the college across geographical groups of local authorities. These Regional Network Leaders will help promote the work of SCEL and organise a range of professional learning opportunities and events. You may have seen the recent announcement from the First Minister regarding the introduction of a new qualification for aspirant Headteachers to be mandatory from session 18/19. The development of this new qualification, being led by SCEL, is well underway. We are working in partnership with Universities, Local Authorities, Education Scotland and GTCS to design the ‘Into Headship’ (preparatory) programme. This ‘Into Headship’ programme, which focuses on the specificity of headship, is aimed at those who might become Headteachers in the next two to three years. The EIS has raised issues around the need to ensure that access to the programme is not restricted, that funding issues across all leadership activity is equitable and that the proposed time-scale does not create an unintended consequence of vacant posts. These are all legitimate areas of concern that we are aware of and that will be addressed, in partnership, as SCEL takes the programme forward. We aim to have the first cohort of participants on the Into Headship programme in August 2015. In the longer
term there will also be an ‘Extended Induction’ programme which will help ensure that participants are supported in the early days of their first headship post. There will also be a range of accredited programmes in a programme for middle leadership. Together, this leadership pathway will build to a masters qualification. Last year we introduced the SCEL Fellowship programme, a professional learning opportunity for experienced serving Headteachers and heads of early years centres. The programme has a focus on system leadership and provides advanced leadership development opportunities for the participants, including access to coaching and academic support, contributions from national and international senior leaders and policy makers. On 7th March, we awarded the Fellowship of SCEL to eight Headteachers at a joint national event organised by SCEL and GTCS. As Fellows of SCEL, they will continue to contribute to the development of SCEL as well as to the wider education system at local authority and national level. As Chief Executive of SCEL, I’m clear
“High performing countries generally support leadership development...not simply as a means of preparation for senior leadership roles”
that as a nation, we must support teachers working at all levels in the system systematically from the start of their career. This isn’t about hot housing prospective Headteachers just as they complete their probationary period, but is focused on being serious about professional learning in leadership from the early phase, starting with pedagogical leadership –recognising that leadership is demonstrated by consistent, high-quality practice in the classroom, supporting practitioners in their professional learning. High performing countries generally support leadership development right from the start of a teacher’s career, not simply as a means of preparation for senior leadership roles. That’s where we need to be in Scotland, and SCEL is already playing a central role in delivering this aspiration. I started by describing SCEL as an exciting and innovative development in Scottish education. For us to succeed as an organisation, supporting teachers in our ultimate goal of making a difference to the lives of our young people, it’s really important that we work for and with early years practitioners, teachers and school and early years leaders. Keep an eye out for our planned regional and national events – we’ll publish details of these on our website at: www.scelscotland.org.uk You can also follow us on Twitter at @teamscel. We look forward to hearing from you!
The latest edition of the Scottish Education Journal, April 2015