LiftOff entry for PfP

See how Inmarsat is supporting education in Cape Town Government Schools

On a recent holiday to Cape Town, Inmarsat’s Chief Commercial Officer Alison Horrocks had the chance to head to the local office and spend some time with the staff to get a better understanding of how they support Inmarsat’s business in the region, and wider afield across Africa and the Middle East.  Alison also found out first-hand how G2 and Enterprise BUs are supporting four under-resourced Government schools in the Cape Town Area.  This is through an innovative leadership development programme, known as Partners for Possibility, or PfP.  The PfP programme is run by Symphonia for South Africa, has been running for 5 years and has made a positive difference to more than 500 schools across the whole of South Africa over this period.   PfP joins a business leader in partnership with the principal of a school for a 12 month development period, supported by leadership workshops and a qualified coach.  The focus of the programme is to help develop better leadership skills in the principal, which then flow down to the School Management Team, Governing Body and ultimately the community of parents, with a consequent improvement in educational outcomes.

Alison joined Gordon McMillan on one of his visits to the rural school where Gordon is partnering with the Principal, Greg Andries.  Greg showed Alison around the school which has 570 pupils between the ages of 5 and 12.  Greg explained some of the challenges he faces, which range from too much education department administration to trying to encourage parent support and involvement in the school – 95% of the pupils are bussed in from an informal settlement 7 km from the school with limited public transport to allow parents to get to school easily for meetings.  Greg then went on to describe the benefits of the PfP programme and the partnership with Gordon which enable a more structured and focused school improvement plan, increased self-confidence for Greg himself, improved interaction with, and motivation of, his teachers, and the availability of a thinking partner who is outside the school and education environment.  Greg’s school improvement plan encompasses four key areas – teamwork, financial management, safety and better SGB/parental engagement, and with Inmarsat’s support and Gordon’s partnership, Greg expects to see improvements in all four areas.

Alison also met with the three independent consultants who are partnering with three other Cape Town schools – Lynn van’Tof, Hilton Scholtz and Simon Hoare.  They each described their schools, principals and progress made, with all three expressing their gratitude for Inmarsat’s support which enabled them to join the PfP programme allowing them to contribute their time and enthusiasm to help make a difference.

Over the 12 month programme, Inmarsat will be responsible for a significant impact on four principals, more than 50 teachers and nearly 1,400 pupils in Cape Town.  This support demonstrates how small financial contributions and motivation from our staff can help make a real difference to these communities.

30 November -1, 00:00