Free course

An introduction to leadership for school governors (Wales)

Free statement of participation on completion
An introduction to leadership for school governors (Wales) Copyright free Icon
An introduction to leadership for school governors (Wales)


This course provides a brief introduction to the field of educational leadership. You can also access the other courses in this collection: Inclusive education: knowing what we mean and Teamwork: an introduction for school governors.

The course considers some of the key issues and concepts of educational leadership and, among other things, will discuss what might be considered good practice in educational leadership and how capacity for improvement could be understood and developed.

This Badged Open Course is part of a collection of training resources for school governors in Wales. The collection was developed by The Open University in Wales with an aim to develop a range of additional skills and reflections that may assist you in your role as a governor.

An introduction to leadership for school governors (Wales)

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • better understand the role that leadership plays in school development and the improvement of pupil outcomes
  • discuss and analyse some of the factors that can influence and contribute to successful leadership
  • reflect on the leadership approaches taken in educational organisations known to you
  • appreciate the importance of using evidence to support judgements
  • appreciate the importance of planning and evaluating professional learning development.

First Published: 25/09/2020

Updated: 25/09/2020

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content

    • Current section:

      This course is an introduction to educational leadership and management. It is based on the understanding that researching practice and analysing real situations can lead to change and improvement. The course considers some key issues and concepts in educational leadership and, among others, considers the question of what might constitute good practice in educational leadership and how the capacity to lead might be understood and developed. The importance of planning and evaluating professio...

    • Learning outcomes
    • Current section:
      1. What is educational leadership?

      Leadership is a complex matter: a plethora of publications have been written on the subject. From the outset it should be stated that there is no one right way of leading, and that there are no quick fixes or easy recipes for resolving educational leadership challenges. This course introduces some of the academic tools and ideas that will support you to develop a critical perspective about approaches to leadership in your own context. We have all experienced the leadership of others in our p...

    • Current section:
      2. The context of leadership in Wales

      In reality, few organisations have completely distinct structures, and different leadership approaches may be practised in different parts of the same organisation. Power may appear to exist in a demarcated, hierarchical structure, and this may reflect forms of perceived expert knowledge. However, those who are not in designated leadership roles may nevertheless exert influence on others through the power of persuasion and interpersonal relationships – this may include proposing refine...

    • Current section:
      3. Leadership and school improvement

      Estyn’s extensive report Leadership and Primary School Improvement [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (2016) includes an important acknowledgment that all schools have room to improve, and that leadership is the most significant factor in influencing the pace, quality and sustainability of the school’s improvement. The report states that schools at different developmental stages often need different styles of leadership, and that leaders &ndash...

    • Current section:
      4. Types of leadership

      Leadership and Primary School Improvement includes evidence taken from a number of primary schools. It is always important to objectively consider evidence when reflecting on effective leadership. There are a number of detailed case studies included within the report, and these reflect different levels of success that can, in turn, be related to aspects of leadership. From an academic perspective, there are distinct ways of thinking about leadership that include:positionaldistributionaltrans...

    • Current section:
      5 Leading professional learning development (PLD)

      One of the key roles for leaders is to support the professional learning of others. As well as being one of the common characteristics of improvement in Estyn’s Leadership and Primary School Improvement report, effective professional learning has a number of potentially positive outcomes for both the individual and organisation. This includes the possibility of enhanced outcomes for learners, which is a priority for any school.It is important that professional learning development (PLD...

    • Current section:
      6 Review of your learning

      The final activity is an opportunity for you to revisit your learning and reflect on some of the main themes from this course on leadership. You might need to revisit some of your earlier reading in order to consolidate some of the leadership concepts that have been introduced.Activity 9: Time to reflectTiming: Allow approximately 45 minutes Estyn’s report Leadership and Primary School Improvement [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (2016) outlined te...

    • Compulsory badge quiz
    • References
    • Acknowledgements
Skip Rate and Review

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371