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Educational leadership: The facts

Educational leadership is the process of recruiting and managing the talents of pupils, parents and, perhaps most importantly, teachers to the achievement of shared educational (and social) goals. This article will give the facts about the concept and process, specifically in mainstream schools.

How to get into educational leadership in the United States

The term educational leadership is used very commonly in the United States of America, where they even have dedicated university programs to it, but it is also coming to replace the term ‘educational management’ in the UK. Training in the United States In the United States of America, prospective members of leadership teams (in education) may train to be teacher, and progress up the career ladder to leadership roles once in teaching. A common route into educational management roles in the US, however, is through the graduate masters and doctoral leadership management training courses that many American higher education institutions offer. Career development in the United States These courses, some of which, are even run in separate specialised leadership schools, teach on all areas of education theory, and equip the student with all the leadership tools (theoretical, at least) necessary for a prospective headteacher/assistant headteacher. Upon completion of such a course, the graduate typically either goes straight into a leadership role or is fast-tracked up the educational career leader.

How to get into educational leadership in the UK

Training in the UK In the UK, things work slightly differently. The vast majority of teachers will train through ITT (Initial Teacher Training) courses, such as PGCEs and GTPs, which are tailored towards teaching a particular age group and/or subject. Upon graduation of these, the vast majority will enter the profession in similar roles to which they were trained in, predominantly in strictly teaching capacities. Career development in the UK From here, teachers wishing to ultimately land head-ship roles pick up extra roles of responsibility, such as pastoral support, charity fundraiser or school trip planner. These develop and exhibit leadership skills. Different headship roles and necessary attributes The headteacher is the one who runs the school, and is ultimately responsible for all areas of school planning, including school performance, employees’ contracts, school budgets, events and the promotion of the school. Beneath him/her, there will usually be one or more deputy and/or assistant head/s (with the terms often used slightly differently), who focus on different areas of school planning. For all roles, the person needs to be organised, a good communicator and responsive to others’ needs, and yet decisive.

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