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Case Study: Strategy made easy.

We help the Scottish Parent Teacher Council develop its organisational strategy for the next five years.

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council is a membership body for parents’ groups in Scottish schools – both Parent Councils and PTAs – which helps and supports all parents in Scotland, wherever they are.  DEVA has an excellent relationship with SPTC, in that we have helped them put together interactive workshops for parents, and trained their hardworking staff in the skills they need to facilitate these. We were delighted therefore to be asked to facilitate a development day for SPTC staff and directors to consider SPTC’s strategy for the next five years.

SPTC has undergone a good deal of change in the past few years, and its membership continues to grow. The organisation has recruited new staff and board members, as well as moving premises in 2012. The SPTC has also undertaken research to understand better the priorities of its membership in the future. They felt it was time to bring all of this together, to agree the organisation’s goals and consider how these should be achieved.

What we did

It was agreed to spend a day considering the priorities, resources and future direction of the organisation; this would also provide a unique opportunity for staff and board members to work together and to understand one another’s roles and responsibilities.

Working closely with the Director, Eileen Prior, Jill Simpson developed a simple and dynamic format for the day which would provide a structure to ensure that everyone had a say. It also meant that people could network and hear one another’s points of view. Because a number of the staff and board members had not yet met, the day provided an ideal opportunity for them to get to know one another.

Delegates were a little surprised to be handed packets of brightly coloured sticky notes, and asked to put their ideas on wall posters – by the time they had finished, our wood-panelled conference venue had begun to look rather like a primary school classroom!

The discussions in the room were lively and more or less focused; because the was a great deal to get through, Jill made sure that the groups stayed focused on each task; besides which it was a Saturday and on-one wanted a late finish.

Results

The day was voted a success; the format that had been put in place meant that everyone’s view was heard and that all the delegates felt able to express their ideas. The workshop summary which Jill put together following the event showed that a great deal of clarity had been achieved.

Eileen was delighted with the outcomes of the workshop; she and the team at SPTC can now move forward with clear goals and expectations for the future – to the benefit of Scottish parents everywhere.

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