School Leadership Policy Action Planning Toolset
for equity and learning

Principles guiding School Leadership Policy Action Planning
In some EU countries and in other countries around the world, there are explicit government guidelines and established regulations regarding the principles and methodologies for the development and final approval of policy action plans developed by government agencies, local authorities etc. In other EU countries such principles and methodologies are less clearly articulated and mostly apply to policy programmes co-funded by the EU.

Traditionally, action plans were expected to be manifestations of rational thought that guides political action. Policy action planning, however, is not an ideologically neutral technology. It embeds the political ideologies, assumptions, and expectations of those who design them.

For example, they are build upon the understandings of their creators on what is the nature of the problem that policy action seeks to address, on what policy action is appropriate or may even be considered as valid policy option, on what is achievable, on what may be the criteria of success, on the methods and tools of policy implementation, on how and when stakeholders should have a say in policy planning, etc.

Furthermore, policy action planning, can never be "finalised" in a given document. As Haddad & Demsky (1995, p. 17) put it,
??? educational planning is actually a series of untidy and overlapping episodes in which a variety of people and organizations with diversified perspectives are actively involved technically and politically. It entails the processes through which issues are analyzed and policies are generated, implemented, assessed and redesigned.

Supporting Document
The EPNoSL Template for School Leadership Policy Action Planning

Principles guiding School Leadership Policy Action Planning

Policy planners can be better prepared for the complexities of their tasks when they make explicit their assumptions and methodologies in developing and refining their work. Overall, the EPNoSL highlights the need to take into account the following interrelated principles in school leadership policy planning:

Reducing complexity

Participative Planning

In the process of school leadership policy planning there should be actively involved critical stakeholders such as school managers, teachers, students, parents, local education authorities, providers of training programmes for school leaders, academics and researchers in the field, etc.


Comprehensive Planning

Policy planning should take into account all issues and policy areas related to the achievement of given school leadership policy goals.

Realistic Planning

Realistic Planning

School leadership policy planning that sets targets that are highly unlikely to be achieved within the chosen time-frame, ignore budget constraints, overlook human resource limitations, under-estimate the power of those who resist change (particularly those who are called to implement it), or disregard needs for training for the individuals or agencies responsible to implement policies, are doomed to fail. Therefore, policy planners need to make ensure the feasibility of their plans.

Coherent Planning

School leadership policies for equity and learning can be effective to the degree that they enhance coordination between related policies implemented by different government departments or other agencies.

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© 2014 EPNoSL Project