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Strategic Planning Is it necessary in educational establishments?

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Presentation on theme: "Strategic Planning Is it necessary in educational establishments?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategic Planning Is it necessary in educational establishments?

2 Strategic planning activity: developing an academic argument The purpose of this activity is: To examine the extent to which strategic planning is essential for change and improvement To rehearse building an evidence-based argument To examine the value of alternative viewpoints and contradictory evidence.

3 Strategic planning activity You will be considering the theory that Strategic planning is fundamental to effective change and improvement in schools and colleges

4 Instructions Working in small groups you have half an hour in which to prepare 5 key points either in favour of, or against this theory. Use evidence from the literature and your own experience to justify your arguments. The readings you were given in advance should help, but you can draw on any relevant evidence. Each group will put forward their key points in a formal way, i.e. introduce your arguments and provide a context for them.

5 Instructions After hearing the other groups arguments, each group will have a further half hour to identify evidence to refute them. Again this evidence will be put forward formally, with a conclusion bringing together your whole argument.

6 Planning is an unnatural process. It is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. John Harvey Jones

7 What is it? Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within a changing environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfil stakeholder expectations. Johnson and Scholes 1993

8 What is it? A strategy is the pattern or plan that integrates an organizations major goals, policies, and action sequences into a cohesive whole. Quin 1980

9 Vision A dream created in our waking hours of a preferred future (Block, 1987, p.107). Something you can see in your minds eye… A vision has to distinguish an organisation, set it apart as a unique institution. (Mintzberg and Quinn, 1998, p.136) May be as vague as a dream or as precise as a goal or mission statement. The critical point is that a vision articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organization, a condition that is better in some important ways than what now exists (Bennis and Namus, 1985, p. 89).

10 Mission The mission statement sets out the purpose and general direction for the organisation to follow, its guiding values and principles and overall objectives (Mullins, 2002, p.133).

11 Does vision come first? Ready, fire, aim is the more fruitful sequence if we want to take a linear snapshot of an organisation undergoing major reform. Ready is important, there has to be some notion of direction, but it is killing to bog down the process with vision, mission and strategic planning, before you know enough about dynamic reality. Fire is action and inquiry where skills, clarity and learning are fostered. Aim is crystallizing new beliefs, formulating mission and vision statements and focussing strategic planning. Vision and strategic planning come later, if anything they come at step 3, not step 1. Fullan (1993, pp 31-32)

12 Vision vs values Research examining micropolitical strategies for achieving change in schools found that: The leadership team promoted key values as the driving force for reform (rather than leader-inspired visions of reform) (Johnson, 2004, p. 267).




16 Strategic planning in FE Lumby (1999) carried out a research study into strategic planning in the FE sector. Her research included: Interviews with 4 principals and 1 second-tier manager (no middle managers or lecturers) with responsibility for strategic planning in colleges in 5 counties in the Midlands and eastern regions of England; Analysis of 29 full strategic plans and 24 partial plans (24% of all general FE colleges in England).

17 Lumby (1999) findings Most colleges did not use Johnson and Scholes (1993) linear approach of mission goal objective strategy action/tasks control rewards. Some plans were a loose collection of sections apparently written by different people. Aims and objectives were very similar, encompassing the product or curriculum; market; resources/costs; capability building. [Prescribed for the plans.] Difficulties of involving staff in the formulation of the plan shade into the difficulties of motivating them to complete it once formulated (p.79).

18 Lumby (1999) findings The principals felt that the benefits of the process were: A greater sense of purpose An increased feeling of independence A benchmark against which all decisions could be measured Better systems and efficiency Better communication as there was something important to communicate (p.81).

19 Lumbys (1999) conclusions Strategic planning in further education therefore differs greatly from that undertaken by private sector organisations in that the process is used to position not only, or in some cases, not primarily, against competitors but against, in the words of one principal, governmental drift. Government has policies for schools and for higher education. Whatever is left over is further education, and against this grim scenario strategic planning had helped to maintain some sense of the worth and value of the work of the sector (p.82).

20 Research into strategic planning in schools Davies, Davies and Ellison (2005) undertook research into strategic practices in schools, funded by the National College. They undertook in-depth case studies in schools identified as highly effective: 10 primary schools 10 secondary schools 3 special schools.

21 Davies et al (2005) findings Strategically focused schools aim to: Develop both a short-term and a strategic perspective in the school Develop and enhance strategic processes in the school Develop and deploy a variety of strategic approaches in the school Develop and enhance strategic leadership throughout the school Develop strategic measures of success in the school (p.71)

22 Develop both a short-term and strategic perspective in the school (Davies et al, 2005, p.72) Operational processes and planning (SDP and target setting) EffectiveFunctionally successful in the short-term but not sustainable long-term The strategically- focused school: successful and sustainable in both the short- term and the long-term IneffectiveFailure inevitable in both the short and long term Short-term crises will prevent longer-term sustainability IneffectiveEffective Strategic processes and planning

23 Develop and enhance strategic processes in the school Four strategic processes: How we think about strategy (conceptualising) How we involve others in the processes (engaging the people) How we communicate the strategy (articulating) How we go about putting strategy into action (implementing) (Davies et al, 2005, p.73)

24 Develop and deploy a variety of activities in the school Conceptual framework of strategic approaches: Strategic planning (not just adding years of detail onto the school development plan) Emergent strategy (as policies change) Strategic intent – educational core purpose Devolved strategy – where distributed leadership exists (Davies et al, 2005, p.74)

25 Activities of strategic leaders Setting the direction of the school Translating strategy into action Aligning the people, the organisation and the strategy Determining effective strategic intervention points Developing strategic capabilities in the school (Davies et al, 2005, p.75)

26 Strategic leaders Challenge and question – they have a dissatisfaction with the present Prioritise their own strategic thinking and learning and build new mental models to frame their own and others understanding Display strategic wisdom based on a clear value system Have high quality personal and interpersonal skills (Davies et al, 2005, p. 75)

27 Problems with not planning strategically Large-scale research project on CPD in schools involved a national survey and 12 case study schools The planning and organisation of CPD in schools is hampered by a lack of strategic planning which reflects and reinforces difficulties schools have in balancing successfully between national policy, school and individual priorities and ensuring that CPD caters to different types of need (Pedder and Opfer, 2010, p. 229).

28 Problems with not planning strategically As a result, CPD tends to be fragmented and to consist of one-off events from a range of external providers. Consistent with the widespread absence of strategic approaches to CPD planning, the reasons that prompted teachers to participate in CPD tended to be personal and not linked to collective decision- making or an overarching strategic design (Pedder and Opfer, 2010, p. 449).

29 Improving schools with strategic planning: 3 fallacies (Bell, 2004) The leadership fallacy: theories about strategic planning place the headteacher at the centre and do not recognise distributed leadership The predictive fallacy: strategic planning is predicated on being able to predict the future of the schools environment (p.34). Is this predictable, and can strategic planning proceed in an orderly way to achieve desired ends?

30 Improving schools with strategic planning: 3 fallacies (Bell, 2004) The effectiveness fallacy: the discourse of effective schooling … is largely based on an extremely narrow set of criteria (p.34)

31 Planning for change Research in the US investigating how school leaders support change found that: leadership teams use non-linear and evolutionary planning approaches that were negotiated closely with participants (rather than strategic planning approaches to goal setting driven by school leaders) (Johnson, 2004, p. 267)

32 Davies (2006) Brent Davies (2006, p.11) stated that the most significant finding from the NCSL research project and from reviews of the literature is the power of strategic conversations as a means of building research capability and capacity in schools. Strategic conversations: Established a common vocabulary Developed an understanding of how staff could make things happen Built consensus Outlined staff visions Built reflection Kept everyone involved Carried everyone forward.

33 Effective plans Are complex in character and their complex nature is understood Are multipurpose Have a strong sense of ownership and involvement by the staff and others Are well led and the leadership of the process is shared Are supported by financial resources and a staff development programme Are systematically monitored and evaluated, using a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence Encourage and support teachers own learning Focus on improving pupil progress and achievement Based on MacGilchrist, B. et al (1995, p.205)

34 How to do an audit? SWOT Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats PESTLE Political Economic Social Technological (Legal) Educational (Environmental)

35 References Bell, L. (2004) Strategic planning in primary schools: a tale of no significance? Management in Education, vol. 18, no. 4, pp Bennis, W.G. and Nanus, B. (1985) Leaders: the strategies for taking charge London: Harper and Row Block, P. (1987) The empowered manager: positive political skills at work San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Chuck, M. and Hodgson, A. (2003) Strategic planning: a practical approach for international schools International Schools Journal Vol. 23, no. 2 Davies, B. (2006) Processes not plans are the key to strategic development. Management in Education. vol. 20, no.2, pp

36 References Davies, B., Davies, B.J. and Ellison, L. (2005) Success and sustainability: developing the strategically focused school. Nottingham: NCSL Fidler, B. with Edwards M, Evans B, Mann P & Thomas P (1996) Strategic Planning for School Improvement, London: Pitman Hargreaves, D. H and Hopkins, D. (Eds) (1994)Development Planning for School Improvement. New York: Cassell Johnson, B. (2004). Local school micropolitical agency: an antidote to new managerialism. School Leadership and Management, vol. 24, no. 3, pp

37 References Johnson G., Scholes K., (1993) Exploring Corporate Strategy 3rd edn, Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall Lumby, J. (1999) Strategic planning in further education: the business of values. Educational Management and Administration, vol. 27, no.1, pp MacGilchrist, B. Mortimore, P., Savage, J. and Beresford, C. (1995) Planning Matters: the impact of development planning in primary schools London: Paul Chapman Middlewood, D. and Lumby, J. (Eds) (1998) Strategic Management in Schools and Colleges. London: Paul Chapman Publishing

38 References Mintzberg, H. and Quinn, J. (1998) Readings in the strategy process Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall Mullins, L. (2002) Management and organisational behaviour Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall Pedder, D. and Opfer, V. (2010). Planning and organisation of teachers Continuous Professional Development in schools in England. The Curriculum Journal, vol. 21, no. 4, pp Weatherley, C. (2000) Leading the Learning School Stafford: Network Educational Press

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