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The pandemic has affected nearly all aspects of our careers and personal lives. Whether it be our capacity to learn, connect or grow, COVID-19 has presented a myriad of challenges to society. The education sector has been no exception.
In 2019, Deloitte launched the Courageous Principals program – an award-winning, pro-bono, global school leadership development program focused on relationship-building, effective communication, navigating change and strengthening the skills of school leaders. Across the 2.5-day program, school leaders refined the skills necessary to foster positive interactions and manage change – with the goal of enhancing school leader effectiveness and, ultimately, student welfare and wellbeing.
As the pandemic hit, the challenge was clear – how could we bring the same quality of learning, teachings and connection that formed the heart of our Courageous Principals program to a virtual setting while Courageous Principals remains on a temporary hiatus? The answer is our Deloitte Education Series.
Our new Deloitte Education Series provides a rich, dynamic, and engaging curriculum based on real challenges and current complexities faced by school leaders and educators across Australian schools. By leveraging Deloitte’s network of relationships, our Education Series has brought together school leaders, teachers, and educators from independent, state, and local government institutions across the country. This has meant that our participants have had the opportunity to connect, learn and share their stories and experiences with other educators from across different geographies and sectors.
The inaugural series, The Power of Inclusive Leadership launched in April 2021 with our first virtual session – “Fostering Psychological Safety (Part 1)”. We then followed up our first session with “Fostering Psychological Safety (Part 2)” in June and our “Inclusive Leadership Activation Lab” in July. Across the three sessions, we had more than 60 educators attend and participate, a combination of Courageous Principals alumni and new school leaders. We also welcomed close to 30 new school educators to our Deloitte network, casting a ripple effect on over 20 000 students, thereby continuing our World Class vision.
In the first two sessions, we explored the importance of building psychological safety and trust in schools and classrooms, drawing upon foundational theories like Timothy Clark’s “Four Pillars of Psychological Safety”. The final session built on the theories from the first two sessions and brought a practical focus to the teachings. Using Deloitte’s Moments That Matter framework, attendees were asked to reflect and consider practical tips and behaviours they could incorporate to build trust, presence, inclusion, and safety in both virtual and non-virtual environments.
The results from the first series have been very positive. As we look ahead towards our second series – Leading into the New World, we will explore the importance of leadership resilience in the face of adversity – a relevant topic given the ongoing climate.
If you are interested in learning more about the program, or know of educators in your network who would be interested in the program, please reach out to the Courageous Principals team.
Tom is a graduate in Deloitte’s Human Capital practice – a team of over 600 people, working with industry leaders to enhance business performance by transforming the way we work. Tom’s passions span organisational transformation, communications, talent management, leadership, and industrial relations management.