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Administration & Support Strategies

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Last updated by Derek Wenmoth


Regularly review systems to ensure LCO management is sustainable.


As personnel change, and as the needs of the LCO change it is important that the administration support processes and leadership practices are sustainable. It is not acceptable to rely on one or two individuals to drive the LCO as this can make the LCO vulnerable when key people leave. It is important as new personnel, especially Principals, come into the cluster then the cluster goals and procedures are shared.


  • Establish a cycle for review of LCO policies and protocols
  • Build leadership capacity across the LCO and provide opportunities for distributed leadership
  • Establish a process for induction of new principals and leadership personnel within schools.

Supporting Resources

Looking Inward to Revise the Vision: An Example from CantaNet

In 1993 seven area schools in the canerbury region came together to form the Canterbury Area Schools Association Technology (CASAtech). This first e-learning cluster would eventually become CantaTech, and for the last few years has been working closely with AorakiNet (a neighbouring cluster). Prior to the 2011 school year, these two clusters merged to form CantaNet. This merger has created a cluster of 20 schools (ten from each of the former clusters), ranging from small area schools to larger secondary schools to one sizable urban secondary school. Given the size of the cluster, the ePrincipals of the two former clusters have continued in their administrative role as co-directors of CantaNet.

As the largest VLN cluster, with a wide and diverse range of member schools, having the leadership reside in the two co-directors can prove to be a challenge and an opportunity, as Co-Director Darren Sudlow describes.

Darren Sudlow - Co-Director, CantaNet


The process of reviewing the leadership structure and the responsibilities of those leaders is an example of the necessary process of review for a learning community. As the Learning Communities Online Handbook indicates, these reviews can be brought about through change in personnel or change in the membership of the cluster (resulting in new needs from member schools). In this instance, it was a change in membership through the merger of these two clusters that pushed this reflective review process.

The specific issue that Darren describes is focused upon the management model. With two smaller clusters it would have been easier to have the leadership primarily in a single individual (i.e., an ePrincipal), whereas with a larger cluster a more that leadership could be distributed over a larger number of individuals including the cluster's administration to the administrators of the members schools.