Unit 1.6 Thinking and planning strategically


'Strategic thinking is the process by which an organisation’s direction-givers can rise above the daily managerial processes and crises to gain different perspectives. Such perspectives should be both future-oriented and historically understood. Strategic thinkers must have the skills of looking forwards, while knowing where their organisation is now, so that wise risks can be taken while avoiding having to repeat the mistakes of the past.’

(Adapted from Garratt, B. (2003) Developing Strategic Thought, Harper Collins)

Thinking and planning strategically is exciting and essential. UNRWA School Leaders must develop the skills and confidence to think about the future and plan creatively, collaboratively and optimistically to improve the life chances of Palestinian Refugee children. These plans must be based on information about the current provision and its impact on student outcomes.

In this Unit, we will explore ways to engage stakeholders in futures thinking and planning. Using tools and techniques for school planning, you will feel confident about involving others and designing clear futures-focused plans for improving your school.


By the end of this Unit of study, you will be able to:

  • understand the importance of planning strategically;
  • promote strategic thinking and planning in your school;
  • use tools and techniques to promote engagement with strategic planning.

Learning and practice outcomes

By the end of this Unit of study, you will:

  • use your vision (see Unit 1.4 Setting and sharing your vision) in a strategic planning activity;
  • use tools to engage stakeholders with thinking and planning strategically;
  • produce a high-quality strategic plan to develop an aspect of your school provision.

Implementation Task

Choose two or three of the tools from the Change Toolkit to engage staff with planning and thinking strategically.

Are you thinking and planning strategically?

Using the Review Tool for Strategic Planning