The Principals Management Development Programme makes an impact

27 February 2014 | Tsepo Senoamali | Opinion

The Principals Management Development Programme (PMDP) – implemented by Performance Solutions Africa and PricewaterhouseCoopers in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the KZN Department of Education, was first piloted in 2009 at 50 schools in three districts in the province. It has since been implemented in Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape, where it is attaining high levels of success.

The PMDP is an innovation in education, based on corporate sector development training. The programme is divided into six modules:

  • Direction and planning – the vision and three-year plan for the school
  • Curriculum management – how to track what is being taught and assessed
  • People management – supporting the staff
  • School governance – codes of conduct and school governing bodies (SGBs)
  • Financial management – budgeting and expenditure tracking
  • Resource acquisition and management

The programme methodology is as follows:

  • Monthly weekend residential workshops
  • Mentoring/coaching of the participants on-site to support the application and assimilation of learning into practice
  • Development and submission of 24 outputs directly related to the work a principal should be doing

Significant improvements were shown in schools where the PMDP was piloted in 2009. These schools’ Grade 12 results improved by an average of 12.3% against the KZN average improvement of 3.5%, and in 2010 the PMDP schools improved by 15.1% as opposed to the 9% KZN improvement.

Schools that participated in the 2011/2012 programme went up in 2011 by 5.9%, whereas the KZN average went down by 2.6%, and in 2012 the same schools improved a further 6.2%, still higher than KZN’s 2.4% improvement.

The 2013/14 cohort is funded by the KZN Department of Education, the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund and Old Mutual.

Since its introduction the PMDP has brought about:

  • More learners and teachers in class and on time (improved absenteeism management)
  • Better management of curriculum implementation and control
  • Improved relationships between circuit managers, principals, HODs and staff
  • Improved coaching skills by the circuit managers and other Dpeartment of Education officials
  • Better involvement of SGBs
  • The development of sustainable professional learning communities
  • The building of a meaningful public/private funding and delivery model