Educating future leaders

Leap Voices RSS

Developing futures

The LEAP Development Team are our unsung heroes, working in the background to raise funds, provide shared services,  develop the curriculum, guide leadership and build partnerships that will help LEAP grow to reach more young people in South Africa.

This has been a year of highlights for the Development Team with the opening of two new schools (LEAP 5 and 6) and brand-new school buildings in development. The team also worked hard to bring standard assessment, a new leadership model and an aligned curriculum across all subjects in all LEAP schools – no mean feat, given the range and spread of LEAP schools.

But the team’s biggest achievement has been bringing in more funding year-on-year – reaching the milestone of R30million to date. The team are immensely thankful to LEAP’s funders – both new and established – for the trust they have in the LEAP model. But there is still much to do. We need to raise another R6 million to reach our target.

LEAP welcomes new funding partnerships and deepened relationships with Maitri Foundation, Barloworld Education Trust, Anglican Diocese of Pretoria, Boeing, Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, Southey Constructing, City of Cape Town, Aall Foundation and HCI Group. Funders that have significantly increased support this year include HCI Foundation, Old Mutual Foundation, Aveng, MSDF, Afrox, Mutual & Federal, Shuttleworth Foundation, The Harry Crossley Foundation and Shell.

The year has also been a particularly positive one for partnerships, with the development of the Teacher Institute with Teach With Africa. The Institute will strengthen the professional development and higher education opportunities for LEAP faculty and teachers-in-training but will also crucially create a formal structure for LEAP to share its highly successful model with teachers in South Africa, the USA and beyond.

Two more of our leaders – Raphael Mukachi from LEAP 5 and Fadia Williams at LEAP 3 are attending the KIPP Fisher Fellowship Leadership training in the USA. The development of Bridge and South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition and the growth within these organisations in 2012 is another partnership development to be thankful for and proud of.

From the variety of experiences and engaging with other schools and teachers we have reorganised our leadership structure. “We have abandoned heroic leadership and embraced the collective leadership model,” explains Executive Director John Gilmour.  “Young leaders, with clear lines of responsibility, lead through a collective process – it is our way of flattening the hierarchy and creating accessible leadership opportunities.”

Every LEAP school now has an operational leader, an instructional leader, a relationship leader and a pastoral/life orientation leader. This four person team has one person acting as the leader of the leaders on a rotational basis.

“We implemented this at the end of May this year and early indications are that it is unlocking a whole new approach to managing schools,” continues John.

The problem with heroic leaders is that they tend to be efficient at the operation of schools but give low priority to intervention in classrooms and with teachers. We want young teachers to have experience of master teachers so that they can learn and grow into master teachers themselves.

Here’s to another great year of LEAP development.

Values - Everyone at LEAP commits to:

  • Being kind, honest and healthy
  • Being punctual and looking good
  • Working hard and never giving up
  • Admitting and learning from mistakes
  • Confronting issues and being open to change
  • Working together and sharing