ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone provides insight into National Quality Framework topics of interest. This month showcases the role of the Educational Leader, and a We Hear You blog series exploring the why, the what and the how of the role.
The first instalment, The role of the educational leader: aims, objectives and intent, includes information about why the role was introduced and what it aims to achieve.
Additionally, it provides questions to encourage educational leaders to self-assess their own skills, knowledge and understandings and put in place a plan to develop the areas that need strengthening.
The next phase considers how leaders then use their skills, knowledge and understandings to lead the development of the curriculum/program, culminating in the final instalment that looks at working with teams to set goals for both teaching and learning that help bring the program to life. The series includes a range of great resources for further reading and reflection.
We have also looked at ways we can bring ideas to life and so have published a presentation based on an address to the Educational Leaders Western Australia Forum. This presentation explores the way educational leaders around Australia drive quality practice by working to lead, coach, mentor and inspire educators towards continuous improvement, ultimately delivering quality outcomes for children and families.
Educational Leadership – National Education Leader presentation
ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone provides insight into National Quality Framework topics of interest.
The educational leader has an influential role in inspiring, motivating, affirming and also challenging or extending the practice and pedagogy of educators. It is a joint endeavour involving inquiry and reflection, which can significantly impact on the important work educators do with children and families.
With the introduction of the role, a number of myths have emerged. One of these is that the educational leader must complete all of the programming for all educators. This is a very narrow and prescriptive view of this important role.
The National Quality Standard (NQS) primarily deals with the role of the educational leader through Quality Area 7 – leadership and management. But neither the NQS nor the regulatory standards are prescriptive about the qualifications, experience, skills or role description for the person chosen to be the educational leader. There is a very good reason for this. The flexibility of these provisions allows approved providers to choose the best person in the service to take on this role.
When designating an educational leader, consideration needs to be given to whether the person is:
- suitably qualified and experienced
- willing to make time for the role and eager to learn more
- approachable and well respected
- knowledgeable about theories, pedagogy and the relevant learning frameworks
- skilled at supporting educators of varying abilities and learning styles
- knowledgeable about the NQS and related regulatory standards
The most effective educational leader views their role as collegial. They seek to play an integral role in mentoring, guiding and supporting educators. Some roles of the educational leader include:
- promoting understanding of the approved learning framework
- keeping up to date with current research/resources and sharing these
- exploring opportunities for professional development
- helping educators to understand and implement policies and procedures
- encouraging educators to reflect on their practice
- discussing ways to demonstrate the service is meeting the standards.
If you have been chosen as the educational leader in your service, congratulations on being selected for this important role and enjoy this journey of learning and growing with your team.
Further reading and resources
Early Childhood Australia Newsletter 33: The educational leader
Early Childhood Australia E-learning video, Talking About Practice (TAPS): The role of the educational leader
IPSP online library: The distributive leadership model by Ros Cornish
IPSP online library: Pedagogical Leadership: Exploring New Terrain and Provocations by Anthony Semann and Rod Soper in Reflections issue 47
Laurie Kelly (Mindworks) video: Leadership in education and care
Discussions about the educational leader role