Developing standards for leaders in Victorian Catholic Schools

Year: 2004

Author: Ingvarson, Lawrence, Kleinhenz, Elizabeth, McDonald, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In 2003-4, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria undertook a project to develop standards for school leadership. A specific aim of the project was to provide a "bridge" to leadership that would encourage teachers to undertake leadership tasks and to consider moving into formal positions of leadership. This paper reports on the experiences and challenges of developing standards that matched this purpose. It also reviews school leadership standards that have been developed in Australia and overseas over the past decade. A comparison is drawn between standards for teachers and standards for leaders in schools, making the point that, whereas teaching standards are specific to the profession of teaching, leadership extends across many areas and occupations. In accordance with contemporary understandings of distributed leadership, the CECV standards were designed as a generic articulation of what leaders know and do rather than descriptions of school principals' responsibilities. The standards were developed to provide a framework for the assessment of leadership performance and to suggest tasks that teachers may undertake to gain leadership experience. The paper discusses the major challenge of identifying these tasks and articulating them in standards for leaders, within the various areas of the daily work of schools.