Accelerating potential school leaders

Earley and Jones (2011), identify that the regular flow of potential leaders in schools is interrupted and there is a need to consider accelerated leadership development.  However in contrast to commercial organisations, little is known about the methods and experiences in schools.  There is a growing body of evidence around what constitutes effective leadership development.  This is evidenced through the International Study of the Prepration of Principals (ISPP) and the 7 system leadership study (7SLS – and significant amount of work lead by Linda Darling Hammond in the US and the Wallace Foundation.  Earley and Jones (2011) identify that for schools to be learning-centred (Greenhouse Schools – where deputies and other potentials are trained up for principal leadership), schools and principals must identify, nurture and develop leadership potential within their school.  Once identified, support must be implemented in a variety of ways.  These recommendations align with the findings of of the ISPP, and the principles of preparation from Webber & Scott (2013) and Clarke & Wildly (2013).

A personal reflection of my own practice as a leader and a consideration for the leadership development that I employ in my schools is ensuring that I provide potential leaders with the space to try things out and learn from their efforts, encouraging their independence while still being supported and ensuring an environment that enables potential leaders to operate within a no-blame, yet accountable culture of trust and autonomy (Earley & Jones, 2011).

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