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.




Examples of good practices on educating school leaders for equity and learning

Policy making can be greatly enriched by sharing of good practices on strategies, programmes and initiatives that promote the capacities of school leaders to effectivelly address challenges of equity and learning in their schools.

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.

The Leadership Academy (Austria)
The Leadership Academy (LA) in Austria, established in 2004, offers a good example of leadership training programme, blended with knowledge sharing activities, which brings together, under a common leadership capacity building framework, school heads, middle management staff, members of school inspectorates and central government staff.

The mix of professionals from various levels in the management of the school system that work in learning groups is considered the key to professional development and to reforming the whole school system in Austria. The programme is not compulsory. The concept was that it should be so interesting and challenging that everyone would think that "this is something that I have to participate in".

This approach has worked very well so far because of positive word of mouth. The LA operates on the basis of some ideas. The basic one is:

  • "take people out of the school system hierarchy and put them together in a more dynamic setting where each participant leaves behind the perspective of his/her formal position in the hierarchy".
  • This is considered as key to mutual understanding.

    Another idea is:
  • "work in large groups, do not just train individuals".
  • This is aimed to help participants develop a sense of community that shares a common purpose: to change the whole system.


    FURTHER READING
  • The Leadership Academy's web site
  • School leadership development strategies: The Austrian leadership academy. A case study report for the OECD activity Improving school leadership (2007)
  • School Leadership as a Comprehensive Strategy (by Prof. Michael Schratz, 2012)
  • Prof. Michael Schratz (University of Innsbruck, Austria): on the Leadership Academy. EPNOSL Peer Learning Activity (Munich, 6-7 February 2012).

    Supporting Document
    Educating school leaders for equity and learning: a review of the state of affairs in 15 EU countries

    The National School Leadership Training Programme (Sweden)
    The Swedish National Agency for Education, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, commissioned six universities in 2009 to run a new National School Leadership Training Programme.

    This programme is based on a set of goals-standards, corresponding to what the Agency defines as the head teacher’s tasks, roles, and responsibilities, that are organised in three broad knowledge areas:

    -legislation on schools and the role of exercising the functions of an authority,
    -management by goals and objectives, and
    -leadership

    The programme lasts 3 years and includes 36 meeting days. The participants are expected to use 20% of their time studying.

    It is offered for free, but the participants' organizations pay housing costs, travel, study materials etc.

    For head teachers appointed after March 2010 it is compulsory to complete this programme within four years (school heads are not required to have a teaching degree, although teaching is the most common background of head teachers). Head teachers and deputy head teachers appointed prior to 2010 are not required completing it but they can also enrol.


    FURTHER READING
  • Improving school leadership. Background report Sweden (OECD, 2007)
  • Do head teachers in the Swedish School Leadership Programme experience that the education has influenced their leadership and school development? (by Gunnar Krigholm, Kristina Englund & Gunilla Stridbeck, 2014)
  • The Swedish Principal: Leadership Style, Decision-Making Style, and Motivation Profile (by Per H. Hansson & Jon Aarum Andersen, 2007)


  • Prof. Jonas Höög (Centre for Principal Development, Umeå University, Sweden): on Sweden's National School Leadership Training Programme. EPNOSL Peer Learning Activity (Nice, 25-26 September 2014).