”Hvilke fortællingerne er der om Snedsted Skole, og hvordan kan jeg bruge fortællingerne til at nå mit mål med skolen?”

Birthe Hjortdal

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


In 2006 a rapport from the OECD criticized the Danish public school for not being good enoug to evaluate the pupil progress. The consequence was introduction af 10 mandatory tests during the public schooling. Politically there is an enormous focus on the results af these tests and the schools and their headmasters are rankede according to the tests. As headmaster I of course want my pupils to make good scores. My chef is very interessted in the scores and she regards it as a serious problem that the score on my school are low. So my problem definition is: How can I make my pupils better? I am the headmaster of an ordinary public school in the northwestern part of Jutland. About 420 pupils in the age of 6 to 16 attend the school. I was asked to become the headmaster of this school in the spring of 2015, and I started the 1st of August 2015. This is the 4th school I am relocated to with the purpose of ”putting things to order”. I was given very little official information about the school before I startede let alone a clear goal to work towards, so the impression of the school I had before start came from random bits of information from parents, teachers and the municipal management. The stories I was told said that the school management didn´t take inquiries from parents seriously, the school management didn´t keep word to the employees, the school-administration was in a mess and the pupils´score at exams and national tests were poor. I started my work by trying to find out wheter these stories were representative or not. I looked at the pupils´ results and found out that they were indeed under the national score but the pupils were glad to come to school and had good relationships with both each other and the teachers. I invited all the employees – about 100 – to a short conversation about their workconditions and found out that they didn´t feel competent to teach in the way that the public school reform for 2014 required, they felt overworked and badly treated because of the lock out of teachers in 2013. They also felt they had lost their right to plan their own worklife. After these analysis I decided to initiate actions that could both give back the teachers the feeling of selfdetermination, the feeling of being competent and the commitment to those for whom we exist - the pupils and their learning. My assumption was that these actions concerning the teachers autmatically would lead to better teaching and better learning results. The actions led to a much improved work environment at the school and a management evaluation i March 2017 showed that there was big satisfaction with my leadership. So everything should have been good except for the fact that the pupils´results almost hadn´t improved since i startede as headmaster i 2015! I therefor have chosen to work with the communication in and about the school to see if a positive storytelling about the school can lead to better learningresults. I have made 8 small interviews to find out which stories are told by pupils, parents, teachers and the municipal management. I have analysed the interviews and compared them with different communication theories e.g. Sepstrup, Michala Schnoor, Åkerstrøm and more to find out wheter or not a communication solution is the answer to my initial problem: The poor learning results of my pupils. ”Hvilke fortællingerne er der om Snedsted Skole, og hvordan kan jeg bruge fortællingerne til at nå mit mål med skolen?”

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages38
SupervisorsMads Mordhorst