Should the leaders who make important financial decisions for the school not be trained or experienced in business principles and systems?
As a school, we are very reliant on the involvement, input and skills of our parent body. The school is structured with sub-committee or mandate groups, mandated by the Board of Management and/or College of Teachers. Each Mandate Group consists of a Board member, College member and parent representatives. The mandate groups report back to the Board and, where necessary, the College of Teachers.
Our Finance Committee, for example, has always had highly experienced & skilled parent representatives (CA’s, strategic business consultants and successful business entrepreneurs). It is crucial to have these skilled parents provide an objective “big picture view” based on solid business principles. They advise, guide and report to the Board on a monthly basis.
Likewise, our Development Group (now named Build Team), has over the last 10 years, also been guided by skilled professionals.
Over the last year, we have seen a drop-off of some of our parent representatives on key mandate groups. This has been largely due to these families growing up and leaving the school, or their own professional lives becoming too demanding to have the time required to dedicate to the school. It does require a huge commitment from parents, and many of these parents made that commitment for many years.
The Board is acutely aware of gaps that now exist and has been engaging with certain parents with particular skills to step up and fill these gaps. It has become apparent, though, that many do not have the capacity to dedicate the required time to the school.
We do presently have skilled professionals on the Build Group and Finance committee but need to strengthen these groups further and would welcome any parents with skills in these areas to please come forward to support the school.
As a Board, we have always strived to have a balance of “skilled business leadership” coupled with “social leadership skills”.
How will the build be funded?
The greatest challenge remains financing the build. All along funds have been the major limiting factor, despite exploring many avenues and various approaches. A large part of the message we hoped to convey at the information sharing meeting in August was that the school needs help with fundraising efforts. This was somewhat overshadowed by other questions, understandably so. But the funding issue remains crucial.
Some of the avenues that were being explored have come to a point where it is clear they will not yield funds. There are still some proposals pending and the crowd funding buy a brick campaign has been launched locally and will be launched internationally. We need new and creative ideas and ongoing effort. We are hoping that in opening up the conversation through Karen Goldberg’s process and workshop we can create a shared sense of how to move forward as a school and access ideas and contributions from our broader communities and networks.
All ideas and assistance from the broader parent body would be helpful and once Karen’s workshop is complete we will be actively eliciting this.
Board Of Management (BOM)