Resolution on: School Leadership

published 13 September 2019 updated 17 September 2019

The 8th Education International (EI) World Congress, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21st to 26th July 2019:

(1) Considering that school leaders play a pivotal role in the provision of quality education and in ensuring equity and equal educational opportunities for all children and students;

(2) Recognising the critical role of school leaders in supporting teachers, education support personnel and students, including through the creation and maintenance of a positive school climate and a culture of peace, tolerance, equity, inclusiveness and cooperation;

(3) Recognising that good school leaders who are respectful towards their personnel and respect the social dialogue play a crucial role in guarding the mental health of the teaching staff;

(4) Concerned about the numerous challenges confronting school leaders in many parts of the world, including shrinking school budgets, inadequate school infrastructure and resources, stringent accountability demands and heavy workloads;

(5) Noting that school leaders are often forced to spend most of their time performing administrative tasks, leaving them with very little time to focus on pedagogical or instructional leadership;

(6) Concerned about the general lack of specialised leadership training and inadequate support given to school leaders by governments and education authorities;

(7) Noting that school leadership has not yet been given sufficient attention in the global education policy agenda, regional and national frameworks;

(8) Concerned about the increasing incidence of bullying, exploitation and other adverse leadership and management practices which are contributing to low morale, stress and ill-health, the loss of committed teachers and other injustices detrimental to teachers and education support professionals;

(9) Desirous to empower teachers and education support personnel to exercise leadership and to be involved in the decision-making processes of their institutions;

(10) Recalling EI’s conviction, as articulated in the addendum to the 2011 Education Policy Paper, that collaborative, collegial and co-operative leadership, involving leaders, administrators, teachers, education support personnel and the whole pedagogical community is the most effective form of educational leadership.

(11) The 8th World Congress:

(i) Urges governments to ensure that all school leaders receive government-funded, contextually-relevant and tailor-made leadership training, specific continuous professional development and support and to ensure that education and school leadership policies and programmes are developed with the full involvement of school leaders, teachers, education support personnel and their unions;

(ii) Urges governments and education authorities to take all appropriate steps to eliminate bullying and other adverse leadership and management practices in schools;

(iii) Urges governments, education authorities and school leaders to empower and support teachers and education support personnel to collaborate in the successful running of education institutions; and

(iv) Encourages education unions to advocate for the training, development, recruitment and appointment of more women, ethnic minorities, indigenous people and other marginalized groups into school and educational leadership positions.

(12) The 8th World Congress mandates the Executive Board:

(i) To carry out a global study on school leadership in order to collect data and evidence to support EI and member organisations' advocacy work and other activities. Congress advises the Executive Board that this study should incorporate reports of academic research and scientific knowledge on the topic of school leadership and to work with researchers throughout the world specialised in this matter;

(ii) To work with UNESCO and ILO to develop a school leadership policy guide/framework, which could inform the development and strengthening of national leadership policy and practice;

(iii) To facilitate exchange among school leaders and member organisations, including through conferences, seminars and the creation of an online platform for school leaders in order to enable them to network and share knowledge, experiences and resources; and

(iv) To advocate for school leadership to be on the priority agendas of UNESCO, ILO and other global and regional intergovernmental organisations.