The average age of a school principal is 52 years. In general, their experience in a school is an average of 9 years. To illustrate, in 2016 alone, 5 out of the 24 principals in the programme, retired from their posts. In other words, this amounted to close to 21% of the PCLDP population. This phenomenon is not isolated. Thus, in most cases this creates a negative impact on the school and on academic performances too. For this reason, the need for leadership development programmes, can never be over emphasised!
As a leading educational outreach programme in our region, we introduced: The Penreach Courageous Leadership Development Programme. This programme has included 24 primary schools in the Malelane and also in the Khulangwane Circuits.
The purpose of our intervention provides the managing and also delivery capacity for school leadership. This being specifically designed to enhance learner performance outcomes. Another key point is that we use a common model across all levels of leadership. Of vital importance and also key to the programme is the inclusion of, the school principals, their deputies and heads of departments.
This programme ensures not only sustainability of skills learnt, but also the maximising of outputs. Moreover it also guarantees stability during transition when replacing principals.
Furthermore, the programme supports the participants in assimilating new tools and practices into daily activities. This further embeds professional attitudes throughout the teaching and the learning space. It too ensures the sharing of not only valuable skills, but knowledge and experience across school management levels.
“The Penreach programme came at the right time for our principals their deputies and HODs when leadership and management of schools is challenging. I am confident that this will impact positively in the education of our learners at Ehlanzeni Education District.”
The impact of the programme may only be visible in a few years time. But, in this case, some of the “quick win” strategies are already bearing fruit. Notably, this is seen in terms of changed attitudes and immediate improvements in the participating schools.
The most significant impact of this programme is, the manner in which all of the school stakeholders have come together. As a result of this we are able to work towards a common goal. This outcome being the improvement of educational excellence! In fact, by involving the staff and the parents, the community and the learners, we created an environment for new ideas and development. For example: the establishing of food gardens. The renovation of the facilities and the systems to reduce late coming and lastly, the improved safety at the school.