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Title: Improving the management of boys' secondary schools in Saudi Arabia through the competencies approach
Author: Dubayan, Abdalaziz M. H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 9190
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2004
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Headteachers play a pivotal role in the education of young people through the leadership they offer to their school. At the same time, headteachers running public schools are an important link in an education administration chain, of Ministry of Education, local district office network and the school. This study sought to explore the opinions of headteachers in Saudi secondary boys' schools on headteacher competencies and their experience of headship. The objective was to identify the most useful competencies to help inform the professional training of headteachers in Saudi boys' secondary schools. It was further hoped that a competencies-based approach might help inform headteacher appointments and performance evaluation. A review of the literature on educational administration, school management and headteacher competencies helped inform both the context of the present study and the fieldwork instrumentation. The principal data collection instrument was a headteacher questionnaire administered to a representative sample of Saudi boys' secondary school headteachers (n=160), supported by semi-structured interview schedules for headteachers (n=10) and school management supervisors (n=10). Human Resources Management competencies, including promoting staff teamwork, were among the most important ones (field mean 4.43). Competencies in 7 of the other 8 fields attracted field means ranging between 4.22 and 4.43, suggesting that they were almost as highly rated. The somewhat lower field mean on the Use of Time items (3.71) was interpreted as indicating that headteachers appreciated the need to prioritise their work. On their exercise of headship, respondents considered that they would be more effective if they had greater powers over decisions concerning their schools. Their personal qualities, including planning and communication skills contributed to the success of their schools. Despite satisfaction with their schools, headteachers found headship less satisfying as the years went by because of their limited powers. As many respondents disagreed as agreed with the suggestion that their school had excellent buildings. The interview evidence, especially that from the school management supervisors, confirmed the less than satisfactory accommodation for some boys' secondary schools, some problems with specialist teacher shortages, and with the slow response from the local district office on matters that headteachers had to refer. Recommendations for the Saudi Ministry of Education concerning boys' secondary schools, and headteacher appointments, training and evaluation are made, including the need to increase headteacher powers. A number of suggestions are made for further research into headteacher training and the benefits of a more decentralised approach. In light of the study, a detailed model for improving Saudi boys' secondary school management is proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available