Liverpool’s Metro Mayor has giving strong backing to a University initiative to enable better educational leadership.
Liverpool John Moores University is set to launch a new Centre for Educational Leadership, following a major symposium in the city.
Steve Rotheram described the centre’s launch as a “feather in the cap” of the region and (a place to) “share ideas and best practice”.
The City-Region leader added: “The past year-and-a-bit has been an exceptionally challenging period during which our amazing schools and colleges have continued to adapt and make do, to try and ensure that our children and adult learners do not fall behind.
“This new Centre will be another feather in our region’s cap; a centre of excellence where our education leaders can come together to innovate against any future challenges. As we shape the future of education across the country, I’m sure that people will be looking to us to lead.”
Working with partners across the Liverpool City Region – and nationally and internationally - the Centre will be a dynamic and visible hub where education leaders can harness leadership learning, strengthen leadership development and co-create responses to effect positive development of leadership practice for impact on inequalities and educational outcomes.
The Centre launch was preceded by the School of Education’s first ‘Education Leadership in Challenging Times’ Symposium, with over 120 regional leaders. This first event was particularly aimed at School Leaders.
Dr Ceri Daniels, who is leading development of the Centre and organised the symposium, said: “This felt like exactly the right time to facilitate a coming together. To support leaders to collectively ‘breathe out’ and to start to capture the knowledge, learning, and opportunities the pandemic has presented.
“Dealing with anxieties from many directions and looking after their own teams through difficult and often frightening times, these leaders are also navigating themselves through constant uncertainty and policy churn.”
Delegates shared powerful stories about how they have adapted during lockdown and are working to tackle educational inequalities and maximise young people’s life chances. And they called for greater collaboration to support and develop leaders and their teams.
Local headteachers Ania Hildrey, of Abbot’s Lea School in Liverpool, and Steve Baker from Kilgarth School in Wirral, shared recent experiences and echoed the need to embed ways of working learned through COVID times.
Professor Becky Francis - Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, spoke of the imperative to improve outcomes for children and young people. We know there are new needs and gaps, but we also know the depth and complexities of the inequalities that existed before these unprecedented times.
“Now, more than ever, education leaders need to share learnings, strengthen leadership development and co-create responses to effect positive change,” said Professor Joe Yates – Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts, Professional and Social Studies at LJMU.
More details of the new Centre for Educational Leadership will follow soon.