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Improving School Leadership, Volume 1

Policy and Practice

image of Improving School Leadership, Volume 1

As countries strive to reform education systems and improve student results, school leadership is high on education policy agendas. But in many countries, the men and women who run schools are overburdened, underpaid and near retirement. And few people are lining up for their jobs. Based on an OECD study of school leadership practices and policies around the world, and offering a unique cross country perspective, this book identifies four policy levers and a range of policy options to help governments improve school leadership now and build sustainable leadership for the future.

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Making school leadership an attractive profession

This chapter analyses the supply of school leaders and identifies policy levers to make the school leadership profession more attractive to suitable candidates. Large numbers of serving school leaders will be retiring over the next years and this is causing concerns about school leader shortages in a number of countries. School leadership is often perceived as an unattractive profession, for which fewer candidates are applying. Some countries report that teachers and middle managers show little interest in moving up to top school leadership positions due to negative images attached to the job, inadequate recruitment structures, high levels of responsibility and relatively low salaries. In order to make school leadership more successful in recruiting and retaining high quality candidates, strategic policy action is necessary. It should focus on professionalising recruitment and succession processes, aligning rewards and incentives with new responsibilities and designing career development opportunities for school leaders.

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