Exhibitor Blog Spotlight: The National Academy for Educational Leadership

Exhibitor Blog Spotlight: The National Academy for Educational Leadership

In 2017, the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced as part of Education in Wales: Our National Mission, that there would be a Leadership Academy established to support all educational leaders across Wales.  In 2018, the Leadership Academy was formally launched with its Chief Executive Officer, Huw Foster-Evans, at the helm along with 12 Associate headteachers from across Wales to support leadership development.

Currently, there are 4 additional members of staff to support the work of the Leadership Academy which include an Assistant Director for Leadership Development and Quality Assurance, an Assistant Director for Research and Policy, a Business Manager and Administrative Support, who are all based in Swansea.  There has also been an increase to the Leadership Academy Associate role with a further 12 headteachers appointed in April 2019.

Why have a Leadership Academy?

The purpose of the Leadership Academy is to build leadership capacity in our educational system. At the same time, it will ensure that there is good quality leadership provision which supports and develops leaders at all levels, and which is available and accessible to all leaders across Wales.

What is the Leadership Academy doing?

The 24 Associates who are serving practitioners at senior level, are engaged in developing system leadership across Wales.  They have a major role in ensuring that the Leadership Academy continues to be inclusive and collaborative and that the profession has access to developmental opportunities which are motivational and inspirational.

The Associates are currently working on two commissions – one which looks at Professional Learning and Wellbeing and the second which explores the Welsh in Education agenda.  Through the enquiry work carried out on these commissions, the Associates are identifying areas for improvement as well as strengths to be shared.  Events for sharing effective practice have included regional and cross-regional work as well as national conferences.

Endorsement of Current Provision

Through the Leadership Academy’s endorsement process, we recognise the quality leadership provision which is currently being delivered in our system. 

The endorsement process comprises of two stages.  The panel for stage 1 comprises of 4 Associates and is chaired by the Assistant Director for Leadership and Quality Assurance, who assess the provision against a set of criteria. If the provision meets the criteria, it progresses to stage 2 where a second panel is chaired by the Chief Executive of the Leadership Academy.  During this stage there is scrutiny of further evidence and impact through quality assurance processes, a presentation by the provider and an opportunity for the panel to question the providers about their provision.  If the provision is successful at stage 2, the successful provision is listed on our website www.nael.cymru and Welsh Government are informed.  Providers who are unsuccessful in the process are encouraged to develop their provision further, with the support of the Leadership Academy, before re-submission.

The Innovation Pathway – Time to be creative

With a new curriculum on the horizon leaders across Wales are having to think about how they will support and lead on the 4 purposes; 6 areas of learning and experience; 12 pedagogical principals; the new professional standards for teaching and leadership amongst a list of other priorities.  The Leadership Academy is calling on you to be creative and innovative in devising ‘new’ leadership development opportunities and we could support you financially in the development of this provision.

Full guidance and application forms can be found at www.nael.cymru or for all queries, please contact post@agaaa.cymru