Training Modules

SLT4AA, School Leadership Toolkit for Accelerating Achievement, is a two-year Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership project, which aims to equip leadership teams with the competences, structures and tools to transform underperforming schools into high performing schools.

Partners have developed a set of training modules, a ‘toolkit’, for school leadership teams, to equip the teams to accelerate the pace of school improvement. The toolkit is based on an analysis of how two UK schools were transformed from failing to highly successful schools.

The toolkit is tailored to address the specific priorities of individual schools and incorporates an initial activity, four training modules and a final action planning activity.

The preliminary activity requires schools to collect and analyse data on the school in order to provide a baseline for evaluation, so that the school is in a position to assess impact and progress.

The five training modules have the following learning objectives:

Module 1 Creating a Vision for Improvement

  • To evaluate the schools’ current position compared to other schools
  • To understand the importance of having a vision of where you want to be
  • To identify the drivers behind the need for a vision
  • To identify how to create a vision statement

Module 2 Communicating the vision

  • To understand the need to express a vision clearly
  • To understand the different stakeholders for communication
  • To be able to express your vision and priorities clearly
  • To justify your position and convince stakeholders

Module 3 Preparing for Change – Personnel Management

  • To analyse personnel issues in the management of change
  • To establish roles and responsibilities
  • To develop strategies to confront passivity and opposition
  • To develop support mechanisms

Module 4 Preparing for Change – Structures

  • To identify how establishing structures relates to school improvement
  • To audit existing structures
  • To develop structures to address the school’s priorities

Module 5 Preparing for Change – Teaching and Learning and Measuring Impact

  • To identify quality and areas for improvement
  • To create indicators for improvement
  • To develop strategies for monitoring

After completing the modules, schools then develop an action plan to implement agreed actions in order to bring about the changes they have identified and prioritised.

Trialling in the Schools

Partners are now working with leadership teams from schools in each country to test the resources and develop them further using real situations. This work started in September 2015 and will finish in March 2016. It will be evaluated twice to ensure that we have a good set of resources that apply to a range of different contexts and can be adopted more widely across Europe.

During this process additional resources will be developed. Once the trials have been completed, the training resources will be finalised and then published online. They will then be freely available to any school or training organisation in Europe.

The trial schools

Partners in Hungary, Bulgaria and Portugal and Estonia have identified a range of different schools for the trials.

Debrecen University partner is working with five schools in Hungary:

  • Egyetem Balásházy János Gyakorló Szakközépiskolája,
  • Debreceni József Attila Általános Iskola
  • Diószegi Sámuel Baptista Szakkozepiskola
  • Szabó Pál Általános és Alapfokú Művészeti Iskola
  • Vénkerti Általános és Alapfokú Művészeti Iskola

Teach for Bulgaria is working with six schools:

  • Vetren
  • Sofia School 132
  • Hristo Danovo
  • Sofia School 90
  • Brestnica
  • Koprivshtitsa

The University of Lusofona is working with two federatinos of schools in Portugal, the Agrupamento de Escolas D. Antoni de Ataide in Lisbon which is a cluster of 4 schools, 3 Primaries and one ‘main’ school –and the Agrupamento de Escolas de Alhandr, Sobralinho e Sao Joao dos Montes, which is a cluster of 8 schools, 2 Kindergarten, 5 Primaries and one main school

The Univeristy of Tartu, is working with four schools:

  • Suure-Jaani Gümnaasium
  • Suure-Jaani Kool
  • Tallinna Õismäe Vene Lütseum
  • J.Liivi nim Alatskivi Keskkool

Overarching Research

The University of Durham in the UK is carrying out an overarching research strand, which explores five research questions:

  • How does the project develop clarity of vision and the direction of this in each setting?
  • What are successful relationships between the development of leadership, school improvement and the learning environments like?
  • What does student and staff engagement/distributed leadership look like in each setting and what are the impacts on transformation?
  • What can we say about the application of methods and their impacts across all settings?
  • Are there any unique or specific contextual impacts and what are they?

Throughout the project, the University is collecting data and conducting in depth interviews with the leadership teams and key staff of the schools involved. The research outcomes will be published in the project’s final conference in July 2016.

Dissemination Activities

A number of dissemination activities have already taken place. The work was presented to the ECER conference in September, which attracted participants from across the globe, by the UK, Hungarian and Estonian partners. In January 2016, the work will be presented at the first International Conference on Comparative Education, which will take place in Lisbon, from 25th to 27th January. The presentations are available on the project website.

Each partner will run a seminar to share the outcomes of the project in their own country between May and July of 2016 and there will be an international conference in Debrecen on 1st July 2016 to share the project results and the research outcomes. Registration details are available on the project website: http://slt4aa.eu/

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