Effective school leadership has a positive impact on student achievement, teaching quality and staff motivation. Research evidence shows that if leadership is based on a vision that can be shared by all staff, parents and stakeholders, it also plays a crucial role for school development and innovation. Sharing leadership roles and responsibilities among a wider group of staff, and involving parents and pupils, has a positive impact on schools.
The Shared Leadership & School Development course therefore explores how school leaders, teachers, and others can support the development of a distributed leadership approach at school level. The course defines distributed leadership and why it is an effective leadership model for schools before going into details and examples of developing such a model at school level. As part of this, the course focuses in particular on the concept of teacher leadership and highlights examples of involving families, students, and partner schools in the shaping of a school.
You will gain key theoretical understanding about the concept of distributed leadership and its benefits as well as practical examples of how to implement it. Furthermore, you will evaluate the situation at your own school, actively discuss and exchange on how distributed leadership could be implemented at your school and prepare a development plan identifying next steps to move to a distributed leadership approach at your school or further develop a distributed leadership approach already applied at your school.
While it is possible to complete the course as an individual, it is highly recommended to find partners inside (and even outside) your school who you can take the course with together. If you are a school leader we recommend you to assemble a team of colleagues who jointly follow this course and locally discuss the implementation of the ideas covered on the course. More information on how to go about taking the course as a school team is provided in the course introduction section.
The course makes extensive use of the work done by the European Policy Network on School Leadership (EPNoSL) in the form of the School Leadership Toolkit. Much of the course content is derived from this Toolkit or has been adapted with the support of EPNoSL members.