The design and implementation of a strategic plan in primary schools
Van Wyk, Christo
Moeng, Boitumelo Gloria
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Many policies, strategies and plans have been introduced in South African schools so as to acquire quality education. A strategic plan, as a mechanism of putting schools on a pathway of development and effectiveness over a period of time, is one of these initiatives. Its introduction is based on a number of reasons inter-alia - the shift to school self-management, the introduction of Norms and Standards, and the introduction of School Governing Bodies (SGBs). A schools strategic plan is the physical document that embodies the guiding orientation regarding how to manage the school within a larger national and local development perspective. Such a plan can lead to school effectiveness, improvement and development strategies, but not all plans obtain this status because of design efficiencies. A qualitative investigation was done in two primary schools in the Mahikeng Area Office (AO) of the North-West Province in South Africa. Document analysis, in-depth interviews with two principals and two SGB chairpersons, as well as a focus group interview with eight teachers from participating schools, were used to collect data on how primary schools in question design and implement their strategic plans. The investigation seems to suggest that, while an individual school community may craft a strategic plan in its own way, there are common aspects that underpin the entire process. Amongst others, technical knowledge and skill for its execution are necessary. Some policies emphasise the importance of a strategic plan and serve as an integrated implementation framework for its execution. It is concluded that a strategic plan is designed and implemented under three main elements: 1) strategic analysis, which is made up of stakeholder involvement; 2) strategic choices made up of direction-setting, priority determinations, mission, and vision; and 3) strategy in action, which refers to the process of translating the plan into action.
- NWU Official