No school can educate a child for the 21st Century by acting as an island. It must build bridges that support engagement with the community and industry.
By establishing a framework you will be able to gradually grow the school as a hub of the community, engaging an eclectic range of stakeholders, all supporting the education of your students.
There are just 5 pillars required to build a framework that supports engagement and collaboration between school and the wider community.
Once this framework has been created it can be used often to build your school as a hub of community engagement.
The first thing to do when you start working with a potential partner is to determine the fundamental values that will underpin your work together.
This will seem strange but you need to establish your relationship with your potential partner and a slow engagement, achieved by discussing these values will help you to get to know each other, and it is a lot better than the “test and fail till you get it right” method.
Think of it as a prenuptial agreement!!
You don’t HAVE to agree on each of these principles. Pick the ones that suit your project. For small projects you may not need #5 but your school will gradually build a bank of standards that will underpin each following project.
These principles are suggested for consideration by schools and their partners when deciding how you are going to work together:
The school and partners will share a common vision of the project and understanding of the scope.
The project strategy will be customer centric, with the views of customers being represented in the project design.
Participants will demonstrate through action, a willingness to make the project succeed.
The project must be flexible enough to enable participation of all parties, regardless of power and status.
Where standards are available they will guide the operation of the project.
An analysis of all costs and benefits must underpin the project plan and sustain the ongoing case to work in partnership.
Governance arrangements will explicitly identify who is available for what aspect of the project and to what standard.
Security and privacy issues will underpin management.
An express agreement between parties will support the project.
If you would like to discuss how to establish your school framework for engaging a village to raise your students email me: Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au
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Western Australia’s capacity to educate students to succeed in a 21st Century Global Village is being crippled by insurance companies regimes. Duty of care has become the overarching education framework that determines students stay on school grounds and risks are averted.
Teachers’ capacity to engage with any village to enhance the education of students is stifled by a mountain of risk management paperwork.
Schools are becoming islands in a global environment.
Education providers need to create a framework that enable students to engage in entreprise and work integrated learning activities.
There are just 5 elements to the framework. Once it has been developed it can be used as a template for any collaborative arrangement between schools and the world outside school.
Clarify who is responsible for what and to what standard?
There will be rules that govern the way any collaboration will operate? Duty of care, privacy, equal opportunity and ownership of intellectual property are just some.
Once you have identified a list that your school must comply with you can use it for all projects.
You need a dedicated budget. Serious efforts to collaborate should not attempt to squeeze more into existing tight budgets.
A good project plan should underpin the project. Project planning templates for all occasions can be found HERE. The project plan will lead to a sound MoU that can act as a template for further collaborations.
Your school will have IT protocols, security frameworks and applications that apply to all IT activity. These issues need to be reconciled with partnering organisations to ensure seamless interoperability.
NSIF Meta Framework
The National Service Improvement Framework is a framework to use to design frameworks.
It is a top down model which starts with organisations agreeing on what they want to do and what benefits they are trying to achieve.
VET in Schools Example
The regime that enables VET in schools has been created to support collaboration between education and training providers.
That framework can provide an example of what to do, and also what NOT to do.
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If you have ever tried to take a class on an excursion you know how hard it is. The maths staff complain that they need the students to do a test on that day. The front office staff complain that you haven’t finished the paper work. The students don’t bring in their money.
It doesn’t seem worth the effort.
School systems aren’t set up to support learning out of school grounds.
As the boundaries between schools, universities and registered training organisations (RTOs) become more porous there is a need for schools to become more agile in their approach to learning.
Unis and RTOs have these 5 systems in place that support flexible learning.
They specify what they are aiming to achieve and who is responsible within each organisation. They also have a time and reporting stipulations and they have identified standards that support strategic goals.
Universities and VET training providers have management systems in place to guide off campus learning. The management process includes how the project fits into strategic targets and learning outcomes.
There are generic equal opportunity, privacy, duty of care and occupational health and safety laws designed to protect students, workers and volunteers. Once these standards are in place they provide the framework for all excursions.
Universities and RTOs organise their finances so that there are staff who take responsibility for flexible learning arrangements. This is not the task of the academic staff. Financial management will be determined by school funding models and may include costs associated with the off campus activities.
Universities and RTOs have IT systems that capture and share information without the need for duplication.
Want to know more?
Email me for a copy of the How to set up a school – industry partnership framework.
In about 2007 I was excited by his Do Schools Kill Creativity? TED Talk which echoed the “Good radical stuff” espoused by Ivan Illich in the 1970’s.
In 2018 Ken is now Sir Ken, and his message sounds like populist haranguing of teachers.
Does he think teachers don’t KNOW that they need to foster creativity in every student?
Does he think his badgering is helping them to grapple with a class full of demanding students, parents’ expectations, a rigorous curriculum and a school registrar who loses sleep over permission forms?
Schools don’t need Sir Ken Robinson.
Schools need a framework that facilitates engagement and collaboration between them, industry and community.
If school-industry partnerships are to be a priority in all schools – then industry engagement needs to first be prioritised at the system level. Rather than adding on more requirements for schools to deliver, this would mean education systems recognising the broader outcomes that industry partnerships contribute to, such as lifting career aspirations and increasing engagement in learning. (p19)
This is the sort of advice that will help schools to engage with the wider community.
There are 5 aspects to the enabling framework that schools need:
A Governance Framework showing who is responsible for what and to what standard.
A Management Framework that directs different aspects of the school environment.
A Legal Framework that includes OH&S, child protection and industrial issues.
A Financial Framework, and
An ICT framework that facilitates data management and sharing.
It is in “2” the Management Framework, that we are seeing most change.
The West Australian State Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA) is responsible for managing the academic framework for schools. It is demonstrating its awareness of the need for change and there is an increasing number of SCASA endorsed opportunities for students to undertake to meet the requirements of their WA Certificate of Education (WACE).
As the WACE becomes more flexible, its viability as a management framework for education is becoming less critical. In the past, academic results, as measured by the ATAR, have been a shortcut for universities wanting to assess students’ capacity to undertake the rigours of university study.
Now only 26% of university students gain a place via their ATAR score. Universities are giving credit for university units to students while they are still in school and providing alternative pathways into university.
Students applying for vocational education places have always had a broader spectrum of application requirements….
Want to be a veterinary nurse?? What experience have you had with animals??
Apart from ad hoc efforts that are addressing the Management Framework I am not aware of moves to design comprehensive infrastructure that facilitates each aspect of collaboration.
The Fogarty EdFutures Foundation and Curtin’s Learning Futures Network are enthusiastically working to introduce strategies that will change the school environment but without fundamental enabling infrastructure that addresses each of the 5 Frameworks, they will be forced to tinker at the edges.
I have significant anecdotal evidence that enthusiasm to help schools from industry and the community is being left on the table for want of enabling infrastructure.
Invitation to Collaborate
If anyone has the capacity to kick start a project to develop and pilot infrastructure that engages all available resources to help our students to succeed, I would welcome the opportunity to become involved.