In August, the annual Australian Education Awards returns for its fourth year to celebrate the most outstanding schools and educators across the nation.
The Awards, which recognise educational excellence across 28 prestigious categories, are open to schools, programs, principals, department heads, teachers and more.
One of the Awards up for grabs on the night will Best School Strategic Plan, which judges nominated schools on their consultation and engagement with the school community, demonstrated strategic development of the plan to ensure it meets defined school needs and business objectives and an implementation process that includes clear priorities and goals in defined timeframes.
Sponsoring the Award at this year’s event will be PeopleBench, a leading school workforce research and analytics company, which has been helping principals access rigorous, data-driven insights so they can keep a firm finger on the pulse of staff and student wellbeing.
Below, The Educator speaks to the leadership team at PeopleBench about why the company has chosen to sponsor the award and the considerations that should be top of mind for Australian principals in 2021.
TE: Can you tell us why PeopleBench has chosen to sponsor the Best School Strategic Plan Award?
A Strategic Plan is an integral part of forward planning and setting ambitious and achievable goals for the future to deliver the best outcomes for students. We are passionate about the role of school workforce strategy in the strategic planning process. We want schools to have the technology, the research insights, and the support their leadership teams need to support their strategic plans and build better school workforces. PeopleBench is proud to sponsor this award and looks forward to honouring the finalists for the critical work they are doing toward school improvement and transformation (Dr Vicky Cameron, Chief Education Officer).
Why do you believe events like this so important to the Australian education sector?
The Australian Education Awards represent an amazing opportunity to recognise and celebrate schools and school leaders for the transformative work they are doing to make a difference in the lives of their students and in their communities. At PeopleBench, we value excellence and impact and believe events like this elevate the work of not just the award winners, but of the entire education sector. We’re looking forward to celebrating the finalists and winners across all the categories. And after 2020, we’re buzzing about the possibility of being around the table and in the room together. (Fleur Johnston, CEO)
What are the most important ways PeopleBench is helping schools in 2021?
We know that leaders are focussed on building the best schools for their students. As they do that with finite resources in a dynamic environment, PeopleBench continues to bring technology, research insights, and advisory support to help. In 2021, we’ll launch the Resilience Dashboard in the PeopleBench platform to help leaders track resilience over time and take informed action on workforce wellbeing. We’ll also release the 2021 editions of our signature research reports—the State of the Sector report and the School Workforce Tracking, Insights, Data and Evidence report—to shape the conversation about what makes a great school workforce in Australia. (Mike Hennessy, Chief Research & Insights Officer)
Drawing from the work PeopleBench has done to support school leadership in Australia, what are some of the things that should be top of mind for principals in 2021?
Getting the right teachers in the right place at the right time is always top of mind for principals. Attracting, recruiting, and retaining quality staff continues to be a key facilitator of school and individual student improvement. (Dr Vicki Cameron, Chief Education Officer)
We may (hopefully) be past the worst impacts of the pandemic in Australian schools, but the experiences of the past year will have impacted staff wellbeing in ways that might not yet be fully visible – including the impact on leaders themselves. We hope leaders will prioritise a proactive and sustainable approach to building their own wellbeing so they can lead and support staff to do the same. (Mike Hennessy, Chief Research & Insights Officer)