Ensuring quality

Where leadership was most effective, the leaders and teachers in these services were clear about their roles and responsibilities, including what was expected of them. Self review led to changes in the curriculum, teaching and assessment practices, support for the learning environment, and organisational management. In some services parents participated in meetings about policy development and review of organisational philosophy.

 

What’s important?

What does good practice look like?

For example:

Expectations – knowing what to do

Centre managers had clear expectations of their staff and met regularly to discuss strengths and challenges. They provided regular reports about the programme to the board or management committee, advocated for staff particularly around resourcing, professional learning and development, and shared decision making.

The supervisor was part of the teaching team and acted as a ‘floater’ in the programme. This way she was able to mentor staff and monitor professional practice and philosophy in action.

Accountability and responsibility

Leaders understood the difference between governance and management. They were also clear about the challenges of their roles and sought external assistance whenever they needed it.

The board recruited the current manager when it was clear that the centre was at risk of losing its licence. The restructure enabled the management team to establish a sound platform for improving the quality of education and for staff to manage the challenges they previously faced.

Relational trust

Leaders’ integrity and ability to build relationships and trust amongst the school community was critical. They demonstrated this by listening to teachers, parents and children and understanding their interests and aspirations. Difficult situations were managed in a respectful manner and support was provided when needed. The leaders were also aware of their own challenges in managing changes.

The centre manager was committed to providing high-quality early childhood education, but identified that her project-driven approach was not always shared by her team. She adopted an approach of high trust, delegation and shared leadership that has contributed to ongoing improvements in the centre.