I hope that you were able to enjoy a well earned rest and some time away from the job over the past few weeks. As we move further into April many of us find ourselves either starting or about to start a new term. During my 23 years as School Principal, I was always fascinated by the way in which each term seemed to take on a character and identity of its own.
The emphasis of each school term tended to be dictated by its priorities and key activities, for example preparing for external examinations, writing reports or getting ready to meet with parents. In many ways the work of ICP follows a similar pattern, with the coming months shaped by preparation for our Council Plus and Emerging Leaders Forum in Rovaniemi, Finland from September 20-24.
I continue to be impressed by the way in which the guidance we have received from ICP members has influenced our planning for these two major events. During last year’s Council Plus in Singapore three major themes emerged as the priorities for school leaders across the world- sharing strategies to help school leaders remain in the job for a longer period of time, encouraging the next generation to take on leadership roles and promoting the role of students as partners in leadership.
Our recent round of regional meetings confirmed that nothing has changed these priorities, if anything they have become more pressing and urgent. Our recent magazine contained a powerful article from our colleague Andrew Pierpoint, from the Australian Secondary Principals Association, highlighting the pressures that Principals are placed under and the need to work together to improve both attraction and retention of leaders. Maria Doyle and Sofia Hughes also shared ways in which schools around the world were making creative use of student leadership and the coordinating role that ICP had begun to play. We were also able to include case studies of innovative practice from areas as diverse as India, the UK and Australia.
Having worked on the programme for both events with my colleagues on Executive I am very confident that coming to Council Plus and the linked Emerging Leaders Forum will be a powerful and deeply rewarding experience. I have been particularly struck by the outstanding work across the ICP family that we will be able to share during our time in Finland. The feedback from our time together in Singapore made it very clear that learning from other leaders in different parts of the world was one of the key elements that made last year’s Council Plus so rewarding. Rovaniemi will provide a wonderful opportunity to continue and develop these opportunities to learn from one another.
As registration opens for the Emerging Leaders Forum and Council Plus, I would strongly encourage you to come and join us in Finland for both events. There has never been a greater need for creative solutions to the challenges facing school leaders and I know that each one of us will be inspired as we discover the original ideas and responses developed by our colleagues around the world. We have much to share with and learn from one another and I hugely look forward to working with you in Finland from 20-24 September.
ICP President, 2022-2023