SPECIALIST CONSULTANTS TO INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
Our team have spent a lifetime in international education as teachers, school leaders and consultants, founding, leading and advising some of the best international schools in the world.
Individually and as a team, we have specialised in the foundation and development of new schools, supporting their growth 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. In our view the most important aim of any strategic plan is to enable a school to become truly self-sustaining while remaining true to itself.
Here’s how we might be able to help.
We a use a comprehensive anayltical framework based on '7 areas for action' to help a school identify priorities for its action planning while targeting specific needs for our support:
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In an uncertain world we are advocates of flexible, but well-directed strategic planning. A strategic plan in our view has to be strong - but 'stong like bamboo.'
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Identifying operational weaknesses, often buried and unnoticed in the deep structure of a school is an essential periodic exercise. Time spent optimising timetables, staffing plans and budget can make a crucial difference to a school’s annual spending and ultimately its sustainability.
The effectiveness of this exercise is enhanced by the assistance of a 'critical friend'.
Policies and standard operating procedures have a tendency to be written, boxes ticked and the job is considered ‘done’ when the accrediting or inspection crisis has passed. Successful schools place their policies in a robust and understandable framework, using them as a matter of course to guide procedure and in order to make difficult decisions consistently.
We will review a school's approach to policy and recommend changes to ensure effective procedures. We also suggest that manuals are digitised.
A school with the most wonderful Vision and Mission, even if supported by the whole community will achieve little unless it has the financial acumen 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.
We will review your approach to strategic financial planning, budget review and monitoring, suggesting adjustments that could make the difference between a good year and a poor one, and, ultimately to the school's long-term viability.
Understanding the way in which your school adds value not only to the lives of its students but also to its wider community of parents, friends, alumni and alumnae is essential for effective communication, strategic planning and fund raising.
We work with schools to articulate and develop their value proposition for a variety of audiences, often revealing qualities and strengths that are deeply appreciated by the community but not always referred to when communicating with it.
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.
Drawing up an effective plan for an important announcement to the school community can make the difference between maintaining the momentum of the school's development or having to stop and deal with a crisis.
We work with a school to form a deep understanding of the issues involved before drafting a clear plan for communicating a coherent message in the right sequence to the right people using the best channels.
As the publishers of International Teacher Magazine, Consilium Education is a leader in writing and editing specialist content for schools and for those working with schools. Having identified the key messages to be communicated, we are able to generate effective content for a range of different audiences.
Content generation training
The best writers of content for a school are already members of the school's community - teachers, parents, students and support workers. However, most do not know they can write and have great stories to tell.
We work with a wide range of staff, parents and students to help them find their voice in a way that reveals how special your school is.
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.
VALUE PROPOSITION AND STRATEGIC PLANNING CASE STUDY
BRANKSOME HALL ASIA, 2021
In November 2021 Branksome Hall Asia (BHA)) International School on Jeju Island in Korea launched a new strategic plan. Principal Dr. Cinde Lock looks at how the school worked with Consilium Education to address the communication issues involved in the year BHA was named International School of the Year.
SERVICES FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLSARRANGE AN INITIAL DISCUSSION
RECRUITMENT, STAFFING PLANS, 360s AND MENTORING
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. We offer a full range of recruitment services, specialising in finding great staff for new and growing schools.
A school’s staffing costs will always be the biggest element 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.
We will look at how a school deploys faculty, including an analysis of online teaching and assessment, taking a deep dive into how the schedule or timetable is set up. Our aim would be to make recommendations that will both cut costs and remove unecessary burdens from staff that tend to acummulate over time.
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.
Our aim in conducting a timetable review is to ensure that faculty and support staff time is allocated efficiently and reasonably.
Having appointed a new Head of School, there is no more important task for a board or owner to undertake than supporting the appointee, while holding them properly to account. Reviewing a leader’s performance is difficult, and best undertaken if facilitated externally.
We offer a bespoke review of school leaders by consultants who have substantial experience of schools leadership themselves, people who understand the challenges of the position while appreciating the perspectives of both board and head.
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 one of our experienced leadership mentors puts things into perspective and results in better decision making.
STAFF TRAINING FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
There has been no more important development in international education than the development of child protection systems and protocols, which are now central to international accreditation processes. All staff need to understand their role. Training from an experienced and qualified instructor can transform a school's ability to protect its students while supporting the process of school accreditation.
International skills for national staff
Effective national staff are a school’s greatest asset. They will need support and training to develop their teaching style to fit an international programme and meet the expectations of parents. We have trained national staff in Romania, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey, the UAE, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia and would be pleased to make a proposal for supporting national staff at your school.
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' is the principle that drives our cross-curricular EAL training. All teachers in international schools, regardless of their specialist skills, are language teachers.
Is there any more important part of the school than the early years? Getting this 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!
Having teachers who are able to wrte well and who have a love for language and its use promotes better teaching and more effective communication in schools.
This specialist course, run by senior consultant Elly Tobin, has an enduring appeal for teachers who love language, whatever their background.
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT CONSILIUM CONSULTANTS
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 to international schools.
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.
As needs evolve we are able to conduct a full process of discovery to identify the architectural, design and IT requirements arising out of the eduational needs and philosophy of the school.
Every space is a learning space.
An appraisal of the way that rooms are used and an analysis of room occupancy by one of our consultants can be revealing. It’s nitty-gritty stuff, but well worth the effort and can lead to substantial savings.
Educational technology is important and is an area changing faster than any other aspect of modern education. We help schools establish the right kind of flexible infrastructure to enable digital independence and interoperabilty.
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 2 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.