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Along with the new role that vocational schools have in modern society and economy, the principals of these schools face new challenges and requirements. In order to meet these challenges and requirements in the right way, the principals have to know the management principles and managerial duties within the organisation and have to have the skills neceessary for carrying out the development activities in the school. This is necessary because:

  • running a vocational school is often similar to operating an enterprise
  • the principal should be the leader in the processes of change in the school
  • the principal should be the leader in the processes of developement of the teachers employed in the school
  • the principal should be the expert in leading the educational processes in the school
  • the principal should be the leader in development and protection of human rights and the rights of the employed and he / she should excel at initiatives at the local level.

In order to be ready to meet these challanges, six training courses, with total of 20 training days, has been carried out from September 2006 to July 2007.


Principal as school manager and understanding the organisational development
During this training course the principals of the vocational schools were given detailed information about the phases of organisation development, so that they could understand the process and find their ways in the developmental changes more easily. The role of the principal in the school organisation and leadership at the school level which implies knowledge of different management styles and the choice of the individual management style were taken into account.

School strategy development process
This training course includes presentations about different concepts and models of management styles and management at school level. Special attention was given to challanges in managing institutions, especially to the attitude the administration and the staff have towards the vision and the development strategy, internal and external aspects of the role of management, mobilisation of school potentials, time planning and planning of strategic activities and basic techniques of strategy-based training courses. A special part of the training course included the activities of developing school business plans based on the development strategy.

Marketing and public relations
This is a practical training course through which the school prinicipals became familiar with the basics of marketing and through which they developed skills necessary to run a school by market principles. The participants were informed about the terms such as marketing researches and strategies, about modern methods of communication and communication plans. The principals faced the challenge of making decisions on how to take the advantage of the acquired communication skills and how to apply them in everyday activities. Part of the training course dealt with public relations development: introduction to the basic principles and target groups, principles of work with the media and different PR means (tools).

Twinning and partnership as a vehicle for school capacity building
This training represented the introduction to establishing partnerships between the schools and preparations for study visits. It included providing information about the education systems in the EU countries and the terms 'twinning' and 'partnership'.

Teams and development of team based organisation
This training course deals with approaches and practical methods of human resources planning that help to define the qualifications of the staff and the needs for training courses. The intoductory part of the training course dealt with communication and communication styles as the basis for team building. During the training course the following issues were taken into account: the advantages of team building, problems and stages in organising teams, team roles, dynamics and team work, techniques for managing a team, team work on the development of objectives (aims), planning and supervising the team development.

Performance management
This training course was directly focussed on the planned, future development and aspirations towards further clarification of the process of stategy development which was initiated in the school. During this final training course, the versions of business plans made at the beginning of the cycle of the training courses were revised and the participants started working on action planning for the development of strategic goals.

Additional Support to VET Reform Programme
 This project is funded by the European Union -  www.europa.rs