“The most successful education systems invest in developing their teachers as reflective, accomplished and enquiring professionals who are able, not simply to teach successfully in relation to current external expectations, but who have the capacity to engage fully with the complexities of education and to be key actors in shaping and leading educational change.”

Teaching Scotland’s Future: Report of a review of teacher education in Scotland, G Donaldson, Scottish Government (2011)

The General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) state that:

Leadership is central to educational quality” and define Leadership in an educational context as the ability to:

  •  develop a vision for change, which leads to improvements in outcomes for learners and is based on shared values and robust evaluation of evidence of current practice and outcomes;
  • mobilise, enable and support others to develop and follow through on strategies for achieving that change”


The GTCS Professional Standards and supporting guidance have been developed to support self-evaluation within professional learning. As teachers progress through their careers, the Standards can be used to identify, plan and develop professional learning needs, ensure continuing development of professional practice as part of the PRD process and help teachers to prepare for a variety of roles. All teachers are leaders of learning whether in a classroom or in a promoted post.

Within East Lothian we have a framework for Leadership for those in, or aspiring to, formal leadership roles.

Education Leadership Framework

Leadership development is a key area on the national policy agenda in Scottish education. There is a clear commitment to the development of leadership at all levels within our schools.

Programme Target audience
First Steps into Leadership – we are currently exploring GTCS professional recognition This is the beginning of the leadership pathway
Next Steps into Leadership – this programme has been awarded 20 credits at SCQF level 9 (Bachelors/ordinary degree level) from the University of Edinburgh This programme is for teachers’ who are PT’s or aspiring PT’s. It is recommended that participants have successfully completed First Steps into Leadership
Leading from the Middle – this programme will be piloted from Jan 2016 – Nov 2016. It has been awarded 20 credits at SCQF level 11 (masters level) from the University of Edinburgh This programme has been designed for Faculty Heads with the intention of rolling it out to senior middle leaders following the pilot.


Into Headship qualification – this qualification is delivered in partnership between the Local Authority, Higher Education Provider and the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) This qualification is designed for fully qualified teachers whose next post will be that of a Head Teacher, likely within 2-3 years.


SCEL Fellowship This programme is for Head teachers’ who have a deep understanding of systems leadership.

Head Teachers’ who have a minimum of five years experience.

Useful Leadership Links

SCEL (Scottish College for Educational Leadership)

GTCS Standards for Leadership and Management    

Step into Leadership SSSC (Scottish Social Services Council)   

ESHA (European School Heads Association)