New Comparative Study on School Leadership

A comparative study on Leadership and Governance in Schools was completed by the European Federation
of Education Employers (EFEE). EFEE chose this subject for its first project in the well-founded belief that leadership at school level is of critical importance to the improvement of student results and that there is increasing demand for school leaders and those who hold them into account to rise to new challenges in a rapidly changing environment. While not advocating a common approach to matters best left to national or sub-national level, EFEE wished from the start of the project to acquire a better understanding of the various different approaches and their relative strengths and weaknesses.

The objectives of the EFEE project included providing a platform for the exchange of views and knowledge on leadership and governance, based on a comparative survey of EFEE member organisations that was carried out by their principal project partner, CAOP (the Dutch centre for labour relations in the public sector). Another particularly important objective was to provide a springboard for future work in this area, including active participation in the work of the European Policy Network on School Leadership. EPA is an active member of this network.

The reason for EFEE members focussing on School Leadership is of course closely linked to national priorities in the education sector. In most of the EU Member States School Leadership and the
professionalisation of schools and teachers are high on the political agenda. National education policies take into account international reports such as the McKinsey Report ‘Capturing the leadership premium-how the world’s top school systems are building leadership capacity for the future’ (2007), or the 2008 OECD report ‘Improving School Leadership.’ EFEE considers the matter of School Leadership to be of high importance in the context of the continuously changing and always challenging education sector of the 21st century. Today’s School leaders are facing many challenges – rising expectations from parents and pupils, innovative school programmes characterised by technological innovation, a highly diverse school population etc. As a consequence, the roles of and expectations for school leaders are changing continuously.
EFEE feels it necessary to contribute to the current discussions on School Leadership in order to contribute, as European employers, towards improving the education system in member countries, while respecting each national system and each governance structure. In doing this, EFEE sought common ground among European Member States for discussion and cooperation.
In this context, EFEE prepared an EC funded project to provide a platform for the exchange of views on leadership and governance in schools and their impact on student outcomes.

You can download the full document from the EFEE website here

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