Ellis, Gill

Ellis, Gill
Start date:
October 2019
Research Topic:
Welsh head teachers professional learning and development needs
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Mark Connolly
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:

The focus of my research project is the professional learning and development of headteachers in Wales and is sponsored in collaboration with the Welsh Government (WG) via the National Academy for Educational Leadership (NAEL) and the Economic, Social and Research Council (ESRC).

Educational leadership has been increasingly recognised as a catalyst for educational reform and school improvement. For Wales this has been an ongoing development initiated by two OECD reports (2014, 2017) which identified that the leadership capacity in Wales was underdeveloped. This was caused by a lack of professional learning opportunities at senior level and a coherent career framework, with both these factors impacting on the recruitment and retention of future leaders (Connolly et al, 2018).

Recent Welsh Government policies have sought to build leadership and professional capital across Wales and recognised the importance of investing in its future leaders: for example, the National Mission for Wales (2017); Schools as Learning Organisations Plan (2017); a National Approach to Professional Learning (2018).

These culminated in a revised set of professional standards for teaching and leadership and the establishment of the National Academy for Educational Leadership (NAEL), which aims to ‘secure, nurture and inspire’ educational leaders (2018).

The foci of this research will assess and feed into two of these central initiatives in Welsh education reform: a. the revision of Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership which were revised in 2016 and in use in all schools in September 2017. b. the establishment of the National Academy of Educational Leadership in 2018 an ‘arm’s length’ body focussed on headship issues.

If you have any further questions about this research or would like to participate further in this research please do not hesitate to contact me.
Gill Ellis on ellisg5@cardiff.ac.uk