Learning to lead effectively
Fifty-five senior school leaders have signed up for a 12-month leadership coaching pilot programme run by Evaluation Associates.
Fran Renton, PPTA Te Wehengarua Advisory Officer (Industrial and Legal), says the idea for the programme stemmed from concerns within the PPTA Secondary Principals’ Council about the need for more support for principals and senior school leaders. “The review of Tomorrow’s Schools identified really significant issues with the lack of system-wide support of leadership. The competitive environment that most schools operate in can leave principals and senior leaders feeling isolated. The Council is very interested in seeing if an online coaching programme could be a valuable resource.”
Pilot programme underway
The pilot programme, which began at the beginning of Term 3, is being run by education consultancy Evaluation Associates. Chris Murphy, Evaluation Associates Leadership Advisor, says the pilot is fully subscribed with 30 participants receiving one-to-one coaching and 25 participants contributing to five Professional Learning Groups (PLG). The delivery team is comprised of six coaches all with extensive school leadership and/or group coaching experience.
“The programme is being run entirely online. While there are great benefits in a face to face delivery, the online model gives us the opportunity to offer coaching to many more people in every corner of the country. Removing disparity caused by geographical isolation is important, and the use of web-based conferencing tools has enabled us to do that.
Focus on individual priority areas
“The programme uses the whenu (strands) from Tū Rangatira (a Ministry of Education resource) to help focus our coaching. It describes, really beautifully, seven key roles of school leadership and the area's leadership should focus on. Each of them is incredibly important in its own right, but together they encompass what it means to lead effectively and holistically. Participants identified which whenu that they thought were priority areas for their own development and we’ve honed in on them as a starting point.”
Chris says the programme seems to be meeting a definite need so far. “The coaches have all spoken of the eagerness of the participants and their appreciation of the coaching they have received thus far. The coaches themselves have enjoyed the variety and scope of the discussions. Participants from one of the learning groups have already set up a shared drive where they are sharing ideas, readings and resources with one another.”