In your board:

  • who is your professional sounding board?
  • who asks you questions that help you see things in a new light?
  • who stimulates your thinking and brings ideas from elsewhere?
  • who is a bit removed from your work situation and yet understands it?
  • who provides you with a slightly detached viewpoint and a valuable fresh pair of eyes?
  • who do you trust to have the best interests of you and your work at heart, and yet is not afraid to be very challenging?
  • who motivates you and provides reassurance?
  • who assists you and your team to keep on track, sometimes to try new directions, and to exceed your original expectations?
  • who models principled ways of working, caring about people and about outcomes?

The answer to these questions is the person that you might term a ‘critical friend’, or a ‘mentor’.

A ‘critical friend’ is a trusted person who asks you provocative questions, provides data to be examined through another lens, and offers a critique of your work dispassionately and without political fear or favour as a friend.  A critical friend is an advocate for the success of your work who offers mentoring – a professional sounding board – who is available to help you in the good times and bad.

Optimal School Governance offers an annual critical friendship service that provides mentoring support for boards and Heads of Schools.  These can be tailored to suit individual school needs and budgets. 

Annual Critical Friendship and Mentoring support is INDIVIDUALLY TAILORED for the specific needs of each school.  TYPICAL PACKAGES include:

BUDGET PACKAGE

  • up to ten hours of telephone and/or e-mail support, with additional telephone and/or e-mail support time being charged at the discounted rate.
  • assistance with policy or other document generation for one board document per annum.
  • one four hour visit to the board or school leadership (at the school or another venue selected by the board) for mentoring, discussion, or crisis support, with travel and accommodation being charged at standard rates.
  • 5% discount on all services such as workshops, strategic planning, senior staff recruitment, board and trustee evaluations, performance appraisals, etc.

STANDARD PACKAGE

  • unlimited telephone and/or e-mail support.
  • assistance with policy or other document generation for up to four board documents per annum.
  • four days of visits to the board or school leadership (at the school or another venue selected by the board) for mentoring, discussion, support in crises, orientation for new board members or other governance-related workshops, with travel and accommodation being charged at standard rates.
  • one copy of the book ‘Optimal School Governance’ in the first year for both the Board Chair and the Head of School.
  • 10% discount on all services such as workshops, strategic planning, senior staff recruitment, board and trustee evaluations, performance appraisals, etc.
  • 5% discount on 1st year renewal, and 10% discount on 2nd and subsequent year renewals.

COMPLETE PACKAGE

  • •unlimited telephone and/or e-mail support.
  • •assistance with policy or other document generation for up to eight board documents per annum.
  • •ten days of visits to the board or school leadership (at the school or another venue selected by the board) for almost any governance-related purpose (including strategic planning, board and trustee evaluations, mentoring, discussion, governance-coaching, support in crises, orientation for new board members, workshops, etc), with travel (but not accommodation) being included for the first four separate visits.
  • •one copy of ‘Optimal School Governance’ for each board member in the first year, plus a copy for each new board member upon appointment to the board (during any year the agreement is in place).
  • •10% discount on senior staff recruitment services.
  • •5% discount on 1st year renewal, and 10% discount on 2nd and subsequent year renewals.
  • •other benefits that meet board and school needs by negotiation.