Education & Training

Strategic Planning,
The Education Foundation (AUS)

Background

The Foundation acts as a social conscience for AUS & has been making a difference since 1989. Over the years, it has used its resources astutely to hold up a mirror to educators & to harness the support of community leaders in an innovative way. It is the only independent, non-profit organisation in AUS that strengthens public education by investing private money into primary & secondary schools. Its focus is educational excellence & equality of opportunity regardless of home circumstance.

Issue

Due to the innovative culture & the strength of senior staff’s creativity, the organisation had developed numerous programs such as ‘Transforming Learning in the Middle Years (5-9)‘ to reduce the risk of students switching off from learning; ‘Creating Community Solutions’ improving the effectiveness of schools through positive role models, ‘Seeding Student Opportunities’ helping to close the gap between students from lower & higher socio economic groups, ‘Driving new policy: bold research for real change’ – fighting against growing regional disparities. On top of these, there were many other programs – all competing for the same scare resources.

Solution

The outgoing CEO therefore asked Synergy Global to facilitate an Executive Strategic Planning Day to take stock of all their initiatives & to instigate a robust Business Planning Process to provide more focus. Building on what had already been achieved by the staff in taking forward The City Centre (urban learning for 14 & 15 year olds) - opening social, cultural & corporate doors to public school students; the Back to School Day, government school alumni as inspiring role models; ruMAD? (Are You Making A Difference?) - bringing learning to life & building student leadership capacity etc. The key issue was one of initiative fatigue (very common in complex & growing organisations), so we discussed ‘working smarter not harder’ & how the team might focus on what make the most difference.

Outcome

A clearly articulated philosophy (that kids can do anything with a great education) &vision (that the public education system inspires every young person to achieve their best), with a more workable mission/strategy (to work with public schools, business & the community  as well as to give young people an excellent education & equal access to opportunity), whilst stimulating new thinking, commitment & involvement.
The hardworking & passionate team left re-motivated & more focused to reduce the number of kids at risk of dropping out or disengaging from learning, helping them to stay at school to year 12 or equivalent.

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