Home' Focus : Focus Magazine Spring 2014 Contents Education is a dynamic environment. As we prepare our young
people for their place in an ever-changing world, so too schools
and education must adapt – not only in what we teach, but more
importantly the media through which we teach, and therefore, how
we teach. In other words, change is the constant in education, as it is
in our lives.
One aspect of change at Scotch Oakburn is that of staff turnover;
this can come about due to a host of reasons, such as taking up
more senior roles in other schools; seeking new challenges in new
environments; movement to be closer to family interstate; and
beginning the next phase of life (the new term for what we once
At the end of 2013 the College’s staff turnover was just under 7%.
If we focus on the last 12 months, there have been staff changes
in a variety of areas that include College-wide leadership and
management, curriculum leadership and teaching roles, pastoral
care, spirituality, co-curriculum, community relations, marketing and
promotions, and business and finance.
Far from being alarming, this staff change creates the opportunity
for a reinvigoration of the operational and strategic life of the College.
Whilst it is always sad to say goodbye, the flip side is that new
blood brings fresh eyes and ideas that can, when combined with
the powerful skill set and experience we already have, generate
wonderful progress for the College.
I am excited by the changes that have occurred in our College’s
staff and am increasingly impressed by the quality of applicants that
we receive from within Tasmania as well as from other states and
internationally. There is no doubt that being a Round Square school
has brought with it greater recognition for our College in the world of
Significantly, Scotch Oakburn is held in exceedingly high standing
and draws talented applicants who, pleasingly, are philosophically
attracted to the College’s breadth and quality of programs and
So, when I reflect on the changes that have occurred in the last
year, I see the great opportunities that new staff bring with them to
our already vibrant learning community. New curriculum leaders have
brought innovative strategies to galvanise teaching teams, refresh
curriculum and share ideas for teaching practices with their colleagues.
Staff in leadership roles have (re)focused our attention on what
matters most to our students and community, such as the
fundamentals of literacy and numeracy, our teaching practice,
recognising the knowledge and skills of our staff and hearing their
voice, engagement with and service to the Launceston community,
and making sure that we are thinking ‘whole College’. Even the look
of this magazine has undergone an exciting change as a result of
fresh ideas brought to the Development Department.
For existing Scotch Oakburn staff, personnel change offers the
possibility of career advancement within the College – an important
element in any workplace as staff are challenged and supported
in career progression when desired and suitable. This leads on to
the concept of ‘succession planning’, which is vital to educational
organisations, as knowing that the processes are in place to allow
a different staff member to perform a role whilst the College and its
programs continue to operate smoothly, is essential.
It is a testament to those who have gone before and those taking
up the new roles that this smooth transition can occur, ensuring
always that our students continue to experience an education of the
highest quality. In addition, another happy, long-term consequence
of being a school that supports its current staff in their career
development is that it sets the College up to attract ever-higher
calibre external applicants too.
So while the College’s overarching goal doesn’t change – we have
not changed the Mission and Vision statements – the dynamics
of how we achieve that goal can and do change. I am not talking
about change for the sake of change but rather the injection of new,
thoughtful, considered ideas based on experience and fresh eyes
and then worked through in collaboration with the excellent minds we
already have on staff.
This process is not only healthy for the College but is an essential
element for us to remain an invigorated learning community.
Principal, Scotch Oakburn College
Change and invigoration
FOCUS | SPRING 2014 | 3
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