Ambitious, Excellent Schools recognised that excellent schools are driven by high quality leadership and that inspirational school leaders make a lasting difference to the lives of generations of young people and to whole communities. Consequently strengthening educational leadership across Scotland remains a key priority for all of us in the Scottish educational community. Within our establishments there is a growing understanding of the need to develop leadership at all levels of the system. Good leaders lead learning in their workplace; they contribute to a culture of collegiality and shared practice. They understand that effective leadership is important to create an environment which will provide every Scottish child with the best possible start in life. The National CPD Team is committed to supporting leadership development in Scotland. As part of the consultation on leadership development that followed the publication by the Scottish Executive in June 2006, of the Educational Leadership discussion paper, we supported a very large number of focus groups involving several hundred leaders and aspirant leaders, and a wide range of stakeholders. From this some priority areas emerged as pressing areas for development. These were: increasing the mentoring and coaching capacity in Scottish education designing and developing flexible approaches to meeting the Standard for Headship accessing and sharing best practice from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond supporting the development of leadership capacity at all levels of the education system establishing additional support and development mechanisms for headteachers who are new in post supporting local authorities in leadership succession planning. The team has been busy supporting activity in each of these areas over the last year. For example, Jim Keegans has been acting as the project manager for the pilot programme on Flexible Approaches to the Standard for Headship; John Daffurn has developed a close working relationship with Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration (SCSSA) and has been involved in the development of leadership programmes; Fiona Taylor has been responsible for supporting the international 'thought leaders' programme; and Con Morris has supported a number of local authorities in piloting an existing leadership course as an online opportunity. All of the team are involved in planning the first ever Scottish International Summer School in Edinburgh in July 2007.
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