Management training for school principals : a survey of the content of a selection of available training courses and of the opinions of a group of school principals in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The election of a new South African government in April 1994 has marked the onset of major changes in the education system. These changes will be most universally felt in their effects on schools. Thus school principals will become the fulcrum around which change takes place, receiving policy directives from the authorities and being responsible for their propagation and implementation in the schools. In such a situation, the whole question of the training, both pre-service and in-service, that is provided for school principals to equip them for their job becomes crucial. This study identifies a selection of in-service courses available to school principals in the Cape Town metropolitan area and compares the content of these courses with a list of the tasks and skills required of principals in the 1990's identified from a survey of the international literature. The aim is to determine the extent to which these courses are dealing with the tasks and skills. The literature survey also identifies a list of characteristics appropriate to effective in-service courses against which the Cape Town courses are compared. As an adjunct to the study, the opinions of a group of school principals were canvassed via a questionnaire. This questionnaire attempted to establish what management training these principals had received and also in which areas they desired training or further training. In the final section of the study, policy recommendations relating to management training for school principals are made. The study concludes that, whilst there are a number of courses on offer for school principals in the study area, management training for school principals does not appear to have been a priority in the past, there is very little co-ordination between the courses, and there are a number of important areas that are addressed by few, if any, of them. Amongst its recommendations, therefore, is the establishment of a research institute to co-ordinate in-service training for school principals and thus provide a more effective basis from which they can carry out their important role in the future.

Bibliography: pages 76-82.