A diagnostic review of aspects of management in an urban primary school in Kwa-Zulu Natal [sic] with particular reference to perceptions of quality and criteria for total quality.
This thesis investigates the diagnostic review of aspects of management, with particular reference to perceptions of "quality" and criteria for "total quality". The system of education in South Africa faces grave problems: the collapse of the culture of teaching and learning, under-resourced schools and under qualified educational managers and educators. In this regard the new paradigm in managing schools known as Total Quality Management (TQM), was investigated in this thesis. Total Quality Management (TQM), is an approach which has great potential for the enhancement of public schooling in South Africa. School systems in South Africa now faces dramatic changes in the external environment. The TQM approach focuses in particular on leadership and people, and the comprehensive change to the theory and practice of management. This study, thus, tries to determine the nature and characteristics of TQM in the school through the review of literature, and to determine the elements of TQM that were identified in the school. The study further investigates if the strategies employed in schools are based on TQM principles and if it could be characterised as effective in terms of TQM. A literature study was undertaken to analyse TQM and to determine methods for implementing TQM in the school. The empirical research consists of two phases: a quantitative phase comprising the use of a self - completion questionnaire to determine to what the official position of the school is and to what extent the principal makes use of TQM, and a qualitative phase in which the key individuals of the school namely the principal, deputy principal and two heads of department participated in interviews to determine to what strategies the school use are based on TQM. The data collected from both the literature review and the empirical study was used to develop a strategy as a guide to improve school effectiveness through TQM. The main findings of this study reveals that there are identifiable characteristics of TQM in the school, although most educators could not identify with the philosophy of total quality management as an approach to managing the school. The study also finds that the strategies employed by the school's management team can be regarded as effective in terms of TQM.