Thursday, 8 May 2008

How do we lead and create the future while at the same time managing and safeguarding the present.”

'The Fundamental Maintenance/Development Dilemma'

I started the day at the Royal York Hotel at a National College for School Leadership regional conference on 'New Form of School Leadership and Governance'...

It was wonderful to see so many old colleagues from across the Yorkshire and the Humber region coming together to look at what must be one of the key issues facing us all. The Conference was facilitated by Mark Pattison and Patrick Scott, National Succession Consultants for the region, and the keynote speakers were Valerie Hannon, Director of the Innovation Unit talking about 'System Leadership: Emergent Models and Building Capacity' and Mel Ainscow, Professor of Education and Co-director of the Centre for Equity in Education at the University of Manchester talking about 'New Structures, New Practices'.

Both keynote inputs highlighted the critical importance of new models of governance to deliver and balance accountability, representation and strategic management. They also stressed the need for system level reflection and intervention leading to local action and system learning in communities.

Mel Ainscow highlighted that the research suggests that:

  1. the system has untapped potential to improve itself at both school and authority level;

  2. National Strategies have focused minds BUT limited local innovation and creativity;

  3. there is a need to strengthen collaboration within and between institutions;

  4. evidence, intelligence and engagement can be used to bring a critical edge to this work;

  5. improvement work has to be linked to social, economic and community development and improvement;

  6. we need new models of leadership and management based on the principle of shared responsibility.

If you want to find out more you can visit the National College for School Leadership website where you will find case studies, including the work Liz and her colleagues have been doing at the Central Leeds Learning Federation. You will also find the 'Next Practice Toolkit' to support system leadership.


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