~External management coach needed to work with Principal as staff moves through storming phase~.
PHILIPSBURG:— The Minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sports Wycliffe Smith in his mediation report with the FAVE School Board, Principal and Staff found that the FAVE Board neglected its duties when it comes to communicating with the teaching staff of PSVE.
Minister Smith said in his detailed report after meeting with all parties that the board should have done more in communicating with the staff both verbal and written, he further stated that the board should also take verbal communication seriously.
Smith also felt that the board should not have given the communication task to the Principal.
As for the Principal, he finds her to be a professional, however, felt that she should not go into the teaching staff personal details. The Minister also felt that even though the Principal acted professionally her style of communication gives the staff the impression that she was part of the board and not the Principal of the School.
The Minister finds that the teaching staff has valid complaints and such these complaints should be accepted by the Principal and School Board. He said that teachers must also realize that their roles are to assist both the Principal and the Board and they should execute the core business of the school which is to provide students with quality education. Teachers must also realize that the rules, policies, and guidelines are established by the Board and School Management.
The Minister further stated that the teachers did not respect his wishes when he asked them to refrain from speaking to the media during the mediation process, he felt that the actions of the teachers only worsened the situation while the Union (WITU) he said acted professionally by listening to all parties involved as well as respecting his desires by not making statements to the media during the mediation process.
The teaching staff of PSVE in their meetings said they took note of the recommendations in the report, in addition, they want to know the way forward.
Below are the key points the teaching staff of PSVE points out.
– Teachers express contentment with the report.
– Report reinforced and validates the position of the teachers regarding their complaint against Principal.
– The board gave the principal too much power based on the findings of the report.
– The board needs to work on their communication and respect for the teachers.
– The teachers also indicated that they gave her a year already to change which she herself acknowledged that she messed up in the beginning.
– The school board needs to change their members.
– The Principal is the main reason for conflict and as such, she cannot lead the staff through it. Therefore a change management coach is recommended.
– Recommendation indicates that she needs on the job training or coaching for 6 to 12 months but the teachers strongly disagree with that. They rather that she leaves.
– Broken proper industrial worker-employer relationship standards when discussing personal matters in the absence of the worker.
– Violated the teacher’s rights when discussing and displaying their personal records in their absence and without their consent. (Criminal law Article 2: 223 lid 1 and 2, Article 2:224 lid 4)
– Targeted teachers when they had a disagreement with her, which is an abuse of power.
– Teachers want to know the way forward is.
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