With disruption to operations fast becoming the norm, findings from our latest survey of independent school leaders demonstrate a swift pivot to new risks and priorities.
As a test of the resilience of independent schools, the COVID pandemic has proven to be a situation with both immediate and long-term impacts across a number of critical risk areas. When comparing the top five risks as identified by independent school leaders in 2020 with the latest rankings from our 2022 survey, only one risk has remained – Student Safety. Three of the new top five entrants – Access to Talent, Cyber Threat and Mental Health – had structural foundations and have risen in importance, partly due to the circumstances of the pandemic.
The number four risk is the outlier – COVID-19 – a virus that quickly took hold around the world, causing significant disruption across the learning environment. While face-to-face teaching and most school activities have been largely restored for the time being, the independent schools sector is continuing to feel the effects of the pandemic and this report explores how these impacts have influenced the risk priorities of schools as recorded in our survey.