Lutheran Education SA, NT & WA (LESNW) recently introduced its new Strategic Intentions, with the aim of moving into the future with a collective focus for all Lutheran learning communities. The new set of Strategic Intentions will serve as a dynamic roadmap for LESNW over the next three years.
The Strategic Intentions 2021-2023 document was co-developed with the help of stakeholders including principals, leaders, board members, regional office staff and teachers. It emphasises the community aspect of LESNW, with the ongoing engagement of stakeholders ensuring that its goals continue to respond to changes in context locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
Strategic Intentions Goals – an overview:
To nurture the expression of grace as a reflection of God’s unconditional love through Jesus
Growing Community – we are better together
Holistic learning that services other and enhances the world
Strengthening the agility and sustainability of learning communities
Equipping governance and leadership for the emerging future
Strategic Intentions Q&A with LESNW
What is the Strategic Intentions document?
The Strategic Intentions 2021-2023 is our dynamic road map for the next 3 years. We expect this to be changing as we journey over this time. The strategic actions have developed as various stakeholders have come together over an extended period of time to identify what they see as important areas of focus, which will bring about the Vision of LESNW. The goals have been synthesized from group engagement, which has included, principals, leaders, board members, regional office staff, and teachers. Working parties have been established from interested educators and leaders to further develop strategies in relation to the goals.
How are the new Strategic Intentions different from what was in place previously?
The difference has been that in the past the strategic plan was far more regional office-centric with limited stakeholder engagement, particularly in relation to strategies and actions. The current goals and actions have been co-developed and are a joint responsibility to be actioned by the collective LESNW rather than only regional office staff. The emphasis now being that LESNW is a community of learning communities, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and that we are stronger together.
This ongoing engagement of stakeholders makes the goals/strategies far more dynamic and agile rather than static lists of tasks to be completed. It ensures that the goals continue to respond to changes in contexts locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
A key element of the strategic intentions is alignment of purpose.
How have the values from this document been practically demonstrated in learning communities since their introduction?
Actions have included:
Goal 1: To nurture the expression of grace as a reflection of God’s unconditional love through Jesus
The wording of this first intention is quite radical. It commits the church and LESNW to strengthening the understanding of the role that learning communities play in contributing positively to the mission of the church in contemporary society. This will emerge from intentional engagement of boards, church communities, leaders and staff with “our foundation” from Growing Deep, and what that means for the ‘why’ of the school.
Goal 2: Growing Community – we are better together
Active engagement and generative conversations by leaders through the various leadership networks/hubs and groups regarding actions they might take, particularly in terms of Goal 2. What can we do together which will grow our community? The actions identified relate to all of the other goals eg bringing school boards together to look at ways of ‘building the brand’, sharing expertise, developing capabilities
A strong focus in learning communities is on intentionally building a culture of collaboration, realising that this does not just happen naturally. Leaders are providing dedicated time to develop personal mastery, team learning and systems thinking, through the use of a variety of tools and strategies which support effective collaboration. As a response, teachers are using these approaches with their students to build greater collaboration and the understanding that we are “interdependent parts of a larger whole.”
Goal 3: Holistic learning that services other and enhances the world
Development of systems and structures to enable sharing for improvement using a multimodal approach i.e. case studies sharing, with a focus on change management and connection to Growing Deep elements as part of network and leadership group meetings, MS Team on-line professional learning opportunities and interest groups established to share practice and ongoing collaboration
Establishment of regional and national working parties to develop a common understanding of holistic learning which connects to the LEA Vision for learners and learning and Growing Deep.
Goal 4: Strengthening the agility and sustainability of learning communities
Development and implementation of the LESNW business planning framework and health check which ensures learning community voice (staff, governance, student, parent/caregiver) in the self-evaluation of engagement with the ‘Growing Deep’ Vocational Practices. This evaluation process will in part inform learning community strategic planning to ensure that agility and sustainability of learning communities.
Goal 5: Equipping governance and leadership for the emerging future
This intention emphasises the importance of inclusiveness of learning community and regional governance to the emerging roadmap. Rather than a total dependence on staff from the regional office or LEA national initiatives (Leadership Development Program) providing leadership development, governors, principals and middle level leaders are now co-leading various leadership learning opportunities, ie Governance Forums, New Principal/Director Induction process, Leadership Learning Labs and groups.
Learning communities are exploring how they can extend and build leadership capacity across their own learning community. Both Good Shepherd Lutheran College Darwin and Navigator College Port Lincoln are developing a common language and approach which reflects “Growing Deep” and which is involving teaching teams, non-teaching staff and, importantly, students.
To download the Strategic Intentions document in full click here.
To download the Growing Deep document, which is the foundational platform on which LESNW builds its schools, click here.
For more information on LESNW, visit their website here.