Performance Solutions Africa is currently driving the Leadership and Management Development element of the Anglo America South Africa (AASA) Education programme which is being implemented in 109 schools in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Northern Cape.
Our focus is working with the SMT’s to bring about improvement of the management practices in their schools to positively influence learning outcomes. The Anglo America South Africa Education programme which runs over a three-year period commenced in May 2019.
At the outset of the programme, PSA conducted a baseline assessment of each participating school to establish the level of management practices in each school. To do this we used our management practices assessment digital application. The application is structured in such a way that it enables users to see both what they have achieved as well as what they still need to achieve in order to get sound school management practices in place.
The assessment focuses on areas such as School Governance; Curriculum Management; Teacher Development; Learner Welfare; Parents and Resources. Certain of the areas have a bigger weighting than others. All schools start as Stage 1 level of maturity and as they can respond positively to the questions asked, their level of maturity moves towards a Stage 4. This application has been developed using latest technology so that the assessment is completed on-line and the results are available immediately.
In November 2019 a re-assessment was conducted at each school to determine the degree to which the participating schools had made improvement in their management practices. It was encouraging to see that at this early stage in the programme (7 months) there had been a positive shift in scores in most of the schools.
A comparison was then made of the Overall Management Practice Score of each of the participating Secondary schools and their 2019 NSC Pass Rate. The data below depicts the outcome of this comparison where the Bar Graph provides the Overall Management Practices Score and the Line Graph each school’s 2019 NSC Pass Rate.
For 45% of the schools there was a close match between their Overall Management Maturity Score and the NSC pass rate achieved. These schools have a “Green” bar. This means the assessment accurately predicted the learning outcomes based on the practices that were assessed to be in place.
In 39% of the schools (Gold Bar) the results achieved were higher than expected, given their management maturity score. There could be several reasons for this one of which is that these results were achieved with immense focus and top down effort through camps, extra lessons etc. However, this is typically not sustainable if it is not supported by a foundation of good management practices.
The remaining 16% of the schools (5) (Red Bar) achieved a lower than expected NSC Pass rate given their Overall Management Practice score. Once again there will be several factors contributing to this which PSA also aims to explore with the schools. Most likely we will find that there were one or two major systemic challenges e.g. unfilled teaching posts, high levels of absenteeism, an absent principal etc which had major impact on functioning of the school.
Through research and practical application of the assessment PSA aims to gradually improve the predictive capability of the application, so that it will be able to clearly indicate what areas need to be addressed in order to improve school performance. There is still work to be done but the application’s predictive capability is now close to 50% and growing.
This is an interesting journey of using data to raise questions for ourselves, as well as the schools we support. Our overall aim is to support schools to get to a position where they have sustained good results! Further reports on this and other project assessment will be made over the next 12-24 months. Watch this space!