What is School Administration?
Instinctively most of us know what constitutes School Administration.
The daily routine of ensuring
- rolls are marked and kept up to date
- timetables for classes, rooms and resources developed.
- missing students accounted for
- parents queries responded to
- special events such as sports carnivals timetables and organised
- exams are timetabled
- exams are marked and results recorded
- government accountability requirements met
And so the list goes on. Administration is not teaching which is the core job of Schools. It is outside maintenance and leadership.
While not the core job of Schools, it is vitally important for the smooth running of the institution.
The less administration teaching staff have to do, the more they can focus on educating students.
The Importance of Good School Administration
Good School administration underpins the smooth functioning of the School. This enables teachers and School leaders to concentrate on doing their core work.
If teachers have to deal with incompetent administration, they waste time and resources dealing with angry parents or sorting through administrative errors.
Good School Administration is essential to a well-run School.
Good School Administration is important because it ensures that:
- Student access to resources is maximised.
- Stress levels are minimised across the entire teaching staff. For example, if a child is unaccounted for, administrative staff are there to quickly find out where this child is. The teacher can relax knowing that the child is accounted for.
- Good record keeping of absentees and incidences provides a legal backbone should the School be challenged in a court. While the incident or absentee may be reported by the teacher is it the record keeping which may become critical.
- Communication with Parents is optimised. This helps allay parental anxiety. Depending on the situation, it also decreases stress on the teaching staff and School leadership team. If there has been a tragic even in a child’s life, they may find working in the classroom difficult. The parents may communicate this to the School. A good School administrator will ensure this information is passed on to everyone it needs to be.
- The distribution of information ot parents is done in a timely fashion, such as information about sports carnivals. This allows parents to plan if they wish to attend or help at the carnival.
- School maintenance programmes follow schedules. It facilitates a safe and clean School – a happy environment in which children can thrive.
- the meeting of government reporting requirements in a timely fashion. This enables the School to receive appropriate funding.
- The School keeps in contact with Alumni. Well managed, this group is a valuable resource.
The Future of School Administration
One unfortunate aspect of administration is that teachers are doing a lot of it.
Some of it they cannot pass on to administration staff – such as recording the meeting of outcomes, and report writing. Hopefully, the administrative load of the teaching staff will not increase. Whatever aspect of administration which can be removed from the shoulders of teachers should be allocated to administration staff. Teachers often cite administration and reporting as the most burdensome aspect of their work.
School Administration is progressively being digitalised. This eases the workload of ancillary staff. Such activities as accounting, timetabling and enrolments have been computerised to increase efficiencies.
While digitalisation does make it easier to access and organise information, it does not dispense with the need for good School administrators.
Software systems aid in School administration but they cannot replace it. The human-to-human aspect of communication remains critical in developing good relationships with parents, suppliers and students.
Good School administrators exercise discretion, ask relevant questions and foresee issues. They are vital to optimising education outcomes.