In 2017 TIGS commenced a collaborative process with parents, students, staff and friends to create a Strategic Vision for 2018-2022. At the heart of the Strategic Vision is the School’s core values, with goals under each area providing a clear path for our future development. We sat down with the Chair of TIGS School Council, Mr Roger Summerill, to find out more about the Strategic Vision for TIGS.
Could you give us some background to the School’s Strategic Vision?
In recent times the School Council has developed a Strategic Plan based on the School’s Mission and Values Statement, to help guide decision making about the direction of the School for the following three to four years. Previously the Headmaster would prepare a draft document for Council. The document would be discussed and sometimes revised by the Council and then set down as a policy. This time Council decided that it wanted the Plan to become something that not only involved the Council, but also the wider School community.
The first step was an off-campus retreat involving most of the Council members along with several staff and a small cohort of parents. At the retreat it became obvious that this was an opportunity to incorporate a broad range of perspectives in the development of a plan for the School, ensuring our vision of TIGS for 2022 reflects the views of our whole community, not just School Council.
The change of title from ‘Plan’ to ’Vision’ came following a TIGS Prayer Breakfast when our former Archbishop and former President of the Council, Bishop Harry Goodhew, prayed that the Council would have Godly wisdom as it developed a new vision for the School. God works in mysterious ways and thus the title of the project was changed from Strategic Plan to Strategic Vision.
How was the Strategic Vision created?
Following the Council retreat a draft document was produced. At the retreat it was recognised and acknowledged that it had been some time since comprehensive research of the School had been done and if we were to know what we wanted the School to be, some work would need to be undertaken by experts rather than develop a document based solely on the thoughts of the group at the retreat. A leader in educational research, MMG Education, used by many other independent school across the country, was contracted to perform 360 degree reviews of where the School was in 2017, and where the School family would like TIGS to be in three to four years.
Over the next few months parents, grandparents, students, staff - both teachers and other staff - along with members of the Foundation, P&F, Alumni and other supporters of the School were invited to participate in the project. Following the research, Council was presented with a report and some recommendations. Another planning day was held, and the original Strategic Vision document was amended to better reflect the findings of the research project. As part of those reflections Council added a further section to the Vision to include Sustainability and Stewardship. This was added to foster effective governance and leadership to ensure best practice policies are in place, enabling TIGS to serve its community in a sustainable and responsible way.
The revised document was provided to the School community for feedback, with a wide range of stakeholders invited to participate in focus groups to consider ‘Mark 2’ version of the Strategic Vision. Once the findings of the focus groups were analysed and considered Council then determined the final version of the Strategic Vision for the next three years.
What does the School Council want to achieve with this Strategic Vision?
Council is hoping that the Strategic Vision will enable our stakeholders across the School community to know and understand what type of school we want TIGS to be, and to achieve the goals set out in the Vision. Those goals will be aligned with our foundational principles from our Statement of Mission and Values of being Academic, Christian and Caring. We also hope the Vision document will be an aid to our new Head of School to understand and recognise what we as a community see as being our needs and aspirations for TIGS.
How do you think the direction of the School will shift under the new Strategic Vision?
The School is already well along the path of the Strategic Vision. However, we hope that this new document will assist the Council, parents, prospective families, current students, staff and other School stakeholders to focus on, and understand more clearly, our goals and purposes as we move forward.
As Mrs Nealy, our Acting Head of School has stated, the Strategic Vision displays our commitment to remaining as the regional leader in educational practice in an ever changing world, yet retaining our core school values of being Academic, Christian and Caring.
How will the Strategic Vision be implemented?
The Vision will be available in several forms. There will be the full version of the Vision available on the School website as well as a video presentation, along with a printed summary of the Vision available. Over the next three years, on an annual basis, again in collaboration with the school community, Council will review the progress of the Vision. Circumstances sometimes change and if changes need to be made they will be.
What role do you see the TIGS community playing in the fulfilment of the Strategic Vision?
The School Council would hope that as the wider School family collaborated in the defining and production of the Strategic Vision that it will see the importance of the Strategic Vision being owned by the whole School. I would hope that if a member of the school community feels that any part of the Vision is not being fulfilled, then they will offer feedback, and continue to be part of the process of TIGS being the School we all want it to be.
In conclusion I would like to place on record my appreciation and thanks to all who participated in the process. To Mr Kinsella, Mrs Nealy, the School Council, especially the Chair of the Council’s Governance and Planning committee, Professor Tony Okely, who was responsible for driving the process. To all who took part in the research project and focus groups, thank you. Your role has been important, and has been much appreciated.
Learn more about TIGS Strategic Vision 2018 - 2022
Click here to view our Strategic Vision or watch a video interview with Mr Roger Summerill