Building on Distinction: QE sets out priorities for the next four years in new plan

Building on Distinction: QE sets out priorities for the next four years in new plan

Queen Elizabeth’s School today launches Building on Distinction – a detailed plan establishing the School’s priorities for development from 2021 until 2025.

The 32-page strategic vision plan redefines the School’s existing mission to produce young men who are ‘confident, able and responsible’ to ensure that pupils are equipped with all the attributes they need to thrive and lead in the fast-changing, and sometimes unpredictable, world of the 2020s.

The document, which is being sent to parents and other members of the School community today,  includes ten priorities for the School to follow, as well as a more detailed look at what will be required to fulfil the mission and deliver on the priorities.

A new video been produced in which Headmaster Neil Enright and a selection of pupils together set out the qualities of the modern Elizabethan, as defined by the plan.

Mr Enright said today: “I am pleased and excited to be able to launch our new School Plan. As the name, Building on Distinction, suggests, we started drawing up this plan from a position of strength and pre-eminence. We are proud of our heritage: the period covered by the plan includes the significant milestone of our 450th anniversary in 2023, while our more recent past has been characterised by great success which has seen QE become firmly established as one of this country’s leading academic schools.

“To maintain and further amplify such success, we must continue to move forward. At the heart of the ambitious vision in the new plan is a fresh consideration of what it means to be an Elizabethan, looking at the combination of traditional qualities and new skills that our leavers will need to flourish in a global environment characterised by both crisis and opportunity. Our answer to that includes kindness, resilience, inclusivity and a commitment to the greater good of society, alongside attributes such as intellectual poise and broad, analytical thinking.”

Preparation for the new plan began some time ago. A major consultation exercise with parents was conducted last winter by independent consultancy RSAcademics, while current pupils were also consulted through internal surveys.

“I was delighted by the highly positive outcome of the research, which helped shape our thinking as we formulated the plan,” said Mr Enright.

The ‘ten priorities’ section in the middle of the plan is a distillation of the thinking of QE’s Governors and Senior Leadership Team about what must be done in order to accomplish the mission.

The School will seek, for example, to encourage ‘intellectually rigorous activity’ while also celebrating boys’ ‘diverse skills, talents, and achievements’.

The final portion of the plan looks at the commitments that will be required from all departments of the School and across the Elizabethan community, including parents and alumni, in order to enable the vision to be fulfilled. The areas covered range from ‘excellence and advancement on merit’ and ‘valuing and seeking inspiration from our heritage’ to ‘operational efficiency’ and ‘sustainability’.

In recognition of the importance of QE’s long history, the plan document is punctuated with panels detailing key episodes and developments at the School over the past 450 years.

The launch of Building on Distinction was delayed for a term in order both to focus on meeting the challenges posed by Covid-19 and to reflect on how QE’s experience in this crisis could inform its contents.

“However,” Mr Enright said, “we have not, and will not, let the present situation dominate: we continue to look ahead to secure the long-term success of the School and to deliver the very best education possible for current and future pupils.”