Implementing a school vision
So the vision is set and you know what you’re aiming for. What’s next? Let’s look at this in 4 parts:
1. Communicating the vision
How clear is it and how easy is it to communicate? A common response to this is to simplify it in the form of a strap line: e.g.
‘Excellence for all and from all’
Where do you display it, as part of your communication strategy? In the school vision survey I carried out last year, the most common place was the school entrance (40%), with the Head’s office second (33%) and in classrooms third (24%). Does this reflect your current practice? Other places included: the website, the staffroom and school headed paper.
Do you stick to displaying your vision in word format (73% of schools from the survey) or in pictorial format too? (22%). Could you get the pupils involved in this process, or even the wider school community?
2. Delivering the vision
A strap line is a useful concise way of stating the vision, but all stakeholders need to know what it means.
What does it actually mean on a daily basis?
Regardless of who is involved in the initial creation of the school vision, it needs to be owned by all stakeholders. This can be achieved by identifying how each group contributes to the overall vision.
I don’t think it’s necessarily about telling stakeholders what their roles are. You can ask them how they think their roles contribute to the overall vision; a useful group task as part of an INSET / staff meeting on this topic. It helps to encourage ownership and accountability. If they can’t see how their roles contribute, perhaps some guidance is needed or their roles need a revamp.
A good vision helps people at all levels make more informed decisions because it is clear and they know their part in it
3. Supporting the vision
A few questions to consider with this part:
- What practices, if any, need to be different?
- What role will the SLT have in driving and maintaining it?
- What new teams need to be created?
- How will the School Improvement Plan support the vision?
Part of supporting the vision may involve behaviour changes, which come from having different expectations (of pupils, the curriculum, each other …). It’s important that staff are supported in making sure this is a success.
How will you build this into your INSET / staff development strategy?
4. Monitoring the vision
As with anything that is implemented in school, some form of monitoring needs to take place. So who will be involved in monitoring the vision? What format will this take, and how often will it be done?
54% of respondents to the vision survey felt it should be reviewed annually. Do you agree?
Once you’ve decided on frequency and format for monitoring, a final couple of points to consider are:
- How will the outcomes be shared / communicated?
- What will your next steps be?
I’d love to hear your thoughts / experiences on revisiting, creating or implementing your school vision. It’s always useful to share good practice!
Thank you for taking time to read this blog.
I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in them.