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Education unionists to share experiences and strategies on school leadership

EI and its European Region, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), are jointly organising a European-Global Conference on School Leadership in Dublin, Ireland, from 23-25 May. This event, hosted by Irish teacher unions, aims at sharing experiences and developing education union strategies to improve school leadership policy and practice at European and global levels.

The conference will enable the participants to discuss current school leadership issues and challenges, and share information and experiences from their own countries. The meeting will also discuss the financial and economic crisis, its impact on education and teachers and possible solutions. It will also discuss findings from the recent ETUCE study on school leadership, organising and recruitment.

On 23 May, participants from Europe will discuss the ETUCE draft policy on school leadership and other related issues during a special meeting, before the start of the conference the next day.

The Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn will deliver the opening address at the conference.

Several panel discussions will be organised over the course of the event, on topics such as:

  • The financial, economic and debt crises: Impacts, responses and solutions: experiences from Portugal, Argentina, and the Global Trade Union Movement;
  • School leadership preparation, recruitment and development: experiences from Australia, Germany, and Ireland; and
  • Union mobilisation and strategies for organising and recruiting school leaders: experiences from France, South Africa, India and the United Kingdom.

Diana Toledo, from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Education Policy and Implementation Division, will report on OECD’s school leadership policy and initiatives.

EI Senior Coordinator, Education and Employment Unit, Dennis Sinyolo, will present the results of the ETUCE school leadership survey.

Parallel group discussions will also focus on developing an EI school leadership policy, strategies for strengthening pedagogical leadership in schools, and improving gender balance in school leadership.                   

EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, stated: “EI strongly believes in every child’s right to public or publicly funded education of good quality. EI recognises and cherishes the critical role played by principals, other school leaders and their schools in providing education services to the communities in which they operate. School leaders, in particular, are strategically positioned to ensure that their schools provide quality education by creating conditions for effective teaching and learning in their institutions.”

EI's policy on school leadership is essentially shaped by the various resolutions passed by the World Congress since 1995, particularly the 2004 and 2007 Congress resolutions on school principals and school leadership. These resolutions recognise the critical role played by school principals and other school leaders in the development of learning establishments and in the provision of quality education.

The detailed Conference programme is available here

EI policy on school leadership can be found here

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