'n Ondersoek van die beeld van Hoërskool Transvalia
Van Wyk, André Daniël
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The image of a school is mechanism that defines a certain school amongst other schools in the vicinity, as well as the country. The image model developed in this study, can be used as a management tool through which the school can evaluate all the different facets contributing to the image of a school, and identify positive and negative factors requiring action plans for maintenance or development. Transvalia High School has been one of the top 100 schools in South-Africa since 2009. The evaluation done by Perry (2009) does, however, only focus on the academic side of the school and not on the other factors as defined by Howard (1998:15) that contributes to the image of a school. The question thus is how the image of Transvalia presents itself, and what could possibly be done to enhance it and strengthen its position between the top 100 schools in South-Africa. It was decided to research die possible factors as identified by the literature study, that supports the image of the school and the measure of their impact. Through prioritization of the factors, management actions were derived to enhance the image of the school. Research was done through a quantitative questionnaire with a sample size of 450 students, parents and teachers randomly selected from each class in the school. The design of the questionnaire stemmed from the literature study done. The results from the questionnaires were used to: • test the validity, reliability and comparative fit of the questionnaire; and • identify critical, development and maintenance areas of the image of the school. Only 345 valid questionnaires could be used in the study. Additional comments from the questionnaires were divided into positive and negative areas, with several main focus points. The qualitative data were then sorted into these focus areas and quantified. The results of the questionnaire as a measuring instrument showed beyond doubt, that the questionnaire was sufficiently valid and reliable to measure the image of a school. A structural equation model was developed through factor analysis and the statistical department of the North-West University to determine the exact influence of each of the pillars onto the image as well as onto each other. The following results were obtained: • Only 79% of the environment contributes to the image of the school where the environment consists of the parents, the Department of Education and the school governing body; • The school culture consists of the history of the school, the climate within the school, recognition, appearance, discipline, safety and religion. Only 82% of the school culture contributes to the image. • Approximately 85% of Product Catalogue supports the image. The Product Catalogue is supported by academics, sport, leadership and tertiary alignment. • Lastly, the image is supported by 84% of delivery mechanisms that consists of the principal, teachers, infrastructure and technology of the school. From the study and the conclusions drawn, the following recommendations were made: • Parent involvement in supporting their children with homework and with sport and fundraising activities, is insufficient and requires development; • The selection of teachers, especially in the lower grades, has to have stricter requirements in line with subject needs; • Safety at school and in particular evacuation plans, requires attention and drills; • Discipline application between the teacher core has to be standardized and focused on reducing smoking students, intensified; • The perception of an imbalance between sport and academics requires proper information distribution; • Formal leadership courses have to be introduced in to the product catalogue; • Performance appraisal for teachers through a Balanced Scorecard and individual development plans have to be introduced; and • A visible marketing plan utilising the various media available have to be developed.