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 reflect

Timing: 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 ten common characteristics that were demonstrated by leaders. Consider each of these in turn, and from your understanding of transactional and transformational leadership, note down whether one of these stereotypical leadership styles has greater potential to address each characteristic, or whether you think elements of both styles are required. You should also return to Stoll and Temperley’s article ‘Creative leadership: a challenge of our times’ (2009) and note down which of the ‘emerging conditions for promoting and nurturing the creativity of colleagues’ could add to the likelihood of success.

Record your thoughts in a blog on the course website.

There are no ‘correct’ answers to this activity. The main aim is to help you to develop your appreciation that leadership is complex and continuously open to interpretation. Schools evolve, as do individuals within them; therefore, leadership needs to evolve as well. Just as Leadership and Primary School Improvement included four different categories to show schools’ differing positions – starting the journey, making progress, building momentum and sustaining high standards – there will also be differences when analysing and reflecting upon each of the different characteristics in every school.

A successful leader or leadership team needs, in Stoll and Temperley’s (2009) words, to ‘explore and develop their capacity to create the conditions, culture and structures in which learning-focused innovation and creativity best thrive.’ This includes relevant PLD and an improvement plan with success criteria that can be evaluated with objective evidence. Being a school governor was never going to be easy, but hopefully you now feel more confident to take a more informed and active role within your school’s developmental journey.

5 Leading professional learning development (PLD)