Waggon and SWOT

Some things survive from the relentless days of the 90’s when management speak crept onto the agenda for Training Days. SWOT is perhaps one, as it introduced the idea to schools that it was a useful exercise to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats as the need and opportunity to see oneself as others might, became more pertinent.  I guess it was the beginning of a process of commercialisation, which, like it or not, has become an increasingly significant part of the landscape. In the current climate, with the enforced retreat of Local Authorities and the advance of the powers of competition, the majority of schools are likley to feel more vulnerable. A good place to start is to identify strenghts as this can provide a platform for confidence and for negotiating positions. It is not easy to make a clear judgement about either strengths or weaknesses – we are often too close to see these things and of course these things are relative and we may be way off beam. If we include opportunities and threats, we are looking at an exercise that is probably best completed with local partners and is a useful first step in trust for exploring collaborative ideas. If the waggons are to be drawn up we need to decide what needs to be outermost, what needs to be protected and nourished, what are the dangers and for whom do we need to leave a gap, physical or digital, so that we may be  reinforced and supported.