Achievement for All (AfA): The characteristics of effective inclusive leadership
- 1 Achievement for All (AfA): The characteristics of effective inclusive leadership
- 2 What we know about effective school leadership
- 3 What we know about the leadership of special educational needs and/or disabilities
- 4 Elements of effective leadership of AfA: A shared vision
- 5 Elements of effective leadership of AfA: Commitment
- 6 Elements of effective leadership of AfA: Collaboration
- 7 Elements of effective leadership of AfA: Communication
- 8 Implications of the new Ofsted Framework (September 2009)
- 9 Conclusion and references
Elements of effective leadership of AfA: A shared vision
- To what extent is there a shared vision and high expectations for the outcomes for all pupils in your school? How do you know?
- In what ways will the core values in your school underpin the work in each of the three strands of Achievement for All?
- How do children/young people, parents, staff and governors understand and influence those values?
- How do they see those values enacted in the behaviour of leaders and staff in your school?
- What is your vision for the engagement with the school community?
- In what ways will your knowledge of your particular school community influence the work in the three strands?
- How do you ensure that all in your school view each child/family without prejudice and understand individual circumstances?
- How do you value ‘pupil voice’? In what ways do children/young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) actively engage in supporting and designing their own learning?
- To what extent is there a shared vision for the engagement of parents and carers in supporting the learning and development of their children? How do you know?
- What does ‘SEND’ and ‘inclusion’ mean in your school? Does your school have a common understanding of what makes for effective and inclusive teaching and learning?
The following sections encourage school leaders to consider key elements of effective inclusive leadership and to reflect on the qualities and processes that may support these. This does not seek to provide a definitive framework for inclusive leadership but is more a set of prompts for reflection and discussion. School leaders may want to use this with their leadership teams or whole staff to raise awareness of issues, encourage self-reflection and identify areas for individual and collective development as part of the Achievement for All gap analysis.
When considering these elements a common focal point should be: what does this mean in terms of leading learning and teaching? How do these elements impact on teaching styles and strategies, and learning experiences for children and young people with SEND? How do they support inclusive teaching and learning?
Four key elements of effective inclusive leadership are:
- a shared vision
A shared vision
The successful and effective implementation of the aims of Achievement for All needs leaders to be driven by a set of core values and beliefs around the entitlements and expectations for all children and young people, especially those identified with SEND. They model these values in their interactions with children and young people, staff, parents and other professionals engaged in the education and care of these pupils. The vision is apparent both in informal and formal communications – staff meetings, conversations in corridors, meetings with parents and other agencies. In particular:
- at the heart of the successful leadership of inclusion lies a core set of values and beliefs about children and young people and their entitlement and aspirations. Successful leaders reflect on what their core values are; how they articulate and demonstrate these – how they live the values; how they share expectations, raise aspirations and encourage dialogue; and how they monitor and evaluate the achievement of key aims – essentially how their vision comes to life
- a shared vision gives staff confidence to be flexible and innovative in reviewing, evaluating and developing effective provision for children and young people with SEND. Leaders nurture staff and children and young people to provide the right conditions for teaching and learning. Their passion is evident
- leadership at all levels within the school promotes a clear and consistent vision and expectations for engaging with parents and carers of children and young people identified with SEND
- a shared vision and expectations ensure that provision for and outcomes achieved by children and young people with SEND are monitored; that there is rigorous analysis of data across a range of aspects including attainment, attendance and behaviour
- the effective school leader is motivated by a fundamental moral purpose towards inclusion as a core value, and with this a non-negotiable commitment to enabling achievement for ALL children within school, believing that ALL children have a right to achieve their potential, while also understanding that achievement is far wider than simply a numerical level
- knowledge of the community that the school serves underpins a successful leader’s vision for the school. An awareness of context and issues within a school community is important to enable empathy, and to understand and prioritise effective strategies to deploy when introducing Achievement for All
- a clarity of vision will help to encourage the development of the creative and innovative practices that Achievement for All seeks to develop. It encourages risk taking and challenge within an environment of excitement, enthusiasm and engagement. It ensures that learning is fun
- the vision of successful school leaders is based on an understanding and selfawareness of their own personal leadership styles and how these may apply to embedding the key principles and strands of Achievement for All throughout their school.
Finally, it is vital that school leaders share and promote their vision for Achievement for All, enabling all stakeholders in school to own and shape its direction. To be successful it will need a wholeschool commitment based on collective responsibility and shared accountability.