best practices emphasize the continual development of skills through
high-quality initial training that focuses
on responsibilities that lead to improved
student outcomes; intensive mentoring
of new leaders; ongoing, job-embedded
coaching; support from peer cohorts;
and systematic feedback.
Third, high-performing systems are
putting in place farsighted succession
planning approaches, proactively identifying and developing potential leaders
in a school or district to ensure that
schools continue to improve even when
the leadership changes.
Fourth, principal organizations in
many countries are establishing standards for accomplished practice and
promoting a range of knowledge and
best-practice sharing activities.
In short, countries are employing
modern talent-development approaches,
creating pipelines into leadership posi-
tions, and ensuring there is enough
support and skills development for
leadership in schools. England and
Ontario, for example, focus on the sys-
tematic training of what they refer to as
school business managers.
emphasis on purposeful recruitment.
Countries actively seek to attract
high-quality candidates. They select
those with strong instructional
knowledge, a track record of improved
learning outcomes, and leadership
potential. These recruitment mechanisms go beyond traditional job interviews to include an expanded set of
tools and procedures to assess potential.
Singapore, for example, doesn’t wait
until teachers have become experienced
and applied for leadership positions
but assesses young teachers early on
for their leadership potential and gives
them ample opportunity to develop
their leadership capacity. Other countries offer “taster” courses to interest
younger teachers in school leadership.
Teacher career ladders in many countries enable teachers to play progressively more important roles in schools
and thus learn new skills that may subsequently lead to a principalship.
Second, in place of isolated,
theoretical, short-term courses,
in Education program
is rigorous, with a
distinctively global and
principals to be successful, thus making
school leadership an attractive profession.
Distribute School Leadership
Even if the role of the principal is
defined as being about leadership
for learning, many other operational
tasks in a school need to be handled.
Although governments say they want
instructional leaders, they often exacerbate the administrative burden on
principals with new reporting requirements. We need new ways to distribute
Deploy Effective Principals
in Every School
A problem in many countries is getting
highly effective leaders into the most
challenging schools. In Japan, China,
and Singapore, school leaders may be
assigned to lower-performing schools
for a period of time as part of a strategy
to ensure more equal distribution of
human resources. In Ontario, strong
leadership is part of an overall package
of measures to improve achievement,
such as early intervention programs or
parent and student supports.
Some systems are looking to see how
their best school leaders can improve
student achievement in other schools
besides their own (Pont, Nusche,
& Hopkins, 2010). In London and
Shanghai, school leaders may work
formally or informally with several
schools as executive heads or consultant
heads. These new roles are helping to
improve the quality of teaching and
management, reduce the variation in