Greetings to you all at this very busy and often complex time of the year.
1. LESNW Governance Review / Constitution Update: Heather will be sending the latest draft of our revised LESNW Constitution to Principals, Directors and Council Chairs today. As you will be aware, all learning communities are welcome to come in to the Archer Street meeting room next Monday, 12 November at 4.15pm where we will hold a forum on the content and changes that are presented. You will have the opportunity to access the meeting remotely via ‘life size’ but I do encourage you to engage in the process if at all possible. Please register your attendance at the forum at this link, or if you wish to join via Lifesize conference, please use this link.
The draft that is presented has been worked through thoroughly and represents the feedback we have received from our membership and legal advice and it will serve us well as we move to hybrid model of representation and skills based for our LESNW Governance structure. Please take the time to read through it, especially the ‘Objects’ and ‘Membership’ sections.
2. 2019 Staff Conference: This matter was on the agenda for the September meeting, but time did not permit any deliberation on this. While there are many positive benefits that emerge from system conferences, they do present a number of issues:
- Cost – for some schools this is a significant portion of their PD Budget.
- Distance to get to the conference and timing of the conference
- Logistics – we are too big now to be altogether easily (and cheaply)
- Content – having a conference that speaks to all contexts is almost impossible.
- Organisation – the conference is meant to rest with a zone/cluster, but often falls back heavily onto secretariat staff. As far as I am aware, a Zone/Cluster has not/had not been determined for 2019.
A number of learning communities had raised questions about the proposed 2019 LESNW Combined Staff Conference and it was decided that a survey of learning communities be conducted to gather feedback. The most (and only) compelling reason to have a ‘whole LESNW Staff Conference’ is for culture building. However, this is something that could be achieved in other, more flexible, cost efficient and progressive ways and sits at the centre of the development of our Strategic Planning development.
In light of the feedback and related issues, it has been determined NOT to hold an LESNW Staff Conference in 2019. We will consider the future of these conferences and associated issues and seek membership feedback and input moving forward.
In keeping with past tradition, individual learning communities may choose to have a “Show Day” on the first Friday in September, but it should be noted that it is NOT the role of the LESNW Secretariat or Council to determine pupil free days. This is a matter for local sites to do in response to their own needs and context.
3. LESNW Council Members: It is anticipated that the LESNW Council meeting on the 12th of November is likely to be the last one in the representational model that has served us for many years. I’d like to thank the current serving members and especially those who travel significant distances to contribute. I’d also like to thank the sites that release staff to attend meetings – I certainly appreciate the human resource costs that are associated with this.
There are quite a number of other matters before the LESNW Council as you can imagine as we continue to work on projects such as Liberty College, Aston Hills, the Spring Head site, funding and financial policies, Strategic Planning, the proposals that have come out of the National Synod and more.
All the best as you finalise 2018, as well as your plans and hopes for 2019. The work we do is complex and often thankless and so my encouragement is that we continue to encourage one and other in building collective strength independently and interdependently.