The origin of leadership training in the USA has its origin in the 19th century when the first university Programme was started. Since then academic community has played a vital role in the training of school principals. The development of the Standards was administered by the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles under the guidance of the National Council for History Standards with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U. S. Department of Education. (Brundrett2001).
In UK national standards were introduced in 1994-1997 for head teachers to be prepared for their increased demand in their roles. The national standards for head teachers in UK were first introduced by the minister for education. The minister believed that head teachers needed preparation and support in their responsibility and training of head teachers should be a must according to the central government and not the local government. Further, the concern for education minister was for the head teachers to gain practical experience important to their responsibilities.
The relevant practical skills were more familiar to leaders and managers in the commercial sector than education sector For head teachers to receive relevant experience on their job they required practical skills. In the USA university education enjoy support from the government, although it faced challenges from the leadership development. There are only two public schools in the world that have adapted standards for school principal. These are the USA Inter state school leadership licensure consortium (ISLLC) in 1996 and the teachers training agency (TTA) in England.
The reason for this is that traditional has tended to view head teachers responsibilities as leaders rather than resource manager. (Brundret, 2007). In the early 21st century there was great interest of leadership in education due to the widespread belief that the quality of leadership makes a considerable impact to school and student end results. There is also increasing recognition that schools require effective leaders and managers if they are to provide the best education for their pupils. Effective leadership in schools require committed and trained teachers but also support from other senior and middle managers.
Though, the need for quality leadership is widely accredited, there is a reduced amount of assurance about which leadership behaviours are most likely to produce favourable results at the end of the day. Therefore, educational leadership and management, use different leadership models to ensure, relative efficiency in developing successful schools. (Bush, 2005). There are various models that were used in leadership in both USA and UK. They include; instructional leadership that focuses on pupil learning, moral style involves merging leadership with democracy and particular care for the young.
Participative leadership focuses on shared decision making among all the stake holders in education sector. Managerial style focuses on supervisory ‘cold’ achievements on targets while contingent leadership is where the leader adapts his or her particle style of leading. Of all these styles, transformational is the most comprehensive as it offers productive approaches leader. Leadership training programme have emerged recently in the international field. In 2000 the national college for school leadership was established to provide training for leadership development and research (DFES, 2004).
Initiatives for improving school leadership has taken place in the USA and UK. Leadership development in relation to internationalizing and globalization has made the UK and USA governments to promote leadership development aiming at school improvement and also exchanging school leaders’ experiences. (Brundret, 2001). School heads need to provide and seek for effective organization and management of schools. These can be achieved through organizational structure which reflects the school principles and also implement plans and policies for the development of school facilities
Head teachers have also the duty to manage the school as a whole; in that they are accountable to the school community. That is pupils benefit from a high quality education and everyone work together to accept responsibilities of the outcome. Schools exist in social contest therefore; head teachers must build a culture and a curriculum that takes into account the diversity of the school’s community. Also ensure that the pupils learning experiences are integrated with the community. He should partner with other sectors in providing for the academic, moral, social, spiritual and cultural for the well being of the school community.
Induction ensures head teachers make improvements in their jobs and the school environment. An efficient induction programme helps school leaders and the staff to settle in without being taken aback by lack of support. Induction into the schools involves orientation, personal introductions, understanding the job responsibilities, knowing where to find things and understanding the values and polices of the school. Preparations should reflect the diverse needs such as full-time, part-time, temporary and prior experience, and the level of contact with children. Generally, induction programme will depend on individual circumstances.
A well implemented induction programme had rewarding benefits to the school. They include; ? Effectiveness in their responsibilities. ? Encourage more effective and dependable relationships with pupils and help raise standards of behavioural and attainment ? Reduces misunderstandings and breaches of procedures and rules ? Leaders feel valued and supported as it’s concerned with high morale ? Problems in learning can be identified and addressed in advance ? Schools can demonstrate they have fulfilled their legal obligation to explain health and safety, safeguarding procedures and other Government legislation
? Supports staff retention; the cost of induction is insignificant compared with the cost of recruiting and training replacement staff. In England ,national standards for head teachers were developed by Teacher training agency (TTA) and introduced in 1997 because they perceived the tasks of school heads were changing, they come up with standards that focused on shaping the future, leading, learning and teaching, working with others, managing the organization and securing accountability(DFES,2004) There is no appropriate leadership but there are qualities that are desirable.
According to the government’s teacher training agency the main requirement is the ability to give a clear direction and purpose, make decision and adapt to the new ideas which entails understanding and keeping to date with current education and communication among all staff levels. These abilities are important to the task of school leaders as they define the vision, mission and objective of the school. Achievement and quality of teaching depends on leadership development. NCSL emphasized that the national standards for head teachers even should be both encouraging and target a range of users, including governors.
The advice should be inspirational in that the standards convey the excitement of this important role and encouraging so that serving head teachers continue to work in a way that improves and transforms schools and contributes to the future development of the education sector. Inter state School Leaders Licensure Consortium acknowledges leader who promotes the achievement of all students by providing the development, performance, and stewardship that is shared and supported by the school community.
The leader has knowledge and understanding of: learning goals in a whole society, the principles of developing and implementing strategic plans, effective communication, effective consensus-building and negotiation skills . A leader who promotes the success of all students by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for efficient and effective learning environment. The leader has knowledge and understanding of: theories and models of organizations and the principles of organizational development and legal issues impacting school activities.
Leadership that promotes the success of all students by partnering with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources. The leader engages in activities ensuring that: high visibility, active participation and communication with the larger community is a priority and relationships with community leaders are identified. A school leader who promotes the integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner. The leader believes in values and he is committed to: the ideal of the common good and the principles in the Bill of Rights (Bush, T.
2005) Well the quality of leadership is very important in school effectiveness. Participants receive input on aspects of leadership, opinion which they then use to examine their own work and that of their colleagues in the team. All fundamentals of this demanding programme are related to the needs of the particular team and will result in individual and team plans based upon necessary changes to improve performance. Even though different countries have significantly similar educational programme, for instance, the leader with strong emphasis in creating good practices including vision and mission.
(Bush, 2005). Some countries have a programme for newly appointed school leaders like in England they have a budget to cater for head teachers personal professional development. This programme revolves around educational knowledge represented by research, participation in efficiency of schools and knowledge creation among the participants. Apart from school principals, deputy heads also undergo leadership development because some might seek school leadership roles.
Another group of people that has to undergo leadership development programme are the middle managers, because they are mostly in classrooms. Some middle managers may be reserved about exercising leadership in what has been traditionally an idealistic profession and other members of staff may be unused to seeing them exercising this role. They then consider the impact they are making upon the various people they are responsible for leading and determine strategies for coping with the different demands by different people.
Drawing from a survey carried out in North Carolina, training and learning increases experience and one must do the job to learn the job (Bush 2005) Leadership development requires action learning where individuals learn with and from each other and reflecting on their own experience. Mentoring is also important as the less experienced leaders learn from experienced this has been used in USA, Australia and England. Although, they make one to dependent on the mentor and time consuming leading to inefficiency in the long run.
Coaching is also important in leadership development as it ensures commitment, good relationship, higher performance and good relationship. For school improvement leadership preparation is essential but as a result of globalization what worked well in a particular country might not be successful elsewhere. (Bush T 2005) National standards are useful as they ensures effectiveness in schools, pupils leave school when they are well fit, reduces mistakes, time management and the end result is quality service delivery.
The value of standards also assumes quality leadership, consistency, good teaching practices, and the end product is pupil success. Consequently, standards reflect the mistaken idea for good leadership bringing about quality leadership but in reality it depends on the education values (orchard, 1994) Good leadership provides skill for the right strategies that lead to good performance in schools where practical skill among stakeholders are encouraged and responsibilities are shared.
National Standards for head teachers were formulated following a meeting with teachers, head teachers, professional and subject associations, local authorities, higher education institutions and others from both inside and outside education. The Standards recognizes the main role that head teachers play in the development and delivery of government policy and in raising and maintaining levels of achievement in schools in order to meet the needs of every pupil.
The National college school for leaders (NCSL) in UK has worked closely with school leaders in various schools to create a series of focus on how the national standards for head teachers have been put into framework by school leaders. The focus is anticipated to be a helpful resource for school leaders, offering ideas and possible ways to promote for schools trying to go with the National Standards with their individual framework. National standards for head teachers are applicable to school heads .
They are intended to provide a context of professional development and action to serve aspiring head teachers. Therefore, standards have a range of uses. They assist in recruitment of school heads, provide guidelines to all stake holders as to what is expected from the head teacher and identify level of performance. Although, standards reflect wrong ideas about the quality of education. Different people have varying ideas about how to make education successful but in real sense for education to be worthwhile there must be formulated guidelines and good leadership in place.
Also, standards can be educational idea rather than a value to quality leadership. (Orchard, 1994). Standards in schools do not portray the balance between professional qualities and leadership actions and it will be hard to measure goals and objectives. Standards have also portrayed a bad idea about experts in the educational sector; they assume that experts can judge educational achievement by the kind of leadership in place and also can take up positions from the experience they have from the industry.
Standards also fail to differentiate responsibilities of good school leaders. In a democratic society justifiable leadership has to go hand in hand with productive decision making mechanisms. Use of standards is badly chosen at it assumes that all trained school leaders exercise good leadership. But standards cannot capture the all leadership qualities that are right or wrong for instance, in 2000 UK developed its national curriculum and all schools had to follow and you cannot suggest that its quality is right as all leaders in school have to be consistent with them.
Therefore, this challenges standard because qualities and skills required for school leadership would be flexible to cater for individual school and pupil needs. Leadership at national level uses their efforts to improve education. Schools often function efficient where leaders serve the interest of the pupil are best served by less guidelines and therefore school leaders should be left to operate schools individually with limited set of rules.
However, the key difference between the two counties is the continued existence and influence of the local education authorities in UK compared to USA where no existence of such, management of schools is influenced by the head teacher (DFES 2004) Unlike the National Curriculum in UK, their core subjects are: English, mathematics and science; USA follows a similar framework; however, schools can develop additional curriculum to meet individual pupils’ needs and circumstances.
In UK school principal have the overall responsibilities and can be held accountable of any problem in schools unlike in the USA where the responsibilities are shared among all the stakeholders in the education industry (Orchard, 1994). Unlike in USA which provide leadership teams through its school leadership learning teams (SLLT) which involves ten sessions spread over two years, the national college school for leadership(NCSL) in UK has no such team and come up as a result of training head teachers from other members of their staff.
Standards have dominated training and development of head teachers in UK and USA. Leading and managing schools is obligatory because these are public duties. Furthermore, from a professionally developed programme that reflect education on practical skills and qualities leaders are likely to be appreciated. Therefore, for them to be successful they should integrate academic programme, take account of their responsibilities and work together with the entire education industry.
The development of more effective leadership for performance in schools should include; developing a customs where teachers and head teachers feel confident and empowered to participate fully in performance of school, the acknowledgement of professional responsibility to be involved in effective, sustained and relevant professional development throughout their careers and to contribute to the professional development of others, and the creation of an effective, sustained and relevant professional development as part of a wider review of teachers’ professional duties.
For school effectiveness, improvement and providing culture within which teaching and learning will excel educational leadership has been viewed by many as an important element. Hence, training them has been of great importance especially, in UK where teachers aspiring to become head teachers, those newly appointed those head teachers who have been in post for some want to continue with their own professional development.
The national standards for head teachers reflect education in schools. The main aim of head teacher is to provide professional leadership and management in schools through ensuring high quality teaching and learning opportunities for all pupils. For these to be viable the head teacher must have certain attributes like: knowledge and skills to actively participate in reflective learning to gain greater understanding his professional roles and management principle.
Personal qualities and value are also important in a school leader; such qualities include commitment, integrity, consistency and confidence. Professional characteristics that clarify the diverse professional capabilities that help in understanding frameworks of accountability, promote social diversity and equal opportunities. (Brundret, 2001)
REFERENCES Bush, T and Glover, D. (2005). `School leadership: concepts and evidence. London: Routledge. Brundrett, M. (2001). Development of school leadership preparation course in UK and America comparative analysis. Northampton: University of Leicester. Dfes, (2004) National standards for head teachers. London: Penguin. Hay, (2001). Management consultants. Leadership Programme for serving head teachers, London: Oxford University Press. Orchard, J. (1994), Are national standards for head teachers in England helpful? London: Institute of education