A solid master plan is a school’s roadmap to success, unifying goals, strategies and vision across SMTs, SLTs and teachers. Generally, this strategic planning document tells people what your school wants to achieve in the future, and how it plans to get there.
It is crucial to consistently interrogate and refine your strategy, not just during periods of infrastructure upgrades or budget windfalls, to align your master plan to the values of the school.
With the last few years bringing about a multitude of shifts in the education world, is your school’s master plan up-to-date? Here are some considerations when adjusting your strategy to reflect shifting values and goals:
Is your Master Plan aligned with teachers?
Teachers generally do the lion’s share of carrying out your school’s strategy, so it’s important that they are kept front-of-mind when outlining or updating your master plan. Improving education ultimately comes from enthusiastic, knowledgeable and focused educators who understand how to inspire and engage pupils.
The State of Technology in Education Report 2021 found that only 70% of Australian teachers agreed with their school’s strategic priorities, as opposed to 79% of IT staff and 83% of SMT members – with all groups showing a decrease in alignment from the previous year.
This could be down to the fact that only 2% of teachers agreed that staff in their school received full training and support for edtech – in a year that was for many so heavily reliant on technology to teach. If your Master Plan is due for an update, why not consider supercharging your staff training and upskilling strategy?
There are so many options for continuing professional development when it comes to edtech, such as our free Learn Promethean website, full of valuable resources that teachers can access whenever and wherever suits them.
Are you utilising edtech to support your goals?
With the increase in distance and hybrid learning, digital technology has arguably never been more crucial to maintaining consistency within the classroom. As localised COVID-19 risk management strategies continue to change and adapt, schools must stay prepared to support students learning from home at short notice.
Adopting a digital-first strategy enables the same lesson materials to be used whether students are in the classroom or learning from home. This means prioritising infrastructure such as networks, in-class tech and file sharing systems, as well as staff professional development.
If you want to put tech on top of your priority list, but are budget-constrained, why not consider a BYOD strategy, in which students bring their own personal devices to school? That way students can have continual access to their learning technology while at school or from home, with a strong interactive flat panel display like the ActivPanel acting as a solid anchor through which devices can connect and communicate.
Is your Master Plan helping to promote your school?
When it comes to communication, not only is it crucial for aligning staff with goals, but also can really help to promote your school’s vision to parents and the public. Digital communication tools have exploded in the last decade, especially in the wake of COVID-19, so why not explore how they can help you align your school’s image with your master plan?
Strategic use of social media can help position your school as forward thinking, while also providing an easy, budget-friendly way of keeping the entire school community in the loop about updates, goals and vision.
You can also utilise social media groups and other online platforms to streamline pupil communication. Setting up an online space for students to collaborate means easier exchanging of files, links, media and more.
But just because social media is a relatively simple tool to use, does not mean prioritising communications in your school’s strategy is straightforward. To maintain your credibility as an institution, you must identify and stick to a consistent voice, and make sure the content you share is of a high level, and relevant to your audience. Consider creating content such as blogs and media rich posts to share with your followers.
Is your master plan aligned with equality?
Australia still has a long way to go in terms of educational equality. Private schools tend to be better resourced in terms of staffing and materials than public schools, and rural schools have greater teaching shortages than city schools.
Recognising that the ‘digital divide’ means that technology is not always accessible at home, software like ActivInspire can convert lessons to PDF format. These PDFs can then be printed and distributed as worksheets, without the teacher having to prepare a whole new suite of materials.
A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) showed that giving both affluent and low-income students the same access to technology can aid achievement, boost engagement and improve readiness to learn.
This means that schools looking to address inequality should prioritise investments that will support students in the classroom – as this is where they learn best, and where they will be learning for most of the time.
If you would like to learn more about how you can maximise the potential of the edtech in your classroom, book an online ActivPanel demonstration today. Demonstrations can be customised to suit your school’s needs and are conducted by experienced Promethean Education Consultants.