System leadership and workforce remodelling


Background: The reform of the school system is a continuing endeavour to bring about lasting and sustainable change now in its 9th year. The present stage of reform can be characterised by four interrelated themes: Accountability, Autonomy, Diversity, and Collaboration. Current legislation aims to give parents a greater sense of ownership, to generate a more personalised offer for young people and to encourage local authorities to become a provider, rather than commissioner, of services. In January 2003 the UK Government, school workforce unions and the employers signed a major agreement introducing significant changes to teachers' conditions of service, phased in over three years.



  1. 1. A focused programme to incubate and accelerate new models of leadership and governance of schools - the creation of Next Practice in System Leadership.
  2. 2. Raise standards and tackle unacceptable teacher workloads and to create new roles for adults to support teachers' work and pupils' learning. Remodelling to bring about a cultural change and become a fundamental part of the school management system.


Target: Primary and secondary education (including 14-19 provision)


Timeframe: 2005-2008


Who runs it: The featured initiatives are distributed across a range of policy areas, and undertaken by different agencies. The leadership is provided by particular units and agencies of the Department for Education and Skills: The Innovation Unit and the Training and Development Agency for Schools.


How does it work: The Innovation Unit has focused since 2005 on the concept of developing “Next Practice” (as distinct from transferring or disseminating “good practice”) - releasing practitioner (and user) creativity, informed by research, environment scanning, and forms of future thinking. This is being employed across different content areas, the first being system leadership (“leadership beyond a single institution”). Remodelling in schools enables lasting transformation, embedding a proactive culture where staff have the skills, experience, confidence and commitment to apply an effective remodelling approach to all significant challenges. It has also promoted the extended schools programme, (extended schools is one which provides access to a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day).


Project related websites:


Project report (.pdf):

SfT country report England


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