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Strengthening leadership capacity Professional learning programmes and opportunities 1

Supporting your growth as a leader in education The Scottish College for Educational Leadership offers essential programmes, resources and networks for leaders and aspiring leaders in Scottish education. At every stage of your career, we’ll connect you to the right people and programmes to develop and grow your leadership capacity and help you engage with the most relevant and inspiring leadership learning and development opportunities from Scotland and beyond.


TEACHER LEADERSHIP Teacher Leadership Programme


MIDDLE LEADERSHIP Into Middle Leadership in Schools


Postgraduate Certificate in Middle Leadership


Collaborative Middle Leadership




In Headship


Towards Headship


Excellence in Headship




Leading Systems Change



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Six core components of educational leadership form the basis of our programme design: ▶

leadership of culture, vision and values

leadership of self-evaluation and improvement

leadership of self and others

leading and learning collaboratively

leadership of high quality learning and teaching, and

leadership of change.

The model of professional learning we reference maps out four connected elements of learning experience to support your professional growth and transform your practice: ▶

reflection on practice

experiential learning

cognitive development, and

collaborative learning.

Our professional learning opportunities are supported by funding from the Scottish Government and this brochure explains what we offer, who it's for and what’s involved. 4



Who is it for? Designed for all post-probation teachers in Scotland, you’ll benefit most from this programme if you wish to develop leadership of learning and teaching in your context.


What’s involved?

March to May

The programme will help you to develop against the GTCS Standard for Career Long Professional Learning and become more confident in leading learning of children and young people.


Learning throughout the programme is primarily accessed online through Glow, and you’ll be supported and challenged by a group of peers in or near your local authority as well as a critical friend and a programme tutor.

August to June Duration 10 months

The central feature of your learning comes from a practitioner enquiry into an aspect of your own teaching and learning practice. You’ll also attend one regional induction event and one national event so you can learn and share in person.

Cost Fully funded 5

INTO MIDDLE LEADERSHIP IN SCHOOLS Who is it for? Designed for all middle leaders in schools, establishments and learning communities, you can also use this resource to lead learning with others.

What’s involved? This is an online resource that outlines professional learning activities for those who are, or wish to be effective middle leaders. It can be used as a self-directed resource or by providers of middle leadership learning experiences.

Cost Fully funded

KEY DATES This programme is flexible to your needs


Middle leadership POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN MIDDLE LEADERSHIP Who is it for? Established middle leaders and those aspiring to middle leadership roles.


What’s involved? A postgraduate certificate in middle leadership, you will work towards 60 credits at SCQF level 11 with one of our partner universities. This can be a stand alone programme or a preparatory and progressive step towards the Into Headship element of the Specialist Qualification for Headship Masters Pathway and references relevant professional standards. You will take part in professional, practice-based learning enabling your experience to be contextualised to your individual circumstances.

As per each university term dates and time scales

Cost In line with the individual university pricing structure or through regional partnership agreements.

COLLABORATIVE MIDDLE LEADERSHIP Who is it for? Designed for middle leaders to work together in their own establishments and learning communities, you’ll benefit from this programme if you wish to collaborate and learn with colleagues in similar roles.

What’s involved? Bringing together the whole of the middle leadership community within a given school, establishment or wider learning community to tackle existing improvement priorities, this programme offers a range of bespoke development activities for you to work on with colleagues and is normally commissioned by senior leaders for whole teams within their schools or communities.


Learning Flexible Duration 12 months

You will take part in a series of facilitated workshops with other middle leaders and engage in collaborative learning on issues directly related to your improvement priorities.

Cost Fully funded



Who is it for? Designed for aspiring head teachers, you’ll benefit most from this programme if you are looking to become a head teacher within 2-3 years.

Recruitment February to April Learning June to September Duration 12/18 months

What’s involved? Into Headship is Scotland’s national qualification for headship. The programme includes a 60-credit postgraduate qualification at SCQF level 11 which forms part of the Specialist Qualification for Headship Masters Pathway, and is delivered through a combination of taught elements, practice based learning, directed study, national conferences, mentoring and collaborative tasks. On successful completion, you’ll also be awarded the Standard for Headship. Into Headship is a practice based programme delivered in partnership with universities and local authorities focused on developing your strategic leadership capacity. The programme helps you to build and apply sound knowledge and understanding of strategic leadership in the context of the role of head teacher and critically engage with current national and international policy context and research in educational leadership. You will be supported to develop practice in the use of critical enquiry and reflection to evaluate and strengthen the impact of your practice on the school as you design and initiate a strategic change initiative across your school community.

Cost Fully funded



Who is it for? Designed for new head teachers normally within the first two years of headship, this programme is a 60-credit postgraduate qualification at SCQF level 11 and the final part of the Masters pathway awarding the Specialist Qualification for Headship.


What’s involved?

February to April

In Headship builds on academic and professional learning gained through the successful completion of Into Headship (or SQH/FRH) and helps you deepen understanding, application and evaluation of the GTCS Standard for Headship in practice.

Learning June to September Duration 12/18 months

Underpinned by a focus on professional problem solving and school improvement, the programme will help you critically reflect on your transition to headship. You will be supported to recognise, understand and adapt to the complex challenges and opportunities of headship, facilitate school and system improvement and understand the significance of strategic and system leadership in driving change and improvement. Learning is delivered through a combination of taught elements, practice based learning, directed study, a national residential event, collaborative tasks and engagement with a critical colleague.

Cost Fully funded


TOWARDS HEADSHIP Who is it for? Designed for aspiring head teachers who have completed the Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH) or the Flexible Route to Headship (FRH), you’ll benefit most from this programme if you have had a break in your learning and are now looking to take on a head teacher role as your next step.

What’s involved? Towards Headship supports the continuous professional learning of those already awarded the Standard for Headship. It enables you to continue your learning through methods such as taught elements, practice based learning, directed study, residentials, coaching, mentoring and collaborative tasks. The programme will help you critically engage with current and emerging international and national policy contexts. You will be supported to enhance your strategic thinking whilst reflecting on your own professional knowledge and experience of school leadership.

Cost Fully funded

KEY DATES Recruitment February to April Learning June to November Duration 6 months with a recall event after 12 months


EXCELLENCE IN HEADSHIP Who is it for? The Excellence in Headship programme supports head teachers who have been in post for two years or more. You’ll benefit most if you wish to build on your professional experience and strengthen and expand your school leadership skills.

What’s involved? This is an ongoing programme which provides opportunities for collaborative learning, cross-system learning, network development, issue exploration, international exchange and engagement with online learning. It will help you continue to develop a critical understanding of all aspects of leadership drawing from a broad range of relevant research and literature, enact leadership strategies within your own context and critically reflect on your professional experience. You will use current practice as a learning tool to develop a culture of sustained professional growth for self and others and work collaboratively to further develop your leadership practice. Excellence in Headship is structured around a range of core themes: ▶

leadership and critical self-awareness (programme induction)

leadership of learning

values based leadership

people and partners

leading systems change

organisational effectiveness.

Learning under each theme is supported by a range of one and two day participatory sessions, masterclasses, residential events and online learning activities available through the Framework for Educational Leadership.

Cost Fully funded

KEY DATES Recruitment September and March Learning Ongoing Duration Ongoing


System leadership SCEL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME Who is it for? This programme is for experienced head teachers and heads of establishment who normally have a minimum of five years’ successful experience and a proven track record of system leadership beyond their own establishment.

What’s involved? The Fellowship Programme aims to provide stretching developmental opportunities for experienced head teachers to contribute to system-level leadership and to have a positive impact on outcomes for children and young people. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will become a SCEL Fellow supporting system developments in your community and across the country. The programme is delivered through two residential events, six network days and engagement with an area of enquiry. You’ll benefit from individual coaching and academic advisor sessions to plan, construct and evaluate learning related to your identified area of enquiry.

Cost £1000



Recruitment November to January Learning March to March Duration 12 months

LEADING SYSTEMS CHANGE Who is it for? This programme is for system leaders in Scottish education at local authority and national level. You’ll benefit most from this programme if you want to develop your collaborative leadership skills and understanding.

What’s involved? This programme supports the twin aims of excellence and equity through a whole-systems approach to developing integrated leadership. It prepares those working in public services in general, and education services in particular, for the increasingly diverse and complex challenges encountered when undertaking system leadership roles.


Recruitment November to December Learning January to June Duration 6 months

Learning includes three two-day participatory events as well as collaborative peer development.

Cost Pending


The SCEL Framework for Educational Leadership

The SCEL Framework for Educational Leadership is an online resource accessible anywhere, any time for educators in schools and early learning establishments – enabling you to shape your own and others’ leadership development with high quality professional learning activities, research and resources. Home to a diverse range of interactive learning activities designed to inspire, motivate and challenge you, six aspects of educational leadership underpin each of the learning activities available. These are leading learning, change, collaboration, self and others, self-evaluation and culture. Learning activities within the Framework are designed to be used flexibly to best meet your needs and can support independent learning, collaborative learning and leading the professional learning of others. There is an option to evidence and capture a summary of your learning in relation to the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) standards, which can be used as a basis for productive Professional Review and Development (PRD) and Professional Update discussions. The Framework also provides connections to a range of leadership programmes endorsed by SCEL. 14

DID YOU KNOW? If you are a provider of professional learning you can apply to have your leadership programme endorsed by SCEL. Our endorsement process provides assurance that a leadership programme is relevant, well-constructed and of high-quality. It ensures articulation between the Framework for Educational Leadership, relevant professional standards and other national areas of focus. Endorsed programmes are accessed by a wide range of educational professionals and organisations who are utilising the Framework for Educational Leadership as the key resource to plan their professional learning journey. Find out more at:


Into Headship has given me so much more confidence in myself as a leader. With increased knowledge and understanding of the international and national perspective I now have a deeper appreciation of why we do things. Because my options and values are now rooted in knowledge I have far more conviction and self-belief.

Claire Slowther, Dunbar Grammar

The SCEL Fellowship Programme is answering the question that many head teachers have been asking for some time - how can I work and collaborate with colleagues for the greater good of the educational system and young people? John Reilly, Holy Cross High School


I’ve found that connecting with other teachers with different challenges [on the Teacher Leadership Programme] has supported me to address and to overcome my own. This has been the first time in my career that I have been in control of my own learning journey.

John Francis McMahon St. Bridget's Primary School

The SCEL Fellowship Programme gave me tremendous confidence to improve my own skills and knowledge, and support other leaders within education. It transformed my practice and my thinking and helped me to evidence the impact I was making as a leader. Sandra Clarke, Argyll & Bute


www: e-mail: telephone: 0141 548 8032 twitter: @teamSCEL SCEL is a charity registered in Scotland. Charity Number SC045692


SCEL - Strengthening Leadership Capacity - September 2017  

Information on the educational leadership professional learning programmes and opportunities from the Scottish College for Educational Leade...

SCEL - Strengthening Leadership Capacity - September 2017  

Information on the educational leadership professional learning programmes and opportunities from the Scottish College for Educational Leade...