The curriculum schools offer, the way that curriculum is taught and assessed needs to be constantly examined to ensure it remains fit for purpose to advance the values we want to promote as a society and to shape the vision we have for our society.
School leadership and quality management
Investing in School Leadership will be a key driver for innovation in schools. The quality of the teacher in the classroom is paramount and building the competences and capacities of our teachers to cope with changing methodologies, lifestyle and societal expectations will be equally important.
In most countries, the school head will have to enable change by making strategic decisions, setting strategic goals, involving teachers, parents and students, dealing with resistance to change, implementing people reviews, and more.
Coaching and mentoring
The aim of the coaching and mentoring project is to help with the induction, coaching and mentoring programme for newly appointed school leaders, which exploits the proven expertise and capacity of experienced and recently retired members or partner organisations/associations.
The materials can be used in a wide range of educational settings, enabling mentors and mentees to focus on the areas that are relevant to each individual’s needs and the structures within which they work.
For more information, check out the following page: www.esha.org/coaching
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Leadership in education is knowing where you’re going. With which people, and what difficulties you can meet. But leadership is more than that. Leadership means listening to people. Inspire people. Take responsibility. Give responsibility. But above all you need to have a passion for learning.
The adoption of innovations involves altering human behaviour and the acceptance of change. Managing this change professionally is one of the school leaders’ main tasks. The two main obstacles to a successful innovation are:
1. Maintaining high quality standards.
The Quality for Innovation project, which started in December 2012, aims to develop, test and mainstream a quality development approach for schools that includes a strong commitment to innovation. Q4I is a project designed to ensure high quality education while innovating educational practices. Using the innovative Q4I processes will lead to higher quality education and the ability to adapt to constant changes
2. Resistance to Change
The adoption of innovations involves altering human behaviour and the acceptance of change. There is a natural resistance to change for several reasons. People resist change when: the reason for the change is unclear, the proposed users have not been consulted, the change threatens to modify established working relationships, or benefits and rewards for making the change are not seen as adequate. The Iguana project works on delivering a free of charge course to manage resistance to change.
Schools are facing significant budget cuts around Europe. In Scotland this has come at the same time as implementation of a new curriculum and as a result schools are seeing an increase in expectations while budgets fall. Head teachers and their staff are constantly asked to do more with less and to take on new duties – more often than not their professionalism leads them to try to plug every funding gap with sweat from their own brow. This is not sustainable.
It is time for head teachers to identify the things they can, or will, no longer do. This does not mean being resistant to change, it is about identifying the real priorities for your school and your pupils, communicating these to those around you and then only doing things which will contribute to the achievement of those priorities.
School leaders are pivotal for bridging education policy and practice and for linking schools to their wider community. Increasing decentralisation and school autonomy, the introduction of accountability measures, and wider changes in society and education have heightened the need for effective leadership in schools and for the appraisal of school leaders. At the same time, these developments have changed leadership roles and responsibilities and increased school leaders’ workload. The school leadership profession faces a number of challenges: insufficient preparation and training, limited career prospects and inadequate support and rewards make it difficult to attract suitable candidates into the profession; in addition, in some countries retirements of ageing school leaders call for succession planning. (OECD, 2019)