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Making policy and implementing it together is not always evident in our educational landscape. After all, we often have the feeling that we are on an island and that decisions are being made over our heads. At the request of various directors and managers within education, a new association was therefore established at the end of 2014, the Association of Flemish Education Managers (VLVO). The objective of the association is to represent the interests of the managers of education, without distinction of network or level. Our association wants to raise the voice of all managers from primary, secondary and part-time art education in various public and political forums. Every director has an interest in raising awareness among the government in order to optimally ensure the preconditions for our Flemish education. The VLVO defends the interests of its members with the government by closely following educational news. The VLVO informs its members in a timely manner about its educational standpoints and puts them forward in the education committee by participating in hearings. Pluralism, solidarity, independence, advice and support are our greatest assets. The VLVO faces a broad and varied assignment: professionalization of directors and policy supporters, coupled with the ambition to become not only an informal but also a formal discussion partner of the government. We work strongly on communication, both to members and to the media, in order to initiate a social debate.




Its main objectives are to create a level playing field for quality education for all children, to establish a global network of schools for exchange of good practices and innovations, to support national education priorities.

Mission of the Foundation World Education Forum Bulgaria:
Creating of a communication platform, participation in global networks, support of scientific research and qualification of teaching specialists, development of standards, initiation of educational policies to achieve the objectives of the Foundation.
Establishing contacts and interactions with other national and international organizations with similar activity, organization of information, communication and socializing campaigns, development and implementation of projects with national and international funding.


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HUROŠ – Croatian association of Primary School Principals
Hrvatska udruga ravnatelja osnovnih škola

President: Antonija Mirosavljević
Contact: Antonio Jurčev


The Croatian Association of Primary School Principlas was founded in 1995 in Zagreb.

The aims of The Association are:

  • impovement of primary education in The Republic of Croatia
  • cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education and all other relevant educational institutions on state and local level
  • cooperation on issues of financing primary education
  • participation in drafting legal and subordinate acts
  • advocacy of the interests of The Association (legal status of members)
  • cooperation with schools in the country and abroad
  • organization of seminars, conferences and experts meeting
  • cooperation with public media (press, radio, TV)

UHSR – Association of Croatian Secondary school principals
Udruga hrvatskih srednjoškolskih ravnatelja

Contact: Suzana Hitrec


Our Association is a national association of school principals of grammar schools, vocational schools, art schools, private schools, religious schools, special education schools, dormitories. It includes all educational institutions for students from age 14 to 18. All members are school principals.



POED – Cyprus Primary School Heads Association
POED stands for Pancyprian Organization of Greek Teachers which is the Primary School Teachers Union in Cyprus.

President: Pantelis Loukas
Contact: Giannos Charalambous


Cyprus Primary School Heads Association, functions under the Primary Organization of Greek Teachers – POED.
The primary aim of our Association is to promote both professional development of our members and good practices for leadership. As an association with professional orientation, our association represents heads’ voice to teachers’ union and to educational authorities. To achieve its goals, the association works in coordination with the teachers’ union (POED) where all primary headteachers are members.

POED (Greek primary teachers’ union in Cyprus) is both a professional Organization and a Union.
The POED aims to achieve:

  • the upgrading of education and teachers
  • the promotion and safeguarding of the professional interests of its members
  • securing and providing members with professional, social and economic benefits
  • the well-being of its members and the overall improvement in their living conditions
  • the achievement of national, Christian, social and spiritual advancement of its members
  • the promotion of the principles of liberty, peace and democracy and the consolidation of civil and political freedoms and rights.

In order to achieve the above objectives, POED cooperates with the other educational organizations of Cyprus, coordinating with these views and positions on issues of common interest, while maintaining close links with the Greek Teaching Federation (IOC). In addition, PDOA is an active member of Education International and ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education) at European level. Following the accession of Cyprus to United Europe on 1 May 2004, PDOE became a member of the ETUCE with the capability to vote in the Executive Board of the Organization.




Among other things, the school leader association works to improve the members’ pay and working conditions, to provide members with qualified sparring, advice and guidance on both pedagogical and professional issues and to ensure professional case processing also in personal cases.

Therefore, we also want to promote the members’ opportunities for qualified education and training and to support the members in the best possible way of managing the task.

As a member you can at any time contact the school leader’s secretariat and get advice with management angles whether it is a concrete problem or need for sparring on general management issues.



Danske Gymnasier is an association for the public high schools and 2-year courses and handles the sector’s educational policy interests and serves the schools.

Danske Gymnasier is an interest organization for the general high schools in Denmark. It is the association’s task to safeguard the interests of the upper secondary sector in relation to legislators, authorities and the other stakeholders in the sector. The goal is to provide the general high schools with the best possible framework conditions.

Danske Gymnasier also supports the operation of upper secondary schools in a number of key areas within personnel law, finance and HR.

The association has a special task in maintaining the cohesion in the sector and supporting cooperation across the schools. It is an independent goal for the association to promote the dissemination of experience and to jointly develop the quality and relevance of the education offering as well as an effective school operation further.




The mission of EKJÜ is to be an organization uniting school leaders, representing the rights and interests of Estonian school leaders. EKJÜ feels responsible for the education and preservation of the culture of the Estonian people. EKJÜ is an active partner in cooperation with other educational associations and school administrators.


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Finland has gained international publicity from its high ranking positions in the OECD PISA student assessments. There are many peculiarities in the Finnish educational system. One of them is the large number of very small senior secondary schools. More than half of the Finnish senior secondary schools have less than 200 students, mostly in rural and scattered settlements across the countryside.

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Suomen Rehtorit ry is a professional lobbying organization for senior positions in schools, colleges and educational activities. Its tasks are to promote the professional development of its members and to contribute to the development of the working conditions and remuneration of the principals. The Finnish Rector’s Association is involved in the preparation and implementation of national and international education policies. There are already over 1,200 members in the Finnish Rectors’ Association and our regional activities take place through 22 local member associations.




The European Association of School Heads is present in most European countries, whether or not members of the EU, and aims to connect school leaders with differences in cultures and school systems to enrich the experiences and knowledge of others for the benefit of younger generations.



Independence and Direction aims:

  • to promote the quality and efficiency of the public service of education and in particular of its educational and training establishments
  • to gather and support the management personnel, to defend their professional, collective or individual, material and moral interests notably by working for the improvement of their working conditions
  • to constitute within the educational system a reflection and proposal group attached to republican and secular values
  • to develop among its members a spirit of mutual assistance, friendship and mutual understanding.


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NNLE “Georgian Association of School Administrators” (GASA) is a non-commercial non-governmental organization, which unites principals, deputies, middle and high-level managers, educational leaders and administrators from secondary schools. The association was founded in Tbilisi, in 2017, with the mission to support improving the secondary school management systems and practices in Georgia. Through various conferences, workshops, training programs, analytical editions and consulting services, GASA aims to contribute to the professional development of school administrators and attract new young leaders in the field. GASA also provides a platform for educational policy analysis and implements advocacy campaigns regarding key educational challenges with relevant governmental agencies and stakeholders in the country.


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The ASD is the umbrella organization of the school management associations in the federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is independent of the type of school, school level and national borders.

Despite the cultural sovereignty of the federal states, there is a common basic pedagogical concept that sees the young person as the subject of instruction and education at the center of a clearly structured school community. It was founded in 1983.




We represent all school leaders at the upper secondary school level and our role is to be the glue between schools, the Ministry of Education and other organizations around the country.




IPPN is the professional body for primary school principals and deputy principals in Ireland. We provide supports and services to empower our members to be as effective as they can be in their roles. We also advocate for change and reform within the education system from the perspective of school leaders.

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The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is the professional association for all second level school leaders in Ireland. NAPD provides a united voice for its members on issues of common concern.

NAPD is represented in relevant local, regional, national and international bodies. The Association represents the views of school leaders and shows leadership in the formulation of education policy. The key priority is to enable school leaders to be leaders of learning in their school.

Members of NAPD are also members of the European School Heads Association and the International Confederation of Principals.


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ANP is the oldest and most important school heads association and union in Italy.

Founded in 1987, it gathers the majority of Italian school leaders, and, since 2002, also deputy heads and members of staff.

ANP is an active member in ESHA since its foundation.

ANP is active in many different fields:

  • gives legal advice to its members
  • provides counselling in professional issues and insurance against professional risks
  • runs service training courses for heads and teachers
  • delivers initial training for teachers willing to candidate as school leaders
  • animates debates and diffuses information about school reforms
  • influences policy-makers in educational matters
  • runs and updates a website ( almost daily and sends a regular electronic newsletter to a selected mailing list of professionals in education
  • promotes leadership culture through researches, seminars, and conferences
  • leads negotiations with the public powers for improving the work conditions and the wages of the school leaders




“The heads of Lithuanian schools in 1992 organizes a meeting of Lithuanian school leaders, where he establishes the Lithuanian School Leaders Association (LMVA). Its president is Viktor Blinov, the director of Vilnius Baltupiai Secondary School. The association registers the statutes and becomes a voluntary public organization uniting the leaders of all types of schools for the improvement of professional, managerial skills and competences. LMVA is a legal entity with its own budget, stamp, bank accounts and merchandise.

This well-known association of pedagogical community became a member of ESHA in 1994.

Today, the Lithuanian School Association has over 400 heads of Lithuanian schools who meet every year for events organized by the Association Council. The Association gathers leaders for effective and active activities for the implementation of education transformation, carries out research work, disseminates pedagogical experience and shares management knowledge in the Republic and abroad, seeks high management work culture. The organization advises members on various aspects of school organization and defends the rights and interests of their members. School leaders actively participate in municipal activities, working groups of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Lithuania, and make suggestions on various issues of improvement of school activities.


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Leaders for leadership, that is our mission. We support this with our vision: learning leadership in every learning community. Our mission and vision are translated in $D- leadership: Duidelijk (clear), Dichtbij (near), Delend (sharing) and Dynamisch (dynamic). Today’s leaders develop a vision and ambitions, they inspire others. The AVS supports leaders in this in the broadest sense of the word, from the classroom to the minister’s lobby. From advocacy to professionalization. And more. For around 4000 school leaders in primary and secondary education.

Activities of the AVS target leadership development and reflect its fundamental right to exist. AVS and school leaders support the promotion and safeguarding of the quality of primary education.
AVS legitimizes itself in the promoting of the interests of school leaders by uniting and representing the relevant schools, leaders and the education as a whole. Together we bear moral and social responsibility for the quality of education.

The AVS will realize this mission now and in the future by providing services to members, with both activities that strengthen the individual position of leaders including development of personal leadership and sets out activities that support the schools management in its performance.



The VO-council is an association of schools in secondary education. The council promotes the interests of secondary education in government, politics, business and social organizations.

In addition, the VO-council promotes the quality of education by facilitating school managers and school leaders in fulfilling their duties.

The VO-council represents almost all school boards in the Netherlands and consults with employee organizations about the employment conditions of more than 120,000 staff members.

Our mission:
Good education in which the individual talents of students come into their own and students are prepared for their role in society is an important social good.

The VO-council promotes the quality and development of secondary education in the Netherlands. Leadership and good governance in the school organization are essential for this.

The VO council promotes the common interests of its members and facilitates school managers and leaders in fulfilling their duties.

Our vision:
Leadership is essential for promoting the quality of secondary education and the optimal functioning of a school. Administrators and school leaders enable teachers and support staff to do their work well and thereby create the conditions in which students can best come into their own. Without leadership and good governance there is no good and contemporary education.


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The Association of School Leaders is a trade union and a professional association for school leaders – principals as well as assistant and deputy heads – and administrators from all areas of education. It is the only organisation that organizes only pedagogical leaders.

The Association is a member of The Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS), a politically independent umbrella organisation for employees. The Association of School Leaders was founded in 1977.



ANDAEP – Associação Nacional de Diretores de Agrupamentos e Escolas Públicas

President: Filinto Virgílio Ramos Lima
Contact: Álvaro Almeida Santos


There are 809 clustered and non-clustered schools (“schools” from now on) in Portugal. Each of them has a headteacher, elected by the Government Body of each school for a four-year term.
Our members are headteachers from 174 of these schools. They can serve a maximum of four terms in each school.
This number in our Association might increase as about 30% of our headteachers have just begun their first term.
ANDAEP (National Association of Portuguese Public Schools and School Clusters’ Headteachers) was founded in 2009. Our statutes establish that Andaep’s purpose is to act, on behalf of its members, in order to ensure:
1. adequate conditions for the exercise of the management and management activities of public schools;
2. listen to the views of its members by giving them voice on educational matters and the organisation of public schools;
3. provide information and guidance for the monitoring and support of all members in the performance of management functions of public schools;
4. provide professional development support services for its members;
5. contribute to raise the quality of performance of Portuguese public schools;
6. to establish itself as a co-leading organization in educational matters and partner in discussions related to national educational policies.

We have been active in the Portuguese educational environment and we have been regularly consulted and our opinions are frequently taken into account by the political decision makers. Our presence in the national media (TV, radio; newspapers) has been regular and prominent.



Our association includes the principals of primary and secondary schools. We fight for better conditions of our workers. We have been a member of ESHA for ten years.


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AHDS is Scotland’s only union dedicated to promoted teachers in primary and nursery schools. We have more than 2000 school leaders in membership.




The association of directors and heads of kindergartens of Slovenia is a voluntary, professional organization of directors and heads of Slovenian kindergartens. The Association is based on the principles of equality, democracy and volunteering among members who share experiences, visions and attitudes, thus gaining ideas for professional management of kindergartens.



The Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, Secondary Schools, and Secondary Schools of Slovenia – “”Director”” (hereinafter: the Society) is an association of directors of public secondary schools, colleges and student hostels organized as independent institutions or as organizational units in public institutions or other institutions organizations (hereinafter referred to as “educational institutions”) and is founded on the basis of the common interests of its members.
In association may also include heads of institutions with concessions and directors of private institutions that implement publicly-recognized programs.
Heads of Slovenian secondary schools and boarding schools in neighboring countries may also join the Society.
DR operates in accordance with the legal order of the Republic of Slovenia and for the benefit of Slovenian education.
The functioning of the society is based on the principle of voluntariness, autonomy, non-profitability, professionalism, conscientiousness, fairness and plurality.

The purpose and tasks of the Society are in particular:
• Striving for quality education and professional contributions to ensure the quality development of education,
• sharing experiences, knowledge and attitudes of the members of the society in the pedagogical field of education and experience and positions in the field of management of proposers of regulations in the field of education and thus helping them to better organize the school field,
• advising and assisting directors – members of society in the implementation of adult education and the development of lifelong education in schools,
• the pursuit and carrying out of the pedagogical profession in accordance with the code of teacher professional ethics,
• ensuring participation in the adoption of professional bases for the adoption of regulations in the field of secondary and tertiary education,
• cooperation with all private, governmental and non-governmental organizations and other bodies that can contribute to the full realization of the fundamental goals of society,
• informing the public about work in secondary and higher education, about the positions of school heads on school issues and about the work of the society,
• emphasizing knowledge and education as a value,
• asserting the reputation of professionals in the field of education and, above all, the reputation of the teaching profession and the director,
• developing peer relationships,
• care for the education, upgrading and training of members of the society and professional staff in the field of education,
• representing the professional and social interests of members of the society and providing professional and collegial assistance and support,
• asserting and searching for possibilities for providing conditions for the quality work of members of the society in the field of pedagogical work and management of the institution, ensuring the creative attitude of other educational and educational institutions to the director.



The main goal of establishing the Union is that schools and boarding schools become interlocutors of the MES and other institutions in the field of education in the development of the school system, and not only obedient performers of the educational process. In order to achieve this objective, of course, there is a need for mutual readiness, with not only a formal signature of a charter of cooperation, but also concrete actions.



The Association of principals and heads of elementary and musical education of Slovenia is a social professional and professional organization of directors and heads of elementary schools, music schools, schools with a tailor made program, institutes and centers for education and training and other educational institutions from Slovenia, which carry out basic education programs.


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“AXIA is a non-profit civil association of people who exercise or have held positions corresponding to the unipersonal governing bodies of the centers that belong to the public education network of Catalonia that aims to be socially recognized as the Catalan association. With a significant representation, it works for professionalization, and the dignification of the management role of public educational centers.

It is the will of the association to ensure and defend the recognition of directors and management teams, as a fundamental part of the educational system to achieve the quality of public education, to influence and disseminate in society, in the educational community and in the administration. This is helped by our reflection and critical analysis, our opinions about the importance of school leadership, training and the management and decision-making capacity of management teams as dynamic and excellence factors in the centers.”

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ADSLL – Associació de Directius Escolars de les Terres de Lleida

President: Ramon Oscar Torrelles Prunera
Contact: Neus Caufapé


The Associació de directius escolars de les terres de Lleida (ADSLL) is a newly created organisation comprised of a group of secondary school heads from the geographical area of Lleida. Lleida is a province in Spain and it is also one of the four main geographical areas in Catalonia.

Although the Association is quite new, the group of school heads have been working together for more than 10 years under the framework of a seminar supported by the Department of Education in Lleida. During this time, they have contributed to local and national educational policies by exchanging ideas with the relevant authorities and providing feedback when necessary. They have also been sharing good practices, related to both school management and methodological approaches.

The main interests of the group of school heads in the last decade have been focused on early school leaving (given that Spain has a high rate of drop-outs) and on entrepreneurship. These interests led the group to look for new ideas and solutions through Europe, thus designing and coordinating two Erasmus projects: Entrepreneurship as a tool for early leaving prevention: the role of methodology and orientation and Entrepreneurship as a means of fostering the employability of European citizens. Both projects helped the group to establish contact and share good practices with other principals around Europe.

The other aim is providing a framework where school heads could reflect on issues related to the role of leadership, support each other in the daily practice of school management, offer proposals to the educational policy makers, carry out training activities related to the position and ultimately, contribute to the quality of education.

Eventually, the European outlook of the group led them to look for other school heads organisations and ESHA, with a wide selection of activities, projects and discussion issues, proved to be the best choice.


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The association members are head teachers, deputy head teachers and other persons with leading positions within the school system. Members hold leadership positions in preschool, preschool class, compulsory school, upper secondary school, adult education and supplementary school. The Swedish Association of School Principals and Directors of Education has provided ethical guidelines for its members since 1991.

United Kingdom



ASCL is the leading trade union and professional association for school and college leaders.



NAHT is democratically shaped and directed by its members.
We speak for school leaders working at every education phase, from early years and primary to secondary, academies and independent schools. And we represent school business leaders and those with responsibility for children with special needs.

We make sure their voices are heard, understood and a catalyst for change in education and at the highest levels of government.

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