oa The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning - The external school consultant as a proposed agent for school improvement

Volume 13 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1818-9687
  • E-ISSN: 2519-5670



Worldwide, but particularly in South Africa, school change and the provision of quality education for all, is essential. Schools are required to improve continuously to keep up with global innovation and workforce demands. To achieve this aim, the participation of different stakeholders such as school principals, school governing bodies, teachers, parents and even learners is essential. However, this involvement is often inadequate. In South Africa, with its restricted monetary resources, helping a school improve is a problem of great extent. In this regard, there is another role player that can be of aid, namely the contribution of an external school consultant, which is overlooked. as it is not a known role-player in the school improvement context in the South African sphere. This article, informed by social change, conceptual change and general systems theory, examines the role of external school consultants in school improvement as a beneficial role player that can deliver a service where essential knowledge can be imparted. As Education Consultants generally work as independent contractors, data were gathered through an internet-based inquiry, structured around open-ended writing prompts in which participants described their role as consultants. The sample comprised 17 credentialled international school consultants, selected by purposeful sampling on the basis of an active homepage, where they advertised and comments of their services were visible with data available to contact them. Findings indicated the value of a consultant’s role as a versatile expert, an agent for school improvement and effectiveness, a professional in the service of the school community and an ethical partner in the consultancy relationship. Subsequent recommendations are that a professional body for school consultants be established and training be provided to school consultants to ensure uniform competency and ethical standards to provide an ethical basis to train and perform subsequent school improvement in schools in South Africa.

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