Key Driver: School leadership
The Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education Delivery Plan sets out the commitment for all new headteachers to hold the Standard for Headship by 1 August 2019. Headteachers are responsible for leading schools effectively and play a vital role in ensuring high quality teaching and learning, as well as engagement with parents and the community. The Standard for Headship is a professional standard held by the General Teacher Council for Scotland ( GTCS) which defines the knowledge, understanding and skills required of headteachers.
The number of primary and secondary school teachers who have achieved the Standard for Headship was 1,190 in 2016, compared with 1,220 in 2015:
These figures are from the annual Teacher Census results, and exclude certain teachers, such as those on maternity leave or secondment on the census day.
The new 'Into Headship' programme for aspirant headteachers was introduced in 2015 ( http://www.scelscotland.org.uk/what-we-offer/into-headship/). Successful completion of this development programme will result in the award of the Standard for Headship. Cohort 1 (2015) attracted 149 participants and cohort 2 (2016) attracted 182 participants.
In March 2016 the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland ( ADES) report on Headteacher Recruitment was published. The report identified key issues to be tackled in order to increase interest in Headteacher posts.
Information from the Scottish Government Summary statistics in schools in Scotland (December 2016) shows that:
26% of local authority headteachers were aged 55 or older while 48% were aged 50 or older.
The percentage of the teaching workforce that were promoted posts has reduced from 27.3% in 2010 to 24.3% in 2016.
The 'Teaching Scotland's Future' ( TSF) report was published in 2010 and was a fundamental review of teacher education in Scotland ( http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/337626/0110852.pdf). It recognised that leadership was a key area for development, citing the increasing difficulty that education authorities were experiencing in recruiting headteachers. Consequently, the report identified supporting and strengthening the quality of leadership as an important and achievable way in which school education can realise the high aspirations Scotland has for its young people.
To evaluate the impact of the implementation of the TSF programme, an evaluation was conducted five years on. As part of this evaluation, teachers across Scotland in all grades and at all stages of their careers were recently surveyed about their views of current professional development opportunities.
The Evaluation of the Impact of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future (2016) highlighted that focus on school leadership had improved, and that teachers at all career stages are becoming increasingly aware of opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
Particularly, the evaluation highlights:
- Increased awareness of professional learning opportunities in leadership
- Clearer leadership pathways based around the Standards for Leadership and Management
- Improved career-long professional learning ( CLPL) opportunities for headteachers
74% of teachers said they had opportunities to develop their leadership skills by leading projects, initiatives or pieces of work.
82% of teachers said that the Standards for Leadership and Management had been either very useful or fairly in guiding their development.
undertake an annual survey of teachers as part of the Professional
Update process. The survey covering 2015/16 was completed shortly
after May 2016. From the
survey respondents who identified themselves as either headteachers or depute headteachers the following analysis can be made:
- All headteachers and depute headteachers used the Standards for Leadership and Management to complete the Professional Update process. Around 68% found to a large extent the Standards for Leadership and Management useful for this purpose.
- Eighty-four per cent of headteachers and depute headteachers felt they had to a large extent ownership over their professional learning. While 76% felt that to a large extent their learning was relevant to their development needs.
- The majority of headteachers and depute headteachers felt that to a large extent their professional learning had a positive impact on themselves (80%), their school (72%), their pupils (52%) and their colleagues (52%).
The PISA 2015 Scotland report shows that Scottish students were more likely than the OECD's to be in schools where the headteacher reported 'at least once a month' to the statements 'I praise teachers whose students are actively participating' ( 80.9% compared with 64.5%), 'I pay attention to disruptive behaviour in classrooms ( 88.3% compared with 80.9%) and 'When a teacher brings up a classroom problem, we solve the problem together' ( 84.7% compared with 75.4%).