Investing in leadership one of the most efficient and effective ways of strengthening education systems and improving teaching and learning at scale. Our expert teams’ work with school and system leaders encompasses evidence-based policy reform, competency frameworks, leadership development curricula, and delivery of professional development activities – all centred on better meeting the needs of learners.
Our model leads to measurable gains in leadership efficacy. As a result of our work with school leaders in Ethiopia, for example, the proportion of school leaders performing at the level of ‘competent leader’ or above rose from 15% to 74% from 2020 to 2022.
Our approach supports policymakers to deliver a fundamental, system-wide shift in the way leadership is conceptualised – to support learning, not administration – and to build capacity for leadership across entire systems, from initial teacher training to school, system and policy levels. While much of the existing research focuses solely on education leadership in high-income contexts, our experts also effectively support leaders and policymakers to make locally relevant, evidence-based decisions in low- and middle-income systems, based on our proven model and experience in these contexts.
We build local capacity to ensure sustainable change, with the ability to deliver practice-based, accredited and gender-responsive professional development programmes – including, where relevant, those with a focus on expanding opportunities for women in leadership. Our approach has enabled us to establish new organisations and institutions with a mandate to improve the quality of teaching and school leadership in Wales, Oman and Dubai, as well as pilot and scale impactful collaborative networks for leadership development in the UK, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. We also have a track record of delivering successful professional development programmes in instructional and transformational leadership at the middle tier in the UK, Brunei, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Lebanon.
The TARGET programme provides training and support to over 9000 school 'leaders of learning'. Through TARGET, we now reach 4.5 million learners. Our projections indicate that we will reach more than 5.5 million beneficiaries by the end of the programme.
Through our Building Learning Foundations (BLF) programme we are working with the Rwandan Ministry of Education, Rwanda Basic Education Board and National Inspection Authority to strengthen the education system.
In this report, the culmination of a joint research project between Education Development Trust and IIEP-UNESCO, we explore the role of a critical but too often neglected set of actors in addressing the teaching and learning crisis worldwide: those working in the ‘middle tier’ of education systems.