At Central Square Foundation (CSF), our firm belief is that great leaders make great schools. Infact, research also suggests that 25 percent of a school’s impact on student learning can be attributed to the school leader. On February 12th, 2015, we convened technical and knowledge experts at a roundtable discussion to share ideas around the need for school leadership development in India.
At this convening, we hosted Steve Munby, CEO of the UK based CfBT Education Trust who shared his perspectives on effective models that can be adopted to train our headmasters. Steve, who has previously worked in UK, Kenya and Oman, has had considerable experience in designing and developing contextual and innovative school leadership training and development programmes.
Steve spoke about CfBT’s work on schoolleadership and his own experiences from institutions such as National College of School Leadership and National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPHQ) which, under his able leadership, set the gold standard for school leadership training in UK. He shared that school leadership development in the Indian context will require a clear definition of roles and responsibilities, merit based selection and capacity building and training of our headmasters.
While talking about the challenges of school leadership, Steve added that headmasters need to take ownership of the school and have a strong vision for school improvement. Moreover, there is a need for headmasters to interact with and learn from their peers, to collectively address the challenges that they face. There is also need to strengthen the headmaster- teacher relationship so that the headmaster is able to effectively communicate her vision for the school and support the teachers in implementing this vision.
Steve concluded by saying that no school improvement programme can succeed without having a leadership development programme at its core. A headmaster performs multiple functions within a school hence she needs to have varied competencies which enableher to impact the student learning outcomes.
The session concluded with all the participants and Steve agreeing on the need for collaborative efforts of all stakeholders to not only build school leader competency and capacity but also to influence the policy makers to take cognizance of the impact school leaders have on learning outcomes and design policies to address the gaps in the space.