On 25 October, the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) and the Secondary School Headteacher Association of Slovenia (DR) organised a Peer Learning Acitivity (PLA) in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Nives Po?kar, President of DR, hosted the PLA on Improving school leadership development practices in cooperation with the Slovenian Ministry for Education and the National School for Leadership in Education, and welcomed the participants from Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands and Montenegro in Slovenia.

It is clear that effective school leadership impact positively on student achievement, teaching quality and staff motivation. School leaders also have a crucial responsibility in ensuring the creation of a safe and conducive environment for teaching and learning. Expectations are high and at the same time challenges are getting more complex because of major political, social, economic and technological developments that impact on the school environment. Professional development of school leaders is therefore essential in order to support school leaders to perform to their full potential.

The Peer Learning Activity was kicked-off by Ms Darinka Cankar, Head of Office of Development of Personnel in Education of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia. She gave an introduction to the Slovenian school system and presented the personnel development and career opportunities within the system. Dr Mihaela Zavašnik Ar?nik of the National School for Leadership in Education further follow-up by presenting the structural characteristics of school leader professional development practices. In her presentation she touched upon the current international trends, the structural indicators and strategies for enhancing quality professional development of school leaders. After the lunch break the participants were further informed on the work of the National School for Leadership in Education. This institution offers training programmes and (e)support upon request for school leaders; organises conferences; conducts research; promotes international cooperation and runs projects (for example the ESF project “building-up competences for leading and managing innovative educational institutions”). Ms Ar?nik together with her colleague Dr Justina Er?ulj shared furthermore with the participants the lifelong learning opportunities for school leaders in Slovenia targeting the different leadership levels within a head teacher / school leader’s career (teacher leadership ? middle leadership ? school leadership ? system leadership). After the presentations, participants had the opportunity to meet with two Slovenian headmasters, who shared their experiences as school leader of a primary school in Slovenia. These national practices inspired members of EFEE to reflect on their own national systems and to discuss how employers in education can contribute to support school leaders.

The next day, all participants were invited to visit a VET school in Ljubljana (which is being led by Fani Al-Mansour representative in EFEE for the Association of Secondary Schools and Dormintories) to see how the discussed policies work in practices. Furthermore, upon invitation of the Slovenian EFEE members, the participants joined the opening sessions of the European School Heads Association (ESHA) regional conference of school leaders from South East Europe. This programme included a presentation by the Slovenian Minister of Education, Ms Makovec Bren?i?, on a “Quality model for the Slovenian education system”, and a keynote speech by dr. Zachary Walker from the Singapore National institute for Education on “12 Questions for Educators and School Leaders in our fast changing world”.

For more information, please contact sarah.kik@educationemployers.eu Henrik Lundqvist Authentic Jersey