NESLI’s programs recognised as pathway to postgraduate study for school leaders in USA

Australian education provider signs significant agreement with American university.

Associate Professor Janet Smith

Director of Associates, Paul Larkin awarded Dean's and ACEL awards

NESLI Head of School and Director of Associates, Paul Larkin has just been awarded both the Dean’s and ACEL awards as part of his graduation in the Master of Leadership in Organisational Learning. Paul was awarded the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence from Monash University for his academic excellence, which recognised the fact that Paul was the top graduating student in 2017. Along with getting the highest score in his class throughout the program, Paul was also awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) award, which is presented to the top graduating student across Monash’s leadership courses within the Faculty of Education.Victorian Branch ACEL President Coralee Pratt presented Paul with the awards at a ceremony dinner. Massive congratulations to Paul for his hard work and dedication in achieving such great academic results, matched only by the rave reviews he regularly receives from our clients (both individual and organisational). Connect with Paul on LinkedIn and get in touch with us if you want to find out how Paul can help you and your school in it's approach to leadership.

Almost 1 in 2 women teachers experience discrimination at their school

Important survey points to widespread biases, boys club culture and bullying.

The pathway to the ‘sweet spot’

A participant in NESLI’s Advanced Leadership Program shares her thoughts on integrity, authenticity and communication as a female educator.

EQ vs IQ: Clash of the Titans

Are EQ and IQ destined to be at war? Darwin-based education leader Paul Drewitt investigates.


High-performance school culture​

In an educational context, the term 'high-performance' is synonymous with student achievement. But for students to achieve the best possible outcomes, their school needs to foster a high-performance culture, first and foremost. Doing this may seem relatively simple, but when the daily administrative tasks and responsibilities of running a school come into play, culture can be low on the priority list and can be well below profit and standardised test scores.

From my own experience, a high-performance culture starts with setting up a safe, well-organised school. This means procedures and routines are well thought out and applied consistently. Then there are the harder to measure standards like high levels of trust and vulnerability between staff, being able to have tough conversations and so forth. This sort of behaviour breeds accountability which is vital for high performance. 

Collaboration is also vital for a school’s success. And when we speak of collaboration, we do not just mean getting in a room and discussing what we are going to do. That is just coordinating. Rather, collaboration is about human attitudes and behaviours and navigating their diversity to reach a common goal. Every school must collaborate over big issues, including its mission and values. A strong collective sense of what a school wants to do is so important. Schools that operate and perform well have a strong sense of purpose and a vision that goes way beyond best practices. They have thought about their mission and values long and hard, and have collaborated successfully with staff, students and parents to actualise them.

During my time as a teacher and facilitator, I have seen schools that have been able to adapt to change and schools that have not. One thing is certain: school culture is created from its leadership capability. Successful schools all have well rounded educational leaders in common. As school policies have begun to take on a corporate and business management mindset, school leadership styles need to adapt to this.

A high performance school culture relies on a mix of key elements:

At NESLI we have managed to introduce an emphasis on both management and applied leadership in schools. This has come to be seen as a way forward that is not about top-down, rigid and controlling structures. Instead, it is a way forward that is about learning and communication and empowering people in school communities.

At NESLI we embrace both corporate values like accountability, a focus on results, and so forth while also paying attention to how these emerge from and merge with the core interest of schools, which is learning.

Kirk Fisher is a former school principal and teacher. With experience across a range of school sectors, Kirk is passionate about high-performance school cultures and how they eventuate.

Classroom scene made out of Playmobil
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