I’m writing this at the start of my fourth week in post as the first Chief Executive of the newly established Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL). The College is an exciting and innovative development for education in Scotland, and I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to work with the team at SCEL and to lead the organisation as it goes forward.
Teaching Scotland’s Future recommended that a virtual college of school leadership should be developed, recognising that there was a need to improve leadership capacity at all levels in Scottish education. Following an extensive scoping exercise, this ‘virtual’ organisation has now become a reality, with our own office space in Glasgow and a clear plan to drive forward leadership development in Scotland in new and innovative ways.
SCEL will support and drive forward leadership development for teachers at all stages of their careers – focusing on high-quality, sustained professional learning; recognising teachers, early years practitioners and school leaders as increasingly expert practitioners, with their professional practice rooted in strong values, taking responsibility for their own professional learning and development.
We will be taking forward a series of important, national initiatives including: Teacher Leadership, Middle Leadership, revised routes to Headship qualifications, a HeadStart programme for new Head Teachers, a Fellowship programme for serving Head Teachers and a range of national leadership conferences and events. We also plan to establish a register of experts / specialists – who provide high-quality, sustained professional learning in the area of leadership.
A pilot Fellowship Programme is already underway, led by Isabelle Boyd, Head of Education, Standards and Inclusion at North Lanarkshire Council, and John Daffurn, SCEL’s National Co-ordinator. Eleven high-performing Head Teachers with a proven record of strategic leadership are participating, and their feedback will help us shape the future development of this national programme. The Fellowship programme provides advanced leadership development opportunities for the participants, including access to coaching support, academic support and contributions from national policy makers. Successful participants will be awarded the Fellowship of SCEL and with their considerable experience, they will continue to contribute to SCEL and to national leadership development.
In Scotland, there is already a national focus on high-quality professional learning. The College will make explicit connections across national policy: The Framework for Educational Leadership, The Scottish Masters Framework and GTC Scotland’s Professional Standards, where leadership is a permeating theme, and we will work closely with other national organisations and employers to maintain and enhance teacher professional learning in leadership as an integrated part of educational change.
It’s clear that there’s a lot of work to be done, and I started by describing the establishment of SCEL as exciting and innovative. To succeed, it’s really important that, as an organisation, SCEL works for and with teachers, early years practitioners and school leaders. This will be the first of regular Chief Executive blogs, updating you about our progress, providing you with information about developing programmes and seeking your views on a range of issues. Look out too for our planned regional and national events – we’ll publish details of these on our website, at http://www.scelscotland.org.uk/ You can also tweet us at @teamSCEL. We’ll look forward to hearing from you!
Scottish College for Educational Leadership
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