The Covid-19 years have focussed attention in schools on the value of teaching professionals working together collaboratively towards the best possible student learning outcomes. For school leaders, the attention has been on building the social capital needed in schools, beyond mere human capital.
Teachers have been isolated so much during lockdowns, missing the professional dialogue and banter that occurs both formally and informally, despite every attempt to meet that issue through online professional learning.
As schools finalise their planning towards next year, hoping that the year offers a new normal, they will be looking to build the capacity of their staffing teams: attracting and developing the best possible professionals that will align and further the vision and values of the school. Schools are also working through how to maximise the social capital that comes from staff working collaboratively towards agreed and co-developed goals.
Through it all, our leading schools are looking to ensure teacher wellbeing, as well as student wellbeing, is a focus of attention – one that will enable a strong learning culture, inspired by a collaborative and well-supported teaching team.
The recruitment of school leaders, non-teaching school professionals and teachers (permanent, replacement and casual) is a process where great assistance can be provided by specialist recruitment firms, especially where what’s on offer includes a wealth of specialist experience of the educational needs of schools by past school leaders themselves. The new COVID norms will also necessitate specific requirements of applicants and schools (stipulated in recent regulations) and, once again, such assistance from partner firms could be of great benefit to schools.
At this time, many teachers and leaders are also looking at options open to them, whether that be promotion possibilities or simply finding the best possible school culture that aligns to the values they hold as professionals.
School leaders, in what ways are you building the social capital within your schools for the benefit of your students, enabling a collaborative culture of learning? What assistance are you seeking in this process?
Teachers, how are you equipping yourself, with others, to ensure students’ overall needs in this new climate are being met?
Andrew Barr is Practice Lead – Education at Slade Group. He has taught and held Principal positions at schools in Victoria, the UK and Tasmania. Andrew was Regional Director of the Round Square Association, National Chair of AHISA and Director of the Principals Australia Institute. He completed a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Education Studies at Monash University and a Diploma of Education at the University of Sydney. Andrew remains very engaged in the NGO sector, including a focus on improving educational outcomes for First Nations children.
Practice Lead – Education
Tel: +61 400 762 660