Whole school development (WSD) recognises that the factors which may influence a learner’s experience of learning, their unique capacity to construct knowledge and hence the effectiveness of education, are located within the school as a whole organisational system. The WSD approach is therefore geared to strengthen the overall functionality of schools and improve the mechanisms for delivering education in the classroom as well as the broader school environment.
In recognising that it is the context of learning that has to be improved, as much as the curriculum, a WSD approach involves a number of critical interventions in a specific school context. In the first instance, effective school governance lies at the heart of a functional school. There are many areas which are relatively unseen within the school which need to be effectively managed on a daily basis, including administration and financial management. In addition, there are material resources which need control and maintenance, for example stocks of books, technical resources such as photocopy machines and computers, as well as physical buildings and fields, all of which must be built, maintained and protected. But perhaps most importantly, strong leadership and efficient management have the trickle-down effect of creating a good work ethic among teachers and credibility in the community.