Organization of Administrative Services: Advice for DSGA

The organization of the general and administrative services is one of the many competencies of the DSGA set out in Table A of CCNL 24/07/2003. the DSGA actually organizes “autonomous activities of ATA staff within the directives of the school director. Organizational tasks are assigned to ATA staff, as part of the activity plan”.

The organizational moment of the administrative services assumes a primary importance, because the good performance of the administrative activity of the pedagogical institution depends on it.

The DSGA has autonomy in the organization of services in accordance with the general directives of the school principal, which identify the goals to be achieved through organizational-management choices.

The organization of offices

Organizational choices related to school administration begin with the division of administrative services into functional areas.

An organization of administrative services that can be defined as “basic” is the following:

  • Accounting method area
  • Personal area
  • Didactic field
  • Protocol area

In larger and more complex schools and with more staff in service, this basic organizational model can undergo significant variations, taking into account the specifics of the school, the activities it performs, and the special needs that may arise.

In this way, the accounting department could be separated into the warehousing and assets area, or again into an office that deals exclusively with purchasing activities (eg particularly relevant).

The teaching office could be divided by addresses or by school grades, in the case of particularly large comprehensive institutions, or in schools where there are several addresses.

Even the simple management of the protocol can be organized in various ways, for example, with a decentralized protocol, in which each office independently manages the outgoing correspondence about the files and documents of its competence.

The attribution of organizational tasks

Once you have defined the areas of function into which the administration is divided, perhaps the most complex and delicate task is the definition of organizational tasks, or, in other words, the definition of “who does what” within the school administration.

The DSGA must therefore be a good expert on the staff that the CCNL sets “directly dependent on it“To guarantee the best possible organization of the service.

The essential starting point is relative to previous skills by staff on duty. Except in the cases of staff in their initial task, the staff of administrative assistants will have worked in the service in other schools and have accumulated a more or less broad and varied formation of knowledge and skills. For example, if an AA has always worked in the personal field, it would be unproductive for him to go to the accounting office and vice versa. The starting point is do not waste the skills already acquired.

In the absence of previous experience, it is useful to take a look at the pedagogical qualifications in possession. Not infrequently among the administrative staff there are those who have a university degree; To give an example, an AA with a law degree would be perfect for carrying out activities related to the preparation of tender documents or in any case for activities that require solid legal knowledge.

Finally, it is important to know Attitude of all. If an AA is particularly inclined towards human relations, he could take care of the counter, or community of activities related to the public; if an AA is particularly prone to the use of information technologies, he could be proposed to manage applications and management systems of more complexity, and so on.

to have more knowledge about the professional characteristics of the available human resources, it is advisable to hold DSGA individual interviews with all the staff

Avoid a “waterproof” administration

The activity plan of the personal ATA must be specific enough to define each fulfillment for each person, in order to avoid “uncovered” areas remaining; but it is also necessary that the same gives a good degree of flexibility, in order to avoid that the (very detailed) competencies ascribed to the administrative staff constitute an obstacle to a good performance of the service.

Not infrequently in the school administration, there is the crucial harmful practice of having “sealed compartments”. With waterproof sectors, we are talking about the situation that arises when the administrative assistants who are in charge of the various function areas, despite strong competencies in the assigned area, in the management of practices and the fulfillment of other function areas are sorely lacking. It may even happen that there are administrative assistants who completely (or almost completely) ignore what is happening in other function areas.

This pathological nature of the organization does not create some organizational problems, both from the point of view of the continuity of the administrative services, but also, and more simply, in dealing with the normal management in the event of the injury of a colleague.

To address the above issue, it is important for the DSGA to identify staff training needs in the ATA plan so that they can program specific training activities throughout the school year to compensate for structural deficiencies. .

In addition to these targeted training interventions could be another solution, to stimulate staff rotation in times of less “pressure” for administrative work.

With the rotation of staff in different areas, and with mutual support between colleagues, it is possible to guarantee a broad and day-to-day training in the management of administrative work and in the use of the various platforms and management. The day-to-day sharing of knowledge and skills is certainly a good practice, functional for the professional development of administrative staff, and for the overall improvement of the quality of service.

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