Educating School Leaders Toolset
for equity and learning

The effectiveness of school leadership capacity building is reflected upon how well school leaders can adapt to their new roles and how competent they can become in co-designing and co-implementing policies for equity and learning in their school, as well as in encouraging the establishment of participative, democratic school cultures.




Building a Competency Framework

In many education systems in Europe, although the duties, responsibilities and tasks of school leaders are usually stipulated in official documents, one can find only scarce references to the competencies that school leaders should acquire in order to have a positive impact on the quality of education. Yet, the development of a professional competency framework for school leaders can have many beneficial uses. It can:

The Central Five: The Building Blocks of a Competency Framework

Prof. Michael Schratz (University of Innsbruck, Austria) on the interrelation between management and leadership (EPNoSL webinar: Capacity building, January 2015).

What we mean by School Leadership Competency Framework?

A Competency Framework on school leadership is a model that broadly defines the accepted or excellent levels of performance of school leaders.







Educating School Leaders
An EPNoSL Webinar (2013) with Michael Schratz (University of Innsbruck, Austria), Tom Hamilton (General Teaching Council for Scotland, UK) and Huub Friederichs (Netherlands School for Educational Management and Leadership, the Netherlands).
Leading and managing teaching for equity and learning

Leading and managing teaching for equity and learning

Key descriptors
  • School leaders ensure that teaching lead to the improvement of learning achievement.
  • School leaders establish a culture of feedback and evaluation with a view to improvement.
  • School leaders ensure that curricular activities meet the demands of all learners.
  • School leaders critically engage teachers with research to improve their teaching.
  • School leaders work towards achieving an inclusive learning environment.

  • Phases of Professionalization


    Leading and managing change for equity and learning

    Leading and managing change for equity and learning

    Key descriptors
  • School leaders communicate the school's vision which is based on shared values and aiming at improving current practice for equity and learning.
  • School leaders pursue a strategic approach in their daily activities by offering manageable steps to everybody to fulfil the school's goals.

  • Pattern change through creative intervention


  • School leaders respond flexibly to the challenges involved in the process of change.
  • School leaders create an environment which is open to change and establish constructive relationships with the actors involved.
  • School leaders share their leadership with other staff and build trust in their own and others' capabilities.
  • Leading and managing self for equity and learning

    Leading and managing self for equity and learning

    Key descriptors
  • Self-reflection and self-evaluation: School leaders critically reflect upon their personality, behaviour and actions, and (when necessary) revise their decisions.
  • Interpersonal development: School leaders continuously improve their interpersonal strengths and seek to overcome weaknesses.
  • Professional–leadership and managerial development: School leaders keep up-to-date professional knowledge and strengths to be able to set up and reach the vision and goals of the school.
  • Ethical and moral development: School leaders recognize moral and ethical stances in relation to education, adopt professional ethics and accept responsibility.
  • Effective communication and commitment: School leaders communicate effectively and show their deep commitment to the education and development of students, teachers and themselves.

  • Leading from the future as it emerges

    Policies aiming to promote school leadership should be able to build upon a widely shared view of what it is to be expected from school leaders. Particularly in systems with high school autonomy, school leadership policies can be challenged at the level of implementation because of the diversity of expectations from school leaders among different stakeholders and schools



    Energy matrix (Bruch & Vogel, 2005).



    Supporting Document
    Beyond the reach of leading: exploring the realm of leadership and learning

    Leading and managing others for equity and learning

    Leading and managing others for equity and learning

    Key descriptors
  • Inspirational leadership: School leaders inspire, motivate and encourage school staff and students and promote their positive approach to challenges in education.
  • Team-building and distributed leadership: School leaders create, co-ordinate and participate on effective team working based on various form of shared/distributed leadership.
  • Professional development: School leaders ensure professional development of people based on recognition of needs and requirements of the staff, school and stakeholders.
  • Communication and shared decision making: School leaders make decisions, solve problems and manage conflicts (recognizing and valuing others' considerations and different social and cultural viewpoints.
  • School climate and moral aspects: School leaders develop a positive climate and culture supportive of knowledge-sharing and reaching common goals keeping moral and ethical stances in leading others.
  • eading and managing the institution for equity and learning

    Leading and managing the institution for equity and learning

    Key descriptors
  • School leaders manage equitably and effectively the school's resources in compliance with legal requirements.
  • School leaders enhance the school's public image emphasizing its efforts to promote equity and learning.
  • School leaders ensure effective time management.
  • School leaders manage processes in a transparent way, making sure they meet regulations and guidelines.
  • School leaders engage internal and external partners without exclusions.







  • Supporting Document
    The art and science of leading a school

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    © 2014 EPNoSL Project