School record management tasks must be clearly defined and assigned to those school staff who are best suited to perform these tasks in relation to their roles, responsibilities, duties and skills within the school. For example, class teachers are responsible for updating class atten- dance sheet, the school accountant for maintaining ledgers and producing financial summaries, and administrative staff for updating inventories of physical facilities and teaching/learning materials. Systematic and timely creation and maintenance of school records can be included as one aspect of staff performance appraisal and accountability.
In cases where the school staff who would normally be responsible for a specific type of school record is not available, a second person must be assigned and trained to fill the gap so the systematic updating of school records is not interrupted. Small schools that have few staff may have difficulty managing and updating all the school records. in such cases, the school manager and the district or local education officer should identify those school records that are absolutely essential, and give priority to maintaining them with the limited staff resources. When there is no head of school, the local education officer together with school inspector can find ways to guide and support the exist- ing school staff to manage a minimum set of essential school records.
To help school staff to correctly perform their SRMS tasks, initial training should be organized, either by the school manager or a knowledgeable member of school staff. The training can include general school records management principles, terminology and practices, as well as training about how to manage specific school records. Try to ensure that at least two staff in each school know how to maintain each type of essential school record, so there will be no interruption even if one of the two staff is absent. if necessary, such training can be supported by the district or local education officer or the school inspector who, together with the school manager, must be trained prior to training other school staff, using for example training materials like this module.
Besides the creation, storage, update, retention and retrieval of school records, it is important to train the relevant school staff to use the school records and the information contained in them for evidence-based management of the school, for example to:
- organize and conduct daily school activities;
- deliver school services consistently and with integrity;
- comply with school policies and regulatory requirements;
- monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of school activities; and
- assist all stakeholders from both inside and outside the school to make good use of theinformation contained in the school records, better understand the school’s achievements and shortcomings, and provide relevant support.
These aspects are covered in more detail in the following sections.
Once the school staff are trained in school records management, the school manager and experi- enced staff should continue to provide regular advice, supervision and support to ensure that all staff apply what they have learnt to properly create, update, store and use school records in a correct and timely manner.
Find out about and review the practices in your school, district, province, country in:
(a) defining and assigning roles and responsibilities in school for SRMS; (b) training relevant school staff to upgrade their competencies and capacity for the SRMS tasks; (c) ensuring they apply the SRMS knowledge and skills, and then answer the following questions:
For school manager and staff:
- Are roles and responsibilities clearly defined in your school for the management of various school records? For which kind of school records?
- how do you go about assigning people to various school records management tasks? Based on what criteria do you select and assign these persons?
- What kind of training do you give to those persons who are responsible for school records management? how do you do that?
- What kind of problems and issues do you face while ensuring that the persons assigned to school records management tasks apply their knowledge and skills to fulfil their
SRMS roles and responsibilities?
For district and local education officers and school inspectors:
- Are roles and responsibilities clearly defined in the schools in your area for the management of various school records? For which kind of school records? how can these definitions be improved?
- how do school managers in your area go about assigning people to various school records management tasks? Based on what criteria do they select and assign these persons?
What do you think of these practices?
- have you assisted the schools in your area to train persons assigned to records management? What kind of training have you given? how do you do this?
- To your knowledge, what kind of problems and issues do school managers in your area face while ensuring that the persons assigned to school records management tasks apply their knowledge and skills to fulfil their SRMS roles and responsibilities?
For central and provincial education administrators:
- To your knowledge, what kind of problems and issues can occur in the schools in your country or province when assigning school staff to school records management tasks and trying to ensure that they fulfil their records management roles and responsibilities?
- how would you propose to help school managers in your country or province to go about improving the definitions of school records management roles and responsibilities?
- What can be done from your level to help school staff to acquire the competencies and knowhow to manage school records?