An exploratory study of exemplar administrative teams in primary schools

Year: 1994

Author: Harvey, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The administrative team is a negotiated arrangement that serves to co- ordinate the endeavours of the principal, deputy principal(s) and other school staff with administrative responsibility in the self- managing school. In many schools the administrative team is a problematic phenomenon.

The paper examines the operation of exemplar administrative teams in five primary schools in the government education system of Western Australia. The research attempts to identify some of the main organisational characteristics of successful administrative teams. Interview data are used to examine the history and evolution of the administrative teams, the allocation of responsibilities among team members and the way in which administrative teams contribute to school effectiveness. Special attention is given to examining the professional relationship between the principal and deputy principal, and also the linkage of the administrative team to other committees and the policy process in the self-managing school.

Although differences were evident among the administrative teams, an attempt is made to identify some of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the development of very effective administrative teams. Criteria are proposed for evaluating the worth of administrative teams in primary schools. The paper also assesses the implications of the administrative team for the professional orientation of principals and deputy principals.