Integrating Work-Based Learning into Large-Scale National Leadership Development Programmes in the UK
Educational Review Volume 61, Number 4, ISSN 0013-1911
England's National College for School Leadership (NCSL) is probably unique in the scale on which its key national programmes are offered. This paper focuses on two of these programmes--Leading from the Middle and Leadership Pathways--which use blended learning models to cater for the leadership development needs of "middle leaders" broadly defined. Its purpose is to consider some of the implications of establishing programmes of these kinds on this scale, focusing particularly on the way in which work-based learning is given a key role in the blended learning design and the challenges to the maintenance of quality to which this gives rise. The paper proposes a model of a blended learning system that facilitates the analysis of factors affecting programme quality in terms of key relationships between participant, school and the programme itself. The evidence presented suggests that the quality of school support for participants--especially that from coaches--is inevitably variable and large-scale national quality assurance arrangements cannot fully compensate for this. The paper concludes by arguing for more local arrangements which embody a commitment to "leadership" as well as "leader" development. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 2 notes.)
Simkins, T. (2009). Integrating Work-Based Learning into Large-Scale National Leadership Development Programmes in the UK. Educational Review, 61(4), 391-405.