News

Endorsement – Next Call

Following the original call for endorsement for provision for New and Acting Headteachers in the summer of 2018, the NAEL has reviewed the process and is now seeking to extend the call for endorsement to include provision for Experienced Headteachers.  This is in addition to our on-going call for provision for New and Acting Headteachers.

This endorsement round will close on 7th December and the outcome will be communicated to providers by 8th February 2019.

The application form, along with a guide to endorsement including the detailed criteria, are available at here

Please contact post@agaa.cymru with any further enquiries.

Stakeholder Group

The National Academy for Educational Leadership is seeking members for its Stakeholder Group to support, inform and challenge its work. The closing date for applications is 13 September.

The stakeholder group will:

  • Provide the Academy with the informed voice of the education system
  • Influence thinking at regional and national level
  • Support and challenge the work of the Academy – improving endorsement process, suggestions of research/commissioning
  • Ensure that leaders from across the education sector feel that it is ‘their’ Academy and that they are represented
  • Ensure the Academy listens carefully and collaborates closely with stakeholders

For more information click here

Blog – an associate’s view

John Kendall, May 2018

This really is a great time to be working in education in Wales. The task of creating a new curriculum following Professor Donaldson’s “Successful Futures” report is exciting, and made more so by the fact that it is practicing teachers themselves who are leading the work. These are the people who know best what needs to be done, and under the guidance of others from both within and beyond Wales, things are beginning to take shape. But we need to be patient. Some of us are old enough to remember the arrival in school of the National Curriculum folders in the late 80s. Then, the curriculum was presented to us as a finished product. This time we are co-constructing it. This brings many challenges, but opportunities too. I am certain we are going to arrive at something special for our young people, something that will be a model for others to look at. And something which is right for Wales.

It is important at this time of change that we are also turning our attention to educational leadership. The launch of the National Academy for Educational Leadership NAEL on May 16th was an important landmark, but this was not day one of the process! A huge amount of work had already gone in to getting things started. Anne Keane was given the responsibility of gathering views and opinions from teachers within Wales, and of looking at other models. A shadow board was established to support and advise. And towards the end of last year, applications were sought from headteachers to be the first cohort of leaders to go through a programme as associates. In the spirit of co-construction, the associates are not only undergoing the training, but are advising on its development and playing a major part in making sure the Academy provides the right opportunities for school leaders in Wales, and furnishes them with the necessary skills and experiences to lead our schools well into the C21.

What will this look like? Although much has been done, it is still early days. The twelve associates have already been working together with a delivery team, and it has been a really positive and refreshing experience for us. Taken from across the four consortia (there are two primary headteachers and one secondary from each), everyone brings a great deal of experience. Though we have different backgrounds, skills and knowledge, it is clear we share a vision for education in Wales which is firmly rooted in a spirit of collaboration and a passion for making our schools the best they can be. We recognise we are in a position of privilege and responsibility, we know we do not have all the answers, but we are all keen to work together, to do the necessary research, to listen to each other, and to others too.

We are lucky to be able to be working not just with each other, but to have the opportunity to engage with a number of people who have extensive knowledge in different areas of education. These include Graham Donaldson, Mick Waters and Lucy Crehan, author of “Cleverlands”, a fascinating book on successful educational systems across the world. Others will be involved as the programme develops.

We will be working on projects in “Communities of Practice”, and we’ll be sharing this work through blogs and reports. This is a great opportunity to develop themes that are important to school leaders across Wales, and to take some quality time to reflect and develop these themes, and share our findings

We will have the opportunity to learn from other educational systems, not to mirror their practice, but rather to see how we can adapt the best parts to our system here in Wales. This is very much part of the ethos which is already established in our new curriculum design work.

We will be looking at leadership outside education, in business, in industry, in sport. We recognise there is a need to look beyond our own comfort zones and experiences if we are to grow as leaders and to develop the best programme for the next cohort of associates to engage with.

We will also be part of a team of system leaders who will help facilitate future programmes in the Academy. In many ways this is the most exciting part of our role, as we seek to build sustainable educational leadership in Wales. Our children need our schools to be the best they can be; this will only be achieved by having the best teachers, working with the best leaders.

As advocates for the Academy, we as associates will be sharing our work as widely as possible through our established networks as well as specific events. Do talk to us about what we’ve been doing, challenge us, and support us. If you have views on how the Academy should develop, let us know. Finally, the next opportunity to apply to be an associate is not far off. Do consider getting involved!

(John Kendall is headteacher of Risca Community Comprehensive School in Caerphilly and one of the NAEL associates.)

New support for education leaders

A new body tasked with inspiring educational leaders of the future is to be launched today (Wednesday, 16 May). The National Academy for Educational Leadership will work with partners across the system to provide strategic support for those in current leadership roles as well as providing encouragement and inspiration for those who wish to pursue a leadership career in education.

Building on the good practice already delivered by inspirational, experienced and effective leaders working within the Welsh system, across the UK and internationally, the new organisation will be led by an independent team and accountable to a Board consisting of people with a range of skills that will support the Academy as it develops. A stakeholder group, representative of all sectors in education, will also be on hand to influence the continuous work of the Academy and ensure its relevance to the day to day work of school leaders.

In making the announcement today, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, emphasised the importance of strong leadership,

“It is crucial that we develop leaders who can inspire, not only our young people, but also their colleagues so we can work collaboratively to raise standards.

“The academy will play a vital role in developing the current and future leadership talent for Wales and ensure all schools can deliver our new curriculum.

“The launch today is an important step in our national mission in delivering an education system that is a source of national pride and public confidence.”

A Shadow Board, led by former Chief Inspector of Schools Ann Keane, has been in place to oversee the instigation of the Academy co-ordinating workshops and consultation events all over Wales to ensure that the voice of practitioners has been a major influencing factor in the Academy’s on-going development.

Newly appointed Academy Chair Sue Davies expressed her delight at today’s launch,

“I believe this is a hugely important step for education in Wales as we recognise the crucial role leaders play in delivering the reform we want within the educational sector. While appreciating the need to nurture future leaders it is also vital that we provide appropriate support for those delivering leadership roles at present, in what can only be described as very challenging times.

“That is why we have ensured that key stakeholders, including school leaders, have been closely involved in developing this Academy and will continue to be involved for the foreseeable future as the work programme is rolled out.”

To further support the organisation and provide practical input for school leaders already in place, a group of 12 associates, made up of head teachers from across Wales, has been established. Gwyn Tudur is head of Ysgol Tryfan in Bangor and explains the role of the associates,

“We see our role as ensuring the National Academy responds to the very real needs of those working in the Welsh educational system and especially those undertaking leadership responsibilities or looking to step up to leadership. We are looking to ensure that there will be very practical and relevant work programmes to help our colleagues feel they are part of a wider support structure, and that avenues of assistance will be on hand at all times.

“As school leaders, we can at times feel isolated, and the establishment of the National Academy for Educational Leadership and its core aims have been greatly appreciated.”

To begin to take forward the work of the Academy, the Cabinet Secretary made a call for the first programmes to come forward for Endorsement. These initial programmes will be aimed at Acting Headteachers and those new to headship to come forward to seek endorsement from the Academy.  Endorsement will ensure that the provision available to our education professionals is high quality and accessible to all.