1: Background Information
1.01 Shell Schools’ Mission Statement.
Shell schools will, through excellent teaching and organisation, maximise children’s learning in a way which enables them to achieve high social, personal and academic standards, enjoy learning, adapt to other education systems and develop both a national and an international perspective.
Shell schools and Shell affiliated schools must all adhere to certain principles defined by the Shell Education Services Department as:
focus on learning - involving
Focusing on children’s learning in various school activities.
Focusing on issues that enable children to learn better (including transition policies).
Internationalisation - involving
Implementation of the IPC.
Development of children’s international understanding.
Inclusion and diversity - involving
Paying attention to and using the diversity in nationalities (children and staff).
Using and developing the diverse talents of the children (including more able children).
Using and developing the diverse talents of the staff.
Learning possibilities for language and culture in the schools.
Mother tongue and culture - involving
Providing opportunities for children to learn about their own language and culture.
These principles should be apparent in everything a school does, and should, for example, be reflected in its documents.
1.03 The Role of the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and SLT members
Each school has a head teacher, sometimes called principal. Most schools also have one or more deputy head teachers.
Due to the different size and lay out of the organisation most schools differ in their leadership structure.
Head teachers, deputy head teachers and heads of stream must have clear job descriptions. Sample job descriptions are listed in Appendix 1. These represent minimum requirements that can be expanded to suit a school’s circumstances.
Each school is invited to send representatives (usually the head teacher, deputy head teacher and/or heads of stream) to the annual Shell School Leadership Training Days at which training is provided, information is shared and issues are discussed.
1.04 School Governance.
Shell Schools and Shell Affiliated Schools
The Shell Group currently works with a group of 7 schools in the following locations:
Panaga School, Seria, Brunei*
Sakhalin International School, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Russia*
3 Knewton International School, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia*(independent governance)
PDO School, Muscat, Oman*
Rumukoroshe School, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
RAIS, Bonny Island, Nigeria*
* Denotes Shell affiliated schools set up in conjunction with Shell’s Joint Venture partners
Purpose of Shell Schools and Shell Affiliated Schools
Shell schools and Shell affiliated schools are set up in order to contribute to the overall objective of supporting and enhancing international mobility through the provision of high quality primary education for employees’ children. They are company schools, and have in common that the majority of pupils are the children of Shell expatriate staff.
The schools are governed by Operating Units (OUs). (Which in the case of the Shell affiliated schools would be the joint venture company) in each of the above locations, together with Shell’s Education Services Department in The Hague. Shell’s Education Services Department formulates and implements Education Policy for these schools.
The Nature of Governance
‘The purpose of governance is to ensure, usually on behalf of others, that an organisation achieves what it should achieve while avoiding those behaviours and situations that should be avoided.
This is an important function, as it lays the foundation for how the school will be managed and operated. Key to the success of any governance framework is in the judicious appointment of the members of the governing board and subsequently, ensuring there is clarity around their roles and responsibilities.
Shell schools and Associated schools have been governed in the past in different ways, depending largely on the experience of HR staff at the various operating locations, while Shell’s Education Department in The Hague has provided central guidance.
They have and in most locations still follow below:
As company schools set up with a specific business purpose, these schools are different from many others. The difference has to be reflected in their governance.
Shell affiliated schools are owned and operated by JV’s in the locations, and have a duty to adhere to local legislation , General Business Principles and the Shell Group Education Policy.
Line management responsibility for a school is delegated to a particular individual – usually the HR Manager of the JV. This person is directly accountable to the Business JV that owns the school.
While certain responsibilities can be delegated further, such delegation does not detract from the line manager’s accountability or from the owning business’ duty.
There is a clear distinction between governance roles and executive roles. In a school, the Head Teacher has executive responsibility to act within the overall policy set by the JV (NOV) and the Head of education services.
The School Board
There are benefits to the HR Manager (or equivalent) delegating some of his or her responsibilities to a school board. These include:
For the school’s owner:
A broader range of perception of the school’s direction and performance
For parents and other stakeholders:
A degree of representation
For the Head Teacher
A broader understanding of the views of stakeholders
The model for a School Board, the roles and responsibilities and a letter to parent governors are found in Appendix 3.
Day-to-Day Responsibility and Relationships
The day-to-day running of the school is delegated to the head teacher and the deputy head teacher. The good working relationship between HR and the school remains critical. The HR manager, or the line manager of the head teacher, should meet at least six times per year with the head teacher. Meetings between the head teacher and HR line manager should take place both in school and in the HR manager’s office.
1.05 Group Education Policy.
Education Policy pertaining to international mobility can be accessed via HR online or the HR Service Centres. Additional support and advice can be obtained through contacting SESD directly.
1.06 Evaluation of Services.
Improve Education (ImEd) always aim to provide high quality education services to Shell schools. The purpose of the particular activity should be clear to everyone concerned when ImEd works with schools. To help the monitoring of the performances and to improve the services to Shell schools, an evaluation form has been produced. When the work has been completed these are sent to the person who commissioned the service (normally the head teacher or the HR Manager).
Comments are asked particularly on the extent to which the activity matched what had been agreed. The comments of the schools are used to inform the self-evaluation of ImEd and to provide data to be included in ImEd’s annual report to the Shell Education Services Department.
The evaluation form can be found in Appendix 4.
In addition, SESD occasionally conducts a survey to which all schools are expected to contribute.