Challenging times generate amazing efforts
ICMP Chief Executive Paul Kirkham offers some insight into how the school is adapting at speed to the current changes.
ICMP Chief Executive Paul Kirkham offers some insight into how the school is adapting at speed to the current changes. Bringing out the best in both our staff team and our exceptional students.
In these challenging times, I just wanted to talk a little about the amazing efforts being made by the staff and students of ICMP to keep our institution focused on delivering our mission. We’ve always been clear that we place our students at the heart of everything we do. Our goal is always their success, but it’s only in times like these that we really see the true impact of our values, experience and capability.
Over the last two weeks, our outstanding academic team has been able to transfer the delivery of our courses to online platforms. Our exceptional student body has been supportive of this, getting on with studies and engagement with a positive and constructive attitude. This was no easy challenge and has required commitment and creativity over and above the call of duty to make it happen in such a short time frame.
While it’s too early to evaluate this change completely, early evidence suggests staff are adapting quickly to the changes, and students are engaging, learning and progressing, while being supportive of what we’re doing. We’ve seen a high level of dissertation completion and submission, for example. Special mentions need to go to John, Sean and the team handling the Help Desk, who have been unbelievably… well… helpful to all users!
Elsewhere, we’ve provided additional budget for investments and expenditure that may be needed during this period and ensured the Hardship Fund is properly resourced and available for all students who may need it. Our Student Wellbeing team has been contacting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students to provide support, and we’re in contact with our international student community, providing advice and guidance regarding their travel plans and supporting their needs.
Our Admissions team has been carrying on with interviews and auditions – online – to ensure those students worried about their future still have the opportunity and confidence to enrol in their future courses.
Across the organisation, all teams have been continuing to deliver outstanding service. We have taken a ‘business as usual’ approach, holding regular team and planning meetings online, ensuring proper records are kept of all our decisions, keeping to planned deadlines, and supporting student claims for extenuating circumstances and mitigation as widely as possible.
I chaired an all-staff meeting on Tuesday that was extremely well attended and I speak with the senior leadership team on a daily basis as we organise and prioritise what needs to be done.
We’ve alleviated concerns from our tutors by guaranteeing to honour all their future committed teaching hours, and we’re focused on ensuring all staff continue in their employment while being in receipt of their salaries and benefits as normal.
During these uncertain times, we’ve tried to communicate quickly, concisely and openly about our decisions, ensuring clear messages are made available through our website, social media platforms, emails, texts and via direct contact.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and we’re learning as we go along. Our senior leadership team has rehearsed crisis management planning previously, so we know how best to approach these kinds of challenges, although you can’t ever be completely prepared for a situation like this. The most important element is to take a flexible, open, honest and realistic approach, and that’s what my colleagues and I are striving for.
To return to my earlier comments about values, it’s at times like this that an organisation stands or falls based on the values of its members. ICMP is not only standing as we progress through this period of change, but we’re moving forward, progressing and growing, learning from each other, supporting each other and keeping focused on our core mission to help our students succeed.
I’m aware of the needs and struggles of colleagues and students, many of whom are in very difficult situations, worried about family and friends, sick or self-isolating, unable to travel home or struggling to cope with the restrictions and challenges we all face. Our thoughts are with them. I want to be clear that we’re here for you – let us know what you need, and we’ll support you as best we can. We also want to know where we could be doing things better, so please tell us!
I’ve never been more proud of my colleagues and the students at ICMP. I’m so impressed with what you’re all capable of and I’m 100% confident we’ll all come through this successfully; stronger, wiser and with a greater understanding of and appreciation for each other and the things in life that we cherish. Thank you all!
ICMP Chief Executive
Joining ICMP in September 2020
Paul will continue to offer updates as we move through this period. If you’re looking to join ICMP’s in September, our friendly Admissions Team are on hand to assist with your application questions and are available to book your Audition.
The team can be reached via our website live chat, firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7328 0222.