Author: Antoinette Morris
Posted: 03 May 2023
Estimated time to read: 5 mins
The United Kingdom is home to over 32,000 schools, every single one of which needs effective school management to run smoothly.
This guide explores the implications of good school management and how it contributes to staff wellbeing. Find out more about what school management is, why it matters, and how it can be improved by reading below.
What is school management?
The term 'school management' describes the processes and practises senior leaders use to run their schools, support their staff, and provide a positive learning environment for their pupils. It involves all aspects of running a school, including the following:
- Learning materials (for teachers and pupils)
- Human resource management
- Training programs and activities
- Access to equipment
Many headteachers use school management software or management information systems (MIS) to assist them with these tasks.
The responsibilities of a school manager
The following are some of their most important responsibilities of school managers:
- Create a structured and coherent curriculum entitlement that clarifies the knowledge, skills, and values taught to pupils
- Establish effective curricular leadership, identifying subject leaders with high levels of expertise and knowledge
- Ensure pupils meet specific benchmarks and have access to additional support and resources as needed
- Develop valid, reliable, and proportionate approaches to assess pupils’ knowledge and understanding
- Implement consistent, fair, and respectful behaviour management approaches
- Ensure the school fulfils statutory duties regarding the SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) code of practice
- Provide staff with access to high-quality professional development opportunities, balancing whole-school improvement with team and individual teacher needs
- Promote the protection and safety of pupils and staff
- Prioritise and allocate financial resources appropriately
- Deploy and manage staff effectively, paying proper attention to workload
How does school management influence staff wellbeing?
Effective school management contributes to school culture and creates a more supportive environment for staff, students and parents. This, in turn, can have a powerful impact on staff wellbeing in the following ways:
Staff members feel valued
When leadership prioritises effective school management and wellbeing, teachers and other staff tend to feel valued and appreciated for all their hard work.
Staff members are more engaged and motivated
If staff members feel valued and appreciated, they’ll likely be more engaged and motivated to put their best foot forward each day on the job.
Staff members have a greater sense of balance
Effective school management ensures that no staff members are taking on too much responsibility or not getting enough support. This, in turn, allows for a better work-life balance which can have a measurable positive impact on staff wellbeing.
Staff members are less prone to burnout
Improved work-life balance helps staff members feel less stressed and less prone to burnout.
Staff members produce superior learning outcomes for pupils
All these improvements to staff wellbeing allow teachers to educate their pupils more effectively and produce superior learning outcomes.
Why staff wellbeing is important in the current climate
UK schools are suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically when it comes to maintaining sufficient teacher employment.
A report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) revealed that teacher vacancies are 93 per cent higher than they were at the start of the pandemic.
Staff turnover rates are rising across the board, making it harder for the teachers that remain to provide pupils with adequate attention and support. Teacher shortages also increase stress and the risk of burnout.
Schools who don't prioritise the wellbeing of their staff will find themselves hit harder by these shortages, with staff leaving for other positions that take their wellbeing seriously.
What can senior leaders do to better manage their schools?
School management is clearly critical to staff wellbeing, so how can senior leaders do better?
- Establish clear management structures (policies, protocols, etc.)
- Set weekly, fortnightly, or monthly goals
- Schedule regular meetings to discuss priorities, progress, problems, etc.
- Focus on controllable variables, such as demonstrating care for teachers and pupils, listening to feedback and providing constructive feedback
- Create opportunities for staff members to connect and build relationships with each other
- Encourage holistic wellness (offer mental health support, encourage physical activity and healthy eating, etc.) for teachers, staff, and pupils
Looking to learn more about what school management means for staff wellbeing?
Staff Wellbeing Webinar Series: School Management
14/06/23 at 12pm GMT
This webinar will discuss:
- Why ‘School Management’ is important for staff wellbeing
- How can we gather data on this area of wellbeing
- Actionable strategies for improving staff wellbeing
Can't make it? Sign up and we will send you a copy of the webinar on the day