EI held a School Leadership Meeting at the NASUWT Hillscourt Education Centre in Birmingham, England on 15 - 16 May 2007. The meeting, which was hosted by NASUWT, was attended by 30 participants from 13 different countries. EI was represented by Elie Jouen and Denis Sinyolo.
The main purpose of the meeting was to share information, experiences and good practice on school leadership. The meeting noted and reaffirmed the strategic importance of school leadership in ensuring the success of schools.
Among other topics discussed was the changing and increasingly complex role of school leaders, mainly as a result of decentralisation and more demanding accountability systems.
The meeting stressed that school principals and other school leaders should receive training in school leadership, continuous professional development and support. School principals should exercise distributed leadership by involving teachers and the whole pedagogical community in the administration and management of schools.
Pedagogical or instructional leadership was identified as the most important aspect of school leadership, meaning principals and other school leaders ought to focus more attention on creating conditions and a climate conducive to effective teaching and learning in the school.
Unfortunately, principals usually find themselves overburdened with administrative tasks, leaving them with little time to pay adequate attention to pedagogical tasks. Therefore, efforts should be made to provide schools with support staff who can perform specialised administrative and other functions such as financial accounting, so that the principal can focus more on pedagogical leadership.
Ensuring security for both staff and students was identified as another important role of school principals. Teachers and students need to be protected from bullying, threats and physical harm.