After three successful years formulating and delivering highly relevant, evidence-based and innovative courses for the early childhood and school workforces at the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, we are looking forward to extending our reach to new audiences, expanding our products and services and forming new partnerships.
Extremely positive findings from a recent independent evaluation confirm that all our hard work in the establishment phase of Bastow - designing courses, founding partnerships, refining processes and aligning our policies with the Department’s priorities - has been extremely worthwhile.
There is no doubt that this is a pivotal time in our growth, and although it is vital that we continue consolidating and evaluating our offerings, we also need to deepen our understanding of the education sector and carefully appraise its needs if we are to survive in this competitive market.
This expansion involves determining not only what products and services are becoming more vital for this sector, but also how we can tailor these to meet specific needs and extend them to new market segments. It is also essential that we develop innovative and effective ways to continue to assist and teach participants beyond the time they spend with us.
The first step to addressing these issues is to cultivate new collaborative arrangements with those who share our desire to improve education. We already sustain strong partnerships with a range of organisations and universities, but now is the time for us to investigate other affiliations that benefit everyone.
Expanding our reach beyond government schools to include catholic and independent sectors and regional and specialist schools is crucial. Determining how the needs of their teachers and leaders differ is the key to providing them the best training, support and resources to enable them to become leaders and teachers.
Principal preparation also presents both a great opportunity and a challenge. Coherent and effective support for principals assists them to facilitate and create the organisational conditions and processes to ensure that teachers can continue to learn, grow and become impressive leaders.
Providing continuity, ongoing support and resources to our participants beyond the life of a course in the most potent and accessible ways possible is also another way that we can share our assets and show that we value everyone who walks through our doors as a partner in education.
Diversifying and delivering a wider range of learning opportunities to complement and enhance our current courses is also paramount. Working together with principals and peak professional associations and key representatives from these sectors to develop more personalised, customised and bespoke services will ensure that we meet specific training and education needs.
In the same way that all effective leaders should, we pursue a continuous cycle of reflection, inquiry and research into the effectiveness of our strategies, approaches and behaviours. This puts us in a unique position to contribute to research by conducting our own inquiry into and analysis of leadership to help improve the quality of education in Australia and internationally.
Taking the institute into its next phase of development is a tremendous opportunity to leverage off the brand positioning that we have established. It is also an exciting challenge to determine how we can grow and diversify while maintaining excellence. But above all, we are committed to continuing to equip teachers and leaders for the complex and challenging work that they do.