Best Practice

Developing an ethic of (school leadership) excellence

The 2003 book An Ethic of Excellence has inspired Robbie Burns to develop his craft and approach as a school leader. He describes what leadership excellence means to him and how we might develop aspiring leaders in our schools

With the rise of high-quality leadership development programmes, it might be said that the depth of knowledge and understanding of school leaders is set to be the richest it has ever been. This is something certainly worth celebrating.

These programmes are well-intentioned, well-resourced, research-informed and rigorous. They develop leadership at all levels. But there are certain things they do not have an influence over and cannot do.

First, they do not have an influence over the impact of a leader’s experience of “being led” and how it will inform their own practice. Our leadership imagination is a powerful thing and is formed from the way we felt, the moments we shared, and the conversations we had with those who helped us become who we are.

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