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© 2024 Opportunity International Education Finance functions under its US and UK affiliates. Opportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692). Opportunity International United Statesis a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

More EduQuality partner schools are demonstrating an increase in effective school management practices

By Karri DeSelm and Catherine O’Shea

Opportunity EduFinance’s mission is to get more children into better schools. While school quality may often be only viewed through the narrow lens of what happens directly in the classroom, there is a wide range of areas to consider around education quality.

For affordable non-state schools across low- and middle-income countries, one key area of quality is school management practices. Many affordable school owners have training and experience in education, which leads them to see an opportunity to increase education access in their community by starting a school. However, often school owners do not start with the essential experience and skills set to run a sustainable school business, and are learning on-the-job.

School management practices have massive implications for both school access and quality, ultimately impacting student learning. For example, does the school leader:

  • Consult other school stakeholders, including teachers and parents, to ensure they are making informed decisions?
  • Effectively manage their annual school budget to ensure they can cover all costs and keep the school open?
  • Proactively market their school to continue offering enrolment opportunities for new students?

The implications of COVID-19 and forced school closures further highlighted the massive risks that non-state schools and their students face. As schools suddenly lost most of their revenue, many had to confront the very real possibility of permanent closure. If they were unable to cover the fixed operating costs, students would not have a school to return to.

EduQuality, Opportunity EduFinance’s holistic school development program, provides school leaders with access to training and resources around critical aspects of school management which allows them to develop into more effective managers. Three key elements of school management include:

  1. School Leadership
  2. Financial and Business Management
  3. Marketing & Branding

Measuring changes in School Management Practices 

In 2020, in keeping with EduFinance’s commitment to use data to inform and adapt our program model, additional monitoring and evaluation (M&E) survey tools were developed to better understand school operations, school leader and teacher perceptions and behaviors, and classroom instruction. These tools better equip EduFinance to track a wider range of changed leader perceptions and practices over time, which are key to enable successful student learning.

The following key insight piece looks at early findings from survey data reported by school leaders in areas of school management. Analysis of the School Leadership survey was reviewed alongside self-reported data submitted by school leaders during specific School Leadership Professional Development workshops via digital surveys on the Chalkboard Education digital application. (link to blog)

Key Insight

Based on data collected, EduFinance found that more EduQuality partner schools are demonstrating an increase in effective school management practices. As school management is more critical than ever as schools recover from multiple waves of closures due to the pandemic, we find evidence of these practices to be encouraging, while also highlighting opportunities to continue supporting schools leaders’ professional development in this area.

The survey and self-reported data examined how each school leader approaches different aspects that contribute to School Management. Here are some highlights of the findings of this key insight piece.

School leader approaches to DECISION MAKING:

School leader use of a PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT, which is an important financial tool when applying for school improvement loans.
School leader approaches to their TARGET MARKET and MARKETING STRATEGIES:
Read the full Key Insight piece here to find out more detail from this research.  

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