Leading Professional Learning

Welsh Government has asked the National Academy for Educational Leadership (Leadership Academy) to develop new national guidance for school leaders and governors in Wales on Leading Professional Learning.

The guidance will identify the key principles of effective approaches to leading professional learning and link these to a range of engaging examples of good practice at school and cluster level that will inform and inspire how schools plan for and lead professional learning.

The intention of Leading Professional Learning is not to prescribe structures or ways of working, nor is to provide off-the-peg resources or ready-made content for non-contact time. Rather, the guidance aims to help schools develop their own, integrated approaches to professional learning (including non-contact, or INSET, time) through a school-specific, agile Leading Professional Learning plan.

Leading Professional Learning will support schools in Wales to develop as learning organisations and will be rooted in the professional standards for teaching and leadership. The guidance will form part of the National Approach to Professional Learning.

Schools are at different stages in planning professional learning and where schools have concluded planning for this year – or will do so before the spring – the Leadership Academy anticipates that the Leading Professional Learning guidance will inform their planning for 2020/21 and beyond.

Leading Professional Learning is being developed by an editorial group that includes school leaders from primary and secondary settings and from Welsh and English medium schools and a representative from the regional consortia. The group is consulting with the Leadership Academy’s stakeholder group and the Strategic Education Delivery Group, which includes representation from across the ‘middle tier’, throughout the process.

The editorial group will be publishing updates at each stage of the process on the Leadership Academy website.


October 2019

Welsh Government asks Leadership Academy to develop national guidance on Leading Professional Learning

November 2019

Editorial group formed

December 2019 - March 2020

Evidence gathering:

– Detailed case studies of effective approaches to leading professional learning from a range of school settings across Wales

April 2020

Publication of Leading Professional Learning guidance:

– Key principles of effective approaches to Leading Professional Learning

– Case studies of good practice to inform and inspire

– Practical guide to developing a Leading Professional Learning plan

May 2020

Sharing with Challenge Advisors, School Improvement Advisors and other ‘middle tier’ colleagues

Summer 2020

Opportunity for schools to engage with Leading Professional Learning guidance and inform planning for 2020/21 and beyond


Schools in Wales develop Leading Professional Learning plans

Leadership Academy revises guidance following feedback from schools and other stakeholders

Get involved!

Evidence gathering for Leading Professional Learning began in December 2019 and will conclude in March 2020, with the guidance published in April 2020. If your school or cluster has developed an effective approach to Leading Professional Learning that could inform this guidance, the Leadership Academy would like to hear from you. Please write to us at post@agaa.cymru.