Editor's comment

1st August 2008 at 01:00

There have been almost as many definitions of leadership in the last decade as Scotland has seen education ministers. Charismatic leadership used to be all the vogue; inspirational leadership has had its day in the sun too; and distributive leadership has become the latest buzzword, with heads expected to share responsibility with their members of staff.

This week, at the International Summer School on School Leadership in Edinburgh, the focus has been on "learning-centred" leadership and how people at all levels of the education system can contribute to improving how well pupils learn.

Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, has emphasised the importance of leadership in delivering her transformational agenda. She wants everyone from education directors to chartered and classroom teachers to play a leading role in bringing about the cultural change demanded by A Curriculum for Excellence.

There are plenty of examples of schools showing the kind of initiative and creativity she expects. But many others are still debating some of the questions that have arisen at this week's conference: what does leadership for learning look like?; how do you know you are being a leader for learning? Casting aside all the jargon, does it just mean being a good teacher?

We are on the threshold of a new world in educational leadership, says Graham Donaldson, senior chief inspector of HMIE. Technological developments will soon allow pupils to access lessons from a teacher in Delhi as easily as from their own teacher. So Scottish education leaders will have to show young people they can make a difference.

Amid all the rhetoric about leadership, let us not forget that HMIE's "state of the nation" report, Improving Scottish Education, finds there are still important weaknesses in leadership across all areas of education.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now