Building a Lattice for School Leadership: The Top-to-Bottom Rethinking of Leadership Development in England and What It Might Mean for American Education
This report examines the educational leadership development system in England over the last 15 years to identify ideas American leaders and policymakers might learn from looking cross-nationally. The report describes the rise of the National College for School Leadership in England, which spearheaded much of the early policy development and enactment and the subsequent governmental shift towards a more decentralized policy of fostering school networks. Supovitz envisions the potential assimilation of these two movements into an integrated lattice for school leadership.
The lattice for school leadership in England is the careful integration of formal and social learning opportunities for leaders. It features a centrally developed, high-quality leadership development program combined with lateral social networks. These complementary elements of leadership development are carefully enmeshed in a system that provides clear responsibilities for multiple levels of leadership within schools, incentives for identifying and grooming leadership within schools, pathways for leadership progression, and certification for leader attainments. All of these elements are supported by an accountability structure that emphasizes the contribution of school leadership and teaching in school improvement.