Vision, Mission & Strategy need clear definition if they are to work well in a school development plan. If used properly, they set the foundations for moving a school from “Good” to “Great”.
The VISION is a description of the school after 3 – 5 years, written within the framework of the 7 action areas. The Vision can therefore be seen as the strategic DESTINATION. It remains the same for the period of the plan, and describes “the kind of school” its community wants it to be.
The MISSION is also fixed for the period of the plan. It is statement of values and principles that guide decision-making. It can therefore be seen as the school’s planning COMPASS.
The STRATEGY is the element that provides long-term flexibility. The plan for the coming year is described in depth, but subsequent years have less detail, and are only fully updated as they get closer. This allows the school to control the pace of development depending on circumstances, without losing the compass or changing the destination.
Whatever the change in pace, direction is always determined by the Vision and the use of the Mission, which remain constants. The Strategy can be seen as the CHART, used with the COMPASS to steer towards the DESTINATION.
Consilium Education recommends using a framework of 7 Areas for Action in order to describe the school’s vision and to construct and effective strategic plan.
CONSILIUM’S 7 AREA FOR ACTION FRAMEWORK
- Vision, Mission, & Strategy
- Learning, inclusion & admissions
- Leadership & organisational structure
- Staff & Training
- Campus, security & safety
- School community & partnerships
- Marketing, finance & resources
MODEL FOR A ROLLING 3 YEAR STRATEGIC DESIGN
In our model, the strategic plan is constantly being monitored across these seven areas. The plan for the current year is always described in detail, but as the next year comes closer and future conditions become clearer, more details are added for the year to come. By the time any year has finished the plan for the coming year is described in full detail and planners start sketching in more detail for the 2 years that follow. Any matters left from the year just passed are added to the details of the year about to start. This approach provides flexibility in planning, and gives a school the opportunity of reacting to circumstances, without changing course. It also allowing the leadership team to deal effectively with the problems of uncertain times.
N.B. shading shows the level of detail in the plan at any given point. Dark green = detailed.
Once established, this cycle of plan – do – review is straightforward to use. Initial facilitation by one of our team will speed up the process significantly while assisting the school tracking and planning the next stage of its development.