Educators take the LEAD in new World ORT programme

A new programme aimed at supporting the “engine room” of education has been launched by World ORT with the backing of the HH Wingate Foundation.

The LEAD (Leadership in Education, Administration and Development) Program underway at ORT House, London, is a pilot project replacing the Wingate Seminar series which ran for 15 years.

Where each Wingate Seminar focused on a specific technology in education – from video conferencing and wireless and mobile devices to virtual learning environments and gaming – the LEAD Program is part of an attempt to address the spectrum of the management aspects in modern education, said World ORT Chief Program Officer Vladimir Dribinskiy.

“Schools no longer see the ORT network as simply a way of introducing robotics or more computers but to bring them to the new wave of modern technology and to shape them for a better future. ORT’s challenge – our mission – is now to address education as such. And educational management is a significant, if not the most important, component of this challenge,” Mr Dribinskiy told the 20 teachers and managers from 12 countries taking part in the programme.

This week, a team from University College London’s world-leading Institute of Education are running a training course for LEAD participants that has been customised for an international audience.

A rare opportunity to reflect

The LEAD Program offers participants a rare opportunity to reflect on their work as well as to network with peers. But it does not end when the seminar finishes. Participants will be required to work on an on-going project and online leadership support will be provided.

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Networking: Gafna Vanova (left), Deputy for Jewish Studies at Lauder Schools of Prague, introduces herself to Dina Hirsh, Director of Assessment and Evaluation at Kadoorie High School, Israel.

The seminar represents a shift in the role of World ORT’s Education Department, its Head, Daniel Tysman, said.

“We’re seeking the best ways to support our educators’ work and to improve the performance of their schools, colleges and other activities. The LEAD Program is aimed at improving efficiency, to make sure that the schools are more effective in every aspect of administration, development and educational processes,” Mr Tysman said.

Motivation and support

Middle managers are often described as the “engine room” of their organisations, World ORT Director General and CEO Shmuel Sisso said.

“They lead teams of professionals, transforming senior leadership’s strategy into practice on a daily basis. This seminar recognises the value of our leading educators and managers and their work. We hope that their participation in LEAD will motivate them on their journey to excellence and provide them with the support they need to succeed,” Mr Sisso said.

World ORT President Dr Conrad Giles, who last week visited schools in Moscow and St Petersburg which World ORT supports, expressed his thanks to the LEAD participants for the contributions they make to their schools.

“Your job as professionals is something that we sure as heck have to support,” he said. “Thank you all very much for all that you do and your dedication. It’s important that we see your work because when we do we know that we are participating in an enormously important effort that can only accrue to the benefit of the continuity of the Jewish People.”