Tips for Leaders: 10. Leadership Development

Jan 30, 2024 | Blogs

Tips for Leaders: 10. Leadership Development

Jan 30, 2024 | Blogs

‘There is a direct and very clear correlation between the quality of leadership and the potential capacity of a school to improve. One of the most powerful strategies to a school is to invest in developing its own leaders.’ (West-Burham et al, 2016)

Investing in leadership development is an important component of both school improvement and embedding sustainable change. Consider the following:


  1. How does the school develop effective leaders?
  • Is professional development for leaders and aspiring leaders readily available?
  • Who sets the direction of the school?
  • Are leaders open and supportive of challenge?
  • How open is the school / leaders of new ideas?
  • How confident are leaders in the theory and practice of school leadership?
  • Do all leaders have a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning?
  • Is there a balance between leadership and management?
  • How emotionally literate are senior staff in school?


  1. To what extent is leadership development embedded into the culture of the school?
  • Is it embedded into the structure and processes?
  • How do you support leaders, aspiring leaders, middle leaders, subject leaders?
  • How is leadership development monitoring and evaluated?
  • Is leadership development outlined on the school improvement plan or governor strategic plan?
  • Do you have a culture of shared or distributed leadership?
  • Who is responsible for leadership succession planning?


  1. Do leaders and aspiring leaders have opportunities to develop in their areas of need?
  • How often do leaders and aspiring leaders audit and review their strengths and areas of need?
  • Are all leaders self-reflective?
  • Is there a culture of sharing research and evidence informed practice?
  • How effective are governors in holding leaders to account?
  • Do leaders have opportunities for coaching or mentoring?
  • Are staff involved in learning conversations with other leaders?
  • Do leaders and aspiring leaders have opportunities to collaborate on projects?


‘An effective leader needs creative skills and attitudes to generate powerful ideas; analytical intelligence to determine whether they are good ideas; practical intelligence to implement the ideas and to persuade others to listen to and follow the ideas; and wisdom to ensure that the ideas represent a common good.’ (Sternberg, 2005)

This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

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