TRANSITION PROGRAMMES: ISC WELLBEING IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS REPORT 2/5
Inspired by ISC Research’s Wellbeing in International Schools report, this is my second blog in a series of five.
In this blog, I discuss the key recommendation about transition programmes. This key recommendation is relevant to my work on emotional wellbeing for relocation
BACKGROUND TO THE WELLBEING IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS REPORT
ISC Research’s report shares the preliminary findings of the first global research into wellbeing in international schools. The report is authored by Angie Wigford at International Educational Psychology Services Ltd. and Andrea Higgins at Cardiff University School of Psychology.
AIMS OF THE WELLBEING IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS RESEARCH
There are two main aims in the Wellbeing in International Schools report:
to identify what promotes wellbeing
to identify the barriers to wellbeing.
KEY RECOMMENDATION FROM THE WELLBEING IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS REPORT
“All schools should have established programmes for welcoming students and to support those who leave” (Wigford and Higgins, 2018: p.22).
Firstly, I agree with this recommendation because the support for new and leaving students tends to be unequal. When international school offer support, I find they tend to focus more on new students than leaving students. Leaving is accompanied by very difficult feelings of loss and grief. If the feelings are not addressed and processed, the leaving student can find it even more difficult to settle in at their new location. International schools need to ensure that new and leaving students receive equal support which focuses on their particular stage of transition.
The second reason is that many international schools offer ad hoc support. Within a school, the support can vary widely from classroom to classroom. Some teachers do a lot to support both new and leaving students. Other teachers spend a lot of time with their new students and don’t realise the importance of supporting leavers. In some classrooms and schools, relocating students receive very little support. This is a problem because relocation is an emotionally stressful process. Much of the research also points to a negative long-term impact of relocation for children (Pollock and Van Reken, 2009).
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO ORGANISATIONS RELOCATING FAMILIES?
Relocation is an emotionally stressful process. Taking prompt and consistent action to support families in their move can be hugely beneficial for organisations. This support can begin as soon as the relocation is agreed. Allianz (2018) highlighted that 97% of expats identify pre-relocation support as the key to successful expat assignments. This is vital, given that the potential cost of a failed expat assignment. O’Sullivan (2017) estimates that cost of a failed assignment can be 40 times base salary for an executive earning above US$250,000 per year.
HOW I CAN HELP
Audit your existing provision as in international school, organisation or family with my hello/goodbye transition audits. Contact me for more details.
For international schools, reach out to discuss my range of resources and workshops available for international schools. Take a look at my free emotional literacy lesson plan and resources for international schools as an example.
For businesses and families, drop me a line to find out more about my family hello/goodbye programme to support relocation.
Use my ‘A New Adventure: Coaching Cards for an International Move’ to generate conversations throughout each stage of the relocation process. The cards help you to focus on important areas at every stage.
Get in touch today to find out more about how my programmes and resources can support your school, business or family. I look forward to hearing from you.