School leadership for systemic improvement in England

Stephan Huber, Rapporteur, Hunter Moorman, Beatriz Pont
This report is part of a larger OECD study exploring school leadership policy issues. It aims to provide information and analysis on the English systemic approach to school leadership for school improvement. This refers to a practice in which schools work beyond their school borders for the benefit of the school system as a whole. England (UK) was selected by the OECD as an example of a systemic approach to school leadership because it has been promoting this vision through a number of policies and practices at national, regional and school level by stimulating school and school leadership collaboration so that "every school is a good school for every pupil". In the past five years, the English have developed a number of different opportunities for schools and school leadership to collaborate for school improvement as a whole. Among the different approaches we can highlight the role of the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) in the development of school leaders who ―think and act beyond the school‖, such as the National Leaders of Education or school improvement partners, the role of an independent organisation which has promoted school networks called the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) and the possibility for schools to develop different degrees of collaboration or partnerships with other schools. The report is based on a study visit to England, organised by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), now the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), at OECD‘s request. The visit included meetings with stakeholders in London and visits to two schools. The report sets the English context, defines the systemic approach and provides examples of the two schools, which had improved their results considerably following a systemic approach to school leadership.
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