Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Almost one in two school heads thinks school boards are unnecessary, Swiss study finds

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Summary:
Nearly half of all Swiss school heads believe that school boards are not necessary, and 60% think that it is wrong that boards decide on HR matters. Nevertheless, two thirds think that school boards are key to rooting schools in their communities. Traditionally, Swiss school boards, composed of volunteers, have held responsibility for the management of compulsory schools.

Nearly half of all school heads believe that school boards are not necessary, and 60% think that it is wrong that boards decide on HR matters. Nevertheless, two thirds think that school boards are key to rooting schools in their communities. These are the findings of a survey supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Traditionally, Swiss school boards, composed of volunteers, have held responsibility for the management of compulsory schools. As greater autonomy has been granted to the schools, these lay boards have come under pressure. Their role as a key link between the Communal Council and new, professional school management teams is now up for debate.

School boards should not decide on HR matters

How do new school heads view the changed management structures in compulsory education? With funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), researchers at the University of Zurich and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland surveyed 270 school heads in all of the cantons in French and German-speaking Switzerland. Their findings reveal that school boards remain extremely important. 86% of the respondents report that their school communities have such boards. Moreover, 80% of school boards retain decision-making powers.

However, professional school heads have a critical opinion of school boards. 45% of those surveyed believe the boards to be unnecessary, while 60% think it is partially or completely incorrect that boards decide on HR matters. Nevertheless, two thirds consider the boards to play an important role in establishing the schools' roots in the community, and almost half think that it is appropriate for the boards to make financial decisions. According to educational sociologist Carsten Quesel, the ambivalent nature of these opinions may stem from the fact that while abolishing these lay boards will give school heads greater flexibility, it would also cause them additional work and effort, especially on behalf of the Communal Council.

Sceptical of parent councils

When asked whether parent councils represent a sensible alternative to the traditional school boards, school heads take a sceptical stance. Only 40% consider parent councils to be a useful link between the school and parents. A large majority consider that such councils would be hampered by a lack of commitment or by individual interests. Respondents to the survey were unanimous in their view that parent councils should have no decision-making powers in respect of school management. The school heads believe the role of parent councils should lie in promoting a dialogue between parents, children and teachers, and in enriching the life of the school by organising events. "School heads welcome the volunteer effort of parents, but are concerned about formalising this in the parent council, since this can lead to people getting bogged down in protocol."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). "Almost one in two school heads thinks school boards are unnecessary, Swiss study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327100329.htm>.
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). (2014, March 27). Almost one in two school heads thinks school boards are unnecessary, Swiss study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327100329.htm
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). "Almost one in two school heads thinks school boards are unnecessary, Swiss study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327100329.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins