Supporting teachers and school leaders: new report from European Working Group

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Which national policies support teachers and school leaders in their development? This new thematic report by the ET2020 Working Group on Schools examines the possibilities available when promoting schools as learning organisations.

The ET2020 Working Group on Schools has just published the third in a series of reports on the governance of school education. In this new report the Group – made up of representatives from European ministries of education and other organisations – identifies examples of policies and initiatives from across Europe that are aimed at raising quality and equity in school education.

The report sets out nine broad 'Guiding Principles' for policy development in school education. These are illustrated with almost 60 policy examples from more than 30 European countries and networks and specifically aimed at supporting teachers and school leaders in their daily practice and professional careers.

The report is the result of knowledge-sharing and critical discussions by the Group, including a Peer Learning Activity hosted by the Flemish Ministry for Education and Training in May 2017. Based on the examples gathered, the Working Group presents a set of measures for consideration by policy-makers who wish to strengthen the governance of school education systems.

The concept of the school as a learning organisation sets a clear vision for the context in which teachers and school leaders (should) work. Ideally, individual practice is linked with that of teams and organisation-wide approaches. These joint efforts create an organic “learning culture”, characterised by a shared ethos of teamwork and the goal of fostering professional learning.

The report touches upon a wide range of policies to support this, for example:

  • Boosting continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers and school leaders through school-based learning and large-scale initiatives
  • Setting expectations through standards for the teaching profession
  • Involving stakeholders to increase coherence of policies
  • Recognising special expertise and competence within school teams
  • Supporting teacher-led research projects
  • Setting up national support structures and mentoring for school leaders
  • Involving schools and their staff in broad partnerships for school reform

Download the full report here.