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					Public Consulting Group
School Restructuring in Poland –
challenges and proven solutions




       Łukasz Nowak,
       September, 2011
Public Consulting Group



Agenda
   Context for school
    restructuring in Poland

   Challenges and
    opportunities

   Proven solutions

   PCG methodology

   About PCG

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Public Consulting Group



During the meeting…

  Be creative, open-minded
   and engaged
  Note done the ideas,
   comments
   and questions




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Introductions




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Context for school restructuring in Poland
                                  22% drop in the
                                         number of
                                        students in
                                   Polish schools in
                                    the last 5 years




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Demographic and population trends
  Demographic and population change resulted in
   decreased student population but did not result
   in school closures
                                            Elementary                Lower Secondary
            School Year             Students             Schools    Students     Schools

          2004/2005               2 723 700              14 765    1 648 800     6 980

          2010/2011               2 196 000              13 915    1 259 600     7 189

              Trends               19.37%                5.76%      23.61%       2.99%

         Source: Ministry of National Education report




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Public expenditure on education

                           Over the last 5 years there
                            has been a 31% increase
                            in spending on education
                           Student population
                            dropped by 22% on
                            average at the elementary
                            and lower secondary
                            levels
                            Source: Money.pl




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To recap…
  Declining enrollment

  Limited local financing

  Aging infrastructure

  Significant administrative costs
   of running the schools

  Teachers’ expectations
   of raises

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Controversy around school restructuring




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Challenges of school restructuring
  Why is school restructuring a challenge for the
   local governments?
           Lost jobs
           Laco of long-term
            education strategy
           Local control
            and politics
           Pride and identity
           Community pushback
           Other challenges?


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Opportunities of school restructuring
  Improved academic performance of students is
   THE outcome of school restructuring
           Improved fiscal efficiency of schools
           Improved utilization of staff and
            school facilitieis
           Modernized school infrastructure
           Improved accessibility of
            specialized staff and
            equipment




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Best practices and proven solutions
  What are the school restructuring success-
   determining factors according to PCG?
           Grounding the process in the improvement
            of educational opportunities
           Stakeholder engagement
           Focus on implementation
           Sufficient amount of time for closings
           Project leader and champion




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Best practices and proven solutions
  Grounding the process in the improvement
   of educational opportunities
          Consider education quality as one of the key criteria
           for the school restructuring decision-making process

          Initiate a dialogue with the local community regarding
           the improved educational opportunities for students




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Best practices and proven solutions
  Stakeholder engagement
          Identify and prioritize groups of stakeholders that should
           be engaged in the decision-making process

          Engage the local community as often and as early as
           possible

          Be sensitive to the political situation




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Best practices and proven solutions
  Focus on implementation
           Develop a detailed implementation plan during the
            decision-making phase
                   Support the families affected by school closures
                   Consider schools’ engagement in EU projects
                   Ensure security of student records during the move
           Ensure appropriate financial and organizational suppport
            for the implementation phase



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Best practices and proven solutions
  Sufficient amount of time for closings
          Do not try to close schools on too rapid of a timeline

                  Minimum 12 – 18 months

          Use the urgency generated by the discovery of a budget
           shortfall to begin a planning process for a comprehensive
           right-sizing plan




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Best practices and proven solutions
  Project leader and champion
          Select a person or a group of people that will be held
           accountable for the school restructuring

          Ensure that the leader has a solid understanding of the
           local education market and provide him with the
           necessary support and resources




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PCG school restructuring methodology
              PHASE 1           PHASE 2                 PHASE 3




 Form a school            Analyze school data    Reassign teachers,
  restructuring            Recommend               students, equipment
  committee                 schools for closure    Continue to manage
 Collect comparative      Manage                  communication
  data                      communications         Monitor financial
 Develop decision-        Local government        and educational
  making framework          make closures           outcomes
                            decisions


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Phase 1: Form a school restructuring committe
  Why is community participation on the committee
   important?

  Who should be included?
           Local government
            officials
           School Directors
           Others?




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Phase 1: Collect comparative data
  What types of data need to be collected to determine
   what is the optimal number of seats or classrooms
   needed and where do we need those seats?
           Total number of seats in the school district
           Total number of students
            in the current shool year
           Total number of students
            in the future school years
           Other?



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Phase 1: Develop decision making framework
  How to decide which schools to close?

                    Academic             School                 Facilities &
                    Performance          Operations             Infrastructure

  Student                         Utilization          Physical condition
   performance                     School demand/       Maintenance/
  Student growth                   choice                repair costs
                                   Operational costs    Utility costs
                                                         Locations



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Phase 2: Analyze Data and formulate Recommendations

  What types of tools can be used for analyzing school
   data and making final school restructuring decisions?




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Sample school ranking




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Phase 2: Manage communications
  What are the ingredients of a successful
   communication plan with the stakeholders?
           Main Theme
           Key Messages
           Stakeholder Groups
           Community Meetings
           Telephone helpline
           Website
           Information packages


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Phase 2: Manage communications
  Examples of effective and ineffective messaging
           Ineffective statement: We have determined that at least
            two schools will need to be closed to balance the budget for
            next year.”
           Possible alternative:
            “We recommend that two schools be
            closed in order that money currently spent
            on empty seats can be recaptured and
            applied in other ways to improve the
            education that our children receive.”




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Summary



  During today’s workshop we learned how to:
           Asses the risks and opportunities of school closing
           Identify areas of focus and priorities
           Form a school restructuring committee
           Collect and analyze important school data
           Establish decision making-criteria
           Communicate the decisions with the Public


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Public Consulting Group



About Public Consulting Group
  Public Consulting Group (PCG) is a global management
   consulting firm focused on the public sector

  We are the trusted advisor to the local, regional and
   national governments and institutions in the area of
   education, healthcare and human services

  We employ 1000 professionals
   in 35 offices and work with over
   4 000 clients in USA, Canada,
   and Poland


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Public Consulting Group



Public focus. Proven results
  Be agents of change—ask right questions,
   communicate key messages, engage
   community leaders
  Bring innovations in management practice
   to clients
  Use our global network to deliver
   the best of the firm to all clients
  Build client capabilities
   to sustain improvement
  Build enduring relationships

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Public Consulting Group



Partners to Governments




   New Jersey Public Schools


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Public Consulting Group



                                 Please contact us with any
                                  questions regarding
  Łukasz Nowak, Consultant        PCG’s School Restructuring
  lnowak@pcgeu.com                methodology and services.
  Tel: +48 42 2908 221
  Fabryczna 17, Budynek A1
  90-344 Łódź, Poland            We are here to assist you!




                www.pcgeu.com


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