To what extent do mission, vision and values statements promote or constrain equity and excellence in my schools?
As Coates (2017) says, “if the three statements are afforded a centrality and engaged with consistently then they become powerful tools to explore and shape culture.”
What is a mission statement? It is an attempt to put into words what the school is pursuing or striving for. It would be very easy to refer to equity and excellence in a mission statement.
What is a vision statement? It is a setting out of what the future looks like for the school. Again, both equity and excellence could easily be included.
What is a values statement? This sets out the driving behaviours and beliefs of a setting. It is the moral compass of the organisation. Equity and excellence are noble values.
So, if equity and excellence could feature in noble and well-meaning statements, surely the use of such statements will help to develop a culture in which equity and excellence are upheld?
If used correctly, mission, vision and values statements Can promote equity and excellence. However, any such statements will only be beneficial if they reference points for all decisions, strategy and dialogue. Failure to get such statements embedded in practice is to constrain the pursuit of equity and excellence. If these two aspirations are only words and not seen in action, the statements have not effect at all.
I need to consider the role of real mission, vision and values statements in helping us to promote equity and excellence. In a wider sense, I need to rethink our mission, vision and values statements in shaping the culture of both schools.
Of particular importance now is to ensure both schools have setting-relevant statements. The time for partner schools statements has, I feel, passed.