Total Quality Schools


Total Quality schools apply the principles and practices of Total Quality Management to their administrative and instructional functions.

Basic Elements

When introduced in schools, the Total Quality process usually involves a combination of the following elements:

Understanding Systems and Processes–Education administrators make efforts to understand their school as a system containing many subsystems and processes. To do so, they often will “map” their systems and “flowchart” their processes. Schools will then strive to improve by redesigning their systems.

Using Data for Decision-Making–Employees learn to use data in decision-making. This frequently involves employing statistical methods to understand why processes vary.

Using Problem-Solving Teams and Teamwork–Classroom teams use common problem-solving processes and tools to tackle challenges and improve procedures. Students are often taught to use both methods and tools to improve classroom operations.

Identifying and Understanding Customer Needs–Schools identify the constituencies they need to satisfy, and attempt to understand their expectations and needs. Schools will develop measurement systems that compare their performance to their constituents’ expectations.

Quality Planning–Some schools use quality planning processes as a supplement to their strategic planning processes for identifying and achieving organization-wide goals. This will often involve developing organization-wide quality indicators, or “scoreboards”.