Operation Management

With more than half of the current school year already behind us, the time is ripe for taking stock. Looking back over the first six months of 2018-2019 will allow us to refine, remedy and make improvements in certain areas, all the while preparing for the next school year. We do not want to let ourselves become complacent and so we need to regularly rethink our practices and redefine our objectives. The FS management team has a dashboard of indicators that allow us to cast an objective eye over the results of our work. It might not be as obvious as the Key Performance Indicators (K.P.I.) that you might be familiar with from the world of business – thankfully, we do not measure children’s progress in the same way as we do sales figures or production numbers.

That said, we can’t refer uniquely to the intangible or allow ourselves be comforted by our own (my!) proactive speeches. Which is why we use multiple indicators that concern every aspect of school life: from HR to the budget, including, obviously, academic results. The indicators we use are qualitative and quantitative. Examples of the indicators that guide our meetings include, but are not limited to: the stability of our teaching team, the number and the quality of applications for teaching jobs received, the level of students’ results in various exams and assessments, the number and the quality of projects in place, the number and the quality of CPD courses offered, the number of communication campaigns undertaken and how effective they have been, enrollments, expense ratios per child etc.

These indicators are all closely connected to our students’ achievements: effective communication means our school is well-known and well-thought of and therefore attracts the best teachers. A meaningful project is an opportunity for colleagues to work together, share ideas and regenerate their teaching practices. A well-executed budget guarantees that resources are distributed exactly where needs lie, allowing for better teaching and learning. It is to be expected that I often talk to you about pedagogy. And I would like you to know that as far as pedagogy is concerned, all of the indicators are green, I will have an opportunity to elaborate on that topic on another occasion.

Today, I wanted to put pedagogy aside for a moment and to talk to you about someone whose help in the running of the French Section is invaluable to me: the FS Operations Manager, Nicolas Blanc. He has his eyes on several indicators all the time, particularly financial ones, with the assistance of Olivia. The work he does is often in the wings and has an indirect, but important, impact on the students. Though his position might seem a discreet one, he plays a central role in the running of our school. The vast majority of the decisions I have made since arriving here l have been made with the benefit of his support, his expertise and his advice. His curiosity, loyalty, skill-set, vision and ability to keep a level-head at all times mean he is an excellent one man sounding board for Franck Lefèvre, Carine Capel and I.

Nicolas often says that his job is not to judge how money should be spent, but to find solutions so that it is spent in a way that enables our students to benefit from the very best in the classroom. He is one of my key collaborators and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate him and the work he does as we commence, for the sixth time, the challenge of making sure that everything will be ready for the 19th August 2019. It is a task that I will take as much pleasure as ever in tackling.

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