As I am proud to see that despite the continuing impact of COVID-19 on our business, we have achieved many terrific outcomes and new learnings over the 2021/22 year. The effect of COVID-19 and the uncertainty around it was very significant in the first half of 2022, with schools grappling with high teacher absenteeism, affecting numbers attending workshops on the day.
The impact on QELi during what would normally be one of our highest activity periods, saw schools and systems dealing with the complexities of keeping schools running with staff in front of students. Like many businesses, the operational impact on QELi also continued moving us to the new norm of staff working from home most of the time. Despite the incredible time required to respond to the waves of COVID-19 in our local and national communities, the team ensured all program delays and postponements were effectively communicated to participants and negotiated with sponsors and key stakeholders.
The QELi team continued to grow their learning in the new online space, most programs can now be delivered in both face-2-face, online and able to be flipped to the opposite mode almost seamlessly to support our educators during this challenging time. With the ongoing support from our Board, chaired by Professor Donna Pendergast, we were able to be agile and innovative in our response to the environment. Once again QELi’s agility enabled us to reduce expenditure and outgoings significantly and with a major increase in program delivery in the second part of this financial year as well as an increase in virtual beam in sessions, we have achieved an amazing positive surplus. During this last year we have demonstrated an increase in gross profit margin, offered more programs online, virtual offerings and expanded our delivery options and most importantly saw a continued improvement in our evaluation of impact program scores from an already high position.
The QELi Board leadership and work of staff continually ensures our company is transparent, accountable and we follow appropriate national regulations and policy.
We We are seeing a strong increase in enquiries for QELi customised programs. Key areas of demand continue to be particularly focused around schools, diocese and regions focusing on middle leadership and instructional leadership for those educators who are lifted from the classroom into systemic type coaching roles such as literacy coaches, pedagogical coaches etc. Working with schools around high performance teams and groups of principals on systemic leadership are two other areas of significant work.
One day masterclasses with targeted skill development are also becoming more popular on topics including leading professional conversations, trust and resilience and wellbeing and these have been very popular and well received this year. As we move into the 2022-23 financial year, we look forward to continuing the increase of program delivery, the building of connections with stakeholders and partners and welcoming new members of the team to support the further growth of QELi.
Once again, I would like to thank the Board, particularly Donna as Chair, for their continued support. I look forward to working alongside our education colleagues throughout this year.
Chief Executive Officer