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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School leadership matters

This chapter provides the rationale for policy makers to invest in school leadership policy. It describes the focus of this study, the importance of school leadership and the major challenges countries face in school leadership policy. Effective school leadership is essential to improve teaching and learning within each school and to connect the individual school to the outside world. But school leaders across OECD and partner countries are facing challenges which policy makers need to address. In recent years, the workload of school leaders has expanded and intensified as a result of increased school autonomy and accountability for learning outcomes. As the expectations of what schools should achieve have changed dramatically, countries are seeking to develop new forms of leadership better suited to respond to the needs of rapidly evolving societies. This involves enhancing the capacity of current leaders and preparing and training future leaders.

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