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Should I ask for an international school's improvement plan?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Sileas, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Sileas

    Sileas New commenter

    I have been teaching for almost ten years now but I am relatively new to teaching overseas (I'm coming to the end of my first contract). There is a school that I want to apply to in Europe, an international school, but I'm not sure if I should ask for the school's improvement (i.e. strategic) plan. I would in the UK, but I don't really know if it's the done thing in the international job market. It's just that there's not much on the school's website and I would like to see where the school is headed, to get a better idea if I would be a good match.

    I need some advice! Should I email and ask, or would this put an international school off me?
  2. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    Perhaps something to bring up at interview?
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I did an MA dissertation on the development planning we were then carrying out in my school, so of course I would have been very pleased to respond to this kind of enquiry. However, to adapt WS Gilbert, not every HT has my bumptious self-assurance, and some might feel threatened (and not only those who wouldn't know a strategic plan from a bag of chips). I agree with silverfern, better to leave it until the interview stage.
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    In my experience, a "school improvement plan" usually involves lots of new (and meaningless) mission statements, pointless meetings after school hours and more boring paperwork.

    How about a "staff happiness plan" instead?
    Stillstayingjohnson likes this.
  5. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

    Isn't staff morale, like school improvement, something most Heads only pay lip service to?
    sabrinakat likes this.
  6. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    I would save it for interview and ask the school what stage they are at in their strategic plan - ie you will find out if: are they in year 2 of 4, are they re-writing it, do they have one?

    Similar information could also perhaps be gleaned by asking what informs decision making in the school. I would want to hear about alignment with mission/vision/values etc.
  7. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    It's probably a good litmus test, so I'd save it for the end of the interview when they ask if they have any more questions. If you get a rabbit-in-the-headlights look that will tell you a lot.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  8. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    I'm not sure what would be the most diplomatic or safest way of doing this but I really really wish I'd known my current school's plans before I accepted.

    Not sure asking would have helped though, I was interviewed by the outgoing head but a new director started and the place is in a state of what could best be decribed as turmoil.

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