In these days of Corona, it is easy to walk away from any discussion that isn’t framing all thinking in terms of lives, well being, and economic outcomes. This is because the very thought of the Virus has, rightly, created an environment where important decisions must be made in response to its existence, and every decision has impact.
The impacts are global, local and then there are the impacts that are very, very personal:
The biggest call: WA parents left to wrestle with the decision to send kids to school
(@watoday.com.au Twitter 21 April 2020)
Organisations working in early and middle childhood are not immune to this. Across the country, organisations have moved content and relationships across to online platforms.
At the Educational Leaders Association, of which I am Chair, we haven’t walked away from changing our approach, although as we are a networked community and have already developed a growing and agile online presence.
We are also a professionally operational community, which means we all manage services for children and the curriculum and approaches within those services. For us, the impacts of the virus have reached into our lives, and the lives of our staff, parents and children, and now dominates our professional lives.
Before the Virus, we had already discussed that the ongoing well being of the sector was critically impaired by the lack of current data profiles.
To support a peri and post Virus recovery, accurate and current data will be even more important.
The data collection and analysis work discussed in the 8 March blog here is ongoing, but it was been slowed by:
- Reassuring team members when there was no clear information available to calm them
- Supporting families who, amidst worry and fear, were looking to protect their children
- Creating a focus on health and well being, knowing that this time lives are depending on us
- Developing Virus response plans, when we didn’t know what the Virus was capable of, and doing this in a climate of opinion crowding out experts
- Finances weakening and then collapsing, as families made decisions that worked for them, but that impacted on our work in very worrying ways.
The the work was re-framed by:
- Jobs going, accompanied by sad conversation after sad conversation with managers reassuring staff that this wasn’t about them, that they were held in high regard, that the money just wasn’t there, that government benefits might be available, that one day soon they might be able to get back to normal
- Then stand downs and closures as funding grants are delayed and the cash just wouldn’t stretch that far.
The data work is ongoing as we look deeply into the sector, leadership, workforce structure and the potential for the future.
Come by again in May. We will have something very strong to say then.