SPECIALIST CONSULTANTS TO NEW AND EMERGING SCHOOLS
Our team have spent a lifetime in international education as teachers, school leaders and consultants, leading and advising some of the best international schools in the world.
Individually and as a team, we have specialised in the foundation, and growth of new schools, supporting their development as sustainable communities and successful centres of learning.
SCHOOL SUSTAINABILITY, PLANNING AND IMPROVEMENT
We know what it’s like to open a new school, then build and maintain student numbers. The aim for any school is to become truly self-sustaining: even for well-established schools, awareness of evolving community needs and the continual improvement of teaching and learning will be at the centre of any strategic plan.
Here’s how we can help you.
Identifying small weaknesses, often buried and unnoticed in the deep structure of a school is an essential periodic exercise. Time spent optimising timetables, staffing plans and spending can make the difference to a school’s sustainability.
Communication and community review
Reaching a wide variety of audiences in the most appropriate way drives both admissions and a school’s sense of community and identity. Periodically holding up the mirror to critique current communication is not just useful, it’s essential.
We also work with schools in a variety of ways to identify how the needs of their community may be changing. Greater insight into evolving circumstances then enables strategic planning to be adapted effectively.
Writing and editing online content
Consilium Education is a leader in writing and editing specialist content for international education and publishes International Teacher Magazine. Generating appropriate content to reach different audiences effectively needs careful planning.
It is essential for school leaders to know how their school compares with others by city, country and region. Comparison can be revealing or reaffirming. Reviewing the competitiveness of a school package enhances recruitment, retention, admissions and ultimately, viability.
Key Performance Indicators
Admissions, staff-student ratios, staff turnover and class sizes are all vital signs indicative of a school’s health. How do you compare with other schools locally, nationally and regionally? Placing what you know about your own school in context is an essential exercise.
Policies have a tendency to be written, boxes ticked and the job is done when the accrediting or inspection crisis has passed. Successful schools place their policies in a robust and understandable framework, constantly using them to guide procedure and to make difficult decisions consistently.
Flexible strategic planning
Reliable long term planning is an essential element embedded in the culture of any successful school, and in such uncertain times it has never been more difficult. There are two aspects: (1) Ensuring that things that can be controlled are controlled (2) Planning flexibly.
Effective financial planning and spending
A school with the most wonderful Vision and Mission, even if supported by the whole community will achieve little, unless it has the financial ability to sustain it. Running school finances effectively is a mark of good stewardship while effective budgeting is a vital skill for all middle and senior leaders.
Sensible safety planning
Establishing safe on site procedures, without inhibiting natural school operations, or bringing everything to a standstill has never been more important as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Having a focused conversation about these tricky areas helps.
SERVICES FOR NEW AND EMERGING SCHOOLSARRANGE AN INITIAL DISCUSSION
RECRUITMENT, STAFFING PLANS AND TRAINING
Recruiting for start ups and new schools
Recruiting the right people – and the right combination of people – for your school is an essential annual operation. Planning for and implementing a successful international recruitment exercise has changed profoundly in the last 10 years. These changes are still accelerating.
The Goldilocks staffing plan
A school’s staffing costs will always be the biggest part of its budget. The Goldilocks principle applies when planning: having too few or too many staff can put an unbearable strain on a school as it seeks to sustain its mission over time.
Timetable and scheduling review
Putting the best possible combinations of students and faculty together over time is the scheduler’s mission. No school, whether it offers a radical transdisciplinary program or a traditional subject based programme can operate sustainably without a timetable that serves the curriculum efficiently.
360 Senior Leadership review
Having appointed a Head of School, there here is no more important tasks for a Board or owner to undertake than providing support while holding them properly to account. Reviewing a leader’s performance is difficult, and best undertaken if facilitated externally.
Leading a school can be a lonely job. The Head is a mediator between Board, faculty, parents, support staff, contractors and students. The pressure is relentless, especially for first time Heads. Talking to an experienced hand puts things into perspective and leads to better decision making.
STAFF TRAINING FOR NEW AND EMERGING SCHOOLS
Safeguarding review and training
There has been no more important development in international education than the growing importance of child protection systems and protocols, which are now central to international accreditation processes. All staff need to understand their role. Training from a qualified instructor is essential.
Counsellors in international schools are almost never off-duty. The range of support they provide to promote the well-being of students, colleagues and even parents, requires energy. Having their own trusted and qualified listener is essential for the job, and in many countries a requirement.
International skills for national staff
Great national staff are a school’s greatest asset. They will need support and training to develop their teaching style to fit the programme and meet the expectations of parents. We have trained staff in Romania, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey, the UAE, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.
EAL across the curriculum
With the majority of students in international schools now using English as an additional language, all teachers need to be aware of how they use language in class if their lessons are going to be truly effective. Every lesson is a language lesson.
Planning in the Early Years
Is there any more important part of the school than the Early Years? Getting EY planning right by addressing the learning needs of children aged 2 – 5 sets students up for life, promoting lifelong cognitive growth – and a sense of fun!
The Writing Project
The writing project for teachers
Teachers who are able to express themselves well in writing are simply better teachers. Developing a love for language and its use promotes better teaching (in any subject) and effective communication. Is training for this purpose a luxury?
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT CONSILIUM
Christopher TimothyAssistant Principal / King Edward VI College, Nuneaton, UK
I always find discussions with Elly Tobin useful and very energising. As a mentor, she is particularly good at cutting through the noise and sometimes nonsense of a topic and getting to the real heart of the matter with a succinct sentence (which I then often steal and present as my own when back at work!).
Bill WatkinCEO, / Sixth Form Colleges Association
Thank you so much, Elly, for your fantastic contribution to yesterday. Participants said great things and the response has been hugely positive. Your expertise, the content of your session and the style of your delivery were just perfect.
RESOURCING YOUR SCHOOL
Getting value for money suggests that local sourcing is an important part of this planning, but well-judged resourcing from overseas can often produce savings in the long run. We work closely with consolidated supplier, VPJ Solutions to bring a wide range of resources from the UK.
Planning for school growth
Very few school sites will remain the same 20 years after opening. Yet how they grow and when they change needs careful long term planning in line with the school’s mission and vision. Last-minute ad hoc decisions are common and should be avoided. Our mantra?
Every space is a learning space.
Analysing room and space usage
What can be more boring? And yet what could be more important? An appraisal of the way that rooms are used, and the analysis of room occupancy by an experienced hand can be revealing. It’s nitty gritty stuff, but well worth the effort and can lead to substantial savings.
Infrastructure and systems
Educational technology is important and that is changing faster than any other aspect of modern education. We help schools establish the right kind of flexible infrastructure to enable digital independence, using a carefully planned and transparent approach to procurement.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS CONSULTANCYARRANGE AN INITIAL DISCUSSION
THE IMAGES WE USE ON OUR WEBSITE
The location photographs on our website reflect some of the countries that we have worked in as a company, and have been sourced from Pixabay, the free image website. Pixabay has over 1.8 million stunning free images and royalty free stock that anyone can use, and we are very grateful to the contributing photographers that make this possible.
Please click the image of Lisbon, one of our favourite locations, to learn more about Pixabay.