What has been achieved
We entered the previous period with two main tasks:
- Presenting the Leadership Academy manual at the 2nd project partners meeting on 29th – 30th March 2023 in Prague,
- Planning the development and testing of the second intellectual output Leadership Academy – online platform, taking into account the compatibility with other outputs.
Both of these objectives are being met on an ongoing basis.
Presentation of the Leadership Academy handbook
All of the partners presented their part of the work on the handbook development and testing, proceeded in successive steps according to a pre-agreed work plan. The presentation of the handbook consisted of:
- Presentation of the results of the outcome testing questionnaires, summary, suggestions for additions, comments on the form, content, structure and scope of the handbook.
- Presentation of the manual development process – competency model and competency overview, structure of the manual, overview of modules 1 – 4.
- Presentation of school principals’ experience with testing the handbook and evaluation of its main benefits:
– Understanding the world of VUCA
– A necessary change in the approach to people
– The role of the principal towards teachers and pupils, “managing all”
– Ideal material for candidates/interested candidates for the post of principal
– Ideal tool for understanding the journey from managing self to managing others
– Tracking individual talents, building on colleagues’ strengths
– Awareness of roles, differences between leader and manager
– Review of practical examples (working with goals, social circles, self-reflection, self-assessment)
Leadership Academy – online platform
The Leadership Academy platform will be developed as a digital resource with the purpose:
– to provide access to the Leadership Academy Handbook (in digital form) and the Professional Circles Methodology (in digital form),
– to share other resource information that will be developed in the framework of PR2 ( eBooks with information on leading people, examples of best practice in school leadership and case studies),
– to provide access to a database of coaches and mentors from which school leaders can select an expert to support their work through structured coaching sessions.
Best practice represents the experience with problem-solving practices of specific schools. Their scope and structure is deliberately set out to provide as clear a picture as possible of the problem and its best possible solution, tested in practice. The structure consists of:
– areas of inspiration
– a description of the situation
– a description of the solution process
– what was achieved
Case studies are studies of 5-10 pages, with a clearly defined structure: (introduction, summary, analysis of problems, causes, factors, identified solution, best solution selected, conclusion, recommendations). After a discussion, we defined important topics that will be elaborated in the case studies (response to curricular changes in the work of the school principal, implementation of preparatory classes, change of the curriculum as a way to improve the school climate, integration of foreigners (inclusive education), hidden truancy, adaptation process in kindergartens and primary schools, cooperation with parents, multicultural environment, cooperation, inclusion process.
The database of coaches and mentors will serve as one of the tools for the implementation of the third outcome of the project and thus for the implementation of professional circles. The coaches and mentors will be carefully selected on basis of pre-determined criteria that will ensure a quality staff base for the director to choose from.
Criteria for inclusion into the database:
– membership in a professional organization for the given country, or ACC professional certificate
– 2 references/projects (in the field of education) that have developed the competencies of a leader and manager in a school leadership team, or school innovation (preschool, kindergarten, secondary)
– professional experience in leading a team or project
– study of the manual, short test, that maps the knowledge of the topics in the manual
We firmly believe that,
the Leadership Academy – online platform will be a tailor-made tool to support principals in their daily work and to ensure sustainable professional development through the application of innovative practices and methods. The innovative nature of the platform will ensure that the first comprehensive tool will be created to provide ongoing support for principals and school leaders. Their expected benefits will be evident at the level of improving the management (leadership) competences of head teachers and school leaders.
Dissemination and presentation of the project to the target group
In addition to presenting ourselves on the Facebook page and the website, we are actively presenting the project at various meetings organized by school principals.
– National plenary meeting of the Association of Primary Schools of Slovakia – 3rd Oct 2022 Horný Smokovec (SVK)
– National meeting of the plenary of the Association of Primary Schools of Slovakia – 13th March 2023 Horný Smokovec (SVK)
– Professional Forum of Primary Education – 18th May 2023 Prague (CZ)
What is being prepared
– First external evaluation of the project – August – September 2023
– Online meeting of partners involved in the preparation of the Leadership Academy online platform in order to link the content and functionalities of the platform with the functionalities of the other outputs (August 2023)
– Launching of the Leadership Academy handbook and its presentation to the general public at Conference ŠKOLA 2023/2024, Bratislava, 19th Oct 2023
– 3rd meeting of the project partners 6-7th Dec 2023 in Bratislava – will focus on the presentation of the final version of the second intellectual output of the project – Leadership Academy online platform.
A final word
We are very pleased to see the growing interest in the project, which is spreading not only among school principals, but also among their representatives. During face-to-face meetings and presentations of the project, many of them actively enter into the process of creating and commenting on the individual project outputs. We believe and are convinced of the meaningfulness of the project, which can help school principals and move them to a higher level in management competences. Positive feedback we receive also reassures us in keeping up a good job.