School Management Teams Meet Ministry Officials

(EMU) – St. Kitts, December 5, 2017: A team from the Ministry of Education lead by Minister of Education, Hon Shawn K. Richards, will now meet to discuss findings after a series of consultation meetings held with the management teams of secondary schools in St. Kitts over the course of the past two weeks.

“The management of schools has become a complex matter, we have to ensure that our principals and administrators are trained and have the resources to manage their school well,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr. William Hodge stated.  He described the sessions as candid, courteous and courageous conversations.  The discourse, which took place during the fact finding mission would be used to determine the way forward for secondary schools in St. Kitts. 

According to the Permanent Secretary this was the second successful attempt by the Minister to have his core team of Education officials meet with the key educators functioning in the high schools.

“It was an opportunity for us to familiarize ourselves with the management teams which comprise principals; department heads and year heads and heads of various school committees, as we heard first-hand the various concerns, successes and accomplishments in each school,” defined the Permanent Secretary.

He added, “In a number of cases there were changes to principals as well as new management teams and as such it was expedient that we meet with the individuals comprising management in schools.”

Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Education with responsibility for Finance Mr. Tom Buchanan who was a part of the team of Ministry Officials said the discussions were encouraging and provided insight into the management structures at the schools as the make-up of such was determined by the school itself.

“In this regard we were very pleased with the creativity exhibited in some schools in the construction of their management teams and operational sub-committees. We got to enhance the relationship between the Ministry and each team during our frank and friendly conversation,” Mr. Buchanan highlighted.

Permanent Secretary Mr. Hodge added that for him it was a personal pleasure to be able to revisit the operation of the concept of the management teams in school as he had himself introduced the concept some years back when he himself was a secondary school principal and felt the need to introduce a number of standards and structures to improve operations in schools.  He also announced that this upcoming year the deputy princiapls would be enrolled in the University of the West Indies leadership course, so they too can glean some insight and be requipped when the call for leadership comes.  

He added, “The deputy principals in all schools will be taking the UWI training course, we have trained experienced administratrs within the Ministry and we want to make sure that the schools received the opportunity to benefit from the expertise that we have.”

Topics discussed in the meetings included monitoring of teaching and learning; school based staff development; managing absenteeism; managing student behaviour; monitoring attendance in students and teachers; school pride; school improvement plans; school calendars; school assemblies; as well as school concerns.

The Minister led team of Ministry officials included the assistant secretaries in the Ministry of Education; the Personnel Officer; and Permanent Secretary. It was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn Conference Room.

Minister Richards plans to make this an annual event.

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