The Interpretation, Reconciliation, and Adaption of Lean Management Practices within UK Secondary Education (Private Sector Case Study)

Ammar Al Bazi, Farhan Shaikh

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The UK government has published plans that may herald the most significant changes to the Education industry in generations. The current economic climate is dictating that education organisations do more with less, the goal of this study is to provide recommendations on how this is to be achieved using the Lean Management philosophy, enabling organisations to maintain quality whilst lowering costs.
    This paper will seek to apply Lean Management, and its subsequent methodologies to the secondary education sector in the UK. The aim of this research is to formulate a Lean Management strategy that can be applied to management and teaching support processes for the continuous improvement of organisational practice at a private education establishment in the UK. This will offer stakeholders a reduction in wasteful activities whilst simultaneously providing a blueprint for the systematic change in organisational culture that seeks to nurture educational talent and provide true value for customers.
    Primary data collection will be focused on academics in the field of Lean Management and Lean Education Management, and staff/managers within a specified set of educational organisations. Data gathering will be primarily conducted using a questionnaire, problem identification and problem solving will be done with interviews and focus groups. Lean Six Sigma tools that may be utilised will be: Value Stream Mapping, DMAIC, Load Levelling, Mistake Proofing and Takt Time. Secondary data collection will concentrate on journals, academic articles, case studies, and print media content. Research indicates no examples of the Lean Management methodology being applied to the secondary education sector in the UK. There are a small number of UK universities that have departments dedicated to applying Lean methodologies however this is primarily within higher education. The US has seen the limited adoption of Lean within K-12 education (comparable to UK secondary education) however this is through private consultancies and not as state or government initiatives.
    The application of Lean Management within UK secondary education is a ‘niche’ market, as yet unchartered. It offers the UK government a definite change management strategy that addresses the targets identified by the Department for Education’s 2010 white paper. Although this research uses a private organisation as its case study it will propose that Lean Management be applied throughout the whole value chain; that is from nursery through to primary school, through to secondary school, up until college and beyond. Looking at it from a holistic viewpoint this concept of closely planning a student’s education from beginning until graduation would enable greater communication and coordination between schools creating a strong sense of ‘flow’ as the student learns what is required when it is required. The impact this could have on the UK education sector may be profound.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventThe OR Society OR53 Annual Conference 2011 - Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Sept 20118 Sept 2011


    ConferenceThe OR Society OR53 Annual Conference 2011
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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