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How does your school improve its processes?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by LeanProcessManager, Sep 5, 2017.


What approach does your school have to improving processes?

  1. Senior managers tell people what to do

    16 vote(s)
  2. New processes are developed together with, or by the people who have to operate them

    2 vote(s)
  3. Representative working parties are formed

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Most of us just hold that in our heads.

    I know that there'll come a day when you get a numpty doing it who hasn't thought it through but, in the meantime, you just annoy five others who aren't completely stupid. Is it worth it?
    peggylu and wanet like this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Between us Mrs P and I have known several schools that have needed to improve. Frequently the upsets have no effect at all.
    One head teacher came in to a school that was a bit too relaxed, and managed to persuade most staff to leave. Then she decided the replacements were also unsuitable, so got rid of them. She moved on before the third cycle of turmoil was completed, although two more heads (in rapid succession) soon sorted that little anomaly.
    The one who replaced Mrs P with a TA mysteriously vanished herself a few weeks later.o_O
  3. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    He-he... We are many, they are few!
    drek and lanokia like this.
  4. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Another problem with following processes in this way is that they're hugely open to influence by confirmation bias and wrong instinct. Our fostering agency has a matching process. We asked the perfectly reasonable question, how do they know it's better than just giving the child to the foster carer at the top of the list? The answer was that 'it must be better'. I think the feeling was that it was a process and it sounds quite sensible and scientific, but of course there is no evidence that it's any better than choosing carers in other (and probably much cheaper) ways. Sometimes making a process can mask the fact that you have no idea what you're doing but want it to look good.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    We put all the teachers names in a big hat and then select one to sacrifice to our god called Capability. The fear creates the change we seek.
    drek and InkyP like this.
  6. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    How to run a good parents' evening:
    • Find a reasonably intelligent person, brief them and let them know get on with it.
    • Monitor them with a light touch.
    • Offer support if there are problems.
    • Offer encouragement and praise if there are not.
    • Invite feedback from all stakeholders at regular intervals.
    wanet likes this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Provide tea and coffee to staff and parents.

    We actually don't because of H + S fears about someone burning their finger on a hot water container.

    How daft is that !
    drek, wanet and bombaysapphire like this.
  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    We do. It is served to us by professionals to keep us safe. Teachers get a bottle of water too - useful until you forget to put the lid on properly and knock most of the bottle over a parent :eek:. Fortunately it was a parent with a sense of humour.
  9. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    I like the point you make.
  10. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    Thank you for this insight into how a real school works!
  11. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    You make good points and I am very interested in your own experience of Lean. For most organisations it is tied to a no redundancy policy which made me think it was a good fit for schools. A implementation whose goal was to reduce head count is unlikely to be successful.

    You highlight the cultural challenge with the "cogs in a machine" comment. The comments in this forum indicate that teachers value their independence as trusted professionals. At times this comes across as arrogance and disrespect for others both inside and outside their own school.

    You have given me lots to think about. thanks.
  12. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    It saddens me that one so cynical is responsible for our children.
  13. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    It does that with selection criteria. The independent sector achieves its superior value-added by setting entrance exams to ensure that inputs (students) are a more uniform batch. Once it has the students, batch uniformity is then increased further by streaming. Teachers are now teaching children with uniform abilities and since less differentiation is required it is much easier to teach. The additional money from fees (3x a state school per pupil) is then used to reduce class sizes, this increases contact time and reduce workplace stress.
  14. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    Capital investment in buildings. From the State or parents in the independent sector.
  15. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    I would like to thank everyone who have contributed to this thread. I have learnt a lot but all good things must come to an end. I will no longer be able to respond to comments on this thread.

    If you would like to contribute to the next stage of my learning journey please respond to this question.
  16. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Over here, and perhaps in the civilised parts of the UK as well, there are limitations on selection criteria depending on the type of school. Our grammars are able to select any pupils from A to didn't do the 11+ so that they fill all the available places. Later on some pupils can be removed to the non-selective sector because they are not able to benefit from a grammar school education. The non-selective group cannot use academic performance to select. Some in the Integrated sector can select a percentage of their intake but not all of it. Selective schools are measured against each other, non-selective schools are measured against each other and against partially selective schools. Selection criteria cannot be based on academic performance for non-selective schools but can be based on distance from school, familial connections but not post codes other than strict distance. Selection cannot be on primary school.
    These rules are broken but doing so can lead to investigations although the least 'in demand' families usually lack the resources to tackle the system.
    I suppose you would handle the storage issue by suggesting that schools become boarding schools. Again; over here schools with a boarding wing could ignore 11+ grades for the rich.
  17. calamansi

    calamansi Lead commenter

    Well, there we have it.
  18. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Oh to be one of the 'culturally challenged' - those poor folk who live in the dark and know not the wisdom of the great god of Process!

    To be fair, it is not an isolated mindset - failing politicians too tend to think (have to think) that people reject their initiatives out of ignorance rather than knowledge, that it is others rather than themselves who are wrong and require educating.

    It achieves much more by setting the economic requirements that you mention
    - exclude the poor, charge the rich, invest in resources. No amount of industrial 'Leaning' is going to equalise them with the underfunded, non selection based majority of schools in the country.
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  19. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Oh dear. Don't be sad. It's Friday. And I am not responsible for 'our' children.
    So, be happy.
  20. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    How do you envisage lean production translating to schools? Schools may have that appearance of factories churning out qualifications, but that is not their sole purpose and if we think it is therein lies many of the problems in todays education system. There is no innovative loom to fix things, we are talking about social issues and interactions not measurable min waste max output production lines.
    colpee and InkyP like this.

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