The first topic we want to discuss is ‘The Purpose of Education’ which we believe is fundamental in steering the future of education policy in the right direction. We have posed a series of questions to stimulate discussion on this topic however, we want you to let us have your views. Please suggest a debate on this first topic by leaving your comments in the box on the right, or go to the debate page to see the topics already being discussed.

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    High quality leadership

    The quality of leadership in a school is second only to teaching in its impact on student outcomes.

    The quality of leadership in a school is second only to teaching in its impact on student outcomes. Good leaders achieve this through building a shared vision based on high expectations for all young people. They then develop the strategies, the leadership team, the development programmes and quality assurance systems that will improve the quality and consistency of teaching and learning and student outcomes.

    Increasingly school leaders have autonomy to lead and run their schools within a framework of accountability2. But in the best systems this operates within a culture where school leaders feel responsible for the outcomes and life chances of young people both from their own school and other schools in the local area. The best schools and school systems also spot and nurture leadership talent and potential, right from the time a teacher joins the profession.
    • What is most important to the success of a school – having an outstanding headteacher or having an outstanding leadership team?
    • How can teachers best be motivated to improve and sustain excellent performance?
    Phase II: Improving the quality of teaching and learning and the leadership of learning
    Total replies: 2 Last comment: 05 Dec 13
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    Neil Charlton-Jones, Education stakeholder

    In any organisation not just schools a great leader will inspire, empower and motivate his or her team to want to achieve more and be the best they can.

    A leader needs to be surrounded by great people in order to fully achieve their vision; great people will only buy into that vision and go the extra mile to support their leader if they trust that leadership.

    Personally I have never been to an outstanding, high achieving or vibrant school where the leadership has been weak or vice versa.

    Comment on this Comment made: 05 DEC 2013

    Megan Crawford, Academic

    I don't think you can have an outstanding headteacher without an outstanding leadership team, or vice versa. It is a mutual influence process. As with the comments on excellent teaching, good leaders also need to take risks by utilising what they know about people, task and situation. Some of the current accountability mechanisms act against real autonomy for schools. Heads have to be able to use their professional expertise for the benefit of young people.

    Comment on this Comment made: 20 NOV 2013

    1. Craig D'Cunha, School/college leader

      I agree, but I believe that the outstanding head will create the outstanding team. Building their confidence, skills and ultimately the role model.
      My worry is that the truly inspirational leaders get bogged down in league tables, point score and chasing targets rather than ensuring that every child gets the outstanding education they deserve. I think the key here is to define what is an outstanding leader of a school? Those that fit the DfE/Ofsted criteria or those that inspire children to love learning.

      Comment made: 26 NOV 2013

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