Phone us on (03) 9429 5900 if you require a trainer, coach or facilitator. We can recommend people who:
- Are highly experienced in working with school communities
- Are able to provide specialist expertise to support a school
- Know how to work with school community members of diverse backgrounds (in the context of cultural and social inclusion)
- Can assist your school community to build even stronger school-family-community partnerships and explore what may be included in a school-family-community partnerships policy
- Can work with your community to help develop effective, long-term strategies for improvement.
We are developing a list of trainers, coaches and facilitators for school councils and school communities.
trainers, coaches and facilitators
A good trainer knows the difference between training that goes through the motions and truly inspiring, empowering and challenging learning experiences.
VICCSO and its network of trainers provide school council training. Phone the VICCSO office on (03) 9429 5900 or e-mail us at . Or phone the VICCSO President, Nicholas Abbey, on 0402 152 634.
We can also recommend trainers with expertise in a range of specialist areas.
Coaches and mentors
Coaching can obviously greatly assist individuals to develop deeper self-understanding and to, ultimately, capitalise on their unique strengths and increase their overall effectiveness.
Schools suggest that more use can be made of one-to-one coaching. Sometimes this is done informally without employing a professional coach.
In some schools, new school council presidents have a personal coach or mentor for a period of time.
There are, of course, time and resource constraints on doing such things. But as principals find with personal coaches, the benefits (for a new school council president) can be very significant.
A facilitator guides others to solve their own problems and achieve their goals without simply giving advice or offering solutions.
Such a person obviously provides an effective process (for how a group or community works together, how members talk to each other, how they identify and solve problems and achieve change, how they make decisions and how they handle conflict).
A facilitator may also propose a organisational structure (such as the establishment and use of teams) to sustain on-going group processes for effective discussions and decision making.
Key to school community dialogue
- Powerful conversations - what makes a conversation powerful and productive and why are such conversations of the utmost importance for all school communities
- Ground rules for conversations
- How the Department's e5 model can be used as a tool for powerful conversations among not only teachers but also parents, students and community members.
Schools often use an experienced facilitator who is external to the school or someone who is a good listener and can inspire and nurture powerful conversations while remaining neutral.
It is obviously important for the facilitator to carefully think through the purpose of the dialogue, the questions to be asked and the best ways to stimulate and sustain conversations.
It is also important that a facilitator is familiar with key documents, analyses, data and trends pertaining to the school community.
If conflict is a problem
Conflict is obviously a natural part of life. It can be a positive force. It can also have an ugly side. Left uncontrolled, it can divert energy from the group, destroy morale and create suspicion and distrust.
Many school community members may take a lead role as a facilitator to resolve conflict and help build positive working relationships.
If it is a difficult situation, it may obviously be best to engage a person such as an experienced facilitator who has no association with the school to facilitate discussion and problem solving.
The Department has useful guidelines, tools and resources for preventing and dealing with conflict.