The most recent LESNW Council meeting continued to consider a range of varied and complex issues that face our learning communities in the present as well as the future.
In the last ‘News for Leaders’ I wrote that our Council is considering the future of the Spring Head site and the possibility that this might be repurposed as a retreat centre. This work continues and our council endorsed the investigations of this. If, after due process and diligence the decision is to do this, we will bring it to members of the LESNW for consideration and approval.
The work of the governance review continues and the project team (Matt Schmidt – chair of the GSPV School Council, Corrin Townsend from Unity College, John Proeve and myself) will take the feedback we have received so far and work with Garry LeDuff to construct a draft proposal for our future governance structure. At this stage we are hopeful of having a proposal for member learning communities by the end of this calendar year. Please feed any thoughts you have to either myself – email@example.com or Matt – firstname.lastname@example.org
The sale of the Ocean Forest site has now been finalised. The ongoing (financial) management of the debt repayments will be handled by our Finance Committee, but I think it’s appropriate to express appreciation to the LESNW secretariat staff for working through this very complex issue. In the end our options were very (very) minimal and the outcome achieved, as far as our overall system health is concerned, is very much one of ‘risk minimalisation.’
At our last meeting we adopted some new policies which will be available as exemplars for our learning communities – Delegations of Authority, Procurement and Fraud Control policies. These will be available via CompliSpace and learning communities can adopt and adapt these as necessary. I commend them to you as important policies to have and implement.
At the recent LESNW AGM our Association’s financials were presented and adopted. As you will know, there was a significant deficit result. As a council we believe it is important that some clarity is provided around this. It’s important that member learning communities understand that there are levels of detail that are inappropriate to share due to the delicate and private nature of the information, but did you know that in 2017:
- The System Support Fund used for emergency assistance to schools experiencing financial hardship was unfunded by $4.6M which LESNW incurred on behalf of the system.
- LESNW provided significant unfunded strategic, legal, educational, and business related consultancy support to learning communities experiencing hardship to ensure future sustainability,
- LESNW proactively identified and financed major system-wide initiatives in Complispace, Somerset and Demographics to enhance learning community compliance and sustainability.
As a Governing council we also considered at our most recent meeting a range of other new and ongoing matters. It was resolved that at this present time it is important for the Chair of the Finance Committee to attend LESNW council in a consultant (exofficio) status. We are examining our System Support fund moving forward, LLL overdraft application processes and range of other System Support initiatives.
Again, the LESNW council acknowledges the complexities that member learning communities live and work in, and we encourage you to continue to be system minded, because our individual strength is realised as a collective.
LESNW Council Chair