In this article, we're going to review the organisational structure of our schools, the roles that can be found within them, who reports to who and what they are all tasked to do to ensure that the school runs smoothly.
It is really, crucially important that all staff understand their place in the school's overall architecture - not only their job description but those of their subordinates and their superiors so that they know, with absolute clarity, what they are to do, and what everyone else is to do. Great schools are like perfect chain like organisms, with every link in that chain performing a function - and if all of the links in that chain do their function well, it becomes a well oiled machine and the quality will be felt by everyone: the teachers will be at peace, there will be a natural rhythm and flow to the day - there will be harmony.
But similarly, if one link in that chain fails to perform its function to the standards that the school and the colleagues who work within it require, then inevitably someone will have to step in to ensure that the weak link's poor practice is mitigated by that other person doing their job for them. Now, for new staff this is to be expected - there is a fair amount of modelling, training and mentoring that should always go on in any school as we always want our staff team to aspire to progress towards management. But should it become habitual, the systemic impact is considerable - the person who is covering for the weak link either ends up doing twice the work, or, more usually, degrades his / her own work to cover the failures of the weakest link.
Which is why we have:
- Clear Structure - both outlined on the Company Intranet (See People>Company Organisation Chart) and outlined in the below list of roles and job descriptions
- Extended Inductions - to train online and in person in every aspect of your job so you're clear, from this knowledge base and from practice guides, what to do and when to do it
- Performance Assessments - from probationary periods through to on-going supervisions, assessments and appraisals to ensure that you are constantly striving towards personal excellence
- Anonymised staff feedback and peer reviews for management to identify stresses within the team for further support and training
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures to manage out those who are failing to meet the standards we, their colleagues and our families require of them
- Rewards and recognition - employee of the month and special bonuses for those who perform consistently well to celebrate their success and to inspire others to excel
The central team is both there to support and advise / guide and instruct School Principal's in the delivery of their schools. Those of managerial level within the central team hold comparable positions in authority to School Principals but have portfolio responsibility to instruct and direct in specific areas (Marketing / HR / Administration / Compliance etc) and so work with school leaders, but may request and instruct, on behalf of the senior executive, for specific deliverables to be met.
School Structure: Hierarchy
- School Principal; a supernumerary school leader who's primary responsibility is overseeing the management of the school and to ensure that its team deliver outstanding outcomes for the families we serve and for the staff team we employ, in line with our policies and procedures
- Deputy Manager - often (but not always) a Room Leader as well, the named Deputy is the person who, in the event that the manager is off (sick / holiday) must step up to be the supernumerary lead in the school, and so needs to understand both the role of a Room Leader and that of the manager to do his / her role effectively.
- Third in Charge (also a Room Leader) will be the most senior Room Leader within the school and will step up to the role of named deputy when the Manager is off on holiday / sick / training etc (requiring the deputy to step up to supernumerary manager)
- Room Leader is the most senior practitioner in his / her respective room (by age group) and takes responsibility for the management of the room and all of the personnel within it. They will have access to specific files on our company intranet that others do not and are responsible for ensuring that all compliance paperwork for their room is completed on time and to standard, and can supervise and recommend, to management, disciplinary or performance management issues of the staff teams within their spaces.
The above roles we class as "management" and these personnel will be invited to join the management training programmes held online with the central team on Mondays and Fridays to ensure that not only their practice is second to none, but their business management capability to run their own school in the future is established.
- Deputy Room Leader - the second in command to the room leader, who steps up on the days that the room leader is not in and so needs to understand not only her role (as a qualified practitioner and key worker to the children) but also the management requirements that need to be undertaken by the room leader in terms of room management, routines and paperwork completion
- Nursery Teacher - a qualified early years teacher who is a key worker to children, responsible for drafting observations and ensuring that they are of sufficient quality prior to submission for the nursery manager and central team for review; they are responsible for ensuring the room is clean and tidy, the educational programming is delivered and that parents receive high quality handovers at the end of the day
- Nursery Teaching Assistant - is a part qualified or Level 2 educator who can also be a key worker to the children but is of a lower rank than the qualified teachers who may direct them within the room.
- Assistants & Bank Staff - are unqualified or floating staff who are tasked with supporting the key worker teams in cleaning, record keeping, childcare duties etc
- Of your own job description, of your colleagues job description and of your superior's job description so that you know who is to do what, when.
- Of our policies and procedures - they are drafted and approved by central management, so are the definitive rule book for our schools and what managers and all staff are tasked with delivering. If there is any question or doubt, staff need to refer to these documents (widely available on the company intranet and on this knowledge base) and refer any questions that might conflict with directions from their superior to the dedicated channel email@example.com
- Trust - in your line management and their knowledge and expertise in doing what they do. It is all too easy to create conflict in schools - we are dealing with highly emotive and sometimes subjective matter: child rearing and education are sometimes intuitive / instinctive concepts that people feel they know how to do and sometimes our policies may run contrary to your own knowledge and understanding. But know that in taking up this position, you are tasked with their delivery, so we will welcome recommendations, and sometimes may enact them in a policy change, but will only ever assess you against your delivery of what is drafted and agreed at that time.