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031: What's working in your favour? Strategic question #2

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

In this episode, I tackle the second essential question you need to be able to answer to help shape you school strategy. Last time I discussed how to identify and shape your vision for your school, but this time I'm focusing on what is working in your favour: the internal strengths and external opportunities that you can identify. These qualities I refer to as 'accelerators': positive things which are already working in your favour, propelling your school towards delivering its vision.

The first action I suggest taking is a consideration of your internal strengths, by which I mean the strengths of everybody from your staff and pupils to parents and alumni, all of whom are an integral part of your school community. Also, what's going well in your academic provision, your extra-curricular activities and your pastoral support?

The second action I suggest is a consideration of your external opportunities: the national and international societies in which we sit, but also the wider local community and local forces that might present opportunities to us. I discuss the benefit of using a PESTEL (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal) analysis to help identify the external opportunities in each of these spheres.

Episode highlights

  • What are 'accelerators'? (03:22)

  • Considering your internal strengths (04:56)

  • Considering your external opportunities (07:36)

References and resources

Download your copy of the free eBook ‘The Strategic Independent School Leader’ at

Catch up on previous episodes at


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