CHAPTER 1- Introduction
1.1 Introduction to the Topic- Background to the study
The dissertation prominently focuses on the factors that affect or influence leaving of students in XYZ School. In regard to any institution or school, the primary factor determining its success will reflect from its turnover rate or attrition rate. With students being the backbone of a school and playing a vital role in the smooth functioning of day to day activities, this topic is widely researched upon, over the years.
Any school maintaining a low retention rate portrays a problem for the schools reputation and its growth. Within the educational Sector, an issue that has been causing serious concerns is maintaining the strength of the school. Around the world, it is an issue that alarms the management seeking measures to reduce the rate at which students leave and to intervene to reduce it as well.
Studies carried out around the world have various viewpoints in regard to the study as university students leaving mid-way of their programmes while comparing to Primary school students.
For example, In Australia, the Australian Council for Educational Research noticed 16% of students left their programme in 2011.
In addition, according to a report of the national survey of the first-year experience in Australian universities, the percentage of students who considered dropping out from their study programs
Between 1994 and 2004 was between 33% and 27.6% (Krause, Hartley, James & McInnis,
1.2 Problem Identification
XYZ International School is the chosen organization for this research study. It has been existing for years and is one among the oldest and authentic international schools in the country. It was founded in the year 1985 with minimum staff and students choosing to impart knowledge using the British Curriculum. When XYZ commenced its inception it began school by enrolling 7 children along with an initial set of teachers being a part of its beginning stage.
In 2009, XYZ School encountered a change of Management and completely taking over the Cambridge Curriculum. This was the period in which new enrolments were at splurge and the school increasing in number. Looking at several annual reports, it was noticed that over the years, there has been a slow decline in retention of students.
Figure 1.1 Staff (Academic) update- XYZ International School Magazine Data, 2016
The above figure depicts the years of service of some academic staff (Teachers) along with a year increase of staff. This correlates with the upcoming figure relating to an increase in enrolments which invariably requires more number of supportive teachers.
With regard to the below diagram, it can be seen as to how new enrolments increase every year within the school to bring out an understanding as to how sections of the school is divided as well.
Figure 1.2 Enrolments January 2018 to Nov 2018- Admissions Department- Enrolment update sheet, 2017.
GRADES LEAVING NO
GR 1 7
GR 2 6
GR 3 13
GR 4 12
GR 5 5
GR 6 3
GR 7 4
GR 8 9
GR 9 3
GR 10 1
GR 11 10
GR 12 1
Figure 1.3 Graph of Leaving, Admissions Department- Board meeting update (January 2017- December 2017)
Table 1.1 Leaving Summary, Admissions Department, Board Meeting update, 2016
The above shown graph and table bring out a perspective of a consistent leaving of students from School. This was considered as a problem by the Management, as apart from Migrating students, there was witnessed as a fair share of students joining other schools.
This is depicted in the below figure that shows the various reasons behind student leaving throughout the year. Through the management it was seen as teachers being a factor that could also impact a rise in the No of leaving and contribute towards retaining students in the school.
SCHOOL LEAVING PARTICULARS- REASONS
REASON TOTAL %
Migration 22 23%
Academic Issues/ Affordability 24 25%
change school 32 34%
joined other institutes 17 18%
TOTAL 95 100%
Table 1.2 School leaving reasons, Admission Department, Board Meeting update- 2016.
This table was through the management to identify what could be the reason behind a number of students changing schools and also to join other institutes. This is another reason to carry out the study to basically identify if there is a relation between teachers being completely engaged at their job, making school life interesting for children and also to check if there are other factors that could be impacting the rise in leaving amongst students.
1.3 Research Problem
With several studies being carried out in terms of retention of students or reasons for leaving, there is a higher amount of studies carried out for employees than students. These studies mainly focus on the managerial level issues and is based on an employee perspective. Studies have shown inconclusive data and not a vast range of recommendations. Example, Schools and higher education institutions around the world have been concerned about the student attrition phenomenon for a long time (Habley, Bloom & Robbins,
2012; Seidman, 2005b; Tinto, 1993).
However, systematic studies of student retention did not appear until the beginning of the 1970s (Berger, Ramirez & Lyon, 2012). Every Student lost is a loss for the institution too. Student attrition or low student retention rates in any educational institution indicate a problem that needs to be solved. Beyond the financial issue (Heagney, 2008; Seidman, 2012), educators have deeper concerns about the reasons that students do not complete their study programs or fail to achieve their academic and personal goals.
1.4 Research Questions:
1. Investigate how student leaving has impacted success and reputation of the School.
2. What are the factors contributing to an increase in student leaving the School.
3. What are the environmental, social attitudes towards the School.
4. How does the demographic population affect Retention.
5. What are the solutions and strategies to solve the problem.
1.5 Research Objectives of the study
By carrying out this study, the researcher intends on making a meaningful inquiry investigating the key effects and impacts of an organizations culture and identify the factors affecting retention in the school. This enabling a platform to predict and analyze student leaving and identify factors that contribute in order to receive findings for validating the problem.
Within the stipulated time of the research, key findings are intended to be found in order to advance the knowledge of job roles and points to promote student retention.
Primary objectives of the study include:
To measure the level of student engagement at XYZ International School.
To analyze the various parameters and factors that determine students being happy/satisfied at XYZ.
To recommend a holistic method of developing a student retention model that can influence the companys productivity and success.
To identify how attrition relates and impacts productivity or performance.
To resolve the rift between students/Customers and the management through suggestions and recommendations.
1.5 Significance of the Study
By carrying out this study on analyzing the factors that determine Retention within XYZ International School among its Academic students, the researcher intends on providing the study with sufficient information for various sectors. The study that is carried out is expected to be of great value to the management as it would enable them to identify a direction towards solving problems that is experienced by the organization.
This direction is diverted towards foreseeing future problems as well that can arise at a later time in the company. With the management handling most issues, this study is focused towards enabling a great amount of information that can be of use to them.
Another key purpose behind carrying out the study, is for the researcher to identify the key factors that control how engaged students are at school. As the researcher is from the same organization, it will enlighten on how important it is to promote engagement among future students to be enrolled as well.
With various studies carried out on retention, another study will serve the purpose of simply adding more knowledge to the search in solving the problem. It adds on expanding knowledge to the wide existing researches that were carried out.
Another vital significance behind carrying out an in-depth research study is to basically improve on modifying the training that is provided for the academic staff. This basically correlates on how much training is required and various training methods can be modified according to the conclusions and findings made from the study. This will enable a better relationship between students and parents paving way for a low attrition rate. The training method that is introduced or improved would directly focus on areas that need more training and innovative methods can be designed to suit the needs of XYZ School.
1.5.1 Practical Significance
1.5.2 Academic Significance
1.6 Limitations of the study
1.7 Chapter Outline