Early childhood and schools

Improving School Leadership - Activities






Final Conference on Improving School Leadership, 14-15 April 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark

The final conference of the Improving School Leadership activity was organised jointly by the OECD and the Danish Ministry of Education. It brought together policy makers, scholars, practitioners and representatives of international organisations to discuss policy options to improve school leadership for enhanced school outcomes. The OECD launched its two school leadership publications:

  • an international comparative report on school leadership policy and practice;
  • a case study report on innovative practices in systemic leadership (for the executive summaries of the reports, click here).

The conference was opened by the Danish Minister of Education, Bertel Haarder and the OECD Deputy Secretary-General Aart de Geus. A session on Scandinavian approaches to leadership set the stage for the conference by reminding participants of the need to adapt school leadership policy to different contexts. The OECD school leadership team presented the two school leadership reports. Eight in-depth policy workshops provided room for participants to discuss ways to make school leadership policy work in practice. In the final session How to take this agenda forward: a minister consults, the Danish Minister of Education, Bertel Haarder, and a group of researchers and policy makers engaged in a lively discussion on how to best implement school leadership reform.

Conference documentation


International Conference on School Leadership Development Strategies, 7-8 November 2007, Dublin, Ireland

The international conference focused on approaches to school leadership training and development. Conference participants explored: a) the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches to the design and delivery of school leadership training and; b) the policy frameworks for providing coherent approaches to leadership development. 

The conference was opened with a welcome from Barbara Ischinger, OECD Director for Education and by presentations from Mary Hanafin, Minister of Education, Republic of Ireland, and Caitríona Ruane, Minister of Education, Belfast. From the 130 participants, representatives from countries participating in the OECD activity Improving School Leadership took an active role in the conference. Innovative case studies on school leadership development from Victoria (Australia) and Austria were presented and discussed. Country roundtables and panel discussions provided room for experts and policy makers from a wide range of countries to explore different approaches to leadership development. The conference also provided the perspectives of practitioners and of the social partners represented at the OECD (BIAC and TUAC).

Conference documentation


International conference on International Perspectives on School Leadership for Systemic Improvement, July 6, 2006, HSBC Headquarters, London, UK

The international conference focused on the role of school leadership in improving schooling outcomes in a context of shared responsibilities. It focused on the concept of “systemic improvement”: that is, the distribution of roles and responsibilities of school leaders so that they contribute to the success of other schools as well as to their own school;  collaborative work across different levels (school, local or regional) or organizations that engages leaders in improving schooling outcomes through teams or collaborative organizational arrangements; and systemic interaction of administrators and teachers in distributed leadership roles that enact the school as a learning community. Innovative case studies on this approach from Sweden, Canada and UK were presented and discussed.

This conference was opened by a welcome from OECD Education Directorate Director Barbara Ischinger and presentations from the UK Minister of State for Schools, Jim Knight, and the HSBC Chairman, Stephen Green. Mr. Green provided an inspirational and thoughtful speech on the three key skills managers/leaders require in their banking environment. Professor Richard Elmore, key note speaker from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, provided an insightful keynote speech on accountability policy and leadership. Case studies of leadership innovations in Umea, Sweden, England, United Kingdom, and York Ontario, Canada, were presented and discussed by a number of policy makers, analysts and academics. David Hopkins, HSBC Inet Chair for International Leadership at the London Institute of Education and Beatriz Pont from the OECD Education and Training Policy Division, provided a concluding summary of the conference.

Conference documentation




Improving School Leadership 3rd workshop of participating countries, 9 November 2007, Dublin, Ireland.

The 3rd workshop of participating countries brought together 43 participants - representatives of 16 countries, of international organizations and experts - to discuss the first draft of the comparative report of the Improving School Leadership activity. The OECD School Leadership team made short presentations of each chapter of the draft report, followed by discussion among national coordinators and international experts. Workshop participants commented on the relevance of the report to their national contexts and discussed the preliminary findings. The comparative report will be revised in light of workshop discussion and country comments.

Workshop documentation


Improving School Leadership 2nd workshop of participating countries, 1-2 February 2007, VLOR, Brussels, Belgium

The 2nd workshop of participating countries gathered representatives of 20 countries, international organizations and experts to identify and discuss key issues on school leadership policy and practice across OECD countries. The basis for discussion were draft country Background Reports prepared for the activity. The aim of the workshop was to foster opportunities for discussion and dialogue among participants, national representatives, authors of background reports, international organisation representatives and our network of experts and to clarify what the core content of the final comparative report will be. All participants took an active role in the workshop across the different sessions.

Workshop documentation

14 - PONT final session where to go from here ISL 2 2007  

Improving School Leadership 1st workshop of participating countries, July 5, 2006, HSBC headquarters, London, UK

The 1st workshop of participating countries gathered 20 participating countries and international organizations and experts to discuss involvement in the activity. They discussed key issues in school leadership in their countries, relevance of the activity to their national agenda and progress and timelines on the development of their background reports. There were reports by other international organizations, such as the European Commission, UNESCO IIEP, the International Confederation of Principals on their relevant activities and a presentation on the International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP).

Workshop documentation

Improving school leadership - guidelines for country background reports  





Related Documents