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Inspecting School Leadership in Wales

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This article attempts to show how the inspection of school leadership in Wales has changed over the last twenty-five years, reflecting changing conceptions of school leadership and in turn influencing and helping to determine those changing expectations. The history of inspecting school leadership reflects a shift from managerial concerns towards a school-improvement paradigm that sees schools as self-evaluating and self-improving organisations. Twenty-five years ago, the inspection of leadership was primarily focused on management and securing an orderly environment for children and staff. Over time, school leadership has become to be seen to be more about driving change, and improving standards and the quality of education. The focus of inspection now is on how well leaders establish and communicate a vision for the school, set high expectations for pupils and staff, and create a culture of continuous improvement. The scope of what leaders are expected to achieve within this paradigm has broadened over time. Leaders are now expected to think strategically and to possess not only the skills needed to lead and manage their own institution, but also those required for collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, including parents and the community, other schools and external agencies. Leadership has also become a skill or competence that all staff, not only the most senior, should possess and demonstrate to varying degrees.
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Keywords: CHANGE; ESTYN; INSPECTION; LEADERSHIP; STANDARDS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Previously published under the title University of Wales Journal of Education, this internationally-distributed annual journal offers an arena for disseminating education research from national and international perspectives. The journal explores a range of controversial arguments relating to education, including areas such as bilingualism, religion in education, well-being and the standards of literacy and numeracy. The contemporary drive for improved education standards, within Wales and internationally, provides a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the journal aims to publish research reports relating to these current issues. The journal also includes a comprehensive reviews section.

    Mae'r cylchgrawn blynyddol hwn, a adwaenid gynt fel Cylchgrawn Addysg Prifysgol Cymru, yn trafod agweddau datganoledig ar addysg, ynghyd ag ymdrin ag addysg o safbwynt cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Wrth ymhel â materion cyfoes yn ymwneud ag addysg, mae'r drafodaeth yn amlinellu safbwyntiau dadleuol ynghylch dwyieithrwydd a chrefydd yn ogystal â safonau llythrennedd a rhifedd. Mae'r ymdrechion i wella safonau addysg yng Nghymru a thu hwnt yn esgor ar feysydd ymchwil newydd, a bwriad y cyfnodolyn yw cyhoeddi erthyglau cryno yn ymdrin â materion cyfredol o'r fath. Mae'r cyfnodolyn hefyd yn cynnwys adran adolygiadau.

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