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.
Data on the preparation and professional development of school leaders
Sound policy planning on the preparation and professional development of school leaders for equity and learning needs to take into consideration research-based evidence on
their engagement (past and present) in leadership capacity building and the factors affecting it.
What we mean by School Leadership Capacity?
A school’s leadership capacity for equity and learning can be defined as the collective ability of a school
to harness the potential of processes and dynamics of the school system, the school and its members, to generate and lead coordinated action
that addresses effectively challenges of equity and learning.
School principals' formal education
According to the 2013 OECD TALIS results, some European countries are well below the OECD average (15%) regarding the share of principals
in lower secondary education schools who have never participated in a formal school administration or principal training programme or course. This is particularly true for
Croatia, Denmark, Latvia, Portugal, England (UK) and Spain.
Leadership training index (no or weak leadership training)
Map 3: Percentage of principals who report having received no or weak leadership training in their formal education* (Lower secondary education)
(Source: OECD 2014, TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning).
* The leadership training index was constructed from the following variables: i) school administration or principal training programme or course,
ii) teacher training/education programme or course, iii) instructional leadership training or course.
Responses indicating "never" were coded as zero (0) and responses indicating that the training had occurred were coded as one (1).
Each respondent's codes were summed to produce the following categories: 0 (no training), 1 (weak leadership training), 2 (average leadership training) and 3 (strong leadership training).
NOTE: OECD average: 12.3%.
The Belgium data on Flemish community only. The Great Britain data on England only.
See Table at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933043948
According to the 2013 OECD TALIS results, in many European countries the share of principals in lower secondary education schools with no or weak leadership training is well above the OECD average (12,3%).
In some European countries, such as Croatia, Portugal and the Czech Republic, policy makers could consider measures for the development of the leadership capacities of principals who currently
have no or rather weak prior formal education related to their duties and responsibilities to manage and lead their schools.
Engagement of school principals in professional development activities
Indicator on the engagement of school principals in professional
Map 4: Percent of students whose principals reported that they spend “A Lot of Time” in professional development activities specifically for principals (school grade 4)
(Source: TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics, p. 258) .
NOTE: International average: 39%.
The Belgium data on Flemish community only. The Great Britain data are from England only (Northern Ireland, 23%)
According to the 2011 IEA TIMSS school survey, in many European countries, particularly in Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and England (UK) only a
small share of pupils are enrolled in primary schools where their principals report that they
spend "a lot of time" in professional development activities specifically for principals.
According to the 2013 OECD TALIS results, some European countries are well above the OECD average (9,5%) regarding the share of principals
in secondary education schools who report that they did not participate in any professional development in the 12 months prior to the survey.
In some European countries, such as Portugal, Spain and France, policy makers could consider measures that would
encourage more school leaders engage in professional development activities.
Barriers to principals' participation in professional development
According to the 2013 OECD TALIS results, in some European countries, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria the majority of principals report that the lack of incentives is a barrier to participation in professional development.
Policy makers should consider the establishment of a coherent, varied and flexible set of explicit incentives for current
and prospective school leaders for participating in leadership study programmes and undertaking CPD activities for equity and learning.
A comprehensive framework can combine direct monetary incentives (such as salary increases or additional allowances paid within the same occupational grade), career advancement/retaining incentives
(promotion to a higher occupational grade, retaining the same occupational grade), and time compensation (paid leave, time off).