and policy. School records contain impor­tant information about school administration, for example, the safekeeping of money, how it is collected and used. However hardworking and intelli­gent you may be, you cannot carry all the information about every teacher, nor all the records about the administration of the school, in your memory. Information about the staff and school administration needs also to be avail­able to others, for example, the District Education Officer. This unit, however, is not about school financial records or those concerned with books or property, nor of keeping minute books or log books. The subject of this unit is the keeping of staff records.

Individual study time: 3 hours

Learning outcomes
At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

¨ understand the purpose of keeping staff records
¨ know the different types of records of staff which should be kept.

The purposes of staff records

Keeping records is the only way to ensure that information is not lost. This is true of all the different kinds of staff records that you will learn about in this unit. You, as the school head, are the leader of both staff and pupils. It is therefore vital that you understand, and are well informed, about the staff as well as the school, the pupils, and the administration of the school. Although you will delegate tasks to others, you remain responsible for all that takes place and for future planning. In particular, you are responsible for ensuring that every pupil is assigned to a class, and that pupils are taught all the subjects of the school curriculum.

Reflect for a moment on why it is important to keep staff records and try to find examples of their uses.

Some of the purposes you have thought of may have included the following:

Administrative and monitoring
Records, if they are kept efficiently, are a help to the school head in managing the school, in identifying needs within the school and in moni­toring progress. They help the school head to plan for school and staff development. Workloads need to be shared out between members of staff so that there is a fair distribution of teaching, administration, and non‑teaching time. You, as the school head, need to know where all the teachers are throughout the school day, which rooms they are in, what classes and subjects are being taught. All of this needs to be recorded for your own benefit, the benefit of others and to pass on if you suddenly are not available or well enough for work.

Before staff are allocated to classes, you or, in a large school, a deputy head, will have reviewed staff qualifications and experience in particular subject areas. You will not want to allocate a teacher to a subject in which he or she has neither qualifications nor experience. Teachers with expertise in senior secondary Mathematics should not, for example, normally be allocated to teach a first grade class, nor the other way round. Staff need to be matched to subjects and year groups according to qualifications, experience and interests. Your records are important for this process.

Your records will include information about the category of qualifica­tions, for example, CSEC, teaching certificate, diploma, degree. These, together with experi­ence and competence, will help you decide how best to use the staff member's expertise, and will have been taken into account for salary purposes.

Staff development
The purposes of keeping staff records which have so far been given have been related to the administrative, supervisory and professional duties of the school head. However, as well as ensuring that, for example, every pupil is provided with teaching in every subject of the curriculum, you also have a responsibility to provide for staff development. Records of staff will there­fore include details of in‑service courses attended by the teacher, private study undertaken for upgrading purposes or extra‑curricular responsibili­ties undertaken by the teacher.

The staff development responsibility of the school head is part of the continuous process of staff appraisal. Records kept for the purpose of staff development should contain dates when the school head has observed a teacher's classroom work, notes of observations and discussions with the teacher. Where there has been a complaint about the teacher's work, the records should contain details of the reason for the complaint, the dates, the action taken and whether there has been improvement.

Types of staff records
Staff records can be grouped according to whether they are purely factual and objective, or whether the information contained within them depends on judgements which are often subjective. You need to remember, however, that the differences between the two types of record are not always as clear-cut as one might think. In apparently factual records there can some­times be a subjective element, for example, the choice of information to be recorded. This problem can be largely overcome by using the same factual record form for all staff and awareness that the risk of being subjective exists. The best way to avoid subjectivity is to base all judgements on evidence which has been shared with and discussed with the teacher, for example lesson observation notes, inspector’s comments etc.

Confidential records
All records which contain subjective information, for example, the process and outcome of teacher appraisal procedures, should be regarded as confi­dential and should be kept locked in the school head's room. Details of salary scale, copies of references should also be regarded as confidential, as should any note of personal problems or domestic difficulties. Staff are entitled to privacy

Examples of confidential records kept on a staff member's file:

¨ References
¨ Observations of teaching
¨ Interview /discussions with school head as part of staff appraisal
¨ Personal ambitions/ personal or professional problems revealed in discussions
¨ Notes, for example, of verbal warnings, or copies of written warnings as part of a disciplinary procedure
¨ Teacher's salary scale and financial status
¨ Promotion prospects
¨ Copies of correspondence, for example, curriculum vitae
¨ Medical and health records
¨ Other, for example, comments on attendance, punctuality, etc.

Factual and objective records
Factual and objective details such as the ones listed below would be likely to be kept in the secretary's or administrative office but you may find it conve­nient to have this information also available on the staff member's confiden­tial file.

¨ Full name, address, date of birth, gender, nationality
¨ Qualifications, where obtained and date of qualification
¨ Subjects in which the teacher is qualified to teach
¨ Subjects taught, but without formal qualifications
¨ Date of appointment to the school
¨ Details of previous posts, length of service in these
¨ Length of teaching experience
¨ Timetable
¨ Details of any extra‑curricular duties undertaken, for example, sports coaching, homework or dormitory supervision
¨ Summary of number of teaching periods in each subject taught and number of non‑teaching periods

Activity 6.1
You have had reason to discuss a teacher’s problems with class discipline. You have suggested to him that he might have less difficulty with his classes if he introduced some practical work and encouraged the pupils to talk together during their work and ask him questions.

What notes would you make of this discussion and which type of file would you use to keep your record of the discussion and your advice to the teacher?

When writing up records, try to ensure that they are based on reality and sound evidence. Consider what you would want others to write about you. You would no doubt be very unhappy if entries were made about you that were untrue or put you in a bad light.

A teacher has a right to see what you have written about him or her and so you must protect yourself from challenges to your authority by only writing entries which can be defended and are of use to you. Remember that others in the future may read them, possibly will not understand the context and may misconstrue your meaning with disastrous consequences. Take very special care!

Updating records
To be really useful, you will need to keep your records up to date. For example, the notes that you made under Activity 6.1 will need to be reviewed after a few weeks and added to according to whether there has been improvement or not. To take another example, you would want to record the fact that a female teacher has gained a further qualification through part‑time study even though she is the sole earner and head of her house­hold with five young children. This example should be recorded in both the factual file and in the confidential file since her circumstances make her extra qualification even more creditable.

Activity 6.2
Starting from scratch, design a factual staff record to be kept in the teacher’s file. Decide what needs to be included and how you would keep it updated.

The way in which you choose to keep your records up to date and organise them will depend on whether there are record forms supplied to a school or whether you need to design your own. If the design of a record form is left to the individual school and school head, then you will want to make the record form as simple as possible so that your work is kept to the minimum. A blank form which you create, duplicate and complete is a useful way of easing your workload.

Making use of records
Your records will be most useful to you if they are kept in an organised way so that the information you need is immediately visible to you.

If you keep your records up to date, not only will you be behaving in an efficient way, but you will get to know your school and its staff in a very thorough manner. That alone will assist your task of managing and devel­oping the school for the benefit of pupils and staff alike. Schools are like living things; they are not static but are constantly developing. Your records need to keep pace with that and be updated whenever there is new information to add.

This unit has been concerned with the basic staff records required to assist in the smooth functioning of a school. Administrative requirements may differ from region to region. However, in the absence of directives from the Ministry, it is important that school heads maintain a record of their staff members. To maintain an under­standing of the needs of the school and the individual staff members, the keeping of efficient staff records is an important tool in the hands of the school head.