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The relationship between quality management and school improvement : a case study of three secondary schools in Umlazi district.

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In South Africa, particularly in the townships, there is a huge concern for the quality of education that children receive. As a consequence, the Department of Education (DoE) introduced policies such as the Integrated Quality Management Systems (IQMS) to improve the quality of education and for school improvement. IQMS policy was adopted from an industrial philosophy called Total Quality Management (TQM) which sought to improve production in the industries. The study used Quality Management and Total Quality management to frame the study and understand the daily lives of theparticipants in the three schools studied. This study investigated the relationship between quality management and school improvement in three secondary schools in Umlazi District. The selection of these schools was based on the public and department officials' perceptions regarding their performance, over the past three years. The research design was qualitative and used semi-structured interviews of schools principals, Heads of Departments (HODs) and educators. Unstructured observations were also used to gather data about the schools' environment, facilities available and general atmosphere. The findings indicate that there was understanding of quality management and school improvement. Findings also show that the understanding of these concepts was limited to principals only, with some HODs showing some understanding. Educators did not understand these at all, and also did not regard it as part of their responsibility to understand them. The study also showed that the understanding of the two concepts did not translate to better performance in the school.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2010.