Written by Sophie Smith, our Education Specialist who co-ordinates the School Leadership Development Programme in Uganda
According to a recent three-year evaluation led by Economic Policy Research Council (EPRC), a Ugandan think-tank based at Makerere University, PEAS schools are effective in supporting the least advantaged students (often those with lower prior attainment) to catch up with their peers. The evaluation suggests that the training and support that PEAS provides teachers and school leaders plays a strong role in the learning gains that PEAS students demonstrate. PEAS’ School Leadership Development Programme (SLDP) is one example of how PEAS is investing in the development of its leaders.
What is the School Leadership Development Programme?
The PEAS School Leadership Development Programme is designed to develop the leadership potential of PEAS school leaders to improve student learning outcomes, drive access and deliver long-term school sustainability.
The programme includes:
- mentorship from PEAS Regional Programme Managers and Secretariat staff
- peer learning conversations and visits
- action research
- annual school improvement planning and inspections
- weekly self-reflection.
As part of the programme, leaders also take part in a three-day annual conference where leaders from across the network gather in Kampala for training and to share learnings.
How was the programme designed?
The SLDP was informed by a needs assessment of the leadership needs of PEAS school leaders and designed in consultation with PEAS leaders and staff from across the network. The programme is based on international best practice in adult learning and based on research that shows that strong school management and leadership is closely correlated with student learning outcomes.
Why is the School Leadership Programme part of the PEAS model?
PEAS believes that every young person is able to succeed if they are given the right support, and believes that our school leaders and teachers are best placed to provide this support. We want our school staff to take responsibility for student outcomes, to innovate and to lead learning within their schools. To do this they must be empowered, equipped and held to account. The School Leadership Development Programme is one way that PEAS is investing in the development of our leaders, who we believe are the spark for change.
What makes PEAS’ approach to School Leadership Development unique?
The PEAS Leadership Standards define what great leadership looks like in a PEAS school. These are unique to PEAS. They unite our network with a shared understanding of the behaviours approaches and beliefs of effective and transformational school leadership and management across five domains of the different types of leadership. The PEAS Leadership Standards are foundational to the School Leadership Development Programme. According to Daniel Omaya, PEAS Uganda’s Education Quality Manager:
“A great school leader is one who champions quality education, values each learner, recognises teachers’ efforts, fosters student leadership and takes a lead in driving teaching and learning to equip students with skills to improve their worlds. That school leader works towards delivery of a holistic education to help young people to define and lead fulfilling and socially responsible lives.”