Curriculum design and development is a continuous, cyclic process that gives effect to the national curriculum in ways that best address the particular needs, interests, and circumstances of the school’s students and community. Since the NZC was launched, school communities have become increasingly diverse, technologies more sophisticated, and demands on schools more complex. A response to these challenges is needed to ensure that the curriculum fulfills the purpose for which it was intended.
Ahead Associates was invited to review the structure, roles and responsibilities of a senior leadership team, to determine whether changes to the structure could more effectively meet the needs of the school in the future and to identify new solutions to the challenges present within the team.
We work with boards to ensure that their most important decision, that of appointing a principal, is the right one. If the best possible decision is not made, the impact on staff and team-building, on standards (academic and pastoral), on goal achievement and on organisational culture can be disastrous. We offer a comprehensive recruitment and selection service.
The role of principal can be a lonely one as it is not always appropriate to discuss some matters with your leadership team or with colleagues in other schools. This is where the value of a mentor becomes apparent. In working with a mentor a principal has the opportunity to work closely with a professional who can question and guide, who can provide another set of eyes and perspectives. This can assist the principal or senior leaders to see the bigger picture, the options and possible outcomes of specific responses to concerns and/or issues.
A review of the pastoral care structure in a large secondary was carried out by an Ahead Associates Ltd consultant at the request of the principal. In the principal’s view, most pastoral care staff were working with dedication and skill but under considerable pressure. Over the years the school roll had grown, personnel had changed, workloads had increased, and new pressures had emerged in working with external agencies. New initiatives such as PB4L had been established in the school. Some staff had grown professionally as their responsibilities had increased. Others had taken on responsibilities for which they had not been professionally trained.
Ahead Associates was invited to review the structure and positions in a secondary school’s administration department. The Board of Trustees and the principal were aware that the administration department did not seem to be able to provide accurate timely information and that there were tensions among the staff.
Ahead Associates has now carried out a number of reviews of the structure, roles and processes of school administration/support staff in state, state-integrated and independent secondary schools. We are invited to do so for a number of reasons e.g. the Board of Trustees is concerned about the amount being spent on support functions; information being provided by administration is not accurate or timely; there are tensions between staff; the Board of Trustees is planning for the future and wants to know that its administrative will provide the required support the teaching and learning staff.
A high performing, well-functioning senior leadership team is critical to the success of a school and can contribute to raising student achievement. Even if a school faces challenging distractions, a senior leadership team can help a staff remain unified and focused on what is important – the students. Taking time to reflect on our individual leadership ability and the role we fulfill in a senior leadership team is very worthwhile.
Our Ahead Associate based in Sydney Australia, led the start-up process of a large independent school in Virginia, USA which opened its doors to a foundation faculty and staff and an initial enrolment of 900 children in August, 2016. The project involved a 15 month planning phase including liaising with architects, builders, key sub-contractors and the client to finish some 32,000 m2 of state of the art buildings and furnish and equip it.