Turning Around an International School

Navigating New Horizons: Strategies for Turning Around an International School in a Developing Region

The challenges an international school operating in a developing region faces can be unique and multifaceted. Despite initial aspirations, the path to success may be fraught with obstacles that hinder growth and impact. However, with targeted strategies tailored to the specific context of a developing region, it’s possible to orchestrate a successful turnaround. GSE has a very successful 360-degree review process and plan for action that is supported by research about best practices and organisational change.

Here are some key strategies for Turning Around an International School that has not yet realized its full potential in a developing region:

1. In-depth Analysis of Regional Dynamics:

Begin by thoroughly analysing the local educational landscape and the unique challenges and opportunities in the developing region. Consider factors such as cultural norms, socioeconomic disparities, infrastructure limitations, and government policies affecting education. Understanding the specific nuances of the region will provide valuable insights into the root causes of the school’s underperformance. Hard facts and less tangible factors need to be considered in a plan for turning around an international school.

2. Adaptation of Curriculum and Approach:

Tailor the school’s curriculum and educational approach to better align with the needs and aspirations of students and families in the developing region. Incorporate elements of local culture, language, and context into the curriculum while maintaining international standards of quality and rigour. The school can enhance its relevance and appeal by offering a curriculum that resonates with the local community. It is essential that the school delivers high standards, but also daily practices need to resonate and appeal to the community and culture, including all stakeholders.

3. Investment in Infrastructure and Resources:

Address infrastructure, facilities, and resources deficiencies that may impede the school’s ability to deliver high-quality education. Allocate resources to upgrading facilities, enhancing technology infrastructure, and providing adequate learning materials and equipment. Investing in the school’s physical and technological infrastructure demonstrates a commitment to excellence and creates an environment conducive to learning. It may be natural to assume this means super-premium and elite facilities, but it can also mean a focus on basic maintenance, a splash of colour, and strategic key investments.

4. Community Engagement and Partnerships:

Forge partnerships with local stakeholders, including parents, community leaders, government officials, and NGOs. To address shared educational challenges, engage with the community through outreach programs, cultural exchanges, and collaborative initiatives. By involving the community in the school’s activities and decision-making processes, the school can build trust, foster goodwill, and garner support for its turnaround efforts. Understand the school culture and align with the expectations of all stakeholders in the community. It must be understood that the strongest marketing comes from word of mouth, values, and beliefs of the community and the sub-culture, which are communicated underneath the louder voices of marketing campaigns. Relationships are powerful and invaluable.

5. Professional Development and Support:

Invest in faculty and staff’s professional development and support to enhance their effectiveness in delivering quality education in the developing region. Provide training and resources to equip educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the unique challenges of operating in a diverse and dynamic cultural context. By empowering faculty and staff, the school can strengthen its teaching and learning outcomes and drive positive organisational change. It is a daily practice that will build confidence as well as demonstrate performance. The quality of the workforce is invaluable for turning around an International School.

Turning Around an International School Requires Strategic Thinking

Turning around an international school in a developing region requires a strategic and context-sensitive approach that acknowledges the unique challenges and opportunities in the local educational landscape. The school can chart a course towards revitalisation and sustainable success by thoroughly analysing regional dynamics, adapting curriculum and approach, investing in infrastructure and resources, engaging with the community, and supporting professional development. While the journey may be challenging, with perseverance, dedication, and the right strategies in place, the school can fulfil its mission of providing quality education and positively impacting students’ lives in the developing region.

GSE has extensive experience working with clients on plans to turn around an international school.

The brochure and process below outline our 360-degree approach, and we have several case studies to share where we had immediate and long-term impacts.

Learn more about GSE’s comprehensive 360-degree review process:

If you want to learn more about the steps required to set up a school check out some of our other articles:

Steps to Setting Up a New School

10 Steps and Articles on How to Set Up a New School

GSE International School Franchise Models

GSE provide specialist services to set up all forms of education institutions including international schools, kindergartens, vocational colleges, universities and online/virtual schools.

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CEO and Education Expert Greg Parry

Greg Parry

Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for education institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Ministers Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education in 2015 and 2016.

Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals throughout the world in areas such as critical thinking, language development and leadership. His expertise in school start up projects, leadership and curriculum development, has made him a sought after authority in these discipline.

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Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
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