THE PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE - Brian Leonard


November 18, 2022 Message to Members

Greetings colleagues,

Well, I have almost recovered from the jet lag, but I am back and have hit the ground running! 

The BCPVPA joined ICP approximately 6 years ago, largely at the suggestion of members of the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), to make some strong professional connections with educational leaders from around the globe. I was joined by Carmen Eberle and Peter Johnston at the ICP Council+ meeting in Singapore at the end of October, the first event for this organization since 2019. So, as with many recent events, there was a pent-up desire for members to reconnect, share, and collaborate.

Celebrating the theme of Future Leaders, Future Schools, there were representatives from 24 educational jurisdictions with the BCPVPA & OPC representing Canada. Delegates hailed from Africa: South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya; from Europe: Finland, The Netherlands, England, and Ireland; and from Asia-Oceania: New Zealand, several Australian states, Fiji, India, and Singapore. The Academy of Principals of Singapore acted as our hosts.



Anna Pons, Policy Analyst with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Directorate for Education and Skills was the keynote speaker. She shared some significant data and insights about the educational landscape around the world. Founded in 1961, the OECD is an intergovernmental organization, with 38 member countries, that produces independent analysis and statistics to promote policies to improve economic and social wellbeing across the globe. Canada – and BC in particular – is one of the top tier countries.


Our Singapore hosts gave us an overview of how Singapore – another high functioning educational system – has changed its system to be more student-centered. Another focus, like BC, is listening to and incorporating student voice in our systems. One eye-popping comment caught our attention when the presenters said that their Principals move up to be Superintendents for a couple of years, and then return to be Principals! We wondered how this would work in BC?

Interestingly, although we all hail from very different educational landscapes and contexts, the common area of concern that we all share is how the role of school leader is under ever-increasing pressure. That increased pressure comes from an expanded workload, greater expectation to achieve better student outcomes with fewer resources (including staffing), and significant recruitment and retention issues – does this sound familiar? The impact and effects of the pandemic have only exacerbated these pressures.


It was a very busy three-and-a-half days, but we made some great connections and have significantly expanded our professional network into the international milieu. Next year’s meeting is in Finland – Lapland to be precise!


Meanwhile…back at the ranch….

At the BCPVPA offices we are busy with preparations for our first Chapter Council meeting of this school year, and looking forward to welcoming Chapter Presidents and Representatives. The Board of Directors will meet on Thursday November 24, Friday November 25 is the Chapter Presidents meeting, and Chapter Council will be held Friday night and Saturday November 26.

The agenda for each meeting is already jam-packed, but we have saved lots of time for networking and Table Talk – the highlight of most Chapter Council meetings!

Until next week..


Have a great weekend,

Brian


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