Planning the future

Chairman of Council, Mr Michael Bartlett, outlines aspects of the future direction of the School recently discussed by Council members.

At last year’s Retreat, with the assistance of presentations by external experts, we considered, from a MGS perspective, what constitutes the ‘ideal’ school size. The following are two key points of future strategic direction which were considered and unanimously accepted, in principle, at last year’s School Council retreat:

  • We shall focus on improving the quality of the educational offering, rather than increasing significantly, the size of our current student body; and
  • We shall remain alert to developing the current, as well as acquiring additional strategic, assets.

With regard to the first point, the School Executive will work with Mr Anthony Mackay, CEO for the Centre for Strategic Education, to develop its views on the ‘Pedagogy of the Future’.

With regard to the second point, this year’s annual School Council Retreat focussed on the School’s Property Master Planning Process, with a view to providing insights into the physical ‘Educational Infrastructure of the Future’ required to support the pedagogy of the future.

The Property Masterplan aims to provide the infrastructure framework required to support the future strategic direction of the School. Needless to say, every aspect of any future strategic direction must be pedagogically based and motivated. The Plan adopts a ten-year perspective and assumes continuation of existing enrolment levels.

To begin the process, members of the School Executive Team, as well as other members of the School staff with the relevant responsibility, were invited to present their aspirational recommendations regarding their future requirements. Intentionally, no financial costings are allocated at this stage of the process. The end result of this process is a prioritisation of all the recommendations which are then included in a consolidated plan submitted for consideration by School Council. No major capital expenditure can proceed without School Council approval.

It was a very stimulating day of discussion not least because it provided the Council with an intimate insight into the infrastructure of the School which is the physical vehicle for our main and customary focus on governance, strategic direction, and financial supervision.

In light of this discussion of planning for the ‘Pedagogy and Educational Infrastructure of the Future’, the following words of wisdom from Steve Jobs are particularly apposite:

It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough – that is technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Steve Hiscock, who retired from the Council in July, after many years of dedicated and expert service to the School. In addition to being a Member of Council, Steve was a highly regarded and experienced Chairman of the Investment Management Committee, as well as a Member of both the MGS Foundation and the Nominating Committee. He will be greatly missed; however, I am delighted to report that Mr Ian Ward-Ambler has kindly agreed to join the Council, and succeed Steve as the Chair of the Investment Management Committee. Ian, another OM and current parent, has spent most of his career in Finance and is a former Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He currently serves on the Boards of a variety of Commercial Businesses and Not for Profits including CBA Group Super, Voyages Indigenous Tourism (Ayres Rock Resort) and Trinity College. Ian is also an Executive Coach.

Michael Bartlett Chairman

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