CEO NEWSLETTER TERM 2 No 4 August 2015

Dear colleagues
Cath and I have returned from our time overseas greatly refreshed and excited while we are also
relieved that no major issues arose in our absence. I am very grateful to Peter for holding the fort so
well and commend him for doing so. We were in constant communication, which helped greatly,
while you were all so busy with the end-of-term activities that you had no time to think of CHISZ or
Special thanks to Peter, as well as to Abe Gatsi and Kevin Atkinson, who stepped in at the last
moment to attend a meeting called by the Minister and Permanent Secretary to address the
“Responsible Authorities of Independent Colleges and Responsible Authorities who provide Primary
and Secondary Education via the Non-Formal Education route” on the Curriculum Review. We still
are not sure if they understand who ATS/CHISZ is as we are neither Independent Colleges nor serve
in Non-Formal Education but they did on two occasions highlight to all five hundred delegates that
ATS schools were doing a good job. It is interesting that the government wishes the Independent
Colleges (and therefore schools) to fill the gap where there is a reported shortfall of 2066 schools in
the country and ease the congestion on Government schools. We will forward to you the
presentation given at that meeting on the “Zimbabwe Education Blueprint 2015-2022 – Curriculum
Framework for Primary and Secondary Education” as it will be good for us to consider what is there.
It does to serve as a positive reminder that we can and must play our part in assisting with the
education of the children in Zimbabwe and not just think of our own little world. We were all invited
to attend the SUB-SAHARAN EDUCATION Conference & Expo at Rainbow Towers 16 th to 18 th
September, entitled “Growing Socio Economic Opportunities Through Quality Education in the 21 st
Century” – cost $250 [Delegate Regular] or $500 [Delegate Plus -, includes pre-scheduled meetings
with VIPs]. See for more information [though currently it just tells
you to contact ]
The recent judgement given by the High Court judge on dismissing an employee without giving
reason may well also have helped the government cause as well as our own, though we are
encouraged not to use it simply to offload staff – while it may help us to cut back for economic
reasons on our staff numbers, we have to remember the effect any such action may have on
remaining (or prospective) staff members. Be wise! Be aware too, though, that government is now
seeking to change this law urgently so the window of opportunity may be closing!
While mentioning the Ministry, we submitted our proposals for the calendar dates for 2016 (and
indeed for 2017 as well) as we know many parents are asking you for dates to book holidays. I regret
we have not heard anything further from them yet but will keep pushing.
During the holidays we plan to finalise dates for workshops for this coming term, so do watch this
space. Notification was sent out to SED schools before the end of term of the second School
Leadership Workshop which will be run in Masvingo on 12 th September – if other schools missed this
second workshop (on RELATIONSHIPS) in Harare or Bulawayo and would like to send some staff
members to this one, do get in touch with Cath. As we have been away for some time, the office will
remain open throughout the holidays.
As we have thanked some folk above, let me also thank those of you who sent invitations to me to
attend school plays, concerts and sports events – I regret very much I could not attend them this
time and hope that it will not discourage you from thinking of inviting me again in the future! In
addition, many thanks to the three schools who send me their newsletters (weekly and termly)which I find most interesting and helpful – I welcome any such from all the schools as it helps me to
have a better picture of what is happening within CHISZ.
Many thanks too for the responses we received, at a busy time of the year for you all, with regard to
the Entrance Assessments (from Secondary Heads), to the Mission Statements and to Affiliation Fees
for Sports (Secondary).
With regard to the Entrance Assessments, most of the 18 schools who responded were
happy with both their numbers and the standard of the papers – a separate summary of this
will be issued shortly to Heads. I note that most of our schools offered places to just about
all that wrote (within five places) while only three or four had greater luxury in choosing
pupils. I daresay that most could have offered more places. Do please respect each other by
not going out to offer places to pupils who have been accepted elsewhere.
With regard to the Mission Statements, I note with interest that very few schools have a
Mission Statement and Vision Statement and Core Values (though I respect that there is no
necessity to have all three and that sometimes these are simply a matter of semantics). I do
believe strongly though that we do need to have something which not only gives us our
direction but which also highlights our difference. Our Mission/Vision/Purpose should be
what we are measured by and what is constantly put before our parent body.
With regard to the Affiliation Fees in Secondary sports, the responses indicate there is a
wide discrepancy in what is being done in different sports but this will be discussed at
Conference Split Session.
We congratulate Kizito Muhomba on being formally appointed as substantive Head of CBC and
welcome him warmly while we also congratulate Sharon School on their appointment of Paul Marx’s
replacement, Mrs Sue Ellis. Well done to Westridge Primary who were able to send a group to the
Let Them Festival in Harare. We were sad to hear the news of the passing of Roy Currie, a long-
standing member of the Peterhouse staff before finishing strongly as a Deputy Head at Lomagundi
College. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
The Fullers and the Bradshaws send their greetings to former colleagues in CHISZ – we greatly
enjoyed time with both couples overseas while I also had a positive meeting with my counterpart in
the HMC.
As I noted in the last newsletter, there are crucial lessons from golf that are worth remembering
when it comes to being a Head. So, in this newsletter, I shall take the opportunity to share with you
what I consider to be the second of the 18 LESSONS WHY HEADS SHOULD PLAY GOLF, or more
Our second hole is a straight-forward par 3. As we come to the end of what is always the most
competitive term, in terms of sport, we do well to remember that, as in golf, we are actually playing
against ourselves, not against others. What other schools or other Heads do does not matter – what
matters is what we are doing with what we have. In fact, we are all playing different courses under
different conditions so our scores cannot be compared. As with golf, but unlike nearly all other ball
sports, we cannot control what our ‘opponents’ are doing – it is us on our own doing the best that
we can. In that regard therefore it is good to reflect on the advice given by John Wooden, the
celebrated American basketball coach, who shared how it is important not to look at the scoreboard
but rather to focus on the game – if we do look at the scoreboard, we will take our eye off the game
plan; we will become pressurised into making mistakes. If we stick to what we believe in, to our
game plan, we will have more chance of doing well. John Smit, the former Springbok hooker and
captain, recently articulated this in these terms: “Identifying it [the flow] is the tricky part becauseoften you’re in your own world in rugby. It’s confrontational. The adrenalin is pumping. I’m fighting
my own battle with my hooker but I’m also thinking about whether we’re winning or losing the
bigger battle, without looking at the scoreboard, because that’s usually a reflection on who has the
most energy at the time.” In golf, and in Headship, it is even more important not to look at the
scoreboard. The “bigger battle” is not our sporting results but the future of our children. We should
as Heads not worry about what other schools or Heads are doing (though we may learn and benefit
from sharing with them) but rather work on our own ‘game’ – after all, each of our schools has our
own unique Mission Statements so we are called to do different things. No school has a Mission
Statement to beat other schools in sport or have the highest percentage pass rates (though I have
always loved the school motto I saw in a school in Jamaica years back: “Learn or Get Out”)! Focus on
your school and on your role.
Strength to you in all you are doing, not least through a good break. Reflect on your own
performance and keep at it!
As ever