Innovatory staffing practices in City Technology Colleges
This study explored the use of staff in a sample of institutions specifically designed to be innovative - City Technology Colleges (CTCs). The research focused on theories of educational change developed by Gross, Giacquinta and Bernstein (1971) and Fullan (1991) in order to evaluate the benefits, problems and cost-effectiveness of innovative associate (non-teaching) staff posts. Eight CTCs, providing a geographical spread and a variety of innovative posts, were selected. In each, four posts (15 women and 17 men) were chosen for detailed study. The posts covered: • support for management and administration (10) • support for the curriculum (13) • support for both management and curriculum (9). Two hundred and two semi-structured interviews were conducted with governors, senior and linemanagers, teachers and postholders during two phases of fieldwork undertaken between autumn 1993 and summer 1995. The freedom of CTCs provided scope for the opportunistic use of postholders' skills. The majority of posts were judged to be cost-effective. The benefits of the innovative posts included improved opportunities for students and staff to gain from associate staff expertise; managers and teachers, respectively, having more time for planning and pedagogy; and more cost-effective use of resources. Problems were related to teachers' resistance, lack of clarity in the posts and excessive responsibilities being given to postholders. Gross et al's and Fullan's theories were congruent with the fmding of the study but neither theory was sufficient to explain the success or failure of innovation in these CTCs. The concept of culture - both positive aspects (which enabled staff, including those who were not teachers, to feel part of a new innovative venture) and negative aspects (teaching or industrial sub-cultures preventing the innovations from taking root) - emerged as a useful explanatory concept. The study concluded with implications for policy, practice and further research. Gross, N, Giacquinta, J. and Bernstein, M. (1971) Implementing Organizational Innovations, New York: Basic Books. Fullan, M. (with Stiegelbauer, S.) (1991) The New Meaning of Educational Change, London: Cassell.