EIS takes initiative on leadership

The educational Institute of Scotland has published a paper on leadership, pipping the Education Secretary to the post by more than a month.

In what it sees as a return to its professional roots - the promotion of sound learning, as defined by its 1847 charter - the EIS is aiming to take the initiative on leadership.

The move is prompted in part by fears that local authorities will turn their backs on continuing professional development initiatives because of budgetary constraints.

It outlines plans to deliver leadership development for all teachers in partnership with universities, along similar lines to its current relationship with the University of the West of Scotland providing chartered teacher modules.

"Paper partnerships with providers are of no interest to the EIS," it says, in a publication which is being distributed this week to all schools.

"There should be a real engagement in the process through teachers who are EIS members, including learning representatives. They should be involved in the development and support of appropriate CPD, including accredited courses, again with an overview by the EIS nationally, working directly with senior personnel in the universities concerned," it adds.

The EIS places its emphasis on the notion of distributive leadership and collegiality, rather than investing all leadership responsibility in the headteacher. This focus, it believes, chimes with the agenda already articulated by Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, whose own, delayed, paper on school leadership is expected to be published in early December.

The EIS also offers support for the General Teaching Council for Scotland, under its new independent status, taking on overarching responsibility for leadership within Scottish education.

In this context, the EIS suggests that a new professional recognition standard may be on the cards - a standard for leadership, which would pick up elements of the Standard for Headship and the Standard for Chartered Teacher, but be open to teachers outwith these categories.

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