“It’s not like a full stop at the end of SLPP – it keeps on going, and that’s wonderful”
Kerry Delaney (Titahi Bay School) and Vanessa Hendry (Porirua School) are veterans of Springboard Trust’s very first Wellington-based Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) cohort back in 2017.
Since then, they have each done amazing things, using their strategic planning and leadership skills to transform their schools. As they recently reached the end of the initial three-year strategic plan they each made with us, we thought it best to speak to them both about what they’ve been up to!
How it started...
When Kerry and Vanessa’s cohort was set up, Springboard Trust didn’t yet have a presence in Wellington – so the beginning of SLPP was a little different to what more recent participants have experienced.
Vanessa: “A colleague from our cluster knew about Springboard Trust and brought the idea to a meeting. Next thing we know, a group of us are going up to Auckland to meet the team and some schools who had done the programme before!”
Kerry: “That was amazing, having the time away from school to go to Auckland and listen to how other schools had benefited from the programme. Even our Mayor came with us, it was a phenomenal way to start.”
Vanessa: “I was a first-time principal, so coming along – hearing about strategic planning and other things I hadn’t had any formal training on – it was great to jump into that and understand what was ahead of us.”
And once the programme started, the hard questions began.
Cutting a strategy down to size
The first lesson for both Kerry and Vanessa in SLPP was that their strategic plans needed some editing.
Kerry: “The facilitator asked us to tell him our strategic goals – I realised I didn’t know! There were so many, the plan was so long-winded, 25 pages in total. And if it was too long for me to remember, it was going to be too long for our community.
Through SLPP, we took it down to a single A4 page. I loved that Jack (facilitator) used to always ask me ‘what are you trying to say, Kerry?’ - it really took me from sentences to words, which I needed.”