My school recently offered a 30% discount on school fees. My kids go to a local school and the fees are not high … but, well, 30% is 30%!
You’d think the parent community would be thrilled but actually, there’s quite a bit of grumbling.
The reason goes to the heart of the challenge many of our organisations will face in the coming months and years. What people expect of us is changing fast…maybe faster than we are.
In my school community, some parents are wondering why they're paying school fees at all given it’s the parents delivering the curriculum. What does that remaining 70% get them? Some parents are getting used to schooling from home and they like it. Others are wondering if they’re getting value-for-money. What was a fairly coherent narrative around what the school delivers and why we’re sending our kids there is rapidly fragmenting and new expectations are forming. The longer this goes on, the more divergent people’s views will become, and the more radical the adaptation required of the school and its teachers to remain relevant (and solvent).
The interesting thing is that I suspect the teachers don’t realise all this is going on! They are heads-down-bums-up trying to convert their normal service (face-face teaching) into a virtual one and deal with their organisational and personal challenges.
I suspect the real shock for my school may come in a couple of weeks when next term’s fees are due. If people pull their kids out and don’t pay, there’ll be surprise, shock and probably some resentment given how hard the teachers have worked to help parents deliver. But the truth is, they haven’t really looked at how their community is taking this.
The dynamic between the teachers and parents has changed irrevocably. Nobody really knows what the new one will look like. We’re all in eye of a cyclone of communication. There are vast winds shifting the terrain around us. We need to step into the storm and see what’s shifting.
• We DO KNOW a lot about the phases of Organisational Recovery (it’s not like we don’t have experience with disaster recovery in this country). I recently delivered a seminar on what to expect and some tips about how to navigate this process. You can listen to it here.
• Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more. I’m also keen to hear your story of recovery in this period.