By Neil David – CEO
You may already know that we are in the process of developing the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan for our Association. The leadership team, aided by an external facilitator, is meeting on a regular basis to determine our vison, mission and values as well as the key issues facing us as an Association. As you can imagine, it is both challenging and exciting to do the deep, strategic thinking required to pave the way forward.
We know that we exist to partner with families and communities to provide Christ-centered education, to help shape and grow future generations. But in and amongst all that entails, how do we know what really matters most?
The answer to that question is answered, in part, by AISNSW Institute’s research conducted in 2016: Qualities parents value in choosing a school.
In the research, parents were surveyed about the qualities they value most in choosing an independent school. These are:
- good teachers
- a supportive and caring environment
- good facilities
- educational excellence
- orderly and safe environment
- class size
- reinforcement of moral values.
Evidence from education research confirms that parents are right in placing importance on each of these, as they are all associated with better outcomes for students, both in the short and long term.
The common thread in all of these qualities, and a clue for us as an Association, is the role of our people; both teachers and support staff. We recognise that to do well in any of the qualities, we need to invest in our staff.
How best to do this is on a regular and continuous basis will be developed as part of the Strategic Plan, but what we do know is that we will continue to search and invest in appropriate, targeted professional development for all our people.
The Better Education Conference held on 1 and 2 June provided both a terrific opportunity to learn from the best about a vast array of tailored topics, as well as the opportunity to fellowship as a team. Feedback on the conference has been postive with most teachers feeling inspired and equipped to bring fresh ideas into the classroom, for the benefit of our students.