We are going to define Kaizen just for the purpose of this article because David Kiger has given all the possible definitions in previous articles: kaizen comes from the Japanese language, and it means “continual improvement .” When it comes to the corporate world kaizen refers to all the little things that can be changed to achieve continuous improvement.
The Kaizen philosophy was first designed for mass production or linear production, but it can also be applied to many areas and industries such as purchasing and logistics, government, the health industry, psychotherapy, life-coaching and many more industries. It can also be applied to your own personal process whether it is for personal improvement or to be better at something in the workplace.
In this same order of ideas, Kaizen can be applied to many things, and it can also be taught. Today we are going to talk about the Kaizen teaching schools alliance in the UK that has been teaching the Kaizen philosophy since 2014 and has helped many students succeed in their life by making small changes and teach them how to do so.
The Kaizen Teaching School Alliance was established with the goal of meeting all the most important priorities in schools in the UK and to create a very good and enriching experience for all students within the schools. Within the UK there is an agenda that states that there should be a self-improving school system, so the alliance came together with most of the schools and designed a strategy to give all the students information and education on the topics of training, research and professional development.
The Kaizen Teaching School Alliance (KTSA) which started in 2014 has now under its sleeve 11 schools in the grades of primary school, junior school, secondary education, faith and selective schools and academies that are around the Kent and Medway area.
Schools in the UK are not the only ones to be part of this strategy. There is a big number of institutions and universities that have contributed to such strategy and for it to take place in the school world. Some of them are Bluesky Education, the University of Greenwich, the University of Brighton, the Brook Learning Trust, Kent County Council, and Kent and Medway Teacher Training.
The Kaizen teaching schools alliance abides by 3 Core Strands that come from the strategy called ‘The Big 6.’
- Teacher training programs so a teacher can be firmly educated on the Kaizen philosophy. Research and Development are also a milestone for continuous improvement.
- Continuous professional development that includes Leadership Development, Succession Planning and Talent Management.
- School-to-School Support.
The Kaizen Teaching School was born in Kent. This school works very closely with the Kent Association of Headteachers in order to give special attention to all the schools in their goal of raising education standards for children in the Kent area. The Kaizen Teaching School is more than glad to expand their horizons, and they are now taking the Kaizen philosophy to schools in the Sussex and Surrey area and further out.
So you would think that this type of approach works for all schools in every area around the world. Well, in the UK the Kaizen Teaching School aims at placing the best-qualified teachers and practitioners within the schools soon they can lead the continuous improvement work. Schools should contact the Kaizen Teaching School if they think their school has special a need of improvement in many areas. Schools can contact the Kaizen Teaching School through their website or by calling the administrative team so they can start the process of assessing the school and further allocating teachers and practitioners.
The Kaizen Teaching School has a special program called the Specialist Leaders of Education. They are middle or senior school leaders that show leadership skills and they are willing to teach other students in other schools about the philosophy of continuous improvement. These leaders then receive a special training so they can be the best in their area and they are ready to transmit it to other people. These leaders are also deployed to other areas based on demand. Since these leaders are also students, they can only commit 15 days a year to this work. There are no established hours and schools can change their leaders whenever they want. This program has a fee and it is £350 per day.
The idea behind this leadership program is to work side by side with schools in order to raise standards and to have a great impact on children´s lives and future development.
The Kaizen philosophy was invented by Toyota for the corporate world. But the trends have taken this approach to almost to all the areas of human life. Continuous improvement can be part of anything anywhere, and in the UK they are starting from the early stages to have amazing results in the future.
Be sure to also read this post about 3 steps you can take to apply Kaizen in your life
* Featured Image courtesy of jdog90 at Flickr.com