The role of the cluster manager in leading and managing change in the resource teacher : learning and behaviour service
Tuala, Malia Ioana
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Citation:Tuala, M.I. (2017). The role of the cluster manager in leading and managing change in the resource teacher : learning and behaviour service. A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4386
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: What is the role and responsibilities of the Cluster Manager in the RTLB service? What are the challenges for the Cluster Manager while leading and managing change in the RTLB cluster? What are the strategies used during the implementation of change in their respective cluster? The Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) provide an essential education specialist support service to clusters of schools across New Zealand. The Education Review Office’s (Education Review Office, 2009) criticism of the governance and management of the RTLB service by cluster management committees resulted in sweeping changes to the service in 2012. The changes or ‘transformation’ of the RTLB service was the responsibility of the cluster manager ; an educational leader appointed to replace the principal-led management committees. This study explores the experiences of the cluster manager as they faced the challenges of implementing change and identifies the strategies they used in the change process. To date there has been no research into the area of leadership and management of the RTLB service apart from the government reviews. A qualitative methodology with an interpretive approach using semi-structured interviews was used to identify the challenges and strategies that eight cluster managers experienced in the change process. A documentary analysis of relevant documents was also undertaken to provide a deeper understanding of the role and responsibilities of the cluster manager. The study revealed that despite the educational leadership and management experiences of these cluster managers, it did not prepare them for the dual challenges of turning policy into practice and the impact of the change process on the RTLB staff. The key finding has revealed that the cluster manager role is management focussed however in reality, particularly in this change process, the role is leadership driven. This research identified several aspects of the role that requires attention particularly in the area of professional learning support and knowledge in specific areas that are pertinent to the role. Induction, mentoring and supervision would ensure cluster managers were confident in implementing the strategies that enabled RTLB to engage positively in the change process; setting vision and direction, building relational trust and distributing and including others in leadership. Several funds of knowledge are also critical to this role and include change management, service management and an understanding of inclusive education and the RTLB service.