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An update on the Ethical Leadership Commission

It’s been three months since the launch of the Ethical Leadership Commission’s final report Navigating the Moral Maze. It generated a lot of interest, so what has happened since?

The Commission’s work can be separated into three parts, with development on all three as follows:

The Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education (Framework)

In my role as Commission Chair together with others on the Commission, we have been travelling the country talking to groups of teachers, leaders and policy makers about the Framework, the report and our plans. It is well-received everywhere we go and starting to be widely recognised.

Most importantly, the Pathfinder Programme, run by the National Governance Association (NGA),  has really taken off, with 200 schools in its first two cohorts. These schools and MATs commit themselves to working with the Framework over the course of a year, taking time to consider its values and virtues in everything they do, and measuring their decision-making against its wording. The pathfinders will meet to discuss their progress for the first time on 4 July 2019.  

Many organisations have also asked to align with the Framework, and we will publish a full, updated list in September.  

Embedding the Framework in teacher and leadership training

This continuing ethical work is overseen by the Leadership Development Group of the Chartered College of Teaching. That group is currently working on two proposals:  
  • To augment the DfE’s excellent new Early Career Framework (ECF).  The ECF covers part 1 of the Teacher Standards, so we are making proposals about part 2, which covers personal and professional practice.  
  • To embed the Framework alongside the ‘leadership behaviours’ of the four NPQ programmes so that participants may be enabled to make decisions built on deep foundations.
Both of those proposals will be ready to go to the DfE this side of the summer holiday.

Further, we have used the Framework as part of a range of training programmes, at the invitation of NPQ and other providers, for annual conferences and meetings of professional leaders and governors and in podcasts for digital training providers.  

The Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee will also meet for the first time in July.  We hope that this standing committee, again under the auspices of the Chartered College’s Leadership Development Group, will become a thrice-yearly fixture in the educational calendar.  

We are taking time to make sure it is properly organised.  We have set up an Ethics Committee to run the Forum, which will start to call for participants and issues for the Forum meetings to discuss. We want the Forum to hear people’s experiences, both individually and from our partner organisations. We aim to publish reflection and case studies, enlarge our group of speakers and offer real support for leaders who struggle with difficult or frankly impossible decisions.

The first meeting will run on the same day as the Pathfinder gathering to maximise participation. It will be on 4 July 2019 at a venue to be confirmed. The reports of the Ethics Forum will be freely available on the websites of the participating organisations, particularly CCT, ASCL, NGA, NAHT and CST. Watch these spaces!

Can we mention funding?

We have no independent funding yet – so if you know of a trust or fund who might be interested in supporting our work, we’d love to hear from you!  

Thank you so much for your support so far; we are making a real difference to the confidence of school and college leaders to be able to think and reflect on what is best for our organisations. Remember, schools and colleges are where society looks after its young until they become good citizens too, and as role models, how we behave is as important as what we do.

If you’d like to know more please continue to use codeofethics@ascl.org.uk or croberts@thomastallis.org.uk for now.

Enjoy the summer term!

Carolyn Roberts
Headteacher,Thomas Tallis School, Greenwich, and Ethical Leadership Commission Chair
Posted: 18/04/2019 12:39:16