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30Sep2014

Why is human resource department vital to schools?

Admissions, recruitment of staff, quality assurance, performance management, retention and motivation of educators- school management! The functions and responsibilities of a school management range from recruiting to orienting new employees, creating job descriptions to tracking attendance, monitoring policies to monitoring benefits and what else. Nothing matters more to educational institutions than the teachers who work there. Schools are nothing without the right people!

The question of whether a school needs a human resource department is not a simple one to answer. Ask the question to a variety of educators, school authorities and HR professionals and you are likely to get a variety of responses. For instance, many professionals will tell you that the number of staff in a school is the determining factor. A lot of educational institutions assume that they don’t need an HR department. But there are various issues to be considered before arriving at a decision on this matter.

Let’s assume that you have been requested to establish an HR Department in your school. So what all functions will it perform?

Recruiting the right people

Choosing and appointing the right people for your school is important. It’s not just about selecting the right ones to do the work, as schools are becoming increasingly focused on producing quality results. Addressing the long-term goals of the school, recruitment should be done to find the right people who enjoy working with your school and want to advance with it.

Administering the ‘student life-cycle’

From admission to leaving the school there is a number of activities concerning the students, which needs to be taken care of. You need to manage student data, simplify administrative tasks, maximize school-to-home communication, recognize and encourage student performance and success. So whether your school is public, private, international or charter, what matters is the level of efficiency in administering student activities.

Taking care of the payroll

When you have teachers, librarians, non-teaching staff and all other people who constitute the human resource of your school you have payroll and there is no evading it. Employee payroll processing is a tedious task and is usually well outside most schools’ area of expertise. So, combining human resource and payroll will allow automatic updating, reduce paperwork and lessen the difficulty in providing accurate reports.

Managing teacher performance

Teacher performance and development appraisals should be based on essentials of professional growth, improvement of performance and influence on school and student outcomes. Your school can help teachers to perform to their best abilities through an effective HR department, which has the following benefits

  • Documenting, measuring and assessing the performance of teachers using balanced-scorecards.
  • Conducting Performance Appraisals across various elements, including student outcomes, professional practice, professional knowledge and professional engagement.
  • Assisting teachers in identifying their potential and ways of improving their ability thereby raising their professional standard.
  • Providing counseling, guidance and training to those teachers who have difficulties in their performance.

Creating a safe and secure school environment

How safe your students, teachers and other staff to your school feel may eventually determine how well your HR department meets its health and safety responsibilities. Integrating school safety and people’s security in human resources management practices will foster a culture in which students, teachers and non-teaching staff stays together in harmony. Your HR department creates an environment free of violence, reducing the risks of illness or injuries and other external threats to individual safety.

These suggest that an HR department plays a key role in analyzing, categorizing and developing distinguished HR practices and ensuring their alignment and integration with your school’s overall strategy. In order to satisfy your needs for recruitment, selection, motivation and retention of employees, your school requires an effective human resource management system which incorporates the basic functions of HR starting from recruitment to retention.

 

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