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Your Mission Statement Might Suck

“We need to build a safe, inclusive and highly productive learning environment where the wellbeing of our students is maximised alongside their academic potential being thoroughly realised.”

Sounds good, right? Well, not to me.

To me, this sounds like an outcome that’s impossible to achieve.

To me, this sounds like a recipe for failure, and it reeks of unrewarded effort.

To me, this sounds like wanky corporate jargon and one more societal expectation being heaped upon under-resourced School Leaders and Teachers.

But also, to me, this sounds familiar. It’s the type of mealy-mouthed, insincere promise I see in the “mission statements” of too many schools.

Your mission statement should not be an outcome, especially an unrealistic one.

Your mission should be a commitment to things you’ll actually do that give your stakeholders a rough chance at something like the above.

Your mission is how your staff speak and solve problems and their shared mindsets about what schools are for.

And it should also pay respect to the outrageously variable nature of schools. In no other institution running the institution be crazy enough to invite a variable like hundreds of unpredictable young people into their workplace daily.

The only thing more bonkers than that would be to make fantastical promises about perfect outcomes within that wild variability.

Commit to exemplary practice as your mission. That’s enough.

Keep fighting that good fight,


PS. We’re hiring! Are you a school Principal looking for your next challenge? Do you want to help transform school cultures across Australia? Applications close this Monday, 1st May. To apply, watch the Expert Facilitator Job Briefing Webinar. 


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