Best practice in leadership development in schools - June 2015


This thematic survey report is published in response to a request for advice from the Welsh Government in the Ministerial remit letter to Estyn for 2014-2015. It reports on effective leadership development within schools and focuses on how effective school leaders try to create a leadership development culture and build leadership capacity. Case studies of best practice are included.
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School leaders should:

  • develop a strong culture of professional learning for all staff at all levels in their school
  • improve succession planning and the transfer of corporate knowledge
  • identify the leadership potential of staff early and support their career development
  • ensure that performance management structures pay proper attention to developing potential future leaders
  • use the leadership standards as the basis for evaluating their own leadership skills and for developing staff as future leaders

Local authorities and regional consortia should:

  • provide guidance for experienced school leaders on developing their staff as future leaders
  • provide opportunities for senior leaders to develop their skills in key areas such as challenging underperformance, deploying strategies to improve teaching, and implementing new initiatives
  • provide or source effective Welsh and English medium training for leaders at all levels
  • promote the use of the leadership standards and the individual leadership review to all school leaders

The Welsh Government should:

  • implement a strategy for the development of leadership skills for aspiring and experienced senior leaders
  • include the development of leadership skills as a strand in the professional standards for Higher Level Teaching Assistants, teachers and middle leaders