The SSLCP is the result of collaboration between the British Council and the Jamaican College of Educational Leadership.
The programme, which started in 2014, is designed to develop school leaders’ coaching skills so that they can coach and mentor talented staff - important in a system where many established leaders tend to stay in senior positions for extended periods.
This style was seen as providing a non-traditional challenge to the system, without radically changing its structure.
A training programme was developed which comprised five levels of certification: Coaching Mentor, Performance Coach, Development, Leadership (Transformational) and Supervisory. The levels are progressive in terms of knowledge and skill, with an increasing amount of training and coaching practice required at each level. In order to be accredited, participants must submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating self-awareness and learning.
One hundred and six school leaders as well as 19 maths coaches have been trained, with half of them already certified at different levels. So far they have delivered 276 hours of coaching to other principals and teachers. The plan is to train all principals and education officers in Jamaica to become coaching mentors by 2018.
Coaching will also be part of the newly launched University and College Training Programme which is designed to train those aspiring to lead tertiary institutions.
The Rwanda Education Board (REB) has a strong vision to ensure that every school in Rwanda has a high quality school leader, so that every student has the opportunity to benefit from the best possible education.
To support this we worked closely with the Rwandan Ministry of Education to define new headteacher standards for Rwanda and embed them within a broader framework of educational improvement policy and processes.
We worked in partnership with the REB and the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB) to develop the new standards.
We also worked with the UK’s National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) to explore what the new standards are and how they can be put into practice. This involved bringing together head teachers, policy makers, partner organisations and local education authorities.
The new standards reflect the importance and centrality of student learning and well-being. They provide an important framework to support professional development and certification (both within pre-service and in-service training), recruitment practices, monitoring, evaluation and performance management for school leaders in Rwanda.
We are continuing to work with NAHT to create links between UK and Rwandan school leaders and share best practice.