Distributed Leadership for Equity & Learning Toolset


Tool #3: Who has access to enabling structures?

Tool #3 provides a way to reflect on the institutional structures that are available to enable leadership, compare their availability between groups and consider how these institutional structures and their availability might be improved.


Ways to use it
There are many ways in which Tool #3 may be used. Here are two suggestions:
The Tool #3 can be used by policy-makers in discussions or group work with school leaders to facilitate shared reflection on the institutional structures that are available in different schools to enable distributed leadership for equity and learning, how their availability and usefulness compare between different groups in schools and how these institutional structures and their availability might be improved.

Reflect on the availability of the institutional structures
The table below offers a framework to consider what institutional structures in the school are available to different groups to contribute to leadership.
Who has access to enabling structures?

Users of the tool are invited to reflect on the availability of the institutional structures (on the left hand side of the table) for each group (along the top of the table) and how well they work for that group. Each institutional structure for each group can be rated by putting 1, 2 or 3 in each cell.

1 = available & works well
2 = available & needs improving
3 = not available

Institutional structures Students Support staff Teachers Middle leaders Senior leaders Headteacher/ principal
Formal committees
Informal working groups
Professional development opportunities
Procedures through which new ideas can be developed
Chances to lead or co-lead projects
Resources to try out and research innovations
Procedures/meetings to share ideas & projects with the rest of the school
Procedures/working groups that enable collaboration across departments
How to work with this table

The table can be filled in by a small group who discuss their ratings before making them. In this case, the dialogue about the reasons for ratings is ultimately more important than the ratings themselves.

Like all of these tools, they are stimulants for shared reflection and discussion which advances understanding and stimulates ideas for action.

The completed table provides a way of comparing the availability and enabling value of institutional structures between groups and considering how these institutional structures and their availability might be improved.

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© 2014 EPNoSL Project