From-Vision-to-Strategy-SE-Regional-Conference-v1 - Ga-ther

Strategic planning:
vision into reality
South East Regional Conference
1st March 2014
Clare Collins
NGA Lead Consultant
© NGA 2013
Purpose of the session
To develop our understanding of the governing body’s role in ensuring our
vision becomes reality by:
1. Clarifying expectations of governors and governance
2. Looking at the starting point – articulating the vision
3. Examining how we achieve the vision
4. Thinking about how the strategy should be expressed
5. Discussing options for targets and how these are measured
6. Deciding who does what
7. Determining how to monitor the strategy
© NGA 2014
1. The strategic role: January 2014
The ‘board of governors’ should operate at a strategic level, leaving the
head teacher and senior school leaders responsible and accountable to it
for the operational day-to-day running of the school.
The board should avoid its time being consumed with issues of secondary
importance, and focus strongly on three core functions:
o Setting the vision and strategic direction of school
o Holding the headteacher to account for its educational performance
o Ensuring financial resources are well spent
Departmental advice for school leaders and governing bodies of maintained
schools and management committees of PRUs in England
The DfE want all governing bodies to operate as non-executive boards
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Three core functions
Core Function
Ofsted criteria for effective governance
Creating robust
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clarity of vision and ethos
meeting statutory duties
engaging stakeholders
for teaching, achievement, behaviour and safety
strengthening school leadership
performance managing the headteacher
contributing to school self-evaluation
solvency and effective financial management
use of Pupil Premium and other resources to
overcome barriers to learning
The language we use
Strategy / strategic plan
School development plan
Targets / key performance indicators (KPIs)
© NGA 2014
Being strategic
The GB determines the vision and ethos … and a strategy for achieving this
The vision and ethos describe the sort of school we want to be in three to
five years time
GBs do this by:
Setting goals or aims and agreeing the school’s development priorities
For each priority setting targets or KPIs for the short and longer term
Structuring most of the GB business towards monitoring progress
against these
At the end of the year, formally reviewing and evaluating the strategy
© NGA 2014
2. Articulating the school’s vision
The vision should:
Describe what your school will look like in three to five years’ time
The school’s ethos should clearly articulate what is valued
Describe what the children will have left the school having learned
– Does this need to be measured?
– Can this be measured?
Take account of stakeholder views
Be developed by the school
Be agreed and owned by the GB
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Table discussion
What is your understanding of your school’s vision?
Look at the handout : Some visions
Do these constitute a vision statements?
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3. Achieving the vision
In order to achieve the vision, it is necessary to identify:
Where the school is now (through self evaluation)
Where you want the school to be (the vision)
How the school will get there (by determining the priorities to be pursued
and targets to be achieved)
which is the …
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4. What does a strategy look like
What should a strategy document look like?
As a table or a plan? 1 or 3 or 10 or more pages?
Is it the same as the school development plan?
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The strategy document
Your vision
Priorities for improvement
Targets for each priority
Measurable milestones (termly?)
Monitoring arrangements
(max three pages?)
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5. The targets or KPIs
How many and how detailed should these be?
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The targets or KPIs
– Need to be high level … so a maximum of about 6
– Must be SMART:
specific / measurable / agreed / realistic / timebound
– Should not just be hard nosed: value what you measure and measure
what you value
– Should include one for quality of teaching
– Must be broken down into measurable milestones (termly)
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6. Who does what
We’re always being told to stay strategic
and not to involved in the operational.
What does this mean in practice?
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Framework for strategy development
Senior staff
Strategy origination
Strategy approval
Strategy implementation
Review and amendment
Source: Caroline Copeman, 2011
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Quick quiz
Strategic or operational …
Writing the prospectus
Attending a parents’ consultation evening
Going into class to observe the quality of teaching
Taking part in staff interviews
Undertaking a health and safety audit
Listening to children read
Writing tenders and bids
Checking the single central record
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Strategic (i.e. governance)
Monitoring reports on quality of teaching
against pupils’ outcomes
Making judgements about the quality
of teaching
Receiving financial audit report
Governor coming into school to
supervise book-keeper
Ensuring necessary audits have been
carried out by qualified professionals
Governors undertaking audits e.g.
health and safety
Interviewing senior leaders
Interviewing teachers
Agreeing to invest in school buses
Organising the bus routes
Agreeing to a building project
Obtaining quotes for cost
Ensuring school is marketed well
Writing school prospectus
© NGA 2014
Staying strategic
Distinguish when you are governing and when you are volunteering in another
Use your time to best effect - on the key school priorities, not just compliance
and ‘policies’ … differentiate ‘principle’ from ‘procedures’
Ensure the school improvement plan has a limited number of high level targets /
KPIs with measurable milestones against which the GB can monitor progress
Check that school leaders are equipped to do their jobs (including HR,
procurement, health and safety) to avoid operational support from governors
Do not do someone else’s job: see the joint statement with ASCL and NAHT:
“What governing bodies should expect from school leaders and what school
leaders should expect from governing bodies”
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7. Monitoring the strategy
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The GB needs to decide
What is monitored … and by whom
How often to monitor
What will be monitored
What evidence will be required to back judgments
How this will be reported
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Key documents
Strategy framework which includes the vision / school aims / key
priorities / KPIs or targets
School development plan
HT reports on progress being made
1. What evidence should the headteacher bring to the GB to back
judgements on progress being made?
2. How does the GB monitor?
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The headteacher’s report - strategy
Governing bodies should play a strategic role and leave the running of the school
to the headteacher they have appointed
(Governors) should check on progress and review regularly their strategic
framework for the school in the light of that progress
(both from the DfE Governors’ Handbook)
GBs need information and updates on how the strategy is being implemented
and that the expected progress is being made.
The HT should report on:
• Progress towards achieving KPIs / targets: evidence (data) must be provided
• Reasons for targets not being met as expected - with particular reference to
budget allocation and staffing structures and specific initiatives
• Actions taken to address issues raised
• Adjustments to the strategy necessary for targets to be met
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Visiting the school
Is the purpose of school visits clear?
– In order to get to know the school
and / or
– To monitor the strategy
Is there a policy and protocols which have been agreed and shared with
How do governors report on visits?
Governance making an impact
Set the vision and ethos, including what the children should leave the school
having learned
Stay strategic and focused on improvement priorities: leave the operational to
school leaders, and delegate
Don’t get overwhelmed by compliance and reviewing policies: focus on principles,
delegating procedures
Recruit good school leaders (a future challenge) … and trust them to recruit good
Ensure school leaders are equipped to do their jobs, including HR, procurement,
legal advice, and CPD
© NGA 2014
Reviewing the session
The session has covered …
1. Clarifying expectations of governors and governance
2. Looking at the starting point – articulating the vision
3. Examining how we achieve the vision
4. Thinking about how the strategy should be expressed
5. Discussing options for targets and how these are measured
6. Deciding who does what
7. Determining how to monitor the strategy
Has it developed your knowledge and understanding of making vision reality?
© NGA 2014
0121 237 3780
© NGA 2013